14
Sep

Today

Here you will find all of our latest posts.

Cool thing of the day: Best First Foods for Sous Vide Machines

Are you just getting started with sous vide machines? They’re a great option for preparing tasty and healthy dishes using a slow-cooking process. However, if you’re operating your first unit it’s important to choose certain dishes that are ideal options for newbies. Here are some of them:

  1. Eggs

Whatever could be wrong about using traditional methods for cooking eggs? Quite simply, using sous vide machines can help to prepare ‘egg-cellent’ eggs. In fact, it could almost be said that eggs were invented for sous vide techniques.

That’s because the food contains a wide variety of proteins that set at various temperatures. This means you’ll use single-degree precision in order to maximize the results.

You can also use the egg’s water-tight cooking vessel—its shell. As a result, you won’t have to deal with plastic bags as well as a vacuum.

A sous vide cooker allow you to cook eggs to any texture you want, ranging from barely-set to hard-boiled. You can also make great poached eggs, which are perfect for your breakfast.

  1. Chicken breast

This is easily one of the top first recipes when you’re getting started with sous vide machines. Why should you avoid using traditional methods? The main issue is texture. When you use traditional methods such as ovens the temperature you have to cook the chicken at is higher than the ideal one in terms of texture.

The problem is that you’ll end up with chicken that’s dry and also stringy. The sort-of good news is when you use a low-temp oven you can lower the safety point. However, the problem is still related to the limit.

A better option is sous vide machines. That can help to reduce the temperatures down to 140°F (60°C). Keeping the cooking at that temp for a long time will help to pasteurize the meat as if you were heating it up to 165°F.

You might be wondering how this option will affect the diner. The chicken will still include flavor and juices. In fact, it will be just as good as a veal chop. If you want to learn more you can find tons of information about this issue. It will help to prepare tender chicken that’s juicy as it is flavorful!

These are some of the top foods to start out with if you’re also starting with best sous vide reviews. Are you ready to get started with eggs and chicken?

 

Luxurious Hawaiian Meeting for RNC in the Midst of Recession

Luxurious Hawaiian Meeting for RNC in the Midst of Recession

“No more Scozzafavas, please. No more Specters, please. No more Chafees, please,” was the statement made by RNC member Bill Crocker of Texas at a lavish gathering in Honolulu where the RNC was brainstorming over new ways to more clearly set themselves apart from their Democrat counterparts. It is a bit frightening when you consider that Crocker’s version of the new rule adopted by the RNC is the less severe and/or restrictive.

The Republican National Committee enacted a resolution by voice vote on Friday, Jan. 29, that will push GOP leaders to provide financial support only to candidates that support the party’s platform. There were no opposing voices at the RNC’s winter meeting in which the newest resolution is an alternative to a stiffer proposal that would have mandated that GOP candidates support ten (10) policy positions in order to attain financial support from the RNC.

RNC member James Bopp of Indiana sponsored the original proposal that was backed by the more conservative members of the RNC but strongly opposed by Chairman Michael Steele and other state party chairs.

Bill Crocker’s alternative doesn’t contain a “litmus test”, specifically, and gives party officials a bit more flexibility in the manner to which they vet GOP candidates seeking financial support.

The new resolution pushes all Republican leaders, local, state and national, to “carefully screen” voting records and positions of all Republican candidates that are seeking RNC support and determine whether they “wholeheartedly support the core principles and positions” laid out in the party’s platform.

According to Crocker, the newly adopted resolution would not prevent the RNC from supporting a moderate Republican Candidate but would bar funding for any candidate that is judged to be to far to the left.

Crocker’s references to Dede Scozzaafava, a GOP candidate for a House seat in New York (conservatives didn’t like her), Senator Arlen Specter, who switched his party affiliation last year from Republican to Democrat, and former Senator Lincoln Chafee, a liberal Republican, was his way of saying that there is very little room for open mindedness in the RNC…and this is the toned down resolution.

Crocker also pushed the party to “present candidates who will be attractive to the people who are really dissatisfied with our political conduct over the past several years” like those in the “Tea Party” movement. I am certain that when Crocker referred to “our political conduct” he was not including the conduct of himself or his fellow Republicans. I am also not sure that the “Tea Baggers” have a clear understanding of reality considering the “Neo-Con” roots they seem to have sprung up from, like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly.

The original proposal offered by Bopp was withdrawn, with Bopp backing the alternative, agreeing that it will be more effective in giving party leaders a broader range of issues to consider, compared to his original resolution.

Bopp’s original proposal would have barred financial backing for any GOP candidate who disagreed with three (3) or more policy positions, which includes support for “market based” health care reform, climate change policies, opposition to gun control, government abortion funding and amnesty for illegal immigrants.

There seemed to be some dissention over the practicalities of Crocker’s resolution by Bopp. Bopp made a statement about it putting party leaders in a position to where they would, essentially, have to compare GOP candidate positions to the party platform.

Bob Tiernan, the GOP state chairman of Oregon, insisted that it wasn’t binding. “There’s nothing mandatory in it”, he stated.

The RNC adopts a new platform every four (4) years at the party’s presidential nomination convention.

The RNC has been criticized for choosing Hawaii as the place to hold their meeting. If you consider the ongoing recession, high unemployment (nationally) and all the recent accusations thrown by Republicans over frivolous government spending, their own venue seemed to be more than just a bit over the top.

The win of Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts last week has apparently emboldened the RNC to push the boundaries and, in doing so, their fiscal hypocrisy is beginning to show. President Obama may have been born in Hawaii but to make yourself appear like you are attempting a smack down by descending on his birthplace only appears juvenile. Spending what would be a fairly decent fortune for most Americans on the trip, hotel stay and all the extras smacks most Americans in the face and gives the impression that the RNC may not actually care too much about our economic misfortune.

