June 15, 2015

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Orphan White

Rachel Dolezal, the white-black woman, is rather interesting. When I was young, people had to be gay to be that interesting. Now when someone comes out as gay everyone is “Meh, what else you got?” I mean, I don’t even know her but to be fair, some of the crap she’s pulled makes me raise […]

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March 29, 2015

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kids540wa2

Rubber Band War and the Apple Box Fort

My wife and I own an Adult Family Home where a team of caregivers provides for several elderly residents who are too fragile to safely care for themselves. Sometimes around the breakfast table they take turns entertaining us with stories of their childhood. It is fascinating. It is so indescribably rewarding. Well one day I […]

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March 22, 2015

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andromeda540

Perseus and Andromeda

Cassiopeia the Queen She was the very beautiful queen of ancient Ethiopia. By all accounts men were mesmerized by her perfectly chiseled features, like she had really nice thighs and stuff. But this was before selfies so she spent most of her time sitting in a “W” shaped chair gazing at her face in a […]

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February 15, 2015

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scoper_02

Telescopes 101

Have you ever discovered a telescope eyepiece in the pocket of your pajamas? Have you ever measured your roof for a dome? Do you know how to pronounce Cassiopeia? If so, you may have wondered, “is there hope for someone like me?” The answer is no. But you can help others learn the basics of […]

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February 8, 2015

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photo by Brad Snowder

Stonehenge

“There is something in Stonehenge almost reassuring; and if you are disposed to feel that life is rather a superficial matter, and that we soon get to the bottom of things, the immemorial gray pillars may serve to remind you of the enormous background of time.” ~ Henry James 1875 CE I love Stonehenge. When […]

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January 25, 2015

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planets_02

Planets

The old school definition of the planets was “Any of these seven celestial bodies, Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, that shineth and wandereth about the starry heavens” or something like that. The specific language has been updated a few times over the years. In February of 2006 the International Astronomical Union (the […]

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January 1, 2015

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The Meaning of Death

And who shall separate the dust Which later we shall be? Whose keen discerning eye will scan And solve the mystery? The high, the low, the rich, the poor, The black, the white, the red, And all the chromatic in between, Of whom shall it be said: Here lies the dust of Africa, Here are […]

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September 28, 2014

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Stardust and What To Do About It

What is the nature of interstellar dust? How does it affect the starlight that passes through it? What can be done to locate and catalog the numerous, small, tenuous dust clouds that populate our galaxy at the higher latitudes? Is it possible to somehow vacuum under my refrigerator without moving the damn thing? The nature […]

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August 20, 2014

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Dad and Me and the Communist Spies

Today I learned something. It’s about something that happened to me about 40 years ago. I was 18 and went to see my dad. He was in his barn, tending to his favorite cow. I said I was planning to go to college. He said if I went to Free Will Baptist Bible College in […]

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August 19, 2014

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The Bible According to Brad

GENESIS 01:01   Adam & Eve   In the Big Inning 04:01   Cain & Abel   Don’t bring God fruits 06:07   Noah’s Ark   We’re gonna need a bigger boat 11:10   Abram & Sarai   She works hard for the money 18:01   Sodom & Gomorrah   If I knew that you […]

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May 18, 2014

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Intelligent Life

radiolife

The significance of the “Copernican Revolution” is that as soon as you embrace the Sun as a star, you are immediately faced with the possibility that when you look out into space, someone or something is looking back. Before Copernicus most people thought the Earth was pretty much the whole Universe so the idea of […]

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April 6, 2014

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HR Diagram

The Hertzsprung Russell Diagram is the “Rosetta Stone” of stellar astronomy and it’s simple, very simple. So to put it simply, it’s just a graph that plots lots of stars’ luminosities against their surface temperatures. As simple as that sounds, it is the key to understanding stellar evolution. In case you thought “Rosetta Stone” is […]

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