Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; (D&C 98:10)

Friday, November 28, 2014

What white people need to know, and do, after Ferguson


Black communities are ultimately protesting systems of injustice and inequality that structurally help white people while systematically harming black people. Just because you’re white and therefore generally benefit from those systems doesn’t mean you inherently support those systems — or need to defend them. Benefiting from white privilege is automatic. Defending white privilege is a choice. ("What white people need to know, and do, after Ferguson", Sally Kohn, 28 Nov 2014)

How an eBay bookseller defeated a publishing giant at the Supreme Court

This story is quite a tale with big implications. Does it mean market segmentation is dead? Certainly it has challenged it strongly.

I like this quote, "do we want to be an ownership society or a licensing society?”

The You Own Devices Act seems to indicate a shifting of the tide.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Why is Math Taught Differently Now?

Why is Math Different Now from raj shah on Vimeo.

Dr. Raj Shah explains why math is taught differently than it was in the past and helps address parents' misconceptions about the "new math". 
Dr. Shah is the owner and founder of Math Plus Academy (mathplusacademy.com) an academic enrichment program with two locations in Columbus, Ohio. Math Plus Academy offers class in math, robotics, programming and chess for kids from KG to 9th grade. Math Plus Academy is on a mission to show kids the joy of mathematics and science.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Who decided to put 60 seconds in a minute?

Babylonians used a base 60 number system that evidently worked better at astronomical calculations.
Babylon gave us 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 360 days in a year and 12 months in a year. ("Who Decided to Put 60 Seconds in a Minute?")

Immigration Reform Executive Action

There is a lot of debate over whether Obama's recent immigration executive action is constitutional or not. Saturday Night Live did a skit last night mocking Obama.

Zachary A. Goldfarb said,

This skit got a couple of things right, and a couple of things wrong. For starters, Obama didn't sign an executive order. He is taking executive action, in particular by directing the Department of Homeland Security to expand programs that defer deportation for classes of undocumented immigrants — parents of U.S. citizens or permanent-resident children, as well as undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children.

He also said
Presidents George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan used their authorities to extend protection to illegal immigrants.
Obama's measure still goes far beyond his predecessors, who shielded anywhere from 100,000 to 1.5 million people from deportations. If there is a court challenge, it would, in any event, go on for years, perhaps into the next president's term.
Regardless of how any challenge to this executive action turns out, Obama certainly has reversed his position on whether he could use executive authority to change immigration policy.

Tomorrow night, President Barack Obama will announce what appears to be the most sweeping executive action on immigration in American history. 
For years, he has called such action illegal; in fact, “The Kelly File” found 25 instances in which Obama said so on camera. 
“Today we know he’s about to do the very thing he said would flout the law, the very thing he said would be ‘very difficult to defend legally.’ And his defenders say, ‘Well he misunderstood the law.’ For six years?” Megyn Kelly questioned. ("Caught on Camera: Obama Called Exec Immigration Action Illegal… 25 Times!", FoxNews insider, Nov 19, 2014)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sexual Liberty and Religious Liberty Can Coexist. Here’s How

"sexual liberty and religious liberty need not be in tension and that most Americans, whether they’re for gay marriage or opposed to gay marriage, don’t want them to be in tension."
("Sexual Liberty and Religious Liberty Can Coexist. Here’s How",  Ryan T. Anderson, 9 Nov 2014)

"Barronelle Stutzman is one example. She had been providing flowers for a gay couple for years. But when they asked her to do the floral arraignments for their same-sex wedding, she had to decline. She couldn’t help celebrate that event because it violated her beliefs about what marriage is."

I like the way Ryan put this.
"The way we’ve worked this out in American law is to have a balancing test. Religious liberty isn’t an absolute right. Religious liberty doesn’t always trump. Religious liberty is balanced with concerns for a compelling state interest that’s being pursued in the least-restrictive means possible."

 "We should be engaged in the political process to have our laws respect religious liberty rights for all Americans—not just for our co-religionists, not just for those people who hold the religious beliefs that we hold or who engage in religious activities that we approve of."

Saturday, November 1, 2014

How We Got to Now

This is a great documentary series.

