Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Photo in the News: Colossal Squid Caught off Antarctica
Photo in the News: Ancient Tree Frog Found Encased in Amber
Antifreeze-Like Blood Lets Frogs Freeze and Thaw With Winter's Whims
Chimps Use "Spears" to Hunt Mammals, Study Says
Some Lizards Smell Tougher Than Others
Photo Gallery: Antarctic Ice Breakups Reveal New Species
Mystery Bee Disappearances Sweeping U.S.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
I'd like to take a moment to say a final goodbye to a friend of mine who is like a brother...who will be soon leaving for war.
I've said what I've needed to say. If I think of anything more to say, I will do that too...but basically I just wanted to publicly say this, and to thank him for who his. And I'll link something that he blogged, that I then blogged...it's timely right about now.
I gave you honor and praise...now I give you homage. Farewell to one of the greatest men who has ever lived.
Goodbye, my brother.
So today you're getting the Lego update. Sunday we went to the Lego store in Downtown Disney, Anaheim, California. Boy was it fun!
Knights' Kingdom 10176 King's Castle
This is the biggie--the $100 set. It had some really good figs (including a midget blacksmith!), a reddish-brown dog, the HP "Scabbers" the rat (I love that rat piece....), good armor and weapons, and, best of all, tons and tons of wonderful castle parts. What you can't see in the picture is that it has a door (the kind that look wooden and have a keyhole) plus the kind of gate found in the Batman Arkham set. The set design wasn't the best (it was plagued by the usual Lego diseases, like a lack of ladders and wall-less back, although I was surprised to find some steps on the side of it), but I knew this before buying, and wanted it anyway. If nothing else, this is a great parts pack. A two-fold parts pack: bley and castle parts. Are you sure you're going to pass it up, Nathan?
Vikings 7020 Army of Vikings with Heavy Artillery Wagon
Rapid-firing ballista...yellow goblets...seven figs...Celtic knot tiles...what's not to love? Only thing missing is a monster...but instead you get an army builder. Not too shabby. My Viking faction now outnumbers every other one I own.
Aquaraiders 7776 The Shipwreck
This set was great. I initially had wanted to buy the shark set and maybe a few others, but they were sold out. This one was superb anyways. Green snakes, a crab, treasure (including a pink jewel and--yes, it's finally happened, folks--a diamond!), a gold plate, skeleton with crown, trans-green sea weed, baseboard, ship's wheel...it was also very well made. Whoever came up with this theme at TLC can pat themselves on the back real good.
Designer 4894 Mythical Creatures
Ahh...what can I say? Gorgeous dragon. Great set all around. Deserves to stand next to the Vikings, even though it's mainly brick-built. The wings weren't perfect (I'm thinking on a scientific basis), but whatever, it's a dragon anyways.... I love it!
Creator 4917 Mini Robots
Another great robot that will look nice next to the rest of the wonderful mini bots that Lego has been putting so many of out recently. And you get two telephone pieces!
And that's pretty much it, besides letter tiles, a PAB cup, a few SAH parts poly bags (spruce trees!), and the lovable giant grey baseplate. All in all, we spent around $260 (my parents bought me the Shipwreck)...ouch.
When we were they I got to see five blackhawk helicopters. Twice.
To a close friend, I'd like to say goodbye. Watch out for yourself...for us.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Yesterday I finally did what I've been meaning to ever since I bought three Lego Batmobile sets at Wal-Mart on clearance to sell...looked the set up on Peeron to make sure that I didn't want one (I didn't think the parts were good enough).
Boy was I wrong. The view from the box doesn't show many of the great parts. So last night, being sick and bored, I cracked one open, and spent five hours building it. The end result was a beautiful vehicle...it's enormous...too bad it's Batman, because I'm not a Batman fan! It sure was designed wonderfully though. Nathan's gonna love his. ;-P
Anyways, it looks like tommorrow I'll be able to make it to the Lego store...then you'll get a package somewhat soon hopefully Nathan. Depends on when I can get a box for you...my windows are short since I'm working so much and have no car, so it might be a week or two. You'll get it, though. Plus this is your last chance to ask for anything else. Those sets you wanted to buy but couldn't find? I can do that. Just let me know.
I've been sick for the past few days...I feel better today. I called in sick yesterday, but was able to swing a shift from 1:15 PM-10:00 PM today. I had sushi for lunch...that God for sushi...if I have to eat another sandwich...don't expect me to be around to post.
Me will go eat some pizza now....
