8 helpful iPad/iPhone apps you might not know about


DuckDuckGo. We all know and use Google, right? But what if you just want a quality search engine that doesn’t play “big brother” and keep track of everything for which you search?Try DuckDuckGo. “The DuckDuckGo search app will give you way more instant answers, way less spam, and real privacy.” DuckDuckGo doesn’t “track you like other search engines do” and they make use of “over fifty sources like Wikipedia and Wolfram|Alpha to give you relevant information with zero clicks.” DuckDuckGo is a very good alternative to Google.

Fast Camera. When you’re trying to take a picture of the kids at play, you had better be either (a) ridiculously expert at knowing when to press the shutter button or (b) use Fast Camera. Fast Camera starts taking a burst of pics the instant you press the button and doesn’t stop until you tell it to stop. More often than not, the key to getting that one truly great pic is all about taking a bunch of shots. Fast Camera enables you to do just that. No more “I almost got it” pics when you really want to get it.

iHurricane HD. When I lived in Oklahoma, I didn’t pay much mind to hurricanes. But since I now live near the Gulf Coast, hurricanes have my total attention. I assure you, having a hurricane (Ike) put a tree through your house only a couple of minutes after you left the room it came through will do that for you! Most weather apps with let you track hurricanes, but iHurricane HD does this one thing and does it well. Me like.

Marine Traffic. Since I live rather close to the port of Houston, I see all sorts of ship traffic all of the time. Consequently, I’m constantly wondering “I wonder where that ship came from and where’s it’s going?” Marine Traffic tells me. Think Google Maps meets WolfRamAlpha (see below) for ships.

Oh Ranger! Park Finder. This is “the most comprehensive database of public lands in America, including national parks, national forests and all other federally-managed recreation destinations, as well as every state park in the nation.” They’ve recently added 50,000 local parks to their database, too. “Each location is cross-referenced with information about available activities, so you can search for the park nearest you with your favorite activities.”

Nudge! While there are all sorts of reminder apps available, this one “lives somewhere in the space between the built-in Clock and Calendar apps. It’s perfect for when you just need a quick pop-up reminding you” of something. Nudge! is quick, easy, and flexible.

Peterson Birds of North America. “What kind of bird is that?,” you wonder. Now you’ll know, know all about it, and be able to keep a record of it to boot.

Remember what I said about ships and the Port of Houston? I could say the same thing about living in the flight path for Hobby Airport and Bush Intercontinental. Type “flights overhead” into WolfRamAlpha and you’ll be instantly presented with the flights above you and all sorts of details about them. And that’s only one of a great many things this truly unique search engine can do for you.

xQuestions enables you to create questions and answers in an Excel spreadsheet you upload to your phone or to share with others. Test yourself and truly learn what you’re studying.

this went thru my mind


Boredom & contemplation: A Boredom Revolution

“[James] Alison is making the argument that the world tends to function as a Nuremberg rally where everything around us–from political discourse to advertising to social media–is trying to whip us up into a frenzy. A frenzy that, more often than not, is directed against others. Cable news, talk radio and political blogging are basically a Nuremberg rally, an attempt to anger us and excite us with propaganda. In the face of all this excitement and frenzy Christian worship, according to Alison, should function as a sort of counter-propaganda, a place where we can become unexcited. Where others are whipped into an anxious or angry frenzy Christians should be bored.”

Church hopping: Church Hopping

“What’s driving this? For some, it’s simply the consumer mindset of our culture at work. .. For some, it’s insecurity. … For some, it’s spiritual gluttony. … For some, it’s refusing accountability. … For some, it’s avoiding stewardship. … For some, it’s emotional immaturity. … In truth, there can be times to not simply hop, but leap. … But for the typical hopper, it’s not time for self-justification, but loving admonishment.”

Gun control: The Waiting is Over

“What we need is a balance between the right to bear arms and the right to live in safety.”

Hatred & violence: Violence, the Bible, and the Sikh Temple

“We instinctually know violent murder is wrong, but besides our instincts, there is a real reason: if we violate the image of God we are violating God. Human identity comes from being made in the image of God. Human dignity is an unalterable truth because we are made in the image of God. Reverence for God compels us to respect our fellow human beings. Reverence and respect. Those two principles keep us on track in life. And respect for people because they are made in the image of God not only makes murder wrong, but hatred of every kind.”

Passion: The Untapped Secret of Creating Passion

“Just imagine possibilities.”

Productivity: Stop Beating Yourself Up; You Can Be Productive Without Feeling Guilty

” … no productivity system should be set in stone. Don’t feel so bad about not getting enough stuff done. Eat well, sleep well, say NO more often and try your best. Remember you can always make a small change in your system and try again tomorrow.”

Space exploration: * Should Christians Care About Space Exploration?; * Thank You, Space! How NASA Tech Makes Life Better on Earth; *Why Mars Matters

“… if our purpose is to love and serve the Lord, what need do we have of space exploration? Why bother sending rovers to Mars when there are children to be fed, diseases to be fought, and souls to be saved right here on Earth?”

“What do US citizens get from our space agency, NASA? The short answer is: quite a lot. Let’s take a look at where NASA funding–at present, less than 0.5% of the US federal budget–shows up in our daily lives, and beyond.”

Words: * Passive-Aggressive Postures & the American Middle Class by Tim Gombis [required reading]; * Do Evangelicals Pray Passive-Aggressively? * Words: No Shirt, No Shoes, No Signature … No Way [required reading]; * How To Speak The Truth in Love

* ” … the dominant mode of communication for middle class people is indirect speech.  We cannot bring ourselves to speak plainly and directly about relationships, what we would like, what we want, or how we’re feeling. … Speaking this way is subtly manipulative and often leads to disappointment and anger when things don’t work out the way we’d like.  Further, indirect speech frustrates other people who are in the position of never quite knowing whether they’ve done what is expected. … American evangelicalism, which is largely made up of white middle-class suburbanites, is part of this middle-class culture, and in evangelical churches, this seemingly polite mode of discourse predominates.”

* “Do evangelical Christians pray passive-aggressively? It certainly seems that we sometimes pray manipulatively, use hedging speech, and say things we don’t really mean, but do passive-aggressive relational strategies ever manifest themselves when we pray?  If so, how?”

* “Anonymous comments have almost no value and almost no place in a free society. … we are responsible for our words. We are challenged to take responsibility for the powerful words that fall from our lips and keyboards.”

* “… if our motivations are truly loving, shouldn’t it seem like love? Shouldn’t an impartial observer be able to look at our actions, hear our words, and easily discern that what we’ve done is loving?”