Thursday, July 28, 2016

London 2259

I was born in London - well, Wimbledon in South London, which was once well outside the city but is now a suburb, and we lived in Putney. So I have long been interested in how London, particularly future London, is depicted in films.

There's the alternate-reality London under the Magisterium of The Golden Compass.

And the London of 2259, depicted in Star Trek Into Darkness. In Star Trek's London, there are familiar features like the Thames and St. Paul's Cathedral, but the City and Westminster, at least, are apparently now covered in towers (more than they are now - none of Sir Christopher Wren's City churches are visible, other than St. Paul's). We know from the movie that some of these towers are apartment buildings, as this shot appears in the film as the view from a character's home.

That St. Paul's is still a part of the city landscape over 240 years in the future isn't surprising - but is it still a church in this future London? And the image of the cathedral surrounded by the towers of secular life says something to me, more than the continued presence of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz in the movie's version of future San Francisco does. Perhaps for me St. Paul's serves the same function as the Golden Gate in the Star Trek universe - see this exploration of the California city and Star Trek in Wired.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Use Emoji to Search the Bible

As it says right on this site, I'm a member of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid. This week I was sent a news release from Bible Gateway, which I'm republishing verbatim as I found this so fascinating. Searching the Bible from your phone with emoji!

In Time for World Emoji Day July 17, Use Emoji to Search the Bible on Bible Gateway

3% of public Bible notes and 2% of Tweets linking to Bible verses contain emoji

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (July 13, 2016) – Bible Gateway, the Internet’s most visited Christian website, is now providing its millions of visitors the ability to use more than 330 emoji in keyword searches to find their favorite Bible verses and passages in more than 50 English Bible versions.

“We’re not changing any words in the text of the Bible – we’re simply letting people search using emoji that they type themselves,” says Stephen Smith, senior director, digital products for Bible Gateway. For example, when the emoji for “clapping hands” and “tree” are entered into Bible Gateway’s keyword search box using the NIV translation, the search results display Isaiah 55:12 — “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”

Bible search using emoji on Bible Gateway can be achieved by using the emoji keyboard on iPhone or Android smartphones while accessing Bible Gateway’s website or mobile app (when connected with the Internet).

Social sharing statistics show Bible readers use emoji while they read Scripture. About 3% of public Bible notes and 2% of Tweets linking to Bible verses contain emoji, with the percentages increasing each year. The most-common emoji associated with Bible verses include: “praying hands,” “heart,” “praising hands,” and “open book.” A collection of emoji can be found at Emojipedia®.

For more information see the Bible Gateway Blog post.