Thursday, May 31, 2018

Great Thinkers: Great Thoughts: Micah

Micah (Hebrew: מִיכָה הַמֹּרַשְׁתִּי mīkhā hammōrashtī “Micah the Morashtite”) was a prophet in Judaism who prophesied from approximately 737 to 696 BC in Judah and is the author of the Book of Micah. He is considered one of the twelve minor prophets of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and was a contemporary of the prophets IsaiahAmos and Hosea. Micah was from Moresheth-Gath, in southwest Judah. He prophesied during the reigns of kings Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah of Judah. Micah’s messages were directed chiefly toward Jerusalem. He prophesied the future destruction of Jerusalem and Samaria, the destruction and then future restoration of the Judean state, and he rebuked the people of Judah for dishonesty and idolatry. His prophecy that the Messiah would be born in the town of Bethlehem is cited in the Gospel of Matthew. Information about the end of his life is not known.
Micah was active in Judah from before the fall of Samaria in 722 BC and experienced the devastation brought by Sennacherib’s invasion of Judah in 701 BC. He prophesied from approximately 737–696 BC. Micah was from Moresheth, also called Moresheth-Gath, a small town in southwest Judah. Micah lived in a rural area, but often rebuked the corruption of city life in Israel and Judah.
Micah prophesied during the reigns of kings Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah of Judah. Jotham, the son of Uzziah, was king of Judah from 742–735 BC. Jotham was succeeded by his son Ahaz, who reigned over Judah from 735–715 BC. Then Ahaz’s son Hezekiah ruled from 715–696 BC. Micah was a contemporary of the prophets Isaiah, Amos, and Hosea. Jeremiah, who prophesied about thirty years after Micah, recognized Micah as a prophet from Moresheth who prophesied during the reign of Hezekiah.
His messages were directed mainly towards Jerusalem, and were a mixture of denunciations and prophecies. In his early prophecies, he predicted the destruction of both Samaria and Jerusalem for their respective sins. The people of Samaria were rebuked for worshipping idols which were bought with the income earned by prostitutes. Micah was the first prophet to predict the downfall of Jerusalem. According to him, the city was doomed because its beautification was financed by dishonest business practices, which impoverished the city’s citizens. He also called to account the prophets of his day, whom he accused of accepting money for their oracles.
Micah also anticipated the destruction of the Judean state and promised its restoration more glorious than before. He prophesied an era of universal peace over which the Governor will rule from Jerusalem. Micah also declared that when the glory of Zion and Jacob is restored that the Lord will force the Gentiles to abandon idolatry.
Micah also rebuked Israel because of dishonesty in the marketplace and corruption in government. He warned the people, on behalf of God, of pending destruction if ways and hearts were not changed. He told them what the Lord requires of them: "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" - Micah 6:8
Israel’s response to Micah’s charges and threats consisted of three parts: an admission of guilt, a warning of adversaries that Israel will rely on the Lord for deliverance and forgiveness, and a prayer for forgiveness and deliverance.
Another prophecy given by Micah details the future destruction of Jerusalem and the plowing of Zion (a part of Jerusalem). This passage (Micah 3:11–12), is stated again in Jeremiah 26:18, Micah’s only prophecy repeated in the Old Testament. Since then Jerusalem has been destroyed three times, the first one being the fulfillment of Micah’s prophecy. The Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem in 586 BC, about 150 years after Micah gave this prophecy.
Micah is commemorated with the other minor prophets in the Calendar of Saints (Armenian Apostolic Church) on July 31st. In the Eastern Orthodox Church he is commemorated twice in the year. The first feast day is January 5th (for those churches which follow the traditional Julian Calendar, January 5th currently falls on January 18th of the modern Gregorian Calendar). However, since January 5 is also the eve of the Great Feast of Theophany (in the west,  Epiphany) and a strict fast day (near total abstinence from food and non-religious activities), his major celebration is on August 14th (the fore-feast of the Great Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God).
Quotes by Micah
He has shown all you people what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.- Micah: 6-8
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.- Micah - 5:2
In the last days the mountain of the Lord's temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will stream to it.-Micah - 4:1
Who will rule the land of Assyria with the sword, the land of Nimrod with drawn sword. He will deliver us from the Assyrians when they invade our land and march into our borders. Micah - 5:6
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? Micah: - 6:7
Hear you peoples, all of you, listen, earth and all who live in it, that the Sovereign Lord may witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple. Micah - 1:2
All the nations may walk in the name of their gods; we will walk in the name of the LORD our God forever and ever. Micah - 4:5
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. - Micah: 7-18
With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Micah - 6:6
He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. - Micah - 4:3
Look! The Lord is coming from his dwelling place; he comes down and treads on the heights of the earth. - Micah - 1:3
This is what the Lord says: "As for the prophets who lead my people astray, if you feed them, they proclaim 'peace'; if you do not, they prepare to wage war against you. - Micah - 3:5
The remnant of Jacob will be in the midst of many peoples like dew from the Lord, like showers on the grass, which do not wait for mortals or depend on any human being. - Micah - 4:7
The mountains melt beneath him and the valleys split apart, like wax before the fire, like water rushing down a slope. - Micah - 1:4
Therefore night will come over you, without visions, and darkness, without divination. The sun will set for the prophets, and the day will go dark for them. - Micah - 4:7
Because I have sinned against him, I will bear the Lord's wrath, until he pleads my case and establishes my right. He will bring me out into the light; I will see his righteousness. - Micah - 7:9
Am I still to forget your ill-gotten treasures, you wicked house, and the short ephod, which is accursed?  - Micah - 6:10
Your hand will be lifted up in triumph over your enemies, and all your foes will be destroyed. - Micah - 5:9
The day for building your walls will come, the day for extending your boundaries. - Micah - 7:11
Therefore, I have begun to destroy you, to ruin you because of your sins. Micah - 6:13
"In that day people will ridicule you; they will taunt you with this mournful song: "We are utterly ruined; my people's possession is divided up. He takes it from me! He assigns our fields to traitors."" - Micah - 2:14
Shall I acquit a person with dishonest scales, with a bag of false weights? - Micah - 6:11
I will take vengeance in anger and wrath on the nations that have not obeyed me. - Micah - 5:15
This entry is dedicated to my Grandson, Andrew Micah

