Tuesday, March 31, 2009

History Includes Everything

Everything We Know, So Far

Remember the Messerschmitt?

The Messerschmitt was sold in 1955.

The new Volkswagon
seems familiar

It's like deja vu all over again.

There were a lot of gas saving small cars available in the 1950's.

My sister had a
Nash Metropolitan convertible.

I, "borrowed", Sue's car once when I was 13 0r 14.

One of my Favorite Cars, was
the Isetta 300
The hills were alive with the sound of Isetta's.

The new Isetta

The new Isetta will be available in 2012.

The Mercedes Smart Car

Earlene, and her smart car.

I was checking out Facebook the other day, and I got in touch with a friend from Alpine High after 47 years, or so. She and her husband have Smart Cars. She wrote that you have to order them a year to 18 months in advance.

Earlene writes; "They are really fun to drive, great mileage and really safe, with a 5 star crash rating."

I Want A TaTa Air Car

This car is powered by air. No gasoline required.

And The New TaTa Nano

The Nano sells for $2,500, new!

These little cars are popping up
all over the world just like they did 50 years ago.

I guess the point I am making is about repeating history, because we haven't been learning very well. I think it's the flawed formula we use for our educational system. We divide knowledge into separate categories like, Math, Reading, Writing, Science, Sports, Music, Art, etc.

Everything we know is included in history.

That should be the whole curriculum.
Just one subject.

You can start with language, basic survival skills, social organization, and keep adding knowledge as it was discovered and developed to bring the students up to the present. Students with aptitudes for certain disciplines would naturally develop more interest and energy in that field.

I don't have a complete answer, but I think this idea of just using history to educate, would be an improvement over the present methods.

Another Coincidence?

I was just reading about this bust of Nefertiti, yesterday.

BERLIN (AP report)– Researchers in Germany have used a modern medical procedure to uncover a secret within one of ancient Egypt's most treasured artworks — the bust of Nefertiti has two faces. A team led by Dr. Alexander Huppertz, director of the Imaging Science Institute at Berlin's Charite hospital and medical school, discovered a detailed stone carving that differs from the external stucco face when they performed a computed tomography, or CT, scan on the bust.

The findings, published Tuesday in the monthly journal Radiology, are the first to show that the stone core of the statue is a highly detailed sculpture of the queen, Huppertz said.

This is so amazing, to me. Those of you who read this blog regularly know these, "coincidences", occur much too often to be accidental.

I was reading a novel that had the characters in Berlin. They stopped at Museum island specifically to view this bust, and ask that it be 'loaned' to the museum in Cairo. ( Egypt feels that they are the rightful owners.) In the book, as in real life, moving the fragile bust was considered too risky. The outer stucco face might separate and break away from the underlying stone face if it is jarred or shaken in the moving process.

Today, those refusals to transport the 3,300 year old statue, have a scientific foundation. Nefertiti will stay in Berlin.

Magic continues to fill my world with wonder.

Time To Get A Large Diaphragm

Condenser Microphone

Tracks to, "Life is what you make it", awaiting vocals.

I have been getting close
to finishing the music tracks for several songs, and the timing is right for me to invest in an appropriate microphone to capture my vocals. I had the search narrowed down to two possibilities, last month, but it's time to see what is available, appropriate, and on sale, now that I am in position to make this important purchase.

This One

This was the most microphone I found for the money.

The MXL V63M is a condenser microphone with a 1" diameter, 6-micron-thick diaphragm that delivers high sensitivity and detailed recordings. Wired with Mogami wire for added clarity.

It said I am saving $320. I ordered it. What the heck is Mogami wire?

All questions will be answered when it gets here in a few days.

Happy Phil

Balancing my checkbook with glee. 3/31/09

Last year,
when I was smoking cigarettes, I would be broke by this time of the month. Since I quit, I can afford to buy a good quality microphone, and still have money left over.

If A Tree Falls In The Forest?

