Showing posts with label Earth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Earth. Show all posts

May 25, 2019

Sizing Fashion And More

So it was interesting article in the Wall Street Journal today...

There is an obesity problem in the U.S. 

But the statistics in terms of the typical sizes of fashion (for women) has been "largely" overlooked.

The biggest size most fashion brands even bother to sell is: 12

"Only 7% of womenswear stocked at multi-brand retailers is a size 14 or above."

But the average American dress size is between between 16 and 18!

The typical runway model is size 2.  

BTW, I think men have the same problem with sizing.

There was another thing about measurement in the WSJ today having to do with measuring time. 

Day is measured by the earth rotation (on its axis). 

Year by the rotation around the sun.

Month by rotation of the moon. 

Earth, Sun, and Moon...give us time. 

Now we need to take all the wonderful time we have measured and not spend it all eating.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal @Ripley's Believe It or Not)
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September 27, 2018

Reaping What You Sow: Adam and Adamah

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel, Sukkot: A Time of Man and Earth
"In celebrating Sukkot, we compare Adam and Adamah. Just like a man is dependent on seeding his teachings and good deeds which then leads to reaping his personal life harvest, so too the earth is dependent on seeding and watering which leads to harvesting its produce."
Hope you enjoy and Chag Sameach.  ;-)

(Inspired by a movie of a farmer in Bishvil-Haivrit)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 
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August 28, 2018

Upside Down Flower On Stairs

Thought this was an interesting picture to take. 

It's an upside-down pink flower bent over a concrete stair. 

And the stem is sticking straight up and out. 

The contrast of the live soft pink flower and the cold hard grey of the concrete stairs is astounding to me.

Life can so easily be bent over, squished out, and left for dead in the cold harsh realities of this world 

We are alive, but life can be hard. 

We fight to go on, but life is sometimes unforgiving.

The bright spark of life seeks to illuminate the hard grey block.

Breath, beat, live...good health is unbelievably precious.

Arise flower and once again stand tall in the glowing sunshine and the pouring rain. 

Nourish yourself in the soil of the Earth, give praise to the L-rd as only life can do. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 13, 2018

Flower Petals In Water

Just wanted to share these absolutely beautiful flower petals floating on the water. 

G-d's creations are so wondrous and marvelous.

Frankly, I find it hard to comprehend how He made everything so gorgeous. 

There are plenty of challenges for us in this world to keep us learning and growing. 

But truly, I love that there is some Garden of Eden paradise in this world too. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 18, 2018

Rain From Heaven

Took this photo yesterday in the courtyard during a thunderstorm.

It is the first time that I was actually able to see the rain almost in a slow motion.

They weren't drops, but literally streaks of water zipping down from the sky.

The feeling was so pure and refreshing to clean the air and the ground. 

To replenish our reservoirs, ponds, lakes, rivers, and oceans. 

To nourish the fruit of the Earth and make it grow. 

We use up and make dirty, but G-d replenishes and makes clean! ;-)

(Source photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 28, 2018

@Great Falls Park








(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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September 4, 2017

G-d Created Evolution

So I've been thinking a little bit about evolution.

And I don't see any contradiction between evolution and creation.

In fact, G-d created evolution!

You see, in His infinite wisdom and love, G-d made his creations with the ability to change over time. 

We are not static creatures, but we are able to evolve, adapt, transform, and grow ourselves, our species, and our world over time. 

But, but, but...there are fossils hundreds of millions years old...how could G-d have created the world less than 6,000 years ago?

Well, who says G-d created the world at time horizon zero--if the world was fully formed with trees and plants, and fish, birds, animals, and people--then these could all have had age associated with and built into them already. 

Boom...G-d just created Adam and Eve--was that from the point of conception, day of birth, or fully grown adult?  Similarly, how old is the tallest mountain or the fullest forest when it was created? 

Time is not a function of G-d who is timeless. 

And the formed world appears at the blink of G-d's eye and it can disappear that way too. 

Similarly, we learn in the Bible how G-d created the world in 6 "days" and rested on the 7th, but who says a day is literally that.

Couldn't a day as in 1, 2, 3, etc. be phases of creation...where a day could be anything from a split second to a millennium or even a hundred million years.

