Happy International Blasphemy Day

happy international blasphemy day! blasphemy is “impious utterance or action concerning god or sacred things” or “irreverence toward holy personages, religious artifacts, customs, and beliefs.” it comes from greek words βλάπτω which means to “hurt” or “injure” and φήμη which means “fame” or “report”. essentially, “blasphemy” is something that we can do that causes a “bad report” for God.

if that “god” is not unchanging, limitless and eternal, that “god” is not a God at all, and we have no need to worry about creating a “bad report” for him.

if, on the other hand, that God is unchanging, limitless and eternal, then nothing that we, as human beings, can do will ever affect that God, and His love (or whatever you may call it) for us will never be affected by anything that we can do, regardless of how “blasphemous” it may seem to be.

therefore, it is my opinion that “blasphemy” means “something that can get you in trouble with another human being”, and it is, therefore, more-or-less meaningless except when used as a way to keep people under control, and then only when the people are scared enough to believe it is actually possible for “god” to do bad things to them.

i am not that scared.

for “christians”:nude, blue-eyed jeezisfor “muslims”:mohammed with a bombfor “jews”:Ganesha Yantra on the roof of Ganesha The Car

for buddhists…? hindus…? anyone else even have the concept of blasphemy?

[previous]

by the way…

LinkedIn Zeus spam run targets prospective business marks – i’ve been getting this spam for three weeks and i haven’t picked up the ZeuS trojan yet…

of course, i haven’t been clicking on any links in mail that crosses my desk labled as “spam”, and i have been reporting messages that claim to be from LinkedIn that are labled “spam” for three weeks… i have opened (as text-only, not as html) precisely one message that claimed to be from LinkedIn that was labled “spam”, about three weeks ago, to determine that it was, in fact, spam, and that has been it.

once again, the principal reason that email should not be sent as “formatted” or containing html code, is because, if it is, you can’t tell immediately that things are not as they should be. most people don’t think to look at the bottom of their screen, at the status bar of their email client or browser, to make sure that the link that they think they’re clicking is actually the link they’re clicking. most people assume that when they see a link, if they click on it they will be taken to the site indicated in the link, but that is NOT TRUE and especially so when the link is in an email message.

if i type in a link – http://www.hybridelephant.com/ – if that link is “active” (which this one is not), most people would assume that clicking it will take you to the site indicated, which is Hybrid Elephant. however, if you see the words Hybrid Elephant with no link, unless you look down, at the status bar of your browser (because you are viewing it in a web page, which is formatted using HTML), you won’t know that the link takes you to somewhere you may not have been expecting.

email was originally intended for communication on a very basic level. the web was intended for delivering “richer”, more “complete” content. you can say “check this out” without saying it in letters that are “formatted”. it may be “cooler” to say it in bold, purple, 72-point letters, but if you send such a message, the only thing you’re doing is forcing people who may not want it, to get a large quantity of essentially meaningless code along with a relatively short message, and sending people the possibility of getting their machines infected with a virus without you or them knowing about it, until it’s too late.

it not only saves space, but doesn’t have the potential for screwing up someone’s entire machine, as this LinkedIn/ZeuS spam tries to do.

HTML in Email is EVIL!
TEXT-ONLY EMAIL!
THE WEB IS THE PLACE FOR HTML-FORMATTING!

😛

the web is in trouble

according to ARPAgeddon (IPv4 Countdown), there are less than 240 days until there will be no more IPv4 addresses to hand out to people, and the conversion to IPv6 is going less-than-smoothly.

the problem is with NAT (Network Address Translation) and wireless “devices”, mostly in china. instead of “dotted quad” 32-bit addresses – something like 194.169.203.3 – that typify IPv4 addresses, the new IPv6 addresses have 128 bits, and the “Network Address Translation” software, which works in theory, is still a little slow off the mark when it comes down to actually doing the kinds of “translation” it is designed to do.

