Category: Blogging

Pop-ups and Freethought Blogs

Awesome blogs -

Feel the awesome Freethought Blogs

Freethought blogs, I love them all. Ok, almost all of them… or something and some more than others, but you get the idea. I read many of them very often and of course it’s where PZ is found now and god (heh) knows I enjoy his writing. And let me say this right from the start, I don’t have  a problem with advertising as such. I realise hosting servers costs money; I have… a couple of my own and I realise the hardware and bandwidth one needs to run high traffic sites like is substantial.

While I hate banner advertising, I can live with it. I don’t want to live with it, but I can and will because I realise that those banner adverts are paying for hosting and distributing the content I like to read. But pop-ups? I freaking despise pop-ups and the evil little bastards that have found its way onto drives me freaking mental. Chrome doesn’t block them. Why? Because the sneaky advertising agency makes them load on a click. So only when you click on the page does the damn thing load. Mental, it drives me that.

Anyway, it seems the script that creates the pop-up adverts on are served from a single domain at the moment: (I have no doubt that this domain changes regularly and I might put a little script together that polls to check for changes).

To block it I have added the following to my hosts file:

It seems to be working for now – at least until they change the domain the script is loaded from (or if my shoddy early morning testing missed something…).

To the awesome people at, I’m sorry, but pop-ups are a gigantic pain in arse of epic proportions. Use ugly banners and bland AdWords and spurious DoubleClick and stuff but please, are the pop-ups really necessary?

Everybody else should really go around and have a look at the quality blogs hosted at, you won’t be disappointed. Except, perhaps, by the pop-ups.

Happy 300th post to me!

Happy 300th post!

Happy 300th post!

Well, 300th active post on this blog. I moved a bunch to another blog a year ago so I guess this is more like the 340th or something. Anyway…

Happy 300th post to me! Happy 300th post to me! Happy 300th post to meeeeee eeeeeee. Happy 300th post tooooo meeeeeeee!

“The Llama is a woolly sort of fleecy hairy goat, with an indolent expression and an undulating throat; like an unsuccessful literary man.” – Hilaire Belloc

PS. Yes, I fully appreciate the irony of that quote.

What IS the opposite of writers block then anyway? The reason I haven’t been posting much is not so much a lack of time; this weekend I had plenty. My problem is I have so much to say on so many topics I’m scared of starting because what I have to say doesn’t fit into a blog post. Or six. And I know from previous experience the average person landing on this page doesn’t get through 5,000 word posts.

I could write a book I suppose but to be honest, I don’t actually have the time for that much writing at the moment.

For example, I have a bunch of stuff I want to say on contradictions in the Bible (manifold contradictions). I have a bit to say about the cognitive dissonance of the average Christian religiot. I have some things I’d like to cover around the idiocy of the argument between Harris and Craig.

Take the Harris vs. Craig debate as an example. The topic was “Is Good From God”.  A vaguely interesting question but fundamentally stupid. Which god are you talking about? I get “good”. I get the concept(s) of “god”. But asking if good comes from god without specifying which god exactly seems to me to be rather stupid. You have to ask because “good” coming from “a god” is a non starter, it is a pointless question. The answer to which is yes, it comes from the Flying Spaghetti Monster which is awesome. Case closed. But not really.

So, if you then venture into tricky space and say “good” is from the Christian god then you have the mighty large problem explaining why Hindu’s, Muslims, Africans, South Americans, Australians, Chinese and strange little Eskimos are also good never having heard of the Christian god.  Oh, and then there’s the legions of good atheists too. Fancy that.

So what then? The Christian God makes good even when you don’t know he exists? And don’t get me started on the things in the Bible classified as ‘good’! Slavery anyone?!? Gah! The stupid! It burns!

Perhaps I’ll get to writing something constructive this weekend. Perhaps.

Obligatory Christmas Post

I have learnt something about blogging this year. This particular blog is now just over a year old and successful isn’t what I would use to describe it; however, I have learnt this year, though, what it takes to have a successful blog (other than the obvious ability to string a couple of grammatically correct words together).

To have a successful blog you need to post often. The more often you post, the more traffic you’ll get.

And that is all I have to say about that.

Hope you all have a smashing day and don’t lie to too many children.

The True Story

The possibility exists that somebody has noticed I haven’t posted anything in a while (I will admit that the opposite is probably more likely). I’ve been busy. Moved countries and all but things are settling down nicely now and I think I may have some more time to write.

Also, I’ve decided to change the tack of this blog. All the geeky stuff goes, those will be posted on another blog from now on. This one will be kept purely for strident atheist rants. They may also be furiously angry atheist rants but atheist rants they will be.

If that’s not your thing, then possibly this isn’t the blog for you.

My current feeling goes along these lines:

I don’t respect your beliefs and I don’t care if you’re offended.

I may not agree with Pat on everything, but the quote sums it up right now.

I’m currently considering a post series to follow up the “Why I am an atheist” post that I wrote almost a year ago now. I’m thinking something along the lines of “Why you are a Christian”. And yes, there’s a whole bunch of logical reasons that you are and none of them have anything to do with your particular fairy tale (unless you’re not a Christian, in which case, disregard that whole bit there…).

May BOB the (al)mighty Llama be with you always.

Something happened today, right here on this blog and I haven’t the foggiest what it was. There was an inexplicable jump in traffic and I would give my left, nay, my RIGHT leg to know what it was that caused it (can’t have an arm, need it for coding).

It’s inexplicable since I haven’t posted anything in almost three weeks. I’ve been busy. In places that didn’t always have internet. And were possibly keeping my attention long enough to not feel the need to write. And jet lag. That’s why.

