Saturday, September 30, 2006

Quote: Mr. Knightley from Jane Austen's Emma

"There is one thing, Emma, which a man can always do, if he chuses, and that is, his duty..."
--Mr. Knightley, in Emma, by Jane Austen, Chapter 18

Since my sister is a great fan on Jane Austen, I have obviously seen the movies. I've always taken a liking to this quote of Mr. Knightley's (in the Kate Beckinsale version of Emma--I can't believe I am blogging this!) and I only recently thought of blogging it. My sister got it for me from an e-text, and here you see it, the original quote, not the movie's version.

It is very true.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Two Birthday Anniversaries

It looks like Lord Nelson and Enrico Fermi were born today!

Sir Horatio Nelson was a British naval leader in the Napoleonic wars, and is most famous for his performance at the Battle of Trafalgar, where he basically beat the pants and whupped the fannies off of the French fleet. He was shot by a French sniper and died in 1805.

Enrico Fermi was a physicist and most famous for his work with the nuclear forces. He even had something named after him, the "Fermi Coupling Constant." (I've been reading about that even today in the R.A.T.E. Vol 2! See my profile book list, and ICR's website, linked a while back.)

Oh, and I keep forgetting. It is probably a little late to find it on the newsstands now, but there is a good article in Military History magazine (see link for the publisher's site) on Sergeant Alvin York (World War I). He and seven other American soldiers captured 132 German soldiers. The ways in which he pelted the enemy with bullets, killing many, and then captured them, and on top of that being a Christian, make him a fascinating character in history. Yeah, I've gotta get Little Bear Wheeler's book on him!

A Lesson on Insects

Hello all,

I've kind of had a bad day today. (It gets pretty depressing when a science nerd like me gets only 20%--yes, 20%!!!!--on a pre-test...now I'm worried about the test! Guess I did badly because it was all math.) But, I'm going to write this to try to help cheer myself up and to pacify my adoring readers who seem to strangely be vying for my ranting fits. (I really should be reading my science books, but don't feel like it right now....)

This is definitely a "Spencer Favorite" subject: insects. Not only will I discuss insects, but I will dispel the biggest myth ever to plague the science of entomology (*cue sinister music*): the corrupted usage of the word "bug."

First, to get to the bottom of the problem, we need to examine the Phylum Arthropoda. (Note: a knowledge of Linnaen taxonomy--i.e., Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species--will be needed for the reader to understand this.)

The Phylum Arthropoda belongs to Kingdom Animalia. One of the definitions of an arthropod, is that they have "exoskeletons", or literally, skeletons on the outside of their bodies, the "shells" that make the crunching noise when you step on that cricket or cockroach on the kitchen floor. Humans, and all vertebrates (Phylum Chordata, named for the spinal chord, contains all vertebrates, as well as a few other, spineless creatures that possess spinal chords, like the marine lancelet), have skeletons, or "bones" as we call them, on the inside of their bodies (literally, an "endoskeleton").

Arthropoda contains insects, spiders, scorpions, crabs, lobsters, and all animals with exoskeletons (that are hard-shelled). What is the next lowest major group in the Linnaen taxonomic system of classification? (Go ahead and check the list I wrote above, I'll give you a break since you've been paying such close attention, my young students. ;-) ) The Class! So, what classes do the hard-shelled creatures I just mentioned belong in? Well, let's see:

Class Insecta: this class contains all insects and is the largest group (as to species amount) in the whole of Creation. The Order Coleoptera (beetles), for example, is larger than the entire Class Mammalia even! Ladies, watch out!

Class Arachnida: all spiders, scorpions, and other arachnids (eight-legged arthropods) belong in this class. A few other creatures belong in here too, such as what are commonly called sun or camel spiders or wind scorpions, vinegaroons, tailless whipscorpions, etc. (None of those creatures are actually spiders or scorpions, by the way. They comprise their own groups inside Class Arachnida.)

Class Crustacea: this class contains all crustaceans, including crabs, lobsters, shrimp, prawns, crayfish, and all of the seafood dishes where those funny shell-cracker tools are needed. ;-)

(Another myth is that insects, and these other creatures, are not Animals. But, as we see, since they all belong to Phylum Arthropoda, which in turn belongs to Kingdom Animalia, this too is a grievous falsehood.)

