Saturday, July 20, 2019

Earthside Reflections on Apollo 11

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen
Edited July 21, 2019

It seems like only yesterday — not really, it seems like fifty years ago that Apollo 11's Lunar Module Eagle landed on the moon. As a nine-year-old boy playing with space toys and waiting for the big event, it seemed interminable. Today, I have a better idea about why NASA did not do things on my impatient timetable. Years later, I learned more about just how dangerous space and space travel can be. Scientists have also learned a great deal.


Childhood memories of the Apollo 11 voyage and the joy of scientific accomplishments. We have learned so much in fifty years.
Photo of Edwin Aldrin by Neil Armstrong after being run through FotoSketcher
Original photo credit: NASA (Usage does not imply endorsement of site contents)
I had plastic models and booklets, but also some vinyl records. The "Talespinners for Children" company had a record album that was like a radio play that went through astronomy with Kepler, Galileo, and others. It also contained audio of the moon landing. I'd like to hear it again.

The public and I had moved on. Other Apollo missions followed as well as orbiting space stations, the Apollo-Soyuz mission, space shuttles, unmanned probes to both inner and outer planets, the International Space Station, and other space news. Political and cultural events as well ad budget cuts had an impact on the space program. Having had an interest in creation science for years and managing The Question Evolution Project in recent years, I have learned many things about various branches of science. My favorite has always involved space exploration and astronomy. Want to see my collection of Soviet Union and American postage stamps on the subject?

When the big anniversary of the first lunar landing was coming up, I realized that I was very excited all over again and even a bit emotional. With social media, I could join the celebration and even find some documentaries to watch on my Roku device.

I'm certain that leftists will be crying about how the Apollo landings were made by a bunch of white male heterosexuals, several of them Bible-believing Christians. If that vapid complaining isn't happening now, wait a bit.

As another aside, there are atheopath and other anti-creationist sidewinders who prefer to attack people instead of rationally dealing with subjects. Common epithet used against creationists is "science deniers", "science haters", and similar things. Even a cursory glance of biblical creation science sites (as well as mine) shows that such remarks are blatant lies. What we deny is propaganda and fake science; faulty assertions of "it evolved" (biological as well as cosmic) are things that we dare to question.

To give some creation science perspectives, I have a passel of links for those who want to do some investigation. The first group is from David Coppedge at Creation-Evolution Headlines. (Look for the fantastic artwork by Alan Bean.) David worked on the Cassini mission as a system administrator at JPL until he was fired for having the wrong views. His passion for space exploration remains strong. Some other links of interest follow those.


Thursday, July 11, 2019

A Bane of Social Media

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

While there are several frustrating things on social media, one stands out from the herd. That is when people are compelled to comment without having read the posts or articles. The worst part is when people who post things are told they're wrong, stupid, lying, whatever, by people who have not bothered to read the material. Answers to objections and questions are often contained in the linked articles.


One problem on social media seems to stand out from the rest. A little experiment helped support my position.
Image provided by Why?Outreach
Sometimes people will read the few sentences of introduction that are placed to encourage people to read the actual article, and they seem to feel that they are well enough informed to comment. Not usually.

Now don't be disunderstanding me, most of us who make posts are not expecting everyone to read everything. Also, a stand-alone captioned picture is an invitation for comments. (People who are aware of my posts and articles may have noticed that I seldom use a question as a title in hopes that people will actually read the linked material before commenting. A question can be taken as an invitation to comment without reading.) This kind of commenting is seen throughout social media, including Fazebook, Twitface, weblogs, and more. 

In fact, I've embarrassed myself by reading something too quickly, commenting, and being informed that my query was addressed after all.


Not too long ago, I posted an article about the value of vaccinations. Many people were outraged, and I saw Proverbs 18:13 validated before my eyes. They did not want to read the material, even castigating me for writing it. Worse, there was no interest in actually reading the material that I wrote or the detailed articles that were linked. Apparently, people were locked in by their emotions and the "facts" that they already believed from anti-vaxxers and similar groups (see Proverbs 18:17).

I had a bit of an experiment a spell back. On Facebook at The Question Evolution Project, I posted an item called "Atheist Accepts Multiverse Theory Of Every Possible Universe Except Biblical One". We had many comments by people who were angry at atheists, but didn't notice the source: The Babylon Bee, a "Christian news satire" site.



