Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Why did the dog cross the street?

Okay.  Just for the fun of it, I opened the Solitaire program this morning to get 8 Q 2 J K 2 6.  This translates to 812-211-1326.  This time I got hit on a number in Chandler, Indiana.  However, doing a reverse search with Spokeo, the "owner" of that "landline" is presently at an address in Montgomery, Alabama.  This is odd.

Using Whitepages.com, I can confirm that the number is indeed the state of Indiana and not Alabama.  The available area code directory then shows that it is in southern Indiana, confirming the first search result to a point.  Short of calling the number or paying for the privilege of more info, I'd say this is about as far as I can go.

Going on to random links of the numbers 211 1326 I stumbled across a couple of things that are interesting.  First, a GIF submitted to Reddit.com a year ago, measuring 320 x 211 at 1326 Kilobytes, one finds a funny video of a dog crossing the road on two legs. Thanks go out to submitter "derplink."  Oddly, my download reduced the size to 976 KB.  Enjoy:

Speaking of walking, Yahoo Answers a question about walking around a round pond with an area of "about 138,656 square feet," with an approximate walk being 1326 feet, given a rounded radius of 210.1 feet and keeping one's feet dry.  To quote the answer: "This would make my walk 2 pi * 211 = 1326 ft (approx)."  The circumference of the given area is 1320 feet (to two decimal places).  It is odd that someone would give the area, but being a math guy I kinda understand.

Monday, July 21, 2014

"125-2119" Touched by Autism

I just finished watching "Touch" on Netflix.  Having two grandsons with autism piqued my interest in this truncated series about a young boy who communicated with numbers.  He not only communicated in numbers, but he saw patterns that connected seemingly random individuals.

Well in the spirit of that fictional autistic boy, I tried an experiment using a truly random number in dealing a hand of Solitaire.  Actually, it was the game called "Klondike" commonly called "Solitaire," but I digress.  The cards that came were: 8 J Q 5 2 J 9.  Giving the face cards their value, this changed to 8 11 12 5 2 11 9.

I first converted that to a phone number, 811-125-2119, but found nothing.  Abandoning the 811 area code, I tried just 125-2119.  While this gave me several phone numbers to choose from, I found other "hits" to be more interesting.

First, I found the RGB color: 125, 2, 119, "Dark Magenta" (a purple with just a little green in it).  The Hexadecimal version is 7d0277.  Just for fun, this paragraph is in the Hexadecimal version.6

That being a neat, but useless little factoid, I moved further down the list, finding a Michigan state law, Act 224 of 1985, section 125.2119, which reads:

Act 224 of 1985

125.2119 Duration of exemption or credit.

Sec. 19.

An exemption or credit granted to a qualified business shall continue until the certification of the qualified business is revoked, as provided in this act, or for 10 years from the date that the business is certified as a qualified business. Even if approval of an enterprise zone is revoked by the authority as provided in this act, an exemption or credit granted to a qualified business located in that enterprise zone shall continue until revoked or until the 10-year or other specified period elapses.

So, now you know how you can continue to do business even after an "enterprise zone" is no longer in affect in your neighborhood.

Well, since I don't live anywhere near Michigan, I looked further for some trivia connected to 125-2119.  Imagine my surprise when I found that at the Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service, form MMS-125 received 2119 responses.  At an estimated one hour response time, this translates to $74,165 in estimated cost ($35 per hour).  This is for regulations to keep oil and natural gas wells safe.  On a whim, I searched Google to see what that money might buy.  Well, in nearby Atlanta a 2014 Cadillac Escalade Platinum Edition lists for exactly  that amount.

But alas, I don't have the government's money and I'd probably not buy a luxury SUV, so I moved on to something else.  I found something I might be able to afford: a Trusco model #125-2119 Hex wrench tool from Monotaro.  The size of a pocket knife, I can have it for just 19.09 SGD (Singapore Dollars).  But alas, they don't ship to the USA!

Finally, the fine folks at Pipl, the people finders, gave me a real live person.  He is a 7th Grade Math teacher in Pennsylvania!  If I were Jake Bohm's dad, I might be emailing the guy to ask him if he knows anything about Michigan state Law or tools from Singapore.

Well, if anyone wants to fall in love with a fictional 11 year old boy with autism, try the first season of "Touch."  The producers did a good job of presenting autistic behavior.  Meanwhile, check out Autism Speaks and other support groups.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Is Progress Worth the Effort?

The more we know, the further behind we become.  Perhaps we should just go with what we know works.

From the NY Times:

Experimental Efforts to Harvest the Ocean's Power Face Cost Setbacks.

