"Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established."
The Foolishness of God
Greetings! A young Christian friend of ours asked recently why can people not see what is going on in the world and why do they choose not to make the correct choices, when the correct way is so obvious. He also asked why does the devil continue to be in rebellion against God when he knows how the story ends. I should mention that our young Christian friend, besides being saved, is also filled with the Spirit!
Well, the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 2:14, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
A rather dramatic demonstration of seeing or not seeing things as they really are occurs in 2 Kings, chapter 6. The King of Syria came out against Elisha with a great host to stop Elisha from revealing his battle plans to theKing of Israel.
"And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha."
Again in 1 Corinthians, it says; "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness." Many people just look at God's Word as foolishness, because for one thing, it requires faith. But as the verse above states, the natural, carnal, man cannot accept this.
1 Corinthians 1:25, also says; the foolishness of God is wiser than men. So what is one reason the world is in the mess it is in today and people do not make the correct choices; because they choose not to believe God's Word, because to them, His Word appears foolish and ridiculous.
This is why many people choose to believe man decended from apes rather than being created by the hand of God.
Can Christians be deceived? Unfortunately, we can. Look how many Christians believe in Pre Tribulation Rapture when is couldn't be any clearer in the Bible that Jesus returns after the Tribulation. But Pre Tribulation is easier, no need to be concerned about the future.
As far as the devil is concerned, he is in an insane state of rebellion, and just wants to bring as much of God's creation down with him.
As far as our young Christian friend is concerned, Isaiah 11:6 says; "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them."
Floods devastate UK Lake District, much of Ireland
By SCOTT HEPPELL
COCKERMOUTH, England -Raging floods engulfed northern England's picturesque Lake District on Friday following the heaviest rainfall ever recorded in Britain, killing a police officer and trapping dozens in their swamped homes.
Military helicopters winched dozens of people to safety and emergency workers in bright orange inflatable boats rescued scores more after an unprecedented deluge.
British soldiers conducted house-to-house searches for those trapped by floods as deep as 8 feet (2.5 meters). Troops also dropped down on lines from Royal Air Force helicopters, breaking through rooftops to pluck people to safety.
Constable Bill Barker, 44, died as he joined rescue attempts, swept into the surging waters when a major bridge collapsed. Emergency services said more than 200 people were rescued in the hardest-hit town, Cockermouth and about 1,000 homes were flooded.
In a message to local officials, Queen Elizabeth II said she was "deeply concerned and saddened by the dreadful flooding across Britain." British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Barker "was a very heroic, very brave man."
Britain's Met Office said a record 12.3 inches (314.4 millimeter) of rain fell in 24 hours in the area — the heaviest rainfall ever recorded in the U.K.
Cockermouth, a market town 330 miles (530 kilometers) northwest of London, lies at the junction of the Cocker and Derwent rivers and is known as the birthplace of poet William Wordsworth. The flood was "of biblical proportions," local House of Commons lawmaker Tony Cunningham said.
Heavy rain and gales also brought widespread flooding to Ireland, as more than 3 feet (1 meter) of water shut down the center of the country's second-largest city, Cork, and more than a dozen towns and villages. The Irish army was used to rescue the stranded from waist-deep floodwaters and a helicopter winched to safety a County Galway family of five, including the 87-year-old grandmother.
Floods caused transport chaos along Ireland's western coast. At the Lake Hotel, on the shores of the fabled Killarney Lakes in County Kerry, about 170 guests at the Victorian period building were evacuated by tractor, as staff carried period furniture upstairs.
Irish weather forecasting service Met Eireann said parts of southern and western Ireland suffered their most intense and sustained rainfall in 30 years.
World leaders back delay to final climate deal
Sun Nov 15, 2009
By Caren Bohan
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders on Sunday supported delaying a legally binding climate pact until 2010 or even later, but European negotiators said the move did not imply weaker action.
Some argued that legal technicalities might otherwise distract the talks in Copenhagen and it was better to focus on the core issue of cutting climate-warming emissions.
"Given the time factor and the situation of individual countries we must, in the coming weeks, focus on what is possible and not let ourselves be distracted by what is not possible," Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen told the leaders.
"The Copenhagen Agreement should finally mandate continued legal negotiations and set a deadline for their conclusion," said the Copenhagen talks host, who flew into Singapore to lay out his proposal over breakfast at an Asia-Pacific summit.
Rasmussen said the December 7-18 talks should still agree key elements such as cuts in greenhouse gases for industrialised nations and funds to help developing nations. Copenhagen would also set a deadline for writing them into a legal text.
"We are not aiming to let anyone off the hook," Rasmussen said after the meeting, which was attended by leaders of the United States, China, Japan, Russia, Mexico, Australia and Indonesia.
WAITING FOR UNITED STATES
French Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo said it was clear the main obstacle was the United States' slow progress in defining its own potential emissions cuts.
Los Angles Times
How low will he go? Obama gives Japan's Emperor Akihito a wow bow
November 14, 2009
How low will the new American president go for the world's royalty?
This photo will get Democrat President Obama a lot of approving nods in Japan this weekend, especially among the older generation of Japanese who still pay attention to the royal family living in its downtown castle. Very low bows like this are a sign of great respect and deference to a superior.
