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Posts Tagged ‘math and science’

Weird Science

A freshman at Eagle Rock High won first prize at the Greater Idaho Falls Science Fair a few years back. He was attempting to show how conditioned we have become to the alarmists practicing junk science and spreading fear of everything in our environment. In his project he urged people to sign a petition demanding strict control or total elimination of the chemical "dihydrogen monoxide." And for plenty of good reasons, since it can

    1. cause excessive sweating and vomiting
    2. it is a major component in acid rain
    3. it can cause severe burns in its gaseous state
    4. accidental inhalation can kill you
    5. it contributes to erosion
    6. it decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes
    7. it has been found in tumors of terminal cancer patients


He asked 50 people if they would support a ban of the chemical. Forty-three said yes, six were undecided, and only one knew that the chemical was water!

The title of his prize winning project was, "How Gullible Are We?" He believes that the conclusion is obvious.


Water is on the minds of a lot of us right now - the flooding in the Midwest and the severe drought in the Southeast. Our lawn is crunchy because I simply can't afford to spray dihydrogen monoxide on it as well as the Lord can. Speaking of water, just today I received a link to an interesting picture from nasa.gov - a picture of water on Mars - http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/0504/WaterOnMars2_gcc.jpg

Though we try to live responsibly in our house, I for one am getting sick to death of hearing the expressions "green" and "global warming" - basically having them crammed down my throat. I strongly suspect that it is driven more by agenda than by science. And people are gullible enough to fall for it, lapping up whatever the alarmists dish out.

Now some more weird science, possibly as credible as some of what we're being assailed with lately....


Then there are those students who aren't quite as lucid as the freshman in the first story....

A teacher sent me the following list of comments from test papers, essays, etc., submitted to science and health teachers by elementary, junior high, high school, and college students. As she noted, "It is truly astonishing what weird science our young scholars can create under the pressures of time and grades."

"H2O is hot water, and CO2 is cold water"

"To collect fumes of sulphur, hold a deacon over a flame in a test tube"

"When you smell an oderless gas, it is probably carbon monoxide"

"Water is composed of two gins, Oxygin and Hydrogin. Oxygin is pure gin. Hydrogin is gin and water."

"Three kinds of blood vessels are arteries, vanes and caterpillars."

"Blood flows down one leg and up the other."

"Respiration is composed of two acts, first inspiration, and then expectoration."

"The moon is a planet just like the earth, only it is even deader."

"Dew is formed on leaves when the sun shines down on them and makes them perspire"

"A super saturated solution is one that holds more than it can hold."

"Mushrooms always grow in damp places and so they look like umbrellas."

"The pistol of a flower is its only protection against insects."

"The skeleton is what is left after the insides have been taken out and the outsides have been taken off. The purpose of the skeleton is something to hitch meat to."

"A permanent set of teeth consists of eight canines, eight cuspids, two molars, and eight cuspidors."

"The tides are a fight between the Earth and moon. All water tends towards the moon, because there is no water in the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight."

"A fossil is an extinct animal. The older it is, the more extinct it is."

"Equator: A managerie lion running around the earth through Africa."

"Germinate: To become a naturalized German."

"Liter: A nest of young puppies."

"Magnet: Something you find crawling all over a dead cat."

"Momentum: What you give a person when they are going away."

"Planet: A body of earth surrounded by sky."

"Rhubarb: A kind of celery gone bloodshot."

"Vacuum: A large, empty space where the Pope lives."

"Before giving a blood transfusion, find out if the blood is affirmative or negative."

"To remove dust from the eye, pull the eye down over the nose."

"For a nosebleed: Put the nose much lower then the body until the heart stops."

"For dog bite: put the dog away for several days. If he has not recovered, then kill it."

"For head cold: use an agonizer to spray the nose until it drops in your throat."

"To keep milk from turning sour: Keep it in the cow."

Who knows, one of these young scholars could have first come up with the global warming hoax....


The poll that I had up for a week revealed that over 80% of my visitors prefer that I leave the picture of the Paris skyline at the top of my blog, and so there it remains. Thanks to those who took the time to give their input.


My most recent blog post was about senior swingers and their personal ads. This weekend we received some pictures of a young swinger ... our grandson Drew. Here are a few of the pictures we received:

our little swinger

a driving ambition

having lots of fun


"Today people boldly redefine right and wrong. ... The reason we want to redefine things is because we don't like the guilt we feel when we keep falling short" - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

After eating, do amphibians have to wait one hour before getting out of the water?

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Optical Conclusions?