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Woodchopper's Ball -Woody Herman

The Gift of Grace

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Like A Cosmic Surfer

Riding the Wave of the Present

We are riding a wave of the now,
in an ocean of what was.
Raccoons in a swing.
Cute video, HERE.

I put this in my,
"Get over it", category...

War, what is is good for? Absolutely nothing! The Song

I got an e-mail today with the subject line; Fw: Never Forget---Jane Fonda---Traitor!!!!
It started with the person, or organization that has been posting under the name; RONALD D. SAMPSON, CMSgt, USAF, since 2002.
If you read my blog, you know I had to check it.
You also know that when an e-mail says forward this to 5, 10, or more people, don't; It's a scam. If you want to share an interesting or funny e-mail with your friends, remove the cookies, trackers and collected email addresses before sending it. Just copy what you like and paste it in a new e-mail. (Unless you are sending it to me so I can fact check it for you.)
Not surprisingly, most of the "information" in it was not true. The only fact that was right was Jane Fonda went to North Vietnam. The soldiers that are named in the email, have publicly stated that none of the so called "traitorous acts" by Jane Fonda ever happened to them. Never the less, e-mail like this continues to upset some people.

This Ronald D. Sampson guy is a phony persona that has been used to post false information about our military, our leaders, and our citizens. I recommend that you just delete anything with that name on it, and eventually that hate mail will dry up and go away.

Why cling to a resentment for years, even when it's based on faulty information? I have an answer.

This fit's in with a lot of stuff that has been floating around in Phil's Lake of Incomplete Hypotheses.
So, let's go for a swim and see what's in there.

The ultimate expression of ignorance.
Ignorance: It's easier to do stupid things if you don't know too much.
Anger: Aggressive ignorance.
Aggression: Action resulting from fear.
Fear: Incomplete information.
Information: Main ingredient of knowledge.
Knowledge: Key ingredient for my serenity.
Serenity: Peace
Peace: Topic of the Sermon on the Mount.
Hunger: Time to get out of the lake and eat a sandwich.

Wow! That was fun.
You never know what you will find when you swim in Phil's Lake of Incomplete Hypotheses.


I just couldn't help but illustrate this word.

Wikipedia; (from Middle English God speed you, meaning "May God help you prosper").

My Sister Sent Me This

Two peanuts walked up a dark alley. One was a salted.

Sue sent me the cartoon.
The peanut joke was one that our Dad told over, and over, and over.
"I told you a million times not to exaggerate."

Scientists Discover The Obvious

Poseidon the giant lobster (Image courtesy Dailymail).

Crabs Feel Pain, Too...

Ripping the legs off
live crabs and crowding lobsters into seafood market tanks are just two of the many practices that may warrant reassessment, given two new studies that indicate crustaceans feel pain and stress.
The findings add to a growing body of evidence that virtually all animals, including fish, shellfish and insects, can suffer.

Thoughts can not be seen,
but they can be expressed.

Stars being born in the Orion Nebula.

Understanding how stars form
and why they are so hard to make does much more than just foretell our far-off cosmic future. Star birth also explains where the atoms in our bodies come from and why the universe looks the way it does today. As astronomer John Bally of the University of Colorado puts it, “Star formation is the single most important process for determining the fate and evolution of normal matter in the universe.”

For the complete
story and a star making game, CLICK HERE.


New feature in Google Documents

I recently downloaded around 8 different drawing programs for a project I was working on. I am still learning how to work them. Some are not what I want, they go in the trash. Some of them I paid for, I will keep them. But today, as I was writing this, I looked up and saw there were some new features. Is it a coincidence that there is a drawing program now in Google Documents?

I love the way my life is working. Every day I am shown some wonderful expressions of a Higher Power.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

I Believe -Joe Satriani

Observe and Be Amazed

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Once Again

Repeating History

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a moneyed aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs." Thomas Jefferson

"...corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money powers of the country will endeavor to prolong it's reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic is destroyed." Abraham Lincoln

Speaking Of History...

