Spending a Week with Missionaries

Hoasting a missionary couple last week left me jettisoning hobbies and activities I would have otherwise done. sorry for  the late post

My mom was a missionary with the peace corps in Honduras & worked alongside the missionary couple. It’s also the place I would call home for nine years of my life. My family ended up leaving so that my sister brother and I could have a better education while the missionary couple stayed in Honduras and built an organization to help mothers from the slums to find employment and take care of their children while they’re working.

For the last 3 weeks, they’ve been driving across the United States and Canada visiting churches to help fund their organization.

They stayed with me  Monday to Saturday it was great to see and talk with old acquaintances, however, at times their religious quirks got on my nerves. It was fine if every meal began with a prayer,  but once they removed a clock that was in front of my dinner table and replace it with a wooden cross it annoyed me.

Tuesday after work one of the first things they ask me was  “so nata(a nickname friends and family call me) do you believe in God are you Christian?”

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I replied with something along the lines of

” This is a tough question”

They replied with

“no, no it isn’t” 

I hesitantly replied with

“well while my mom and dad are Christian I don’t believe in anything religious. But I gravitate towards Taoism, its a philosophical system set towards living to a person’s nature. which has some underlying principles of Christianity like compassion, frugality, and humility. Best I could do to explain Taoism  would be, when George Lucas was writing Star Wars Taoism is what inspired the force and the way of the Jedi.”

 

they replied with

“well God works in mysterious ways and we pray that he will find his way into your heart.”

I’m glad that the conversation veered toward what would we have for dinner.

There were similar circumstances that occurred through the week, but I think you, dear reader, already get the gist of what it might be like to live with a highly religious missionary couple for a week. On the Upside baking cake’s and playing boardgames ALWAYS ameliorates a situation.

What got me through the week was thinking from their perspective. I know if I had an unquestioning faith in God and believed in Heaven and Hell I wouldn’t want those around me to have their souls burning in an eternal Hellfire.

also, I didn’t think it was morally appropriate to enter into a discussion about the plausibility of God and religious dogmatism that marinates any religious individual. When they’ve been using their religious beliefs as an anchor as they serve a region of the world that is riddled with poverty corruption and violence, you don’t need to look any further than to the Honduran refugees that are fleeing the country.

Since I find myself on the subject of the Honduran refugee caravan I’ll linger on the topic.

The Trip initially began in San Pedro Sula  when they left Honduras the caravan consisted of 10,000, but since entering Tapachula in Mexico it has decreased to 7,000

Migrant_caravan_map_oct.22__1_

So its safe to assume that we can expect that number to decrease, let’s assume

5,000 refugees arrive at the USA Border seeking asylum.

What would you do?  their not pernicious gangsters as the president make them out to be. After screening, I would allow them through but that’s just my opinion.  These are men women and children that are seeking a better future.

I doubt this is how it will play out, given the politically polarized view on immigration of the USA, and the stance of the president.  there is nothing logistically difficult about accommodating for 5,000ish new immigrants.

let’s look at Germany, and how they have managed to accommodate from  2014-2018  1.4 MILLION  Muslims.   If we had a portal gun and transported 1.4 million Muslims to the USA border think about the bureaucratic nightmare that would be.

 

anyways wishing you all a great week and till next time,

 

Joseph

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Two SPICY Puzzles

Last night I went to the crest movie theater the only movie theater in Seattle that offers $4 movie tickets. Entering the theater my sister nudged me to” live a little ” the problem is I strictly hold myself to a diet, and when I break the diet in my head I’m thinking ” I already broke my diet so to hell with it ” I bought a large soda, a large popcorn and a one-pound bag of candy. What a disaster🤬😖  …. at least Incredibles 2 was fun and entertaining.

