Category Archives: navel gazing

Faith vs. Science

evolution

The great Albert Einstein once said…

Before God we are equally wise – equally foolish.

And…

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.

I’ve always respected this view. Science is important to faith. I can believe in a God who has built this world by the governing principles of science. What does it gain if the Bible indicates the world is 6000 years old (while the Chinese say it’s less than 5000) and science says it’s almost 14 billion years old? Wow, that’s a huge difference!

Oh! And evolution…

The faithful need not be afraid. Sure, there are parts of evolution theory that just doesn’t make common sense (you mean one day the son of a fish figured out how to breath air?). But the survival of the fittest certainly does.

So what is claimed to be ‘Facts of Evolution’? Watch this…

And what does science say about the timeline?

Look, I’ll be honest here. The Theory of Evolution still needs some work. But with that said, there does seem to be evidence that there was a natural progression among certain species most likely defined by ‘the survival of the fittest’. It’s actually kinda logical that the best beasts mated with the best beasts to have an offspring of the next generation of best-er beasts.

But where is God in all of this? I dunno. It’s totally possible that He could create an Earth that appears to be many more thousands years old (this is reasonable though a strange strategy).

At the end of the day, what I hold on to most is that there is a God who is very interested in being interactive with us daily. However, He’s gone through a lot of actions to get to where we are now. To me, this makes sense. To you, maybe not. And I’m okay with that.

I believe that my God loves me, cares about how I live my life, and wants me to spend eternity with Him. That thought, however, has no negative reflection on any scientific theory that in my view makes complete sense…to me.

Yes, it’s confusing and frustrating. But it’s what I believe.

What about you?

A Few Things To Know More About Me

To know me…there’s too much to tell. So here are a few media items to help you ‘get me’.

I have a crazy sense of humor.

Equality and  justice are not synonyms.

Soldiers coming home from war should always be heartwarming.

Favorite quote:

I love NASA and science.

I find things like this hilarious…

This is me every time:

I’ve bought into the idea that everything is a remix.

Everything is a Remix Part 1 from Kirby Ferguson on Vimeo.

I love dorky, punny jokes.

I’m spiritual but find this both hilarious and kinda true about the Abraham Religions:

I find the English language both difficult and amazing.

More about me…

2013-01-25_165600

I’m An Introvert

Psychology Today says that an introvert is someone like the following…

If a crowded cocktail party feels like a holding cell to you, even as you gamely keep up your end of the chatter, chances are you’re an introvert. Introverts are drained by social encounters and energized by solitary, often creative pursuits. Their disposition is frequently misconstrued as shyness, social phobia or even avoidant personality disorder, but many introverts socialize easily; they just strongly prefer not to. In fact, the self-styled introvert can be more empathic and interpersonally connected than his or her outgoing counterparts. The line between introversion and lonely loners gets blurry, however, as some introverts do wish they could break out of their shell.

There’s a lot of myths about introverts. I can tell you from my own experiences that I can relate to the person who’d rather stay in than go out. It’s not about ‘going out’. I’d rather spend my time with a few good friends compared to a lot of acquaintances. I certainly know how to be social — knowledge or experience isn’t the issue. It’s more about preference.

I’m not alone in my introvertedness. Here’s a few famous introverts:

  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Candice Bergen
  • Glenn Close
  • Audrey Hepburn
  • Helen Hunt
  • Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Julia Roberts
  • Clint Eastwood
  • Harrison Ford
  • Tom Hanks
  • Alfred Hitchcock
  • Steve Martin/li>
  • Johnny Carson
  • Matt Lauer
  • David Letterman
  • Diane Sawyer
  • Barbara Walters
  • Albert Einstein
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Charles Darwin
  • Angelina Jolie
  • Johnny Depp
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Jim Carrey
  • J.K. Rowling
  • Steve Wozniak
  • Michael Jackson
  • Keanu Reeves
  • Lady Gaga

Here’s a little more backup…

All this really means is that I feel refueled/recharged by spending time by myself or with very close friends. It has nothing to do with the accomplishments I can achieve!

Goals of 2013

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions/Revolutions/Reservations.

I set goals.

Here are a few of my goals for 2013 (in no particular order)…

  • Be more healthy
  • Blog more
  • Obtain my American Sign Language Certificate
  • Obtain my Associates of Arts Degree in Deaf Studies to complement my Bachelors of Science Degree in Management/Marketing
  • Obtain a new career
  • Get my online presence more congruent
  • Love my wife better
  • Love my family better
  • Love my God better
  • Adopt a dog
  • Become more knowledgeable in science, religion, history, and language

Although goals are supposed to be specific, achievable, and time-restricted, my goals for 2013 have a little more breadth to their completion. And I’m okay with that.

Yours?

Unclutter’s Unitasker Wednesday

One site I really enjoy following is Unclutter.com. It’s a great site to help you get ideas for living a minimalist’s life…something I’m continually perusing. But one of my favorite things the site does is on every Wednesday, they post an item in the category “Unitasker Wednesday“. They always say…

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

They always crack me up. And yes, I hate unitaskers. Alton Brown has taught me well.

Where I’ve travled

I can now officially update my travel log…

Countries : 17
Canada
England
France
Greece
Hungary
Iceland
Italy
Kenya
Mexico
Netherlands
Puerto Rico
Spain
Thailand
Trinidad
Turkey
USA
Vatican City

US States/Territories: 38
Alabama
Alaska
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Illinois
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Mississippi
Missouri
Nebraska
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
Puerto Rico
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wyoming

And you wanna know what’s ironic? I’m getting pretty good at guessing the ethnicity of Asians and Africans, however white Europeans all look the same to me.

