I wrote this on Suite101.com. (Link)
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“The Voice” is a [[Biblical translation]] project established “to rediscover the story of the Bible.”
<ref name=”Book”>[New Testament, The Voice Edition (Website: http://hearthevoice.com/books/profile/27722)%5D</ref> It employs writers with artistic, theological and musical backgrounds in order to differentiate its work from scholar-centered translations.
<ref name=”Book”/> The Voice’s first publication was a [[New Testament]] translation, which came out in [[October]] []. <ref name=”Site”>[http://www.hearthevoice.com The Voice's Website]</ref>
== Composition ==
“The Voice” encompasses a range of writers, editors, scholars and musicians. <ref name=”Book”/> The writers and scholars collaborate to produce [[Biblical]] texts with academic and artistic merit, while the 27 musicians involved work on “Songs From The Voice,” a musical compilation. Seven editors oversee the writing process.
The project is overseen by the [[Ecclesia Bible Society]], which is presided over by [[Chris Shea.]]
== Biblical Translation ==
The Voice markets its [[Old Testament]] (still in production) and New Testament editions as alternatives to scholar-led translations. Its overall goal is to produce “holistic,” “beautiful,” “sensitive” and “balanced” <ref name=”Book”/> transcriptions that present-day readers can identify with.
The project’s first production, a translation of the New Testament, pairs a play-like format and contemporary verse with occasional commentary and in-text explanations. A brief introduction precludes each book.
== Current and future publications ==
In addition to their complete New Testament translation, the project has produced a number of titles dealing with the Bible <ref name=”Site”/>:
[[The Voice of Acts]]
[[The Voice of John]] (offered as a free download on their website)
[[The Voice from on High]]
[[The Voice of Luke]]
[[The Voice of Hebrews]]
[[The Voice of Mark]]
[[The Voice of Matthew]]
[[The Voice of Romans]]
A translation of the Old Testament is currently underway.
== External Links:==
http://www.hearthevoice.com/pdf/TheVoice_Comparison.pdf (a comparison of contemporary [[Bible]] translations, including The Voice)
http://www.hearthevoice.com (The project’s website)
== References ==
Here’s a Wikipedia page I worked on of The Voice’s New Testament edition:
The Voice: New Testament is a [[New Testament]] Bible translation written by [[The Voice (Project)]], a scriptural research group. It was published by [[Thomas Nelson]] in [[October]] [].
== Nature of the translation ==
The Voice markets its [[New Testament]], a rewritten edition which incorporates writers, musicians and [[pastors]] (including the [[Emerging Church]] proponent [[Brian McLaren]] <ref name=”Book”/>,) as an alternative to scholar-focused [[Bible translations]]. The group’s goal in the project was to produce a “holistic,” “beautiful,” “sensitive” and “balanced” <ref name=”Book”>New Testament, The Voice Edition (Website: http://hearthevoice.com/books/profile/27722)</ref> New Testament that present-day readers could identify with.
The compilation pairs a play-like format and [[contemporary]] verse with occasional commentary and italicized in-text explanations. Each book in the New Testament is preceded by a brief introduction explaining its background and significance.
== Criticism ==
Chris Rosebrough of the website Extreme Theology has taken issue with The Voice’s interpretation and extensions of the Bible’s original text. In Part One of his book review, Rosebrough writes:
“Unfortunately, not since the release of the [[Jehovah’s Witnesses]]’ [[New World Translation]] of the Greek Scriptures in [] has there been a bible published that so blatantly mangles and distorts God’s Word in order to support a peculiar and aberrant theological agenda.” <Ref Name=”Review”>Chris Rosebrough’s review (site: http://www.extremetheology.com/2008/11/review-of-the-voice-new-testament—part-one.html)</ref>
Rosebrough then goes on to contrast the New Voice translation with the [[English Standard Version]] and the original [[Greek]] text, pointing out areas in the book that he sees as misleading or contrary to the passage’s original meaning.
== References ==
== External Links ==
http://www.hearthevoice.com/pdf/TheVoice_Comparison.pdf (A comparison of contemporary [[Bible]] translations, including The Voice)
http://www.hearthevoice.com (The project’s website)
http://hearthevoice.com/books/profile/27722 (Official book website)
A quick guide to quick typing
Throughout our lives, we receive plenty of education on what to type. It is the question of how to type that does not get enough attention.
One could make the argument that how fast one writes does not make much of a difference. After all, if it takes someone an hour just to write a thousand-word paper (an average rate of fourteen to fifteen words a minute), their actual typing ability does not factor into the equation—seeing as they could easily match that typing rate with a pencil.