Knowledge Quiz, No, 78

I dislike the term trivia. No knowledge is trivial. All information contributes to the whole of an intelligent human being. And, it is an essential part of critical thinking. That is why I did not call this a Trivia Quiz. Instead, I am calling it a Knowledge Quiz.
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Knowledge Quiz, No. 78
The answers are at the bottom
1. Who is considered the founder of the theory of evolution?
2. What William Shakespeare play includes the line, “Beware the ides of March”?
3. What color is displayed on the starboard side of a boat?
4. What kind of pasta is shaped like a corkscrew?
5. Which planet's moons are named mainly after characters from Shakespeare plays?
6. What is the order of events in a triathlon?
7. Which Asian capital was formerly known as Edo?
8. What planet is closest to the sun?
9. Who created the ballpoint pen in 1944?
10. How long did it take the Titanic to sink after striking an iceberg?
11. Who said, "In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes"?
12. Who has the highest recorded IQ in history?
13. How long does it take for sunlight to reach the Earth?
14. By what name was Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu better known?
15. What country's Intelligence agency is called Mossad?
16. What nut is considered the world's toughest nut to crack?
17. What does the Dewey Decimal System classify?
18. The name of which type of pasta is derived from the Italian word for "small ear"?.
19. What was the 27th letter of the English alphabet?
20. Which famous tourist attraction was renamed the "Elizabeth Tower" in 2012?