To some in the United States, however, an upright handshake might have looked better. Remember Michelle Obama casually patting Britain's Queen Elizabeth on the back during their Buckingham Palace visit? America's royalty tends to make movies and get bad reviews and lots of money as a sign of respect.
Obama could receive some frowns back home as he did for his not-quite-this-low-or-maybe-about-the-same-bow to the Saudi king not so long ago.
Akihito, who turns 76 next month, is the eldest son and fifth child of Emperor Showa, the name given to an emperor and his reign after his death.
Emperor Showa is better known abroad by the life name of Hirohito. He became emperor in 1925 and died in 1989, the longest historically-known rule of the nation's 125 emperors.
Hirohito presided over his nation's growth from an undeveloped agrarian economy into the expansionist military power and ally of Nazi Germany of the 1930's.
And, later, Japan became a global economic giant. Hirohito, along with Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, who authorized the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, were much reviled abroad during World War II.
Historically, debate has simmered over how much of a political puppet Hirohito was to the country's military before and during the war.
Even after Democrat President Harry Truman ordered the two atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the summer of 1945, there were strong forces within Japan that wanted to continue to fight the Americans in the spirit of kamikaze suicide pilots.
But Akihito's father went on national radio, the first time his subjects had ever heard Hirohito's voice, and without using the inflammatory word "surrender," pronounced that the country must "accept the unacceptable." It did.
As the conquering Allied general and then presiding officer of the U.S. occupation, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, decided to allow Japan to keep its emperor as a ceremonial unifying institution within a nascent democracy.
Tojo, on the other hand, was hanged.
MacArthur treated Emperor Hirohito respectfully but, as his body language in this black and white postwar photo demonstrates, was not particularly deferential.
(But then MacArthur was not known as a particularly deferential person, as Truman discovered just before firing him later. But that's another war.)
Akihito was born during Japan's conquering of China and was evacuated during the devastating American fire-bombing of Tokyo, which was built largely of wood in those days.
The future emperor learned English during the U.S. occupation, but, inexplicably, his father ordered that his oldest boy not receive an Army commission as previous imperial heirs always had.
Akihito assumed the throne on Jan. 7, 1989. Within weeks he began a series of formal expressions of remorse to Asian countries for Japan's actions during his father's reign. In 2003, he underwent surgery for prostate surgery.
In 1959, Akihito married Michiko Shoda, the first commoner allowed to enter the Japanese royal family. That was two years before the birth of Akihito's future presidential guest, Barack Obama.
Joe Biden was already 17 by then. But he wasn't a senator.
Irish government to pay immigrants to go home
Recession-crippled Republic offers cash to non-EU nationals who agree to leave country
Henry McDonald, Ireland editor
Sunday 15 November 2009
Ireland is offering money to immigrants to leave the recession-crippled Republic. The Irish Department of Justice has confirmed that it is opening an EU-funded project to persuade foreign workers and asylum seekers to return to their country of origin.
A spokeswoman told the Observer this weekend that the scheme will only apply to non-EU nationals living in the Republic and would involve the department spending almost â‚¬600,000 this year to pay for immigrants and their families to return to nations outside the European Union.
"The grants will not be given to individuals but rather the scheme will operate through projects and organisations," she added.
"They [immigrants] can apply for the fund only through organisations and community groups. It is the first time we have introduced the scheme."
The department has made it clear it had no projected figure in mind as to the number of immigrants the government hopes will take up the repatriation grants.
Advertisements promoting the scheme were published in Irish national newspapers on Friday.
Application forms will also be available for non-EU nationals in the main immigration centre on Burgh Quay, Dublin.
The voluntary repatriation programme comes at a time of rising fears about the cost of immigration into Ireland.
Last week the mayor of Limerick caused a political storm when he called for the deportation of EU nationals who were out of work for more than three months and were claiming social welfare benefits.
Kevin Kiely said: "We are borrowing â‚¬400 million per week to maintain our own residents and we can't afford it.
"During the good times it was grand, but we can't afford the current situation unless the EU is willing to step in and pay for non-nationals."
However the mayor was forced to withdraw his remarks after a storm of protests. His own party, Fine Gael, distanced itself from his comments.
In a subsequent statement, Kiely said: "I still am of the opinion and so are others, who have approached me in recent days, that there is abuse of the Irish social welfare system.
"But in seeking to highlight this I inadvertently caused offence to others, which I very much regret."
During the latter years of the Celtic Tiger boom Ireland underwent a demographic revolution in terms of its ethnic make-up. Up until the early 1990s Ireland was 95% white and Catholic.
However, according to the Republic's central statistics office, about 18% of Ireland's inhabitants are now non-nationals.
Most of them are from eastern Europe, China, Brazil and west Africa or are British citizens who have settled on the island.
Some academics, such as Dr Bryan Fanning of University College Dublin, estimate that the real figure is more than 20%, meaning Ireland's "foreign" citizens make up over one fifth of the Republic's entire population.
The majority of the immigrants who arrived during the boom years were enticed to Ireland to fill vacancies in the construction, retail and tourist sectors - the main parts of the Irish economy to be severely hit by the current recession.
