March 5, 2011 § Leave a Comment
In 2007, I wrote to Amazing Facts, whose programs I watch and find interesting, to ask if they could start broadcasting them in MP4 format, so viewers could subscribe to them in iTunes and download them onto their iPods (iPhones and iPads weren’t around yet).
At the time, they were broadcasting on Windows Media Server technology, which meant they were streaming-only, and their website video content could only be viewed from a computer with an internet connection.
They wrote back to me, telling me they might consider my suggestion, but they had already invested in the technology they were using and they’d continue to use it for the time being.
In 2009, they switched over to the MP4 format for their website video library, which meant that all their video content would now be downloadable (not just streamable), and also playable on devices like iPods, iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs. I was glad to see that change.
Earlier this year, I was browsing the iTunes Podcast Library from my Apple TV, and found their podcasts listed there. I gladly subscribed, and now I watch them fairly regularly, right on my TV.
In case you’d like to do the same, here are a few links to their podcasts and feeds:
To subscribe to one of their podcasts in iTunes, you could search for it on the iTunes Store, or you could copy the URL of the podcast from their RSS Feeds page and paste into iTunes by going to the iTunes Menu >> Advanced >> Subscribe to Podcast, as shown in the screenshot below.
I also have a couple of suggestions for the Amazing Facts Web Team:
- Please be sure to preserve all old links or forward them properly. When you switched over from Windows Media to MP4, you didn’t forward the traffic from the old videos to their new MP4 equivalents. Links to your old programs, like this one for example, no longer work. There are ways to do automatic 301 redirects through code, so that you don’t lose existing traffic and also tell search engines about the change.
- You may want to think about the oEmbed protocol as a way of allowing people to embed your video content on their blogs or other websites. I wrote to you in 2009 to let you know your embed code was unnecessarily complicated and long, and I see that you haven’t yet addressed that issue. I still cannot properly embed your videos on my WordPress blog. oEmbed would be a perfect solution, as I would only need to copy and paste the direct link to your video page, and it would automatically show up on my website. Alternatively, you may want to think about uploading your video library to YouTube (which now allows videos longer than 10 minutes). YouTube already supports oEmbed for WordPress and other site platforms.
July 16, 2009 § 5 Comments
In a new encyclical, entitled “Caritas in Veritate”, or “Love in Truth”, Pope Benedict XVI calls for the formation of a “true world political authority”, which would enforce global economic, environmental and immigration policies in order to construct a new world order that “conforms to the [Catholic] moral order”. He’s wrong to do that, on many levels, as explained in more detail here.
Most of the encyclical sounds nice, and most Christians would agree with at least some of the things he’s saying, except I, along with others, believe he has no God-given authority to call for such an order — in spite of the assumed authority that Catholic popes have granted themselves historically. The Pope calls himself Christ’s representative on earth. If so, he would do well do remember Christ’s words (quoting from source):
“Jesus Christ, whom the Pope claims to represent here on earth, very clearly said that [His] “kingdom was not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight . . . but my kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36). A political body “vested” with “power” to ensure “security” and “compliance,” as the Pope recommends, will obviously have to use a police or military force. What qualifies the Pope to make recommendations or suggest policies for the creation of such an entity?”
Furthermore, “some may argue that the Pope is not suggesting he or his church be in charge of such an authority, but rather proposing that some other body take these steps to stabilize our world economy. And yet this cannot be the full argument. The letter makes clear that the policies carried out by the entity would be to construct a “social order” that “conforms to the moral order.” The Pope’s choice of words is telling. He does not say “some moral order,” or “a moral order,” but “the moral order.” He clearly has a certain moral order in mind. Could this be any other moral order than the one articulated and taught by the Catholic Church?”
Second, we must always remember the Dark Ages, the Inquisition, and all of the countless millions killed at the hands of that putrid religious zealotry. All of that was done in the name of the Pope and allegedly in the name of God, and the reason they could do it was the Catholic church’s control of Europe’s various governments. We cannot ever let history repeat itself like that.
