What is the Difference between Facts and Opinions?

This is a short blog about the differences between facts and opinions.

I am writing this because I have noticed, over the last several years, people tend to confuse facts with opinions and opinions with facts.

What is a Fact?  A fact is something that is either true or false.

  • For example, the color of the sky (on a clear day) is blue. That statement is a fact.
  • For example, the outside temperature is 90 degrees. That statement is a fact.
  • For example, my dog is a husky. That statement is a fact.

While someone can challenge an established “fact”, this person would have to show proof that the “fact” is not correct.  Sorry, but just saying, “You’re wrong!” or mocking what the person said does not cut it!

So what are opinions then?  An opinion is either something that someone believes to be true (has not yet been proven to be a fact), cannot be proven at all for some reason, or something that could have more than one answer.

  • The color tan looks good on that wall. That statement is an opinion. Why?  Because something that looks good to one person may not to another.
  • That little dog is cute! That statement is an opinion, because while this person thinks the dog is cute, someone else may not think so.
  • Large smart phones are better than smaller ones. This too is an opinion. Some people may prefer smaller smart phones to larger ones.

Here is a real life example.  A friend of mine (we will call her Grace), posted a YouTube video showing some inaccuracies in another YouTube video she found.

Someone eventually posted a “rebuttal” comment showing why none of her corrections was “correct”.  The funny thing is…this person did not use logical arguments in most of his comment.

He was triggered, and wanted to trash Grace’s video using emotional (mostly non-factual, opinionated, weak) arguments.

Interestingly when Grace responded back to _all_ of his arguments, he never did reply.  He just dropped himself from the debate that he had started!  I suspect he could not reply, because he was mostly arguing from his emotions and not from established facts.

Now to be clear, I have no problem with people giving their honest opinions. What I do have a problem with is people who try to pass their opinions off as facts, when they cannot provide proof.


Posted in General

Resurrection Sunday – Jesus Christ’s Death, Burial, and Resurrection

John 18   New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Judas Betrays Jesus
When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the ravine of the Kidron, where there was a garden, in which He entered with His disciples. Now Judas also, who was betraying Him, knew the place, for Jesus had often met there with His disciples. Judas then, having received the Roman cohort and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, *came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. So Jesus, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth and *said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He *said to them, “I am He.” And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them. So when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground. Therefore He again asked them, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus the Nazarene.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am He; so if you seek Me, let these go their way,” to fulfill the word which He spoke, “Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one.” Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus. So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?”

Jesus before the Priests
So the Roman cohort and the commander and the officers of the Jews, arrested Jesus and bound Him, and led Him to Annas first; for he was father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. Now Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was expedient for one man to die on behalf of the people.

Simon Peter was following Jesus, and so was another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and entered with Jesus into the court of the high priest, but Peter was standing at the door outside. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the doorkeeper, and brought Peter in. Then the slave-girl who kept the door *said to Peter, “You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He *said, “I am not.” Now the slaves and the officers were standing there, having made a charcoal fire, for it was cold and they were warming themselves; and Peter was also with them, standing and warming himself.

The high priest then questioned Jesus about His disciples, and about His teaching. Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world; I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together; and I spoke nothing in secret. Why do you question Me? Question those who have heard what I spoke to them; they know what I said.” When He had said this, one of the officers standing nearby struck Jesus, saying, “Is that the way You answer the high priest?” Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you strike Me?” So Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Peter’s Denial of Jesus
Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You are not also one of His disciples, are you?” He denied it, and said, “I am not.” One of the slaves of the high priest, being a relative of the one whose ear Peter cut off, *said, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” Peter then denied it again, and immediately a rooster crowed.

Jesus before Pilate
Then they *led Jesus from Caiaphas into the Praetorium, and it was early; and they themselves did not enter into the Praetorium so that they would not be defiled, but might eat the Passover. Therefore Pilate went out to them and *said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?” They answered and said to him, “If this Man were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him to you.” So Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves, and judge Him according to your law.” The Jews said to him, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death,” to fulfill the word of Jesus which He spoke, signifying by what kind of death He was about to die.

Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?” Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate *said to Him, “What is truth?”

And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and *said to them, “I find no guilt in Him. But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover; do you wish then that I release for you the King of the Jews?” So they cried out again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas.” Now Barabbas was a robber.


John 19  New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Crown of Thorns
Pilate then took Jesus and scourged Him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him; and they began to come up to Him and say, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and to give Him slaps in the face. Pilate came out again and *said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you so that you may know that I find no guilt in Him.” Jesus then came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate *said to them, “Behold, the Man!” So when the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out saying, “Crucify, crucify!” Pilate *said to them, “Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God.”

Therefore when Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid; and he entered into the Praetorium again and *said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate *said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?” Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him, but the Jews cried out saying, “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar.”