"a 260-ton buoy filled with technology that can turn the movement of the ocean into electricity to power 100 homes. . . .
Despite receiving at least $8.7 million in federal and state grants, Ocean Power told regulators that it could not raise enough money to cover higher-than-expected costs and would instead pursue a similar project in Australia, backed by a $62 million commitment from that country’s government.
 . . .
The Oregon Wave Energy Trust, a nonprofit, state-financed group, spent $430,000 in state lottery money helping Ocean Power navigate the process of seeking a permit.
. . .
Tidal power, which captures energy from currents moving in one direction at a time, as opposed to the wave-based technology of the Ocean Power buoys, is farther along, said Paul Jacobson, ocean energy leader at the Electric Power Research Institute. One reason, he said, is that tidal power is easier to engineer and has been able to adapt expertise from the conventional hydroelectric industry."

Even when a workable ocean-powered generator is made, it cannot be used due to cost restraints.  It's a real shame.  I'm not sure if the 520 pounds of machinery and electronics per house is worth it, but given that it cost almost a half-million dollars to "help" its developers through the process of getting a permit is telling.  This single prototype cost at least $87,000 dollars per prospective customer and did not get a chance to be deployed into service.  Now the Austailians, with abundance of water on all sides, are going to take the project.

Apparently the complicated approach of mining the movement of waves turned out to be more expensive than the more obvious mining of the regular tides, for which there is already old technology in place.  Perhaps this is a case in which computers and micro-management of resources is not the way to go.

I suspect, though, that a conventional turbine in the ocean would threaten far more of the wildlife than would an essentially closed system of sensors on a huge bouy.  That alone will probably doom the projects, though wind turbines (wind "mills") seem to be immune from such concerns when it comes to the danger to airborne wildlife.

Meanwhile, proven technology for cheap nuclear energy is on hold due to dangers far less deadly on the short term.  Even very "clean" energy from conventional hydro-electric turbines might meet opposition due to the threat to habitat of so-called "endangered" species.  Meanwhile, with carbon dioxide being redefined as a pollutant, even massive improvements in cleaning up the cheapest energy producing plants -- that is, the coal-fired plants -- come to naught.  It seems that the whole twentieth century has been lost on activists seeking to protect the earth from mankind.

I'm all for protecting the environment from destruction.  I am not adverse to new technology either.  But when advancement is persued for advancement's sake, trouble looms around every corner.  Unintended consequences can derail the best of intentions.

Perhaps we should just slow down a bit and enjoy what we already have.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Henri Van Martin?

Today, on the defunct French Republican Calendar, is New Year's Eve, Year 221.  It is the complimentary year-end festival day "La Fete des Recompenses" (Celebration of Honors).  Based on classic liberalism, I would assume that would be like "Christmas," with a giving of presents to everyone (though, in capitalism, these would be "rewards"!)

According to the French Republican calendar, I would have been born on 20 Nivose CDXI (161).  If the 10-day week had been maintained, that would have been on Decadi (10th day - the day of rest).  That day on the calendar is named "Van" (Winnowing basket).  I guess I could have been named "Henri Van Martin" in honor of the day.

So, to all those First Republic fans out there: Bonne annĂ©e!!!

Thanks to Steve Morse for his handy converter at stevemorse.com.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Lancing the Boil

1 Corinthians 5:
1 ¶  It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.
2  And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.

The assembly of believers at Corinth, a city in first century Greece, had a problem.  There was a member who had decided to shack up with his step-mother.  This was so abhorrent an idea that even the pagans in Corinth - a very worldly town indeed - railed against this.  But, alas, the leadership supported the man's behavior, citing Christian liberty and "love" as the reason.

The apostle Paul says that they were "puffed up."  The Greek word is phusio-o from a root phuo meaning "to blow."  The noun form of the word is phusis, from which we get the words "physics" and "physical," which is translated "nature."  The assembly was acting "naturally" rather than adhering to the law of God.  "Nature" is synonymous with "life" in both Hebrew and Greek.  Verbs and noun-cognates for the soul and spirit all contain the idea of the breath of life.

Being "puffed up" physically, though, is not caused by excess air, but rather excess fluid.  This brings the picture of an infected sore -- a boil -- that is taxing the immune system.  The lymph system is working overtime to kill the poison that has entered the blood stream.  The boil fills up with pus to such an extent that the bacteria leaves, but spreads to other nearby places.  If left untreated, the body will die.  The word "pus" is a Latin word derived from the Greek phuo (see above).

