Thursday, August 13, 2009

Humility, II

So it gets even better. After learning from my last mistake to plug the alarm clock into an outlet not controlled by the light switch, I went through the same alarm-setting procedure as before.

This time, I woke up at 6:04 on my own. No alarm. I look over at the clock, and it's on. The alarm was set for 6:00am, the clock was displaying the current time correctly, including the am/pm, and the alarm was on. So what gives?

Apparently, this clock has been a favorite playtoy of my son Hans for some time. He must have rough-housed enough with it to disturb the internal workings, or perhaps the speaker, or whatever. Anyway, it didn't go off as planned.

So the moral of the story is never to use an alarm clock your 13-month-old son has played with. Also, since I was humbled the last time, I have no need of further humility. I can stop praying that most dangerous prayer of all: the prayer for more humility. Can I sell you a bridge?

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Last night, I had great intentions. I was going to wake up this morning at 6:00am, do my walking, do the dishes, and still be ready to go in time to do devotions and everything else before going to work.

I had gotten into bed soon after getting back from band. It was 11:00pm. I thought I'd get up and set the alarm clock. No problem. I found the alarm clock; it wasn't plugged in. So I plugged it in and synchronized it to our radio-controlled clock, being very careful to set the am/pm correctly (I've been burned on that before!). As I was doing so, I thought to myself, "You know, it really is quite simple to set an alarm clock, and yet so many times people don't set it correctly, and they're late to places." Of course, I was thinking of other people when I thought of this, not myself, but that's beside the point (or perhaps not-so-beside-the-point!). I continued in my train of thought, "All you have to do is correctly set the time including its am/pm, set the alarm itself with the correct am/pm, and then turn the alarm on." So I did that. Then, because I didn't want to be woken up, or kept up by the bright LED display, I put the clock face-down on the sewing table, turned off the lights and went to bed.

Next morning, I wake up with the sunlight streaming into my room, and I keep thinking to myself, "It's after 6. Why doesn't that stupid alarm clock go off?" Finally, I get up and look at the radio-controlled clock. 7:30am. I turn the alarm clock over: there's no LED display. I had forgotten that the outlet into which I plugged the alarm clock was controlled by the light switch (a feature I dislike exceedingly, unless you have very few built-in lights). So when I turned off the lights the night before, I cut off the power to the alarm clock.

And the moral of the story is this: Don't count your alarms before they sound. Also, it's a good idea to be humble.

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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Matthew Henry on Gen. 3:21

This was so good, I just had to post it. Genesis 3:21, in Matthew Henry's commentary, runs as follows:

Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

We have here a further instance of God's care concerning our first parents, notwithstanding their sin. Though he corrects his disobedient children, and puts them under the marks of his displeasure, yet he does not disinherit them, but, like a tender father, provides the herb of the field for their food and coats of skins for their clothing. Thus the father provided for the returning prodigal, Luke xv. 22, 23. If the Lord had been pleased to kill them, he would not have done this for them. Observe, 1. That clothes came in with sin. We should have had no occasion for them, either for defence or decency, if sin had not made us naked, to our shame. Little reason therefore we have to be proud of our clothes, which are but the badges of our poverty and infamy. 2. That when God made clothes for our first parents he made them warm and strong, but coarse and very plain: not robes of scarlet, but coats of skin. Their clothes were made, not of silk and satin, but plain skins; not trimmed, nor embroidered, none of the ornaments which the daughters of Sion afterwards invented, and prided themselves in. Let the poor, that are meanly clad, learn hence not to complain: having food and a covering, let them be content; they are as well done to as Adam and Eve were. And let the rich, that are finely clad, learn hence not to make the putting on of apparel their adorning, 1 Pet. iii. 3. 3. That God is to be acknowledged with thankfulness, not only in giving us food, but in giving us clothes also, ch. xxviii. 20. The wool and the flax are his, as well as the corn and the wine, Hos. ii. 9. 4. These coats of skin had a significancy. The beasts whose skins there were must be slain, slain before their eyes, to show them what death is, and (as it is Eccl. iii. 18) that they may see that they themselves were beasts, mortal and dying. It is supposed that they were slain, not for food, but for sacrifice, to typify the great sacrifice, which, in the latter end of the world, should be offered once for all. Thus the first thing that died was a sacrifice, or Christ in a figure, who is therefore said to be the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. These sacrifices were divided between God and man, in token of reconciliation: the flesh was offered to God, a whole burnt-offering; the skins were given to man for clothing, signifying that, Jesus Christ having offered himself to God, a sacrifice of a sweet-smelling savour, we are to clothe ourselves with his righteousness as with a garment, that the shame of our nakedness may not appear. Adam and Eve made for themselves aprons of fig-leaves, a covering too narrow for them to wrap themselves in, Isa. xxviii. 20. Such are all the rags of our own righteousness. But God made them coats of skins, large, and strong, and durable, and fit for them; such is the righteousness of Christ. Therefore put on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Isn't that amazing?

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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Root Beer Day

Today, in Connecticut, it's a root beer day. What, might you ask, is a root beer day? Here are the (rather stringent) criteria:

1. It must be either a Saturday or a holiday in the summer such as Independence Day or Memorial Day.

2. It must be 70 to 80 deg F outside.

3. It must be a relatively dry day (right now, the relative humidity is 38%; that is acceptably low).

4. The sky must be either cloudless, or have cirrus clouds. A few other clouds are allowed, but the majority must be cirrus.

Now, what do you do on a root beer day? It is required that you celebrate by drinking either root beer or cream soda (it doesn't matter which brand - choose your favorite) in the afternoon.

So this is a tradition I started a while ago, and have found fun. Take it or leave it.

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Monday, August 03, 2009

Biased Scientists

People, not inhuman machines, do science. Since all people are biased in one way or another, it follows that all scientists are biased. Since some of the problems scientists work on are politically charged (like, say, global warming), it follows that biased scientists work on politically charged scientific problems.

Now bias is not necessarily an evil, even in science. You must have a bias of some sort even to choose which experiments to run, or (if you are someone who decides where money goes) to decide which theories to support financially. However, bias can be an evil if scientists start interpreting data incorrectly because of their bias.

I propose a new method of deciding policy based on science (at least, whatever policy can be decided on the basis of science!):

1. Determine more than one political persuasion that scientists have, such as big government/little government.

2. Have scientists picked from each political persuasion theorize and run experiments. It would be advantageous if the scientists involved in one political persuasion personally disliked the scientists from the other persuasions.

3. Whatever results the scientists came up with that were the same, could reasonably be treated as less biased than results obtained a different way.

Thoughts on this partly tongue-in-cheek, partly not, idea?

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