Today’s inspiration for my blog post came from staring at my bookshelf

Sacred Mathematics: Japanese Temple Geometry

I’d like to share two mathematical puzzles   The first being The puzzle of the missing dollar. The second a Sagaku Geometrical problem proposed by a 13-year  old Japanese kid the Pythagoras theorem is all that is needed to solve this one. I’m sure over the course of your life someone has shown you an argument that purportedly shows that 1=0  but if you look closely you can usually find the error.I greatly enjoy catching these subtle errors and I hope it’s something you might enjoy as well ….Or at least I hope you enjoy reading. Now at the risk of being called mean-spirited, I will not leave The solutions. I hope you enjoy trying to figure it out by yourself

The missing dollar

Three friends walk into a hotel to rent a room the clerk charges them $30 so they each pay $10 and hand it to the clerk. Now on the way back to his desk the clerk realizes that he has overcharged. He was only supposed to charge them $25 so to rectify the situation he takes $5 and gives it to the Bellboy and tells the Bellboy to return the $5 to these three friends now the Bellboy on his way over thinks himself “hey these  pals don’t know that they have been overcharged so what I’m going to do is take $2 out of the five and put it in my pocket as a tip and hand $3 to the friends ” so he hands the $3 back to them and they split amongst themselves . however, if you think about it each friend has now paid $9 to the hotel and the Bellboy pocketed $2 and if you add everything up 9 + 9+ 9 + 2 =29

So the question is where did the missing dollar go?

 

Now before I present to you the second problem I’d like to share with you the history behind Sangaku which I found interesting.

During the Edo period, 1603 -1868 Japanese rulers enforced a strict cultural isolation between Japan and the Western World which means there had very little communication between them. One of the most interesting practices that came out as a result of this isolation is the practice of sangaku

learned poeple of all classes ,from farmers to samurai, produced theorems in Euclidean geometry. These theorems appeared as beautifully colored drawings on wooden tablets which were hung under one of the roof in the precincts of a shrine or temple.

The tablet was called a SANGAKU which means a mathematics tablet in Japanese. Many skilled geometers dedicated a SANGAKU in order to thank the god for the discovery of a theorem. The proof of the proposed theorem was rarely given. This was interpreted as a challenge to other geometers, “See if you can prove this.”

the text was copied from here

when people discovered an interesting geometrical math problem they found so insightful that they Associated it with a spiritual value. they would carve it onto a wooden tablet and leave it as an offering at their local shrine.

Below are three sizes of circle: two black, three white, one grey. Four of the circles are inscribed inside a square which together with the other circles is inscribed inside a triangle. Show that the radius of the grey circle is twice that of the black circles.

 

sangaku problem

The Solutions won’t be found on this post, but if you would like to know the solutions

you can find them by googling  The Missing dollar

and the 3-4-5 triangle by a kid

 

 

 

 

Big 5 Personality Test

Lamar a Highschool friend of mine got married 3 years ago
It wasn’t until recently that I found the time, energy and motivation to meet up with them.
lamar played the lead role in high school performances, he was friendly sociable a bit laid back and a great listener.
I was Quiet, reserved but at times eccentric you could find me in the library with Steven & Nate the math bros. Playing Yugioh cards, chess, trading pokemon’s and having nerdy conversations.
Lamar would occasionally join us to play pokemon.
After Highschool we went our separate directions I moved across the country for college, while he stayed at a local college.
we met at Starbucks yesterday to catch up. To my surprise, the majority of the time was I spent in conversation with his wife Jess. A stay at home wife with a big interest in psychology and learning different languages. Our conversation began with her saying
” I hope you don’t mind being psychoanalyzed because that’s what I enjoy doing ”
She talked about Jungian functions, the Meyers Briggs personality test and how the Big 5 personality test & the Hexaco test are better measurements of your personality. I talked about my day to day activities at the lab, the current state of physics and how a good diet keeps your mind healthy.
Lamar occasionally chimed in on the conversation, as we walked around Green Lake

