What? Scalability is becoming a moot argument against LAMP? But what will the big wigs use to dismiss LAMP now? Alex Bunardzic makes some interesting arguments regarding the scalability issue that seems to blunt the point of attack for LAMP critics:

Whenever I give presentations on Ruby and Rails, the number one question invariably pops up from the audience: will it scale? At first, I was allowing myself to fall prey and to drop down into the detailed and quite meaningless discussion. But then I've changed the tactics, and began countering the question with: “Scale to what?” Amazingly, most people don't know the answer to that question. They just throw in abstract answers, like to thousands simultaneous requests, etc. But pretty much no one can supply a real life example that is more concrete than the yahoo or amazon or google. In other words, it seems that not too many people are working on the super busy web applications.

Also, do read the comments to the article. Other than a little ego in some of the posts, the discussion is quite lively and useful. A lot of good thinking going on, making the world a better, safer place.

Oh so true

From the awesome mind of Anonymous: O Lord, grant that we may always be right, for Thou knowest we will never change our minds.

That's Brisk, Baby

With the official beginning of fall occuring a couple days ago, I find that I am ready for the change in climate, more so than in past years (perhaps it was the summer of sweating away at the house in STL). The extended forecast here in Elsah is puts lows dropping into the 40's by week's end. I like weather that can be described as brisk and crisp. Plus the insects are going away for the next few months! Unrelated story of interest just in - I did yoga for the first time yesterday. No surprise here, but I am highly (in-, un-, non-) flexible and so the positions were…interesting. Looking forward, though, to continuing yoga and increasing strength through flexibility.

eXtreme Me

I have this strange feeling that I am quickly becoming an eXtreme sports enthusiast. I went rock climbing for the first time EVAR Sunday and had a blast. It is quickly evolving into a weekly ordeal with several buddies. Now if I can just get them skydiving, we can really go somewhere with this. The Plan: Go around the world skydiving. Land at the base of a mountain. Climb that sucker. Base jump off the top. Rinse. Repeat. Well, The Plan is still in alpha; first I have to conquer climbs higher than 5 8. Anyw00t, I'm probably going diving at the end of the month and hopefully I can con a few friends to go as well. Want to go? Let me know!


Having the fewest wants, I am nearest to the gods. – Socrates


Okay, here's the 411. I have begun my preparation for teaching in the fall, hence the lack of writing on the ole blog. I am teaching two courses in computer science and we have ahd all day meetings the last two days. For the next two weeks, I will be preparing my courses. Exciting news for today is that I got called on my office phone today by a student wanting to get into my class. I guess it's official that I am a professor in the eyes of students. Good times to follow…


Gabriel showed me this short film. Very well done in my non-expert opinion.

Kung Fu Kick

I like martial arts. While it has been on my mind for some time to take lessons in some form, I had not really reached a point where I felt comfortable devoting that time to learning a new set of physical skills. It seems, however, that my subconscious was more than ready to begin its training. Funny story follows: At about 3:30 am this morning, I awoke to my foot bleeding profusely. Initially confused, I soon realized what had happened. While sleeping, for some inexplicable reason, I kicked out the window that is next to my bed…who knows. The window is actually quite elevated above my mattress because of the air conditioner in the window. We're talking a good four feet above my mattress. After stopping the bleeding and doing my work, I saw that I had to have really propped myself up to reach the window pane. Bizzare to the max! I wish I could say I was dreaming about playing soccer or escaping from a burning building…any reason really would have sufficed. Alas, I have no recollection of what was going on prior to me waking up having dropkicked my window. Words are helpless here to describe how funny and odd this episode has been. P.S. I'm fine, a couple scratches, nothing to be a baby about. Good protection on the mental front and all that…


That title, of course, refers to software development and not clothing. In my experience, programming, particularly on the web, the idea was to write something that would attract the most users possible. This creates a big, bulky app that typically does not serve the original purpose very effectively but does support lots of people using it. With the advent of relatively cheaper technology (hardware, compilers, interpreters, etc…) however, suddenly that big bulky software which needed lots of users to justify the cost does not seem so necessary. Situated Software is an article which tackles this cultural conditioning towards broad apps and shows that it should not be the de facto standard in software development. An enlightening read for the open mind…

Lesson Learning

Imagine that, something useful in the lesson! Who would have thunk it? So, lately, it seems that a couple friends of mine have decided to make a consicous effort to reign in their weight and get healthy. I am a supporter of this goal to be sure, but I did find myself lacking in a higher conception of exercise. Mrs. Eddy talks about your "body of thought" and muscles being thought-forces, but I never really had a good idea on exercise. Sure, in sports, I was playing to glorify God, the brotherhood of the team, etc… Now that I am essentially done with playing competitive sports, I find I am not really motivated to exercise because I feel like it is for myself. Wanting to resolve things into thoughts, I have been looking for that elevated definition of exercise to support my friends' efforts spiritually. Enter section five of this week's lesson. From Science and Health, 393:8 -

Mind is the 9 master of the corporeal senses, and can conquer sickness, sin, and death. Exercise this God-given authority. Take possession of your body, and govern its feeling and action. 12 Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on 15 man.

Duh! I have grown up being told, "Know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free", and I always thought, "Yeah, okay, easier said than done". This passage was an 'A ha!' moment for me. Applying this passage to basketball, you cannot run an offense or defense without a having a basic skill set, like knowing how to shoot, pass, rebound, etc. Knowing these skills, in and of themselves, does not win basketball games. They must be combined into an offensive and defensive philosophy, given structure. The analogy, then, is that knowing the Truth is knowing how to pass, shoot, rebound. It's all well and good knowing that God is All-in-all, but in and of itself doesn't do too much towards realizing the Truth. Only when we put into practice what we are learning and give it a framework do these truths become demonstrable. Yes, there are many healings where the person simply "knew a truth", but that is not the healing that Jesus did. It is not enough to know; one must do. To a newbie, this is hard and not immediately clear what that implies. What I think the passage points out is that no matter the evidence before the material senses, the spiritual fact of being is harmony. Jesus, while on a ship at sea during a storm, slept. When woken up by the disciples, Jesus did not panic, as I'm sure many of us would; instead, he rebuked the storm, and peace, the peace Jesus knew was ever present spiritually, was realized by the material senses. The first step towards this kind of dominance (see Gen 1:26) is taking possession of our bodies, governing our feelings and actions. Back to basketball for a moment. Players talk of times when they are "in the zone", where they can do no wrong, where their desires are realized. I myself have experienced this and it is beautiful. I stopped worrying about the future, what pass I had to make to keep the offense flowing or where I had to be standing on defense to prevent an opponent from driving, and was engrossed by the present. I imagine the feeling of being in the spiritual zone is incalcuable. We do not, however, go right to the zone. It starts with "glorious glimpses", moments where our thoughts are aligned and nothing is impossible. Just as a jump shot becomes more consistent with practice, so do these glorious glimpses turn from moments to stretches to eternity. That sweet reward, and it is sweet, cannot be gained without bearing our cross. I feel good about exercising now…