Now, why is it a myth to call insects bugs, you might be wondering? Well, that will need a little more explaining. After Class, comes the group called an Order. Inside Class Insecta, we have (among many others) an Order called Hemiptera. This order has the common aphid in it, as well as certain other kinds. Assassin Bugs, leafhoppers, and their kind are all Hemipterans. Hey, wait a second, didn't I just use the word "bug"? Actually, yes, I did.

Do you know why? Well, the thing is that all insects belonging in Order Hemiptera, are scientifically called "bugs". So, the common rose pest, the aphid, is technically a bug.

(Note: the Order Hemiptera is not to be confused with Order Hymenoptera, which contains all wasps, ants, and bees, etc.)

So why can't all insects be called bugs? If you remember, you will know that Class Insecta contains all the orders of insects, including Order Hemiptera. So, calling all insects "bugs" is, strictly taxonomically speaking, is like calling all mammals primates! (Class Mammalia, Order Primates.)

So do you see why it cannot be used in that fashion? To call all insects "bugs" is a scientific falsehood, a myth, and is just plain not true. Some try to keep the word's errant usage in this manner by contending that it is just the common term, and really isn't inaccurate, since it isn't the real scientific name for the group. (Just like common animals have common names, like the cat, Felis catus, is not commonly called Felis catus, it is just called a "cat". One a note of silliness, I recently learned what the scientific name of a cat--Felis catus--literally translates to, and that is, "cat cat"!) But is it really excusable? Well, do you think it is correct to call all mammals primates? I didn't think so.

So, the term "bug" should never be used outside of describing the Hemipterans, the members of Order Hemiptera. Thus this erroneous use of the word "bug" should be abolished from common conversation! As I often say, "If it is not accurate, then it must be stamped out!"

Now that you learned all that, if you go back over it all, you might be wondering why it was necessary to discuss all those other Arthoropods, you know, like the arachnids and crustaceans? Well, if it is inaccurate to call any insect that does not belong in Order Hemiptera a "bug", then it is all the more false to call an arachnid or anything else one! (Again thinking taxonomically, would you call a bird a Proboscidean, i.e., an elephant? I didn't think so.)

Now, there is one more little thing that should be mentioned here, although my most attentive pupils would, thus armed with this new knowledge, be able to challenge this equally (if not even more) erroneous concept with confidence.

Many people call worms, snails, and slugs "bugs". As you can see, that just will not do! More than one phyla (plural of Phylum) make up what we call worms, but, for instance, segmented worms, like the common earthworm, are from Phylum Annelida. Snails are from Phylum Gastropoda. So (once again thinking on a taxonomic basis), calling these creatures "bugs" is like calling all Arthropods apes!

Okay. Did that all make sense? If so, go out and tell the world the TRUTH! Proclaim the new knowledge that you have today learned to the world!

Thanks for letting me rant like that. It really has made me feel better. :-D

Always remember, whether we be discussing insects or any other concept of science, or history, or Biblical theology:

If it isn't accurate, it must be stamped out!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ladies Against Feminism: My Modest Clothes - My Armour

As usual, another great article from Ladies Against Feminism. Very refreshing and enlightening...and it is even from the point of view of a formerly "immodest" person! Some may say that this is a woman's site, but it definitely is not. It even has a man's section! To the interest of my readers, this is my version of femininity. :-)

Ladies Against Feminism (or LAF) is affiliated with The Vision Forum, Inc., and is run by Jennie Chancey and her husband, Matt. They recently returned from a trip to England, and since Mrs. Chancey is such a fan of the works of Jane Austen, they visited all the places so dealing with the subject. Mrs. Chancey even has a blogspot blog, called "In Jane Austen's England" (That just happens to have my template!) dealing with her trip. Her husband also has a blog here!

I think I will again call in Endorser 101 for LAF. ;-)

Earliest Bible Currently Available Being Printed

Being the oldest Bible reprint now out there (the oldest was previously the first publication of the King James Bible in 1611), this is really exuberantly exciting!!!!! I can't wait to get my hands on this!

Vision Forum Ministries: Endorser 101 (Yep, no disclaimer here!)

Celtic Woman has a new addition!

It looks like the world-famous, record-smashing female group Celtic Woman has a new addition--Halley Westenra! I am not sure who she is, but she looks the right type for them. They better not boot any of the originals women, though (who are Chloe Agnew, Mairead Nesbitt, Orla Fallon, Lisa Kelly, and--take a deep breath--Meav Ni Mhaolchatha).

