My site at is missing

I have been writing a blog post everyday for five years, and posted it to but today that site just gives me a blank page. That implies that all of my nearly 2000 posts have vanished. I was looking forward to hitting a total over the years of 900,000 page views this week, but now I simply don’t know what is happening. The site claimed to have a very robust back-up plan. There was a little blip a couple of months ago and I did do a site backup at that time, but I have no idea how robust that will turn out to be. One other time I did an online backup, but when I viewed the code half of my site turned out to be their code which was difficult to eliminate.

There was some sort of failure at the wordpress site today, and there was some conversation about that on wordpress site status

At 10PM Pacific time we lost complete connectivity to our datacenter in San Antonio, Texas.  This loss of connectivity briefly caused degraded performance in the other data centers.  We quickly resolved that issue and San Antonio has been removed from production while network engineers continue to troubleshoot the loss in connectivity. performance has returned to normal for the most part.

I will wait until tomorrow before resuming my daily blog, but if it isn’t operating then I will be forced to do something else.

Making a working HTML-CSS webpage with Notepad

Almost, the shortest possible HTML document controlled by CSS is shown here:

<html> <head> <link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”your1st.css”> <title> This is Hi. </title> </head> <body> <h1>Headline for Hi</h1> <p>Hi this is some text 1</p> </body></html>

Type the bold document above in Notepad and save as CSS-works.html with file type “.html”. It will link to the document we named your1st.css. Type the bold material below in a new Notepad, and save it is as  your1st.css. The name is arbitrary but it must be saved with file type “.css”:

h1 {color:red;} p {color:blue;}

Those two documents are easily created in Notepad. A video showing them is posted at YouTube.

Just for fun here is a really short html document controlled by css.

CSS example

An example of a very short working CSS document.

Probaway Helps you understand CSS Cascading Style Sheets.

Hurricane Irene desktop wallpaper

Desktop wallpaper of Hurricane Irene by NASA from outer space.

1920×1200 Wallpaper This wallpaper is designed to leave plenty of clear black space for your desktop icons. That makes it easy to find them and still have a memorable but not distracting picture for you computer desktop wallpaper.

Irene Hurricane

Hurricane Irene 1920x1200 designed as wallpaper. Support The EarthArk Project

When natural disasters and made ones too destroy our planet’s ability to sustain life The Earth Ark Project will provide a backup plan for our Mother Earth. After the current crises passes we will be able to restore our planet to a healthy system.

Support The Earth Ark Project , and Mother Earth will love you.

A new ice flow map for Antarctica

The EarthArk Project’s goal is to send seed and soil samples from every square kilometer of Earth to a permanent deep freeze station in Antarctica. The collection of the samples will be done locally by students from every high school and college throughout the world and by adventure travelers to the extremely remote places. These samples could be used to restore the species of plants and other things which go extinct in the coming years no matter what the cause. Once stored and partially buried high on the mountains of Antarctica, where the subsurface temperature stays below 40°C, and there is no biologic activity, they should remain viable for tens of thousands of years, and perhaps forever. There are already existing seed banks, but they contain relatively few and mostly commercial seeds, compared to what The EarthArk Project intends to store, which is everything possible. Many tropical plants will not germinate after freezing of their seeds, but even these will retain their DNA, which hopefully could be used to recreate the species using future sophisticated treatments.

Antarctica Ice flow map

Antarctic Ice flow map showing two possible EarthArk locations.

NASA just released the First Complete Map of the Antarctic Ice Flows. The ice flows are critical to the placement of the EarthArks, because they complicate the stability of the containers themselves and make the finding of them much more difficult at some future time. The best solution appears to be to locate the containers on, or within, solid rock high in the mountains of the trans Antarctic range. The exposed rock of Mt. Tyree valley (-78.414, -86.00) can be considered a good location for an EarthArk. It is on the north flank of The Vinson Massif. These are among the highest points in the mountains near the south pole that have exposed rock and containers secured to the ground are unlikely to be swept away by glacial flows. Even better would be to sink mines into the side of the mountain and thus totally isolate the stored seeds from everything. Another promising mountain site at (-85.41,172.28) is even more pole-ward but Google Earth’s pictures show very little, but at an altitude of 10,000 feet and that near the pole it should be very cold and very dry.

There are many EarthArk posts but here is a good start.

Colonoscopy and Colyte can be fun if you do it right.