This argument, however, makes the pretense that typists go at the same rate for hours on end; in truth, writing is better modeled as a series of pauses punctuated by moments of intense—sometimes furious—typing. It’s those moments of fury that require one to be proficient in typing, lest a great thought or a chain of ideas for a paragraph slip away.
I invite anyone reading this to look at the keys below their fingers—should they be near a computer. If the top row of keys reads “QWERTYUIOP,” they’ve got a problem they might not even know about.
The QWERTY layout was developed more than a century ago for typewriter models. With all due respect to the inventor, Christopher Sholes’ layout has since become outdated. It puts some of the most-used keys—E, R, T, I and O—on the top row, meaning the hand must travel an uncomfortable distance to type even the most basic words. Simultaneously, it puts rarely-used letters like “K” and “J” on the middle row where they do not belong. QWERTY keyboard users use the top row, which requires hand travel, much more than they do the “home” or middle row.
At first, this may seem like an unimportant issue. But the more one must move their fingers up and down to type, the more strain they put on the fingers—and the less potential they have when it comes to speed typing.
With all this in mind, I recommend that anyone serious about typing quickly change the layout of their keyboard. (This is the point at which most will stop reading.) Going from QWERTY to a more ergonomic layout, in fact, is easier done than said. Windows and Apple computers both feature alternate layout compatibility, and rearranging the keys is as simple as popping the letters out with a knife and moving them around.
For about three years, I’ve used the “Dvorak” keyboard layout. Switching was as simple as taking a utensil and manually rearranging the keys, then going to the Windows control panel and changing the key layout. Since then, I’ve never looked back. At school, I can use online converters to type quickly; at home, with my keyboard configured for Dvorak typing, I can reach speeds of 100 WPM in regular typing—and 120 or above in typing tests. Best of all, I’ve rarely felt hand or wrist pain from typing at extended lengths.
Dvorak is the leading rival to QWERTY, but users looking to break the mold even further can try out the COLEMAK layout. This one is technically superior to Dvorak, but the achievement gap between the two is miniscule compared to the gap between QWERTY and either.
But neither the COLEMAK or Dvorak layout will make a hint of difference unless one learns to “touch type,” or memorize the key layout so that one need not look at the board while typing. With all due respect to the mathematicians of this world, I consider my ability in this field much more important than my skills in trigonometry or calculus.
There are more typing programs than there are sushi bars in Tokyo, but all of them are, more or less, the same: by starting with the most frequently used keys and extending outward, they teach users—letter by letter—to memorize the board. Some programs have elaborate tracking systems, incorporated games and voice narrators. Others, like the 1995 HTML program I used to learn Dvorak, are East German in their appearance but do just as fine a job.
The specific program one chooses, in the end, does not make a difference. What matters is that they use that program to its fullest potential and emerge with the ability to type while looking at the screen.
These two measures get one 85 percent of the way to their full typing potential. This final step can be eschewed if one is satisfied with their current keyboard, but important nonetheless.
Most keyboards—and most cars—perform more or less the same at slow speeds. The plastic keyboard that came from your computer and the steel-frame, mechanical-switch, ergonomic-everything product you can buy online will each feel about the same at 30 or 40 words a minute. But for typists capable of hitting 80 WPM or above, the specific keyboard one users begins to make a difference in their final score.
Keyboard styles can be separated by two main categories: keyswitch technology and physical key arrangement. By far, the majority of keyboards use rubber domes to pop depressed keys back up and feature three straight rows of letters. This setup works fine for infrequent typists with a WPM score in the 30-60 range.
A plethora of keyswitch alternatives exist on the market. Take “Buckling Spring” boards, for example. These keyboards use actual springs to recoil keys to their original position. Because springs do their job much quicker than standard rubber domes, the keyboard is more responsive and less susceptible to “mushy” typing, in which one’s fingers sink into the keys and have trouble getting back up. Mechanical boards register strokes using actual switches, not just the wire membrane technology found in most buckling spring and regular keyboards.
Both of these technologies result in faster typing for two reasons: the keys are more responsive to finger input, and the “click” sound resulting from springs and switches helps the typist recognize when they’ve depressed a key. These are just two popular alternatives out of dozens.
My personal keyboard is standard in terms of letter arrangement; like most devices, it has the letters and numbers in four parallel rows. For typists interested in a more ergonomic (and faster, perhaps) experience, there are a number of keyboards available with a V-shaped layout; the letter rows, split in the middle and curved inward, better match the natural hand position of typists. This theme has plenty of variations (search for “vertical keyboard” for an especially wild one), but all serve to make the typing experience more intuitive and easier on the fingers.
