Friday, July 24, 2009

Quantum Jesus

First, I would like to say that this post is one of the reasons why I made this blog. I wanted to share ideas like this to people, so that I would both have an outlet for them, and for people to help me develop these ideas further. This particular idea of mine occurred to me quite a while ago, while I was part of a forum discussing religion and philosophy. I decided that an interesting way to explain Christian doctrine would be through scientific principles, and thus, this idea was born. And yes, it's early.

This particular idea of mine will require knowledge of particle-wave duality and the Hypostatic Union. I will explain these in order for my idea to make sense.

Particle-Wave Duality

Particle-wave duality is a tricky concept in quantum mechanics. To explain this phenomenon, I will use the photon, the basic light “particle”. The beginnings for this conflict can be said to be during the 1660s. Sir Isaac Newton established a theory of particle light, which he used to explain reflection. Christiaan Huygens developed a theory of wave light, which he used to explain concepts like diffraction and interference. While this theory worked well enough, due to Newton’s prestige, Huygens’ model was ignored for a while, until it was apparent that Newton’s model was insufficient in explaining diffraction with a particle model of light. Experiments done by Thomas Young and Augustin-Jean Fresnel, like the double slit experiment, only added to the evidence for the Huygens theory of light. Soon enough, his theory of wave light was accepted as the correct one. James Clerk Maxwell and his equations of electromagnetic radiation solidified the wave model of light with concrete evidence, both theoretical and experimental.

However, this model of light could not explain things like the photoelectric effect, and so they were lost, until a little known man named Albert Einstein came along, and using Max Planck’s theory of quantized energy, proposed that light existed in discreet packets of energy (called “quanta”), which can be considered “particles” of sorts. Then scientists were in a dilemma. Einstein’s explanation only works if light is treated as a particle, but only the wave model could explain diffraction and interference. Which was right? Then a scientist named Louis-Victor de Broglie created the de Broglie hypothesis, which states that matter has wave properties as well. After being confirmed by several experiments, scientists needed to find an answer to their problem. When the creation of quantum theory was complete, it was necessary to adopt the consequences of both theories. Therefore, light could only be reasonably explained if it contained properties of waves and properties of particles. Of course, only one of these properties can be seen at any one time, depending on what you are testing for.

Hypostatic Union


The Hypostatic Union is one of the most central doctrines for Christians. It is the official term to denote the nature of Jesus Christ as both fully human and fully divine. This doctrine began in order to explain the nature of Christ. At that time, there were several Christian sects who either believed Christ was only human, only divine, or two entities. The sect we are dealing with, which would become the Roman Catholic/Orthodox and other derivative churches, set up a meeting to define what not only Jesus was, but also other important doctrinal issues. The Trinity was decided to be three realities/persons (hypostases) in one essence (ousia). The idea to apply a similar idea to Jesus first came from Apollinaris of Laodicea. However, his work was seen as somewhat heretical, since he believed that Chirst’s human and divine natures become one hypostasis, one reality. Another thinker, Theodore of Mopsuestia, argued that Christ was instead dual natured, being both human and divine, with two hypostases, or two realities. The Chalcedonian Creed, which was created at the Council of Chalcedon, compromised. Christ was dual natured, but at the same time was one person. He would exist in one reality (hypostasis). With this, the modern doctrine of the Hypostatic Union came about, with Christ being both man and God in one Person, one of the Three Persons of the Godhead.

Quantum Jesus

But how can this be? How can Jesus be both God and man? Isn’t that impossible? Well, this is where quantum physics comes into play. Remember light? Light demonstrates both wave and particle properties; it can be said to be both (Technically, this is not quite right, but the point I’m trying to make applies). If you can consider light being both a particle and a wave, then it also becomes reasonable to see how Jesus can be both a human and a God. Think about it. Jesus exhibits “human” properties like having a physical body, eating, drinking, and having emotions. On the other hand, He also has “God” properties like the power to resurrect people, controlling the weather, knowing future events, and healing. Like light, Jesus exhibits properties from His dual natures. You could say He is the true “God Particle”.

I hope I will at least make you ponder about God and His nature. Also, if you have any corrections on the science/doctrine part, or have any ideas for any future works/improvements on this one, then feel free to comment.