"I taught I taw a puddy tat, but I can't find my glasses."

My sister sent me this picture, reminding me that, "Tweety", is 60 years old.
Thank you Sue.


The illustrated view from my balcony. 3/26/09 6:02 AM

I got a great program to assist me with stargazing. It's called, Stellarium. The download is free. You can set it for the sky anywhere, on, and off the earth.

I enter Redding, and my zip code and I get a picture of what I look at from the balcony.

Planets and stars, I am not seeing, yesterday afternoon.

I found Stellarium, while reading Toms Astronomy Blog . Thanks Tom.
Get Stellarium.

$2.8 Billion a Year

My laptop turns off automatically, thank you.

The other day,
I was at a friends house and I asked him why he didn't turn his computer off when he wasn't using it. It was just the way he had been taught when he had a PC. I got to thinking that even PC's probably should be turned off when not in use. A little more research and I found that especially with windows, it's important to turn them off when not in use. It will help you avoid having to reboot each day because your cache gets clogged. (Or something like that.)

Anyway, if we all
turned our computers off while we are not using them, we can save $2.8 billion in electricity costs each year. I think that the leaving it on goes back to UNIVAC and warming up the vacuum tubes until they were at a stable temperature.

So now you know. It's good to turn your computer off when you are not using it.

Killer Flapjacks?

They look good to me.

The killer pancake e-mail is back.

I got one from Garie, this evening. It must have had more than 100 email addresses that it had gone to.

Here is what I wrote back to Garie;

Hi Garie,

I knew I had seen that e-mail before. The last time I got it was in 2008. It began circulating in 2006. According to snopes, there was a dear Abby letter with the story, but they couldn't verify that it was a true story.

However, in 2001, 2 pathologists in Charleston, reported a case of a 19 year old who died from a mold allergy after eating pancakes made from a box that had sat open in a kitchen cabinet for 2 years. His friends didn't finish their pancakes because they tasted bad. They didn't get sick.

Snopes advises that if you have a mold allergy, don't eat pancakes from an open box that has been sitting out for 2 years.

I wonder why people write e-mail like that?


I Saved $20

Redbox rentals cost $1.00

You may have noticed these DVD rental machines at your local supermarket. They have a couple of them at the local Raley's, where I shop. I have used the machine to rent 2 or 3 movies like, Wall-E, (Loved this movie.), and something else not as memorable. But how did I save $20?

On the 24Th, Apple began offering HD movie downloads. They claim to be better than HDDVD's and nearly as detailed as BluRay. I am intrigued by the amazing quality of HDTV broadcasts, so I thought I would get a movie to enjoy on the great equipment I have. They have a few movies offered at this time, but I haven't seen any of them. They charge $19.95 per movie.

I like James Bond movies, or at least I thought I did. I liked the Sean Connery, and Roger Moore, "Bond", movies that I have seen, and I noticed a bond movie in the HD selections. It is called, "Quantum of Solace", and features some, "new guy", as Bond.

What I like about Bond movies, and thought would look good in High Definition, are the sweeping vistas and exotic location shots. I like the humor and the clever dialogue, the puns and double entendres. The tounge in cheek performance as, "Bond....James Bond". I was thinking about investing $20 in this movie, but wondered how I might be able to see it first. REDBOX! If the movie was good, I would consider downloading the $20 HD version, to savor in striking color and detail.

Thank you Redbox, I saved $20.
It would have been awful to sit through that movie in a theater. I'm glad I watched it at home, where I could move around, eat dinner, read the news, fix cake and ice cream, go to the bathroom, brush my teeth, edit photographs, take my meds, and clip my fingernails while I waited for Quantum of Solace, to end.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Live and Let Die -Wings

Shaken, Not Stirred

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It Is All Part Of This

Good Day

Saving the Planet With Nanotubes!

Nanotubes and sunlight convert CO2 into methane.

