Jesus and the Resurrection. Been There. Done That.

Let me see if I get this straight . . . a long time ago, this guy was born of a virgin, performed miracles, collected disciples, then was eventually crucified, died, was buried, and rose again to redeem mankind? Does that sound about right? I thought so, except I'm not talking about Jesus. In this case, the guy's name was Attis and he was a fairly popular Phrygian man-god some 400 years before Jesus Christ came on the scene (though the origins of the story go back as far as 1200 B.C.). Attis was born of the virgin, Nana, became …

Mastering The Linux Shell : Standard In, Out, and Error

Welcome to part four in my Mastering The Linux Shell series where we will wander wistfully into a land where three terribly under-appreciated but vitally important files live. You will remember that everything is a file, including directories which some people call folders. What you may not know is that your keyboard is a file, as is the screen on which you read these words. And if all hell breaks loose, all that goes into a file too. Those special files, and variations on those files, are always in use, unlike those other, less hard-working files that seem to get …

The Easter Story, as I explained it to my kids

My youngest son asked me about Easter today. Luckily, as a parent, I am endowed with the power of complete universal knowledge and, naturally, explaining how Easter works is child's play. Or adult knowledge, as the case may be. Every Easter, a giant invisible white rabbit, only vaguely like the one in the famous play, Harvey, visits every house everywhere all around the world, delivering chocolates for Easter. He goes by the name, Easter Bunny. Possessed with awesome jumping powers, the Easter Bunny doesn't need a sleigh or reindeer to cover the world. He just hops from house to house. …

Mastering The Linux Shell : Making Things Disappear

Information begets information and eventually, there's just too much of it. I don't really believe that — I'm an information junkie — but there's no question that if you never delete anything, eventually, you will either use up all your disk space, or you'll have a terrible mess on your hands. Deleting and renaming files and directories is usually pretty simple stuff, but things can get weird and sometimes, simple is dangerous. Let's start with the basics.  To delete a file, use the rm command. rm file_name Deleting a directory uses a similar command, rmdir. rmdir directory_name So far so …

Mastering the Linux Shell : Files and Directories

Let me tell you the secret of computers, of operating systems, and of the whole industry that surrounds these things: Everything is data. Information is the be all and end all of everything we do with computers. Files are the storehouses for that information and learning how to manipulate them, use and abuse them, and otherwise play with them will still be the point of computers 20 years from now. There's a saying in the Linux world that "everything is a file" (a comment attributed to Ken Thompson, the developer of UNIX). That includes directories. Directories are just files with …

Mastering The Linux Shell

This is the first of several articles I will be writing on the subject of the Linux command shell. Feel free to consider this first entry as a polite introduction to the topic. In Windows-land, you had "CMD" or what some might remember as the DOS prompt. In Linux, we call it a command shell, or simply "a shell". There are many types of shells, each of which works similarly (e.g. they all allow you to run commands) but each sports many different capabilities. The default on Linux is called bash, or the GNU Bourne Again Shell, so named because it …

Atheism Super Bowl Commercial

True confessions time . . . I didn't watch the Super Bowl. I don't actually like football and I've never been able to figure out what people find interesting about it. Every year though, there's this holy day called Super Bowl Sunday where, as near as I can figure it out, is where the really cool commercials get aired and, if you're lucky, there is one incredibly hot and super sexy half time show. The following is purportedly a Super Bowl ad, though I can't imagine who would have paid for it. I don't even know if it actually aired …

Atheism Super Bowl Commercial

True confessions time . . . I didn't watch the Super Bowl. I don't actually like football and I've never been able to figure out what people find interesting about it. Every year though, there's this holy day called Super Bowl Sunday where, as near as I can figure it out, is where the really cool commercials get aired and, if you're lucky, there is one incredibly hot and super sexy half time show. The following is purportedly a Super Bowl ad, though I can't imagine who would have paid for it. I don't even know if it actually aired …

Upside to The McDonalds Years

There are many downsides of the "McDonald's Years", those being the years that you spend more time than you'll ever spend in your life, ever again, at McDonalds with your kids. Downsides include food that is only so exciting, though perfectly edible if I'm being honest, and also the fact that this food costs as much as 'real food' elsewhere. Gone are the days when you'd get change back from your dollar. If you remember those commercials, you're in my age bracket. The upside is that a 53 year old guy gets to set up his kids' Happy Meal toys …