Double-take on Public Math

Dr. James J.S. Johnson, who writes great articles here, has just written an article for the Bibleworld blog. It is well written and worth reading.

Check out: Double-take on Doing Math in Public

Double-take on Doing Math in Public:

Chinese Fudge Factory Doubles Output

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

HotFudgeSundae-with--Cherry.Braums

Hot Fudge Sundae, with brownie & cherry (photo credit: Braum’s)

Recent reports (April 17, 2020) show that Chinese fudge is being produced, in Wuhan, at numbers now doubling earlier reports.  And more cherry-picked statistics.

The official Covid-19 death toll for Wuhan has been revised [as of April 17, 2020] up by 1,290 to 3,869 as life in the city returns to something like normal as many restrictions are lifted…..

Check out: Double-take on Doing Math in Public

More articles by Dr. Jim:

James J. S. Johnson

 

Bird’s Eye View

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9

Have you ever desired to fly like a bird or soar like an eagle? To see entire, sweeping landscapes and distant horizons all from one vantage point? Who wouldn’t! We imagine having the outstretched wings and keen eyes of the hawk; an image that personifies true freedom; a freedom other land-bound creatures covet.

Red Tailed Hawk profile; Walton County, Georgia. August 1, 2017. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

If able to fly, we’d have that proverbial “Birds’ Eye View” on the world… and that appeals to us! A drone photographer wrote, “One of the great advantages a drone offers is that it can get where we cannot…All of a sudden we can be transmuted into a bird and cross frontiers to reach our goal.” A soaring bird has a much greater field of view than us earthbound pedestrians. The bird’s eye view sees beyond the immediate moment.

And the “bird’s eye view” speaks of something even beyond birds; it speaks of an omniscient God with a much higher vantage point than ours… outside of time and space, in fact. A recent evangelist to my congregation spoke, “God has a bird’s eye view of our lives. He knows where He is trying to take us. He knows what lies ahead.” From His perspective, God’s view sees more than the moment we are struggling in.

Bird’s Eye View — Close up photo of Great Blue Heron. December 18, 2018. Walton County, Georgia. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

From His vantage point, God sees well beyond this time of crisis. And a view from higher up will change your outlook on our current trials and past failures. Instead of stopping us, we see these rough patches as teaching moments along the road to help us move forward. The evangelist concluded, “This is just a small portion of your life. But use it to move on.”

So even if you’ll never learn to fly, you have the ability to know a God who knows all the road ahead of you! You’ll find peace in sharing His view that this too shall pass.


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. William Wise Nature Notes is my wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty, design and wonder of God’s creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Orni-Theology and Woodstock’s High-rise Nest

Woodstock’s High-rise Nest

Woodstock is not the only bird to live in a nest complex. Birds in this area, central Florida, have at least one bird, the Monk Parakeet, or Quaker Parakeet that makes an “apartment” nest.

Monk Parakeet and Nest

Monk Parakeet and Nest – Near South Lake Howard Nature Park

We used to own two Monk Parakeets, so I was familiar with them when we moved here. In South Florida, where we lived in the past, they were wild there also. In fact, Bandi, our first Monk parakeet had been shot out of the tree next door by teenagers. Some neighbor kids brought her to me and long story short, her wing had to be amputated. So, she never went back to the wild.

Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus) Hoppy & Bandi

Hoppy in front, Bandi in back – Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus)

Hoppy, our second one, had a broken leg, which our vet fixed up. That is the bandage on his leg. Back to the High-rise.

Sociable Weaver nest (Philetairus socius) © Ingo Arndt-NPL

The Sociable Weaver (Philetairus socius) is a great example of building a “Highrise.” [from 16 Most Amazing Bird Nest ]

Weaverbirds Nests are Like Huts has a great photo of an elaborate “homestead.” Also, it is a very interesting article about how they make the nest.

Sociable Weaver nest (Philetairus socius) ©Dillon Marsh

Then again, maybe Woodstock would like to visit the Montezuma Orpendola and select one of the higher nest apartments.

Montezuma Oropendola (Psarocolius montezuma) Nest Complex ©WikiC

There are many more examples of how the Lord, in His Wisdom, has given the birds the knowledge to build these nest and also, to know that “community” can aid in their protection.

The book of Ecclesiastes has great words of wisdom from Solomon when he refers to one person, versus two or more:

“There is one alone, without companion: He has neither son nor brother. Yet there is no end to all his labors, Nor is his eye satisfied with riches. But he never asks, “For whom do I toil and deprive myself of good?” This also is vanity and a grave misfortune. Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:8-12 NKJV)


A Pleasant Surprise At The BJU Homecoming

BJU Homecoming

Dan and I rode up to Greenville, South Carolina to attend the 2018 BJU Homecoming. We had two main events that we attended. When we parked quite a way from the place we were to be, I sort of grumbled because of the long walk with my walker [The campus is on hills]. Yet, the Lord always seems to turn our upside down grumps into upright delights.

