Saturday, March 17, 2012

News: St. Paddy's Day. Daylight Savings Time. TX Bluebonnets. Whale Meat. Trees In Toilet. Red Meat Deadly. Out of bed! Boston.

News:  Some New, Some Old:

Postcard from 1912 for “St. Patrick’s Day”

"March 17th is often observed as St. Patrick’s Day.  Some see it as a Catholic holiday, while others mainly an Irish holiday.  There are many items in news today announcing upcoming parties and parades for it.

Aside from its non-biblical origins, what else is wrong with it?   Apparently it is a day that driving becomes more dangerous:

Friends don’t let friends drive drunk this Saint Patrick’s Day:  

Like most holidays, Saint Patrick’s Day has become a popular time for people to celebrate with family and friends. However, due to the large numbers of drunk drivers, the day has also become a very dangerous one.

On Saint Patrick’s Day 2009, 37% of the drivers and motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher, according to statistics obtained from the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Additional NHTSA statistics also disclosed that in 2009 there were 103 crash fatalities on Saint Patrick’s Day. Of that number, 47 people were killed in crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcyclist with a BAC of .08% or higher."   More at:


Do You Feel Lucky Today?

Good luck, bad luck, no luck and even luck that can follow you - is this really what controls your future?

Do You Feel Lucky Today?

"Across the globe the seemingly harmless Irish tradition of having to wear green on March 17 so the luck of the Irish will be with you has saturated our society. What's all the fuss over a man called St. Patrick that has resulted in widespread partying and celebration?

Even more widespread is the concept of luck, a seemingly supernatural force that swings the odds of circumstances in people's favor or against them. Is this acceptable from a biblical perspective? Should we be wishing others "Good luck"?  As St. Patrick's Day comes around, it's a good time to take a hard look at luck.

Irish tradition

Throughout the past 1, 500 or so years, traditions have grown, folklore has spread, and "luck" has sprouted in our everyday language. The leprechaun and icons like the color green, the shamrock and the pot o' gold have all come to be associated with the celebration of St. Patrick's Day.

Legend states that St. Patrick used the shamrock or three-leaved clover to explain the Trinity. Its three leaves supposedly represented the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Eventually, the custom was adopted of wearing a shamrock on his feast day. (The Trinity doctrine, however, is unbiblical—for more information, request our free booklet Is God a Trinity?)

A shamrock is different from a four-leaf clover. According to Celtic tradition, when a four-leaf clover is found, it is said to represent God's grace, with the four leaves standing for faith, hope, love and luck.  Ironically, the real Patrick would probably have frowned on the traditions associated with his feast day—as well as the holiday itself.

What's with luck?

Of course, the concept of luck or fortune is not exclusive to Irish tradition. We find it throughout human history and throughout the world today.  We now hear phrases like "good luck with the job interview," or "good luck on that test." While many deem this merely an expression of hoping for the best outcome, not really believing in luck, others take the concept of luck more seriously.   Some things associated with luck seem harmless, like wishing on a star, shooting stars, wishing wells, lucky trinkets or fairies. But there are underlying issues here that need to be raised.

Over the years luck has become like a god in society. Luck seems to decide things like your fate, car accidents, test scores, the job hunt, pay raises or even the answer you'll be given about that date you want to go on this Saturday night. People believe luck controls things and that it provides different opportunities for different people. Decisions are even based on it. Consider that many skyscrapers have no 13th floor—as 13 is considered unlucky.

No luck with the Bible

Looking to the Bible, we find that it gives no credibility to luck. In the first of the Ten Commandments, God states, "You shall have no other gods before Me" (Exodus:20:3Thou shalt have no other gods before me.). The intent of His command here is that nothing is to take a higher priority in our lives than Him! This first command warns us to not accept a religion or philosophy that teaches that our life and well-being originate or depend on anything other than the one true God.

As He often does, God colorfully portrays the utter foolishness of making gods of wood and stone, but the biblical nations of ancient Israel and Judah manufactured as many fake deities as the number of cities in the land of Judah (Jeremiah:2:27-28[27]Saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us.[28]But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble: for according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah.). "See if they can save you in the time of your trouble!" God taunted them and modern mankind (compare verse 28). Today our peoples still trust in worthless and inanimate things to save us—such as weapons, money and even actual idols by seeing power in crosses, religious statues and good luck charms.

God even laments over His people rejecting Him "and offering food and wine to the gods you call ‘Good Luck' and ‘Fate'" (Isaiah:65:11But ye are they that forsake the LORD, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number., Contemporary English Version). Any credit to luck is really a form of idolatry.

