Saturday, March 01, 2008

WordPress...sorry Blogger

New Blog!




New and Improved "It's Brady"


Thursday, February 28, 2008

31 Days of Oscar, Pt. 3

And on and on...

Apocalypse Now - #35 on the IMDB Top 250 Movies
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington - #103 on the IMDB Top 250 Movies
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
Rear Window - #14 on the IMDB Top 250 Movies
Raging Bull - #70 on the IMDB Top 250 Movies
Letters from Iwo Jima - #159 on the IMDB Top 250 Movies
Some Like it Hot - #82 on the IMDB Top 250 Movies

Title: The Birds
Starring: Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Plot: A young woman follows a love interest to a small town where the birds aren't so nice. Carnage ensues. The Birds was nominated for 1 Academy Award.

Title: Psycho
Starring: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh and Vera Miles
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Plot: A woman on the lam stops at a long-forgotten hotel. Psycho was nominated for 4 Academy Awards. It is #21 on the IMDB Top 250 Movies.

Title: Enter the Dragon
Starring: Bruce Lee
Director: Robert Clouse
Plot: An undercover Shaolin martial artist enters a tournament hosted by a renegade monk to spy for the police.

On the DVR now...
Das Boot - #63 on the IMDB Top 250 Movies
Dr. Zhivago
12 Angry Men - #13 on the IMDB Top 250 Movies

Monday, February 25, 2008

31 Days of Oscar, Pt. 2

So the list continues...

Apocalypse Now - #35 on the IMDB Top 250 Movies
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington - #103 on the IMDB Top 250 Movies
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
Rear Window - #14 on the IMDB Top 250 Movies

Title: Raging Bull
Starring: Robert de Niro and Joe Pesci
Director: Martin Scorcese
Plot: A hot-headed boxer allows his life and his career to be destroyed by his libertine nature and cocky attitude. Raging Bull won 2 and was nominated for 8 Academy Awards. It is #70 on the IMDB Top 250 Movies

Title: Letters from Iwo Jima
Starring: Ken Watanabe
Director: Clint Eastwood
Plot: The story of the Battle of Iwo Jima told from the point of view of a soldier and a general in the Imperial Japanese Army and humanized by their letters to and from home. Letters from Iwo Jima won 1 and was nominated for 4 Academy Awards. It is #159 on the IMDB Top 250 Movies.

Title: Some Like it Hot
Starring: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon
Director: Billy Wilder
Plot: Two Chicago gang murder witnesses flee to Florida in drag with an all girls orchestra fronted by the seductive Sugar Kowalczyk. A comedy for the ages! Some Like it Hot won 1 and was nominated for 6 Academy Awards. It is #82 on the IMDB Top 250 Movies.

On the DVR now:
The Birds
Psycho - #21 on the IMDB Top 250 Movies

and still to come:
Das Boot - Feb 27 - #61 on the IMDB Top 250 Movies
Cool Hand Luke - Mar 4 - #121 on the IMDB Top 250 Movies
Enter the Dragon - Feb 28
The Far Country - Mar 16
The Great Raid - Mar 5
In the Line of Fire - Mar 2
Witness - Mar 17

TCM, I think I love you!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Life Updates

I've substituted three days this week: Tuesday, Wednesday and today!

Tuesday - eighth grade at was interesting. I had a couple of my students from youth group.

Wednesday - ninth and eleventh at was cool. Kevin DeRossett is student teaching in that class, so he was at the helm. I sat in a corner most of the day and just monitored the class. We had a pretty fun time, though.

Thursday - Seventh grade at LMS...half a day, loads of fun. We talked about Totalitarian governments. I got to "teach", kinda.

PureFocus is Saturday! Woooooo yeah! I cannot wait!!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Home Improvement

This month's series was all about Marriage and the Family.

February 3
"Just the One of Us" - Unity in your marriage
I. A holy marriage is made in God's image
II. A holy marriage gives up self
III. A holy marriage keeps the spouse above other people

February 10
"TNT: Handle with Care" - The explosive nature of bringing up teens
I. Team - Parenting is a partnership
II. Nurture - Parents must learn to listen and encourage
III. Train - Parents must both teach and model the Christian life

February 17
"Playground of the Mind" - Adultery begins in thoughts and fantasies
I. Decide to keep your eyes in check
II. Decide not to place yourself in tough situations
III. Decide not to complain about your spouse

February 24 through March 23 is the Journey to Jerusalem.

31 Days of Oscar

Thank you TCM! "31 Days of Oscar" has been making my month.

Title: Apocalypse Now
Starring: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Laurence Fishburne, Harrison Ford and Dennis Hopper
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Plot: The military needs a special unit to assassinate a rogue Green Beret who is leading a cult in the deep jungles of Cambodia. Based on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Apocalypse Now is a journey into the deepest expanses of the insane mind.

Title: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Starring: Jimmy Stewart, Claude Rains and Jean Arthur
Director: Frank Capra
Plot: The leader of a boys' group is appointed Senator of his state, but only as a puppet. Eventually, his ideals and vision spur him to oppose the political machines that run the Capitol.

