Monday, January 27, 2014

Athletic quadcopter

This is the most amazing thing I have seen in a long time. Until I can figure out how to post the link, go to YouTube and in the search box type "athletic quadcopter." View the first video. You will be amazed.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The weekend

Friday evening we drove over to Broken Arrow (via Creek Turnpike) to attend a concert. We saw the Ten Tenors at the BA PAC. If tenors were called niners, I suppose we would have seen the Nine Niners instead. The tenors were accompanied by a eight piece orchestra. The show ran for two and a half hours with a twenty-minute intermission. Coming home, we drove back going through Tulsa.

The next day was our monthly Food and Fellowship gathering. We met at Asian Cuisine. Attendance was nine. John S. came for the first time. Russell B. and Kathy W. were there. We had not seen them in a long time. Russell has a farm a few miles east of Tulsa. He is going to invite the HAT group out there sometime this coming spring.

At church today we talked about changing the monthly potluch lunch to a breakfast. If we do that, we will change the starting time to time 9:30 am. This change comes at my recommendation.

Rev. Debra preached today. After the service was over most of the congregation met in the Community Room for our first gathering of our "Speaking Truth to Power" group. The five of us wrote letters to state officials on three issues of concern.

In the afternoon, I played catch with my grandson out in the backyard. He seemed to really like it.

In the evening, we went to Bethany Church (Disciples of Christ) on Sheridan for an initial meeting of a group that goes by the name VOICE in Oklahoma City. VOICE is an acronym, but I have forgotten what it stands for.

Afterwards, we stopped at a Thai restaurant for a light dinner.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Recent events

I did not think many people would be at the humanist meeting on Saturday, but I was pleasantly surprized when eleven people showed up. We saw three people we had not seen in several months. We had a good meeting.

Yesterday I played piano for Edna, who was in Atlanta for some kind of reunion. The program was on Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement. Following the service, we talked about chapter 14 of Howard Zinn's book A People's History of the United States.

In a couple of weeks I will once again be the speaker at Restoration. My talk will be on Charles Darwin, whose 205th birthday is February 9. I think we will celebrate with a birthday cake at the next HAT meeting.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Fox Nation vs. Reality

Here is Amazon's description of "Fox Nation vs. Reality." The e-book is available for $2.99.

When Fox News debuted it was crafted from scratch to be a partisan outlet for right-wing propaganda and a platform for advancing a conservative agenda. Its Internet community web site, Fox Nation, serves as the online gathering place for Fox viewers to absorb and spread the aggregated disinformation and conspiracy theories hatched by Fox News. The statement of purpose posted on the Fox Nation web site says that it is “committed to the core principles of tolerance, open debate, civil discourse, and fair and balanced coverage of the news.”

However, a cursory glance at the site reveals that they have fallen wide of their stated purpose by several light years. This first volume of Fox Nation vs. Reality is a collection of some of the blatant falsehoods found on Fox Nation. These are not mere differences of opinion or discussions that might have varying degrees of perspective. They are obvious, provable, out and out lies. They are manifestations of a disconnect with the real world. But they are not the result of psychosis or mistake. They are deliberate and purposeful.

They are aimed at an ill-informed audience that is only interested in having their prejudices affirmed. And Fox News is only too happy to accommodate them. In Fox Nation vs. Reality you will find a compilation of articles originally published on the media analysis web site News Corpse. They provide an eye-opening look into the lengths that committed propagandists will go in order to fabricate an alternative political reality. And remember that Fox Nation is not some remote outpost on the Internet Superhighway. It is an integral part of Fox News whose executives are wholly responsible for the stain it produces on journalism.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

The polar vortex explained

Here is a link explaining the polar vortex: click here

Monday, January 06, 2014

The polar vortex strikes

It has been super cold. It is probably another effect of global climate change. Fortunately, I don't have to get out and go to work. Another reason to be thankful for retirement.

Although I did not have to get out, I did anyway. Yesterday, I was scheduled to speak at Church of the Restoration. Gail and I had planned to play a duet. The weatherman at Channel 8 was warning people about getting out. We had a thin layer of ice on the streets. On top of the ice there was a dusting of snow. Yesterday was Humanist Sunday and not wanting any of my friends to put themselves at risk, I sent out an e-mail advising our members to stay put and not come to church. To make sure they got the message I phoned Gail and Marilyn, both of whom were on the program. I phoned Mary, one of the leaders in our church to see if church would meet, and she said she would be there. Mary leads the Religious Education hour at 10 am.

I got in my car and drove to church. I had no trouble at all getting to church. When I arrived Mary was there along with Larry Hochhaus. Larry was leading the R.E. hour this Sunday. We read and discussed two ethical dilemmas from a column that appear in the New York Times. I think the column is called "The Ethicist." A short time later, Rev. Debra Garfinkel arrived and joined the conversation.

At ten until eleven I moved to the sanctuary and began playing the piano. I do the introductory music each Sunday. During this time Vanessa arrived. Edna, the pianist, who is now 78 years old, was given the day off. I filled in at the piano. My special selection was the National Anthem of South Africa. If you watched the coverage of the Nelson Mandela funeral, you probably heard this music.

With the bitter cold and hazardous driving conditions, there were just five of us there today. So I gave my twenty- minute talk for the four in the congregation.

The only problem driving I had was as I got in front of the house coming back. I turned the steering wheel to go into the driveway, but the car continued going straight. When the car stopped, I back up and then got into the driveway.

Today Gail came over, and we played duets for a couple of hours. Coming from and going back to her car, she walked in the snow for better footing. The temperature was in the single digits.