media

The Raspberry Pi Dramble, in Videos

The Raspberry Pi Dramble (which powers www.pidramble.com, run from my basement!) has been featured in a number of videos lately:

The Dramble was even featured on PCWorld's 2015 list of Insanely Innovative and Incredibly Cool Raspberry Pi projects!

Pope Francis is not the anti-Benedict

It seems the media has taken every opportunity to spin Pope Francis' words as being veiled criticisms of his predecessor's own words, especially when it comes to liturgical and theological topics. While it's great seeing the media show meager support at times, rather than destructive criticism for a Pope at every turn, it's misguided and not really that helpful.

All the press is saying is that what makes Catholicism Catholic (liturgy, ritual, priesthood, catechesis, etc.) is irrelevant, and we should worry more about the poor and such instead—and they're taking many translated quotes from Pope Francis out of context to support their theories. This horse has been beaten to death by many well-intentioned cafeteria Catholics throughout my lifetime, and I'm quite sick of it.

James over at the Forum has written about this a few times, and his most recent post, "Criticism" of Benedict in Rio? is spot-on:

Ever since Francis was elected, the media has been relentlessly billing him as the anti-Benedict. [...]

iPhone - A Powerful Tool for the New Evangelization

Elizabeth Westhoff, the Archdiocese of St. Louis' Director of Marketing, wrote an excellent article summarizing the many ways she and others in St. Louis are using iPhones and a shoestring budget to promote the faith through video, pictures, social media, etc.

I love this section:

The production of each of these videos is something unseen in most other archdioceses across the country and for those of us who have been involved in their production; it has been a complete labor of love with an understanding that it is yet another way of getting out the messages of Christ.

One of the most amazing things we have been able to do is to use our iPhones as recording equipment.

When one or two of us go out on these “simple” video shoots, I’m always afraid the people on the other side of the “camera” are thinking we’re not prepared, or professionals, or something else along those lines. We show up with a tripod, lights from Home Depot, a battery-operated microphone, an iPhone and nothing else. We have everything we need, really.

For Greater Glory - Movie about Cristero War

Judging by the trailers for this movie, I think it will probably be a pretty thrilling and interesting movie that handles Catholic faith and morality well. The production value looks to be a bit higher than some other recent Catholic/Christian films, and I'm excited to see some top-notch actors and actresses in the credits, including Andy Garcia, Eva Longoria and Eduardo Verástegui.

The movie will be released June 1st, 2012 (just a short time from now). Here's the trailer:

Making your current Drupal theme responsive, simply

For a few of my smaller sites (like my portfolio website, www.jeffgeerling.com), I've had a little todo item on my list for the past year or so to make the them 'more responsive'—mostly meaning "make it legible on an iPhone or comparable Android phone". Most tablets I've used render traditional 960px layouts appreciably well, including the iPad, Kindle Fire, Samsung Galaxy Tab, etc., so I want to just focus on making the websites usable on smartphones.

What we had, and what we're going for (which one seems more readable and user-friendly on a small screen?):

Life is a Prayer.com - Responsive Design (Before)    Life is a Prayer.com - Responsive Design (After)

I'll show you how I quickly (in less than half an hour) added a <meta> tag to the site's <head> tag to instruct mobile phones on the width of my site, and how I added a simple @media query to my theme's stylesheet to apply a few layout rules to make the design of the site better for mobile phones.

Life, Liberty, and Social Media

Found: An interesting article from Gladden J. Pappin on Liberty, Technology, and the Advent of Social Networking. It's a bit tl;dr, but I've read through once, and hope to sit with it a little longer sometime.

The article (and many like it) makes me think a bit about the theme of personhood on the Internet, and how our use and overuse of social media, blogging, etc. in building our own self-image is something about which we must always be cautious.

I recently watched the Star Trek TNG Episodes 'Booby Trap' and 'Galaxy's Child', and while I'm no supporter of the strange philosophies that guide Star Trek morality/ethics, I wonder if we are becoming like Geordi LaForge, who fell in love with a projected image of a person on the holodeck.

The Catholics Next Door - Appearance on The Catholic Channel

I didn't have much time today to post this earlier (I was driving home from a trip which took me through five states in six days, and had to do this on the road), but this afternoon I was on the excellent 'Catholics Next Door' radio show on the Sirius XM Catholic Channel.

I was happy to speak with Greg and Jennifer Willits about flockNote, about parish communications, and about helping Catholic organizations get connected to their flock in various ways.

Then I continued driving home from Chicago :)

I don't know if they have an online archive of their shows, but if I can find a link to the audio at some point, I'll try to provide it. I'm also not too familiar with satellite radio, since I've never subscribed (Pandora + free radio has worked for my musical tastes), so I don't know if there are any rebroadcasts or ways of listening to past shows...

About Catholic Car Wash

Catholic Car Wash is a video podcast started in 2010 by myself, Jeff Geerling, just before the start of CNMC MMX. This podcast focuses on small snippets of Catholic teaching, and typically lasts less than 3 minutes (the length of a car wash).

Toyota Camry and Catholic Car Wash

All episodes are recorded inside an active car wash, most often in my 2007 Toyota Camry. Episodes are recorded with an iPhone 4, along with (usually) an external mic (setup instructions here).

Get Social: Catholic Car Wash on Facebook | @CatholicCarWash on Twitter

Should Pope Benedict XVI Resign?

...this is a question posed by KMOX Radio's Mark Reardon, who hosted an hour of some of the most confusing arguments for the Pope's resignation I've ever heard.

His basic principle was this: Accepting the facts of the New York Times' recent article bashing the Pope, should the Pope resign, as would any other head of an organization accused with being an accessory to a crime?

Unfortunately for Mark, most Catholics do not (and likely will not ever) accept the Times as a credible source of information when it comes to Catholic-bashing. There have been numerous posts on the problems in the NYT piece (some are linked to at the bottom of this post), but Mark would not for a moment entertain these problems, or any other arguments against the basis of his question.

Post Disgrace - Death of Anonymity

Petty and infantile, that's how I'd sum up the handling of a recent situation on the stltoday.com website (the website for the St. Louis Post Dispatch).

Kurt Greenbaum, after getting an anonymous commenter to resign his job [Ars Technica] when he looked up the commenter's IP address and ratted out the commenter to the school for which he worked, posted a little self-congratulatory post on the Post's website, as well as his personal blog.

Excerpt from the post:

I heard from the school’s headmaster. The school’s IT director took a shine to the challenge. Long story short: Using the time-frame of the comments, our website location and the IP addresses in the WordPress e-mail, he tracked it back to a specific computer. The headmaster confronted the employee, who resigned on the spot.

I'm not sure if Kurt understands the concept of anonymous posting and spam comments... on this little thing called the 'Internet,' people spam blogs and such with annoying, crass, rude, insensitive, and pointless drivel almost constantly. Even if you require people to be registered users / subscribers, you will get spam. You learn to deal with it. I could care less about the identity of anonymous commenters—and they should know they can always be tracked, to a certain extent—but the idea of selectively calling out certain commenters detracts from the idea of an 'open forum.' I've seen much more insulting and crass comments on the Post's website, so I don't know what got Mr. Greenbaum's feathers in such a kerfuffle.

You'd think the Post, a sanctuary for Catholic-bashing comments and radical vulgarity (in my experience), would either grin and bear the vulgar comment left by an anonymous commenter on the earlier post, or at most delete the comment and move on. Such should be the policy of a large news organization that leaves all their postings open to droves of anonymous commenters (a bad idea anyways, in my book).

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