Recently I ran across something on the web that claimed that you could tell whether you were right-brained or left-brained, based on which direction you saw a revolving object spinning. Upon thinking about that, I decided to do a blog post on optical illusions. This post is longer than most, but it's also not much verbiage and mainly images.

Optical Conclusions?

"We are fearfully and wonderfully made!" It is truly fascinating what our brains do with the images that come in through the eyes. For a few years while still in my 40s when I had my last pair of contact lenses, I tried monovision. I was really surprised how quickly my brain adjusted into using my right eye for distance and my left eye for close up.

As I mentioned in the "today's instant vacation" section above, I found something online that supposed helped you know if you were right- or left-brained. Below is the general idea.

If you can imagine having a overhead view of the picture below, which way is the axe spinning for you, clockwise or counter-clockwise?

(I originally put a picture of a spinning brain in the space above, but some people had a hard time seeing a difference in the spinning. I think the axe will make it easier to see.) According to what I read, once you perceive it going in one direction, it's hard to switch but it is possible. Then, once you see it switched, it can be just as hard to get it to switch back! For me, it switches frequently and without my even trying to make it do otherwise.

Supposedly if you see it going counter-clockwise first, you use the right side of your brain more. If you see it going clockwise, you use the left side of your brain more. I'm not sure that that's true. A retired science professor who reads my blog told me that my readers should be skeptical - that it's not terribly scientific. Below are the characteristics - I'll let you decide if you think it's true for you. Maybe it's like horoscopes - so general and glib that the statements could apply to almost anyone.

uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend
order/pattern perception
knows object name
reality based
forms strategies

uses feeling
"big picture" oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
risk taking

I found another interesting thing focusing on the left-brain/right-brain thing. Look at the chart below and say the COLOR, not the word.

Apparently your right brain tries to say the color, but your left brain insists on reading the word. I'm definitely left-brained on that one!

In the picture below, which square is darker, square A or B?

Believe it or not, square A is exactly the same shade of gray as square B! I couldn't believe it myself, so I used a little utility I have for figuring out colors on websites. According to the utility, both squares are hex color #787878.

In the picture below, the entire horizontal bar is the same color all the way across. In fact, it's the same #787878 as in the two squares of the picture above.

Try to count the gray dots in the image below. I promise, it's not an animated picture at all.

The picture below is also not animated, but most people see all kinds of motion in it.

In the image below the brain also produces motion when you concentrate on the black dot in the center and then move your head forward and backward.

In the three images below, lines that are actually straight appear to be sloping or curved because of what's near them.

In the picture below, which of the center dots is larger?

Actually, the center dots are the same size.

In the picture below, which of the figures do you think would measure the tallest with a ruler?

Look at the the pictures below to see what you see first.

Did you see a duck or a rabbit?

Did you see two faces or a vase?

Which word did you see first?

Did you see a face or a word?

Is the book face up or face down?

Which way are the stairs going? If you look long enough, their direction will change.

Did you see a young wife or an old mother-in-law?

The Tower of Pisa leans slightly more each year. In which picture below is the Tower of Pisa leaning more?

Actually, it's the same picture twice.

The following is an interesting example of what the brain can do with what our eyes take in. Stare at the four black dots in the center of the image below for 30 to 60 seconds. Then quickly close your eyes and look at something bright (like a lamp or a window with sunlight coming through it). You should see a white circle with an image inside it.

I'll close with an interesting picture I found on an optical illusion website. I don't know if it's actually an optical illusion, and I really don't know how they did it!

The annual Bible Conference was a huge blessing, but it is now past and it's back to classes. It's hard to believe that six weeks from now this school year and graduation will be histoire. So much to do in the next six weeks...!

We received some Easter pictures of our grandson Drew. Here are several...

For anyone interested, our daughter Megan has put out on the web some scrapbook pages she's done on Drew. You can see them by clicking here.


"Our love for God is a reflection of His love for us." - Dr. John Vaughn

=^..^= =^..^=

A baby first laughs at the age of four weeks. By that time his eyes focus well enough to see you clearly.

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The Georgia Aquarium

My wife and I have been wanting to go to the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta ever since it opened two years ago. We decided that that was something we wanted to do during our Christmas break this year. As we talked about it, we decided that yesterday would be the perfect day for us to go there since it was a weekday and would be before most schools would be out for Christmas break. We went to their website and bought our tickets in advance.

On our way to the Atlanta area we stopped at one of our favorite places along I-85 in Georgia - the Mayfield dairy visitor center in Braselton, GA - get off at exit 129 and follow the signs. We both enjoyed a favorite - a scoop of turtle tracks ice cream. The folks at Mayfield had decorated their cow outside for the season...

