Monday, May 27, 2019

Physics (part 6) - Eclipse 1919


May 29, 1919

The day that made Einstein world-famous.

And it was on that day astronomer Sir Arthur Eddington experimentally confirmed Einstein's Theory of General Relativity.

After World War I, Eddington had secured an expedition to West Africa to observe the total solar eclipse. The results showed starlight was displaced along the sight line near the sun. Just as Einstein had predicted.

Spacetime lattice analogy/wikidpedia

So we could say--Eddington made Einstein famous. {Reference: The man who made Einstein world-famous}

 Check out the video below:

 A new paradigm shift for the new science of the 20th century. And the re-writing of many science books.

A hundred years ago. Goodbye Newton. Goodbye Euclid. And the rest is history.

Happy Relativity Centennial.



Sunday, April 7, 2019

Faith (part 4) - Yuri Gagarin

Stamp 2011 Gagarin/

April 12, 1961...

On that date in history, Russian cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, became the first man in space, as seen in this brief clip below:

And after this historic flight, it was reported he had said:

I flew into space,
but didn’t see God

No surprise at time. The former USSR was considered an atheistic country. Very hostile toward religion.

But this quote has later been disputed, as it originated from Nikita Khrushchev. Not Yuri Gagarin.
[reference: Did Yuri Gagarin Say He Didn’t See God in Space? ]

Even in an atheistic Soviet Union ...

Faith blossoms in unexpected places...

Yuri Gagarin was a Christian, a baptized member of the Russian Orthodox Church. No secret to his close friends. As one attested:

He always confessed God
whenever he was provoked,
no matter where he was.

[reference: Yuri Gagarin – went into space and found God! ]

The rest of the story is told here...

(reference: )

Commenting on his trip into space:

When I orbited the Earth in a spaceship,
 I saw for the first time 
how beautiful our planet is.

Mankind, let us preserve
and increase this beauty, 
and not destroy it!

Sadly, Yuri Gagarin perished in a jet crash, March 27 1968.  He did not live to see another First Man. The first man on the moon, July of 1969.

 Neil Armstrong

And Armstrong also passed from this earthly scene in August of 2012.

Now high above in the heavenlies,
both these first men

Yuri Gagarin...
Neil Armstrong...
 see God's face.


Other posts in the series:

Faith (part 1) - Star Trek and Christianity (2016)


Saturday, March 30, 2019

Music (part 6) - Pastoral and Spring

Colorful Spring Garden/

It's Spring!

Winter has passed. And as the snow recedes, meadows and trees turn green, flowers bloom, and new life springs forth.

If I could express this change in season in music, it would be  Beethoven 's  Symphony No. 6  - which the master himself named

"Pastoral Symphony" 

Take a listen....

Enjoy the season! Enjoy the music!  

Enjoy Life!


Previous posts in the series:
Music (part 2) - All You Need is Love (2016) 

Music (part 3) - Passover (2016)

Music (part 4) - Armed Forces Medley  (2016)

Music (part 5) - Over There : Remembering World War I  (2018)


Photo: Colorful Spring Garden/

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Biblia Files (part 9) - Song of Solomon and Keeping Mum


Song of Solomon

Also called Song of Songs. It's one of the books of poetry in the Old Testament.  Jews called it the Holy of Holies of Scripture and would not allow young men to read it until they were 30.  {reference: Dr. J. Vernon McGee :: Notes for Song of Solomon }

It's a Cinderella story for mature audiences.

A Shulamite girl is forced to work the vineyards and tend to the sheep. She's beautiful, yet sun-burnt from working outside. And has no time to tend to herself.

But she meets a shepherd. They fall in love. He goes away and promises to come back. When he returns for her, she discovers her shepherd is King Solomon.

They marry. She's brought to the palace. Where they're really into each other. And their passion is described with much poetry.

Keeping Mum?

I've never seen a movie that uses the Song of Solomon in a serious way. Except for this BBC dark comedy, Keeping Mum (2005). And the Song of Solomon is pivotal to turning the tide in the story.

The Reverend Walter Goodfellow is in a crisis. Losing his passion for the ministry as well as growing cold toward his wife Gloria. And Gloria is dangerously close to plunging into an affair with a real creep--who fancies not only her, but her daughter.

Then their housekeeper Grace Hawkins shows up in a Mary Poppins sort of way. Only darker.  And Grace has a method of fixing things--permanently.  Yet she turns the Reverend on to the Song of Solomon, as shown in the clip below:

And the Reverend sees his wife through a romantic lens of Solomon and comes to appreciate her for the blessing she is.

Here are the words:

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth.
For thy love is better than wine.
His fruit was sweet to my taste.
His left hand is under my head,
and his right hand doth embrace me.

Behold, thou art fair, my love.
Behold, thou art fair.

Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet.
Thine eyes are as doves behind the veil.
And comely is thy mouth.

Thy two breasts are like fawns feeding among the lilies.
Thy navel is like a round goblet...
wherein no mingled wine is wanting.

Thy belly is like a heap of wheat,
set about with lilies.

Let thy breasts be as clusters on the vine.

And thy mouth like the best wine.
Open to me my dove,
for my head is filled with the drops of the night.

Come, my beloved,
let us see if the vine flourishes...
and the tender grapes appear...
and the pomegranates bud forth.

Let's hear it for Solomon, one of the heroes in this movie.

His timeless songs saved the marriage, rekindled passion, and got them through the crisis.

Indeed, Solomon was a very wise and passionate man.



Sunday, January 20, 2019

PC Watch (part 4) - Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Bikes, Lights , a Sledder/

Mid-January. Mid-winter. 

And in some parts of the country....


And a popular song from the 1940s expresses that sentiment.

Baby, It's Cold Outside.

Here is a clip when it was performed for the big screen in Neptune's Daughter (1949):

Yet, in 2018 this song had been branded as Not Politically Correct. A song of sexual harassment, to be banned as part of the #MeToo movement.

Many radio stations caved. Agreed not to play it.

Some did anyway. Like WAKY (who repeated the song over and over for many hours.) And this oldie made a comeback in many markets.

So there!


Everyone stay calm!

Just the sight of this fireplace could melt many "Snowflakes."

Play this for endless hours. 
For those cold, cold days.
And there's no carbon footprint. 

For now, it's safe from the virtue signalers and scolds. 

Be warm and be safe.




Thursday, December 20, 2018

Space (part 2): Earthrise - 1968

Earth Rise/

Fifty years ago - 1968 

Earth was a troubled place

Some highlights in America at that time:

* The unpopular Vietnam War and more unpopular draft

* Assassination: Martin Luther King Jr., Robert F. Kennedy

* Riots at the Chicago Democratic National Convention

* Counter-culture hippie movement

* President Lyndon B. Johnson and President Elect Richard M. Nixon

A popular TV show at that time was The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967 - 1970). The show featured s labor of love by filmmaker Chuck Braverman, described as:

A quick trip through the USA during the turbulent 1968

But in December 1968, Apollo 8  sent astronauts, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders, orbiting the moon for the first time in history.

On their Christmas Eve broadcast, the crew transmitted the iconic Earthrise photo while reading from Genesis, as shown below: 

Back to the future, 50 years later, these still are troubled times.

As we finish the year 2018, words from a hymn, This is My Father's World come to mind. And the last verse, not always included in other renditions, gives the reason we celebrate the birth of the Savior of the world:

This is my Father’s world:
Oh, let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father’s world,
The battle is not done:
Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and Heav’n be one.

And in the closing words of astronaut Frank Borman:

"And from the crew of Apollo 8, 
we close with good night, good luck, 
a Merry Christmas, 
and God bless all of you -
 all of you on the good Earth." 


Other post in the series:


Thursday, November 8, 2018

Music (part 5) - Over There : Remembering World War I

WWI Montage/wikipedia

100 years ago...

World War I ended.

November 11, 1918, an armistice was signed on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour. Hence, November 11th had been observed as Armistice Day.  [reference: This Day In History | November 11, 1918 - World War I ends ]

For me, World War I has a special meaning as my grandfather fought in this war. Fortunately, he lived another 50 years after it ended.  Fathered my mother, who brought me into the world. And I still have his dog tags from his service.

Bur back in 1917, one of the popular songs to rally the troops was George M. Cohan's Over There:

And we won't come back till it's over
Over there.

After the Great War was over, Over There, its remembrance Armistice Day was first observed in 1920. But in 1954 after the Korean War, it was changed to Veterans Day to honor veterans of all wars. [reference: Why Armistice Day Became Veterans Day ]

Now, 100 years later: Veterans Day 2018 Marks Centennial of End of World War I 

The Great War
The World War
The War to end all Wars... though it hasn't lived up to this name, unfortunately
World War One
World War I
The First World War

Whatever we called it.

Over There has been a defining song to boost morale home and abroad in the 20th century.

Especially during World War One and World War Two.

For other selected blog posts about World War One:

America's Story (part 10) - Sergeant York  (2014)

Culture 101 (part 14) - World War I - that Golden Summer of 1914  (2014)

ELM (part 6) - The Boys Going West  (2016)

Veteran's Day 2011 - final homecoming of the WWI vets  (2011) 


Previous posts in the series:
Music (part 2) - All You Need is Love (2016) 

Music (part 3) - Passover (2016)

Music (part 4) - Armed Forces Medley  (2016)


Photo:  WWI Montage/wikipedia