Blog: Fr. Robert

New Content on Gemini Capsule

I am posting the majority of new content to my Gemini Capsule.

The address for the Gemini Capsule is gemini://

If you don't have a browser that supports Gemini, please use this proxy link.

Hieromonk Seraphim (Aldea) On Prayer

I found a short twelve minute video on prayer, on the Protecting Veil YouTube channel. The presenter is Fr. Seraphim (Aldea).

It is definitely worth the watch.

Plans for Reading the Bible

One of the things we struggle with is the daily reading of scriptures. I have found two different methods to assist with reading scripture on a regular basis.

The first one is a based on an old pdf for reading the Orthodox Study Bible in a year. The pdf is a chart for reading the Old Testament, the Psalms, the Proverbs, and the New Testament each day. I have used this method in the past and it does work. You do not be a slave to the chart. I found after a month or so I would be out of sync with the chart. I would read more of one part than another. Just simply mark the sections off where you have read ahead and the chart still works. The chart can be downloaded at

The second method I found was a method Fr. John Whiteford wrote about on his blog, You simply make six bookmarks. One for the Pentateuch, the History books of the Old Testament, one for the Wisdom books of the OT, one for the Prophets of the Old Testament, one for the Gospels, and one for the remaining books of New Testament. You read read a chapter for each section every day and in roughly a year you will get through the Bible. Again you don't need to be a slave to the method. You may read more for one section on any given day and that is OK. The goal is to read six chapters a day.

Math in a Webpage

Besides being a priest I also teach math. When a student emails you with a math question, putting the answer in an email can be a daunting prospect. Often the quickest options for a single question is writing the answer out on paper, scanning it, saving it as a pdf, and sending it to the student. But what do you do if you want to do something more formal.

The answer in the past and still today LaTeX. It is a type setting program that is very math and science friendly. Using LaTeX involves creating the document then compiling it often as a pdf. This is a great solution for class handouts that you will print and give to students. However if you want to embed the information in a webpage LaTeX is not the best tool. It is a type setting program not an html editor.

I came across a program this weekend that fits the bill, MathJax. MathJax is a JavaScript display engine for Mathematics. The Mathjax website is MathJax supports many different formats including LaTeX. You simple add a link to the MathJax library in the header or body of your html document, and then enter your mathematical expression enclosed in the appropriate tags.

Example enter <script type="text/javascript" async src=""> </script> in the header or body of your html document.

Now if you want to display the quadratic Formula enter \( {x = \frac{{ - b \pm \sqrt {b^2 - 4ac} }}{{2a}}} \) This entry is in LaTeX form because that is what I am familiar with. You may check the MathJax website for what formats are supported. For those who are familiar with LaTeX you may notice the enclosing tags are \( and \) and not $ $ even though the MaxJax website says it supports $ tags I could not get the equation to display properly unless I used \( and \) as tags.

Another gotcha I found is if you are using a CMS that uses markdown. Which is the case with my website I had to enclose any line with a math formula in it with <p> </p> HTML tags.

I find this an easy way to post information for students.

\( {x = \frac{{ - b \pm \sqrt {b^2 - 4ac} }}{{2a}}} \)

Gopher Browsers

For Linux I have found four ways to browse Gopher space.

  1. Lynx
  2. ELinks
  3. OverbiteNX
  4. Gopher Proxy

The first method I used was Lynx. Lynx is a text based browser that supports Gopher out of the box. The nice thing about Lynx is that if a Gopher site has an HTML document as one of its documents it will render the HTML document as HTML.

The second method I used was ELinks. ELinks does support Gopher but in most distribution packages the package was not compiled with Gopher support. To use ELinks you will need to download the source code, edit the configuration to support Gopher, compile, and install. Gopher browsing with ELinks is very similar to Lynx. ELinks will also support rendering HTML documents as HTML even on a Gopher site. ELinks does support tabs and a few other features that Lynx does not.

The third method I found was the OverbiteNX extension for Firefox. It allows you to browse Gopher Space within Firefox. OverbiteNX does not use a proxy so Gopher sites with queries actually work. All documents accessed are shown as text. HTML documents are not rendered as HTML rather the html source is shown.

The fourth method is using a proxy server such as Floodgap Public Gopher Proxy The advantage of the proxy server is you need not install any additional software on your computer. The downside is most if not all queries do not work.

Each of the four methods will work for browsing Gopher space. Only Lynx and ELinks has no issues while in Gopher space. But both Lynx and Elinks have compatibility issues with modern websites. Both OverbiteNX and a proxy server have limitations while in Gopher space but have no compatibility issues with modern websites.

So none of the Gopher solutions will work for both Gopher and HTML sites 100%.