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1. Charles Darwin is best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. Darwin’s theory of evolution declared that species survived through a process called "natural selection," where those that successfully adapted, or evolved, to meet the changing requirements of their natural habitat thrived, while those that failed to evolve and reproduce died off. In 1859, he published a detailed explanation of his theory in his best-known work, On the Origin of Species. Darwin’s theory of evolution and the process of natural selection later became known simply as “Darwinism.”

2. March 15th is referred to as the "Ides of March." “Beware the Ides of March” is a famous line from the William Shakespeare play Julius Caesar. In 44 BC, it became notorious as the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar. According to Plutarch, a seer had warned that harm would come to Caesar no later than the Ides of March. This meeting is famously dramatized in Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, when Caesar is warned by the soothsayer to "beware the Ides of March." The phrase has lasted through history and is still used today to signify a particularly ominous day.

3. Starboard is a nautical term which refers to the right side of a ship as perceived by a person on board facing the bow (front). At night, the starboard side of a vessel is indicated with a green navigation light. Conversely, port is the left-hand side of a vessel or aircraft, facing forward and indicated with a red navigation light. Since port and starboard never change, they are unambiguous references that are independent of a mariner’s orientation, and, thus, mariners use these nautical terms instead of left and right to avoid confusion.

4. Fusilli are a variety of pasta that are formed into the shape of a corkscrew. The word fusilli presumably comes from fuso ("spindle"), as traditionally it is "spun" by pressing and rolling a small rod over the thin strips of pasta to wind them around it in a corkscrew shape. Fusilli may be solid or hollow. Alternatively, capellini is a very thin variety of pasta. Like spaghetti, capellini is rod-shaped, in the form of long strands. Pappardelle are large, very broad, flat pasta noodles, similar to wide fettuccine. Farfalle are a type of pasta commonly known as bow-tie pasta.

5. While most of the satellites orbiting other planets take their names from various mythologies, Uranus' moons are unique in being named for Shakespearean characters, along with a couple of the moons being named for characters from the works of Alexander Pope. To date 27 moons have been discovered around Uranus, those named after characters from Shakespeare include Titania (A Midsummer Night's Dream), Oberon (A Midsummer Night's Dream), Ariel (The Tempest), Miranda (The Tempest) and Puck (A Midsummer Night's Dream).

6. The components of a triathlon involves swimming, cycling, and running in immediate succession over various distances. Triathletes compete for fastest overall course completion time, including timed "transitions" between the individual swim, cycle, and run components. The order of a traditional triathlon Swim-Bike-Run is based on safety issues and smooth transitions. The idea behind swimming first is that the open water poses the greatest threat to an exhausted athlete. If the swimming portion were last, then it would increase the chance of a racer collapsing with exhaustion in the water and possibly drowning.

7.The history of the city of Tokyo stretches back some 400 years. Originally named Edo, the city grew into a huge city with a population of over a million by the mid-eighteenth century. Throughout this time, the Emperor resided in Kyoto, which was the formal capital of the nation. The Edo Period lasted for nearly 260 years until the Meiji Restoration in 1868, when the Tokugawa Shogunate ended and imperial rule was restored. The Emperor moved to Edo, which was renamed Tokyo. Thus, Tokyo became the capital of Japan.

8. Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun. As such, it circles the sun faster than all the other planets, which is why Romans named it after their swift-footed messenger god. Its orbit around the Sun is very elliptical, like a stretched out circle, compared to those of the other planets. Mercury's distance from the Sun ranges from 28.6 million miles to 43.4 million miles. Ironically, the planet closest to the sun is not the hottest planet; that honor is reserved for Venus.

9. The first man to develop and launch a ball-point pen was the Hungarian László Jozsef Bíró, who invented a ball-point pen with a pressurized ink cartridge. He is considered the inventor of today's ball-point pen. Biro noticed that the ink used in newspaper printing dried quickly, leaving the paper dry and smudge-free. Since the thicker ink would not flow from a regular pen nib, he fitted his pen with a tiny ball bearing in its tip. Moving along the paper, the ball rotates picking up ink from the ink cartridge and leaving it on the paper. This principle of the ballpoint pen dates back to a never commercially exploited patent of 1888 owned by John J. Loud for a product to mark leather.

