Simon's blog



Magnificat

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Tonight our church had one of its regular celebrations, a meal for friends and family, to bless the city and prove that there is such a thing as a free lunch - or a free dinner at least. And it was good to see one or two of our friends there: I and Z, recently put out onto the streets again; J, a local boy who’s made his way into a hostel and seems to be doing well, who brought with him another lad from the hostel, B, an erudite Glaswegian, who at the last Feast seemed more at home with the cathedral’s sculpture collection than with the other guests. (“Is that a Damien Hirst?” he asked. It was.)

But this isn’t just a story of “us” doing our bit of charity for “them.” It’s much more interesting than that. Read more about Magnificat



Sovereignty and responsibility

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The same thought hit me from three different sources this morning. I’ll introduce the thought by the most oblique route, a quote from the Guardian this morning:

The administration has shifted from solidly supporting Mubarak, to suggesting he should go now, only to back him at the weekend to remain in office until the autumn – a decision that secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, reversed hours later when she threw US support behind Suleiman.

The US government is desperate to be right in Egypt. It is so desperate to be right that it is demanding a wide range of different outcomes, depending on whatever looks most likely at the time. Then when something finally happens, it can say “that’s what we wanted!”

My point is not a political one. It’s a theological one: so often we can cast God into this role. Read more about Sovereignty and responsibility


Typesetting with Perl, part ii

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% cat cicero.cic 
[% fontsize = 24; bold; lead = 30 %]The Cicero document processing system

[% fontsize = 12; roman; color = "%00ff0044" %]Simon Cozens

[% color = "black"; lead = 14 %]This text is typeset by the Cicero
document processing system.

[% PERL %]
for (6..12) { 
    $stash->set("fontsize",$_); 
    Cicero::typeset("The square of $_ is ".$_*$_.".\n\n") 
}
[% END %]
% cicero cicero.cic
% open cicero.pdf

Read more about Typesetting with Perl, part ii


Power and Partnership: Partnership begins at home

This is a rough transcript of a talk I was due to give at the Global Connections Thinking Mission forum next month. The theme of the event was due to be partnership and power relationships in mission. Unfortunately, the event has been cancelled, but this means I get to write another blog post instead.





Typesetting with Perl

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So recently I wrote a Perl script to automatically generate cover PDFs for a series of books I’m working on over at Wide Margin. This used the rather good PDF::API2 module to assemble the text and graphics onto the PDF. Now I’ve got the book in my hand, I’m a little bit disappointed by the typesetting of the blurb on the back cover.

This graphic shows the problem:

Guess how I solved it? Read more about Typesetting with Perl


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