Sunday, June 23, 2013

Bruins v Blackhawks June 22 2013 game recap

Today I met Ed Markey at the Coffee on the Common place on Main St. in Waltham. He expressed his enthusiasm for the Boston Bruins. So when I got home from meeting him, I finished up this report on the Bruins 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Blackhawks yesterday.

I watched most of the game, except for the times when I turned a watermelon into watermelon-juice, and the time when I went out and got 3 mcdonalds hamburgers and 1 value fries, which I brought home and combined with some old cheap tequila, because such seemed the right thing to do while watching a hockey game.

The alcohol-food combination did not work any magic in my mind or in my body; seems with the passage of time the alco-food combo declines in terms of its ability to produce a positive experience.

Watching the first period of the hockey game, I felt that the game was going to be a boring low scoring game. In the end it was 2-1 blackhawks except for a third goal scored on an empty bruins net.

From the beginning it seemed the Blackhawks were skilled, peppy, pretty in their movements-- in their red uniforms and dark helmets they looked like the famous British Changing of the Guards and Trooping of the Colors in London. Indeed their roster shows lots of English and English-Irish surnamed players. The Bruins by way of comparison are in terms of surnames a more ethnic team.

From the beginning, the Bruins did not look as peppy skilled or graceful as the Blackhawks. Compared to the Blackhawks, the Bruins seemed tall, heavy, oafish, clumsy, fatigued. I did not expect the Bruins to score more than a goal during the game; they ended up scoring just one while I was working on the watermelon.

So if I was the Blackhawks coach, I'd be thinking about how to exploit a situation in which you have the advantage in pep and skill but a disadvantage in weight (by 'advantage' here, I mean simply one weighing more than another, which is not necessarily a performance advantage). And if I was the Bruins coach, I'd be thinking how do you approach a situation where you have a disadvantage in pep and skill but an advantage in height and weight.

I was wondering if my perception of the bruins as tall clumsy heavy and the blackhawks as peppy and skilled was correct.

There are 32 Bruins and 27 Blackhawks listed on the rosters. Since 360/32 = 11, and 360/27 = 13, I looked at the Bruins who played at least 11 minutes and the Blackhawks who played at least 13 minutes.

On average, the heights and weights of the players looked at were: Bruins defenders, 6-2, 210 lbs; Chicago forwards, 6-1 200 lbs; Chicago defenders, 6-2 206 lbs; Bruins forwards, 6-1 203 lbs. Hence already it is evident, that the Bruins defenders were 10 lbs heavier than the Blackhawks forwards. This combined with the Blackhawks offense occupying center-stage, produced the impression that the peppy skilled Blackhawks were dominating the heavy sluggish Bruins.

I was wondering, how would the stats in the previous paragraph look if a player's time on ice was weighted in the average, so that the players with more time on ice counted more in determining the average?


On average (weighted average), the heights and weights were (in parentheses, weighted-average average-player-weight compared to unweighted-average average-player-weight): Bruins defenders, 6-2, 213 lbs (+3); Chicago forwards, 6-1 200 lbs (+0); Chicago defenders, 6-2 205 lbs (-1); Bruins forwards, 6-1 204 (+1) lbs.  Looking at the weighted average, the Bruins defender weight advantage (not necessarily a performance advantage) over the Chicago forwards rises from 10 lbs to 13 lbs; the Chicago defender weight 'advantage' falls from a mere 3 lbs to a mere 1 lb. The heavier Bruins defenders were getting more than their share of playing time.

I feel convinced that the 13 lbs of extra weight carried by Bruins defenders compared to Blackhawks defenders is significant. The difference is proportionately the same as the difference between 180 lbs and 192 lbs. I know that at 192 lbs I am more sluggish in soccer, compared to my peppiness at 180 lbs. I can mentally quantify but not express the difference between 192 and 180 lbs.

The Bruins defense problem could be approached by way of tactics that capitalize on the Bruins weight-advantage compared to the Blackhawks forwards; the Bruins offensive could be improved by way of tactics designed to capitalize upon the fact that the Blackhawks defenders do not outweigh the Bruins attackers.

