Monday, March 31, 2014

Reflections on God, Universe, and Science

Reflections on God, Universe, and Science

Current-day knowledge of our universe is probably extremely limited. For all we know, our entire universe, everything we can observe, may be nothing but a single atom inside a much larger universe. Alongside our Big Bang universe, but out of sight, there may be an infinite number of other Big Bangs. And our expanding universe may really be a pulsating universe, that expands and contracts, and we, at this moment in time, are only observing the expansion phase.

Perhaps the biggest mystery of all is how it all began. Saying that the universe began with the Big Bang is hardly sufficient. Where did the Big Bang come from? Since ancient times, philosophers have argued that there has to be a "prime mover," a primordial being - all powerful and eternal - who created the universe. And from there comes a rational justification for certain religious beliefs. But, in reality, such arguments may not be much better than simply saying we live in a pulsating universe that expands and contracts for all eternity.

But one thing seems certain about our universe and that is that it has a propensity to produce intelligent life. Everything from the Big Bang onwards, the coalescence and compounding of elements, the supernovas, the formation of solar systems, the collision of planets, collisions with comets, all combine to produce water, life, evolution of life, and, finally, intelligent life.

Though intelligent life may be rare in the universe (more than fifty years of searches for extraterrestrial intelligence have so far found nothing), some scientists -- especially now with the discovery of thousands of extraterrestrial planets -- continue to believe that life has likely occurred in several places throughout our galaxy not to mention the billions of other galaxies. For reasons just noted, it is also arguable that intelligent life may be the final objective of all existence. This is not a philosophical conclusion. It is a derivative of our scientific knowledge of a universe that strives for ever-increasing complexity. But why? Perhaps the concept of nothing implies material existence, but why does this existence have to include intelligent life?

There is clearly something out there, invisible, undetectable, that plays a pivotal role in the creation and sustenance of the material universe. Whether that something is a being outside and distinct from the material universe, or merely part of the cosmic fabric, remains to be determined. But, contrary to popular opinion, that "something" may not be all-powerful. It seems unable to create intelligent life point blank. To the contrary, it has to proceed in a hit or miss manner, absorbing perhaps trillions of mishaps (gamma rays, cosmic rays, asteroid collisions, a countless diversity of life extinguishers) for each time it registers a success. The enormous vastness of the observable universe can therefore be considered an absolute necessity, to increase the odds of reaching the intelligent-life objectives.

Year after year our knowledge of the universe increases, so there is reason to believe that, one day, our scientists will come up with all the answers regarding the origin of the universe. We may get those answers even sooner in the event of contact with extraterrestrials whose scientific progress is already millenniums more advanced than ours.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Lexus Rc F Sport To Debut At Geneva Motor Show

Click here to start your search. Lexus has announced that they'll be unveiling the 2015 RC 350 F Sport at next month's Geneva Motor Show, with the model meant to be positioned between the base RC 350 Coupe and the performance-oriented RC F. The automaker is promising that the RC F Sport will offer enhanced driving dynamics as well as exclusive exterior styling cues which will set it apart from the base version of the car. However, they're not making promises about the performance of its 450-hp performance of its 450-hp RC F sibling, which will be positioned at the top of the range. That means that the 3.5-liter V6 coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission is likely to stick around in the midrange F Sport version, but 314 hp in a car this size means there will still be plenty of opportunity for the coupe to stretch its legs. It's easy to forget now, but these were V8 performance sedan power figures not that long ago. At the top of the range will be the RC F , which will feature a 5.0-liter V8 making 450-hp and just north of 383 lb-ft of torque. The rear-wheel drive performance coupe will offer features including an active spoiler, more aggressive styling, a torque-vectoring rear differential and larger wheels. Down the line, Lexus is expected to debut a hybrid version of the RC coupe dubbed RC 300h, which will couple a 2.5-liter inline-four making 176 hp with an electric motor. The RC 300h will use a continuously variable transmission, and will be offered around the same time as the other RC variants in the summer of 2014. Lexus will fully reveal this latest addition to the RC lineup in addition to the RC F GT3 Racing Concept on March 4 in Geneva, and we'll be there to bring you the latest. Get more car news, reviews and opinion every day: Sign up to have the Autoweek Daily Drive delivered right to your inbox. Filed Under:
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Monday, February 17, 2014

some Funny, Great, Royal And Not So Great Baseball Nicknames

When I think about baseball players I often think of the player's nicknames. Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Mickey Mantle had multiple names. Some names were a little less than gratifying. Here are some great names, funny names and not so great names. Which are your favorites?

