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President’s Day Message

If you were President of the United States, what would you do? I would end the Federal Reserve, return us to isolationist policies, and provide grants for the opening of new factories and power plants.

Feel free to post your ideas in the comment section on this post.

Responsible Environmentalism

On the surface, ensuring the protection of nature is a noble goal. But many people make it into something worse. It’s okay to recycle plastics, drink well water, and use compact fluorescent light-bulbs. It’s not okay to sleep outside or deny your children blood transfusions (note: the govt. has synthetic blood so get that if possible).

If we lived like apes, we would make no progress as a species. Apes don’t write books, create Internets, or mine metals. Humans used to die at 25 commonly, whereas now the average lifespan has surpassed even the three score and ten promised by the Bible, not because of fate, but because of hard work. Who would have though a fungus (penicillin) could be the solution to so many of life’s problems?

Humans are naturally at war with nature, and we’re supposed to be. Most people prefer to live in structures we call buildings, because living outside exposes you to all sorts of bacteria, viruses, and ailments due to a lowered immune system. Pushing your body too hard is stupid, because it makes you more vulnerable to disease.

In the same vein, it isn’t reasonable to demand everyone to stop using cars or burning fossil fuels, unless you have a logical replacement which takes us to the next level and works right now. Obviously, it is a good idea to research better solar power, wind power, and nuclear power, but until the technologies are easily implemented, we can’t begin real cutbacks on oil and gasoline.

Similarly, some of the solutions provided to us are worse than what they replace. CFLs produce the same number of lumens using far fewer watts, but they contain deadly mercury and the EPA actually recommends you call a Hazmat team if you break one. The Toyota Prius has a giant battery that goes bad after about ten years and needs replaced. Compact cars often result in more carbon emissions, because with one accident you become a vegetable for life. Instead of contributing to your safety, the plastic-and-Styrofoam car becomes your coffin.

If you are going to espouse the ideals of environmentalism, please do so logically. :)

Photo: Wood-Burning Stove

Photo: Wood-Burning Stove

Picture of fire in our wood-burning stove, which can also be used to fry eggs and light matches.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/60, F5.6, 45mm, ISO1600, 2011-01-12T08:02:52-05, 20110112-130252rxt

Location: Thripp Residence, Ormond Beach, FL  32174-7227

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Religion at a Higher Level

If you think about it, it’s very possible that Jesus was killed and then a clone took his place to show him having defeated death. If the human race was seeded here by space aliens, they may have decided that we needed something amazing to believe in because the human mind naturally escalates things so that it requires a bigger and bigger story to stay interested and motivated. In some people, inability to sleep or schizophrenia may even set in. However, with the advent of selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, anti-histamines, and the Internet, it’s very possible for someone to not feel closed in but rather feel the amazing power of whatever God(s) they believe in.

The Great Pyramid at Giza is an amazing structure that cannot be recreated by humanity, even with 21st century technology. It’s built in the only place that would work to support its weight — without the large granite deposit below, it would sink into the sand. The large, inter-locking blocks fit together with tiny grooves that even modern machinery cannot duplicate.

Is it possible that the human race has started over again and again, like in The Matrix: Reloaded, each time destroying itself either by hydrogen bombs, sterilization, or mass cognitive dissonance? I would have said no in 2010, but in 2011 I’m not so sure. Human nature shows that people naturally want to believe in human potential, but at the same time want to sacrifice maidens to volcanoes and abort their unborn babies. But if there’s one thing humanity is good at, it’s rationalizing irrational or imaginary numbers, and this is necessary for most people to lead normal lives without resorting to prescription or illegal drugs, unless they never let their mind expand to that level.

Whether you want to believe it or not, the yin-yang dichotomy is present in every person and every facet of the universe and remains irreconcilable.