Alternatively, the Bruins could alter the amount of playing time given various defenders, so as to reduce the time-on-ice weighted-average player-weight of the Bruins defenders, in the hope that a lighter defense could do a better job. And, the Bruins could alter the amount of playing time given various attackers, so as to assert a weight-advantage over the Blackhawks defenders.

Such tactics worked out in reverse might serve the Blackhawks.

Friday, June 07, 2013

King Solomon's before his 'fall'-- Historical Lessons

Reconstruction of the exact times of events in Solomon's life is best accomplished working backwards from the death of Solomon. There is too much confusion re exactly what year he lived and died (sources date his death as 953-925 BC). Working from various sources and scriptural passages I constructed the following timeline:

Life of King Solomon Timeline 

BD= years before death of Solomon; <40 BD = less than 40 years before death of Solomon.  >40 BD = more than 40 years before death of Solomon. Sol= Solomon

80 BD. Sol is born,

>50 BD. Sol 30 or younger. Sol has daughters Taphah & Basmath

41 BD. Sol39 years old. Sol has son Rehoboam (heir) born of Naamah the Ammonite

>40 BD. Sol younger than 40. Sol executes Adonijah & Joab, because of their past crimes and current suspicion of usurpation conspiracy

40 BD. Sol 40 years old. Sol starts reign

40-36 BD. Sol 40-44 years old. Sol sacrifices & burns incense in high places, marries daughter of Pharaoh, has married daughters, has produced 3000 proverbs and 1005 songs

36-27 years BD: Sol 44-51 years old. Sol constructs temple producing images of pomegranates lions oxen palm-trees & flowers (in contradiction of command against making of images of things found on earth),

27 BD: Sol 53 years old. Sol & his temple blessed by God.

<27 BD: Sol older than 53. Sol becomes paganized, God condemns him for betrayal.

This timeline is significant because of the emphatic nature of the blessing Solomon and his congregation received circa 27 BD:

"Then Solomon assembled...then the house (Solomon's temple) was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD; So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God...the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house" (2 Chronicles chapters 5-7).

The account in Kings does not contain this passage, and that Kings condemns Solomon for falling away from the monotheistic faith, whereas Chronicles does not.

Standard interpretation concludes that what is desribed in Chronicles occurred even though Kings does not mention it, and what is described in Kings occurred even though Chronicles does not mention it.

If indeed Solomon and his congregation were so richly blessed 27 years before the death of Solomon, Solomon's conduct before the blessing is significant.

Apparently, before the big blessing Solomon and his congregation received 27 BD, Solomon: let himself be guided by an older priest when at the beginning his reign was endangered; executed rivals for their past crimes combined with their suspected rivalry for the throne; abrogated laws against making images of things found on earth; had more than one wife; abrogated laws against marrying certain foreign ethnic groups; engaged in big-time building projects; sponsored instrumental and vocal music.

The fact that Solomon's son Rehoboam, whose mother was an Ammonite, was 41 years old when he succeeded Solomon on the throne, indicates that Solomon's marrying of foreign wives started before the big blessing (27 BD).

Solomon ended up with 1000 wives/concubines. Solomon was married at an age younger than 30. Assuming he was married at 25, over 55 years of married life he added 18 wives per year. At 18 wives per year by the time he was 53 (the year he and his congregation got the big blessing c. 27 BD), he would have had 504 wives/concubines.

The only wives specifically mentioned as existing before the big blessing @ 27 BD are Pharaoh's daughter & Naamah the Ammonite. However one expects that if Solomon had deviated from the Davidic & Royal-Israelite traditions

That Solomon would be greatly blessed despite the fact that he somewhat abrogated some of the most important and emphatic commandments of his religion, in my mind is a mark against literalist fundamentalism.

The Solomon who was blessed 27 BD, was not a literalist fundamentalist thinker. Rather he was: the type who sees how with the passage of time and the change of circumstance the extent to which a religious law must be enforced varies.