People hate drinking the Colyte laxative.

This updates the post about fixing the worst thing about a colonoscopy examination. Most people say they hate drinking the gallon of awful gut-cleansing laxative Colyte and its alternative Golytely beverage the night before the medical exam. I posted a review of this problem last year and have thought some more about it since then. Below are a few new and improved suggestions which will help billions of future people drink that foul tasteless fluid easily.

A method for drinking foul tasting fluids

The trick is to drink something pleasantly strong smelling and strong tasting immediately before the Colyte and then quickly gulp down the laxative stuff without breathing and then take another couple of swallows of the spicy good tasting stuff before breathing in though the nose and out through the mouth. It’s easier to do than to describe. Basically (Take a couple of deep breaths, swallow some spicy tea, gulp down the Colyte, swallow some more tea, breathe.) All of these fluids are best taken at room temperature.

How to put a little more fun into your Colyte experience.

To make this procedure even more fun you can drink a different spicy thing after the gulp. To make the whole ordeal even more fun, even entertaining, make it a challenge to find a different tasty thing to drink every single time both before and after the big gulp. There is a huge potential list of clear fluids which might be legitimately consumed. Perhaps one could consider this an opportunity to explore the many varieties of teas, coffees, jellos and sodas that you generally consider outside your normal routine. However, you are supposed to avoid red colored drinks for the last few purgings because the color might stain the colon and make interpreting any abnormal colon skin discolorations more difficult for your doctor. Dark colored Coke might be okay for the first several cycles of this procedure but the last ones used should be with pale colorless fluids like green tea, peppermint tea or flavored clear soda water. This whole cycle takes about 16 seconds, and most people can easily hold their breath that long if they take a couple of deep breaths before starting. If you can’t hold your breath that long, breathe in a little through your nose only, midway through the gulps while keeping your mouth closed, and then continue drinking. When you drink it all at once you can take a sip of something good tasting and smelling before and after the Colyte and you won’t even taste it; you will taste only the spicy first drink and the last one and the stuff in between will have no taste or odor at all. Just don’t breathe while drinking it and think pleasant thoughts.

The old cold-drink method doesn’t work very well.

The usual recommendation is to cool the laxative fluids to about 40°F in a refrigerator. They recommend this low temperature because it helps to suppress the foul taste but I found that to be bad advice because it is so cold that it becomes difficult to drink the Colyte quickly. That cold drink procedure becomes counterproductive because it takes longer to drink the stuff and it is in your mouth longer. While in your mouth it warms up and then tastes bad. What works better is to have it at about room temperature, 70°F. That temperature is a balance between easy to drink quickly and minimal odor and so you can easily drink it in one group of quick swallows.

Most of your time is your usual fun activities.

Although the gallon bottle looks impossibly large to drink in a single day it turns out to be easily done because the large volume of fluid doesn’t actually enter your body proper but it just goes inside your intestines and on out into the toilet in about ten minutes, before it gets assimilated into your body. Doing this procedure can get boring though because you are trapped and can’t go far away from a toilet, so you should pre-plan for some easily paused activity such as watching a movie. However, if you choose that option make sure you know how to operate the pause button on short notice. Yes, I mean short notice. You might practice this operation beforehand if you don’t usually pause to poo. Reading might not be distracting enough unless it is something rather racy, and computer work sort of keeps you hunched over in a tummy squeezing posture which may complicate matters a bit. It is probably okay to go to bed after your final drink and poo cycle but leave a bit of time, at least ten minutes, just to be sure. It might be a good idea to have a small towel tucked into the danger zone, just in case there is any anal leakage.

No pain at all if you accept the sedation.

The actual colonoscopy procedure is sort of fun if you like people fussing over you and don’t mind artificially friendly strangers putting probes up your butt. I have done it twice now, about ten years apart, once with sedation and once without. If they offer you sedation, go for it. That only takes a couple of minutes longer in the recovery room and you avoid all the possibility of pain. Actually the pain was only about like biting one’s tongue by pressing it upward forcefully against a canine tooth with just your tongue muscles. Not all that much pain but it’s way up inside of your guts and totally out of your control so it seems to hurt more than it really does.

A painless colonoscopy is better than a year of painful dying.

Colon cancer graphic showing stages of colon cancer

The stages of colon cancer. Click the picture link to details.

