On Beach Walk: No. 19

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I like walking the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

I stand looking at the water. As I turn my head 180 degrees from east to west, the distant horizon appears as an arc where outbound ships disappear. No wonder many years ago civilizations thought our world as flat.

Perhaps the horizon is where the known and unknown meet. Each of us know different amounts of different things. Nobody knows all – so for each of us, the unknown lies beyond the horizon.

Perhaps the horizon is a different edge – an edge separating graspable concepts that we can comprehend – but beyond the horizon lie concepts one fails to approach – failing to comprehend. But the bigger question lies in the same one-word question for all – why?

Perhaps the horizon separates our life known up to the moment to the unknown of tomorrow. The horizon separates our yesterday from our tomorrow. Looking across the water to the horizon that separates our past from our future.

Perhaps the horizon is a metaphor beyond the waters that refresh my feet. After all, the hills of home have a horizon. What lies in the uncertainty over the next hill? Yes, looking up the hill is the same as viewing across the water. Thinking about what lies over the next hill is the same as thinking beyond the horizon that I see at the moment.

Perhaps the horizon is about the dreams of today and the unknown of tomorrow for all of humanity. The dreams of curing cancer, reducing poverty, travelling to the great unknowns of the universe, and more.

Perhaps thinking beyond the horizon is wondering about the unknown of the next frontier – whatever it may be.

Perhaps the horizon is where geniuses reside – those few who have the ability to think beyond the border – beyond the horizon – think in an inspired, creative way with an uncontrollable curiosity that is different from the norm – to see more and more deeply than others – thinking beyond the horizon.

Meanwhile, as I ponder the arc-like horizon that I see, I’m reminded that I enjoy walking the beach, for it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

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On 41

In Science
41, the atomic number of the element niobium (Nb), whose neutrally charged atom has 41 protons and 41 electrons

41 Daphne is a large asteroid

In Music
Symphony No. 41, the longest and last symphony of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

#41, a song by Dave Matthews Band.

Sum 41, a Canadian rock band

American Skin (41 Shots), a song by Bruce Springsteen

Opus 41, musical compositions by Tchaikovsky (Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom), Elgar (In the Dawn and Speak, Music!), Sibelius (Kyllikki), and Rachmaninoff (Three Russian Songs)

Fabric 41, a 2008 album by Luciano

In Literature
Sonnet 41, one of William Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets http://www.shakespeares-sonnets.com/sonnet/41

41 Stories, a book of 41 short stories by O. Henry

41: A Portrait of My Father, a book written by George W. Bush for his father George H. W. Bush

In Movies
41, an independent documentary about Nicholas O’Neill, the youngest victim of the Station nightclub fire

41, a 2012 Documentary about on the life of George H. W. Bush, the 41st US President

41, Charlton Heston’s designation as a Roman warship slave in Ben-Hur

41st floor, Morpheus is aggressively questioned about the murder of Amadou Diallo in The Matrix

41, the NYPD precinct number on the police car shown during the earthquake in Ghostbusters

Highway 41, where Cary Grant is attached by a crop-dusting airplane in Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest

In Sports
41, the race number worn by Sir Roger Bannister when he broke the 4-minute mile barrier (1954)

41, retired jerseys – MLB: Eddie Mathews (Braves), Tom Seaver (Mets); NFL: Brian Piccolo (Bears); NBA: Wes Unseld (Wizards); NHL: none

NASCAR #41: 27 wins (most by Curtis Turner, followed by Richard Petty, Kurt Busch, Jim Paschal, and A.J. Foyt)

Super Bowl XLI: Indianapolis Colts 29 Chicago Bears 17 (4 Feb. 2007 Miami, Florida)

In Mathematics
41, a natural number, a prime number, a supersingular prime number, a Newman-Shanks-Williams prime number, a Sophie Germain prime number, and Eisenstein prime number, a Proth prime number, a centered square number, and the largest lucky number of Euler

41, only divisible by 1 and 41

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In History

41 AD

  • a common year starting on Sunday
  • Holocene calendar year 10041, Korean calendar year 2374, Discordian calendar year 1207
  • Claudius succeeds his nephew (Caligula) as Emperor
  • Claudius restores religious freedom to Jews throughout the empire, but prohibits Jews in Rome from proselytising
  • Emperor Guangwu of the Han dynasty deposes his wife
  • The disciples of Jesus form Christian communities in Damascus and Antioch

