Monthly Archives: June 2012

A Post for All the Bloggers on Bluehost

Note: I made some of the explanations clearer and images more contextual, and the images now load via fancybox instead of a new window. Now change that favicon!

You know that little picture next to your web address in the URL locator? That’s a favicon, and it shows up in important places like right next to the name of your site when someone bookmarks it. Here’s how my favicon looks in Chrome’s bookmarks list:

jaydinitto.com favicon

If you host your account with Bluehost like I do, you’ll get their default favicon when you first set everything up, and it stays that way unless you change it:

Bluehost's favicon

Not bad looking, but it’s hardly personalized, especially when dozens of other bloggers and websites have it. And it’s another small but important piece you can burn your brand onto.

Below is a beginner’s step-by-step guide on how to change your favicon image. Those of you no on Bluehost can follow this as well, and this is all assuming you do not FTP to file manage on your Bluehost server, or don’t know much about Photoshop or hosting in general.

  1. Assuming you don’t have your own favicon yet, you can get a favicon generated at a site like this or this or just Google it. If you have some sort of logo or photo it helps, or you can kind of doodle your own if you think you have some artistic ability. It has to have square dimensions and some there are some color limitations. It can be animated too, but please don’t get too annoying with things like that.
  2. Log into your Bluehost control panel here. [screenshot]
  3. Under the “Files” section (by default it’s halfway down the page) on the right hand side, click “File Manager”. [screenshot]
  4. You’ll get an interstitial about choosing the directory. Just hit “Go”. [screenshot]
  5. The file manager will load with the public root directory (folder) for your site. That means that you’re basically going to see the files and folders contained inside the trailing slash at http://www.yourdumbdomainname.com/. This is where your favicon.ico file is held (it applies to the entire site). You don’t need to do anything with that file. [screenshot]
  6. At the top navigation of the file manager, hit “Upload”. [screenshot]
  7. Upload that fabulous new favicon by hitting “Choose File” [screenshot]. If you didn’t delete Bluehost’s default icon (there’s no need to, really), you’ll get this popup. [screenshot]. Overwriting it won’t kill anyone, so don’t be scared—it’s why you’re doing this in the first place. Note: the favicon must be named “favicon.ico” or browsers will not recognize it. If you use a generator to make one it will be named that way automatically so you probably don’t need to fret over it.
  8. It might take some time for the new favicon to show up on your browser. You can force it to show the new one by doing this.
  9. Grab a cup of coffee because you look great.
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Rollicking Good Times with the Kalām Cosmological Argument

If only it were this easy.

Most of us have heard of the various “God started the universe” arguments but haven’t known what exactly the formal name of it was. Well, they are generally called cosmological arguments, which isn’t too obscure, but the specific one apologists invoke unknowingly is the Kalām Cosmological argument. I never knew the name until I landed on that Stanford page through an uncountable string of link-clicking. Sometimes this link-travelling can land you in the weird part of Youtube, but the gods shewed favor upon me this one time.

The bare bones of the argument, shamelessly lifted from Wikipedia:
1. Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence;
2. The universe has a beginning of its existence;
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence.

I’m not going expound on it too much about all of this—you can just hit that Stanford link for a good round up. But be sure to read up on the refutations of it. The first link there on the search, the post author posits the idea of a “yniverse”, which gives birth to our own universe, God unneeded. Well, that was easy.

There’s some good back and forth in the comments section, but supposing this yniverse exists, it says nothing about the God creating the universe, or even that God exists; you’ve only succeeded in pushing the question back another universe-unit. It only works as a non-theistic explanation if you are already presupposing atheism. The same goes for the Kalām argument itself, but that one seems to receive the brunt of the circular fallacy accusations.

In a related incident, Jill had posted a quote from Michael Shermer on her facebook:

Even if God is hypothesized as the creator of the laws of nature that caused the universe (or multiverse) to pop into existence out of nothing—if such laws are deterministic—then God had no choice in the creation of the universe and thus was not needed.

Eh? All Shermer did was switcheroo the property of determinism from God to the universe. God is not immutable, the universe is. Therefore, God is not really a god but a lesser being of undisclosed origin subject to the superiority of physical laws. The universe’s laws are deterministic because God, if He exists, is not. Theism isn’t true because atheism is.

But really, this illustrates the subtle philosophical dodging that atheists can do: that the universe/yniverse model, sans God, accepts certain properties of God, like perhaps His infinity or His creative capacities, and attributes them to the an x-verse. You have some the properties of God that you have to accept and applies them to the universe—no outlying messy beliefs of the supernatural to deal with. It’s the perfect crime.

It goes back to what I mentioned before about atheism needing to find divine qualities somewhere. If you’re of the scientism bent you’ll find it in the universe. Or if you’re the humanist type you will find it in the spirit of man; the political type, the state. The need for the supernatural seems inescapable.

Closing thought on a semantic issue: though some skeptics rightly state if you’re an atheist there was no “science” at the beginning of the universe, because science as a process needs rational actors to sensually perceive and apply inductive logic, the two building blocks of the process. If you’re a theist (and not a pantheist) you can easily say, in a rather crude manner, that science did exist and even was used to create the universe if presuppose God a sensually perceiving and logicizing agent.

Photo of the Flammarion woodcut ripped from a post on the Commonsense Atheism site, the author of which may or may not have ripped it from somewhere else.

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These Coffeepots Are Over 100 Years Old

My mother in law recently gave us two coffee pots, made by the WearEver company. They began around the turn of the century in the rust belt (Ohio, western Pennsylvania) and are still around in some form today. I imagine that these were some of the first things they produced.

The company was closely related to Alcoa, which had one of the first huge aluminum plants in the city I live in now, New Kensington.

Notice there’s only five parts to each pot. No wires or hinges subject to degrade or complicated design to wear down over time, and no filters needed, either. Just aluminum and a little plastic. The only major drawback compared to electric ones was the need for a stove (or fire).

You can’t see in this last photo because of the camera quality and my inability to use one, but there was a stamp on the bottom with the company logo and patent numbers.

It makes you wonder what other types of old yet usable things are floating around in people’s houses that escape notice.

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