To the G-d who Was, Is, and Will Be--what is a day, but a span of infinitesimal to infinite time to create His children and the world to teach and grow them. 

We are here in a infinite universe enveloped by the love of a limitless G-d. 

Evolution is no more a constraint on G-d then time or space is--to the contrary, evolution is a blessing of G-d that lets things develop and mature from the image of G-d to the imagination of His mind's glory. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 30, 2017

Behold, The Day Cometh

{I don't know what this is, but it came to me, and it just feels important to share...I start to feel spiritually overwhelmed, very emotional, and then all choked up...and so it starts}

Behold, the day cometh when the earth will open it's mouth.

And there will be a very great slaughter. 

And the earth will shake and tremble before the Holy One blessed be he. 

He walks before the nation of Israel. 

Ready to strike with the all-powerful tip of His spear. 


Like a bolt of lightening without warning.

Magnificent in beauty and damning in tumultuous energy. 

The sky thunders before His majesty. 

The angels stir and flee before the All-Mighty Creator. 

His holiness envelopes the earth and stars. 

His eyes are full of mercy, but justice is in his mighty outstretched arm. 

Those that stand in evil before His glory will soon be buried in a very great rubble. 

The skies are darkening; the day is arriving. 


And all the people will know that G-d dost live, and His people shall live. 

Evil will be obliterated from off the face of the earth, and His holiness will manifest in peace and redemption. 

The implements of war will be smashed to smithereens, engulfed within the insides of the earth. 

And their makers buried beside them, crushed and utterly destroyed.

A mass grave to the east and to the west, and then a great rebuilding. 

From the L-rd goeth forth justice to his enemies and mercy to His children.

{The streaming stops suddenly...I want it to continue...but it's over...I try my own words, but they are not His...I give up for today.}

(Source Photo: Minna Blumenthal)
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October 23, 2016

Awesome Drumbeat of Life


Just thought this was such an awesome drum. 

On the top of the drum was a painting of a drummer. 

And on the side was a picture of a beautiful lady dancing. 

It was so simple, yet so eloquently done.

There is something amazing when you can literally feel the art come so alive.

Almost like seeing and feeling the vision of the artist as if looking directly through his eyes.

Our experience her on earth is that of our soul moving and acting in a surreal physical world.

But in so interacting, we leave behind and impact this world with artifacts, and deeds to others, that last beyond ourselves and the moment. 

What a wonderful world G-d has placed us in to experience his wonders and to learn and grow.

I can feel the drumming of my heart and the dancing of my feet all along the way.

And even though I don't comprehend everything I am experiencing or the decisions that I must make, in it contains not only deep intrigue, but also genuine surprise and challenge, and ultimately meaning, every step  along the marvelous path of G-d's garden. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 28, 2016

Hoverboard Dog Walking

This was a humorous site.

The guy has his dog on a leash and is "walking his dog," but he himself is not walking.

He's on his hoverboard and the dog is pulling him down the block and across the street. 

Apparently dogs need exercise, but people need convenience. 

Mankind is always trying to control his environment with technology, gadgets, and science.

So is this what "dominion over the earth" looks like in short? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 17, 2015

All The Frogs From Egypt

So what happened to all the swarms of frogs from the Bible when in Exodus, G-d struck the Egyptians with the 2nd plague of frogs (reminds me of the children's song: "Frogs here! Frogs there! Frogs are jumping everywhere!")? 

I saw this sticker on a pole in downtown D.C. advertising for this Frog called the Rabb's Fringe Limbed Tree Frog, where there is just 1 left in the entire world. 


Talking about facing extinction!


And this interesting website called PhotoArk by National Geographic freelance photgrapher, Joel Sartore (noted at the bottom of the sticker) sells all sorts of amazing photos of endangered animal species to promote conservation. 


One of them has his "greatest hits" featured with 90 favorite images and sells for $225--what awesome creatures G-d has created.


I remember reading in the Wall Street Journal how since1970 the world's wildlife numbers have dropped by more than half (52%)--"in rivers, on land, and in the seas." 


That is crazy!