US.gov set IPv6 upgrade deadlines, but they’ve targeted 2012 for completion and, as i said, there will be no more IPv4 addresses long before that happens. my own computer has IPv6 software, but i had to disable it because it wasn’t working correctly, and, as far as i have been able to tell, there hasn’t been an upgrade package that has included a fix for IPv6 in at least 6 months.

presumably there are enough people that have functioning IPv6 computers that eventually the switch will be made, but until then, there will be no new addresses, and/or an only partially functioning internet with IPv4 computers that may or may not be able to connect…

final scores for the NADAC national championships

email from moe: “We missed 3rd place by 0.76 of 1 point. Total scores were between 680-700 after 8 rounds… and it came down to less than 1 point. That’s a competetive 8″ class”

so, zora is almost the third fastest dog in north america and canada: less than 1 point separate her from the third place winner… 🙂

my guess is that there will be additional information on moe’s blog eventually.

another week closer to the eschaton…

The City That Ended HungerBuckminster Fuller said that we, as a people, have posessed the technology for 50 years (and he said this almost 50 years ago) to create a world where nobody has to work to survive. Why Bother Working At A Job You Hate? and The RICH Economy are my attempts at changing the world’s consciousness, but it may be that Belo Horizonte, brazil’s fourth largest city, has taken it one step further. brazil has a number of other interesting features upon which i have commented previously.

meanwhile, back in hell america, Building sand castles on Florida’s beaches is illegal – this is how BP is hoping to make you think that the oil spill is gone.

What the TSA isn’t saying about Full Body Scanners and Your Right to Opt Out – Say “I Opt Out.” Every Time. – has an interesting URI – Don’tScan.Us – and is there to remind everyone that, when travelling by air, you have the right to say “I OPT OUT” when confronted with a TSA request to what amounts to a strip search. also Portable, rapid DNA analysis tech developed – Big Brother doesn’t care whether or not you have fingerprints, and is interested in your DNA instead… more orwellian doublethink: Welfare is Employment Rights are Privileges War is Peace Illness is Health Collapse Is Recovery

Judge orders lesbian reinstated to Air Force and yet the congress in it’s infinite wisdom has decided that, even though a judge also ruled that DADT is unconstitutional, they’re not going to do anything to change it at this time. correct me if i’m wrong, but the judge that said that DADT is unconstitutional basically said that it’s against the law for the military to enforce the law as it currently stands, and still, congress feels that it’s okay to leave the law as it stands, right? that settles it, our government, and likely the governments of the countries in the rest of the world as well (since they all cooperate with each other, more or less) is irreparably broken. it’s time for that major shift in the way people think that i’ve mentioned before to actually start happening now…

and, by the way, now there’s Irrefutable Proof the Bush Tax Cuts Were a Miserable Failure – and we’re still losing to these morons…

despite the fact that Yes on Prop 19 Holds Steady Lead, 47%-42%, in Latest SurveyUSA Poll, this is what supporters of prop 19 are up against: Ex-Drug Czar Bill Bennett: Showtime’s “Weeds” is “Damaging,” Jonas Brothers Should Fight Prop 19 – regardless of whether prop 19 passes or not, however, Federal judge rules Colorado’s medical marijuana law is no defense for US drug charges. california can legalise all it wants, but until the federal government changes its mind, people will still end up going to jail for smoking a joint. and, while we’re at it, T-Mobile Claims Right to Censor Text Messages – big brother just got a little bigger and a little less like your brother.

along the same lines, according to Chapter 69.51A RCW on Medical "marijuana" (which is actually called “cannabis”, but i’m not arguing at this point), apparently i wouldn’t qualify anyway… oh well… 8/

Twitter blames website upgrade for re-introducing XSS holehopefully, the last word on my battle with twitter and their most recent cross-site scripting bug… which is still gone on my machine, but presumably that’s because i deleted my account before this latest round happened, and when they re-introduced it, i didn’t have an account to infect any longer…

twitter… 😐 feh.

Trojan poses as skeleton key jailbreak utility – but it only works on iPhones… wait, what? 8) heh heh heh… i am so glad i’m not a mac-head any longer…

GoDaddy.com Goes on the Auction Block – recently i read a couple of articles detailing how a whole bunch (<200) of wordpress blogs hosted by godaddy got hacked. i don’t know whether selling godaddy will make things better or worse, but it’s one of the reasons why i don’t use godaddy to begin with.