Therefore when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he *said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!” So they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” Pilate *said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”

The Crucifixion
So he then handed Him over to them to be crucified.

They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” Therefore many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin and in Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews were saying to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews’; but that He said, ‘I am King of the Jews.’” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece. So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be”; this was to fulfill the Scripture: “They divided My outer garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.” Therefore the soldiers did these things.

But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He *said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He *said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.

After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, *said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth. Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

Care of the Body of Jesus
Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him; but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, “Not a bone of Him shall be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”

After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. So he came and took away His body. Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. Therefore because of the Jewish day of preparation, since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.


John 20   New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Empty Tomb
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene *came early to the tomb, while it *was still dark, and *saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. So she *ran and *came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and *said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; and stooping and looking in, he *saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. And so Simon Peter also *came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he *saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. So the disciples went away again to their own homes.

But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; and she *saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. And they *said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She *said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” When she had said this, she turned around and *saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus *said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she *said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” Jesus *said to her, “Mary!” She turned and *said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher). Jesus *said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene *came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.

“Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible® (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation  Used by permission. www.Lockman.org”


Posted in Biblical Accounts, Christian, Holiday

Why Do I Need An SSL Certificate?

This blog post will first try to explain what an SSL certificate is and why you may need one. I will try to keep it plain and simple, but there may be areas that become a little technical.

What is the purpose of an SSL certificate? Well an SSL certificate allows your web browser to make a secure connection to a web service while claiming that you can trust the secure connection.

An SSL certificate uses two keys. The first one is called the private key. The second one is called the public key.

The private key is what the web server uses to decrypt web traffic from people using your website. The public key is…well…the public key that everyone knows and uses to encrypt information to send to your server.

For example:

  1. Jane wants to send Fred some data, and she connects to Fred’s website to upload it.
  2. Fred’s server will respond and give Jane’s web browser Fred’s SSL certificate with Fred’s public key in it.
  3. Jane’s web browser then uses Fred’s public key to encrypt the information.
  4. Now Fred’s web server uses the private key (that is located on the web server) to decrypt the information Jane just sent, since without this special key, no one could easily decrypt the information Jane sent.

While this is a very simple example, it gives you a basic idea of what happens between the web browser and web server during an SSL session.

Now that you have a basic understand of how an SSL certificate is used, why have one in the first place? Well here are a few reasons:

  • Helps keep your (and others’) data secure. Without encryption, anyone can potentially view the data you transmit over the Internet.
  • Gives people a sense of trust to your website. When they see the SSL lock icon in their web browser, it makes your web visitors feel secure.
  • SSL encryption prevents third parties from modifying a website’s content _before_ it reaches your web visitors. Yes, you heard right. Unauthorized third parties can alter un-encrypted web content before you view it. This can be a problem if you are dealing with sensitive information (or any information really). This is why having SSL on a website that technically does not need it can still be beneficial.
  • Having SSL enabled on your website can help with getting a better search engine ranking from Google.
  • Many mainstream web browsers require an SSL enabled website if you wish to use the new Http/2 protocol with your websites.
  • You definitely need one if you are running an online web store. No one will want to shop on your website if your website is not serving content over an encrypted connection.

I hope I have helped you have a basic understanding of what an SSL certificate is and why it can be useful to have one for your website.


Posted in Computers, Internet and Servers, Security

What are Name Servers and why does my Web Domain Need Them?

If you have ever started a website, you probably have heard the term “name-server” before. However, you may not understand what they are and why they are an important part of the web-hosting infrastructure. I will try to keep this explanation simple yet useful.

A name-server is a server that specializes in answering queries regarding people’s domains and the various services that they are providing.

You can think of a name-server like a telephone book that lists phone numbers associated with names. In a similar way, a name-server lists information (e.g., IP addresses) associated with a particular queried domain name.

For example, when someone types in blog.computerlagoon.com, their DNS server sends an inquiry to one of my name-servers asking for information such as the IP address. All information the software needs in order to make a connection with my server.

Without a name-server (or DNS servers in general), you would be typing out numbers (e.g. 12.34.56.789) to access web services instead of domains (e.g. example.com).  As you can see, typing out names is far easier than remembering a series of numbers for every website you visited.

You also want to make sure your web domain has at least two name-servers associated with it. Why? Because if you only have one name-server and that name-server happens to go down, no one that has not recently accessed your domain will be able to get your IP address to connect to your website.

Worse. If you have no name-servers online for an extended period of time (e.g. major outage), then search engines like Google may think that your website is no longer online and delist it from their search results.

That is why having at least two name-servers is recommended (I use seven name-servers myself , no joke.)


Posted in Computers, Internet and Servers