Most of my information came from the various wikipedia pages.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

God and His Biggest Fan [Intermission]

The Alpha and the Omega………..the Beginning and the End………..Lord of Lords, King of Kings. These are just some of the titles given to the Christian God. However, even all these names, I feel, fail to convey how I feel about him. As a Catholic, there is something majestic about God, especially when at a Mass with beautiful music and a wondrous church to worship in. God for me is something that is not able to be expressed in words, someone who has always stood by me even when the world abandoned me.

It’s weird, because I decided to write this as soon as I came out of church just a while ago. I had been feeling a bit sick today, not to mention tired from traveling a lot. I almost missed Mass due to me being somewhere else; however, I made it. I almost thought I would fall asleep, but thank goodness I didn’t. For some reason, I felt more alive in church, almost as if being there was giving me strength, not only to stay awake, but for me to continue on living. I always like that feeling that going to Mass gives me, that feeling of hopefulness and strength. I just feel so alive right now. It is really hard to explain unless you yourself are a believer, but I’m sure that whatever belief you believe in (or lack of) , you have your own set of beliefs that make you feel happy. I just wanted to tell someone how I felt, I guess. It felt really good, and it's been a while since something has given me a feeling like how i felt the past hour.

For me, I was just grateful to God for giving me at least this hour to talk to Him and worship Him and for Him to give me grace and calm in my heart.

I will use this short blog post to announce that pretty soon I will have more free time to write more serious blogs, about theology, philosophy, and the life. Consider this an “intermission”. Maybe one of those posts will be about how my belief in God came to be, and how it has evolved. For now, all I can say is, have patience for me. Of course, I will also talk about non-important but interesting things. Now though, I want to start really taking my ideas to flight. Continue supporting me if you are, and if you’re not, start now! I promise you won’t regret it!

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
Amen

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pictures

Well, since I have nothing good to write about today (well I do, just that nothing really comes to mind that requires urgent telling), I will talk a bit about some pictures that I made. Of course, I didn’t really make them, I just masterfully used Photoshop to edit these scans and/or add some more special effects on them. I have quite a creative side, but since my artistic skills are unfortunately subpar, I can’t quite make my imagination reality via a paper medium. That is why I have taken to computer editing of images, since I can take a pre-drawn image and make it better looking. My goal is to actually draw some of my characters that I have made up and THEN edit them to look even better. But alas, that dream will have to wait.

So without further ado, let me demonstrate my art!

First off, this is my first image that I managed to edit:



As you can see, it is a bit plain. Of course, I was but a mere beginner at that stage (even though I still am kind of a beginner….), but even then I showed my flair for…..flair? Anyway, this took me about a day to shop. Since I was trying to learn how to do special effects like the glowing and feathering, it took a while to look up the steps on tutorials. For a first work though, it was relatively good, I would say. The reason why it is so small height wise is because I wanted to make it into a signature for a forum that I used to go to (the forum no longer exists).

The second one I did was a bit more fun, since it was completely random and just for me:



This here is Jeremiah Gottwald, the most LOYAL man ever. While my first one featured Lelouch, since that was my avatar on the site, this one was inspired because of one of my friends. During one of my more boring classes, I just goofed off, so one day I showed him something that Jeremiah did at the end of Code Geass (you know Jeremiah came from CG, right? RIGHT?!?!?!?! I kid.) and I said a catchphrase that is spoken ever so often in CG- “YES, YOUR MAJESTY”, in all it’s Engrishy glory. This become a small inside joke, and for some reason, I decided that making another sig would be a good idea. I made this one like, two days after the previous one. It’s a bit more intricate than the first one, simply because I felt like I knew what I was doing. This one also took about a day and a half. I added some nice orange background because everyone knows that orange is the color of LOYALTY. Just in case you were wondering, the LOYAL thing is a CG joke among the fanbase. It came out a bit nicer than the other one, even though I’m more partial to blue and black.

Then the third one:



Oh boy. I made this one right after the previous one (see the pattern? Also, I feel like I’m abusing the parentheses too much). This makes three sigs in a week, not a bad pace, except when you have tons of homework. Anyway, this was inspired because of Gundam 00, which was one of my favorite shows at the time. I think season 2 was still running. The main character, Setsuna, was featured here along with his first Gundam, the Exia. I am still planning on making another one with the 00 Raiser, but as of yet have not found good scans of the 00 Raiser or have just been too lazy. This one is a lot more detailed than my previous two attempts. I used 3 pictures, which are all very annoying to trim, and then applied several different effects, like textures and Gaussian blurs, to make them look like that. I also made the blue background as opposed to shamelessly ripping off other people. All in all, looks a lot better and more pro than my other two ones. This one took almost three days, as opposed to the other ones. Wow. After this one and the time consumed making these, I decided to take a break.

