Lottery Post Journal

Proper site design

Have you ever worked on building a web site?  You'll love this video.  Watch and enjoy how fun it is to program with the proper standards!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0qMe7Z3EYg

Nat Geo: Great TV Channel

Ever since CableVision added the National Geographic ("Nat Geo") channel to its HDTV lineup, I've been an avid viewer.  They have some really interesting shows, and I especially enjoy the ones that deal with the universe/natural world.

Last Thursday night I saw a show on Nat Geo that explained how the moon was created, and how it's creation was instrumental in the development of life on this planet as we know it.

The feeling I came away with was that human beings, and perhaps other life forms that are similarly advanced, are not some common occurrence, in that it required an incredible sequence of powerful, complex, yet perfect, series of events in order to bring about Homo sapiens (us).

I'm not going to go down this road today, but I will say that it makes me wonder how anyone can definitively rule out the existence of God, given such an extraordinary recipe, on such a grand scale, that produced human beings.

The TV show is called Naked Science, and it frequently has interesting topics.  The episode I saw was called "Moon Mysteries".  I think it airs again a couple times over the next week.

According to the TV show, the moon was created some billions of years when an asteroid or planet, perhaps as big as Mars, collided with the Earth.  Nobody knows for sure how the moon was created, but this theory is among the most probable.  (Another theory — not mentioned in the show — is that the moon was a large body captured by the Earth's gravity.)

The moon was not always so far away from the Earth.  When it was created, the moon's orbit was maybe just a third of what it is today.  Over the billions of years of its existence, the moon's orbit has slowly been carrying it spiraling away from the Earth.  One day, no doubt billions of years away, the moon will escape the Earth's gravity completely, and we will once again be without a moon.

The other big difference is that the moon's orbit is a lot slower today than when it was young.  Like a spinning ice skater who slows her rate of spin by extending her arms outward, the moon's orbit slows as it grows wider.

As most people know, the tides are one of the clear influences the moon has on the Earth.  The moon's gravity pulls on the Earth's oceans, causing them to bulge upward toward the moon, which to us on the Earth simply looks like the sea has risen in the high tide.

The Earth rotates much faster than the moon moves around it, so from the standpoint of someone on Earth, the sea rises as they rotate toward the position closest to the moon, and then the sea falls as they continue rotating away from the moon.

The constant movement of the ocean caused by the moon's gravity has a mixing, churning effect on the world's oceans.  It also has an effect on the climate and on the winds.  There is a very complex relationship formed between the moon and the Earth.

Now just imagine what that relationship was like when the moon was much closer to the Earth, and had an immensely more powerful gravitational effect on the Earth.

Scientists estimate that the tides were hundreds of feet in height.  The climate effect was also profound, as it likely caused hurricane-like winds constantly.  When we see a hurricane today it comes and goes within a day, but when the moon was young the hurricane winds would rarely go away.

To one on the surface of the planet it was a violent time, to say the least.

But, according to scientists, it may well have been the period of time where life as we know it was formed.  The movement of the oceans so far inland during each high tide, followed by its retreat at low tide, scrubbed the land of minerals and nutrients and brought them into the sea, in an intense mixing of the world's oceans.  The moon would have continued to have this effect for millions of years, radically changing the face of the Earth, and bringing together the unique set of minerals, nutrients, and conditions essential for life.  They say that even the twisted strands of DNA — the basis for all living things — was greatly influenced.

The Nat Geo show no doubt explains things much better than I could, and gives a full appreciation of the subject.

It's just one example of the caliber of TV programs available, and a good example of why I enjoy watching it.

I was able to locate a 2-minute video clip that highlights the beginning of the show, explaining the theory about how the moon was formed.  You'd have to catch the show on TV to see the rest.

Moon Mysteries clip

The Negative Blog Posts Stop Now

I've had enough of the constant crappy blogs and blog comments from three or four people here.

If you want to post 10,000 blog entries about how you hate Bush, hate America, hate the system, hate _____, then go blog at the Huffington Post, not the Lottery Post.

I did not create blogs at Lottery Post in order to give haters an opportunity to spread bile to lottery players.  My site is being tainted by your hatred.

And I don't care if you don't like it, or if you think I'm wrong.  I don't care if you're going to accuse me of trying to support right-wing stuff or trash left-wing stuff, or whatever conspiracy you can think up.  I simply don't care.

This is my site, and I don't like what you're posting on it.  If you hate what I'm saying, then start your own site and say how much you hate me there.

