Sunday, January 28, 2007

how to drive the devil crazy

I received this from an LT in IQ today. Only the names have been changed to protect those blessed by God:

“[O]n Monday [January 22nd] my Platoon Sergeant (SFC Shadrach) and two other guys (SGT Meshach and SPC Abednego) dismounted on a road when an IED detonated from underneath them. SFC Shadrach was standing directly on top of the IED when it exploded and he was thrown 10-15 feet in the air and landed in the 7-foot deep crater surrounded by sharp chunks of asphalt. He has nerve damage to the right side of his face and lost hearing in his right ear. Doctors are saying he has a 50/50 chance to regain hearing. The other two guys have blown eardrums and may have to get surgery to repair the damage. Other than damage to hearing, everyone emerged with only scrapes from this incident.

“An analysis of the area showed that my guys had been standing on top of 200 pounds of explosives placed inside of a culvert that ran under the road. There is no reason that any of them should have survived 40 pounds of explosives let alone 200. I think this is the answer to prayers from people in the church and some may want to know the real results of their prayers. People could also pray that SFC Shadrach's hearing returns and my guys’ eardrums are healed without the need of surgery.”

Now that is a miracle. At least everyone in the platoon sees it that way. Using 200 pounds of explosives when 40 pounds would have done the trick was going a little overboard, but I guess someone wanted to make extra sure. The timing of the detonation was perfect: the platoon sergeant was standing directly on top of the explosives. It was a can’t-miss, they’re-as-good-as-dead, sort of thing.

Can you imagine the reaction of the devil, his frustration, when he saw the three young men emerge from the devastation?

A long time ago in what is now IQ, not too far away from where this occurred, another three young men survived another can’t-miss, they’re-as-good-as-dead, sort of thing (see Chapter 3 of the Book of Daniel).

This stuff must drive the devil crazy.

Be blessed!

P.S. I received a call this afternoon. Sergeant First Class Shadrach can now hear some low level sounds. The doctors cannot operate, the nerve damage is something that requires healing, so we need to pray for complete healing. Please also pray for the eardrums of Sergeant Meshach and Specialist Abednego to be healed without surgery. Thank you.

Friday, January 19, 2007

our lt in iq pic

Our 1LT uploaded three pics that you can see on webshots. His internet connection is slow and it takes a long time for him to do this.

I believe these photos were taken soon after he arrived in IQ last fall, during the transition between the 1-61st CAV of the 101st Airborne Division and the 3-61st CAV of the 2nd Infantry Division. Note the shoulder patches in the photo above. The guy on the left has the "screaming eagle" patch of the 101st Airborne while our LT has the 2ID's patch with the Indian head in the star. (Just click on pic above if you want to enlarge it.)

Be blessed!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

neuroeconomics and credit cards

Reading a weekly news magazine today, I came across an article about an economist and two psychologists who teamed up to study how the brain operates when people purchase items (The ECONOMIST, 13 January 2007, p.73). They did experiments which found that the reaction to the desirability of the product and the reaction to the price are processed in two different parts of the brain. This suggests that people’s brains ultimately may be balancing the immediate pleasure of possibly possessing the item with the immediate pain of paying for it.

A hypothesis coming out of these studies is that the abstract nature of using credit cards, coupled with the deferment of the pain of paying, alters this balancing of the benefit and cost by reducing the felt cost. Thus, people are then more likely to purchase the item. More studies are planned to directly test this hypothesis.

In short, the brain is not set up to function as rationally, to make good decisions, when using credit cards.

Then I thought: this problem is not going to change and is part of the long-run nature of humans. Since using credit cards and spending too much does not disadvantage people in the procreation process (in fact it may help!), evolution will not favor the genes of those who can make better decisions with credit cards.

Unreason triumphs!

So much for evolution....

Saturday, January 13, 2007

sweet pea: the movie

On patrol December 28, 2006.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

ya wanna money make-over?

It is not yet official, but a new and improved version of Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University should be offered at Christian Fellowship Center (Madrid, New York) Thursday nights, beginning February 1st and continuing through May. (New and improved means the teachers/coordinators learned some things from doing the beta version of the class.)

I learned a few things during last Fall's class that have already saved me a few hundred bucks.

I like this course.

BTW, this will not be an economics seminar.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

i love this video

Antwerks (ant works)