Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Arches Half a World Apart

The Arch - St. Louis, MO 

This is the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.  It was built as a monument to the westward expansion of the United States. It stands 630 feet tall and cost  $13 million dollars to build in 1965, in today’s dollars that would be about $97 million.

Today another arch is being built in Chernobyl, Ukraine. It won’t be a monument to westward expansion but rather and hopefully a containment structure for the radioactive dust left over from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in April 1986.

The cost for this project is estimated to be $1.5 billion, largely financed by the United States and thirty other nations. Oh, yes, the United States – I mean you have heard about this, right?

There is a great story in the New York Times about this Chernobyl Arch. It is an interesting read and has some great accompanying photos.

The article explains a little on how Chernobyl was different from the other nuclear disasters: Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania in 1979 and Fukushima in 2011. In the case of Chernobyl the reactors literally exploded, spewing radioactive material into the atmosphere.

Now almost thirty years later work is still being attempted to get a handle of this. The problem is no one knows exactly what to do, but they try. They experiment with this and with that. People put their lives at risk to help and time passes and then years go by, but still they try.

Take a look at the article it is interesting and you won’t find in on the nightly news. It just doesn’t have that “wow” factor that other news stories have these days.

Here is an excerpt:

"During the accident, the heat was so intense that the fuel liquefied, melting concrete and other materials it came in contact with in the rubble of the explosion. The highly radioactive mixture — often resembling volcanic lava — poured through ducts and other openings into a warren of spaces below the reactor, hardening as it cooled. In some places the material resembles waterfalls frozen in place."

The Arch - Chernobyl, Ukraine

Monday, April 28, 2014

Puppy or Child? So hard to choose.

While Congress battles and the economy lags the children in America continue to suffer. In December of 2013 the number of homeless children in the United States set a new record high. There were 1.2 million public school children homeless, a 72% increase since the last recession.

I guess most of us live were we don't have to encounter children living in cardboard boxes and eating food from trash cans. We are the fortunate ones. If you don't see it, it doesn't exist.

Every time I see a plea that shows those forlorn little dogs with the Adopt Me message my first reaction is to think of children like this little girl pictured here. It sometimes is such a toss up. Both are cute and helpless. They even share extreme abuse.

Puppies get kicked and doused with gasoline and little children get punched and some are used as a place to stub out a cigarette. Treatment like this whether on animals or children is unacceptable. 

I don't know how people can sit back and do nothing when we have hurting Americans on our streets. Not government's job to help out you say? Fine, then who's job is it, yours and mine? Maybe we should act the advocate to help this little girl pictured here and that little boy over there huddled on the curb.

But if we aren't willing to step up and provide a home, a temporary shelter for the homeless then who will do it?

Here is a link if you would like more information http://nationalhomeless.org on how you can begin to help.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Tale of Two Companies

Once upon a time in a land far away there existed  greedy corporations. They lost their sense of ethics and forgot about social responsibility.

A sigh was heard throughout the land and then in a silent hush the Earth quietly died.

And so once again the story is repeated over and over and over again. What was that song?.....when will we ever learn.....

Forced to evacuate their village three years ago after the Fukushima disaster this story tells of the Miyakoji villagers who now are reluctant to return to their homes. They don't believe what the corrupted corporations say, they are afraid.
“The government and the media say the radiation has been cleaned up, but it’s all lies,” said Ms. Kim.
And so we see a repeat from the corporations who reap enormous profits, toss out a pittance to those injured and move on. And we, well we forget all too soon and most get on with our lives and continue run through the shrinking daisy fields.

I watch from a nearby perch and wait for the sound - that last deep sign before the end. 

