Sunday, October 23, 2011

This Day In Creation

On this day, Sunday, October 23, 4004 B.C. at 9:00 am was the start of Day 1 of the Creation according to Usher's calculation.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Comparison Between A RAW And A JPG From A Canon SD900

Today I decided to take a sheet of 100% cotton paper and curve it against the corner of the floor and the wall between the window sill in the bedroom. Affixed to the window sill was an inexpensive clamp light with a daylight compact fluorescent bulb.

Since my Canon SD900 can now record in both RAW and JPG thanks to the CHDK firmware hack I installed I decided to compare both to the finalized product.

JPG File From My Canon SD900

RAW File From My Canon SD900

Comparing the unedited JPG and RAW files, using in camera settings for white balance reveals that the white balance is still off. Since consumer point and shoot cameras tend to process the image a little
before saving it as a JPG file, the JPG file appears a little better, although at full resolution it would contain less contrast and an overall less quality about it. If one were to examine the subject, it is apparent that the colors of the shark tooth in the RAW file look more natural, albeit darker, then the JPG file.

Note how the watermark in the cotton paper appears to the left of the tooth. It probably wasn't the best thing to use for a background.

White Balanced JPG File

White Balanced RAW File

White Balancing of the RAW file reveals a much nicer image then the JPG file, although the corners are still too dark. The colors on the tooth look more natural and richer in the RAW image then the JPG one.
Cropping the image produces the following result:

As one can see, having more information in the image to work with, aka using a RAW file, is beneficial to consumer point and shoot cameras. I hope to rephotograph the shark tooth once I get a couple of more clip lights so that I can eliminate the shadows seen between the tooth and the underlying paper.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Are Eurypterids Really Extinct?

A couple of years ago I was kayaking down the Uwahrrie River and when we pulled our kayaks aside momentarily I found a weird arthropod when I turned over a rock near the waters edge.

A closer look reveals the details

 I'm not sure what it is but it looks similar to a Eurypterid, Stylonurus, Mixopterus or Megarachne, although not nearly as large. Also, the appendages do look a little different. Does anyone really know what this little creature is?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Recording RAW In A Point And Shoot Camera

Yesterday I discovered a website where those of us Canon point and shoot users who don't have an SLR, although I'm waiting for the 5D mark III to come out soon, can get many many more features for their camera.

Just when I thought that I've pushed my PowerShot SD900 to the limit, I discovered that there is a firmware hack allowing my camera to record photos in RAW format, have zebra stripes, etc., and most important of all - a built-in intervalometer.

Last year I experimented with making time lapse videos with my SD900 but looking at a timer and manually clicking the shoot button at regularly intervals. To minimize camera shake when shooting I would use a one second delay. The flow of the clouds are a little jerky since I had to manually push the button at regular intervals so I would have been off by a split second between each photo.

Here are a couple videos I took using that method.

Now that I can actually have my camera taking pictures without me having to sit with it I hope to get longer time lapse videos soon.

As far as RAW goes however, the camera will save the image in both RAW and JPG formats so it is easy to compare the quality of the JPG file versus the enhanced quality of the RAW image. Can you guess which one is the RAW and which one is the JPG? Click on the image to see it at full resolution.

Here are the links one can use to do this with their Canon point and shoot camera.

                    •     CHDK's Website

                    •     Download The Firmware Hacks For Your Model

                    •     Code For The Intervalometer

                    •     CHDK Installation Guide

                    •     CHDK User Guide

I hope you find it as useful as I did.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Cure From Mosquito-Given Disease

A few moments ago I was enjoying a carbonated beverage outside in the evening when all the mosquitoes were out. Naturally, they deviate to higher concentrations of CO2 that they had no trouble finding me. They were like flies on a turd. Since the average person's exhalation consists of 4% CO2, then wouldn't increasing the atmospheric levels of CO2 to 4% result in confusing mosquitoes to where they would have trouble zeroing in on us? The result would be fewer mosquito bites and more sanity - boy my arms and legs itch.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Friday, April 29, 2011


Here's a riddle I came up with a few years ago.