10. At approximately 11:40 PM on April 14, 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg. At 2:20 AM on April 15, roughly two hours and forty minutes later, the Titanic plunged to the bottom of the ocean. The largest passenger liner in service at the time, Titanic had an estimated 2,224 people on board when she struck an iceberg. Her sinking two hours and forty minutes later resulted in the deaths of more than 1,500 people, which made it one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history.

11. One of the most famous quotations by Benjamin Franklin is: “Our new Constitution is now established, everything seems to promise it will be durable; but, in this world, nothing can be certain except death and taxes.” So why is Tax Day on April 17th this year? It's due to a combination of the 15th falling on a Sunday and a holiday unique to Washington, D.C., hitting on Monday the 16th. The nation's capital celebrates Emancipation Day to mark the date that President Abraham Lincoln freed slaves there in 1862.

12. William James Sidis was quite possibly the smartest man who ever lived. Sidis had the highest IQ ever recorded with a score estimated to be 50 to 100 points higher than Albert Einstein's. Born in Boston in 1898, William James Sidis made headlines in the early 20th century as a child prodigy with an amazing intellect. He could read the New York Times before he was 2. At age 11, he already mastered over 40 languages and entered Harvard University as one of the youngest students in the school's history. He attempted a political career but died young (at age 46), from a brain hemorrhage.

13. If our sun suddenly shut down, we would not know about it for approximately eight minutes. The sun we look at is actually the sun as it was some eight minutes ago. This is because the light shining from the sun, traveling at about 186,000 miles a second, takes 500 seconds to travel across the millions of miles of space that separate us from the sun. The sunlight will sweep past Mercury in 3.22 minutes, Venus in 6.01 minutes, and reach Earth 8.32 minutes later. Neptune, the most distant planet, takes 4.16 hours for light to reach.

14. Mother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu on August 26th, 1910. Known in the Catholic Church as Saint Teresa of Calcutta, Mother Teresa devoted her life to caring for the sick and poor. Born in Macedonia to parents of Albanian-descent and having taught in India for 17 years, she experienced her "call within a call" in 1946. Her order established a hospice; centers for the blind, aged and disabled; and a leper colony. In 1979 she received the Nobel Peace Prize for her humanitarian work. Considered one of the 20th Century's greatest humanitarians, she was canonized as Saint Teresa of Calcutta in 2016.

15. Mossad is the national intelligence agency of Israel. It is one of the main entities in the Israeli Intelligence Community, along with Aman (military intelligence) and Shin Bet (internal security). Mossad is responsible for intelligence collection, covert operations, and counterterrorism. Its activity is subject to secret procedures that have never been published. The Mossad, long shrouded in mystery and mythology, is legendary in international intelligence circles for being behind some of the most daring covert operations of the past century.

16. One nut you have likely never seen in the shell is the macadamia, and for good reason. Unlike opening a peanut or a pistachio, it takes some serious muscle to extract the edible nut from its shell: 300 pounds of pressure per square inch to be exact, making it the hardest nut in the world to crack! Macadamia nuts are the fruits of the macadamia tree, which is native to Australia. It was the German-Australian botanist Ferdinand von Mueller who gave the genus the name Macadamia way back in 1857. The name was in honor of John Macadam, a Scottish-Australian chemist, politician, and medical teacher.

17. The Dewey Decimal System is the most widely used method for classifying books in the library. It is named after Melvil Dewey, an American librarian who developed it in 1876. The classification's notation makes use of three-digit Arabic numerals for main classes, with fractional decimals allowing expansion for further detail. The number makes it possible to find any book and to return it to its proper place on the library shelves. The classification system is used in 200,000 libraries in at least 135 countries.