I just finished the glass episode. Starting on the Venetian island of Murano in the 14th century where a craftsman discovered a way to make glass clear.
- Clerics use half spheres of clear glass to magnify words on a page.
- Lens are made to help clerics to read better, they are put in frames and spectacles are invented.
- The invention of the printing press makes books more available and increases the demand for spectacles.
- Lens are combined to create the microscope and the telescope.
- A lens is added to a box and photosensitive material to create the camera.
- The live video camera is reduced so as to make a live broadcast from the moon possible.
- Glass mirrors fundamentally change the psychology of self and makes possible many renaissance artists.
- Mirrors make modern, large telescopes possible.
- Fiber optics makes broadband Internet possible worldwide.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friends and family will always be more important than politics

“The few months preceding an election have always been times of serious political divisions, but the divisions and meanness we are experiencing in this election, especially at the presidential level, seem to be unusually wide and ugly,” [Dallin H Oaks] expressed.

“We should also remember not to be part of the current meanness,” Elder Oaks stressed. “We should communicate about our differences with a minimum of offense.”

He continued, “TV, the internet, and the emboldened anonymity of the blogosphere have replaced whatever remained of the measured discourse of the past and have facilitated the current ugliness. Nevertheless, as the First Presidency always reminds us, we have the responsibility to become informed about the issues and candidates and to independently exercise our right to vote."

("Elder Oaks Addresses Elections, Hope and Freedom at BYU: Students encouraged to be civil on social media", Mormon News Room, 13 Sep 2016)


From Jack Hunter, Oct 23, 2014

A new Pew Study showing how liberals and conservatives get their news contained an interesting stat—44 percent of “consistent liberals” have “hidden, blocked, defriended, or stopped following someone” on Facebook because they disagreed with their political postings. 31 percent of “consistent conservatives” have done the same. 
The study notes that liberals generally see more ideological diversity in their social media feeds than conservatives do, which might be the reason for liberals unfriending people they disagree with more than conservatives. 
But I’m less interested in whether liberals might defriend more than conservatives, than in who they’re actually defriending. Are they just Facebook friends? 
Or real ones? 
I have unfriended all sorts of people from my Facebook over the years but can’t recall a single time I’ve blocked or quit following someone I would genuinely consider a friend. I’ve certainly never unfriended a family member. 
In fact, I’ve seen some pretty asinine views pop up in my Facebook feed that I endure simply because the come from friends or family. “I know this person,” I think to myself. A particular view they hold that I don’t like is not representative of that person as a whole. 
If thinking logically, someone should subscribe to a particular brand of politics because they believe that philosophy will make life better for themselves, their friends and their families. Humans being humans, sometimes those friends and family will disagree. But the ultimate goal, supposedly, is betterment for everyone. 
Friends and family should come first, politics second. 
Ideologues have a tendency to make their politics so much a part of their identity that they can lose focus of what’s important. Sometimes being a “liberal” or a “conservative” or even a “libertarian” becomes the priority. What their friends and family think about politics becomes more important than the fact that they are friends and family. It’s hard to imagine anything dumber than parents and their children, or good friends, who don’t talk to one another over who someone might have voted for. Yet, we know this happens. 
It’s hard to think of anything sillier than unfriending someone you have genuinely cared about up until the point you disagreed with them on Facebook. Yet, I’m sure this happens as well. 
Online and in life, it is important to separate the personal from the political as much as possible. We believe what we believe because we think it will help the ones we love; we should never love what we believe so much that it damages our flesh-and-blood relationships. “Liberal” and “conservative” are mere political identities. “Mom,” “Dad,” “daughter,” “son” and “best friend” are our real identities. 
Political ideologues often look down on others who are not as attuned to the news of the day as they are. But the opposite is also true. 
Normal people more concerned with putting food on the table or attending their kid’s dance recital than what politicians say, probably see many ideologues as crazy people disconnected from what’s important. 
Often, they’re right.
I like to have some diversity of opinions in my friends. I find that it helps me to understand why I believe the way I do. It has also brought about some changes that I think my past self would have been surprised of.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Serious Moral Law

I think there is a balance between pure libertarian-ism and the nanny state. I like the way Jeffrey Holland put it as he spoke about serious moral laws,