Well, we'll soon see how she does! They've already recorded a new live show, so we'll see if I get to watch it over and over on PBS like I did the last one.... ;-)

Anniversaries!

Well it seems that one year ago today (Was it really that long ago?) the first-ever photos of the giant squid (Architeuthis) were taken. It's just amazing...a year ago, such a great scientific discovery occured! (Of course, I heard about it a year ago, but it might have actually happened the day before or something like that.)

And, on a darker note, today in 1066 William of Normandy (known to history as the infamous William the Conqueror) invaded England (thank you, historynet.com!). He would go on to barely defeat the Saxon army at Hastings (on October 14th of the same year) under the just King Harold (his body was mutilated), and that not due in small part (in my opinion) to the fact that the Saxons had no bows, whereas the Normans poured flights of arrows into the ranks of the Saxons, plus the fact that Harold's Saxon army had just fought a devastating battle at Stamford Bridge against the Vikings (who had come because Harold's treacherous brother, Tostig, turned on him and riled the Vikings up, and of course they were looking for a fight as usual). Because he was illegitimate, he was known as "William the Bastard" since that is the true, uncorrupted meaning of the word. I don't use it that way though, since I am such a Saxon at heart that it would be sin to say it, since I would not improbably mean it as the modern sense indicates.

So, just so everyone gets it: I'M SAXON!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Gunman in School Holds Girls Hostage, Murders One

I must say that I wish this guy didn't kill himself, only for the reason that I would have wished him to be executed by the state.

Murderous despot. Kills a girl. Well, he's rotting in Hell now.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Squid Skin: Polarization Possibly a Mechanism for Communaction Between Individuals

Whoa! Squid can possibly use polarization for WHAT!??! Communication?

God's wonderful Creation is sure fascinating, isn't it? Oh yeah, and check the yellow column on the right...tons more squid articles! And don't think this is all I post, okay? Just found some good stuff, that's all....

Science Daily (Disclaimer 101)

Mantle Ministries

It would seem that Mantle Ministries (who are affiliated with Vision Forum) and run by the Christian historian "Little Bear" Wheeler have a new line of replica swords!

The Ping Pong Icthyosaur!

Wowee! Check this one out!

Oh, and by the way...an icthyosaur is NOT a dinosaur...GOT IT!?!??!

Science Daily (Disclamier 101)

Monday, September 25, 2006

ICR: Dinosaurs vs. Birds: The Fossils Don't Lie

Ah...the TRUTH, the whole TRUTH and nothing but the TRUTH!

Go Creationists! Next time someone tells you that birds are dinosaurs and they evolved from dinosaurs (as they truly do contend), remember this. :-P

Woohoo, the ICR rules!

Vision Forum's New G.A. Henty Books!!!!

Wow! Vision Forum, the best site in the world, have a reorganized G.A. Henty historical fiction line!!!

Check them out (the title is the link). It may be a little annoying to some that Vision Forum has stopped selling Preston/Speed Publications's Henty books and switched to Robinson House, but it doesn't really bother me. I have this unrealistic goal where I want to collect ever single Henty book, in ever single edition, ever published!!

Vision Forum is the best site I have ever been to, and I mean that. With nothing but the best products, books, and all sorts of great Christian stuff, they (and their good president, Douglas W. Phillips) have been my friends for years now. I was hooked when I first encountered them, and how could I not be? Over the years they have catered to fans of dinosaurs, Creationism, Biblical theology (of the most conservative kind--to go to Vision Forum, is the one of the best ways to learn about what I believe, since so much of my beliefs are theirs too), history, the Civil War, World War 2, and some really drool-worthy military surplus, and even some fossils at one time. If anyone likes the above things, or just wants to grow in their faith with God, or perhaps are searching for God in their lives, then this is the place! In my experience, you can not find a better place to go!

As to Henty (I'll make this short), he has been my "history teacher" for longer than I have been VF's most devoted customer (lol, :-P). His tales are so full of historical detail that I really shudder to think what I would do without them. Indeed (and this may come as a sever shock to those who know me now), I never even liked history until I was introduced to the works of Henty!!!!!

As well as this, Henty upholds the doctrines of Christianity, and, although not whithout fault, I find that, as hard as I am on things like books, movies, etc., I can throw whatever I can possibly think of at Henty's works, and they bounce off like pebbles being thrown against a castle rampart!!!

