Art/Architecture Science & Technology Social

The Rising

Again, I say: I’m delighted to be an American. Knock us down, and with new fire in our eyes, we scramble upright. Snatch our liberties, and with single vision we rise, undamaged freedom dangling from our hands. Try intimidation, and the eagle within us screams and soars in majestic power and final triumph. Demolish our buildings, and from the rubble will rise the finer, the taller, most magnificent and most glorious. Attempt the annihilation of our faith, and with yet firmer resolve, we elevate God’s Word, and with passion we humble ourselves and seek His face.

Pertinent edit: 8:40 PDT For the first time since 2002, Atlantis has had a text-book launch! Go USA!

After Attacks Changed the World, The Recovery Changed a City

Near Ground Zero, a New Version of Life Goes On

By Michael Powell and Michelle García

Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, September 9, 2006; Page A01

NEW YORK — You’re sitting in the center of the fabulousness. The stinky old Fulton Fish Market is gone, and cobblestone streets are lined with boutiques and $1 million condos with floor-to-ceiling windows, and the sky is that razor blue.

Almost like that day. Read more here.

Medical/Technical My Family Science & Technology Social

Questionable State of the Unconscious Mind

I recall clearly the first time I heard of anyone withholding food and water from a critically ill patient. The incident came through a family in one of the churches Jerry pastored, where a quite elderly parent was critically ill and not expected to live. Although I did not say anything, for it would have been inappropriate for me to do so, I was horrified. That the basic necessities of food and water would be withheld from anyone, I believed to be wrong then, and continue with that thought to this moment.

Now comes this astonishing development, reported yesterday, in which a woman who has been in a vegetative state for five months could clearly hear what others said, and while she could not physically move, her brain waves were consistent with those who understood such commands.

Woman in coma plays tennis


Friday, 8 September 2006


Brain scans of a woman who has been in a vegetative state for five months show her imagining playing tennis and responding to commands, researchers report.

They say their study, published today in the journal Science, shows the woman was conscious despite her coma-like state, although several experts disagree. Read more here.

Such issues strike a vulnerable spot in me, for when Jerry was struck down by a drunk driver, and was severely injured, the doctors intimated that we should consider how long we would keep him on life support. It is the epitome of grace and mercy that Jerry recovered and we did not have to entertain such thoughts.

Although I can’t imagine being able to do it, I have no quarrel with those who elect to remove their loved ones from life support, when there seems to be no hope. But to withhold the basic ingredients of life—food and water—I am in total disagreement from allowing such a thing. I understand that is not the issue here, but these new findings confirm my thoughts that no unconscious person should have food and water denied.

Art/Architecture Photography Science & Technology Social Travel

Balloon Glow in Colorado Springs

DSC_0416, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

A typical Sunday at the Cantu’s church is a 10:30 morning service which includes teaching sessions, worship and preaching. In the evening, they offer various classes which meet particular needs. Last Sunday when we were there, they were in between a series of lessons, so there was no evening service.

After the morning service and an extended time of delicious food and great fellowship at a local Elephant Bar, we were taken to our hotel room, where we rested for a couple of hours. In the evening, the Cantus picked us up and took us to the Balloon Glow held in a park in Colorado Springs.

The Colorado Balloon Classic (a division of Colorado Springs Balloon Classic, Inc.) was organized in 1977 and has grown to be the largest and the longest continuously running hot air balloon festival in the Rocky Mountain Region as well as the State of Colorado. The Colorado Balloon Classic is an annual family event – admission is free – held each Labor Day weekend.

Children Science & Technology Social

Elementary School Throws Out Gender Boundaries

More and more often now, the teachings of God’s Word against homosexuality are flaunted. Now, in San Francisco, a city certainly tainted by extreme liberalism, small children are being trained to walk down this deviant path.

Park Day School is throwing out gender boundaries.

Teachers at the private Oakland elementary school have stopped asking the children to line up according to sex when walking to and from class. They now let boys play girls and girls play boys in skits. And there’s a unisex bathroom.

Admissions director Flo Hodes is even a little apologetic that she still balances classes by gender.

Please follow this link to read the remainder of this provocative article.

