Ted’s Remarks About Stuff
July thru September, 2017

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Aug. 14, 2017

Map of total solar eclipse in OregonIn my July 24 entry, I described the solar eclipse that will cross the United States one week from today on Aug. 21.  For people living near the path of totality, NASA has provided maps of the event here:

NASA Total Eclipse Maps

On the maps, the width of the path of totality is 70 miles.  However, it has been determined that the northern and southern edges of the path are not as precise as initially thought.  This is because current measurements of the size of the sun are not exact, since the sun is a huge ball of gas rather than a solid object with a non-varying surface.

So the edges of the path may be off as little as the length of a football field or as much as a half-mile.  So the path of totality may be more like 69 miles wide.

Basically, all of the maps are off to some extent.  This is according to Mike Kentrianakis, the solar eclipse project manager for the American Astronomical Society, who routinely consults with NASA.

Therefore, people who think they are going to be just within the edge of the path of totality may be disappointed to discover that they are not.  They may see a partial eclipse rather than a total eclipse.  Eclipse experts say that observing a 99.9% partial eclipse is not nearly as spectacular as viewing a 100% total eclipse.

Solar eclipse maps are
not exact, scientists say

Aug. 12, 2017

Solar eclipse glassesThe great American solar eclipse will take place on Mon., Aug. 21.  Today, Amazon has said that it will be issuing refunds to many of those who have purchased solar eclipse glasses.  The reason is that many of the “protective” eclipse glasses are from irreputable manufacturers and may be fakes.

Customers who purchased these glasses will receive refunds.  Along with the refunds will be warning notifications not to use the glasses.  The notifications also say that customers do not need to return the glasses.

Amazon is refunding purchases
of unverifiable eclipse eyewear

Aug. 11, 2017

Perseus constellationThe annual Perseid meteor shower can be viewed this year from July 13 to Aug. 26.  It can be seen in the Northern Hemisphere, and the meteors will appear to be originating from the direction of the Perseus constellation in the northern sky.

There should be optimal viewing tonight into Sat. morning, Sat. night into Sun. morning, and Sun. night into Mon. morning.  The moon is between full and half, so its light may wash out the light of some of the meteors.  As long as clouds do not block the view, as many as 100 meteors per hour, or 1 to 2 per minute, may be seen when looking up into a wide open night sky.

15-second slideshow

Aug. 8, 2017

From North Korea to Guam: 2,100 milesNorth Korea says that it is “carefully examining” a plan to strike Guam with a ballistic missile.  The island is a territory of the U.S. located in the western Pacific Ocean, about 2,107 miles southeast of North Korea.  A missile fired at Guam would take about 15 minutes to get there.

The threat was made hours after President Trump had responded to recent threats by North Korea, which followed the unanimous approval of Resolution 2371 by the U.N. Security Council on Aug. 5.  Trump said that North Korea “will be met with fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which the world has never seen before.”

There also have been US B-1B bombers flying over the Korean peninsula.  The bombers flew out of Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.

North Korea considering firing
missiles at Guam, per state media

It seems that North Korea, which has tested several nuclear bombs, is capable of producing miniaturized nuclear warheads.  These could be placed on the tips of intercontinental ballistic missiles and aimed just about anywhere.  All of this definitely escalates the friction between the U.S. and North Korea to a new level.

Aug. 7, 2017

This is President Trump’s 200th day in office.  In another record high, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed above 22,100 for the first time.  The Dow was up 0.12% to 22,118.42, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was up 0.16% to 2,480.91, also a record high.

Dow Jones Industrial Average record high: 22,118.42   Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index: 2,480.91

Aug. 5, 2017

The United Nations Security Council has approved Resolution 2371, which toughens sanctions on North Korea.  The US-led resolution was adopted unanimously: 15-0.

Resolution 2371 comes as a result of North Korea’s two intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests last month.  The resolution bans the selling or transferring of coal, iron, iron ore, seafood, lead and lead ore to other countries, reducing the nation’s revenue by about $1 billion.

The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, praised the new sanctions.  She told council members after the vote that it is “the single largest economic package ever leveled against the North Korean regime.”

UN Security Council imposes
new sanctions on North Korea

Security Council Toughens Sanctions Against
Democratic People's Republic of Korea,
Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2371 (2017)

Aug. 4, 2017

There have been recent discussions about the status of transsexuals in the U.S. military.  Someone sent me the following cartoon (on the left), which is a spoof of the 1998 movie Saving Private Ryan (on the right).  It’s both ludicrous and hilarious. 