Here is where I want to make another point. People tend to accept what they read when the material confirms their biases or assumptions without checking the source. Good satire can be hard to distinguish from actual reports, and this one about the atheist accurately described how many of them act. Some of the people commenting on the post knew that it was a parody site, but others lashed out at the "atheist" in the story. I was letting it go, but another Admin stepped in and made it clear in the comments area that the content was satire.

Care should be used when getting material from unknown sites. You can find material that "proves" ghosts, UFOs, that the Anunnaki are our ancient reptilian masters from outer space working with the Illuminati, anti-vaxxers, flat-earthers, atheists, geocentrists, King James Onlyists, and more. Often, the name of the site or the weblog can prompt a reader or researcher to find more reliable sources. I lack belief that sites like that consider material that does not fit their narratives. God gave us minds, and he expects us to use them.



Monday, June 3, 2019

Having a Purpose in Life

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

You may have what you consider your purpose in life, and it varies by individuals. Some want to succeed in the business world, others want to watch the world burn. You may be a doctor, lawyer, scientist, teacher, welder, construction worker, stay-at-home-mom, or a host of other possibilities. You may be shocked — shocked I say — to learn that jobs, hobbies, and religions are not our primary sources for purposeful lives.


People with purposeful lives are supposedly healthier and happier. However, they need to be complete and have the right purpose.
Credit: Freeimages / Thad Zajdowicz
I've heard it said that men are hard-wired to get their satisfaction in life from their jobs. That doesn't happen for me since I'm just a data entry clerk, but I am able to listen to podcasts and articles to try to make myself more smarter and anthropomorphic. Some people consider it their duties to save the world from biblical creation science, Conservative politics, "infidels", and others they despise using any means necessary.

One feckless sidewinder wants to destroy creation science (and especially me, personally), but he's an uneducated bigot that isn't taken seriously. Of course, leftists and globalists (but I repeat myself) seek their life's purpose in gaining power. People are greatly mistaken in finding their purpose outside of the Creator. After all, he made us and makes the rules, so we must find out what he has to say.

Atheists and evolutionists may tell you that evolution provides a "message of hope", but if you get up on the hill and look at it from a bigger perspective, you'll see the absurdity in such a belief. Way back when, the universe formed by chance, then stars and planets. Life itself began by chance, and then through chance, time, random processes, unexplainable forces like evolutionary "pressures", life continually advanced (defying common sense and laws of science), and here we are. Life has no meaning, your only purpose is to pass along your genes (why?), there is no Creator, no ultimate Judgment or justice. When you die, you're worm food; time and chance won't help you. Makes me want to embrace atheism spectrum disorder right this minute!

Many evangelists are in error by telling people that if they come to Jesus, life gets better. That is horribly incomplete, and backfires immediately when people think that life is fine without him. We must come to God, and we must come on his terms, with humility and submission to the authority of his Word. All are lost sinners and need to repent. Don't get me wrong, life in Jesus does give us joy and purpose, but salvation is of primary importance. Modern "gospel" messages are not interested in glorifying God and explaining sin, Hell, Heaven, repentance, and salvation.

People who do have purposeful lives are better off psychologically, it seems. But we need to ride the trail all the way to the end.
Live Science published results of a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association that confirmed longevity benefits for people who describe their life as purposeful.
. . .
The findings from a long-term study that began in 1992 and carried forward to a questionnaire in 2006, involving 7,000 people. Mortality rates of participants were studied over subsequent years. Those with low life-purpose scores were more than twice as likely to die, researchers found. The reason, they believe, is that purposeful living lowers stress hormones that lead to inflammation. “Inflammation, in turn, has been previously linked with an increase in risk of early death, according to the study.”
I'd be much obliged if you would read the entire article. Just click on "Purposefulness Promotes Health, Longevity".



Saturday, May 25, 2019

The Big Bang of Thrones Game Theory

Step aside, guard! The king must use the throne. No, this is just a game.

Two television programs have ended that were loved by many. One was a fantasy drama called Game of Thrones, the other was a comedy known as The Big Bang Theory. From what I read, both generated quite a bit of emotion in some folks. 