That Solomon should be so richly blessed despite his disobedience, reminds us that virtues can more than balance out sins.

I don't understand pastors who declare, 'I find it impossible to be a Christian, if I don't believe that every word of the Bible is literally true' (this even after it has been proved to them that the scripture contains internal contradictions). It is actually MORE DIFFICULT to believe every word of the Bible is literally true, compared to believing that Christ is the Son of God. So if a man has to believe that every word is literally true ( difficult) to be able to believe in Christ (easy), I wonder whether he has real faith in Christ.

If he can't do the simple thing (believe in Christ as the Son of God without believing every word of the Bible is literally true), and the simple thing is easier than doing the difficult thing (believing every word of the Bible is literally true), then how can he do the difficult thing? And since he can't do the difficult thing which he has to do in order to be able to do the simple thing, then how can he do the simple thing?

There are too many professional preachers/priest/pastors out there, who love limelight, love getting paid well for easy work, love to fly around in airplanes while allegedly doing God's work visiting foreign countries, who don't really believe in Christ, and think it's all a myth.

I think it was the famous preacher Mr Spurgeon who pointed out (I paraphrase): People who don't know God, but desire to have important positions in Church, get in the way of people who do know God.

How can persons fail to realize, that when people 'join the fray' in the sense of becoming yet another entity raising funds for itself, their fund-raising competes with the respectable fund-raising that already exists?

I have become that there is a real problem when full-time professional pastors who lack financial security preside over small folksy congregations: the pastor's financial self-concern, results in the pastor and also the congregation showing disrespect for respectable individuals and groups, who compete with the pastor as potential beneficiaries of donated funds. Hence ultimately God is replaced by the pastor during the weekly meetings supposedly devoted to God, and the weekly meetings become venues for disrespect of what is respected by God.

But I intend to address the issue of full-time professional pastors and small congregations in depth in a separate blog-post.

PC Icon Customization Tools Download

In Windows, all the shortcuts you create for a text document look the same ( like a small notebook); all the shortcuts you create for a folder look the same (like a yellow folder), and all the shortcuts you create for a drive look the same (like a gray box).

This evening I got sick of not being able to figure out what folder, drive, or text document is represented by a shortcut in my quicklaunch bar (Windows XP), until I had hovered over the shortcut, with the mouse (the hovering produces a popup window showing the title of the shortcut). I felt tired of hovering the mouse over the wrong shortcut, and then hovering it over the correct shortcut before clicking the shortcut.

I got sick of the fatigue generated in my eyes and in my hand, as a result of not being able to quickly find the needed shortcut.

I got sick of, having to endure delay and fatigue of mind, eye and hand at times when I was feeling inspired and in a rush.

Irrational as it may seem, I (and also I assume millions of others) are prone to avoid a task simply because searching for the correct icon requires a few seconds of boring tiring work with the mind, eye, and hand.

I felt the customized icons for folders had to look like the default folder icons, and same for the drive and text icons. Because my mind has become used to the default icons and things can get to weird.

So I created templates (.png format) to use for creating icons representing shortcuts (see links below to download).

These templates are composed of an image of a default Windows icon for text files, folders, or drives on the left, and a blank space on the right.

If I simply: open the template in MS Paint (ubiquitous free's not what you got it's how you use it); type two letters in the empty space at the right; move the two letters to the left to super-impose them on the image of the icon, and then using Image-attributes reduce the width of the image to be the same as the height-- Presto, I have a .png format customized image of an icon, featuring the customised text superimposed on the default icon.

All that remains is to transform the .png format image into a .ico format image. This is accomplished easily by simply going to: - Create Windows Icons From Images In PNG, JPG, GIF & BMP Format, Favicon.ico Generator  , uploading the image and downloading the conversion to .ICO format.

Now that I have the .ico format image, by right-clicking on a shortcut and then clicking properties it becomes easy for me to replace the default icon with my custom-built .ico format icon, which I made from my .png format icon, by changing the format using

As I worked on this, I was wondering: is it really worth it?