41 BC

  • Either a common year starting on Wednesday or Thursday or a leap year starting on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday
  • Buddhist calendar year 504, Ab urbe condita calendar year 713, Assyrian calendar year 4710
  • Year of the Perusine War
  • Mark Antony meets Cleopatra in Tarsus and formed an alliance
  • Arsinoe IV of Egypt (Cleopatra’s half-sister) dies

In US History
Bush 41, George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States

Montana, the 41st state of the United States

Federalist Paper No. 41, a general view of the Powers Conferred by the Constitution (written by James Madison) http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed41.asp

41, the number of members in the U.S. Senate needed to defeat a cloture vote and sustain a filibuster indefinitely

In Geography
Interstate 41, a highway connecting Chicago, Illinois and Green Bay, Wisconsin

41st Street in Manhattan – click for a walking tour http://www.nysonglines.com/41st.htm

41st parallel North – crosses Span, Italy, Albania, Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, China, North Korea, Japan, United States, Portugal

41st parallel South – crosses Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina

41st Meridian East – crosses Russia, Georgia, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Antarctica

41st Meridian West – crosses Greenland, Brazil, Antarctica

In Culture
41, forty-one, Cuarenta y uno, Čtyřicet jedna, Eenenveertig, Nelikümmend üks, Keturiasdešimt vieną, Afartan mid ka mid ah, XLI, and more

In Mexico “cuarenta y uno” (41) is slang referring to a homosexual

41st book in the bible is the Gospel According to Matthew

41st wedding anniversary, traditional gifts throughout the world include topaz, iron, birch, and nasturtium

In numerology, 41 is conscientious, sensual, quick wit, adventurous, curiosity, and pragmatism

In Organizations
41 Entertainment LLC (“41E”), a privately held American animation company developing, producing, and distributing popular children’s television series

City 41, part of the leading news media group of Pakistan, City News Network

41 Hotel or No. 41, a Red Carnation Hotel luxury hotel in London, England

Foundation 41, a medical research organisation based in Sydney, Australia

In Miscellaneous
The international direct dialing (IDD) code for Switzerland

C-41 process is the film developing process for 35mm color negative film

41 stories, the number of floors in the ONE St. Petersburg building in St. Petersburg, Florida

“41 for Freedom”, the collective term for the 41 ballistic missile submarines of the George Washington class and its successors

STS-41, the eleventh mission of the Space Shuttle Discovery

Season 41 of Saturday Night Live, 2014-15

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41, all this in honor of our 41st wedding anniversary. For those wondering, we first met in September 1974. Here’s Dave Matthews singing his song, #41. Happy Anniversary to my long-time love.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 356

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Congratulations to blogger, author, and long-time visitor here, Carrie Rubin, on the release of her latest book (The Bone Curse). Click here for the Amazon link.

This Sunday is Eastern for Western Christianity. That also means the handbells will be involved with music on multiple occasions. This Joyful Eastertide is our featured song. For those listening, 1) we will be without the trumpets, and 2) you will easily hear the difference between playing handbells and chimes as we switch from one to the other several times during the piece. Click here to listen.

Cincinnatians treat Opening Day (for baseball) as a festive holiday event. Major League Baseball (MLB) is starting the season earlier than normal, and this year, it happens to be in front of Easter weekend – which conflicts with the businesses that sponsor the Opening Day parade. In other words, the first game and the parade will not be on the same day. Thanks you MLB.

I’m a life-love Cincinnati Reds fan. Given the teams lack of success over the past 25 years, apathy would be a good word to describe my outlook for the season. I wish them well. I will root for them. I will remain loyal – but I don’t expect much.

Sears is a struggling company. How can the Sears Board of Directors in good conscience give their CEO are bonus ?

Do you remember the term tattletails? Even though I haven’t heard in many years, this local editorial focused on the term while relating it to various local and national events. I think this is a worthy read. 

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A few days ago I received a one-side survey for supporting President Trump and Republican Party. Filling it out was worth the time and stamp. In the extra comments box I wondered why the committee would keep sending me these surveys – especially considering my answers and other comments.

I like this question asked by Chuck Todd on Meet the Press: (I paraphrase) Which event will have greater impact six months from now: the gun control rallies or Stormy Daniels?

Because the extremes have a way of digging in, I still find it difficult to believe that America can have a true discussion about gun control. Then again, surprises can happen.

As a whole, I believe most Americans strongly dislike negative campaigns. However, this statement on Politico caught him attention. In preparing to go toe-to-toe with Trump, Democrats will have to take some sparring practice, and not all the punches are going to land. But to insist that candidates shouldn’t treat the campaign like a schoolyard brawl is to deny the reality that one of the candidates is going to make sure that it is one.

The US Supreme Court has their hands full with dealing with gerrymandering.

