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Journal Journal: seo

amazing stats on search engine use from a blackhat's stats from Overture



advertising / seo qualifications (as seen at davidnaylor.co.uk, http://www.davidnaylor.co.uk/pages/pay-per-click-management.html)

McAfee site analysis (dodgy links, malware, bad reports, etc.)

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Journal Journal: acer aspire t180


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Journal Journal: faith is ....


"If tomorrow we started observing light travelling at 314,159,265 m/s then scientists would incorporate that bizzare and unexpected change into their worldview."

If it were possible to flick that switch I suspect we wouldn't be observing it any longer. Indeed there probably wouldn't be a universe to observe.


"The scientific method makes one assumption, and one assumption only: the Universe obeys a set of rules."

It's amazing that this current scientific method was established by the belief that in nature there must be order because God created it. It's a response to pure intelligent design. The idea that if it's designed we can categorise it and abstract the principles of the design and in doing so learn about the creator.

How do you do science without [mathematical, logical] axioms? Which set of axioms forms the true algebra (read on Gödel's incompleteness theorems? Is the speed of light fixed (ensuring relativity is consistent) or not?

You may not have the answer to that last one, but I'll bet you have a default that you acknowledge a priori as the truth.

One last quicky: have you already proven that the world existed before you were achieved consciousness / were born? If yes, please share. If no, do you believe it did? If you don't (perhaps only because you haven't sat down to do a rigorous proof, well done scientist), if you do ... that's faith.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Welsh Language Board figures on welsh speakers

==Percentage of Welsh Speakers==
Those figures in the first para seem pretty dubious to me. I've looked at [http://www.bwrdd-yr-iaith.org.uk|Welsh Language Board] website for details from the 2001 census but they don't provide any textual results of overall percentages. They hide the figures in JPEG images and only provide a complete summary as either a MS Word or MS Excel file ... helpful - you can see they're all about diversification and access and not at all [http://www.bwrdd-yr-iaith.org.uk/cynnwys.php?pID=182&langID=2|sold out to Microsoft]!! Anyhow, the figures from [http://www.bwrdd-yr-iaith.org.uk/cynnwys.php?pID=more&langID=2&mID=2&type=Pubs&cpID=90|24 Sep 2003:
2001 Census - Main Statistics about Welsh] on the Welsh Language Board website are as follows:

Of all aged 3 and over:
        582,400 (20.8%) said they were able to speak Welsh.
        This compares with 508,100 (18.7%) who in 1991 said they spoke Welsh, and 503,500 (19.0%) in 1981 .

So there you go ... how do more than 60% of welsh people use welsh daily when only 20% can speak the language ...that there's called a whitewash. But of course we can't change the figures because that's "criticism". Incidentally if you look at the age distribution then that figure would be more like 5% without the huge financial support given to this anachronistic language.

User Journal

Journal Journal: LQ post on Slack vs Ubuntu

Well I moved in January from Slack 12 to Ubuntu when I was installing on my new computer (Athlon 64 X2 4000+; 3G RAM; Nvidia 7200 GX).

I'd not tried Gnome in a long time (since Slack 9 I think) so thought it was worth a shot.

Loved the default look and feel, added compiz-fusion and loved the eye candy some more. Then I needed to get my work done! Lasted 10 days (or so) with Gnome. Then installed KDE ... click, click, click, wait ... installed.

Also installed KDE4 (which is so not ready for users).

try installing something that is not in the repos
Someone mentioned non-repos installs ... very easy. Download the deb and click on it.

I like the way sudo is arranged so that admin tasks request the user password.

At least one other mentioned lack of compiler and trouble kernel compiling ... haven't tried later (though all my Slack kernels were custom), new box is fast enough I don't need to bother.