IE captain flees Microsoft for Google – when i was first getting into testing software, back in 1996, i attended a planning meeting in advance of the release of IE3 (which was still crawling with bugs, in spite of bill gates’ claim that micro$not released “bug free” software), and chris wilson was there, although he wasn’t as “important” then as he later became. however giving up micro$hit for google is sort of a lateral move for someone who is allegedly as “important” as he is… and, given that he is ultimately responsible for such travesties as IE4 and IE6, i would think that google would have second thoughts about hiring him…

How do you copy 60 million files? – yet another reason why linux rocks, and you should use it and not that crap operating system from redmond.

Nuclear Winter And Peace – look… another article by Fidel Castro… you might get the impression that he’s actually changed the way he thinks recently, and that i agree with him now…

pubic schools billboardOops! Billboard spelling error creates embarrassment

The true history of the Koran in America – reports of qur’ans in american libraries go back at least to 1683, and the first qur’an to be published in america was in 1806, over 100 years later. both thomas jefferson and john adams owned one and read it frequently… just sayin’…

Pope’s astronomer says he would baptise an alien if it asked him – unfortunately, is not a joke… nor is this: Christian group declares jct 9 on M25 cursed, although it took me several readings to confirm that it was, in fact, totally serious… what?!?

Church of Body Modification – this has been the subject of a bunch of spam messages i have been receiving recently, but it’s a real thing, and it looks fairly interesting…

Fabrican – it gives the reference to “jeans so tight you must have sprayed them on” a whole new meaning…

more from wyoming

Rockit Doggie™ in the National Championship finals

Rockit Doggie™ in the National Championship finals

Rockit Doggie™ in the National Championship finals

they made it into the finals!!! 😀

i don’t know how accurate that clock is, or how it synchronises with the “official” clock, but moe said that the worst she can do at this point is the FOURTH FASTEST DOG IN THE COUNTRY, which is nothing to sneeze at. 😀

moe, pe(s)ts & other stuff

moe and zora the papillon have gone to wyoming for the national dog agility championships. they took lucy the psychotic border collie with them, and i’m holding down the fort with the two “old” dogs… and three cats, a snake and a bird. stanley the bird is chattering, and the dog who can hear (magick) is hiding under my desk, because that’s about as far away from stanley as she can get. the dog who can’t hear (paddy) is asleep behind me.

i hope moe does well at the championship. i asked her what sort of chance there was of zora winning some sort of prize, and she said that she’ll be happy if she qualifies for the finals. i don’t know what that means, but i still hope that zora wins some sort of prize… being the owner of a dog that is a national champion is about as close as i’m ever going to get to having that sort of fame myself…

i was entertained by the cats entertaining themselves with a squeeky catnip mouse. there is definitely going to have to be two or three more of those hanging around, because kitty chaos was definitely enjoyable to watch, although they gave up too quickly, because it very quickly developed to the point where one of them was hogging the mouse and wouldn’t let the others play.

i am no longer sick, but i am not completely well yet. i was about 95% yesterday, and i would say that it’s crept up to 96% or 97% today. my guess is that getting old means that i don’t recover as quickly from being sick, or that i notice the things that aren’t quite normal more than i did when i was younger, or – most likely – a combination of the two, but whatever it is, i find that after i’ve been sick, the period between my actual sickness and when i have recovered fully, really sucks: i want to do stuff, like grade and/or scrape the driveway, but it requires so much effort that i can’t do a practical amount of work before i’m completely exhausted and have to rest for a couple of hours before i can even think about doing more… plus my ears are alternately plugged up, or not, and my nose is alternately plugged up, or not – i burned a stick of incense on my desk, not more than an arm’s length away from my nose, and i couldn’t smell anything… and taking something like “day-quil” makes the symptoms go away, but it doesn’t make me able to smell, and it gives the world this kind of foggy semi-euphoria that interferes with my thinking…

sickness, music and a dog with wheels

i was sick yesterday, but i went to play with snake suspenderz at the pike place market busker festival which i managed to pull off without too much sickness. playing with two other, respected buskers, howlin’ hobbit and thaddeus spae was only made that much more of an honour for me because the pike place market preseveration and development association (the outfit which licenses buskers at the market) has decided, in their infinite wisdom to ban music played on electronically amplified equipment and… wait for it… brass instruments… which, of course, means that any other time of year, thad and hobbit can busk at the market, but i can’t. where’s the justice in that, ‘eh?

