Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 114

On Politics
Cheers to Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) for resigning the #3 leadership post in order to “liberate me to spend more time on issues that I care most about.” Of course, this also means that party leadership will become more ideological.

I find it interesting that companies and banks are sitting on cash reserves and citizens are saving more than they have in a long time.

Conservative advocate and writer David Frum wrote this response regarding the letter Republican leaders on Capitol Hill sent Fed Chair Ben Bernacke.

With all the talk Republicans do about decreasing regulations, they continue to be lax with examples. Surely, there cannot be a shortage!

Earlier this week I actually sent a letter with ideas to my senator, Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), who is on the Supercommittee. I would imagine my points could turn into a future post.

Some in the GOP are calling for Warren Buffet to release his tax returns. Mr. Buffett: Only release them if they agree to submit their past 3 years to the IRS for an audit.

As Speaker Boehner states the important of coming to the table without set ideas and conditions, he continues to insist, “Tax increases are a nonstarter” and “Tax increases are not a viable option for the joint committee.” The latter meaning the party is calling the shots for the SuperCommittee. Wow – there is a surprise!

Much of the tax talk is convincing the uninformed. One side says something about the tax rate, the other responds with the amount of taxes paid – and vice versa. The Republicans can say what they want about reducing taxes and the tax rate, but there is no way they will do it without raising the amount of taxes paid. After all, that is a page directly from President Ronald Reagan.

I remind Speaker Boehner that it is Week 37 of the Boehner-led House without a jobs bill. To quote Speaker Boehner, “Where are the jobs?”

Interesting Reads

On Headlines from The Onion
New NetPix Service Sends Unlimited Photographs for Monthly Fee
Bugs Infesting Area Apartment Have No Clear Goal
Obama Visits South-Carolina Ravaged South Carolina
US Funding Video Games to Compete Globally with Madden Cricket League ‘12
Narcissist Mentally Undresses Himself
TV Listing: Rick Perry’s Alaska

On Potpourri
The work project ends September 30th!

For the second consecutive year, my first round of golf for the season may be the last.

The new season of Dancing with the Stars is off and running. I hope this cast is likeable – but eliminating NBA star Ron Artest is a good start.

The realignment craze in college football has nothing to do with fans, tradition, young athletes, or education – but everything to do with football revenue. Is there any difference between university presidents, conference commissioners, and politicians?

Vermillion Cliffs National Monument is a haven of geologic formations. Located in Northern Arizona near its border with Utah, one of its features (The Wave) is an amazing sandstone formation created by wind erosion with iron deposits providing the color. Enjoy these pics from Google Images.

In the words of Garrison Keillor: Be well, do good works, and stay in touch.

On Fibonacci in Nature

Nature has many patterns, and they come in a variety of ways. Patterns can be simple, inspiring, microscopic, overt, sudden, gradual, and who knows how many ways as seasons, tides, anatomical structures, life created, processes, and behaviors. Patterns are associated with animals, plants, and the microscopic world.

For instance, the chambered nautilus is a biological relative to snails, squids, and octopi. Even though it is a simple organism, we stare with wonder at its shell and subsequent design. This mollusk also inspired Oliver Wendell Holmes to write the words below (taken from this poem named for its inspiration).

Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!
Leave thy low-vaulted past!
Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
Till thou at length art free,
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life’s unresting sea!

The Fibonacci sequence is a mathematical pattern linked to many patterns in nature. Tied to Leonardo of Pisa work in the early 1200s, the sequence appears in eastern cultures even earlier. The sequence can appear as a mathematical equation, a graphic representation, or in a photograph that may be just an image to the untrained eye.

Nonetheless, patterns in nature speak in their own language to help us understand the glories of the creation in which we live. Maybe this is one of the messages Dr. Seuss’s professes in these words:

I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for they have no tongues.” —Dr. Seuss (The Lorax)

Enjoy this wonder video about the Fibonacci sequence in nature … and a special thanks to Kellie at The Beaglez for sharing this video with me. Below the video, I posted several photography links for anyone wanting to see more wonderful images.

Photography

On a Header to Saturn by Cassini

Usually headers feature images from the Hubble Telescope, but when I saw this one, I knew it was a must-use image. Not sure for how long, but it is a user.

This is an image from the Cassini orbiter from the dark side of Saturn looking back at the sun, whose rays illustrate the main particles in the Saturn system. Similar to Hubble images, scientists use filtering techniques to determine the digitally created colors. Here is more information about this image.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a joint mission between NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Italian Space Agency. The Cassini orbiter, sending a steady stream of images of the Saturn system since 2004 arrival, is just another example of the awesome nature of creation.

This image happened to capture a small, bright speck of light on the left side, which happens to be the pale blue dot we call home. With that in mind, I can never get enough of this awesome video accompanying the words of Carl Sagan. Besides, he would be proud of the images from this mission.

