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Prof. Boerner's Explorations

Thoughts and Essays that explore the world of Technology, Computers, Photography, History and Family.

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Archive for December, 2011

Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumbAs children, not many of us haven’t spend many a rainy (or snowy) day in the kitchen or on the living room floor playing board games. And which of these games was the most captivating?

Monopoly, of course! Why did this game capture our interest and keep us busy over the hours that we were stuck inside due to the inclement weather outside or due to illness? Because each of us had the chance to become business tycoons. We had an allocation of money and we could buy and develop property along the way. The biggest obstacles were the fund raisers (Community Chest), taking a Chance on the draw of a card, or the threat of going to Jail or having to pay income tax. But the greatest threat was landing on a developed property owned by someone else.

Monopoly_Logo_123

And, of course, there were the cute little game pieces that represented us as we made our circuit around the board. It was interesting to find out that these pieces, originally made of metal, were made of wood during World War II as part of our support of the war effort. Also it was fascinating to find out that Charles Darrow, who was awarded a patent on the game board on this day in 1935, probably modeled Monopoly after “The Landlord Game” developed and patented by Elizabeth Magie in 1904. Was Monopoly a derived work? Who knows, but it became a big hit and was purchased from Darrow in 1935 by the Parker Brothers toy company. They helped secure the patent in 1935 and it has been one of their star performers over the years.

Now let’s dive into a closer look at the origins of the board game, Monopoly, and how it has changed over the years… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 4181 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Monopoly:

    

“But no man has a monopoly of conscience.”
— Mary A. Ward

“I think it’s wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly.”
— Steven Wright

“I don’t know what a monopoly is until somebody tells me.”
— Steve Ballmer

continue reading…

Written by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumb_Today we start a series on the 24 days of the Advent Calendar. Advent is a Church celebration of looking to the nativity of Jesus Christ and formally begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. The Advent Calendar, by Old World Traditions, starts on December 1st. The calendar has twenty-four doors with a Bible verse, toy or some other treat behind it. One door is opened on each day of the Advent month, culminating with Christmas Eve. Check out the previous post from earlier this week for more information about Advent Traditions. For each day of this Advent season, we will add one of these posts with devotionals prepared by the Lutheran Hour Ministries for your enjoyment and celebration of the true intent of this Christmas season.

advent-wreath

Take this as an opportunity to sit down with your family and focus your family members. I hope that it might help take our attention off of the commercialization of the Christmas season and refocus it to the real meaning of Christmas. Even though I am using devotions from the Lutheran Hour, the content applies to both Protestants and Catholics alike. Use the scripture reading from your favorite version of the Bible to get the observance started.

Please enjoy this exploration of the concepts that look forward to both the nativity of Christ and the Second Coming of Christ… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1312 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Advent:

    

“A poem conveys not a message so much as the provenance of a message, an advent of sense.”
— Thomas Harrison

“After the advent of the written word, the masses who could not – or were not permitted to – read, were given sermons by the few who could.”
— Theodore Bikel

“Every year we celebrate the holy season of Advent, O God. Every year we pray those beautiful prayers of longing and waiting, and sing those lovely songs of hope and promise.”
— Karl Rahner

“The salvation of the elect was as certain before His advent, though accomplished by it, as afterwards.”
— John Nelson Darby

continue reading…

Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumbToday we take an interesting walk down memory lane, or memories of freeways gone by! It’s hard to believe that it was at the end of the Great Depression and Works Project Administration that the first freeway, or “controlled-access highway,” was built to connect downtown Los Angeles with Pasadena. We need to remember that this was a time when Los Angeles had a fantastic commuter system in operation, the Pacific Electric Railway (Red Car), that connected all parts of the Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange Counties together. But the it the era of the automobile was fast approaching.

BigRedCar

In 1939, the California Legislature passed a freeway law that enabled the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) to start building a limited-access parkway that followed the route of the Arroyo Seco canyon between LA and Pasadena. This became, when completed, the Arroyo Seco Parkway (Freeway) that would allow cars to travel up to 45 mph between the two endpoints! Regular surface traffic could be avoided by those going between the San Gabriel Valley and downtown. This connection was presently served by the Pacific Electric Railway. But as cars became more depended upon, especially in the post-war period, freeways would be the preferred way of getting around.

