28 March 2011

Starting a Fire with a Piece of Plastic...

...and the sun.







The piece of plastic is a fresnel magnifying sheet.

26 March 2011

Earth Hour 2011


Earth Hour 2011 will be celebrated by the city of Batavia and Fermilab this year.

24 March 2011

Another Election Already?

While a surprising amount of news coverage has been given to the beginning of the 2012 Presidential Election, in our own city, there is another election coming much sooner:  April 5 to be exact.

It is the local spring election, and three contested races appear on my ballot.

  • Batavia City Council, Ward 4
  • Batavia School District 101 Board 
  • Kane County Forest Preserve Bond Referendum

The people and issues that win or lose these races will have real impacts on how we and the children in our community live.  They are also the races in which individual voters have the most power because of the small electorate and low turnout involved.   For instance, in the 2009 spring election, only 426 ballots were cast in the Ward 4 election.

11 March 2011

God Provides

The title of this post may strike some as cliche, but it was true for us.  We were planning to be on a bus to Columbus, OH today, but Kelly became quite ill yesterday.  We decided to cancel the trip.

From Columbus, we were scheduled to fly to Venice, Italy for a conference at which I am giving a presentation.  Then, we were going to fly back from Venice to Chicago.

I called United to see how much it would cost to change our flights so that we would depart from Chicago rather than Columbus.  Given the last minute nature of this change and airline's penchant for charging fees, I thought it would be prohibitively expensive if there were even any seats available.  This is where God provided.

In what was probably the most productive half-hour I have even spent on the phone with an airline employee, he found seats on a flight from Chicago to Frankfurt, where we could connect with the same flight to Venice we had already booked. The seats are a pair, so we will still be able to sit together in the kind of seats we prefer (window and aisle).  He made the change for free!  Anyone who has navigate the world of airline fees will realize why calling this an instance of God's provision is no exaggeration.  He mentioned something about bad weather in Cleveland, but I didn't ask any other questions.

Our plans for Venice and the return flights are unchanged, so we would appreciate your prayers that we will both be well enough for our trip and my presentation.

"Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds." - Psalm 36:5