Plus (of great interest to me), is Henty's view of the job of man. Mainly, Henty always discusses the particular job of the divine command to defend all women and children to the death. (He does that in every book, sometimes, more than once!)

To my male readers:

Men, when that day of battle comes, when you need a vast reservoir of courage, or maybe just a little help, then, to prepare for that day, there are few better ways to do this, than to read the works of this great man. I believe in thinking before acting. But some times, a certain situation requires one to act so quickly that you may not have sufficient time to fully consider the matter. So, I endorse this approach: prepare yourself for certain situations, and then, when they come, you will, if you prepared yourself well in the Spirit of God and in accordance with Biblical teachings (of manhood in this case), act according to your training. And act as if you had thought first--because you did, only before the moment of the particular event. Try it. It really does work.

And if you truly uphold the doctrines of our Lord, and believe in Henty's all-too-true ideas, you will be just that--a MAN.

P.S. Make sure to also visit their .org address (just change the .com to .org, and leave the rest the same.)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A Walking Shark!

Wow! Look at that! A walking shark! Who'd ever thunk it?

(Link is the title.)

National Geographic (Disclaimer 101)

Historical Quote

I'm going to start posting interesting quotes from history irregularly, okay?

Now this one is a little debated on, basically the third sentence is not always used. I'll do the entire thing anyway though!


"Look! There is Jackson standing like a stone wall! Let us
determine to die here today and we will conquer! Rally behind the
Virginians!"

--General Bernard E. Bee, July 21st, 1861, at the First Battle of Manassas, or Bull Run

Introducing...The Warrior!

Well, here's my first Lego post for my new blog. I made this back in late June or something, but why not show it here? I've got a new wave coming up too!

So, how do you all like it?

(Link is the title.)

Friday, September 22, 2006

TO ARMS! TO ARMS!

Well, it looks as if there is a rebellion on the Sly Piggery. After a picture was posted telling all members to bow to the Sly Pig, I (and many others) refused to do this. So, I decided to call for a rebellion. It seems the King has taken me seriously. :-)

Having been the initial haranguer and having been sort of elected as commander, I am now General of the Rebellion Army. The first battle has been fought, resulting in a Rebel victory.

So. Who wants to join up for the Rebels? I want YOU!

http://www.freewebs.com/sly-pig/

Disclaimer 101

Hello, my faithful readers!

So, I just want to make something clear from the start. If I mention something, say something, or whatever, please do not take it out context.

For instance:

Rule #1: If I link a site for a certain reason, then that does not mean that I support the rest of the site's content, nor it's accompanying views.

Rule #2: If I mention a book, documentary, or product, etc., this does not mean that I endorse the full nature of it, the views of the company/producers/author, etc.

Rule #3: My religious views must not be misunderstood. I am a Christian, but am not a bigot in any way. If I say something that you might find offensive, please try to understand that this is not meant. In other words, put on a layer thick skin while visiting. I will not practice writing offensive posts, but still, I think that this is a good thing to say since I have been misunderstood before.

Okay. Understood? :-P

Thursday, September 21, 2006

So a Blog Begins

Hello, my readers!

You have before you the very first post of my very first blog. Just so you know, you have Nathan Cunningham and all his friends at the Sly Piggery (http://s2.phpbbforfree.com/forums/slypig.html) to thank for this!

First off, a little about myself. I love science above everything else (but my Lord Jesus, :-D), and military history comes in a close second. My particular favorites are dinosaur paleontology and the American Civil War, but I love all sorts of history and science subjects. But I think that a full explanation of my blog name is due. First, I came up with the idea to to use words with B's, and, after mulling it over (plus the fact that stars and moons of the Sly Piggery recommended using whatever stuck in my mind) and not coming up with anything better, I decided to use it. Okay now: I am an avid reader (of science, history, and theology books, not really fiction), thus the "Books" part. The "Bones" is taken from my love of anything (and I mean ANYTHING) having to do with the science of paleontology. The "Bricks" and "Bullets" symbolize my Lego hobby (which will likely be discussed here a lot) and my interest in military history, respectively.

On this blog, you will read about my day, and about current events, science news, and other interesting subjects. You will see my Lego creations, read my book, movie and maybe even article reviews, and just anything I find worth blogging. I may be a nerd, and lead a pretty boring life, but this blog should prove interesting as I plan to supplement it with the material I have above outlined.

So. This is my life's journey. You want to join me?