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Norman Pratt

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About Norman Pratt

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  • Birthday 05/08/1945

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  1. http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/09/google-deepmind-alphago-ai-defeats-human-lee-sedol-first-game-go-contest From The Guardian Wednesday 9 March 2016 Google’s computer program AlphaGo defeated its human opponent, South Korean Go champion Lee Sedol, on Wednesday in the first game of a historic five-game match between human and computer. AlphaGo’s victory in the ancient Chinese board game is a breakthrough for artificial intelligence, showing the program developed by Google DeepMind has mastered one of the most creative and complex games ever devised. Commentators said the
  2. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/08/gorbachev-cold-war-threat-berlin-wall-25th-anniversary
  3. John. Thank you for your insights into what is happening in the Ukraine. Personally I think the term 'Terrorist/freedom fighter' should always be applied in these cases, to both government and rebels, and History can decide later which was which. Given Russia's long history of being invaded, including a particularly traumatic invasion within living memory, I think the West's policies towards Russia, and particularly the expansion of NATO ever eastward, have been plain stupid. Steve, I believe Christians need to be careful about prophecies that imply the removal of human responsibility.
  4. Steven. With regard to your last post, and global warming, we in the UK have been receiving the leftovers of your winter weather in the form of massive storms for the last three weeks. We've seen nothing like it for 250 years. I think both experts and the general public are keeping an open mind on whether it's weather, climate, or a trend. However, I'm inclined to go with Stern: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/13/flooding-storms-uk-climate-change-lord-stern And talking of open minds your earlier comment ... "JFK was killed by a lone gunman ,just check any textbook. Do yo
  5. Steve, I agree with your comment about King David. Considering he lived about 3000 years ago I was always amazed at the readiness of the Establishment to dismiss the idea that he ruled over anything like a kingdom. A couple of years ago I attended a lecture which reported the discovery of the ruins of a fortress in Israel that dates from this period. It had two entrances, making it very unusual, and the Bible describes such a fortress on the border with Philistine territory. This is very strong evidence that an iron-age kingdom existed at that time so the readiness to disregard the eviden
  6. Steven, I didn't say “... the Bible doesnt say much about suicide ...” as you suggest in your headline: I was quoting the Christian Medical Fellowship article which you cited in your previous post. I acknowledge your impressive list of instances of biblical suicides, but I don't think they would be of much help in counselling a depressed or suicidal person, where other parts of the Bible, some of the Psalms for example, might be more relevant; or not, as the case may be: Job's 'comforters' apparently got it right for the first week of their 'comforting' when they simply sat with Job and did
  7. Steven. The CMF article goes on to say: “One of the difficulties facing the Christian who wishes to arrive at an ethical understanding of suicide is that the Bible has little to say about it either directly or indirectly, probably because it was an extremely rare event in ancient Jewish society.” I would suggest that this difficulty faces Christians who wish to arrive at an ethical understanding of anything: you need not just a translation of a relevant passage but an understanding of its context, and an interpretation. I'm not sure you would end up with a “Biblical Law” as the website sug
  8. Someone I knew at university, Denis Alexander, wrote an excellent book 'Creation or Evolution Do we have to choose?' [Monarch Books 2008]. He wrote with some authority from both a scientific and a theological point of view. What is even more remarkable is the way that he set out many of the different viewpoints sympathetically, even though his personal answer to his question is 'No'. (Such an approach would be very dull on this forum but it makes for a very good book.) No doubt one of Denis' motivations was to stop Christians quarrelling, but tensions can run high amongst agnostic and
  9. I came across a Primary School Maths textbook that used the '6000 years ago' figure as the basis for an arithmetic exercise. This was unusual, to say the least, for a schoolbook published in the UK. Where does this figure come from, and why was the author of the textbook so sure of this as a fact that he felt able to use it in this way? Was he simply reiterating Archbishop Ussher's gestimate, or is there other evidence for this startlingly exact date?
  10. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/10356972/General-Vo-Nguyen-Giap.html General Vo Nguyen Giap, who has aged 102, was the diminutive and brilliant Vietnamese general who led communist forces in the wars that forced three powerful adversaries – Japan, France and America – out of his homeland. Such was his morale-boosting determination and genius for the feint and swoop that he was often described as a guerrilla leader equalled only by Mao Tse Tung and Che Guevara; and Giap was certainly adept at utilising terrain and highly mobile troops to outwit stronger and better equipped enemi
  11. Ooops. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7097101.stm [ Thursday, 15 November 2007] BBC British nukes were protected by bike locks By Meirion Jones Newsnight producer Newsnight report Newsnight has discovered that until the early days of the Blair government the RAF's nuclear bombs were armed by turning a bicycle lock key. There was no other security on the Bomb itself ... While American and Russian weapons were protected by tamper-proof combination locks which could only be released if the correct code was transmitted, Britain relied on a simpler technology. The Dr S
  12. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/exclusive-met-investigating-rupert-murdoch-firm-news-international-as-corporate-suspect-over-hacking-and-bribing-offences-8771560.html
  13. But who decides what is a correct word to begin or end a sentence with?! Has Michael Gove provided Exam Boards with his 'Times' Style Book from his former job? Have examiners been given sufficient training to even be consistent in their new role as grammar police?
  14. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/jingoistic-and-illegal--what-teachers-think-of-michael-goves-national-curriculum-reforms-8656120.html “THE INDEPENDENT ‘Jingoistic and illegal’ – what teachers think of Michael Gove's national curriculum reforms Over 100 historians claim Education Secretary’s plan ‘lacks balance and promotes political views’ RICHARD GARNER WEDNESDAY 12 JUNE 2013 Education Secretary Michael Gove is flouting the law over his plans to revamp the national curriculum, a group of history teachers will warn tomorrow. In a letter to The Ind
  15. Out of the scores of things that are wrong with the proposed Programme of Study, I'm pleased that Simon Schama singled out the inclusion of 'Robert Clive' - for its crass insensitivity. One of a number of questions I sent via my MP to the Department of Education: 'Was the Curriculum team aware that the term 'Indian Mutiny' is not used in India, or even, I imagine, by most historians?'
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