Google Earth

I heard about Google Earth when it first came out, but I only recently downloaded it and tried it out. Wow. It's worth a download just to play with it. It could be pretty useful, too. It is to maps.google.com as Photoshop is to MS Paint. And keep in mind that I really like maps.google.com. Google Earth lets you fly around, tilt the map, get much higher detail (you can see my house), and overlay dozens of types of meta data. And you can get customizations for it.

Civil religion

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.
Church with giant flag hanging in front of it

Architecture is the body language of the church - Real Live Preacher. I found this on Kristin's Blog and it comes from Real Live Preacher, a Salon.com blog that Matt has talked about before. He brings up some interesting questions in his brief post, but I mostly thought the image was really striking, so I thought I would post it.

Pictures of Isaac

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.

Isaac
Tim has posted some pictures of handsome young Isaac in his gallery.

Basic human rights

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.

I was mowing my yard a couple of days ago and I got to thinking about two conversations. One was with my mom just this week and one was with the late Dennis McCullough over a year ago. Dennis was a conservative who had a long career as an educator. Once I asked him what he thought about education being socialized. Did he think the free market could produce better schools for less money? He said that if all schools were private schools, then they would only want to accept the bright students, the ones who would boost their stats, and of course, the ones who could pay. He said that the disadvantaged kids would get left out in the cold because they schools wouldn't have to take them (as they do now). That simple fact was enough to make him go against the general conservative tendency toward free enterprise and support the government control and funding of education. I think what he was saying was that education is a basic human right for a civilized country and it shouldn't be denied to people based on economic factors.

As I pushed my lawnmower around my yard I was also thinking about the conversation that Mom and I had this week. She's a nurse manager for a dialysis clinic. We were talking about the exorbitant prices that drug companies charge for medicines, and the general overcharging that goes on in the medical field. So much of it goes to insurance companies in the form of malpractice insurance and health insurance. Mom said that she thinks the way things are are almost immoral. I that what she was saying is that health care is a basic human right for a civilized country and it shouldn't be denied to people based on economic factors. As I cut the grass I finally connected these two conversations and I asked the question: Which is a more basic human right, education or health care? I think it has to be health care. If that's true, then why does our country guarantee education to every citizen, but not health care? And why are we one of the very few developed countries in the world where health care is not guaranteed?

For more information on this, check out the Wikipedia article Publicly Funded Medicine.

Gizmo

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.

I know I've recommended Skype in the past, but there's a new kid on the block and it's very nice. Gizmo is a free voice chat program like Skype. It has free voice-mail, built-in call recording and conference calls of unlimited size. These features set it apart from Skype and make it a good choice for recording podcasts. It doesn't have text chat, which is a nice feature of Skype, but since it's an open project, this and other features can be added by the community of developers. We used Gizmo to record some tonight and the quality is about the same as Skype, which is good. Download it and try it out. My id is personman and Brendan's is brendoman.

Isaac Matthew Hudson

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.

I'd like to congratulate two of my very good friends, Tim and Angie. Yesterday at 1:45 pm they had a son. Isaac Matthew Hudson. He was 7 pounds and some-odd ounces. Sorry, ladies, I don't remember the other stats. He says he'll post some pictures soon. Congrats, guys!

Enter iTunes contest without buying anything

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.

smash's world 6.8g: How to play the iTunes 500-millionth Song Competition without actually Buying anything

They're giving away several iPod Minis. Follow these instructions to enter without buying anything:
1. Go into the iTunes Music Store.
2. Click on any Album or Song or whatever.
3. Click on 'Tell a Friend' at the top.
4. Send the message to 'itunes500@apple.com'. (just leave a blank message)
5. And you're all set.

(via Digg.com)

Regular showers may cause brain damage

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.

Regular showers may be health risk - Insert your own joke here.

(via Digg.com)

Help me pick a template to evoskinize

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.

I'm just about finished turning a website template called Uneven (from Open Source Web Design) into a b2evolution skin. I've been browsing the site looking for other templates that could make good blog skins. So far these two have caught my eye:

Plain 1.0

KDE Clean

Take a look and let me know which one you like better. Or maybe you can look through the other designs and find something better.

CNN is podcasting

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.

CNN.com - Podcasting

CNN has some podcast feeds now. Subscribe in your favorite podcatching client (mine's iTunes 4.9) and get audio news updates delivered to your desktop.

(via digg.com)

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