Surely, we need to preserve life and create a sustainable future--my G-d, what are we doing to world and these beautiful creatures? ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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March 26, 2015

Country Landscape

I like this beautiful painting of a countryside landscape. 

The vibrant fall colors of reds, oranges, yellows, and browns.

The tops of the houses and steeple jutting up from the lush foliage. 

The bluish-green mountains in the background, the wavy blue water lined by white sand on the upper left, and the light blue sky with clear white clouds at the very top. 

It's a little bit of Heaven right here on Earth.

Where peace, prosperity, and health are abundant and prevail.

G-d should bless us. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 22, 2014

Peace To All Mankind

I liked this post in downtown Washington, D.C. inscribed with the following:

"May Peace Prevail On Earth."

It left me wondering, if Earth includes:

1) ISIS advances into large swathes of Syria and Iraq
2) Taliban attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan including the one that left 132 children dead in a Peshawar school last week.
3) Boko Haram kidnappings and killings in Nigeria including the hundreds of children taken and given as wives to their captors 
4) Al-Shabaab fighting in Somalia including attacks in the capital, Mogadishu
5) Hamas in Gaza and their barrage of rocket attacks on and terror tunnels into Israel
6) Hezbolah in Lebanon as a proxy for Iran-sponsored terror
7) Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons and threats to annihilate Israel off the face of the map.
8) Russia in Ukraine and Georgia and ongoing threats to Eastern Europe/NATO.
9) China's military build-up, including nukes, submarines, and anti-satellite weapons.
10) North Korea cyber attack on Sony and threatening "the White House, the Pentagon, and the whole U.S. mainland."

Peace is more than a wish, right now it seems like a dream. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 19, 2014

Andy @ Apple Picking


Practicing my TV skills here...

And enjoying a good apple.

Just picked it at the farm. 

Nothing like being one with G-d, family, and nature. 

Nice time--thank you! ;-)

(Source Video: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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October 20, 2013

Going For Gravity

A good friend told me to go see the movie Gravity.

He said, "You'll definitely like it, and make sure you see it in IMAX!"

G-d, I don't recall the last time that I went to an IMAX showing. 

So keeping in the mind the saying, "try it and you'll like it," we went for the $19.00 IMAX 3D experience. 

(OMG, I still remember when movies in NYC were $1!) 

I was hesitant about this movie having heard that there were only 2 characters, and that 1 was Sandra Bullock!

Also, that she was the only one left for the second half of the movie--and I thought how interesting is this going to be?

Okay, I told myself, I'll get excited by the action and destruction in the first half with Clooney and sleep through the second half with Bullock. 

But it was so much better than I anticipated--one of the best movie experiences for me ever!

The IMAX 3D was absolutely amazing...only thing better would've been a massive in-your-face hologram of the whole movie--and I bet this comes one day soon.

The space walks, hurling space debris, exploding space stations and daring escapes was right there and up close in this movie.

I found myself at times reaching my hands out to practically touch the characters--since they seemed that close. 

And Bullocks tears floating in space--were very moving and cool at the same time. 

Bullock is going to win a ton of awards for her performance in Gravity. 

Oh, and one more funny experience was when a lady told this guy in the theatre to hush, and when he didn't listen, she kicked his chair.

But that wasn't the end of it...

After she kicked it a few times, he turned around grabbed her shoe right off of her foot and then threw it at her. 

She ran out of the theatre to get security. 

Security told them both to cut it out, and then I heard the guards outside laughing about these two quarreling theatre-goers. 

Anyway, I didn't sleep a wink in this movie, and enjoyed the whole experience. ;-)

(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)
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October 28, 2012

A Bottle Revolution


How many of you feel sort of disgusting every time you take out the trash with bottles and containers?

According to Earth911, only 27% of plastic and 25% of glass ends up getting recycled, with the majority ending up instead in landfills. 

This is one reason that I really like the new eco.bottles made by Ecologic, a sustainable (i.e. green) packaging company.

The containers are made of two parts:

- The inner plastic pouch that holds the liquid and snaps into the second part.
- The outer shell made of 100% recycled cardboard and newspaper (and in turn is 100% recycable again). 

These containers result is a net 70% plastic reduction!

