How to create drop shadows using only HTML/CSS

August 26, 2010

 

How to create drop shadow effect on text using only HTML

I wanted to create a shadow effect (example above).
My principal concern was that it would work on most if not all browsers. There are many examples of how this is done using CSS and various cryptic javascript commands which do not seem to work on all browsers. I turned to plain old html code which I could insert in my Gallery3 header.
Here is the code and how it works.

  1. This is the first line or bottom text –  shadow text

  1. This is the top line

    Here is how it works …
    Step 1: Change the position of the shadow text by moving it a little to right or left. In the case above I moved it sligthly to the left of the top text (which is in 2 px to the right of the shadow text therefore after “position: absolute; left:”  I changed it to 10px
    Step 2: Change the position of the shadow text from the top to be sligthly offset from the top text. In this case the top text is 22px and the shadow text is 24px.
    Step 3: I made the shadow higher  (47px versus 44px) 
    Step 4: The font size is the same for both the shadow and top text. 
    Step 5: Colours are changed by fiddling around with the “color:” code.

    What is cool about this method is that by jigging around with the size and positionig you also get a glow effect.

    Easy peasy!


    El Camino Videos

    August 11, 2010

    The summer of sizzling pork

    July 30, 2010

    I left Canada (I stayed in Fergus, a village with enough distance from Toronto to make it the real rural) a fortnight back and left with it hot muggy weather. Or so I thought. Now what happened is that it followed me, to Finland, in the far north. Now you might think that we suffer from frigid weather all times of the year. Not so. The summer has been unusual. Even in Lappland  – the reindeer have been complaining loudly how unfair it is that they should have to put up with might well be climate change caused by their herdmasters, the human species.

    Their quadruped cousins, swine, do not have mechanism to cool themselves down so human intervention is necessary. Last night’s National News showed us how some farmers are coping with this heat wave. Simply, they take out the water hose and douse down the swine who, in their inimitable way, er, hog the water raining down on them. I do not come to mention hogs accidently. No, it has something to do with the latest tit-for-tat food war between the Russians and Finns. Actually, this food war seems to  move from country to country. Some time ago it was Poland. Then the Baltic countries. Then Sweden. Now it is our turn.

    It seems that Russian food scientists have found anti-biotics swimming around Finnish hog meat exported to Russia. They have also found other things and, it seems, they have been using microscopic technology far superior to that available to us in the west. This is not a new phenomena. I mean that the Russian government uses whatever is at hand to thrash its neighbours into line. Finland is a handy and easy whipping boy. Last week the Russian president,  Dmitry Medvedev, visited our own president, Tarja Kaarina Halonen, at the summer palace. We were there visiting family, the village, not the president.

    I got to hear of it from our local clan who have the nasty habit of going down to the see daily, to dip their bodies for a cool down. Were they surprised to see such a massive security presence? Does a bear shit in a Russian woods?

    Then our president, Tarja H. took up the several matters with her counterpart. For example, what about Russia’s attempt to restrict food imports from Finland? She likely whined.

    You see, this week it is pork, last week it was milk, and before that it was iced cream. Some time ago it was the meddling of the Russian Child Protection ombudsman who slagged off the Finnish Social Service, good and proper, from very high moral ground, for not being sensitive to the plight of a Russian family living in Turku who were having problems with their child. Russian media played the chauvinist card by suggesting that Russians living in Finland actually are obliged to follow Russian law, too. Give over, one Finnish politician was heard saying. Not too loudly though lest he get a harsh reprimand from the Duma.

    On the matter of Finnish food exports to Russia, the Russian president blithely mentioned at the one and only press conference at Tarja’s pied-à-terre that all would be fixed in a fortnight and besides, since the age of urchinhood, he has been suckled on Finnish milk and chomped down on good smoked Finnish hams. All to the good. Look at me now, all one metre fifty (5 foot 4)

     Well, then, hip hip hooray! So one may assume that if it was good for him surely it is good for us. Or maybe not.