This is exciting

From Discovery News

March 23, 2009 -- Powered by sunlight, titanium oxide nanotubes can turn carbon dioxide into methane, which can be harnessed as an energy source, say scientists at Pennsylvania State University.

The nanotubes could dramatically reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere and reduce our need for fossil fuels.

"Right now there is lots of talk about burying carbon dioxide, which is ridiculous," said Craig Grimes of Penn State, who, along with Oomman Varghese, Maggie Paulose and Thomas LaTempa, co-authored a paper on the nanotubes in the journal Nano Letters. "Instead we can collect the waste out of the smoke stack, put it though a converter, and presto, use sunlight to change [CO2] back into fuel."

Methane will work with what we have.

Our cars, trains, trucks, buses, power plants, kitchen stoves, and heaters, can all run on methane. It's like natural gas and propane.

"One big advantage
of methane over other hydrocarbons like hydrogen gas is that an infrastructure already exists for methane."

Africans Sailed With Columbus

Dem bones, Dem bones, Dem dry bones...

Teeth from exhumed skeletons of crew members Christopher Columbus left on the island of Hispaniola more than 500 years ago reveal the presence of at least one African in the New World as a contemporary of the explorer.

Ha, Ha, Ha

Paddy was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn't find a parking place. Looking up to heaven he said, 'Lord take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of me life and give up me Irish Whiskey!'

Miraculously, a parking place appeared.

Paddy looked up again and said, 'Never mind, I found one.'

Thank you Jo Anna, that joke was the first e-mail I looked at today. I enjoy starting each day with a smile, and today I can include starting with a laugh.

I got a bunch of e-mail from Jo Anna today, and among them was the, "Door lock entry code thieves", warning. I have seen this e-mail before, in one form or another, but I was curious about a line at the bottom that said; "Snopes approved, please share this with everyone."

Since Snopes advises against, "Forward this to everyone", type email, I thought it pertinent that I find out from snopes.com, to be sure.

First; Snopes approved- No, it is not.

Second; Forward this to everyone- I will reprint what I send to my friends who have sent a forward this to lot's of people, email.

Advice from Snopes.com;

1) Any time you see an E-Mail that says forward this on to '10' of your friends, or sign this petition, or you'll get bad luck, good luck, or whatever, it almost always has an E-Mail tracker program attached that tracks the cookies and E-Mails of those folks you forward to

The host sender is getting a copy each time it gets forwarded and then is able to get lists of 'active' E-Mails to use in SPAM E-Mails, or sell to other spammers.

I then go on to explain
that when I see something funny, or important that I wish to pass on, I copy and paste it in a new email so as not to include all the addresses that came with the joke, or picture, or information. (I found out this evening, that after you click forward, you can highlight and delete all those addresses that e-mail has been accumulating before you send it on.)

Worth Watching TV Today

Obama, patiently explains policy to the press. 3/24/09

I got an e-mail today from Marian. It included an excerpt from Lee Iacocca's book, "Where have all the leaders gone?". The subject line actually reads, "Where has all the leaders gone?", but the content was interesting. The book was written, "B.O.", before Obama. In the book Iacocca points out the things that our country's leaders were not taking care of...

"Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debit, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry.

I have news for the gang in Congress. We didn't elect you to sit on your asses and do nothing and remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity. What is everybody so afraid of? That some bonehead on Fox News will call them a name? Give me a break. Why don't you guys show some spine for a change?"

I am glad that we now have responsible, educated, intelligent leadership that is dealing with those very issues that Lee Iacocca cites in his book. Thank you Marian for that timely e-mail. It was the perfect thing to read before Obama's press conference.

Dayo, Day-ay-ay-oh

Huntsman spider, AKA; "Banana spider".

Each year,
there are several news reports of wandering and huntsman spiders, the main "banana spiders," showing up in grocery store bananas as well as poisonous black widows, which find their way into bunches of grapes on store shelves. Both fruits are generally sprayed with pesticides to prevent insect infestation and usually washed before shipment. Still, even with these precautions and visual inspections, some insects manage to survive.