Our plan for visiting the aquarium could not have been better. We sat in the car in the parking structure and ate the lunch we'd brought along since Becka had seen online that the food prices in the aquarium's food court were too high for our tastes. After eating we walked to the building and arrived 20 minutes before the entry time we had signed up for, but no problem. There was no line outside at all and we were able to go in early. There were plenty of people there, but it was by no means crowded at all. Bliss! As I share some photos we took, I apologize for the quality of some - I was trying to do them without flash (sometimes mandatorially and sometimes optionally). But since it took longer for the pictures to take, either my subjects moved or I moved the camera slightly, both of which motions altered the clarity.

Throughout the day I just kept praising God again and again for His creation! It was wonderful to see such a huge display of the infinite creativity of the Lord in the creatures He made to inhabit this planet with us!

The first exhibit we visited was the Ocean Voyager exhibit. What a great way to get started! The observation window in that exhibit is the second largest viewing window in the world at 23 feet tall by 61 feet wide and the acrylic window is 2 feet thick! The scene behind the window is amazing with schools of beautiful fish, several kinds of stingrays, enormous goliath grouper and several kinds of sharks, including hammerhead sharks and zebra sharks. The tank itself - the size of an American football field and containing 6.3 million gallons of water - was built to be large enough to house whale sharks, the largest known fish in the world. Below is a picture of one of their whale sharks...

On one of our visits back to that exhibit, we were fortunate to be there at the whale shark's feeding time. The whale shark would be no threat to people since the opening of its throat is the size of a quarter. That kind of shark is a filter feeder, sucking in large amounts of water to filter out the krill and other creatures small enough for it to swallow. There's also a 100-foot-long underwater tunnel through which you can walk and see the inhabitants of that tanks swim all around you and above you.

Each of the other four exhibits was interesting and unique, bringing to our inspection creatures from all over the world. The creatures we saw were extremely varied and fascinating. We saw horseshoe crabs, shrimp, Amazonian tropical fish, sea stars, African black-footed penguins, sea anemones, Australian leafy sea dragons, a giant Pacific octopus, seahorses, Japanese spider crabs, California sea lions, sea otters, and on and on I could go.

I'd like to share with you some of the things we found the most amazing or amusing. We saw some odd little creatures called garden eels. They live in little holes they've dug for themselves in the sand. They are about 16 inches long, but the most we ever saw was about the 6 inches that peeked out when no fish were nearby. Here's the best shot I could get of the garden eels...

Other strange creatures we saw were the jelly fish. The colors and their movements were really cool....

The loggerhead turtles were really fun to watch and kind of made me think of the turtle tracks ice cream at Mayfield's dairy...

We thoroughly enjoyed watching the antics of their five Asian small-clawed river otters. They moved about so quickly that I really had a struggle to get a clear shot of any of them. Here's my best shot...

Another really cool observation window was the one for the beluga whales. (BELUGA! for those of you who remember the "Bulbous Bouffant" thing that was popular a could of years ago.) The aquarium has three belugas - one male and two females (a mother and her daughter.) Here's a picture of the three beluga whales...

We enjoyed watching them for a long time - it was just so soothing! They can swim upside down. Here's a shot of Nico, the male, swimming upside down.

Nico seemed to enjoy swimming near the front of the tank where people were watching. The guides told us that the creatures inside could see us, just as we could see them. Here's a shot I took of my wife Becka watching Nico...

Our advice to anyone who's thinking about going there and has never been before:

1. Forget the 4-D show, unless you've never seen a 3-D show before. It was cute, but it was a cartoon, rather than real sea creatures. There was another "dimension" to the show that made it 4-D, but since the place is already expensive enough, it's not a necessary part of a positive visit to the Atlanta Aquarium.

2. Don't take any child younger than about 7 or 8. We saw a number of children younger than that thoroughly not enjoying themselves. Children under 3 are free, but really don't take much of it in at all and can be downright annoying to those who are trying to enjoy their experiences. (Read: we saw and heard plenty of crabby babies and toddlers, and the only crabs should be those inside the acrylic. 🙂 And children 3 to 8 really don't know enough to fully appreciate what they're seeing, unless your (grand)child is a prodigy, of course....

3. A good starting time for your visit would be at noon or maybe 12:30. That way, you could eat your lunch before going in, yet still have plenty of time to visit all afternoon.

We ended our Atlanta experience by eating dinner at the cafeteria at the Dekalb Farmers Market and shopping for some great produce and specialty items before heading back to Greenville.

picture of Dekalb

What a pleasant day! We'd do it again in a heartbeat! We'd love to hear that this has inspired some of you to go visit it too.