If the RNC is going to tout fiscal responsibility it really is not the greatest idea to have a big meeting/party at Honolulu’s Hilton when the majority of American citizens have had to seriously cut back on almost everything.

Statistics show that the Hawaiian Islands hold the highest cost of living for the United States and by choosing Hawaii for the RNC’s yearly meeting they are, effectively showing the American public that cost is not a concern for the Republican National Committee. When the American taxpayers have to cut costs and tighten our belts, the RNC reminds us that they do not have to.

Chairman Michael Steele doesn’t see anything wrong with the extravagance in their choice of venue. “We’ve got a lot of momentum, but now how do you harness that and how do you really train it to continue and to build on it?” Steele stated.

Roughly 131 RNC delegates from across the U.S. were in attendance when the winter meeting began Wednesday at the Hilton, Hawaiian Village.

Steele claimed that the were there also “to salute Gov. Lingle in her last year of her second term and to congratulate her in her leadership”.

Steele also claimed that by meeting in President Obama’s stamping ground — his “birthplace … his backyard” — Republicans were sending a signal the party was “going to compete on every inch of soil in this nation.”

He also said that meeting in Hawaii was no different from traveling to California or Florida and Hawaii is not just a resort state. “I say shame on those who look their nose down at Hawaii and see it one-dimensionally,” said Steele.

Hawaii was the first U.S. state to legalize abortion, according to Democrats, and the RNC’s anti abortion stance may not sit well, also Hawaii residents already enjoy close to universal health care, something the RNC does not appear to support.

“If they kowtow too much to the national Republicans, it might be good for their fundraising prospects, but it’s going to alienate local voters who are really appalled at the sort of hardcore, rightwing, stop Obama-at-all-costs kind of attitude that’s been undertaken in Washington,” said former Hawaii Democratic Party Chair Brian Schatz.

Hawaii’s Republican Party chairman said voters in the state won’t be turned off.

“The candidates are what get the party activated, so they’ll be looking at the candidates, versus who the party is bringing in to Hawaii,” said Hawaii Republican Party Chair Jonah Ka’auwai.

Broken Politics and the Continued Dysfunction of the American Government

Broken Politics and the Continued Dysfunction of the American Government

Twenty One percent. That is the approval rating for congress. Though freely elected through America’s democratic system, only twenty one percent of the public approves of the performance of the people they essentially hired to run our government. While many Americans wake up wondering if they will have a job, if a bank will foreclose on their home, or if they will get sick and be unable to afford healthcare, most major corporations are relaxed and safe, knowing that if need be a taxpayer bail out is just around the corner. We have become a nation where the rich are getting richer at the expensive of the poor, who are getting poorer. Its no wonder either, our political system has become besieged by private and personal interests, at the expensive of the struggling American people.

Take the recent debate over extending the Bush era tax cuts, for example. At the center of the debate was the United States public deficit. At just over 14 trillion dollars, our deficit currently breaks down to about 45,000 dollars per person in the United States, while the median income in the United States, for people above 25 years of age, is only 32,000 dollars. The mean, or average income, was 35,000 dollars, and both of these measures were taken in 2005, before the Great Recession. With an unemployment rate hovering near 10 percent, it seems safe to assume that personal incomes have decreased since the housing market and financial collapse.

Thus for politician and citizens a like, the size of the national deficit should be of great concern. Republicans argue that spending and services provided by the government should be cut, while democrats argue that taxes need to be raised, especially on top income earners.

Both parties make valid points. The Republican party is right to question the size, and especially efficiency of the government. It certainly does seem that administrating any program or project through the federal government is expensive, time consuming, and seemingly wasteful. The governments reputation for being an indecipherable and inefficient bureaucratic maze is dead on, though perhaps increasing efficiency, instead of cutting services, should be the first priority.

Democrats are also right to point out that the United States has been overspending for almost thirty years now. Only George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton ever paid serious attention to the deficit and made serious steps towards a financially sound America. And even then America has posted only one surplus in the last thirty years.

Multiple wars in Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Iraq, rebuilding after Hurrican Katrina, stimulus and financial emergencies packages signed by both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and numerous other measures have all contributed to an every mounting deficit, and someday somebody is going to have to pay for it. Democrats are right to ask if the already wealthy and financially secure can chip in a little more than the struggling middle and working classes.

Thus both parties came to the negotiating table with different priorities. Republicans wanted to cut spending, Democrats argued for a tax increase. Both parties had their relevant points, and in all likelihood both an increase in taxes and a decrease in spending would need to be pursued in order to make a serious dent in the deficit.

One might expect a sort of compromise to be made, a reduced increase in taxes, and modest cuts from the budget. Even if the immediate impact on the deficit was negligible, the symbolism of unity and compromise would be important for our struggling nation. By finding a middle point between the issues raised by both sides, namely the spending habits of the federal government, and continuing with a historically low tax policy, all in the face of a burgeoning public deficit, both parties could have set the tone for compromise and sacrifice for the greater good of our nation.

Instead, both parties pursued their own private interests at the expensive of the American people and future generations who will have to pay down of deficit. Republicans demanded that tax cuts be extended to all Americans, even those who are already wealthy and have been reaping the fruits of American prosperity for years.

At first, Democrats stoutly refused to compromise, arguing that the nation could not afford a tax cut totaling nearly a trillion dollars, and they are right. Given the stance of both parties one might figure that they had reached an impasse, however behind closed doors the two parties reached a compromise. In order to bring on Democrats, the Republican party agree to increase spending through the bill. The final document, the Omnibus Bill, weighed in at nearly 2000 pages and was filled with hundreds of earmarks on both sides of the aisle, totaling hundreds of billions of dollars.

