Friday, November 20, 2009

Defending our Oceans

Do you know what is happening to your ocean beyond the beach? Oceans cover about 70% of the Earth's surface. The Ocean's contain roughly 97% of Earth's water supply. The Ocean's of Earth are unique in our Solar System, no other planet has liquid water, life on earth originated in the seas and the Oceans continue to be home to an incredibly diverse web of life. A staggering 80% of all life on Earth is to be found hidden beneath the waves and the vast global ocean pulses around our world driving the natural forces which maintain life on our planet.

The ocean's of Earth serve many functions, especially affecting the weather and temperature. They moderate the Earth's temperature by absorbing incoming Solar radiation (stored as heat energy). The always moving ocean currents distribute this heat energy around the globe. This heats the land and air during winter and cools the land in summer.

The oceans provide vital sources of protein, energy, minerals and other products of use the world over and the rolling of the seas across the planet creates over half our oxygen, drives weather systems and natural flows of energy and nutrients around the world, transports water masses many times greater than all the rivers on land combined and keeps the Earth habitable. Without the global ocean there would be no life on Earth. It is gravely worrying, then, that we are damaging the oceans on a scale that is unimaginable to most people.

We now know that human activity can have serious impacts on the vital forces governing our planet. We have fundamentally changed the global climate and are just beginning to understand the consequences of that, but just as serious, are the impacts on our oceans, the actual state of our oceans is a far cry from the natural norm. We need to defend the oceans now more than ever, because the oceans need all the resilience they can muster in the face of climate change and the potentially disasterous impacts this is already beginning to produce in the marine world.

The key threats to the ocean are; Cigarettes and cigarette filters, food wrappers and containers, caps and lids, bags, beverage bottles, cups, plates, forks, knives and spoons, beverage bottles (glass & plastic), cigar tips, straws, stirrers and beverage cans. There are so many more, oil spill accidents, domestic sewage, industrial discharges, urban and industrial run off, sea dumping, I could go on and on, but I am sure you have read of them all. Plastic waste kills many marine animals when they mistake plastic for food, to humans, these are items of comfort, if not necessity, but to marine animals, they can be a floating mine field.

The Earth's oceans are all connected to one another. Until year 2000, there were four recognized oceans, the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Arctic. In 2000, the International Hydro graphic Organization delimited a new ocean, the Southern Ocean (it surrounds Antarctic and extends to 60 degrees latitude. There are also many seas (smaller branches of an Ocean); seas are often partly enclosed by land. The largest seas are the South China Sea, the Caribbean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

Take a walk along any beach anywhere in the world and washed ashore will be many plastic bags, bottles and containers and many other harmful items that are a danger to marine animals. This is so true, I have walked our beach (Lake Michigan) and have seen this and plastic too far out in the water to reach. When people leave our beach they leave so much garbage (even though the Park provides garbage cans, right on the beach for use). The wind blows all the loose stuff toward the water, I try to retrieve as much as I can and I am sure you do also, I feel so helpless about this situation.

It is important that we address the issues that affect the Ocean, 90% of sea creatures live in the sunlight zone, which is the zone most affected by global warming and oil pollution. We must stop these problems because if we don't, we will hurt and maybe even kill our sea life. Don't pollute the Ocean, Seas, Lakes , Rivers and streams, help preserve our eco-system. The more we recycle the less waste and debris will end up in these beautiful waters. I am sorry, I can't help myself, I wanted to get all this in, it is so important, and there is so much literature on Google about this, this is where I retrieved my information, thanks for listening my friends.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gone For A Few Day

I am going to my sisters for a few days and when I come back I have a new post. I am sorry that there is some time between my posts, some weeks it seems like time flys by and I did not post. I know some of you post every day and I envy you, see you next week, have a good day my friend's.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday the 13th Phobia?

Henry Ford would of hated 2009, and not just because it's been a tough year to sell cars. Ford as the story goes, refussed to do business on Friday the 13th, and this week marks the third time this year that the 13th will fall on a Friday, the most times it can happen in one year.

It's a day when people rearrange travel plans, delay surgery or just pull up the covers and stay in bed until its Saturday the 14th, convinced that even stepping out of the house would cause bad luck. They are afraid something tragic or ominous might happen. The phobia around the 13th is a cousin to triskaidekaphobia, the fear of number 13

The supposedly unlucky number, is the reason behind the explosion of Apollo 13, which took off at exactly 1:13 p.m. (1313 military time) on 4/11/70 (digits that add up to 13, naturally. It's the number that prompted FDR to alter his own travel plans on any day of the week that landed on th 13th, in a final act FDR died in 1945 on April 12, Thursday, day before the 13th. The origins of all the fear of the number 13 and Friday the 13th are open for debate.