In effect, Paul is saying the assembly is infected and in grave danger because it has not disciplined one who has sinned grossly.  Paul will go on to explain that sexual sin is in a way the worst of sins in the church.  The world is watching, and when this most natural of temptations arises it is hard to hide.  If a believer yields, he will be drawn deeper into a lifestyle that includes breaking not just the seventh commandment, but the ninth and tenth as well.  Living a lie becomes hard, and eventually affairs become public.

Even before that, though, damage is done to the body of believers to whom such a sinner looks for support.  Assuming the "member" is a believer, when other believers look the other way, they become enablers.  The infection grows, endangering the whole assembly. As with a physical boil, "surgery" is required.  The wound must be cut open and cleaned out.  It must be then treated to eliminate any lingering bacteria.  In time, the body will heal.  Does this mean that the sinner must be removed, or just disciplined?  It depends on the extent of the "infection." If it has spread, there will be "supporters" within the body, new "boils" if you will, that are enabling the sinner.  Removal of the sinner (excommunication) often leads to "church splits," but it will always improve the health of the faithful assembly.

The modern church is facing much of the same problem.  Sexual sin is running rampant -- from adultery, to promiscuity (and the attendant sin of murder -- i.e. abortion), to homosexual activity (and the very real threat of related diseases).  We cannot allow an emphasis on "love" to lead to acceptance of such behavior in the church.  Let us not be afraid to get out the scalpel and lance the boil at the first signs of infection.  If we do, then we can promote optimum health to the "body" of Christ on the earth.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Truth - Part 5

0571 tmaemeth eh’- meth

Firmness, faithfulness, truth.

Contracted from

0539 Nmaaman aw-man’

To support, to confirm, to be faithful
To be established, to make firm
To stand firm, to trust, to be certain, to believe in.

An unnamed psalmist presents a prayer for revival among the “sons of Korah,” song leaders in the tabernacle or temple of God. The people of God had strayed from the path which the Law laid down for them, but the psalmist trusts in God's promises, knowing that if they do what God has commanded God will certainly bless them. In the latter part of psalm 85 he writes:

8 ¶ I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.
9 Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.
10 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
11 Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12 Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.
13 Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.

God's people are called “saints,” or a people set apart to holiness. Though called to follow the true God, they were in need of deliverance. Mercy (chesed) is found up alongside truth once again. God is faithful, and his Word is the strong foundation upon which His promises lay. As a consequence, that which the Law requires and reconciliation with God are mated as well. When God's people ground themselves in God's Word, they will find that God has been there all along, waiting to bless those who will turn back to Him.

In Psalm 86, David prays to God for deliverance as was his daily practice. Realizing that as a mortal human being that he was only able to come to God because God allow him to do so, he prays that others might also be allowed around the throne:

8 ¶ Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.
9 All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.
10 For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.
11 Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.
12 I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.
13 For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.
14 O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them.
15 But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.

The way of God is the truth, and all other paths lead to false gods. However, as earthly leader of God's chosen people, David prays that Gentiles will look upon what Yahweh has done for Israel and come to a true relationship with God. God can be depended upon to be faithful to His promises even to those who are not “Jewish.” David recognizes God has saved him, and prays that God's attributes will be displayed to all who see his work in His people.

Ethan the Ezrahite writes what is considered to be a Messianic psalm, describing the ideal son of David. Throughout the psalm he extols the person and work of Yahweh as being the foundation of all hope. Selected verses of Psalm 89:

1 ¶ Maschil of Ethan the Ezrahite. I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.
2 For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens.

7 God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.
8 O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee?

13 Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.
14 Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.

Though this psalm is reach in content and application, these verses should suffice to show the connection of the truth to God's work among mankind – and especially among the people He calls his own. The word translated “faithfulness” is a form of the word “amen” (the verb form from which “emeth” [truth] is derived). The word “mercies” is the word “chesed” which we have seen refers to God' faithfulness to his covenant. This psalm clearly illustrates that connection.

In Psalm 91, the psalmist presents God as the protector of His people in a very personal way. Using the picture of a mother bird who protects her young from the disaster of traps set by hunters, the famous “fortress” metaphor is utilized superbly:

1 ¶ He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

When we trust Yahweh, we need fear no danger, for our God will protect us. This protection is as sure as is His existence!

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Truth - Part 4

0571 tma  ‘emeth eh’- meth

Firmness, faithfulness, truth.

Contracted from 

0539 Nma  ‘aman aw-man’ 

To support, to confirm, to be faithful
To be established, to make firm
To stand firm, to trust, to be certain, to believe in.

In Psalm 30, the psalmist (probably David) reminds Yahweh in prayer that he prefers life to death, since no one who is dead can tell others of God's Word, the truth (verse 9). In prayer, David declares complete confidence in Yahweh, comparing Him to a rock onto which he is pulled out of the mire in which he had been sinking. This brings praise to God for being the foundation of all things true.