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Pop Science Theories

Since this is the fiftieth anniversary of the launching of Sputnik 1, I thought I'd post something scientific ... well, maybe at least as scientific as some of what calls itself science.

A magazine held a competition, inviting its readers to submit new scientific theories on any subject. Below are the top five winners:

5th place (Subject: Probability Theory) If an infinite number of rednecks riding in an infinite number of pickup trucks fire an infinite number of shotgun rounds at an infinite number of highway signs, they will eventually write the complete works of Shakespeare in Braille.

4th place (Subject: Bio-Mechanics) Why Yawning Is Contagious: You yawn to equalize the pressure on your eardrums. This pressure change outside your head unbalances other people's ear pressures, so they then yawn to even it out.

3rd place (Subject: Symbolic Logic) The Chinese are technologically underdeveloped because each of their writing characters represents a whole word or phrase, rather than a single letter. Thus they cannot use acronyms to communicate technical ideas at a faster rate.

2nd place (Subject: Newtonian Mechanics) Deforestation will eventually cause earthquakes, tidal waves or even the total destruction of our planet. Just as a figure-skater's rate of spin increases when the arms are brought in close to the body, the cutting down of tall trees may cause the earth to spin dangerously fast on its axis with disastrous results.

Winner (Subject: Perpetual Motion) When a cat is dropped, it always lands on its feet and when toast is dropped, it always lands buttered side down. Therefore, if a slice of toast is strapped to a cat's back, buttered side up and the animal is then dropped, the two opposing forces will cause it to hover, spinning inches above the ground. If enough toast-laden felines were used, they could form the basis of a high-speed monorail system.

A reader mentioned to me that there's an article on Wikipedia similar to the winning theory. Below is the picture from that article.

Several (dis?)honorable mentions...

Honorable Mention (Subject: Earth Science) Birds take off at sunrise. On the opposite side of the world, they are landing at sunset. This causes the earth to spin on its axis.

Honorable Mention (Auto Mechanics) The reason hot-rod owners raise the backs of their cars is that it's easier to go faster when you're always going downhill. Besides, they get better gas mileage that way.

Honorable Mention (Subject: Linguistics) The quantity of consonants in the English language is constant. If omitted in one place, they turn up in another. When a Bostonian "pahks his cah," the lost R's migrate southwest, causing a Texan to "warsh" his car and invest in "erl" wells.


In my last post I promised to include a few pictures. Here's one of Uncle Mark and Drew...

Saturday afternoon some of us went up to North Carolina to get some apples at our favorite place - Lyda. They had some fall decor sitting around, just begging for photo ops. Here's a nice picture of Meg and Drew...

Then here's one of our little punkin all by himself...


"Courage is not needed if all things are easy and smooth." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

Why are aliens from outer space always portrayed as evil? How do we know that there's not some alien out there who's just waiting to share the recipe for "The Universe's Best Waffle Mix?"

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Beauty and Symmetry

Today was the first day of autumn, though the temps in the low 90s here said otherwise. I was thinking about God's creation and its wonderful orderliness, of which the changing of seasons is just one example. I received several things lately that went along with my pondering of the order and the beauty of the creation.

First, here are some of the pictures from an e-mail called "When God paints"

Part of the beauty in what God created is not just the colors He chose, but also the symmetry and design, as seen in the two pictures below...

God's universe is mathematical. Though students may beg to differ, I must say that math has a beauty all its own, as you'll see from the contents of an e-mail I received recently.

Examples of the beauty of math...

1 x 8 + 1 = 9

12 x 8 + 2 = 98

123 x 8 + 3 = 987

1234 x 8 + 4 = 9876

12345 x 8 + 5 = 98765

123456 x 8 + 6 = 987654

1234567 x 8 + 7 = 9876543

12345678 x 8 + 8 = 98765432

123456789 x 8 + 9 = 987654321

1 x 9 + 2 = 11

12 x 9 + 3 = 111

123 x 9 + 4 = 1111

1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111

12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111

123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111

1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111

12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111

123456789 x 9 +10= 1111111111

9 x 9 + 7 = 88

98 x 9 + 6 = 888

987 x 9 + 5 = 8888

9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888

98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888

987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888

9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888

98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888

And look at this symmetry...

1 x 1 = 1

11 x 11 = 121

111 x 111 = 12321

1111 x 1111 = 1234321

11111 x 11111 = 123454321

111111 x 111111 = 12345654321

1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321

11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321

111111111 x 111111111=12345678987654321

Brilliant and amazing in its beautiful symmetry, isn't it?! And it's not just a happy coincidence!


"Let the Word of God say what it says." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.

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