Yet, they have the same strength and functionality of plastic containers, with comparable results in drop, ship, and moisture tests.

And companies like, Seventh Generation, a leader in sustaibable cleaning, paper, and personal care products have signed on and is using eco.bottles, and they have seen sales increase 19% with it. 

In a Bloomberg BusinessWeek (25 October 2012) article, the chief operating officer of The Winning Combination states: "The minute you look at it, you get it. This is a bottle that's good for the planet."

Like these eco.bottles, we need more of our decisions to be driven by what is good for us long-term, so this is not just a revolutionary green bottle, but perhaps a true sustainable evolution in our thinking and behaving all around. 

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July 27, 2012

Butterflies In The Summer

These are two pictures of beautiful butterflies that I took today while hiking. 

The first is a black and white butterfly with some gold accents--it's wings were enormous and it is spread over multiple leaves--it sort of reminds me of Batman. 

The second was gold and black with a double wing and a mosaic like pattern--almost like Tiffany glass. 

It was amazing see these beautiful creatures up close and actually I was surprised that they stayed still long enough for me to get near enough to snap these photos.

On a hot, lazy day on the Shenandoah River, maybe they gave me this one. 

Thank you G-d for the magnificent beauty of the creatures and the Earth that you provide to us. 

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

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June 9, 2012

Living The Limits


Almost two decades ago, when working towards my MBA degree, I read the book, Beyond the Limits (1992) about how between growing world overpopulation and our disposition to living without regards to our limited resources, we were in danger of depletion and ultimately face an existential disaster. 

Now this theme continues with the movie, Surviving Progress (2012) warning that our unabated consumerism and overproduction is leaving in its wake diminished environmental resources and leading eventually to a collapse of our global ecosystem. 

In between the book and the movie, I have followed the warnings of well known and respected leaders, such as former Vice President, Al Gore on global warning, former Comptroller General, David Walker on our spiraling national debt, oil magnate, T. Boone Pickens on peak oil, and that is just to name a few. 

Yet, the warnings of our unsustainable living keep running up against our impressive technological progress--for example, oil and natural gas is being discovered and still plentiful, agricultural productivity keeps rising, and computers and automation allows us to continuously do more with less. 

So what are we to believe--are we on a unsustainable collision course with mother nature that threatens our very existence or is our innovative prowess and technological progress going to keep us ahead of the curve and out of any danger?

As a technologist, and someone who promotes innovation, entrepreneurship, hard work and sound supporting ethics underlying everything we do, I am a firm believer that we can make a difference. Yes, with G-d's blessings, it is possible to shape our destiny, so that we can continue to not only sustain ourselves, but also actually improve our standard of living.

On the other hand, I cannot help but notice a generally gluttonous lifestyle in our society--where people almost always seem to buying bigger and better homes, cars, and even now yachts and private planes, and where buying and throwing things out is a vicious and endless cycle, where we live for the moment, rather than plan ahead. 

Despite initiatives to reduce, reuse, and recycle, we are still very much a single use society (use and discard), where compulsive shopping and a "mine is bigger and nicer than yours" mind-set and motive prevails. 

Now as humankind plans for Earth's ultimate resource depletion, companies such as Planetary Resources  are researching and developing robotic spacecraft to mine asteroids to get water, extract raw materials, and find new sources of precious minerals, and government agencies like NASA are exploring orbiting space settlements as well as the permanent colonization of the moon and Mars. 

At the end of the day, the Earth--no matter how large and bountiful--is a finite resource and we should use innovation and technology to extend its use and at the same time reach out to find our next hospitable home. 

Watching two seasons of a Discovery television series called The Colony about how people in a simulation of a global catastrophe, survive--I saw that no matter how well they did for a number of weeks living off of existing resources where they were, eventually, they had to plan and creatively build their escape to a new sustainable living place. 

Unfortunately, this is not just TV fiction, but this is our reality--to thrive in our world today, but also to plan and build for the long-term--a new home for mankind.

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February 11, 2012

Asteroid Killer--That's A Relief!


For those of you who have seen any of the numerous movies about asteroids hitting Earth--such as Armageddon, Deep Impact, and Asteroid to name a few--you know that in most cases this is considered an Extinction-Level Event (ELE).

