Archive for July, 2016

Another Trichotomy

I have an update to an old post about the trichotomy of features. This one pertains to technology.

trichotomy of technology - choose freedom, security, or usefulness

I was thinking of any number of social media networks, but it could also apply to a smart phone app, or an internet-connected thermostat, or the remote start feature of your car. It seemed broad enough that I just called it “technology”.

It was prompted by the political discussions of liberty versus freedom in light of national security events. But the same concept extends to devices too.

For example, the fancy new thermostats can be controlled via a smart phone app. That feature is useful, but now your furnace can be controlled by someone in another country. So your security has gone down.

Or a social network that wants to give people freedom to interact, so it opens up its API. To protect people’s security, it doesn’t gather personal information from its users. Now it is not very useful, because it’s the information such as birthdays that enhances the usefulness of social networks.

who formerly was useless to you, but now is useful both to you and to me.

Philemon 1:11

Parental Advice

As a parent, I sometimes find that kids respond better to certain things than others.

For instance, if you want them to leave what they’re doing and come to you, you could try saying “Come here”.

But his response time may vary depending on his mood and how interesting he thinks whatever you have for him is.

If you want an instant reaction and have the kids right by your side immediately, try saying aloud but not directly to him: “Cool! Look what I found!

Of course, you had better have something worth showing. Otherwise you’ll be the parent who cried wolf and they’ll ignore you.

Similarly, no boy can resist going to see what it is when someone says “Ewwww! Gross!” So keep that phrase handy, possibly when you want them to clean something.

The last phrase works best on younger boys, say about ages 4 to 7. It is “On your mark, get set, go!” For example, it is time for dinner and they are not showing much interest in making their way to the kitchen. Go to them, challenge them to a race to the kitchen, then say the magic phrase. I find it’s best to start saying it before they can finish their answer to the challenge. If you can get to the word “Go!” before they have completely processed the request, they can’t help but compete.

Any other good phrases that help get your kids’ attention?

Of course, if your kids are ignoring all your normal commands and requests, you have deeper problems than some fun phrases can fix.

A man found him, and behold, he was wandering in the field; and the man asked him, “What are you looking for?”

Genesis 37:15

Make Yourself Visible

Human eyes respond best to two things: contrast and movement.

So if you want to be seen, wear contrasting colors or move a lot. For best results, do both.

When I go for a jog, I wear a bright shirt and dark shorts. By “bright” I mean neon yellow or a bright blue or bright red. I run on the side of the road because there are no sidewalks. So I want cars to see me, because I don’t want to be hit.

I want to be seen.

Really though, I don’t care about being seen. I want cars not to hit me. That’s my goal. But the only way I know to avoid that if I am on the road is to do my best to be seen by the drivers.

So I wear bright colors. Colors that contrast not only with the other part of my clothes, but that also contrast with the surroundings.

For example, I was driving along my running route a while back and just missed a jogger. He was wearing a dark green shirt and dark shorts. His outfit did not contrast with itself. Plus it did not contrast with the surroundings. This was in Michigan. The side of the road was grass and trees. Things that are mainly green. And the trees provide shade, which means shadows. So it’s a dark green. The guy might as well have been wearing camouflage. At least he was moving so he caught our attention.

Please, dress to be seen if you’re jogging along the road.

The other example had to do with two women who were on a different section of my jogging route, but they were walking. So there was not much movement. And they were wearing white and tan clothes. That did not provide much contrast with their white skin and dirt road. You can wear a white shirt to provide contrast if your skin is like Manute Bol’s, but in general a bright color is more visible than white is.

I was driving to work, going about 50 mph like I usually do, when suddenly I see arms waving at me from the road. So I swerved and braked, and ended up going past these women closer and faster than I would have liked to. I would have been annoyed if a car went by me like that while I was jogging.

At least they were walking facing traffic so they could see that the drivers couldn’t see them. And that’s how they knew I might hit them. So the lady closer to my approaching vehicle raised her arms at me in annoyance. I didn’t see her face because I was concentrating on trying not to injure them, but her body language seemed to be conveying the idea of “what are you doing? why are you barreling down the road so close to us? give us some room, crazy driver!”

And her act of extending her arms (more out to the side) provided the movement that the human eye needed. Since there was no contrast in their coloring and little movement, I didn’t see them until then.

Runners/joggers/walkers : please do yourself a favor and wear bright colors. If your outfit consists only of white, black, gray, or brown, you are headed for trouble with traffic. Make sure you can see the cars because they might not see you.

And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

Hebrews 4:13


Quick question to ponder, inspired by a comic strip of my youth:

What is the opposite of “pronoun”?

Is it

  • A. Con-noun
  • B. Anti-noun
  • C. Amateur-noun


I don’t have the answer, so I’m hoping one of you does.

Now their words seemed reasonable to Hamor and Shechem, Hamor’s son.

Genesis 34:18

Upside What

Why is it that something opposite is called “upside-down” but something that is normal is “upside-right”?

Shouldn’t the phrase for something normal be “upside-up”?

Either that or the phrase for something opposite should be “upside-wrong”.

We need the terms to match. Either up/down or right/wrong.

I’m going with “upside-up”.

Just like “heels over head”.

I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria and the plummet of the house of Ahab, and I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down.

2 Kings 21:13

Not So Easy

image of Uncle Sam talking about Brexit

Kids these days have it so easy.

Their enemies also oppressed them,
And they were subdued under their power.

Psalm 106:42

Join the European Union

image of Uncle Sam talking about Brexit

That’s the spirit, Britain!

Come, let us deal wisely with them, or else they will multiply and in the event of war, they will also join themselves to those who hate us, and fight against us and depart from the land.

Exodus 1:10