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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Corvallis pastor makes Christian case for marriage equality in local newspaper column

Headline 'Christian case for marriage equality' Gazette-Times Aug. 15, 2015, p. A7

PHOTO: The local Corvallis, Oregon newspaper on their religion page carried an opinion Colum by Rev. Barbara Nixon, "Religion: A Christian Case for marriage equality," Gazette-Times, Aug. 15, 2015, p. A7. Nixon also coordinates the content for the Gazette-Times Lifestyles Religion "Faith and Values" page. (For more about her church, see Barbara Nixon, Pastor, Corvallis First United Methodist Church, Corvallis, Oregon

"I am a Christian who supports marriage equality. I am pastor of First United Methodist Church here in Corvallis, which has long stood for this as a matter of justice. Gay and straight couples alike may come for premarital counseling and ceremony planning. They may join their lives together before God in our sanctuary with me serving as their officiant. We celebrate marriage as one of the ways God's love can move in the world and we do not believe this avenue for love is limited to straight people.

While this view we hold along with many other United Methodist churches is in opposition to some of our denomination's official church policy, we stand firmly with many other Christians on this issue, trusting we are being true to what we are called to do as followers of Jesus.

I know there are many Christians who do not agree. Their voices are easily and often heard on this topic. In fact, Christian values have been used by Christians and non-Christians alike to make the case against gay marriage and against homosexuality in general. I do not speak for them.

But I do think it is very important to give voice to the alternate Christian perspective - the one held by many of us who follow Jesus and who have drawn very different conclusions.

First, the idea that biblical marriage is based on one man and woman is simply not in line with scripture, in which women were essentially property and men could have one or more wives. Certainly there were loving marriages but we cannot act as if what we value as marriage today rises directly from this property-based understanding.

Second, the word homosexuality is a word that came into the English language in the 1800s, after which it was used in translations of the Bible as the word to describe male rape, incest, ritual sex and other practices not connected at all to how we understand relationships between same-sex couples today.

Third, Jesus does not speak on this topic. He spent much of his time teaching about the kingdom of God - here on earth - where love and justice will reign. In reading the Bible holistically, looking at it through lenses of reason, experience and history, we begin to see how to focus on the work of this kingdom!

Christians like me cringe when we hear "love the sinner, hate the sin." What we have learned about gender and sexual orientation - genetics, anatomy, hormones, brain chemistry - in all its variations tells us homosexuality is not the stuff of sin but of humanity. We want gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) people to know there are Christians who honestly accept the fullness of who they are.

Christians like me feel compelled to stand with GLBT people when they are accused of ruining our society and bringing the wrath of God upon us. We want them to know that we don't believe God causes natural disasters to punish ANYONE for anything. And we don't believe GLBT people are responsible for the messes we have made collectively in our nation. Furthermore, when 50 percent of all straight marriages have been failing for years, we don't see how gay marriage can be held responsible for future matrimonial failures.

It is not my desire or intent to try to change the minds of those Christians who will, no doubt, strongly disagree with me. My intention is simply to give voice to a distinctly different understanding of homosexuality and gay marriage, and to declare, as a follower of Jesus, that it is indeed a Christian perspective."

(Quoted from Rev. Barbara Nixon, "Religion: A Christian Case of marriage equality," Gazette-Times, Aug. 15, 2015, p. A7 -- Barbara Nixon, Pastor, Corvallis First United Methodist Church, Corvallis, Oregon is coordinator of the Gazette-Times Lifestyles Religion "Faith and Values" page)

I was pleased to see this opinion piece nearly 40 years after when the paper was flamed by angry readers for printing a story about two women who wished they could marry. See previous posts:

James Burton Nichols recalls invention of polyester and nylon at DuPont by Elmer Kraemer and Wallace Carothers

Elmer Kraemer, front row, third from left, and Wallace Carothers, front row to right of Kraemer, pose circa the 1930's next to the DuPont advanced chemistry research teams they led that invented polyester and nylon

PHOTO: Elmer O. Kraemer (1898-1943), front row, third from left, and Wallace Hume Carothers (1896-1937), front row to right of Kraemer, pose circa the 1930's next to the DuPont advanced chemistry research teams they led that invented polyester and nylon. Photo was scanned from one of the original photos taken annually of the DuPont Experimental Station employees that were kept by Thomas Kraemer's grandfather Elmer O. Kraemer and father Herbert F. Kraemer in their family photo albums. After DuPont refocused researchers' efforts away from basic research and instead directed their efforts toward ramping up the production of polyester and nylon to make a profit, Kraemer left DuPont in 1938 and Carothers famously committed suicide in 1937 perhaps aggravated by DuPont's decision to deemphasize his academic research that is more commonly done only by universities instead of by commercial businesses trying to make a profit.