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Written in light of Iraq, it deals with the story of the post-WWII insurgency in the Phillippines and how it was defeated. Entitled "Can A Popular Insurgency Be Defeated?", it deals with the story of U.S. Colonel Edward Lansdale, who practically single-handedly helped form the strategy for the Phillippine government to defeat the "Huk" terrorist guerrillas.
His advice was taken, they won. In the Vietnam war, his advice was not taken, and we did not win. One cannot help but wonder, is there a connection? And can we still turn this war around, and take this advice?
Some very timely lessons found in the history of this war could be applied to our current predicament.* It just might work.
Are you listening, Washington?
Listed as a source is Lessons Learned: The Phillippines, 1946-1953, by Edward G. Lansdale.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
So to show you the ones I took, I'll post them here. Basically, all you need to know is that this movie is about the Korean war, and focuses on two brothers, Lee Jin-tae and Lee Jin-seok. (I'll try not to ruin the plot for you!)
The first attack, a stealthy night assault launched by the South Koreans. [I think this shot turned out best of all.]
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Pastor with 666 tattoo claims to be divine
Reports: UK to begin withdrawing Iraq troops
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Okay, so this conversation was between me and my sister the other night. Listen up, because I don't talk about my innermost thoughts all to often. ;-)
So basically I was telling her how I think (i.e., in a certain way). As my quote says, I believe that "All is War." Sometimes, I can really help myself get a grasp on a situation, or problem, by applying it to a framework like warfare. Like doing this act in this situation is like surrendering, doing this would amount to victory, having this happen to you would be like defeat, and so on and so forth.
You see, I learn a lot just by thinking. I can work on my own personality, working on my problems, and betting myself, by thinking. This usually involves a warlike framework somewhere in my thought process. I think the way it must work is like this: if I know a certain fact, or facts, sometimes they'll come together, all linked up nicely and neatly instead of all jumbled and separated, and it usually comes at me hard, and right out of nowhere (did that just make sense?).
I was also talking to her about all my "quote" thingys. I was telling her how I write them down when I need to...and then suddenly I stopped because I need to write one down! I wrote a few down as I went to sleep that night (my unpredictable brainstorms have made me always keep a light-up pen and notepad by my bed). So these are the ones I wrote that night (and one another day), more or less the same, with some comments as well. This will finally convince you all of my complete and utter weirdness, if everything before hasn't already. ;-)
If there is no solution to a problem, find one. If you can find no opening, make one.
A true warrior will have more enemies than friends.
(This one comes from the fact that I had just read the verse where Jesus said good men are not spoken well of often...where was it? Luke...what? I need to look it up again.... Plus, has anyone ever noticed that people give you the most opposition when you are doing something that is really good? Yeah, it's him--the Devil, the enemy! And there the war stuff goes again....)
Make peace with your last enemy and no one can defeat you.
(I was recently reading Walter Martin's Kingdom of the Cults, and it quoted a verse in the Bible where Paul--I think--said that death was our enemy. This was sort of...surprising, almost. You know when those verses that you know you've read before but you suddenly see them in a new light? That's what this was like. What was a little surprising was that I have no fear of death. It sure doesn't feel like an enemy. So, like always, a little bit of thinking, and I think I've figured it out, or at least I hope this is right. :-P Death is the enemy of the unsaved, because it seals their fate to hell and eternal separation from God. To make peace with, or conquer, your last enemy, you need Christ, and you need faith in Christ. Then, as true Christians, we need not fear death. It will be a relief. Because, when we die, we will go home.)
The decisions you make in the morning will come back to haunt you in the evening.
(Strangely, I don't remember the context in which I spoke this line to my sister. I'm not quite sure if I meant that the morning is the beginning and the evening is the end of life--maybe it is like death?--but, whatever I meant, it kind of sounds mysterious, and the fact that I don't even remember what I meant adds an interesting allure to it, don't you all think? ;-P)
Sorry if that was all confusing. It probably was a little bit, knowing how my thought processes can confuse people. ;-P
Spencer the Nutcase
The Warrior is engaged in brutal combat with a mysterious new foe, called Nemesis. The fight is taken into the courtyard of an outdoor shopping mall...they do battle in the fountain...and, The Warrior himself even gets shot! Exulting in his victory, Nemesis thinks he has beaten his hated enemy...until The Warrior gets right back up! His bulletproof suit did not fail him!
The battle continues...and The Warrior is knocked off his feet when Nemesis tosses a chair at him. Nemesis gets away...and The Warrior is left wondering just who this strange enemy is.One thing that both The Warrior and Nemesis know is...they will meet again.
The shopper's resting spot is peaceful....
But soon it erupts into chaos!
The entire gallery:
Enjoy, fellow MOCers!