busker festivali wasn’t able to get any relevant pictures of snake suspenderz, since i was playing with them at the time, but i was able to get a picture of the amazingly fearless dog in a wheelie contraption that took the place of his hind legs, which apparently didn’t work all that well. i believe the dog’s name was Rover. most dogs that have encountered my tuba have an almost instinctive fear of it: i don’t even have to play it, but they want to keep about as far away from it as possible. rover was completely different, however, and rolled right up to it and gave it a thorough sniffing… and then rolled away in search of something more interesting. it was as though he hadn’t just encountered the most dog-frightening piece of musical equipment that i own.

i’m feeling a lot better today, and have made up for the fact that i didn’t eat anything at all yesterday, by eating twice as much as i normally do today. it’s kind of weird, because i’m still congested and coughing up wads of green goo, but i’m starving. if i had eaten this much yesterday, i would have been a lot more sick than i was.

i spent a lot of spoons being sick yesterday. i’m definitely feeling better, however i’m not back to normal yet. maybe tomorrow.

i was poking around on the web this afternoon, and i came across these albums that i had back when albums were made of vinyl. Banish Misfortune and The First of Autumn by Malcolm Dalglish and Grey Larsen. i was able to download banish misfortune, but the first of autumn, which has the song “I Don’t work for a Living” on it, which has been one of my five all-time favourite songs ever since i first heard it, is only available as either an LP or a cassette. i have a turntable, but i don’t have an amplifier and the software to turn a LP into something that i can play with modern technology. wait! there’s a CD version of it at malcolm dalglish’s web site. these are albums that i haven’t even heard for 10 or 15 years, and i can still remember how excited i was to find music like this when i first came across them, almost 30 years ago.

Frank Zappa Day!

Spirit of Frank Zappa returns to Baltimore
The rocker’s exploits are rooted in L.A., but a twist of fate sends a special statue to his hometown.

By Richard Simon
September 20, 2010

Reporting from Baltimore — You’re, like, totally not going to believe this but Baltimore declared Sunday ” Frank Zappa Day,” dedicating a bust in his honor.

Grody to the max.

Seventeen years after the rocker’s death in Los Angeles, Zappa drew a large, fittingly eclectic crowd to a ceremony in the city where he was born.

“It’s about time he got the recognition he deserves,” said Greg Stinson, 50, accompanied by his 16-year-old son Matthew, also a Zappa fan.

The festivities included a concert by Zappa’s son Dweezil and his band, Zappa Plays Zappa; a library exhibit, “Zappa’s Baltimore: Rebels and Iconoclasts in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave”; and a temporary name for the street in front of the library, “Frank Zappa Way.”

“The spirit of Frank Zappa is alive and well in Baltimore,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.

The bronze bust of the mustachioed Zappa — one of rock’s great iconoclasts — was donated by Zappa fans from Lithuania, which has had its own Zappa sculpture in the capital, Vilnius, since 1995. Although Zappa never visited the Baltic country, he was admired there for his advocacy of free expression as well as for his music.

Zappa’s widow, Gail, attended the ceremony, along with Dweezil and two other children, Ahmet and Diva. A group of Lithuanians flew to Baltimore for the event.

Among those in attendance was the chief judge of the Baltimore City Circuit Court. John N. Prevas, 63, a Zappa fan since 1966, called the bust “a wonderful symbol of Baltimore’s cultural heritage and the fact that Frank was such a paradoxical icon for freedom.”

“We’re glad that he was born here, and even though he didn’t spend much time here after the age of 10, we’ve always felt he was one of us,” he added.

Zappa, who died of prostate cancer in 1993 at age 52, spent much of his life in Southern California, where he and his family moved when he was 10. Zappa’s L.A. exploits include getting thrown out of the Antelope Valley High School marching band in Lancaster after he was caught smoking in uniform, and recording with his then-teenage daughter, Moon Unit, the 1982 hit “Valley Girl,” a riff on San Fernando Valley culture.

The Zappa bust might have ended up in Los Angeles — if not for a cultural attache at the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius who happened to be from Baltimore. He suggested the city when the Lithuanian Zappa fans offered to donate the statue.