Facebook as a Platform for Mass Behavioral Modification

Facebook, because it is used by over 500 million people or approximately 7% of the global population, is a platform for large-scale modification of human behavior, whether we like it or not. While we may think the layout of Facebook is the logical conclusion of stream-lining and optimal programming, it is entirely possible the layout was developed as such because of limitations of Apache, Linux, PHP, MySQL, HTML, or even laziness. Oftentimes, the ideal solution to a problem is unideal because of the great difficulty required to implement it. Knowing the difference is the difference between having a successful social network or a ghost town.

Therefore, it may be advantageous to manipulate view counts, statistics, and even to run robots and automatons on a new social network, but only as long as 1.) no one finds out, or 2.) the people who find out choose by free will to not reveal the truth, either for a higher power or because they think deception is “cool,” i.e. Jack Bauer in the TV show Twenty-Four.

Taking this to its logical conclusion, a new social network’s main feature could be robots, and people would sign up in droves if they believed the robots would be more interesting to talk to than real friends. The truth of this thought will determine the future of social networking, i.e. will it continue to grow in power but plateau in numbers or will it grow in numbers while no one takes it seriously or is willing to commit secrets to it?

Building a War Chest

If you think about it, there really should be no shame in asking for money because if you are ashamed, you are implying that the people who would be willing to donate money to you will make better use of it than you are capable of.

I would never assume anyone can make better use of money than me. ;)

If you want, send me your PayPal donations to for donations > $11.90 and for donations < $11.90. :cool:

An Analysis of the Culture of India [Essay]

An Analysis of the Culture of India

Richard X. Thripp

Daytona State College

For Dr. Natalie D. Rooney

EDF 2085 Introduction to Diversity for Educators

Culture Paper, 15%

Sunday, 2011 February 6

Final First Draft


The culture of India is very unique and goes back thousands of years. In this essay, I will focus only on modern India, particularly on Mohandus K. Gandhi’s influence on the formation of the 20th century Indian government and culture, but also on religion and language. However, I will be ignoring movies, music, and postsecondary education.

Additionally, I will list major American institutions, advice for Indian American parents and children immigrating to the United States, academic citations, and personal commentary.

Finally, I will include a lot of relevant metrics, subjective summarizations, and statistics.

Note: I did not use proper A.P.A. style or proper citations in this paper.

India has both a rich cultural history spanning multiple millenniums, and is the 2nd most populated country on earth with a population of 1,155 million (C1), trailing China’s population of 1,331 million but leading the 3rd most populated country on earth by a whopping 275% — the United States, which has 308 million people. (All statistics as of 2009.)

However, many people in India are very poor and under-nourished, lacking proper food, water, shelter, infrastructure, education, and job opportunities. Despite this, many world leaders and scientists hail from India, and extrapolating the previous 90 years over the remaining 90 years of the 21st century, it is safe to say that India and China will surpass the United States in planetary dominance. The Indian people are some of the most hard-working and resolved people in the world, much like the Americans were in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

On 1869 October 2, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in Porbander in modern-day Gujarat, where his father served in the Indian government under the rule of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (now the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as of 1927 and commonly known as the U.K.), of which the Indian portion was called the British Indian Empire (commonly known as the British Raj). Gandhi married at 13, had a son at 19, and left for London to pursue a law degree several months later. After enrolling in the High Court of London in 1891, he dropped out and went back to India. (

After failing his law practice, Gandhi spent 22 years in South Africa, where he declared himself a seeker of truth attained by love and celibacy. He also invented the term satyagraha to mean non-violent resistance, and he wrote a short treatise called “Indian Home Rule” subtly denouncing the United Kingdom, industrialization, and contemporary technology in general.

Gandhi’s first political campaign in India spanned 1915 to 1922, when he earned the title of Mahatma meaning “Great Soul” for initiating a movement of peaceful, non-violent, non-cooperation with the British government, which wielded great power but inferior numbers. When a large crowd killed many Indian policemen at Chauri Chaura in the United Provinces in February of 1922, Gandhi was arrested, convicted of sedition, and sentenced to six years by the British Raj, despite delivering a powerful self-defense and indictment of Great Britain at his trial.

