Fr Stephen Smuts

Posts Tagged ‘Technology

On Blog Stats

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Just to say, it’s great to see the blog Stats are up again! Thank you for visiting. The traffic indicates that things are busy indeed. So far, this is how we are doing today:


Visits per country: The most popular (which are reflected in the stats) are:


The list continues…

Even when I wasn’t blogging (for about a year), the Stats never actually dropped anything under a 100 views a day. Most of the postings here are reiterations of the Gospel, Christianity, Biblical Archaeology, Church news and so on. I tend to try and keep things positive or, at least, neutral, and avoid ranting and negativity! There is enough of that out there – and even on some so-called ‘Christian’ blogs. Venom. Sarcasm. Hatred. Vindictiveness. The familiar Gospel for All Saints Day (today) is quite pertinent:

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes

He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


But I digress. Since this blog started in 2011, this is where we now stand:

All time

Heading to the 7 digits.



Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

November 1, 2015 at 13:45

Let’s Not Move to Mars

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Let’s not:

IN the early years of the 20th century, zeppelins filled with flammable and explosive hydrogen were all the rage in Germany, a reckless infatuation that ended with the eruption and crash of the Hindenburg in 1937. Sometimes, technology is a triumph of wild-eyed enthusiasm over the unpleasant facts of the real world.

Today we are witnessing a similar outburst of enthusiasm over the literally outlandish notion that in the relatively near future, some of us are going to be living, working, thriving and dying on Mars. A Dutch nonprofit venture called Mars One aspires to send four people to Mars by 2026 as the beginning of a permanent human settlement. In the United States, the nonprofit Inspiration One has plans for a two-person team to fly within 100 miles of the planet, launching from Earth in January 2018. And the entrepreneur Elon Musk, who runs a rocket company called SpaceX, has said he hopes to send the first people to Mars in 11 to 12 years.

Unfortunately, this Mars mania reflects an excessively optimistic view of what it actually takes to travel to and live on Mars, papering over many of the harsh realities and bitter truths that underlie the dream…

Read on in The New York Times.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

October 1, 2015 at 22:30

Posted in Culture

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Rules for Troll Handling

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No Trolls Allowed

Via Route 5:9

Ah, internet trolls. They can be found in their natural habitat all over the world wide web from the comments sections of YouTube, Reddit, and CNN to Christianity Today and The Gospel Coalition. If you’ve ever spent any time online, you’ve probably come across one which is why I found this article by Emily McFarlan Miller over at the Her.menuetics blog so helpful (and humorous!).
As a Christian, engaging (or not) with internet trolls requires us to realize that there’s a person on the other side of that keyboard and we are called to treat them as Christ would. That’s why Emily’s advice is so good.
Here’s her three tips with a little snippet of the explanation she gives for each point:
1. Thou Shalt Not Feed the Trolls
The first commandment of the Internet is this: “Don’t feed the trolls.”
The reasoning is simple. If the intent is to make people angry or otherwise disturb them, the way to shut it down is simply not to respond. And certainly, there are Proverbs that speak to the futility of answering – or not answering – a fool.
2. Thou Shalt Not Troll
Our response to trolling, Harrington suggests, begins with our own online behavior – removing the digital plank from our eyes, so to speak.
For Jones, deciding how to respond to Internet postings begins with checking herself, asking if this is somebody with whom she normally would engage. Sometimes the seminarian tries to take the interaction offline, a tactic she learned about a year and a half ago when she was shown the same grace.
3. Love Thy Trolls
But even when a person is trolling, Jones said, “they’re still a human being. They’re still a person Jesus is crazy about. … It sounds cheesy, but it really does boil down to loving that person – am I being kind to that person? And it can be real hard to do on the Internet.”
It’s the Golden rule: Treating others on the Internet the way you would want them to treat you, even on your snarkiest, most impulsive of days.
There’s a lot more explanation over at Her.menuetics, so be sure and go read the whole thing.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

August 26, 2014 at 20:20

A Fly Over 9 Important Biblical Archaeological Sites

This is a great video by with a fly over of nine important biblical sites.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

August 10, 2014 at 16:08

The Forever Bible

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Using Space Age nanotechnology, it even floats on water…


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

August 5, 2014 at 23:16

I’m Sending Out Spam!

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So yesterday, I thought my e-mail had been hacked when several contacts on my Gmail account notified me of a suspicious email that had as a heading line:

RE: Fr Stephen Smuts – 7/14/2014 10:36:01 AM

There was only a single link contained in the mail which my own antivirus wouldn’t let me open. Much to my embarrassment, the email was not generated, complied nor sent by me, though I could clearly see the ‘contacts’ who had been selected and contacted (the Bishop included) when a friend emailed me back asking what a spam mail from me was all about?!

Frantically, I spent a large part of the day beefing up my security – changing passwords, settings, doing virus and malware scans etc. I hope it has worked for I would hate to have to change my email address because the present one is somehow compromised! If anyone else has received such an email, please ignore, let me know, and definitely (!) do not click on the link.

But after having subsequently done some further googling, this is what I’ve come across:

If your Contacts received spam from you, or if you find access activity that you can’t account for, we suggest following all the steps outlined in the Gmail security checklist to make sure your account is secure.

We are very concerned about this activity. Please obtain the full headers of the spam message from Sent Mail or from one of your Contacts, and report it to our team. We’ll investigate your report, but we’re unable to respond to individual cases. In particular, please note that we aren’t able to provide you with information about attempted logins to your account including, but not limited to, the IP address from which the attempted login was made, and the time and date attempted logins occurred.

I only use a laptop for all my Internet work. So I tried to report the incident but couldn’t convert the mail to the .txt required, so I basically gave up, hoping and praying instead that this doesn’t happen to me again.

Is Gmail safe? That becomes my next question.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

July 15, 2014 at 16:24

Map of Where the Twelve Apostles Died

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I stumbled upon this interesting use of technology: A Google Map of where the 12 Apostles died.


View in a larger map.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

May 29, 2014 at 12:20


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