Posted by Steve On August 1, 2014
Look at this amazing moth we saw on the mission trip! I don’t believe I have ever seen a moth this colorful in my life.
For those who are interested, the Latin name is Dryocampa rubicunda, and it is from the Saturniidae family. If you want to read more, check out Wikipedia.
Posted by Steve On July 31, 2014
As I was reading through Matthew chapter 22 some time back, I realized there is more to the message there than I had understood in the past. I feel this is powerful stuff for Christians to understand. Pull up a chair and let’s go through this.
Matthew 22: 2 “The kingdom of heaven (note: this is talking about the kingdom of heaven. We should pay attention.) may be compared to a king (the king is representative of the Father) who gave a wedding feast for his son (the Son, Jesus). 3 And he (the Father) sent out his slaves (His prophets) to call those who had been invited (the Hebrew people) to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come. 4 Again he (the Father) sent out other slaves (His prophets) saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered (I can’t help but to wonder if this is a reference to sacrifices) and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.”‘ 5 But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business (these two were placing the things of the world before the Father), 6 and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them (this is the Hebrew people killing the prophets). 7 But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire (Perhaps this is speaking of the Hebrew people who go to hell.). 8 Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’ (This is taking the good news to the world.) 10 Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests.
11 “But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, (This would be the person who might have accepted Christ in word but with no heart-felt change.) 12 and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Once again, hell.) 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Everyone can be saved, but not everyone is; however, I wonder if this is more restrictive. For example, is the man who isn’t dressed for the wedding the person who at the end will share all they did for God, to which God will respond, “I never knew you.”?)
I believe there are many people sitting in church pews today who will not reside in heaven for eternity. They are the casual Christian who might be able to point to the good works they did (lead a committee, teach Sunday School, or even serve as a deacon or pastor), but in reality they never made a heart-felt change; they never committed to Jesus as their King.
So the question we should ask ourselves is what are we wearing? Are we not dressed at all for a wedding? Perhaps we are in acceptable wedding clothes but not in our best. I think being invited to this banquet would be an occasion to wear our best. Or are you wearing your best “wedding clothes”?
I do want to be careful – I don’t believe acceptance to heaven has anything to do with works. It is only by the acceptance of the sacrifice of the Lamb. Yet, acceptance of that sacrifice means we turn our allegiance from the world to the real King. By allegiance I don’t mean simply words saying we accept Christ. Is that really allegiance? I mean serving the King!
Now, this begs the question: Who do you serve?
Posted by Steve On July 30, 2014
- Eye color was once thought to be determined by a single gene, which meant we thought brown eyes were dominant over blue eyes. However, now we know that eye color is multiple gene trait, and we know that brown eyes aren’t always dominant.
- Many of us are mutants. Yes, that’s right. Multiple-colored eyes is a mutation, the neatest of which, in my opinion, is Central Heterochromia. This is where the inner part of the iris is a different color than the outer part of the iris. The out part is the true eye color. All the genetic talk aside, it makes for some amazing macro eye pictures. You can see some at the end of this post.
- People with lighter colored eyes are more prone to be sensitive to bright light. This is because darker eyes have more pigment, which protects against the light.
- Your personality can be predicted by your eyes or as some say, your eyes are the window to your soul. Just for fun, here is another description of eye color and personality. It seems your eye color and the patterns in your eyes can be used to predict your personality. You might have a read to see if you agree with what is said about your eye pattern.
- While 10% of Caucasians are color blind, only 1% of Eskimos are. We don’t really know why. Do you think you can see all colors? Why not try a color blindness test?
- There is a term for those who have a fear of eyes: Ommetaphobia.
- If the eye were a camera, it would be 576 MP! That’s right, the resolution of the human eye is 576 MP!
- While we are on the topic of cameras, have you ever wondered why our pictures have so many dark spots or spots that are too bright? Why can we see so much more than our cameras can capture? Don’t rush out and buy the biggest and the best camera hoping to fix this – it isn’t happening with today’s cameras. There is something called dynamic range, which is the difference between the brightest and the darkest thing you see. A camera can only see 8 stops of dynamic range, whereas the human eye can see 20 stops of dynamic range.
