Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hawking, Trump, and Venus

As far as I am concerned the theory of evolution is one of the most laughable viewpoints ever devised!

Having said that, Hawking is an evolutionist which makes this “sky-is-falling” screech so ridiculous. Has he forgot his own evolution story of our Earth?
1. Earth has been hotter in the past!
2. Death of species is a normal occurrence in evolution so what if mankind dies off—evolution-wise—no big deal! (I hope proponents of evolution realize that this isn’t a “cold” sentiment, evolution has no “value” system, it is just a made-up thing by us)
3. Earth survived impacts of meteors, one which is accepted as causing a major dinosaur extinction.

Evolution is about change anyway—valueless movement of atoms and molecules striving for combinations which may endure for awhile, but may not! On and on and on!

With that in mind, even if the Earth did become like Venus, as far as the evolutionary scheme things is concerned—it is just another event! if evolution could become personified and would utter a reaction to Hawking’s scenario, it may be something like this: “Oh well!” Next!

But even in their own story!!!! and given what they claim is our history, the conclusion that allowing a few extra carbon dioxide atoms in the atmosphere–and withdrawing from an climate agreement which did very little anyhow—those things will somehow push planet Earth into a Venus-type planet!!! Talking about hyperbole, except he probably really believes it and because of that others will probably as well!

Now I am nowhere near as smart as Hawking, but I am smart enough to know that what he thinks is going to happen—AIN’T!

Smiley/Sad/Perplexed Face?

Happy/Sad/Perplexed Face?
I am not a painter but I do enjoy looking at art and especially abstract art! It is interesting to see whether what one may “feel” from a particular painting happens to correspond with the intention of the artist!
Paul Klee has quite a few interesting paintings and I came across one of his which reminded me of a modern day iconic image, even a popular social media emoji–but further observation clouded the issue!
The painting is called “Tendril” and reading what one critic wrote explains the ambiguous interpretation:
“a lively emotionally charged impression although the linear elements do not form a face”.
This did strike a chord because my first thought was a “happy” face!— (Is this an indication of too much social media influence?)— But when I actually begin looking at the details, I begin to see a “sad” face, and then a “perplexed” face, and finally, maybe there is an indication of a “stern” face—the same critic also emphasized his  “cipher-like language of symbols”. 
Supposedly the work was actually intended to represent a plant shooting upward towards the sun. I don’t know if I would have ever saw that without being told!
I think I can see that now, with the nearly horizontal line representing the horizon and what seems to be the sun appears clear and the bottom curled line is the flower. What the other parts are I am not so sure, maybe the small dot above the sun and curved line represents the stars and heavens and the curly line cutting across the horizon represents the normal flora.
So a thought provoking experience for me and even though the intended sense now seems more clear!… I still see the “faces” as well. I guess that is what Art is supposed to evoke—Thought and Grappling!

The Chimney—Poem

The Chimney

On the shore of Old Island
Sanctuary to the past
Castward glances to the West
Faithful sight will come to view

Looming high above the reeds
Habitation on the marsh
Surrounded by sand and tide
While nestled in foliage of green

Its OUR tower of the Bay
Glory days now but a thought
Dwells stoic in solitude
Monument to long ago

Sights and sounds absorbed ago
From those who once passed its way
Rich history stored in brick
Holding tales now rarely heard

This beacon across the way
Its stature nobly secured
Through many stormy trial
Standing true amidst it all

The Chimney!

by Ray Landon

(Thanks to Billie Chandler for the use of this photo)

Calculus and Wisdom—Morgan Hall College Essay

From a High School Senior
As a Calculus teacher in high school, I couldn’t help but love the following essay written for a college application by Morgan Hall, a Senior looking forward to the next step in her life.
The opening line of her essay, “The derivative is the spice of life”,  would be a great first line for a poem!
The whole essay follows:
“The derivative is the spice of life” is a famous quote from my passionate AP Calculus Teacher. I take derivative after derivative and ponder if this technique will ever benefit me in the future. But then, I stop and realize that this tool, which calculates the rate of change at a single instance, is a perfect portrayal of how life can quickly change at any given moment. Right now, I am contemplating how to word this sentence and hitting the back space key over and over again, but soon I may be playing with the cotton ball of a dog or eating sweet potato dough my mother is making for Christmas dinner. We all consider what the importance of an action we are taking is, but fail to envision what difference it may make when considered in other simplistic aspects of our lives.  No matter how small taking the derivative of a function feels, looking at the bigger picture shows me how important it is to learn how to utilize small things in order to accomplish bigger things in and outside of my small, white-walled Calculus classroom.”
I would say that wisdom can be derived from many places as evidenced in this essay

When Time Stands Still—9:04 A.M.