No luck at all

Maybe you've heard people say, "I know luck doesn't exist, but good luck anyway!" Perhaps they're conceding that there may be luck after all—or maybe they just don't know how else to wish someone well. They could simply say, "Do well" or "All the best." Or they could look to God, saying, "God be with you" or "God bless you" (yet only if He is truly sought).

After all, true power is with God, not with luck. As the Bible tells us: "Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things … by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing … The Creator of the ends of the earth neither faints nor is weary" (Isaiah:40:26-28[26]Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.[27]Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God?[28]Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.).

Using luck in our vocabulary and lives may seem harmless. But God is jealous for His people. He truly loves you and desires the best for your future. It does not please Him when we turn to fables and smooth phrases that announce our dependence on anything but Him. Everything we are and have ultimately comes from God. The only reliable assurance that our future is secure lies in our relationship with our Creator, not some ominous luck, wishes, stars or leprechauns.

God beats luck any day

God wants us to understand that we must never direct our worship toward anything He has created, or regard it as the source of our life and blessings. Worship only the Creator—never the creation. He is the sole miracle-working God who provides blessings, hopes and a promised future of eternal life in the Kingdom of God. Rainbows, waterfalls, clovers, stars and the rest of the creation were created for us to enjoy and use as a wonderful and beautiful environment to live in. We don't bow down, pray or make requests to any aspect of the creation.

So where are you placing your trust, faith and hope? That's a vital question for each of us.  God's ultimate plan and desire for us is that we live forever in His eternal family and Kingdom: "Now we are children of God … we know that when He [Jesus Christ] is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (1 John:3:2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.).

That is the purpose for which we have been created! Luck has nothing to do with it! Wishing wells, wishing on a star or making a wish when blowing out birthday candles simply skew and corrupt our relationship with our Creator.

There is one source of blessings. There is one way into the Kingdom of God. There is one sacrifice that removes the penalty of our personal sins. God alone is that true source—not luck!"  Article by Ed Dowd From:


Daylight Savings Time: Debating The Costs Of Springing Forward

Daylight Savings

"Daylight saving time in most of the United States started Sunday, March 11 at 2 a.m.   Most Americans lost an hour of sleep as the nation shifted to daylight saving time.

But it could be the most expensive hour of the year. One economist has estimated the cost of shifting that hour forward due to daylight saving time is $1.7 billion dollars a year. That represents just under $3 per American in lost productivity due to clock resetting.

Originally, the time-shifting policy was designed to help save with energy costs and help Americans maximize sunlight hours back when electricity costs were relatively far higher. But today, some economists say the policy is not really helping all that much.   A study showed that the time shift did not reduce energy consumption, so much as displace where and when it was being used. For example, fewer people may need to turn their lights on in the morning when they wake up due to an earlier sunrise, but more people are using air conditioners later in the day as it gets warmer, according to research published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in 2008.

Other studies and reports point to the various problems with losing an hour: There are slightly more traffic accidents on the Monday after the spring forward; people struggle with sleeping schedules; and some television ratings go down."


Texas Bluebonnet Time Again!

Texas Bluebonnet

“No other flower – for me at least – brings such upsurging of the spirit and at the same time such restfulness.” – J. Frank Dobie

"After one of the worst droughts and wildfire seasons in Texas’ history, a sign of renewal is springing up along Texas highways. It is the State Flower of Texas: the bluebonnet.

After the legislators were shown a painting of the blue flower, the bluebonnet stole the show. A resolution making the bluebonnet, specifically the Lupinus subcarnosus, the official state flower of Texas was signed by then-Governor Joseph D. Sayers on March 7, 1901.

Towns across Texas have developed wildflower tours and festivals to showcase their bluebonnets as the best and most colorful in the state. Every April, thousands of visitors flock to the historic cotton town of Chappell Hill for the official “Texas Bluebonnet Festival,” complete with bluebonnet contests and crafts.  I hope this spring we can all pause to enjoy the beauty of our state’s flower. Indeed, the bluebonnet runs wild throughout Texas and deep in our state’s history."   By U.S. Sen. John Cornyn 

_____________ Confirms New Policy to Ban Sale of Whale and Dolphin Products.  March 8, 2012

Humane Society International.  Whaling is inhumane. Marshall Bruce/istock

"Internet giant has now officially banned the sale of all whale and dolphin products from its wholly owned Japanese website, following global outrage that these products were offered for sale. Amazon confirmed the prohibition on its main website by adding language under the Food and Beverage section that prohibits "Products containing shark, whale, or dolphin" and Amazon’s Japanese website contains a similar ban on selling whale and dolphin products.

