Thursday, February 15, 2018

Sunday, February 11, 2018

rising background levels of carbon dioxide, ventilation, and train crashes

People are so worried about carbon dioxide causing global warming -- but I seldom see anyone worrying about other consequences of rising levels of background carbon dioxide.

I personally have found that I'm very sensitive to carbon dioxide levels in crowded rooms like classrooms, theaters, hotel ball rooms, and commuter trains.  I get restless limbs, nausea, and drowsiness -- and even narcolepsy -- in these environments.

Carbon dioxide is heavier than air.  With the advent of air conditioning, it has become fashionable to have only ceiling ventilation in rooms.  Ceiling ventilation is not very good at removing carbon dioxide from the air.

In older rooms that have floor vents, I feel that the air is much clearer and I am much more alert.

I am particularly concerned about ventilation in trains.  I have often found that I get narcolepsy in trains.  I once complained of this and MetroNorth turned up the ventilation in the trains and I found that I stopped getting drowsy.

I noticed in college that I used to fall asleep a lot in a basement classroom.  It was only later that I realized that a basement classroom, being below ground level, would be very hard to clear of carbon dioxide.

There has been a recent spate of engineers falling asleep and causing train wrecks.  This has been blamed on undiagnosed sleep apnea.  But why would there suddenly be undiagnosed sleep apnea when there wasn't before?

I strongly suspect that sleep apnea is being wrongly blamed for these incidents. I strongly suspect that there is an unsafe level of carbon dioxide on these trains that is contributing to these incidents.

I am frustrated that I can't get anyone to pay attention to my concern about this

Sunday, February 4, 2018

As to the gender of God

I am having an interesting discussion on FB about the gender of God. This conversation was stimulated by this article

It turns out that one of my FB friends was actually at the meeting in which this resolution was adopted and feels that the article that I cited mischaracterizes the resolution.

The correct language of the actual resolutions adopted at this convention can be found from links on this page

where it will be noted that nothing is being "stopped" at all, as mischaracterized by the right wing website, but rather that people are encouraged to use more gender inclusive language.

Now I've been doing some experiments in getting people outside my echo chamber into my discussion group and they are commenting in this thread that the original language of the New Testament is Koine Greek, and, in that language, the pronoun "he," or rather its equivalent is used.

In response, I wrote rather a lot that I would like to memorialize here.  Perhaps there will be more to be added, as the discussion progresses, but this is what I had so far.  Perhaps even this blog will get some more information documented for me.  A lot of what I write on my blogs is for my personal reference.  I supposed that this topic is old hat for many theologians, but I'd like to have a place to look back on this stuff.

One of my conservative Christian correspondents was indicating that Greek has masculine, feminine, and neutral -- implying that if God were not male, then that could have been implied.  I asked

In English, we have "it," but this pronoun is mostly applied to inanimate objects. Is that so in Koine Greek?
But he didn't know.

So I made the following comments

But the point is that if the original Greek said "he" and if Koine Greek had same tradition as English to say "he" to mean "he or she," then using "he" is not definitive as to the gender of God. I would note that I also studied French and there also the masculine pronoun was used to include both male and female. In English, for instance, "they" is understood to be gender neutral, but in French they only have "ils" and "elles." The feminine form -- elles --traditionally was only used for groups that had no males at all. The masculine form --ils-- was used for groups that had both males and females.

Of course, feminists have pressed us to say "he or she" or the invented form "xe" rather than "he" when female was possible. Trans people have urged us to go back to a middle English usage of singular "they" to mean "he or she." However, back as recently as the mid twentieth century, "he" was understood to include "he or she," as in "everyone has his own taste in clothing" meaning to include females as well as males.

It has to be understood that languages are living things that change over time. If we assume, hypothetically, that Koine Greek had the same usage as English up to the mid twentieth century, in other words that "he" could include "he or she," then up until that point "he" would have been a correct translation of the the Koine Greek. On the other hand, now, in the 21st century, it is not so well accepted amongst many speakers that the English pronoun "he" includes "he or she." Therefore, it could be, under this hypothesis, that "he" in English is no longer a correct translation of the Koine Greek. Now I personally have not studied any Greek other than the alphabet; though I have studied French, Spanish, Russian, and tidbit of Chinese -- and was always quite interested in grammar. However, I know that Episcopalian clergy are extremely scholarly and typically have masters' degrees in theology and have studied Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Therefore, I suspect that the action reported here indicates that the clergy in this diocese have concluded that, in 21st century English, "he" is no longer a completely correct translation of Koine Greek.