Title: Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
Starring: Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur
Director: Frank Capra
Plot: A country bumpkin named Longfellow Deeds inherits $20 million and becomes the proprietor of the money and all the businesses of his late, rich uncle. Several people then attempt to swindle Mr. Deeds out of his money.

Title: Rear Window
Starring: Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Plot: An apartment-dwelling invalid (by means of broken leg) spends his days in a wheelchair peering through binoculars at his neighbors, until one evening he believes a man across the courtyard has murdered his wife. Suspense ensues.
Note: The entire movie is filmed from inside the apartment. Genius!

These are a few of the movies that I've watched this month.

Coming up in the next month:
Cool hand Luke - Feb. 21
Das Boot - Feb 27
The Far Country - Mar 16
The French Connection - Feb 19
The Grapes of Wrath - Feb 23
The Great Raid - Mar 5
Heartbreak Ridge - Feb 21
In the Line of Fire - Mar 2
The Searchers - Feb 20
Witness - Mar 17
Zorba the Greek - Feb 22

TCM...rockin' my world!

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Two Liberty High School students were involved in a bad car accident yesterday afternoon on Hwy 178. If you could take a minute to pray for them, that would be awesome. LJ and Hannah are both in the hospital tonight, but LJ is being released as this is written (or so they said when we were leaving the ER). Hannah is not doing so well. She has some internal injuries and is in ICU. She is stable, but things can change at any time. LJ has attended my youth group from time to time. So be praying and let's make - or let God make - something happen.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Aiming for Webster's #1

Well, in a bid to eventually get a word into Webster's dictionary, Cody and I have decided to come up with a new word each week, or however often we feel the urge to be creative.

So your job is to try to use the word in your daily conversation.

This week's word is:

frumby /frum-bee/ adj.,

1. easygoing, nearing to the point of irresponsibility
2. laid back
3. joyous nonchalance
4. lack of concern caused by inhaling marijuana

[noun: frumbulesence; adv.: frumbily]

antonyms - anxious, worried, overly concerned

"His frumby attitude toward his work caused his grades to plummet."
"Dude, I'm feeling totally frumby, man, so I'm not going to work today. Pass the ganja."

2008 Southern Area Ministers' Conference

Monday and Tuesday brought the Southern Area Ministers' Conference back to SWU. It's been two years since the last one and I had been anticipating it for quite some time now. This year's conference solidified itself as one of the best.

Monday, Feb. 11 at 7:00 pm - Dan Seaborn, Winning at Home, Inc.

Dan related our trials in ministry to Goliath. David, a true teenager, asked why no one had challenged him. David relied on God's power (and not his own, or Saul's for that matter) to bring down the giant. It's our time to step up and fight in the power of God with the stone of faith in our sling and take down the giant that stands against God's people and God's name.

Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 8:30 am - Dan Seaborn, Winning at Home, Inc.

Dan Seaborn founded Winning at Home, Inc. to aid families in keeping homes together. Married for Life is his campaign to get 1,000,000 couples to sign a contract stating that they will be married to each other for life. So far over 10,000 couples have signed and made that commitment.

Divorce is killing ministers of God's Word, but no one just runs and jumps off the cliff of divorce. It's a process of steps toward the edge.

7 steps that lead to the cliff of divorce:
1) Keeping secrets from a spouse
2) Finding sexual fulfillment in secret acts/pornography
3) Red flags in other relationships
4) Your mind strays and you picture yourself with another person
5) Justifying an action that in the past you said was wrong
6) Hanging out in "dangerous" places and with "dangerous" people
7) You don't care if you say hurtful things to or about your spouse

...and don't forget to say, "I'm sorry."

Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 10:30 am - Dr. John Adams, Easley First Baptist Church

Americans are plagued by toxins in the body. Deep-breathing exercises are widely used in Europe to rid the body of those toxins. A deep breath in, hold...and slowly release. This allows the body to expel those toxins in the stomach. In the same way, we must deeply breathe in the Holy Spirit. As we hold the Spirit in, we allow a full work to happen. Then, when we exhale, all the toxins (anger, hate, grudges, etc...) that poison our souls are expelled.

Forgiveness is one of the ways that the Holy Spirit does its work. Dr. Adams read a quote by a person whose name I have now forgotten: "God invented forgiveness as the only way to keep his romance with the human race alive." Without it, we would have no hope.

Ann Lamont said "Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die." It's time to get rid of the poison for good.

Forgiveness is...
...refusing the right to get even
...rediscovering the humanity of the person who hurt us
...wishing the person who hurt us well

Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 7:00 pm - Dr. John Adams, Easley First Baptist Church

Dr. Adams related four words that remind us that we are beloved of God:

Chosen - God saw us so long ago and had a great plan for us to be the bearers of His message.
Blessed - God has given us His blessing as minister's of the gospel.
Broken - Until we realize that we are broken, we cannot become whole in Christ.
Given - We are handed the most important message of history and asked to give it to those who need it most.

After the message came the table. Everyone participated in communion, which is always a special time at SAMC.

Overall, it was quite amazing. Can't wait for the next one.