    Footie with head butting Iberians

    June 26, 2010

    For some days, I was able to state categorically, my view, on the World Cup. Whenever the discussion would veer my way I would sagaciously utter : “I have only two words to say: seven, nil”. Of course I was referring to the trounce, the otherwise not hapless North Korean squad, suffered at the hands of the only other Iberian team: the Lusitani. Now both teams are in the last eight but the match in which they will face each other will be good football, no doubt, but careful; like a man going out for a late Sunday walk in a dogs-only run.

    Both teams played an enjoyable football but the Spanish side seemed to have a handle on what it takes to go through. Portugal’s side kept the match to Brazil to a zero zero draw. There were no moments in which either side shone. Well, in the first half, the Boys from Rio did not samba very much but indeed showed panache at  breaking ankles. Some would say that this aggressiveness may be put down to a friendly rivalry borne of a common history and language: That is to say the colonials were getting theirs back.

    Now the Lusitani will face off the side representing their Iberian cousins. This is a disaster for chappies like me. I will have to root for both sides, at the same time. It is not fair. I bought both national flags but I do not want to be waving both flags, during the same match. I might even give it a miss. What will I do when Xavi scores? Followed by a wallop of a goal by Ronaldo? My heart can’t stand the strain: I will give it miss. For sure. Maybe.


    Post-colonialism, the World Cup and the Vuvuzela

    June 26, 2010


    There I was sitting in a pub at the Stanstead airport, on Friday, watching the first world cup match with South Africa as the host team. The match was so boring I do not remember who the opposing side might have been. I do however remember the two young, pretty South African – and white – women sitting at the same table. When the match heated up with South Africa scoring, they pulled out these two plastic, colourful cones (Traffic cones? In a pub? At the airport? Inside a purse? Odd! I thought). Up until then I had not paid any attention to this until then, unknown as an instrument of cultural expression. One of the two lassies blew the horn straight into my ear. Normally, I suffer fools (somewhat) gladly, especially when it is during the World Cup. However this time I knew that I had to move away from the line of fire from this very, very, very loud instrument of pain. I did not then appreciate how this plastic cone was going to become a racist, anti-racist tug-of-war.
    A couple of days later – today – however, I read the local paper and came upon an article by Juha Tuuna (juha.tuuna@sss.fi) in which he froths at the mouth and flagellates all those who find the vuvuzela annoying to the point of distraction. He calls them football colonialists (Finnish: futiskolonismia).

    Normally, on a warm summer day, I would pass over the silliness (or is that idiocy?) about which summer journalists froth. It is a fact that the vuvuzela is annoying and very very loud, but this is a secondary to the issue at hand. He, Juha, throws up the red herring that this damned thing is part of African culture therefore we better keep mum. Gosh, no, we would not want to offend Africans, brown, white and especially black-skinned. I do not mind flagellation, if it is self-inflicted but please, white-boy, do not flagellate me for not accepting trite nonsense and, well er, lies about a noisy piece of plastic. The vuvuzela is not an African cultural trophy not unless Africans, or those at football matches, have been making plastic trumpets since the white-devil set his foot on the continent. It is, simply put, a piece of extruded plastic which some clever clogs started selling to fans – of every colour and many nations – and is guffawing, at the noise being generated with and about the vuvuzela –  all the way to the bank. I say it once again, just in case I have not yet stated it clearly enough: The vuvuzela is not a cultural icon but rather a very annoying, loud, very very loud, piece of plastic which is polluting our environment with noise and when falls into the pit of historical mad and trite artefacts –  as surely as the hula-hoop was – it will end up as nothing more than plastic detritus, in the south Pacific’s floating Plastic ocean.

    Aside: While I am using the word African, readers should be reminded that Africa is a big place with thousand of cultural identities. Something like Europe! Let me put it this way- is a Finn and Frenchman? Or to put it another way: How much culture does a Bantu businessman sitting in Maputo share with an Ifo tribesman sitting in the Congo delta? Other than skin colour (and even that is not certain)?