This guide is but an introduction to the world of speed typing, but it covers most of the steps interested typists should take to write faster. As for writing better… well, that’s a separate matter.
Imagine, if you can, a distant age when the internet was a foreign phrase. When today’s billionaires were yesterday’s garage programmers and software hackers. When the dawn of the computing age was yet to shine on the horizons of technology.
An age when keyboards made a pingy sound.
We have progressed so far in the realm of computer technology that to look back is to see but a blur of gadgets, interfaces and networks atop which we build at a dizzying rate. Compared to today’s byte-sized wonders and world-linking devices, the earlier years of the internet age seem relatively droll in comparison. Who would want to bring back green-text monitors and floppy disks?
And yet, for the lowly keyboard, the late eighties were an age of glory. An era where no gadget could quite replace its monumental task. Mice, monitors and motherboards have since evolved, but as far as traditionalists are concerned, the days before the World Wide Web were the peak of the typing experience. Since then, the keyboard has only gone backwards.
I grew up a stranger to that nostalgic era—or, at the least, blind to it. I figured that all keyboards, black or white, short or fat, were made equal.
From a cosmetics standpoint, I was correct. But keyboards have never been about outside appearances—at least, not before companies started placing their emphasis on pretty curves and a button for every pixel on the monitor. The soul of a board lies deep inside the casing, hidden from the mainstream eye.
Today’s standard QWERTY device has a different heart than the legends that preceded it. Do you hear that muffled “dun dun” sound when you press a letter? That’s the hallmark sound of a “rubber dome” key connector, available in China by the truckloads. Dome keyboards are quite cheap to manufacture, a selling point that—combined with their office-friendly noise level—has made the technology popular in just about every environment.
Yet these modern input devices, ergonomic and flashy they might be, have no appreciation of the glory days of typing. They lack that inner soul that defined 80′s computing:
The pingy sound.
Back in the seventies and eighties, programmers and other heavy typists demanded the very best in key press technology. The computer builders’ solution? “Buckling Spring” technology, a keyboard style in which depressing a letter causes a spring under it to bend and touch a connector. Letters arrive on the screen in metallic fanfare.
These springs were what produced the pingy noise I refer to. But it wasn’t just the commanding sound that set these boards apart. It was their enhanced typing speed; the springs’ responsiveness resulted in faster typing than rubber dome alternatives. It was their stunning durability. IBM’s Model M, the quintessential keyboard of this era, remains in use—and in demand—after twenty years of active service.
Alas, the soul era of input devices ended before I was even born. The pingy sounds of yesteryear all but died out, rejected by a world it could no longer understand. Imagine the shame these monuments of engineering must have felt as their owners threw them into dumpsters or left them for dead at yard sales.
There is yet hope in these dark times, mind you. A few old-style producers have survived—no, prospered—in this indifferent age. “Clicky Keyboards” and Unicomp are but two examples.
Perhaps it is but a niche market these companies cater to. That is understandable. But if there is anything that makes me optimistic about the future of the valiant buckling spring, it is that wherever such a keyboard is brandished, its keystrokes announce its presence to everyone in the vicinity. Its bulky shape commands attention from co-workers and roommates. Its legacy, preserved so well in the steel-and-plastic shell, echoes down the hall in staccato bursts.
Such is the destiny of all spring-designed versions today: to carry on the tale of the pingy sound and the decades that relished it. A keyboard could not ask for a nobler task.
[Quite possibly the shortest article you will ever see on Schreiben Depot.]
The Sentence Party
The Sentence Party’s View:
The ideal government is strong enough to keep its citizens from restraining one another, limited enough to keep the government from restraining its citizens and simple enough that its whole philosophy can be expressed in one sentence.
[Written on the bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto. Having spent the first year of my life in Japan and the next sixteen in the United States, it's hard for me to tell whether I am now the furthest from or the closest I have ever been to home.]
It would be presumptuous of me to think that, after four days in Tokyo, I could write accurately about the nature of the city. It simply doesn’t work for one to fly 7,000 miles, take a few walks around the place and think himself an expert. Yet this metropolis is one that inspires people to tell about it, even if they’ve lived through too few earthquakes and squeezed into too few subway cars to really get a sense of it. Consider the following not as a comprehensive analysis, but as the hurried thoughts of a wide-eyed foreigner.
