Book: Living Water

Last week, I created a category with the intent of posting blogs about books both technical and theological that I’ve read. I know you must think me a real nut-case abusing my brain with logical leaps to and from various hights such as Vincent Flanders to Os Guinness, or postmodern medioctrity to posting pages with XML-RPC. But I sorta enjoy lurching my brain awake with such extremes.

Anyway, I was visiting a MartinRothOnline.com because he mentioned this site in a brief “bene diction“. I know, sounds like I’m sucking up … but I have to say his content is worth visiting in its own right. This includes chapters from a book entitled “Living Water to Light the Journey” he wrote that is now out of print, but now online.

Some of the information he covers is just … well … it’s worth the trip. I became particulary intrigued by his conversion to Christianity … via Buddhism.

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Thou Shalt Not Steal …

Credit for the title of this article goes to Moses, who penned these Words of God in Deuteronomy 5:19.

What I just did in the above paragraph was give attribution to the author, something that appearently isn’t being done on college papers. Which may explain why my site was recently visited by Plagiarism.org’s SlySearch Crawler.

According to the FAQ page on their website, they are not looking when I’m the one doing the cheating, rather, and I quote:

The information we are collecting from the Internet is used solely for the purposes of helping educational institutions compare their students’ writings against the Internet.

Boy, sure hope I did that right. Their site also shows how to exclude their ‘bot from crawling your site. Which I will do if I ever find out such a tool was use to provide false testimony. NOTE, I’m not saying it SlySearch/Plagiarism.org does, I’m saying if it ever does.

Wow this is messy stuff.

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Nimda: W32.nimda.a.mm

“Awake, and rise to my defense! Contend for me, my God and Lord” Psalm 35:23

Looks like someone from 193.227.168.5 is trying to infect the server that hosts this site with the dreaded Nimda: W32.nimda.a.mm worm.

How do I know this? Well, one of the advantages of getting a real host is having access to real logs … like this:

  • 193.227.168.5 – – [25/May/2002:07:36:28 -0700] “GET / HTTP/1.1” 200 16647
    “http://google.yahoo.com/bin/query?p=article+of+new+church+design&y=y&e=86980660
    &f=0%3A2766678%3A2718086%3A254845%3A259232%3A2701400%3A259386%3A259455%3A86980660
    &r=Society+and+Culture%02Religion+and+Spirituality%02Faiths+and+Practices%02
    Christianity%02Arts%02Architecture&hc=0&hs=0″ “Mozilla/4.0(compatible; MSIE 6.0;

    Windows NT 5.1; Q312461)”

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Attack of the Blogs

Thanks to “TP” and the Instapundit, my attention was turned to today’s commentary section of the Washington Times. In it there is an important article by Jonah Goldberg entitled “Attack of the blogs.”

You need to read this article. With the free-n-easy means by which one can now blog, there is a great temptation to jump on the “Great Blog Rush of ’02.” Certainly it is a tool one should consider to keep PORTIONS their Church’s website up-to-date and relevant.

However, just like money and power, I fear that blogs may also tempt you to lose focus of your organization’s mission. And like any power tool, in the hands of the child, could cause some serious damage.

“The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.” Proverbs 10:8

This article is a good reality check and assessment to the “state of the Blogdom.” Learn from it.

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All Hail OSIS …

* WARNING * highly technical information is to follow. If you are offended or befuddled by raw bytes of data exposed to hard-core programmer-geek types then you may find this article disturbing.

I have always admired the reams of content provided by the good folks at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL.org). So recently, when I received version 4 of their CD, I was intrigued by the possibility of rendering my pastor’s sermons using the ThML: Theological Markup Language … that is until I received an e-mail announcing the discontinuation of the related listserve which included the following quote:

I expect that ThML use outside of the CCEL will wane and OSIS will wax. ThML will continue to be used on the CCEL internally, but we plan to make OSIS versions of documents available as well.