It’s a good idea to get these tests occasionally because if the first tiny colon cancer polyps are caught early they can be removed right during the exam. If the problem is corrected early the pleasant part of your life may be prolonged by many years into the future. If you don’t catch them your life will definitely be shorter and increasingly very unpleasant.

Leave a comment about your experiences – good, bad and other.

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A spider bite photographed a year later.

This is an update a year after the original spider bite; it shows a sequence of photos of a recluse type spider bite from August 16, 2010. Fortunately for me it wasn’t the very dangerous Brown Recluse, found in the lower Mississippi river valley, or the photographs below would look even worse.

A Recluse-Spider but not a Brown-Recluse

I found this Recluse-Spider in my house but not a Brown-Recluse - no violin on its thorax

spider bite

Spider bite. It's the first photo of my lower leg about four days after the bite. 8/20/2010

spider bite plus six days

Spider bite six days after the bite. - 8/22/2010

Spider bite progress

Spider bite seven days after the bite has developed long extensions 8/23/2010

Spider bite with long tendrils

Spider bite eight at days has developed long tendrils and isolated patches. 8-24-2010

Spider bite

Spider bite 15 days after the bite. 2010/09/01


Spider bite

Spider bite 26 days after the bite. 2110/09/12

Spider bite

Spider bite 28 days after the bite 2010/09/14

Two month old spider bite.

The spider bite 65 days after the bite. 2010/10/18 it still has soft dented tissue.

Spider bite is still visible a year later, at center where the lines enclose.

My spider bite one year later is just barely visible at the center.

This photo was made an hour ago, and a year after the spider bite. It shows that there is still a visible patch, but it would not be noticeable if one didn’t look for it. It no longer has a soft-dented feel when I stroke my finger firmly across it. The red area in the lower left  corner was caused when I scuffed my shin on a very heavy couch during some house moving operations last week.

Wikipedia has a good article on Spider Bites.

Although this bite looked bad, it appears that the best treatment was to clean the wound as early as possible with soap and water, which I did, and then an application of iodine or some similar disinfectant, which I didn’t, and then as the ugliness develops just keep it as clean as possible, which I did, and then to avoid spiders in the future, which I will most certainly do.

The bite never hurt or itched, which was why I didn’t notice it for a day or two. The first symptom was when the spot, which later had the ulcer, developed a liquid filled blister over a scarlet area. The first photograph in this series was taken soon after the blister burst. It looked ugly and I saw a doctor immediately, but since there wasn’t any infection he suggested that I just keep it very clean – which I did.

Two months later there was still an obvious discoloration around the ulcerated spot and that ulcer still had a slight indentation and felt spongy to the touch. The progress on healing was slowing at that time and it will only be necessary to photograph it occasionally, such as on the monthly anniversary of the bite. (A year later this spongy feel is gone.)

This post includes the updated photograph promised a year ago at my old site Probaway Life Hacks

Humanity moves along trippingly from one gravestone to the next.

The Angel of Revelation painted by William Blake

The Angel of Revelation, giving the Truth. by William Blake

Religion and science compared

The important difference between religion and science is that science progresses from its prophets’ findings and and religion regresses from theirs. Religious prophets did their best to explain the world as they knew it — where it came from, why it was here, where it was going and the why of it all. They offered what seemed to them to be reasonable assertions and offered interesting stories as proofs for their discoveries. The advantage of their method was that it gave easily understood reasons for things being as they were and how people should behave if they believed the stories. The stories fit the needs of the people at that time and place where the prophet lived and taught. We are now at a distant time and place and a very different culture from what the prophets were relating to, and their revelatory stories have become increasingly unrelated to our needs.

Science can acquire new wisdom

Science is different from religion. It improves as more discoveries are made about how nature works, and each improvement is added to humanity’s accumulating knowledge. This gives us more power to interact effectively with the world around us. The method requires independently testable proofs of assertions. That creates a serious problem for the discoverers of the existing theories, because those who follow them try very hard to find flaws with those existing ideas, and then to create a better theory which answers all the previous theories’ failings and opens up new opportunities. The previous researcher usually tries to his utmost to prove that his earlier theory was correct and that his status, earnings and prizes were properly given. He is loath to admit his errors, even in the face of new facts, and frequently scientists go to their grave proclaiming the truth of their moribund discoveries. They need not worry about their reputation if they did careful research and published their findings accurately. Accurate findings will stand forevermore, but their interpretation of how their discoveries relate to other things is what will change.The new understandings of the previous findings will permit the followers to see reality more clearly and to improve humanity’s relationship with the universe. This is at the expense of tarnishing the reputation of the earlier scientists, and only a tiny dimming of their luster.

