Archive for the ‘Church’ Category


The guys from Mining.com told me today that the major news organizations contacted them asking for comments on the recent mining tragedy in Turkey.  The Mining.com guys had no comment.  “What do we know more than they do?  What can we say that adds to insight?” (more…)

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At the address in the photo above is an amazing collection of public art.  On the outside walls of the Huntington Beach Civic Center are painted tiles of birds.  These tiles were saved when the old shopping mall across the way was torn down.  These tiles were part of this grand old shopping center–from a time when money could be spent on art not artifice.  But when the center was pulled down to make way for bigger shops that would attract the richer, younger crowd moving into the surrounding areas, luckily the tiles were saved and placed on the walls of the Civic Center. (more…)

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On Tuesday I was in yet another of those asinine arguments about what constitutes “perpetual” in mining and mine closure.  I had heard all the arguments, smart and cynical, more than thirty years ago when we debated them on the UMTRA Project.  But the pusillanimous arguments continue, for everyone has an opinion and wants to be heard. (more…)

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art Portraits-by-Francoise-Nielly[1]

Mining has given rise to wars.  The folk who mined hematite for face paint at Bomvu Ridge 40,000 years ago probably used the red stuff as war paint.  The silver mines of Athens made it a formidable war force in early Greek history.  The Boer wars of South Africa were driven by England’s desire to get control of the gold mines of the Witwatersrand.   Blood diamonds is a modern version of conflict wrought over access & control of valuable resources. Nothing new about this concept–although I am yet to see a book on mining as a cause of war. (more…)

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Hendrik Kirsten, of SRK fame, interviewed me when I was a candidate for a job with Steffen, Robertson, and Kirsten, as it was called in the mid-1970s. Hendrik is a stern moralist, a man of outstanding rectitude and honesty. His integrity was legendary even then, when in the mid-1970s, I was seated in front of him for an interview. (more…)

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On the mines of South Africa, a long time ago, Easter was a special occasion.  It was the end of summer and the beginning of autumn; it was a long weekend when even the miners did not work; it was a family time;  and we went to Church to pray for lives lost and redeemed.  For through the year, there were always deaths and distress.  After Lent, this seemed an appropriate time to reminisce.  (more…)

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Would you sign the following petition to your local Canadian Member of Parliament?   The petition urges the Canadian Federal government to pass legislation that would: (more…)

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The early operas told the tales of the gods and heroes: Jove, Juno, Apollo, Aeneas, and the whole pantheon of Greeks and Romans who made the world what it was then and, in so many ways, still is today.  Then opera emerged from the Church music of Italy and we hear references to God, and all his glory.  (more…)

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A cornucopia of impressions as I look back on the past two days.  The overall impression is crowds; the crowds of greater Los Angeles and Orange County in the days of a week of holidays; and the crowds of thirty-million people in a relatively small area.  I almost long for the smallness & loneliness of Vancouver. (more…)

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An occasional piece on the trashy movies I like to watch.  Over the weekend I watched two movies that must be the precursors to the Hunger Games (a popular book trilogy and now a new movie for those not in the know.)   The movies I watched come in a fancy “book” format containing four DVDs.  The first is the director’s cut of Battle Royal, a brutal Japanese movie from about 2000.  It tells the story, apparently derived from a Japanese book, of a class of highschool freshmen taken to a deserted island and made to fight each other to the death.   The third DVD is the sequel: Battle Royale II: Requiem, an even more brutal movie of another class taken to the same island and forced to fight to the death. (more…)

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