Next week brings Holiness Lecture Series with the one, the only, Steve Deneff. Oh man, it's gonna be awesome!

Friday, February 01, 2008

In the Know #29

February 2, 2008

Today is Groundhog Day and Candlemas.'s Word of the Day

subterfuge \SUB-tur-fyooj\, noun:
A deceptive device or stratagem.

In the news:

- Abu Laith al-Libi, an al-Qaeda leader in Afghanistan, was reported killed on Islamist website

- Microsoft bids $44 billion for Yahoo!

Today in History, according to Wikipedia:

1653 - New Amsterdam (New York City) is incorporated.

1925 - Dog sleds reach Nome, Alaska with diphtheria serum, inspiring the Iditarod race (marker pictured).

1989 - The American Basketball Association is formed.

Today's Famous Births:

1861 - Solomon R. Guggenheim, American art collector and philanthropist

1882 - James Joyce (pictured), Irish author, Ulysses

1897 - Howard Johnson, American hotelier

1905 - Ayn Rand, Russian-born author and philosopher, Atlas Shrugged

1923 - James Dickey, American poet and author, Deliverance

1947 - Farrah Fawcett "Charlie's Angels" and The Cannonball Run

1949 - Brent Spiner, American actor, "Star Trek: The Next Generation"

1977 - Shakira, Colombian singer, "Hips Don't Lie"

Today's Category - Eris

~ Eris (pictured with moon, Dysnomia) is the largest known dwarf planet in our solar system.

~ The full name of the dwarf planet is 136199 Eris.

~ It is approximately 27% more massive than Pluto.

~ A year on Eris lasts 557 Earth years.

~ Eris has an extremely eccentric orbit, which sometimes brings it within Pluto's orbit of the sun.

~ Eris was discovered October 21, 2003.

I always wondered... E85 Flex-Fuel works...

E85 flex-fuel is an alcohol-based fuel. It is made by fermenting and distilling starch crops, corn mostly. One acre of corn can be processed into about 330 gallons of ethanol. Proponents argue that mixing 85 parts ethanol with 15 parts gasoline (hence E85) to create E85 ethanol fuel helps stretch the earth's finite oil supply.

The term "flex-fuel" implies that a vehicle can run on 100 percent E85, 100 percent pump gasoline of any octane, or any combination of the two. Only about 800 of the nation's 180,000 gas stations carry E85 ethanol fuel, so it is difficult to find.

One major downside to E85 is that, depending on vehicle model, fuel economy with E85 ethanol is some 20 to 30 percent less than with gasoline. Therefore, a tank of E85 ethanol will take you only about 80 percent as far as you could drive on a tank of gasoline. Also, E85 costs a bit more than regular gasoline, with the exception of Corn Belt states that actually produce the fuel. So, if you're thinking of purchasing a flex-fuel vehicle, be prepared to sacrifice for oil conservation.

["How E85 works" reference: How Stuff Works]
[All other references from and unless otherwise noted]

Thursday, January 31, 2008

In the Know #28

February 1, 2008

Today marks the beginning of Black History Month.'s Word of the Day

mien \MEEN\, noun:
1. Manner or bearing, especially as expressive of mood, attitude, or personality; demeanor.
2. Aspect; appearance.

In the news:

- California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announces his support for Arizona Senator John McCain.

- A Chinese official says harsh winter weather is threatening food production and adding to inflationary pressures.

Today in History, according to Wikipedia:

1790 - The Supreme Court of the United States first convenes in New York City.

1862 - Julia Ward Howe's "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" (cover pictured) is first published.

1960 - Four African-American students sit at the counter of Woolworth's in Greensboro, NC, beginning the Greensboro Sit-ins.

2003 - Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates upon reentry into Earth's atmosphere.

Today's Famous Births:

1894 - John Ford, American director and producer, The Grapes of Wrath and The Searchers

1901 - Clark Gable, American actor, Gone with the Wind and It Happened One Night

1902 - Langston Hughes (pictured), American writer

1909 - George Beverly Shea, Canadian singer

1931 - Boris Yeltsin, 1st President of the Russian Federation

1937 - Don Everly, American musician, "All I Have to Do is Dream"

1948 - Rick James, American musician

1975 - Antwan "Big Boi" Patton, American musician, "Ms. Jackson"

Today's Category - Pluto...the former planet, not the Disney character

~ Earth's circumference is 5.3 times bigger than Pluto's with 151.1 times more volume, but Earth is 476.2 times more massive.

~ A year on Pluto lasts 248.1 Earth years.

~ A day on Pluto lasts only 153.3 Earth hours.

~ Minimum temperature is 33K (-400F) and maximum temperature is 55K (-361F).

~ The atmosphere of Pluto is composed mostly of nitrogen, methane and carbon monoxide.

~ The mean apparent magnitude of Pluto is 15.1, making it visible only with magnification.

I always wondered... the current writer's strike works...

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) is on strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

There are three issues that are being contested by writers:

1 - Since 1988, Writer's have given 0.3% of video sales up to the first million dollars and 0.36% of subsequent sales. Because of decline in costs of DVD (and thus less income) and because the reported profit of DVD's is much higher than box office figures, the writer's have asked for double the residual amount (0.6%). This request was dropped early in the strike, but will probably be contested again in the not-too-distant future.