When Time Stands Still—-9:04 A.M.
Finished two books, “Curse of the Narrows”, which chronicles one of the largest non-nuclear explosions ever made (Hiroshima was only 5 times greater) when a ship laden with explosives lost control and crashed into a wharf complex in Halifax, Nova Scotia; and the second book, “Floodpath”, which chronicles the breaking of a Dam in California near Los Angeles.  The Nova Scotia explosion occurred on Dec. 6, 1917 and killed nearly 2000 and injured over 9000, basically wiping out the whole town. The St. Francis Dam break occurred on the night of March 12, 1928 and killed close to 500, destroying or damaging everything in its path for miles!
Many other large scale disasters have occurred around the world of course, and though there is a commonality to each—massive destruction and loss of life, when one reads the personal losses of individuals who survived, it makes the latter’s measurements impossible to quantify except in the most minimum of ways. Property can be valued and tallied and rebuilt, but loss of life and family and relatives has no real or legitimate price tag and those who were lost in death obviously can’t be replaced. And when that particular number is large, it just amplifies the loss!
It is hard to prepare in any kind of way for a time when in a moment, changes occur which will devastate for a lifetime! The Book of Job in the Bible, like any other book has been criticized in one way or another down through time. One of the worst views is one which claims that the Book was not about a real individual, at least one who had all the various things recorded as having happened to him, but instead is a work of “fiction”, seeking to explain some of life’s disasters. Why that view is taken by some is surprising since things that happened to Job have occurred unfortunately to many since then. Albeit the numerical amount of losses physically, may differ a bit, the enormity of the losses, and the vacuum left over  have been similar.
What did Job lose? In a matter of days Job was informed by a servant that his livestock was taken and all the servants killed except one. Another servant then informed him that his sheep were destroyed by fire along with more servants. Following that, his camels were stolen with more servants being slain and worst of all, a wind came up and destroyed a house in which his 10 children were in and they were all killed! On top of that, on another day, he was stricken with boils over his whole body.
Now  Job was a very wealthy man and very prominent, and there are verses which hint that he eventually became an object of derision even among children—hence he lost his respect in front of the community. He was advised by his wife to curse God and die and his three friends approached him to show Job how he must have done something wrong for these things to happen. The question one can ask is whether it is really possible to lose so much so quickly—and—to come back from it! And the answer is “Yes”, these kinds of devastating losses do still occur unfortunately and, people can amazingly come back from it, though it is very difficult. 
One of the poignant facts about the Halifax explosion is what occurred with all the time pieces, those which survived! Most of the office building timepieces stopped at a bit past 9:04 A.M. and even a seismograph used for earthquake measurements, recorded the explosion at 9:04:35. How did that happen? Very technical but when the main explosion occurred, a kind of massive shock wave occurred which wiped out the surrounding areas in a moment and somehow effected the clocks at that moment.     9:04 A.M.!
Catastrophes by its nature I guess, forces the mind at least for a moment to “sense” just a bit how life can be totally remade in a brief instant for scores of individuals, and many of those lives who may become similar to Job!
Most of us don’t live a life worrying about how in one instant of time whole families including extended family, can be wiped out all at once! We all know we will leave this world eventually but when it comes to families, one hopes and expects that the progression will be to grow old and then die. We hope children grow up and they also grow old. Of course we don’t control that and death can come at any time—but it is still hard to fathom large families being wiped out in a moment! Hard to fathom that possibly hundreds of years of lifetimes, expected to be lived among large families, all gone— at 9:04 A.M. one December morning, compressed into a single point in time at a single place!
A couple examples: In Halifax, two families related by marriage, lost over 52 family members between them; mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, and on and on! At the St. River Dam area, a man by the name of Juan Carillo, who with his wife and seven children in the car, headed for high ground after being alerted about the oncoming flood after the Dam broke, stopped later and got out of his car to warn some neighbors, only to return to the car and find all were swept away. He lost his wife and seven children that quickly!
The  “why” of certain events will always remain in that part of God’s will which is inscrutable to us, or in other words, beyond our comprehension! How could we handle that kind of knowledge? We really couldn’t! One of the reasons and purposes for the Book of Job is to at least provide Hope! This life is the prelude to the next. This life has no ultimate guarantees about what occurs—God knows and we understand the things which may happen, but the actual events we don’t know! And of course it is easy to blame God for not stopping evil things from happening but that will be a tension we will never resolve here on Earth in our limited understanding. I would rather face that question then to live life knowing there is nothing behind this world but blind and random chance! But the Book of Job lets us know that if we serve Him, then all things are ultimately controlled by God and that He has his reasons, and that this life is only temporary and that ultimately our goal is to have an eternity with Him. That is the Hope that Job gives us in his book—even today to those who suffer in ways similarly.

