So much fun stuff and so little time.

Recently, my friend Jamie Soden sent me a whole bunch of stuff. An old laptop, Nintendo 3DS, and a bunch of video games and DVDs of cartoons and David Attenborough documentaries.
Among them is the entire series of Powerpuff Girls and the PowerPuff Girls Movie. I just watched the movie and I have to say it was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.
The only problem now is finding time to watch everything. So much fun stuff and so little time.

My Mom Has a Website

My mom now has her books published through a new company. They look much more professionally done than the old Createspace versions. They also designed a website for her and her books.

You can visit her website here:

and here are direct links to her two current books published with them.

Review: A Matter of Faith

I wrote a review for the Christian movie: A Matter of Faith.

I watched this movie and it felt like what happened near the end was a sermon instead of a debate. The creationist guy who finished the debate for the other guy was basically saying that we should believe in creationism not because it’s true but because we need a god to have rules and to be accountable to.

If you believe in an all powerful god who can create the world in six days, then let him fight his battles. When you try to defend him, you imply that he is too weak to do it himself.

To be clear, I am not all that well versed in evolution. I was raised in Christianity with creationism as the only thing I knew. However, something tells me that this movie is not at all an accurate representation of evolution. I have read some books and watched videos about evolution. If I understand correctly, evolution is not an explanation of the origin of life but how life has evolved over time.

But more importantly. One could theoretically still accept evolution and believe in a god. Similarly, one could be a creationist and believe in a god that is NOT the same one as the Christian god. The world is full of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, atheists, and agnostics. There is no such dichotomy of Evolution vs Creationism for the simple reason that there are infinite different types of creationism and/or theories for how life began. Indeed, one need not believe life had an origin at all.

While I don’t particularly like this movie all that much, I do think it is valuable because movies like this represent what Christians believe. It is for this reason that atheists like me still sometimes like to watch Christian movies. I may disagree with everything about Christianity but I would hate to misrepresent them. My main complaint though is that Christians nearly always misrepresent non-Christians. This can’t be helped however because they simply often don’t know what the rest of the world believes.

The Bible is Not Your Shield

Homeschoolers Anonymous

CC image courtesy of Flickr, louisebatesuk.

By Shade, H.A. Editorial Team

Recently, Bill Gothard was hosted by Total Outreach for Christ Ministries in Little Rock, AR for the 2016 Overcomer’s Conference. Based on the knowledge that he is an alleged sexual predator, someone contacted the church’s bishop, Bishop Robert E. Smith, with their concerns that they were having someone like Gothard speak at their church.

The response from the bishop was telling. Referencing I Timothy 5:19, which is a companion to Matthew 18:15-17‘s directives to always confront privately first, and then with witnesses. But the question remains ‘Should we be confronting those who have committed crimes as though they are just sins and offenses?’.

matt18 bishop smith

The text reads:

Brother Brandon, I am at somewhat of a disadvantage, not knowing you personally, nor being privy to your first-hand knowledge of an Elder’s (Bill Gothard’s) sin(s). I am instructed, ‘Against an…

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We Don’t Eat of Our Free Will

We Don’t Eat of Our Free Will

I’m going to use the topic of food to explain why what we eat is not chosen by us of a free will. Understand that none of us is the true author of the choice of what we eat.

1. We don’t choose to be hungry in the first place. We need to eat to live and we feel pain if we go too long without eating.

2. We don’t choose which foods taste better to is than others. We eat more of the things that we like better.

3. We don’t choose which foods are available in our area. We don’t control the climate and what grows nor do we choose which stores carry the food or what the prices are.

4. We also sometimes consider how healthy foods are for us and try to eat foods that will help us be stronger, live longer, lose weight, or prevent disease. However we don’t truly know what is really healthier nor do we have the power to make the healthy food available at a cheaper price or taste like our favorite food. If the food you like happens to be healthier or cheap, then you lucked out.

These 4 facts are a simple way if understanding that we have zero control over the food that we end up eating. It’s true that we try our best to weigh the options we have and consider all of the relevant factors, but these determining prior causes that our food decisions are based on is totally out of our control. You might say that you choose your food, but you don’t choose to choose your food.

Another way to think of it is to say that, if we “had a choice”, wouldn’t we all choose to never eat? If we could be solar powered machines that didn’t need to eat and yet were always full of energy, there would be no use for food. In a sense, we are all slaves to biology in this way. We don’t eat because we woke up one day and thought it would be fun to shove a grapefruit into the big hole in our face. We eat because we die if we don’t.

This is a powerful way of understanding the lack of food-free-will. This is a specific area of understanding that helps us understand the bigger picture that free will is an illusion. It applies to topics other than food too. However, the reason food is an important place to start is because we all are forced to eat. It’s something we all have in common.

Part 2 of fun with Java

I’ve been at Java programming again. I’ve organized some code into functions and have a whole new system of generating images. Particularly, I have improved my most useful function. I’ll try to include a screenshot here.

Screenshot (169)

This function is the new and improved version of the original chessboard function. It is not limited to zeroes and ones. It supports multiple colors, which in this case are represented by integers. However, theoretically these numbers can be interpreted in any way you would like. For example shades of gray or an indexed palette. This function makes no assumptions about what I or anyone else might do with the array. What those colors are depends entirely on other code which sets up the colors in a palette. I have functions for that though too which are used in combination to make rainbow or grayscale colors.

But that’s not all! It now does more that squares. It has the variables box_width, box_height, and box_depth which are independent of each other. These variables are essential as they allow tell the program when to switch to a new color. For example, if you set the height higher than the width, the rectangles will appear taller than they are wide. I’ll show some example images that have been generated with this function.

So as you can see, I’ve learned a lot more about creating images using Java. However it’s very time consuming and exhausting. I think I’ll take a break for awhile but it’s so rewarding seeing the kinds of things I can make with it.