Dr. Paleo Ph.D. / Histo-Sci
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Iraqi terror leader reported wounded
Bush exhorts allies to support Afghanistan fight
Palestinian PM asked to form unity coalition
Venezuela to beef up security after al Qaeda threat
Violence Sparked by Archaeological Projects in Jerusalem
Fossil Meat Found in 380-Million-Year-Old Fish
Photo in the News: Rare "Prehistoric" Goblin Shark Caught in Japan
Monster Glowing Squid Caught on Camera
Grandfather fights 16-foot snake to free grandson
[Credit goes to Douglas W. Phillips of The Vision Forum, Inc., for this information: Doug's Blog: http://www.visionforum.com/hottopics/blogs/dwp/?archive=2005_02_01_index.htm]
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
U.S.: Radical cleric al-Sadr in Iran
Top general casts doubt on Tehran's link to Iraq militias
Sex torture claims hit Russia army
[Note: although not overtly explicit, some readers may want to pass on this article if they are easily disturbed by this sort of thing.]
So here I've taken the libery of posting the information from the email newsletter. Full credit goes to AAPS for it. Hopefully I didn't get around to it too late....
February 9, 2007
Dear AAPS Members;
I wanted to update you on the status of the new fossil bill, HR 554. As promised, the new Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is fast tracking this bill as she has done with many others since taking office.
I implore each of you to contact your representatives today, do not wait, tomorrow will be to late. A copy of my letter to the new speaker is posted below.
Mike Triebold, President AAPS
Open Letter to the Speaker of the House
Dear Madam Speaker:
The AAPS (Association of Applied Paleontological Sciences) board of directors has reviewed House Bill HR 554, "Paleontological Resources Preservation Act", and issues the following remarks:
The AAPS cannot support this Bill for the following reasons;
It is against scientific principles to keep scientific data secret. This should be available to all scientists and the general public who own public lands. Except in only the most special circumstance locality data should not be withheld.
There is no logical scientific or empirical way to assign a dollar amount to scientific value. Only the term fair market value should be used.
Penalties for misidentification of fossils will place every museum in jeopardy. There is not one museum that is free from labeling errors on specimens on exhibit or in collections.
Imprisonment and vehicle forfeiture should be reserved for only the most heinous violations. Our government does not need to put scientists in jail and confiscate University vans.
There are no provisions for the sale of fossils from commercial quarries or surface collecting. These are an important and integral part of the world of paleontology, and a mechanism to provide for the sale of fossils from public lands, like other resources, should have been devised as part of this Bill.
Professional collectors, intimately familiar with the latest techniques for safe retrieval and documentation can and should be a vital ally in the fight to preserve our fossil resources. Myriad opportunities exist for contract and collaborative exploration, excavation, preparation, molding, casting, mounting and conservation.
It is also important to note that our arguments against this legislation are supported by the National Academy of Sciences 1986 report titled "Paleontological Collecting".
As the only organization of professional fossil collectors in the US, we find it disturbing that the issues we might have helped deal with in the creation of this legislation, and those which unfortunately require that we withhold our support, could have been successfully addressed had we been consulted.
We applaud the Bill's recognition that the Secretary of the Interior has the responsibility to manage and protect paleontological resources on public lands. After so many years of changing policy, this Bill would finally clarify regulation of fossil collecting, and increase public awareness. We are in complete support of the casual collecting exemption. Amateurs are the foot soldiers of paleontology and their activities are to be encouraged. We applaud the recognition that all qualified individuals will be eligible to obtain a permit. In past bills, commercial and amateur collectors were not allowed to obtain permits.
We believe that it is suitable that important fossils collected under permit should be placed in an approved repository that is not necessarily a federal institution; that areas under scientific investigation be closed to the public when necessary; and that the Bill recognizes the importance of commercial activities protected by mining laws.
Perhaps with a little more input and a few amendments, this Bill could really benefit the science of paleontology. We would welcome an opportunity to participate in the creation of viable legislation that would preserve the resource and bring all of paleontology together.
Michael Triebold, President, Association of Applied Paleontological Sciences
Sunday, February 11, 2007
In other news...
U.S. ties Iranian leader to bombs killing U.S. troops
Iran: Nuclear announcement coming in April
Howard slams Obama on Iraq policy
Friday, February 09, 2007
Gates: U.S. has evidence of Iran helping insurgents
NK 'shows willing' in nuke talks
Iran: We'd hit back at attacker
Hamas, Fatah begin talks in Saudi Arabia
Hamas, Fatah work out power-sharing deal
Turiasaurus & A New Sauropod Clade
Photo in the News: Over 100 Dinosaur Eggs Found in India
Riddle Of The Great Pyramids Of Giza: Professor Finds Some Building Blocks Were Concrete
Someone tell me if I'm just being stupid in thinking NK is bluffing? Okay, never mind, don't bother....