BJU Science Building

We parked down by the Science building, where Dan had taught years ago. I decided to take some photos. Thankfully, the building was open, and so began my delight. Inside we found a display of BIRDS! A lot of birds, which were from a collection of specimens that was completed before 1910. It was donated by Mr. Charles E. Waterman.

Waterman Bird Collection BJU 2018 Plaque

There were display cases filled with a Bird specimen collection that had been donated by Mr. Charles E Waterman. The collection is well over 100 years old. The birds have been well preserved, considering the age of ithe collection. My camera received a nice workout. [So did my back]

BJU BUg Collection 2018

BJU BUg Collection 2018

BJU BUg Collection 2018

Today, I want to show you the Bug and Squirrel displays, as the bird photos are still being adjusted. Photos of the display case is to give you an idea of how big those bugs really were. Sure wouldn’t want any of them on me.

BJU Squirrel Collection 2018

The squirrels look as if they were practicing for a football game. :)

God’s Creative Hand is definitely seen in all of these created critters.

“Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,” (Romans 1:19-22 KJV)

The Spring Snowstorm – by Emma Foster

American Robin by Dan

American Robin by Dan

The Spring Snowstorm

By Emma Foster

Spring had arrived, and many robins had flown back to the north after a long winter. One of the robins, named Charlotte, had flown north to lay her eggs. After many long days of flying, Charlotte eventually landed in a small tree in the backyard of a large brick house.

Flower buds began to peek out of the green grass. The sun shone through the tree branches, making Charlotte very warm while she built her nest. When she finished building her nest out of twigs and leaves, Charlotte settled down and laid her first egg.

Robin Egg in Nest ©Lorl L Stalterl

Charlotte sat patiently on her egg, leaving only to search for some worms to eat. One day when she came back with a worm, the wind picked up and it began to grow really cold. Charlotte sat back down on her egg to keep it warm.

The next morning Charlotte woke up to see snow on the ground. The snow covered all of the flowers, and the wind picked up even more. More snow began to pile up on the ground until Charlotte couldn’t see any grass. She knew that even though the storm was worsening she couldn’t find another place farther south to live because her egg had already been laid.

Spring Snow ©Warren Brown

The next morning, a large black dog hobbled into the backyard. He was very old, and the snow felt good on his old hips. The people who lived in the house called him Jerry, and many times the man who lived in the house had to carry Jerry inside. Charlotte noticed that Jerry didn’t want to come in on his own.

Jerry shed a lot of his black hair, which would fall and stick in the snow. Charlotte grew very cold, and was afraid that her egg would freeze. Suddenly she had an idea. Quickly swooping down, Charlotte picked up some of Jerry’s hair and stuffed it into her nest to keep her egg warm.

At one point Charlotte became very hungry again, but she knew it would be difficult to find any worms. She thought her egg would be all right surrounded by Jerry’s hair. After some digging in the cold snow, Charlotte was able to find one worm, and then she quickly returned to her egg, but when she came to her nest the egg had disappeared.

Charlotte looked everywhere for her blue egg, realizing it must have been blown out of the nest by the strong wind. She saw Jerry sitting in the snow, but she didn’t see her egg anywhere near the tree. Jerry began barking, and Charlotte realized that he had something hiding in his fur. Jerry had found the egg at the bottom of the tree, and had decided to keep it warm in his fur. Charlotte thanked him by tweeting and
carefully followed him as he put the egg in his mouth and got on his back legs to put the egg into the nest.

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) Hatching ©WikiC

The snow began to melt, and after a while, the flowers began to grow again. Charlotte’s egg hatched her chick, who eventually learned how to fly. That next spring, Charlotte came back to the same tree in the backyard to lay another egg. Thankfully, this year it didn’t


Lee’s Addition:

“A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17 KJV)

Another great story from Emma. This time the friendly dog came to the rescue during trouble. It is always nice when others are able to assist us when problems arise. Thankfully, Charlotte was able to see her egg hatch and grow up.

More of Emma’s Stories

 

 

Ian’s Bird of the Moment – Brahminy Kite

Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) by Ian

Surprise, surprise – another bird of the moment at last. The Brahminy Kite last featured as bird of the week in August 2003. In those days you got a single photo and a short paragraph of text, so here is a more thorough treatment. This is one of my favourite Australian raptors and the adults are striking looking birds with their white and chestnut plumage. They’re a common sight along the coast here in North Queensland, and the bird in the first two photos was photographed at Toomulla Beach, about 40km northwest of Townsville and not far from where I live in Bluewater.