Changing Ryan's Privates Saving Private Ryan

Aug. 3, 2017

On the 700 Club, one segment described how artificial sweeteners can be very detrimental to one’s health.  For instance, drinking diet sodas can cause weight gain, and drinking just one a day can triple the risk of dementia and stroke.  It also can double the risk of developing diabetes.

Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin and sucralose can disrupt our microbiome.  This is the collection of genomes of resident microorganisms in our bodies, mainly in our intestines.

Good bacteria reduce the inflammation in our brains.  However, artificial sweeteners throw off the delicate balance of the good and bad bacteria within us.  Having less good bacteria can cause a greater inflammation in our brains, resulting in multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Better choices for sweeteners are Stevia, Xylitol, Erythritol and Monk fruit (Siraitia grosvenorii).  However, they still can lead to weight gain, due to calorie disregulation in the body.

It is very possible to reduce and even eliminate one’s taste for sweets.  This can enable a person to remove most or all sweets, both real and fake, from one’s diet.

To watch the 700 Club segment about this, about 5½ minutes in length, click on the video and move your arrow along the timeline at the bottom.  The segment begins at 16:40 (click there) and ends at 22:10.

Aug. 2, 2017

Amazingly today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed above 22,000 for the first time.  The Dow was up 0.24% to 22,016.24, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was up 0.05% to 2,477.57.

Dow Jones Industrial Average record high: 22,016.24   Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index: 2,477.57

The stock market has shot up more than 18% since the 2016 presidential election.  I know that many Americans are very excited about this noteworthy escalation and today’s record-high peak.

As for myself, I do not feel nearly as positive and optimistic.  I see it merely as a higher summit from which the market eventually will collapse and plummet.  The higher the peak, the harder the crash.  Ultimately, one of these days, today’s smiles will turn into frowns. 

Aug. 1, 2017

In another record high, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed above 21,900 for the first time.  The Dow was up 0.33% to 21,963.92, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was up 0.24% to 2,476.35.  The Dow probably will exceed 22,000 soon, perhaps tomorrow.

Dow Jones Industrial Average record high: 21,963.92   Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index: 2,476.35

July 31, 2017

Only 10 days after Anthony Scaramucci was named as the new White House Communications Director, on July 21, he has been removed from that position.  Reports suggest that the decision was made by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who just began his new role today.

It seems that Scaramucci clashed with several members of the administration during his brief time in the White House.  Also, last week, Scaramucci went on a profanity-laced rant to a reporter against then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and aide Steve Bannon.  Plus, he vowed to crack down on White House leaks, threatening to dismiss anyone who spread private information.

Anthony Scaramucci out as White
House communications director

July 29, 2017

Today I read two interesting Islam-related articles that were posted at Fortress of Faith:

Why are Young People Attracted to Islam? | Can Muslims Read the Bible?

July 28, 2017

Very early this morning, the U.S. Senate narrowly voted against a “skinny” repeal plan of Obamacare.  All of the Democrats and three Republicans—Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AK) and John McCain (AZ)—voted against the plan.

The final tally defeating H.R. 1628 was no, 51, and yes, 49.  Had one of the dissenting Republicans voted yes, the tally would have been 50-50 and Vice President Pence would have broken the tie with a yes vote, passing the measure.

Senate rejects 'skinny repeal' of
ObamaCare as 3 Republicans vote no

Following brain cancer surgery, McCain returned to Washington, DC, on July 25 to participate in the health care vote.  On that day, he voted for proceeding with further debating and voting on repealing and replacing Obamacare.  So McCain’s “no” vote early today was surprising to almost everyone, including myself.

How John McCain became the pivotal vote that
sent the GOP's healthcare efforts into disarray

Also, this afternoon, President Trump made a surprise announcement naming Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly as his new White House Chief of Staff.  Kelly will replace Reince Priebus in this position.

Reince Priebus out, John Kelly
in as White House Chief of Staff

In other news, in another record high, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed above 21,800 for the first time.  The Dow was up 0.15% to 21,830.31, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was down 0.13% to 2,472.10.

Dow Jones Industrial Average record high: 21,830.31   Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index: 2,472.10

July 27, 2017

I saw this cartoon somewhere.  It seems to be pretty real-world to me.

Your Home As Seen By

July 26, 2017

In another record high, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed above 21,700 for the first time.  The Dow was up 0.45% to 21,711.01, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was up 0.03% to 2,477.83, also a record high.

