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Unstrange Phenomena

28 February 2010

8.8 Chilean Earthquake 500 Times More Powerful than Haiti

From Denny: Yesterday, the country of Chile experienced a mind-numbing 8.8 magnitude earthquake. It tore apart over 1.5 million homes, bridges and highways in central Chile. Over 90 aftershocks followed. The 8.8 earthquake was felt 1,800 miles away in Sao Paulo, Brazil to the east.

In the capitol city of Santiago, 200 miles away and to the northeast from the epicenter (which was out at sea off the coast), there was damage:

Santiago airport with smashed windows, collapsed walkways, torn ceilings
Fine Arts Museum, badly damaged
several hospitals, no details as to damage

Chile's main seaport, in Valparaiso about 75 miles from Santiago:

two oil refineries shut down production - to restart large plants like this can take a month.
copper mines shut down production

The city of Concepcion was hardest hit along with the major port city of Talcahuano. With a major port damaged like this it could be difficult to get supplies to those most in need.

Haiti's was a 7.0 magnitude. The point spread doesn't sound like much until you realize that the difference is 500 times greater in ferocity. It's amazing any buildings are standing and more people were not killed. Right now that's about 708 in estimates because the Chilean Navy did not warn coastal villagers of an impending tsunami right after the earthquake. They did not have time to flee to the hills and many died needlessly.

Chile's coastal areas devastated by the large waves:

San Juan Bautista village on Robinson Crusoe Island
The port of Talcahuano
Vichato in the BioBio region

The surge of Pacific Ocean water affected 53 nations as they posted tsunami warnings. Hawaii dodged the negative effects of tsunami waves but they were prepared. They warned and evacuated for the "just in case" scenario. Hilo International Airport was closed as a precaution because it is located on the shore.

By today, it was estimated that over two million people have been displaced from their homes. They have not yet given figues on how many businesses are shut down and how many people are out of work. Like in Haiti, these may prove to be dire times for Chile. Why does the President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, not accept immediate help from other countries like America who are standing by with rescue teams and relief efforts? As it has proven difficult in Haiti to setup and feed three million displaced people, so it will prove a problem in Chile in the coming weeks. It's best to jump on that problem now rather than wait.

For those with electricity in Chile, this is the news they awoke to find about the earthquake, raw news footage:

Assessing the damage done to historical sites:

From ITN News an aerial view of the devastation:

Here is video of looting. Do you think these people watched all the news coverage about Haiti and realized it will be weeks - if ever - before help arrives? Most people would loot for food and supplies too, knowing help may not come in time.

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27 February 2010

Funny Best of the Week Political Cartoons 27 Feb 2010

From Denny: Every week I collect the best political cartoons and roll them into one funny post. To best enjoy them on a wider blog template that displays well, go here:

Funny Political Cartoons: Political Olympics, Broken Government, Lampooning Toyota - 27 Feb 2010

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22 February 2010

Evidence of the Afterlife: New Book Offers Proof

From Denny: There's a new book out with research from a study and recounting near death experience stories. It's from an author in my part of the country, Louisiana, Dr. Jeffrey Long who researched this subject and the new book is called "Evidence of the Afterlife."

Reincarnation, near death and after life experiences are often controversial, especially to those who have not experienced the phenomenon. Previously, medical researchers tried to explain away those experiences by declaring the brain was on overload while dying and that explains "the light." What they should have said is "I don't really know." One person's truth is not always someone else's truth - until it happens to them.

I applaud this doctor, a radiation oncologist, for daring to step out there and investigate this subject. He collected more than 1,300 stories from people all over the world.

He offers this book up as proof the afterlife exists, writing there are at least nine lines of evidence and here are two of those lines of proof:

1. People blind from birth have visual near death experiences.

2. His study was with young children with no previous knowledge of the subject, ages 5 to 9, and their near death experiences were identical to that of older children and adults.

Mary Jo Rapini recounts her experience in this video. Previous to her near death experience she had been a skeptic who worked with dying cancer patients who repeatedly told her of their experiences.

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21 February 2010

Shoveling snow? Protect your back and your heart

From Denny: This winter season, aptly nicknamed Snowmageddon by President Obama, has been a doozie all across the country. Snow and ice bedevil driving on the roads and walking to our own mailboxes. After a snow storm people get out and shovel this heavy, wetter snow and it ends up causing tens of thousands of shoulder and back injuries every year in the United States. Several hundred heart attacks also occur.