The hooked beak is like that of the White-bellied Sea-Eagle, so it’s no surprise that they are adapted to eating fish, for which they both hunt and scavenge and are usually found near water, mainly coastal but also along larger rivers. They have, however, very broad tastes and will eat any flesh that they can catch or find, both vertebrate and invertebrate. It’s not unusual to see them cruising main roads looking for road-kill. With a length of about 50cm/20in and a wingspan of 1.2m/47in , they’re much smaller than sea-eagles (80cm/31in and 1.8-2.2m/71-87in), but their preferred habitat and diet means that they’re are often called sea-eagles by the general population.

Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) by Ian

The names “Brahminy” and Haliastur indus give a clue as to their geographical range, as they were first described in India. Their range extends from Pakistan in the west through south and southwest Asia to eastern China and Taiwan, and south through the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia to New Guinea and Australia. In Australia its range is mainly tropical from Carnarvon in Western Australia across northern Australia and down the east coast as far as about Myall Lakes in New South Wales, though it is uncommon south of Cape Byron. Its population in New South Wales contracted northwards owing to the use of persistent organochloride insecticides in the third quarter of the 20th century, but there is some evidence of recovery since then.

Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) by Ian

Immature birds differ greatly in appearance from the adults, third photo, and are easily confused with other raptors such as, in Australia, pale phase Little Eagles or immature Black-breasted Buzzards. Immature birds are also rather similar to their only close relative the Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus), though Brahminy Kites have much shorter, rather eagle-like tails and shorter wings.Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) by Ian

You may remember that I visited Slovakia in June 2016 with my sister Gillian. The main birding target was eagles, but despite the best efforts of our guides we had only limited success with such species as Lesser Spotted Eagle Eastern Imperial Eagle and Golden Eagle, and the local raptors didn’t seem at all keen on having their photos taken. So, there was a certain irony when I returned to Bluewater and found that my excellent house minders, Julie and Ed, had discovered a pair of Brahminy Kites nesting in my neighbour’s property, about 100m from my house (fifth photo). The grass is greener, etc. etc.

Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) by Ian

The birds attended the nest for about three months but disappointingly without success. The nest was high up, about 25m/80ft from the ground, so it wasn’t possible to see into it, so I don’t know what happened. Anyway, you can understand my delight when the birds returned again this year and restored the nest, sixth photo.

Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) by Ian

At the beginning of last week I finally spotted a healthy looking chick. It survived the unseasonable heavy rain we had last week (150mm/6in in five days) so I set up the camera and tripod, table, chair and coffee near the house and watched them in comfort at an unobtrusive distance for most of Friday afternoon. Sure enough, both adults arrived with food. The first, seventh photo, produced a flying fox (fruit bat), a Black Flying-fox I think, and spent an hour carefully tearing off tiny strips of muscle and feeding to the chick.

Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) by Ian

I was impressed with the gentle way the parent fed the youngster and itself. Eventually, the chick seemed satisfied, and lost interest in the meal. The adult bird slipped away as quietly as it had arrived – I didn’t see it leave – and I presume it took the remains of the fruit bat with it.

Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) by Ian

Within half an hour, the other adult arrived with a frog, I think a Green Tree Frog (ninth photo). This adult has whiter plumage and a longer beak than its partner, so they are not hard to distinguish.

Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) by Ian

The chick seemed satiated and not very interested, so the adult hungrily ate some of the frog itself and after a little while flew off taking the frog with it and went down to nearby Bluewater Creek.

Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) by Ian

Brahminy Kites usually lay 2 or 3 eggs, and often only one chick survives to fledging. Incubation takes about 35 days, and fledging 7 to 8 weeks. The young birds remain dependent on the adults for a further two months. This chick is about half the length of the adults and is beginning to grow proper feathers, including flight feathers on the wings, though these currently appear as just short quills.

Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) by Ian

I can see the nest through the trees from my back verandah, so it is easy to check on it. I plan to photograph progress over the coming weeks. A furry mammal, probably road-kill, was on the menu today.

Greetings
Ian


Fantastic photos of the Brahminy Kite. It sure has been a while since Ian had a “Moment” to share another of his interesting post with us. Thanks, Ian. We always enjoy seeing and learning about your birds.

For more of Ian’s Bird of the Week – Moments

“And the vulture, and the kite after his kind;” (Leviticus 11:14 KJV)
“Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” (Genesis 1:20 NKJV)

Accipitridae – Kites, Hawks & Eagles Family

Birds of the Bible – Gledes and Kites

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