Some say it has to do with a particular Friday the 13th in the 1300s, when some particular unlucky knights were burned at the stake. It may have something to do with Jesus Christ, who was crucified on a Friday after a Last Supper attended by 13 people one of whom was Judas Iscariot.
By Don Babwin====Associated Press Writer

My lucky number is 13, I am not affraid of anything associated with this number. I do feel for those that have any phobia associated with this number when it falls on a Friday.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day Tribute

When America had an urgent need, these brave ones raised a hand;
No hesitation held them back; they were proud to take a stand.
They left their friends and family; they gave up normal life;
To serve their country and their God, they plowed into the strife.
They fought for freedom and for peace on strange and foreign shores;
Some lost new friends; some lost their lives, in long and brutal wars.
Other veterans answered a call to support the ones who fought;
Their country had requirements for the essential skills they brought.
We salute each and every one of them, the noble and the brave,
The ones still with us here today, and those who rest in a grave.
So here's to our country's hero's, they're a cut above the rest;
Let's give the honor that is due to our country's very best.
By Joanna Fuchs

This is to honor those that gave their lives, defending what we hold near and dear. They gave their all to put danger far behind us, some made the ultimate sacrifice, we admire and respect them all. GOD BLESS AMERICA

Saturday, November 7, 2009

How The Great Lakes Were Formed

Have you ever looked at a map of North America and wondered how the Great Lakes were formed? The answer to that question lies in a period of Earth's geological history known as the "ice age." The term "ice age" refers to a period of the Earth's geological history when much of the Northern Hemisphere was covered by ice. The climate during this time period was much different from what it is today, with temperatures on the continents as much as 15 degrees C(27degrees F) colder.

The most recent Ice Age, known as Pleistocene Epoch, occurred between 1.6 million and 10,000 years ago. At least four times during the Pleistocene Epoch, large masses of ice, known as "glaciers", advanced and retreated over the surface of what is now North America. The last glacier, called the "Laurentide" began to form around 100,000 years ago. At its peak, around 18,000 years ago, the Laurentide covered almost all of Canada and extended into the United States, as far south as Chicago, Illinois, this massive glacier was almost 4 km thick. As the glaciers advanced, giant sheets of ice flowed across the land, leveling mountains and carving out massive valleys, which is a process known as "glacial erosion".

Around 14.000 years ago, the Laurentide began retreating and melting due to warmer temperatures. The geological changes caused by this resulted in the formation of the Great Lakes. When the glaciers began receding, their leading edges left behind ridges, glacial deposits, and other land formations. Evidence of this can be seen today in the topography of Canadian Shield, the Niagara Escarpment, the Oak Ridges Moraine and the Bruce Peninsula. When the glaciers melted, the resulting water, called "meltwater", filled huge holes left by the glaciers.

During this time, the lakes were much larger than they are now, and they had different river outlets. But as the ice retreated the St. Lawrence River Valley revealed itself as the outlet to the Atlantic Ocean and the lake levels eventually dropped to current levels.

Without the immense weight of the glaciers, the land began to rebound. Even today, virtually all of the land in the Great Lakes basin continues to rise at a rate of about 7.5 cm every 100 years. Today, rebounding of earth's crust, erosion, and changes in climate continue to alter the shapes and sizes of the Great Lakes. As one of the youngest natural features on the North American continent, the lakes remain a dymatic, evolving system. Our Great Lakes are in danger of being tapped into for fresh water by other states and even other countries.

I live on the shores of Lake Michigan, this is such a beautiful lake, it is so big we can't see across it. My teacher in grade school taught us how to remember the great lakes, they spell "HOMES", ===Lakes Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Eries and Superior, isn't that cool.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Thanksgiving a day of Thanks

When we talk about Thanksgiving the traditional celebration feast automatically comes to our mind, in its entire splendor and grandeur. The annual occasion of Thanksgiving is in fact considered as a day of feast, celebrate and give thanks. Contrary to the popular belief, pumpkin pie, cornbread, roast turkey and all the Thanksgiving paraphernalia we see on the Thanksgiving dinner table do not owe their roots to the original meal of the pilgrims.

In 1621 a harvest festival was celebrated by the colonist (or pilgrims) to thank God for saving their lives and guiding them through the journey on the Mayflower and the following years of drought at Plymouth. The harvest meal has become a symbol of cooperation and interaction between English colonist and Native Americans. Native American groups throughout the Americas, including the Pueblo, Cherokee, Creek and many others organized harvest festivals, ceremonial dances, and other celebrations of thanks for centuries before the arrival of Europeans in North America.

Historians believe that on that Thanksgiving day almost 400 years ago the menu consisted of venison, roasted not stuffed turkey, wild fowl including duck, geese and even swans, fish, lobsters, pumpkin in some form, squash, beans, dried fruits, some sort of cranberry sauce and dried Indian maize or corn. Their sugar supply, brought over from the Mayflower was nearly exhausted by the time the first Thanksgiving , so it is widely surmised that wheat pudding may have been one of the only sweet dishes served

The pilgrims used many spices, including, ginger, nutmeg, pepper, and dried fruit in the meat sauces they prepared. Many of the meats were put on a spit and turned over five or six hours at a time to ensure it was evenly cooked. They did not have ovens, so pies, cakes and breads most likely did not make it to the first Thanksgiving dinner table at Plymouth plantation.