The whole transportation landscape in the LA basin was ripe for change. The family car was favored over the fixed-rail lines or the current undependable bus system. Furthermore, several of the large trucking companies in LA were in the process, during the late 1940s, of acquiring the bus systems and wanted to eliminate the highly efficient, but somewhat outdated, Pacific Electric routes. Thus, parkways like the Arroyo Seco we seen as the future of LA.

We now talk about where we live, shop, dine, or catch the latest sporting or entertainment event in terms of which they are closest to. We have become a freeway culture. It doesn’t seem to matter that cars give off emissions that pollute the air, tie us up in traffic jams, or lead to inefficient uses of resources by one-passenger vehicles; this is freedom!

But now it is time to proceed with our look at the history that revolves around California’s first freeway, the Arroyo Seco… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 4280 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Freeway:

    

“Boston’s freeway system is insane. It was clearly designed by a person who had spent his childhood crashing toy trains.”
— Bill Bryson

“How many times have you been on the freeway and had someone fly by you at 100 mph then end up two cars ahead of you at the off ramp? What’s the point?”
— Mark Harmon

“I got a role in this movie called Freeway playing this really angry, aggressive, violent young woman who believed wholeheartedly in the truth. I had such satisfaction afterward, and I thought, That’s what I want to do.”
— Reese Witherspoon

continue reading…

Written by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumb_Today we start a series on the 24 days of the Advent Calendar. Advent is a Church celebration of looking to the nativity of Jesus Christ and formally begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. The Advent Calendar, by Old World Traditions, starts on December 1st. The calendar has twenty-four doors with a Bible verse, toy or some other treat behind it. One door is opened on each day of the Advent month, culminating with Christmas Eve. Check out the previous post from earlier this week for more information about Advent Traditions. For each day of this Advent season, we will add one of these posts with devotionals prepared by the Lutheran Hour Ministries for your enjoyment and celebration of the true intent of this Christmas season.

Wichern_Adventskranz_originated_from_Germany

Take this as an opportunity to sit down with your family and focus your family members. I hope that it might help take our attention off of the commercialization of the Christmas season and refocus it to the real meaning of Christmas. Even though I am using devotions from the Lutheran Hour, the content applies to both Protestants and Catholics alike. Use the scripture reading from your favorite version of the Bible to get the observance started.

Please enjoy this exploration of the concepts that look forward to both the nativity of Christ and the Second Coming of Christ… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1311 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Advent:

    

“A poem conveys not a message so much as the provenance of a message, an advent of sense.”
— Thomas Harrison

“After the advent of the written word, the masses who could not – or were not permitted to – read, were given sermons by the few who could.”
— Theodore Bikel

“Every year we celebrate the holy season of Advent, O God. Every year we pray those beautiful prayers of longing and waiting, and sing those lovely songs of hope and promise.”
— Karl Rahner

“The salvation of the elect was as certain before His advent, though accomplished by it, as afterwards.”
— John Nelson Darby

continue reading…

Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumbIn this country, most of us only know about the events in Czechoslovakia only from travelogues that visit its capital city, Prague. Some of us remember the Soviet tanks entering the country when it got too “independent”, but we really don’t remember or have any recollection of that country in Eastern Europe, part of the Warsaw Pact nations. They were communist “puppet” states as far as most of us were concerned. The internal events only became relevant when they threatened the security of Western Europe. But that is what we had NATO for, wasn’t it?

Czechoslovakia-1969The Prague Spring, a confrontation between the Soviet troops and tanks, too place in the Spring of 1968, pitted the Czech dissonants seeking to preserve their reforms were overwhelmed by the Soviet forces. Many of the leaders were put into detention camps as punishment. When the communist system fell in 1989, the wave of freedom swept through Czechoslovakia along with other members of the Warsaw Pact. Democracy blossomed and Havel was elected as president in the first free election. Later, when the Czech Republic split from the Slovakia, Havel was elected as the first present of the new republic.

It was quite a journey for Havel from being a playwright to becoming the country’s leader. He paid a high price for this transition to freedom. He was imprisoned and suffered persecution by the ruling communist power structure. He emerged stronger and well-prepared to lead his new country into the new experience of democracy. Not only is today the date in which he became president, it is a fitting tribute since he passed from this life on December 18th.