Supposing: I waste 3 seconds every time I search for a shortcut icon; and, this searching for the correct shortcut occurs 7 times a day.

Then I'm wasting 128 minutes a year, 2.1 hours a year, just trying to find the right icon. Over the course of 10 years, that comes to 21 hours of such eye, mind, and hand-fatiguing fumbling around.

On the debit side it took me only 3 hours to learn about and produce and apply 7 icons.

Global Implications

There are now 1.3 billion PC users world-wide . If they were all to save 21 hours of mind-numbing searching for the right icon over the next 10 years, they would save 27.3 billion hours of time. Valuing their time at $15 an hour, that's 409 billion dollars.

This would be balanced out by them having to invest an hour in icon production and application. If they worked with what I am providing here, they would not have to invest 3 hours to produce 7 icons like I had to, because most of the work would already be done for them, by me.

Download the templates:

Text File Icon Template (png format)

Folder Icon Template (png format)

Drive Icon Template (png format)

Then after you have customized the template go to the following link to convert the .png file into an .ico file: - Create Windows Icons From Images In PNG, JPG, GIF & BMP Format, Favicon.ico Generator

Investing in Icons more than a Time Input/Output Equation

Seems like me having invested 3 hours of time to save 2 hours of fumbling around, has not been worth it if my life were to end in a year. But now when I look at my PC screen, I feel more competent, relaxed, and happy compared to the way I used to feel when looking at it, because I know exactly where the important icons are going to send me.

I feel like even looking at just the coming year alone, even if I save just 2 hours of time having invested 3 hours in creating the icons and applying them, I've come out ahead.

Because it's not simply a matter of wasted time. Its also a matter of fatigue avoided. Fatigue that comes at moments when such fatigue slows down the momentum of the accomplishment of the task.

The simple time-invested time-saved formula fails to account for the fact that now that I know exactly which text-file, folder, or drive an icon represents, my behaviour when I use the PC will change, as I will be more likely to, at certain moments, look for and click on a given icon-- which could result in productivity increases per hour, and improved quality of work.

I find myself at the PC at hours when feeling especially inspired motivated and energetic, compared to how I usually feel. The last thing I need at such times, is to waste time and become fatigued, trying to find the shortcut I want to click on.
It's a downer, it would not be as bad if I were feeling simply humdrum.

The distraction of having to search for the shortcut can disrupt the train of thought, result being something in the mind is forgotten, or a thought that would come to the mind as a result of the continuation of the train of thought never enters the train of thought.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Tilapia Fish Grilled Experiment a Success

Looking around the grocery stores, I chose Tilapia fillets from the Whole Foods Fish Dept. It was the cheapest fresh (unfrozen) fish they had.

I remembered how back in grade school, Ma had made some fish that I liked, she baked it, with white grapes on top; she did this a couple of times. It was simple, but I liked it.

So after three days of being too lazy to cook the fish, I cooked it, fearing it would go bad. The recipe I used came out of my head, it was almost completely original:

Mix/grind: white grapes, black peppercorns, liquid smoke, 'Hojiblanca' (good for high heat) olive oil, butter, and parsley in a blender; marinate the Tilapia in said sauce for 30 minutes; cook on indoor stovetop grill (flying saucer shaped) 3 minutes first side 4 minutes next side on max heat; finis.

Cooking on stove-top grill at minimal heat, three minutes a side, produced IMHO an inferior result.

The sauce used for marinade and basting I found to be too sweet for use with the cooked fish. Perhaps it could be somehow processed so as to render it more amenable to the fish that it marinated.

I know this recipe was a success. Why? Because I enjoyed the fish without tartar-sauce and fresh lemon juice. Usually, even when I eat at a good restaurant, the tartar-sauce and lemon juice is practically a necessity flavor-wise for me. But the fish following the recipe presented here, I could enjoy without tartar-sauce and fresh lemon-juice.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

4 Year Old's Poem-- Poem I wrote as a Child

Decluttering my apartment, throwing out papers, I came across a poem I wrote when I was 4.25 years old, before I had ever been to the US, when I was living on the grounds of the Prince of Wales Museum in Bombay India, in the Director's Bungalow.

