Explorations in Policing, Faith and Life (With a hint of humor, product reviews, news and whatever catches my attention)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Corpus Clock & Chronophage

I heard about this clock and it has a relevance for Christians. The Bible is consistently telling us the time is near and do not assume that you have many hours remaining. I believe the inventor of this clock understands that, even to the point of having it vary its minute cycle so that they are non-standard and then corrected every five minutes.

I put the video link on the right it is narrated by the inventor himself-worth seeing.

Matthew 24:42-44

42"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

1 Corinthians 7:29

What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none;

About the Clock

Associated Press

CAMBRIDGE, England – A $1.8 million "time eater" – a clock that has no hands and no digital numbers, and speeds up and slows down – was unveiled at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge on Friday.

At the top: A demonic grasshopper tops the gold-plated clock, named the Chronophage. The beast – with its long needle teeth and barbed tail – rocks back and forth, finally sticking its talons in notches at the top of the clock to move it forward. The grasshopper's jaws snap shut at 59 seconds devouring time, said John Taylor, who designed the clock and donated it to the library.

A little history: Inside the clock is a mechanical device that helps regulate movement. Called the grasshopper escapement, it was invented by John Harrison in 1725.

No cuckoo: The clock relies on the clanking of a chain that falls into a coffin, which then loudly bangs closed to mark the hours.

Loved or feared: At the ceremony, famed scientist Stephen Hawking predicted the creature atop the clock would become "a much-loved, and possibly feared, addition to Cambridge's cityscape."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lt. Col Dave Grossman

I had the good fortune to hear a lecature by Lt. Col Dave Grossman. It brought me back to the following excerpt that I had received via e-mail forwarding and I did not know who the author was but now I know. This struck both Carol and I as "truth".

Lt. Col. Grossman on Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs

"One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me: 'Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident...Then there are the wolves,' the old war veteran said, 'and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy.' Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial...Then there are sheepdogs,' he went on, 'and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf.'

...If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen: a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath--a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? Then you are a sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed...

Let me expand on this old soldier's excellent model of the sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial; that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids' schools. But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid's school. Our children are dozens of times more likely to be killed, and thousands of times more likely to be seriously injured, by school violence than by school fires, but the sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their children is just too hard, so they choose the path of denial.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog that intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.

Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, "Baa." Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog...

Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed right along with the young ones.

Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, 'Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes.' The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, 'Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference.' When you are truly transformed into a warrior and have truly invested yourself into warriorhood, you want to be there. You want to be able to make a difference.

While there is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, he does have one real advantage -- only one. He is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population."

Lt. Col. David Grossman from The Bulletproof Mind

He also signed my book and added this verse at the end

Ecclesiastes 3:3

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Biblicial advice-perfection in life

I was reading to Ross and Rebecca right before their bedtimes. We are currently reading one chapter of Proverbs a night. I was struck by Proverbs 5. I was reminded once again that the Bible is not only a message for salvation but a guide for life. A Biblical life is a life that reduces negative consequences and maximizes benefits.

A section of Chapter 5

Proverbs 5
Avoid Immoral Women
1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom;
listen carefully to my wise counsel.
2 Then you will show discernment,
and your lips will express what you’ve learned.
3 For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey,
and her mouth is smoother than oil.
4 But in the end she is as bitter as poison,
as dangerous as a double-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death;
her steps lead straight to the grave.[a]
6 For she cares nothing about the path to life.
She staggers down a crooked trail and doesn’t realize it.
7 So now, my sons, listen to me.
Never stray from what I am about to say:
8 Stay away from her!
Don’t go near the door of her house!
9 If you do, you will lose your honor
and will lose to merciless people all you have achieved.
10 Strangers will consume your wealth,
and someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor.
11 In the end you will groan in anguish
when disease consumes your body.

This was a time when they did not have a microbe based disease model. Yet Solomon, inspired by God, made the connection between promiscuity and venereal disease. If everyone had followed this advice think what suffering would have been avoided and yet when abstinence is discussed it is ridiculed.

Here is a list of diseases that would have been avoided if the Proverbs 5 had been followed:
Chancroid (Haemophilus ducreyi)
Donovanosis (Granuloma inguinale or Calymmatobacterium granulomatis)
Gonorrhea (Neisseria gonorrhoeae)
Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) (Chlamydia trachomatis serotypes L1, L2, L3. See Chlamydia)
Non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU) (Ureaplasma urealyticum or Mycoplasma hominis)
Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA - Sexually transmissible.[6]
Syphilis (Treponema pallidum)
Jock Itch - Sexually transmissible.
Yeast Infection
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) through skin to skin contact, saliva, not only sexually.
Hepatitis B.
(Note: Hepatitis A and Hepatitis E are transmitted via the fæcal-oral route
Herpes simplex
Herpes simplex virus implicated in Alzheimer's disease.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV/AIDS)
Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Certain strains of HPV cause genital warts
Certain strains of HPV cause dysplasias, which can lead to cervical cancer, penis cancer, anal cancer, oral cancer, head and neck cancer.
Molluscum (MC)
Mononucleosis is spread through saliva, can occur during sex.
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV/HHV8)
The cause of Kaposi's sarcoma
Pubic lice, colloquially known as "crabs" (Phthirius pubis)
Scabies (Sarcoptes scabiei)
Trichomoniasis (Trichomonas vaginalis)

Using the Bible as your guide to life is the only guide to life you need. Biblical advice-perfection in life.