Dow Jones Industrial Average record high: 21,711.01   Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index record high: 2,477.83

July 25, 2017

The U.S. Senate finally voted today to move forward with debating legislation that potentially could repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.  Even John McCain (R-AZ) voted after flying about 2,300 miles from Arizona to Washington, DC, following surgery for a rare brain cancer last week.

There were 50 Republicans who voted to proceed, while no Democrats and 2 Republicans—Susan Collins (ME) and Lisa Murkowski (AK)—voted no.  Vice-president Pence voted yes to break the tie.

Senate Votes To Move Forward With Debate On
Obamacare Repeal Bill; What Happens Now?

Following the vote, Senator McCain spoke for about 15 minutes (see the text of Senator McCain’s speech).

What's next with Senate Republican's effort to repeal Obamacare

July 24, 2017

Total and partial solar eclipseExactly four weeks from today, on Aug. 21, an event will happen in the U.S. that has not taken place for over 99 years—since June 8, 1918.  A total eclipse of the sun will cross the U.S. from the west coast to the east coast.

Furthermore, it will be the first time in U.S. history that a total solar eclipse will be seen only in the U.S. and in no other country.  The total eclipse will cross over 12 states, from Oregon to South Carolina.

However, at least a partial solar eclipse will be viewable in all 50 states.  A partial eclipse also will be seen in Canada, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and northwestern Europe.

This short video show a great deal of information about the eclipse:


This short video shows the pathway of the total eclipse across the U.S.:

Macular hole caused by viewing a solar eclipseGreat care must be taken if one plans to look directly at the sun during any phase of the eclipse, as permanent damage to the retinas, particularly the the maculas of the eyes, may result.  It is called solar or macular retinopathy.  This can create retinal burns or holes, causing irreversible damage and loss of central vision.

Dilated pupil and constricted pupilOrdinary sunglasses, without an ultraviolet protective coating, are ineffective in preventing retinal burns.  In fact, by reducing the amount of visible light entering the eyes, they cause the pupils to become more dilated and an increased amount of damaging ultraviolet radiation will reach the retinas.

Therefore, special solar filters, which help shield against UV radiation, should be used to protect the eyes.  This is true when looking at the sun when any portion of it is not covered by the moon during a solar eclipse.  In fact, invisible ultraviolet solar radiation comes around the edges of the moon, even when the sun is completely covered; so it is not a good idea to look at the eclipse for more than a few seconds, even if no visible sunlight can be seen.

The following sites provide information about the safest ways to view the total solar eclipse, whether directly or indirectly, as well as ways that the eclipse should not be viewed:




Over 4,800 libraries in the country are giving away free eclipse glasses.  A map of participating libraries is on this page:


Many places have solar eclipse glasses available.  For instance, here are some selections at WalMart and Amazon:



Personally, I don’t plan to look at the eclipse directly for longer than one or two seconds, even with solar glasses or filters.  I cannot be 100% certain that anything I might put over my eyes will eliminate all of the harmful ultraviolet rays reaching my retinas, and I am not willing to take the risk.  I’d rather just watch videos of the eclipse later.

July 22, 2017

Old City of JerusalemSince the shootings in Jerusalem took place on July 14, clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian demonstrators have been raging.  Palestinians have been protesting new measures implemented by Israeli officials.

One measure is the barring of Muslim men under the age of 50 from the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.  Another is the installation of metal detectors at Temple Mount entrances.

Today, extra Israeli troops were sent into the West Bank, following the deadly stabbing attack of three Israelis yesterday.  Police disrupted stone-throwing Palestinians in Jerusalem.  It is the deadliest outbreak of violence between Israelis and Palestinians in years.

Israeli Raid, Jerusalem Clashes
Ratchet Tensions Higher

July 21, 2017

Sean Spicer
Sean Spicer
Anthony Scaramucci
Anthony Scaramucci
Sarah Huckabee Sanders
Sarah H. Sanders
The White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, resigned today.  He formally will step down from that position next month.

Spicer’s resignation comes after Anthony Scaramucci was named as the new White House Communications Director.  Sarah Huckabee Sanders will replace Sean Spicer as the new White House Press Secretary.  She is the daughter of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

Ari Fleischer, former White House Press Secretary under President George W. Bush, said that Spicer’s resignation is an “unsettling” development for President Trump’s team.  Fleischer has said that he “wouldn’t be surprised if other people leave.”  I wouldn’t either; I suspect that this may be just the beginnning.

Spicer resigns: Ex-press secretary
Fleischer calls move 'unsettling'

July 18, 2017

Passage of a new health care bill in the U.S. Senate has reached an impasse.  Senators Rand Paul (KY) and Susan Collins (ME) have stated for awhile that they would not vote for the bill.  Last night, they were joined by Jerry Moran (KS) and Mike Lee (UT), which prevents the Senate from reaching the 50-vote threshold.

