Sunday, November 30, 2008

"Earthshine" not "Moonshine"



If you know me very well, you know that I like to keep my eyes on the skies. On this Monday evening you might want to take a look to the sky toward the southwest. You will be able to view two planets and also my favorite satellite, no not the International Space Station, but the moon. The two visible planets are Venus, the much brighter one, and also Jupiter. Venus is very bright this time of year. You might even try to go out just before sunset and try to view Venus in the sky, it is that bright. During World War II, aircraft spotters sometimes mistook Venus for an enemy airplane. There were even cases in which Venus drew antiaircraft fire.

The moon will also be highly visible, but only a crescent moon, but there is more to the story. What will make this viewing so great is what is called, "earthshine." This vision is sometimes called "the old moon in the young moon's arms." Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was the first to recognize it. Earthshine is when the light from the sun reflects off of the Earth an additionally illuminates the moon. The crescent part of the moon will be much brighter, this is the light from the sun. The rest of the globe of the moon will be illuminated from light reflected off of the earth, this will be in a more blueish-gray color. Viewing the two planets plus the moon in this form will be a great sight to behold. If you have the chance I recommend taking the time to view our amazing Universe.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


"The First Thanksgiving"
painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863–1930).

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Utah 48 BYU 48/2 = 24

Sean Smith

Brother Paul Kruger (Return Missionary)

What a great game, if you are a Utes fan. I must say, I really like Max Hall. I think he is a great quarterback. I do not think it was his fault that BYU lost. It was the Utes defense. I feel that Max has not felt the pressure of a Ute defense this year. They threw things at him that he was not ready for. And do not blame him for running with the ball, it was what he was forced to do. But, in the end the best team did win this game. Great job Utes! perfect season, 12-0 and BCS bound, AGAIN!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Great Men"

President Thomas S. Monson (Utah Alumni) speaking
at my commencement.

Rivalry week only comes around once a year here in Utah. I really enjoy the rivalry. As some of you may know I am the "Black (or red) Sheep" of my family. My father graduated from BYU, my mother attended BYU, my older brother and two of my older sisters graduated from BYU. I did not. I graduated from the University of Utah. So this makes for fun times when it comes to Utah and BYU.

One of my sisters who is a BYU fan made a comment on one of my posts and I responded to her comment, but I felt with it being rivalry week I would share my response. She commented on which school was holier. I responded with this answer.

"As for who is holier I will not cast stones, but there have been some GREAT! men that have attended the University of Utah. President Thomas S. Monson, President Gordon B. Hinkley, James E. Faust, Robert D. Hales, Henry B. Eyring, Karl B. Schempp, Bruce R. McConkie, Russell M. Nelson, M. Russell Ballard, Joseph B. Wirthlin (Wirthlin played football as a running back for the University of Utah), David O. McKay, George Albert Smith, and many others. This place must be pretty good if such great and smart men have attended there."

Rivalry week is great. We have a lot of fun here in Utah with this. Although, some get pretty ugly with it, but I am glad that at least our families have fun with it. I have heard listening to local sports radio that many families get into it so bad that they will stop talking, WOW! Afterall, it is just a game. And yes BYU fans, Thomas S. Monson did attend BYU also, but he a Ute at heart, because he did come to my graduation.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I almost won tickets to Utah vs. BYU, almost. I often listen to a local radio station here in Utah, Kall 700 AM radio. This station had a contest today to win tickets to the "Holy War." The contest was to e-mail a game day checklist for a BYU fan or a Utah fan. The fun in this was that you were to make the game day checklist for the other fan. So, I being a Ute fan was to make a game day checklist for a BYU fan. The contest was to end at 6:00 pm, so I hurry and put a quick list together a little after 5:00 pm. The idea was to be very creative so I did my best with the short notice. The rules were that if they read your entry over the air you would be in the running at the end of the hour. They had a group of about six that were going through the e-mails. Just a few minutes after sending my entry, my entry was read. I wish I could had recorded the audio, because the person reading it was cracking up, but in the end they went with another entry. But, for your enjoyment and because of rivalry week I will post my entry. ENJOY!

BYU game day checklist

Friday 21, November

4:00pm Begin fast for the cougars.

Saturday 22, November

7:30 am Oh My Heck! I woke up late this morning because our Elders Quorum had to set up chairs at church on Friday night because we will be too upset after the loss on Saturday night to set them up.

7:45 am Go to service project for lonely Utah Ute (SINNER!) fan in our ward this morning, laid sod. Hopefully doing service for a Ute fan will help the Cougars win. “Do Good things off the field.”

9:00 am Took a load of old personal items to DI. Service again!, it can only help the Cougars.

10:00 am Go to Wal-Mart. Need to go early today it is game day. Need to pick up jello and some carrots and caffeine-free Dr. Pepper for the game. Have to take the kids. The wife is gone to a shower.

12:00 pm Iron my white shirt for church. I really wish we could wear blue shirts to church. Fetch!

1:00 pm Go home-teaching. 100% this month, November only. Hopefully this will bless the cougars to win today.

2:00 pm Make jello with shredded carrots for game day. Mothers recipe from Relief Society Cook Book.

3:00 pm Pray for the cougars and pray that the next prophet will not have attended the University of Utah like the last two have.

4:00 pm End fast for the cougars.