2 - New media residuals are being negotiated. New media includes internet downloads, streaming media, video on demand, satellite television and other means of delivery channels. Currently, there is no arrangement concerning these new medias, but the WGA is asking for 2.5% of the gross sales. The AMPTP has offered the same deal as for DVD, 0.3%, and no payment for streaming materials. Both of these have been rejected by the WGA.

3 - The WGA has no jurisdiction in reality TV and animation. They are asking for credit in these areas because reality TV needs creative scenarios and animation has slowly evolved from storyboard-only work to screenplays then storyboards. The WGA has been denied this by the AMPTP. The WGA has since dropped this request, but will keep the idea tabled for the future.

[All references from unless otherwise noted]

In the Know #27

January 31, 2008's Word of the Day

irascible \ih-RASS-uh-buhl\, adjective:
Prone to anger; easily provoked to anger; hot-tempered.

In the news:

- John McCain wins the Florida primary.

- Rudy Giuliani and John Edwards drop out of the presidential nomination race.

Today in History, according to Wikipedia:

1606 - Guy Fawkes (pictured) is executed for plotting against Parliament and James I.

1876 - The United States orders all Native Americans to move into reservations.

1961 - Ham the Chimp travels into outer space.

Today's Famous Births:

1797 - Franz Schubert (pictured), Austrian composer

1872 - Zane Grey, American Western writer

1919 - Jackie Robinson, American baseball player, the first African-American player in Major League Baseball, 6-time All Star

1931 - Ernie Banks, American baseball player, 10-time All Star

1941 - Dick Gephardt, American politician

1947 - Nolan Ryan, American baseball player, 8-time All Star

1970 - Minnie Driver, British actress, Good Will Hunting

1981 - Justin Timberlake, American singer, "What Goes Around...Comes Around" and "My Love"

Today's Category - per request, Neptune...the planet, not the trident-wielding god

~ Neptune (pictured as seen by Voyager 2) is the eighth planet from the sun, located beyond the asteroid belt and is one of four Jovian planets, the gas giants.

~ Neptune's circumference is 3.8 times bigger than Earth's with 57.7 times more volume, but it is only 17.1 times as massive as Earth.

~ A year on Neptune lasts 164.8 Earth years.

~ A day on Neptune lasts only 16.1 Earth hours.

~ Mean temperature is between 55K (-361 F) and 72K (-330 F) depending on altitude.

~ The atmosphere of Neptune is composed mostly of hydrogen and helium.

~ The apparent magnitude of Uranus varies from 8.0 to 7.8 at its brightest, making it visible only with magnification.

I always wondered... noise-canceling headphones works...

In order to understand how noise-canceling headphones work, one must first understand how sound waves work. A sound wave is composed of crests and troughs which, respectively, represent compressions (positive pressure) and rarefactions (negative pressure) of air. When graphed, a sound wave is seen as a sine wave.

Destructive interference is what makes noise-canceling headphones work. Destructive interference occurs when crests meet troughs, or vice versa, in opposing sound waves. Alternatively, if crests meets crests and toughs meet troughs, constructive interference - or amplification - occurs (constructive and destructive interference pictured). So all that needs to happen in order for sound cancellation to occur is to reproduce a sound wave in the opposite direction and 180 degrees out of phase from the original sound wave. To visualize this, imagine two identical trains on the same track, traveling at the same speed, but towards each other. When the trains collide, neither will continue traveling along the track, instead they will "cancel each other out"...though quite violently in this example.

Active noise-canceling headphones utilize a microphone, a circuit board (which analyzes sound waves and creates the opposite wave), and a speaker. The speaker is aimed away from the ear and transmits the out of phase sound waves, which practically destroys all sound waves coming toward the headphones.

["Noise-canceling headphones" reference: How Stuff Works]
[All references from unless otherwise noted]

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Sorry about the hiatus, but I was out of town today. January 30th's In the Know will be up with February 1st.

Monday, January 28, 2008

In the Know #26

January 30, 2008's Word of the Day

canorous \kuh-NOR-us; KAN-or-uhs\, adjective:
Richly melodious; pleasant sounding; musical.

In the news:

- George W. Bush delivers his last State of the Union address.

- Indonesia reports its 100th death from bird flu.

Today in History, according to Wikipedia:

1835 - Richard Lawrence attempts to assassinate President Andrew Jackson.

1933 - Adolf Hitler is sworn in as Chancellor of Germany.

1948 - Mohandas Gandhi (pictured) is assassinated by Nathuram Godse.

1968 - The Tet Offensive is launched by the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam, a.k.a. Viet Cong.

1972 - Bloody Sunday in Ireland: British Paratroopers attack civil rights marchers in Northern Ireland.

1976 - George H. W. Bush becomes the Director of the CIA.

Today's Famous Births:

1882 - Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States.