Now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is calling for a vote on “a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay to provide for a stable transition period to a patient-centered health care system that gives Americans access to quality, affordable care.”  President Trump agrees that “Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!”

McConnell calls for Obamacare
repeal vote after replacement plan fails

There is no straightforward process for repealing and replacing the extremely complex and complicated disaster known as Obamacare.  I suspect that it simply will experience a catastrophic collapse.  This probably will be more devastating to the U.S. healthcare system than repealing it and then working on replacing it with a new system.

July 17, 2017

Adrian RogersOne of my favorite pastors of all time was Adrian Rogers.  I used to enjoy very much listening to his messages, and I also liked his conservative views.  His recorded sermons still can be found at the Love Worth Finding website.

I was reminded of Adrian Rogers when I was emailed the following statements, which are some of his famous quotations:

  • You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.
  • What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.
  • The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
  • When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation.
  • You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

I totally agree with all of those statements.  It seems to me, that for several years, the USA has begun to go down a path that these statements warn about.  Obamacare is a definite example of this.

The ultimate endpoint of this is what has happened to socialistic nations like Venezuela, which is in the middle of a severe socio-economic disaster with no turnaround in sight.  I don’t know if Trump and the Congress can reverse this trend or not, but I hope so.

July 15, 2017

Nabeel QureshiOn Fortress of Faith radio this morning, I listened to a 14-minute audio, with a 1½-minute introduction at the beginning by Tom Wallace.  The speaker is Nabeel Qureshi, 34, who was raised a devout Muslim who studied the Qur´an.  He has an M.D. and two M.A. degrees and is highly intelligent and very articulate.

Nabeel talks about how, growing up, he would have discussions with Christians, putting doubts in their minds about the deity of Jesus and other aspects of their faith.  He found that most Christians with whom he had conversations were unprepared to defend their faith.

In college, he met a Christian, David Wood, with whom he developed a friendship.  Their common interest was their strong convictions about their Creator and Sustainer, whether He be Allah or God.  They enjoyed debating and arguing with each other about their beliefs.

Eventually, Nabeel converted from Islam to Christianity.  Basically, while seeking after Allah, he found Jesus, which is the subject of one his books and video study:

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesusbook | video study

So, rather than practicing his profession of a medical doctor, Nabeel has made the spreading of the Gospel message about Jesus to others, including Muslims, his primary focus in life.  Additional interesting information can be found at Nabeel’s website:


He has several YouTube videos here: NQMinistries.  Below is a 13-minute video, recorded less than 2 weeks ago, featuring Nabeel and his best friend David.  You can see that Nabeel has lost his hair due to treatments for advanced stomach cancer, which was diagnosed near the end of August, 2016.

Nabeel has a Go Fund Me page to help with costs related to his cancer: Nabeel Qureshi Cancer Fund.  I have no doubt at all that God is able to heal Nabeel completely and permanently of his cancer, which happens to be a very painful type when he eats or even drinks small amounts.

I will be praying that it could be God’s will for a miraculous healing to take place.  I would like to see Nabeel continue reaching countless others, including Muslims, with the saving knowledge of our Messiah, Lord and Savior Yeshua/Jesus.

July 14, 2017

Selfie of two of the assailants, posted to Facebook just prior to the attackAn attack this morning at the Lion’s Gate, near the Temple Mount complex in Jerusalem, left two Israeli police officers dead.  Another officer was wounded.

The three assailants were shot dead on the Temple Mount.  They were Israeli-Arab cousins from the city of Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel.

As a result of the attack, the compound, sacred to both Jews and Muslim, was shut down for Muslim prayers, only the third time since 1967.  Jews still are not permitted to pray on the Temple Mount.

Several minutes before the attack, a selfie of two of the terrorists was posted to Facebook, taken with the Dome of the Rock in the background.  The (translated) caption read, “Tomorrow’s smile will be the most beautiful, with the help of Allah.”

Two Israeli Police Officers Killed in
Temple Mount Shooting, Another Wounded

In other news, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed above 21,600 for the first time ever.  It was the third record high in three consecutive days.

Today, the Dow was up 0.39% to 21,637.74.  The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was up 0.47% to 2,459.27, also a record high.

