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Anti spam measures

It seems that things like this have to happen from time to time. In a few days time I got two notifications of problems with commenting. One visitor was kind enough to contact me and tell me the error he got. It was a white screen with at the bottom giving not only the file which gave the error (hmmm, that is not a good thing), but also the line: “In order to prevent spam, you must manually copy the given number if you do not have JavaScript enabled. Please go back and try again.” I use two anti spam plugins, apparently both use some JavaScript, but the error quickly showed me which one gave the problems. I could not reproduce the error, but I hate the fact that some people do have problems. So I got rid of the plugin (that apparently is no longer maintained anyway) and replaced it by another. All works fine here, should you now or at any given time have problems with commenting, please go to the “website intro & contact” and see there how to email me. Please provide as much information as possible, what section (articles, book reviews, etc.) what browser you use, what error you get (a print screen might help), etc. I hope I have solved the problem for now, but like I said, it seems like this has to happen from time to time.

Stats and other news

I do not often look at my statistics, but today I did. I do not think there are many changes since the previous time, but I noticed a few things. When I make a daily average for August, I come to the following numbers:
Articles: 72 unique visitors per day; book reviews: 64; film reviews: 76; music reviews: 126.
Hits are of course much higher and also feed-hits even when I don’t advertise feeds on the other sections than the news section. The film and music review archives have much entries at category archives with in music a high ranking for the “tag” Haus Arafna! Book reviews get more direct hits. Popular are Flowers’ Galdrabók, Mead’s Mysteries Of Mithra.
What I find interesting myself is how the articles go. Here’s an overview:
Battlenoise: 2321 hits in the last week
Christian Cabala: 1919
index: 1440
Rune Calendars: 1170
Nine Words In Nordic Mythology: 911
Occult Renaissance: 847
Angel Magic: 803
Johannes Bureus: 670
Rune Cross Of Johannes Bureus: 655
Papyri Graecae Magicae: 522

The Battlenoise book is awfully popular. Probably because the larger part of the print was destroyed and people still want to know about it, but 2321 hits in a week?!? How many potential readers would the book have in the first place? I find position 3 for the index surprising, perhaps there are still people who come there to see if there is anything new, while there rarely is. The “Christian Cabala” and “Rune Calendar” articles always come up high. The subjects have become popular shortly after I wrote the articles and the English wikipedia has links to my articles in both their articles (no I didn’t put them there myself). The same popularity has been there for the medieval/Renaissance magic articles and Bureus is a newly rising star. The “Nine Worlds” and “Papyri Graecae Magicae” are surprising, especially the first one.
Since my articles section is quite wide in subject, it shows a bit where the people’s interests go, which I find nice to see some time.

The last thing that I noticed is that there is apparently a new and rapidly becoming popular search engine bing.com. It is a beta, I find it way below the level of Google myself, but I get more hits from Bing than from Google recently.

To close off something completely different: apparently someone has found a way to avoid my anti spam measures. 3 Out of 5 sections get quite a lot of spam for some paid gamesite. The comments themselves are complimentary but the text doesn’t fit the posts they reply to, but the username is linked to all kinds of Wow Power Leveling websites, so they get an extraordinary high ranking from Google. I suppose this is exactly the point. I hope I have this spam flood under control soon, otherwise I may have to take some more drastic matters, such as no automatically publishing of comments.

Some new features

Recently it bothered me that when I reply to someone’s comment even myself couldn’t let the commenter know that (s)he got a reaction to the original comment. I looked around for a “plugin” that allows people to have their comment send per email to the person they respond to, but I couldn’t find one that worked properly. Then I thought that it would be better to have the potential receiver of such emails decide if they want to get them, so now I installed a plugin allowing people to subscribe to the comments of a certain post.
Looking around for the plugin I ran into a comment preview plugin. I used to have one, but it stopped working after some upgrade of WP. I prefer to be able to preview myself, so I want to offer the possibility here too. These features are added to all sections but this one (news).
Last thing is something that you shouldn’t notice, but I have tried to stop search engines from indexing search results, author and date archives, etc. since I noticed that search results a bit too often contains way of entering posts that I do not prefer.

Of course I did some testing, but should you run into anything strange or something that does not (or no longer) work, let me know by commenting on this post or if commenting is the thing that stopped working, go to “website intro and contact” for other contact information.

