Monday, February 27, 2006

Baby Got Book

I just discovered this rap video. It's a parody of a more well-known rap song, and I found it both clever and cool. Worth looking at!

They call it "Baby Got Book." You can get the lyrics, too.



Sunday, February 26, 2006

Firefox Web Developer extension

I'm a web developer by day, and the most important new thing I've seen in several months is the Firefox extenstion written by Chris Pederick, named "Web Developer." It's a revolutionary piece of software, capable of greatly enhancing the process of creating (and deconstructing) web pages.

Right now, it only works with Gecko-based browsers: Firefox and Mozilla, and two up-and-coming browsers derived from them, Flock and Seamonkey. It doesn't work in IE (Microsoft Internet Explorer) -- nor in Netscape, so far as I know. But for web designers who use Firefox, it's the cat's meow.

The only thing that compares with it (which I have happily used for years) is the Proxomitron.

Download the new Firefox extension for free from http://chrispederick.com/work/webdeveloper/.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Open doors, pay bills with embedded chips

I am not a kook on Bible prophecy, nor do I cater to conspiracy theories. However, my eyes are raised twice when the Bible's warnings about receiving the mark of the Beast finds preliminary steps to fulfullment within our tech industry.

According to this article from the Chicago Tribune for Feb. 14, 2006, the CEO of a security firm in Ohio has embedded a chip in his arm, as have two of his employees. The chips, about a half-inch long, grant him and his employees access to restricted areas. The reporter announces that "about 70 others in the U.S. have the devices implanted in their bodies, mostly for medical reasons--or because they work for VeriChip Corp., the Delray Beach, Fla., firm that makes the chip ..."

The privacy-loving Americans apparently lag far behind "about 2,000 patrons of nightclubs in Barcelona, Spain, and Rotterdam, Netherlands. The chips allow them to avoid long waits in lines and to run tabs at the clubs, which are owned by the same firm. Waiters scan the chips and a computer automatically draws the amount due from their checking accounts." Buying and selling food using embedded chips. Hmmm ... does this sound vaguely familiar?

The article reports that in October 2004, the Food and Drug Administration allowed VeriChip to sell and market these embedded chips, which use radio frequency identification to locate, identify, and record data about the chip's owner or user. There are also a variety of medical applications which can be exploited, according to the Tribune article.

Further corroboration occurs in this Associated Press news story which announces, "Two Workers Have Chips Embedded Into Them." Here you can see a photo of the chip at work. The article says "the chips are the size of a grain of rice and a doctor embedded them in the forearm just under the surface of the skin."

A small amount of research reveals a spate of articles on this:
The Hurricane Katrina tragedy is used an incentive for worried Americans to accept the chip. That way, they suggest, the bodies of our missing loved ones or fallen heroes can always be identified should a similar disaster occur in the future.

The security expert says "it took about 5 seconds to install it" into his right arm. His version does not emit a signal, and therefore cannot be used to track people's movements, but other companies are looking into precisely this application---say, to track executives who might be kidnapped when visiting foreign countries. Can we not discern the "signs of the times" in these events?

Sunday, February 05, 2006

It is not the critic who counts ...

While surfing today, I came across this quotation from a former U.S. president I believe is worth preserving and repeating:

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt, "Citizenship in a Republic,"
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Pennsylvania man recognized as God

Paul S. Sewell, a 40-year-old citizen of Reading, Pennsylvania, has legally managed to get his name changed to God. Yes, really.

His driver's license (issued by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation), his credit card, and now his voters' registration card (issued by Berks County Board of Elections) all recognize him by the name, "God." That's how he signs his name when he votes. Guess what? "God" is a Republican. (I've always heard the Republicans hit with that accusation, and now we have empirical proof.)

A news item published by the Associated Press says, "[Berks] County Solicitor Alan S. Miller said Sewell claims his 'God' signature is merely a legal mark like the 'X' used by people who are illiterate." Okay. I believe that Sewell probably did say something like that. But what possible reason is there for the County authorities to accept Sewell's pompous claim? This is self-aggrandizing to the hilt, pure and undiluted. What prevented them from having the common sense to reject this nonsense, especially since "In God We Trust" is our national motto, present on all U.S. currency?

I suspect that for his part, Sewell must like to hear people praying to him---"Oh God, please help me," "God, what's wrong," that sort of thing. I don't doubt but that this country is filled with megalomanics galore ... but why must our legal and political institutions cave in to their pretentiousness? *sigh*

If you find someone who has legally changed their name to Satan, and gotten a credit card, drivers license, and all the rest, send me the link.

Countercult Apologetics Journal

Volume 1, Number 1 of the Countercult Apologetics Journal makes its debut at the Resource Center for Theological Research. Right now, articles are in HTML, PDF, and Microsoft Word format but hopefully they will be normalized to HTML by the next issue.

The sheer volume of tasty theological essays, interviews, video footage, and audio archives this guy manages to find is amazing. Definitely worth a look-see if you're a Christian student or researcher.