- 20/20 vision is not perfect vision. It is simply being able to see at 20 feet what a normal person can see at 20 feet. So if 20/20 is not perfect, what is? It is believed that 20/8 is the best a human could see, though that has not been recorded. Some US professional athletes have been recorded to have 20/8.9 vision, but a hawk is believed to have 20/2 vision!
- Human eyes are much bigger than you think! Only a small portion of the eye is visible, and the eye is nearly an inch (24mm) deep!
Now, enjoy a few macro shots of the human eye, and who knows, you might learn something about their personality while you are at it.
Posted by Steve On July 28, 2014
As a home gardener, I am no stranger to funny looking fruits and vegetables. In fact, many home crops look that way. It doesn’t change the taste a bit though. In fact, I am humored at how heirloom vegetables now sell for a premium, but no one minds the oddities that come along with those. Even so, do you think all tomatoes that come off the commercial vine are round, perfectly red, and almost perfectly sized for a bun? Of course not! But do you know what happens to those imperfect tomatoes? They are likely to be disposed of. Sure, some may be sold to companies that use those less-than-perfect looking vegetables in their soups or other products, but many are just disposed of.
This video, Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables, does a good job at showing the ridiculousness of our decision making with regards to fruits and vegetables.
What about you?
Would you buy inglorious fruits and vegetables if there were no discount?
If not, would you buy them at a discount?
Yes, I know these aren’t as unlgorious looking as the ones at the link above, but apparently I don’t often take pictures of inglorious vegetables.
Posted by Steve On July 27, 2014
Some things don’t make sense. Sometimes these things that don’t make sense frustrate me more than they should. Today I encountered one of those things.
I live in the state of Kentucky. I was preparing to pay my car registration and thought about mailing it in. Then I was reminded why I dislike doing this:
I cut that off a little short; it should have showed a $2 fee. This makes no good sense to me. Well, let me rephrase. I understand that they have to mail an envelope back to me, but a $2 fee for this is absurd. I chose not to do this on principle.
Then I noticed that you can pay on the Internet. I was once again reminded why I dislike doing this:
In case you can’t see that good, there is a $5 convenience fee for renewing on the Internet. While the $2 fee can be justified, I suppose, an extra $3 cannot, in my mind. If a system is set up properly, there will be reduced costs for the County Clerk if paid online. They said it right though, it is a convenience fee. I believe they know that folks don’t want to drive to the courthouse to pay this, and because of that they can make an extra $3. When a business chooses to do this, that is their choice as a business. I may not like it, and I can choose to shop elsewhere. When a government does this, it is somewhat akin to robbery in my humble opinion. Now, the truth of the matter is that I don’t have to pay online, and I didn’t. It still doesn’t change the principle of the matter though.
Even if I am frustrated about it again next year, I very well may choose to pay it. It depends on my mood. It probably would save money over a drive to the courthouse, but in this case my wife is going to Benton anyhow.
Okay, rant over.
Posted by Steve On July 25, 2014
I enjoy writing, but I have long felt that the punctuation marks we have available just aren’t robust enough. For me, I really struggle with things like sarcasm and questions asked in excited or emphatic ways. In fact, I often find myself using self-made tags or punctuation in my sentences. With sarcasm, I will surround my text with <sarcasm> tags </sarcasm>. If I feel a question needs emphasis, I use a “?!” or “!?”. Don’t you?!
Imagine my happiness when I saw an article on Uncommon Punctuation Marks. It seems that French writer Hervé Bazin felt the same way, and proposed several new punctuation marks in an essay in 1996 titled, “Plumons l’Oiseau.” It seems Hervé and I have a lot in common. Though I don’t agree with all the marks in the article, I do agree with all of them attributed to Hervé, though the “Love Point” is my least favorite of his. The marks not attributed to Hervé are not as enticing to me, except for numbers 7, 8, and 12. In fact, numbers 2 and 6 could just be removed, as far as I am concerned.
