The Simpsons – TV’s Greatest Primetime Cartoon

In the early 1960s, cartoons came to primetime TV, for instance, the Flintstones. Today these shows are cherished as wholesome (and funny) family shows. But not then. It was sponsored by Winston cigarettes, after all! (Tobacco commercials were banned in 1971.)

The 70s and 80s offered little adult animation. Come until the very end of 1989, though, a show called “The Simpsons” premiered on the Fox TV network, only a few years after its 1986 inception.

Being an adult animated sitcom, while tame by today’s standards, still can be off color, citing places in their town of Springfield such as a sperm bank and a burning tire mountain.

Homer and Marge Simpson are the parents of the three Simpson kids. Homer, a nuclear plant operator, is yet quite dimwitted (and loves doughnuts to death). Marge, the mom, wears an towering blue hairdo. Bart, the eldest Simpson child, was a 10 y/o smart-Alec par excellence. Lisa, the middle of the three Simpson kids, is a 8 year old sweetie who is a whiz at the saxophone. And the youngest? Maggie, who is just a baby with a pacifier.

Given this is a cartoon, nobody ages or dies. And the Simpsons are always likely to change phone numbers, addresses, and similar communication details.

While it’s adult humor is more modest today (it probably will be tough to make it to TBS or Adult Swim, a late-night adult cartoon block), it remains for over 3 decades of laughs among adults, teens, and older children.

Also, if you want, check out the 2007 Simpsons Movie. (PG-13). It’s supposed to be good, with mild adult humor.

Welcome Back, Readers!

Back by popular demand, it’s Frank Carr again, a youngish, kindly, happy-go-lucky Christian man of 33 who has tons of insights on all different topics I choose to investigate.

Today is a “blog-warming” post, so don’t expect much here. I have always worried that I was ill-qualified to write much of the content I have had interest in. Now, I just make the blog posts and leave accuracy to the specialists of the different fields. This is especially in terms of the Christian value of humility, because after all, God created everything that exists and scientific potential is limited in humans. And that’s why science, pun intended, evolves! (Thank you, Mr. Darwin.) Always remember many scientists are unbelievers, and God is the only One who can actually “save.”

And there’s more to this blog than science. Most of all, in some posts, I will connect ideas across different disciplines, often with ethical discussion. Some readers may take these posts with a grain of salt, but my policy is to present, not debate. (You can certainly ask questions, though.)

By the way, I am learning the Russian language! I also belong to the Kiwanis club in my town.

One more thing: in a few years, I would love to get into amateur (aka “citizen”) science projects. This is also an aid to writing, and a great hobby throughout my adult life, which allows you to see the big picture and/or details and showing gratitude to this world God created.

May God bless everyone who is connected to my blogging practice: me, family and friends, content sources, professors, even my doctor!

Now It’s Freddy’s Turn

Jason’s demise is followed by that of Freddy Krueger.  Freddy with his “knife hands” seemed a little subtler.  While not crucial (since he attacked during dreams), it will free kids of the 21st century from that 1980s terror.

Here’s an idea:  analyze his dreams over a sufficient period, say, 30 days. If they are adequate, a doctor (particularly a neurologist) will administer Freddy an EEG, and they think it was congenital.  Freddy gets an operation to replace his knife hands with 3-D printed prosthetic hands.  And once he has officially recovered, he becomes human, like anyone else.  Several years and/or decades later, he dies naturally.  And there is now a truce.

Pies and Pizzas Boom in Popularity on this Special Day

Why are pizzas and “pies” have their own day?

It’s Pi(e) day.

Pi (the Greek letter π) the constant roughly about 3.14, is used in certain mathematical contexts (geometry, trigonometry, calculus, etc.)

But stores interpret that in a new day and age added to the have popularized it (especially pizzerias and bakeries) as a price tag of 3.14, which resonates with the laymen better.

Greek is probably one of the most well-known alphabets outside the Latin.  It is also the parent of the Cyrillic alphabet, found in languages like Russian and many others.  The Greek is also used as the New Testament Scripture, and the Septuagint translation of Old Testament.

Library Technology May Keep the Library More Popular and Useful


I still have my library card from my most recent stopping grounds: Philadelphia in the eastern United States.  It was also my hometown.  Other people in Pennsylvania (the state where Philadelphia is located) can obtain one with an ID or Driver’s License.

