Saturday, 23 January 2010

The Jesus-monkey and the DIY Bible

Earlier this week two of my colleagues, both biblical scholars, started a very silly – but very funny - discussion prompted by this infamous photo of Jesus’ face in an Ikea toilet door in Glasgow…

Colleague A agreed that that ‘face’ in the door looked very Jesus-like, but Colleague B thought that it resembled an Orangutan. I watched their conversation on my Facebook page with great amusement and suggested that this might well be a physical manifestation of the Jesus-monkey (based on evidence in Mark chapter two which states that Jesus tied a tyre to a tree and unpeeled a banana with his toes).

Colleague B is currently involved in the production of electronic transcriptions of biblical manuscripts and so, with this in mind, Colleague A pointed out to Colleague B that she is sitting on the opportunity of a lifetime. Photoshop. Maybe at some point in her work, Colleague B could, with a surreptitious click of the mouse, slip a reference to a Jesus-monkey into the manuscript that she is working on and we could sit back and watch the academics scratching their heads when the final transcription is published. And why stop there? Imagine the fun that could be had! Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a drunk Llama, the three kings could become three gangster rappers, hamburgers and lager at the Last Supper (Tizer for Judas, of course). Hours of fun. And not only could we edit the existing text, we could also insert and remove material to suit our own particular causes or beliefs. I’m sure that The Geek Muse revised version of the Ten Commandments would be very…ermm…interesting!

Unfortunately, no matter how many chocolate cookies or neck massages are bestowed upon her, my co-worker is resisting our mischievous attempts to corrupt her research and cause mass outrage in the religious communities, so we can only dream of the chaos and hysteria that could have been. But here’s the question that I’ve been asking everyone since this whole conversation started: If you could Photoshop an ancient manuscript of the Bible, bury it, ‘discover’ it in a few years time and have it accepted as THE authoritative text, what material would you insert or remove and/or which verses would you edit?

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Snowmen beware, the Daleks are here!

Continuing with today's sci-fi theme…

We’re snowed in pretty bad here and snow, like late nights, is one of those things in life that is very enjoyable when you are a child but a bloody pain when you become an adult.

Fortunately light relief has come in the form of a number of sci-fi fans who now find themselves with too much time on their hands and are clearly dizzy on a fusion of the freezing temperatures and the residual excitement of the conclusion of the recent Doctor Who series. This combination can only lead to one thing…


Star Wars Burlesque Show

Sci-fi geek brains all over the world are exploding right now.

Performance art troupe Devil`s Playground performed a Star Wars Burlesque show at club Bordello in Los Angeles on Saturday night (9th January 2010). More photos by Shannon Cottrell (including the ‘stormtrooper’ Courtney Cruz, right) and further info about the show can be found at LA Weekly. The troupe will be repeating the performance on March 13 2010 in Los Angeles at a venue to be determined. Have fun geek guys, I’m off to buy a ton of shares in Kleenex before the sales go through the roof...

Warning: Adult Content

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Guitar Hero: Geriatric Edition

Join me in worshipping the awesomeness of 73 year old rock chick, Mary Ho from Singapore. When she’s not looking after her seven grandchildren, she’s riffing her way through music from guitar legends such as Carlos Santana and BB King. There’s more info about Mary on her website Grandma Mary Rocks. Here she is with 'I Need Your Love So Bad'...

Who says that the elderly can’t rock out?!

\m/ \m/

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Biting the Bullet: Yummy Chocolate Weaponry

Who knew that the collision of the divergent worlds of men and women could bring about such fantastic results?!

Chocolate Weapons is a website selling chocolate grenades, guns and ammunition. What a perfect indulgence for those Lara Crofts with a sweet tooth amongst us! Ok, guns and grenades may not be to everyone’s ‘taste’ and choccy isn’t great for the post-Christmas diet, but girls - we can convince ourselves that consuming vast amounts of chocolate ammunition is acceptable because we are contributing, albeit in a purely symbolic and particularly delicious way, to the world-wide peace effort…

…any flimsy excuse usually works for me…

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Ulnar nerve injury? Don’t panic!

This might seem a very random post, but let me explain. I’ve decided to start the New Year on a good deed…

To my regular readers I doubt that this will have any relevance to you, so you can move along, nothing to see here folks. However if you have stumbled across this post when searching for ‘ulnar nerve damage’ or ‘ulnar nerve injury’ then please read on.

Back in August I found myself sat at my computer keyboard in the middle of the night desperately Googling ‘ulnar nerve damage’. I had broken both bones in my lower right arm clean through and suffered considerable damage to the three major nerves in the arm. As a result most of my right hand was numb (most noticeably the back of my hand and the back of my thumb), I had lost my grip and I could not bend my wrist backwards. My little finger and ring finger were clawed and I could not straighten them (see right). The doc told me that I had damaged my ulnar nerve and this had resulted in a condition known as ‘ulnar claw’. I was also suffering from ‘wrist drop’, otherwise known amusingly as Saturday Night Palsy.

Googling the symptoms was a terrifying experience. There was talk of further surgery, permanent loss of feeling and two scary sounding tests called a nerve conduction study (ECS) and an electromyography (EMG). My anxiety wasn’t helped by expressions such as ‘irreversible damage’ and ‘permanent disfiguration’ that were being banded about during my visits to the fracture clinic.

But then as time passed things started to look up. I had an ECS and an EMG test and the results showed that all three major nerves were badly damaged but they were showing signs of attempted re-growth. Sure enough, feeling started to return in my thumb and the two clawed fingers began to straighten out, albeit painfully slowly, with the help of physiotherapy. Eventually the sensation returned in the back of my hand and my grip improved. I invested in some squishy balls and putty and maintained a strict balance between exercising the hand so that it didn’t seize up completely and resting it in a wrist guard in order to give it a break and allow time for the nerves to recover. It was a difficult balancing act, but it seemed to be effective. Five months later, my fingers are almost completely straight again and I can bend my wrist back further each day. Although my hand has improved much more successfully than I had expected, it is still not 100% ‘in working order’. For example, I can feel contact with the skin on the back of my hand but it feels as though there is a thin barrier over the skin, much like cling film, that is numbing the sensation. But the sensitivity and movement improves a little more each day and the doctors are hopeful. It is still early days.

Researching into an injury on the Internet can be a pretty daunting and scary experience, so I just wanted to fire a little ray of hope out there into the blogosphere. I’m not a medical doctor so I can’t promise that another person’s injury will recover as quickly or as successfully as mine, but please don’t be scared or disheartened by a pessimistic diagnosis. The expression ‘time is a great healer’ is very cheesy but it is also very true. I have been told on numerous occasions that nerves take a long time to recover from an injury and I’ve discovered that this is certainly the case. It’s very frustrating if you’re the kind of person who expects immediate results, but hang in there. Don’t be afraid, take the tests, persevere with the physiotherapy exercises and remain hopeful.


Six years on and my hand is 98% back to normal. I don't notice any difficulties on a day-to-day basis and it has regained all feeling, but my hand gets tired if I write for a long time and once in a while I get a trigger-finger feeling that locks my finger for a split second. My little finger was the last to regain sensation and it tingles every once in a while, but I have no problem writing, typing, carrying heavy weights, squeezing etc. Normality returns!