After the Christmas C(h)ord last year, Dai Woolridge has produced another brilliant spoken word video for Christmas. One for your church or youth group?
With Advent starting this weekend check out this mind-blowing cover of “Little Drummer Boy,” by A Cappella wizards Pentatonix:
Some more funny and random headlines from around the world:
- World faces ‘global wine shortage’: The world is heading for a wine shortage, with global consumer demand already significantly outstripping supply, a report warns.
- Putin leading Forbes power list: Russian President Vladimir Putin is named the world’s most powerful person by Forbes magazine, pushing Barack Obama into second place.
- Internet chat ‘has a positive side’: Experts say there should be greater focus on the positive effect internet forums and chatrooms can have.
- Moustache added to chalk hill giant: A huge grass moustache is added to the Cerne Abbas Giant to raise awareness of cancer for Movember
- Dyson Award for wearable robotic arm: A battery-powered robotic arm that increases human strength has won the James Dyson award for problem-solving inventions.
- Dimbleby gets first tattoo aged 75: Veteran TV broadcaster David Dimbleby has had a scorpion tattooed onto his shoulder, he reveals in a magazine interview.
- Italy: Football team for asylum seekers: Italy’s new football team for African asylum seekers
- Publisher apologises for leaving Israel off map: Publisher apologises after Israel left off map in children’s book
- Shop fooled by spoof million yen note: Shop staff in Japan are fooled by a sticky note made to look like a million yen banknote – a denomination never issued.
- Monty Python to reunite on stage: All of the surviving members of comedy legends Monty Python are to reform for a stage show, Terry Jones confirms.
- Famed NYC graffiti spot painted over: A New York City warehouse celebrated for its graffiti art is painted over in preparation for demolition, angering locals.
- Gold bars found in plane toilet: Cleaners find 24 gold bars worth at least 70m rupees ($1.1m) in the toilet compartment of a commercial jet in Calcutta.
- ‘Sinner’ Pope confesses fortnightly: Pope Francis has told Catholic believers he goes to confession at least every two weeks because he too is “a sinner”.
- Russian boxers in tram rescue drama: Boxers from Russia’s restive republic of Dagestan are hailed as heroes after rescuing passengers from a burning tram.
- Queues to buy Beckhams’ clothes: Members of the public have been queuing outside a west London charity shop to buy designer clothes donated by David and Victoria Beckham.
- Prince sings with Bon Jovi and Swift: The Duke of Cambridge surprises guests at a charity event at Kensington Palace by performing alongside US stars Jon Bon Jovi and Taylor Swift.
- Bitcoin currency breaks $1,000 mark: The value of a single bitcoin surpasses $1,000 (£613) for the first time, according to MtGox, the virtual currency’s biggest exchange.
- Japan man swapped at birth wins damages: A 60-year-old Tokyo man switched at birth from his rich parents to a poor family has been given compensation, it’s reported.
Danny Keefe, a 6-year-old boy at the Mitchell Elementary School in Bridgewater, Massachussetts, is disabled because of a brain hemorrhage at birth and has a speech impediment problem.
Regardless, Danny is a cheerful – and dapper – water boy for his Bridgewater Badgers peewee football team. We say “dapper” because Danny always wear a suit and tie, as well as a fedora, to school.
The football team’s coach always remind the team that they’re a “Band of Brothers,” and that despite his disability, Danny is one of them and that they should treat him as an equal.
So, when the football team quarterback Tommy Cooney heard that Danny was getting bullied because of the way he speaks, he rallied the troop to do something: they arranged a “Danny Appreciation Day,” where every boy in the team came to school dressed up like Danny.
Children can be mean, but these kids are awesome! Watch the video clip below by WCVB Channel 5 Boston that will reaffirm your faith in humanity:
Over the weekend there was an interesting article in The Guardian, on Let teenagers have their kicks. They are only doing what comes naturally:
British teenagers are an increasingly responsible and sober bunch. Teen pregnancies are at an all-time low, drug-fuelled dance culture is vanishing, careers are planned from a tender age, and preparations are made for a lifetime of tuition fee loan repayments and pension contributions. Most of the evidence shows that today’s teenagers are altogether more sensible than their irresponsible, selfish parents ever were.
But where did all the fun go? What about the naive, wide-eyed collision that is supposed to happen when each teenage generation encounters an unprepared world? In other words, I worry that teenagers are becoming prematurely middle aged.
So it was the evolution of teenagers that made us human, and do all the wonderful things humans can do, and the same remains true today. Far from being an irritating transitional phase between childhood and adulthood, teenagers represent a life-stage unique to our species and absolutely essential for its success.