Tokyo makes an effective argument against the myth that this world is “small”—both in the geographic and cultural sense. There is nothing petit about Tokyo. New York has taller skyscrapers, perhaps, but Tokyo has 400 square miles—by my estimate—of hard-packed urban development. Shinjuku station, the most crowded subway hub in the world, has over 50 exits. There is a pedestrian crossing here so large that a nearby building has a television on its façade, broadcasting the foot traffic. The fish market alone is larger than the “downtown” areas of many cities.
But Tokyo also denounces the small world myth in the sense that the city may as well be on another planet. This is a city where even the cashiers bow at you; where policemen and custom officials wear cartoon mascots on their sleeves; where “Love 3″ is a hot-selling video game; where men can be seen wearing schoolgirl uniforms; where fancy restaurants serve dinner live and twitching; where run-of-the-mill toilets spray your bottom and where fancy ones flush; where 6 million vending machines (an actual figure) will deposit anything from coffee to iPod accessories. There are those cities where you can look around you, smile and proclaim: “You know, these people might not speak our languages, but they really are just like us.” That’s certainly not the case with Tokyo, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
And it is the people, not the skyscrapers, not the technology, not the food, that make Tokyo a place worth seeing. It took some time for me to realize this; at first, my neck was craned looking for monuments, museums and other tourist attractions. The real attraction was all around me.
Imagine all of the citizens of Canada packed into the corner of an island, and you’ve got a sense of the population of Tokyo. It does not do justice to the city merely to say, “this place is crowded.” Tokyo is not just crowded. Tokyo is squeezed to the point where that prodigal can of sardines would seem roomy in comparison. The subway lines hire “pushers” to help the rush hour crowd get through the doors and onto the train. Come rush hour, the sidewalks turn into a bobbing array of black heads and white shirts. Denver and Chicago have room to expand, but Tokyo, with the bay on one side and farmers with protected land on the other, can only grow inward. The city has its cases of sprawl, but the houses are packed neatly together without a hint of wasted space.
These tens of millions of people have a funny way of keeping in touch. Tokyo is a city connected, from the rat’s nests of wires linking house to house to the subway lines sewn through downtown; from the futuristic cell phones pressed against every other ear to the traditions of family support that keep even the busiest households together. It must be hard to find any quiet time alone, though I’m sure the Japanese try.
Not that the capital of Japan has forgotten its roots as the feudal hub of Japan. The imperial Palace is the city’s centerpiece, with cool parks and a swan-inhabited moat. In paying homage to their ancestors in urban shrines, the Japanese pay homage to the days when their ancestors walked the streets as feudal heads and spiritual authorities, not just businesspeople and construction workers. One would imagine that Tokyo embodies a conflict between the traditional and the modern, between the palace grounds and the skyscrapers that neighbor it. Instead, I saw both halves of the city reflected in one another. Office workers and schoolchildren visit the shrines and cross the Imperial moat. Likewise, there is a trace of national pride and ambition in the political centers of old that match the modern atmosphere of the city. Tokyo’s success, I feel, resides in its ability to adapt to—no, invent the new while retaining its heritage and traditions. All while featuring cute, friendly cartoons on store windows and advertisements.
The future may not be as kind to the city. With the economy slumping worldwide and Japan’s birthrate expected to plummet, Tokyo may find its status slipping as economic centers in China, India and Singapore forge ahead. For now, at least, the city is enjoying life at the top of the population and economic charts. Better yet, it seems to be enjoying life in general—cramped and hurried though that life may be.
Reflections in the Ice
It was the Arctic Ocean’s off season, but she still put on a memorable show.
The clouds lifted just as our plane began to scrape the northern edge of Alaska. I saw the barren grey of the tundra, the pale blue of the Arctic; and then, in a hue so white that it could not be mistaken for anything else, the polar ice. Together, the three encompassed a memorable portrait of the North, this realm of past pioneers and present long-haul flights. (It almost seems unfair to watch this from seat 39J, warm, well-fed and free from polar bears. What would Roald Amundsen have thought?)
But it was not the latitude that made the biggest impression on me. It was the ice, bobbing 30,000 feet below like chunks of Styrofoam. In the wake of global warming reports and foreboding satellite photography, I felt a great deal of sympathy for the endangered spread of white below. This, in essence, is our Earth’s freezer: the one thing keeping the Northern Hemisphere’s temperature in check. Alas, the icebox had begun to show a little wear. I expected a vast, frozen plateau off the northern coast of Alaska; instead, what I got were disembodied chunks that floated unaware of one another. One had to look towards the horizon to see the real ice pack.
The plane shot fearlessly across the Bering strait. Historian say that man (and woman) arrived in North America by means of a giant ice bridge. Theory disproven: there is no ice under me.
