Guess what I found

Well, Shena found it for me. I'll give you a hint: we were in the used bookstore in Chilliwack. Scott may well have the best shot at this one.

Any thoughts on the CBC situation?

Has any of you found themselves somewhat annoyed about the CBC lockout that's currently going on? I can't say that I've so much as noticed (I can't remember the last time that I watched CBC anyways). It would be somewhat nice if they'd just stay off the job and save us all a few tax dollars.

One interesting thing that I stumbled across, is the suggestion that ratings for the CFL broadcasts have improved since they dropped their commentators (I don't see a source stated so I'm a little leery of the claim). I can't really say I watch much in the way of sports (although I did make it to a Whitecaps game last night), but commentators annoy me enough that I attempt to avoid Quinzos for the simple reason that they have Don Cherry as spokesperson.

Following upon the footsteps of that book on the Reformation...

I've been trying to do some reading on Church History lately, and hence I figured that I would briefly mention a couple of other books that are on my reading list: The Complete Works of Josephus, and A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada.

Yesterday evening, just after finishing War Hospital, I dug into the works of Josephus. As a brief introduction to him, Josephus was a Jewish writer from the 1st century - a Romanized Pharisee. I've progressed a short ways into this book, but the first page was almost enough to scare me off. It at first seemed like I'd need to keep a fairly large dictionary close at hand as I found myself stumbling across such words as sacerdotal and calumniate. Thankfully the reading quickly became easier, but this may still prove to be a bit of a vocabulary stretcher.

To elaborate briefly on the second book, Mark Noll was a person whom I read a rather interesting article by one day and then heard lecturing at Regent College the next. His job title is Professor of Church History at a Christian college in the US. After I eventually get around to reading this one book of his, I think that I may progress on to reading another - The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind.

Sadly, I've placed further book-buying on hold, already for a while now, until I once again get around to earning some income. The one exception to this rule (beyond necessary textbooks), I plan to be the $20 Chapters gift certificate that I've redeemed some PC Points for. Free banking is definitely good, but free banking with a rewards program is even better.

Progressing through my reading list

After finishing that book on the history of the Reformation, the next book on my reading list was War Hospital. This book came into my possession after I used it as padding for a BookCloseouts ordering, so that I was able to apply a $5 off coupon. Hence, it cost me nothing, or even less than nothing to add to my order.

The book is nonfiction, covering the activities of a number of doctors during conflicts in the Balkans. It starts off with a little of the history of the conflict a few details of the founding of Médecins Sans Frontières (the English branch of the organization is Doctors Without Borders). From there it proceeds to cover the course of conflict in 1992 - 1995, primarily focused on a place called Srebrenica, and the "ethnic cleansing" that took place in the area.

I found the book to be fairly engaging, but at the same time you could tell that the author was a doctor rather than a professional writer. There were a few muddled sentences, and the curious mechanism of using the present tense for a portion of the book, but all in all I found it to be quite readable and had some difficulty putting the book down.

The issues that the book attempts to raise are those of medical ethics and the efficacy of a peacekeeping agenda. Many times the actions of the UN and NATO are shown to be ineffective, and perhaps also contributory to the problem.

As an interesting sidenote, based on some discussion in the book of the difficulty of getting into med school, I decided to do a little digging and see how it compared to the Computing Science graduate program. I grabbed some statistics from the UBC Faculty of Medicine, and compared it with figures received in an SFU grad school information session earlier this year. Turns out that in spite of med school's reputation as being difficulty to get into, the acceptance rates (percentages of applicants) were about 3 times as high as those for the SFU CS graduate program.

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