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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Flatulence Factor

Principles of Einsteinian Gaseomechanics

 (Time for a little humor today!)

            Last night as my wife and I prepared for sleep, a common biophysical reaction occurred beneath the covers as my body began to transition into a state of relaxation.  Not only did the stress and the strain of the day’s events begin to leave me, but also the gaseous byproduct of what I’d consumed for lunch at the all-you-can-eat pizza buffet.

            With dramatic effect, my wife began to protest this occurrence of normal body function and began to seal the top edge of the covers down in a Ziploc like fashion in attempt to contain the odiferous aroma within the sheets.  I tried to put her at ease with a brief explanation of the normal physiological reaction which had occurred, but she staunchly disagreed and claimed that there was “nothing normal” about the result at all.

            This event caused me to ponder the cause and effect of such phenomenon.  And in this supine state of scientific contemplation, I had and epiphany of Einsteinian proportions in regards to being able to calculate and quantify what I can only call “The Flatulence Factor.”

            To be completely understood, the Flatulence Factor must be described in a rather simple mathematical equation:

FF = (pV +f2F + r/aA)K

            To help the average layman understand this equation, I will break it down into its individual components and provide a brief description of what they mean.

FF – Obviously this stands for the Flatulence Factor, final sum total of the other components which quantifies the actual severity of a common fart.

p – This symbol is the pressure of the gaseous release, and is measured in psi (pounds per square inch.

V – This symbol represents the volume of the undiluted gas released and is measured in quarts or liters, depending on which system of measure you are most comfortable with.

f2 – This symbol is the fecal odor rating, squared.

As many of you may be unfamiliar with this scale, I will insert it here so that you will know which rating to apply to your particular calculations.

Fecal Odor Rating Scale:

1 – Mild noticeable smell, but no verbal comment, facial twitch or physical withdrawal reaction associated.

2 – Noticeable facial contortion or twitch, but no verbal comment or respiratory distress evident.

3 – Major facial contortion with head turn/withdrawal response and vocal groan or protest.

4 – All of grade 3, plus the addition of a hand waving dispersal response and active movement of the entire body away from the area of the occurrence.

5 – All of grade 4, accompanied by violent coughing or uncontrolled spasmodic gagging and choking response.

6 – All of grade 5, with sudden and unexpected loss of consciousness before complete physical relocation can be achieved.  (Note – this severe grade is often accompanied by an uncontrolled episode of bowel incontinence in association with the release of the gas by the perpetrator).

            Now that the rating system is understood, one can see why this number is squared as it has the most significant effect and impact upon the rest of the equation.  I will now return to a further explanation of the other components of the formula.

F – This symbol represents the frequency at which the release(s) occur and is measured in number of discharges per 10 seconds.

r – This symbol stands for the rate of release which is expressed in the number of quarts or liters per second.

a – This represents the area of the room or space into which the discharge is released and is measured in square feet.

A – This symbol represents the airflow or amount of fresh air exchange which is taking place within the room.  This can be affected by open windows, forced air heating or air conditioning systems, etc… and is measured in cubic feet per second.

            All of the above components are calculated as arranged.  Their sum number is then multiplied by K.

K – This symbol represents the kill ratio percentage, or in other words, the number of individuals either unconscious or dead out of the total occupants of the affected area.  If no fatalities or casualties occur, this factor is still given at least a numerical score of 1, because if no effect occurred at all, then why in the heck are you even performing a calculation.

            There you have it.  That is the entire equation for calculating the Flatulence Factor for any or all who wanted to know.  Having miraculously solved this previously misunderstood and un-quantified phenomenon, I performed some quick calculations in my head and informed my wife that she was far overreacting to my creation.  It had in fact only scored a 3 on the fecal odor rating scale with a total overall Flatulence Factor of 237!

            What I had failed to calculate was that this score, combined with my attempt at an explanation equaled a night of sleeping on the couch instead of my cozy bed.  Ah, the burden of being scientifically and mathematically gifted after digesting a large lunch of endless pizza!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wind Beneath Our Wings


By Eric Andreasen

            I’m not much of a guy for stuffing dead animals or monster fish and hanging them around on the walls as displays of conquest, although I very much like the outdoors and am in awe of many things in nature.  In fact, the only mounted fish I have in my house is one I carved out of a solid block of wood and painted when I was scratching a new hobby itch several years ago.  So it might be quite surprising to know that I have a bit of road kill hanging off the last peg of my hat rack in my bedroom; an owl’s foot and a single feather.

            I’m not sure what it was about that day which drew my attention to the white lump along the side of the road on that early lat-fall/early winter day several years ago as I headed to work one morning.  I think it was something fluttering in the breeze which looked so different that I actually stopped my car and went back to take a look.

            Lying along the roadside was a fully grown and very majestic looking pure white snow owl, on its side with one wing slightly up in the air at an angle.  I have to say it was a beautiful creature.  Its large eye was open as if it were still taking in the world around it with perfect clarity, although it was obviously seeing things beyond the veil at that moment and forever more.  It was strikingly white and clean along its upward wing and through its powerfully built trunk which led downward to its black and polished talons.  These talons were what probably caught my attention the most.  With graceful curves and needle-sharp tips they were formidable weapons against the small rodents and creatures it had preyed upon.  In fact, not far from the owl lay the lifeless body of a small mouse which had been snatched by the silent predator not long before its own demise.

