Saturday, April 25, 2009


So I keep this list of things that I want to know. Some of the questions are going to have to be answered after I die when I get to talk to the spirit professors in Heaven.

Before I write up a good selection of mine, what questions do you wanna ask? I'm really curious.

Some of my questions are:
Why were tobacco leaves found in Ramses II's mummified remains? I mean, tobacco didn't exist outside of the Americas during his life, right?

Did Babe Ruth really call his shot by point to center field with his bat?

Did Marco Polo really make is to China, or did he just hear stories from other travelers? Because the meticulous Chinese imperial court records of the time don't mention him ever, at all.

What was lost in the destruction of the Library of Alexandria?

How about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Did they really exist and how?

Mayan and the Book of Mormon--how does the language fit in the the languages of the Book? (Watch awesome Nova documentary on cracking the Mayan code here. See if you can find the phrase similar to "And it came to pass.")

Oh, I also wanna know how the Book of Mormon names and place names were said, what they mean etymologically, and how they relate to any of the languages of the Americas.

Was the star at Christ's birth actually a supernova?

What year, according to our present calendar, was Christ born?

What was it that Christ wrote in the dirt when the woman caught in adultery was thrown before him.

How did the fl- and pl- sounds in Latin develop into the ch- sound in Portuguese? What were the intermediary sounds?

Black holes--why? How? What purpose? I mean, they creeped out Einstein so much that he didn't think the universe could be that messed up to possess them.

The moon--what happened to create it?

What's Jupiter's core? Could it be a diamond?

Okay, I'm going to stop now. Oh, and if anybody has any answers...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Unbelievable Outer Planetary Beauty

As I have well documented before on this blog, I'm rather obsessed with the heavens. Looking at the stars is one of my favorite things.
Yesterday the Da from from Dája Creations (which is cool in and of itself [it's said [dɑʒɑ]]) told me about this website called Ted. I watched this amazing video about Saturn and our recent-ish visit to it via Cassini. I'm going to embed the video that I watched because it is absolutely, mind-blowingly amazing.

I'm also going to post a couple of pictures, the ones that Carolyn Porco showed at the end of the presentation.

And earth can be seen to the upper left of the main set of inner rings.

I don't really know how to describe this, but when I see amazing pictures like this, I'm reminded that Heavenly Father loves me/us. I don't know how to explain it, but there it is.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Here are 2 pics

I've already posted them on Facebook, but here the pictures are again. Sorry, no mohawk.
Swoopy bangs...

Moldova liberă

Ever since like 2nd grade (I was weird), I've had this odd fascination with the Soviet republics--now countries. This interest was fomented recently when I had a roommate from Moldova. I told her that I'd use a pseudonym in the post to protect her identity, so we're gonna call her Queen Latifah.
Anyway, the elections in Moldova were a couple of weeks back and the Communist president didn't want to give up his term-limited position, so they stuffed the ballots using the names of 300,000 dead people. Thus Vladimir Voronin remains president. His name would be Vladimir.

There've been peaceful protests, even though the government has been sending goons in to try to start riots, and Russia is trying desperately to spread lies about the situation.

The crazy thing about all of this? The protests have been organized in large part by using Twitter. If you search PMAN, you'll find all of these links about the situation. The gov't cut off Facebook access in the country because they were using that, too.

I don't know how it's going to end, but hopefully with a legal, democratic government.
Queen Latifah tells me stories of the protests and gives me updates. It's a crazy, uphill battle, but I think it's amazing what the protesters are doing and what they're risking.

And as a crazy sidenote, if Spanish Fork were in Moldova, it'd be the 7th or 8th largest city in the nation.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

As per Allie's good point

Some of you may not know what my hair presently looks like. It's way too long for my liking, but Sadie had a baby and so I wanted to wait for her to get back to work. This Friday should be the big day. Unfortunately my hair has gotten a smidgen longer than I think it should be.
Here's a picture of today's hair situation:

Here's how it look something like last November I think, after a somewhat recent cut:
Mostly I'm trying to figure out what to do with the bangs. I don't know how I feel about the shorter bangs from the 2nd picture. I'm thinking maybe I should keep the bangs longer from the top picture, but have them frame my face better or something.