This is Lelouch, in a dramatic pose:



The fourth one I have is actually designed to be a desktop. I liked the CG desktops that I had, but I wanted one that looked REALLY nice, so I decided, hey why not? After all, it was a while since I hadn’t shopped anything. So I began with cropping a previous Lelouch background with him doing the pose as you see here, then making his color more vibrant with the brightness/contrast settings. Then, make him glow a bit, and voila! he’s done! For the background, I wanted something darker than the old one, so it occurred to me to get an image of the Hubble deep field and make it all blue. Making the galaxies shiny via the Gaussian blur method made them look crappy, so I only did minimal blurring. Then I just added the two words you see and I finished. This actually took not all that long, most of the work went into the cropping. It now sits on my desktop, after a few slight tweaks.

The last one I have here is the one I finished about two weeks ago:



It features the Gawain, Lelouch’s personal Knightmare Frame (read: gigantic robot). The design of the Gawain is so appealing to me; the black and gold go well together, plus the Hadron cannons it has on its shoulders and the way it makes that hanging arms pose. For this one, I decided to go all out, or as all out as I could. I daresay it is a masterpiece. I added glow to the Gawain with blur, fixed the coloring, and added a glow to its flight pack by making a separate green ellipse that I placed over the original image (those green things glow more than before because of the green ellipses.) I even found a way to make the words glow! Wow, I’m nice. However, I blanked out on ideas for a background. I asked some friends, and they gave me the idea for the Pleiades, so I went with it. After tweaking the sisters, and adding a blue moon I cropped and shopped (heh heh, that rhymes), I was done. That one took two days; however, it was a lot better than any of the ones before. Very nice. I feel as if my skills are getting better. Unfortunately I ran out of ideas, so maybe if you, the readers, could be so kind enough to give me some?


Don't forget to check on more pics coming soon.

Once again thanks for reading, and see ya next week! That is, if the laziness doesn’t strike again…

Saturday, July 11, 2009

SPECIAL EDITION: The Many Uses of “Bro”- The Life of Bro, As Told by The Philosophers Over a Game of Magic

Before I begin, I must give a shout out to the funny people on the Persona 4 forum who coined many words with the word “bro” in it (at least, as far as I know…..) A lot funnier if you know the story of the game. Oh, and the MTV show “Bromance” which gave me my first exposure to all things “bro”.

Interesting times I had today, with some of my friends, all while we were enjoying a nice peaceful game of Magic: The Gathering (and by peaceful, I mean a raucous occasion of yelling, cursing, and merrymaking). It started out innocently enough, with me using my supreme Life Gain deck (patent pending) while my friends used their various decks against each other. As we played a game and made jokes, the topic of “bro” came up. I had earlier named one of my friends (who was Ronald, a very cool bro)"Bronald". At that point, my friends decided to dub me “Bronicio” (since my name is Vinicio). After switching to a bigger table to play a game of Allies, we decided to pause for a bit and watch “I’m on A Boat” by the Lonely Island (the same ones who sung the hit “Jizz in My Pants”) and laugh for a bit. Then, game time. I started out with some good cards, and I was setting up my eventual combo of gaining life out the wazoo. I played Goldenglow Moth. My good friend Aaron, in a moment of spontaneity, decided to dub my card “Goldenbro Moth”, to which we laughed heartily. A while later, he played one of his best cards- Blowfly Infestation, which he gave the moniker “Brofly Infestation”, which resulted in us losing it. From then on, we incorporated “bro” into several aspects of the game, like Brotivore (Mortivore) and having the browalk ability (referencing landwalk). It was a fun set of games, and it made for lots of laughs and great memories. As we were bro-ing our day away, it felt like a good bonding experience, not to mention the relaxation of the weekend combined with our favorite pastime Magic.

