Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Opus 2016-188: Discernment Watch: Percentages

Percentages are meaningless without context.

This came home to me when I was trying to decide on a coffee to try out at Baltimore Coffee.  I would guess there were 30 choices.  I saw one of the decaffeinated blends claim “99.9% caffeine free”.  My mind always goes off on tangents so I began to wonder, how caffeine free is normal coffee?  No coffee is 100%.  That would leave not room for water.  Is 99.9% significant or just a sales gimmick?

Think about other percentages you see.  How about milk?  You have fat free, 1% and 2% on the labels.  That sounds impressive.  Have you ever asked how much fat regular milk has?  Depending on the source I find 3.25% and 3.5%.  When you know that it is a little less impressive to drink 2%.

How about the atmosphere.  Have you ever heard worries about greenhouse gases?  Did you listen in high school science?  Do you know what the most common gas in the atmosphere it?  Nitrogen.  I think normal air is 71% nitrogen.  You can Google it if you want.  Carbon dioxide, the big worry is 0.04%.  When the CO2 level goes up, plants grow better.  More food is produced.  So just keep in mind that global warming could be a solution to world hunger.

How about those promises at the shopping mall.  I am not impressed when I see 20% off.  I love to walk through the discount stores like Marshalls or TJ Max and look at the clearance racks.  I have seen shirts that after all the markdown are still three times as much as I have every paid for a shirt.  If an item costs $20 at Walmart but Macy’s advertises it at 25% off, which is cheaper?  You don’t know until you do the math.  If the original price at Macy’s was $40 then 25% off means it is still $30.

Be a wise consumer.  Never turn off your brain.  It could cost you a lot of money.

homo unius libri


  1. And always have a calculator (or pencil and paper) handy

    1. Of course neither one works if you don't realize that 10% of 100 is 10, not 1,000.

      Grace and peace

    2. yes, you do have to be trained in that equipment (as in know how to use both your brain AND the calculator)!

    3. Most people would misread that to say "your brain OR the calculator". I always remind students that computers are stupid; speed and memory, yes, smart, no.

      Grace and peace.


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.