Friday, 31 October 2008

Are Acer computers any good?

Acer laptopI'm considering buying a low-end Acer laptop. I want it mainly for writing and for websurfing, so I don't need a lot of bells and whistles. They have some pretty attractive prices, but from what I've been finding on the Internet, the company has very poor customer service, and their copmuters aren't the most robust.

Is that a fair assessment? Or are the whinings I've seen on the Internet the exception and not the rule? Does anybody have experience with their laptops? Should I run fast in the other direction, or buy one and expect good things?

ETA: We held off, and I ended up getting a Compaq Impresario even cheaper. Wish me luck.

Technorati tags: ,

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Quote of the day - cutting the national brain

AmbaAmba at AmbivaBlog has eloquently expressed the dangers of political polarization.
The Democrats are an American rival, not a stalking horse for a sinister foreign enemy. The tug-of-war and sometimes cooperation/compromise between liberalism and conservatism makes the country stronger; cutting the national brain down the middle and turning the two halves against each other is suicide. It really makes me angry that the people who claim to defend America most passionately are doing so much to rip it apart.

Technorati tags:

Richard Dawkins is a religious fanatic

Richard DawkinsAnd in case you need convincing, he has now joined the ranks of those who condemn Harry Potter, without having read a word. He feels so strongly about the issue, he's stepping down from his position at Oxford to write a book about the pernicious and abusive nature of fantasy. Unless, of course, it's Pullman's Golden Compass, which he can't help loving because of its anti-religious slant.

To be fair to the professor, he says he's not sure about the pernicious influence of fantasy, but everything else he says in the article seems to indicate his mind is pretty well made up. He will, of course, "also set out to demolish the Judeo-Christian myth."

He was on a roll, and just couldn't stop at throwing rocks at fantasy:
Do not ever call a child a Muslim child or a Christian child – that is a form of child abuse because a young child is too young to know what its views are about the cosmos or morality.

It is evil to describe a child as a Muslim child or a Christian child. I think labelling children is child abuse and I think there is a very heavy issue, for example, about teaching about hell and torturing their minds with hell.

It's a form of child abuse, even worse than physical child abuse. I wouldn't want to teach a young child, a terrifyingly young child, about hell when he dies, as it's as bad as many forms of physical abuse.

(Note the emotive words: evil, abuse, torturing, terrifyingly. Makes me wonder how I survived my childhood. Also makes me wonder how he feels about teaching children about the danger of stepping in front of moving cars. That's pretty terrifying too. Is it abusive to make children fear the consequences? I can still remember pictures from those driver ed films.)

As far as I can tell, he fits the fill-in-the-blank template of a religious extremist. Anybody care to dispute it?

For what it's worth, I do think there is a profound difference between a convinced believer and a religious extremist.

Hat tip to Jeffrey Overstreet.

Technorati tags: ,

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Good Samaritan saves a woman's home

Tracy OrrWe need more good news in this world, right? Well, here it is. Tracy Orr sat crying at the back of a bank auction as her home was put up for sale. The stranger behind her bought it and is letting Orr buy it back.

Got any good news you want to share?

Technorati tags: , ,

Monday, 27 October 2008

13 signs that you might be left wing

...I stole this from the MySpace blog of a young man I know. It was meant as a joke, but it's almost too true to be funny. At least he is an equal-opportunity offender. Enjoy.


1. You believe that "having an open mind" means being pro-gay.
2. You believe the 9/11 attacks were entirely planned and staged by the Republican Party in order to justify an attack on Islam, and to get oil.
3. You think that eating meat is murder, but abortion is progress.
4. You think that 1 white person and 20 black people is diversity.
5. You think that all society's problems can be solved by throwing money at it, and at the same time, you believe that money is the cause of all society's problems.
6. You think that religion is the cause of all wars.
7. You believe that anyone who votes Republican (or Conservative) is a corrupt, close-minded, bigoted fascist.
8. You believe that the only real terrorists are American businessmen.
9. You believe that the official news story is bull crap, but the ramblings of a random anonymous blogger are absolute truth.
10. All your opinions come from Michael Moore, Bill Maher, and Al Franken.
11. You think breaking windows and flipping cars is a form of peaceful protest.
12. You believe that the Bible is hate literature.
13. Your mind is made up before you've heard the issue.


1. You believe that if you know one gay person, you have an open mind.
2. You believe that the 9/11 attacks were planned and supported by the entire Muslim world, because they all hate the freedom of sweet, innocent, flawless America.
3. You think that abortion is murder, but war is freedom.
4. You think that 20 white people, and 1 person who may have had a distant non-white ancestor is diversity.
5. You think that all society's problems can be solved as long as there is another country that can be blamed and invaded.
6. You think that all of society's problems are caused by immigrants.
7. You believe that anyone who votes Democrat is a tree-hugging, freedom-hating, terrorist-loving, communist that hates Jesus.
8. You believe that Jesus would vote Republican.
9. You believe that all terrorists are Muslim.
10. You think that universal health care is a form of communism.
11. All your opinions come from Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and Ann Coulter.
12. You think that the 9/11 attacks and Iraq are related.
13. Your mind is made up before you've heard the issue.

1. If anything on either one of these lists applies to you.

Technorati tags: ,

blogger templates | Make Money Online