In other words, what the impact of the asteroid and the resulting tsunamis do not destroy, the dust and debris causing a deep freeze over the earth will. This would be like the Ice Age, although this time, we would be the dinosaurs!

However, a new supercomputer at Los Alamos National Lab running 32,000 processors has been able to demonstrate our ability to explode a 1 megaton nuke near the asteroid on a trajectory with Earth and literally blow it to smithereens. 

The shock wave from blast would smash the composite rocks of the asteroid against each other, and this would shatter them, and disrupt the pending destruction here on Earth. 

All this talk about destroying Asteroids makes me remember back to when I was a kid and used to play this Atari game called Missile Command, where we would shoot down thermonuclear missiles--they could've been asteroids for all we knew--before they hit us.

However, in the game, you eventually missed--and your base stations and ability to shoot were destroyed after being overcome by the number of incoming missiles--that was certainly a bummer, even though the game was fun especially with friends. 

I am relieved to see the new simulations and projections that indicate that given enough warning, we have the ability to take down an incoming asteroid.

Life imitating art--I certainly hope Los Alamos's new calculations are right and that if and when the time comes, we can get a very good shot at it!

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June 8, 2008

TEOTWAWKI and Enterprise Architecture

TEOTWAWKI stands for the end of the world as we know it. It is a term used in the survivalist movement and is sometimes used as a reference to the apocalypse. (The apocalypse though has religious connotations in that the end of the world has greater meaning in terms of revealing G-d’s ultimate purpose for mankind.)

The end of the world—is there such a thing?

As mortal human beings, we know that all living things have a beginning and an end of life. Even inanimate objects are recognized as having a lifecycle, and this is often talked about from a management perspective in terms of administering “things” from their initiation through their ultimate disposition. Some common lifecycles frequently referred to are: organizations, products, projects, assets, investments, and so on.

So how about the world itself?

Well, the answer is of course, yes—even the world will one day come to end. Astronomers have long witnessed even the implosion of stars at their end of life—these are called supernovas. And our world is a lot smaller than a star; in fact, you could fit about a million Earths inside our sun (which is a star).

When times get tough, TEOTWAWKI is something that perhaps we ponder about more and wonder whether this is it!

For example, during the Cold War and the buildup of the nuclear arsenals of the Soviet Union and the United States, there were enough nukes to destroy the world ten times over. And people wondered when the button would actually be pushed.

Nowadays, we wonder less about nuclear holocaust and more about overpopulation (currently at 6.3 billion and expected to reach 9 billion by 2042) and depletion of world energy resources like oil (currently at $140 a barrel and up 44% in cost YTD), demand outstripping supply for silver, copper, aluminum, and many other commodities, and shortages of food (as the UK Times reported in February that “the world is only ten weeks away from running out of wheat supplies after stocks fell to their lowest levels for 50 years.”)

Further, while the population continues to explode and resources continue to be depleted, we continue to overflow the world’s dumps with garbage so much so that there has even been talk of sending garbage into space, just to get it the heck out of here!

And let’s not forget global warming and pollutants that stink up our cities, cause acid rain, asthma, and so many other unfortunate effects on the ecosystem and human health.

The good news is TEOWAWKI talk is often just fear and occasional panic and it is not imminent. The bad news is there are some very real problems in the world today.

The problems are so big that leaders and governments are having a difficult time trying to tackle them. All too often, the problems get passed to the next generation, with the mantra, “Let it be someone else’s problem.”

As an enterprise architect, my frame of reference is to look at the way things are (the baseline) and try to come up with a better state for future (the target) and work up a transition plan, and basically get moving.

We all know that it is extremely difficult to see our way through these extremely complex problems of global magnitude. But if enterprise architecture has taught me anything, it is that we must create a roadmap for transformation; we must forever work to change things for the better. We must do whatever we can to prevent TEOTWAWKI.

Perhaps the field of enterprise architecture can be expanded from one that is IT-focused and now becoming business and IT-focused to ultimately becoming a discipline that can drive holistic change for major world problems and not just enterprise problems. Does this mean that enterprise architecture at some point becomes world architecture?


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