Thoughts? I'm no good with style.
The initial shorter hair cut came from a student suggestion from a few years back. Extra credit was given to those students who came up with a nice style.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New poll that could make or break my hair career------------------------->

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Rebirthday To Me!!

This year is number 22 since I was baptized. Yippee! To celebrate my rebirthday, I'm going to again post my sweet baptism picture where I'm sporting an afro.
See those whites that I'm wearing? My dad got baptized in them, too, if I remember correctly, and they belonged to my Grandpa Swenson when he was a kid.

Anyway, to celebrate some more, I'm going to post an etymological scripture insight:
So in 2 Tim 3:6 it mentions the word "silly." Silly used to mean holy, but went thru a few stages of semantic changes. It went from meaning holy, to zealous, eventually to no-brained goofy ditz like it means today. Anyway, when the KJV was translated, the meaning was more like a religious zealot without enough brains to think truth thru, or someone who superfocused on the wrong things and was thus led astray. It didn't really mean what we think of when we hear silly.
So there, you go, keep your head on straight; think things thru; don't focus on one thing too much. Thus you won't be led astray.

Here are some nice videos:


South America:

Happy Easter tomorrow! C'est une bonne idée!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

a quick note on prayer

aka, it's late but I want to blog. Although this might be more impactful of a story to me and nothing short of goofy, every time I've lost something and prayed to find it, it's been found. In fact, when I was 12, my Fine Young Cannibals cassette tape went missing. Anyone who knows the song She Drives me Crazy and how awesome it is, recognizes how bummed I would be. I looked and looked, but couldn't find it. So I said a prayer...
Years later my mom was reorganizing her room and she came across the tape. I'm really not trying to be facetious. Every time I've prayed to find something, I've found it. Sometimes it's just taken years.
This includes the time that I thought I lost my camera in the middle of nowhere Brazil while traveling with Melissa and Tom. I said a prayer knowing that I was probably a good 6 hours from the place where it would've gone missing. The camera was found the next morning in my stuff in a place where I'm fairly certain I looked.
I'm just saying that prayer works, especially for my lost items.

As a linguistic side note, if you click on the impactful word from above, the link takes you to urbandictionary. Beneath the word impactful is the phrase "A non-existent word coined by..." Um? Non-existent? I'm fairly certain it exists because we can use it and both you and I know what it means. The person might not like the word, but it really does exist. Sorta like heighth.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Click on the picture, then read the caption. I think they're all laughing at it, no?

Ahhhhhh...the Daily UniFarce.

Road to Zion: France

Some of you probably saw this commercial on BYUTV during conference. A lot of you will recognize Aline, who is a good friend from the 73rd ward. I love these kind of shows and Aline is an excellent filmmaker. This is going to be good. Now we just have to wait until fall...

Saturday, April 4, 2009


I learned my first lasting lesson about Schadenfreude in 1992 from my dad--although I didn't learn the German word until much later.
Anybody who knows me for more than oh, say 14 seconds knows that I love baseball. In '92 I was watching the 7th game of the NLCS between the Braves and the Pirates. I don't know why, but I'd been rooting for the Braves for the last couple of years. I think I just liked the way they played the game. Anyway, the Pirates went into the bottom of the 9th with a 2-0 lead and just needed to get three outs and they were in the World Series. On and off during the game, they'd switched back to fans of the Pirates in some sports bar in Pittsburgh. I, of course, felt some sort of rival animosity with these fans, they were rooting for the other team.
The Braves ended up pulling off the miraculous comeback and won the game when the slowest player on the field slid in to homebase. After Sid Bream scored the third run, and the celebration on the field was shown, the network switched to that same sports bar in Pittsburgh. The fans, who'd been ecstatic about 15 minutes earlier, were utterly dejected. I taunted with something brilliant and Nelson-esque, I'm sure. My father turned to me and said, "Vanessa, don't be happy because someone else is hurting."

eesh. I learned my lesson. That moment of Schadenfreude pops into my mind every once in a while.

I think the whole idea that my dad was trying to teach me was to take joy in the good things and good moments in life and to not simply be happy because for a moment you'd beat someone else. Being happy because you're better than/just demeaned someone else will not bring lasting happiness and will never bring joy.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on Schadenfreude, a nice German loan word that is fun to say.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Just in case you wanted to know why

Have you ever wondered why you were here? What the answer is to it all?
I googled it and found the answer.