Doctors saw over 70,000 shovel-related injuries serious enough to trigger a doctor's visit in 2008, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission. Shoveling snow isn't a daily activity for most people and the exertion, very cold weather and then slippery surfaces makes for a deadly combination.

Snow shoveling "is one of the most high-intensity exercises you can do," says Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventive cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital, in New York City. "You're using all your major muscle groups."

Here are some tips for thoughtful precautions for your back - and your heart since this is an aerobic activity - during and after shoveling snow.

Let's deal with the main issue: back pain

Lower back strain is the usual suspect, leading the top of the list for snow shovelers. "That's when a muscle gets over-tensioned and tightens. If it over-tightens, it's almost like a spasm and that gets very painful," according to Dr. Henry Goitz, an orthopedic surgeon at Henry Ford Hospital, in Detroit, Michigan, and a spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Herniated disk is the second most common injury during snow season, says Dr. Victor Khabie, the co-chief of orthopedic surgery at Northern Westchester Hospital, in Mount Kisco, New York. What's a herniated disk you ask? The common term it's known as is a "slipped disk." That's when one of the soft disks between the vertebrae of your spine decides to get out of position and then complains of its displacement by pushing on a nerve, causing severe pain.

How can you tell how severe is the disk injury? It's a bad sign, says Dr. Khabie, when that back pain also radiates down your leg. "That may mean you have ruptured or herniated a disk."

Sedentary lifestyle

Sedentary people and frigid weather are a recipe for back injuries. "The shoveling tends to be done by people who are not otherwise in good shape," says Dr. Richard Pomerantz, a professor of medicine in cardiology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, in Rochester, New York. "Sometimes a potato chip is the heaviest thing they've lifted for a while."

Ice lurking under the top layer of snow is dangerous

People can "experience very bad fractures from slipping on the hidden ice frozen under the snow," advises Dr. Evalina L. Burger, a vice chair and associate professor of orthopedics at the University of Colorado, in Denver, Colorado. "The worst thing is a fall," she says. "It's not just old people who fall."

Heart attacks

Heart attacks that occur during shoveling snow do tend to be rare. Doctors believe it is the combination of heavy exertion and cold weather. Why is this so? Both the aerobic, and weight-lifting component, especially years when heavy, wet snow occurs, can raise your blood pressure. All this combines to quickly increase the load upon the heart when the heart is not accustomed to it.

By increasing the load to the heart in cold weather when your arteries and vessels tend to constrict which causes the relative blood supply to go down at a time when your heart requires more. It's a case of supply and demand - the demand is too high for the supply available. Sometimes, a heart attack will occur when the heart is too stressed.

Guess what else contributes to a possible heart attack? We have hormones that are released during cold weather and when exercising that can cause built up plaques - those ugly fatty deposits that line artery walls - to rupture, causing either dangerous blood clots or heart attacks.

The time of day for snow shoveling is important to your heart

Most people get out there early in the morning and start shoveling. It's not a good idea, according to a 1996 study in the American Journal of Cardiology. Did you know that the early morning is when the risk for heart attack is higher? So, pick a better time of the day when your heart is ready.

*** For more health related posts, please visit The Healing Waters!

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20 February 2010

42 Funny Cartoons: Olympics, Obama, Obstructionists, Obesity and You - 20 Feb 2010

From Denny: The Olympics, both in sport TV and politics, loomed large in the minds of cartoonists this week. Sadly, the world did lose one accomplished Olympian, Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili of Bakuriani, 21 years old, this week in a dangerous practice. The whole world mourns with his country.

The Vancouver Olympics have had a tough start this year with warmer weather than usual and the very reason for the venue to be held in Canada was because of the expected good snowfall. Instead, the stuff melted off while America got blasted with the extreme snow weather. Guess Washington, D. C. should have been the host of the Winter Olympics this crazy weather year. The big joke in America was to export snow to Canada for a hefty price - or for free if only they would do all the shoveling.

Tiger Woods read from a stilted lectern a half-hearted stilted apology ordered up by his publicists, agents and family horrified he was allowing half a billion dollars slip through his hands because of his bizarre sexual conduct. Frankly, it didn't go over well with most.