But the real aim of this article is not to advertise use of the library, but demonstrate a high-tech library service.  With your computer, you can search through databases, which provide remote access to a computer system, so you can supplement traditional print material with a high-tech edge.  And if you like a hard copy, print it!  LOL

Better yet, most (if not all) content be can be accessed at home through your library card by entering the data, namely, your library account number and the PIN.  Different jurisdictional levels, whether states, counties, and municipalities within may have different access protocols, but count your blessings in terms of what you can research and not what you can’t.  (Phil 4:11-13 ESV)

One of my favorites is the Gale Group’s ebooks, a company that covers many topics. Science, history, art, politics, religion, you name it.  Even fake news.  LOL

There are many other resources you can delve into.  So, what if you like physical books though?  No worries, your library will always be there for you, and if you need information that may be tricky to learn, the librarian is right to the rescue!

Whether you prefer physical books (which are still around, mind you) or electronic sources, the library is always on your side.

Ready to explore?

Why Doctors Often Are Off-Target

The medical profession, a very noble one indeed, still has its substantial limitations.  While I am not a doctor myself (so don’t take this too seriously), I can mention how doctors often fail.

  1. They know more about your body than actually knowing your body.
    Whatever symptoms you give them, they can only diagnose, treat (and sometimes, cure) a given ailment, as well as give advice, based on what they know.  While empathy is a great quality for a doctor to hold, what makes a doctor what s/he is includes his education and  training in a given specialty through many grueling schooling and training years (4 years of college, containing a pre-medical sequence, another 4 of medical school, a year of internship, and a residency based on his/her specialty).  No wonder physician assistants and nurse practitioners are doing more and more activity formerly reserved
  2. Doctors, especially surgeons, must strongly keep in mind the Hippocratic oath, which binds doctors to “do no harm.”  This means, they must know what they are doing, because if they do not perform the right moves, they may cause injury, or even death.  While some surgeries are becoming much and much easier (e.g., eye surgeries), others, like heart transplants, are no joke.  While all surgeries are intended to help the patient, they sometimes often turn adverse.  And like a typical illness or injury, a surgery, despite being a treatment, must be recovered from.  So your original issue, surgically addressed, is now a matter of surgical recovery, not the original condition.  And surgeries, inevitably, are treated by one’s body, the same as an actual injury (after all, both lead to scars).  In a nutshell, surgery can be viewed as a cousin of a true injury, but with a positive intent.
  3. The medical and legal professions meet on a horrendous frequency, i.e., when one is injured or dies from medical malpractice.  In fact, some doctors are lawyers as well!   And this is where things get really ugly.  (Insurance often ties in, by the way.)
  4. Gone are the days of the low-key, innocent prescription choices by doctors.  Nowadays, it’s flamboyantly spread throughout TV commercials and magazines.  After all, isn’t a prescription, let alone a combination of such, a doctor’s decision?  Now consumers are equally privy to medications that a doctor could prescribe.  Even worse, “families” of drugs are noticeable, some of which have gone over-the-counter, others protected from such.  For example, for acid reflex, there’s Prilosec, Zantac, Prevacid, etc.  Diabetics have many options for their treatment, especially insulin.  A medication family called statins are intended to treat high cholesterol; among such drugs are Zocor, Lipitor, Crestor, etc.  And men (especially over, say, 40) have the wish of a better sex life with Viagra (over 2 decades old now!), Levitra, and Cialis.

Alas, doctors are here to stay, whether you like it or not.  And God made certain minds that study different things.  Medicine is only one of them.  And when a person needs a doctor or hospital stay, pray for them!  After all, Luke, the writer of his gospel and Acts, was one.

Secular Songs That Endorse Ideas or Activities Relevant to Christians

Whereas Christian music focuses on praise to God for salvation through Jesus, some secular songs have a message that can be admirable to Christians.   Let’s explore!

1. Crying in the Chapel (Elvis Presley, 1960/1965)

Originally recorded in 1960 (with existing coverage by previous singers), it didn’t achieve hit status until 1965.

Without further ado, the narrator at some chapel reported his tears were tears of joy. He then recommended whatever the issue, just head to the chapel and everything will be fine. I wonder what chapels allowed that. LOL

2.  Love Train (O’Jays, 1973)

Here, the vocalist, uses a train as a metaphor for constantly gathering people all around the world.  Countries or regions included were England, Russia, China, Africa, Egypt, Africa and Israel.  The point here is a platonic peace or ceasefire, not a romantic connection.