    Youngest son and I sat in the telly room watching the second match and I mentioned, casually, that a gargantuan was bee trying to get out of the house via the upstairs bedroom window. I was half-joking but then he pointed out the din was coming from the television box. It was constant and continuous. I finally had to turn the sound off. We both concluded that football without sound is boring so I turned it back on gritted our collective teeth.

    An odd ball

    While we were trying to maintain the dignity in diehard footie fans, we fell into a polite dialogue about other important football matters. The football, that is the Jabulani, does not seem to bounce true. “The physics is wrong. ! I tried to sound erudite. “It bounces and falls when it is not suppose to do either, and at the same time. And it is too sensitive. A chip will take it to the Nairobi.” Obviously, I was engaged in a bit of hyperbole, though not by much. I clearly remember balls doing funny things in previous World Cups but it was the kicker who was making it twirl in gravity-defying spins. Now it seems that the ball itself is doing all the twirling and spinning. I say, get rid of it and bring back the old pigskin, sewn and not perfectly round.

    The sad Iberians and boring Anglos

    Stuffing the Spaniards was carried out by the treacherous Swiss side. In Lisbon some years back it was the Greeks. Now it is the swish swatch-carrying Swiss. Is there nothing sacred? Portugal did a little better by not losing. Small comfort. Its opposition probably sported the best looking kits.
    The England side proved to be supremely capable of boring with the best of them. Yawn!

    The best match so far

    It happened last night. The Uruguay side played well and deserved to win. I think that the red card to goalminder Khune was payback for the ugly tackles which the South African side had been subjecting Uruguay players.
    So would suggest that the Germany-Australia was the best match to date. Well yes, up to a point. Germany did not encounter any great resistance. It shall have to prove itself against better sides.


    Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater: Quando Corpus

    June 14, 2010

    http://www.youtube.com/v/PKyEHBWrUlk&hl=en_US&fs=1

    Oh aye, I did listen to music, now and then, when the birdsong had died down to a twitter. The first piece was always Fac, Ut, Ardeat, cor Meum (Pergolesi, Stabat Mater) This is one of the most singularly playable, pieces of music which any pilgrim should take with them on the St James Way. It soothes the savage heart, it calms the uncalmed soul and surely cures blistered feet.

    I played it daily. Those that heard it (inadvertently) commented on its serene beauty. A (Christian, religious) pilgrim walking alone in Cantabrian mountains needs little else.


    In a moral panic?

    April 28, 2010

    No, one cannot miss the headlines. Although the Finnish media does tone it down a bit when pedophilia and the Catholic Church is the subject. Finns are very sanguine about most things. Anyone who discusses this issue sees it from cold and sane perspective: it has always been here, Catholics are no more prone to it than anyone else and the media is in a feeding frenzy. Can one sigh with relief: Thank God! Or is that blasphemy? A week back I wrote about a notorious NY Times hack – Lauri Goldstein  who has attacked the Church in as many positions as a fandango dancer can manage. Fair enough! If there is a wrong and injustice perpetrated against the weak, meek and defenseless, then expose it and loudly. 


     However the matter of pedophilia is not as clear cut as the liberal media makes out. First, we should ask ourselves why is now that this issue is so important? It surfaced some years ago and it fizzled out. Now new life has been breathed into the embers. But why now? Who will gain by this? Will the victims of the crimes? Will we have to raise the bodies of dead priests Why is that the mountains of injustice and worries in the world are less important? What of Mugabe and his volte-face?  Russian hegemony? The world economy? Is the Darfur issue resolved? Poverty? The Palestine Question? Beheadings of non-believers? Pollution and global warming? In an article by a young journalist (Diário dos Açores, Miguel Maurício, in Portuguese) addresses this very tricky moral issue. He throws us a few crumbs which I investigated. He points Massimo Introvigne and Philip Jenkins, an American professor and moral entrepreneurs.  