From The Sunday Times
Lesbians parents better at raising children
November 15, 2009
Lesbians make better parents than conventional couples, according to a director of the government's parenting academy.
Stephen Scott, director of research at the National Academy for Parenting Practitioners, told a meeting last week that the latest research showed that children of such couples did better in life.
Speaking at the launch at the think tank Demos of a report on the influence of character on life, Scott said: "Lesbians make better parents than a man and a woman."
His arguments are supported by experts who have found, over years of research, that children brought up by female couples are more aspirational and more confident in championing social justice. They show no more tendencies towards homosexuality than the offspring of heterosexual parents.
Such strong endorsement from the government's main agency for parenting will give a boost to gay parents. The speech from the academy, set up by the Department for Children, Schools and Families in 2007, will alarm traditional family supporters and those who raise concerns about the lack of a father figure in a child's life.
Parenting groups have recently been accused of turning into vocal advocates for the tiny minority of parents who are gay couples. There was a row this year when the British Association for Adoption and Fostering described opponents of gay adoption as "retarded homophobes". It had to pulp copies of a guide using the phrase.
However, more than a third of people now believe a lesbian couple can be at least as good parents as a man and a woman, according to the annual British Social Attitudes report.
Research at Birkbeck college, part of London University, and at Clark University in Massachusetts, says there is no evidence to show children of lesbian parents are disadvantaged in any way.
By the nature of their relationship, lesbian couples cannot have children by accident. They use a sperm donor, often a gay man, or adopt. The child then has two "mothers".
Daughters of lesbians are more likely to aspire to professions that were traditionally considered male, such as doctors or lawyers.
Mary Cheney, the lesbian daughter of Dick Cheney, the former American vice-president, who is expecting her second baby later this month, said in a recent interview: "Every piece of remotely responsible research that has been done in the last 20 years has shown there is no difference between children raised by same-sex parents and children raised by opposite-sex parents. What matters is being raised in a stable, loving environment."
'Floating' body: New mysteries of Shroud unveiled
Body inside ancient linen 'levitated' while leaving image
Posted: November 15, 2009
A new video documentary about the Shroud of Turin makes a startling new claim about what some believe to be the burial cloth of Jesus - the body was weightless or levitating when it left the remarkable image.
In the DVD video "The Fabric of Time," scientific experts using the latest technology are able to produce a three-dimensional holographic image from photographs of the shroud. What they reveal is nothing short of spectacular.
They show the image on the shroud is one produced not from a body lying on a stone slab, but rather an image of a weightless body, perhaps levitating above its resting place.
The documentary also calls into questions earlier findings about carbon dating tests that claimed the shroud dated back only to the Middle Ages.
In addition, forensics experts testify bloodstains on the Sudarium of Oviedo, reputed to be the piece of linen that covered Jesus' face, perfectly match those on the shroud.
The history of the Sudarium date back to the 7th century in Spain. The blood types on both cloths were found to be AB. The pollen grains found on the Sudarium also match those found on the shroud.
Last June, Pope Benedict XVI announced that the next public exhibition of the Shroud of Turin will take place April, 19, 2010, through May 23, 2010.
The Vatican announced on October 27, 2009 the pope will visit the Shroud May 2.
Visitors to Turin, where the Shroud has permanently resided since 1578, will view the cloth in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. To conserve and protect the Shroud, it is permanently stored in a custom built, temperature and humidity controlled, lightight case, which can be moved, raised and opened to display the cloth for public exhibitions.
THEY DON'T EVEN LOOK LIKE MEN
By Coach Dave Daubenmire -
November 5, 2009 -
Is it ok if I vent a little today? I've built up a little frustration over the past couple of months and I just need a pressure release. Will you let me do it?
As you may be aware I have started a varsity football program at a local Christian High School. Although I vowed to myself that I would never return to prowling the sidelines when I walked away from public education in 2000, the opportunity to train young males to be men was something I could not, in good conscience, run from.
Not all males are men. I hope you understand that. Especially convincing is the evidence I have garnered recently that Christian males in particular are the least manly.
It is cultural, I guess. Someone, somewhere, determined that trading the old man for the new man meant losing your backbone. Heck, you can't even pass gas at a "men's fellowship" without being looked at as if you had just pee-peed on the Decalogue. Pastors are the worst. Any whiff of "Christian testosterone" sends them to their Joyce Meyer collection of sermons in an attempt to "soften" your rough edges.
Well, not for me. My new birth made me more manly, more courageous, and more willing to live life on the edge. I like guys with rough edges. In fact, I'd rather hang out with some of my "lost" buddies than some of the sissified males I meet in Christian circles. I even said "damn it" once when I was golfing. And that was after I was saved. It's like one acquaintance opined after playing a round of golf with me. He knew my "reputation" but had never had the opportunity to spend any time with me.
"I gotta tell you Coach, I really enjoyed playing with you. I hope you don't take this wrong, but you are not like most Christian guys I know. You're more...normal...I guess is the word. So many guys I know who go to church seem phony...too sweet for me, if you know what I mean. I could see myself hangin' out with you more often."
