Monday, August 15, 2005


Do you enjoy 'Itemising'? That is to say, looking at the previously purchased items of someone who has outbid you for an item on e-bay? I do. The list of items are generally delightful. I was once outbid for a book of poetry by Elizabeth Bishop by a woman (I presume) who's last couple of purchases were: (1) a pair of white leather cowboy boots, Size 5, and (2) a pair of white leather cowboy boots, Size 6.

On another occasion, I was outbid for a book on Scottish art. My competitor had a long list of previous purchases which included nothing but a large number of shiny PVC rain wear items in different colours together with several different nurse's outfits. How this fitted in with Scottish art, I really don't know.

Yesterday, I found a book on e-bay that I really wanted to buy. It is called "Great Geological Controversies" by Anthony Hallam who is a professor of geology at Birmingham University.

The item was being sold from America and so bidding closed, predictably, at 4.30 in the morning French time. It is very unlikely that you will win an item like this unless you get up in the middle of the night to make your bid, and I wasn't about to do that.

The person who won the item was clearly an American. Here are a few of his/her recently sold items:

Item 1: Christian pop music album "Great Lengths" by PFR (originally known as Pray for Rain).

Item 2: Christian music album "Relationships" by the BeBe & CeCe Winans

Item 3: Christian music album "A Liturgy, A Legacy, and A Ragamuffin Band" by Rich Mullins.

Item 4: 12 CDs by various Christian heavy metal and rock groups.

Item 5: A Prentice Hall Molecular Model Set for General Chemistry. The set is complete and although the outside wrapper shown here is torn, the set itself comes in the original plastic case and is in mint conditions! This set includes 6 Carbons, 10 Hydrogens, 4 Oxygens, 4 Halogens, 2 Nitrogens, 2 Sulfurs, 2 Trigonal Bipyramids, and 2 Octahedrals. 20 Medium and 6 long links (bonds) are also included.

Item 6: Used cassette tape of Dallas Holm's "Chain of Grace".

Item 7: Two CDs by the Christian Music group Geoff Moore & The Distance! Items offered are: "A Friend Like You" and "Evolution".

This person has clearly got fed up with Christian pop and pure chemistry, but what are they replacing their empty shelves with? Here is the list of their recently purchased items:

Item 1: Bryan Believed in Heaven (That's Why He's in Heaven To-Night): 6 page sheet music, printed on glossy paper, soiled, with edgewear. This song was written in praise of the recently deceased William Jennings Bryan, prosecutor of John Scopes in the famous "Monkey Trial" in Dayton, in 1925. (John Scopes was a teacher who was challenged for teaching evolution in the public schools.) Bryan passed away days after the conclusion of the trial (July 26, 1925), some say, fatigued and broken in spirit from his failed attempt to convict Scopes and defend Creationism. Clarence Darrow carried the day in defense of Scopes and of Darwinism & Evolution theory. This famous trial was immortalized in the movie, "Inherit the Wind." This sheet is published by "Jack Mills Inc." in 1925. One of the stanzas goes, "...God don't deceive those who believe, and now Bryan knows he's right..." A rare and historic piece, published immediately after Bryan's death. The lyrics echo the struggle that still persists between these two points of view.

Item 2: Left Behind: a Novel of the Earth's Last Days by Tim F. LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins. Synopsis: after millions of people around the world vanish in one moment, in what many claim to be the Rapture, Rayford Steele begins a search for the truth amidst global chaos. Reviewer 'cooldudekyle' on Amazon gave the book a five star review (ecellent) and says: "This is a brilliant series based on events that will actually happen in the last days. The writers have sought to explain the prophesies written about in revelation in a clear way. What people who have given bad reviews on this series dont understand is that unlike other 'end-times' books, this one is not just made up. Although it is fiction - it is based on the bible. This is the best series I have ever read and I read all 8 books within 2 months. Have brought left behind as birthday presents for three people. Buy it now - it will do more for your life than any other book could (except the bible). It is a good read for non christians as well as christians."

Item 3: Isaac Asimov science fiction books: "The Robots of Dawn" and "I, Robot".

Item 4: "The Modern Creation Trilogy" by Henry Morris and John Morris. Synopsis: the culmination of decades of study of the classic confrontation between evolution and creation. Authors Henry Morris and John Morris (president of the Institute for Creation Research) detail the case for Biblical creationism. Book One: Scripture & Creation; Book Two: Science & Creation; Book Three: Society & Creation.

Item 5: Darwin monkey statue: a brass looking statue with a marble base. This piece measures 14" tall the base is 9" x 10". The Monkey is sitting on the stacks of books one is marked Darwin and the one on the bottton is Rheinhold.

Item 6: Rather strange looking fossil. the description is in German but, roughly translated, it says; "Schieferplatte with fossil sea-star from federation brook. The place of discovery, a mine, is in the meantime long closed. Devonian: About 300 million years. The slate panel is 10 cm by 15 cm. The actual fossil occupies about half of the plate. Most fossils on federation brook schieferplatten are absolutely flat like the plate. This sea-star here, unfortunately only incompletely preserved, is nearly three-dimensional."

This person has got fed up with Christian music, which seems a shame, and is now heavily into the creationism debate. I now wish I'd put a MUCH higher bid on that book.

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