A FRESH START…

Kintsukuroi (Original Image c/o Wikipedia Commons)

Kintsukuroi (Original Image c/o Wikipedia Commons)

2014-06-16 @ 06:10 CDT

What you see here is the result of some very private decisions with some very public results. Not only have I deleted all the posts I’ve made here (whether directly or by reposting from somewhere else), along with most of the photographs in my media library, but I’ve also deleted two of my subordinate blogs and replaced a third. Besides this blog, The Music of the Bible Revealed and my creative writing blog, Tales of the Undying Singer, are all that I have now.

This blog will continue to feature the same degree, and mostly the same kind, of eclectic content it always has – including what was formerly on the now-deleted blogs. With any grace, the above photograph and caption – which I found on Facebook – will be the perfect summary of my life as I portray it here. (Wikipedia’s article on the Japanese aesthetic philosophy itself is well worth reading.)

(יוחנן רכב)

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ANOTHER KIND OF “ROSETTA STONE”

Rosetta Gallery (c/o ESA, NASA & Slate.com)

Rosetta Gallery (c/o ESA, NASA & Slate.com)

2014-11-23 @ 15:00 CST

During my busy Sunday, I’m taking enough time to watch a PBS episode, “To Catch a Comet“, on the extraordinary mission of the Rosetta/Philae probes to a short-period comet. The “navcam” of Rosetta took the above sequence of photos as the probe approached its target.

Philae – the lander – has successfully landed and sent telemetry before it shut down for lack of power. It is due to reawaken in August 2015, when there is enough solar power for it to operate. The lander is named after the Philae obelisk which bears a bilingual inscription, and which was used along with the Rosetta Stone to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics.

The scientists running the mission hope that the comet will serve as a sort of “Rosetta Stone” itself, not just for the early history of the Sol system, but for how life appeared on Earth. But as I watch the PBS episode on the mission, I have to ask myself: has anyone among them “done the math” on how truly trans-astronomical the odds are against even the simplest forms of life possible evolving by chance, anywhere in the Universe, even were the Universe three times older than it appears to be, and (if you really want to make the game interesting) 10 to the 100th power times larger in volume than the Universe we can observe directly?

I find this kind of mission exciting. It will undoubtedly reveal fascinating things about the natural history of Sol system. But will it reveal anything about the origins of life on earth, even if – as NASA’s Stardust mission suggests – amino acids are found in time on the comet being studied? No, it will not. Forming organic molecules in this Universe is easy. Coming up with organic life – that’s hard! In fact, it’s so hard that only a transcendent Supreme Intelligence could do it, ever, by any reasonable standard mankind can apply to the question.

(יוחנן רכב)

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“FROM THE SUBLIME TO THE RIDICULOUS” ON ALETHEIA

John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav):

The best recording I have to date of my performance on Aletheia (Truth), the Greek lyre. Thanks to Ray and Regina Rottmann for providing me with this video! :D

Originally posted on The Music of the Bible Revealed:

2014-11-09 @ 13:44

This performance was recorded by Ray Rottmann (a close relative of Mel Blanc, the voice actor behind so many animated characters in Classic Warner Bros. cartoons) at the Feast of Tabernacles as observed by the Living Church of God in Boerne, Texas, in 2014. The performance isn’t perfect, but it certainly turned out far better than I hoped – especially vocally! :D My thanks to Regina Rottmann for putting this up on her YouTube channel.

The lyre featured, of course, is my beloved Aletheia, built by Carlos Paniagua of Spain. The performance features the opening of the Song of the Ark (1 Chronicles 15) according to Suzanne Haik-Vantoura’s decipherment, the famous Epitaph of Seikilos, and “Be It Ever So Crumbly” by Mellus Blancus ;), all on my just-tuned lyre with A = 432Hz as the referent.

(יוחנן רכב)

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A PAGE ON THE LYRE OF MEGIDDO

John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav):

Something to start off my morning coffee break… :)

Originally posted on The Music of the Bible Revealed:

King David with Megiddo Lyre (c/o Peter Pringle)

King David with Megiddo Lyre (c/o Peter Pringle)

2014-11-02 @ 08:00 CST

We are finally off of Daylight Savings Time! :D

Some time ago, Canadian musician and singer Peter Pringle created a playable version of the Lyre of Megiddo and then recorded a splendid video of his performance on it. For the benefit of someone new to lyre-making, he posted on Facebook’s The Lyre Groupa page I haven’t seen before, one placed on his own Web site, all about the Lyre of Megiddo and its relationship to the kinnor that King David played.

