Jesus Was a Racist

There is no good in this world, done under the name of religion, that could not have been done by good people who hold no religious belief. Any good and moral action that has been done in religion's name has been done in spite of religion, not because of it. Good people will, given the chance, do good. And most people are good.  Christians like to point to the Bible as a source of moral truth just as Muslims like to point to the Quran and Jews point to the Torah. All three of the Abrahamic faiths share the same …

Open Scripture Project – Making the Perfect God

Today, I want to introduce you to the "Open Scripture Project". OSP will be a community built religion with a git repository for changes. The purpose of OSP is to give us all the chance to make the perfect god.  We will do it by following a time honoured open source philosophy. Release early and release often! Everyone is invited to work on creating god. If you can't help in the creation, you can elect to run (or worship) the new god, report bugs, or even write documentation. Working together, we could, in time, eradicate all the bugs in the god code and release …

Ultra pranks and ultra reality

I'd almost forgotten about this until somebody commented on a post I had made regarding the following video. In case you haven't seen it, the video in question is done in the spirit of Candid Camera and Just for Laughs, where elaborate gags are set up to catch unsuspecting participants while video cameras roll and capture the resulting hilarity. At least that's the idea. In the LG Ultra video, a giant HDTV is set up as the 'window' in an office where someone is doing job interviews. Everthing happens pretty normally until the interviewee spots a meteorite crashing into the …

Shell Scripting vs Programming, part 3 – Special Things

When you talk about shell programming, or any kind of programming for that matter, you are going to deal with variables on different levels. In the shell, you have the built-in variables you saw earlier, and you can assign variables as well. For instance, without writing a script, type this line at your shell (command-line) prompt: hours=24 Then type this: echo "There are $hours hours in a typical day" The system responds with this: There are 24 hours in a typical day. You access that variable by putting a dollar sign ($) in front of it. If you just enter …

Medibuntu Is No More

If you are running either any of the Buntus (e.g. ubuntu, kubuntu, lubuntu), including Linux Mint, you may have had Medibuntu in you repositories for things like the DVD decription library (libdvdcss2) and other proprietary codecs. Medibuntu was not a distribution but referred to Multimedia, Entertainment, and Distractions in Ubuntu, referring to the types of packages it stored and made available. That repo has now shut down, my first hint of which was the following message on an "apt-get update". W: Failed to fetch http://packages.medibuntu.org/dists/raring/InRelease W: Failed to fetch http://packages.medibuntu.org/dists/raring/Release.gpg Could not resolve 'packages.medibuntu.org' W: Some index files failed to download. They …

Dement Horizon

A twisted little tale of impossible goals and what happens when the workload exceeds your ability to cope.   By Marcel Gagné. "I need it tomorrow. Noon." The door slammed shut leaving Gilbert alone with a mountain of paperwork. He gazed at the expansive mass of reports, tasks, files, forms, and so on, that absolutely needed to be done by sometime near tomorrow noon. "Tomorrow. . ." The word trailed off in a pathetic whimper. "I can't do it," he sighed. Gilbert held his head between his hands. His head was pounding. His heart raced, each beat translated into a throb at his …

Shell Scripting vs Programming, Part 2 – Parameters and Variables

Welcome back to my Shell Scripting vs Programming series. This is part deux. In the introduction, I gave you a taste of just how simple it can be to create a shell script. Add a few commands to a file, save it, then execute the file. That’s it. The shell, bash, executes the three commands in that file and exits. Sometimes, the simplest shell script imaginable is the command itself. Imagine a command with a number of options and flags. In previous series on Mastering the Linux Shell, I had a tutorial on using the find command to locate large files …

Love Me Nostalgic

In a post-apocalyptic world, humanity huddles under protective domes, seeking safety from the poison that awaits outside. Inside, people long for the old days, clinging to reminders of days gone by. What's left of the past is prized above all else and buying a piece of that past can be expensive and ownership is a status symbol. But is it enough to buy you love? You can get LOVE ME NOSTALGIC in epub or mobi format from your favourite eBook retailer for $1.29 at Kobo or Amazon. Just follow yon friendly links. Get your copy in DRM-free epub format from …

I Am Spock. Apparently.

Back in high school, I had a CB radio. Those of you who were old enough in the 1970s will no doubt remember these babies. If you had one of these radios, you also had some kind of on-air handle. Mine was Mr Spock. And yes, I picked that handle because I loved Star Trek and, at that time, I identified most with the Vulcan science officer. I even had cards printed up to share with other CB enthusiasts, as was the practice at the time. I loved Star Trek. I still do. As a teenager dealing with teenage issues, …

Medium Rare

When Brenda and her husband, Eric, get together with friends for an evening of conversation, comraderie, and a some pleasant wine, a meander into discussions of the paranormal leads their friend Cliff to suggest a seance. "Let's contact Harry Houdini," he suggests. It's all good fun and no one really expects that they'll contact the fabled magician, and they don't. They do, however, establish contact with another intelligence and that contact leads them to a place beyond their confortable suburban existence, to worlds beyond. You can get MEDIUM RARE in epub or mobi format from your favourite eBook retailer for …