So, Game of Thrones and The Big Bang Theory have each concluded. I do not care.
Background image before malevolentification by NASA / WMAP Science Team
(ain't no way they endorse any part of this site), with a graphic from Clker clipart
I didn't care. Two shows that people talked about that had many episodes, and I never saw any. Previews for The Big Bang Theory struck me as silly and I didn't want to spend time on it. Game of Thrones has been described as not only violent and trying to be politically correct, but it had graphic violence and was pornographic.



Fans were disappointed in the ending of GoT, I'm sad to know that some professing Christians were putting that kind of thing in their minds. So, did you imagine Jesus sitting with you eating popcorn and appreciating GoT? I wonder how he would like BBT?



Sunday, April 21, 2019

Clothing, Modesty, and the Resurrection

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Until the last few years, people knew that men and women are different. Not only do we have distinct biological differences that are important medically and in other ways, but it is the way God designed life. We are also psychologically different. It is indeed unfortunate that I have to state what was formerly obvious.


Modesty is not the usual subject for Easter, but it traces back to Genesis and into the gospel message.
Credit: Flickr / Mike Baird (CC by 2.0)
The University of Notre Dame was a religious school last I knew, and as such, claimed to uphold certain standards. Apparently modesty is not so important. One of the differences between men and women is that us menfolk are visually stimulated. Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. discussed a problem at the university where a mother wrote a column in the student newspaper about leggings. I highly recommend his March 29, 2018 The Briefing podcast that can be heard online, downloaded, or you can read the transcript.

One of the various names for this piece of hosiery for women is yoga pants, which shows that they are intended for athletic purposes. It has become fashionable to wear them in the workplace, for casual activities — and apparently even to religious services. People have described leggings as looking like they were "painted on". I've seen them and agree with that description. They are not mentioned in the company dress code where I work, but other items of modesty are addressed such as strapless tops. Ironic, I think.

Christianity and other religious emphasize modesty among both men and women, but especially for women because of the aforementioned visual stimulation of men. I have seen atheopaths (who compulsively oppose almost anything that the Bible upholds) say that immature men are the problem, so the "freedom" of women should not be at issue. Such an argument is both ignorant and risible.

Years ago, there was a controversy about thongs on beaches. I was puzzled. As a child, I used to wear what we called thongs (sometimes called sandals), but I grew to dislike them. Today, that unpleasant bit of footwear are known as flip-flops.

Nowadays, a thong is a skimpy bit of apparel that is like fabric spaghetti splitting the buttocks, then brought up between the thighs and attached to a waistband. (Many jurisdictions consider them to be indecent and they are outlawed.) I remember a television show, perhaps it was Phil Donahue, where a woman with a snide attitude was given the microphone and said, "What's the big deal? Everybody's got a butt!" Sure, princess, but everybody doesn't necessarily want to look at yours in a public place — or see those other parts that are normally kept private.

It seems that some people are too selfish to be considerate of others, even at the point of being visually provocative. This strikes me as narcissistic as well as selfish.

As Dr. Mohler points out in his analysis, the Bible tells us that we keep private parts private. Certain areas of the body are to be presented between a husband and wife, not paraded for the prurient desires of strangers.

In a silly 1958 short story called "Do Unto Others" by Mark Clifton, some prissy Earth women took a notion that the buck naked octopus-like inhabitants of Capella IV needed to be clothed. Let's assume for a moment that such critters exist. While forcing modesty on space aliens may seem well-intentioned, it is also pointless because they are not children of Adam and Eve. You'll see what I mean in a moment.

People may ask why we wear clothes in the first place. I mean, aside from cold weather and such. Clothing goes back to Genesis. After Adam and sinned, they felt the need to cover themselves (Gen. 3:7). God said, "Ain't no way", and covered them with the skins of animals (Gen. 3:21). This was the first covering for sin, and blood was shed.

You'll have to do some research on the theology involved, but animal sacrifices in the Old Testament were a temporary covering for sin and foreshadowed the coming of Jesus Christ. Bloodshed is necessary to cover sin. God the Son, our Creator, took on human form, died on a cross for the remission of our sins. He bodily arose on the third day, defeating death and doing away with the animal sacrifices.

