Do Angels Watch the Clock?

 

Background: Crab Nebula
Composite by Blair Atherton

 

What is time? Does it exist? Most of us would say that it does, but could it be an illusion, construct, or artifact of our physical existence? Perhaps it is all of these.

It is said that the soul/spirit is eternal. Eternity by definition is never-ending. If we place our spirit-self in the context of eternity, does time have any meaning or importance? A period of incarnation of the spirit is vanishingly small on the scale of eternity. In fact, “scale of eternity” would seem to be an oxymoron.

Eternity confounds measurement just like infinity. To try to scale eternity with a measure such as this thing we call time would seem to make no sense. At the same time, during our very brief, finite period of incarnation, time and distance are useful measures within the physical life.

Does the concept of time make any sense or have any utility when we exist purely in spirit form after death? Likely there are many different views relating to this question. In physical form we know our lifespan is finite. Therefore, it seems natural to apply measures to our daily activities on Earth.

However, in spirit form we presumably know that we are eternal. Therefore, the length of any particular lifetime or the sequence or length of events on Earth likely does not matter to the spirit. The only thing that may matter is how the experiences of our physical life inform our spiritual growth and understanding.

You might like to see a related article titled On the Nature of God. The article describes God as enigmatic and paradoxical with attributes beyond our comprehension that conflict with our worldly notions of time, space, and form.

These are difficult topics and no doubt there are many different ways of thinking about them. I would very much like to hear your perspective.

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Practical Considerations for Owning an Electric Car

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If we were having coffee I would tell you about…

Practical Considerations for Owning an Electric Car

What sorts of things must one consider and of which to be aware before purchasing an electric car (EV)? The main things to know are discussed below. Should you have questions, feel free to ask in the comments section.

The most common concern is range anxiety; that is, how far can the car go on a full charge of the battery? This is determined only in part by the size of the battery. The published range should be listed in the car specifications. However, the driving conditions upon which the datum is based are usually not given. I would advise that you get the biggest battery available that you can afford assuming various sizes (ranges) are available as an option.

Many variables impinge upon the actual range one can expect for a given battery size. Variables include battery manufacturer and specs, driving style, the load of passengers and cargo, electric equipment in use (e.g., air conditioning or heat, stereo, lights), tire condition and pressure, rear or all-wheel drive, and especially average speed of travel.

It seems likely that battery range values given in the car’s specs are for city driving at relatively low speeds. That’s a useful datum since most of the driving we do is around town locally. But what if you want to go on a road trip at highway speeds? Highway driving can significantly reduce the effective range of the battery because running the electric motor(s) that propels the car at high speeds drains the battery faster than low-speed driving.

On recent road trips, I collected data to determine the effect of average speed on battery usage. Air conditioning and stereo were in use throughout the trips. I was the only passenger and there was no significant cargo load.

The published range of my battery is 310 miles. The calculated range for several estimated  average speeds was as follows:

75 mph: calculated range 238-243 miles (two separate legs).

70 mph: calculated range 250 miles (one leg).

Local driving: calculated range 300 miles or approximately 3 miles for each 1% of battery charge.

Limitations in the data:

It’s important to note that the average speeds above are a rough estimate. Consequently, calculated ranges are also estimates. Speed on the highway is highly variable due to traffic speed fluctuation, passing speeds, etc.

Calculations are based on trip legs of 100 -124 miles. Longer leg distances may give somewhat different results. Ranges above are intended to illustrate the effect of speed versus battery range. They should not be used as firm metrics for trip planning. Because the variables involved, not the least of which is driving style, each driver should estimate their own ranges.

Tesla has a navigation feature called trip planning that will show you the route, Superchargers and destination chargers along the route, and the estimated level of charge upon reaching your destination. It is extremely helpful for planing trips and minimizes any range anxiety.

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Another common concern is the availability of charging stations. This should not be an issue for local driving around town if you install a separate electrical circuit in your home dedicated to charging your car. Generally, this entails hiring an electrician to install a separate 240 volt, 50 amp circuit. Using my car as an example, it takes approximately 10 hours for a full charge, or 30 miles of range per charging hour at 32 amps. Charging from 110 volt, 20 amp circuits provide approximately 3 miles of range per hour. As you can see, charging rate depends on amperage delivered by the charging source. It is also limited by the charging circuitry of the car in question.

Tesla Supercharging stations can deliver very high charging rates and can deliver a full charge in as little as an hour or so depending on how many cars are charging from the same central charging source. As long as your round trip commute and/or daily errands do not exceed say 80% of your battery range, then you simply charge the car at home each night to have it ready for the next day. In my case, I am able to program my car to begin charging at a specific time each day that it is attached to my home charging circuit (e.g., midnight when the electricity rates are lowest).