1912 - Francis Schaeffer, American Evangelical theologian and pastor

1930 - Gene Hackman, American actor

1941 - Dick Cheney (pictured), 46th Vice President of the United States

1951 - Phil Collins, English musician, "In the Air Tonight"

1957 - Payne Stewart, American golfer, PGA Champion and two-time U.S. Open Champion

1962 - King Abdullah II, reigning King of Jordan

1974 - Christian Bale, Welsh actor, Equilibrium and Batman Begins

Today's Category - per request, Uranus...the planet, not your anus, hahaha...

~ Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun, located beyond the asteroid belt and is one of four Jovian planets, the gas giants.

~ Uranus' circumference is 4.0 times bigger than Earth's with 63.1 times more volume, but it is only 14.5 times as massive as Earth.

~ A year on Uranus lasts 84 Earth years.

~ A day on Uranus lasts only 14-17 Earth hours.

~ Mean temperature is between 49K (-371F) to 76K (-323F) depending on altitude.

~ The atmosphere of Uranus is composed mostly of hydrogen and helium.

~ The apparent magnitude of Uranus varies from 5.9 to 5.2 at its brightest, making it difficult to see with the naked eye.

I always wondered... WiFi works...

Wireless networks use radio waves to transmit data. A computer's wireless adapter translates data into a radio signal and transmits it using an antenna. A wireless router (pictured) receives the signal and decodes it. It sends the information to the Internet using a physical, wired Ethernet connection. The opposite is also true with the router sending information to the computer's antenna.

The transmitters utilize 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz frequencies. These frequencies are higher than cell phone and television radio signals, allowing higher data transfer rates. The technical protocol for wireless routers is the 802.11 networking standard. There are several different versions of 802.11 technology utilizing the different frequencies and boasting varying transfer rates.

A wireless router consists of (1) a port to connect to your cable or DSL modem, (2) a router, (3) an Ethernet hub, (4) a firewall and (5) a wireless access point. This router has a service set identification (SSID) name, which is the manufacturer by default, but can be changed by the user. 3 types of security are available in a wireless network: (1) Wired Equivalency Privacy and (2) WiFi Protected Access (WPA), which both use passwords, and (3) Media Access Control (MAC), which locates a physical address that is unique to a certain computer located in a list of safe computers.

["How WiFi Works" reference: How Stuff Works]
[All references from unless otherwise noted]

In the Know #25

January 29, 2008's Word of the Day

sylvan \SIL-vuhn\, adjective:
1. Of or pertaining to woods or forest regions.
2. Living or located in a wood or forest.
3. Abounding in forests or trees; wooded.

1. A fabled deity or spirit of the woods.
2. One that lives in or frequents the woods or forest; a rustic.

In the news:

- At least 250 schoolchildren 12 to 18 years old and several teachers were taken hostage and finally released by at least seven militants inside a high school in Domail, Pakistan.

- The United States Secret Service has evacuated the West Wing of the White House in Washington, D.C. after finding a suspicious package.

Today in History, according to Wikipedia:

1845 - "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe (pictured) is published in the New York Evening Mirror.

1861 - Kansas admitted as the 34th U.S. state.

1886 - Karl Benz is granted a patent for the first successful gasoline-driven automobile.

2002 - In his State of the Union address, President George W. Bush describes "regimes that sponsor terror" as an Axis of Evil.

Today's Famous Births:

1737 - Thomas Paine, American patriot, Common Sense and Rights of Man and The Age of Reason.

1843 - William McKinley, 25th President of the United States

1860 - Anton Chekhov (pictured), Russian writer, Uncle Vanya and The Cherry Orchard.

1874 - John D. Rockefeller, Jr., American entrepreneur and philanthropist

1880 - W.C. Fields, American actor

1945 - Tom Selleck, American actor, "Magnum P.I."

1954 - Oprah Winfrey, American actress and talk show host, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and The Color Purple.

1960 - Greg Louganis, American diver, 4 Olympic gold medals

1970 - Heather Graham, American actress

Today's Category - Saturn...the planet, not the car company or the game console

~ Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun, located beyond the asteroid belt and is one of four Jovian planets, the gas giants.

~ Saturn has a complex ring system, composed mostly of ice and dust.

~ Saturn's circumference is 9.45 times bigger than Earth's and is 763.6 times more voluminous, but is only 95.2 times as massive.

~ A year on Saturn lasts 29.46 Earth years.

~ A day on Saturn lasts 10-11 Earth hours.

~ Mean temperature is between 84K (-308F) and 134K (-218F), depending on altitude.

~ The atmosphere of Saturn is composed of mostly hydrogen.

~ The apparent magnitude of Saturn is between 1.2 and -0.2, making it easily visible to the naked eye.

I always wondered... braille works...

In 1821, the Frenchman Louis Braille developed the braille system of writing for use by blind people. The system utilized cells comprised of 6 dot positions with the arrangement of raised dots in the positions deciding letters and characters. The cells are arranged with two columns of three dots each. The arrangement of dots creates 64 permutations (2^6).

Dot heights are approximately 0.02 inches. Dot spacing is approximately 0.1 inches. Cell spacing is approximately 0.15 inches horizontally and 0.2 inches vertically. A standard braille page is 11 by 11.5 inches and consists of a maximum of 40-43 cells per line and 25 lines.

