Religion is a ‘Chruch’

We all know know at least one atheist, agnostic or skeptic who boldly (and often blindly) asserts religion is a crutch. Much in part due to the overbearing legalism and spiritual abuse that goes on in a minority of cases.

That said, I it is my prayer that the Church on the whole prove these individuals wrong, not only with Christian love and charity, but also with correctly spelled <title> tags. Case in point, the ‘North Shore Baptist Chruch‘ of BaySide NY – which is just one of the 4,410 hits Google returned to me when I searched on the phrase “baptist chruch.”
click here to see larger image of North Shore Baptist Chruch screenshot

Yes, as a dyslexic, I completely understand how this can happen … yet I implore you … please, please, please, double and triple check your “chruch’s” <title> tags … you’ll be glad you did.

(update – see related article entitled: Again with the “Religion is a ‘Chruch’”)

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World Distance Calculators – which came first?

So I get this email from some nice person at the University of Cape Town, South Africa – appearently another Dean Peters with a similar gmail addresss submitted a resume for a tutoring position.

Wanting to soften the blow of the now disappointed teacher once eager to the real (and published) Dean Peters, I decided to offer up some humor about how the ‘D’ mile commute may be a bit to costly. However to pull this off, I needed to calculate the value of ‘D’ — the distance between Cary, N.C., USA and Cape Town, ZA.

After a somewhat frustrating Google search for non-U.S.-centric calculators (ahem) I managed to find one entitled “Flying distances between 325 major airports in the World” which renderd a distance of 7957 miles (12806 km). I also noticed that a ‘calculator’ page also had a prompt above the form that read … in fire engine red … “Estimated flying time in hours: Flying distance in Kilometers divided by 750.” This was followed with a link to a Javascript calculator page, without the benefit of filling in the blanks for me — immediately making me wonder, why didn’t the programmer just add these features to the existing page?

View Source
So I looked at the underlying Javascript, which was preceeded with a meta tag where the name attribute = ‘author’ and the content attribute = ‘Mr.Ad Latjes, President of ETN.’

This inspired me to look on the Calculators page at the Javascript Source website. While I did find a better coded example of an airport to airport calculator, it was for U.S. cities only.

I kept Googling various combinations of ‘javascript, distances, airports’ until I came across this 1997, USDA sponsored gem entitled “Surface distance between points of Latitude and Longitude.”

Now I’m not going to speculate which came first, nor who ‘borrowed’ from whom, though I must say I’m amazed at the similarities between the two. In fact, when I saved-off the code between the <script/> tags, then ran a UnxUtil named diff, I found the only difference occured at lines 466 where one version rounded off the results using the Math.floor method, and the other didn’t. Fancy that!

Point Is
So what’s the point, besides not being able to sleep because of the stress of my new job? With some work, I think the ‘global’ script in question could be easily expanded to include the simple calculation of (km / 750) to also provide the user with estimated time between the distances.

In other words, a good tenet of ‘Defensive Design‘ is: when possible, automatically calculate values for the users instead of making them do it for themselves, e.g. 17.05 (let the reader understand).

Especially when said user is busy trying to calculate the time and distances traveled for a summer mission trip. No, I’m not going to South Africa … though I wouldn’t mind — but I figued some of you other good folks out there may be planning a trip abroad and could use the info.

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How Nerdy are You?

I can’t believe I’m not part of the top 1% … must be rigged or something … as soon as I can figure out how to hack it w/out leaving a trace I’ll let you know … meanwhile:

Your Score Summary
Overall, you scored as follows:
I'm 99% geekier than you!

1% scored higher (more nerdy), and
99% scored lower (less nerdy).

What does this mean? Your nerdiness is:

All hail the monstrous nerd. You are by far the SUPREME NERD GOD DUDE!!!

For your nerdy work, here is the promised image:
My Nerd Score is 99% - click here to discover yours

BTW, after you take the test yourself, feel free to use my massivly improved HTMl markup (say no to font tags) … but please, SSH and WGET -O the images to your server as opposed to hot linking mine.

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When it Rains it Pours

What a wonderful aphorism, and how wonderfully it explains my situation: “When it Rains it Pours.”

Ever since our server belched on some Christmas turkey, we’ve had a host of problems — and now it appears my blog’s layout is busted -at least for you users of Microsoft Internet Explorer (now isn’t that a change?-). Not quite sure how that happened but bear with me as I seek out a fix.

I’ll probably go through a site redesign, I’ve been been inspired by some recent entries over at the CSS Zen Garden – not one idea, but a little mix of this and that … with the possibility of some of this one and a pinch of that for good measure.

What’s interesting is though I’m putting in a ton of hours at my new job … I’m also getting to the point where such CSS issues aren’t all that hard … though I’m continually surprised by all the hacks required due to browser bugs.

So bear with me … as I now have to fix both my layout AND my comments … ugh. Perhaps it’s time to explore ExpressionEngine? I suppose, just so long as I can get Scripturizer to port …

… by the by, a special spam-friendly shout-out to all the good folks at 220.124.143.12 who tried to illegally login to our server.

UPDATE: as for the suggestion ovr at Areopagitica to use .Blog … well, possibly if I were to go the .NET route, but I’m still partial to the whole Linux/Apache stuff for my own personal websites. Besides, I’ve been having some fun imagining the possibilities of supporting several sites with a single install of tools such as Krang and/or Bricolage.

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