Mathematical Limerick

I found this outrageous poem and had such a chuckle (whooped and hollered, actually) that I had to share it!

I showed it to my son, for whom math has not been coming easily and has been working on polynomials and quadratic equations this summer in preparation for college. His comment? “I don’t like that. No. I don’t like that.”

Yes, I know, poetry was not meant to be used this way.😉

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The ORIGINAL version of the Serenity Prayer

This famous bit of poetry was first written by the theologian Reinhold Neibuhr. He was a powerful influence on the German Pastor and Nazi resister, Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Our world is violent and hurting, and people are anxious and angry. Dietrich also lived in a time of great trouble that, in many ways, was worse, but it is easy to lose perspective through our institutionalized ignorance of history. You see, His convictions cost him his life. The Nazis hung him on April 14, 1945, less than a month before the end of the war.  

Many are familiar with this prayer in its shortened form through AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), although it has since become popular with many others. However, it is well that we also know it as written, for there is great wisdom there, especially considering its original context.

God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.

jesus-the-good-shepherd

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Math Jokes! (explained)

I’m an odd duck – I find math fascinating (especially weird conceptual stuff), but as for working it out, I don’t quickly “get it.” I managed to mostly get passing grades in middle school because I could figure out “work arounds” (there’s often more than one way to get an answer) but rarely by the method taught. Formula for maths failure in high school. Sigh.

Anyhow, I blame it largely on frequent moves during middle school creating substantial academic discontinuity. I’m also a quirky visual learner, so when math jargon was casually tossed around in a classroom my eyes glazed over and I didn’t try to understand it because by then the teacher had raced on down the road and I knew I wouldn’t catch up. I could have interrupted to ask for a proper explanation, but…I knew how that usually went. Because it would take me a bit longer than others you could almost hear the rolling eyes and suppressed sighs.

On to the point: I love math jokes! Often they are puns (which I adore!), but it’s also a way to learn what I never understood because people are generally more willing to explain these “fun bites.” So here’s a great video with some popular maths jokes “dissected in forensic fashion” from one of my favourite channels.

BTW, for those concerned about my regrettable maths deficit, no fear! I developed an ongoing, multi-layered solution:
1. I grew up. If you like learning, you learn better as you get older.
2. I taught myself the essentials I had missed and needed to know.
3. I bought cool books about fascinating mathematical topics and math shortcuts.
4. I watched “Numbers” obsessively and looked up what they were talking about.
5. When I became a sign language interpreter I learned the “tech signs” for math and suddenly jargon had logical meaning! Hey, it’s not everyone’s solution. If I could make a video it would make sense, but I am not of the “selfie” generation, so making videos of myself seems narcissistic.
6. Then I homeschooled my children and I am now very much better at maths.

The “Woman in the Window”

This isn’t a tale of fiction, or about the 1944 Edward G. Robinson “film noir,” but an explanation of Elizabeth, the woman who watches.

She’s familiar to neighbors, delivery people, the mailman, many who come up our driveway and (especially) the local kids, but they mostly just call her creepy. That’s fair enough because you can usually see her in the window even from across the street. It’s what she does, but not exactly why she came to be here.

We have a two-story, two-car garage, which is our only “attic” since the house has none. Built in the early 1900’s, it once stabled a few horses but was never finished up or downstairs. When we bought our house the garage windows facing the driveway looked sad and naked, so I put up curtains, added silk flowers in vases and, voilà! It looks proper enough from outside that most people think it’s functional space or even an apartment, though I tell all who ask that it’s just storage.

And so I unknowingly set the stage for the entrance of our unplanned “tenant,” the watching woman.

Time passed. One day I wanted to put away a dress form I wasn’t using, so I took it to the attic. I decided to put an old dress on it, and then added a cape, stabilizing its wobbly light wire structure, reducing its chances of being knocked over, and making it look more respectable. I was pleased with the result, and that was that. Then, some months later, it all came to a head.

When my daughter was young a neighbor gave her a beauty school practice head. She had a lovely time with it, but as she grew older she lost interest but still wanted to keep it, so when I took it to the “attic” I affixed it to the form because it seemed the logical place, Elizabeth came into being, and I became a kind of accidental Dr. Frankenstein.

Halloween came around, and on a whim I put her in a window facing the driveway–not so close to the front that she was completely obvious, but not too far back because most people don’t look up often. The effect was pretty much what I had hoped – she startled some and alarmed others. Even when they came up close and I explained her, she was still disturbing.

Part of the effect is the dark blue eye shadow that enhances her large eyes. Light and shadows of the passing day also change how well you see her. Then we have a solar-cell spotlight inside the window that shines up at her at night (it’s the only place we could physically put it), so the shadows cast look very spooky!

(If your computer can play it, set the video’s resolution to HD 1080)

Halloween came and went, and she was left to watch people come and go. However, time and familiarity hasn’t tempered her unsettling influence. In fact, in the last two weeks four people have mentioned her to me with nervous laughs as they glance furtively at her window.