Addendum:
Today, we went to the beach. But before that, we needed to eat breakfast, and I needed to wake up. As I stuggled to get up, I carried myself to the only dining hall on campus available to us to meet my bro Aaron. While we talked on the way to the parking lot, we chatted about our many uses of “bro” that we had coined prior, and added Brogenitus (Progenitus), with protection from other bros as an ability, to more laughter. As we departed for the beach, he went in the other car while I rode with my friends Jared and Kyle. Fun times. So I fell asleep due to sleeping so late from the Magic last night, and when I woke up, we had lost the other car. Long story short, we caught up with them, and convinced Aaron to join the Bro Patrol. We got to the beach and enjoyed our time there. As we basked in the sun, we witnessed our fellow bros in the air, the brogull (seagull). There was a whole bunch of brogulls who were valiantly fighting to fly through the currents. We even spotted the legendary Elder Brogull, who distinguished himself by his royal brown coloring and his personal fleet of five brogulls protecting him from harm. We then decided to swin. The water was actually very nice, even if really freaking salty. Anyway, we decided to get some food, but since the college student by necessity is a cheap being, us in the Bro Patrol opted to park somewhere cheap, where we only spent two quarters to park, and some seven dollars each to get a couple slices of pizza. More bro bonding time. We finally walked on the boardwalk for a while, till we decided it was a good enough time to get home. We also bought some ice cream at a store called Kohr's Bros. I take this as a divine sign of broness happening, that we were destined to be bros. After we got back, we played – you guessed it – more Magic. The bro words went flying out of our mouths. It was a fun day indeed.

There were a lot of bro things that we said and did, but alas, I cannot recount all of our bro mirth to you. However, this weekend is one of the best I've had in a long time, all with my bros. So peace out, chillax, and have fun with your bros. And sorry for the blog being late, since I wasn't here to make one, but it will be up tomorrow!

And many thanks for the forum again, for making up and/or using such terminology as "Brotagonist" and "Bro Patrol". You guys are hilarious.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

My Identity/Mi Identidad

As you all know, yesterday was the 4th of July. (Yes, this blog is late. But come on now, really?) So I think I would like to talk about something relevant, something that has also been on my mind a couple of times in the past.

Why do we celebrate the 4th of July? Nowadays, the reason for this commemorative date might be obscured in all the pool parties, bbqs, and fireworks, so you might not be sure. But the 4th of July holds a very special meaning to those who love this country. Is it the day that we finally gained independence from Britian. Sure, it was in name only (and the Declaration of Independence was signed on the second, not the fourth), but the significance of what the group of delegates did is what really matters. And there, the birth of a nation began. From that humble beginning to now, living in what can be arguably called the best country in the world. But, what does it mean to be a citizen of the United States? And what if you also have ties to somewhere else? For a person whose whole culture is not really his at all, but rather, a blending of the old and new ways of life, growing up in the United States is a unique experience, but also one shared by thousands of other children of immigrants who learn to live like and love the country their parents came from and also this country where they were born into.

For me, this is an experience that has taken some twists and turns, and has also affected how I life my life. For some reason, I refuse to fit into either category of “American” or “Mexican”. Or maybe it’s not that I refuse to fit in, but that I simply just don’t. My parents are Mexican (BIG SURPRISE!!!!) so as I was growing up, I learned to be Mexican like they were, which included eating Mexican food, believing the Mexican faith (Catholicism), talking Mexican (Spanish; you would think most people know we talk Spanish, but I still hear remarks about “talking Mexican”), and learning Mexican customs. However, I was not in Mexico, so as you expect, I don’t act like a typical Mexican. I don’t like chile or most spicy food, because it burns, and so I’ve gained a reputation of “chicken” among my family members. I don’t believe in lots of the superstitions that are held in my parent’s hometown, although I am a faithful Catholic, or so I would like to think. I talk Spanish fluently, but it’s much more fun to talk Spanglish. However, I am also not a full “American” either. Sure, this is my country, and I lived here all of my life, but I also do not represent the typical American (if there is such a thing). Yes, I grew up eating hamburgers, Chinese food, and pizza, which shows the cultural diversity this country has to offer. I learned English after a struggle to speak for some unknown reason, although I speak Spanish to my parents. I learned about the social norms of people here, even though living in New York City can’t exactly be called “normal” living; yet, I also interject my Mexican mannerisms from time to time, especially when talking to my cousins or sisters. So growing up was kind of weird. On the one hand, I was expected to represent the people from which I came from, mi raza. On the other, I represented one out of a million people that makes this country so great, a melting pot of cultures. For some time, I struggled a bit with this dual identity, and for some reason, never found a completely satisfactory answer.

