Monthly Archives: December 2004

Article: A Zillion Troubles

Michael Quinion answers the age old question of exactly how much is a “zillion”, a “bazillion”, “gazillion” and of course, a “jillion”. Actually he gives a bit of the background on how billion went from meaning a million million to a thousand million, as well as other related changes. To me the most interesting part is where the SI prefixes are listed. I just recently learned that the there is a measurement of data storage beyond Terabytes (who’d have thought we’d ever need them). From students doing a research project in one of my classes they learned of storage device combining blue laser technology with holography hopes to provide 1.5 exabytes (2^60 or ~10^18 bytes) per storage device which as I understand it is somewhat equal to the amount of data produced in the US daily. (How they measured that, I am not exactly sure). But then again how about those zettabytes (2^60 or ~10^21 bytes) and “a lotta” yottabytes (2^70 or ~10^24 bytes).


ID Media Bias

HughHewitt does interesting review of the intelligent design article posted to the Washington Post. There are several good links included in his post as he does a quite convincing analysis of the bias therein.

UPDATE: Just read over a portion of an update posted by Hugh Hewitt to the above article. In an email to Hewitt by Daffyd, a self proclaimed “secular Jew, a true agnostic (not an atheist in drag), a trained mathematician, a published novelist, and politically non-Euclidean”, made a most enlightening comment with which I would like to verify with some research of my own.

I have always been fascinated by the Bible, and have read the King James version cover to cover, as well as having read fairly extensively in the current Catholic Bible and the best current translation of Tanakh, the Jewish Bible. In addition, I have read various creation myths from other cultures — Norse, Greek, many African and South Pacific cultures, and so forth. One fact has always struck me forcibly… the astonishing parallels between the Biblical account of creation and the current understanding of EB, parallels which do not exist in the creation stories of those other cultures. The order in which Genesis describes creation as occurring is almost exactly the same as the order in which EB envisions the evolution of life — indeed, going back before life to the creation of the solar system itself.

True? If so, does this say anything about a link between “special revelation” (the specific word from God concerning his relationship to his people) and “general revelation” (the presentation that God made concerning himself through his creation event)?

Sweaty Pumpkins and snippets of noise

Christmas is here. Our first one at home, and its a white one at that. We’re fortunate to get to stay home but still spend the holiday’s with Lori’s family. L.D. and Nicole will be coming up tomorrow and the parents have been here for some time helping with things around the house as Lori recovers and I “work.” (quotes denoting sarcasm).

Poor little one, Zachary, has caught a nasty cold in only his third week of life. He’s having a real hard time breathing with all the congestion and he’s got a nasty cough. For a short while his appetite was reduced and he had a very very slight fever. The doctors advice was merely to “suck” the junk out of his nose and “squirt” some saline up there. Although I feel quite sorry for him, I am not worried. I’m sure he’ll be fine.

I think everyone here is looking forward to Sunday, although I am starting to dread it a little. Everyone is going home and it will be the 5 of us all alone. We’ll finally find out how we’re gonna handle it. We’re predicting the state of the house will go downhill but since we’re planning on this so it can’t get us down, right?

Upcoming: Going to try to work intently this next week to make it through the “projection” paper and write the first two chapters of the dissertation and write a beginning to a paper on the parabolic problem and run some examples to general groundwater whirls. (Nothing much). Also need to prepare for classes next semester, I want to “publish” the lecture notes for College Algebra so that the students will have the entire set for the full semester. Faith and Science is also going to be a big focus so it would be good to have a rough outline of materials ready for the class.

Adding to my reading list:

  1. In, But Not Of : A Guide to Christian Ambition. Hewitt, Hugh.
  2. Blog: Understand The New Information Revolution And How It Is Redefining The Media, The Culture, And Business. Hewitt, Hugh. Publication Date: January 2005


  1. Splinter Cell. Clancy, Tom (own it as of Christmas)
  2. State of Fear. Crichton, Michael
  3. The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Albom, Mitch.
  4. The Da Vinci Code. Brown, Dan


Wrapped up the semester, been home with Zach-o for a week, and I got a nap today! Weehoo. Things have been going very well with the newest addition. He’s quite the sleeper. I say all of the following while knocking on wood. So far, he’s the best sleeper of the three which is saying a lot since the other two were GREAT sleepers. Timothy had slept through the night by 4 weeks hold, Emily by 6 weeks. Zach already sleeps 5 hours most nights. Today for the first time he’s finishing bottles (first time, I am aware of). He finished at least 2 and maybe three. I am totally amazed by this run of luck we’ve had. Either we have the sleeper gene or we’re the most amazing parents ever.