Thank you Stephen Colbert for continuing to make me laugh as a way of dealing with the current White House occupant and his administration.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides a timeline for 20 years of Netflix.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Man assumed celebrity sighting would do much for his career
Classically trained actor can talk on cue
Dead medieval woman gave birth to baby in coffin
Handwriting expert confirms killer used cursive
Man calls trust fund his savings

Interesting Reads
Resilient life in an Indian coastal town
Is the Democratic Big-Tent shrinking?
Science and social media
World maps with literal names for countries
Censoring in Egypt
Places on Earth that seem to be from another world

To send you into the weekend (and as move toward their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction), here’s another Moody Blues classic. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On BLINK Murals

Cincinnati is blessed that ArtWorks has added over 120 murals throughout the city – many of which are downtown. Along comes BLINK, which adds murals 10 murals to the collection by artists from Belgium, Brazil, England, Lithuania, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Peru, Spain, and the United States. Enjoy the ones I saw.

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We didn’t see all the murals that evening, but here’s a glimpse.

 

To see all the murals, click to visit the BLINK page on murals. 

To see other posts about BLINK, click here.

To see past posts featuring Cincinnati’s ArtWorks murals, click here.

For those who enjoy murals and street art, I encourage you to visit the one who got me interested in this topic –Resa @ Graffiti Lux & Murals.

On a Beach Walk: No. 18

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I like walking the beach as it is good for the body, mind, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

I recall my first exposure to statistics in college. To me, interesting stuff – but something that takes time to comprehend its usefulness. In those days (1974-75) classes emphasized was on calculations using complex formulas by hand in a world without calculators. One of pencil, paper, a slide rule, and the occasional abacus.

The professor made one particular statement that stuck with me (so I paraphrase) – “In the not-too-distant future, computers will do all the calculations and statistics classes will concentrate on their meaning.”

I believe those Texas Instrument calculators arrived in the late 70s-early 80s. I recall having high school students who were enthusiastically proud of having one of those calculators. I would channel my statistics professor by encouraging those students to keep their cherished calculators forever so they could show their kids an example of archaic.

As I look across the water, I see today’s world as a vast sea of data and statistics. So many numbers that are ripe for picking. As a colleague used to say in our discussions, “Take a stance – any stance – and then go get the numbers to support it because they are available.”

But today’s world is going beyond even that statement. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a data-driven tool designed to scrutinize and apply large amounts of data in order to establish trends that will lead to faster and better decisions.

AI gets the most out of data. Today we marvel at Alexia’s existence, but that is a simpler application than what AI is doing in health care, manufacturing, research, and throughout business.

Dr. Fyffe was the statistic professor who made that statement. I don’t know if he envisioned the coming of AI that day, but that’s where we’ve come and where society is going. Oh what will we see in our daily lives just 10 years from today?

Although I remain an optimist for a positive future, one can find many reasons to have a negative view of tomorrow. Time will deliver the answer – it always does because it always has – but for this place in time – today – walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

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Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 355

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“My week” is about to end. My Week? Yep – this is the week my wife went cruising with a group of ladies. They have a great time. Besides, she won’t miss the cold and snow! Meanwhile, I danced a lot!

After holding such high hopes for two local college basketball teams, the world crashed on Cincinnati last Sunday when both teams losing after having double-digit leads with ten minutes to go. That day may be the worst single day in Cincinnati sports history.

CBS News created a wonderful series called Note to Self – a reflection by famous people writing a letter to a younger version of themselves. Here’s the official website. Many are also on YouTube, so they are worth searching and taking a few minutes to listen. The book version is coming soon.

Given my interest in the relationship between science and theology, my wife urged me to read Dan Brown’s latest book – Origins – which I am now doing. It is interesting … and long.

Here’s a great video that celebrate World Down Syndrome Day. It’s worth the few minutes.

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Talk and policies favoring US isolation and protectionism while trying to be cognizant of a resurgent Russia, a continual growing China, and numerous global hotspots has lessened (and will continue to lessen) the US standing in the world.

Does anyone remember the day of the talk of the Tillerson-Mattis-Kelly pact of if one of them goes, they all go? Well, one week ago Mr. Tillerson lost his job as Secretary of State, but the other two are still in their respective positions. So much for that rumor.

Trumpians like to complain that the Mueller investigation will delegitimize the election. Nope – to me, President Trump won fair and square. However, the investigation is necessary on other grounds.

