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Author: matt

Daryl Davis AMA

Daryl Davis AMA

Daryl Davis is a African American gentleman that’s been the impetus for the many KKK members to question, and leave, the Klan. He’s doing an AMA on reddit, and this was one of his best quotes:

Despite what you may have read in the numerous press articles about me converting KKK members, I NEVER set out to convert anyone. I simply set out to ask a question I had formed in my mind as a kid: “How can you hate me when you don’t even know me?” Growing up, we all are told, “A tiger doesn’t change its stripes, a leopard doesn’t change its spots,” etc. I believed that and I didn’t think anyone was going to change, so that wasn’t my initial goal. I just wanted the answer to my question. But over time, though repeated interactions with various KKK members around the country, some of them began questioning their own beliefs as a result of their interacations and conversations with me. Then they began quitting, and I was astounded. Exposure and one-on-one dialogue is the KEY to solving a lot of issues in this country, not just racial ones. We live in echo chambers in which we surround ourselves with people who will reflect back to us, the very same thing we say to them. Therefore we block out anything from the outside as being inferior to what we learn in our little bubbles. I like traveling outside the bubble. Even people with good intentions, tend to shut out those who may hold different opinions. I am willing to listen all all.

This came on the eve of spending some time reflecting on how I was spending my online time. I had basically come to the conclusion that social media’s ‘discussions’ are pretty much useless to my becoming a better person and simply causes me more angst. What really mattered to me was when I got involved in programs at my local parish and started teaching. That actually changed lives. I saw it happen. I vowed to spend less time reading posts, arguing, and spend more time DOING.

Wrath

Wrath

It should not surprise us that we feel the prick of injustice so deeply when it happens to us. When we were created, we were in a world without sin. We were created with an innate instinct for justice, rightness, fairness, and truth. All the qualities of love. We were meant to live in harmony and peace forever – with each other, with nature, and with God. Yet by original sin, evil, and thus, injustice and even death entered the world.

But we continue to seek justice, fairness, and love in all our relationships. We feel that violation when injustice is met upon us or others. We see the evil of it – but wrath, hatred, and violence are born when the desire for fairness is twisted beyond justice.

But, as Sirach says, “Remember your last days” and “remember death and decay”. In doing so, we realize that the wrongs of this world, in the end, are as nothing. All we do, all we have, all we say, will eventually turn to naught in time. Do not let the evil of anger and wrath take hold of your heart for earthly things that are passing away.

And thus, even death itself can be turned into a thing that brings life by reminding us that the things of the created realm are temporary, fleeting, and ultimately come to naught. Such is the power and wisdom of God to turn even decay and death into something that gives life.

Sirach 27:30—28:7

Wrath and anger are hateful things,
yet the sinner hugs them tight.
The vengeful will suffer the LORD’s vengeance,
for he remembers their sins in detail.
Forgive your neighbor’s injustice;
then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven.
Could anyone nourish anger against another
and expect healing from the LORD?
Could anyone refuse mercy to another like himself,
can he seek pardon for his own sins?
If one who is but flesh cherishes wrath,
who will forgive his sins?
Remember your last days, set enmity aside;
remember death and decay, and cease from sin!
Think of the commandments, hate not your neighbor;
remember the Most High’s covenant, and overlook faults.

Auto generating game engines

Auto generating game engines

 

Game studios and enthusiasts may soon have a new tool at their disposal to speed up game development and experiment with different styles of play. Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have developed a new approach using an artificial intelligence to learn a complete game engine.

Their AI system watches less than two minutes of gameplay video and then builds its own model of how the game operates by studying the frames and making predictions of future events, such as what path a character will choose or how enemies might react.

Learn more here:
https://gvu.gatech.edu/ai-uses-less-two-minutes-videogame-footage-recreate-game-engine

 

Kmart piped music from the 80’s and 90’s

Kmart piped music from the 80’s and 90’s

Mark Davis worked behind the service desk at the Naperville, IL Kmart in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Every month, corporate office issued a cassette to be played over the store speaker system — canned elevator-type music with advertisements seeded every few tracks. Around 1991, the muzak was replaced with mainstream hits, and the following year, new tapes began arriving weekly. The cassettes were supposed to be thrown away, but Davis dutifully slipped each tape into his apron pocket to save for posterity. He collected this strange discount department store ephemera until 1993, when background music began being piped in via satellite service.

He has digitized a good number of the tapes. Go check out some of these amazing store flashbacks…

https://archive.org/details/attentionkmartshoppers

Korea’s pilot controlled robot

Korea’s pilot controlled robot

Korean robotics company Hankook Mirae Technology started building the Method Robot last year with 30 engineers outside of Seoul. After investing $200M to date, the Method 2 is able to walk and manipulate its arms by the onboard pilot.

Designed by Vitaly Bulgarov, who has worked on the films like Transformers, Robocop and Terminator, the robot was hinted may be used to help restore the Fukushima disaster area, and serve other industrial purposes, and isn’t expected to contribute to an apocalyptic robot war. Method is expected to be available by the end of 2017, costing around $8M.