JustExploiring has asked me in the past to start an "anything goes" forum, and this is exactly why I have never done that.  Because you, Tenaj, and a couple others would use that to post your continuous stream of far-left hate posts, and I did not invest years of my life creating this site to allow someone to do that.  It's a crying shame that I can't have such a forum, but I would rather forgo it than to have you ruin my site with it.

And you're not going to use the blogs in that way either.

The economy is bad, the president is stupid, religion is bad, rich people are bad, etc., etc., crap, crap.

It stops NOW.

Note that the above does not apply to all of the people who have posted blog entires that talk about things they support in a positive way, even political things.  Many people have even posted strident blog posts about things they believe in, and that has always been fine, and will continue to be fine.  The blog posts I'm referring to above are specifically the hateful, nasty, negative posts that are intended to smear and cause negative feelings.

I have always done my best to keep things positive here, and I have struggled with this blog feature, because it is one area that I have tried to allow people to say whatever they want.  It is almost great, and almost a positive energy. 

I even toyed with the idea of taking it off the front page so that at least the negativity would be diminished.

But you know what?  I think the vast majority of blogs are fantastic, and I am simply not going to allow a small handful of people ruin a great feature for everyone else.  Not going to happen.

Worse still, the people who are doing this have taken advantage of Lottery Post and all it offers for years.  Personally, I cannot possibly imagine doing this to a site I use every day.

I do have sites I visit every day.  My attitude toward those sites is always very respectful, because I am very appreciative that the site owners continue to keep things running.  I sometimes send nice notes just to say thanks.  I provide positive input to the owners, because I want them to keep improving. 

As someone who does these things myself, I am mystified and aghast by the resentful attitude these long-term members have taken toward me.  I have tried to understand it for a long time, but I am through trying to understand.  I will never satisfy these people, and I have wasted far too much time trying.

So the bottom line is that while many people will read this and get a negative feeling from it, please don't.  I am just venting and letting you know what's going on.  Continue posting as you have always done.

But for the small handful of people who know exactly what I am talking about, I will say simply, "stop posting the negative blog posts."

I will silently delete the first negative post you make.  The next time I'll ask you to leave.

Latest passport breach doesn't fit the Bush-haters' model

The raging liberal bloggers — here at Lottery Post and elsewhere — jumped all over the Obama passport story yesterday as more proof of "The Evil Bush Administration".

(For those who don't know, some contractors at the State Department got fired when security discovered that they looked at Obama's passport records without permission.)

Well, today it was announced that not only did those contractors look at Obama's passport records, but they also looked at Hillary's ....... and ....... John McCain's ?!?!?!

Oh no!  Whatever excuse will we make up now?  How can we continue using this as proof of The Evil Bush Administration??

Hmmm..... Let's see..... Um, the contractors opened John McCain's passport records as a ruse, in order to cover for their snooping into the Democrats records.  Yeah, that's it!  Alrighty then, Bush is still evil!  I can now sleep at night again!

A scary thing, the mind of a raging liberal.

New Faster, Better Version of Safari Available (3.1)

Today Apple released version 3.1 of their Safari Web browser, and I like what I see so far!

I'll give you the highlights and some insight, followed by download/install instructions. 

  •  The new version appears to have fixed some minor nagging display issues that were in the last version.
  • The whole browser seems to have gotten a nice performance boost, particularly the performance of JavaScripts and dynamic, moving objects on a page.  For example, dragging one of the Lottery Post popup windows around the page is pretty zippy, and the drop-down menus are really quick.  Both are heavy users of JavaScript and dynamic objects (DHTML).
  • The old Lottery Post text editor, which is still used to post a blog entry and change your signature, is a little glitchy in Safari, but that's a known issue with the old editor, and I am working on replacing all  the text editors used throughout Lottery Post with the latest and greatest version (3.0.5).  The versions used right now are 2.1.3 (used in the forums and private messages) and 2.0 (used in blogs and signatures).  In perhaps as little as a week or two, all of them will be moved to version 3.0.5, which involves more work than it might seem.  It is a big step.
  • Apple continues to push Safari to the latest web standards, even before they are officially ratified.  To this end, Safari 3.1 is compatible with HTML 5, which is a very big leap.  Granted, there are no HTML 5 sites out there, but it's comforting to use a web browser in which the developer is so concerned with meeting Web standards.  Safari also incorporates all the CSS 2.1 standards (which IE7 does not even do, and which IE8 will finally meet once its released), and if memory serves, it also meets the CSS 3.0 standards and passes the ACID 2 test.  (I'm not sure if it passes ACID 3, but then again I'm not sure any web browser does that yet.)