Let's start with these nicknames.

"The Old Professor" (Casey Stengel ), "The Little Professor" (Dom DiMaggio) "Teddy Ballgame" ( Ted Williams ) and " Donnie Baseball" ( Don Mattingly ) seem to indicate that these men knew something about the game. While names like Dizzy Dean, Daffy Dean, Dazzy Vance or "The Brat"for Eddie Stanky, seem to tell another story about these guys.

Where they live or where they were born are depicted in these nicknames like "Memphis Bill" for Bill Terry, "Dominican Dandy" for Jaun Marichal, "The Reading Rifle" for Carl Furillo, "The Fordham Flash" for Frankie Frisch, "Country" for Enos Slaughter, "Commerce Comet" for Mickey Mantle, "The Kentucky Colonel" for Earle Combs and of course "The Georgia Peach" for Ty Cobb. Hey who's from Jersey? "Jersey Joe" Stripp that's who.

The animal nicknames. Some are fierce and make you quiver or some just make you take notice. Like "The Big Cat" for Johnny Mize, "Godzilla" for Hideki Matsui, "Moose" for Bill Skowron, "The Iron Horse" for Lou Gehrig, or "King Kong " for Charlie Keller. Other animals are not so scary. Like "Ducky" for Joe Medwick, or "The Mule" for Yankee Killer Frank Lary., and "The Penguin" for Ron Cey. Goose Goslin was better known as "Goose" than his real name of Leon. Maybe "The Bird" ( Mark Fidrych) and "Mickey Mouse" for Cliff Melton were names that tried to trick us. Who would be scared to bat against a bird? Before he got hurt "The Bird" used to mow 'em down. And then there is one of my favorites – "The Silver Fox" for Duke Snider.

Then there are the Royalty nicknames. Names of Nobility. These names are fitting to baseball immortals, Like "The Sultan of Swat" (Babe Ruth), "Prince Albert" (Albert Pujols), "Rajah" (Rogers Hornsby)," Prince Hal" ( Hal Schumacher), "King Carl " (Carl Hubbel). "Duke" for Edwin Charles Snider is more recognizable than his first name of Edwin. And another one of my favorites "The Count" – John Montefusco.

Names that depict respect. "Mr Cub" (Ernie Banks) , "The Man" (Stan Musial) , "The Yankee Clipper" ( Joe DiMaggio), "Mr October" ( Reggie Jackson) "Mr November" (Derek Jeter)and "The Master" for Mel Ott. And then there are names that do not illuminate respect like "Fat Freddie" for Freddie Fitzsimmons or "Crab" for Johnnie Evers or "The Sphinx" for Don Mossi.

And nicknames of strength – "The Iron Horse" (Lou Gehrig), "Iron Man" McGinnity, "The Iron Man" (Cal Ripken), "The Man of Steal" (Rickey Henderson), "The Wall" (Thurman Munson). These are guys I want on my team.

Some nicknames have fascinated me. Like "Jack The Ripper" What does this say about Jack Clark? Twinkletoes Selkirk the old Yankee infielder must have had a great time explaining that one. Leo Durocher had an interesting moniker – Leo The Lip. "The Big Hurt" for Frank Thomas started out as a name that told a story about how he destroyed the other team. Later on in his career does the name describe his ongoing state of his own physical condition? "Boog" What is a Boog Mr Powell?

And last but not least are names that I just enjoy. "Hammerin" Hank Aaron, The Kid (Ted Williams), "Ryan's Express" (Nolan Ryan),"The Rocket" (Roger Clemens),"The Vacuum Cleaner" (Brooks Robinson),"The Wizard of Oz" (Ozzie Smith).

And of course there is my nickname "Hoch Fleisch."