3.  For the Love of Money (O’ Jays, 1974)

This song really has a negative ring to it.  It profiles the ills of money, not its benefits.  Yet a positive message comes out it, in its inferred admonition to be careful of money.

4.  YMCA (The Village People, 1978)

The vocalist here recommends a young guy to check out the YMCA.  (Young Men’s Christian Association)

5.  In the Navy (The Village People, 1979)

While the narrator says the Navy is fun, but right after he really doesn’t want to enlist (for seasickness and overall fear of water as soon as he embarks on his voyage.)  Therefore, it helps the kids decide if they should join the Navy.

(They want you…)

There’s probably more there to this, but that’s what I remember for now.  Happy listening.



What Makes Textbook Reading “For Fun” Fail?

A textbook is not merely a book with lots of facts.  Textbooks are teaching tools to guide a course.  For a given course, the instructor will choose a text, and thus require them for their class.  Typically, once the course is over, students either keep them (e.g., for reference) or sell them.  They are not usually read merely “for fun,” for they are not “light reading” and they are indeed designed to be read in order according to the professor’s sequence of topics (which seldom, if ever, covers the entire text.)

Until recently, I have (usually) had the quirky “pleasure” of reading them, but without an instructor.  I could typically understand them as written, but for anyone to get the full meaning of the text, you’ll need a professor.  Typically they are sold or discarded after finishing a course.  And even if you buy a used textbook recently, you’ll likely get the same buyer’s remorse I have gotten.  On Amazon, both students and non-students have made both positive and negative confessions about textbooks, but the students have the advantage of the instruction.  To be modest, I usually keep silent on Amazon reviews nowadays.

According to a recently discarded textbook on Animal Physiology, it was stated that if information is all around is, why is the text and course needed?  The direct answer is organization, in order to make sense of the information of a given course that also contains relevant bridges to other fields (e.g., physics and chemistry principles in a biological text).

So, what must the instructor do?   S/he will further explain the content in the text (since, again, the text alone may be tough and tedious), focuses on the most relevant topics, and guides you through the course.  You will learn much more efficiently with a professor than without.  And prerequisites, when applicable, form a foundation for other courses after then.

So no matter how tough you try to read them, textbooks aren’t novels and shouldn’t be treated as such!

The Collegiate Colander

(I communicated with an anonymous brother in Christ, to help for the bulk of the article).

K-12 education, whether in elementary, middle, or high school, chiefly focuses on the 3 R’s.:  reading, (w)riting, and (a)rithmetic.  Everything else is supplementary and could be done without.

Well, the same applies to college.  About half your degree is “general education” courses, which gives some broad benefits even though it is not your major.  And even the other half, the major, isn’t designed to be amazingly indelible.  It is typically expected to be a more specialized foundation for a career, but alumni tend not to remember a substantial amount of what was taught in college.  Worse, some people can’t find jobs relevant to their degree.

A strictly thorough and specialized knowledge of an academic subject is much more expected in graduate school.  For undergraduates, it is enough to know things more broadly, even in the major.  But if you want to zero on in a subject, go for a master’s and/or PhD.

But seriously, what is my issue here?  In a word, money.  Receiving grants and loans will facilitate education, but as time goes on, and you are forgetting more and more of the material you have learned as you pay back your loans.  Fortunately, your resume is building, so that can help with the loan cost, not to mention that it the resume will gradually mean more your degree.

But again, consider the K-12 level.  They are learning facts, many of which we have forgotten since then.  If they go to public school, people pay for it through tax revenue (including yourself!).  If it’s a private school, parents pay.  Problem solved.

Aside from money, there is another issue, on specialization.  Not even college can get you on target in a deep knowledge of a scholarly topic.  It basically becomes a means to an end.  Yet if you pursue a much deeper knowledge, graduate programs may be knocking on your door.

In any case, you should always discern what God what he wants you to be.  Whether it is college, trade school, or just a plain job, God can use you in His kingdom in whatever kind of work.  I am seeking a Biology degree and I feel that is my calling.   But will it win me a job?  We’ll see.  But for now, I’ll just get through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the new year of 2020.  One step at a time.

Finally, because I believe God is totally sovereign, He may be “weeding out” course areas not useful or relevant.