Gandhi was released three years early due to poor health, after fasting three weeks in 1924 to stop Hindu-Muslim riots at Kohat. In 1932, he began his Fast unto Death to destroy the caste system which prevented people of the untouchable caste from marrying, doing business with, or associating with anyone outside their caste, and vice-versa. He also wanted the government to do away with separate electorates for the untouchables and the other castes, which angered Ambedkar, the leader of the untouchables.

Before surviving his fast, Gandhi broke the salt laws in 1930, by marching to the sea with his followers from March 12 to April 5, and, upon completing the 240 mile march to Dandi, collecting natural salt from the Arabian Sea as a symbolic act of resistance to the British Raj—specifically, the British monopoly on the production and sale of salt. Britain arrested Gandhi and thousands of other Indians, but it was at this point that the government relented and agreed to hold a Round Table Conference in London with Gandhi to discuss liberating India. The negotiations led nowhere, and upon Gandhi’s return to India, he was arrested again.

Prior to the Salt Satyagraha, the Indian National Congress further angered Great Britain by raising their saffron-white-green tricolor flag and issuing the following Purna Swaraj (Declaration of Independence) at midnight on 1929 December 31:

We believe that it is the inalienable right of the Indian people, as of any other people, to have freedom and to enjoy the fruits of their toil and have the necessities of life, so that they may have full opportunities of growth. We believe also that if any government deprives a people of these rights and oppresses them the people have a further right to alter it or abolish it. The British government in India has not only deprived the Indian people of their freedom but has based itself on the exploitation of the masses, and has ruined India economically, politically, culturally and spiritually. We believe therefore, that India must sever the British connection and attain Purna Swaraj or complete independence.”

In his mid-60s in the mid-1930s, Gandhi established homestead in a remote village called Segaon (now Sevagram) with no power or water in the very center of India, refusing to return to Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad under a non-sovereign India. When Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Great Britain wanted to drag India into the war, but Gandhi correctly identified the hypocrisy in the U.K. claiming to fight a war for democracy while attempting to maintain dictatorial control over India. It was at this point that he launched his “Do or Die” and “Quit India” campaigns, the former being a message to the Indian people and the latter being a message to the British Empire, which ultimately succeeded with the Indian Independence Act of 1947, effective 1947 August 15. However, Gandhi considered himself a Hindu, Muslim, and Christian, not considering divergent religions to be mutually exclusive and wanting India to remain unpartitioned. This did not succeed, and India was divided into the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan on 1947 August 14 (now Pakistan and Bangladesh) and the secular Union of India on 1947 August 15 (now the Republic of India), mainly to separate the Muslims from the Hindus and Sikhs. Immediately following the partition, 7.226 million Muslims fled India into Pakistan and 7.249 Hindus and Sikhs fled Pakistan into India to avoid being religious minorities.

While there have been many skirmishes fought between India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Burma (now known as Myanmar and in perpetual martial law since 1962), there can be no doubt that Mahatma Gandhi had a major influence on the liberation of India and was overall a positive force in the world and one of the principle contributors to modern Indian culture. His writing, newspapers, philosophy, demonstrations, and particularly his autobiography, The Story of My Experiments with Truth, and his quote, “be the change you want to see in the world” will be remembered for centuries to come.

The Volusia County statistics on FedStats only include Whites, Blacks, American Indian and Alaska Natives, Asians, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders, and Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin. There are no statistics for Indian Americans. The U.S. Census Bureau reported on July 1, 1999 that the State of Florida contains an estimated 60,358 people of American Indian and Alaska Native origin, but it is unclear if this includes Indian Americans. Both the United States and Florida governments provide no information with regard to Indian Americans, because they recognize only the aforementioned six races. Notably, searching Google for “Indian American” without quotation marks returns only results regarding American Indians (Native Americans) on the first page. However, the Embassy of India in Washington, D.C. considers a Non-resident Indian (NRI) or Person of Indian Origin (PIO) to be anyone who has left India up to four generations removed. The Embassy says there are over 24 million such people, with 2,765,815 residing in the United States as of 2008.