The poem was carefully typed up by someone, like a little book.  Back in those days I used to get respect, people used to type up my poems.

Luckily this poem survived the chaos my brother created in the house in Chicago; also it came into my possession despite my brother grabbing almost everything in the house for himself when the house was sold. Unfortunately, many photos of me, works of art that I created, poems I wrote as a child, did not survive the chaos my brother created in the house in Chicago.

I remember two other poems that were similarly typed up, that I now count amongst my childhood works of art that have disappeared. One was 'The Ghosts of War'. The other was 'My Little Butterfly'.

I'm sure the poem was my original work. I remember how life was in those days. My poems were committed to paper by helpful adults, but they did not assist me in the creation of the poem itself, they wanted it to be my work.

The poem consists of a number of stanzas, each stanza accompanied by a drawing by me (when I have time I might upload the drawings).

The poem was written by a child who had never been exposed to the Book of Genesis type creation 'myths', yet the poem resembles such 'myth':


Once there was a little baby
who went to play in a garden.

There he saw a funny man,
and he threw the funny man, and
it became like this.


The baby saw a flower,
and he threw the flower, and
it became like this.


Then the little baby saw a crab,
and he threw the crab, and it
became like this.


Then the baby saw a shell,
and he threw the shell, and
it became like this.


Then the little baby saw a ball,
and he threw the ball, and it
became like this.


Then the baby saw a balloon,
and he threw the balloon, and a
mouth came, and eyes came, and
string came, and lines came all
around, and it became like this.


Then the baby saw two charkas,
and he threw the charkas, and
they became like this.


Then the baby saw a whale,
and he threw the whale, and
it became two whales playing.


Then the baby saw some balls,
and he threw the balls, and
they became like this.


Then the baby saw this [drawing], and
eyes came, and a mouth came, and
lines came all around, and it
became like this.



Sunday, June 02, 2013

Microwindmills Attached to Moving Objects

Watching the wind blow through the window fan, noting how the wind moved the window-fan. Long ago I had noticed how much wind-force pushes against your hand if you stick your hand out the window of a fast moving car. I got an idea:

Micro-windmills attached to moving objects could in certain circumstances be a superior source for the production of instaneously used or stored energy.

There can be trade-offs. For example, energy produced bu a micro-windmill attached to a train, would increase the amount of energy needed to get the train to its destination.

Yet sometimes there is no trade-off, in that the amount of energy required to move the object and the windmill attached to it, is not significantly different from the amount of energy required to move the object. Examples:  bicyclist cruising down a hill without pedaling; car going downhill with foot off accelerator; bird flying; sailboat sailing.

In the case of the bird flying, the bird would probably require a little extra grain to feed on to compensate for the attached micro-windmill. Yet such could be an effective method for transforming birdfeed into energy.

In the case of the car on the road, the windmill could be retracted when not on a prolonged downhill path. The weight of the windmill in the car might then be more than compensated for by the energy generated by the windmill on the downhill.

The car's electrical generation system might be powered by moving parts so as to be active when the car is moving, even though the gas pedal is not depressed so as to impart power to the vehicle. Or its power might be activated when the gas pedal is pushed. Or both could be the case.

In the case of the movement-activated electrical generation system,

The attached Micro-windmills would coexist with not replace or interfere with the movement-activated or gasoline-activated electrical generation system during the long downhills.

Micro-windmills might be useful when fuels are scarce and energy production technologies on-hand are missing or dysfunctional.

To consume energy as soon as it is produced is more efficient compared to producing the energy, storing it, and then using it. Conceivably in certain circumstances, Micro-windmills could replace the consumption of stored energy with the instantaneous consumption of produced energy.

@2013 David Virgil Hobbs