What, as it falls, is getting further from what it is falling towards?

Feel free to take a gander but don't ask for clues because I'm not giving any.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Why Altar Calls Should Not Be Presented During Regular Church Services

Many preachers extend invitations for people to come forward at the end of their church service if they are interested in getting saved. Here's what the Bible has to say:

Acts 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

2 Corinthians 8:4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

It is evident from these two verses that the early Christians gathered together and worshipped God. This is especially true when Acts 20:7 says "disciples came together". It does not say "disciples and heathen came together". Also, Christians have fellowship with one another when "ministering to the saints". Note how it does not say "ministering to the saints and sinners combined".

Because of this, there is no place for non-Christians in church services. While most readers find this surprising, the average person's impression of Christianity today has been clouded by the Western lens of thought and have thus deviated from the original purpose for the gathering of saints-that is to worship and glorify God. It is true that people do sometimes get saved from stepping forward during an altar call but the reality is that more people get hindered from the chance of obtaining salvation because of this. Those that do step down to the altar and get saved have already had seeds planted in them. This however does not justify the altar call.

Mark 10:17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

Christ, in his ministry fed the hungry, healed the sick, and taught lessons. People would then go up to him and ask how does one get saved. He rarely mentioned that one must believe on him without them asking first. If they have not had enough seeds planted in their lives to be concerned about salvation then we should not present the message of salvation to them. If they had enough seeds planted in their lives, they will inquire.

1 Corinthians 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

We each have different roles in evangelism as we will go about meeting the sinners needs by planting seeds or watering seeds that someone else planted. Once they are moved by the Holy Sprit they will then seek the Kingdom of God. Our job is to go into all the world to preach and teach but too many Christians want to see one get saved from what they said and not from God using a plethora of Christians in a sinners life to bring one to salvation.

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen

Those who just spill the message of salvation to people who's hearts are not prepared for it are casting their pearls before swine and have the potential to lose the respect of the sinner they were trying to witness to.

Matthew 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

People who grow up in church may never get saved because they've been hearing the message of salvation all their lives that they have become desensitized to it. They may think they are saved but have never had the heart for it. It is man who looks on the outward appearance but God who looks on the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7 . . . for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

Have many "Christians" cast out demons in God's name only to be cast into utter darkness?

Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

If we truly examine the history behind the altar call it is evident that it began as a way for members of a congregation to seek encouragement but later developed into a form of evangelism. (Source: If one were to look at Billy Graham's ministry as an example, he went out to the masses and preached the Gospel. It is apparent that many preachers today want to follow Billy Graham's example so they begin to present the Gospel of salvation every Sunday morning, followed by an altar call.

This is where the issue arises, preachers today are no longer preaching what the Bible says except for the message of salvation, lest anyone at church that day leaves and remains a lost soul for eternity. To amplify the matter, all Christians are instructed to go into all the world preaching and teaching.

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen

However, the current trend in evangelism is to invite all of one's non Christian friends to church. Peradventure they'll hear the pastor and get saved. It is not the job of the preacher during a regular church service to evangelize. It is their job to feed the sheep.

John 21:17 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

A church service is for the gathering of saints and not for the salvation of the lost.

Matthew 26:11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.

Just as there always be poor folks among us, there will always be sinners in need of salvation but the time is short and Christians should be properly equipped at doing the Lord's work.

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Other avenues besides regular church services are reserved for evangelism including individual Christians ministering to non Christians, as Christ has instructed all those who follow him to do. When preachers constantly focus on the milk of salvation every Sunday morning, they are not equipping the saints to do the Lords work but rather having them dwell on the message of salvation and prove a hindrance to moving on to perfection.