"Come on, Tim," I barked back. "I'm just like Jesus. Jesus was studly. I got something to die for now. How many guys do you know who can say that?"
His look of bewilderment spoke volumes. "So Dude...Coach...where do you go to church?"
Back to my venting. Our football team is driving me nuts. They are great young men, obedient and mannerly, the kind of kid you could trust with your daughter. But as my own high school football coach often said they need a little "piss and vinegar." They take the "turn the other cheek" attitude with them onto the field. Our Christian-culture has taught them that being "gracious in defeat" is Christ-like. I tell them being "gracious in victory" is more fun.
Maybe it is just me. I want them to be MEN. Our Christian-culture teaches them to be doormats. In Sunday school they are taught to be kind. I want them to be valiant!
Needless to say, I am swimming upstream on this one. All day long they are taught in school to "act like Christians." That is the problem, I tell them. Stop ACTING like a Christian and start BEING one.
But we don't even know what that means. WWJL...What Was Jesus Like? I promise you this. He was all MAN. He confronted evil, challenged the status quo, upset some apple-carts, and spoke what was on His mind. He was the original "Braveheart."
Come on now. Look around at the Christian role models our young men have to look up to. Most don't even look like men. What is the word that pop culture has given us...metrosexuals...? Modern Christian men are the ultimate metrosexuals.
What is a metrosexual? According to the Urban Dictionary it is a guy who uses mousse on his hair, cream on his skin, wears jewelry, and designer clothes? (Hey Honey...where are my boots and bibs?) Look at the Pastor your son sees every Sunday. Does he ooze testosterone or progesterone? Is he someone who appears to be steadfast and unmovable or someone who is more compromising and nice?
It matters, you know. What a young man thinks a Christian man looks like, matters. I was raising-Cain with our players last week and I told them "You guys make me want to cuss! The Bible says to be angry and sin not. I want you to know that I am angry enough to cuss...but I'm not going to. You guys would do well to get a little ticked off yourselves."
But, I suppose Christian men aren't permitted to get mad anymore. It's not very Christ-like.
(I'm gonna keep riding this stallion a bit farther.) Look at the "Christian-school your child attends. How many women are doing the teaching? How many women know how it feels to be a man...especially a young one? Who do the young men answer to? You got it...women. Who teaches them about Christianity? Bingo...women. Just where is it our young guys go to learn how to be a man?
Can I use myself as an example? I have always been the aggressive type. Arriving fourth out of five children, being small (5'7") in stature (I was called Baby Dave by my cousins until I was 10), and a natural whipping boy for my older brothers and their friends, I learned early to stand up and fight back. It was that "spunky" attitude that enabled me to be a three sport star in high school, earn varsity letters in football, basketball, and baseball at Otterbein College, and lead the fraternity in weekend drinking binges. "Daubie" was the life of the party...the original "wild and crazy guy."
In 1987, at the age of 35, I met Jesus. Raised in church as a child, forced by my mother to watch Billy Graham crusades on television, I was religious enough to know right from wrong. Nothing more than a religious pagan, I ran to the altar with fear and trembling when the Gospel was clearly, and uncompromisingly, articulated to me. From that day forward my life has never been the same. Jesus did for me what a phone booth did for Clark Kent; changed me into a brand new man.
Overnight, I had gone from serving the King of Beers to serving the King of Kings and for the next 10 years "men of God" tried to turn me into a sissy... to domesticate me...to conform me to their image of what a "Christian man" should be. Until the ACLU came knocking at my door.
I thank God for the ACLU...they dynamited my sissy hind-end out of the pew. I've been on a devil-hunt ever since.
I grew up on John Wayne and Combat, Have-Gun Will-Travel and Paladin. Who can ever forget Matt Dillon and Gunsmoke, Hoss Cartwright and Bonanza, Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry, and Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels in The Lone Ranger?
Has there ever been a greater line than the one uttered by Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke, "Calling it your job don't make it right."
When I was a young boy the good guys were men, they loved women, and they defended the weak. Today, our leaders "come to consensus," "reach across the aisle," and are "open-minded." Well, not me. I'm closed minded and proud of it. I know what I believe and not afraid to defend it. The prissy-pastors don't know what to do with me.
I wonder, was Jesus open-minded? Did He preach a message of "consensus building?" Did He use mousse, face cream, and wear designer jeans?"
I was reading this week (Matt 16) where folks had trouble differentiating between Jesus and John the Baptist...they were cousins, you know. The establishment wanted nothing to do with The Baptist...he wasn't polished enough....locusts, camel hair, wild honey...wasn't in vogue, if you know what I mean.
Jesus flipped over tables, John's mouth cost him his head. Their paths took them down the same road.
Jesus wasn't relevant to the world; He overcame it. "Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist."
Keep your mousse and jewelry and pass me the locusts and the wild-honey.
Jesus was no sissy. It's time we stopped representing him as one.
Water On The Moon: LCROSS Kicks Ice!