Our clothing and modesty are reminders of not only respect for each other, but of sin covering. Jesus Christ attained the victory over sin and death. Most professing Christians celebrate Easter, and we have a great reason to do so. Sins are no longer covered. Instead, Christians are forgiven and we are children of the living God.



Sunday, April 14, 2019

Workforce Hero

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen
Edited 4-15-2019

Many of us who have jobs know the frustration of having upper management make demands, expecting those of us who actually do the work to somehow make their dreams and their bonuses come true. Unfortunately, too many people in their positions do not know how things work, but they make promises to clients that cannot realistically be fulfilled. I say that the motto of The Company is the song by Queen, "I Want It All (and I Want It Now)".


The hero-martyr who sold his soul for money and tries to put guilt on the rest of us.
USSR Order of Labor Glory 3rd Class Medal
Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Fdutil
(CC by-SA 3.0)
While my work at The Question Evolution Project and the Piltdown Superman site (among others) sometimes feels like a full-time job, I have a day job to pay the bills. It is a data entry job, so you can imagine the eye strain from doing that plus writing posts and articles.

My own social media rules are stricter than those of The Company because all y'all don't need to know where I work. One reason for that came from an incident on Twitter where someone looked up my employer and said he was calling them to get me fired. Why? Because he didn't like something I wrote. (Leftists want people silenced, you know.) As if he could reach the CEOs of a huge international corporation anyway — not that they would care about a whining troll in the first place.


A Bit of Background

This job requires us to make bricks and gather our own straw. That is, we are not given the necessary tools. We have outdated computers ("Optimized for Windows XP", tricked out for Windows 7), a rented building that would probably not pass inspections by the county health department or the fire codes, quirky climate controls, and so on.

We also use second-drawer software. Even before I began riding for the brand, people disliked this operating system. Sure, every OS needs adjustments. But when we've been complaining for years and are repeatedly told that "we're working on it", it's downright discouraging. In fact, the IT department makes adjustments that take away functionality. Live with it. Don't you know who we are? We're The Company! When both speed and accuracy are essential, we don't want to hear excuses and get workarounds that take too much time. Fix it, or put it back the way it was, Skippy.

The Company has rules, and you will obey them. You haff relatives, in ze old country, ja? It is possible for someone to get fired for not being stupid; blind obedience is paramount. It doesn't help matters that the rules keep changing.

Add to this the inconsistent screen displays. Forms vary greatly, and many are nearly illegible as well as being in different sizes and fonts. This produces eyestrain and overall fatigue.


Mandatory Overtime

When we signed on to this job, we took a shift with specific hours. Overtime was voluntary and intermittent. People plan their lives accordingly. Some have children, second jobs (The Company is downright cheap), and have lives to live, savvy that?

Although there were not enough people to perform the work, The Company made promises to their primary customer that we could handle a massive increase in volume and the time commitments. Not hardly! Naturally, we fell behind. The facilities manager (who acts like a kindergarten teacher who is angry because someone was eating paste) passes along directives from on high to managers below her: make things work. Immediate managers want to do a good job, and they have to be the town marshals. 

The Company dry-gulched us with mandatory overtime.


Disspirited

The manager below the angry teacher-type manager is intelligent and compassionate, which makes his job more difficult (it's easier to do that job if you are have no heart). He tried to make arrangements with people who could not stay for an extra ten or more hours a week. In a group meeting, they gave us a speech about how we need to get out of backlog, it shouldn't take long, save the company, and so on. No apologies about wrecking our plans for the Christmas season, though. Or Hanukkah. Then Easter and Passover.

It went on.

Eventually, we were out of backlog and there should be no more overtime. But wait! It happened again! Why? Because management from the schoolteacher-type on up are incompetent and they do not equip us to succeed. So, more OT. Some of us think it will never end


Torches and Pitchforks

We had another group meeting, and I was on the prod. Many of us were. In fact, I had to restrain my yap so I didn't get fired. This time, they were complaining that people were not doing voluntary overtime. Schoolmarm was using guilt, manipulation and shaming on us. (I wondered if they would hang "I didn't work enough overtime" signs on us, take our pictures, and post them on Fazebook.) The powers that be cannot understand why we have such a high turnover rate, blaming the people they depend on instead of examining themselves. This is a big part of it.

