A rainbow and a waterspout

Ther have been a couple of very cool photos over on the Yahoo! News web site:

A ray of light hits the Castel dell’Ovo Castle while the end of a rainbow reaches the horizon after a heavy storm hit Naples, southern Italy, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2003. In the background is the beginning slope of Mt. Vesuvius. ( AP Photo/Fabio Sardella )

The Royal Navy type 42 destroyer HMS York, right, is dwarfed by a giant waterspout as she ploughs through the Mediterranean Sea, Monday Jan. 27. 2003, in this photo made from the destroyer HMS Edinburgh which was about four miles away Tuesday Jan. 28, 2003. Lt. Commander Simon Bedding, the Weapons Engineering Officer from HMS Edinburgh who took the picture, said: It was very dramatic. The skies darkened and we had a terrific hailstorm, with thunder and lightning. A first tornado was followed by threemore tornados, drawing up humidity and showing themselves as white waterspouts. (AP Photo/Simon Bedding/Royal Navy. ho)

Amazon Reviewer Shenanigans

The reviews by one Arbit Adams on Amazon are hilarious. He spits up on himself when using the Epson 820S Photo Inkjet Printer, but points out that bib is Yiddish for printer. After mentioning an auto accident that puts out his eye and puts him in a coma, he concludeds his review of the eMac with “Anybody who is looking to get rid of their helper monkey should definitely look into getting an eMac.” Maybe the comment from his TiVi review explains the confusion.

One precaution: I wear a tin foil skullcap when programming my TiVo. I highly recommend this because it receives brainwaves on certain frequencies that may or may not be accessible to monitors from other galaxies.

Various things

Since I’ve been effectively blog-stipated for a bit, I figured I’d dump all the weird links I’ve been reading lately.

  • This Flash movie of the growth of the US is pretty cool to watch. I learned quite a few things!
  • James Montgomery Boice wrote an essay called WANTED: Thinking Christians that makes some good points about the dumbing down of society due to TV:

    I am convinced the great problem in America today is that people are not thinking. It’s a cultural phenomenon that has spilled over into the church.
    But if churches have absorbed the entertainment mentality, if they have themselves lost the ability to think, they will offer seekers nothing more than what they have already.

  • It’s rare that I run across random comments on the space program, but a recent blog entry by Asa called “Manned Mission to Mars: 10 Years Away?” has tons of links and is a great summary of recent accomplishments.
  • And with recent events, I read through some thought-provoking essays. Robert Kagan wrote Power and Weakness in June, a long and rambling but somewhat pointed comparison of Europe and American roles having reversed because of the shift in power.

    Europe’s rejection of power politics, its devaluing of military force as a tool of international relations, have depended on the presence of American military forces on European soil. Europe’s new Kantian order could flourish only under the umbrella of American power exercised according to the rules of the old Hobbesian order. American power made it possible for Europeans to believe that power was no longer important.

  • An editorial in the NY Review of Books called Anti-Europeanism in America looks at American opinions of Europe.

    If anti-American Europeans see “the Americans” as bullying cowboys, anti-European Americans see “the Europeans” as limp-wristed pansies. The American is a virile, heterosexual male; the European is female, impotent, or castrated. Militarily, Europeans can’t get it up. (After all, they have fewer than twenty “heavy lift” transport planes, compared with the United States’ more than two hundred.)

  • A paper by the American Enterprise Institute entitled Myth IV: America Couldn’t Care Less What the Rest of the World Thinks does a fairly decent job of discussing the fact that Britain still holds sway over American policy and that America does care about their opinion, at least.

UPDATE: The Thinking Christians URL moved.

Sock errors, not the washing machine kind

The server change over atDixieSys was a bit more painful than I expected. A problem with mysql.sock cropped up, and took a couple days to be resolved. I wasn’t real happy about that, but my general experiencece with these guys has been very positive, otherwise.

Transferring email on the IMAP server was painful, too. I ended up just using Mozilla Mail to copy the messages from the old server to the new. The problem that reared up then is that SquirrelMail shows the date of the copy, instead of the original date of the email. I’m not sure if that’s a bug, or just the way IMAP works. I just sighed and let it go, since it sorts them by the correct date.

Qmail problems with squirrelmail

Periapsis.org is hosted by DixieSys (which has great deals for web-hosting, by the way), but something they changed with their server configuration broke my installation of SquirrelMail, that I use when I’m not at home. The specific error came when attempting to send email to certain domains. Evidently, it’s an error message from qmail:

553 sorry, that domain isn’t in my list of allowed rcpthosts

Evidently, the root cause of the error is that by default, SquirrelMail doesn’t use SMTP Authentication. So turn it on in the config.php file, as detailed in this DixieHelp post. And that fixed all my problems.