Today we enjoy delicious meals served in a warm home, possibly a football game can be heard on a near by TV set. Although there are many differences between the first Thanksgiving in 1621 and the holiday we celebrate today, the one tradition that remains constant is the celebration of being thankful.

The date and location of the first Thanksgiving celebration is a topic of modest contention. Though the earliest attested Thanksgiving celebration was on September 8, 1565 in what is now Saint Augustine, Florida, the traditional "first Thanksgiving" is venerated as having occurred at the site of Plymouth Plantation, in 1621.

George Washington during his first year as President, issued this historic proclamation that Thursday, November 26 as "A day of public Thanksgiving and prayer, and signed by Washington on Oct. 3, 1789. The first recorded Thanksgiving observance was held on June 29, 1671 at Charlestown, Mass. by proclamation of the town's governing council. October 3, 1863, President Lincoln issued a proclamation for observing the fourth Tuesday of November as the national holiday. In 1939 President Roosevelt moved the holiday to the third Thursday of November (so the Christmas shopping season was extended). After a storm of protest in 1941, again the holiday returned to the fourth Thursday of November. Today, it is celebrated the second Monday of October in Canada and on fourth Thursday of Nov. in the United States.

Sorry this was so long, but I like to get all the facts I can in. I am wishing all my friends a Happy Thanksgiving. We do live in a country that lets each one of us observe this day as we wish, and I am glad I live here in the USA, God Bless each of us and this great country.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Radium Girls

From 1917 to 1926 U.S Radium Corporation was engaged in extraction and purification of radium from carnote ore to produce luminous paints, which was marketed under the brand name "Undark". Their plant in New Jersey employed over a hundred workers, mainly women, to paint radium-lit watch faces and instruments. The Radium Girls saga holds an important place in the history of both the field of health physiics and the labor rights movement. The U.S. Radium Corp. hired some 70 women to perform various tasks, including the handling of radium, while the owners and their scientists (familiar with the effects of radium), carefully avoided any exposure to it themselves, chemists at the plant used lead screens, masks and tongs.

They mixed glue, water and radium powder, and used camel hair brushes to apply the glowing paint onto dial numbers. The brushes would lose their shape after a few strokes, so the U.S. Radium supervisiors encouraged their workers to point the brushes with their lips or use their tongues to keep them sharp. For fun the Radium Girls painted their nails, teeth and faces with the deadly paint produced at the factory, sometimes to surprise their boyfriends when the lights went out. The women, who had been told the paint was harmless, ingested deadly amounts of radium by licking their paintbrushes to sharpen them.

Many of the women later begin to suffer from anemia, bone fractures and necrosis of the jaw, a condition known as radium jaw, the x-rays used by medical investigators may have contributed to the sick workers and subjected them to more radiation. In 1922 Grace Fryer a former employee of the radium corporation had left for a better job at the bank started complaining her teeth began to loosen and fall out for no discernible reason. Her jaw swelled and inflamed, she went to the doctor, he used a primitive x-ray machine, he discovered serious bone decay, the likes of which he had never seen. Her jawbone was honeycombed with small holes, in a random pattern reminiscent of moth-eaten fabric.

A series of doctors attempted to solve Grace's ailment, they took notice of high number of deteriorated jawbones among local women, it took very little investigation to discover these women had been employed by the same watch-painting factory at one time or other. Grace decided to sue, but it took two years for her to find a lawyer willing to take on U.S. Radium. A total of five factory workers, dubbed the Radium Girls, joined the suit. The right of individual workers to sue for damages from corporations due to labor abuse, was established as a result of the Radium Girls case.

In the wake of the case, industrial safety standsrds were demonstrably enhanced for many decades. The case was settled in the fall of 1928, before the trial was deliberated by the jury, and the settlement for each of the Radium Girls was $10,ooo (the equivalent of $124,ooo in 2009 dollars) and a $600 per year annuity while they lived and all medical and legal expenses incurred would also be paid by the company.

In 1968, the Center for Human Radio biology was established at Argonne National Laboratory. The primary purpose of the center was providing medical examinations for individual dial painters. The five "Radium Girls" died in the 1920s and 1930s . Their sad fate was sealed when they dipped paintbrushes into radium paint and sharpened the brushes with their mouths, many other former factory workers died of radium poisoning without finding justice. Later medical research would determine that radium behaves much like calcium inside the body, causing it to concentrate in the teeth and bones. In 1949 the US Congress passed a bill making all occupational diseases compensated, and extended the time during which workers could discover illnesses and make a claim. Thanks to the Radium Girls success in bringing attention to the deplorable conditions in US factories, industrial safety standards in the US were significantly tightened over the following years, an improvement which definitely spared countless others from similar fates.

The first time I heard about these girls I was watching a show on TV I felt so bad for these women and thought I would tell their story, which does not have a happy ending.