The Environmental Investigation Agency and Humane Society International revealed last month that Amazon Japan not only sold products from endangered and protected whale species, but also products containing dangerous levels of mercury."


Trees Down the Toilet

"Maybe you’ve heard that we’re now using more trees for toilet paper than for newsprint. (Not least because the newspaper industry is even more in the toilet than toilet paper.) But did you know that because of Americans’ demand for super-soft TP for our bungholes, 98 percent of the pulp used to make the stuff comes from virgin wood?

“Future generations are going to look at the way we make toilet paper as one of the greatest excesses of our age. Making toilet paper from virgin wood is a lot worse than driving Hummers in terms of global warming pollution,” Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told the Guardian."

"Elsewhere in the world toilet paper – luxury or not – is not a given thing. If you’re supposed to always bring your own roll, believe me you’ll use less.

"At what price softness?" said Tim Spring of paper company Marcal Manufacturing. "Should I contribute to clear-cutting and deforestation because the big [marketing] machine has told me that softness is important?

"The problem is not yet getting better," said Chris Henschel, of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. "It's unbelievable that this global treasure of Canadian boreal forests is being turned into toilet paper. . . . I think every reasonable person would have trouble understanding how that would be okay."
Learn more:


All red meat is risky, a study finds

Eating any amount or type increased the chances of early death among adults tracked more than 20 years.

Eating any amount and any type of red meat increases the risk of premature death, a new study says.

"Eating any amount and any type -- appears to significantly increase the risk of premature death, according to a long-range study that examined the eating habits and health of more than 110,000 adults for more than 20 years.    For instance, adding just one 3-ounce serving of unprocessed red meat -- picture a piece of steak no bigger than a deck of cards -- to one's daily diet was associated with a 13% greater chance of dying during the course of the study. 

Even worse, adding an extra daily serving of processed red meat, such as a hot dog or two slices of bacon, was linked to a 20% higher risk of death during the study.  "Any red meat you eat contributes to the risk." "  More at:


This was posted by Dr. Mercola over 2 years ago:


Out of bed! Hospitals aim to keep elderly strong

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) — "Bob Landorf walked miles during his hospital stay, dragging his IV pole along, too, on a mission to upend disturbing statistics for patients his age.

At least one-third of hospital patients older than 70 leave more frail than when they arrived, and many become too weak to go home. Nursing home care or rehabilitation often are needed, and even then, research suggests more than two-thirds remain weaker a year after being in the hospital.

Elder-care experts challenge the idea that this decline is an inevitable part of growing old. They say conventional hospital care focusing on treating disease rather than preventing frailty contributes to the problem.

Non-medical people say, 'Grandma went to the hospital with pneumonia ... and she was never the same again.'  Pneumonia is a serious illness, but it is treatable" and should not leave patients disabled.   Days of bed rest raise chances for infection, can slow recovery from common conditions in the elderly including pneumonia, and contribute to surprisingly rapid loss of muscle strength in older patients."  More at:


On This Day:

The British evacuate Boston, Mar 17, 1776:

"During the American War for Independence, British forces are forced to evacuate Boston following Patriot General George Washington's successful placement of fortifications and cannons on Dorchester Heights, which overlooks the city from the south.

During the evening of March 4, Patriot General John Thomas, under orders from Washington, secretly led a force of 800 soldiers and 1,200 workers to Dorchester Heights and began fortifying the area. To cover the sound of the construction, Patriot cannons, besieging Boston from another location, began a noisy bombardment of the outskirts of the city.  By the morning, more than a dozen cannons from Fort Ticonderoga had been brought within the Dorchester Heights fortifications. British General Sir William Howe hoped to use British ships in Boston Harbor to destroy the Patriot position, but a storm set in, giving the Patriots ample time to complete the fortifications and set up their artillery. On March 17, 11,000 British troops and some 1,000 Royalists departed Boston by ship and sailed to the safety of Halifax, Nova Scotia."



When I took Misty down to Jay's for her walk, I was roped into trying to get Claudia's s-l-o-w laptop back online, as she had messed up something when she was trying to get Jay's new tablet set up.   She has decided that a desktop takes up too much room.  She knows she needs a new computer, but her AC needs replacing, too.  Resetting the cable modem and the router got it back online.  But that laptop is so slow that I tried to make it faster by defragging and disk cleaning, something they hadn't done.  Waiting for it to do that took ages.  Claudia used computers for an insurance company for years, but it was networked, and the company's computer people took care of all that background stuff, so she has no idea how to keep it running efficiently.   But by the time I had done that, there was no time to work on the cargo trailer yesterday.

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