Saturday, August 18, 2012

News: Oxygen Foam. Walmart. Mayan Calendar. CA Parks. Rat Poison. Uncivil War. European Union. Yangtze River. RIP Ryan.

News. Some New, Some Old:

Particle That Allows Humans To Live Without Breathing Designed By Scientists

Oxygen Blood

“In a medical emergency, getting a patient oxygen can be a matter of life and death.

The medical community may have a quick fix for such situations: a particle that allows humans to live without breathing.

The report states the "microparticles" are made of a single layer of fatty molecules, or lipids, that surround pockets of oxygen gas and are injected into the bloodstream via a liquid solution.

When a person can't get enough oxygen through their lungs, they usually die. Each of our cells needs oxygen to survive, and when there's just not enough around they stop working.  A new "oxygen foam" developed by Dr. John Kheir, a researcher and emergency room physician at Children's Hospital Boston, and his team, could prolong the body's ability to withstand non-working lungs by delivering oxygen straight into the blood.”   Read more:


Walmart and unemploymentHow 'Everyday Low Prices' Are Costing Americans Their Jobs

As consumers, we welcome Walmart's low prices.  But here's the thing about these low prices -- they're doing the U.S. more harm than good.
A new research report has found that low prices have actually caused unemployment to rise, and dealt a massive blow to the manufacturing sector.
Look no further than the 7 million manufacturing jobs the U.S. lost from 1980 to 2011, according to a recent research report from Demos. The report acknowledges this happened because of "a variety of complex factors." But Walmart had a bigger hand in this than most of us realize.
Cutting Prices Does Have Its Cost
The problem starts with Walmart's selling point: low prices.
These low prices are possible both because Walmart pays its employees low wages and because the bulk of Walmart's products are sourced from foreign factories, where raw materials and labor are cheaper.
What's more, Walmart can -- and does -- use its massive size to bully American companies whose products it sells to do the same. In fact, Levi's jeans and Master Lock "were pressured to shut their U.S. factories and moved manufacturing abroad to meet Walmart's demand for low prices," Demos said.
What's more, many well-known companies rely on Walmart for more than 20% of their revenue, according to Business Insider's calculations, including:

  • Helen of Troy (which manufacturers kitchen tools under the OXO name)
  • Jarden (behind the Mr. Coffee brand).
  • Hanesbrands (the undergarment company known for Hanes and Wonderbra).

And they're not alone. Because these businesses are so heavily dependent on Walmart, they have no choice but to acquiesce to whatever Walmart asks of them.  So -- like Levi's and Master Lock -- if Walmart tells these companies their products must become even cheaper, they have to cut costs. Doing that requires finding cheaper raw materials (sourcing internationally) or cheaper labor (again, from overseas).

But This Can Only Go So Far
This cost cutting has tangential side effects that cost more jobs than just those folks working at factories.  Four of Walmart's top 10 suppliers in 1994 had filed for bankruptcy protection by 2006, according to Harper's Magazine, meaning disappearing factory jobs as well as the white-collar jobs at their headquarters.

Then consider Walmart's competitors, Target, Kmart, Dollar Tree, etc. To remain competitive with Walmart, they have to do exactly what Walmart does: look for cheap foreign product sources, or squeeze low prices out of their suppliers.
All of which continues to trickle down the economy, sending an increasing number of jobs abroad and allowing Walmart (now the nation's largest employer) to keep their employees' wages low.

So remember this next time you rejoice in finding a low-priced item at your local Walmart: Those "everyday low prices" may have cost you or someone you know their job.”  From:


Newly discovered Mayan calendar goes way past 2012


“Newly discovered wall writings found in Guatemala show the famed Maya culture's obsession with cycles of time. But they also show calendars that go well beyond 2012, the year when the vanished civilization, according to popular culture, expected the end of the world.

"So much for the supposed end of the world," says archaeologist William Saturno of Boston University, lead author of a study in the journal Science.

Examination of the rows shows they are columns of numbers and symbols similar to lunar eclipse calculations found in early 16th century Maya writings that tied astronomical events to rituals. Some of them include dates corresponding to a time after the year 3500.” 

More at:


New Probe Ordered for California Park Scandal

“California lawmakers ordered an accelerated audit of the embattled parks department on Wednesday (Aug. 9), adding to a growing list of probes examining state finances in the wake of an accounting scandal.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the review, to be conducted by the state auditor, will examine a hidden $54-million surplus discovered in parks accounts last month and an unauthorized program allowing employees to trade in unused vacation time for more than $271,000 in cash.   “It’s a victory for transparency in state government,” said Assemblywoman Beth Gaines (R-Rocklin), part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers who had pushed for the audit.

The parks money, which had been stashed away for at least a dozen years, was found as the state was soliciting donations to keep as many as 70 parks open amid a budget crisis. Some local governments that forked over money to keep parks open have demanded it back, and lawmakers are concerned that the accounting scandal will create a rift between the state and a community of parks supporters.