Thus the “compromise” of both parties was to lower revenue through extending the tax cuts, and raising spending with hundreds of billions of dollars of Pork Barrel politics. This would seem to be a violation of both parties principles, but because it satisfies the private interests of the law makers, the Omnibus Bill passed into legislation and added nearly a trillion dollars of debt onto our national deficit.

Given the nature of the U.S. political system, and the refusal of our politicians to confront the problems facing our nation, it is easy to see why people hold such a low faith in our government. We need real solutions that are not based on tired ideologies and talking points, but instead address the actual, and factual, problems facing our nation. Rome was not built in a day, nor was the United States, but unless we begin to examine the way our country is run we may well be the next chapter in history books of the fall of a once mighty nation.

Plagiarism in Politics: The New Philosophy of Forgiveness in the Borrowing of Other People’s Work

Plagiarism in Politics: The New Philosophy of Forgiveness in the Borrowing of Other People's Work

While some will consider Hillary Clinton’s accusation of plagiarism against Barack Obama as major desperation–the problem of unknowing plagiarism is increasing due to a busy world of creative ideas and works. If there aren’t a thousand litigation battles over the supposed stealing of someone else’s creative work, it’s a million. And perhaps half of them are thrown out by a rare, sensible judge who realizes that many plagiarism lawsuits are a waste of precious time. Those attuned to history, though, will remember that when a Presidential candidate gets accused of stealing someone’s else’s words in a speech–it unfortunately brought on major problems, no thanks to those who think words are as much of a financial commodity as gold. It’s almost ironic then that the speech Barack Obama borrowed from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has the phrase “Just words.”

People understand the power of words and how the power of them translates through the aura of the person rather than the words standing alone. In that regard, things have probably changed with public opinion on plagiarism. I say with confidence that long after this article goes to press–nobody will even remember the incident involving Barack Obama’s borrowed lines from a speech and will easily survive his candidacy if not getting the Democratic nomination. To prove my point, you only need to look back at other plagiarism cases in the world of politics and how every one of them were either forgotten or forgiven. Of course, that all depends on the severity of the plagiarism. It’s quite clear, though, that the world accepts the inevitability of small amounts happening in a world of constant-clashing creative ideas.

To show an example of how Presidential candidates can easily sweep the Scarlet Letter of plagiarism under the rug–all you have to do is look at recent Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden. Most people have probably forgotten that when he first ran for President in 1988–he had two cases of plagiarism slapped on him. The first was from evidence he failed a law exam when in college after his professor noticed that Biden had plagiarized some material. At the time, Biden threw it off as merely a regretful mistake due to not citing his sources on his exam. And, of course, that probably brought on enough guffawing from the opposing campaign management to give a pain in the side. Biden’s statement was likely enough reason why he dropped out of the Presidential race before 1988 even hit.

But that second plagiarism accusation was very similar to the current Clinton-Obama situation. In 1988–it was Michael Dukakis scrambling to get the nomination on the Democratic side. When Biden started making some inroads (however slight compared to Obama’s momentum)–Dukakis’s people managed to find a videotape of Biden giving a speech and not giving credit to lines of that speech attributed to the late Robert Kennedy and a British labor leader by the name of Neil Kinnock. Whether this was worse than the plagiarizing of his legal exam is still up for debate–but it was a double-whammy that ended his Presidential aspirations until running again for the 2008 Presidential election. When he dropped out early this last winter–very few to any people remembered his plagiarism case twenty years ago. A lot of people probably thought it would never happen again in American politics. But it’s not all that unusual to see a lot of other plagiarism cases swept aside for the sake of the better good–even when it might tap into the true character of some other (international) political figures…

The plagiaristic minds of Saddam Hussein, Vladimir Putin—and whether citing sources is really all that important in certain principled instances…

As we continue to debate whether WMD’s were in Iraq before deciding to invade there–there seems to be undeniable evidence that Saddam plagiarized a notorious report about Iraq’s status of possessing WMD’s by using text from prior U.N. reports and cleverly adding subtle touches to make the regime look clean. Considering this accusation came from Condoleezza Rice in a New York Times editorial back in 2003–it was almost akin to a political fight–hence some people on the left probably not trusting Rice…as well as Saddam. This case may be one of the most fascinating plagiarism cases in that it’s plagiarism from an enemy and not really knowing for sure if it’s accurate or not based on the opinions of others thinking the accuser was just as shady.

No matter what your political opinion of the Bush Administration is on the specifics of why we went in to invade Iraq–there seems to be at least some sufficient evidence that Saddam truly did plagiarize–and unsurprising in his usual acts of manipulation and obfuscation. If he truly didn’t have WMD’s in there, though–why did he bother to plagiarize a report stating that Iraq had no WMD’s? Some might answer that as saying he simply did it to make it look more official rather than suspicious.

Well, that above scenario almost sounds like every other plagiarism case in the world–especially university students under pressure taking a law test or getting their doctorate.

That above scenario also sounds contradictory in a lot of ways when you’d think the plagiarizer would know that looking too perfect raises red flags with those with plenty of experience scoping out plagiarism. It nonetheless might be able to help us determine what kind of person the plagiarizer really is under the surface. With the reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin once brazenly plagiarized a dissertation he did when attending the Brookings Institution–it may have planted a seed in him getting ahead through any means necessary…even when it would later deal with international relations.

