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Are you there God? It’s me, Einstein. May 16, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Personal, Religion, Science.
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A letter written by Albert Einstein sold for an amazing £170,000 (approximately $330,000) yesterday at auction in London to a private collector.  It was estimated to sell for £8,000 earlier this week, but the price skyrocketed it seems in part due to Einstein’s candid view on religion and the Bible.

The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”

Despite his rejection of conventional religion, Einstein became angry when his views were appropriated by evangelists for atheism according to a leading Einstein expert, John Brooke of Oxford University.  Brooke goes onto say that Einstein was offended by their lack of humility and once wrote, “The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility.”

Einstein himself appears to have struggled with the fundamental questions of god and religion much like those before him did and those of us after him continue to do.  A year before his death in 1954, he spoke of wishing to “experience the universe as a single cosmic whole.”  So say we all.

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A new Mom update May 9, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Family, Personal.
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My Mom was scheduled to have her tenth surgery yesterday, but it was postponed until next Thursday.  We visited my family about three weeks ago, and sickness, allergies, and a dislocated elbow couldn’t stop us from making it.  Our short trip was fun for all, and Grandma got to see her two wonderful granddaugthers.

Since her last operation, the wound has been healing nicely.  However, another fistula formed because there is not enough skin to close properly.  As a result, a plastic surgeon will be joining the operating team next week to address that.  The goals for this surgery are to fix the fistula (again), repair with plastic surgery or Mighty Putty, and reverse the ileostomy.

Chebra April 30, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Family, Personal, Pets.
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Chebra by Rosie, April 2008

“Chebra” by Rosie, April 2008

No one can hear you scream! April 7, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Personal, Pop Culture, Science, Technology.
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You’ve seen the movies, read the books, and had hours & hours of discussion about it, but just how long could you survive in space before a passing Vogon ship picked you up?

How long could you survive in the vacuum of space?
Created by OnePlusYou

Kids & Computers February 14, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Future, Parenting, Personal, Technology.
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LilyMouseWhen I was a kid, who could’ve predicted all of the amazing technological advances that have come in the past few years?  My family got an Atari 2600 when I was 9 and a Commodore 64 about two or three years later.  I remember being excited when we bought our first modem (300 Baud) and were able to use Quantum Link, the precursor to American Online.  Fast forward 20+ years…

Both Rosie and Lily were born in the 21st century, and they’ve been exposed to computers and technology from an early age (well before either Anna or me).  After seeing us use a digital camera for so long, Rosie didn’t understand at first why you couldn’t see the picture right away on a film camera.  She also frequently wants to upload videos we make to YouTube, so she can see herself online.  The other day, she searched for the iChat icon and added it to her dock under her Mac user name!  I watched her do it, and I’m still trying to figure out how she did it so quickly!  Lily doesn’t have a user account on our computer (yet), but she will pick up one of our cell phones, hold it to her ear, and say “bye-bye.”

I guess once kids today are born and the cord is cut, they’ll be Wi-Fi for the rest of their lives.  “Hang on lady, we go for ride!!!”

Jury Duty & the Death Penalty February 8, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Cleveland, Law, Personal.
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I couldn’t say it in my last post, but the case for which I was a possible juror on Monday was a murder with the death penalty being a potential judgment.  Fifty of us crowded into the courtroom on Monday afternoon to listen to the charges (including breaking and entering, arson, murder, and attempted murder) brought against the defendant.  After being sworn in and hearing the allegations, we were escorted out of the courtroom to fill out a questionnaire about our general feelings toward the death penalty as well as whether our religion said anything about it, or if any close relatives had differing views.  I never really thought too much about the death penalty and didn’t have any strong feelings one way or another.  Part of me wanted to have it as an option (if the trial came to it) and to apply it if the law so deemed.  Another part of me was concerned about the chance that I may be sending someone to their death.  The black and white of hypothetical questions suddenly became very, very gray.

After returning to the courthouse on Tuesday, we found out that the defendant had decided to plead guilty to avoid the possibility of the death penalty and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.  Click here to read more about the case.

The rest of the week was not as intense as the first two days.  I mostly read and did sudoku on Wednesday, but was called again on Thursday.  We again went to the 20th floor and waited for about 15 minutes before the judge came into the jury assembly room to let us know that this defendant waived his right to trial by jury.  Since the case load was light after that, the Monday jurors were not needed to return on Friday.

Overall, I found it to be an informative experience, but not much like the court dramas seen on TV.  You don’t usually see the hundreds of potential jurors waiting on Matlock or Law & Order.  Both judges I saw were both very grateful and thankful for our services as jurors, and they expressed their respect for our legal system and its tradition of trial by jury as something that’s not available to everyone in the world.  It was a humbling to hear them speak like that, and I felt a connection to our American forefathers who guaranteed that right in the Constitution.

Jury Duty – Day 1 February 4, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Cleveland, Law, Personal.
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Badge

As I said yesterday, I began my jury duty at the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court located in downtown Cleveland almost adjacent to Cleveland Browns Stadium. I took the train into the city and ended up just walking the few blocks to the courthouse instead of catching the bus the rest of the way. I went through security up to the fourth floor, waited in the M-Z juror line, watched the orientation video, and waited some more to be called. According to the video, this court has the highest volume of cases per year in all of Ohio. Also, jurors are selected from only Ohioans who are registered to vote (this was news to me).

I kept waiting for my name to be called while reading Cosmic Jackpot and Time magazine, tweeting on Twitter, and watching daytime game shows 🙂 The room would get quiet every time names were read in batches of about 20 per case, and mine was finally called in the last set before lunch. We then took the elevator to one of the upper floors with a lovely view of the stadium, the Great Lakes Science Center, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I was in the second batch our jurors of the case and was released for the day, so I’ll head back tomorrow afternoon.

The Sixth Amendment February 3, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Cleveland, History, Personal.
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In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”

This Monday, I’ll be making my jury duty debut at the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court in downtown Cleveland. According to Wikipedia, there are only four states (Delaware, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina) in the US with Courts of Common Pleas. Stay tuned for my legal tales from the jury box.

Lily dances January 31, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Family, Personal.
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Here’s a little of Lily dancing to a Dora the Explorer music box.  Enjoy!

Another Mom update January 30, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Family, Personal.
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My Mom has been in the hospital more or less since March 23, 2007 (about 10 months now).  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, she’s had a number of surgeries on her small intestines with the hopes that no fistulas will form during the healing process.  In December, it looked like she was doing well, but then two more fistulas developed after her eighth operation.

Within the past two weeks, the doctors have started a feeded tube directly into her intestines to get her more nutrition than the TPN that she’s been receiving intravenously.  In combination with physical therapy, the hope is for her to regain some strength to return home for a bit before attempting another surgery.

Gratefully, my Aunt Mary Anne has flown from Florida for an open-ended visit to be with my Mom at the hospital and to help my Dad at home.  She is very thankful to have her sister there, and she sounded in better spirits when I talked with her on the phone earlier this week.  Again, I am indebted to everyone for their continued prayers, words, and support.