I thought you might be interested in my answer to a claim Peter makes at the bottom of his page. First, the claim:

What did the music of the time of King David sound like? Were quarter tones used in the tuning of the instruments as they are in the modal system known as…

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MY FIRST VENTURE AS AN “INDIE” ARTIST

John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav):

Apologies to my Facebook readers for the redundancy of this article on my page! I forgot that I could kill two birds with one stone just by posting on WordPress…

Originally posted on Tales of the Undying Singer:

"Hey, Christopher Alain" (Cover Art)

“Hey, Christopher Alain” (Cover Art)

2014-10-31 @ 09:30 CDT

[N.B.: This is a reprint from a post I put on The Lyre Group on Facebook and copied elsewhere.]

The following isn’t about lyre music, but synthesized music; not at the top of the technological mark in that genre, but the best I can presently do; not to everyone’s taste I don’t doubt, yet many have praised the effort; and withal a milestone in my musical life.

“Many moons pass over big river” (as the First American shaman allegedly said to the white cowboy ) since I saw Dr. Carleen Hutchins’ article in SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN about her Violin Octet (now called the New Violin Family and trackable on YouTube etc. by that name and by an ensemble’s name, the Hutchins Consort). As a viola player I was so inspired by the concept that it went straight into my science…

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The Multiverse Kills Science

John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav):

The “multiverse” concept as usually expressed – Mr. Smith describes two variations here – kills both science and religion at the same time, which (so far as I can see) is typical of self-refuting ideologies of any kind.

Originally posted on Thoughts En Route:

NASA pic

Somewhere in the multiverse, you may be reading this blog post on a beach instead of wherever you are. And, importantly, you might be riding a unicorn.

OK, bear with me a bit, today. Some of you may not be interested in this topic at all, but I’ve thought about it a lot and, well, it’s my blog. :)

In yesterday’s post on the New Scientist ad, I referred to the multiverse concept in a couple of derogatory ways. The first was that it is often used as a multiverse-of-the-gaps to help explain our existence when nothing else known by science will. I touch on this in my upcoming article in the next Tomorrow’s World magazine. And that topic is worth exploring in another post, perhaps, since there’s a lot to be said, though I wouldn’t say all of it rises to any level above mere blogworthiness.

The other derogatory…

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TUNING, TEMPERAMENT AND BIBLICAL CHANT

John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav):

Here is the fruit of a LOT of hard work lately…

Originally posted on The Music of the Bible Revealed:

The Scale of Prosodia (JHW - after SHV)

The Scale of Prosodia (JHW – after SHV)

The Scale of Psalmodia (JHW - after SHV)

The Scale of Psalmodia (JHW – after SHV)

2014-10-27 @ 12:00 CDT

These past several days I’ve been working on a background paper for the senior ministry and the Personal Correspondence Dept. of the Living Church of God. The paper is called “Tuning, Temperament and Biblical Chant”. In the process, I confirmed my hunch (and Suzanne Haik-Vantoura’s own inference, more so than I realized while she was alive) that the biblical Hebrew chant which SHV revived is founded in what we call today “scientific just intonation” (to tweak the description of The Handbook of Chemistry and Physics just a tad). But I also learned that this scale is the same as the chromatic extension (extended to just the possible “sharp notes”, leaving out the possible “flat notes”) of “Ptolemy’s intense diatonic octave”, which was described mathematically by Claudius Ptolemy…

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Great site concerning Moon Landing conspiracies

John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav):

WIKIPEDIA has some great pages and internal links on this subject. And now, here is another nail in the coffin (as if there really were a need for one, but this one is particularly elegant). :D

Originally posted on Thoughts En Route:

Well, we're back from the Feast! Wait... this doesn't look like Ohio... I knew we should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque.

Well, we’re back from the Feast! Wait… This doesn’t look like Ohio… I knew we should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque.

We’re back from the Feast! Sort of. Physically, you get back, but (1) your mind still wanders to the amazing things you heard and experienced, and (2) there is a lot to do to get back up to speed with real life again. :) So, today my family and I jump into doing the second thing. I know the boys are looking forward to getting back into their math classes today. (OK, I am pretending that my boys are looking forward to getting back into their math classes, today.)