With some of the recent questionable tactics and philosophies Putin’s displayed to America and the world, it isn’t all that surprising that he attempted plagiaristic activities to get himself through his education. And yet it’s seldom mentioned and never affected anything to the point of his advancement through politics. Why that is makes one wonder if the entire educational system is riddled with plagiarism cases from those who made it to top academic circles. If plagiarism is on record as a soiled part of one’s educational or political life–how else would they advance through the ranks without others in authority just brushing it aside and looking at the true talent of the individual rather than a foolish action they probably did themselves?

____

While easily arguable (and needing to be done judiciously)–citing sources may be becoming a thing of the past when it comes to using existing material to create something new or perhaps better. Even many of my own freelanced articles on the internet haven’t always cited sources merely as a way to make an idea about existing issues in the news stand alone and not give the feeling to someone that you merely extrapolated from AP news reports as less creative writers might do. The line between creative writing and pure journalism appears to still be wide in the eyes of a lot of critics. Many of my own articles are somewhere in the middle sometimes–and it puts a creative writer doing the same thing into states of feeling unsure where to draw the line when you have to define who you are for other potential writing jobs. Obviously, when you’re directly quoting someone, citing sources is mandatory. When giving a new idea on an existing subject–where you get the general information on that subject might be considered to be moot in a lot of people’s minds now.

And when alluding earlier to the aura of a person coming through words used by others–it gives a whole new perspective on how much of our own creativity and aura should be valued over the physical existence of words themselves. After seeing sound bites between Deval Patrick’s “Just Words” speech and Barack Obama’s oration using the same words–it’s easy to see that Obama made them truly compelling in the delivery and passion. Patrick’s delivery was dull and didn’t appear to provide a kinetic energy in comparison.

The point is that most people today appear to just want to be inspired when reading and listening to an inspiring speech and don’t worry about the inevitable collisions of overused phrases and words. Mind you, I’m not talking about lifting an entire work by someone else for the sake of profit and stature. Borrowing small lines here and there should fall under the basis of true creativity if it links to a whole new idea as Obama’s speeches did. If you’re friends with the person you’re borrowing from–it’s obviously even better…especially if that friend openly says to the press that it’s no big deal. Using phrases from Martin Luther King and other great people are overly obviously anyway when a whole new idea based on those phrases makes it all the more powerful.

Obama Protection: Just Politics as Usual

Barack Obama has indeed made history. He will be the the first black presidential candidate to have full-time protection from the secret service well over a year in advance of the 2008 Presidential Election. He may be the first candidate ever to get such protection so early. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin proposed the idea for his colleague because of some unspecified evidence shown that further security is needed. Generally, the Secret Service protects candidates within 120 days of the General Election. Obama, who has yet to show well in a debate,let alone a primary ,could be the most protected non-factor in U.S History. Currently he is still trailing front-runner Hillary Clinton in most, if not all polls. Obama’s protection, which a bi-partisan panel recommended shows how much he means to both Democrats and Republicans. Both sides have a lot riding on his safety.

For the Dem’s it further protects their ace in the hole. Obama is a top fund raiser, and a great speaker. He has mass appeal, and has a very strong grass roots support. For either party, it is important to get more young people involved in the political process. His message is one of hope and confidence. Barack Obama is a candidate the public wants to support and believe. The detail also keeps alive the potential ’08 ticket of Hillary Clinton and Obama, which would be a ticket that the country has never seen. That ticket may be the one that will energize the historically lazy Democratic base, and may be the one that will make voting the “in” thing for young voters. The marketing and motivation to support such a ticket will speak for itself, and the ticket may be one where the Democrats can finally gain some stability, and start to lay down the ground work to be the party that wins elections, not lose them. Democrats can run the Oval Office for 16 years if Clinton serves two full terms, and then a more experienced Obama is elected in 2016 and he serves two full terms. For Democrats it is an investment for their future, and it begins next year. In order to make their congress effective, they must win the Presidency. If they lose again, it will be more of the same for Democrats, having their legislation vetoed by a Republican President. An Obama assassination may bring sympathy votes to Democrats in ’08, but will prove to be a long-term disaster for the party.

Republicans want him protected for different reasons. A dead Obama will create even more negative sentiment toward the Republican Party. If he were killed, that would bring back memories of Republican mismanagement through the Bush regime from the terror war to Katrina. Such an event will wash away all of the quiet momentum that they have gained with their candidates led by favorites Rudy Giuliani and John McCain. As things stand right now, the Republicans are in a position to win again with a strong showing by either one or other candidates. Unlike the Democratic base, Republicans will show up to vote for their candidates. Despite the all-time low approval ratings for President Bush, and all of the stumbles of his administration, the GOP is a lack-luster Democratic ticket away from retaining the Oval Office- again. If their ticket faces the Clinton-Obama ticket, that will not spell doom for Republicans. For as many people who will come out and support that historic ticket, many more will come out and vote against such a ticket believing that a woman’s place is not in the Oval Office and the same for a Black man. Either race will be a close one, and each one will put one dynamic of American values in the spotlight, if not on trial. If Obama was killed without the added protection, Republicans would have got the blame just because of their history throughout this current administration even though it won’t be entirely their fault. Republicans simply cannot afford to make the history books for a fourth time carrying the distinction of having the first serious Black candidate for President killed.