So, let us now proceed to our exploration of the life and context in which Václav Havel led his free nation along the road to democracy… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 4254 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Czech Republic:

    

“I explained to the prime minister [Asgrimsson] that for the Czech Republic it was no choice, but necessity…”
— Vaclav Klaus

“…it is such a delicate part of Czech history that it cannot be done without consensus on it in the Czech Republic.”
— Vaclav Klaus

“People come here [Cuba] from all over, and from as far away as Argentina, Poland, the Czech Republic and Japan.”
— Elian Gonzalez

continue reading…

Written by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumb_Today we start a series on the 24 days of the Advent Calendar. Advent is a Church celebration of looking to the nativity of Jesus Christ and formally begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. The Advent Calendar, by Old World Traditions, starts on December 1st. The calendar has twenty-four doors with a Bible verse, toy or some other treat behind it. One door is opened on each day of the Advent month, culminating with Christmas Eve. Check out the previous post from earlier this week for more information about Advent Traditions. For each day of this Advent season, we will add one of these posts with devotionals prepared by the Lutheran Hour Ministries for your enjoyment and celebration of the true intent of this Christmas season.

Advent_Wreath_cbx_pic

Take this as an opportunity to sit down with your family and focus your family members. I hope that it might help take our attention off of the commercialization of the Christmas season and refocus it to the real meaning of Christmas. Even though I am using devotions from the Lutheran Hour, the content applies to both Protestants and Catholics alike. Use the scripture reading from your favorite version of the Bible to get the observance started.

Please enjoy this exploration of the concepts that look forward to both the nativity of Christ and the Second Coming of Christ… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1304 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Advent:

    

“A poem conveys not a message so much as the provenance of a message, an advent of sense.”
— Thomas Harrison

“After the advent of the written word, the masses who could not – or were not permitted to – read, were given sermons by the few who could.”
— Theodore Bikel

“Every year we celebrate the holy season of Advent, O God. Every year we pray those beautiful prayers of longing and waiting, and sing those lovely songs of hope and promise.”
— Karl Rahner

“The salvation of the elect was as certain before His advent, though accomplished by it, as afterwards.”
— John Nelson Darby

continue reading…

Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumbI remember watching pro football games on TV as a teenager. I was involved with playing on my Junior High and High School football teams. The workouts, especially at the end of summer before school started; they were twice a day and totally exhausting in the heat of August in SoCal. Watching Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts was a real treat. Even better, I remember my dad taking me to football games at the Los Angeles Coliseum to see the LA Rams play the Colts. While I don’t remember this game specifically, the Colts were always an exciting team.

8319682-standard

This specific game was noteworthy by the intense battle on the field between two championship squads on the field of Yankee Stadium. As is often the case, the encounter turns on the result of an error by one or other team. This was the case here, with the score tied as regulation time expired. After a short break, they commenced an overtime sudden-death period — the first team to score was the winner. The battle continued until the Colts scored to win. To date, this was the only NFL Championship Game to ever go into sudden-death overtime!

But now, let’s get to our exploration of that notorious championship game played by the New York Giants and Baltimore Colts in 1958… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 4340 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Championship:

    

“I did six years of planning to win the championship from Jack Dempsey.”
— Gene Tunney

“I still think we have a great shot at this championship.”
— Jeff Gordon

“Each championship is unique and special.”
— Trish Stratus

continue reading…

Written by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumb_Today we start a series on the 24 days of the Advent Calendar. Advent is a Church celebration of looking to the nativity of Jesus Christ and formally begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. The Advent Calendar, by Old World Traditions, starts on December 1st. The calendar has twenty-four doors with a Bible verse, toy or some other treat behind it. One door is opened on each day of the Advent month, culminating with Christmas Eve. Check out the previous post from earlier this week for more information about Advent Traditions. For each day of this Advent season, we will add one of these posts with devotionals prepared by the Lutheran Hour Ministries for your enjoyment and celebration of the true intent of this Christmas season.

