I went on my bike ride earlier today, since it was a bit warmer, in the 50s today. Then as I was doing some housework, my mother and step-dad stopped by. They brought Xmas gifts for us, though I had told them not to buy anything. As usual, I felt guilty about not getting them anything, so ended up giving them quite a bit of cash. They can always use it, so I suppose that is best. Mother got me a nightgown and cute nightlight fixture, and DH a shirt. I DO feel sorry for them, both now in their 70s and barely getting by on a very limited fixed income. But I spent MOST of my life trying to help them, and it finally came to an end when I realized that some people can't be helped.
Anyhow, I also solved the mystery of the funds in our banking account. DH's sister, who died back in the summer, had it set up in her Will for that money to be put in custodial savings accounts for her two grandkids, with DH as custodian. So at least that is a relief, in that I was worried there had been a security breach at the bank. The reason DH's sister did this, is because the grandkid's mother has become a drug addict and, if given access to the funds, would have spent it quickly -- and the grandkids would never have seen a cent of it.
I am still thinking of getting the new computer, since I could pay cash and not miss the money. We've built up quite a lot of savings/investments in the past fifteen years (ever since our house was paid off, and we've lived debt-free)...but I'm still undecided.
Now to news, only the bad news of course. Here's another of those 'abandoned baby' stories that makes you wonder if women have ever heard of birth control or abortion?
Abandoned newborn placed in foster care
A newborn baby girl has been placed in foster care after she was found abandoned and wrapped only in a mattress pad outside a Dallas hospital Tuesday evening.
The child was less than a day old when she was spotted on the hood of a parked car outside Medical City Dallas hospital about 7:30 p.m., police and hospital officials said.
On the astronomy front, some darkly fascinating articles below that make you realize our dimly perceived human lives are heading straight for oblivion -- sooner or later.
Hot galactic arms point to vicious cycle in Chanda image
NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has revealed the aftermath of a titanic explosion that wracked the elliptical galaxy known as NGC 4636. This eruption could be the latest episode in a cycle of violence that is triggered by gas falling into a central massive black hole.
If it can happen in that galaxy, why not OURS? After all, we already KNOW there's a vast black hole at the center of the Milky Way.
The hunt for source of gamma-ray bursts
Astronomers now think that gamma-ray bursts are very frequent, occurring about once a minute somewhere in the sky. They originate in the most powerful explosions in the Universe, and at least some are thought to occur when massive rapidly rotating stars collapse into black holes. When observed at great distances they become tools to study the Universe during its infancy.
Of course, everyone (except religious idiots) KNOWS that gamma ray bursts close enough to the earth could obliterate/incinerate us instantly...and they ARE out there.
Dark Days Ahead
According to at least one astrophysicist, we may never know the ultimate fate of the universe.
Loeb estimates that over the next 100 billion years our cosmic horizon will shrink so much that earthlings will only be able to glimpse about a thousand galaxies (out of the 2,500 or so we see today) in the Virgo Cluster and its immediate surrounds. And astronomers of the distant future, regardless of the technological prowess of their observing tools, will no longer be able probe the birth and death pangs of stars and other celestial curiosities in the far reaches of the universe. If Loeb is right, the information scientists can glean about the fate of the universe may be running on empty.
Yep, we are going to perish eventually too...due to this expansion that cannot be stopped.
And on the prayer front, this news:
A 1999 study claimed that coronary patients in a Kansas City hospital did better if volunteers prayed for them without their knowledge (WN 20 Oct 99). But a just-released study at the Mayo Clinic found no significant difference between heart patients who were the object of intercessory prayers and those who were not.
As I've stated before in this journal, penicillin without prayer works better than prayer without penicillin.
That's all for today kids. Remember, all we have is TODAY. Tomorrow is promised to no one, so be sure that you are doing what you'd be doing if this were THE LAST DAY OF YOUR LIFE.