On a Twist for Monday

Saturday was one full day of fun for us. Left the house late morning to head to Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, actually the larger Oktoberfest outside of Munich. Of course, we were on a mission for lunch, which included this wonderful cream puff from Schmidt’s (from Columbus).

Then it was off to a college football game. We then concluded the evening with a ballroom dance event at Cincinnati’s famed Music Hall.

Meanwhile, I may introduce a new header tomorrow … but that’s a maybe.

Humans are an interesting species in so many ways – after all, just consider David Letterman’s Stupid Human Tricks segment. I’m sure all of us have known people capable to doing some different things, but this one recently caught my eye. Watch closely … and have a good week.

On Blogging Versatility

Patti, the mind behind Learn More Everyday, passed along this Versatile Blogger Award to me. I discovered her blog this past spring and quickly learned that Patti and I share the same philosophy about visitors: if they take the time to comment, take the time to respond.

A month or so later, my work project started, thus I have not visited her blog as often. Yet to my surprise, she continues to give me some of her reading time to this place, thus a reason why I am touched by her recognition.

The rules behind The Versatile Blog Award are simple.

  • Post a link to the Versatile Blogger who gave you the award.
  • Share seven things about yourself that is not widely known.
  • Nominate at least five other bloggers.
  • Send an email to those you choose to nominate

AFA Nominees
I’m ever so grateful to Nonnie, Spinny, Beagz, and John who have faithfully stayed with me during my work project as each of you have kept me going. Plus, there are other excellent blogs in my sidebar. However, with the nominations below, I aim to broaden the community of readers, thus more hits.

Keith is the twisted mind behind Tyranny of Tradition, the place where he integrates history and humor. I think this next statement best describes this blog: John fits right in!

Kim is the kindness behind Journey Towards Epiphany. She gives me the impression that her adult life has been full of twists, turns, and challenges, yet her blog is a tribute to the positive influence of her faith while on this Journey. Once John discovered she is from Chicago, one would frequently see his wit and wisdom there too.

I discovered Kellie at Spinny’s, and her infusion of politics into her three beagles (who have different personalities) makes The Beaglez a delight. Of course, I am partial to Buddy, but Belle makes me laugh. Yet, I just cannot figure out why John has not appeared there.

Nancy is the intellect behind the Conversation in Faith Weblog. Although the two of us have a common interest in the interchange between science and theology, Nancy uses her great insight and knowledge about faith to challenge my thinking. Hey Kellie … you would love it here! Besides, so far this has been a John-free zone.

Dragon Fae is the free spirit at Among the Dragons, Crystals, and Fae. From crystals to chakras to nature and life in general, D-Fae (as I call her) provides unexpected opportunities. Yep – she knows John too.

Scott is a newcomer here at AFA, so thought I’d show his Batshite site a little appreciation. It appears that he’s lean toward being a contrarian regarding different topics (both of which is right up my alley). Meanwhile, since I’m still on my work project, I’ll send the leader of my search party to his site. John – give me a full report.

John found me at another great site, Padre Steve’s, a great site about military, Christianity, life, and even some baseball. OK … I’ve just endorsed the Padre’s site as well.

Last but not least, a special recognition to John Erickson, who saw that I’m in Ohio, and I haven’t been able to rid him ever since! He loves to share wonderful sense of humor ( that probably is sicker than mine) through history and sci fi – although he is much more demented than I. John does not have his own blog, but he travels around several blogging circles spreading his wit and wisdom over a variety of topics. Therefore, John, this award is for you too. By the way, I can share your response with others here (if you wish).

The About Me Obligation
When it comes to personal information, a blogger’s personality is throughout the many posts. Since I have written a few posts specifically about me, I invite readers to read those. Some day when you are bored, see Categories > About Me in the sidebar. Nonetheless, I must not skirt my obligation for this post.

1) After my high school’s basketball team beat a rival on a shot at the buzzer of the fourth overtime, a group attacked five of us in a parking lot several blocks from the school. None of us was hurt, but they totaled my car. On a visit to my hometown several years ago, I saw one of the guys from that night. Out of the clear blue, Dave said to me, “We didn’t do anything wrong that night.” He’s right – yet he and I have stewed about this for almost 40 years.

2) I was in college marching band. Somehow, an artist used a picture of me to creature the image for the band’s album cover. I’ll tell this story in a future post – and maybe with the images.

3) I have stood at both the world’s longest bar and the world’s longest candy counter.

4) Except for my first three months, I have lived in Ohio my entire life. Interestingly, I associate with all four corners of the state: I grew up in SE, went to college in the NW where I met my wife who is from the NE, and spent my adult life in SW.

5) I unquestionably prefer to own a white car.

6) The first concert I added of a national act was either the Fifth Dimension or Three Dog Night. OK – I’m showing my age.

7) I attended first and second grade in this school built in 1870.