Psalm 40:

1 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
4 Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. . . .

11 ¶ Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.

Note that the attributes accompanying God's Truth are his compassion and covenant loyalty [chesed, “mercy, lovingkiness] to His people. In Psalm 43, the psalmist speaks of God's tabernacle being upon the “holy hill” to which he wishes to go. It is there that he wants to worship God who gives “light and truth.” This is the first time that light has been paired with truth, but the idea is as old as the creation account. In Genesis 1, the first thing to exist by God's word was light! It is no wonder then that he writes:

3 O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.
4 Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.

Light and darkness cannot exist together. And neither can truth and falsehood. Just as things are harder and harder to see as twilight fades, so the truth becomes more and more obscured each time a liar presents the foolishness of his own imagination.

In Psalm 45, a coronation song, the new king is extolled as God's instrument in bringing righteousness to the land. The king is to rule on principles of truth, humility and righteousness. He is to be taught what to fear by “his right hand.”

2 Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.
3 Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty.
4 And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.

Studying the psalm closely, one can see a glimpse of Jesus Christ as the “Son of David” (the psalm is a “song of loves [y'daidim, related to “David/Beloved”]. In these verses the king is praised as “beautiful” and his words are favored. He is blessed by God. As he goes out, he is prepared for battle. The ultimate fulfillment of this is found in Revelation 19. The Word of God is called a sword, and as we have seen it is the Truth. Here the truth is teamed with “meekness,” a word that emphasizes strength under pressure, and righteousness. The King is to be One who stands for what is right, even under extreme pressure, because He knows the truth – that which is sure and unchangeable. That meekness is appropriate, though, in sinners even more, as David himself found out when he faced God after gross sin (Psalm 51):

1 ¶ To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

Notice God's “lovingkindness” [chesed] and tender mercy (compassion). David knows he is far from what God wants for him, calling his actions 'transgressions' (breaking God's Law), 'iniquity' (perversity) and sin (falling short of God's requirements). Sinful by nature of being human, he knows that God wants him to be dependable (firm in his convictions) within his “heart.” David truly wants to be righteousness, and he knows that turning to God is the only way to get that way.

In Psalm 54, David prays for deliverance from his enemies, breaking in the middle to speak of God in the third person, then going back to addressing Him directly:

4 ¶ Lo, God is a helper to me, The Lord is with those supporting my soul,
5 Turn back doth the evil thing to mine enemies, In Thy truth cut them off.

He knows that God will help him and his friends. Those who stand against him, though, will find that God's righteous anger will surely bring them to naught.

In Psalm 57, David cries out to God while on the run from Saul. While worshiping Yahweh, he notes that his enemies are no match to the majesty of what God can do. Twice in the psalm David pairs mercy [lovingkindness] with truth. This is a common combination, for God is good and he is dependable.

2 I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.
3 He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.

9 I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.
10 For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.

In Psalm 61, David prays for the dynasty which God has promised to him. In doing so, his words become a prayer for the Messiah:

5 ¶ For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name.
6 Thou wilt prolong the king’s life: and his years as many generations.
7 He shall abide before God for ever: O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him.

It is again “mercy and truth” that god is called on to provide in blessing “the king.” This is the “help from heaven” that David needs. God will be faithful to his promises because in Him is the foundation for all things.

David was in big trouble as his popularity failed. Everywhere he looked he could see those that hated him. He calls out to Adonai Yahweh Sabaoth (the Lord, Yahweh of Armies). He wants a sure victory that he can depend on Yahweh to deliver. He once again sees God's covenant loyalty going along with his firm foundation (truth).

Psalm 69:
13 ¶ But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.
14 Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.

David can depend on Yahweh to come to his rescue when his own sinful decisions have failed him, getting him so deep into trouble that no one else has the resources to help.

In the midst of trouble, believers know that God is there to save them. But that does not stop their enemies from attacking from every side. The grace of God, though, is enough to get us through. Instead of complaining, we need to sing praises to God. As the psalmist prays in Psalm 71:

22 I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.

Music is a great way to declare God's truth, be it by a musical instrument or the human voice! Verse 22 mentions “the psaltery” (literally a vessel of 'nebel,' a word that means “to fade away”) and a harp (from a word meaning to pluck). Though the word 'nebel' is used for “harp” in modern Hebrew, the exact nature of the 'nebel' mentioned here is unknown. From “fade away,” though, I tend to think it may have been a percussion instrument! Other uses of the noun “nebel” include both skin and clay vessels. These materials make good percussion instruments, but don't suggest strings to me.

So, in my mind any way, I'd say sing loudly, for the words have to be heard over the drums and the strings!