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Setting up Faceted Apache Solr search in Drupal 8

Note: Extra special thanks to Doug Vann for providing motivation to finally post this blog post!

Early in 2016, when the Search API and Solr-related modules for Drupal 8 were in early alpha status, I wrote the blog post Set up a faceted Apache Solr search page on Drupal 8 with Search API Solr and Facets.

A few of the best books I've read in a long time [Rinzler's Making of Star Wars]

I recently noticed the video below on the official Star Wars YouTube channel, and I immediately popped over to Amazon.com to put The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi into my wish list (it's set for release on October 1, 2013!).

I've read both of J.W. Rinzler's other existing Making of Star Wars books (Episode IV, Episode V), and I thoroughly enjoyed both of them (read my review of The Making of The Empire Strikes Back here). I can't imagine Episode VI's book being any worse!

Great video on Altar Servers

Through Facebook, I discovered this great video on one young man's experience as an altar server:

I definitely agree that the altar server can distract from the liturgy if he is not focused on his duty, and that priests should encourage the use of cassocks and surplices instead of albs. A large reason for my joining the Seminary was my experience as an altar server, assisting some very humble priests who were great representatives of the Church and very close to Jesus—and this was reinforced by how reverent and dedicated they were to the celebration of Holy Mass.

Review: iPhone 5 and External Microphone Comparison

iPhone 5 Safari

As I have done for my past three iPhones, I've put together a video that shows how well the iPhone 5 works with various wired and wireless microphones. You can watch the video below, and you can read through my comprehensive day-one review of the iPhone 5 in the Reviews section.

Under the video below, I've listed all the microphones and adapters I used in the video, with links to Amazon for each. (See my full article on iPhone and iPad microphones and audio inputs here).

Microphones and adapters used in this video:

Pushing the Positive (Catholic PR and Marketing)

A few days ago, I noticed the latest Where is Matt? video on YouTube. In these videos, Matt is shown in various locations around the world, dancing in various exotic and urban locations, often with natives.

The videos are extremely simple, don’t require tons of professional equipment, crews, or even much more planning than “where to next?” Matt speaks quite a bit about how he’s made these videos, who’s helped sponsor him, and more on his site and elsewhere (he recently did an AMA (‘I am A’) on Reddit about his videos and life).

All of his videos are full of positive images, positive emotions, and seem to touch just about everybody who watches them.

Many Catholic PR people, journalists, and marketing specialists have told me that it’s hard to get people’s attention with positive news, and I agree with that, to a point.

How a Hard Drive Works (in Slow Motion)

I've been subscribed to the Slow-Mo Guys' YouTube Channel for a few months now, ever since I noticed some of their great videos of random things that look quite interesting when recorded at over 1000 fps and played back in slow motion.

Their most recent video, How a Hard Drive Works (in Slow Motion) is one of my favorites, not because it's elaborate or amazing, but it's the first time I've ever actually seen the internals of a hard drive in operation. I've ripped apart a few hard drives in my day (they're built like tanks!), and they're amazing on the inside... but to see how quickly those read heads pop back and forth is amazing.

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