Monthly Archives: September 2007

Burma has become a killing field

UPDATE: is back up, but all the horrid pictures of blood and gore are gone and have been replaced with pictures of happy demonstrators. Whats going on?


CNN has dramatic video of what is going on in Burma right now:

I cannot get access to the best site for news on this protest:

It is now saying “The page cannot be displayed”. The last time I saw it it said that the government was doing everything they could to stop the internet and the media from photographing the city and  were asking for people to email cell phone pictures to them. They said that Burma was becoming a killing field.

This regime is going down – but please pray that they don’t take too many unarmed people down with them.

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Filed under Asia, Burma, News

St. Francis and the Leper

St. Francis was walking the empty streets early in the morning before it was light. He was praying but suddenly he heard a cough. There was a dark man in front of him. St. Francis looked at him and noticed the signs of leprosy on his body. There was a purple lesion above his lip. The man was sick.  Initially, St. Francis felt fear and a desire to run away – but this was replaced by his desire to help the people of that town. He could not think of anything else to do but to take his wallet from his back pocket and give the man the wad of mainly ones that he had on him.

The man took the money, and shivered. He kept shivering and shivering. He was very thin and very cold. St Francis could see that he had not really met the man’s fundamental need. “What can I do now?”, he asked the Holy Spirit. Then Francis took off his jacket and gave it to the cold man.

Then St. Francis noticed the man’s eyes. They still cried out in need. They were watery with mucus.  St. Francis still had not met the man’s most fundamental need. Again he asked the Holy Spirit – “I have overcome my initial fright. I have given this man all my cash. I gave him my jacket on this cool morning, what more can I give him?”

At this point St. Francis kissed the leper on the lips.  Suddenly, St. Francis noticed the leper was not there! He looked in all directions. The leper had vanished.

It was later when he realized that he had been visited by Christ in a vision.


Filed under Christianity, Religion

Jim Carrey – A Call to Action on Burma

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Filed under Asia, Burma, News, politics, youtube

Arthur C. Clarke’s 2007 EGOgram

Here is the link to Arthur C. Clarkes annual message to the world from Columbo, Sri Lanka:

Here is some of what he has to say with my comments:

Friends, Earthlings, ETs — lend me your sensory organs!

TO THE MOON: Awesome beginning! It sounds like something William Shakespeare would say! And its very politically correct in that it doesn’t assume what sensory organs you might have.

I send you greetings and good wishes at the beginning of another year. I’ll be celebrating (?) my 90th birthday in December — a few weeks after the Space Age completes its first half century.

TTM: He’s older than the space age! And what’s this about the Space Age completing half a century?

When the late and unlamented Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1 on 4 October 1957, it took only about five minutes for the world to realise what had happened. And although I had been writing and speaking about space travel for years, the moment is still frozen in my own memory: I was in Barcelona attending the 8th International Astronautical Congress. We had retired to our hotel rooms after a busy day of presentations when the news broke — I was awakened by reporters seeking comments on the Soviet feat. Our theories and speculations had suddenly become reality! 

TTM > 10/4/07? Why that’s next week! The Space Age is 50 years old next week 🙂 Do we have to work that day? Probably so in the USA 😦

Notwithstanding the remarkable accomplishments during the past 50 years, I believe that the Golden Age of space travel is still ahead of us. Before the current decade is out, fee-paying passengers will be experiencing sub-orbital flights aboard privately funded passenger vehicles, built by a new generation of engineer-entrepreneurs with an unstoppable passion for space (I’m hoping I could still make such a journey myself). And over the next 50 years, thousands of people will gain access to the orbital realm — and then, to the Moon and beyond.

TTM> I hope Arthur reaches his goal of a sub-orbital space flight!

During 2006, I followed with interest the emergence of this new breed of ‘Citizen Astronauts’ and private space enterprise. I am very encouraged by the wide-spread acceptance of the Space Elevator, which can make space transport cheap and affordable to ordinary people. This daring engineering concept, which I popularised in The Fountains of Paradise (1978), is now taken very seriously, with space agencies and entrepreneurs investing money and effort in developing prototypes. A dozen of these parties competed for the NASA-sponsored, US$ 150,000 X Prize Cup which took place in October 2006 at the Las Cruces International Airport, New Mexico.