    Philip Jenkins wrote “The new anti-Catholicism: the last acceptable prejudice”. In this book he makes the claim that Church bashing is acceptable to Americans, indeed a badge of honour is bestowed on those who feign bravery and attack an institution which they know full well cannot (and probably will not) defend itself. He also throws a few facts on the table: (my translation from Portuguese)

    • In 2004, an Episcopal  Conference requested  a study be carried out by John Jay College for the years 1950 to 2002, of 4392 clergy (in a total of 109,000) who were accused of improper sexual conduct with minors. Of these, a bit more than 100 were adjudged guilty in a court of law. In the other cases the issues were unclear, not legally contestable, or the clergy had since died. In some cases, the incident had occured when the child was past the age of sixteen, therefore not legally contestable in many US states. On the other hand, there were also cases in which clergymen were accused but were indeed innocent. These cases were often spearheaded by attorneys whose payout was bullion they hoped to extract from the Catholic Church if they won. (Was it not Shakespeare Henry V that Dick uttered ruefully” The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”)

    Miguel Maurico takes a position on clergy pedophilia. A sane and completely normal one: out the buggers and get rid of them. Prosecute them with all legal means. The yardstick is simple: a man in authority (like Bill Clinton as President of the USA) shall not abuse his authority to procure favours, especially sexual favours, from those under his stewardship. The most vulnerable in our society, children, women, the elderly, the weak and meek shall be protected. Full stop. Period. No discussions.


    Moral entrepreneurs would surely agree with this. However, these upright citizens are especially shrill when clergy and pedophilia are mentioned in the same phrase. But this shrillness is akin to moral panic.
    The moral panic which is – if not now, soon – afflicting the moral entrepreneurs trying to push the Church into accepting same-sex marriage and gay rights is that gay acts between consenting adults and between adults and children is indeed muddy waters. Not for me, and not for the vast majority of people in this tiny planet of ours.


    The problem with the self-righteous moral entrepreneurs is that they know better than you and me. So they will fight like pit bull terriers for their cause even if it is nothing more than a way to justify their own decadent and immoral lifestyle. The principal is simple: if everyone is injecting themselves with heroin then it must be OK.


    Let us just face it: our modern society is suffering from moral turpitude.   *     No more is this apparent than in the definition of what is an homosexual act.  Sorry to tell you this but it is a relative matter.
    A child under 16 (or is that 14 now?) may consent to a sexual act, in Canada and many parts of the USA. Yet, if the same act took place in Costa Rica,   **     the legal repercussions would be grave for the adult.  So, which is it? Is a sexual act with a child who is 16/14 years old minus one day a pedophilic act or an homosexual act?


    One Brazilian bishop was glibly disingenious in excusing his bestiality by saying that since his sexual plaything was not a boy any longer, their sexual encounters are nothing more than a homosexual acts. So, according to this morally depraved man, it is OK to be gay but being a pedophilia is er … not OK … Sort of …  but, we should keep in ming that it is alleged that this (former, I hope) bishop had sexual encounters with the boyfriend when the lad was a minor. I may or may not like the idea that the Church accepts gays into the priesthood – it has done for 2000 years – but it is no different from the Church accepting heterosexual men into the priesthood. The rule is the same for all: keep your dicks in your cassocks.


    There is a moral dilemma in view but it is the moral entrepreneurs who must do a little reflecting now.





    * Would you allow your underage child to have her body tattooed? I only mention this because Saturday’s local paper -Salo Seudun Sanomat –  showed a girl of 15 proudly showing off her new dress with a large tattoo on her foot. Since she is not yet of the age of majority does the tattoo represent assault? Poor parenting skills or worse? In Common Law, the argument does not hold that you are allowed to consent to having your body mutilated – Queen vs Brown, 1992)


    ** A few years ago, while going walkabout in Costa Rica I could not help noticing signs posted on store fronts, at bus stops and public places announcing that it is a crime for a male adult to have sexual relations with a child under the age of majority – that is 18 years of age.

    Once warned it became evident that there were many such pairs than I had at first noticed – young boys and older – often gray-haired-  men being “inappropriately” affectionate in public. I had just been in Canada in which country a law change had just made it legal for sex acts with boys as young as 16 to be expunged from the Common Law criminal law texts.

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