Adam Smith's grave

Standing on the shoulders of the intellectual giant - Adam Smith

Scientific success can impede progress

Scientists gain great reputation and power within their field of expertise and for another person to challenge them requires great courage, even foolish courage, because these young seekers may lose their access to the tools of discovery. In some fields, like sub-atomic physics, the research tools are incredibly expensive and only the insiders even have a chance of being allowed to use the tools. The directors of who gets to use these tools are the successful researchers of the previous generation, and they don’t want challenges to their ideas which will destroy their reputations. Thus it is that science is impeded by its own success and sometimes a new idea can not emerge until the old successful scientists retire, or die. However, even great scientists don’t live forever so progress beyond their proclamations is eventually made.

Charles Darwins grave stone

Standing on Charles Robert Darwin's grave stone

Religious success prevents progress

With religious prophets there isn’t any way to improve upon their works, even when they are dead and out of power, because their works stand as complete and crystalline wholes. Their followers must accept the ideas as they exist or totally abandon them and run away. Thus there is no improvement in the original ideas over time and as situations change the religious prophets’ ideas become increasingly irrelevant.

With science humanity moves along trippingly from one gravestone to the next. With a religion it doesn’t move at all, except to slowly sink into obscurity.

A method for remembering phone numbers and random number strings


Instead of saying long strings of numbers as single numerals, say them as pairs. Here is a short number for an example: we don’t say or think the year 1995 as One Nine Nine Five but instead typically as Nineteen Ninety-five. Having said and remembered it in that paired way, an error becomes instantly apparent if it were written down as 9159, for example. The mistake that the 19 was transposed to 91 or the 95 had been transposed into 59 would be obvious. That is an easy mistake to make if that number wasn’t a common year number but instead was a random number which was written as single numerals. We are much less likely to make a mistake if the string were written as number pairs. The typical way of saying year numbers works well for accurately remembering other numbers also. Random number strings such as pi — π = 3.141592 is more accurately said as:

three point   fourteen   fifteen   ninety-two

or a bit more accurately 3.14 15 92 65 35 89 79 32 38 46 26 43 38 32 79 50 28 84 19 71 69 39 93 75 10 58 20 97 49 44 59 23 07 81 64 06 28 62 08 99 86 28 03 48 25 34 21 17 06 79 82 14 80 86 51 32 82 30 66 47 09 38 44 60 95 50 58 22 31 72 53 59 40 81 28 48 11 17 45 02 84 10 27 01 93 85 21 10 55 59 64 46 22 94 89 54 93 03 81 96

Life is made easier by simple little habits.

How to control how much you eat.

The reason Americans are getting fat is because they eat too much food. All of the fancy arguments about different kinds of food not creating fat have been proven to be false by rigorous scientific tests. Ultimately it comes down to one thing – if you eat more calories than you burn off every day for a week you will gain weight. It is that simple, and anyone who tries to convince you otherwise must present you with overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Telling you that someone eating a special diet is losing weight isn’t evidence, but putting a person in an airtight container for a couple of weeks and carefully monitoring their energy input and output and carefully weighing them is evidence. And those types of experiments have been carried out and they have proved conclusively that a week of excess caloric intake will lead to weight gain and less caloric input than expenditure will lead to weight loss.

So the new Probaway Midway Diet seeks to put you in control of how much food you eat by training you to pause in the middle of a meal and say a brief bon mot. This little statement isn’t to some unknown entity, like an external spirit; it is to yourself. The statement can vary to fit the circumstance but it would be something like this.

I am thankful that this bounty of food has become available to me. I realize that there is more food available here than I will need for my well being until my next meal and therefore I will choose to stop eating when I have exactly enough to bring me to that next meal and no more.

That little statement made midway in a meal to yourself will caution you to taper off your eating as you approach what you need. This statement can be honed to be more specific to the meal before you. With a little practice you can estimate just how much of each item would bring you up to the ideal meal which is several hours in the future. This statement can and should be refined over the next several years to meet the changing circumstances we will come to face. I hope to poeticize this statement to make it more memorable, but the basic idea is that you get your eating under your voluntary control by having it brought to your attention at the middle of every meal.
Eat exactly enough at every meal — not one bite more or less.