I recently described (to a friend) the 2016 Presidential Election as the Democrats missing a layup. Because I foresee Democrats gaining in the 2018 midterms, that also sets them up for missing another layup in 2020.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion lists benefits of being a risk-taker.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Dozens of other countries that interfered in 2016 election annoyed Russia getting all the credit
Swans in committed relationship barely even arch necks into heart shape anymore
World’s oldest message in bottle found on Australian beach
Kinky couple has mirror in bathroom
Only 40% of mice have welcome mat, doorway leading into tiny house inside wall

Interesting Reads
A cliff special to geology
Heredity beyond genes
The numbers and gun violence
Seven explorers who vanished
Studying drawings of scientists by kids
Europe’s last pagan nation
(Interactive & article) Global migration since 1990
A view of miracles and science

To send you into the weekend (and as work toward Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction), here’s one of my favorite Moody Blues songs that you may not know. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On a Day of a Teacher

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I stopped at the grocery store on the way home where the clerk said to me that I looked tired and must have had a tough day. After I smiled and affirmed her observations, she encouraged me to relax this evening. While nodding, I said to myself, “Who is she kidding?”

The 6:30 AM-to- PM part of the day at the high school was interesting.

  • I arrive at 6:30 AM for the final preparations of the day.
  • 7:25 AM – Homeroom starts and it’s too short to do scheduling justice.
  • Three classes (85 minutes each) had lab activities, which had various issues.
  • The fourth class had a Performance Objective Assessment (POA), a required district assessment.
  • During my conference period I had a parent conference on the phone, then went to the Special Ed. room to work with students.
  • After the last class, I knew 16 students would be retaking a different POA, but little did I know there was still more to come.

It’s 2:30 PM.

  • Most students arrived for the retakes – so getting them started is the priority.
  • Another student wanted to discuss grades. She saw the time wasn’t right and was willing to talk some other time – I was thankful.
  • A second student graciously waited as we had to shift from one make-up item to another, and then I finally started 20 minutes of tutoring.

It’s 3:00 PM. As the tutored student left, a Special Ed student entered to retake a POA. I decided to test him orally; and I determined he was deficient. Learning is very difficult for him and I would like to continue oral evaluations with him. I tried remediation and found some helpful websites for him to do in the classroom for about fifteen minutes while I continued multi-tasking.

It’s 3:15 PM. Another struggling student appears – the one who appeared earlier then left. She was very patient with the hectic after-school period. I’m sure school isn’t easy for her, but her academic laziness compounds the problem.

It’s 3:25 PM. A parent appears at the door for a surprise meeting. I excused myself from the student to meet with the parent. I addressed her questions, and she kept it short because she saw I was working with a student.

It’s 4:30 PM. The tutoring session is over; and I think it went well. I’m alone in the room, so I prepare to finish a few tasks before leaving for home.

It’s 4:35 PM. A student who made-up a POA earlier (and the son of the walk-up parent) wanted to go over the POA to see how he did. Good news – he did well. He’s been improving yet doesn’t yet “show” the grades to please his parents. We talked as I tried to give him some insight in school success.

It’s 4:45 PM. Has the last student finally gone? I think so … but it’s time to check the phone messages to see who called. I imagine some parents because it is “Interim Reports Day.” Yep … two parents. I returned the first message as it seemed to be more pressing. Fortunately, it was a positive conversation.

It’s 4:55 PM – Time to check my email. Yikes! – an unpleasant note from Special Ed. Good timing! … and to think that working with them and their students has been a source of personal pride on all counts. I’ve even received commendations for that work.

It’s 5:00 PM. I’m tired … time to go home – but I have to stop at the grocery store for a few items. I recorded the after-school events.

It’s almost 8:00 PM (but I’m home). I had dinner and did the dishes. I haven’t read the paper nor watch the news. Fortunately through dinner, I did get a chance to talk to my wife.

I still have those 16 papers to grade so those student can get their updates tomorrow in order to cushion the mid-term report damage. Who knows how many other papers are overdue. Plus, I wonder what I will be doing in class tomorrow – and classroom readiness is another personal pride. I don’t feel ready … all along I keep thinking about the Kroger clerk’s suggestion.

This account was a real day – maybe not a typical day – but very real – actually a modified account of a reflection that I wrote (and kept) as one of the assignments required by our building administration.

Teacher is a difficult but rewarding career. It’s the joys of movies as October Sky and Mr. Holland’s Opus. It’s the wide-range of emotions from Dead Poets Society and Stand & Deliver. Teaching is also similar to a Rocky movie of being resilient from being a punching bag and getting knocked day.

Yes – this was 18 years ago – and to think the pressure on teachers today is much greater than then. I wonder – How many teachers today will reach full retirement?

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