Things that I used to self-compile were either cutting edge or just rare enough not to have packages or slackbuilds readily available. Now I find that most of what I need is available as a deb or is already in the repos (testing! or in repos of distros like medibunti or Mint). Indeed I've yet to find anything I need to compile (including SVN builds of Inkscape which are in the testing repos) and several things I used to self-compile that now I don't. Critical mass is the term here I guess.

This machine came with Vista Home Premium pre-installed ... which bizarrely took more setup (didn't see all memory, video was wrong) than the entire Ubuntu install. I thought the boot manager setup would be complicated but it didn't require any intervention it just added Vista to the boot list.

Ubuntu installed the nvidia drivers and fixed xorg.conf for me which was nice. Synaptic is just awesome ... it was my reason for trialling Ubuntu (having used it on Fedora some time back). Only problem is that I now test install a lot more stuff. Ubuntu also have ensured that some FF plugins install direct from the repos rather than their normal locations - then they get updated by apt tools, etc..

Can't now see anything to draw me back to Slackware to be honest though it has been something of a culture shock. I'm just at the stage when I've finished learning about Linux and started using it. Only downside is that the LQ forum isn't as good as this one!

FWIW I used Slackware for about 9 years, have an undergraduate diploma in computing (UK) and work part-time as a web designer/technician.

User Journal

Journal Journal: wales

"Wales" as a cohesive land didn't exist until Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, Prince of Gwynedd and the ruler of Deheubarth, claimed himself Prince of Wales in the 13th century. The lands of Llywelyn being conquered by Edward I of England and becoming part of England. Wales was then properly established as a single principality about 20 years later when the Kings son was given the title Prince of Wales. So the "Welsh" dragon, unless it's older than Wales can't really be Homeric in origin. Now that Welsh dragon might have been used previously by the Princes of Gwynedd, Powys Deheubarth, etc.. but that's another story.

-- by me on 2008-01-04, pbhj

User Journal

Journal Journal: past post - Flat earth flame ... but I'm hooked!

Flat earth flame ... but I'm hooked! (Score:3, Interesting)
by pbhj (607776) on Mon 31 Oct 01:36AM (#13911938) Homepage Journal
>>> "Sure. Explore it all you want. It has been explored for thousands of years. You can explore the idea that the earth is flat too if you want. Just because some people are exploring it doesn't mean we need to start teaching that to children in science class. Teach that myth the same place we teach the other myths - in religion or humanities classes or the like."

[Here's a Christian idea ...]

The big bang? Sure. Explore it all you want. It has been explored for tens of years. You can explore the idea that the Earth is flat too if you want ....

The big-bang, incidentally is an untestable event as by definition the established principles of physical science break down at the singularity (and how would we observe, a temporal action, before time existed). So, it becomes a matter of faith as to whether there were a big bang or a re-expansion or some other creative event [or none! like Newton, Maxwell, Einstein et al. thought] ... which I find hilarious. What's doubly funny is that a lot of people arguing against a creator argue for a big bang whilst cosmologist are moving towards alternate theories. And to cap it all the big-bang was proposed by a Belgian priest (LeMaitre) - I'd like to think that his faith inspired him at least in part.

I guess the big-bang is probably still the standard model. But every standard model I ever studied was proven to be inconsistent with observations ...

Oh well.

LeMaitre - http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/science/ sc0022.htm [catholiceducation.org]


Re:Flat earth flame ... but I'm hooked! (Score:4, Insightful)
by jdclucidly (520630) Alter Relationship on Mon 31 Oct 02:35AM (#13912160) Homepage
I'm not an astrophysicist but that's just flat-out wrong. The big-bang theory IS a verifiable theory. That's why why have astronomers staring at the cosmic background radiation and analyzing the motion of stars (which shows that the universe is expanding). As far as I know, most all cosmic observations have given credibility to the big-bang theory. And it will continue to be tested. If there's ever some falsifying data, then the theory is destroyed. Plain and simple.