Elizabeth’s debut was gratifying, but I never intended to make our neighbors wonder about us; I just didn’t move her because I got busy. But her continued presence provided unexpected benefits we didn’t want to give up. We have a security system, but that won’t prevent kids (and some adults!) from running up our drive, cutting through our yard and hopping the fence to get to the private street that abuts our back fence. Most of the time stopping them and politely asking them not to do that kept things fairly well in check, but you can’t very well sit in the drive all day! After she took up residence (so to speak) I pointed her out to some of the local boys and how it looked like she was “watching them.” The word got around, and shortcuts dropped dramatically!

I could share amusing stories about people’s reactions, but one was particularly dramatic. One evening our daughter rode home with a friend. They pulled up the drive, she got out, and as she walked in front of the car to the door her friend looked up, noticed Elizabeth in the window behind her, and screamed! My daughter says she doesn’t remember the specifics beyond that since “a lot of people…are scared of her,” but that one was most memorable.

A neighbor suggested putting up a second sign, next to the ADT sign, saying “Watch for Elizabeth, she’s always there,” but that could be a bit heavy-handed, so our “creepy” tenant is now a part of our security system.

You know, if it weren’t for her, I would mount our bat house on the wall facing the drive. It’s not only the best side for mosquito control, but also because it gets the hot afternoon sun that brown bats like. It’s true!

But…then we might have fewer guests, and the newspaper man might refuse to deliver to our door, so for the time being she retains the exclusive status of being our most interesting, if rather unsettling, topic of conversation.

She’s really not that bad. Come visit sometime and I will introduce you.

(Am I enjoying all this just a little too much?)

Creative Sentencing reduces recidivism dramatically

Our legal system has problems, and a lot of it is aggravated by by-the-book, one-size-fits-all sentencing that doesn’t take individuals into consideration rather than having the courage to take the time to come up with common sense, individualized sentences that are more effective than just putting people in jail willy-nilly. This judge is one of my favorites.

Muslims and Jesus – Part 2

For those who either fear Muslims, or think that Islam is just a hijacked religion of peace, some stories to help you get insiders’ views.

Today, by way of videos (short ones, this time!) I would like to introduce you to two former Muslims. The first is Amani Mustafa as she spoke to the American Freedom Defense Initiative about becoming Christian and later escaping Egypt as a Christian, the persecution she experience even in the US, and Islam and human rights.

OK, if that whet your appetite for another story, here is one about a Syrian man who longed for a relationship with God like a Christian friend of his had, but he was afraid.. This is his testimony.

If you like these, tell me if you prefer short single videos, several short ones, longer ones, or just what.

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Interestingly Strange Ocean Creature

Rambling through YouTube you find some strange stuff, but this is a real creature caught on film during an apparent underwater inspection which apparently approached the camera and then swam off.

God has created things we could never imagine in places we might never see – I am in awe!

Meet “Deepstaria enigmatica, a jellyfish of the family Ulmaridae.” Further individuals later have suggested the species is actually “Deepstaria reticulum.” An interesting jellyfish, nonetheless.

Here is the website that goes into full detail of the event, including stills with descriptions of what you are seeing in each: Placental Jellyfish.

I wanted to copy the whole thing, but that would have been completely redundant. It is pretty cool, eh?

 

Moonlight Serenade

(My son wrote this)
fullmoon
~~~~~
What a night…what a glistening, glittery night…
Oh you snow-white jewel of radiance that looks down on the earth
with a stare that covers the ground,
with a soft focused ray of pixie dust that surely transforms the clouds to cotton candy
as it passes through them.
~
You reflect the sun as my life should in the dark.
In a world that is bleak, I don’t dare hide my spark.
~
Conjure up stories for my mind to play out.
Tickle my senses like
daisies around,
fields,
rolling feathers,
the cottonwood trees,
the scent of these petals…
I’m brought to my knees!
~
A lone light in the sky for the world to all see,
you’re just a pinch of the magic and heavenly majesty…
– Josiah Lloyd, 6/19/16

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“I went to a strip club”

I saw this blog post and was moved. The problem with re-blogging is that readers sometimes only get a link, as in this case. But here is how it begins:

“A while back I was asked by a group of pastor’s wives to go with them to strip clubs.

That sentence alone sounds strange. But hang with me.

At first I was a little hesitant. And not for reasons you might think.

I love people. Especially ones who are broken; it’s part of my calling. But, given what I’ve walked through, I know how fragile broken people can be.

And I know how insensitive the church can be.

And I was uneasy.

But, these weren’t just any pastors wives.” continue reading…

If George Orwell wasn’t a prophet, what would you call him?

Do any schools still require students to read 1984, or is that too dangerous to those who seek to gain power by dumbing us down?

Bloggers, never:

  • lower your standards and use the too-easy profanity,
  • forget how to use logic and thought,
  • use ad hominem and straw man attacks, or
  • cave into “political correctness,”

…lest you become a mindless slave of the system.

Keep learning, expand your vocabulary, and continue honing your literary skills, even when people don’t understand you and mock you for it.

“I may be sitting down on the outside, but I am standing up on the inside!”

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