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Thursday, June 26, 2008


Calculus - not my cup of tea. I am a math guy, compute numbers in my head easily when they are simple things like 27 times 15 or so on. But I have not be mute just because there was a calculus question. I have an answer near the end of this column.

Those of you not in the Midwest United States may not realize that much of the country is in a state of emergency with widespread flooding and damages that far exceed what happened to New Orleans during Katrina. It has not hit me so hard but has certainly impacted my business and some of my friends, including my calculus expert.

I also had a medical emergency. I have had the pleasure of surviving two major accidents, one of which probably should have left me dead. In fact, the ambulance attendants couldn't believe I was not only alive but walking around. Was it a miracle of God or a happy coincidence?

The first accident was a challenge to me and I worked my butt off in therapy and at the gym until I could do everything I had before, albeit with a constant companion known as pain. I probably will never have a waking moment without pain unless and until God really does do a miracle to heal all the nerve damage.

The second accident left me with more pain and more damage and now there are things I cannot do. In part because of that I now take ten pills each day by prescription and, well, a change in medication caused me to have a terrible time for awhile early this month. My very fine doctors figured things out and, for the first time in maybe three or four weeks I feel relatively normal and am posting again. For awhile I couldn't sleep and yet had no energy and felt depressed enough so that I felt like I wanted to kill myself to end the misery if I didn't trust God and love my family...and also because it would seem to be a very cowardly thing to do to anyone who cared about me. But that is how bad it got. A bad combination of drugs can be exceedingly dangerous.

No, I don't believe that if I pray God will heal me. He might heal me. He can heal me. But in the overall scheme of things, His goals and plans revolve around the entire population of the earth and the entire stretch of time and not around me. He is not required to obey me. So I did not despair when prayer didn't take me out of my misery. Frankly, knowing that He was listening to me and sensing His presence was a big help.

Again, I was always able to pray and believe God would help me. I have a great wife and family to support me. Thus, I remain among the living and breathing and perhaps even among the productive members of society. I am working again, anyway.

I remembered during this time that I had fallen out of the habit of asking God to heal all these medical conditions I have at their roots, to fix the broken and dead and severed nerves and spinal discs and tendons and muscles and bones in my back and shoulder, to just miraculously heal me. I have begun to do that again. He may do it and it doesn't hurt to ask. Yes, all of you anti-God guys go ahead and scoff. He did heal my daughter of what was supposed to be a fatal heart defect and she is now a mommy so I am not going to limit God.

It's funny now how good I feel after being in such a deep black hole. I felt like taking on all sorts of subjects. For instance, was the real first progressive rock album The Court of the Crimson King? Could the Beatle's Revolver actually be the first? Or do you give Genesis the credit?

Is Mastedon the first great Progrock Christian band? Was Larry Norman the first Christian rocker, or do you prefer the first successful band, Petra?

When healthy, was Mickey Mantle the best player ever? Has Greg Maddux gotten more outs with less "stuff" than any pitcher in history? Has using "the clear and the cream" made Barry Bonds an untouchable in major league baseball and is that for the best?

Why are there so many boneheads who don't want to drill for oil in one tiny patch of ice-and-snow in the northernmost part of the vast ANWR preserve? We've had no oil platform disasters in the Gulf of Mexico despite lots of hurricanes and yet some folks fear offshore drilling. Do they really want the United States to enter into a 1920's-style depression? Don't they understand that the PROMISE of new supply takes down the speculator's prices?

For that matter, why aren't we building nuclear power plants and putting up windmill farms as fast as we can build them? Those are alternative energy sources, aren't they?

We need to use the coal and oil when can get our mitts on now while at the same time working on new energy sources. But to destroy our economy before the alternative resources are available is national suicide.

How dumb do the politicians really think we are? When Chris Dodd says he didn't think his "special" relationship with a mortgage company wouldn't favor him economically, does he think we believe it? Are we supposed to think that there is no quid pro quo involved when politicians cozy up to Countrywide? Are we supposed to believe that drilling for oil right now will not help us just because some guy in a suit says so? Good grief! Yeah, and Cuba has a great medical system. Tell me another one. Like Dennis Hastert just accidently bought up all that land around the are where the Prairie Highway is to go and worked his butt off to get that highway approved by the government so he could make millions on the deal.

Yep, Democrats and Republicans alike pull stuff like that...investing in ethanol plants and then pushing for mandatory ethanol use in cars. Pushing the idea of carbon offsets and then investing heavily in carbon offset companies.

I think we should vote for every congressman and senator who will agree to vote for the abolition of earmarks. If I was President I would tell the world that I was vetoing every bill that had an earmark and I would stick to it through hell and high water.

Can you believe the US Supreme Court could only vote 5-4 in favor of upholding the Second Amendment???!!! It should have been unanimous! But then, they just decided to give habeus corpus to foreign war criminals, so I shouldn't be surprised. This court is a disaster and God help the country if Obama is elected and gets one or two more anti-constitution types added in.

Why is it that Haditha was a headline for several days in the major news media when the charges against our Marines were made, and now you don't hear a whisper or read a story about it as one by one the Marines are exonerated in military courts?

How come the improving conditions in Iraq since the surge get short shrift in the news? Is Obama afraid to visit there because he doesn't want to know the truth, or because he is afraid the military would be hostile (in a polite way) to his presence?


Anyway, I do have a young friend who has a full scholarship to one of the most prestigious engineering schools in the world, is in the honor society there and is of course on the high dean's list. I trust his judgment and he did look at and review the calculus problem.

"Sorry its taken me so long to get back to you, I had to think this over a bit, as far as his calculations are concerned, the second part where he takes the integral, his math is correct, and it makes sense What the commenter said that has me wondering is the part where the original guy just states the rate in change of time on earth compared to the cosmos is 10^-13, not sure where he got that number from, it could very well be true, but he would have to explain how he got that number"

I suppose schohen was concerned about the semantics, so to speak, of the problem but apparently it is sensible and works mathmatically. I never meant for that particular equation to an important part of the article and it still isn't, but there you go. A guy who knows calculus disagrees with scohen. I think that shows me that the original poster was not lying, he just does his calculus in a way that scohen doesn't like but an engineer can understand.


The hue and cry over my absence is understandable, but everyone take a chill pill. Sometimes when someone is not in contact it is because of an emergency or health issue. For those of you who considered that possibility and either prayed for me or thought kindly of me, thanks!