For example, parents have to exercise good judgment regarding the safety and welfare of their children every day. No one would fault a parent who says children must eat their vegetables or who restricts a child from running into a street roaring with traffic. So why should a parent be faulted who cares, at a little later age, what time those children come home at night, or what the moral and behavioral standards of their friends are, or at what age they date, or whether or not they experiment with drugs or pornography or engage in sexual transgression? No, we are making decisions and taking stands and reaffirming our values—in short, making “intermediate judgments”—all the time, or at least we should be.
When we face such situations in complex social issues in a democratic society, it can be very challenging and, to some, confusing. Young people may ask about this position taken or that policy made by the Church, saying: “Well, we don’t believe we should live or behave in such and such a way, but why do we have to make other people do the same? Don’t they have their free agency? Aren’t we being self-righteous and judgmental, forcing our beliefs on others, demanding that they act in a certain way?” In those situations you are going to have to explain sensitively why some principles are defended and some sins opposed wherever they are found because the issues and the laws involved are not just social or political but eternal in their consequence. And while not wishing to offend those who believe differently from us, we are even more anxious not to offend God, or as the scripture says, “not offend him who is your lawgiver”  —and I am speaking here of serious moral laws.
But to make the point, let me use the example of a lesser law. It is a little like a teenager saying, “Now that I can drive, I know I am supposed to stop at a red light, but do we really have to be judgmental and try to get everyone else to stop at red lights? Does everyone have to do what we do? Don’t others have their agency? Must they behave as we do?” You then have to explain why, yes, we do hope all will stop at a red light. And you have to do this without demeaning those who transgress or who believe differently than we believe because, yes, they do have their moral agency.
 ("Israel, Israel, God Is Calling", Jeffrey R. Holland, Jan 2012)
So for everything that is not a serious moral law, we need to give as much liberty as possible. For serious moral laws, such as marriage, we must tread lightly and civilly in the scope of our laws. We have to address the negative effects that breaking such natural laws has on our society.

Breaking serious, moral laws are, perhaps, like the opposite of a public good. The public can have serious, individual harm when society chooses to break them.

What are the Boundaries of Marriage in Our Civil Society?

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook.

State of Washington Marriage Equality Law has a provision to protect religious freedoms.

Consistent with the law against discrimination, chapter 49.60 RCW, no religious organization is required to provide accommodations, facilities, advantages, privileges, services, or goods related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage unless the organization offers admission, occupancy, or use of those accommodations or facilities to the public for a fee, or offers those advantages, privileges, services, or goods to the public for sale.
I think this refers to this Washington state law .
RCW 26.04.010
Marriage contract — Void marriages — Construction of gender specific terms — Recognition of solemnization of marriage not required.
(1) Marriage is a civil contract between two persons who have each attained the age of eighteen years, and who are otherwise capable.
     (2) Every marriage entered into in which either person has not attained the age of seventeen years is void except where this section has been waived by a superior court judge of the county in which one of the parties resides on a showing of necessity.
     (3) Where necessary to implement the rights and responsibilities of spouses under the law, gender specific terms such as husband and wife used in any statute, rule, or other law must be construed to be gender neutral and applicable to spouses of the same sex.
     (4) No regularly licensed or ordained minister or any priest, imam, rabbi, or similar official of any religious organization is required to solemnize or recognize any marriage. A regularly licensed or ordained minister or priest, imam, rabbi, or similar official of any religious organization shall be immune from any civil claim or cause of action based on a refusal to solemnize or recognize any marriage under this section. No state agency or local government may base a decision to penalize, withhold benefits from, or refuse to contract with any religious organization on the refusal of a person associated with such religious organization to solemnize or recognize a marriage under this section.
     (5) No religious organization is required to provide accommodations, facilities, advantages, privileges, services, or goods related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage.
     (6) A religious organization shall be immune from any civil claim or cause of action, including a claim pursuant to chapter 49.60 RCW, based on its refusal to provide accommodations, facilities, advantages, privileges, services, or goods related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage.
     (7) For purposes of this section:
     (a) "Recognize" means to provide religious-based services that:
     (i) Are delivered by a religious organization, or by an individual who is managed, supervised, or directed by a religious organization; and
     (ii) Are designed for married couples or couples engaged to marry and are directly related to solemnizing, celebrating, strengthening, or promoting a marriage, such as religious counseling programs, courses, retreats, and workshops; and
     (b) "Religious organization" includes, but is not limited to, churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, nondenominational ministries, interdenominational and ecumenical organizations, mission organizations, faith-based social agencies, and other entities whose principal purpose is the study, practice, or advancement of religion.