The usual points were made that we have system issues and were given the "we're working on it" response. In addition, it was stated that people get burned out, so when OT is not mandatory, some of us want to have the kind of hours for which we signed on. Other points were made, and a bit forcefully at times. I thought of the old Frankenstein movie where the villagers were going after the doctor and the monster with torches and pitchforks.


Hero-Martyr

One guy who is a team lead (only hired a few months ago, and then promoted) always struck me as someone who wanted to impress the bosses. He said that his grandmother had just died, and he should be home grieving, but chose to put in overtime. Guilt manipulation was added. I wanted to say, "Do you want a medal?" I have a Soviet Union worker's medal at home, I could give it to him. Another co-worker said, "You're not the only one carrying this team".

I was also offended. No, I'm not like leftists who file complaints and make people miserable. I was offended because I had been out for three days on bereavement. My mother-in-law had died so I wanted to be there for my wife and deal with family things. I wonder if, in his eyes, it makes me a bad person. It was providential that I had the following week off because we were taking care of things during that week. Also, I learned that during that week off they had more mandatory overtime, and then the voluntary overtime was instated for the week that I returned. I don't react well to guilt and manipulation, as certain stalker and trolls can attest.

It's truly sad that hero boy has misplaced priorities. He put money and job status above family and friends, and I'm certain that he will regret his decision someday.


Overlooked Lessons

There are some things that management should consider. But I am unworthy to even have opinions, let alone, to express them. (Interesting that anti-creationist and anti-Christian trolls act the same way about people who have contrary views.) So you can read a few:
  • We signed on for a shift and specific hours
  • If they want to succeed, they should equip the people they depend on so we can all succeed
  • People do not respond well to bullying and manipulation
  • Immediate managers and supervisors are in a bad place, trying to make things work despite inane upper management
  • Yes, there are slackers, those exist in any business
  • Don't punish us all for the slacking of a few
  • You have stolen wages from employees, and I have the Department of Labor documentation to prove it; our trust levels plummet even further because of corporate dishonesty and incompetence
  • Helpful hint: you cannot defy the laws of time and space, nor can you reject the laws of logic. Stop trying.
  • Many employees have physical limitations and medical conditions
  • While some light a shuck out of there whenever they are slightly under the weather, many come to work sick or in pain
  • When overly tired, people make more mistakes
  • We do the best we can with what we have


Most Important

I reckon that most people simply want to do a job, go home and get on with their lives. As for me, I work to live, I don't live to work. Others seem to live to work, gaining prestige in their jobs. It is my considered opinion that they have sold their souls for money — and will suffer for it (Luke 16:13, Matt. 16:26, Luke 12:16-21). This or any other company can rail about it, but they will not get my soul. It is not mine to sell because it has been bought by the blood of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 6:20, 1 Peter 1:18-19). I don't expect medals from an employer. 

From the Irony Board, a song from angry Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails has some lyrics that I agree with on the love of money. The live versions are high-energy, intense, and musically exciting, but more brutal and have profanity that I won't post. Here's the studio version:



Monday, March 11, 2019

A Little Help from Science and Technology

People have hopes and dreams, but those can be shattered by accidents and other circumstances. A surgeon needs intelligence, good vision, skill, and fully functional hands and fingers to do important work. Singers need their voices. Musicians need their appendages. They also need discipline to learn and practice. There is something else that is vitally important.


I thank God that he has given many people skill to develop science and technology to help others who have needs.
Violin,  Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, 1916
That other item is talent, which is a gift of God. You can have the desire and practice, but if that talent is missing, there will not be much to show.

Rick Allen, drummer for the band Def Leppard, lost his left arm in a car crash. With the support of friends, the band, other musicians, and special equipment, he returned to drumming. We read stories and watch videos of people who have lost limbs in combat, accidents, and in other ways but are equipped to live their lives. Others are handicapped in ways that cannot be overcome yet, and they are able to survive (see my book review and recommendation of Creation, Evolution, and the Handicapped). I thank God that he has given many people skill to develop science and technology to help others who have needs.