Friday, September 30, 2011

But, I'm curious how she seems to be able to talk even though being deaf since birth.  Can someone learn to talk fairly well without being able to hear?

CNN beclowns themselves yet again.  Somebody had better get fired over this outrage.  What total idiots.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I admire the ingenuity.  

The rhetoric is heating up in Euro land, to our amusement.
Friday, a Christian pastor in Iran, arrested and sentenced to death by the Muslim authorities there after refusing to renounce his faith and become a Muslim, will pass from this world to his eternal reward at the hands of these satanic beasts.  Here below is a letter he wrote to his flock, and it exhibits all the mature Christian faith and love that that religion is known for. 

The Muslim government in Iran thinks that barbaric behavior like this will stop the spread of Christianity among their population, but they only need to look to the experience of the pagan Roman empire to know that murdering Christians only creates martyrs, impresses the non Christian with the power of this religion, and encourages those who seek the truth to look to the Bible.   Ultimately, the Roman empire adopted Christianity as it's state religion, abandoning it's pagan ancestral gods in favor of this more morally powerful belief.  The same will ultimately happen in Iran, in large part because of the contrast between the hate and evil Islam displays every single day all over the world, and the opposite behavior in those who truely follow the Christian way.  Pastor Nadarkhani shows us all the superiority of Christianity, the peace it brings, and the elevation of the human soul and spirit that comes to those who follow it.

Written in June 2010 by Pastor Yusef Nadarkhani while imprisoned in Lakan Prison, Iran, for refusing to renounce his Christian faith and adopt Islam. Translated from the original Farsi.

Dear brothers and sisters, Salam

In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I am continuously seeking grace and mercy to you, that you remember me and those who are bearing efforts for his name in your prayers.

Your loyalty to God is the cause of my strength and encouragement. For I know well that you will be rewarded; as it’s stated: blessed is the one who has faith, for what has been said to him by God, will be carried out. As we believe, heaven and earth will fade but his word will still remain.

Dear beloved ones, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of a few verses, although you might know them, So that in everything, you give more effort than the past, both to prove your election, and for the sake of Gospel that is to be preached to the entire world as well.

I know that not all of us are granted to keep this word, but to those who are granted this power and this revelation, I announce the same as Jude, earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints.

We are passing by special and sensitive days. They are days that for an alert and awake believer can be days of spiritual growth and progress. Because for him, more than any other time there is the possibility to compare his faith with the word of God, have God’s promises in mind, and survey his faith.

Therefore the true believer does not need to wonder for the fiery trial that has been set on for him as though it were something unusual, but it pleases him to participate in Christ’s suffering because the believer knows he will rejoice in his glory.

Dears, the “ judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”

Therefore those who are enduring burdens by the will of God, commit their souls to the faithful Creator. Promises that he has given us, are unique and precious. As we’ve heard he has said: “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

How can it be possible for a believer to understand these words? Only if he is focusing on Jesus Christ with adapting his life according to the life Jesus lived when he was on earth. As it is said, "O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.”
Have we not read and heard: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there are who find it. Many attempt to flee from their spiritual tests, and they have to face those same tests in a more difficult manner, because no one will be victorious by escaping from them, but with patience and humility he will be able to overcome all the tests, and gain victory.

Therefore in the place of Christ’s followers, we must not feel desperate, but we have to pray to God in supplication with more passion to help us with any assistance we may need. According to what Paul has said: In every temptation, God himself will make a way for us to tolerate it.

O beloved ones, difficulties do not weaken mankind, but they reveal the true human nature. It will be good for us to occasionally face persecutions and abnormalities, since these abnormalities will persuade us to search our hearts, and to survey ourselves. So as a result, we conclude that troubles are difficult, but usually good and useful to build us.

Dear brothers and sisters, we must be more careful than any other time, because in these days, the hearts and thoughts of many are revealed, so that the faith is tested. May your treasure be where there is no moth and rust.

I would like to remind you of some verses that we nearly discuss everyday, (Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven), but as long as our human will has priority over God’s will, his will shall not be done. As we have learned from him in Gethsemane, he surrendered his will to the father, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

What we are bearing today is a difficult but not unbearable situation, because neither he has tested us more than our faith and our endurance, nor does he do as such. And as we have known from before, we must beware not to fail, but to advance in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, And consider these bumps and prisons as opportunities to testify to his name. He said: If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

As a small servant, necessarily in prison to carry out what I must do, I say with faith in the word of God that he will come soon. "However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

Discipline yourself with faith in the word of God. Retain your souls with patience. For there is no man who does anything in secret, and he himself seeks to be known openly.

May you are granted grace and blessings increasingly in the name of Lord Jesus Christ.

Yusef Nadarkhani
Lakan Prison in Rasht
The show Terra Nova premiered the other day, and somebody noticed what the show's writers thought that future money would look like.  Here is a screen capture.  At the rate we are going, that bill will buy a candy bar or a soda, and the guy whose picture is on it will be the reason why.  On the million dollar bill?  The chairsatan himself, Ben Bernanke.