Third, most may have easily forgotten or not even been aware of the Catholic church’s recent efforts to reinstate the Sunday Law, under the guise of a “national day of rest”. If that were to happen, it would be a form of religious persecution, where those who choose to worship on another day, like, for example, on Saturday, which is the true Biblical Sabbath, would slowly but surely be ostracized and persecuted for their disobedience of the legal day of rest, namely Sunday. If the church got its hands on a world government, you can only begin to imagine the measures of persecution that would be introduced, one after the other, in the name of the new “moral order”.
We must continually strive to dissuade any church or group of churches from attempting to control or influence world governments. World governments should be “worldly”, guided by a set of generally accepted moral rules and left to themselves, not controlled by a church. The churches would do well to remember their kingdom is in heaven and is to be ruled solely by God, not by fallible human beings. If they’re dissatisfied with the current state of affairs in this passing world, they’d better get on their knees and pray for the faster return of Christ, not try to build empires of their own.
May 23, 2009 § 1 Comment
US News published an article entitled “10 Healthy Habits That Will Help You Live to 100“, authored by Deborah Kotz. I’ll list the 10 habits below, but I encourage you to read the entire article, it’s very good.
- Don’t retire
- Floss daily
- Be physically active
- Eat a fiber-rich breakfast
- Get at least 6 hours of sleep per night
- Consume whole foods, not supplements
- Be less neurotic
- Live like a Seventh-day Adventist
- Be a creature of habit
- Stay connected
Did you catch #8?
“Americans who define themselves as Seventh Day Adventists have an average life expectancy of 89, about a decade longer than the average American. One of the basic tenets of the religion is that it’s important to cherish the body that’s on loan from God, which means no smoking, alcohol abuse, or overindulging in sweets. Followers typically stick to a vegetarian diet based on fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts, and get plenty of exercise. They’re also very focused on family and community.”
Seventh-day Adventists were also featured in the National Geographic Magazine for the very same reason in November of 2005, when researchers studied three different groups of people from around the world (Okinawa, Japan, Sardinia, Italy and Loma Linda, CA, USA) to discover why they lived so long. There are a large number of Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda. That same NGM study was then picked up by CNN and shown on the Anderson Cooper 360 show.
April 19, 2006 § Leave a Comment
I’ve just taken care of the last bugs, and the site is fully functional. Tested it in IE, Firefox, Safari and Camino, works fine. Please be sure to contact me if you encounter a glitch. Thanks!
Now I can get back to the regular posts! :-)
April 19, 2006 § Leave a Comment
Just finished straightening out the biggest culprits in the code. Site looks better now, still some small problems, will iron those out in the next few days.
I had to create a brand new template for WordPress, since I just couldn’t fix the problems in the previous one. That meant new graphics, new CSS (adapted from existing templates) and integration into site pages. Not a lot of fun when I’m in a time crunch because the site is broken.
On the one hand, I really, really don’t enjoy straight 12-hour workdays to fix some pesky code when I’m supposed to be on vacation… I’ve literally been sitting at my desk since this morning, taking short breaks to eat and the like. On the other hand, now Dignoscentia looks great!
Such is life sometimes…
April 18, 2006 § Leave a Comment
I’m sorting out the CSS, and it’s taking a while…
April 18, 2006 § Leave a Comment
Unfortunately, I discovered late last night that the pages in WordPress don’t render correctly in Internet Explorer, so I’m currently working on a fix for that. There are slight display problems in Firefox as well, barely noticeable, but there. This has to do with the site’s template and CSS files.
I hope to have a fix for the problem today.
November 17, 2005 § Leave a Comment
Great news! Just discovered the iTunes Music Store has added my Bible Podcasts. Ligia and I are recording them simultaneously in both English and Romanian. I submitted them about 1 1/2 weeks ago. Went frantic this evening making sure my RSS files are spiffed up and work with multiple readers. Click here to access my Podcasts section at Dignoscentia.com. I’m also using FeedBurner to publish the feeds. You can access the pages for the English and Romanian podcasts by clicking on each language.