Dang My Name Is Common

I mean, I know it’s not a huge surprise, but dang…

  • There are 4,939,265 people in the U.S. with the first name Robert.
  • Statistically, ‘Robert’ is the 3rd most popular first name in the US.
  • There are 1,782,790 people in the U.S. with the last name Williams.
  • Statistically, ‘Williams’ is the 3rd most popular last name.
HowManyOfMe.com
Logo There are
28,088
people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

 

Where I Came From

I’ve recently been trying to figure out just how far back can I can trace my family’s roots, especially with when and where they immigrated to the US. I’ve always said that my family has been American for so long that though we have European roots, we’re pretty much just American!

And now I can prove it!

I’ve been playing around on Ancestry.com and have learned a lot about my fraternal line and some of it’s branches. Here’s the highlights…

I started on my fraternal grandparents and their trees. That gave me 4 surnames to trace: Williams and Blair are my grandfather’s parent’s names, along with Hollis and McFadden for my grandmother. Here’s the quick summary:

  • Williams – Wales to Virginia b/w 1615-1640
  • Blair – Ireland to South Carolina b/w 1812-1844
  • Hollis – England to Virginia b/w 1700-1728
  • McFadden – Ireland to South Carolina b/w 1731-1763

As I unpacked it more, it was pretty fun. The Williams’ left Wales and settled in Virginia b/w 1615-1640. They stayed in VA for 7 generations until likely the early 1800’s. In VA, they were in the area of current day Tappahannock, Culpepper, and Stafford. They left VA to live around Jefferson, GA for 4 generations. However, the dates are conflicting because there are also 4 generations in NC (mostly around Haywood) from early 1800’s until the early 1900’s when my Grandfather moved to SC. Before leaving Europe, I can trace 3 generations back to 1554, one in Wales and two in London.

On my Grandfather’s mother’s line, I have only traced 3 generations back. The Blair family left Ireland b/w 1812-1844 and settled in Charleston, SC then moved to York County, SC.

My Grandmother’s fraternal line left Surrey, England b/w 1700-1728 and settled in Fairfax, VA. They stayed in VA for 2 more generations then moved to Chester County, SC b/w 1755-1794. They stayed in SC for 4 more generations until my Great-Grandfather moved to York County, SC by the early 1900’s.

Her mother’s line can be traced back to leaving Antrim, Ireland (before it became Northern Ireland) b/w 1731-1763 and also settled in Chester County, SC for 8 generations.

So the summary is that of the 4 major lines of my fraternal grandparents, they all left what is now the UK, two of which settled in Colonial Virginia, one in Colonial South Carolina, and one in the State of South Carolina!

So there’s my proof. We were from the UK and some of the early settlements in VA and SC before the US was the US.

And I find that kinda cool.

Now to start tracing my maternal grandparent’s trees…

 

Space Shuttle in DC

Space Shuttle Discovery riding piggy-back over the Potomac River in Alexandria, VA

Today NASA’s OV-103, aka Space Shuttle Discovery was on it’s last flight mission. She was riding piggy-back on a Boeing 747 jet on her way to her retirement at the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Northern Virginia (Chantilly, VA). The flight path took it from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, did a flyover at Dulles Airport, did 5 laps around downtown DC, then back to it’s landing at Dulles.

Luckily I was off today so I decided to head down to Old Town Alexandria on the Potomac River. Unfortunately I didn’t have the best information on it’s flight plans so she came in earlier than I expected. So on my way to Old Town, I made it as far as the intersection of Duke and Callahan at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. While sitting at that light, I saw her flying so nice and low, escorted by a fighter jet. I only had time for the one photo sticking my camera out the window.

If I had realized there would be 4 more laps I would have set up at the Memorial. Instead I turned around and headed back home to watch the rest of her flight on TV.

Living in Orlando for so many years, we got to not just see Discovery, but several others blast into space. It was always spectacular. We went out for a night launch in 1999 or 2000 as well as an afternoon launch in 2009. In the middle of those viewings, we saw it from our house many times. We even climbed up on the roof to watch it once! It was never less than spectacular. Oh, and the double sonic booms on her return would literally shake our house.

Space Shuttle Endeavor launching in 2009
Space Shuttle Endeavor

All of this reminds me of a video that has been making the rounds. It’s full of quotes from Neil deGrasse Tyson speaking about NASA…including this mind-blowing quote:

Do you realize that the $850 billion bank bailout — that sum of money — is greater than the entire 50-year running budget of NASA?

We’ve been fortunate to be a part of NASA’s Space Shuttle program for a decade living in Florida and now we got to witness with our own eyes the ending of NASA’s workhorse Space Shuttle Discovery here in DC.

UPDATE: Great video of the Shuttle flying over the Mall in DC made by Smithsonian Videos:

Chopsticks for Me!

Whenever I go to an Asian restaurant and I’m given chopsticks, I don’t sweat it. I know how to use them just fine. I have plenty of friends from Asia who have given me lessons. But what I must confess is that since I’m not used to them, my hand gets tired by mid-meal.

So when I found this pair, I figured I gotta get some! Or make them.

My kind of chopsticks
How I really use chopsticks!
How I feel using Chopsticks
Chopsticks I'd prefer if given the option
Truth be told, this is how I really feel about chopsticks

I hope all my Asian friends don’t hate me.