And there is lots that could be blogged about, today — Ebola! Houston pastors & subpoenas! Our Feast! — let me blog on something random. Consider it a palette cleanser.

Of all the “conspiracy ideas” that I have…

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New Hypothesis Posits Autism as Disorder of Prediction | Psych Central News

John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav):

This makes a lot of sense to me, too, being on the inside of the problem.

Originally posted on Raising Rob:

This makes a lot of sense to me. Combine a disorder of prediction with a sensory integration dysfunction and it would be very anxiety-provoking.

New Hypothesis Posits Autism as Disorder of Prediction | Psych Central News.

s.

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NASA SCIENCECASTS: A TETRAD OF LUNAR ECLIPSES

2014-09.28 @ 10:00 CDT

As observant Jews, my church (the Living Church of God), and many other groups prepare to observe the biblical Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:34-36, 39-43), something else is going on in the heavens. Beginning on April 15, 2014, the first Day of Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6), a tetrad – a series of four total lunar eclipses in a row – has been in progress. Eight such tetrads are due to occur during the 21st century. (The reporter in the above video from NASA ScienceCasts erroneously says nine; cf. the following table from the NASA Eclipse Web site.)

Lunar Eclipse Tetrads 2001-2100 (c/o NASA)

Lunar Eclipse Tetrads 2001-2100 (c/o NASA)

The second eclipse in the current tetrad will occur on October 08, 2014, which is the first day of Tabernacles: in central Texas terms (which is where I’ll be at the time), a few hours before dawn and into dawn. The eclipse will be most readily visible in the Pacific basin, but much of the United States will get to see at least part of the action.

The next two eclipses in the tetrad will occur on April 04 , 2015 and September 28, 2015: the first days of Unleavened Bread and of Tabernacles, respectively. This Web page gives a very good overview of the lunar eclipses (total and otherwise) which will occur in this decade.

Besides the astronomical interest, tetrads are important because, inevitably, some people take such astronomical events as omens of great change in the human world – even of “the end of the world”. John Hagee has made much of tetrads of lunar eclipses which happen to occur on biblical Holy Days, as they do in 2014-2015. He alleges that such tetrads are omens of disaster (even if followed by triumph) for the Jewish people. The recent war between the State of Israel and Hamas probably has done nothing to disabuse him of that way of thinking.

But not only is Mr. Hagee’s way of looking at tetrads poor astronomy, poor statistics and poor history, it goes contrary to a clear command in the very book he claims to uphold: the Holy Bible. Consider these pointed verses:

(Jeremiah 10:1 RSV) Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel.
(Jeremiah 10:2 RSV) Thus says the LORD: “Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them,
(Jeremiah 10:3 RSV) for the customs of the peoples are false. (…)

“Signs” for the nations included, of course, solar and lunar eclipses. Never mind that the nations looked at specific eclipses happening on specific days and over specific areas – not groups of eclipses spread out over two and sometimes three Gregorian calendar years – as omens of divine or at least supernatural import. Mr. Hagee’s overly flexible (and yet arbitrary) way of looking at tetrads asks us to believe in a superstition even more fanciful than that which “the nations (‘Gentiles’)” held.

If anything, natural solar and lunar eclipses should point man to a combination of a supernatural solar eclipse followed immediately by a natural partial lunar eclipse at Jesus’ crucifixion (April 25, 31), which itself points to a future supernatural combination of a dark sun and a blood-red moon (cf. Acts 2:16-21; Joel 2:28-32; Revelation 6:12-17).

For more information on the Bible, history and so-called “blood moons”, you may download this DOC file, this DOC file, and this XLS file.

(יוחנן רכב)

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ROGER BABSON’S OVERLOOKED INSIGHT ON ECONOMICS

Roger Babson in 1920 (c/o WIKIPEDIA)

Roger Babson in 1920 (c/o WIKIPEDIA)

2014-09-15 @ 15:30

I don’t suppose many modern people have heard of economist Roger Babson. Jeff Thomas, the author of this recent article (forwarded to me by a friend), certainly has. So has Wikipedia.

If you read the first article (and I hope you will), you’ll see the following focus:

So, was Babson’s prediction [of the start of the Great Depression] a lucky guess? Did he simply observe the bull market and arbitrarily predict the opposite of the trend of the day to see what would happen? Not at all.