“I thought in L.A., it would kind of get lost,” said Carlos Aranaga, who was the cultural attache.

“Baltimore is the kind of the city that resonates with Zappa’s work,” he added, citing another iconoclastic Baltimorean, journalist and social critic H.L. Mencken.

The ceremony came 25 years after Zappa appeared at a Senate hearing to rail against censorship of rock lyrics and calls for an album rating system.

Though Zappa left Baltimore long ago, relatives there turned out for the dedication.

“I was a teenager the last time I saw him,” said cousin James A. Colimore Jr., 66, who came with his four adult children, who never met Zappa.

Colimore recalled “Frankie” visiting Baltimore and spending the summer at “Aunt Mary’s house” two doors away when Zappa was 16 and Colimore 14. “He came to Baltimore by train from California with” a stack of records that he played frequently, he said.

“He was cool back then,” Colimore said, recalling Zappa wearing shorts, a T-shirt and sandals when the East Coast was wearing jeans and high-top tennis shoes. He also recalled Zappa writing esoteric classical music on blank sheets of music paper with a quill pen.

Zappa has a street named after him in Berlin as well as an asteroid, Zappafrank, that orbits between Mars and Jupiter. He is also in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as “rock and roll’s sharpest musical mind and most astute social critic.”

Asked what her husband might have said about getting his own sculpture, Gail Zappa responded: “Frank might have said, ‘Preposterous.’ ”

another week closer to the eschaton…

Google guy "invaded teen users’ privacy" Google damages users’ brains – DON’T! BE! EVIL!

On the Advice of the FBI, Cartoonist Molly Norris Disappears From View – this is what happens when you take any religion to its logical conclusion.

Linus Torvalds outs himself as US citizen – gadzooks! i can’t wait to get out, and linus is on his way in… tell ya’ what, linus… i’ll trade you. Silence is the Death of Liberty is an example of why…

New 64-Bit Windows Rootkit Already ‘In The Wild’ – i’m tellin’ ya’… it’s pointless for micro$awft to create “new” operating systems, because they’re all based on former, defective, operating systems, and they’ve already got a built-in cadre of hackers who are already 98% of the way to breaking anything new that they come up with, before they release it. NOTICE TO MICKEY: the way to fix this is to use an entirely different approach, right from the very beginning – instead of basing your next 64-bit “super secure, can’t be hacked” OS on the same 8-bit kernel on which every other MS OS has been based, why not try something that no-one expects and build an entirely new kernel? what? you’re not creative enough to do that? oh, well forget it then…

Open source: a savvy bet, even in tough times – another way of putting it is that “free” is a very good way to keep me as a customer… Principia Mathematica Corporatica

Massive La. Fishkill Prompts Oil Spill Questions, Gulf Oil Refuses to Stay Hidden Underwater and In legal filings, BP says thousands of oil spill victims do not have right to sue – will it ever end? not during this decade…

Nation of Israel Buys @Israel Twitter Account From Miami Pornographer – bwaah hah hah hah hah! 8D

Purging Evil – society still has a very, very long way to go. my impression is that it will continue to be as bad as it is, if not worse, until there is a fundamental shift in the way we think and behave, and guys like cal thomas are preventing that fundamental shift from happening. yet another example (the web is full of them, there’s no counting how many stories like this there are) ‘Devil’ appears in bathroom tile – and, yes, both of these are serious. the people reporting the stories believe that they’re true, no matter how absurd they really are. more absurdity:
Scientists are creating ‘mice with human brains’ Montana Republican Party wants to make homosexuality a crime Mother Denies Heart Surgery For Infant, Cites Religion – these are not jokes.

Portugal

portugal legalized all drugs in 2001 and the world has not ended
(thanks to drug soup, Narco Polo and Drug Decriminalization in Portugal: Lessons for Creating Fair and Successful Drug Policies)

Portugal – A Real “Land of the Free”

In 2001, Portugal decriminalized personal possession of all drugs. Opponenents predicted a “parade of horrors.”

Since 2001, drug usage rates in many categories have decreased. Most notable was the large decrease in the 13 – 19 age group.

From 2001 – 2005, marijuana usage was the lowest in the EU.

Drug-related disease and mortality rates have decreased.

