Saturday, December 28, 2013

Pricey Postage. Ages of Rocks. Safer Sofas. Tiny Terrariums. Pure Wine. Statin Stats. First VP To Resign. First Labor Day.


For "Summary Saturday", or News, Some New, Some Old:

Going up: First-class stamps to cost 49 cents soon

Pony Express-stamped letter, 1860, courtesy of the National Postal Museum

Pony Express-stamped letter, 1860, courtesy of the National Postal Museum

Mailing a letter is about to get a little more expensive. The new rate is effective Jan. 26.


How do we know how old a rock or fossil is?

"Dear Dave,
How do geologists determine the age of an ancient volcanic eruption or a glacial advance? How do we know how many years ago Tyrannosaurus lived?" Bertina H., Saint Louis, MO

"Bertina, Geologists, paleontologists and archaeologists often want to know the age of a soil deposit, a rock layer (such as a lava flow), or the fossils in the rocks. We speak of two types of 'ages'. 1. Relative age is the relation in time between rock layers (and the fossils they may contain). Relative age can tell us that a particular rock layer is older or younger than another. It CAN'T tell us if a rock or fossil is 3 million or 300 million years old. 2. Absolute age is the time in years before the present time. If the rock can be dated at all, the absolute age can be determined. An example: a lava flow is determined to be 32.4 million years old (almost always with some imprecision, expressed. for example, as " ± 0.2 million years").
This week I'll deal with relative age. I'll tackle absolute age in a future blog post. That will help us understand how long ago Tyrannosaurus lived.
There are some basic laws that state the principles of relative ages of rocks. Geologists apply these to the rock record to determine sequences of time.

The "Law of Superposition" says that any undisturbed sedimentary rock layer that lies above another is the younger of the two. This principal was formalized in the mid-1600s by a Dane, Nicolas Steno, who is among the founders of modern geology.

Steno's Law of Superposition says that the rocks higher in the stack are younger than those below. Sounds like common
sense now, but this was a radical thought in the 1650s, when all sedimentary rocks were held to be the same age: deposited by Noah's Flood over a period of 40 days and 40 nights.

More at:


Calif. Ends Rule That Poisoned Us with Flame Retardants

"The reason most furniture sold in this country contains flame retardants is a 1975 California regulation called TB 117, which requires furniture foam to withstand an open flame for 12 seconds before igniting. Because the vast majority of furniture fires start from cigarettes, which smolder rather than flame, the open flame standard has been shown to be largely ineffective at curtailing furniture fires. In other words, much of our furniture contains flame retardants that end up in our bodies and our children’s bodies, but that do not protect us from fires.

Thankfully, last week California revised its flammability regulations, changing them from a chemical-dependent open flame standard, to a smolder standard that can be met with non-toxic fabrics. Taking effect starting in January 2014, the new rule eliminates the need for furniture makers to inject the chemicals into upholstered chairs, sofas, and other items.

Given the widespread presence of flame retardants in consumer products containing foam, this change comes none too soon. As one small reminder of the problem, here is a chilling study by the Center for Environmental Health, which found these toxic chemicals in 38 out of 42 pieces of children’s furniture that were purchased and evaluated."  More at:


Magical Miniatures: How to build terrariums with kids

"As winter approaches, a terrarium, generally defined as a glass or plastic container used for growing plants indoors, is a wonderful way to keep a little green in your life as well as a creative way to keep kids engaged with nature.

“Looking for the tiny plants and mosses that make up the terrarium requires close inspection of the small things underfoot—the kinds of plants and lichens that many people simply pass by or step on,” Salter said. “Building terrariums puts those humble wee plants on center stage and gives kids a chance to marvel at them.”