Although both sides don’t want to see any loss of life on the road to Election 2008, but the reason for Obama’s protection must have some political motivation to it as well. In politics, very few things are done for the honest reason, and even though this reason seems honest and sincere, there is so much at stake for both parties next year. One party is trying to get the Oval office back in their effort to further push their agenda that is going nowhere. The other party is trying to save face, and hopefully build enough momentum for forge an upset in ’08. Both sides want to keep their plans under wraps until election time. Democrats and Republicans like their positions right now in the polls with no clear runaway favorite. It is anybody’s game right now. In the lull before the push for Presidential nominations, all candidates are raising money, inspiring hopes, and trying to win votes through talk show appearances, grass-roots efforts or the Internet. It is a well played chess game right now. Obama’s protection is just a way to maintain everyone’s position going into the first round of primaries awaiting in the not too distant future. Nobody wants this to turn into a high-stakes Poker game with somebody about to get snake eyes. Who would have thought that politics as usual would equal common sense?

Our Old Government and How Two of Their Issues Are in Direct Conflict with God

Our New Government and How Two of Their Issues Are in Direct Conflict with God

Barak Obama is now the 44th President of the United States of America. He was not my first choice as there are quite a few issues that I had with him. Contrary to what some may think race is not one of them. As an American I do believe that he should be respected as the leader of the free world. I do thing the occasional joke is ok though as with all politicians. There are people saying that he is not “My President”, but that is just nonsense. I must say I am a bit concerned about a couple things that I noticed from the start about him.

I actually got the idea for this article speaking with a friend of mine over lunch the other day. America was so discontented by the failures of President George Bush that several people could have been elected that would not stand the chance of a snowball in hell in a normal situation. The first thing that I found interesting is that he is the first president coming into office openly supporting abortion, which is the deliberate killing of a human life. I will save the debate on if it is right or wrong for another article. I am sure I will be writing it while Obama is in office. He also holds the distinction of being the only President to come into office openly advocating gay rights.

I personally think that Barak Obama is a pretty nice guy and would probably enjoy chatting with him over a cup of coffee, but I wonder what God would think of him. He does profess to be a Christian and made sure people understood that he was not a Muslim, even though his father was. So he is in favor of getting rid of don’t ask don’t tell and wants to allow abortion on demand instead of teaching responsibility for one’s actions. While reading the Bible I recall the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. God was not happy with the sins of the city and decided to lay them to ashes giving his position on the issue of homosexuality.

President Obama could always reverse course on his opinions on these issues. If he does he will feel the wrath of those groups who blindly supported him in his quest to get elected. If he stays with what he said when he was running, then God will be displeased and the wager of sin is death. I am sure he will not die, unlike the innocent babies, but it is a figure of speech.

His vice-president, Joe Biden is supposed to be Roman Catholic, yet he supports abortion and these pro-gay initiatives. How can he be Catholic if he goes against the teachings of the church? This sounds pretty hypocritical to me. If he cannot follow the laws of God, then how can people believe that he can believe in the laws of man?

Nancy Pelosi is another one in power now. She also claims to be catholic and have family values. IF she does how can she advocate the murder of innocent children and support the gay agenda of redefining marriage. It has always been between as man and woman. God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve, yet the three stooges and most of the kiss tail liberal government seek to push these regulations though the government of a country that is supposed to be “One Nation under God”. Does anyone else see the hypocrisy? How can you claim to be Christian and yet go against key foundations of the religion? This makes no sense to me. I hope they prey and ask for God’s forgiveness for their wicked ways.

This is a political rant and totally my opinion based on some ideas that I have thought of. By all means I do not believe that people should have to have babies when they are raped or in danger to their life. Nor do I believe that homosexuals are bad people. I pray for the souls of them every night.

Heron of Alexandria

Heron of Alexandria

Biographical Background

Hero(n) of Alexandria is thought to have been a Greek inventor and mathematician, either of Egyptian, Phoenician, or Greek heritage, who lived sometime between 150 BC and 250 AD. Known also as Michanikos, or, the Machine Man, Heron’s inventions were more like novelties, intended to awe crowds (Lahanas). He is also thought to have lived in Alexandria, working at the Museum that also housed the famous Library of Alexandria.

O’Conner and Robinson (1999) outline three schools of thought about when Heron lived. One postulated the date 150 BC, based primarily on the fact that he does not quote anyone later than Archimedes. Another postulated the date 250 AD by attempting to show that he lived later than Ptolemy, but before Pappus who quotes Heron in his own work. The third notes a ‘recent’ eclipse that Heron made reference to, which is now dated at March 13th, 62 AD. It also attempts to show that he was a contemporary of Columella, who makes several compelling references to Heron’s mathematics.

So, the currently accepted timeframe during which Heron is thought to have flourished is between 10 and 85 AD (Papadopoulos, 2007).

Heron’s inventions range from vending machines that released a discrete amount of liquid once a coin is inserted to much more grand devices such as automaton theaters. But, he is also renowned for advances in mathematics and hydraulics.

Inventions

Most of the inventions here can be found in Papadopoulos or Lahanas:

Aeolipile – Heron invented this early version of the steam engine, though he or at least his contemporaries did not imagine the applications. Had they understood that the steam engine could do mechanical work on a massive scale, the Industrial Revolution could have happened nearly 2000 years before it did. Heron’s version was a container of fluid, that when heated, pushed steam up through two tubes into a hollow ball. The ball had two opposing arms that extended outward in an ‘L’ shape. Thus, the steam propelled the ball around in circles.

Odometer – Heron is thought to have invented a mechanical odometer, though some attribute this to Archimedes. Either way, Heron developed one that would release a discrete number of marbles per every precisely tuned turn of gears. The gears were connected to the wheels of a cart, and thus, the pusher of the cart could count the number of marbles and then the distance those marbles represented.

Vending Machine – Heron invented a vending machine that, once a coin was inserted, released a discrete amount of liquid. This was accomplished by letting the coin drop onto one side of a lever that pivoted around its center, pulling up a stop that would release the liquid. Once the coin fell off because of the angle of the lever, the stop would gently plug the hole again.