Well of course, if you’re the type of nerd who’s entire Christmas list looks like the item sold at ThinkGeek.net then you are probably as shocked as I was. That said, at least I found out before investing alot of time and .NET into ThML.

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VnuNet gets it RIGHT!

Okay folks, it’s retraction time … for ME that is. As you may recall, I got a bit bugged Wednesday because an article in VnuNet got some details no-to-right. So I fired off a letter to the editor.

To both my delight and suprise, they not only responded in a polite and professional manner, but then they interviewed me via e-mail and created a beefier and more accurate article entitled Holy websites’ sinful design. You see, what I didn’t realize was that the press release they received had been mangled through various exchanges so by the time they got it … well point is, it really wasn’t sloppy work on their part as I had asserted earlier. Mea Culpas for everyone!

You know, we all make mistakes, but it is truly a pleasure when some one, or as in this case, some organization goes that extra mile to make it right. VnuNet … if it is human to err, then you guys are certainly divine! Kudos all the way around.

BTW – I found some VERY good technical information at VnuNet.com. I would suggest adding it to your reading list of links.

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Welcome CFRB listeners

Just did another radio interview via phone. This time it was Nightside with Jim Richards on CFRB am Toronto. As promised, here is the compelling content and links you’re looking for.

… and of course … everyone’s favorite

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If I were an InstaPundit …

… diadle-deedle-diadle-digga-digga-deedle-deedle-dumb.

It was lunch and was surfing about the blogosphere … when I clicked over to InstaPundit.Com. More specifically, I clicked on a link to his OLD domain. You see, he’s moving. And that’s okay … so long as you do it right.

What the InstaPundit does right is he uses a <meta http-equiv=”refresh” … > to get you to the new site, but there are some other ways of getting your user to your new domain via the server-side, which means it appears almost instant and automagic (in most cases).

So, here’s what I would do if I were the InstaPundit … and I were running my website on a linux/apache configuration … I’d create a file called “index.cgi” which would contain the following code:

#!/usr/bin/perl
$url = “http://64.247.33.250”;
print “Location: $url\n\n”;
exit;

Of course, if he were writing this program on his pc, he’d need to ftp it to his subdomain ASCII mode, then make sure to “chmod 755” the file for good measure.

I of course would just SSH over to my host, go to the subdirectory and use my PICO editor to create this little beauty on my side. I know, because I just did it last night when I moved everything from the /blog directory down to the root.

I’d also have to make sure there was no instance of files by the name of “index.html, index.shtml, index.htm, index.php” … as by default, they would execute first (as your webhost provider about this).

If I wanted to get fancy, I believe there is a way you can modify this script to determine what URL they actually entered, and subsequently how to redirect accordingly … but he’s going to have to mention me in a blog before I show that trick off!

Then again, your mileage may vary (read my terms of use before you yell at me for things breaking your system).

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‘Shaidles’ of VnuNet …

First, thanks to K. Shaidle, the cool blogger who runs authors relapsed catholic : religion news media cultureWhere the religious rubber meets the pop culture road…

Of course, she did get the story from the VnuNet article of yesterday. Which means I get to tell you good folks one more time that:

  1. I was a “contributing author” to Vincent Flanders’ Son of Web Pages That Suck … a book that all my faithful followers need to read and memorize … RIGHT NOW
  2. bad church web design isn’t exclusive to pastors, they are often assisted in making their organizations look bad by that “great cloud of witlessness” otherwise known as the volunteer

That said … I alway appreciate the mention … and you can bet that in most cases, I’ll return the favor with a link back. Even when, as in this case, it is to by a relapsed catholic.

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‘Rael’ Bloggers Requested

Of course the good peole at the O’Reilly Network are putting together a book on “Essential Blogging.” You can even be part of the public review process.

But best of all, you can share you can submit to Rael Dornfest, one of their researchers, one of your tales of blogging woes … just read the guidelines at his homespun blog at raelity bytes.

And yes, you bet I’m going to give the Blosxom blogger app a spin.

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