Computer Logic

Nothing like “computer” logic!
Love the line which says “Oregon is a very beautiful state, but it’s infested with liberals,”—could say that about the whole USA.
If there was more space on the sign, the bunch of Hollywood actors and actresses who have been doing the videos would be a nice addition!

19th Century Poverty, “Baby Farms”, and Planned Parenthood

Poverty is something no one really wants to experience and living most of one’s life under those conditions is definitely not a dream fulfilled! In our day poverty is still around and much energy and planning and actions have been expended trying to eliminate it. Not easy to do! First of all the basic definition of poverty is not easy to agree upon. What may be considered poor in one area may not be somewhere else, hence one-size fits-all approaches are doomed to fail and are subject to deception and abuse. Having said all that, the realm of the theoretical is one thing, but the actual experience is another. When true poverty is exampled and seen, it should be obvious, no matter one’s one theoretical judgments on the matter.

A case in point is the book written by Jacob Riis in 1890 chronicling the tenement/slums area of New York City. It is called “How the Other Half Lives”. Filled with photographs along with explanatory info, there isn’t much doubt that those areas, while allowing survival in one sense, were also miserable places to live in! Causes of poverty are something we shouldn’t neglect and a definition of poverty may never really be possible, but that is really not a major defect. If we indeed saw a replication of those 1890 tenement/slum conditions today I would hope the word “poverty” would be an obvious conclusion about those living there, as well as a desire to make some obvious improvements. A problematical view would be one that considered those conditions to be acceptable and part of the evolution of society in some sense and hence, to be left to their own devices. I don’t know how one could counter that!

Approaching these social scenarios and possible remedies, a question that has to be reckoned with is the question of whether poverty can ever be totally eliminated? I don’t know—theoretically on paper it can, but human nature also plays a role and there are some who just want to barely exist and live on handouts or whatever they can scrounge for—so given that aspect, I don’t think so. Plus, given circumstances outside our control, namely, acts of God, disasters, etc., totally eliminating poverty would be a tall order! But efforts to improve some living conditions in some circumstances is not too much to strive for and much improvements can and have been made in society over time. It is in society’s interest to pay continual attention to poverty-stricken areas for many reasons and this book illustrated one particular state of affairs which was a bit shocking, but after a bit of reflection, not all that surprising given the fact that extreme conditions can cause extreme reactions! In other words, poverty can lead people to react in ways they normally wouldn’t under favorable conditions (we hope) and also morality can break down in many ways as people try to survive—doesn’t make it right but those actions are still troubling in many ways—and need to be attended to.

In this particular tenement area the children were the hardest hit. There seemed to be a great amount of children, why so many is another question, but they were there and suffered the most, especially those 5 years and younger. Not surprising when tenement buildings would be partitioned in such a way that scores of families would be crammed into these structures, many families living in one small room, just existing, and often no air circulation or even open windows to bring relief. The young often died from a form of suffocation because of the “closed conditions”. And that brings up the one “particular state of affairs” I mentioned which was very inhuman—“baby farms”! Though agreeing with, but not justifying it, that extreme poverty can create conditions for extreme reactions, nevertheless, when babies are involved, it really strains the understanding how things can take a certain course that it does!

“Baby farms” were popular during this time period and consisted of children being turned over to “caretakers” who would see to the child’s needs. The arrangements may have included temporary care, such as a modern Daycare setup, or adoption, but regardless, the intent was that the child would be cared for. Based on the financial arrangements, and because childcare was expensive, it became evident in many situations that it was cheaper if the children were allowed to die. It was a bit of a moral “jolt” to come across this among all the other descriptive aspects the book offered. The description of method– feeding the child sour milk and giving a “panegoric” (an opium related compound) to keep them calm until they died, makes one wonder how anyone can be so “cold” towards human life, especially innocent children—but they can! Of course not everyone who took care of children for a living did these kinds of things but there were enough who did which gave “baby farming” a bad name at the time.