Now another  conservative Christian correspondent stated that the Hebrew word "Elohim" is plural, because God is triune.

Jewish and Muslim people criticize Christians for use of the Trinity, considering that this concept is contrary to monotheism. It is certainly not a Jewish interpretation of Hebrew that Elohim means that God is a trinity. I don't know if [omitting name of Jewish person in thread] knows any Hebrew or traditional Hebrew interpretation of why "Elohim" is plural or what it means, but I'm quite certain that it's not what [omitting name of conservative Christian thread participant] is saying. If [omitting name of Jewish person in thread]  doesn't know I could tag in a more scholarly Jewish person here.
For me, in any case, as I think I mentioned before, the idea that God has gender is nonsensical to me. God is a spirit. In the Jesus story, God is depicted as playing a male role in conceiving a child, but that does not mean that God is restricted to male. I feel quite persuaded that, if I could go out in a Star Trek like vessel and cruise the universe, there would nowhere be found a giant genitalia nebula that would prove the gender of God.

And, final comment,

When [name of conservative Christian thread participant omitted] friended me on FB, I was nervous, because I suspected that we would disagree on almost everything. However, I was mindful that, during the 2016 elections, FB was criticized for creating echo chambers, in which people would only hear their own opinion echoed back at them. This was polarizing groups. I hoped that I could make my own little efforts to to venture into other echo chambers. Here we see that happening, which is good. 
Earlier in the thread, there was a remark that Jesus always used the male "Abba" to refer to God, not ‘Imma’ (Mother) -- to which I replied

Given that Mary was his mother, it wouldn't have made sense for him to call God mother. On the other hand, though I don't know Hebrew, it's my understanding that they don't have the kind of gender related pronouns that we have -- so that the Bible is not at all clear about assigning a gender to God. Moreover, I find the idea of God having gender incomprehensible. This is a spirit we're talking about. 

Some links

Friday, January 26, 2018

buykud scam

Here is what the dress looked like on their ad

They said the model was small, but they didn't say she was a dwarf.  They said the dress would fit small, medium, and large. This was a FB ad targeted to me in the USA.  I usually wear medium or large. I'm 5'7"  That's taller than the US average of 5'4", but not inordinately tall.  I wouldn't qualify to be a model in the US, where you have to be at least 5'8"

They also said that the dress would fit sizes 8-14 US.  I normally wear a 12.

This is what the dress looks like on me

The short part is too short for decency -- more like a tunic.  The sleeves are too short -- don't reach my wrists even with the arms extended. Moreover, that long, drapy look from the ad is completely absent.  It fits like a regular shirt on top.

The fabric is very warm, but there are no care instructions, so I have no idea whether it should be washed or dry cleaned.

They demand that I pay postage to return it.  The postage was $35, which was half the cost of the dress originally.

The USPS has eliminated sea mail, which would have been a cheap, but slow alternative for shipping.  Now that Chinese companies are putting so many clothing ads on FB, I think the USPS should re-institute sea mail so that US consumers can return merchandise to these Chinese fraudsters.

Their address:

Room 401, No.1 Building, JuHe Creative Park, Metallurgical Reseach Institute, Hebian  National Road 106, Baiyun  District,
Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
Telephone :0086-020-86213862

ZIP : 510420 

Photos from Spooky Doings 1/6/18

Photos from Spooky Doings 1/6/18

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Obsessive doodling

I've found myself doodling a lot recently -- obsessively, really.  I've been posting photos on Instagram and FB, but I was thinking I should here as well.  Here's an embedded version of my FB album of doodles. I'm still expanding this album

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Updates: fourth quarter 2017

  • filming Fine Fixtures Commercial d. Rochelle Scharf 12/7/17
  • filming music Video for Franke: Bad Tattoo
  • Creative Block/ Bloc et Blocage, a film I appear in, has won 4 awards: a) silver award in Best Drama category at  Mindfield Awards, Los Angeles; b)  Spotlight Silver Award; c) Prindie featured filmmaker; semi-finalist at Los Angeles CineFest; 
  • National Monolog Slam, Edison NJ 12/2/17 instagram post
  • Continued to appear at improv mixers at The Magnet, Armory, PIT, and Triple Crown
  • competed in the Cabaret Showdown -- 6th Anniversary link to FB event 11/12/17 
  • friends have told me that they spotted me in my background roles on "Wizard of Lies" and last winter's Hallmark Christmas movie.

completed courses

law related courses