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Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Death of a Pet

Here's a link to a great article by Mats Bengtsson discussing the death of his cat. If you have ever had a pet that passed on, you know how he felt; if you haven't, he does a great job of explaining the feeling.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Car Tires

   Saturday evening I was out of town and getting ready to get on the Interstate to make the 120 mile return trip home when my low tire pressure warning light came on. After stopping at a gas station to use the air pump I discovered it worked OK, but the pressure gauge on the nozzle did not work. And, since I couldn't tell which tire was low, I put air in all of them.
     Then, after driving around for 15 minutes trying to locate the tire shop a customer had told me about and not finding it, the light went out. I figured maybe it was just low pressure because the temperature was about 40 degrees and it was raining; sometimes those warning lights come on under those conditions.
     The trip home was uneventful. Sunday morning it was obvious the tire was low, but repair would have to wait until Monday morning. But, by Sunday evening the tire was completely flat so I had to put on the spare. 
     Monday morning I drove to the tire shop and they couldn't find any leaks so they just pumped it back up. This was done at no charge.
     It was very low again Tuesday morning, so it was back to the tire shop. This time they found a nail in the tread, but it didn't penetrate, so that wasn't the problem. But they finally found a shard of metal that had penetrated the tire's shoulder at an angle making it unrepairable, so I had to buy a new tire...cost: $221.

     Since the introduction and use of the radial tire the recommendation for sidewall repair has been if a tire's sidewall is ripped, it's best to throw the tire away and purchase a new one. It is expensive, but with the way radial tires are made and anchored, if you rip through the radial that underlays the tread with a sidewall tear, you are just putting yourself at risk.
     There is really no good way to repair a puncture in a sidewall unless the tear does not penetrate the radial ply itself. In addition to objects on the road such as nails, sidewalls can get punctured by hitting a curb, small accidents, and bent rims.
     Unfortunately, sidewall punctures can’t be repaired because the patch won’t hold. Tires have cords that run all around the tread of the tire, the part the makes contact with the road. But on the sidewall, those cords aren’t there. So, there’s just no way for a plug to fill the hole.

     Obviously, if the patch won’t hold, it’s going to continue to leak. Also, sidewall puncture repairs compromise the integrity of your tire. Even if a patch were placed over a sidewall puncture, the fact is, your tire is no longer able to perform at is best and that means it isn’t safe. Even at slow speeds it will be is susceptible to a blowout and the risk of serious injuries for everyone in your vehicle and those around you. When you have a sidewall puncture the best thing to do is replace the tire.

Monday, April 20, 2015

How Things Work!

     Are dogs colorblind? Why is it rude for someone to point? Who are some of the most storied circus families still under the big top today? Some persistent myths that are keeping us from getting the best possible rest. What are 10 spots that no amount of cleaner can ever wash away? Can you make a living on YouTube? Want to know about airplane contrails? Can animals predict death? What would happen if you never took a bath?
     These are just a few of life's important questions and if you're just dying to find out the answers to them and many more check out How Things Work!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Good News Network

