Monday, November 27, 2006

A complete waste of time.

I once heard someone say that the way in which I'm doing character animation was "a complete waste of time." Ah, so it seems. An hour or so last night (under extreme grogginess due to 8 hours driving that day) and all I got was this. It was really hard to construct a coffee cup and almost as hard to position my characters (on the fly at least).

Monday, November 20, 2006

HTML tip on stopping word wrap around an image.

Consider this line of text in this image. Isn't it nice?
What if I suddenly wanted to stop talking about it and move on to a different topic? Wouldn't it be nice if I were able to do this efficiently with some HTML or CSS?

Well, I went searching high and low on how to make this happen in blogger. The best instructions came from 15 Alignment, font styles, and horizontal rules at W3C's HTML 4.01 Specification.Their advice is:

<STYLE type="text/css">
BR#mybr { clear: left }
********* -------
| | -------
| table | --<BR id="mybr">

| |

So in blogger, you would at the STYLE code to the Template of your blog, then insert the special br code when you want to make your break.

Kudo's to W3C. I spent some time googling up a solution and found a lot of false leads that didn't work with blogger or were insufficiently explained. Hence this post.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Animated GIF to advertise M.I.M.E. Man

Oh dang! Blogger doesn't allow animated GIFs. what a bummer.

Murtha vs. Hoyer: the Right abandons the unborn again

I noted with some irony how much interest the right wingers on talk radio were taking in the election for Democratic Majority leader in the House of Representatives. I noted how much airtime Sean Hannity was devoting to an attack on Murtha. Murtha has been an outspoken critic of the Iraq War. That got me wondering.

I looked at the voting ratings provided by "Project Vote Smart-- NARAL Pro-Choice America". If NARAL likes a politician's voting record, that means they are pro-choice on abortion; if he or she gets a low rating, it means they are pro-life. (I googled up some voting records from pro-life organizations but my search wasn't as fruitful as that for a pro-choice one, in case you're wondering.

Anyway, here's NARAL's voting records for the two candidates vying for House Majority Leader.

PA U.S. House District 12 John P.'Jack' Murtha Democrat 0
MD U.S. House District 5 Steny H. Hoyer Democrat 100

So, given a choice between a purely pro-life Democrat who opposed the war and a purely pro-choice one who hasn't been as vocal, the Right goes full bore in endorsing the baby killer who's softer on the Iraq War.

I hold that there is a positive and godly ideal in the pro-life position. I hold that what pundits call "conservative" these days is foreign to, if not a cynical opponent of, these godly ideals.

The problem with the Christian Church today.

G.K. Chesterton wrote the book Orthodoxy, a defense of an orthodox position within biblical Christianity.
"The ancient masters of religion ... began with the fact of sin—a fact as practical as potatoes. Whether or no man could be washed in miraculous waters, there was no doubt at any rate that he wanted washing. But certain religious leaders in London, not mere materialists, have begun in our day not to deny the highly disputable water, but to deny the indisputable dirt. Certain new theologians dispute original sin, which is the only part of Christian theology which can really be proved.

Today society is witnessing a major struggle over religion, a struggle between the Religious Right on one side and on the other nontheists wearing their hearts on their sleeves. The nontheists see evil and sin and ugliness and inhumanity and their heart breaks, and then they turn around and makeh a nonsensical claim that the doctrine of Original Sin is nonsense. The Religious Right in turn witnesses the same things-- and it yawns. The Religious Right speculates as to what kinds of evils could motivate the complainers to complain (Do they hate God, hate Bush, hate authority, hate civilization, hate self?). Then it tells everyone that they need some bizarre quantity called "forgiveness of sins." WTH?

Both of these fools deny the one doctrine of the Christian faith, as Chesterton put it, which can be scientifically proven.

Here is some evidence. The campus police at UCLA brutalize a guy in a library, and then threaten with taser bites those who asked him for his badge number. This is the over the top part of the conflict. Maybe there is some scenario where you might say that the first trouble maker asked for it (I don't hold that), but the cop who threatens the person asking for the badge has crossed a line.

I first heard of this through a BoingBoing posting, and then here it is in a news report from a campus newspaper.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Thinking about icons for a new comic strip

I've seen some strips invest a lot of effort in making eye candy to give away. Plus some oneline services want 117x31's or 468 x 60's.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


As published in the November 2006 issue of 3D World: The Magazine for 3D Artists.
Link to subscription info for the magazine.

I'm wearing a T-shirt design which I shared on povray.binaries.images, and published for sale at zazzle.

As this photo features a rendering I did in povray, this is in effect a publishing of my artwork!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Women's Ordination and the Doctrine of the Trinity.