Hebrews 5: 12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

It is sad to say but Christians today remain in a novel state in their understanding of the Christian life, and have not matured in their faith because they are not being fed, due to two things. First, most preachers have the notion that it is their duty to present the gospel of salvation to everyone they come in contact with, and what better place then during a church service where they are speaking to a lot of people at once. Second, Christians no longer spread the gospel of salvation to non Christians. They would rather take the easier route and bring the heathen to church and hope their pastor's "magic" will get them saved. Too much stock is put in their pastor and not in the Holy Spirit.

If I ever go "Church Hopping" and attend a church that does altar calls I get disgusted. The pastor generally preaches a very superficial message and then calls people to the altar to get saved, as though their message was the best in the world. They are clearly puffed up in themselves and where is God in all of this?

Romans 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Why March 1 Should Mark The Beginning Of Spring

Traditionally seasons occur on solstice and equinox but the reality of the matter is that, while it is an astronomical cycle, it isn't a good way to measure the change in season. The earth is constantly radiating energy in the infrared spectrum. During the day, it receives more energy then it radiates and along with the fact that there is an atmosphere, it warms up. At night, the earth radiates more energy than it receives. As the seasons change, the earth receives different amounts of daylight resulting in a shift in the energy budget resulting in an annual change in climate known as seasons.

Based on this energy budget, we know that while June 21, for example, is summer solstice, the hottest days of the year occur a few weeks after. There is a lag between when the earth absorbs a maximum amount of energy and when it radiates a maximum amount. Weather patterns will also affect this. This concept can be related to lake effect snow, where the weather cools but the Great Lakes still have a little warmth to them in the fall and early winter but eventually "catch up" to the colder air temperatures.

With this in mind, since seasonal changes result in change in climate for a location, it is better to declare seasons at a point where the coldest weeks lie in the center of the winter and the warmest weeks in the center of the summer and not at the beginning of the season as we do now. Therefore today, March 1, should be the official day of spring and not March 21. This is arrived by prorating the weeks of the year with the center of the hottest, coldest, and mildest days, for the mid-latitudes where seasonal changes are most prevalent, lying in the middle of the seasons where they are supposed to be.

Therefore, while an astronomical cycle affects the energy budget by altering the amount of insolation in a location over the course of a year, the actual warmest and coldest parts of the year, based on climatology versus weather patterns, should be classified as the center of the summer and winter, respectively and the official start and end date for each season adjusted accordingly.

So while everyone else considers it still winter, it is Springtime in my book.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Why Atheists Should Not Believe In The Big Bang Theory.

There is a vast array of things discovered that refute the Big Bang Theory. Among these include the cosmic web, the First Law Of Thermodynamics, and the angular velocities of elliptical galaxies, etc. While many scientists who reject the Big Bang Theory also deny a creator, the Big Bang Theory, a philosophy I do not adhere to, actually supports the existence of a creator.

The Big Bang Theory implies that the universe had a beginning. The mere fact of entropy provides scientific support for the universe being finite in it's age. The Kalam Cosmological Argument states that if something has a beginning, then it has a cause. Since the universe has a beginning according to the Big Bang Theory, it implies that the universe has a cause.

Many people who endorse the Big Bang Theory wonder what was around before the Big Bang. Some people will argue, "If God made the universe then who made God? Did God make himself?". For something to make itself exist would imply it had to exist before it ever existed. It would therefore have to exist and not exist at the same time. This is impossible and therefore God did not create himself. Something creating itself is a contradiction to Aristotle's Law Of Non-Contradiction. Therefore there had to be something in the beginning because if there was nothing to begin with there would be nothing in existence now.

Since there always had to be something, a creationist would argue that that something that has always existed is God and that he has never not been. This is corroborated in the Bible when God tells Moses "I AM" in Exodus 3:14 and in Revelations 4:8 referring to God: "which was, and is, and is to come". An atheist denying the existence of God cannot therefore believe in the Big Bang Theory, since it suggests a beginning for the universe. Nevertheless, there always had to be something in existence for the universe to exist now.