[2012 c 3 § 1 (Referendum Measure No. 74, approved November 6, 2012); 1998 c 1 § 3; 1973 1st ex.s. c 154 § 26; 1970 ex.s. c 17 § 2; 1963 c 230 § 1; Code 1881 § 2380; 1866 p 81 § 1; 1854 p 404 §§ 1, 5; RRS § 8437.]
     Notice -- 2012 c 3: "(1) Within sixty days after June 7, 2012, the secretary of state shall send a letter to the mailing address on file of each same-sex domestic partner registered under chapter 26.60 RCW notifying the person that Washington's law on the rights and responsibilities of state registered domestic partners will change in relation to certain same-sex registered domestic partners.
     (2) The notice must provide a brief summary of the new law and must clearly state that provisions related to certain same-sex registered domestic partnerships will change as of *the effective dates of this act, and that those same-sex registered domestic partnerships that are not dissolved prior to June 30, 2014, will be converted to marriage as an act of law.
     (3) The secretary of state shall send a second similar notice to the mailing address on file of each domestic partner registered under chapter 26.60 RCW by May 1, 2014." [2012 c 3 § 17 (Referendum Measure No. 74, approved November 6, 2012).]
     *Reviser's note: "This act" refers to 2012 c 3. 2012 c 3 §§ 8 and 9 have an effective date of June 30, 2014. 2012 c 3 §§ 1-7 and 10-17 took effect June 7, 2012. Chapter 3, Laws of 2012 was subject to Referendum Measure No. 74 and took effect December 6, 2012.
     Finding -- 1998 c 1: "(1) In P.L. 104-199; 110 Stat. 219 [2419], the Defense of Marriage Act, Congress granted authority to the individual states to either grant or deny recognition of same-sex marriages recognized as valid in another state. The Defense of Marriage Act defines marriage for purposes of federal law as a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife and provides that a state shall not be required to give effect to any public act or judicial proceeding of any other state respecting marriage between persons of the same sex if the state has determined that it will not recognize same-sex marriages.
     (2) The legislature and the people of the state of Washington find that matters pertaining to marriage are matters reserved to the sovereign states and, therefore, such matters should be determined by the people within each individual state and not by the people or courts of a different state." [1998 c 1 § 1.]
     Intent -- 1998 c 1: "(1) It is a compelling interest of the state of Washington to reaffirm its historical commitment to the institution of marriage as a union between a man and a woman as husband and wife and to protect that institution.
     (2) The court in Singer v. Hara, 11 Wn. App. 247 (1974) held that the Washington state marriage statute does not allow marriage between persons of the same sex. It is the intent of the legislature by this act to codify the Singer opinion and to fully exercise the authority granted the individual states by Congress in P.L. 104-199; 110 Stat. 219 [2419], the Defense of Marriage Act, to establish public policy against same-sex marriage in statutory law that clearly and definitively declares same-sex marriages will not be recognized in Washington, even if they are made legal in other states." [1998 c 1 § 2.]
     Severability -- 1973 1st ex.s. c 154: See note following RCW 2.12.030.
From what I can tell, this law was passed sometime after Jan 2012,
The Washington State Legislature is considering passing a bill that would allow same-sex couples in the state to “marry.”  This bill is the latest, of course, in the homosexual agenda’s march to abolish the definition of marriage.  Normally a bill legalizing same-sex “marriage” would be bad enough.  But this bill goes a step farther and poses a clear and present danger to the religious freedom of churches.  Section 7 of the SB 6239 says the following:
Consistent with the law against discrimination, chapter 49.60 RCW, no religious organization is required to provide accommodations, facilities, advantages, privileges, services, or goods related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage unless the organization offers admission, occupancy, or use of those accommodations or facilities to the public for a fee, or offers those advantages, privileges, services, or goods to the public for sale. ("Washington Same-Sex “Marriage” Bill Is A Threat To Churches", Jan 27, 2012)
This clause seems to be in the bill but not in the final law, "unless the organization offers admission, occupancy, or use of those accommodations or facilities to the public for a fee, or offers those advantages, privileges, services, or goods to the public for sale."

In the discussion, I asked the poster to clarify his position. He said that as long as a church is not getting paid for any product and services, they can refuse to marry who they don't want to. I asked about tithing, temple recommends and temple marriage. He said that as long as monetary donations were not the only criteria the church used to refuse service to someone, it would hold up in court.

This seems accurate based on the language of the bill. I don't see any reference to fees in the language of the law.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Pluto and Marriage

Yesterday, I heard a news story about same-sex marriage. The next news story was about people wanting Pluto to be considered a planet like the others in our solar system. I thought it was ironic. It seemed like a similar problem. If Pluto is a planet, is Ceres or Eris?