Dow Jones Industrial Average record high: 21,637.74   Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index record high: 2,459.27
Dow Jones Industrial Average record high July 12: 21,532.14
July 12
Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index July 12: 2,443.25
July 12
  Dow Jones Industrial Average record high July 13: 21,553.09
July 13
Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index July 13: 2,447.83
July 13

July 11, 2017

Today is All American Pet Photo Day.  I do not have any pets myself, but I do like other people’s pets.  I like dogs and cats equally.  They almost always like me because I find their favorite spots to be rubbed and scratched: ears, cheeks, chin, neck and/or back.

Below is a collection of some of the photos I’ve taken of various pets over many years.  It really is only a small fraction of all the pet pics that I have.











3¼-minute slideshow

July 8, 2017

Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, IsraelYesterday, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) had a secret vote.  It named one of the holiest Jewish sites, the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, a Palestinian site.  The resolution passed 12-3, with six abstentions.

Israel has lambasted the decision.  Furthermore, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has cut $1 million of the membership funds that Israel pays to the United Nations.  This follows the $1 million cut from the U.N. in May due to UNESCO’s condemnation of Israel’s actions in Jerusalem and Gaza.

Israel reduces UN funding after
Hebron shrine declared Palestinian

The leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations have responded to this.  They have condemned UNESCO for declaring Hebron an “endangered Palestinian heritage site.”

Conference of Presidents
condemns UNESCO

July 7, 2017

Following President Trump’s successful visit to Poland yesterday, he now is in Hamburg, Germany, for the annual G20 summit.  Today, Trump and Russia’s President Putin met in person for the first time.  Their meeting lasted about 2 hours 15 minutes.

According to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Trump pressed Putin on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections, but Putin denied that this had happened.  Also, Trump and Putin agreed that a cease-fire in southwest Syria will begin on July 9.

Trump presses Putin on Syria, US
election meddling in first meeting

July 4, 2017

America’s 241st Birthday

9-second slideshow

We attended a party at the home of some friends.  There was lots of great food and fun.  A few activities included trampoline jumping, bow and arrow shooting and playing UNO emoji.


25-second slideshow

Later, everyone walked a few blocks away to watch an outstanding public fireworks display.  Before the show, we saw a small object flying back and forth in the distance.  Everyone agreed that it must have been a drone, but we didn’t know if it belonged to the city or to an individual.




50-second slideshow

Bill of Rights    Lord’s Prayer

July 2, 2017

Didymos A & B asteroidsFor the first time ever, NASA is planning to design a spacecraft that will attempt to shift the orbit of a small asteroid in our solar system.  The test will be called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART).

If the project goes as planned, the spacecraft will be sent to a double asteroid system, Didymos A and Didymos B.  The length of Didymos A is about a half-mile, and the length of Didymos B is about 530 feet, with Didymos B orbiting around Didymos A.

The idea is to change the orbit of Didymos B around Didymos A and then to observe and study this change.  The information gathered by doing this may enable NASA to intercept and change the path of an asteroid, in the future, that appears to be headed for a collision with the earth.

NASA's First Asteroid Deflection
Mission Enters Next Design Phase

All of this reminds me of the second Trumpet Judgment in the Book of Revelation:

The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea.  A third of the sea turned into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. (Revelation 8:8,9)

To me, that always has sounded like an asteroid falling into an ocean.  If so, I hope it isn’t human intervention with objects in space—which God has placed exactly where they should be—that ultimately causes one of those objects to crash into the earth and cause great destruction.

July 1, 2017

Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be.When times are difficult, many of us wish that we could return to a time in the past when things were better, happier or more fulfilling.  If we dwell on that too much, it can become what I call “living in the graveyard of the past,” since the past is “dead” and cannot be revived, nor can we return to it.  We need to “let go” of it.

It also is common, even normal, to worry about tomorrow and the future.  Yet, unforeseeable things are going to happen, whether we like them or not.  For the most part, there is nothing we can do about this, since everything that God has predestined to take place is going to happen.  Jesus talked about this in Matthew 7:25-34, the last portion of which is here:

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 7:33,34)

Therefore, I try to focus on my faith in God, which is one of the gifts of the Holy SpiritFaith is the ability to believe in the one, true God and to accept His purposes and gifts, overcoming human doubts, disbelief, and faulty intellectual reasoning which stem from the natural.

True faith enables us to accept things as they are and to look forward, with great anticipation, to the time when Jesus will bring the Kingdom of God to earth at the beginning of the Millennium.  At that time, He will rule and reign in righteousness and with perfect justice.  When that happens, we never will have the urge to “live in the past,” and we never will worry about the future.  The world will be better than it’s been in human history; we will be happier and more fulfilled than ever before, and this never will end. 

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