Baroulkos – This device was a gear box intended to lift weights.

Cheiroballista – This was a variation of the ballista, which is a mounted crossbow where the arms are drawn back against torsion bundles. Torsion works by twisting bundles of ropes in the same direction with an arm in the middle of the bundle. To increase the amount of torsion possible, the Cheiroballista (and other ballistas) made use of a ratchet and crank system to draw the projectile back. He also invented a stone-thrower concept similar to this, called a Palintonon.

Dioptra – This was a surveying device that made use of triangulation methods not used until the 16th-century.

Automata – Heron developed many self-driven devices and apparatus. The word automata denotes something that performs some function without outside manipulation.

For temples, Heron built several mythological scenes that would act out. Also, he designed a system that would automatically open temple doors once a fire was lit as an offering. Obviously, many of his designs were applied by temples to instill faith and awe in prospective disciples.

For the theater, Heron built completely mechanical plays that operated off binary-like systems of pulleys. The pulleys were driven by a weight sitting atop sand that poured out slowly. The self-contained plays would roll themselves on stage, lift the curtains to the diorama, and proceed through the plot of the play with figures and scenery moving automatically.

Ideas

Besides his mechanical novelties, Heron both explicitly and implicitly advanced fields such as hydraulics, pneumatics, and mathematics, most often anticipating innovations hundreds and thousands of years down the road. These are some notable ideas associated with Heron, most of which can be found in Lahanas and World of Mathematics on Heron found on Bookrags.com:

Area of a triangle – Heron developed a method used even to this day for calculating the area of any given triangle, no matter the angles, based solely on the sides. The formula is:

Division of geometrical shapes – Heron wrote a few books only recovered within the last century that focused on dividing various shapes into various parts mathematically. This was of particular use to land surveyors.

Roots – Heron developed a method of finding the square root of a given number. If one has an initial approximation of the square root (it doesn’t really matter how accurate it is – just that the less accurate the approximation, the more iterations of the formula one must perform), then one may iterate Heron’s formula to the desired accuracy. Furthermore, he developed a method of finding the cube root of a given number, although it is only thanks to the work of Deslauriers and Dubac that we have the formula Heron must have used.

Harnessing power – Heron provided several methods of utilizing principles of mechanics to do work, though not on the scale of an industrial revolution. He worked on cybernetic principles in the form of self-regulating systems. One such example is the goblet he designed to maintain a certain level of fluid, replenishing or draining itself until the level was reached.

Influence

Heron of Alexandria amassed a fame in his own day, particularly for the awe he inspired in theater and temple crowds with his mechanical devices. He played an important role in developing war-machines, surveying instruments, and systems of pulleys and gears. For contemporary society, Heron’s influence in geometry has not been felt nearly as much as his formula for the area of a triangle. In fact, Heron’s formula can be extended even to impossible triangles, allowing calculations in advanced fields of physics such as relativity where other formulae fail. So, not only does Heron’s formula provide a method of finding the area of a triangle without need for angles, but it also provides promising future applications. Unfortunately, Heron’s mechanical work (especially the steam engine) went largely unused until reinvented and applied during the Industrial Revolution. Finally, Heron recorded advances in mathematics and mechanics that came before him, and thus provided a connection from one generation to the next for inventors and scholars who would otherwise have been forgotten.

Sources:

http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/HeronAlexandria.htm

http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Biographies/Heron.html

http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/HeronsMath.htm

http://www.bookrags.com/biography/hero-of-alexandria-wom/

Papadopoulos, Evangelos. “Heron of Alexandria (c. 10-85 AD)” in the book, Distinguished Figures in Mechanism and Machine Science. Springer Netherlands, 2007 (217-45).

The Nature of the Solar System: Redux

The Nature of the Solar System

It goes without saying that the study of space and space exploration has become a dominant theme in the American Way of Life. Americans have always sought to explore the unknown; to forge into the New Frontier; to go where no man has gone before.

But, while many scientists have become preoccupied with learning how the universe was created, and obsessed with dark matter, which accounts for 96% of the universe, it appears that by focusing on our immediate neighborhood, the solar system itself may provide vital clues as to the workings of the universe.

The world was turned upside down when Copernicus derived his model of the solar system; that the sun was the center and that the earth and other planets orbited it and not the sun. Kepler’s theories on the elliptical orbits of the planets showed that they were not random events; that there was symmetry. And, Galileo’s work with the telescope to verify the motion of heavenly bodies, and work to explain the motion of objects did much to advance the cause of science. But, it was Newton, with his Natural Laws, who showed that there were universal constants; that objects in motion on earth adhered to the same principles as those in space; and that logic and reason could be applied to the heaven’s, displacing the notion of God.

There is no doubt that the sun is the center of the solar system. But, what of the relationships that exist; what of the fact that the sun is 500x’s (some calculate it to be as great as 700x’s) the mass (.0018) of the orbiting planets; that the sun is 1000x’s times the volume (1,304,000) and mass (333,000) of the planet Jupiter (1,321 and 317 respectively), which has a diameter (86,500 miles) 10x’s that that of the sun (865,000); and that, coincidentally, the sun has a surface temperature (9,941 F) 10,000x’s that of Jupiter (-162 F). Could it be that the planet Jupiter, which emits more electromagnetic energy than the sun itself at times, might be the counterweight which keeps the planets from being drawn into the sun? Or, what of the relationship between the distance of the earth (500x’s the speed of light, or 93,000,000) or that of Jupiter from the sun (500x’s the distance from the earth to the sun, or 1 AU).

