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May Update

June 3, 2013

Here’s what we did during the month of May. 

Professionally

– Published the April edition of Forcing Change (ah, late as always!), which highlighted the Mormon Transhumanist Association conference in Salt Lake City, and my attendance at this event. If you’re a member-subscriber of Forcing Change, log-on and download the April issue for more information.

– Together with my webmaster, we spent some time working on the back-end of the Forcing Change website. Right now parts of it are stripped down as we work on transferring and re-arranging the structure of the site. However, all six years of back issues are still open to members. When it’s done it should be an easier site to navigate.

– Was approached to start my own weekly radio program, and yes, this is going to happen! I’m expecting to tackle this project sometime late in June.

– Went to Jamestown ND for a weekend. Although it was a fast trip there and back, we were fortunate to spend time with an author friend who was traveling through, and with friends whom we met at a Bible conference.

– I was a guest on the radio program, The Truth Traveler, with Erin Dakins as host. I was also slated for two different shows in May, but due to a very persistent cold I was unable to participate.

Personal

– For most of May I fought an ongoing and re-accruing head-cold and flu. What a drain…

– Our children had lots of excitement! Both participated in the Provincial Speech Arts Competition in their respective categories. The Manitoba Speech Arts program is an annual series of events that takes place in communities around the province. Here, children compete with memorized poetry and prose readings, and each person is adjudicated by a sanctioned speech-arts judge. Then, if their marks are high enough and the judge feels the person is able to compete at an advanced level, that child moves up to the provincials. Although neither Scott or Austin made it into the top three at the provincial level, both held their own in a field of very competent and professional communicators.

– Scott and Austin auditioned for the Westman Youth Choir, a group made up of youth from across the western region of Manitoba. And both made the cut! What does this mean? Practices in the fall, then a tour! Congratulations!

– Other activities included a 93rd birthday party for Leanne’s aunt, our son passing his drivers exam and participating in his Air Cadet Annual Inspection, our daughter’s best-friend’s baptism, and two wedding showers.

Reading

In May I finished the following books:

About Lenin (Progress Publishers, 1980). This is a collection of vignettes about moments in Lenin’s life, written by colleagues of Lenin, Soviet literary personalities, and others associated with the Marxist leader. 

– Edgar C. Bundy, Collectivism in the Churches (Church League of America, 1960). A critical historical and (then) contemporary review of the Federal Council of Churches and National Council of Churches, with a particular interest in the Communist-leanings and associations found in its leadership.

– Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (Basic Books, 2010). A sobering examination of the extermination activities that took place in what roughly follows the Molotov-Ribbentrop line of Eastern Europe. Snyder has done an important service in comparing and contrasting the two regimes, exploring some of the reasoning that led to each new round of mass killing, while trying to maintain the often-missing human element (a difficult task when the numbers of dead are beyond comprehension).

Jim Corbett, Man-Eaters of Kumaon (Oxford University Press, 1946). Corbett was a famous big-cat hunter who focused on known man-eating tigers in northern India. His writing style is complex yet understandable as he weaves together life-and-death hunting stories, and provides fascinating details about the topography and nature of the region, and the many people he encountered in the villages. 

Peter C. Tucker, An Age for Lucifer: Predatory Spirituality and the Quest for Godhood (Holmes Publishing Group, 1999). This is a very interesting and unusual book indeed! Tucker details what he sees as a new ultra-competitive “religious movement” for the 21st century: Luciferian predation as the dominating form of transhumanism. It’s an exploration of psychology, social disorders, cults, Darwinian evolution, and organizing principles.  

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