What do you think? Are there others marks that make sense? Do you ever find punctuation lacking when you are communicating? If one or more of these marks were available on your keyboard, would you use them?
Posted by Steve On July 24, 2014
It won’t be long, my friends. It won’t be long until some of the girls start laying. Perhaps a week, perhaps a month. If they are really late bloomers, sometime in October, but it won’t be long. I am checking their laying boxes daily even now though.
Check out this cute Easter Egger giving me the eye:
Did you know that chickens are near-sighted in one eye and far-sighted in the other? According to FreshEggsDaily.com:
Just before hatching, a chick turns in the shell so its right eye is next to the shell (and absorbs light through the shell) and its left eye is covered by its body. As a result the right eye develops near-sightedness to allow a chicken to search for food, while the left eye develops far-sightedness, to allow a chicken to search for predators from afar. That is why when a hawk flies overhead, you will notice your chickens tilt their heads with their left eye to the sky.
I suppose this means she was using her right eye so she could see me better. 🙂
Posted by Steve On July 23, 2014
I am genuinely interested in many, many things. I can go from gardening, to marketing concepts, to photography, to home coffee roasting, to playing the harmonica, to card tricks — all in a few minutes. When I begin to have an interest in something, I usually learn enough about whatever it is to converse intelligently or to even do it. The one area of interest that comes to mind where I haven’t done this is languages.
Though I took Spanish in high school and college, and I can understand a little of it, I would neither consider that a language I know, nor is it one I am particularly interested in. In fact, the first language that interested me was a modern created language: Esperanto. I taught myself some Esperanto, though I have long since forgotten all of that. In fact, it was at that time I decided I just don’t have a mind to learn languages.
The desire to learn languages has only grown since then though, but for different reasons. For example, I really want to learn Hebrew, the original language of most of the Old Testament. I also really want to learn Aramaic, which I believe is the original language of much of the New Testament (yes, I know many of you will disagree — that is a post for later). Because of the heart I have for the Choctaw people, I want to learn Choctaw. Did you know that English is a second language to most Choctaw adults? I think it would be nice to converse with them in their language. Finally, I want to learn Chickasaw because it is the tongue of my ancestors.
I am not sure what order I would like to learn these in, but part of my thinking is this: Choctaw and Chickasaw are closely related, and if I learn one, the other should be easy to pick up. I can probably kill two birds with one stone. Hebrew would probably be the most useful. Aramaic is a real interest, but honestly, it doesn’t really compare in importance to me as the other three.
I have found free courses for Choctaw online, and I already have some Hebrew learning resources, so what I am thinking of doing is attempting to learn two languages at once: Choctaw and Hebrew. That may sound like total craziness, but we learn two things at once throughout our lives, don’t we?
Posted by Steve On July 22, 2014
I was reading through the news this morning and happened across an article titled, 3 In 10 Consumers Don’t Trust Retailers With Their Data. I call bull on this. Sure enough, the article supports the title with a study, but if 30% of the population doesn’t trust retailers with their data, why do they still allow retailers to have it? Perhaps a better title would be, “3 In 10 Customers are Uncomfortable with Retailers Having Their Data, but Still Give it to Them.”
All this said, I don’t “trust” anyone with my data, but I fall into the same boat. I still give data to retailers, though sometimes it is fake and sometimes it is selective data that prohibits them from finding me. What I am saying is I understand the sentiment, but if we really don’t trust retailers, then we will stop giving them our data, and then, and only then, will things change.
Posted by Steve On July 21, 2014
A few days ago I told you about how to waste your time planting corn. Last night I decided to practice bagging the corn tassels for hand pollinating.
The purpose of this is to capture pollen from the tassels, which would then be ideally spread on the silks of the newly forming corn. To do this right, the silks also need to be bagged, but I have already resolved that it is too late this year to have success with this. Right now I just want to be sure I understand how to bag the tassels so I can hand pollinate next year.
As frustrating as it is to find I have wasted my time, at least I have learned something for next year.