     An article by the BBC published online last year asked the question, "Why are newspapers and TV broadcasts filled with disaster, corruption and incompetence?" and the answer according to psychologist Tom Stafford, "It may be because we’re drawn to depressing stories without realizing."
     When you read the news, sometimes it can feel like the only things reported are terrible, depressing events. Why does the media concentrate on the bad things in life, rather than the good? And what might this depressing slant say about us, the audience? "Many people often say that they would prefer good news: but is that actually true?" — Tom Stafford It isn't that these are the only things that happen. Perhaps journalists are drawn to reporting bad news because sudden disaster is more compelling than slow improvements. Or it could be that newsgatherers believe that cynical reports of corrupt politicians or unfortunate events make for simpler stories. But another strong possibility is that we, the readers or viewers, have trained journalists to focus on these things. Many people often say that they would prefer good news: but is that actually true? Read the article
     If you really do prefer good news there is the Good News Network. This website is a clearinghouse for the gathering and dissemination of positive news stories from around the world. The site says, "While it’s important for us to remain informed citizens...depressing stories can create a perception of a ‘crime- and greed-filled community’ out of proportion with reality. People need a well-balanced media diet, but broadcasters serve too much junk food — local TV news in the U.S., especially."
     So, the Good News Network was created in order to report on outstanding citizen action, innovative solutions to the world’s problems, and to shatter negative stereotypes in the public regarding race, governments, politicians, religion, corporations, Hollywood, public schools, and inner cities. The site features links to stories around the world and original news articles by the Good News Network editors, and contributing authors and columnists. Readers can also submit stories. 
     Hollywood?  Can anything good come out of Hollywood? In a Washington Times article back in 2012, columnists Dan Gainor wrote, "If you are a Hollywood star, you can do drugs, get arrested, cheat on your spouse or say foul things about women, and Hollywood opens its heart to you. Even child rapist Roman Polanski got a standing ovation during the Oscars. Dare to call out the disgusting CBS show "Two and a Half Men" though, and your days in Tinseltown are numbered. The entertainment industry can take just about anything except honesty." 
     I have never watched the show but according to the article the program consists of "juvenile sex jokes filled with every kind of sexual misbehavior and innuendo imaginable. Prostitution, lesbianism, sex in every location imaginable, illegal drug use and mocking of religious faith fill the screen and millions of American homes each week." 
     Throw in fake-staged-phony reality programs, talent contests with little or no talent, false history on history programs, fake documentaries...sounds about right for Hollywood. Still, occasionally the people inhabiting Hollywood do some things that are decent.  Like the "the Bieb" picking up the dinner tab for New York City police officers or Jay Leno surprising a veteran with a hot new car or Barbara Walters shelling out $10 million to a New York hospital for a new care facility.  
     In any case if you need a break from the depressing top news stories of the day, try the Good News Network.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Bible Analyzer

Download from cnet
Developer's Website

Bible Analyzer is a Bible study and analysis application developed to aid in the study of the Bible.

System Requirements:
•Microsoft Windows XP-8, Macintosh OS X 10.5-10.8, Ubuntu Linux
•60 Meg Hard Drive Space
•512 Meg Ram

This program doesn't work on a 64-bit computer!

     The program features Bible text comparison, proximity range searches, and textual statistical analysis, cross-reference panel, related verse searches and text-to-speech and audio features, harmony/parallel text generator, advanced related phrase search, multiple Bible search capabilities, exporting of study data and a session manager which allows the user to configure different sessions of modules for various types of studies.
     Along with the optional Authorized Version People Edition Bible, Bible Analyzer can search for specific individuals. For instance, any one of the Marys in the Bible can be found at the exclusion of the others.
     There is also a Download Manager with which all free and premium modules can be downloaded directly into the program. Bible Analyzer utilizes Bible, Commentary, Dictionary, Book and Image modules in an open-source database format so users can easily create custom modules with the built in "Module Creator."
     There are scores of free and premium modules available from the Bible Analyzer website: Works as E. W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes and Appendices in fully searchable, digital format, the 11 volume Understanding The Bible Commentary by David Sorenson, Books and Charts by Clarence Larkin such as Dispensational Truth, the 23 volume Pulpit Commentary, the 43 volume Expositor's Bible, the 56 volume Biblical Illustrator, and many more.
     Bible Analyzer is a tool that can help you with your Bible studies, whether you're preparing a sermon or just trying to deepen your understanding. Its interface is a little overwhelming and it will take a little time to familiarize yourself with it.
     You can view the King James Version, the American Standard Version, or both versions side by side. The commentary module lets you view notes from The People's New Testament or the Scofield Bible Reference, as well as record your own notes, and the dictionary module gives access to the American Tract Society Dictionary, the Scofield Reference Bible Notes Index, and Torrey's New Topical Textbook. The ScripturePad is a built-in word processor with which you can take notes or create lessons or sermons from within the program.
     Also included are a built-in text reader, daily devotions, a quiz function, and much more. You can even create new modules to customize Bible Analyzer's appearance and content. The program's built-in Help file is comprehensive and includes plenty of screen captures. Overall, the Bible Analyzer is a powerful and flexible tool that's appropriate for anyone who's serious about Bible study. It installs a desktop icon without asking and uninstalls cleanly The basic program is free but the program can be expanded with the purchase of add-ons from the developer.