As you can imagine, this lead to some difficulties. Nothing serious, but they still affected both the way I perceive myself and how I would identify myself. I didn’t fit in to the Mexican stereotype of being hard working, liking both the women and the booze a little too much, and giving off an air of strength and manliness. I was weak and lazy, so you can imagine how my cousins (who were all about 10 or more years older than me) perceived me. I didn’t, and still don’t like alcohol, and while I did like girls, I didn’t flaunt it like they did by looking at magazines like Maxim. For me, all of that seemed like a waste of time. They saw me as strange, so I didn’t get along with them that well, even with the few cousins/nephews I had who were my age. And for Mexicans, one of the most important things is camaraderie. As you can imagine, I spent most of my time alone. Flip the coin to see what happened on the other side. I really didn’t fit in with my peers at school, due to a factor of reasons, but one of those reasons I’m sure is because of my “Mexican-ness”. Kids can be very mean, and they were, for a long time. Because of my parent’s insistence of no watching TV shows that were deemed “inappropriate” for children my age, I was out of the loop for the most part when it came to talking to my classmates about things like movies and popular TV shows. While, yes, this is not a uniquely Mexican attribute, my parents took it to a bit of an extreme. I was overprotected, you could say. Not used to letting their children hang out and do things after school, they decided to not let me spend time with my classmates after classes ended. So I mostly just read books, and when it came time to talk to people, I mostly talked about what I had read. As you can guess, this made me unpopular with the majority. And some of these kids took it to the next level. Pretty soon, some of them on occasion would make fun of me for being Mexican. Now, I probably had it easy compared to other times where any form of immigrant was treated roughly. However, as a small child, being picked on for who I was still stung. I never rejected my Mexican side, but it caused moments where I doubted what I was and why I was so teased. In time though, I learned to accept these things as inevitable, and the only thing I could do is just be me.

Presently, I do not call myself solely “Mexican” or solely “American”. I am both, and I am neither. As I grew older, I began to realize that there was no need to fit into any one of these ways of thinking and living. I am a Mexican, living in America. I consider myself a Mexican-American, but more importantly, a citizen of the world. I also attribute some of this shift due to my increasing interest in my faith (that story is for another time though.) Oddly enough though, some of my earlier side choosing still kicks in from time to time. When I’m at school, where most of the people are white, and thus most of my friends (oh yea, I have friends now *laughs*), I subconsciously act more Mexican. In fact, when they tell me I am American, I try to then say I am Mexican. However, at home, I seem to distance myself from my Mexican roots, mostly because those same cousins who used to be ashamed of me now bring me shame or at least a feeling of “what?”, and also because sometimes my family still tries to impose a sole Mexican identity on me. However, thinking about this yesterday, I decided to try to stop this way of thinking and embrace both sides to the fullest, to let my American and Mexican sides blend in to a harmonious mix of culture. There is one thing I can’t change though- I will always support the Mexican soccer team, even though they seem to be on a losing streak as of late. I actually don’t care about sports too much, but if Mexico plays, I try to lend my support, even if I know later on I will be probably disappointed. I guess you can’t fully take out the Mexican from the Mexican. I will be yelling out SI SE PUEDE (Yes We Can), not only for the Mexican soccer team, but for the world, in hopes that one day we can live harmonious. But for now, I will enjoy being a Mexican-American in a country where a dark skinned man like myself can find an equally bronzed beauty, or perhaps a blonde bombshell, where you can eat both tacos and pizza in the same sitting, and where I can buy tortillas from a grocery store that usually sells products with all-English labels. It’s great that growing up, the world around me has also changed, and headed in the direction I’m going, blending of culture and making one thing better with another.

I hope you all had fun this past 4th of July, and even though I was kind of bored, I enjoyed myself thoroughly. Remember where your came from, and also think about where you’re going. You are not just one thing or another. You are a combination, and it’s precisely that that makes the US so great.

PS- I think I like white girls more, although I'm still waiting to find a hot Mexicana in real life. I'm saddeded that all the good looking Mexican women are on TV. Please stop hiding! Thanks.