In addition, more and more public access charging stations may be found around town at locations such as libraries, city or county facilities, some parking garages or certain locations on the street. Availability varies across the country so you will want to research your locality. Here is one website with examples of some charge providers

Tesla has an extensive and expanding network of Superchargers around the country usually located in close proximity to major interstate highways and turnpikes to facilitate recharging during road trips. In addition, there is a network of so-called destination charging stations for Tesla cars that are sponsored primarily by some hotels, restaurants, etc. These are generally similar to home charging circuits in terms of speed. Some destinations may provide the service to guests at no cost, while others may charge a nominal fee.

Tesla charging hook ups are configured specifically for Tesla cars. Tesla cars come with an adapter for connection with most public charging stations.

As more and more electric cars hit the street and more carmakers produce them, we can expect the charging infrastructure to grow accordingly because adequate charging infrastructure is an important element in many buyers’ decision process. Hopefully, in time, car connection receptacles and cables will be standardized across all car makes and charging stations.

EV batteries have a limited lifetime. Just like your smart phone, the EV battery will decline in efficiency over time. Batteries used in today’s EV and hybrid cars are usually warranted for 8 years. Actual battery life will vary according to the owner’s use and charging habits.

Generally, it is recommended that one does not run the battery down below 30% and a full charge should be reserved for long road trips. Keeping the battery charge between 30-80% is recommended for maximum battery life. Conversely, if you run the battery down below 30% and/or charge above 80-90% frequently, battery life will be reduced.

We live in a very exciting time concerning technological progress. The dominance of EVs may come much faster than many expect (my prediction is within the next five years). Concerns about climate change, negative health effects of combustion emissions, technophilia, the advent of the self-driving car, and especially the fun of driving an EV will all be factors contributing to the rapid rise of the electric vehicle. I encourage everyone to take a test drive or ride in an EV so you can discover and plan for what your next vehicle will be.

The Joys of Electric Car Ownership

Tesla Roadster Launched into Space
 Credit Unknown

#weekendcoffeeshare

If we were having coffee I would tell you about…

The Joys of Owning an Electric car

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to fly through space, weightless, in your personal spaceship? That’s in part what it’s like to drive an electric car. You don’t roll down the road; you seem to glide through the void of space without sound or vibration. You are transported to a sort of dream-state. Your space vehicle accelerates effortlessly as you press the throttle. And if you go full throttle, you go into hyper-drive, thrown against the seat by the G forces. The surrounding landscape seems to blur and suddenly the vehicle that was next to you becomes a speck in the distance.

Driving an electric car is unlike any car I have ever driven. My attraction was the advanced technology and zero emissions. I did not anticipate the driving experience of such a car.

I have never been a car guy. I don’t care about how fast a car is or how sporty it looks. For me a car is just for transportation. There has never been any expectation for driving to be fun or joyful; it’s simply a means to an end.

That was then; this is now. Driving an electric car is exhilarating. I find myself driving more than ever before just for the enjoyment it brings. In an electric car you are on the high road. You can drive all you want without compunction with zero emissions. You have an immense amount of speed and power at your disposal. You can beat most internal combustion cars off the line effortlessly due to instant torque and innate power produced by the battery. Consequently, you don’t need to race the guy next to you; you know you have the power to beat him so there’s nothing to prove.

With an electric car, there are no more trips to the gas station, no more gas fumes to breathe, and very little routine maintenance. As far as I know, the only fluids in an electric car are brake fluid and coolant for the battery pack. There is no transmission, differential, spark plugs, timing belt, or tune ups. An electric car has only one gear – Go!

Should you decide to get an electric car, my advice is to make sure the interior is comfortable because you will likely be spending more time driving than you do now just for the fun of it.

My next article will discuss the practical considerations for owning an electric car.

The Trilogy of Harmony

Graceful Harmony
by Sara Goodnough

Those interested in spirituality—what it is and how to become a spiritual person—sooner or later come across the notion of harmony between spirit, mind, and body . What exactly does it mean and how do you get there? To get there one has to cultivate each of its three aspects of being. Achievement of this Trilogy of Harmony leads to sustained peace, joy, and equanimity.

A healthy, physically fit body is one of the pillars of attaining harmony between spirit, mind, and body. As an example, if we don’t feel well, or we’re weak, frail, or sick it is difficult to think clearly. Likely we are concerned about our health which takes a further toll on our mind.

In turn our spirit is also affected. We may be unable to experience lasting joy and happiness. Our worries, guilt, and regret prevent us from finding peace and equanimity.

Mental products such as our attitudes, behaviors, thoughts, and actions can either feed and elevate the spirit or damage and debilitate it. This is governed by the Law of Cause and Effect. The health of our spirit is determined in large part by the way we treat other people. One should always strive to live a life characterized by honesty, integrity, compassion, and ethical behavior.

We can cultivate the mind by meditation, striving to be wholly present through mindfulness and working to stop the constant train of useless thoughts so many of us experience. It is also important to allow only wholesome thoughts, and to maintain a positive and virtuous outlook.

