Everything you need to know about olive oil

There is more to olive oil than most people realise.

I listened to this podcast today that outlined some of the details.  You should check it out.

Real Messiah Objection Handling

This website had some interesting answers to some questions I have asked previously on the Bible or the New Testament.

What questions have you had / do you have about the Bible?

Useful quotes from Augustine

All completely stripped of their context, but all very good. Enjoy :) 
  • Pray as though everything depended on God.  Work as though everything depended on you.
  • If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.
  • The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
  • It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.
  • Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.
  • God judged it better to bring good out of evil than to suffer no evil to exist.
  • The purpose of all wars... is peace.
  • Habit, if not resisted, soon becomes necessity.
Have you ever ready any of Augustine's works?


Why most business books are utter fiction

Most business books use a similar pattern:

  • The author starts with a preconceived view they believe (this is not necessarily presented to the reader).
  • They then research this theory and present facts to support it.
  • This research often gains more buy-in from the readers if it is told like a story rather than the presentation of mere data.
  • Occasionally, they will use counter research to contradict this theory.  
    • Then they do, this counter research is refuted by additional research information in favor of the preconceived view.  Note: this is done intentionally to make an argument appear more plausible.
  • The preconceived view is presented as the conclusion.
  • A list of supporting books, resources, tools, or information is provided for people to take next steps on the conclusion reached.
This method can make a lot of books sell.  Many authors have done it.  But it's a scam.  It has two major problems:
  1. The evidence is assessed in a biased manner, because a conclusion is predetermined before looking at any data.  This causes the data to be read in such a way that it supports the predetermined conclusion.
  2. They often don't assess all of the evidence against their opinion.  An argument that has been presented may be plausible, but it could fall to a more-plausible counter-argument.  But this is impossible to know when only one side of the argument is presented. 
Since learning this I have almost entirely given up reading business books.

Have you ever noticed fictional elements within a non-fiction book?

Going to see the Pope speak


The window where the Pope delivers his Angelus speech on Sundays.

When we were in Italy, we went to see the Pope speak.

It turns out, it was the a regular spot of his on Sunday to pray the Angelus with the crowds and to deliver a little message.

Today I found the transcript.  You can read it here.

What religious leaders have been to see speak?

On vices

It's taken years, but I've now gone about two months without the consumption of soft drink.

I've experimented with other habits during that time also; daily prayer, pushups, squats, giving up swearing, etc.  Most of them have continued but not at the level of success I have had with giving up soft drink.

I've also picked up some new things.  Drinking coffee is an example.  Some habits are easily acquired, but are hard to break once established.  Developing good habits is necessary to improving oneself.  

I'm no expert, but I think it begins with the elimination of one vice (or conversely, the development of one good habit) at a time.  This was something I remember learning from Thomas A Kempis.  We can make good progress if we eliminate one vice from our lives each year.  If we were to eliminate two or three per year, that would result in exceptional improvement in our lives over a decade.

What vice are you currently working on eliminating?

The Pope has proposed six new beatitudes

Whilst I like the content, I'm not convinced of the use of the term beatitudes.

The list beatitudes is: 

  • Blessed are those who remain faithful while enduring evils inflicted on them by others and forgive them from their heart.
  • Blessed are those who look into the eyes of the abandoned and marginalised and show them their closeness.
  • Blessed are those who see God in every person and strive to make others also discover him.
  • Blessed are those who protect and care for our common home.
  • Blessed are those who renounce their own comfort in order to help others.
  • Blessed are those who pray and work for full communion between Christians.
More information here: http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2016/11/01/six-new-beatitudes-proposed/ 

What are your thoughts on these additional / new beatitudes proposed by the Pope?

Why you should read my sister's blog

She's done a lot of cool things recently, including:

  • Moving to the country
  • Going fruit picking with her kids
  • Going geocaching
  • Visiting old steam trains
  • Working as a make up artist
  • Growing lemons, strawberries, figs, olives, apples, plums, cherries, etc.
  • Taken up minimalism.
Her blog layout is also nicely designed.  Mine is basic because I like to keep my costs low by using blogger.

Seriously, check it out!  You can visit it at www.franklycourtney.com 

Why college may not be the best option

Yesterday, I saw a post in my facebook news feed that said, "I always remind myself that education is very important and I must be back at school one day."

Whilst a positive message, the two points are entirely separate.  Education is important, but going back to school is not necessarily the best way to get an education.

I responded with the following:

"Your statement contains a fallacy. Whilst I have 5 formal qualifications, one does not need to go to school to get an education. In fact, some of the most successful people alive and in history are college drop outs or didn't go to college (Socrates, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, etc.). 

I support both schooling and education and think both are helpful. But I also think you can get an education without going to school. And I think once you reach a certain point additional qualifications rarely justify the return. 

I looked at the costs when doing my Masters. After the first six months, the remainder of the course was going to cost me $44,000 in fees. But assuming I can't earn the average Australian wage during that time, and including interest the real cost is over $317,000 in lost opportunity. And this doesn't even consider the investment of the money saved in stocks or something, whichever could make this difference much greater.

Instead, I decided to allocate some money to travel, bought the recommend books related to my subject of choice and then read and educate myself in my leisure time.

That was my personal decision, but it is still a good question to ask yourself, 'Will getting this qualification provide me with a greater return on investment than the lost opportunities if managed wisely?'

I recommend reading this article. It relates specifically to law school, but I think it makes some very good points that can be applied to schooling in general: http://tuckermax.me/why-you-should-not-go-to-law-school-3/

Note: this is just my opinion. I'm suggesting an alternative approach because all options should be considered. If you have considered them, fantastic!
Do you feel as though you need further schooling to get an education?  If so, have you asked yourself why and investigated the alternatives?

How to make an awesome Spaghetti Pomodoro

Whilst in Italy, I loved trying their pasta.  My personal favourite has always been Pasta Al Pomodoro.

Here, you can find a video on how to make it like they do in Italy.  I tried making this and it was delicious.


What dishes from other countries have you tried cooking?