So, WordPress rocks, this much is clear, I have elaborated on my fanboy status in other posts. What (blogs at) lacks, however, seriously, is the ability to use Google Analytics.

I don’t much care what the piss poor excuses are for blogs having Google Analytics (the main site uses it, blogs aren’t websites, blah blah blah), the built-in stats are rather… how shall I put it… crap. It would be terribly useful, for example, to know where in the world the people who read this blog come from, for example, so that I can write more stuff relevant to their situation.

I bet the Bangkokians™ would love to hear more of my opinion on the issues in Bangkok, just to throw something out there (I don’t really have an opinion, haven’t been paying attention, but you get what I mean right?).

Anyway,, give me Google Analytics, I will give you money. Make sense?

Also, those people who came here for reasons I cannot fathom, come back tomorrow again. Not much will have changed to be sure, but it will make me happier. How could that not be a good thing?

The sound of the llama making groaning noises or going “mwa” is often a sign of fear or anger. If a llama is agitated, it will lay its ears back.

This is post #100 for me on One Furious Llama (the previous blogs don’t count and there weren’t that many posts anyway) 🙂

I just want to thank all you guys who have read the crap I post up here. I am a little overwhelmed at how exceedingly well things have gone on my blog this time around. Just the response in January has been enough to inspire me to keep going (that, and like everything else in my life that interests me, I have gotten a little obsessive with this blogging thing).

January was my first full month of blogging at One Furious Llama and things have gone great. These were blog milestones #2, #3, #4 and #5 that were accomplished this month:

100th blog post
1000 views in one month
50 comments in one month
150 views in one day

Yes, yes, I can hear the pro bloggers snickering at those stats. I get that in the greater scheme of things it’s not much but I think this was an excellent start and here, what I think, is all that matters.

There are two people in particular that I would like to thank. First, is my lovely Trophy Wife, whose support and encouragement is what gets me up in the morning and keeps me up at night (usually, this is a good thing). She supports me in these obsessions even when it means I neglect (just a very little) her for it.

The second person who I would like to thank is Hemant Mehta from Friendly Atheist. Firstly for responding to my emails in the first place and secondly for giving me some sound blogging advice which, to me at least, is looking like it’s paying off handsomely. I imagine that Hemant gets a pile of mail every day on top of being a full-time teacher and he still found the time to respond nicely to a total stranger the same day that the email was sent. I respect him even more for that and I guess “Friendly Atheist” is probably the right description for him

I hope I can keep the momentum and maintain the balance between pissing people off enough to comment but not enough to make them go away (this, I believe, is the super sekrit to successful blogging).

Llamas are very social animals and like to live with other llamas as a herd.

Big ups to atheist mom

I read an article on Unreasonable Faith about a lady (a 41-year-old Christian mom) who recently dropped her religion and became an atheist. For some of us (atheists) it doesn’t sound like a big deal because some of us (myself included) had it pretty easy ‘converting’ from whichever religion we were in. I didn’t take any flack from my immediate family and, to be honest, I don’t particularly care how my extended family feel about it.

For other people, however, it’s a much more difficult conversion, especially if like Rechelle, you spend your entire life following that religion and actively participated in it, raised your children in it. It can be a huge change and severely unpleasant. Few religious people are supportive and understanding when you make the switch (understandably I guess).

You can read Daniel’s full post here and leave your comments of support (assuming, of course, you are supportive of her situation):

For Rechelle’s blog and story, you can go here:

Another… post by Rechelle is this one:

Anyway, I thought that was interesting and I found the reason that Rechelle turned off commenting on her blog… enlightening.

The gestation period of a llama is 11 1/2 months (350 days). Dams (female llamas) do not lick off their babies, as they have an attached tongue which does not reach outside of the mouth more than half an inch. Rather, they will nuzzle and hum to their newborns.

HootSuite is pretty cool and pretty useful but I think the TweetDeck interface is nicer even though it lacks some of HootSuite functionality (and obviously HootSuite lacks some TweetDeck functionality).

The real reason I looked at HootSuite is because they just recently integrated WordPress functionality into it. My first thought was, cool, all four major social networking tools I use in one application. And since I use Chrome as my web browser, I can set HootSuite (like I do GMail, Google Analytics, Google Reader etc.) to launch like an application, which I have pinned to my task bar, making it feel like any normal application (possibly one of my favourite features of Chrome).

So I made this post in HootSuite (to start with) but realised that we’re back to square one then as far as setting a decent subject, selecting categories and keywords go. In the end it is much the same as posting from an email, with an email having the added advantage of being able to specify a subject.

HootSuite has a couple of features that TweetDeck really needs: scheduled tweets and Facebook status updates and the ability to have multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts from a single interface. I also like the way HootSuite works with tabs, TweetDeck could use some of that.

I’ll keep an eye on HootSuite but I don’t think I’ll be dumping TweetDeck for it and the WordPress integration isn’t nearly good enough for me to stop using the WordPress interface for that.

I hope the guys at TweetDeck are paying attention though, because I would hate to see them fall behind, they have done good work with their product so far.

I received some very valuable blogging advice from the Friendly Atheist today, which I appreciate immensely. It’s always nice to get constructive advice, especially when that advice comes from a blogging superstar. It’s a bit like the, er, the Michael Jordan of blogging giving one tips, or some such. You should visit his blog, it’s really great.

Basically, Hemant reckons I should write about current events which makes perfect sense to me. Writing about current, relevant stuff and giving my very insightful opinion, that sounds like a win to me.

His other advice was to shorten my rambling, insanely long posts somewhat, so that you guys, with ADD and the attention span of a gnat, can more easily…

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