NativityScene_ChristkindlmarketChicago_12190011a

Take this as an opportunity to sit down with your family and focus your family members. I hope that it might help take our attention off of the commercialization of the Christmas season and refocus it to the real meaning of Christmas. Even though I am using devotions from the Lutheran Hour, the content applies to both Protestants and Catholics alike. Use the scripture reading from your favorite version of the Bible to get the observance started.

Please enjoy this exploration of the concepts that look forward to both the nativity of Christ and the Second Coming of Christ… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1304 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Advent:

    

“A poem conveys not a message so much as the provenance of a message, an advent of sense.”
— Thomas Harrison

“After the advent of the written word, the masses who could not – or were not permitted to – read, were given sermons by the few who could.”
— Theodore Bikel

“Every year we celebrate the holy season of Advent, O God. Every year we pray those beautiful prayers of longing and waiting, and sing those lovely songs of hope and promise.”
— Karl Rahner

“The salvation of the elect was as certain before His advent, though accomplished by it, as afterwards.”
— John Nelson Darby

continue reading…

Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumbRevolutionaries have many things in common. Not only do they “see” things in new ways. Lincoln did it with his vision of a truly United States and Equality for all men and women. Darwin did it with his view of how the different species of fauna are related to each other. Furthermore, both of these men were born on the same day, February 12th. They both lived to apply their vision of the world to their respective environments — Lincoln to the political map and the laws that enabled equality of both states and individuals while Darwin did it by recording his observations on the voyage of the HMS Beagle that set sail this day.

HMSBeagle

Science in the mid-1800s was based on naturalistic observation and recording. This was enabled when Charles Darwin set sail on the HMS Beagle on a five year journey of discovery. He observed nature at every stop and fastidiously recorded these observations in his journal. During the voyage, he started to see patterns among his observations. Patterns like this suggested relationships between animal species and their environments not explained by the prevalent “Creation” explanation of the relationships among animal species promoted by the church.

Instead, it suggested the operation of a principle that he termed “Natural Selection.” This principle was supported by his observations, especially on the various Galápagos Islands, that indicated that animals had adapted to the particular needs of that particular microenvironment. Therefore, he concluded that those members of the species that adapted were able to survive, the “Survival of the Fittest.” Upon his return, he spent a good thirty years developing his Theory of Evolution before it was published in his famous The Origin of the Species.

So let’s get going on our exploration of this journey and Darwin’s development of his ideas in a hostile cultural environment of mid-19th century England…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 4137 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Charles Darwin:

    

“A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”
— Charles Darwin

“A scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections – a mere heart of stone.”
— Charles Darwin

“I am turned into a sort of machine for observing facts and grinding out conclusions.”
— Charles Darwin

continue reading…

Written by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumb_Today we start a series on the 24 days of the Advent Calendar. Advent is a Church celebration of looking to the nativity of Jesus Christ and formally begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. The Advent Calendar, by Old World Traditions, starts on December 1st. The calendar has twenty-four doors with a Bible verse, toy or some other treat behind it. One door is opened on each day of the Advent month, culminating with Christmas Eve. Check out the previous post from earlier this week for more information about Advent Traditions. For each day of this Advent season, we will add one of these posts with devotionals prepared by the Lutheran Hour Ministries for your enjoyment and celebration of the true intent of this Christmas season.

pic-2-xmas-star-crscriptoriusrex-580x463

Take this as an opportunity to sit down with your family and focus your family members. I hope that it might help take our attention off of the commercialization of the Christmas season and refocus it to the real meaning of Christmas. Even though I am using devotions from the Lutheran Hour, the content applies to both Protestants and Catholics alike. Use the scripture reading from your favorite version of the Bible to get the observance started.

Please enjoy this exploration of the concepts that look forward to both the nativity of Christ and the Second Coming of Christ… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1305 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Advent:

    

“A poem conveys not a message so much as the provenance of a message, an advent of sense.”
— Thomas Harrison

“After the advent of the written word, the masses who could not – or were not permitted to – read, were given sermons by the few who could.”
— Theodore Bikel

“Every year we celebrate the holy season of Advent, O God. Every year we pray those beautiful prayers of longing and waiting, and sing those lovely songs of hope and promise.”
— Karl Rahner

“The salvation of the elect was as certain before His advent, though accomplished by it, as afterwards.”
— John Nelson Darby

continue reading…