… All that brain restructuring means teenagers think in a completely different way from adults – a difference that can be frustrating at times, but a difference we should cherish rather than stifle. And there are some particular features of teenage thinking we must nurture if we are to thrive in the future.
One of these is creativity, something teenagers revel in. Although their thought processes may seem disordered to the adult observer, they are especially adept at comparing dissimilar concepts to create new perspectives. Indeed, many geniuses have drawn their initial inspiration from their almost gauche adolescent thoughts. For example, Einstein wondered what it would be like to ride on a light wave when he was 16 and I doubt he could have had such a crude yet brilliant thought at 60.
Also, teenagers, as we all know, tend to take risks. Parents don’t like it, and the authorities don’t like it, yet teenagers seem driven to do it all the same. Sometimes, terrible things happen as a result of teenage risk-taking, but very often they don’t. The human mind did not evolve in a world of speeding cars, sexually transmitted diseases and potent psychoactive chemicals, and it is poorly equipped to cope with them, yet risk-taking still serves an important function. To be successful in life we have to take some risks and adolescence is when we learn what can go wrong, what can go right, and what it feels like to take a risk. Creativity and risk-taking are essential for human success and prosperity. They are not only important in the arts, but are also the key to success in science, business and the development of a civilised society. If we do not encourage our teenagers to behave like – well – teenagers, then the outlook is bleak.
… Youth is not about being responsible – it is about being young and all the enticing, overwhelming, delicious things that come with it. Life has an emotional, sensual vividness to it when we’re young and this cannot be recaptured later on. Once that is gone it is gone forever and to cloud a young person’s experience of it is unforgivable. We are consigning our teenagers to an awful, bland sensibleness. And that is simply not natural.
David Bainbridge is a reproductive biologist at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, and the author of Teenagers – A Natural History(Portobello)
David and Janean Richards of Canberra, Australia, have set another record for the number of Christmas lights on their home. They first held the record in 2011, but then were eclipsed by an American home in 2012. This year, the Richards set up 502,165 Christmas lights to regain the title. That brings bragging rights, and an electric bill that’s over two grand a month! Luckily, the bill is subsidized by ActewAGL’s Greenchoice renewable energy company. The 331,038 lights lights the family displayed in 2011 raised $78,000 for their favorite charity, SIDS and Kids ACT. They hope this year will bring in even more funds.
Having sworn to never again undertake such a labour-intensive record attempt, in 2012 David discovered his record had been broken by the Gay family from Lagrangeville, New York, with 346,283 lights.
“Suddenly I had twice the drive,” David says. “I’d be raising more money for SIDS and Kids and winning back our record at the same time.
The display is open to the public from 7:30 to 10:30 each night through Boxing Day, and even later close to Christmas. The curious thing is that the tradition of putting up decorative lights for Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, Tet, solstice, and other occasions is because it’s winter and the nights are long and dark. However, Christmas comes in summer in the Southern Hemisphere, so in Australia you have to stay late to see the full effect! Read more, and see a video, about the Richards’ display at the Guinness site.
This morning Ian Henderson spoke about how John 10:10 reminds him of Louise Johnston a granny from Wolverhampton, who during the riots, realised her hair salon was under threat, looting and mobs were going into all the shops. Most people hid behind the counter in those shops. Louise Johnston cared, she stood outside her building, as thieves come to destroy her shop, she says “you will not have my shop!”. The people look at her and think ok and move on to smash up the shop next door!
You care about your young people, you’re not hiding behind the counter like many of the shop assistants did in the Riots. There is a thief that is coming to destroy your young people, he is trying to destroy their identity, their lives, their futures.
We were challenged to stand up and say to the devil “you will not have my youth group” – to take a stand. As you’ve spent the weekend hearing from so many different speakers, chatting with so many other youth workers you have been challenged, inspired and encouraged not to worry about yourself, but to stand up to the devil.
What issue is it that you are standing in the gap for? Is it pornography, self-harm, friendships, unemployment, alcohol, drugs – there are too many to mention here, but what is it that God has broke your heart for, what passion is it that God has laid on your heart?
Our prayer, our hope, is that you will take that from this conference, that you will go home and keep asking God what rules can you ignore. In the same way David saw Goliath as a 9 foot giant who was huge and intimidating, but whilst Goliath wants arm-to-arm combat, but David says we don’t have to do it that way. What new ways is God laying on your heart to stand in the gap, we have to do something, we cannot ignore it anymore.