atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#6039: The majesty of creation

The problem with modern society is that we no longer stop and listen.

Here is an explanation as to why Christmas is on December 25.

When you look at the historical record--excluding faith entirely--and examine just the hard, scientific facts surrounding Christ's birth, you realize how many things had to coincide and go exactly right for the narrative to turn out the way it did.

The three magi traveled from the east to visit the new king--and they went based on nothing more than a sign in the heavens: the conjunction of Jupiter and Regulus, just happening such that Earth and Jupiter were in position for that conjunction to happen not once but three times in a single year due to retrograde motion.

The "star" of Bethlehem was almost certainly the conjunction of Regulus and Jupiter, happening not once but three times, and the lore surrounding those heavenly bodies was enough for the magi to leave their homes and travel a very long way, at a time when long-distance travel was a major undertaking--rather than a simple matter of hopping on a 737.

File this one under "If you have eyes to see with" etcetera.

* * *

The other day I was driving home from work--I think it was last week--and saw yet another example of someone in a virtually incontinent hurry struggling to go fast when traffic wasn't.

He passed me three times.

So, I'm in the left lane--the fastest-moving lane on the road--keeping up with traffic. This guy whizzed past me on the right, going maybe 90. Within my sight he veered over into the right lane to get around a clump of cars--traffic was moderately heavy--but didn't have enough room and had to stand on the brakes. GRRRRRRRRIND right down to the speed limit, plummeting to about 60-ish in perhaps a car length or two, and unable to move left because of the traffic in the right-middle lane. I smirked as he receded behind me.

A few moments later, though, ZOOOOM! there he was in the left-middle lane, back up to 90...and he proceeded to do exactly the same thing. Right lane's empty, so he veers across the right-middle lane into the right lane, and GRRRRIND on go the brake lights and down goes the speed, back to about 60-ish. And again, unable to change lanes because he was boxed in, I rolled past him. "Right lane's not the passing lane," I said to myself.

And then a few moments later, ZOOOOM! off he went, finally finding a hole in traffic big enough that he didn't get caught behind someone. He got off on I-55, I think, the exit of which was not much further down the road from there, but he spent as much time getting through that knot of traffic as I did.

To get his car to do what it did, he had to stand on the gas and stand on the brakes. That's hard on the engine, transmission, brakes, and suspension. Do that often enough and you're spending a lot of money on repairs. And for what? He got to the 55 exit perhaps twenty or thirty seconds faster than I did.

You can't go faster than the road is going. It's just that simple. And whatever small advantage you get isn't worth it.

* * *

I'm only going to comment on this story because it took me a bit to understand what the headline meant.

Headline: "The West Proves That Poland's Loyalty Was Worthless"

Now, that implies that Poland was not actually loyal. Like, if I say, "This tape is worthless," it implies that the tape does not stick well, or is craptastic for other reasons. Generally you say that something is worthless if it does not perform to expectation or need.

But reading the article, I find that what they meant was that Poland's loyalty was worthless to the European Union. And so the headline should have said so, saying something like "The West Doesn't Value Poland's Loyalty" or something. Maybe not as pithy, and it doesn't grab your attention the same way, but it's accurate.

A headline isn't an advertisement; it's supposed to be a one-sentence summary of what the article is about. Making it an ad blurb is sensationalist.

* * *

This kind of thing is why I dread having to buy a newer vehicle. I certainly don't want to buy a new car; they cost far too much and depreciate far too quickly. Pay $30,000 for a car and it loses $10,000 of value the instant you sign the paperwork, with years of payments ahead--no thank you. Okay--to get the same capability in a new vehicle as I've got in the Jeep, I'm paying $360 a month for seven years...and that's for a frigging pickup truck!

I've been thinking about the inevitable--the Jeep ain't going to last forever--and trying to figure out what I want to do. Ideally, I'd like another Cherokee of the same configuration, because they're comfortable and durable vehicles. (I've put 90,000 miles on it since buying it used in 2007, and that's typical--my late sister had one with 270k on it, and it was only taken off the road because of rust.) They're getting hard to find, though, because they were last made in 2001, one year newer than mine.

Since I commute, I keep thinking a Subaru would be good--their boxer engine sounds kind of like an old Beetle, they're okay on gas, and they're all AWD. But I want to be able to tow a trailer occasionally, and small cars really can't do that.

But I'll definitely be buying used. And I'm going to put it off just as long as I can.

* * *

This is exactly how the left wants it. The white guy showing islamic goon being a barbarian is the one at fault.

* * *

I laughed at this:

* * *

Well, I suppose I'd better get after my chores.

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