["Braille" Photo: Christophe Moustier - 2005]
[All references from unless otherwise noted]

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Who knew...

Organ Hero

"Carry on My Wayward Son" like you've never heard it before.

Saturday, January 26, 2008



Lebrons 2 on 2
"I'm on you like white on rice, like flies on shut yo mouth!"

The other three Lebrons commercials
"That's a quadruple double right there boy."

Just in case you didn't figure it out, Lebron James plays all the characters.

In the Know #24

January 28, 2008's Word of the Day

neophyte \NEE-uh-fyt\, noun:
1. A new convert or proselyte.
2. A novice; a beginner in anything.

In the news:

- At least 45 people killed in a new surge of violence (pictured) that began after Kenya's disputed December 27 presidential election.

- Gunmen killed 11 people in the village of Lusignan on the coast of Guyana.

- Barack Obama wins the South Carolina Democratic primary.

- An unresponsive United States reconnaissance satellite is in an uncontrolled, decaying orbit and will re-enter Earth's atmosphere in late February or early March.

Today in History, according to Wikipedia:

1521 - The Diet of Worms begins.

1915 - U.S. Congress creates the United States Coast Guard (seal pictured).

- At the launch of NASA mission STS-51-L, Space Shuttle Challenger explodes 73 seconds after lift-off.

Today's Famous Births:

1890 - Robert Stroud, American convict, "The Birdman of Alcatraz"

1912 - Jackson Pollack, American painter, No. 5

1936 - Alan Alda, American actor and writer and director, "M.A.S.H."

1954 - Rick Warren, American pastor and author,

1955 - Nicolas Sarkozy (pictured), President of France

1959 - Frank Darabont, American filmmaker, The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile

1974 - Magglio Ordoñez, Venezuelan baseball player, 6-time All Star

1981 - Elijah Wood, American actor, Lord of the Rings trilogy

Today's Category - per request, Jupiter...the planet, not the orchestral piece or the rocket

~ Jupiter (pictured, as seen from Voyager I - click it to watch the approach) is the fifth planet from the sun, located beyond the asteroid belt and is one of four Jovian planets, the gas giants.

~ Jupiter's circumference is 11.2 times bigger than Earth's with 1,317 times more volume, but it is only 318 times as massive as Earth.

~ A year on Jupiter lasts 11.86 Earth years.

~ A day on Jupiter lasts only 9.9 Earth hours.

~ Mean temperature is between 112K (-258F) to 165K (-163F) depending on altitude.

~ The atmosphere of Jupiter is composed mostly of hydrogen and helium.

~ The apparent magnitude of Jupiter varies from -1.6 to -2.9 at its brightest, making it easily distinguishable from the stars.

I always wondered... youth ministry works...

If you have any idea...let me know.

[All references from unless otherwise noted]

In the Know #23

January 27, 2008

Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.'s Word of the Day

indelible \in-DEL-uh-buhl\, adjective:
1. That cannot be removed, erased, or washed away.
2. Making marks that cannot easily be removed or erased.
3. Incapable of being forgotten; memorable.

In the news:

- A 16-year-old was arrested over allegations of intentions to hijack a commercial passenger airliner.

- Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announces a "decisive" offensive against al-Qaeda in Iraq.

- Australia to withdraw troops from Iraq this year.

Today in History, according to Wikipedia:

98 - Trajan becomes Roman Emperor.

1678 - The first fire engine company in the United States went into service.

1825 - U.S. Congress approves Indian Territory (in what is present-day Oklahoma), paving the way for the "Trail of Tears."

1880 - Thomas Edison is granted a patent for his electric incandescent lamp.

1926 - John Logie Baird makes the first television broadcast.

1945 - The Red Army arrives at the Auschwitz-Birkenau (entrance pictured) concentration camp in Poland.

Today's Famous Births:

1756 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer, Le nozze di Figaro

1832 - Lewis Carroll, English author, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and "Jabberwocky"

1921 - Donna Reed, American actress, It's a Wonderful Life and From Here to Eternity

1940 - James Cromwell, American actor, The Green Mile and Babe

1955 - John G. Roberts, Jr. (pictured), 17th Chief Justice of the United States

1957 - Frank Miller, American comic book artist and writer and film director, 300 and Sin City

1971 - Jonathan Smith, American rapper, a.k.a. Lil' Jon

Today's Category - per request, Mars...the planet, not the candy bar

~ Mars is the fourth planet from the sun.

~ Earth's circumference is 1.88 times bigger than Mars', but Earth is 9.35 times as massive.

~ It is referred to as the "Red Planet" due to its appearance from Earth.

~ A year on Mars lasts 686.5 Earth days.

~ A day on Mars lasts 24.55 Earth hours.

~ Surface temperatures range from about 133K (-220F) to 293K (68F).

~ The atmosphere of Mars is composed mostly of carbon dioxide.

~ The apparent magnitude of Mars at its brightest is about -2.9, making it visibly brighter than any star.

I always wondered... The Shawshank Redemption works...

