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Archive for September, 2009

God’s great plan? Here’s a checklist…

September 26, 2009 Comments off

Finally got around to watching a YouTube video someone sent me a while ago and I’m stunned to find God’s Checklist 2.0 by Scott (aka TheoreticalBullshit) underlines and italicises so much of my argument with religion, particularly Christianity.

God’s Checklist 2.0

It’s done in an entertaining, thoughful, and challenging way, but not in a manner that would insult a reasonable theistic viewer. That’s a difficult balance to manage.

I expect some people will react to the video negatively (the video’s comments section on YouTube is ad hominem central — not that YouTube comments have a habit of being sane or rational at the best of times), and others of a mind for apologetics will offer up modern reasons why these Bronze Age inconsistencies exist. But the fact remains that Scott has done an excellent job in outlining the problem with the “party line” of many religions.

I’m looking forward to checking out more of his stuff.

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The FSM’s Prayer

September 22, 2009 Comments off

For fans of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, here’s some gold that I just have to share:

Our Pasta, who art in the Pot,
Flying Spaghetti Monster be thy Name.
Thy dinner’s come, when
Thy will be done,
On stove as it is in the oven.
Give us this day our garlic bread,
And give us our bottle’s o’rum,
As we give to those who dine with us.
And feed us into oblivion,
And deliver us from hunger.
For thine is the tastiest,
and the spiciest,
and the best,
for ever and ever.

RAmen

Hat tip to Ungodly Cynic (who attributes authorship to TinaFCD)

Categories: atheism Tags: ,

The Slashdot Effect & moved to new hosting provider

September 19, 2009 Comments off

For well over 10 years I’ve been hearing about the Slashdot Effect, since the advent of Web 2.0 I’ve seen it countless times on popular social sites like Digg, Reddit, and of course Slashdot, and years working as a security consultant gave me plenty of experience with denials of service (DoS) and distributed denials of service (DDoS) attacks. The Slashdot Effect is similar in both execution and results to a DDoS in that a single, often harmless, action by a huge number of computers brings the target server to its knees.

Of course there is one huge difference between the Slashdot Effect and (D)DoS attacks: the former is what the Internet is largely all about– spreading information or something cool to as many interested people as possible. The latter is normally about malice and criminal intent.

Sometime after I posted my previous post to this blog, a kindred spirit and fellow Twitter user (from whom I originally borrowed the image, giving source attribution as always) kindly shared my post with StumbleUpon. Oh. My. FSM.

From ~03:00 UTC yesterday this blog began serving the follow page:

Bandwidth Limit Exceeded error

It lasted for most of the UK morning until I got into my day job and eventually got around to doing my customary quick check of the admin page, and was greeted with the above error myself. In retrospect, a 1GB monthly “soft” bandwidth cap wasn’t that unreasonable for a modest blog such as this, but imagine everyone’s surprise to discover that 1.7GB was served within the space of just a few hours. O_o

To put it into context, WordPress Stats shows that my previous peak viewing days were all below 500, and the daily average was much lower. Yesterday saw that ramp up almost an order of magnitude. All my pretty jagged lines showing how many visitors I’d had per day were suddenly all flatlined as the graph’s Y-axis re-scaled itself to show a mountain peak with no peers. Here’s what it looked like shortly after lunchtime yesterday:

Wordpress Stats: the Slashdot Effect

Kinda cool, really.

So once I got my hosting provider to lift the bandwidth cap, I began taking the necessary steps to move the site to a new provider after finding one recommended by a friend that gives unlimited, well… everything: bandwidth, storage, domains, databases, mail accounts, etc, etc. What’s more, I managed to get the hosting plan for half price due to the beauty of automated signup process tracking and aggressive new customer policies…

Last night I spent the evening (not the most exciting way to spend a Friday night) setting up the new system and migrating the blog to the new provider. For those of you who tried read the blog via the website during this time, please accept my apologies for the downtime: it was unavoidable while the DNS server changes had to propagate across the Internet. If you want to blame someone — blame Paul Mockapetris (I’m such a nerd).

So it’s with delight — and not a small amount of relief — that I present to you Hurtling Through Space at its new home.

From this point forward the only negative impact this move should have is that those of you who have subscribed to posts will have lost those subscriptions (I’ll email each of those who left a valid email address to let you know, in case you miss this post). Please let me know if you find something wrong with the site — I haven’t fully tested it yet.

On the positive impact side, the address and everything remains the same, and it should be more reliable, faster and able to withstand the whimsy of Web 2.0 traffic floods.

Have at ye, ye worthless scurvy dogs! Arrrrr!

Categories: technology Tags: ,

The illustrated argument for Agnosticism

September 17, 2009 Comments off

I always find it immensely pleasing to discover an image that describes what is often a complex topic in a succinct way. So following on from an earlier post where I discussed the 4 positions of belief, here is a brilliant way to present the argument for Agnosticism:

Why I can't be anything other than Agnostic

Hat tip to Godless Blogger.

Now part of The Atheist Blogroll

September 13, 2009 Comments off

Following on with the theme of participating in blog aggregators and non-theistic blogging communities, Hurtling Through Space has now been added to The Atheist Blogroll. Those of you viewing the website can see the blogroll in my sidebar — nearly 1,000 blogs (at time of writing), all happily scrolling.

The Atheist Blogroll is a community building service provided free of charge to Atheist bloggers from around the world. If you would like to join, visit Mojoey at Deep Thoughts for more information.

Categories: misc Tags:

The Guild: Do you wanna date my avatar?

September 5, 2009 Comments off

Thought I’d take a short break from serious posts and bring to your attention something that I think is very clever and funny.

Some of you know that among my many interests is computer gaming — nearly always online with friends and mostly teamwork-oriented first-person shooters (FPS) — though I have quite a long history of trying out MMORPGs. Yes, it’s nerdy and has its pros and cons, but such games can be a fun escape from thinking, reality and seriousness every now and then. They’re not really much different from reading a book or watching a film, except you’re sharing the experience with other people and can manipulate and interact with the environment.

So imagine my nerdy delight when I discovered The Guild, brainchild of the talented and lovely Felicia Day, who is probably best known for her appearances in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Monk and Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. It was the recent release of a music video for The Guild — called Do You Wanna Date My Avatar? — that put me onto the show:

The Guild – Do You Wanna Date My Avatar

The video was directed by Joss Whedon — creator of Buffy, Dr Horrible, Angel, Dollhouse and the brilliant Firefly, and also a well known humanist. If you’re a gamer, particularly if you’re into MMORPGs of any kind and with a group of friends (group, guild, clan — whatever you call it), then I’m sure you’ll get as much of a kick out of it as I do.

The Guild is a web show about a MMORPG guild, who call themselves The Knights of the Good, who don’t know each other in real life but play together online regularly (just like your average gaming guild). It focuses upon Felicia’s character and her online and eventually real life interactions with her fellow “guildies.” It’s brilliant, it’s clever, and it deserves every acclaim that it has been receiving.

The Guild - Season 1The Guild - Season 2It has just started showing its 3rd season and is available to view online via Xbox LIVE Marketplace, as are the previous seasons — or you can even buy them on DVD.

I expect that Season 3 will eventually be viewable online as for the previous seasons, and presumably available for purchase as a DVD. Lastly, those in the US can watch them all here.

But in the meantime, enjoy…

Categories: games Tags: , ,