One of the great things about terrariums is that they can be built very inexpensively. Salter’s grandmother picked up cool jars and glass containers at yard sales to use in her creations. In Martin’s book, she describes making terrariums with everything from fish bowls to canning jars to vases, items you may already have in your home."     More at:


Pure Wine

An Amazing Fact: "In 1869, Dr. Thomas Bramwell Welch, a physician and dentist by profession, successfully pasteurized Concord grape juice to produce an “unfermented sacramental wine” for fellow parishioners at his church in Vineland, New Jersey.

He was inspired to do this after a visitor became drunk and unruly following a communion service in which fermented wine was used. Since antiquity, there have been several methods of preserving wine from fermenting, but they always sacrificed much in the way of taste. Dr. Welch’s process preserved both. Today, Welch’s Grape Juice is an international food company.

Alcohol consumption is a national problem in America. It destroys people’s ability to think clearly and act properly. Tests show that after drinking three bottles of beer, there is an average of 13 percent net memory loss. After taking only small quantities of alcohol, trained typists were tested and their errors increased 40 percent. Only one ounce of alcohol increases the time required to make a decision by nearly 10 percent, hinders muscular reaction by 17 percent, and increases errors due to lack of attention by 35 to 60 percent.

Using the illustration of grapes, Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit” (John 15:1, 2). When we do not abide in Christ, the fruit that we bear is permeated with sin. Like fermented grape juice, the results of a life without Jesus are impure, broken, and impaired. Unless we are connected to Christ, we will not bear good fruit. Unless we abide in Jesus, we will be cut off.
Spend time with the Lord every day. Press the Word against your heart. Talk to God in prayer. And let the pure spiritual “wine” flow, unfermented by sin, out of your life to bless others."


Consumer Alert: 300+ Health Problems Linked To Statin Drugs

"A growing body of clinical research now indicates that the cholesterol-lowering class of drugs known as statins, are associated with over 300 adverse health effects -- research boldly flying in the face of national health policy, medical insurance premium guidelines, statin drug manufacturer advertising claims, and the general sentiment of the public, with approximately 1 in every 4 adult Americans over 45 currently using these drugs to "prevent heart disease."

The Cholesterol Myth

For well over 40 years, statin drugs have successfully concretized a century old myth about the primary cause of heart disease: namely, that cholesterol "causes" plaque build up in the arteries, ultimately leading to obstruction of blood flow, and subsequent morbidity and mortality.

Indeed, the medical establishment and drug companies have been singing the praises of this "cholesterol myth," to the tune of 25 billion dollars in statin drug sales, annually.

While it is true that oxidized low-density lipoprotein is found within the atheromatous plaque that is found in damaged arteries, it is less likely a cause than an effect of heart disease. The underlying damage to the lining of the artery, which could be infectious, chemical, stress and/or nutritionally-related, comes before the immune response that results in plaque buildup there.

Blaming LDL cholesterol for causing heart disease, is like blaming the scab for the injury that caused it to form, or, like blaming the band-aid for the scab it is covering -- this is, after all, the inborn and fatal flaw of allopathic medicine which focuses only on symptoms of disease, which it then -- fool-heartedly -- attempts to suppress by any chemical means necessary.

Death By Statins?

No one can deny that statins do exactly what they are designed to do: suppress cholesterol production and reduce measurable blood serum levels. The question is, rather, at what price do they accomplish this feat, and for what ultimate purpose?

Moreover, statin myotoxicity is not exclusive to skeletal muscle. If you consider that the heart is also a muscle, in fact, is our most tireless muscle, an obvious red flag should go up. It is a remarkable fact that it took over 40 years before the biomedical research and publishing fields were able to produce a human study, like the one published in the Journal of Clinical Cardiology in Dec. 2009, showing that statin drugs, despite billions of advertising/marketing dollars to the contrary, actually weaken the heart muscle. This finding may also explain why rates of heart failure may be increasing in the general population given these drugs."       More at:


On This Day:

Calhoun resigns vice presidency, Dec 28, 1832:

"Citing political differences with President Andrew Jackson and a desire to fill a vacant Senate seat in South Carolina, John C. Calhoun becomes the first vice president in U.S. history to resign the office.

