Tuesday, January 29, 2008

For the Love of LEGO

Yesterday, January 28th, marked the 50th anniversary of the greatest toy I ever owned, LEGO. Whilst rehearsing for a production of Hamlet I learned that LEGO is Danish for "play well." (Hamlet was Danish and therefore must have played with medieval versions of LEGO made out of wood, bone or old crusty cheese. :p )

I remember my first sets from the late 70's and the cool pouch my mother bought to keep them all together. It was a large circle of blue denim with a bright red drawstring. I thought I was pretty slick. The bricks were brightly colored and their resulting composition was limited only by my imagination. Cool and infinitely playable; it wasn't until 1980 that my love affair with LEGO truly began. That's when I received set 497 Galaxy Explorer from the newly created LEGOland space line. Oh the joy of LEGO's that included thrusters and laser canons was almost more than a preteen boy could handle. It had the complexity of an Estes model (without the contact high of model glue) coupled with the challenge of alteration and improvisation. When completed per the included plans, the Explorer ship had a compartment which housed a rover vehicle I found useful in exploring the surface of many uncharted planets (boo-ya)!!

Alas, like the energy and excitement of a first kiss, no subsequent set ever captivated me as much. And over the years my commitment to LEGOdom waned. My mother still has the denim sack and some of my original LEGO's have continue to delight my nieces and nephews. But now and then when I least expect it they magically appear in my life. At a friends playing LEGO Star Wars on the Wii; or more surprisingly resting atop our wedding cake in true old school fashion.

Maybe someday I will tackle the new 5,000 piece Millenium Falcon set that I've heard tell about on the internets. Wouldn't that be keen, Star Wars and LEGO's in one! The thought borders on ecstasy. Maybe I'd better wait...

Play well!

Further Reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lego

Image Source: http://cache.gizmodo.com/assets/resources/2008/01/lego-brick4-timeline.jpg

A Gmail Question for Matt

I'm wondering if there is a special way to organize and file the groups that you send email to. Like, today, I sent an email to about 40 people. Is there a way to retrieve that list of people other than to go back to the letter I sent and copy and paste the addresses, etc.? I'm counting on you, Matt!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Time Out for a Special Announcement

Hi Everyone--
I just wanted to announce to my cousins (Jana, Diana, Melanie, Scott, etc.) that I'm offering a free cousin special! Anyone who would like to have their kids in my children's choir (cousins, that is) may have them come for free! (Okay--you do have to pay $15 for tee-shirts and misc.) That is a $110-$125 savings!! Seriously, I would just love to teach your kids! So--if you want them to join, just call me! (Or comment on this blog!) The age groups are 4th to 9th grade (8:00a.m.-9:20a.m. Saturday mornings) 1st to 3rd grade (9:30-10:30a.m. Saturday mornings). Hope someone takes me up on it!
Love ya!

PS The Hill kids are coming all the way from Highland and Lindon....

Friday, January 25, 2008

More On Time

I came across this article this morning and thought it relevant to my post about time.
This is a bit dense but it's the best explanation of the biological perception of time I've read.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Wow, Matt, My Mind is Reeling!

That was fascinating! I knew Matt was smart, but I really didn't know he was THAT smart! I'm so proud! Please send us more!!

Musings on Time

I came across this article (http://discovermagazine.com/2007/jun/in-no-time/) several days ago and it persists in my memory.

Before I address the articles content, I need to contextualize a bit. Two summers ago while teaching an advanced acting class here in Scottsdale, I referenced Einstein's Theory of Relativity as a reasonable proof to the fluidity of time. Essentially the faster you are traveling in relation to something else, the slower time passes for you when compared to that other. Ergo time is not constant. This had a profound effect on one of my students who had never conceived that something as "fixed" as time could be mutable. Her response fed into my discussion and helped illuminate my effort to encourage them to think for themselves. If time isn't fixed then many things in their lives are not including imagination, ability to progress and so on.

Now after reading the above article it seems that physicists have long known that time might not exist at all. It isn't observable and theoretically begins to break down when reconciling the behaviors of quanta. Our reckoning of time is generally standardized by the oscillation of Cesium atoms within a closed system. This establishes a government standard for what time is and subsequently all of our timepieces are synced to such devices. Personally my observation of the passing of time is wildly variable, i.e. whether I'm at work(slow) or having fun(fast), as is my memory of the past and how the passing of time feels as I get older.

So time isn't constant and it might not exist at all. What we perceive as the flow of time could just be a byproduct of our biology. That "sense" might be the barrier to understanding what our true nature is, beings who exist outside of time. Immortal no longer because the word itself cannot be defined without time. Where we were before, where we are now and where we will be in the future may all coexist happily on top of each other rather then as a sequential set of events.

I think Einstein says it well, from the article:
  • In March 1955, when his lifelong friend Michele Besso died, he wrote a letter consoling Besso’s family: "Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion."

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Too Busy to Blog

I started my blog last week, thinking I would have time every day to write something, or to bug Matt about some question I had. But, then I decided to start a Children's Choir, and I haven't even given my new blog a moment's thought! So far, I have six kids in my children's choir, and I just thought of doing it on Monday. That's pretty good! I'm hoping to blog again soon. Matt, if you're reading this, I'm expecting a new latest and greatest ASAP!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Leslie Says...

Okay, this blog is even more interesting than I thought it would be! I'm thinking I should ask our mother, Ann to contribute. She is a fount of information about household stuff like laundry, cleaning, the latest health tips,etc. If you have a question for Ann, this is a good place to ask!

Matt, What is Kalapapa and what is the height of the cliffs around them? - Auntie Vicki

Hmm. I'm going to split this response into two categories. What I know before I resort to research and then, of course, the researched one.

I believe Kalapapa is a town in Hawaii that used to be a leper colony. As for the height of the cliffs, no idea.

Here's what I have gleaned from the web:

Kalaupapa is now a national park dedicated to preserving the story of forced isolation of those afflicted with Hansen's Disease (Leprosy) from 1866 to 1969. (NPS.GOV) As outside diseases were brought to the islands, the Hawaiians felt that isolation was the only solution. Kalaupapa was the perfect solution because of its unique geography. It was surrounded on three sides by the ocean and the peninsula was cut of from the rest of Molokai by the tallest sea cliffs in the world. (visitmolokai.com) At their highest point they are 3,300 ft above sea level. (wikipedia.org)


Saturday, January 5, 2008

Leslie says...

See, I told ya!

Leslie's Little Brother Matt is Full of Crap!

I think the blog needs a new title (see above) but since I did not create it I will acquiesce. Leslie asked me to contribute my "words of wisdom" and/or my "latest greatest fact." I will do both, briefly for I have no love of writing.

I'll start with the "words of wisdom." Expose yourself to a variety of viewpoints and challenge each "fact" as it is presented. This is the fundamental characteristic of critical thinking. Do not allow the media or friends or government or anyone to be the sole foundation for your understanding. Question everything. Everything! Not only will it make you wiser but more tolerant, more Christlike.

Case in point my "latest greatest fact", I was reading this article this morning.
Biofuels are good right? Maybe not. I won't reiterate what was already explained in the article, but it is important to challenge assumptions. 'Twould be ironic if in pursuit of minimizing our carbon emissions (evil) we do something worse (evil-er).

Anywho, I'm flattered by Leslie's faith in my intellect. Blah, blah, blog...