I recently ran across a podcast where a conservative Lutheran claimed that a logical outcome of supporting women's ordination in the church was denial of the doctrine of the Trinity. That is, if you believed that women should be allowed to become preachers, you were inevitably going to deny God as one God in Three Persons.

I've heard this argument before from folks in the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod (LC-MS). It goes like this. Jesus only called men to his ministry. If you thumb your nose at Jesus by supporting women's ordination, you are, the argument goes, inevitably saying that you deny his being the Son of God and just an ignore-able philosopher.

Oh my. Such an inflammatory position, and an illogical case in that one could make exactly the same position that anyone who disagrees with you is denying the Trinity. Here's an example: I oppose the Iraq War because of the Sermon on the Mount. I'm saying something clearly based on Jesus' teachings. If you thumb your nose at Jesus by supporting the invasion of Iraq (2003 or 2006), then, the illogical rant goes, you are inevitably denying his being the Son of God and just an ignore-able philosopher.

Is there a less-inflammatory justification offered by LC-MS'ers for the connection of female preaching and trinity heresies? I'd like to see it.

2006: A Referendum on the Sanctity on Unborn Life

As I write this, Rick Santorum (R-PA) has just conceded defeat to Democrat Bob Casey. Meanwhile an MSNBC news headline says that pro-choice ex-Democrat Joe Lieberman is "hanging on," due to the fact that he is the favored candidate of Republican voters. Casey is pro-life. The Republican opponent of pro-choice Lieberman rightly described him as "Ted Kennedy plus support for the Iraq War."

I am someone who earnestly holds to the seamless garment position, where war and poverty and abortion and hatred of prisoner & stranger are evils to be struggled against in a seamless witness. I believe that the term seamless garment was coined by the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin in an address in 1984. I believe that this is the ethic espoused by the late pope John Paul II.

The purpose of this post is to point a finger at pro-life activists, mostly for calling yourselves "conservative" and then going along with the worst excesses of a "conservative" party, starting with the war. I got lots of campaign mail from my (okay, New York) Republican incumbent House member, and none of it mentioned abortion. Most of it, IMNSHO, was a mockery of the positions held by the late pope John Paul II. My Representative's literature encouraged racist fears of immigrants and jingoistic saber-rattling at Kim Jong Il.

If honestly pro-life people were more involved in the political process-- I'm not saying you have to leave the Republican party-- you could help bring the party back, bring it closer to the vision of JPII and likely electoral success. When you and your leaders become allies with folks like Delay and Cheney, you do the unborn a disservice. Persons of good will-- those to whom JPII's encyclicals were often addressed-- may have actually listened to either JPII or their conscience and could see what you could not. Their conciences may have led them to vote against the candidates you were supporting.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Religious Right vs. Bible-believers (a letter to Xeni)

Hey you nontheists, pagans, and believers in non-Christian religions who've been dissing bible-believing Christians, there's an article in the Nation that you've got to read!

This amazing article, "In God's Country", mind you, appears in nowhere else but the leftist rag "The Nation", underscores what I've felt all along. That the Religious Right do not represent the purest form of adhering to biblical doctrines but one possible corruption of it. I offer a few of the points that resounded with me below without further comment.

"How, Greeley and Hout ask, do pundits routinely equate biblical Christianity with right-wing politics when African-Americans, "who are in nearly every respect as religiously conservative as whites," nevertheless "vote overwhelmingly for Democrats?"
"Greeley and Hout provide strong evidence that among white conservative Protestants--a category that includes denominations such as Southern Baptists, Pentecostals and Mormons--class indeed matters a lot more than most pundits think. Between 1992 and 2000, 80 percent of the affluent members of these denominations voted for Republicans, but fewer than half of those who are poor did so."
"Selective in their populism, the theocons are equally selective in their adherence to church doctrine: Michael Novak, another First Things contributor, believes American women should be forced to accept the Vatican's teachings on abortion, but he went to Rome at the invitation of President Bush's ambassador to defend the war in Iraq, which the Pope staunchly opposed. From the death penalty to poverty, what the church says can be ignored, except when its encyclicals support the right side in the culture wars, in which case everyone must take note."

Climate Skeptics Flip-flop!

A recent post on the RealClimate blog made reference to the views of Peter Singer, a famous climate skeptic from the University of Virginia. Singer has a long history of dissing the need for action to combat environmental crises. I remember how he condemned the Nobel committee for giving a Prize to the discoverer of ozone depletion. Anyway, in one sentence from the blog, we see volumes about Singer's witness:

"... Singer's recent view that the earth is cooling has been replaced with the view that the current warming is "unstoppable.""