Friday, April 18, 2014


PLUTONIUM, named after the Greek god of hell, is one of the most dangerous substances on earth and is produced by fission. It is extremely toxic and carcinogenic if inhaled - even a tiny amount can cause lung cancer and it moves from the lungs through the blood to other organs. It enters lymph glands via white blood cells and can mutate regulatory genes causing lymphoma or leukemia. An iron analog, it enters bone marrow and hemoglobin in red blood cells. It irradiates bone cells causing bone cancer and white blood cells in bone marrow causing leukemia. It is stored in the liver, causing liver cancer, and crosses the placenta into a developing embryo. Plutonium is also stored in the testicles, adjacent to spermatocytes, causing mutations in reproductive genes, increasing genetic diseases in future generations, and causing testicular cancer in men. Pu-239’s half life is 24,000 years, remaining radioactive for about 240,000 years. ~ Read more at http://www.matrr.org  Source: Mothers Against Tennessee River Radiation 

Check out http://www.makeradiationvisible.org and read what they have to say. I think it is an important next step to make radiation visible. More and more we are finding links to what this is doing to our environment and to our people. Help to make it a more level playing field.

On April 26th it will be the 28th anniversary of Chernobyl. It's been over three years since Fukushima - have we learned anything?

Maybe, maybe not. Paul Kingsnorth and the Dark Mountain Project  is a lengthy and interesting read on this man's lifetime quest for change.

News that apparently isn't news the radiation leaks in New Mexico - now back to you CNN and your Breaking News.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

In a Lone Pine state of mind

Michale Leibow - Spark 2014.  Owen’s Lake, Lone Pine, CA

I just finished reading this NY Times article  A Rationalist's Mystical Moment. It triggered off remembrances of my own “Lone Pine state(s) of mind” – some were consciously sought out and other times just happened without warning. Let me add none were drug induced as far as I know, though there is no accounting for what goes into our water these days.

I think my mind is very open to suggestion when I allow it to be. My first conscious experience of being receptive to outside manipulation was when I was around sixth grade age or so.

I was attending a weekend church camp with school chums. It was on the second evening when the prayer meeting was going full force and the leader was appealing to the lost souls amongst the group to receive the spirit of God.

Without any forethought I found myself leaping to my feet, hands raised high overhead and lips muttering “praise God” – all of this to the delight of the believers within the group.

Had I found Jesus or maybe more correctly had Jesus found me? Right there in my Lone Pine state of mind. I doubt that was the case, more than likely I was experiencing an over-receptive mind moment and a tinge of mass hysteria.

Another time in my life, this time as an adult, I grew curious about this group of evangelists that were based in my home county but whose tentacles reached far and wide across the globe.

It was Trinity Broadcast Network under the leadership of Paul Crouch and his very tearful wife. I would watch their broadcasts, even going as far as to attend one broadcast in person at their studio near where I lived.

I would kneel on the floor in front of the television and will myself to join with their spiritual minds. Other times I would get quiet and open my mind to receive whatever was out there. On several occasions I found myself “speaking in tongues” – or so I thought. Babbling incoherently was probably more accurate.

And yet another time when I was in college taking a Behavioral Science class, the class attended a weekend retreat. As a group we spent all of our waking hours together, being prepped and manipulated unknowingly by our two professors to bond as a group. That unit became one and we as individuals ceased to be.

The class numbered twenty-four in all and only one person refused to become a part of this melded group. I remember her stepping back outside of the circle and not joining in.

There was no pressure to make her do otherwise and we were all free to not participate. It was an interesting phenomenon that the majority just always wanted to belong.

It took such a short period of time to make this cohesive group when you have willing participants. I watch television shows today like The Following and shutter a bit how easily this can be accomplished.

But our little class experiment had an abrupt turn. After the intensive bonding of the group over the weekend session and when our first regular class session was held the professors quickly put us in to a competitive one on one situation.

It felt like the tides turning inside our bodies, pulling and tugging in different directions all at the same time. It was very unsettling to suddenly compete against those we had bonded with so closely.

Other odd experience was what I call “hovering” ~ being not on the earth but slightly above it, seeing and hearing everything in a kind of detached sort of way. This experience could happen under any circumstance. But it has not happened in years.

Perhaps it was a hormonal thing. Or just maybe it is because I have moved farther away from Lone Pine.