“This is a disaster for our efforts to build partnerships and create strategies to support our state parks,” said Assemblyman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael). “There’s only one way to fix it, and that is to act as quickly as possible to restore public trust and confidence.””  From:


Pale Male's Baby Hawks Can't Come Home Until Rat Poison is Removed

UPPER WEST SIDE — “Pale Male's two baby hawks have almost fully recovered from a bout of rat poisoning last month, but animal rescuers refuse to send them back to their home in Central Park because the area is still filled with rat poison.

"I'm getting a little panicky because I don't know what to do with [the two baby hawks]. The museums and restaurants are using the same poison," said Horvath. "I can't put them back or they'll be dead."   Read more:


Uncivil War

Uncivil War

“The crisis in Syria continues to escalate. Clashes between the Syrian Army and the newly formed Free Syrian Army began over a year ago. Public demonstrations in March 2011 against the government were stopped when soldiers opened fire on civilians. Army defectors and civilians began forming fighting units. The government calls these groups “armed terrorists.”

Most disturbing are repeated reports of army officers killing and torturing civilians. Some army officers were executed for not opening fire on civilians. Protesters have been beaten, tortured, and killed. Massacres have taken place. Children have been caught in the crossfire and thousands are attempting to flee the country.

Outside Syria, the Arab League, the United States, the European Union, and the GCC have condemned the use of violence against protesters. The state of human rights in Syria has often been criticized from the outside world. With all the bloodshed and innocent victims, it seems few people win at war. Hearing the news of the inhumane treatment of people is disheartening. Will fighting on this earth ever end?”  More at:


Life Hope & TruthEuropean Political Union: A Satire?  August 9, 2012

“Bible prophecy is very clear that a monolithic political and economic union will arise in Europe at the end of this age. As a trigger to the time of supreme trial to come on humanity just before the coming of the Messiah, 10 powers (nations or groups of nations) in Europe, apparently in a moment of great crisis, will cede their sovereignty to one known as “the beast.”

Yet a former executive board member of the European Central Bank, Otmar Issing, recently described the concept of European political union as “an idea worthy of satire.” Why? Because, he said, “forming such a union implies nothing less than the end of the nation state.” According to Issing, to bolster economically weak nations at the expense of wealthier ones “would be a violation of the fundamental democratic principle of no taxation without representation. … This is hardly the proper way to create a democratic European Union.”  Issing was responding to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s statement in June that “we need most of all a political union, [and] that means we need to gradually give competencies to Europe and give Europe control.

This kind of talk makes other nations nervous. British Prime Minister David Cameron vowed not to allow the U.K. to be dragged into a European superstate that requires individual nations to yield sovereignty to Europe. “I am convinced that as Europe develops, we can protect Britain’s interests in a proper way,” he said. “If you think you can just establish a European Parliament and a flag and everyone will be loyal to it, that’s nonsense.”

So, is the concept of a unified Europe the stuff of satire, or an ambitious, but realistic, dream that some of the most powerful people in politics are determined to see come to life?”    Video and complete article at:


On This Day:

Yangtze River peaks in China, Aug 18, 1931:

“On this day in 1931, the Yangtze River in China peaks during a horrible flood that kills 3.7 million people directly and indirectly over the next several months. This was perhaps the worst natural disaster of the 20th century.

The Yangtze River runs through southern China, one of the most populated areas on Earth. The region's people, most of whom lived at subsistence level, depended on the river for water for their personal and farming needs. In April, the river-basin area received far-above-average rainfall. When torrential rains came again in July, the stage was set for disaster. The Yangtze flooded over a 500-square-mile area. The rising waters drove 500,000 people from their homes by the beginning of August.

As the waters continued to rise in the first half of August and even more rain fell, the rice fields that dominated the landscape were swamped, destroying the crop. Major cities such as Wuhan and Nanjing depended on this rice and, without it, people in the cities starved to death. In addition, typhoid and dysentery were rampant due to the polluted river. The millions who died from this flood perished from starvation and disease, many after the flood waters had receded.

Much of the disaster may have been averted if flood-control measures had been followed closely. The Yangtze carries large amounts of sediment, which accumulates in certain areas of the river and must be cleared regularly. However, with much of the area's resources devoted to civil war at the time, the river was neglected.”



image “Thank you all for the prayers sent on behalf of little Ryan Raffel and his family.  Little Ryan passed away last Saturday, after a long battle with Leukemia.  Please keep his family in prayer as they face this very difficult time.”

Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. Prov 3:5


The funny thing about getting older is how you don't notice it while it's
happening, but everyone else does!

A quiet day spent getting a few odd jobs done, and catching up on some blogs.  Thank you so much for all your good wishes on FB, email, and phone, for my birthday. 

1 comment:

Gypsy said...

I figured out what Walmart was doing to American companies and workers almost 10 years ago. Their relentless demand for lower prices from the mfr caused a lot of companies to go out of business that had provided lifetime employment to entire families for generations - Beacon Blanket Co. in Swannanoa, CA, for one.