Well there you go!  Hebrews can dance!

Down in the "Chocolate City" of New Orleans, a resident, on his own property, is stirring the pot by putting up signs like this criticizing the president.  Note from the article that the authorities are so bothered by this free if controversial speech that they are trying to think of all possible ways to make them come down.  

That is yet one more obvious reason, as if we needed another, that the denizens of government can't take the heat, and will do all they can to deny a loud mouthed citizen his right to say his piece.  I can't wait for 2012 to send them packing.

If it isn't immediately obvious to you that what this very pretty but completely clueless young reporter is saying about gold and the dollar is total stupidity, you should with all possible speed bring your education on these issues up to par.  The fact that this foolishness can go on the air without any editor questioning it tells you that ignorance of financial matters in the MSM is both widespread and deep.
Arnold Palmer, one bad ass golfer.  That guy could kick anyone's butt.

Freckles, they are good.
Björk's Island, Iceland.   Seems like that would be a lonely existence, especially in stormy weather.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The oldest surviving house on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, is the Jethro Coffin home, pictured here.   It was built in 1686 as a wedding present to Mr. Coffin, and is the only remaining structure from the 17th century English settlement. Clearly, windows were not a priority back in 1686.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A brown bear with the hunter who got him at Upper Togiak Lake, Alaska.  Fine bear indeed.  Lots of meat, the hunt of a lifetime, and perhaps a showpiece of a rug.   I'm sure the cariboo the bear won't be bothering are happy as well.

Congressman Young puts the hurt on an arrogant administration official.  More like this would go a long way to restore faith in Congress in particular and government in general.
It's time for your morning brew.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Jeb Corliss American wingsuit flyer amazes the Chinese by flying through a hole in a mountain in Hunan Province, central China.

Mondays, they're like that.

A lifetime of craftsmanship and hard won skill, distilled into one amazing object.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Things I'm liking on a Sunday night.

You might have noticed that there was no blogging from Thursday through Saturday.  That was because I was in L. A., squiring the two daughters to two separate university tours. The oldest is in her last year of high school, and is preparing to make the transition to higher education, and the youngest, a freshman in high school, was along for the adventure and to see what is in store in three short years. 

We went to Loyola Marymount, a Jesuit school, and to UCLA.  I forgot the camera for the LMU tour, but remembered it for UCLA.

Here the girls are posing at the law school, somewhere the oldest may well attend in good time, and assuming the grades are up to par.

 Below is Royce Hall, where the oldest met on Friday with a director of the department where she thinks she wants to study.  Networking!

These were our tour guides, Lenna and Justin, who were immensely enthusiastic and entertaining.  Here Justin gestures to illustrate some entertaining anecdote that the school administration would probably not approve of!  We, however, guffawed with gusto at his wit.

Most of the buildings at the core of the UCLA campus look very Ivy League, so much so in fact that they are often used by Hollywood to represent east coast campuses, like Harvard.

The Powell Library was very impressive, inside and out.  Perhaps because of that, or because of our entertaining guides, or because of the beauty of the campus in general,  the 17 year old has now decided that this is the campus she hopes lets her in.  Best of luck, kid!
The BMW 2002 is one of the classics of automotive design for both clarity of form and simplicity.  I swear, if BMW would build them again, basic model, with updated engines and drivetrains, but no expensive bells and whistles, and aim for the entry level market, they could likely sell bajillions, as long as the price wasn't crazy.  I know that is a big "if," since they would have to satisfy modern safety standards, but why couldn't a light car like this, with a modern motor tuned to efficiency, get great milage, not pollute any more than comparable machines, and thus provide a great transportation value in an awesome retro style to the public?

Here is how I'd drive mine!

It's strange sometimes what enters a culture's consciousness to stay, and the Big Lebowski and its characters seems to be one of those things.  Naturally, everyone relates somehow to "The Dude," and truth to tell, if Ben and Jerry's came out with this flavor, I'd very likely buy it and enjoy it, just cause it's Dude food!  After all, I'm a dude, and I need food, and food should taste good, so let's all eat some.  There should be some rum raisin in there somewhere, though.

As an aficionado of old cameras, I immensely enjoyed finding this photo by chance on the internet.  Those Brownies on the back row of the third shelf from the top make quite a collection.

This one has been making the rounds on the internet, and it is definitely worth an enjoyable few minutes to watch.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thanks to Legal Insurrection for collecting this kind of stuff, because it shows that people in the coal states have now had enough of our President and his counterproductive economic strategies.  But really, he told us all very clearly that he would destroy energy production in general and coal in particular, so why the surprise?  The folks in these states better remember this in 2012, because another four years of Zero will turn their states into the equivalent of third world hell holes.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Now that's what I would call a striking photoshop.  Those just can't be real, and that's too bad.
Check out these dangerous criminals!  They were popped into the jail house in Kentucky because they refused to pay fines levied for failing to affix an orange reflective triangle to the back of their horse drawn buggies.

