George Rucker's Newsletter for July 12, 2016

Another Tuesday,

Three golfing partners died in a car wreck and went to heaven.

Upon arrival they discover the most beautiful golf course they have ever seen.

St. Peter tells them that they are all welcome to play the course, but he cautions them that there is only one rule:  Don't hit the ducks.

The men all have blank expressions, and finally one of them asks "The ducks?"

"Yes", St. Peter replies, "There are millions of ducks walking around the course and if one gets hit, he squawks then the one next to him squawks and soon they're all squawking to beat the band, and it really breaks the tranquility. If you hit the ducks, you'll be punished, otherwise everything is yours to enjoy."

After entering the course, the men noted that there was indeed a gaggle of ducks everywhere. Within fifteen minutes, one of the guys hit one of them. The duck squawked, the one next to it squawked and soon there was a deafening roar of duck quacks.

St. Peter walked up with an extremely homely woman in tow and asked "Who hit the duck?"

The one who had done it admitted "I did."

Immediately, St. Peter pulled out a pair of handcuffs and cuffed the man's right hand to the homely woman's left hand. "I told you not to hit the ducks," he said. “Now you'll be handcuffed together for eternity.”

The other two men were very cautious not to hit any ducks, but a couple of weeks later, one of them accidentally did. The quacks were as deafening as before and within minutes St. Peter walked up with an even uglier woman than before. St. Peter determined which one had hit the duck by the fear in his face, and cuffed the man's right hand to the homely woman's left hand.

"I told you not to hit the ducks", he said. "Now you'll be handcuffed together for eternity."

The third man was extremely careful. Some days he wouldn't even move for fear of even nudging a duck. After three months of this he still hadn't hit a duck. St. Peter walked up to the man at the end of the three months and had with him a knock-out gorgeous woman, the most beautiful woman the man had ever seen. St. Peter smiled to the man and then, without a word, handcuffed him to the beautiful woman and walked off.

The man, knowing that he would be handcuffed to this woman for eternity, let out a sigh and said "What have I done to deserve this?"

The woman responded "I don't know about you, but I hit a duck."

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The other morning, much to my dismay, I had nine squirrels around my feeder plus two chipmunks.  I have decided that with the good weather, the wild animals around my house can go and find their own food.  It is not my place to feed all of God’s creatures.

I am currently on day seven and have not stopped giving the animals water as the closes lake to me must be close to half a mile.  Guess how many animals I had outside?  Well only two squirrels and zero chipmunks.  I think I will probably feed them again starting in August.  I will also feed them less than I do now and make them forage for themselves.  I change the water about every 12 hours.

I have noticed some feathers (small size) and suspect some birds have reverted to cannibalism.

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Last week I spent so much of the pages on my brisket and still have not purchased one.  I also skipped the weekly invention that changed the world, I am getting lax.

Gazing up at the night sky, we see the mysteries of the universe.  While the vastness of space serves as a reminder of our limitations, throughout history it has also inspired great technological advances through our desire to understand and explore what we see from afar.

This week the invention is the ‘Telescope.’

Today, there are two types of telescopes: the refractor and the reflector.  In the refractor design, two glass composite lenses – the exterior objective lens and the interior eyepiece lens – work together to draw the light of a distant object into the chamber, bend it to shine on the focus point, and magnify the image for the viewer.  Early refractor telescopes used a combination of concave and convex lenses.  However in 1611, German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer Johannes Kepler altered the design to utilize two convex lenses – a tweak that reduced the distortion of images and remains in place today.

In How Stuff works, physicist Craig Freudenrich notes that the reflector telescope functions in a similar way, except instead of an objective lens it uses a “primary mirror” to shine light internally through the aperture onto the magnifying lens.  In both cases, the capabilities of the telescope (i.e., how far it can see clearly) depends upon the size of the aperture used to gather light and the magnification capacity of the lenses.  The long tube-shaped body of the telescope acts to position the lenses in correct proportion to each other and prevent dust, moisture and unwanted light from entering.

In 1990, NASA and the European Space Agency launched the $1.5 billion Hubble Space Telescope into the heavens in order to eliminate the visual interference form Earth’s atmosphere.  This telescope uses a primary mirror and is a reflector design.  The Hubble’s most significant discovery to date is believed to be the awareness and increased understanding of “dark energy” in the universe.  “It’s generated a tremendous sense of humility because we’ve discovered how we understand so little about the universe, from dark energy to dark matter to how galaxies can change across 13 billion years of cosmic history,” says Space Telescope Science Institute director Matt Mountain, “It’s completely changed our perspective on the universe.

A replica of Sir Isaac Newton’s first ever reflecting telescope, made in 1668, is now on display at the Royal Society of London.