Musings

“We’re having a heat wave” is a phrase I have heard several times recently as the plummeting temperatures and record snowfall we have experienced this past week begin to fade. One of the latest was a dear friend of mine, in response to reading that the high temp on Friday would be 33°. Something is wrong in...
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“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.”Zen Shin In 1724, a German physicist living in the Dutch Republic proposed a comparative scale for measuring temperature. He based his scale on three points: the low point as the freezing temperature of an ammonium salt brine solution (0),...
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I attended the funeral of my friend’s father on Friday. Historically, I have not been a fan of funerals in general, but this one was really nice. My friend’s father had served in the military during the Vietnam war, so there was an honor guard present. One of them played “Taps” before they lifted the...
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My son and I went to the gun range this weekend to practice. Some things are improved simply by repetition. Practicing or rehearsing increases skill and familiarity so that when the time comes to execute or perform, we are sharp and prepared. With shooting, we practice aiming and controlling our breathing by shooting single shots...
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I love fireworks. I have always had a fascination with fire and explosions. So much so, that as a very young person I read everything I could find about pyrotechnics (fireworks) and started experimenting to make my own fireworks. My parents had given me a fairly extensive chemistry set for a Christmas present, and I...
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Sometimes things we think should be easy turn out to be quite difficult. At my age, this is a lesson I should be familiar with, yet I often forget it and end up where I ended up this weekend. My son and I were replacing the rotors and brake pads on his 2004 Ford F-150....
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I am a data junky. I love to know things. How things work. How things came to be. How things are made. I want to know. This is not a bad thing in general. Knowledge can be good when it enables us to move ourselves and those around us in positive directions. Knowledge can lift...
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Four Feet, Eight and One-Half Inches. That is the distance between the rails of a standard gauge railroad in the United States. What an odd number. There is a very specific reason for that measurement. US railroads were built by English expatriates, and that’s the way they built them in England. The English used that...
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Champagne was “invented” in 1531 by Benedictine monks in the Abbey of Saint-Hilaire near Carcassonne, France. They bottled wine before the initial fermentation had ended, causing the byproduct of the fermentation, carbon dioxide, to be trapped in solution in the bottled wine. It would be a century before Christopher Merret detailed what is now called...
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I recently had the privilege of spending some time with my friend, Heath Thomas, who is the President of Oklahoma Baptist University. During our conversation, he said that he had been looking at the original charter for the University. The idea for a Baptist University in Shawnee was born before Oklahoma was even a state. The founders...
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