By Brian McLaughlin
November 14, 2009
Image From NASA/LCROSS
Is there water on the Moon? The NASA LCROSS mission has determined the answer to be a resounding YES! GeekDad has covered the LCROSS mission with an article prior to the LCROSS launch by Lonnie Morgan, a pair of articles on viewing what was hoped to be a visible plume from the impact by Dana Bostic and myself, and finally a follow-up to the impact about the process of data analysis and waiting for results. If you have missed all the coverage, the LCROSS mission impacted a spent Centaur booster into the Moon and captured data from the impact plume with the goal of finding deposits of frozen water. Today, the LCROSS team released their preliminary findings:
The argument that the moon is a dry, desolate place no longer holds water.
Secrets the moon has been holding, for perhaps billions of years, are now being revealed to the delight of scientists and space enthusiasts alike.
NASA today opened a new chapter in our understanding of the moon. Preliminary data from the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, indicates that the mission successfully uncovered water during the Oct. 9, 2009 impacts into the permanently shadowed region of Cabeus c[r]ater near the moon's south pole.
Congratulations to the entire LCROSS team!
In Science & Technology
Low Vitamin D Levels Linked To Proliferation of H1N1
Prevent Disease - November 16, 2009
According to a recent study, as many as 77 percent of all Americans may be deficient in the vitamin essential for bone health and which may prevent H1N1 (Swine Flu) and seasonal flu, wheezing, winter-related eczema, upper respiratory infections and may help prevent cancer, autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, certain infectious diseases, myocardial infarctions - heart attacks - and many other serious diseases.
When subgroups of the population are considered, depending on which of the many reasonable definitions of deficiency are accepted, the picture is even more ominous. For example, an important new study from Children's Hospital in Boston found that as many as 80 percent of Hispanic children and 92 percent of black children, what the study calls non-Hispanic black children, may also be deficient in this vitamin.
We're talking about vitamin D, also called the sunshine vitamin and often considered the nutrient of the year, if not the decade. Its power as a determinant of human health can be captured by what happens when someone is D deficient. They are at risk for what is called rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
In its most extreme form, the bones soften and almost melt, making them so fragile that the simple act of walking up steps may cause bones to fracture and slight movement may cause excruciating pain. In its most severe form, a blood test for vitamin D may show zero. Dr. Fred Kaplan, an eminent orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, whose patient had zero D, said this is rare even in Third World countries.
Why, in the land of plenty and, now, also in the land of over-consumption, overweight and obesity, can there be an epidemic of a vitamin D deficiency or any other nutrient? The reasons may not be fully understood, but the picture is still clear: Over time, we have obtained most of our vitamin D from the sun. When ultraviolet B rays hit the skin they cause the formation of vitamin D. But, in an age of sunscreens and well-placed fear of skin cancer, we tend to either stay out of the sun or use a sunscreen to shield us from its rays, including the ultraviolet B ray.
Even if you stayed in the sun all day in some locations, you would not get enough vitamin D. For example, north of Philadelphia, between November and March, the suns rays are not strong enough to precipitate the formation of vitamin D. And, during early morning and late afternoon, the sun's rays are not strong enough to generate vitamin D. That's a big part of the picture, as authorities find that exposure to the sun is the main determinant of vitamin D in humans. This leads us to the next source of vitamin D -- our food. Some dairy products, such as milk, are fortified with vitamin D, but we tend to avoid dairy products due to their cholesterol and saturated fat content. Other sources are fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, and herring. Still other sources are fortified cereal and other foods such as orange juice, now, often fortified both with vitamin D and calcium. But, most people don't eat enough of these foods to get enough vitamin D. So, that leaves supplementation with multi-vitamins that include D, combination calcium and vitamin D pills, or vitamin D stand-alones.
There may be another reason for the epidemic - the epidemic of the overweight and obese, who cannot process vitamin D efficiently and are, consequently, more likely to be vitamin D deficient. One final reason for identifying the epidemic is better testing methods for vitamin D. There is a simple blood test now used to determine vitamin D status.
Still another reason for the D epidemic is the aging of the population, as older people -- even the middle-aged -- are more likely to have D deficiency.
There are other risk factors for a D deficiency, but they probably don't play a big role in the growing number of people with that deficiency. Consumer Reports catalogued the following risk factors: "Being dark-skinned, middle-aged, or overweight; having a history of gastric-bypass surgery or a condition that interferes with the ability to absorb nutrients from food, such as celiac disease; having a history of kidney or liver disease, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, or thyroid problems; taking medications that reduce blood levels of vitamin D, such as cholestyralmine (Questran and generic), colestripel (Colestid and generic), certain anticonvulsants; or orlistat (Alli, Xenical)" (Consumer Reports on Health, Nov. 2009).
From The Times
Obesity in America linked to 'liquid Satan' from Iowa corn fields
November 14, 2009
The link has not been proven, but the theory is compelling. It suggests that America is doomed to lead the world's obesity rankings as long as the process by which it elects its presidents starts in Iowa -- a state known for its cornfields and corn subsidies.
With a minimum price of $1.90 per bushel of corn guaranteed by the 2007 Farm Bill, activists say that the crop is a guaranteed winner for the farmers of the Midwest -- and one of the results is something called super-abundant high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
Known to its detractors as "liquid Satan", HFCS is the sweetener of choice in the vast bulk of fizzy drinks and packaged cakes and biscuits consumed in the US. Its producers have long enjoyed the solid support of the US Senate and most presidential candidates, who gravitate every four years to Iowa to pledge their allegiance to its voters. "Farm subsidies are a third rail of Iowa politics," a former staffer on Senator John Edwards's presidential campaign said yesterday. "You don't touch them."