Re:Flat earth flame ... but I'm hooked! (Score:2)
            by pbhj (607776) on Mon 31 Oct 05:24AM (#13912874) Homepage Journal
            Except we don't know whether the CBR is from a re-expansion or a big bang (or some other form, eg a crazy steady state) and so ultimately we can't verify. But, yes, it is scientific from the perspective of falsifiability.

            Incidentally, current expansion proves nothing. And at the point of ex-nihilo (sp?) creation there was nothing to radiate nor time to pass for a fluctuation to occur in. So no radiation eminates from a big bang event, only after an event, and there are multiple possible explanations for the post-event radiation ... hence no way of knowing for sure. Hence, you either use faith, or random chance, or populism, ... but not science to determine the root cause of the universes current existence.

            Oh and big bang theory AFAIK has no explnation for baryonic assymmetry (for want of the proper term) ...?

            If I concede the verity of an inflationary model will you explain where the inflating universe came from?

            If it's branes colliding then I'm quite excited by the possibility of God being personally manifest within those extra dimensions. in which the branes move. But, at the end of the day it's all just a systematic self consistent construct that aids in our conception of reality.


Re:Flat earth flame ... but I'm hooked! (Score:2)
                        by jdclucidly (520630) Alter Relationship on Mon 31 Oct 05:49AM (#13912964) Homepage
                        On CBR, I think you have it backwards; the big bang theory suggests certain kinds of CBR which have been observed now that the technology exists. We didn't observe the different kinds of CBR first and then come up with the big bang as a possible explanation. This lends credence to the theory but of course doesn't prove it.

                        And on 'proving nothing' you are not getting it... we're not out to /prove/ anything. We seek only to /disprove/ people's wild ideas. If we can test them and can't disprove them then they are considered not-so-wild. And with time, perhaps accepted as a theory. Science has nothing to say, currently, about what might have happened "before" the big bang (if indeed time itself even existed). So, yes, you must turn to theology or philosophy to answer such questions. But that's not the domain of science. The point is that no faith is required to say that 'the big bang is currently the strongest theory on what the "first" event in our universe was'. I don't think anyone is saying that they are 100% certain.

                        And on baryonic asymmetry, we're at the very fringes of my knowledge but I don't think it really matters. All I remember on it is that the theory not being able to account for this doesn't disprove it; it's just means the the theory will need some enhancing once we understand baryonic asymmetry more fully. If I recall correctly, the super-collider being built in France is designed to help in this area.

                        I don't really have anything to say about the rest of the stuff. It would be a complicated philosophical discussion about the nature of reality and whether or not you are a supernaturalist at all if you believe in intelligent lifeforms living on other branes manipulating our reality...

                        If they were listening/reading right now, I would want them to know that they are some arrogant fucks and they certainly don't deserve any worship, I'd take freedom instead...


Re:Flat earth flame ... but I'm hooked! (Score:4, Insightful)
by nathanh (1214) Alter Relationship on Mon 31 Oct 08:09AM (#13913349) Homepage

        The big-bang, incidentally is an untestable event as by definition the established principles of physical science break down at the singularity (and how would we observe, a temporal action, before time existed).

The big-bang is entirely testable. The background microwave radiation is one test. The velocity vs distance of galaxies is another test. The COBE satellite was launched to test the big-bang theory (and the theory passed that test).

The singularity is an untestable event. The big-bang itself, entirely testable. In your own words you admit it's testable:

        I guess the big-bang is probably still the standard model. But every standard model I ever studied was proven to be inconsistent with observations ...

If there are observations that could disprove the big-bang theory then the theory is testable. That's what testable means. But be careful: the theory is not the same thing as a model.

User Journal

Journal Journal: past post - Re:intelegant design != God [sic]

Re:intelegant design != God (Score:2)
by pbhj (607776) on Mon 02 May 02:00PM (#12406705) Homepage Journal
>>> "If Inteligent Design was something other then the belief in the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God, then those proponents would be spouting out endless theories as to who that Inteligent Designer was/is. There would be groups solidly believing that Aliens did it. There would be groups solidly believing that Zeus did it. There would be groups solidly believing that the planet Earth is actually the Inteligent Designer. There would be groups that would be believing that a machine inteligence from another dimension broke into ours, or created our dimension and inteligently designed all of us."