He just isn't at that point in his life where he realizes that being emotionally stingy just doesn't go over well with most people. He has another reputation as an extremely cheap tipper which red flags his attitude toward other people that they are not deserving of respect or consideration. His bad attitudes saturate all areas of his life and those same attitudes are not going to evolve or change over night.

The cartoonists are still churning out the Tiger Woods cartoons and just getting in gear on this current subject of The Big Apology. It will be next week before those appear en masse.

On a lighter note, the cartoonists compared politics and the political parties to an Olympic sport. I've always said my favorite sport was politics. Why? Because it has such passionate fans and there are high stakes for how it can affect our daily lives.

Political partisanship has taken a toll on the better politicians who are quitting the field. Voters and colleagues alike are fed up with the Republicans acting like Tiger Woods all rolled into one: cavalier with every one's lives, thinking only about themselves and the whole world is centered around their whining wants.

Toyota got off pretty light this week from the cartoonists. Guess they wore it out the past couple of weeks. At least the Toyota president finally agreed to quit being such a jerk and appear before American investigations into the safety of their products.

Prez Obama is up to his neck in the usual stinky messes, still shoveling hard to clean up everything in sight all over the land of America. Jobs creation is still slow but not completely in the tank, but sure not helping out all the millions looking for jobs.

What occurred to me some time ago is that the American worker needs to get off our co-dependency on big corporations as career jobs. It's best to work a while for them, get the business model, grow up a bit to be mentally tough and then it's time to leave the nest and go out and grow your own smaller business. If anything, what it looks like from the perspective of the Big Picture is that the Universe is saying, "OK, all you wimpy lazy baby birds, time to exit the nest and start flying on your own whether you want to or not!" And she dumped millions of people out of their comfortable jobs with easy regular money, respect and authority only to have to reestablish themselves all over again.

Also, Prez Obama has endured a lot of pig squealing from China about meeting with the Dalai Lama at the White House. How childish can you get? They would look more like a super power if they grew up their attitude toward Tibet and the spiritual leader. Come to think of it, they could stand to grow up their attitude toward Taiwan as well. All it does is make them look like bullies stomping the little guys. Guess what; absolutely no one in the world respects that situation.

The cartoonists have had a field day with the First Lady's War on Childhood Obesity, a laudable goal. These cartoons really do reflect our national obsession with food, stress and lack of exercise. They are also funny!

Lastly, the snow was a big topic of conversation all across America and in the editorial cartoon sections of newspapers. It really is a metaphor for being buried deep in something difficult to deal with in our lives on so many levels...

Canada's Winter Olympics:

The Usual Political Suspects:

Losing another quality guy to the warring camps who is just sick and tired of war, Senator Bayh:

Prez Obama presses on in his Political Olympics:

Obama meeting with the Dalai Lama enraged the control freak Chinese:

The Tiger Woods Big Explanation Apparent Apology:

NASA and science still twisting in the wind financially. Gee, maybe if they quit wasting so much money and had used it wisely the past four decades maybe they would not be experiencing cutbacks:

The average guy who wonders how to shoot the rapids to survive:

First Lady Michele Obama Declares War on Childhood Obesity and gets mocked:

Toyota recall not on the front burner of the Cartoonist Roasting Toasting Club:

The best thing about too much snow this winter in America:

then again...

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19 February 2010

Archeologists Unearth Ancient Aqueduct in Jerusalmem

From Denny: This is pretty cool to see after centuries hidden away, constructed of very large stones. It's believed to have been a working part of the Roman Empire as far back as about second century A.D., used to bring fresh water into the city of Jerusalem.

The 1800 year old water channel was discovered in the Old City near the Jaffa Gate. What's amazing is that it still stands after all this time. The Romans were great engineers.