For today’s post, I’ll be talking 2 different personality tests one with 80 questions and another with 120 questions.
posting my results and briefly say whether I agree or disagree with the results. Granted 80-120 questions will not encapsulate the gamut of a human personality, I expect a general outline of my personality.
The first test is 80 questions, gives a summary of percentages that tally up to 100% of a personality. Which I disliked because it’s childishly simplistic to say the aggregate of these traits is your whole personality, and I don’t agree with the results

you can take the test at http://personality.sergehelfrich.eu/

My results

  • Agreeableness= Compassion and Politeness
  • Conscientiousness= Industriousness and Orderliness
  • Extraversion =Enthusiasm and Assertiveness
  • Emotional Stability /Neuroticism = Withdrawal and Volatility
  • Openness to Experience= Openness and Intellect

personality test 1

Id like to note Do not be confused with the personality aspect of Intellect with IQ. Intellect is a measure of interest in abstract ideas, essentially, while IQ is a measure of processing speed, verbal ability, working memory, and problem-solving capacity.

I’m pleased with 123’s comparative personality test because the results are a comparison between yourself and everyone else who has taken the test. It’s best to imagine the 1-100 scale as being placed in a room with 100 people and seeing where you stack up compared to the others in different traits.

you can take the test here https://www.123test.com/personality-test/

That being said I don’t agree on some of the results

test 2

Natural reaction: C’MON a 1 is like a monk on Ketamine, relaxed all the time and phased by nothing, yes I’m not easily upset in stressful situations and I’m relaxed most of the time but I have my moments my revised Natural reaction should be 25-35

Agreeableness: Hard- Headed, skeptical, and proud are not words I would use to describe myself. Yes I’m competitive at times I feel like I’m at least a 45

Extraversion: Resolved, Formal, serious, quiet YESS all true …..But I also like to think that I’m friendly at times😅😅…….😘 im at least a 27

If you have time I’d be curious to see what you think of your own results, do you think they’re a good measurement of those traits?

A Great Book to Read While on Vacation; The Rape Of Nanking

I should have picked a book with a more joyous title “The Rape of Nanking”
what a lovely title for a book to read while on vacation!😱

next time I’ll pick a more uplifting title ” I am a Cat”, “life 3.0″, or
better yet write a book while on vacation titled ” Carebears in Al Queda”
It would be about the Carebears who have had enough of the modern world and the anxieties that come with it. Overwhelmed by a
disintegrating environment, rampant political corruption, a methamphetamine epidemic and rocketing rates of depression.
The carebears decide to leave all earthly possessions behind as well a multimillion television deal to provide humanitarian aid in war-stricken city , Al Queda.
Each day has been bringing them happiness and fulfillment as they slowly heal the hearts of al Queda’s residents.
Suddenly Isis invades and rumors spread through the city that the carebears are a pansexual quartet.
Will they be able to traverse the nuanced culture of al Queda while coercing isis into laying down their weapons and bring peace to the land or will they be stoned to death in the pansexualphobic country of Iraq never to be seen again?

😁😂

anyways

the summary of The Rape of Nanking

In December 1937, the Japanese army invaded the ancient city of Nanking, systematically raping, torturing, and murdering more than 300,000 Chinese civilians.

This book tells the story from three perspectives: of the Japanese soldiers who performed it, of the Chinese civilians who endured it, and of a group of Europeans and Americans who refused to abandon the city and were able to create a safety zone that saved many.

My favorite quote from the book

” The veneer of civilization seems to exceedingly thin one that can be easily stripped away, Especially during war”

A visceral account of the Nanking massacre, that left me wondering why these crimes against humanity that are comparable to the horrors heard about in Nazi concentration camps isn’t more widely known. At times I closed the book out of disgust. I initially had my own personal objections, surely the methods of torture and rape described have been exaggerated? Probably not. I did my own reading into the sources and simply Googling Nanking The first images that appear are that of a row of decapitated heads, and a stacked pile of children corpses.
it was a mentally torturous read, that made me realize a wider scoped capacity of savagery that I didn’t was morally possible. Despite this, it’s a book that should be more widely known.