A child immigrating from India would have to learn the English language and place a lesser focus on academics and memorization to thrive in the typical, interdisciplinary American classroom which includes recess, physical education, fewer students, mathematical calculators, and more artistic and creative assignments. While Indians and Asians are known for their strong work ethic and high intellectual intelligence, they may lack the emotional intelligence of their American peers. However, as with any skill, this can be learned or compensated for.

To accommodate Indian Americans, principals should hire more teachers who know Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya, Punjabi, and other widely-spoken Indian languages. Similarly, the federal or state governments should provide grants or matching funds to purchase computerized translation devices or hire interpreters for Indian American students. At the same time, Indian American parents should make a concerted effort to learn American English fluently so they can communicate multi-linguistically with their children.

Finally, Indian Americans should be educated about United States heritage and history including the Constitution, our founding fathers, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, our conquest of the central North American continent, Alaska, Hawaii, Pearl Harbor, the atomic bomb, the September 11th attacks, the presidents, executive orders, the Supreme Court, Congress, the IRS, CIA, FBI, DHS, and TSA, state sovereignty, federal holidays, the U.S. Postal Service, baseball, apple pie, Puritanism, Protestantism and Catholicism as contrasted with Hinduism, Islam, and other religions in India, our relationship with Israel, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom, OPEC, the European Union, and other governments, our status as a global economic and military power, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon, the Federal Reserve System, Harvard University, New York City, San Fransisco, Atlanta, Daytona Beach, the de-industrialization of the United States in the late 20th century, our dependence on China, and our contributions to all major fields of study including, but not limited to, the arts, music, sciences, medicine, pharmacology, military science, political science, and environmentalism. Particularly with the rise of not only the Internet, cell phones, Google, and Facebook, we live in a global, virtually interconnected world which facilitates the bidirectional sharing of information between nations, institutions, and individuals in multiple formats on a historically unprecedented scale.


C1: Population of India: 1,155,347,678 as of 2009 according to the World Bank’s Book of World Development Indicators.

C2: Volusia County MapStats from FedStats:

C3: Paragraph 7 of the Citizenship Amendment Act of 2003:

C4: 2000 U.S. Census: States Ranked by American Indian and Alaska Native Population, July 1, 1999:

C5: The Constitution of India, Revised 2008 July 29:



I decided to write my cultural paper about the people and government of India, including Indian Americans and with a major focus on the contributions of Mohandas Gandhi to Indian and global culture, independence, and philosophy. I haven’t learned APA style and I didn’t rewrite my essay or use citations, nor did I start it until 8pm before it was due, but I think it’s pretty good that I wrote a 2000 word essay in under 3 hours that doesn’t feel like (in my opinion), a bore to read.

You can find the full text of my paper here:

I think it’s very important for even elementary school teachers to have broad-spectrum knowledge of every major discipline, language, people, and culture, even if they never achieve mastery in any of them. Only then can they seamlessly flow from one topic to the next and present a complete picture of the world to their students in a way that is fascinating and inoffensive.

Photo: Laser Triangle

Photo: Laser Triangle

A triangle drawn with an ultraviolet laser pointer with an 8″ exposure on a tripod. It was hard to get the sides right, but I think laser pointers are a lot of fun for photos.

This was on the night of the lunar eclipse, 2010-12-21. I was getting bored waiting for the eclipse to reach totality so I did this.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 8/1, F2.5, 50mm, ISO1600, 2010-12-21T02:07:35-05, 20101221-070735rxt

Location: Thripp Residence, Ormond Beach, FL  32174-7227

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

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