President Obama certainly didn't. As an Illinois Senator and presidential candidate, he consistently backed corn subsidies, on the grounds that they promoted the production of corn-based ethanol and thereby enhanced US energy security.
The 2007 Farm Bill conferred more than $2 billion on Iowa in corn subsidies for 2007 to 2012 -- nearly 80 per cent of the state's subsidies for all crops for the period. Americans' consumption of corn on the cob has not risen markedly as a result, but their intake of HFCS has been climbing for decades, from 0.6lb per person per year in 1970 to 73.5lb in 2007.
It is sugars that make people put on weight, the paediatrician James Bailes insists. "I used to tell people to eat less fat and exercise more -- and none of them lost weight," he said. "It's the carbohydrates, the sugary drinks, that do the damage."
Remote-Controlled Nanocomposite Invented for Drug Delivery inside Body
Fars News Agency -
November 17, 2009
Researchers managed to develop drug delivery techniques with 'on-off switches' that would allow controlled release of drugs into the body by combining magnetism with nanotechnology.
Researchers created a small implantable device that encapsulates the drug in a specially engineered membrane, embedded with magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles.
These methods use stimuli such as an implanted heat source or an implanted electronic chip to trigger the drug release from the implanted reservoir. So far, none of these methods can reliably perform all the needed actions: repeatedly turn dosing on and off, deliver consistent doses, and adjust doses according to each patient's need.
Quite a number of serious medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes and chronic pain, require medications that cannot be taken orally, but must be dosed intermittently, on an as-needed basis, and over a long period of time.
The application of an external, alternating magnetic field heats the magnetic nanoparticles, causing the gels in the membrane to warm and temporarily collapse. This collapse opens up pores that allow the drug to pass through and into the body. When the magnetic field is turned off, the membranes cool and the gels re-expand, closing the pores and halting drug delivery. No implanted electronics are required.
"We have developed an implantable system that can provide on-demand, reproducible drug release whenever the patient - or other operator - wants, for as long as needed, and with the intensity that is desired, using a trigger that is external to the body - in this case an oscillating magnetic field," Daniel Kohane told Nanowerk Spotlight Journal.
"Most of the previously designed systems could only result in a single release event, or involved implanted triggering systems, or connectors to the outside world," he added.
Kohane, an associate professor of anesthesiology at Harvard Medical School and a senior associate in critical care medicine at Children's Hospital Boston, and his team have reported their findings in a recent issue of Nano Letters ("A Magnetically Triggered Composite Membrane for On-Demand Drug Delivery").
Microchiping included in Healthcare Bill?
November 13, 2009
Buried deep within the over 1,000 pages of the massive US Health Care Bill (PDF) in a "non-discussed" section titled: Subtitle C-11 Sec. 2521-- National Medical Device Registry, and which states its purpose as:
"The Secretary shall establish a national medical device registry (in this subsection referred to as the 'registry') to facilitate analysis of postmarket safety and outcomes data on each device that--''(A) is or has been used in or on a patient; and ''(B) is a class III device; or ''(ii) a class II device that is implantable."
In "real world speak", according to this report, this new law, when fully implemented, provides the framework for making the United States the first Nation in the World to require each and every one of its citizens to have implanted in them a radio-frequency identification (RFID) microchip for the purpose of controlling who is, or isn't, allowed medical care in their country.
The Flu Case
WHO publishes plans to take over the whole of society in pandemic emergency
WHO has just released its "Whole of Society Pandemic readiness guidelines" first prepared in April 2009, the same month the swine flu virus mysteriously appeared in Mexico City, and revised in July 2009.
The plan outlines how WHO will take over a country's essential services, including water and sanitation; fuel and energy; food; health care; telecommunications; finance; law and order; education; and transportation under the pretext of a pandemic emergency.
WHO claims even a moderate flu "pandemic" will "test the limits of resilience of nations, companies, and communities, depending on their capacity to respond" and require WHO to assume charge of government functions.
"National inter-ministerial pandemic preparedness committees should map out the central government's roles, responsibilities, and chain of command and designate lead agencies," says WHO, omitting to mention these committees answer to the UN health body.
WHO says the Ministries of Defence should consider what military assets should be brought to bear in the event of a pandemic and how to mobilize them, preparing for the use of the army to force quarantine and vaccinate people - perhaps after WHO has once more given a live bird flu virus to pharma companies to contaminate vaccine material as happened in Austria in February when Baxter nearly triggered a global pandemic.
Baxter executives sit on WHO's key vaccine advisory board which recommended the toxic and untested swine flu jab for the world in the response to a flu milder than the seasonal one..
"Public health measures, such as quarantines and school and business closures
might place serious burdens on society and individual liberties, especially if they are
implemented on a wide scale. Governments should carefully weigh the risks and benefits of far-reaching restrictions on movement and implement these measures in a way that respects individual rights," says WHO.