And, there is the question of Uranus, the planet which rotates at 97 degrees upon its axis; as opposed to the sun which rotates at 7 degrees upon its axis. That the planet Uranus may prove to be a gyroscope of sorts; that keeps the planets upon a level plane, to a certain extent, while those far enough outside of its sphere of gravity freely orbit upon a higher plane; that Uranus has almost as much gravity (.90) as Venus (.91) or that of the earth (1.00).

Could it be so simple as to say that the planets are but objects in a sophisticated machine; that the sun is the center of heat light and gravity; that the plane Jupiter is the counterweight that keeps the planets in check, preventing them from being drawn into the sun; and that the planet Uranus is like a great gyroscope that keeps the planets on a level plane, an even keel, preventing them from randomly and erratically orbiting the sun like the electrons of an atom.

And, there is the question of the similar densities of the sun (.26); that of Jupiter (.24); and that of Uranus (.23), which by and large is different from all but two the smaller planets. That the distribution of the mass of the planets which adheres to a bell curve function. It could very well be that when the solar system was first created billions of year years ago, it was nothing more than a swirling cloud of gases, particles, and subatomic energy; what astronomers refer to as dark matter; that over billions of years this cloud continued to grow, like a nebulae, with more and more gases and particles accumulating with time, until which time that the cloud may have been ignited by the collision of two comets, creating the sun.

There is a great deal that we do not know about our universe; there is an equal amount that we do not know about our solar system. That these mathematical relationships and physical anomalies exist, however, indicates that relationships do exist, and that the solar system might very well be considered to be a very sophisticated piece of machinery. While earlier attempts at creating a model of the solar system have relied upon the motion of the planets, it is obvious to see that relationships do exist that might be best explained mathematically; that the sun is 500x’s the mass of the orbiting planets; that the earth is 500x’s the speed of light from the sun; that the planet Jupiter from the sun is 500x’s the distance from the sun to the earth; that the temperature of sun is 1000x’s that of Jupiter despite similar densities; that the sun has a mass 1000x’s times, or 2 x 500x’s, that of Jupiter; that Uranus should behave like that of a gyroscope; or a torpedo; that the inner planets should orbit the sun at a greater speed than those within the outer circle, despite their apparent rotations.

Thus it is possible that the solar system does adhere to logic and reason; and that like Newton’s Natural Laws for the Motion of Objects, do adhere to a set of mathematical principles, or Natural Laws.

Worms Are Subject of Outer Space Experiment

Worms Are Subject of Outer Space Experiment

For nearly six months, a legion of worms has been traveling through space. While it may sound more like science fiction, it is in fact true. Actually, over 100,000 have been aboard the International Space Station. Scientists at Simon Fraser University plan on studying them up return in order to see the effects of radiation in outer space. The study is of particular importance, considering that NASA has intentions of sending a crew of astronauts to Mars within the next few decades.

Bob Johnsen, lead scientist in the study, claims that he is very excited about the worms’ return. In fact, he will be traveling to Cape Canaveral to collect the worms from the Space Shuttle Discovery. But he isn’t the only person excited about their return. A sixth grade science class from Ontario, Canada has also been keeping up with the worms. They have been examining pictures of the worms sent from outer space and intend on actually viewing the worms after they arrive back on earth.

According to researchers at the university’s molecular biology department, the worms typically have a two week life span here on earth, meaning that the worms will have produced somewhere around 28 generations, especially since the worms are no longer than the width of a grain of salt. Johnsen wants to use this to his advantage by looking at how the radiation affected and damaged the DNA of the worms, thus creating mutations in the multiple generations. He hopes to apply this to future human space travel, particularly with lengthy space travels that might involve years away from earth, and perhaps even childbirth. Interestingly, the worms have about 20,000 genes (about the same number as humans), with nearly half of those performing the same functions as human genes.

Johnsen states, “When you’re on the space station you can measure radiation with physical detectors but you really don’t know what the biological effects are on people that are staying on the space station for long periods of time. We want to get some understanding of the types of damages that space radiation causes and hope that we’ll be able to start working on some countermeasures to protect our astronauts when they’re going on these longer missions.” (Bains, 1) Of course, this type of understanding is only the tip of the iceberg, as space travel may one day be more profound than a prolonged stay at the International Space Station. In fact, NASA scientists want to learn as much as possible about space radiation, considering that they plan on landing a shuttle on Mars by 2035.

According to current data, one out of eight round-trip travelers to Mars would die from radiation poisoning, while the other seven would become seriously ill.

Source: Camille Bains, “Worms in Space.” Classified Extra. URL: (http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Science/2007/06/15/pf-4263528.html)

Fermat’s Last Theorem

Fermat's Last Theorem

Sometimes the simplest of circumstances can lead to monumental stumbling blocks. Ask anyone who works in the repair business; they’ll have at least one story of how a five-minute problem ballooned into three hours of work. The same goes for delivery drivers, doctors, plumbers…and mathematicians. A prime example of this would be Pierre de Fermat, a 17th century number theorist who, perhaps inadvertently, created a mathematical conundrum that stood as one of the great unsolved problems of the field for 350 years.

Fermat, who was actually a lawyer (his mathematical pursuits were apparently something he did on the side), had some interesting theories on how best to pursue his research. During his lifetime, he only published one paper, and that was done anonymously. It was in the interest of keeping Fermat’s research from vanishing into obscurity that prompted his son Samuel to compile all of his letters and notes, and here is where the fun begins. In his father’s copy of Arithmetica by Diophantes, Samuel found a handwritten note in one of the book’s margins, stating that the equation

xn + yn = zn

does not have a non-zero integer solution for x, y, and z when n is greater than 2. This note, which was jotted down somewhere between 1630 and 1637, became known as Fermat’s Last Theorem. To further add mystery, Fermat further noted below the Theorem’s statement that he had “discovered a truly remarkable proof which this margin is too small to contain.” Unfortunately, none of his other notes or papers contained this proof, or even a hint of it. When Fermat died in 1665, there was still no trace of this “remarkable proof.”