Born near Abbeville, South Carolina, in 1782, Calhoun was an advocate of states' rights and a defender of the agrarian South against the industrial North. Calhoun served as secretary of war under President James Monroe and in 1824 ran for the presidency. However, bitter partisan attacks from other contenders forced him out of the race, and he had to settle for the vice presidency under President John Quincy Adams.

In 1828, he was again elected vice president while Andrew Jackson won the presidency. Calhoun soon found himself politically isolated from national affairs under President Jackson. On December 12, 1832, Calhoun was elected to fill a South Carolina Senate seat left vacant after the resignation of Senator Robert Hayne. Sixteen days later, he resigned the vice presidency.

For the rest of his political life, Calhoun defended the slave-plantation system against the growing anti-slavery stance of the free states. In the early 1840s, while secretary of state under President John Tyler, he secured the admission of Texas into the Union as a slave state.

Together with Andrew Jackson, Daniel Webster, and Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun dominated American political life in the first half of the 19th century.

For his second term (1833-1837), Jackson's Vice President was Martin Van Buren, who followed him as the 8th US President."


America's first Labor Day, Dec 28, 1869:

"The Knights of Labor, a labor union of tailors in Philadelphia, hold the first Labor Day ceremonies in American history. The Knights of Labor was established as a secret society of Pennsylvanian tailors earlier in the year and later grew into a national body that played an important role in the labor movement of the late 19th century.

The first annual observance of Labor Day was organized by the American Federation of Labor in 1884, which resolved in a convention in Chicago that "the first Monday in September be set aside as a laborer's national holiday." In 1887, Oregon became the first state to designate Labor Day a holiday, and in 1894 Congress designated the first Monday in September a legal holiday for all federal employees and the residents of the District of Columbia."



For the first time in a few days, Misty didn't get me up during the night to go out.  But she still doesn't hold her tail high, so I hope she isn't in pain.  That inoperable tumor is getting bigger.

Friday is a 'Preparation Day', so I was doing all that I could, to be prepared for the Sabbath. 

Luke 23:54 - And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on.
Mark 15:42 - And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath.

After feeding the animals their breakfasts, I put some chicken broth and chopped up veggies in the crockpot for the church potluck, and while that was cooking, I touched up my grey roots.    If I don't do that, I look like a dull, dingy, washed out snow tiger with light and grey hair mixed. (TMI)

Ray came over, and raked and burned some more. There were even more visitors at his house, and he wanted out of there.  He raked up the pine needles on Lot 3, (my side lot), and those in front of his son's house, next door to me. 

Peekers, my foster kitten goes to our SPCA Cat Habitat on Sunday for a month, unless he gets adopted during that time.  He is a sweet, purring, playful, happy, well adjusted little guy, so I don't think it take him long to be adopted.  Nala, my shy foster cat, is supposed to be in the Habitat with him, but I think she will stress out again and have to come back here.  They had to have their Revolution put on their necks, and all their medical records and care instructions printed out, ready to go with them

Another thing I did was postpone the nuclear stress test.  I didn't think that New Year's Eve was a good time to expect the best medical care.  I know they are professionals, but it just didn't seem to be the best time to do it when they are  anticipating getting off for the evening's revelry.

I should have gone shopping yesterday, but I postponed that to conserve on gas, as I have to take the foster cats to Conroe anyway on Sunday.


A couple of newer paintings 2019 said...

Our first class stamps are going up to .86 on Mar 1 if you buy them in a book. If you buy a single stamp, it's $1.00. I predict mailing by snail mail will only be used when absolutely necessary.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Hi Sandra,
Now that people pay their bills online, and talk to businesses and relatives by email or Skype, the Post Office is suffering.

But there is always a line of people shipping things that they sold on eBay, etc. So the internet producing parcel post should offset the lack of letter traffic.

I know I haven't bought a letter stamp in years!

Happy Trails, Penny.