There is no serious push to reverse policy as by virtually every metric, decriminalization has been a “resounding success.”

The American government and media have ignored this story.

what would you do?

so i’ve been doing some maintenance on sedentarysousa dot com. i uploaded the last of the changes, and refreshed the browser, only to get one of those “Firefox can’t find the server at www.sedentarysousa.com” messages.

i restarted firefox. i flushed my DNS cache, and the DNS cache of my router. i rebooted the machine, and the router. i switched browsers five times, i switched machines three times, and i switched platforms twice, but i basically got “there is no server” messages from every browser and machine combination i tried.

i then went to browsershots dot org, which uses a whole bunch of different network nodes, a whole bunch of different browsers and three different platforms, and confirmed that sedentarysousa.com was up and working the way it’s supposed to, and that made me suspicious.

because of the fact that one of my machines is wireless, and my neighbour uses a different ISP and runs an unsecured wireless network, i can switch networks fairly easily, so i did, and sedentarysousa.com showed up without a problem.

aha, i thought. the problem is with drizzle (big surprise). so i called drizzle. sure enough, the drizzle tech support people – two of them! – confirmed that sedentarysousa – and only sedentarysousa – was “offline”.

they recommended that i “contact the host provider” and have them do a traceroute to my IP address, to figure out where the problem lies.

WHAT⁈⁉

let me get this straight… they would rather that the host provider – who is conveniently located in London, doesn’t have a problem with anybody else, and only has a problem with one route connecting – should contact the person responsible for that route to fix the problem, instead of the person responsible for the route that’s having a problem being contacted by ME to fix the problem.

it sounds very much to me as though they are saying “we don’t care, we don’t have to” – which is not the way to keep me as a customer.

very likely, what they are saying, as well, is “we don’t actually know what the problem is, or how to fix it”, which is a valid point, but it makes me feel like they are deliberately misleading me, rather than being honest and admitting that they don’t know – which is also not the way to keep me as a customer.

what really irritates me is that, what with the network being the fluid place that it is, by the time i actually discover what the problem really is, it will have fixed itself and there won’t be any evidence that whatever was causing the problem really was causing the problem. it irritates me that random things like this happen on what should be a very predictable medium. 8P

ETA: so i had the host provider do a traceroute to my IP address:

traceroute to 216.162.193.190 (216.162.193.190), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
1 216-18-215-65.hosted.static.webnx.com (216.18.215.65) 0.316 ms 0.371 ms 0.436 ms
2 cr3-lax01.webnx.com (67.220.192.102) 0.294 ms 0.357 ms 0.410 ms
3 cust-webnx.ar10.owlax.us.easynet.net (207.162.207.13) 0.576 ms 0.723 ms 0.807 ms
4 ge-7-48.car1.SanJose2.Level3.net (4.59.0.69) 9.538 ms 9.535 ms 9.528 ms
5 * * *
6 ae-93-93.ebr3.SanJose1.Level3.net (4.69.134.237) 21.896 ms 19.398 ms 17.990 ms
7 ae-2-2.ebr3.LosAngeles1.Level3.net (4.69.132.10) 12.894 ms 9.468 ms 9.456 ms
8 ae-71-78.ebr1.LosAngeles1.Level3.net (4.69.146.10) 16.406 ms ae-91-98.ebr1.LosAngeles1.Level3.net (4.69.146.26) 16.362 ms 16.354 ms
9 ae-7-7.car1.SaltLakeCity1.Level3.net (4.69.148.5) 22.380 ms 22.130 ms 22.771 ms
10 ae-11-11.car2.SaltLakeCity1.Level3.net (4.69.133.122) 22.099 ms 22.531 ms 22.291 ms
11 4.53.42.10 (4.53.42.10) 22.579 ms 22.703 ms 22.765 ms
12 208.110.128.254 (208.110.128.254) 38.893 ms 38.961 ms 38.866 ms
13 216.162.207.60 (216.162.207.60) 43.406 ms 42.878 ms 43.912 ms
14 * * *
15 * * *
16 * * *
17 * * *
18 * * *

the place where the timeout occurred was 216.162.207.60, which is Internet Professionals & Network Solutions.

it IS drizzle’s problem! 8|