Good experience of an eclipse totality

Good experience of an eclipse totality

I was very lucky to be almost at ground zero for the American Eclipse of 2017. I was only a 1 hour drive from the center path of totality at Stayton, OR. Stayton was where National Geographic and several other shows did streaming broadcasts since it was one of the first places in the country to see the eclipse. I was just 2 miles up the road on a hill at Sublimity to avoid the crowds.

I found this video to be a great capture of exactly what you experience as totality passes overhead (besides the annoying automated buzzer thing he has). The amazing, and almost instant night in the middle of the day. Also add the sensations such as the temperature drop as totality approaches in the last 60 seconds.

It still doesn’t do justice to what happens to the sun and the light it bathes everything around you in. It appears to be perfect black ball lined with the most electric white light – yet can be looked at with the naked eye. I don’t think I have ever seen a photo or video that comes close to capturing what it really looks like. Even more than that is the surreal light it bathes you in. It doesn’t surprise me at all that people travel half way around the world to catch them. I certainly will be going to the one in 2024.

 

The last peaceful place on Earth

The last peaceful place on Earth

It’s amazing how many people come from all over the world because we haven’t stopped allowing people to do these kinds of things in our growing nanny states.

I’ve been to the Bonneville Salt Flats Speed week before. I can attest this is all true. This quote struck me:
“Here you can walk up and talk to anyone. Where can you get that close to someone mixing nitro? You can’t get that at Formula One. You can’t get that at Nascar.”

I remember walking up to the starting line and just started talking with a guy just as he was about to do his run. He had a few 170/180/190mph run stickers on his customized motorcycle – he wanted a 200. We chatted right at the start line as we waited for the previous runner to finish. He told me where he was from and his years of racing. He told me about his hopes for his daughter. Then he was up. I wished him well and off he went leaving me standing literally right on his tire tracks as I took a photo. He got 197 is I recall but had the rest of the weekend to try.

That’s amazing.

Effects during a solar eclipse

Effects during a solar eclipse

This is a great article on the visual anomolies that you’ll see near a total eclipse.

Just before/after totallity:

    • Eclipse shadows – Long before totality (when the moon is only covering part of the sun’s face), go to a nearby tree and look in the shade of the tree’s shadow.  You will see hundreds of crescent images of the partially covered sun all over the ground.
    • Shadow bands – Anywhere from 60 to 90 seconds before totality or just after totality ends, closely look at any flat light-colored or white surfaces around you. Dark lines called shadow bands may be seen racing back and forth across the surfaces.  These shadowy lines are supposedly caused by sunlight peeking around mountains and through valleys around the outer rim of the moon, while turbulence in the air makes them appear to shift position.

At totality:

  • The air will instantly chill – As soon as the moon entirely covers the sun and causes the sky to completely blacken, the air will instantly chill — perhaps by as much as 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Baily’s Beads – An instant before the sun’s disk is completely covered by the moon, you should experience the visually stunning diamond ring effect – or Baily’s beads.  The slight bit of sun remaining will give the impression of a brilliant diamond with the ring being a faint glow around the darkened moon.  Some images of the diamond ring effect can be seen at this link: https://sunstopper.wordpress.com/tag/diamond-ring-effect/
  • Planets will become visible – It will become dark as night during totality.  The stars will pop out and you will see two very bright points of light near the sun . They are really the planets Venus and Mercury.  Most people never get to see Mercury because it is usually so close to the Sun that it is blotted out by the Sun’s glare. Mars and Jupiter will make an appearance.  Those two planets will seem to be near the sun, when in reality they will be much farther away on the far opposite sides of their orbits.  In total, 4 of the 5 planets that don’t require a telescope can be seen during the eclipse.
  • Solar flares – If we are lucky, there will be eruptions from the sun that cannot be seen at any other time.  These eruptions are called prominences and will glow a bright beautiful ruby red color.  Go here to see a photo of red prominence eruptions during an eclipse: http://county10.com/will-wildlife-be-fooled-into-bedding-down-for-the-night-during-the-eclipse/
  • Sun’s corona – The bluish white glowing corona (outer atmosphere of the sun) is made of charged hydrogen atoms; AKA plasma.  During totality, the corona allows us to see the beautiful structure of the sun’s powerful magnetic field as the plasma is pulled by magnetism into graceful curving field lines.  Check out this gorgeous corona photo:  http://www.zam.fme.vutbr.cz/~druck/eclipse/Ecl2013g/TSE_2013wa_ed/0-info.htm.  As pretty as this image is, no photo can capture the almost ethereal fluorescent hue that you will see when looking directly at the corona.  Also, notice that you can see red prominence in this image near the bottom of the sun.
  • Animals will become confused.  Bats may fly around thinking it is night.  Birds may go to roost.  Crickets or cicadas may begin to chirp.