Such predictions are not guesswork, nor are they attributable to a vision seen in some crystal ball. Such crashes are entirely predictable. When any major bull market becomes overbought; when too many investors begin buying on margin because they can’t come up with the purchase price for stocks; when they then become even more obsessive and borrow money to buy on margin, the market has become a house of cards, waiting for the slightest breeze to come along.

The Wikipedia article alleges things I’d not heard about Mr. Babson before, chiefly about his unorthodox economic theory:

Babson’s success as an investor was based on unorthodox views of the operation of markets. According to biographer John Mulkern, Babson attributed the business cycle: to Sir Isaac Newton’s law of action and reaction…. His pseudoscientific notion, that the gravity can be used to explain movement in the stock markets. His market forecasting techniques are in articles in Traders World Magazine and the Gravity Research Foundation he founded. [See this PDF.]

It’s possible that Jeff Thomas’ comments speaks to this “heterodoxy”. He may be saying that Babson was not arguing from “action and reaction”, that something quite other was responsible for his success as an economic forecaster.

But is there something both sources are missing? It’s hard to argue with success, true enough, save by vilifying the successful – which is exactly what his contemporaries did. But indeed, Mr. Babson’s insight was not a matter of luck. His understanding of “action and reaction”, whatever else it was, had a moral foundation in universal law.

One person who was an eyewitness to what Roger Babson said and why was Herbert W. Armstrong. Long before he became a modern leader of the Church of God, Mr. Armstrong heard Mr. Babson speak twice, and recounted what Mr. Babson said several times in somewhat different ways. Later the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course cited another statement by Mr. Babson which was just as telling. Consider the following citations from the old literature of the Worldwide Church of God:

HWA—AUTOBIOGRAPHY VOLUME 1

Depression Strikes

In January, 1920, the well-known statistician Roger Babson was the speaker at one of our Association of Commerce luncheons then being held each Wednesday in the Cameo Room of the Morrison Hotel. Through the Advertising Club, a division of Chicago Association of Commerce, I had been a member of the Association for some years.
We were then at the very height of a wave of postwar prosperity.
“Gentlemen,” said Mr. Babson, “we are about to enter the worst business depression that our generation has ever experienced. I advise you all to set your houses in order. I advise against any further plans of expansion until this depression has passed over.”
Seated at tables in that large room were leading bankers and business executives of Chicago. I glanced around. I saw amused smirks animate the faces of many prominent men.
Through the next few months of 1920 business activity continued its boom upswing.
(…)
Before the end of 1920, Roger Babson’s predicted depression did strike — with sudden and intense fury. By January, 1921, we had reached and passed its lowest ebb.

“Thermometers on the Wall”

At this time Roger Babson once again was the guest speaker in the Morrison Hotel Cameo Room Association of Commerce luncheon.
“Well, gentlemen,” he said, “you will remember that a year ago I warned you that within one year we would be in the throes of the worst depression our generation has ever seen. I noticed many of you smiling unbelievingly then. Well, that year has rolled around, and here I am again, and here is the depression with me.”
Chicago business leaders were not smiling now. Mr. Babson then proceeded to explain why he knew what was coming and business executives did not.
“It is now mid-winter,” he said. “If I want to know what the temperature is, now, in this room, I go to the wall and look at the thermometer. If I want to know what it has been, up to now, and the existing trend as of the moment, I look at a recording thermometer. But if I want to know what the temperature in this room is going to be, an hour from now, I go to the source which determines future temperatures — I go down to the boiler-room and see what is happening down there. You gentlemen looked at bank clearings, indexes of business activity, stock car loadings, stock market quotations — you looked at the thermometers on the wall; I looked at THE WAY people as a whole were dealing with one another. I looked to the SOURCE which determines future conditions. I have found that that source may be defined in terms of ‘RIGHTEOUSNESS.’ When 51% or more of the whole people are reasonably ‘righteous’ in their dealings with one another, we are heading into increasing prosperity. When 51% of the people become ‘unrighteous’ in their business dealings with their fellows, then we are headed for BAD TIMES ECONOMICALLY!”
I have never forgotten Mr. Babson’s explanation. I hope my readers today may remember and profit by it, too.
I paid with the loss of my business to learn the lesson!