I've written before about the issues surrounding corporate research and the related history book by David A. Hounshell and John Kenly Smith, "Science and Corporate Strategy: Du Pont R and D, 1902-1980," Cambridge University Press, Oct 28, 1988 that included references to the research work on polyester and nylon done by my grandfather Elmer O. Kraemer (1898-1943). (See previous post Corporate research strategy book chronicles my grandfather's work at DuPont (5/11/15))

I was finally able to read one of the key sources cited in Hounshell's book that mentioned my Grandfather Elmer O. Kraemer, specifically, I read the transcript of a 1986 interview of "James Burton Nichols, Oral History," Chemical Heritage Foundation, 1986, accessed May 8, 2015 and purchased via: Order Transcript Number 0034 of "James Burton Nichols" oral history from

James Burton Nichols worked his entire career at DuPont, starting in 1927 as a research chemist working with my Grandfather Kraemer in the 1930's, and until Nichols retired from DuPont in 1966 and before he was interviewed in 1987 by the Chemical Heritage Foundation. Nichols, while working on his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, first met my Grandfather Elmer Kraemer who at that time was a faculty member there in the Chemistry Department.

Here are some of my initial notes from reading the 1986 interview with "James Burton Nichols," accessed May 8, 2015, available for purchase via: James Burton Nichols" oral history conducted 1986 by Chemical Heritage Foundation

  • (p.80 Index of the printed and bound copy of the 1986 interview with James Burton Nichols) Kraemer is listed as being mentioned on p. 0., 26, 47, 52, 73, and 77 -- polyester p. 47 note 13 p. 77
  • (p. 47, 77) Elmer Kraemer is credited by Nichols with inventing polyester, drawing the first strands, and then publishing a scientific paper on it by 1933, well before Carothers was credited with inventing nylon, which was based on the collective work of DuPont researchers.
  • (p. 59-60, 65, 68) Nichols discusses how DuPont management, from the 1920's to when nylon was invented in the 1930's, allowed researchers to do what they wanted with little direction from management, but after the Depression had stressed the company financially, management changed its focus to getting products out the door and making money, which resulted in the reassignment of many employees.
  • (p. 73, 77) documents the biography of Elmer O. Kraemer that was written by James Burton Nichols after my Grandfather Kraemer died working on a book on colloidal chemistry that he had initiated before his death
  • (p. 9-15, 17) Both Nichols and my Grandfather Kramer worked with the Swedish Professor The Svedberg (1884-1971) who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1926 and who lived the swinger lifestyle of having multiple wives -- Grandmother Kraemer recalled the sexually open Swedish lifestyle she experienced while living in Sweden with my Grandfather who was doing both teaching and research in chemistry with Svedberg in Sweden and Germany, which were epicenters of chemistry knowledge at the time.
  • (p.73-74) Nichols mentions the annual photographs taken by DuPont of the workers of the DuPont Experimental Station in Wilmington, Delaware where my Grandfather Kraemer worked on advance chemistry research.

The PDF copy I have is a scanned image of a typewritten page, without any optical character recognition text, which makes it impossible for me to easily cut and paste quotes from it. I hope to get some of these quotes included above after I can get some help from a sighted person to type them into a word processor.

See Elmer O. Kraemer (1898-1943) From Wikipedia and "Wallace Hume Carothers (1896-1937)," accessed Aug. 11, 1015 or Wallace Carothers (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) about arothers clinical depression and suicide in 1937, perhaps caused by his new marriage and the stress of management asking him to redirect his efforts toward making money and helping ramp up production of nylon and other synthetic polymers.

See previous posts Corporate research strategy book chronicles my grandfather's work at DuPont (5/11/15), Elmer Kraemer, chemist, nylon, synthetic rubber pioneer (10/18/09) and Hermann Staudinger on Kraemer 12/16/09) , plus the Elmer Kraemer (Wikipedia) article.)