Political insight Science & Technology Social

Is Racial Profiling Necessary?

“Of course, however unpleasant or politically inconvenient a fact it may be, young Muslim Arab males are responsible for the overwhelming majority of terrorist violence around the world today.”

This honest and caring article expresses well my thoughts on racial profiling–especially as relating to our world and its challenges today. Please read it.

I’m off to a conference today and tomorrow.

Blessings to all of you.

Christianity/Religion Science & Technology

…and the morning stars sang together…

In chapter 38, God, by enumerating His mighty works, convinces Job of ignorance and of the preposterous stance of man who tries to fully understand God and His creation. In verse 7 comes the mention of the morning stars singing together.

Stars singing! Can such a thing be imagined. Today, I found these delightful actual recordings of such an occurence. My favorite is the last one. Listen to all of them: They are stunning.
It’s such a joy to be a child of God, to understand that God truly exists, that His Word is true, to trust Him, and to know His ways are far above ours. Yet on occasion, and in simple ways, we catch a glimpse of His supreme power and creative essence.

Aug. 13, 2006
Courtesy Sheffield Hallam University
and World Science staff

Ancient Greeks thought planets and stars were embedded in vast crystal spheres that hummed as they spun around the heavens, giving off what the ancients called “the music of the spheres.”

Downloadable star sounds

» HR3831, discovered by Kurtz, a new class of star with a powerful magnetic field. It pulses every 11.7 minutes.

» Xi-hydrae, an old star in the constellation Hydra. It is 130 light years away and 60 times brighter than the Sun. Its sounds, which have been featured in club music in Belgium, are reminiscent of African drumming.

» A “white dwarf” or dead star 50 light years away, also in Centaurus

» The first piece of music composed for stellar instruments: the slowly-building Stellar Music No. 1 by Jenõ Keuler and Zoltán Kolláth.

It was a beautiful idea, and wrong.

But not totally wrong. There are no crystal spheres; but as astronomers found out in the 1970s, “the sun and other stars do actually ‘sing,’” said astronomer Donald Kurtz of The University of Central Lancashire in Preston, U.K.

The eerie tones are now downloadable (see sidebar.)

Stars—themselves spherical—can produce notes through their vibrations, like musical instruments.

We can’t hear the sounds directly, but “astronomers can detect them through asteroseismology—looking beneath the surfaces of the stars into their cores,” Kurtz said. “We can see inside the Sun as clearly as you can see a fetus in the womb using ultrasound.”

Experts worldwide discussed asteroseismology at a conference early this month at the University of Sheffield, U.K.

Stars produce ghostly whistling, drumming, humming or rumbling sounds, said Kurtz, though their frequencies—or speeds of vibration—must be artificially boosted to bring them into human hearing range.

At a lecture at the conference, Kurtz demonstrated how Bach would sound if played by the stars, combining pitches from different stars into a computer-projected melody. He also used helium, cymbals and bottles to recreate stellar sounds.

“Stars have natural vibrations that are sound waves, just as musical instruments do,” Kurtz explained.

“In the case of an instrument such as a horn, the cause of the vibrations is the musician blowing on the horn and buzzing his or her lips at a frequency that matches the natural vibrations of the horn. For the star, the vibrations start by changes in the passage of energy from the nuclear inferno in the heart of the star on its way to the surface, and escape into space.”

Early last year, researchers published a paper noting that a massive quake had left a so-called neutron star vibrating like a bell, sounding a note corresponding to what humans designate as F sharp. Early this year, scientists reported that not only stars vibrate musically—the whole Milky Way is oscillating as well, like a drumhead.

“Understanding the sounds of the stars is important for our understanding of the formation of the solar system and the Earth,” Kurtz said. Using asteroseismology “We can even monitor dangerous ‘active’ regions on the far side of the Sun.” These stormy zones can later send out blasts that create geomagnetic storms on Earth, leading to power failures and radio disruption.

* * *

Christianity/Religion Internet My Home Science & Technology Social

Current Technology to Watch TV on Your Computer- FREE

I just read a news alert giving the information that there are now 150 legal TV channels that for free, one can watch from their computer browsers. These include HBO, ESPN, Playboy TV, Bloomberg, ABC News, AL Jazeera, E-Music, Deejay TV, Deluxe Music, Fashion TV, Horror Channel, Comedy Channel, Sci-Fi Channel, Lifestyle Network, 16 Adult channels and a lot more.

