Monday, January 30, 2012

Building a Search Engine

I am going to learn how to build a search engine.

I just signed up for a free class through a site called Udacity.  On the about page on their site it says,
We believe university-level education can be both high quality and low cost. Using the economics of the Internet, we've connected some of the greatest teachers to hundreds of thousands of students in almost every country on Earth. Udacity was founded by three roboticists who believed much of the educational value of their university classes could be offered online for very low cost. A few weeks later, over 160,000 students in more than 190 countries enrolled in our first class, "Introduction to Artificial Intelligence." The class was twice profiled by the New York Times and also by other news media. Now we're a growing team of educators and engineers, on a mission to change the future of education
The class that I signed up for is CS101 (Computer Science 101).  It says that there is no previous programming experience required, but after 7 weeks, you will be able to create a search engine like Google or Yahoo.  Since one of the teachers is a Google Fellow, I'm guessing that this is fairly accurate.

I am requiring my Web Design and Interactive Media Class to sign up for this as well.  I am hoping that it goes well, and that I learn some stuff along the way.

Here is a video from the site where the teachers are talking about the idea of the class.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Praying for Power

I believe that we live in a day where many churches have a form or appearance of godliness, but the thing that they are missing is power.  According to St. Paul in II Timothy 3:5, it is just this in people that will destroy churches.

What if find to be extremely distressing is that I feel that I am lacking in the power department.  I would not consider myself to be one who is filled with God's power.

This last Sunday I explored this topic as I continued preaching through the Epistle to the Ephesians.  I was covering Ephesians 1:19-21.  This was an important message for me, and I really feel like God was impacting me and prompting me through the study in preparation for this message.  If you would like to listen to the final result and give me some thoughts, feel free to listen to it here:

You can also download it and listen to it later.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA Black Out and a positive Supreme Court Ruling

I don't know how anyone could not know this, but Wikipedia is doing a "black-out" today in order to raise awareness over the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) issue.  Here is what they say on their black-out page:

Imagine a World
Without Free Knowledge
For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia. Learn more.
I would link to an article about the SOPA, but I can't get to Wikipedia!  Basically, the act is aimed at stopping the piracy of things like unreleased movies and such.  I guess the big companies are worried that this would give the government too much power.  With that, I agree. The government already has too much power.

Google is doing something similar.  They have blacked-out their Google Logo on their main search page.  Here is a picture of that as well:

On a positive note, the Supreme court ruled in favor of churches that they have the right to fire people based on the Church's beliefs.  Here is how the Huffington Post starts their article on the topic:
Employees of religious organizations whose job duties reflect "a role in conveying the Church's message and carrying out its mission" are barred by the First Amendment from suing over employment discrimination, said the Supreme Court in a unanimous opinion handed down Wednesday morning.
Lots of interesting news.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bloodlines by John Piper for Free

For Martin Luther King Day, John Piper made his new book Blood Lines available for free.  You can click here to go to the Desiring God blog post to download it.  He also includes his recent message dealing with the same topic to download for free.

Here is a short documentary for this book that you can watch for free as well:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

First Painting

This is my son's very first painting.  

Maybe I am just speaking as his father, but I have to say that I think it is pretty amazing.  It is definitely going to get framed.

Click to Enlarge
This is better than any painting that I have ever done.  It makes me want to go back to school and take some art classes.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Migraine Aura

I was sitting there reading a book when I started to notice a blurred spot in the middle of my vision.  I tried to ignore it, but it was getting more noticeable as the moments passed.  After about 30 seconds to a minute I couldn't read because it was distorting the words.

Needless to say, it was a little disturbing.  Especially because it kept getting bigger. Not only could I not read, I was having trouble walking around the room.  When it gradually started to move to the side, but it was still getting larger, I decided to google these symptoms.

After a bit of searching I ran across this article by the Mayo Clinic that described the experience perfectly.  I was experiencing either a Migraine Aura (or possibly an ocular migraine).  They said it was harmless and would go away on its own.  Eventually it did, but it left a headache that was settled nicely behind my eyes.

I'm feeling fine this morning, but it defeated the majority of my sermon prep last night.