However, WHO also says: "Ministries of Justice should consider what legal processes could be suspended during the pandemic and make alternative plans to operate courts during pandemic."
In France, leaked documents show that the Minister of Justice has ordered the suspension of the most basic rights, and people can be incarcerated for up to six months without having to appear before a judge in a pandemic emergency.
In addition, drills and exercises of the kind conducted by WHO in the Ukraine a month before the pneumonic plague appeared there are envisaged.
"6.5 Table-top and simulation exercises and drills at all levels are the best way to test,
validate, and improve pandemic preparedness plans. Tools developed by WHO or
international organizations and adapted to local circumstances may be useful for a quick
review to identify gaps during the pandemic response mode."
Croatian Priest Says Vaccine for Destruction of Humanity Worldwide
November 15, 2009
Controversy in Croatia after famous Croatian priest Miroslav Bustruk appealed to Croatians not to get vaccinated against the Swine flu vaccine.
In a church ceremony dedicated to St Martin, father's Bustruk statement caused an avalanche of reactions in Croatia.
What is it that he said?
"I appeal to you, to not get vaccinated for the so called Swine Flu under any circumstance. There is a plan for massive destruction of humanity worldwide. For this purpose we will see new diseases springing up everywhere" reports Croatian daily "Jutarnji List", quoting father Bustruk.
"The H1N1 vaccine itself is a very sophisticated weapon whose implanted microchip will control the health of the human being" added the Croatian priest which prompted a great deal of disagreement by Croatian officials.
In defense of his colleague stood Don Jure Zubovik who said father Bustruk's statement only defended the Church, adding - "certain people who have spoken out or warned against the vaccine are already in jail".
More will be known in few weeks when the Vatican is expted to issue a press release addressing all World's Governments.
Fears that a deadly virus could spread west from Ukraine
Sunday November 15,2009
By Greg Miskiw
A DEADLY plague could sweep across Europe, doctors fear, after an outbreak of a virus in Ukraine plunged the country and its neighbours into a state of panic.
A cocktail of three flu viruses are reported to have mutated into a single pneumonic plague, which it is believed may be far more dangerous than swine flu. The death toll has reached 189 and more than 1 million people have been infected, most of them in the nine regions of Western Ukraine.
President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko has called in the World Health Organisation and a team of nine specialists are carrying out tests in Kiev and Lviv to identify the virus. Samples have been sent to London for analysis.
President Yushchenko said: "People are dying. The epidemic is killing doctors. This is absolutely inconceivable in the 21st Century."
In a TV interview, the President added: "Unlike similar epidemics in other countries, three causes of serious viral infections came together simultaneously in Ukraine - two seasonal flus and the Californian flu
"Virologists conclude that this combination of infections may produce an even more aggressive new virus as a result of mutation."
Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has been touring hospitals where victims are being treated and presidential elections in January could be cancelled .
Four men and one woman have died from the flu in Lviv, said emergency hospital chief doctor Myron Borysevych. Two of the dead patients were in the 22-35 age group, with two others over 60.
He diagnosed the disease as viral pneumonia.
"We have sent the analyses to Kiev. We don't believe it's H1N1 swine flu. Neither do we know what kind of pneumonia it is."
Universities, schools and kindergartens have been closed, public meetings have been banned and theatres shut. Last week several border crossings in the country were also closed.
Last night reports emerged of profiteering over face masks, which have sold out since the outbreak.
There are also incidents of anti-virus medication being sold for exorbitant prices. A spokesman for the World Health Organisation said: "We do not have a time scale for the results of the tests in London, although some preliminary results have been obtained. I cannot tell you what they are.
"We did not have enough of the virus samples so we will have to grow some more before we can come to a conclusive decision about its nature."
Neighbouring Poland has called on the EU to take action, fearing the mystery virus may spread westwards.
Prime Minister Donald Tusk has written to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and the Swedish Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, who holds the EU presidency, saying: "The character of this threat demands that rapid action be undertaken at the European Union level."
Russia, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Romania, countries that border Ukraine, have already launched health checks on Ukrainians entering their territory.
Slovakia has closed two of five border crossings.
A doctor in Western Ukraine who did not want to be named, said:" We have carried out post mortems on two victims and found their lungs are as black as charcoal.
"They look like they have been burned. It's terrifying."
The real rolling stones: Mystery of Death Valley's gliding rocks
By Mail Foreign Service -
18th November 2009
These extraordinary pictures reveal a bizarre event that is puzzling the science world - rocks that glide across the desert.
Amid the eerie silence and the 50C heat of California's Death Valley these giant boulders appear to move smoothly - and unaided - across the desert.
The rocks, some as heavy as 17 stone, edge along in bizarre, straight-line patterns across the ultra-flat surface of the valley. They can travel more than 350 yards a year.
Er... how did that get there?
One of the extraordinary moving rocks leaves a track through Death Valley
Scientists believe the phenomenon is caused by a coming together of specific weather conditions.
Studies suggest a combination of 90mph winds, ice formations at night and thin layers of wet clay on the surface of the desert all help to push them along.
Photographer Mike Byrne, 40, has spent years documenting the stones' mysterious movements.
