Friday, June 30, 2006


My little sister! Beautiful little sister! She will be married next Saturday and I leave tomorrow to see them all!

Monday, June 26, 2006

CD cover

This is the CD cover idea I am knocking around in my head. Phileas Fogg asked me to do their cover a while ago, and I've been sort of slow to get on the ball but yesterday I sat down for a couple hours and busted this out. The words aren't their final script or anything, I will probably ink them after touching up or re-doing the painting.

Oh, no ink again, either. This is so strange for me.


At PASS there was a big pond with billions of different dragonflies. I managed to sit still long enough to let them get used to me, and managed to take a bunch of close up shots. They are really gorgeous and colorful insects


Last week I was in New Mexico at the Physical Acoustics Summer School. I had virtually no email or phone access. So that's why I never posted, and I know you were all wondering why.

I am trying to get my final rough-draft of my thesis done this week, so I will be really under the gun. Editing and making a bibliography for 200 pages of research in 5 days means I need to cover about 40 pages a day. X(

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

the butterfly effect

I've noticed that, when I really really really want something, questions of exactly how God's sovereignty apply to the small things in life suddenly begin to matter to me. For example, I am trying to do something this coming academic year, which requires my funder's approval. So, for example, when I have been diligently working on my research all day but take a 5 minut break to surf the web (blog surfing, today) and my funder walks by, how will that affect the outcome? I have been on my knees day after day praying about this. Could the outcome really boil down to someone walking by my computer when I'm taking a break, think I'm just goofing off and decide I'm not the type worth investing in for a year?

It makes me shudder to think...

Or, if that isn't bad enough, the following could happen. I could pause for 5 seconds before I walk out the door in the morning, because I forgot to turn off the light. This 5 second pause will completely change the dynamics of biking to school because of traffic etc. This will change when I work, and how I work. It could change if I get in a crash, or if I make it to school safe. This could change whether I get funding, which could determine where I live next year, which could determine the wife I marry some day (hah) which could affect what kids I have which could eventually affect the entire world.

The butterfly effect. It gives me the creeps to think that whether I choose to bike home after I finish this or check my email first could be the difference between dying in a car wreck 10 years from now or not.

And this is where I started wondering about God's sovereignty. I have heard it said by hardcore Calvinists that sovereignty doesn't get rid of cause and effect. "The effect was predestined to happen because of the cause" I was told, as the teacher dropped the pen on the floor. This is not a comforting view of God's sovereignty, if it is limited to this. It provides no stabilization for the future, because a chaotic system functions the exact same way (a chaotic system being defined as one that has extreme sensitivity to small variations in initial conditions).

However, if God has more sovereignty over the course of history, and has purpose for each of us, then the chaos is not quite so terrifying. Saying God is this way or that way because it "seems right" gives me about as much creeps as the butterfly effect. But from in his word he says "I have plans to prosper you" and "all things work for the good of those who believe." It could be argued that the change the Holy Spirit brings about is one that allows us to reap good from any result a chaotic system could generate. However, throughout the scripture you see God doesn't only change a person's nature to accept all things (Through the Spirit, Paul learned contentment in all situations) but that he plans specific events to occur in people's life. Using Paul as an example again, God didn't give him much choice about becoming his servant. Throughout his ministry, specific ordained events occured, but wait, I'm missing the big E on the eye chart here. Christ's life was the epitome of a combination of free will and sovereignty. "These things must come but woe to the one through whom they come." If Jesus had stubbed his toe when he was 5 because Joseph dropped a 2x4 on the way home, Judas would have still betrayed him, and he would have still been crucified and resurrected.

If God loves us through Christ, who is to say that the major events in our life aren't as pre-ordained as those in Christs? Purpose, in this case, would act like negative feedback in an amplifier circuit. There may be some immediate, small fallout like the transient response of the system to small impulses. But because of purpose stabilizes the system, the outcome will be more or less the same. I don't know if my life have this much level of purpuse because we haven't been given prophecies regarding the specifics of each of our lives. But I believe it does have both general and specific purpose. And after seeing God answer prayer and love me in the craziest, most specific ways, I am worrying less and less about the future, because trust in his purpose seems to replace the worry.

But its going to be really hard to say that if I don't end up getting what I am hoping for, in this case. I guess I haven't learned to fully trust yet.

Friday, June 02, 2006


I still need to touch up some areas, but I finally finished this up last night.
Aurolian yellow is becoming my favorite pigment

next week

Next week I will be at the Acoustical Society of America conference. I am going to give two short lectures on my research topics, in front of a bunch of people that have been doing acoustics for their whole lives.

really nervous for 2 reasons
1) My research is kidstuff. They will probably yawn and fall asleep because they know some russian highschoolers who did the same stuff in the 80's.
2) I might have errors in my research and someone's going to point it out. Combined with the fact that my research isn't really difficult in the first place, that makes it even worse...

rrrrgh... some people are just so easy going infront of a crowd of skeptics. How did they get that way??? I should find some hardcore music to psych me up before I give my presentation. That way I'll be like "yeah! booyah!" instead of "*gulp* uh... hi..."

a lust allegory

The other day I went grocery shopping and the strangest thing happened. As I walked by the produce aisles I had an unexplainable, powerful craving for... vegtables.

This is odd, because the food I normally eat falls into one of only two catagories: red meat and cereal. However, as I walked by the onions, carrots and lettuce, I almost wept over their deliciousness. It was strong enough to motivate me to grab a stalk of lettuce and a bunch of green onions.

My body probably understands what I need better than my mind does, and there is undoubtably a vitamin or mineral in the vegtables that I am deficient in, which my body knows I need. So I would catagorize this passionate desire for vegtables as a "good" desire, even a "righteous" desire, and by buying and enjoying vegtables, I am eating to the glory of God, while at the same time fulfilling a good and holy desire.

However, 15 minutes later, as I was finishing up, I walked by the donuts. Everytime I grocery shop, I have a habit of getting 2 donuts and munching on them in the parking lot before I drive home. Therefore, even though at this time the veggies still appealed to me more (like I said, strange and inexplicable), through sheer force of habit more than anything else I grabbed two donuts, rung up and devoured them.

Wasn't hungry till about 11:00 pm that evening, and it wasn't for veggies anymore.

"Do not let the flesh drive you into self gratification that reduces your felt need of a righteous fulfillment." - Douglas Busby

Thursday, June 01, 2006


你好, 朋友們... 我知道你們大多不說中文... 可是我今天想說中文.

最近我問難的問題. 我想在外國學聲音學. 能不能? 不知道... 我近期知道了. 為什麼這個問題很難?

祕. 要是我能去外國, 那我告訴你們.