Sick day

Yesterday was probably the first time since infancy I spent most of the day asleep. I had a fever of 102 my head felt like it was filled with custard. My throat was sore and my nostrils were clogged. I feel much better today the conjunction of having a vaporizer in the room filled with eucalyptus oil, and the powerful tonic made of chicken broth Ginger and lemons helped me greatly. still not fully recovered but grateful nonetheless to be feeling better than yesterday.sick_day

https://xkcd.com/1157/    (  I love xkcd)

I’m sitting on my patio enjoying some sunshine, drinking water, and chicken broth while writing.  When autumn arrives in Seattle it’ll be blanketed by grey clouds for the duration of fall and winter.

I’m a bit disappointed that I’ll be too sick to attend a seminar on prospects for laboratory searches for Plank scale dark matter. I don’t want to cry over spilled milk. So let’s continue on to the main topic of this blog post. With the encouragement from Bookworm drinketh and a few others to post more often from now on my goal for each month will be to release at least two posts a month. IM GATHERING MY RESOLVE!  I’m writing at least 5 minutes daily but I find myself jettisoning 90% of what I write, I can’t help but read books and find myself comparing my writing of theirs and finding myself unpleased with my standard of writing compared to theirs.  I also find myself displeased with What I write about, I want my posts to be about interesting topics ill be damned if you ever catch me posting something such as  ” My top ten favorite books best zingers of all time” , ” My top 5 movies”

So I guess the underlying goal to achieve 2 posts per month is loosening my self-criticism inhibitions,  haha no the solution isn’t drinking a glass of wine as I sit down and begin writing.  a glass of red wine a month is more than plenty for me!!  ill have to find a new form of relaxation to loosen up.

I hope this is legible

just how A Lannister always pays his debts! 

ill hold myself to post twice a month

till next time Joseph

 

 

Summer reading, Romantisim

SUMMER HAS RETURNED!

The days are longer and the rays of sun seem to dissolve unhappiness or maybe that’s just a byproduct of having time off from work to go out to the beach or go camping, fishing, hiking, picking berries, making jam, canning  and drying fruit or just  staying at home seeking a refuge from the sun. As for myself, I’ve been busy with work at the lab.summer I miss those Long summer breaks, so when I do get the week or two off from work ill make sure to aim to accomplish all the of the above and id also like to try my hand at making my own kimchi and miso paste. My sister freshly out of college has bought a puppy! His name  Is Leo named after Leo Messi, to my disdain the  Rascals been peeing on the carpet chewing my shoes and tugging at the drapes. I feel like I’m the only one being scrupulous with him. We must RESIST those puppy eyes and not feed him any scraps from the dinner table. He can sit, shake, lay down …. still working on rollover, fetch and will probably enroll him doggy school to help us potty train the rascal.

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Lately, I’ve been reading books that take place during the Romantic era ( between 1799 to the mid-1850’s)  The Romantic era was an era that coincided with the rise of industrialization. There was a lot of money to be made in the factories that arose in the cities,  which lead to a large migration from the countryside to cities. The migrants lived in cramped squalid conditions, People Often threw garbage out their windows. Sanitation didn’t exist, cities reeked and epidemics would spread like wildfire. Hospitals were a place where the poor went to die, the rich hired Private physicians who’s medical cures and practices amounted to quackery. The Factories within the cities had smokestacks that spewed Black clouds of coal that caked the houses surrounding the factory. Average life expectancy between 1799-1850’s was 37.5.   So no wonder Romanticism arose during this time,  Romanticism was when Nature was looked to and glorified when individuals looked at previous eras and wishfully wanted to live a life before the industrial revolution. Geology was blooming into a hobby many enjoyed,   The Prior Scientific revolutions remained out the threshold of activities that commoners could enjoy.  mathematics, physics, and astronomy was an activity reserved for the Wealthy Privileged that could afford an education.   So here come along a  Science were you required minimal tools where you would embark on an adventure leaving the city and digging up rocks in hopes of digging up fossilized Skeletal remains of ancient creatures and vegetation.  There were a few clergy members that picked up geology setting forth to find proof for their  Idea that the Earth was only 6000 years old.