Here In Redding

Photographing Dorothy's Garden. 3/24/09

An early iris in the afternoon sun. 3/24/09

So many wonderful experiences to expand our knowledge and appreciation of this world in which we live.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Banana Boat Song -Harry Belafonte

All God's Creatures...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Season Of Enlightenment

It Might As Well Be Spring

Flowers in Dorothy's garden. 3/20/09

That was the scene Friday afternoon.

This evening, (Saturday),
the sound of the blowing wind is accented by the occasional rumble of thunder. There is a chance that we may get some rain with these clouds and gusty air. I have some books to read while I am warm and dry in my abode. They are; The Wordy Shipmates-Sara Vowell, Bones-Jonathan Kellerman, and The Brass Verdict-Michael Connelly.

I like to read more than one book
at a time, and I picked these three new releases from the library to enhance this rainy weekend, should it actually rain. This is the first book by Sara Vowell, for me, and I am finding a kindred soul in her observations, and the way she bundles time, and related events, into compound sentences in a way that gives the reader room to tie up the loose ends with our own knowledge of history.

Some of you already know
that there seems to be something extraordinary about the seemingly random choice of books that I read in groups. This is the case with the Sara Vowell book and a Michael Crichton book I am still reading. They both stress the importance of knowing history and how the present, like an island, is just the tip of the mountain. The Crichton book is, Timeline.

Island Paradise Available Soon

Remodeling underway at island paradise near Tonga.

Sweet Story
From the tomato sauce on a Pizza Hut pie called “The Natural,” to the just-released soda Pepsi Natural, some of the biggest players in the American food business have started, in the last few months, replacing high-fructose corn syrup with old-fashioned sugar.

You may have read
my research on the damage that HFCS is doing to the health and well being of humans who have been consuming products that contain this non-food sweetener, or read for yourself about the epidemic increase in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, allergy's, and other global health issues; and how it can be linked to the introduction and proliferation of HFCS in processed food and drink products. Well, take heart, if yours is not too damaged by this stuff, corporate food companies are switching back to sugar.

Have Your Wedding Here

Juliet's balcony, now available for weddings.

Travel to Verona and get married at the house of Juliet, (13Th century home of the Cappello family). The house of the Capulet's, in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

What could be more romantic
than the balcony that played a part in the tragic suicide of a couple of teenagers. I don't think it bodes well for a long and happy life together.

I love This Stuff

Photo by Jimmy Sakuma, using his iPhone. 3/18/09

March 23rd begins with a crisp clear spring morning, here in Redding.

Mount Shasta awakes
in a shroud of cloud, while a mantle of mist lies upon the southern flank of Lassen.

Ever changing,
the morning reveals more more majestic perspectives.

Now a cotton candy coating in the sunlight, glowing on Shasta leads me back home to a cup of organic coffee and soon, this being Monday, breakfast, just the way I like it, prepared by Sandi.

I am blessed. God makes everyday beautiful. My eyes are open. I am happy.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
It Might As Well Be Spring


Friday, March 20, 2009

Space, It's a Gas, Gas, Gas

Moons Aplenty

4 of Saturn's moons in one Hubble image.

The Saturn moons, from far left to right, are the white icy moons Enceladus and Dione, the large orange moon Titan, and icy Mimas. Due to the angle of the Sun, they are each preceded by their own shadow. (Credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA))

400-million light years away in the constellation Ophiuchus.
A new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope offers a rare view of an imminent collision between the cores of two merging galaxies, each powered by a black hole with millions of times the mass of the sun.

Made It

Shuttle docks with space station. (NASA-live video.)

What a world.
I watched the docking from NASA, with my computer, on HDTV, and used image capture to post a picture, here on my blog, seen around the planet.

What a world.