Symbols and symbolism

When you follow these pages, it will be no surprise that I am of the opinion that in your time and society people have lost every feeling for symbolism. People no longer understand ornamentation in architecture or symbolism from older times in general. Logos, that is the kind of symbolism that people understand and traffic signs, these are part of everyday life. Symbols that people are no longer familiar with, are often regarded skew eyes. This is not strange, because strong symbols are often used in politics and the worst example is of course the misuse of symbols during WWII. This sometimes (often?) leads to situations in which people do not understand a symbol, so they link it to ‘these other dangerous symbols’. More often it happens that people see a symbol, figure that it might mean something, so they will not ask about it, fearing that they will get a story that they are not interested in or worse, that they do not understand. I vastly enjoy symbolism and find it usefull too. I have several tattoos that are not often visible, but when they are, 99 out of 100 people do not dare to ask what they mean (which is for the better, since I would not know to explain them to most people). With tshirts (and jewlery) I do something similar. I also like playing with this. I like to wear a shirt with some logo on it that almost nobody will recognise and that also look like a symbol; or a text or a text-logo that makes a shirt look like these cheesy shirts that you buy in cheesy clothing shops, but they are not… Just a few examples above.

9/11

So it has been seven years since I was in Seattle visiting my sister and her husband?

One day we would go with my brother-in-law’s sister somewhere and when she didn’t show up we called her and she said: “You didn’t hear? Go and find a television somewhere!” (my sister didn’t have a television). So we went to the neighbours, who were Japanese, and sat on the floor watching the news; quite an unreal sight. Read More »9/11

Koenraad Logghe leaves Traditie

I have known about this for about two weeks, but last night the extras newsletter was sent around, so now it is ‘official’: Koenraad Logghe has left the Flemish Asatru group that he founded. There are several reasons that can be mentioned, but the main reason is that Koenraad’s ideas drifted away from the ideas of other people in the movement, under whom the current chairman Stefaan van den Eynde. Not that they parted with arguments, not at all, but Koenraad concluded that Traditie would be better off without him and that he had to explore other horizons.
Unfortunately my ideas are much closer to the Traditionalistic ideas of Koenraad than to those of Stefaan, so time will tell if Traditie will get a new direction and if I can find myself in it. I will miss the walking encyclopedia and genuine esotericist and hope that his new horizon will not be too far away.
People who can read Dutch, can read the newsletter anouncing the depart here.

Hoch Sauerland

Just back from a week holidays. It had to be not too far and not too expensive, so we have spent a week in what is the skiing part of Germany in the winter and a sleepy holidays area in the summer, but ideal for walking and there are a few things to see too. Not too many prechristian sites this time, even though we were not that far from previous holidays locations, but we have seen a few embarkment forts (what do you call them in English?). In the Netherlands we usually call them “Hunneschansen” and sometimes “Huneschansen”. They are built walls with sand over them and used as a protected area in times past, sometimes (but not often these days) connected to the Huns. We haven’t been able to find the “Weleda Höhle” of Velmede and other than that it was more the normal natural sites such as the Externsteine-like rocks of Bruchhausen (but without carvings, temples and graves), the beautiful spring of Alme (nothing like a temple site here, so no Paderborn). Perhaps those ancient church ruins with the large lime tree could be something (folklore places a pagan temple there). Perhaps I should make some article with photos of such places that are interesting.

Commenting

Again problems with commenting. Apparently the anti spam plugin that I used conflicts with another plugin that I recently upgraded which caused impossibility to comment (a javascript/cookies error occured). Of course this has been solved, but excuses for the people who were unable to leave their messages. Should this happen again, please send me an email (see website intro and contact).

Shades of Grey

The attentive eye may have noticed that the lay-out of this website has slightly changed. Somewhere in the previous weeks, Gangleri.nl has been online for a year, but too much work with the new house made me totally forget about the fact. That, but also in general, I wanted to experiment a little with a new “theme”. I had the idea to have a clear middle part and two bars with an image on the sides. I worked at a theme that used grey and blue tones and it looked pretty nice. I was limited to shades of grey though, because there were a lot of CSS jokes in the theme that were no easy to change. My girlfriend found the theme a little boring… Then I decided to find another theme to edit which would give me a little more freedom with colours and in the end I came to the very theme that I started with a year ago. Instead of images in the sides of the screen, this theme only allowed me to add an image to the background of the whole screen, except the so-called “sidebar” (the navigation on the right). I noticed that I really nuked the theme in my early CSS days while trying to stretch the content-space. This time I played a bit more of a fair game and the result is not only better visually, but especially also CSS-wise. You may find the lay-out more or less the same, but believe me that I completely started from scratch with a blue and white theme with no images in it whatsoever. I messed up the theme so well the previous time that I couldn’t use anything of my reworked version without wrecking the whole thing, so this has been a good exercise for me. I hope you like the new design as much as I do. In the end I think the colours that I used (based on the image on the index of the website) give the website another atmosphere than the often-used shades of grey, so for the time being, you will be looking at something with shades of brown.

Busy, but not here…

Wow, moving from one place to another proves to be quite a job. Besides the fact that I still haven’t installed my computer in the new place, there is way too much to do, preventing me from doing anything here. I guess you have to be a bit more patient for Gangleri updates…