BTW, credit goes to Lady of Longbourn for the Science Daily Pyramid article.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Henty's Works and Providence throughout History
By Spencer _____
When reading the great and many works of George Alfred Henty, one is reminded of the innumerable providential occurrences in history, impressed with a sense of the sheer fragility of the course of history, and that any event, no matter how small or seemingly unimportant and insignificant, can change the world forever.
One day, over five years ago, I was introduced to the works of George Alfred Henty. At the time I was unopposed to the books, but in most respects, I found history to generally be quite dull and boring. It may seem a shock to those who know me now, but, really, I neither cared about nor realized all the many timely lessons of history, the lessons of God's everlasting providence. Soon, due to Henty's wonderful novels, I cared very much about history, and quickly became a staunch history buff. And this is one of the many reasons I so emphatically recommend the works of this man so very much.
Henty's works (although seemingly old-fashioned, outdated, and hopelessly manly in the Biblical sort of way) do not teach just history. They teach an appreciation for history, an appreciation for the works of God, for His providence, and the tales of happenings of the world.
History has been likened unto a river; an ever-flowing watercourse, inexorably carving its way through the landscape. This river is constantly shaped by events, and thus indirectly, by the people that shape the events themselves. Whether they be great generals, politicians, leaders, or preachers, any soul on this earth has the opportunity to change the world as it is then known to him; for better, or for worse.
Henty did his own fair share of this shaping, fighting in the Crimean War, working as a war correspondent during the Ashanti War and in Abyssinia, traveling with Garibaldi in Spain and more, but, interestingly, it would seem that these achievements are not the major legacy Henty left behind for the world. His greatest, most lasting achievements, in both the Herculean difficulty of them and their laudable nature, are his books. His courageous acts of personal bravery, his ever-firm moral stand, and his utterly unfathomable knowledge of history are all magnificent character traits, but, in the end, it is his written legacy that stays with us today, still present in the minds of his devoted students.
Some may debate that a man's legacy can be left in mere works of fiction. Ladies and gentleman, I would beg to differ. The legacy of G.A. Henty, my friends, does survive today. It has been left to this even more needful generation, this world of ever-growing wickedness, though the works themselves were intended for the young men of a time long since passed. "How do I know this?" you might be wondering. Allow me to explain.
First, suffer me to say this: the legacy of our fathers, the spiritual riches bequeathed us by the scholars and masters of biblical study, the knowledge left for us by the great minds of the past, the scientists, the deeds of the many ingenious generals of history, all of it, seems to have been conveniently forgotten in this world of ever-present sin. When moral boundaries are abandoned, when the few faithful are attacked for their stand, for their unwavering beliefs, when a generation is only too willing to bring themselves to their own doom, it is the legacy of the fathers, that brings them back. The legacy of the masterful author and historian, G.A. Henty, is one of these.
In my own studies of his works, I find that his historically accurate books leave me with something more than just a knowledge, something more than a mere "knowing" of the history of the people of this earth.
Every time I leave the comfort of my world of books, and thus venture out into the real world, with Henty's great multi-generational insights fresh in my mind, I always take with me a passionate appreciation of history. This history is not mere events, not bare facts, nor is it simple battle tactics of wars long since past, or just the tales of the great men of olden times. This history is legacy. This history is providence. The legacy of the fathers and the legacy of God's merciful providence, so told to us by one of the greatest men in history, G.A. Henty. And this resulting appreciation is so intense, so very potent, that it stays with me wherever I go.
No matter how far I may travel, no matter where I go, or how much other seemingly more important, more consequential knowledge I may learn, the legacy of George Alfred Henty, is with me. And this feeling, this knowledge deep within me, is so strong, so very, very strong, that it shapes my very person. To put it straight, to say it as it truly is, G.A. Henty's more-than-illuminating novels have changed the very man in me. They have made me a better man. No, not a boy. A man. You thought Henty's stories were just for young boys? Think again. I am living testimony to the fact that Henty's works, make men out of boys. This is something more than just good. This is something completely missing in our modern culture. And it is not only the great lessons of manhood and morality that Henty writes of, but the lessons of providence and of history, that also have the peculiar effect of maturing that person, of making a boy wiser. In short, the history lessons also can make men out of boys.
