China Earthquake, 2008

23202568 I have been looking at some of the most incredible scenes of the earthquake that recently struck China.  I find the destruction incredulous, hard to believe, and the loss of life is mind numbing.

My friend Jeff is in Chengdu with an team people, one of the areas hardest hit my the quake. His wife said in an email:

“Jeff called this morning from Chengdu. His team had gone back into the city for the night. He said he was most worried last night, as they were sleeping in a 7- story building in Chengdu. He said he feels better outside under the sky!! He sounded exhausted and said he was beat. They were going back up to the quake zone this morning, Monday morning. His team is registered with the Red Cross and he said they are mostly treating minor injuries and giving tetanus shots. The majorly injured people have made it to refugee camps where medical help is available there. Jeff said all the buildings are gone up there. It is reduced to rubble everywhere!!”

Keep these workers in mind in your prayers and meditations.

sc2 For all the hurt and pain and anguish, certain scenes stirred me to my soul as I watched.  One clip shows the spontaneous outbreak of joy and happiness as rescue workers pull a survivor from the wreckage (go to link).

If you haven’t seen the pictures and such, both the BBC and the New York Times has some great stuff on their web sites.

The BBC has clips, and the New York Times has photo galleries.

Image Credits: Screen captures from clips found at

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What’s Going On?

boxers-wp-b Blogger Wars

Some of you (few) who read this blog probably have not noticed that I actually have two blogs with the same material, one on Blogger and the other on WordPress.  The question is, of course, why have two blogs with the same material when you can hardly keep up with one?

Quite simply, I want to see which of the two blog sites I prefer.  I will eventually keep one site, but this is an anecdotal type of an experiment to see if I have a preference, and why.

I have seen person after person rant and rave about the flexibility and usability of WordPress blogs, but I have also avoided the temptation to rush over and join the ranks, as it were.

Hence the experiment.

So, any thoughts yet? Well, yes, kind of. I can’t speak to the so-called flexibility of WordPress, mainly because I use the free one on the website. The server edition seems to be more flexible with a lot more bells and whistles.

Which means right now I find my Blogger blog a bit more flexible, with additional features that can be added to the blog, which you may have noticed.

The main reason is that you can add Java scripts to Blogger, and not to WordPress. For WordPress, most of this is because of security issues to which Java can be vulnerable.

Since I use Windows Live Writer to write my posts and to upload them to my blog (can anything good come out of Galilee?), the issue of who has a better apparatus for composing a post is somewhat moot.  But, I feel that WordPress is a bit more rigorous and unforgiving when it comes to writing and editing a post.  I’ve spent way more time on the learning curve trying to find ways to edit and change my blog with WordPress than I have with Blogger.

I think it is easier to upload photos and such to Blogger, but with Live Writer, as I mentioned earlier, it is somewhat immaterial.

So, for now I can’t come up with any salient reason to prefer one (blogger) over another (WordPress), so I’ll keep the course I’m following now.

Amazon Books

Something else that I’ve been thinking about lately is the practice of linking a book to Amazon in a post.  I’ve come to the decision that, although I use Amazon from time to time to purchase books, I will not longer send them business through a link in a post. I really don’t benefit from it in any tangible way, and I don’t mean money issues.

There seems to be an implicit approval that accompanies a link to Amazon that I realize that I may not be ready to give. There are a few business practices that I don’t really think are all the beneficial for the customer, but not necessarily immoral or unethical. If anyone is really interested in what I am talking about, I’ll address it in a future post.

So, for now I will try to link up to an appropriate page on Google books. It can be frustrating trying to track down a page for a book on Google books. Often a page will not be displayed, mainly because it will keep you from reading the entire book on line.

But for now, I am going to try to link books this way. If you want to buy it from Amazon, that’s your business. But there are other places to buy a book.


Something else I’ve been thinking about is the use of images. For a while I’ve “borrowed” images from online sites and used them as a frontispiece for my post as an introduction.

I realize that this isn’t the most ethical thing to do, so even if I download an image for this purpose, I’ve decided that I will give an image credit on any images I use on my blog(s) from now on. I’ve decided that linking to the image isn’t always the best way to go, because these images have a way of disappearing into cyberspace.

So, this is what is going on. Really boring stuff, but some things I’ve wanted to get off my chest, so to speak.

Image credit: original image at