TTM >> I will have to check out that book- The Fountains of Paradise.

 I’m still missing and mourning my beloved Chihuahua Pepsi, who left us more than a year ago. I’ve just heard that dogs aren’t allowed in Heaven, so I’m not going there.

I have just heard that dogs *ARE* allowed to go to heaven and that’s where Pepsi is going!

I was particularly glad to find a co-author to complete my last novel, The Last Theorem, which remained half-written for a couple of years. I had mapped out the entire story, but then found I didn’t have the energy to work on the balance text. Accomplished American writer Frederik Pohl has now taken up the challenge. Meanwhile, co-author Stephen Baxter has completed First-born, the third novel in our collaborative Time Odyssey series, to be published in 2007.

>> I’ll have to check out those books too!

The entire EGOgram is worth reading. May God bless Arthur C. Clarke. I saw him lecture at the University of Kansas twenty years ago!

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Filed under Africa, books, mission, moon, News, space travel

The Whole World is watching

 Burma News Updates



The military rulers are firing on unarmed Buddhist monks and nuns in Burma – which the illegitimate government of that country calls Myanmar. Here are some quotes:

A Student:

“They are not Buddhists,” cried one student, who clutched half a brick in his hand, running from the smoke. “They are not humans. We were praying peacefully and they beat us. They beat the monks, even the old ones.”


Suddenly there was what sounded like an enormous explosion: a clap of thunder. Monks and people cheer and applaud. A sign of cosmic solidarity.

One monk raised his hands to the heavens and shouted, “The rain is coming! The soldiers will be struck by lightning!” But, a woman retorted, “Lightning is not enough. They deserve more.” A cheer goes up with each subsequent clap of thunder.

Gordon Brown, prime minister of England

The whole world is now watching Burma and its illegitimate and repressive regime should know that the whole world is going to hold it to account,” said Mr Brown. “The age of impunity in neglecting and overriding human rights is over.”

He added: “I think the international pressure that can be made to be felt in the next few days is incredibly important. I want to see the whole of the world getting together on this.”

A quote from Jesus:

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13 NIV)

Pray for these unarmed demonstrators who are laying down their lives so that their people can live in freedom.

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Filed under Burma, politics, War


UPDATE: I went to Han Dynasty Chinese Restaurant (in Exton PA, this is Josh and Lex’s favorite Chinese place) by myself for lunch in honor of mooncake day and talked to the owner – he said the restaurant would be packed with Asian families tonight celebrating it. I ordered from the lunch special menu – and he also showed me that in the “back of the back” of the menu there are authentic Chinese Lunch specials (rather than the “American” Chinese lunch specials which I got) – also only $5.50 – and he thought I would like like shredded beef with green peppers better than the wonton with chili oil. This is a nice restaurant with over 80% of the customers being Asian whenever I have been there. It is in the location of the Exton chinese grocery store that burned down a few years ago, very close to the Exton Mall off of 100 in the Exton Plaza – take out phone number 610-524-4002. Some of their lunch specials are Scambled Egg with Baby Shrimp, General Tso’s Chicken, Double Cooked Pork, Ma Po Tofu, and Kong Pao Shrimps.  The “American” chinese food include chicken with Brocolli, Pepper Steak with Onion, and Sweet and Sour pork/chicken.


moon cake

I am currently eating mooncake  at my desk to celebrate mid-autumn day, a Chinese holiday dating back thousands of years. Lijuan gave me a piece.

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Onion, don’t mess with Kansas!

The Onion makes fun of Kansas by saying that educators embrace the “IF” theory of  intelligent falling:

KANSAS CITY, KS—As the debate over the teaching of evolution in public schools continues, a new controversy over the science curriculum arose Monday in this embattled Midwestern state. Scientists from the Evangelical Center For Faith-Based Reasoning are now asserting that the long-held “theory of gravity” is flawed, and they have responded to it with a new theory of Intelligent Falling.

“Things fall not because they are acted upon by some gravitational force, but because a higher intelligence, ‘God’ if you will, is pushing them down,” said Gabriel Burdett, who holds degrees in education, applied Scripture, and physics from Oral Roberts University.