Just as a creationist believes in the eternal existence of God, and atheist would have to believe in the eternal existence of the universe since a beginning to the universe implies the existence of a deity. An alternative cosmology to the Big Bang Theory is the Steady State Theory which was derived in 1948 due to inconsistencies in the Big Bang Theory. It claims that the universe is virtually unchanging over time. This theory was discounted in 1965 with the discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation.

The fact of the matter is, while being a rejected view, it does not imply a beginning for the universe as it implies a universe existing without a cause. Therefore the Steady State Theory is the logical alternative to the Big Bang Theory, for an atheist, despite it's fallacy since it doesn't hold up to scientific scrutiny.


1. Flandern, Tom Van. The Top 30 Problems with the Big Bang, Infinite Energy (2002) volume 8, issue 46, pages 10 – 15.




5. R. C. Sproul (tape of the month - September, 2005)

I'm Now On Twitter

I finally caved in and decided to enter the world of Twitter. Now I've got to know how to use it. I haven't sent out my first twit yet though. If anyone is interested in following my twits (They're not tweets since the website is Twitter and not Tweeter) my user ID is TheGreatHandini on there.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Blog And New Videos

The past few days I have been working on a new blog to be strictly for obsolete currency. This evening I decided to record a few hand videos for youtube. I'm sure the fans have been wondering where I have been hiding. Here they are:

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Deep Thoughts While Sitting On The Throne

Last night while chilling at Starbucks with some friends, I learned that Martin Luther was into toilet humor. I researched it and found an interesting article to share with everyone.

I guess that despite his chronic constipation he was able to move the Reformation along.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pastoral Symphony

Today I thought I'd share a video of me playing the 1st movement of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony (Symphony #6). I start off playing the main tune than I deviate from it onto a tangent. The white background is a shower curtain, as it was filmed in a bathroom. The lighting was better in there. If you listen carefully, you can hear the vibrato at 6 seconds into the video?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Rare NC 1861 $1 Error Note

Today I thought I'd share an image of my rare (and possibly unique) North Carolina 1861 dollar error note.

It was a Friday in 1996 or 1997 when I bought the note. The coin dealer had a stack of them at $3.5 a piece. They used to sell for $10 in antique stores at the time. I picked out a couple nice ones from the lot. On my way home I was at a traffic light and I reached over to admire my new acquisitions when I noticed that one of the notes had an error. The One Dollar on the reverse is supposed to be aligned nicely in the center and not askew to where the One Dollar from an adjacent note is showing also.

In the spring of 1998 or 1999 I was returning home from the mountains and I stopped by a coin show along the way home. I had planned on stopping by the coin show so I had my prized note with me. I showed it to a currency dealer who I've dealt with in the past and he told me that he's never seen or heard of this error on the Civil War Issue North Carolina $1 notes before. They were printed in sheets of 12 and this could be the only survivor. He appraised it at $120. I'm sure it's value has gone up since then. Imagine what it would be worth if it was a coin and not currency.

I was so excited that on the way home I wanted to punch it. There it was, a road crossing over the highway with bushes along the ramp. I sought my chance and accelerated, thinking there's no place for a cop to hide. I only got up to about 80 mph and it was a 65 mph zone but nevertheless, my radar detecter made a sound. It was a low pitched sound that was different than the normal sound it made. I applied the brakes and as I passed the ramp, sure enough, a cop was coming down the ramp. Since he didn't see anyone breaking free from the rest of the cars around he just stayed in the right land and took the next exit. Phew. I eventually gave my radar detector to a girl that needed more than I did.

In the summer of 2006 or 2007 I was at a coin dealer's shop, but too cheap to buy anything as I wasn't thinking much about collecting anything at that time. I saw a 1861 $1 bill priced at $30 and the One Dollar on the reverse was askew. I should have bought it but the error wasn't as dramatic as mine since the One Dollar from an adjacent note wasn't printed on the reverse. Consequently, as far as I know, I still have a one of a kind error note that if it were a coin, or at least a United States Of America issue currency, I could sell it for 4 or 5 figures. Too bad it's not but here it is.