18. Pasta comes in all different shapes and sizes. Most people stick with spaghetti or penne pasta, but there are hundreds of different types of pasta to choose from. Orecchiette is a variety of pasta that directly translates to “little ears” in Italian, which has much to do with their shape. They're a round, concave pasta that originated in Puglia in southern Italy. They're thinner in the middle than they are on the edges, which gives them a unique texture. Because of its shape, orecchiette pasta is best served with chunkier sauces or dishes made with vegetables.

19. Can you name the 27th letter of the alphabet? Well, of course not, there are only 26 letters in the alphabet. But not always; once there were 27. The letter we’re talking about here is the ampersand, better known as '&', which was considered a part of the alphabet until roughly the middle of the nineteenth century. Today it’s mainly used in company names, like H&R Block, or Ben & Jerry's. Back when the ampersand was considered part of the alphabet, it resided after 'Z'. And one could not simply say 'W,X,Y,Z, and, 'And' ". So instead, they said "W,X,Y,Z, and per se and". Over time, “and per se and” was slurred together into the word we use today: ampersand.

 20.  It is one of the most famous landmarks in England. The famous tower clock known as Big Ben began ticking for the first time on this day in 1859. Big Ben was the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London, and often extended to refer to the clock, the tower, and the bell. Big Ben’s tower was renamed “Elizabeth Tower” in 2012 in honor of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, her 60th anniversary on the throne. The tower has become one of the most prominent symbols of the United Kingdom.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Facts About The Decline Of The U.S.A.

America has more gun violence than any nation not at war.
The U.S. has been at war since World War II.
America has more guns than people.  
The U.S. is not a republic and not a democracy.
The U.S, prides itself on not being a theocracy, yet it "in God we trust" is on money and "one nation under God" in part of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Americans do not elect the president. The Electoral College does.
America ranks13th in starting a business, according to the Doing Business rankings compiled by The World Bank.
The U.S. ranks 47th in press freedom, according to Reporters Without Borders. So much for freedom of the press.
The U.S., which ranks 15th in dealing with debt insolvency according to the Doing Business rankings.
The U.S. is ranked 10th in economic freedom, according to The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal.
The U.S. is 25th among 43 developing countries for the best place to be a mother, according to Save The Children.
The U.S. is only the 11th happiest country in the world, according Columbia University's Earth Institute.
There are 21 countries better than America in freedom from corruption, according to
The U.S. was ranked 24th in perceived honesty, according to
America is ranked 39th in income inequality according to the CIA World Factbook.
Need a Hepatitis B vaccination? The U.S. is ranked 89th in percentage of children who have been vaccinated according to the World Health Organization.
The U.S. is only 47th in infant survival? That's true, according to the CIA World Factbook.
Want to live a long life? Don't live in the U.S. According to the CIA World Factbook, the life expectancy is very low.
How well is our economy growing? The U.S. GDP growth rate is ranked 169th out of 216 countries, according to the CIA World Factbook.
America's GDP per capita is only 12th in the world, behind Qatar and Liechtenstein, says the CIA World Factbook.
The U.S. is an embarrassing 142nd out of 150 countries in infrastructure investment, according to the CIA World Factbook.
America's budget deficit is ranked 192nd in debt relative to GDP, according to the CIA World Factbook.
The U.S. is only 11th in oil exports, according to the CIA World Factbook.
Our oil reserves is only the 13th most in the world, according to the CIA World Factbook.
The U. S. reserve of foreign exchange and gold is ranked 19th, according to the CIA World Factbook, right behind Indonesia.
The U.S. is ranked the 28th best soccer team by FIFA.
U. S. life expectancy is on the decline and is surpassed by Japan and England..
U. S. medical costs have risen since every year since 1960.
The U.S. has the worst rate of maternal death rate in the developed world and state with the biggest maternal death rate is Texas.

American prestige and leadership is on the decline.

In addition to all of that, now America has given the world Trump!