ACBCC—LESSON 54

What Went Wrong

Said well-known economist, Roger Babson: “The test of a nation is the growth of its people — physically, intellectually, and spiritually. Money and so-called ‘prosperity’ are of very little account … Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, Spain, and France all had their turn in being the richest in the world. Instead of saving them, their so-called prosperity ruined them.
“Money will not save us …” Mr. Babson continued, “Only a sane spiritual revival which CHANGES THE DESIRES OF OUR PEOPLE will save us. We must be filled with a desire to render service, to seek strength rather than security, to PUT CHARACTER AHEAD OF PROFITS.”

HWA—AUTOBIOGRAPHY VOLUME 2
(Citing a Co-Worker Letter)

Pasadena
January 20, 1983

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ:
I have to tell you now that the outlook for the United States and the entire world is bleak and foreboding indeed! Based on world news, observation and personal contacts with world leaders — based on Bible prophecy and a long life of experience, I have to tell you now that the entire world economy is in a drastic nose dive. Civilization itself is stricken with spiritual, moral and economic sickness unto its death — the end of this world!
But there is also good news! There is good news for the Work of God — the best ever! And the big good news (the word gospel means “good news”) is the new civilization — the World Tomorrow — the Kingdom of God — is soon to follow! God’s Church — the living and the dead in Christ — will then emerge into a new world of peace, happiness, abundance, with eternal life.
Bible prophecy shows what soon shall occur — why the world is now sick on its deathbed — why the rising unemployment, the sick economy, the immorality, crime, violence and world evils.
I have seen much of this in ninety years of event-packed experience.
In November, 1919, I was a member of the Chicago Association of Commerce. At a regular weekly membership luncheon, the noted Boston statistician and economist, Roger Babson, was guest speaker. He astonished major bank officials and industrial leaders saying that in one year we would experience the most drastic depression our generation had known. Economic executives ridiculed. We were then in an upward trend of prosperity.
A year later Roger Babson again was our guest speaker. He said, “The year has passed, and I am back and depression is here with me.” There was no ridicule or laughter. Mr. Babson told us why he knew, and why business and financial executives did not.
“When I want to know what the temperature in this room is going to be an hour or two from now I don’t consult the thermometer on the wall. I go to the boiler room and see what is going on down there. I go to the factor that causes the future temperature. You men were looking at bank clearings, retail sales, wholesale indexes, stock car loadings and trends — the thermometers on the wall.” But Mr. Babson said he had learned that when fifty-one percent or more of the people were righteous in their dealings with another, prosperity was just ahead. But when fifty-one percent or more of the people were unrighteous in their dealings, economic depression was coming.
Was Roger Babson right?

The Good News of Tomorrow’s World
Personal from the Editor (Herbert W. Armstrong)
February, 1971

(…) Someone must replace those who retire, quit, die or are fired. Of course, new jobs constantly open as businesses expand, communities grow, buildings are built, and people buy more goods.
Who will obtain these jobs depends on certain basic unseen laws. There are certain economic laws that regulate economic conditions.
I remember vividly the sudden nose-dive depression of 1920. I was then a publishers’ representative in Chicago. I was a member of the Chicago Association of Commerce, through its Advertising Club division.
In early January that year, at the regular midweek Association of Commerce luncheon in the Cameo Room of the Morrison Hotel, the noted business analyst, Roger Babson, was the speaker. He warned the businessmen of Chicago that within less than a year we were going to crash into the most drastic economic depression our generation had seen.
I noticed some important bankers and security brokers smile knowingly in disagreement. They were sure Mr. Babson was wrong.
A year later Mr. Babson was again the speaker at the same Association luncheon.
“I saw some of you businessmen smile, a year ago, when I warned you of the coming economic tragedy,” he said. “Now let me tell you WHY I knew what was coming, and you didn’t. When you want to know what is the temperature in the room, now, you look at the thermometer on the wall. But if you want to know what the temperature WILL BE, an hour or two from now, the thermometer can’t tell you. You go down to the boiler room, or consult the U.S. weather prophet. You look to the factors that DETERMINE conditions, not the thermometer that records conditions after they have occurred. You gentlemen looked at charts of current business activity, at bank clearings, records of freight car loadings, the stock market quotations — the thermometers on the wall.
“But,” he continued, “there are LAWS that GOVERN economic conditions. These laws are the factors which determine what conditions WILL BE, a few months or a year from now. They are the CAUSES.”

Was this concept of “righteousness” – of righteous dealings in business, and by extension in other areas of human life – the basis of Roger Babson’s research on economic “action and reaction”? If so, we had better listen to him as a nation, and see whether unrighteousness is becoming the norm among us.

(יוחנן רכב)

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