To download and install the new version of Safari, let me start by saying that I recommend downloading and installing it from a different(non-Safari) brand of Web browser.  That's because if you try to install Safari from within a Safari browser, the installer cannot update the browser while it is running, and you will be forced to reboot afterwards.

To download/install Safari 3.1:

  1. Go to http://www.apple.com/safari/download/
  2. Unless you really want the QuickTime movie player, stick with the version that does not include QuickTime.
  3. You do not need to enter an e-mail address.  Leave it blank.
  4. Click the download button, then click the button to run/open the executable when prompted.
  5. When installing, un-check the option for the Google toolbar.  No reason to install more unnecessary junk.
  6. Un-check the option for the Bonjour service.  Useless waste of your computer's resources.
  7. Everything else is self-explanatory.

Here's my "visited states" map

This is inspired by Coin Toss's blog post, with the web site that shows a map of where you have visited.

It's a pretty good idea, so I gave it a try, and here's the map of the states I've visited:


create your own personalized map of the USA

Edit: I shrunk down the map a bit to make it fit better.

Edit: Its was actually Coin Toss's blog the idea is from, so I corrected it above.

Firefox 3 Beta 4 Rocks

WOW is all I can say after using the new beta of Firefox 3.

That comment is directed at:

  • Performance (INCREDIBLE performance)
  • User interface
  • Did I say performance?

This is absolutely the fastest web browser I've ever used.  It's got to be twice as fast as Firefox 2 and faster than IE (by far), Opera, and Safari.

I'm sure performance will vary by how powerful your PC is, but no matter what, you should experience similar proportional speed-ups to what I'm describing.

However, there are still bugs.  Things don't finish loading on some pages, there are horizontal scroll bars on some pages (meaning that it is rendering some things in the wrong place), and other miscellaneous glitches.  But the future looks bright for Firefox!

I wonder what all of you think about this

Kentucky Lawmaker Wants to Make Anonymous Internet Posting Illegal

Kentucky Representative Tim Couch filed a bill this week to make anonymous posting online illegal.

The bill would require anyone who contributes to a website to register their real name, address and e-mail address with that site.

Their full name would be used anytime a comment is posted.

If the bill becomes law, the website operator would have to pay if someone was allowed to post anonymously on their site. The fine would be five-hundred dollars for a first offense and one-thousand dollars for each offense after that.

Representative Couch says he filed the bill in hopes of cutting down on online bullying. He says that has especially been a problem in his Eastern Kentucky district.

Action News 36 asked people what they thought about the bill.

Some said they felt it was a violation of First Amendment rights. Others say it is a good tool toward eliminating online harassment.

Represntative Couch says enforcing this bill if it became law would be a challenge.

Source

IE8 beta probably released too early

I installed and tried out the new IE8 beta, which was released to developers today.  IMHO, it was pushed out the door too quickly — even for a beta.

I would call it more of an "alpha".  Case in point: Microsoft's own site crashed the browser.

Normally I'll leave a beta browser on my computer for at least a couple/few days to give it a fair shake, but IE8 was so unusable that I had to uninstall it within an hour.  Yup, that bad.

I am very excited about their pledge to support all the current web development standards, but frankly I have a hard time seeing how they can even test standards support at the moment, because so many things just plain render wrong.

JavaScript is very slow — which is expected in a beta browser — but I wouldn't expect it to be that slow.  In JavaScript-heavy sites (like LP), the browser would periodically freeze for a few seconds, and interaction was sluggish.

This is not a slam on IE8.  I commend the direction Microsoft is taking.  This is more a commentary on delivering something too soon.  I do not think it is valuable to report bugs for a beta product in which just about everything has some kind of problem.

I think the fact that Firefox 3 is now in its third beta pushed Microsoft to act a little too quickly.

If you're considering installing the IE8 beta, I'd recommend not doing it, and waiting at least until they release a second beta.

A succinct explanation of the terror threat facing America (video)

In the 1990s, Newt Gingrich was demonized by the mainstream media because he had a powerful message that was supported by the majority of Americans, but with which the elites did not agree.

For those who don't really know much about Newt Gingrich, I would urge you to wipe out every preconceived notion you have of the man, and listen with an open mind to this intelligent, thoughtful person.

Newt Gingrich borders on what I would refer to as a "great thinker" in this country — one of the few.  He does a lot of charity work, and speaks plainly about America's problems.  His topics are well-researched, and always laid out in context of historical events.  He does not spin or blow smoke.

He did not run for president this year because it would mean that he would have had to give up his ownership of a very large charitable organization.

Watch this brief video to get a taste of the man and the terrorism threat that faces our culture and citizens.

http://edition.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/08/08/gingrich/index.html#cnnSTCVideo