[1] Actor - Morgan Freeman; actor - Driving Miss Daisy and Glory and Se7en and Million Dollar Baby and so many more

[2] Actor - Tim Robbins; actor - Jacob's Ladder and Arlington Road

[3] Writer, short story - Stephen King; writer, short story - Stand By Me; writer, novel - The Green Mile and The Shining and a few horror novels too

[4] Director and screenplay - Frank Darabont; screenplay - The Green Mile; executive producer - Collateral

Greatest movie...ever.

[All references from unless otherwise noted]

Friday, January 25, 2008

Commercial commercial...there's a perfect job for everyone...even a guy with ginormous legs.

Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour!

Watch this video and let me know of you want to go on March 20 to Greenville for the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour.
Last year's event was beyond phenomenal.
$15 (I think) for three hours of awesome films.

I can't wait!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

In the Know #22

January 26, 2008's Word of the Day

caterwaul \KAT-uhr-wawl\, intransitive verb:
1. To make a harsh cry.
2. To have a noisy argument.

1. A shrill, discordant sound.

In the news:

- President Bush and Congress agree on an economic stimulus package.

- A car bomb blast in a Christian suburb of the Lebanese capital Beirut has killed at least six people, including a top security official.

Today in History, according to Wikipedia:

1564 - The Council of Trent issues its conclusions in the Tridentinum, which established the distinction between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.

1837 - Michigan is admitted as the 26th U.S. state.

1905 - The Cullinan Diamond, the largest gem-quality diamond ever discovered at 3106.75 carats, is found near Pretoria, South Africa.

1988 - Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera (pictured) debuts at Broadway's Majestic Theatre.

1998 - U.S. President Bill Clinton announces on American television that he had no "sexual relations" with intern Monica Lewinsky.

2005 - Condoleezza Rice is sworn in as U.S. Secretary of State, becoming the first African-American woman to hold the post.

Today's Famous Births:

1880 - Douglas MacArthur (pictured), American general and Medal of Honor recipient

1904 - Seán MacBride, Irish statesman, founding member of Amnesty International and Nobel Peace Prize winner

1925 - Paul Newman, American actor and race car driver, Cool Hand Luke

1935 - Bob Uecker, American baseball player and broadcaster

1946 - Gene Siskel, American film critic

1955 - Eddie Van Halen, Dutch musician, Van Halen

1958 - Ellen DeGeneres, American actress and comedian, Finding Nemo and "The Ellen Show"

1961 - Wayne Gretzky (pictured), Canadian hockey player, "The Great One", 18 All Star game appearances

1970 - Kirk Franklin, American singer

1977 - Vince Carter, American basketball player, 8-time All Star

Today's Category - per request, Venus...the planet, not the statue or the tennis player

~ Venus is the second planet from the sun.

~ Earth's circumference is 1.05 times bigger than Venus' and Earth is 1.23 times as massive.

~ It's similarities to Earth give Venus the nickname "Our sister planet".

~ A year on Venus lasts 224.7 earth days.

~ A day on Venus lasts 116.75 earth days (the sidereal day - the time it takes to complete one full rotation - on Venus is 243 days, which is longer than its year!).

~ The mean temperature on Venus' surface is 735K (863.3F).

~ The atmosphere of Venus is comprised of carbon dioxide and nitrogen.

~ The apparent magnitude of Venus can be as bright as -4.6, gaining the titles "The Evening Star" and "The Morning Star"

I always wondered... golf balls works...

The earliest golf balls were smooth and made of wood. Early in the 17th century, the 'featherie' ball was introduced and was constructed of tightly compacted goose down inside a cowhide casing. Later, tree sap was heated and formed into a ball, which flew truer because of imperfections in the ball. This led golf ball makers toward the distinctive dimples we know today. The 20th century contributed core technology, introducing a solid inside the ball allowing designers to fine tune the length, spin and feel of golf ball characteristics. Today, golf balls have titanium or other metal cores and may be composed of up to four layers.

The diameter of a golf ball cannot be smaller than 1.68 inches. 250 feet per second is the maximum velocity for the ball. Maximum weight of the ball cannot exceed 1.62 ounces. Most golf balls have between 300-450 dimples.

The millisecond-long impact of club and ball determines velocity, launch angle and spin rate. In its flight, the ball will experience drag and lift. The dimples on the ball work in two ways which affect these aerodynamic forces: (1) as the ball moves through the air, the dimples reduce drag by reducing turbulence (pictured), and (2) backspin induced by the angle of the club creates lift which is magnified by the dimples.

["How golf balls work.." turbulence picture reference]
[All references from unless otherwise noted]


This is another one of my favorite commercials: Orange Underground

In the Know #21

January 25, 2008's Word of the Day

disheveled \dih-SHEV-uhld\, adjective;
also dishevelled:
In loose disorder; disarranged; unkempt; as, "disheveled hair."

In the news:

- Romano Prodi (pictured), Italy's President of the Council of Ministers, loses a vote of confidence and resigns.

- Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich quits his bid for the presidency.

- An Iraqi police chief is killed in a suicide bombing.

