Category Archives: technology

Almost Fooled by Spam

Last night as I was scanning my inbox for new email, I came across a message from my dear friend “Mailer Pharramacy.” Since I hadn’t heard from her in a long time, I immediately opened it to see what she has been doing for the past few months. But when I read through the email, I was a little confused…

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Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents

A recent issue of PC Magazine noted that the organization Reporters Without Borders has released a “Handbook for bloggers and cyber-dissidents.” The free handbook is intended to help those who want to get a message out, but face persecution if caught divulging unflattering information

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Festival of Faith and Writing

Calvin College was a great school back in the late 1980s when I attended it, but it seems to have even more going for it now. Each year Ken Heffner and the Student Activities Office put together an extraordinary lineup of concerts, and the January Series is widely considered one of the best college lecture series in the country.



Technology has not been my friend this summer. In fact, it’s been downright nasty. All these little gadgets I own have been breaking, leaving me with the strong desire to ditch them all and set up camp in a cabin somewhere in the mountains of Montana…


Hacking Google Maps

Ever since Google released their Maps site, people have been creating “mashups,” overlaying all sorts of data on the U.S. map or parts of it. Last month CNN ran a story about these Google Maps tinkerers, and the weblog “Google Maps Mania” announces new mashups as they appear on the web. The best of the new sites tap into the flexibility and power of Google Maps to allow visitors to click and drag around an area and zoom in and out of any location. Here are a few of my favorites…


Learning PHP the Fun Way

A friend of D. Keith Robinson made up a MadLib for Keith’s birthday the other day and asked him to post it on his website and start a “meme.” It looked fun to me, but all of the fill-in-the-blanks were embedded right in the story, so it was missing that element of goofy surprise that I remember about the MadLibs I did as a kid…


Changes in Site

The time seemed right to change the site, so that is what I am doing…

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Making the Switch: iMac First Impressions

So I finally bit the bullet, took the plunge, made the switch from the dingy Windows of old to a bright new OSX future. Well, I’m not getting rid of my Windows PCs altogether, but last week I plunked down a fair bit of change and purchased an iMac G5, the new one with the gorgeous 20-inch monitor. Now it’s sitting pretty on the desk in my study, having replaced the behemoth PC with its Scylla-like cables and painfully loud fan…


Start a Blog

A couple people have recently asked me about how I got my weblog started, what software I use, how much it costs, and what I would recommend for them. Here is my reply to one of them. If anyone else out there has a favorite blog platform, maybe one that I’m failing to mention, let us know about it in a comment. Or, if you want to take me to task for a shortsighted or misguided opinion, feel free to do so. You won’t hurt my feelings…


English Rules Snubbed at the Bloggies

In what is widely considered a stunning fulfillment of expectations, the English Rules blog–along with its companion sites Photography, Word of the Day, and Writing Guide–did not win any of 2005’s prestigious Bloggies(tm). In fact, the collection of blogs at was not even *nominated* for an award.
Early this morning, site owner and editor Karl Swedberg released a prepared statement to the press, denying any hard feelings…

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