"You're a fine looking woman, Major Yurovic."
I have been writing and recording songs for the Space Station 1 Suite. I am pretty close to the way I want the love song to go, so I put a version up on myspace. When one posts a song, they ask for a picture, so I drew this little cartoon. If you want to hear this song and a few others in the Global Music Project, you can click, HERE.

Scrabble Gets 3 New Words

A trio of words -- one that's slang for pizza, another defined as a body's vital life force and a third referring to a snoring sound -- have conspired to change the game of Scrabble.
"Za," "qi" and "zzz" were added recently to the game's official word list for its original English-language edition.

Nano Muscles

Lighter than air material made of Nano Tubes.

Called, "aerogel", nanotubes are used to make a lighter than air substance that expands and contracts when an electric charge is applied. FULL STORY.

The new carbon nanotube aerogel is so light that one piece, spread over an entire acre, would weigh one ounce.

Despite its extreme lightness, it's no featherweight. Pushed in one direction, the nanotube part of the muscle becomes stronger than stainless steel. When pulled at a right angle, however, the aerogel in the muscle becomes more elastic than rubber.

Spread Your Wings

Unfolding the final solar panels.

The Space Station can now operate at full power after the last set of solar panels were unfurled. The panels had been tightly folded and stored in a box for years awaiting a trip to space to be deployed. They were a little stiff to unfold, but with patience and physical encouragement, they are fully stretched and operational.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

(And Video)
The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Thanks to my neighbor, Jo Anna, for sending me this entertaining and instructive video.

Be Amazed

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sound As A Bell...

Got A Nice Ring To It

Saturn's rings from the Cassini spacecraft.

The Cassini spacecraft peers through Saturn's delicate, translucent inner C ring to see the diffuse blue limb of Saturn's atmosphere. Bigger Picture
For the really adventurous, there is an amazing 3-D tour of the Cassini mission. Tour

Dione seen behind, "edge-on", view of Saturn's rings.

Saturn's rings from Cassini Spacecraft ...3/8/09

Special Features

Watching movies on a rainy day......3/15/09

I was watching movies I found on the internet, today, and I wondered if there was a channel just for "Special Features".
I see the light.
One of my favorite parts of movies on DVD, are the special features. The making of the movie, out-takes, location, special effects, and other items of interest relative to the movie. Sometimes the special features are as good, or better than the movie. Netflix recently announced that it planned to leave the special features off it's rental movies.

I was watching movies
from HULU, today and thought it would have been nice to see the special features, too. I then thought, "How about a 'Special Features' website that just had special features without the movies"? A few people have posted special features on You Tube, but not many. I envision a site that is nothing but, "Special Features". (You would have to find the movies elsewhere.)

Lift Off

U.S. space shuttle Discovery launched successfully.

Fully Differential Amplifier

New design can operate in extreme temperatures.

Yesterday, I was looking at the individual components of the Cassini spacecraft, and came across a warm box, (heating unit). One of its purposes was to keep things warm enough to operate in that extreme cold of space.

Today, I read in Science Daily , that researchers at the university of Arkansas have have designed and successfully tested an electronic micro amplifier that can operate directly in the space environment without protection from a warm box.

Alien Invasion
Russia Mussels In

Thumbnail size Quagga's taking over American lakes.

They showed up in Lake Michigan,
where the effects on the food chain are just now showing in our food supply. Their small size and low caloric content make them a poor food choice, in case you were thinking we could control Quagga's by eating them.

Quagga mussels are now spreading
well beyond the Great Lakes, hitching rides with commercial and recreational boats as they are ridden or moved into new water systems. They recently muscled into Nevada's Lake Mead, where they breed faster thanks to the area's warmer waters. Quagga mussels have been found clogging pipes in Hoover Dam, and it could cost millions of dollars and huge amounts of manpower to keep systems there mussel-free.

What A Difference A Day Made
Music-LMP Trio

It was a gloriously, stormy day.
The wind blew, the rain poured, and as the storm dissipated, it was rainbow photo time.