Friday, October 31, 2008

Say NO to Violence against Women

"Information is power", a fact of relevance especially to organizations that need to maintain a good relationships with the general population to meet their goals and justify fund raising that will lead to development programmes.

Awareness is the first step leading to a solution, and although substantial contributions such as volunteering or donations have greater impact, the mere act of acknowledging an issue is a tangible contribution to a cause.

Now just think for a moment in all the women that you know and realize that one in three of them will be beaten, coerced into sex or or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Only about one in five of them will seek professional medical treatment if physically injured [1-3].

Please do not take my word for it, choose your most reliable source of evidence and make your own mind. Once you have an opinion, you may want to publicly acknowledge your awareness of this problem. Sign up here, it matters and it helps.

If the embedded form doesn't work, you can go or

[1] Heise, L., Ellsberg, M. and Gottemoeller, M. Ending Violence Against Women. Population Reports, Series L, No. 11., December 1999

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bought a domain...

Absolutely unnecessary but very cheap ($1.69), I just bought my first Internet domain: from This blog should now be redirecting to .


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Silly decision Adobe Acrobat V9 abandons MDI

In the new version 9 of Adobe Acrobat it is not possible -by design- to open multiple documents ion the same window (MDI). Mac users may not know what I am talking about, since this feature is on Windows only.

While web browsers have evolved to Tabbed document interface, Adobe is making a step back cluttering our monitors with multiple windows of the same application (SDI). The reasons argued include Feature Parity with Macintosh, reduction of debugging costs, and advise from Microsoft (haha!).

The response of complaining users have been overwhelming and the Product Manager have closed the comments in the Adobe Blog entry saying "We're heard you loud and clear [...] there's no need to beat a dead horse".

Let's hope that Sumatra PDF, one of the current open source pdf viewers, implements tabbed view before Adobe does. It was a silly move to begin with, but wielding "advise from Microsoft" as an argument...

After comments and other forum post I can add that :
Sumatra developers agree with Adobe, and don't plan to implement MDI.
Not open source, but commercial with a free version, PDF XChange viewer seems to be an option I will be trying now.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Understand to disagree.

Bible believers will have a hard time facing the evidence of multiple manipulation of the content of the 'holy book' by fallible and unscrupulous translators and scribes. Oldest known bible is being digitised and contains multiple discrepancies with the current accepted version (Have a look to the BBC article "The rival to the Bible").

If interested in the topic of evidence based bible analysis, some books by Bart D. Ehrman may help, such as: "Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why". I had the chance to listen to the audio-book recording of his lectures titled "The historical Jesus". It is very interesting for anyone regardless your background. Ehrman's analysis provides a plausible story , i.e. Jesus was most likely one of many Jew that believed in an imminent apocalypses, miracles were not exclusive but commonly attributed to many other magicians/priest, and many of the supernatural features that define christianity were added many centuries after Jesus death, based not in evidence but in political convenience and wishful thinking.

Why should you care? Why to perpetuate the interest in a badly written and amalgamated book? Why not to focus in other books with more literary or philosophical value? Why to dig into a topic that we have all learned to avoid at the dinner table? We already got enough of wimpy politeness, and it is in our own self interest to bring politics and religion to the table!

Considering myself atheistic (I can not prove ghost's nonexistence, but I assume it as the most plausible reality), is my opinion that understanding religions in a rational and evidence based perspective is every body's responsibility, and today an urgent business. The main motivation is not spiritual nor literary, but the fact that religion have always played a fundamental role in political issues.

USA, militarily the most powerful country in the world is significantly composed and leaded by fanatic and illiterate believers who crave for a soon-to-be end of the world based on twisted interpretation of the bible. They antagonize with other group of fanatics with other odd interpretation of just another 'sacred book'. They all have aggressive foreign policies, many weapons, and overall an absolutely deluded certainty of right and truth. What outcome should we expect when foreign affairs are trusted to arrogant fairy-tail believers?

You may not want to be bothered by doom's day speculation or any sort of academic bitterness, then at least you can get the comedy perspective, and have a laugh with the following video.

The bottom line remains the same: religious extremist are in power, if we don't understand their perspective we can't properly disagree, and if nobody disagrees, they rule. They are ruling now, with awful consequences. Get out of the closet, let's openly disagree.