800px-Caspar_David_Friedrich_-_Wanderer_above_the_sea_of_fog

Alexander Von Humbolt’s expedition logs were popular reading, the first thing I thought when I heard his name was Oh yeah the  Humblot squid those aggressive cannibalistic creatures, but he was actually quite the explorer and it wasn’t until I googled his name that I discovered HOW MANY THINGS ARE NAMED AFTER HIM  ITS WILD!  In 1799 he left on a voyage that took him to Venezuela from there he canoed up the  Orinoco River, drawing up maps, collecting species,  discovering new plants collecting seeds and making astronomical observations. From his expedition logs we also know that he suffered many miss adventures like having his dog eaten by a jaguar, there was a never-ending barrage of insects and he also discovered these eels that could kill a man with their shock at one point they released a few horses to cause a ruckus in the river in hopes of driving the eels up the river banks . They caught the eels but the horses died in the prosses, After catching these eels they begin to dissect them only to discover that they retained their ability to shock after death and received a near lethal shock.  please try to imagine that place your self in that situation. ABSOLUTELY BANANAS,  WILD.

I think why I’ve enjoyed reading about Romanticism is because   It was an eclectic group of individuals that picked up geology,  botany, astrology, physics, and mathematics I loved reading about their drives and discoveries, their search for knowledge sometimes at personal risk for truth and beauty which resonated with me.

The books I’ve read this summer

Reading the Rocks: How Victorian Geologists Discovered the Secret of Life

Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History

a riveting dissection of how this culture came to be 10/10 would recommend

The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World

The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science

One of my all-time favorite books, one of the few books I have taken the time to re-read

heck, I’m not sure if any of you would be interested in my Goodreads account if anyone shows any interest I might just re-edit his post and link it in.

Hopefully,  you’ve all been having more exciting summers than I.

Thanks for reading,  and till next time

Joseph

 

 

 

 

Back Again

 HI! yes I’m alive! it’s been a while since the last post apologies. I’ve been stuck in a hypnotic routine of work, reading, riding my bicycle around Seattle, exploring parts unknown and tinkering with old devices.
 When I have found myself in front of a computer I haven’t found the motivation or inspiration to write, which is but an excuse I tell myself I don’t have any inspiration or motivation without applying myself to writing anything, not even a scribble. Maybe like a  cold motorcycle engine, all I needed was an extra force to rev up my engine.
What has revved up my engine?
  •  the day I’ve had today
  • stumbling into  Pope John Paul the 2nd’s letter to the artist
  • my kindle’s ads
    On my way back from work, bicycling down the Burke Gilman trail. A beautiful route that follows the contours of Lake Union with trees, shrubbery  Modern office building and quickest way to get between work and home.
  today the wire that allows me to shift between gears broke, luckily there was a  bicycle shop nearby “Recycled Cycles”  They sell old and new bicycles also deal with repairs.
    However, there was one slight problem …… I LEFT MY WALLET AT HOME!
 so  I walked into the store hoping they would sympathize with my situation and have some form of IOU system.     I walked up to the cleck A gruff looking fellow that looked like he should be in a motorcycle shop, not a bicycle shop. A bandana wrapped around his head,  with a beard and rolled up long sleeve t-shirt. With my best puppy dog eyes, I explained my situation and to my surprise,  HE AGREES TO HELP ME OUT !  he logged into his computer terminal adds a memo that  I owe them money. He hands me a wire and says “All right here’s the wire, just wait for the mechanics and they will install it for ya free of charge”  I thank him again and I wait in line for one of the mechanics.
 I reach the front of the line and explain my situation to the mechanic, I hand him the wire, He inspects the bicycle and looks me in the eyes. In a distinctly Chicago accent, he says to me he can’t do the repair out of good conscious. He tells me that the frame of the bike is warped the probability of the bicycle braking down and getting myself into an accident is high, and even if he did replace the brake wire it would break in no time flat. I got  30$’s worth of credit for the bicycle wheels and walked home.  while walking  I browsing through internet  and  stumbled across  Pope John Paul the 2nd’s letter to the artist ,keep in mind  I was  reading this as I was walking down the Burke Gilman trail the  sun was shining, the birds were chirping all that was left missing would be the sounds of children laughing anyways It resonated with me  and since I haven’t written anything in a while I thought this would be the Perfect motivation to get myself to write again.