"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."Proverbs 14:12 (KJV)
The entire Old Testament teaches about history and providence, in order that we might not forget the lessons once taught, and that are always applicable to mankind. Jesus quoted numerous times from the books of the Old Testament, which is indeed a very "old-fashioned" book, in order to encourage His listeners to draw lessons from them, to learn from them. On the whole, the Bible everywhere proclaims the lessons to be found in history.
"And when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD our God hath commanded you? Then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt; and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand"
Deuteronomy 6:20-21 (KJV)
Notice what the fathers were required to say to their inquisitive sons. They were instructed to teach them history. Not to teach them the rules of football, not to have daily sessions of sitting in front of a big-screen television. No, God commanded the righteous men of God--the fathers--to teach their sons history. And that, my brothers and sisters in Christ, is just what Henty did.
No matter what the subject may be, no matter what period of history he may be discussing, Henty has something to say to us, and that is, "Where is our appreciation, our genuine reverence, for legacy? Whatever happened to the wise student of history, astutely adhering to the lessons of providence?"
The question is not whether this applies to us. It is not whether it is really worth hearing. Henty's lessons both apply to us, and are most definitely worth hearing. The question is, whether we will listen to his wise counsel, or whether we will damn ourselves, and dig ourselves deeper into the mire so prevalent in this generation's culture.
Never employ the methods of the enemy.
In doing so, you will become the enemy.
Monday, February 05, 2007
A true warrior draws his sword not to take a life, but to save one.
All is War.
Think like the enemy so you can defeat the enemy.
In order to protect, you must kill. In order to save, you must destroy.
My belief about the protection of women is something that I will never surrender. It is my weapon. It is my sword. If I die with it, you would not be able to pry it from my cold, dead hands. It is my passion. It is my life. It is my death. It is who I am.
As long as I live, I declare war on those who would harm women. It's high time you've been stopped, you beasts. Prepare for war, because your most devoted foe is coming. And he's mad. Really, really mad.
Sunday, February 04, 2007
NATO: Airstrike kills Taliban leader
Iran is bug. Me squash bug.
Former military chiefs urge talks with Iran
Hey, it looks like we love each other equally here!
Chavez to U.S.: 'Go to hell, gringos!'
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Celtic Woman: A New Journey...ah, the album is super-duper excellenterific!
Not quite knowing what else to say...I'll list a few of my favorites.
The Pacific Slope
The Spanish Lady
You just have to check it out, people. 8-)
You can see all the parts and things inside the cup, which cost only $12.00. If you would like to see pictures of the store itself, I have those in my gallery too (click "Up" when viewing my gallery).
Dr. Paleo Ph.D. / Histo-Sci
Thursday, February 01, 2007
So, let's go to Saturday....I work with a guy who gives me a hard time about Celtic Woman (he calls it "gay"). I'll tell this as it actually went, but it is from memory so may only be approximate. This was quite funny, people!
[First I said that they were a lot better than guys...]
"But it's Celtic Woman. Celtic Woman!"
"But my cousin listens to gay stuff that's worse than Celtic Woman."
"Like what? Elton John?"
"No, even more gay than Elton John."
"How can you get more gay than Elton John?"
Funny, eh? My sister thought that that was a riot...but she rolled (literally) at this one.
So there is this black kid I work with. He was saying that he was a ninja, and I was trying to disprove him by asking him questions about samurai and Japanese history. I basically proved him to not be one, but I guess he decided to have fun with it. One time he came up behind me, poked me in the back and said that he was a ninja! Another time he slipped into some hanging display rugs, then peeked out at me and said that he was a ninja! Anyways, he said that I was biased towards Asian history. I said I wasn't, and told him that I was biased towards American history, if anything. Then he wanted me to discuss African history...so I started on the first thing that came to my mind. The Zulus! [Note: rudimentary British-African history knowledge will come in useful here.] So I said something like....
"Okay. The Zulus! Guys running around with spears, in the 1880's [is that right, or was it the '90's?] they attacked the British, at Rorke's Drift--"
"Hey, you just learned all that from watching the movie!" [I was thinking the movie Zulu here.]
"No I didn't--"
"You watched The Four Feathers!"
And guess what, people? The Four Feathers is a story about the British-Sudanese War(s), not the Anglo-Zulu War!
"NO! The Four Feathers is about the British Sudanese War, not the Anglo-Zulu War! Wrong movie!"
And to this he had little to say. He had this priceless look on his face I am sure (I didn't get to see it good enough). I had trounced him on his own continent's history!
And tonight...well, tonight got rather interesting. I was working in Men's, and the following things happened. (1, I found a bunch of women's clothing in there, rumpled up and tried-on, and, (2, two women went in there, too. I finished off my bottle of purel completely, lemme tell ya.
So goodnight, people!