As his amazing pictures show these real-life rolling stones leave trails across the sand in places almost untouched by man.
He said: 'Some of these rocks are as heavy as a person, it is really is strange to imagine them gliding across the desert like this.
'They must be the original real-life rolling stones, they just keep moving through the sand and I don't believe anyone has really 100 per cent worked it out yet.
Rock on: More of the boulders and the eerie paths they leave across the Valley
'Most of the stones are found on an old lake bed, known as the Racetrack Playa, where the ground is particularly flat.
'It has been documented over the years and it is something very special to witness, although I know climatologists believe the phenomenon could disappear in a few years as the temps continue to rise.
'One of the strongest theories about what the rocks move is that water rising from beneath the surface of the sand is pushed by the wind creating a surface the rocks can move along.'
Death Valley is the lowest point in the U.S., at 282ft below sea level.
It is almost completely flat and holds the record for the second highest temperature ever recorded on earth, a blistering 58C.
In the 1990s a study by a team of scientists lead by Professor John Reid, from Hampshire College, Massachusetts, attempted to explain the rocks' movement.
His study concluded that the rocks may be moved when they become embedded in sheets of ice forming at night on the surface of the sand.
As the sand melts Prof Reid said that the rocks were moved along by the ice and wind, thus forming the patterns.
Why You Need to Fail
Peter Bregman, HarvardBusiness, July 6, 2009
"Peter, I'd like you to stay for a minute after class." Calvin teaches my favorite body conditioning class at the gym.
"What'd I do?" I asked him.
"It's what you didn't do."
"What didn't I do?"
"You kept me after class for not failing?"
"This," he began to mimic my casual weight lifting style, using weights that were obviously too light, "is not going to get you anywhere. A muscle only grows if you work it till it fails. You need to use more challenging weights. You need to fail."
Calvin's onto something.
Every time I ask a room of executives to list the top five moments their career took a leap forward--not just a step, but a leap--failure is always on the list. For some it was the loss of a job. For others it was a project gone bad. And for others still it was the failure of a larger system, like an economic downturn, that required them to step up.
Yet most of us spend a tremendous effort trying to avoid even the possibility of failure.
According to Dr. Carol Dweck, professor at Stanford University, we have a mindset problem.
Dweck has done a tremendous amount of research to understand what makes someone give up in the face of adversity versus strive to overcome it.
It turns out the answer is deceptively simple. It's all in your head. If you believe that your talents are inborn or fixed, then you will try to avoid failure at all costs because failure is proof of your limitation. People with a fixed mindset like to solve the same problems over and over again. It reinforces their sense of competence.
Children with fixed mindsets would rather redo an easy jigsaw puzzle than try a harder one.
Students with fixed mindsets would rather not learn new languages. CEOs with fixed mindsets will surround themselves with people who agree with them. They feel smart when they get it right.
But if you believe your talent grows with persistence and effort, then you seek failure as an opportunity to improve. People with a growth mindset feel smart when they're learning, not when they're flawless.
Michael Jordan, arguably the world's best basketball player, has a growth mindset. Most successful people do. In high school he was cut from the basketball team but that obviously didn't discourage him: "I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career, I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
If you have a growth mindset, then you use your failures to improve. If you have a fixed mindset, you may never fail, but neither do you learn or grow. In business, we have to be discriminating about when we choose to challenge ourselves. In high risk, high leverage situations, it's better to stay within your current capability. In lower risk situations, where the consequences of failure are less, better to push the envelope. The important point is to know that pushing the envelope, that failing, is how you learn and grow and succeed. It's your opportunity.
Here's the good news: you can change your success by changing your mindset. When Dweck trained children to view themselves as capable of growing their intelligence, they worked harder, more persistently, and with greater success on math problems they had previously abandoned as unsolvable.
A growth mindset is the secret to maximizing potential. Want to grow your staff? Give them tasks above their ability. They don't think they could do it? Tell them you expect them to work at it for a while, struggle with it. That it will take more time than the tasks they're used to doing. That you expect they'll make some mistakes along the way. But you know they could do it.
Want to increase your own performance? Set high goals where you have a 50-70% chance of success. According to Psychologist and Harvard researcher the late David McClelland, that's the sweet spot for high achievers. Then, when you fail half the time, figure out what you should do differently and try again. That's practice. And according to recent studies, 10,000 hours of that kind of practice will make you an expert in anything. No matter where you start.
The next class I did with Calvin, I doubled the weight I was using. Yeah, that's right. Unfortunately, that gave me tendonitis in my elbow, which I'm nursing with rest and ice. Sometimes you can even fail when you're trying to fail.
Hey, I'm learning.
How do we make sure we are able to discern the truth? We need to not reject it when we are confronted with it, no matter how unusual it may seem, or how it may conflict with previous ideas or plans.
And of course make sure we have received Jesus and His Holy Spirit which the Bible says of her in Proverbs, chapter eight: "Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths. She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors. Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man. O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart. Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things. For my mouth shall speak truth."
Once again we invite you to write us with any comments or suggestions you may have, or to contact one of our Christian mystics, should you have a need regarding any question or problem you may be experiencing.
Until next week...
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."