 

note:

“artist” can be interchanged with “scientist”, they may seem like opposites but as someone who has hands in both, the similarities outweigh the differences.

On the threshold of the Third Millennium, my hope for all of you who are artists is that you will have an especially intense experience of creative inspiration. May the beauty which you pass on to generations still to come to be such that it will stir them to wonder! Faced with the sacredness of life and of the human person, and before the marvels of the universe, wonder is the only appropriate attitude.

From this wonder, there can come that enthusiasm. People of today and tomorrow need this enthusiasm if they are to meet and master the crucial challenges which stand before us. Thanks to this enthusiasm, humanity, every time it loses its way, will be able to lift itself up and set out again on the right path. In this sense, it has been said with profound insight that “beauty will save the world”

Beauty is a key to the mystery and a call to transcendence. It is an invitation to savour life and to dream of the future. That is why the beauty of created things can never fully satisfy.

Artists of the world, may your many different paths all lead to that infinite Ocean of beauty where wonder becomes awe, exhilaration, unspeakable joy.

 

after thinking about it a bit it leaves me with a thought,  and it flies in the face of some forms of Buddhism and Christianity. I’m going to SAY IT ANYWAYS!

THE EARTH IS WONDERFUL And
  THIS LIFE IS GREAT!
  All this talk about how ” All suffering is from attachment”  No!  ……….  What about no to that idea 
Some forms of Buddhism say that we’re here to learn a lesson. That you will graduate from samsara you escape the cycle of birth and death if you let go of your attachments, samsara contains five cyclic realms and according to them the reason why being reincarnated as a human is so desirable is not because we  have the ability to have discipline, create, Explorer, discover, learn, enjoy .   The reason it’s great for  them is that it gives them a chance to no longer be stuck in  their cycle of birth and death,    I don’t know it’s like going to a great Festival and then hoping you never come back again,
…..not that I believe in reincarnation or anything for me its like they go to this festival and don’t Figure a way to enjoy it!   in a  sense everyone is an artist,  all men and women are entrusted with the task of crafting his or her own life, he or she should make of it a work of art, a masterpiece. 

the last thing  I wanted to rant about

Does anyone else own a Kindle? If so do you also get Raunchy book ads?

I have a Kindle Paperwhite and whenever I open the protector for the Kindle special offers ads appear.

After opening and closing my Kindle a few times here are the ads I got

Dark Enemy: Taken

“She’s the immortal daughter of a goddess. Her kidnapper is a killer in our Clans worst what she feels for him can’t be  love, or can it?’

Seeing Red

seing red

‘ Riley, young, female CEO. Colin, bullish FCO with a plan. He needs her to succeed. She’s struggling. A trip to the Caribbean will change everything.’

The miracle morning

“Become the best parent you can be, simply by changing how you start your day. This guy shows you how!

(not a parent )

supposedly Amazon curates deals and product or based on my browsing and buying History. But compare that to my last few books i’ve read on my kindle

The Samurais Garden

Gravity’s rainbow

The inevitable: understanding the 12 technological forces that will shape our future

Double life

Introduction to mathematical philosophy

The Ginger Tree

Cryptonomicon 

The soul of a new machine 

It leaves me wondering If I obtained the information folders that Google and Amazon have on me would that reflect the person I am  … most likely not since Amazon thinks   I’m a romantic that enjoys the raunchy books  and that  I also have a child ( which I don’t)  or maybe Amazon just knows me better than I know myself and they’re like ” YO!  you’re gonna LOVE THIS  BOOK READ IT ! also  you have a kid that you never knew about  and in a week he’s gonna be dropped on your doorstep get ready!! ”

till next  time

Joseph

 PS: Viola and Ortensia  I completed  Samurias Garden ages ago but never wrote my thoughts on it but I’m worried this blog post is way too long if you’re both still interested ill post my thought about it next post.

super duper  sorry