People wanting to redefine words to include things unlike the others .

Friday, September 26, 2014

Rate this Pin

I just joined Pinterest. I wanted to remove a suggested pin on my home page. If you click the little "i" icon in the lower right of the pin you can dislike the pin by clicking the thumbs down icon.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Cracking the Girl Code: How to End the Tech Gender Gap

Cracking the Girl Code: How to End the Tech Gender Gap
Engineering giants bet on summer camps to inspire more female engineers

Some girls in the Girls who code program.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Quirky Discipline Rules That Work

Seems like a great list. I haven't used all of them though.

Quirky Discipline Rules That Work

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rain Log

Here is a cool site to see how much rain has fallen, rainlog.org

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Super Cooling Your Home for Savings

Our neighbor recently told us how they saved by a new strategy of cooling their home. They crank the A/C at about 7:30 am to 65 degrees F. From Noon till 7 pm the A/C is off all together. From 7 pm to 7:30 am they put it at a comfortable setting.

APS, our power company, has us set up to have the most expensive energy to be between noon and 7 pm. This is because energy costs more for them at this time because it is the peak energy usage in the market. It does not cost them nearly as much to provide it outside of these hours because their power plants are working at less than their full capacity. It costs them more in the peak hours because they would either need to invest in more infrastructure to generate more electricity or buy it from somewhere else at a premium because it is likely a peak time there too.

Here is a graph of our recent energy usage. You will see that last Thu, Fri and Mon, our peak energy usage has gone down significantly. Also, the total amount used seems to be about the same.

I am not sure how much we will save, but it seems to be a win-win for us and our power company.

By the time noon comes, our temperature in the house gets to about 69 F.  By 7 pm we are at about 81 F. Then we keep it at about 77 the rest of the night.

Update 2014-12-01: Here are our savings.

key words: Super cool, supercool, super-cool, super-cooling

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Relationship Calculator

FamilySearch has a great feature called "View my relationship".  It only seems to be available in


And only for relationships simple enough to display. If you go to this link and view someone that is your direct ancestor and not too distant, you will see a link for "View my relationship" after the "Attached to" line that comes right under the person's name.

I look forward to a more universal relationship calculator from Family Search.

Update 2014-09
It looks like it is available at https://familysearch.org/temple/opportunities, but I don't see it any more in the photos url.

If you go to https://familysearch.org/photos/people/ and then select "Added by: TREE" you can see the yellow ribbon on some photos.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Obamacare premium increases eclipse previous eight years combined

"The average increase for health plans between 2013 and 2014 surpassed the average increase of the previous eight years combined" ("Obamacare premium increases eclipse previous eight years combined" Jason Pye, 03/17/2014)

Income Inequality

"Are the rich getting richer? Yes. Are the poor getting poorer? No. In fact, over the past 35 years most Americans got richer."  ("Obama: Wrong About Income Inequality The problem is joblessness, not rich peopleRonald Bailey April 2014)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How Good is My Internet Service?

Here are some graphs from Jun 2013 - Feb 2015 showing how good my connection is to the Internet. A program will log if it cannot ping the website you specify. Occasionally I will need to reboot my router and/or my Cable modem.

I use Cox for my Internet Service Provider. I think it is a pretty good service. As of Mar 2015 it costs me $69.99 a month for their "Internet Preferred, 50 Mbps downloads" service level. I use it for work, VOIP home phone with Ooma, for our hybrid cell phones with republic wireless and for Netflix, etc. I think I get my money's worth.

Feb 2015

Jan 2015

Dec 2014

Nov 2014

Oct 2014

Sep 2014

Aug 2014

Jul 2014

Jun 2014

May 2014

Apr 2014

Mar 2014

Feb 2014

Jan 2014

Dec 2013

Nov 2013

Oct 2013

Sep 2013

Aug 2013

Jul 2013

Jun 2013

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Percent of People Employed

From a post of John Stossel "President Obama touts, "The lowest unemployment rate in over five years," but it's only because many gave up work. The percent of people employed is flat"

I tried to find another source for this.  I found this.

There must be a total people who are employable statistic somewhere.  That should be able to get you the Stossel graph.

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics
Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey
Series Id:           LNS11300000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Labor Force Participation Rate
Labor force status:  Civilian labor force participation rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What Martin Luther King actually did

The short answer is "Dr. King ended the terror of living in the south"

From "Most of you have no idea what Martin Luther King actually did" HamdenRice, Aug 29, 2011.