Times have changed since the last ice age, as everyone from Al Gore to Michael Crichton can agree. If it weren’t for the shrinking of those two massive polar ice caps, I wouldn’t be here to write about the lack thereof. Warming periods increase the spread of arable land, open up transportation routes, improve living conditions… and yet, push the climate seesaw too far, and the other side sinks in the water. These shrinking ice reserves have contributed to floods, hurricanes and droughts alike.
One doesn’t need to watch Gore’s movie to see what happens when the North Pole heats up; they only have to visit Sudan, where drought conditions are turning farmland into desert, or Inuit communities up north whose literal foundation of their homes and villages—permafrost—has begun to melt.
I remember a day when the Earth, viewed from an aisle seat or a deck chair, appeared unchanging. Not anymore. If my children get a chance to fly from Washington to Tokyo (provided there’s enough kerosene to fill the tanks), I wonder if they’ll even see the white in between the Alaskan coastline and the sky. Granted, I managed to see ice in August, but there’s no predicting what two decades of change will bring.
From Azerbaijan to Zaire, the polar ice is a fundamental yet fragile means of balancing the climate seesaw. Ironic that this northern region, isolated from humanity save for a few villages and planes, should make such an impact on our daily weather.
I took one more look out the window as we neared Siberia. The ice had already disappeared from sight.
[A how-to article written just in time for your next summer vacation.]
A glue-gun face lift for your luggage
Vacation destinations are fun. Getting to those destinations? Not so much. Most of us hate travel almost as much as we love arriving; even when the plane departs on time and the weather stays nice for the car ride, there’s not much about the journey from home to holiday that gets us excited.
Still, there are little ways to make the experience more rewarding. Even if you don’t have the money for a first-class ticket or a Mustang rental car, there is one cheap and long-lasting way to put a little flavor in your flight. This article will cover the ins and outs of decorating your luggage.
Chances are, your baggage wouldn’t win many design awards. Most bags, totes and cases are decidedly utilitarian: convenient for storage and transport, but about as exciting as your 10-hour flight in economy class. This makes luggage perfect for a design project. To start, you’ll want a bag made of a flexible, yet durable material; nylon works especially well. You should also be comfortable with putting glue and staples into your bag. (This isn’t a good project for your $1000 leather tote.) If at all possible, pick a suitcase with hard sides instead of soft ones.
Once you have your bag picked out, you’ll want to get a glue gun. These handy little devices work by heating sticks of hard glue to oven-esque temperatures, which allows for much stronger, more durable adhesives to be used. Next, you’ll need to find decorating materials. The following is a short list of items that work well with (A a glue gun and (B nylon luggage:
- Pins (for soft surfaces)
- Bumper stickers
- Small signs
- Wooden items
- Bottle tops, hotel keys and other trinkets.
This isn’t a comprehensive list, of course. Anything that’s relatively flat and adheres well to glue gun adhesive will work just fine. I used everything from Scrabble tiles to Boy Scout badges in my design.
This is where the fun begins. Plug in or turn on your glue gun and set it down in a safe place: in other words, where the nozzle doesn’t come within contact of anything. When you can start to release liquid glue with the trigger, you can begin to attach your items. Place the item on the suitcase and decide where, exactly you want to place it, then apply glue to the perimeter of the item and stick it on. Use some sort of hard surface to press the object into the luggage. (Your hand could work, but that’s 350-degree glue you’re putting your hand over.)
At this point, two things can happen: the item locks in nicely and doesn’t shift when you prod it a minute later, or it sticks only a little and comes off with a little pulling. In the latter case, you’ve probably chosen a suitcase that won’t stick well with the item—or vice versa. Stapling and stitching are two alternate options.
The less a surface shifts and bends during the course of your trip, the longer the item glued to it will stay on. That’s why I would recommend fitting items on hard surfaces instead of soft ones. Then again, if the object you’re applying is especially small, you probably won’t have to worry.
If you’re dissatisfied about a placement, wait for the thing to dry and peel it off with your hand. Glue guns and nylon work great together because the adhesive usually comes off with little, or any residue. Better yet, should an item come off during transit, reapplying is simple and inexpensive.
Don’t feel as if you have to cover the whole suitcase at once, by the way. Over the years, I saved up the plastic hotel keys and airline tickets collected during vacations. These made for excellent suitcase decorations, especially because of their travel theme. Pins and flags from souvenir shops are also suitable.
When the glue gun’s turned off and the scraps are in the trash, take a moment to sit back and admire your handiwork. You may not have the Mona Lisa in front of you, but your luggage—and your travels—will now be a bit more fun than before.