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Filed under Kansas, strange

Christmas or Kristallnacht in Burma

Something is happening in Burma…

The Buddhist monks have taken to the street in non-violent, peaceful demonstrations to point out the corruption of the Burmese government.  They are being cheered by thousands and thousands of people who have collected around them to protect them from the army.  They are forming a protective human chain around the monks and nuns. The reason for this is that the same thing happened in 1988 – and the government mowed down the monks.

 One very heroic fearless woman – Nobel Peace Prize laureatte Aung San Suu Ky has spent most of the last 18 years in detention made a public appearance the other day. She follows in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandi and Martin Luther King Jr. in using non-violent protest as a way to achieve human rights for people. She was unable to accept her prize because she was in jail  in 1991. Here is her blog.

The government has doubled fuel prices which may have started the rallies.

Please pray for Burma and these courageous freedom fighters who do not fight with guns- that God’s will would be done and that the Burmese government would no longer be corrupt.

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1964 Phillies V. 2007 Mets – who would win?

Here are the stats:

Comparison between 1964 Phillies and 2007 Mets

In the bottom frame – type in 2007 Mets and press SEARCH – and you will have a comparison of stats between these two teams. Who would win a virtual World Series between these two teams?

Who ever can come up with the best answer will win a “To The Moon” virtual prize! 🙂

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Filed under baseball, Phillies

remembering the collapse of the 1964 Phillies

In 1964, the Philadelphia Phillies was 6 1/2 games AHEAD with only a dozen games to play. It had been Phillies all the way before that. Jim Bunning had pitched a perfect game on Father’s day. Manager Gene Mauch team was anticipating a World Series victory. Jim Bunning is now a Republican Senator for Kentucky. In 1964 he was a pitcher for the Phillies going 19-8 with a 2.63 ERA.

Starting on September 21 – the Phillies were about to go on a ten game losing streak, and the Cincinatti Reds was going to win nine in a row.

The turning point in that September 21 game was when Chico Ruiz otherwise known as “bench me or trade me”(?) stole home, with Robinson at bat, in the bottom of the 6th inning. The game ended with a Reds victory – 1-0. This began the Phillies 10 game slide.

Here are some recent quotes from Bunning when talking to a sports columnist from the New York Post about the Mets:

The Mets, seven games up a week ago, already had squandered 5½ games worth. They didn’t just need a win. They needed a tourniquet.
“The one thing we never got in ’64,” Bunning said, “was the one performance, the one big hit, the one huge pitching performance that could have stopped the bleeding.”

Bunning had watched the Mets’ descent with bemused interest from behind his desk in the Hart Senate Office Building across town, still a baseball lifer even as he spends most of his time in the Senate chambers. He’d felt for the Mets. He’d seen what the past week had done to them. And knew what they were feeling, perhaps as well as any man alive.

“The typical problems when you’re in a slump,” Bunning said. “When you pitch great, you don’t score any runs. And when you’ve got the bats working, you can’t get anybody out.”
At one point yesterday, I asked him, “Wouldn’t you like to see someone take you off the historical hook one of these years?”
“No,” he said. “I don’t want the Mets to blow the pennant because I don’t ever want another baseball player to ever experience what we went through. No one should ever have to go through that.”

Season Summary 92-70 , Final Rank: 2, GB: 1.0
Days in First: 112 (last on September 26, counts the days a team played and was in first at the end of the day)

Most Games over .500: 31 (last on September 17)
Most Games under .500: never

Biggest Lead: 7.5 (last on August 23)
Farthest Behind Leader: 2.5 (last on September 30)

Longest Winning Streak: 5 (May 29 to June 3, July 2 to July 9, and August 7 to August 12)
Longest Losing Streak: 10 (September 21 to September 30)

Most Runs Allowed: 14 (July 18 and September 27)
Most Runs Scored: 13 (July 23 and August 11)

Longest Game: 16 innings (August 18 and September 19)

Times Shutout by Opponent: 11
Times Opponent Shutout: 17

Back to 2007 – the Phillies are one game behind the Mets as of Saturday Morning, Sept 23, and they are two games behind the Padres in the Wild Card race.


Filed under baseball, Phillies