As members of the Swartzentruber sect of Amishness, they don't believe in the use of bright colors, because that would be too worldly.  Give them credit, they were willing to do the hard time to stand up for their beliefs.  

Now, a test.  Which one is most likely to be Dwight Schrute's brother/cousin/dad?

Quick, look closely, and see if you can tell why this is the greatest redo of this iconic painting ever.

This brings back memories.  Back when I was a kid, I had either this model of toy assault rifle, or one very like it.  It had actual toy bullets you could load up, and there was a spring loaded mechanism in the gun that caused the bullets to shoot out the barrel with significant force when the trigger was pulled.   I could shoot the thing and the "toy" bullet would fly all the way accross the back yard - the long way - and smack the fence with impressive force.

Talk about a non PC toy that the liberals would likely confiscate if they found one these days.

However, it was great fun, and I never put anyone's eye out with it.

Captain Narcissus decides that the thing to do while posing for a group picture during a meeting of world leaders at the UN is to wave at the camera, just like he did in his third grade class photo.  Or, was this the response to the question, "who wants to see President Obama re elected, raise your hand?"  2012 can't come quickly enough.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tetrachromacy, or the ability to sense color in four dimensions, is common in some organisms (most birds are believed to enjoy tetrachromacy), but very rare in humans.  Our eyes use a cell in the retina called a cone to distinguish color, and usually people can see three primary colors; red, green and blue.  Consequently, we "normal" folk can easily distinguish 100 gradations of color, and about 1 million variations in hue.  With the extra cone, someone with tetrachromacy can see up to 100 million differences in hue!

Someone with this condition is called a tetrachomat.  Such people are thought to be extremely rare,  but so far, only women have been identified as tetrachomats, and in fact for genetic reasons, only women are thought to be able to inherit the ability.

To test yourself in your ability to distinguish hue, try to arrange the graph at the link here by gradation of color.

Not as easy as one might at first think!

Anyway, women, being a tetrachromat would give you a potential advantage as a doctor, or most certainly an interior decorator, like this woman, who is a suspected tetrachromat.

Genetic variation - it's awesome!

Monday, September 19, 2011

A taxidermist in upstate New York enjoys the sensation he causes driving around with this stuffed coyote attached to the tailgate of his truck. 

From a camera fixed to the front of the International Space Station, this is what it looks like to fly over the Earth at night in 62 seconds.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

An English windfarm makes a "wind fall" profit when the government pays them ten times what they would make if they had produced energy to stop producing for eight and a half hours.  It seems that gusty winds caused the power managers to fear the grid would be overloaded, a legitimate concern, but ten times the money they would otherwise have made??  Whoever came up with this pricing structure should be shot .... or tied to the blade of a big windmill for eight and a half hours.

The English also discover, to their horror, that in order to provide only a sixth of the nations power needs ( they want to get to 20%), they would need to cover an area the size of Wales with windmills. 
What you see here are two photos of massive sunspot 1289, taken on September 17 by Spaniard Jesus Carmona de Argila.  Jesus used two different filters to accent the spot, with the one on the left taken with an "H alpha" filter tuned to the glow of the seething hydrogen. One can see the enormous magnetic filament trailing the spot's black core using this technique, which would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye..  On the right, the photo is filtered for natural light, which allows us to see the surface of the sun as we could with our own eyes if the sun were not so darned bright.  Currently spot 1289 is on its way over the sun's horizon due to the sun's rotation, and will soon disappear from view.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

About 40 miles north of Fairbanks, this monstrous piece of machinery sits beside the freeway, slowly rusting back into the earth. 

What is it?  Nothing other than a LeTourneau Snow Train, and in it's younger days it can be seen working away in this video below.  Apparently it was used to transport heavy gear over roadless country during the winter.  It's kind of like the original ice road trucker, but sometimes without the road.

What an odd piece of American industrial history.   Is it the last of it's kind, at true dinosaur?  Who knows.  A fascinating history of this vehicle and its kind can be found here.

Some random local pictures for a Saturday night.

Below, a quirky residence in Locke, California.

A cactus sprout near Cresci's vineyard.

                              A yellow window attacked in slow motion by a California fig tree.

The other night the 15 year old was standing on the deck just at dusk when he heard a strange noise, like the distant mournful howl of a lost spirit.  When he looked down he saw what he thought was the specter of some animal in the back yard.  After a few seconds, the image dissipated in the gathering gloom, but not before he snapped this picture of it.  Should we be worried?

Saturday porch pictures.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Experience Zero Gravity from Betty Wants In on Vimeo.

Just beyond awesome.  I wish this video was ten times as long.   Be sure to let this bad boy load, then watch it full screen.  What an excellent way to start a Friday!
The Martian moon Phobos, as photographed from the Martian Express spacecraft.  This moon orbits the red planet very close to the surface.  In fact, it's orbit is continually decaying to the extent that it will break up and plummet to the surface in about 50 million years. Based on the way it looks, scientists believe it is probably an asteroid that was captured at some point by Mars.

Thursday, September 15, 2011