To further layer these atrocious behaviors and to connect it with “similar” behavior of our modern society, another aspect was exploited by those who sought to make money off of the death of babies—insurance policies. The book mentions in that time period, three companies had issued about a million policies insuring children’s lives! Temptation abounded under those circumstances and it is not hard to see that a baby which died was a financially lucrative result!

Most of the people and leaders in these areas though, did try to help and find solutions to poverty and really cared for children but it only takes a small amount of evil to detract from all the good which was being expended on behalf of the poor—but the evil that resides still has to be addressed!

Poverty-stricken areas like those found in New York City at this time may be far removed now. And many laws have been passed which ensures that the abuses of children seen in this book should be rare! But history has a way of being constant in some things and human nature is definitely something we can’t “progress” away from, it must be constantly challenged and held in check. One of the things that got me about this particular issue of “baby farms” was the connection of a baby’s death and the financial attachment to that! Do baby farms exist today? If so I would hope it would be extremely rare. But a deeper question for today—do we still have an association with a baby’s death and financial gain? Yes we do in some ways !

We as a society better start taking a new and longer look at our practices of abortion and its financial entanglements. It seems we have allowed the Planned Parenthood videos of last year to pass from memory somewhat, but if there were ever any clearer indication of the lucrative financial gains from the death of babies, I don’t know what it could be! And along with that, what does it really say about us as a society when we allow research to be done on these baby parts, in the name of making medical breakthroughs which can make our lives healthier? There is a contradiction there! So the folks back in those “baby farms” made their life better by making more money when they allow those poverty-stricken children in their care to die—we, on the other hand, are using the death of babies to make our lives healthier? There’s is definitely something wrong with that scenario!!

A Poem

A Poem
Drifting clouds, approaching storms.
Life’s trials, many forms.
Crashing waves, frothing surf.
Faith’s test, gold’s worth!
Darken skies, hidden light.
Hope’s source, God’s might.
Blowin’ winds, nature’s roar!
Firm foundation, Anchor’s sure.
Tossed about, pushed aside.
Shaken soul, He abides.
Tempest passed, seas calm.
Winds obeyed, Grace’s balm.
by Ray Landon

Poem—Light of God

A Poem

A message to mankind, in the form of a dove,
God introduced the Son, to the dark!…light of love!

The wilderness he took, to endure Satan’s test,
A victory secured, those angels gave him rest.

Heaven’s kingdom at hand, Adam’s sin to make right,
God thus became a man, to the night is truth’s light.

Lands once lost in shadow, a beacon has arose,
Breaking Man’s horizon, new compass for the soul.

Christ walked a lonely path, though many crowds he served,
In the distance a Cross, not a moment he swerved!

In the Garden he cried, My guilt!—weighed upon Him!
The Father he obeyed, for us he became sin!

To Golgotha he limped, his strength beyond measure,
Nailed across two timbers, forgiveness my treasure.

Thru God’s eyes Job did see, on “nothing” Earth was hung,
True love the world did view, His Son by death was stung.

A few hours Earth watched, great drama in its midst
Perfection “forsaken”, God and Man reconciled.

On the 3rd day He rose, no chain could hold the One,
Resurrection’s glory, the battle fully won!

We now can walk in light, God the Father with us,
Looking beyond this life, Heaven our home we trust.

Ray Landon

Trump and Climate Change

Good article defending Trump from guess who?…..the Liberal Press!

Point 1: The Press is unredeemable, Trump needs to fashion a doctrine of minimal contact with the Liberal side of the Press and speak only to those who are fair.

Point 2: Climate models are extremely complex and subject to much debate—there really is no certainty in the Liberals’ claims to this being settled science—it really is political. Some noteworthy quotes from important scientists are referenced in this article.

Point 3: From this article it is clear the climate-changers don’t like to be challenged and think they have the upper hand on the science—that actually is bad for a scientist to feel that way, after all, science claims it is supposed to be open to facts, except in this debate, when it may contradict their already solidified belief that man has contributed heavily to climate change.

Point 4: Trump should exercise the carpenter’s mantra: “measure twice, cut once”! Too much damage could be done if the climate change bandwagon is pursued the way these liberals want! Don’t make any sudden moves!