4:00 pm Watch the the Fetchin Utes beat our Cougars.

9:00 pm Pray for forgiveness for all the fetchin words I said during the game. Promise to do my home teaching every month next year to help the Cougars win next year.

10:00 pm Get Primary lesson ready for church. I hope I get released soon.

Karl Schempp
Utah Ute Fan
Lonely Ute fan in Utah County

Sunday, November 16, 2008

"The Holy War"

The Holy War is a college football rivalry game played between the University of Utah Runnin' Utes and the Brigham Young University Cougars. The term Holy War, rather than its common reference to a war between religions, in this context refers to a battle between BYU and the University of Utah, the flagship and secular institution of higher education in the state of Utah.

This is one of the oldest rivalries in college football. The battle between these two teams is always a good one. The game this year should be an even greater one. Both teams are ranked in the top 25 this year. BYU is coming in ranked 14th in the BCS with a record of 10-1. Utah is coming in ranked 7th in the BCS with an impressive 11-0 record. Even if you are not a fan of either team, this will be a great game to watch.

Being a Ute fan I must set the record straight.

The Utes lead the all time series 53-33-4.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Coach Whittingham selects Cruz.

Create Fake Magazine Covers with your own picture at

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Most blackouts are not welcomed or something that one wants to occur. These blackouts often occur unexpectedly. Well, Utah recently experienced a blackout. This blackout occurred intentionally and was wanted by most in the general area. There were a few people visiting from out of town that were not too happy about this blackout. I will speak for most in Utah when I say that we were not sorry for any inconvenience that this may have caused for any visitors from the Fort Worth, Texas area. The blackout area was concentrated on the campus that I am proud to be a graduate of, the University of Utah. The blackout was mostly in the area of Rice-Eccles Stadium. During this blackout there was a football game at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Utah was playing TCU and at the end of this blackout, the final score was, Utah 13 and TCU 10. It was amazing to watch this game even though it was played during a blackout.

Utah quarterback Brian Johnson passing during the blackout

WAY TO GO UTES! Lets make it a perfect season and get the recognition that we deserve. We did it in 2004 and became the original BCS busters and spanked Pittsburg 35-7 in the Fiesta Bowl in January 200o5. We did not get a shot at the title then so let do it again and see if they will give us a shot. Kyle Whittingham deserves it. WAY TO GO COACH WHITTINGHAM!

Cruz with autographed cap from Utah Coach Kyle Whittingham

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"The Greatest Snow on Earth"

Yes, we do have the greatest snow on Earth here in Utah. And the mineral that we use to battle the snow on our roads actually helps to create this greatest snow. Sounds strange, but it is true. Salt makes snow melt, right? Salt also lets water reach a lower temperature before freezing or to not freeze at all (well, not at absolute zero, but hey we would not be here if that happened). Here in Utah we receive very little precipitation a year. In the Salt Lake City area we receive about 15 inches on average, not much huh. So how can we have the greatest snow on Earth? Yes, we may receive most of our precipitation in the winter, but that is not the main reason. We have "The Greatest Snow on Earth" because of the Great Salt Lake. GREAT isn't it! The Great Salt Lake is a remnant of Lake Bonneville, a pluvial lake that covered a large area of Utah, Nevada, and Idaho some 14,500 years ago. This lake formed in an area termed North America's Great Basin. The Great Salt Lake drains neither to the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean like other water bodies. The Great Salt Lake stays in this basin and evaporates and when water evaporates it leaves behind the salts (Great name huh!). So, how does this salt help with the snow? The Great Salt Lake has a very high salinity content. The salinity range of the Great Salt Lake runs between 5-27% depending on location of the lake. The oceans are on average 3.5%. Since the Great Salt Lake has this high of salinity it never freezes. This is where we get into the greatest snow. The lake remains relatively warmer than the air in the winter and especially after a cold front moves in. When the cold front moves in, especially from the northwest, this causes the warmer lake water to evaporate into the atmosphere and then increase snowfall in close proximity to the Great Salt Lake. This process is termed a lake-effect snow. Some areas of the Wasatch Mountain Range in the path of the lake effect see up to 500 inches per year. These lake-effect snows can be very geographic. Just this morning we received about 6 inches of snow, but as I went just a few miles to the west there was only a couple of inches. We were in the path of a lake-effect snow and further west was not.

I would now like to point out that this is evidence of a Great Creation. Imagine if here in Utah we did not receive most of our precipitation during the winter. We would not have water here in the summer running down from the snow packed mountains. The Great Salt Lake would completely dry up during the summer months. Also, it is great that we can take these salt from the lake and use to place on our roads to help with winter driving. It is almost like there was a Creator who came up with this wonderful design. As I have studied the Earth System Processes and continue to do so, I gain a greater understanding the creation of this Great Earth. I am amazed continually of the Creation that has been made for us. I am very grateful for a Creator that would design such a great place for us to live, EARTH.

I would like to end with a little observation I have made with respect to tithing and the lake- effect snows here in Utah. Without the added lake effect snows here in Utah we would have much less water. Some 10% of the precipitation we receive here in the Salt Lake area is from the lake-effect. Hmmmm! Sounds like a tithing blessing if you ask me. Blessing from tithing are not always monetary. THINK ABOUT IT!