Today in History, according to Wikipedia:

41 - Claudius is accepted as Roman Emperor after Caligula is killed.

1919 - The League of Nations is created.

1924 - The first Winter Olympics opens in Chamonix, France.

1949 - At the Hollywood Athletic Club, the first Emmy Awards (pictured) are presented.

1949 - David Ben-Gurion becomes the first Prime Minister of Israel.

1961 - President John F. Kennedy delivers the first live televised presidential news conference.

2004 - Mars rovers Opportunity lands on the surface of Mars.

Today's Famous Births:

1627 - Robert Boyle, Irish chemist

1741 - Benedict Arnold, American general notorious for treason

1759 - Robert Burns (pictured), Scottish poet, Auld Lang Syne

1882 - Virginia Woolf, English writer

1938 - Etta James, American singer, "At Last"

1941 - Buddy Baker, American race car driver and commentator

1942 - Eusébio, Portuguese soccer player

1951 - Steve Prefontaine, American runner

1962 - Chris Chelios, American hockey player ,11 All-Star games

1981 - Alicia Keys, American singer

1984 - Robinho, Brazilian soccer player

Today's Category - per request, Mercury...the planet, not the element

~ Mercury is the closest planet to the sun.

~ Earth's circumference is only 2.61 times the size of Mercury, but earth is 18 times as massive.

~ A year on Mercury lasts just under 88 days.

~ A day on Mercury lasts over 4200 hours (over 175 earth days).

~ Surface temperatures range from 80K (-315F) to 700K (800F).

~ Two NASA missions have studied Mercury: Mariner 10 (1974-75, upper picture)) and MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging - 2008, lower picture) [Note quality difference in photos].

~ The atmosphere of Mercury contains hydrogen, helium, oxygen, sodium, calcium and potassium.

~ At its brightest, Mercury is an apparent magnitude of -2.0, which is brighter than Sirius (the brightest star in apparent magnitude).

I always wondered... that yellow first down line on a televised football game works...

It would seem that placing that little yellow line on our magical living room screens might be so very simple, but this could not be farther from the truth. A colossal amount of technology is put into play to make it possible. Sportvision created a system called 1st and Ten to digitally paint the line.

The system must:
  - know the orientation of the field
  - know where each yard line is
  - sense the camera's movement
  - recalculate perspectives, based on the camera's movement, at 30 frames per second (actually works at 60 fps)
  - cause the line to follow the curve of the field
  - work with multiple cameras
  - sense when players, refs or the ball cross the line, so as to not draw the line over them
  - be aware of superimposed graphics

There are several mechanisms and means used to address these issues. First, each camera is equipped with a special mount that records the cameras pan, tilt, zoom and focus. Stored on a main PC is a 3-D model of the field and the location of each camera. This allows the camera mount encoders to work with the 3-D model to appropriately place the line.

Also included in the software of the system is a color palette that distinguishes the field from the players, refs and the ball. When a pixel of a color not representing the field or first down lines passes over the line, the line disappears only where that pixel is.

It takes four people to run the 1st and Ten: a spotter and operator input the first down line manually, then two other operators make any corrections to the line during the game (such as adding colors to the palette like mud or snow). The system utilizes 8 computers in total.

["How it works" reference:}
[All references from unless otherwise noted]

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

In the Know #20

January 24, 2008's Word of the Day

nolens volens \NO-lenz-VO-lenz\:
Whether unwilling or willing.

In the news:

- A border wall between Egypt and the Gaza Strip was partially destroyed allowing Palestinians to enter Egypt.

- Iraq removes three stars that referenced Sadaam Hussein's Baath Party from the Iraqi flag (new flag pictured).

Today in History, according to Wikipedia:

41 - Gaius Caesar, a.k.a. Caligula, is assassinated by his disgruntled Praetorian Guard

1848 - James W. Marshall finds gold at Sutter's Mill, sparking the California gold rush.

1918 - Russia finally adopts the Gregorian calendar, stating that the day after January 31st would be February 14th to correct the date.

2003 - The United States Department of Homeland Security (seal pictured) officially begins operating.

Today's Famous Births:

76 - Hadrian, Roman emperor

1705 - Carlo Broschi, a.k.a. Farinelli, Italian castrato

1862 - Edith Wharton, American writer, Ethan Frome and The Age of Innocence

1917 - Ernest Borgnine (pictured), American actor

1918 - Oral Roberts, American evangelist

1939 - Ray Stevens, American musician

1941 - Neil Diamond, American musician

1941 - Aaron Neville, American singer

1949 - John Belushi, American actor

1968 - Mary Lou Retton, American gymnast

Today's Category - Apartheid

~ The National Party enforced racial segregation in South Africa.

~ Apartheid lasted from 1948 to 1994.

~ In 1973, an International Convention of the United Nations General Assembly ruled that the system of apartheid amounted to a crime against humanity.

~ Apartheid strove to divide the country into sections that would aid in total physical segregation of races.

~ Anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison for his fight against apartheid.

~ Mandela became an instrument of reconciliation after the fall of apartheid and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

I always wondered... Communism works...

It doesn't...

[All references from unless otherwise noted]