Watch it here, people. Technology is pitching out challenges to some of us who do not have TV sets in our homes. This includes Jerry and me who have taken the stand that there is so much on television that is harmful to families, and so few redeeming qualities, we choose not to have one in our home. Now, though, TV programs are available on our computers.

Please understand: I am not advocating that anyone use these free TV channels on their computers. I am merely posting information that lends credence to the stance that we live in a rapidly developing technological age and that it is close to impossible to keep ourselves free of all instruments that could bring filth and ungodliness into our homes. Righteousness and holiness must arise from within our hearts. That is the case now, and that has always been so.

I believe it was right that we reared our family without television. Sometimes, people on learning that we did not have a television, were astonished, and felt that our children would suffer, and would not have the world vision, insight, and education that watching TV might bring them. Although I respect other’s opinions, we each have to formulate our own principles and values. Both Jerry and I believe we have made the right decision in banning TV from our homes. Our children have developed into intelligent, successful, well adjusted adults. They all serve God, and consistently contribute in a positive way to the church and to society in general.

Blogging Science & Technology Uncategorized

Comments on Muslim Women Preachers

For some reason, the format of my following post does not show a slot for comments. If you wish to comment on the Muslim Women Preachers, please do so here.

Thank you.

Photography Science & Technology Social Travel

Scanning Faces at Airports

In one of the airports I passed through on my recent trip to and from Louisville, I watched as a security guard scanned our faces as we handed our boarding passes to the agent. I was glad–made me feel safer.

Faces, Too, Are Searched at U.S. Airports

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Waverly Cousin, center, examined passengers’ faces at Dulles International Airport on Wednesday as part of a behavior-based screening program.

Read more here.




Published: August 17, 2006

DULLES, Va., Aug. 16 — As the man approached the airport security checkpoint here on Wednesday, he kept picking up and putting down his backpack, touching his fingers to his chin, rubbing some object in his hands and finally reaching for his pack of cigarettes, even though smoking was not allowed.

Video: Airport Security

Understanding Faces

Graphic: Understanding Faces



Facial Expressions Test

This test is based on “The Micro Expression Training Tool” developed by Paul Ekman, who helped the T.S.A. set up its new screening program, based partly on recognizing facial expressions.


Blogging Internet Science & Technology Travel

Travel and Internet Connections


I believe I have mentioned before that one of the challenges connected with travel is the availability of Internet connection, especially when traveling by motor home. In the past, when we were parked at a church where either Jerry or I would speak, and before we had a computer with wireless capabilities, we often ran a phone line from the church into our motor home. But we don’t even use dial up any more, and not many churches have routers so that we can have wireless service. So, as I did in Santa Maria, I often go to the library. Starbucks, and other coffee houses, usually have the service as now even some McDonald’s do, I understand. I remember more than once when we were traveling, that we would drive around in the car with an open computer, trying to track down a signal so we could check our email. Once we found a strong, non-encrypted signal outside a motel, and parked there for a few minutes while we did a bit of business. Hope they didn’t mind.

It’s all improving, though, and now many RV parks have wireless services throughout the park, or at least in their offices where we can tap in. It’s often spotty, though, and I recall pictures I took last year in an RV park in Durango, Colorado where both Jerry and Berl are outside with computers on their laps trying to pick up a clear signal.

BBC has an interesting article concerning the subject. Since I now blog everyday, this definitely is of vital concern to me.

In search of Google wi-fi


By Katie Fehrenbacher
in Mountain View, California


Google’s home is in Mountain View

City-wide wi-fi networks are beginning to be rolled out across the United States. One of the most high-profile is a network operated by search giant Google.

While poring over hidden charges on your cell phone bill, or writing hefty cheques to your internet service provider, it’s hard not to think there should be a better way.

Anything but high prices and no choices. Well, I’m starting to think there is, and I caught a glimpse of it in the city of Mountain View, California.

Read the remainder of the article here.