            I could see no sign of damage at first glance.  Nudging it with my foot its body still rolled limply against the ground without even the earliest signs of the rigor, indicating the creature was not long dead.  Upon rolling it however the under side of its head revealed a slight deformity and the white feathers were tainted with a trace of blood.  The poor creature had apparently been at one moment soaring powerfully across the sky, the master in control of his world and those it preyed upon.  It had been confident and skilled in its abilities as evidenced by its size and strength, with perfect vision and talons to snatch what it wanted from the world around it to meet its needs.

            Despite these traits and history of success however, the soaring beast had become distracted in its moment of hierarchy on the food chain and had either grazed an overhead power line or been struck blindside by a passing vehicle, suddenly dropping from its glorious perch to a different realm altogether.  This was the thought which caused me to pause and marvel at the scene, eventually leading me to claim one of the owl’s feet as a memory to the lesson I felt God was trying to teach me.

            At times in life, everything seems to be right in our life and world.  Through hard work and effort we have risen above many of the trials which may have earlier bested us.  We feel strong and confident spiritually, mentally, economically and physically.  But without even realizing its coming, life tends to throw an unforeseen power line in our path or we are struck by a passing vehicle, so to speak, which knocks us from our higher state into a lower realm of humility and struggle.

            Human nature almost forces us to ponder “Why?” when these moments occur.  These unpreventable collisions and falls may come in so many forms.  Perhaps it is because of wrong choices we have made, loss of employment, the passing of a love one, illness, or any one of a myriad of different things which can beset us.  The simple question still remains, “Why?”  Especially when we are doing all we think is right and putting forth our best effort this question raised toward the heavens seems more valid than ever.

            The simple answer I’ve deduced is this – The Lord allows such events to happen to us, to remind of the source from wince all our blessings flow.  In reality, it is not really of our own effort that we are able to soar among the clouds at the high moments in our lives.  No doubt it takes hard work and dedicated effort to make spiritual and emotional flight possible, but the actual lifting wind beneath our wings is the Atonement of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

            Of ourselves we are flightless, despite the magnificent creations of God that we are.  It is only through the merits of our Savior that we are able to lift ourselves above our human frailties to see things from a higher perspective at times.  Unfortunately it is also our human nature sometimes, when we reach that height from the forceful flapping of our wings to think it is because of our flailing we have made it there.  But without the unseen air below off which we can push, the flight would be impossible.  And it is only through His atonement that flight is once again possible, no matter how far we may have fallen.

            So we must remember the source of the wind and air that is all around us, along with the realization that at sometimes we are allowed to fall so that we can acknowledge the Savior more fully in our lives.  As is spoken in Isaiah 40: 26-31, “Lift up your eyes on high and behold who hath created these things…why sayest way is hid from the Lord, the creator of the earth who fainteth not, neither is weary?  He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall; But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and, not faint.”

            Like the fallen owl, as white, spotless and invulnerable as we may feel, our faults and periods of tumbling failure leave us tarnished in spiritual blood, but even here the Lord has promised us,  “Thou your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; thou they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

            The atonement of our Lord is always sufficient for us, and the singular source by which we are given the strength to raise up out of the dust into which we fall.  When it comes to our salvation, He truly “fainteth not, neither is weary”.

            In the end, its not a matter of if or when we are going to experience these falls, but whether we then turn to the Lord to lift us with his healing winds into the higher realms once again.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


By Eric Andreasen

Last night my wife and I had a misunderstanding.  She misunderstood my reaction to the fact that she had rearranged the furniture in our living room.  She thought she understood that I would be or was upset about the fact that she had made the changes.  I’ll admit that I didn’t really understand her need to want to rearrange the furniture.  I’d been perfectly content with how it was before and thought I understood that she liked it that way too.  But I now understand that I misunderstood her feelings.

I’ve come to the understanding long ago in my life and in my marriage that I can’t fully understand women.  This inability to understand often leads to such misunderstandings.  I understand that most guys are probably like me in the fact that we are more often than not content with how things are going.  We like and understand things that are unchanging.  I also understand that women’s feelings are often misunderstood by us guys.  No matter how hard we try, we can’t and never will be able to fully understand what they really feel.  I’ve come to the understanding that I’m o.k. with not understanding.  Guys would rather be content with their misunderstanding of women so that they don’t have to delve too deeply into the inner recesses of feelings and emotions that are scary to us.  Women sometimes can’t understand our lack of ability to understand them, and thus it occasionally leads to misunderstandings.

To get over our misunderstanding, we talked about how we’d misunderstood one another.  Together we came to the understanding that we often don’t understand each others feelings and reactions.  We understood that we still loved each other anyway, even when we can’t always understand why we feel and act differently.  I even told my wife that I understood that I didn’t fully understand and that this lack of understanding was sometimes very frustrating to her.  I apologized for not understanding my part in the misunderstanding and that I understood that I needed to be more understanding of her needs.  She said she understood.

It’s nice to understand one another.  These thoughts actually helped me come to and understanding about the meaning of the word understanding.  I understand that to understand, you actually have to sort of come down to something lesser than standing.  You have to come under your own stand on an issue so that you can understand someone else’s understanding of it.  Misunderstanding is when we try to understand, but we miss the mark and therefore miss coming under the understanding of the other person.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that having misunderstandings is a part of life and that it’s actually o.k. as long as both people understand that they have to actually give up a little bit of themselves to come to an understanding of each other.

I hope these words can help you understand what I’ve come to understand about understanding, so that you don’t have so many misunderstandings in your own relationships with others.  And if you don’t understand a word I’ve just said, its o.k., I’ll understand!