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18 February 2010

Funny Hypnotic Graphic

From Denny: And you are now getting sleepy... getting sleepy... yes, getting sleepy... now march on over to your phone and call your bank... you are getting oh, so obedient... now electronic transfer all your money into this account... you will be happy when you wake up and tell everyone you made a donation to a wonderful charity... when asked the name of the charity you will smile silly and not remember or care if you remember... you feel good you did a good deed... you are beginning to wake up now... slowly... slowly... when you wake up all the way I will be far, far away ... and a distant memory out of reach... :)

Now go over to this site for the full deal of swirling, enough to make you nauseous: Daddy Paper Surfer - an amusing blog from the UK

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17 February 2010

Check Out Funny Fat Tuesday Afterglow Photos and Quotes

*** Mardi Gras and New Orleans is a quick tutorial in the Four D's: Debauchery, Decadence, Denial and Diets!

*** This is an excerpt from the full post over at my blog called The Social Poets. Be sure to check out the many great videos of Mardi Gras in New Orleans and more hilarious photos and great quotes: Funny Fat Tuesday Afterglow - Cheeky Quote Day 17 Feb 2010

From Denny: New Orleans has a particular fondness for lampooning the politically incorrect taboo subjects of sexuality, religion and death. This year they went at it full tilt and certainly did not disappoint.

These tacky photos will definitely make you laugh out loud. If you suffer from sexual prudishness you probably don't read my blogs but just in case, look away. Actually, it's pretty tame - but tacky stuff, not good taste - which is what New Orleans Mardi Gras is all about.

Anyway, I was doing that "wondering thing" about how to follow up the big party blowout of Fat Tuesday the day after when the thrill is gone. Of course, the Christian Lenten season has officially begun, a time to think of dialing it back on the excess meter and tuning ourselves to more inner reflection.

What better bridge than to laugh at the Four D's to get folks over their embarrassments from Mardi Gras that even their grandchildren will never hear the tales? The Four D's are Debauchery, Decadence, Denial and Diets. Enjoy the funny quotes, laugh 'til you fall off your chair Mardi Gras photos and news videos about the festival!

To keep your game face on, remember there is hope for the perpetual party person because this is the progression:

Debauchery is what you climb out of to get up to the next level of Decadence. You know, it's called graduating college and leaving behind your partying ways. So, you enter the oh, so adult life of Decadence known as credit cards, mortgages, shiny new cars, deep in debt and a few children dotting the backyard suburban landscape.

Before you know it you are done with Decadence after a decade or so and step up into the new house of Denial. Denial is when you experience Empty Nest Syndrome, hoping those screaming kids you so wanted to leave a few years earlier decide to come home to roost and make the house interesting again. Denial is also about figuring you might one day actually get to afford to retire. In those hopes you begin the process of trimming down your debt as your employer trims down your salary.

Eventually, you wake up and figure out you have to leave it all behind and go on a Diet to purge yourself of so much happy excess in order to function in life. What do you do? You retire, picking out your favorite destination and then go on perpetual holiday in New Orleans to begin the partying life all over again. And that, my friends, is why they call it the fast track Life Cycle... Oh, where did all the time go? :)

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Debauchery Quotes

* May you - Work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt, dance like no-one is watching, screw like its being filmed, and drink like a true Irishman. - Anonymous

* To call war the soil of courage and virtue is like calling debauchery the soil of love. - George Santayana

Green makeup almost nude by Infrogmation @ flickr

* My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income. - Errol Flynn

Decadence Quotes

* Decadence Definition: America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between. - Oscar Wilde

* Decadence is wonderful. - Jack L. Chalker

Mardi Gras feathers by Infrogmation @ flickr

* A decadent civilization compromises with its disease, cherishes the virus infecting it, loses its self-respect. - E. M. Cioran

Decadence Quotes

Unique grocery - I'll say! - photo by sfmission.com @ flickr

* I believe in looking reality straight in the eye and denying it. - Garrison Keillor

Denial Quotes

Mardi Gras alien by Infrogmation @ flickr

* Denial ain't just a river in Egypt. - Mark Twain

Funny Diet Quotes

Gorilla and woman photo by sfmission.com @ flickr - Well, I'm on the gorilla diet of "eat all the bananas you want and it seems to be working for me... don't you think?"

* I've been on a constant diet for the last two decades. I've lost a total of 789 pounds. By all accounts, I should be hanging from a charm bracelet. – Erma Bombeck

Some Serious Quotes about Denial to help us happily slide into the reflective mood of the new Lenten season:

* Evil, what is evil? There is only one evil, to deny life. – D. H. Lawrence

*** This is an excerpt from the full post over at my blog called The Social Poets. Be sure to check out the many great videos of Mardi Gras in New Orleans and more hilarious photos and great quotes: Funny Fat Tuesday Afterglow - Cheeky Quote Day 17 Feb 2010

*** THANKS for visiting, come back often, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers - and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe!

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