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Fold-up cardboard dymaxion globe Honeywell Fuller Projection 1967

Cardboard folded up dymaxion globe using Fuller Projection 1967

PHOTO: (click photo to enlarge) an assembled folded up cardboard dymaxion globe using the Fuller Projection, which was printed in 1967 and distributed as an advertisement by Honeywell of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The base includes the copyright dates of 1943, 1944, 1953, 1954 and 1967 with a notation this invention's intellectual property is protected under a U.S. Patent 2,393,676 by Richard Buckminster Fuller issued Jan 29, 1946. The title printed on the cardboard base says, "Dymaxion Sky-Ocean World, The Honeywell Edition of Fuller Projection, R. Buckminster Fuller and Shoji Sadao Cartographers." (For more on the technology, see "Dymaxion map," accessed Aug. 5, 2015) Thomas Kraemer received this globe circa 1970 from a Honeywell engineer in Minneapolis who said they were trying to emphasize the global scope of their company.

Flat unfolded cardboard dymaxion globe using Fuller Projection 1967

PHOTO: (click photo to enlarge) a flat, unfolded and unassembled cardboard dymaxion globe using the Fuller Projection, which was printed in 1967 and distributed as an advertisement by Honeywell of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The letters on each tab are used to match up the corresponding tab to be inserted into during assembly. (See assembled folded up version in photo above.) Thomas Kraemer received this globe circa 1970 from a Honeywell engineer in Minneapolis who said they were trying to emphasize the global scope of their company.

animated GIF of folding and unfolding of dymaxion globe using Fuller Projection

PHOTO: An animated GIF showing the folding and unfolding of a dymaxion globe using the Fuller Projection. (See "File:Dymaxion 2003 animation small1.gif," From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

OSU soap opera ends with new head of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Oregon State University Engineering Benny Beaver decal (10 cents) was sold circa 1975 to apply to a car window shows Benny carrying a slide rule and T-square, which are both obsolete engineering tools.

PHOTO: Oregon State University Engineering Benny Beaver mascot decal (10 cents) was sold for ten cents circa 1975 for applying to a student's car window. It shows OSU Benny Beaver as an engineering student carrying a slide rule, (regularly used to do engineering calculations before the invention of calculators) and a T-square (used with a drafting board to draw engineering plans before the invention of computer aided design or CAD programs) and Benny also is carrying a case with other instruments used in engineering. (See previous posts Artist of OSU Benny Beaver engineer mascot decal used it for other schools (6/6/15), Slide rules, T-squares -- obsolete engineering tools (1/19/09), OSU Benny Beaver Engineering Decal (12/9/06) and HP 12c financial calculator history (6/21/06)

The official Oregon State University news release, "School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science names new head," posted Aug. 3, 2015 says, "V. John Mathews, an expert in biomedical signal and information processing with a track record for growing research funding and student enrollment, has been selected as the new head of the Oregon State University School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS). Mathews comes to Oregon State after 30 years with the University of Utah, where he has been a professor since 1995 and served as chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering for four years."

START UPDATE Aug. 12, 2015: some background on he soap opera from the student newspaper:

END UPDATE Aug. 12, 2015

The local independent newspaper report gave the soap opera story in the College of Engineering at Oregon State University:

Oregon State University has hired V. John Mathews as the head of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, filling a position that has been vacant since the controversial ouster of Terri Fiez nearly a year and a half ago. . . .

Fiez had led the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science since coming to Oregon State in 1999. But controversy erupted in 2013 after Sandra Woods, who had taken over as dean of the College of Engineering the previous year, tried to force Fiez out. Faculty members and Oregon tech industry leaders protested, but OSU stood by its decision. Early last year, both Fiez and Woods were dismissed.

Fiez has since been hired as vice chancellor for research by the University of Colorado.

Steve Clark, OSU's vice president for marketing and university development, said the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science has put the episode behind it.

"The school has been on very stable and strong ground for the last year or more," Clark said on Monday.

"I think our private sector partners have moved forward," he added. "Our new dean of the College of Engineering, Scott Ashford, has strong and positive leadership that is respected by our private industry partners."

(Quoted from Bennett Hall, "OSU fills top EECS post," Gazette-Times, posted Aug. 4, 2015)

This classic department catfight between professors had to be cleaned up by Scott Ashford Dean of Engineering at Oregon State University after he became the Dean, which also required him to hire his replacement to head the OSU Civil Engineering School, Jason Weiss, who came from Purdue University, a major research university located in Lafayette, Indiana. (See "Purdue professor to head OSU Civil Engineering School," posted Jul. 30, 2015 and Scott A. Ashford Dean, College of Engineering / Professor Oregon State University M.S. and Ph.D., Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley B.S., Civil Engineering, Oregon State University)

The "Terri Fiez Profile" accessed Aug. 1, 2015 said, ". . . back to OSU when she had the opportunity to become the head of Electrical and Computer Engineering which later merged with computer science to become the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS)."