These seem like possible first hypotheses. Not my belief but I don't see how you can _prove_ that the universe wasn't designed by transdimensional alien beings (a là Men In Black (the movie) at the end). Current physic-al theories breakdown at a temporally distant singularity after all.


Re:intelegant design != God (Score:1)
by cnelzie (451984) Alter Relationship on Mon 02 May 02:38PM (#12407145) Homepage
So shouldn't we at least mention such shortcomings of science?

What exactly do you mean by this? Science acknowledges its shortcomings every single day. That's why there are the clear definitions behind what a hypothesis is, what a theory is, what a scientific law is and what a fact is and where facts are used in the supporting structure of science.

Things that cannot be tested within the confines of our existing technology can never be anything other then a hypothesis. It has been that way as long as science as existed with the clear seperation between hypothesis, theory and scientific law.

It has also been true that the use of 'Facts' are simply pieces of information that are discovered through the process of testing a hypothesis and are used to take that hypothesis and formulate a theory.

After becoming a theory, those facts are tested, retested to confirm or deny the validity of that theory. If the theory is deemed entirely invalid and false, it is tossed aside. If that theory is deemed valid but weakly defined/worded, then it is restructured to support the existing facts, which only strengthens the theory.

This is something that I learned when I was in elementary school in early science classes. This was further reinforced as I took additional mandatory science classes in Middle School.

I have no idea how anyone, who claims to have a High School Diploma, could also claim to have no idea what the difference between a Hypothesis, Theory and Scientific Law is. I am not a scientist, I do not deal with hypothesis, theories or scientific laws in my regular daily activities and still I know this.

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Journal Journal: past post

On immutability and perfection .. (Score:2)
by pbhj (607776) on Thu 05 Jul 01:41PM (#19753353) Homepage Journal
>>> "Any change in the state of a perfect thing would render it imperfect, or imply that the original state was not perfect to begin with. Thus, God cannot love anything, or want anything for his creations."

Except if god exists outside of time and thus is immutable in 4-dimensions (and possibly changing in other dimensions). Thus god could still be "perfect" (by your definition of perfection being immutable). Your argument is like a flat-earther saying you can't sail west and get to the east - God doesn't need to change to accomodate the arrow of time because he already has perceived/permitted/manufactured the change and changed accordingly ahead of time. Your (and so I guess Spinoza's) argument is temporally bound and assumes that the god in question is also; ridiculous.

Anyway, that aside: If the weather today is perfect (for me, say I'm going skiing and want unblown snow) that doesn't mean that the same weather tomorrow is perfect (for me, when I'm going sailing and want wind and sun). The original state of the weather was perfect, the changed state of the weather is perfect (for me!), the state of "perfect weather" need not have altered if considered as a single form in a four dimensional space.

Oh and where in the Bible does it say God is separate? God, by the Holy Spirit is certainly _not_ defined as separate but instead is permeating (as an ether). Nor is God entirely singular, being triune. You open up the possibility by saying something must contain God (though outside of space-time what is containment?) to the notion of God containing both Himself and the universe.

PS: When you say God is singular, do you mean he has no "god-friends" or is this a reiteration of his immutablilty?

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Journal Journal: firefox overflow bug with skip links / named anchors

Firefox bugs:

See also
which gives some suggestions and discusses the intending working of the w3c spec

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Journal Journal: transcription software

http://trans.sourceforge.net/en/features.php - naff, terrible interface, doesn't even do stream speed altering, does have some good features including notation of people speaking.

http://www.seventhstring.com/xscribe/download.html - for music transcription


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Journal Journal: w kabaa, geo-praying

For any [[reference point]] on the Earth, the [[Qibla]] is the direction to the Kaaba. Muslims are ordered to face this direction during prayer ([[Qur'an]] 2:143-144). While it may appear to some non-Muslims that Muslims [[worship]] the Kaaba, the Kaaba is the focal point for prayer. The Jewish religion established the concept of geographically focussed prayer - Jews traditionally may face the [[Holy of Holies]] and by extension Jerusalem though this is commuted for some to be an edict to face East. This contrasts with [[prayer in Christianity]] where there is no geographical or physical focus for prayer this is a reflection of the Christian belief concerning the direct communion with God via the indwelling of God's [[Holy Spirit]] as part of the new covenant( and perhaps due to the doctrine of [[omnipotence]]). Hence Christians pray at any time of day and facing any direction

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Journal Journal: Esphimenou / Esphigmenou monastery on Mt. Athos

"iera monh esfigmenou - agion oros" is a transliteration of the greek for the monastery.

It seems there is a current issue of persecution and division: http://www.esphigmenou.com/ claims that the monastery is under attack from other "brothers" in the locality.

A link to a story on Reuters (dated Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:12 PM GMT) lists this region (Mt.Athos) as being semi-autonomous and closed to females. The dispute apparently is on the rest of the community establishing closer ties with Rome. The Reuters article (id=2006-12-20T121202Z_01_L20534404_RTRIDST_0_OUKOE-UK-GREECE-RELIGION.XML) uses Esfigmenou as the transliteration of the name of the monastery; from the article:

"Esfigmenou monks say the 1,000-year-old monastery is theirs. They have also clashed before with police sent to evict them.

The monks have sharply criticised attempts to improve ties with the Catholic Church and the Pope.

The Mount Athos peninsula is considered as Orthodox Christianity's spiritual home from which all females are banned."


[copy of http://www.esphigmenou.com/What%20the%20dispute%20is%20about%20and%20why%20the%20monks%20are%20right/History%20of%20Esphigmenou%20Monastery.htm]
Brief History of Esphigemou Monastery

The famous and impressive monastery of Esphigmenou. Some say, its name originates from its position, as it is squeezed in, as it seems by two mountains. (Sphigmeno in Greek means to squeeze.) Some others say that its name originates from its founder who had a tight rope around their waist (Sphigmenos.) According to tradition, the monastery, (which celebrates the Ascension of Christ) was built by Theodosius the Micros and his sister, Empress Pulcheria (408-450) who was Marciano's wife. The monastery was later destroyed by a huge rock which fell from the mountain. The ruins of the old monastery are situated half a kilometer away. The new monastery was built at the end of the 10th century or at the beginning of the 11th century by the monks of the old monastery.

The first written document for the monastery is a letter from Paul the Xeropotamite written in 1001. For a short period in the 14th century, the abbot of the monastery was the eminent hermit and theologian Gregory Palamas, who later became Archbishop of Thessaloniki. Two times in the 16th century, pirates destroyed and plundered the monastery but it was rebuilt. In the 17th century the monastery fell into a decline, but during the years of the Russian king Alexander Michaelovits, it received many contributions from Russia as well as from other Orthodox Christians which helped the monastery's renovation.

In 1705, Gregory Melenikiou became a monk in this monastery, giving life to the place. Half a century later Daniel from Thessaloniki was appointed commissioner of the monastery after he had won the approval by Patriarch Gerassimos and the 'Sacred Gathering.' After his appointment he transformed the monastery into a cenobitic one.

During the Greek revolution of 1821 , the Turks did great damage to the monastery. In the period 1850-1858, new rows of cells were built. Including the main church, the catholikon, there are 9 chapels. The famous monk Anthony Petserski, founder of the famous Lavras monastery in Kiev, lived at the Esphigmenou monastery in 11th century. Moreover, he applied the monastic customs of Greece in his country and he became founder of the Russian monastic movement. Today, he is honored as a saint.