Over the next 350 years, many mathematicians had a go at cracking this deceptively simple-seeming problem. While special cases for n=3 and n=4 were discovered, nobody had yet made a proof for the general case which stood up, despite the sheer number of stellar mathematical minds which had focused on the problem, including Leonhard Euler, Sophie Germain and Lejeune Dirichlet. Despite the fame that attached to the problem (and the prize money that was offered by various agencies to successfully solve it), it stood unresolved. (Note: for an excellent breakdown of the history of Fermat’s Last Theorem, visit http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/HistTopics/Fermat’s_last_theorem.html.)

Then, in 1986, it was announced that a connection between an earlier conjecture known as the Taniyama-Shimura-Weil conjecture and Fermat’s theorem had been proven, which piqued the interest of British mathematician Andrew Wiles. Wiles, who had been interested in FLT since childhood, realized that by proving the Taniyama-Shimura conjecture, which concerned elliptical curves and the properties of the space which they inhabited, he could also construct a proof of FLT. For the next seven years, Wiles worked on FLT in secret, fearing any news of his efforts would draw attention and distract him from the problem at hand.

Finally, while working at Princeton in 1993, Wiles was able to complete a proof of the Taniyama-Shimura conjecture for an entire class of curves, which covered those mentioned in FLT. Although the FLT proof was actually a corollary of his main work, it quickly garnered more attention. Announced in June 1993, it made headlines in the press and waves in the mathematical community, particularly in October 1993, when Wiles announced that he had found a flaw in his work. For the next year, he worked in collaboration with another mathematician, Richard Taylor, to repair the flaw and validate the original argument, and in October 1994, was able to do so. (An interview with Andrew Wiles done for NOVA can be found at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/proof/wiles.html.)

Notably, the proof was approximately 150 pages long, and of such complexity that it took many months to fully validate. Due to the complexity of the proof and the aspects of different mathematical fields that it touches, it is commonly believed that Fermat did not have a working proof for his theorem, but only discovered this after making his famous notation. Unlike his last theorem, this is a conjecture that will most likely never be proven one way or the other.

Top 50 Projects for Science Fairs in 2017

Top 50 Projects for Science Fairs in 2017

Science is exciting and the opportunity to show off what you’ve learned only comes once a year. Here are the top 50 science experiments to impress those judges.

1.) Volcanoes.

This science experiment has been done many times but never fails to receive good grades, even if there’s a mess. In fact, if there’s no mess, the grade is likely to be much lower.

2.) Mice experiments.

3.) The solar system

Set up to rotate, the solar system is classic as a science project but it’s been done so many times, you will have a hard time finding a unique way to do it for top marks.

4.) Mold projects.

5.) Biology projects.

6.) Gravity experiments.

Projects that demonstrate one of the law of gravity are another classic that goes over well. Avoid dropping two objects from a ledge and calling it good. It’s been done too many times.

7.) Behavioral projects.

8.) Growth Projects.

9.) Making an electric current.

This is a science project that wins top marks when done correctly and there are many online manuals that will show you exactly how to do it.

10.) Making a battery.

11.) Magnetic projects.

12.) Chemical projects.

Be careful with these projects for science and use them to create reactions and effects that change color and smoke. Always a crowd pleaser.

13.) Electrical projects.

14.) DNA projects.

15.) Alternative fuels projects.

16.) Alternative energies projects.

17.) Create an engine.

18.) Trash reduction projects.

Perfect as a science project, this is also good for the environment and may earn you national or world awards in conservation and inventions.

19.) Any Recycling experiment.

20.) Solar projects, especially those which show plant growth.

21.) Projects with Wind, like creating an electric generating windmill.

22.) Water projects, such as a wave machine.

23.) Making a go-cart.

24.) Making a small car.

More complicated, this science project is for more advanced fairs and contests and will require help from teachers that may be against the rules. Check first.

25.) Make an airplane that flies.

26.) Make a boat that sails.

27.) Decay projects.

Studying how trash decays is something governments spend a lot of money and time on each year. Find a way to make it degrade faster.

28.) Evolution projects.

29.) Erosion studies.

30.) Nature comparisons.

31.) Pollution effects studies.

32.) Worm and ant farms.

33.) Insect colony construction and management.

34.) Lifestyle and phycology projects.

People are always interested in learning what makes us tick. Great as a science project. Compare how the traits of your family have evolved or changed over the generations.

35.) Humidity and air pressure experiments.

36.) Make a rain gauge.

37.) Make a wind gauge.

38.) Sound projects.

39.) Reflective projects.

40.) Making a machine.

The more it can do, the more complex it is, the better marks it will get. Try creating something remotely controlled that is useful around your home.

41.) Breeding and hybrid projects.

43.) Quality, worth studies, comparisons.

44.) Disaster simulation.

Try setting up a small model of an earthquake that causes a tsunami. Be as realistic as possible but still respectful of past and future tragedies.

45.) Northern lights, solar radiation studies.

46.) Speed of sound and light projects.

47.) Astronomy projects.

48.) Make a lightbulb come on.

49.) Archeology projects.

50.) Radioactivity experiments. Another project that should be done carefully.

The best science project is the one that allows you to express your passions. Choose by that standard and you’ll do well.

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