A cultivated mind and body naturally leads to a greater expression of our spirit in everyday life. Buddha’s Four Immeasurables well illustrate the essence of spiritual expression and the results of the Trilogy of Harmony. The Immeasurables are: love, compassion, equanimity, and empathetic joy. These four are also known as the four sublime or extraordinary states of mind, which to me, illustrate the affect the spirit can have on the mind.

I hope from this discussion you begin to see the importance of achieving the Trilogy of Harmony for a happy, healthy, rewarding, and productive life, and how the spirit, mind, and body support and interact with each other. If any one of these three pillars of harmony is not in a healthy, positive state, then the trilogy is broken. As we all know, each of the three components can function independently, but without the elevated state of being (especially of the spirit) that the Trilogy of Harmony brings. You cannot give yourself a gift greater than the fulfillment, happiness, joy, and peace that achieving this harmony will create.

You might like to see the following related articles:

A Path from Darkness
How Does One Sustain a Spiritual Outlook?

The Gift of Presence

Seeing Deeply
From http://www.1zoom.net

Being present in the moment is a big thing these days, as it should be. It is something with which I struggle on a daily basis. Intellectually we can appreciate the value of being present, but putting it into practice is difficult; old habits of the mind are hard to change. And what can we really expect should we achieve the holy grail of Presence anyway?

But then I recently had a remarkable experience that gave me a taste of just how wonderful and transforming complete, unwavering presence can be. As I walked out of a movie theater I inexplicably stopped dead in my tracks. There before me was the most mundane and superficially insipid scene you could imagine. I was looking out across a large parking lot…but somehow it was so much more than that at this particular moment.

I became totally immersed in the clouds along the horizon and the tall royal palm trees lining the street. The golden hour was approaching making the green and grey of the trees glow with a seemingly heavenly light. I studied the shapes of the clouds and the lines of the tree trunks. My eyes were transfixed on the scene. I felt a deep appreciation and affection for each element of the scene—the trees, the sky, and clouds. I felt exceedingly alive and happy. So much so that I stood there for quite some time scanning the scene. I didn’t want to take even one step and lose these feelings of joy.

As I drove home, my mind continued to seek presence in what I saw along the way, but sadly I was forced to keep my eyes on the road and attend to my driving. I had hoped that I would re-enter the mystical state of awareness I had experienced when I got home but it was not to be—not then, the next day, or the days to follow. I was left disappointed and wondering just what it was that I experienced and how to get back there again.

During that short span of presence I saw the beauty and wonder of simple things around me in great detail. What usually was a mind busy with useless thoughts was totally focused on what was before me. It showed me that when we are truly present in the moment, we see things we didn’t notice before. We see the beauty in things that previously scarcely caught our attention. We see things as they really are.

When present and interacting with others, we perceive beyond the superficiality of appearance and words. As Thich Nhat Hanh has suggested, we hear and see people deeply with greater understanding and compassion.

Achieving presence is well worth the effort because it can lead to an elevated state of being and awareness which in turn will lead to greater happiness and joy. The simplest things can be seen as they really are: beautiful and fascinating. This is the gift of presence.

You might like to see the following related articles:

Spirits Calling

The Scientific Aesthetic

 

It’s Been a While

Indian Summer by Sergey Lutsenko httpwww.picture-russia.ruenpicture46977

 

#weekendcoffeeshare

It’s been a while since I last joined you for coffee. I have been busy preparing my new book for publication in paperback and as an eBook. It was a substantial project that is now complete. Yay!

Hopefully, I will find my way back into writing again soon. After completing a book project, there is often a concern as to whether you still have more to write about. It’s kind of like when you have been engaged in a long conversation with someone about something and you both suddenly find yourselves in an uncomfortable, awkward silence wondering where the conversation should go next.

Anyway, it’s good to be free of major projects so my mind is free to wander. I look forward to seeing what you guys have been up to.

Number to Treat

#weekendcoffeeshare

Source: misterimmortal.com

Source: misterimmortal.com

It’s been a while since we had coffee together. I would like to share with you something surprising about the effectiveness of prescription drugs discussed in the four-minute video below.

It has to do with the total number of prescriptions that must be given out for a particular drug in order to find one patient for whom the drug actually works. Said another way, it is the proportion of patients treated with a drug that will experience its benefits.

Here, let’s watch the video

Why is this important? When a physician prescribes a drug, many patients assume that it is necessary to mange their condition and that it will have positive effects since the drug was ostensibly designed to treat their particular ailment. Therefore, they believe that they must follow doctor’s orders and keep taking the drug even though it may not actually be having beneficial effects for them.

What should patients do? When a drug is prescribed, ask your doctor what percentage of patients treated with the drug benefit from it. Ask what you should be looking for to know that the drug is effective in treating your condition. Discuss side effects and any risks if you stop taking the drug because it does not work for you.

There is so much we don’t know about health issues and the myriad angles used by pharmaceutical companies to boost sales. I hope the video was valuable to you. Hope to see you again soon!