I have wrapped up the fall semester and there is only one remaining semester during which I will be addressed MR. Franklin. I try to dress it up a little but in reality what that means is that I have an enormous amount of work to finish on my dissertation. I suppose it will go well but I need to buckle down, or is it knuckle down? Starting tomorrow I really am going to be focusing on the work that needs to be done related to writing the dissertation and begin preparation on filling the remaining “gaping hole”: comprehense error statement.

In reference to the opening statement of this entry, I would like to comment on a very interesting phenomenon that occurred during my nap. I used earplugs to sleep and during my dreams I was unable to hear anything, that is, I believe I was hearing impaired inside of my dreams. I thought that was interesting the my subconscious (or unconscious) mind connected to the earplugs.

Homeward Bound

Today’s the day. We get to take the little stinker home with us. We really don’t know him all that well yet. He did not spend even one night with us in the room. That was nice for the sleep but we still don’t know how he behaves at night. One thing we do know is that he is still very quiet. He’s yet to be left unsatisfied. I recall with the other two children that they went through phases in the hospital where there was nothing but holding and rocking that would soothe them and even then, it took some time to calm them down. This fella is just as mellow as can be. He’s not scarfing down the food yet either but he’s one of mine so I can’t imaging that taking long.

I did get to go to work yesterday. I missed Lori all morning but it was good that I went back. My Calculus class REALLY needed some help. I think I got them straightened out on the stuff we did before I left. I also got to hear a preliminary version of the Math Models presentation on laser disc technologies. Their presentation will be given publicly on Monday (the first day of finals). I have also volunteered to have review sessions for all of my finals since I don’t plan on being all that available during the week of finals. It was also good that I went back since I needed to pick up the car seat which we conveniently left at home. I also needed another set of clothes.

I will be so ready to be home. Last night in the hospital was still just fine, mainly because we got to watch a couple of rented movies that I picked up on the way back. We watched Spiderman 2 and Dodge Ball. Both were pretty good movies, yet nothing to write home about (but enough to blog about).

The Day After

Zachary was born yesterday at 8:21am. He was 7 lbs. 13 oz. and 20” long. He’s a handsome devil. Lori had a slightly difficult day yesterday with nausea but was eventually able to beat it. She was up by late afternoon. She’s taking it slow in recovering not because it is a harder recovery but she remembers last time when she tried to rush it with Timothy. She was sick all day on the third day with him and she doesn’t want to be that way with this recovery. She’s taking at least one extra meal of liquids. She is also having a little pain and taking something called Toridol (sp?).

Zachary is wonderful and very quiet. Maybe that is just in comparison to Timothy (currently). He is not eating real well but both Lori and I vaguely recall Timo not eating real well at the hospital and his appetite turned out just find (understatement of the year). Right now, Zacho’s got only enough appetite for about ½ oz. every 3-4 hours. He’s got a full head of black hair. Lori is convinced he looks like Emily did. I can’t tell. Maybe it’s the dad in me but I think he just looks like a very tiny baby. They all look the same to me. Is that age bias?

There have just not been any problems this time around. The most difficult thing for me has been my ambitious hopes of teaching classes on by the 2nd and 3rd day of Lori’s hospital stay. I just didn’t feel comfortable missing the last day of classes but I ended up sticking around today (2nd day). Last night about 11, I called in to Elise and left a voice mail message that I would not be able to make it today and to help me with arrangements. I forgot to check in before classes but I got lucky and she had received my message and took care of everything for me. I am still planning on heading back to Plainview tomorrow. Still high aspirations? I guess, but I really need to since my math models class will be running through their presentation.