The library which is situated over head contains 320 handwritten codices, 75 of which are of parchment. Among them, one is erased and rewritten. Several of the codices have excellent miniatures (like the code number 33 which has miniatures from the 11th century). The library also has 2500 prints. The monastery's treasure collection consists of the cross of Pulcheria, an excellent mosaic icon which dates back to the 13th century, sacerdotal vestments, portable icons, liturgical objects, sceptres, crosses, relics of saints, several valuable documents and others.

It is considered as one of the most strict cenobitic monasteries of Athos.

The monastery is known for its stand against Ecumenism.

The Monastery never changed, and since 1924, has not commemorated any of the innovator and ecumenists Patriarchs.

Its last three abbots, have been recognized as holy saints by all on Mount Athos. The present abbot Archimandrite Methodios, was hand picked by the last abbot, to lead this monastic stronghold of ascetical Orthodoxy.

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Journal Journal: Kyrillos Loukaris or Cyril Lucaris or Cyril Lucar 1572-1653

Kyrillos Loukaris or Cyril Lucaris or Cyril Lucar (1572-June 1637) was a Greek prelate and theologian and a native of Crete. He later became the Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria as Cyril III and Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople as Cyril I. He was the first great name in the Orthodox Eastern Church since the fall of Constantinople in 1453, and dominated its history in the 17th century.

In his youth he travelled through Europe, studying at Venice and Padua, and at Geneva where he came under the influence of the reformed faith as represented by John Calvin. In 1602 he was elected Patriarch of Alexandria, and in 1621 Patriarch of Constantinople.

Due to Turkish oppression combined with the proselytization of the Orthodox faithful by Jesuit missionaries, there was a shortage of schools which taught the Orthodox faith and Greek language. Catholic schools were set up and Catholic churches were built next to Orthodox ones and since Orthodox priests were in short supply something had to be done.

In 1653 Patriarch Cyril opened a school called Athoniada at Mount Athos, but the Orthodox and Catholics insisted to the Turkish authorities that this should be closed. In 1659 the Athos School was closed. The next option was to send students abroad to study, as long as it was not Catholic thought. The Calvinists were appealing because their beliefs were thought to be very similar to Orthodox ones.

It is alleged that the great aim of his life was to reform the Church on Calvinistic lines, and to this end he sent many young Greek theologians to the universities of Switzerland, the northern Netherlands and England. In 1629 he published his famous Confessio (Calvinistic in doctrine), but as far as possible accommodated to the language and creeds of the Orthodox Church. It appeared the same year in two Latin editions, four French, one German and one English, and in the Eastern Church started a controversy which culminated in 1691 in the convocation by Dositheos, patriarch of Jerusalem, of the Synod of Jerusalem by which the Calvinistic doctrines were condemned.

Cyril was also particularly well disposed towards the Anglican Church, and his correspondence with the Archbishops of Canterbury is extremely interesting. It was in his time that Mitrophanis Kritopoulos - later to become Patriarch of Alexandria (1636-1639) was sent to England to study. Both Lucaris and Kritopoulos were lovers of books and manuscripts, and many of the items in the collections of books and these two Patriarchs acquired manuscripts that today 'adorn' the Patriarchal Library.

Lucaris was several times temporarily deposed and banished at the instigation of his orthodox opponents and of the Jesuits, who were his bitterest enemies. Finally, when the Ottoman Sultan Murad IV was about to set out for the Persian War, the patriarch was accused of a design to stir up the Cossacks, and to avoid trouble during his absence the sultan had him killed by the Janissaries in June 1637. His body was thrown into the sea, recovered and buried at a distance from the capital by his friends, and only brought back to Constantinople after many years.

The orthodoxy of Lucaris himself continued to be a matter of debate in the Eastern Church, even Dositheos, in view of the reputation of the great patriarch, thinking it expedient to gloss over his heterodoxy in the interests of the Church.

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