Some unrelated news: James Day, "OSU gift endows humanitarian engineering professor," posted Jul. 23, 2015 says, "Oregon State University has received a $1.5 million donation that will allow the university to endow a professorship in humanitarian engineering."

Some links to OSU engineering schools:

Saturday, August 1, 2015

LED and CFL bulbs hard to see with blue-orange-yellow color blindness due to their higher color temperature

test image for blue-yellow color blindness

PHOTO: Test image for "Blue yellow color blindness" taken from accessed Aug. 1, 2015. When I look at the above image, the colors in each can on the left look the same as the colors in the corresponding cans on the right. When I showed this image to other people, I could not see, versus other people: yellow paint in left image can vs. pink paint in the right image can; orange paint vs. dark pink on right image; dark green paint vs. dark gray paint; blue paint vs. blue green paint in right image. Similarly, I can no longer see bright yellow Post-It Notes as being anything other than just white, and the orange, school colors, headlines that are printed in my college alumni newsletters are virtually invisible to me.

One burned out bulb in a row of ten old-fashioned incandescent lightbulbs over bathroom vanity mirror

PHOTO: One burned out bulb in a row of ten old-fashioned incandescent lightbulbs made with clear glass, which exposes their glowing red hot wire filaments inside, as they were installed over the top of my bathroom amity mirror about twenty years ago. Replacing these designer bulbs when they burn out is becoming harder and harder for reasons other than the fact that are unfashionable today -- new State and Federal laws are mandating new bulbs be more energy efficient and most retailers are now selling only compact fluorescent CFL bulbs or the newer light-emitting diode LED bulbs. Yes, there are some new LED bulbs that imitate this old exposed filament look, but so far they are too dim for me to see anything. I have not yet figured out what to do with this bathroom light in the future because I hate the look of the common white replacement bulbs. I will probably end up changing the fixture to one designed to take advantage of LED lights, such as I have done in other parts of my house, such as my laundry room where I changed to a superior LED flat panel lighting. (See previous post LED Pixi flat panel light replaces my laundry room light (4/10/15))

As my exposed filament incandescent lightbulbs over my bathroom vanity mirror have been slowly burning out over time, it has become harder and harder to find replacement bulbs, especially as both State and Federal laws are mandating the phase-in of more energy-efficient light bulbs, such as compact fluorescent CFL bulbs and the newer LED bulbs.

The newer LED bulbs consume a fraction of the energy of old- fashioned incandescent lightbulbs and LED bulbs can be touched without burning yourself, all while putting out the same number of lumens of light brightness.

Unfortunately, most CFL and LED bulbs put out most of their light energy in the higher frequencies (a.k.a. higher color temperatures), which makes the light look bluer and colder instead of more red and warm. This higher color temperature light is very hard for me to see due to me being blue-orange-yellow color blind.

Fortunately, I have been able to buy some lower color temperature LED bulbs (described on the package as having a color temperature of 2700K or 2700 degrees Kelvin), but in my experience none of these bulbs have as full a range of color as incandescent bulbs and I require they have more lumens than the equivalent incandescent bulb for me to see the same, based on my side by side testing of these bulbs.

One of the 100-Watt-equivalent (equivalence is based on lumens of light output) LED bulbs I own actually uses only a few Watts of power and as a result puts out very little waste heat, which allows me to use the bulb close to my face without feeling like I am going to burn myself.

There are LED bulbs that have been designed to imitate the look of these exposed filament clear bulbs, but they are not bright enough for me to see very well. There are also white round LED bulbs, but they that look ugly to me and the coating on their surface smells funny when they heat up.

Even though I am going blind, I still care about the art and aesthetic of interior lighting design, as well as the lighting functionality I need to see with my low vision blindness and color blindness, it is clear to me that my vanity mirror lighting is dated looking and begging to be replaced with a newer design that might look totally different, but I've have not seen it yet for a bathroom vanity mirror lighting. For example, LED lights don't have to be round and can be shaped into something more elegant as well as being practical too. I've seen LED auto headlights that are not round. Another example is the flat-panel LED light I used to replace my laundry room light fixture. It fits flat against the ceiling and even looks better from an aesthetic standpoint. (See previous post LED Pixi flat panel light replaces my laundry room light (4/10/15))

Here are some links of interest concerning my color blindness that was caused by ischemic strokes in my brain: