Archive Page 2

31
Aug
11

The Wrath of God


Many states were affected by hurricane Irene.  North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York City, plus Vermont who, I do not think were expecting to get much damage from the hurricane.  Many have probably seen the photos of damage from Irene and it looks terrible.  Billions of dollars worth of damage.  Many people will be living in the dark until the end of this week.

So, I am sure many people are wondering, why me?  Why us?  Is it just by chance that these things have happened?  Many more lives would have been lost if people had not been evacuated, and yet at least 43 people were killed.  But the largest damage was to property and roads.  In other words, physical things which most people are attached to.  To me, this shows how attached many people are to their “Stuff”.  We need to stop being so attached to the things we buy and start having more love and compassion for our “neighbor”.  It is difficult to know exactly why things happen, why God allows things to happen, but it is obvious to me that it has to do with his ultimate plan.

There have been many problems brought up about Irene from the reporters and journalists.  Things such as the fact that New Jersey is already in a bad financial situation, so they can not possibly pay for the recovery of their state from the hurricane.  Another factor is that the government never paid for hurricane Katrina, so they may not pay for the clean up of Irene either!  So, how was Katrina paid for?  By printing extra money.

Now that Irene has hit a part of the United States which is not used to getting hit, it seems that another hurricane, Katia, is headed this way, although it is too far away to really know what path it will absolutely take.  However, with the current projections it looks like it could hit somewhere near New York.  This could be catastrophic.  This means that those places which were not destroyed in the first hurricane, might very well be destroyed in the next.  Let us hope and pray that this is not the case.

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30
Aug
11

Merlot Skin Care


This is another awesome story about an old man who had a great idea, shown on “How I Made My Millions”.  He said to himself, if wine is good for you, because of the antioxidants, then why wouldn’t grapes be?  And furthermore, what about grape seeds?  So he began to do some research into grapes and grape seeds and found out that they had polyphenols.  These polyphenols help rejuvenate the skin, and so he thought if he could use these grape seeds in things like skin lotion and other things this would help peoples skin look and feel younger.


At first, Wayne Beckley was not doing well selling his product and so he took it off of the shelves, but when he did that, many people started asking about his product and wanted more of it.  This is when it came back on the shelves and is now sold more than ever.


Mr. Grapes, as some call him, has made all kinds of products for the skin including lotions, soaps, foaming soaps, facial masks, acne treatments and much more!

25
Aug
11

How to Prepare for a Hurricane


After seeing so many people who are just going to wait out the storm, I realized people needed to be educated as to what to do in the emergency of a hurricane.  That is why this article really needs to be written.

1.  Develop a family plan.

    • Discuss the type of hazards that could affect your family. Know your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.
    • Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. In certain circumstances the safest areas may not be your home but within your community.
    • Determine escape routes from your home and places to meet. These should be measured in tens of miles rather than hundreds of miles.
    • Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.
    • Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate.
    • Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911.
    • Check your insurance coverage – flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance. 
    • Stock non-perishable emergency supplies and a Disaster Supply Kit.
    • Use a NOAA weather radio. Remember to replace its battery every 6 months, as you do with your smoke detectors.
    • Take First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.

2.  Make a disaster supply kit.

    • Water – at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days
    • Food – at least enough for 3 to 7 days. 
      — non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices
      — foods for infants or the elderly
      — snack foods
      — non-electric can opener
      — cooking tools / fuel
      — paper plates / plastic utensils
    • Blankets / Pillows, etc.
    • Clothing – seasonal / rain gear/ sturdy shoes
    • First Aid Kit / Medicines / Prescription Drugs
    • Special Items – for babies and the elderly
    • Toiletries / Hygiene items / Moisture wipes 
    • Flashlight / Batteries
    • Radio – Battery operated and NOAA weather radio
    • Telephones – Fully charged cell phone with extra battery and a traditional (not cordless) telephone set
    • Cash (with some small bills) and Credit Cards – Banks and ATMs may not be available for extended periods
    • Keys
    • Toys, Books and Games
    • Important documents – in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag
      insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc.
    • Tools – keep a set with you during the storm
    • Vehicle fuel tanks filled
    • Pet care items
      — proper identification / immunization records / medications
      — ample supply of food and water
      — a carrier or cage
      — muzzle and leash

3.  Have a place to go (shelter)

Develop a family hurricane preparedness plan before an actual storm threatens your area. If your family hurricane preparedness plan includes evacuation to a safer location for any of the reasons specified with in this web site, then it is important to consider the following points:

If ordered to evacuate, do not wait or delay your departure.
If possible, leave before local officials issue an evacuation order for your area. Even a slight delay in starting your evacuation will result in significantly longer travel times as traffic congestion worsens.

Select an evacuation destination that is nearest to your home, preferably in the same county, or at least minimize the distance over which you must travel in order to reach your intended shelter location.
In choosing your destination, keep in mind that the hotels and other sheltering options in most inland metropolitan areas are likely to be filled very quickly in a large, multi-county hurricane evacuation event.

If you decide to evacuate to another county or region, be prepared to wait in traffic.
The large number of people in this state who must evacuate during a hurricane will probably cause massive delays and major congestion along most designated evacuation routes; the larger the storm, the greater the probability of traffic jams and extended travel times.

If possible, make arrangements to stay with the friend or relative who resides closest to your home and who will not have to evacuate. Discuss with your intended host the details of your family evacuation plan well before the beginning of the hurricane season.

If a hotel or motel is your final intended destination during an evacuation, make reservations before you leave.
Most hotel and motels will fill quickly once evacuations begin. The longer you wait to make reservations, even if an official evacuation order has not been issued for your area or county, the less likely you are to find hotel/motel room vacancies, especially along interstate highways and in major metropolitan areas.

If you are unable to stay with friends or family and no hotels/motels rooms are available, then as a last resort go to a shelter.
Remember, shelters are not designed for comfort and do not usually accept pets.  Bring your disaster supply kit with you to the shelter. Find Pet-Friendly hotels and motels.

Make sure that you fill up your car with gas, before you leave.

4.  Secure your home.

RETROFITTING YOUR HOME
The most important precaution you can take to reduce damage to your home and property is to protect the areas where wind can enter. According to recent wind technology research, it’s important to strengthen the exterior of your house so wind and debris do not tear large openings in it. You can do this by protecting and reinforcing these five critical areas:

  • Roof

Gabled Roofs
Does your home have a gabled roof? If so, the end wall of your home takes a tremendous beating during a hurricane. If not properly braced, it can collapse, causing significant damage. However, gable end walls are easy to strengthen and deserve to be a high priority on your retrofitlist.

Typically, gable end trusses are directly attached to the top of gable end walls. The bottom of the truss must be securely nailed to the top of the wall and braced to adjacent trusses. This prevents wind from pushing or pulling the gable end at its critical point, where the gable truss is connected along the gable wall. Without adequate bracing, the end wall may be destroyed during hurricane winds.

To secure your gable end wall, fasten eight-foot long braces to the bottom chord of the gable truss and the adjacent trusses with sixteen-penny (16d) nails. The braces should be perpendicular to the truss, spaced at a maximum of four feet on center. In addition, be sure to tie back the gable truss with at least one eight-foot long brace, along the ridge of the roof, to several of the interior trusses.

Shingles
Shingles are usually not designed to resist hurricane force winds. They come with integral locking tabs or factory-applied adhesives that on occasion do not adhere properly to the underlying shingle because of cold weather installation, uneven surfaces or any number of other reasons. For increased wind resistance, have a qualified person inspect several shingle tabs to see if the adhesive has engaged. If not, use a quick-setting asphalt cement to bond them together.

To cement the shingle tabs to the underlying shingles, place two spots of quick-setting asphalt cement about the size of a quarter under each tab with a putty knife or caulking gun. Press the tab into the adhesive. Be sure to cement all the tabs throughout the roof, being careful not to bend them farther than necessary when applying the adhesive. Replace any damaged shingles immediately.

Attach Roof Sheathing with Adhesive

You can also improve the uplift resistance of the roof deck from the attic — without removing the roof covering. This is how:

  • Using a caulking gun, apply a 1/4 inch bead of wood adhesive along the intersection of the roof deck and the roof support element (rafter or truss chord) on both sides.
  • At places where you have limited access, such as where the roof meets exterior walls, use quarter round pieces of wood approximately two to three feet long and apply the adhesive along the two adjacent sides of the block. The length of the quarter round pieces can be longer or shorter to suit your installation needs.
  • Press the wood pieces in the intersection making sure the adhesive has made solid contact with the sheathing and roof support elements.

According to static pressure tests, using the wood adhesive can increase the wind uplift resistance of the plywood roof sheathing by as much as three times the conventional method of securing the sheathing with nails. It should be available at your local hardware and building supply stores. Please ask your local hardware expert if other products are available that could provide the same strength and properties as a wood adhesive.

  • Straps

Roof to Top of Wall Connection
Hurricane StrapMetal hurricane straps or clips provide the proper measure of strength and safety for the roof-to-wall connection. The common practice of toenailing the trusses or rafters often is not sufficient to hold a roof in place in high winds. These clips or straps are usually very difficult to see from the attic because of insulation.

Areas where the roof framing meets the top of stud walls are normally covered by dry wall on the inside and by wall cladding and soffit board on the outside. To install hurricane straps and clips, remove the roof sheathing around the perimeter of the roof to reveal the top of the wall. You may also need to remove the soffit and exterior cladding to reveal the top 12 to 18 inches of the wall. In addition, if the exterior cladding is brick veneer, you may need to remove small sections of brick as needed.

If your roof has trusses, make sure you tie them to the wall by either anchoring to the top plate and then the top plate to the wall stud, or strapping the truss directly to the wall stud.

  • Shutters

One way to protect a home from damage in wind storms is to install impact-resistant shutters over all large windows and glass doors. Not only do they protect doors and windows from wind-borne objects, but they can reduce damage caused by sudden pressure changes when a window or door is broken. Laminated window systems (plastic bonded to glass) are another option, and are a particularly good choice for either building a new home or adding to an old one.

The easiest designs are those that simply cover the opening with a structural panel such as plywood. In past hurricanes, many homeowners upon returning have noticed their temporary plywood shutters blown off because they were not adequately fastened. If you have a wood-frame house, use adequate fasteners to attach the panels over the openings when a hurricane approaches. Have these temporary shutters stored and ready to use since building supply stores generally sell out of these materials quickly during a hurricane warning. If your home is made with concrete blocks, however, you will have to install anchoring devices well in advance.

The American Plywood Association (APA) – The Engineered Wood Association offers a series of Hurricane Shutter Designs. Each design is available for $1, or you can download all five designs from the APA’s Web site at no cost.

Manufactured Shutters

If your residence has permanent shutters, evaluate their effectiveness. Manufacturers are responsible for testing their shutters up to the standards necessary to resist wind forces and wind-borne debris. Some shutters are very flexible, especially those that roll up.

If struck by a rigid piece of debris, shutters may bend and break the window. To determine whether your shutter can resist this impact, gently lean against it and see if it yields. You can also inspect your shutters to see if they are properly attached to the house and will not fly off during a storm by inspecting the shutter connectors for obvious excessive wear or missing connectors. Ask the shutter manufacturer for proper installation criteria.

Impact-Resistant Windows

Another way to protect your home from damage in windstorms is through the installation of impact-resistant windows and doors. Although these products look no different than standard windows and doors, they offer significantly more protection from wind-borne debris. In fact, these systems are capable of resisting impacts from large objects. For this reason, temporary shutters do not need to be installed before a storm strikes. In general, the frame and glazing work together to protect your home from both the elements and the significant internal pressure changes which lead to structural damage. While large wind-borne debris may crack the impact resistant glass during the course of the storm, the window is designed to retain its integrity and not break apart. Should either the frame or glass be damaged, it can be repaired at your convenience after the storm has passed.

  • Doors

Your home has either double or single entry doors. If they are solid wood or hollow metal they probably can resist wind pressures and hurricane debris. However, if you are not sure whether they are strong enough, take these precautions:

  • Install head and foot bolts on the inactive door of double-entry doors. (Shown here)
  • Make sure your doors have at least three hinges and a dead bolt security lock which has a minimum one inch bolt throw length.
  • Since double entry doors fail when their surface bolts break at the header trim or threshold, check the connections at both places. Be sure the surface bolt extends into the door header and through the threshold into the subfloor.
  • Garage Doors

Because of their width, double-wide garage doors are more susceptible to wind damage than single doors. Unless you have a tested hurricane-resistant door, the wind may force it out of the roller track — especially if the track is light weight or some of the anchor bolts are not in place. This occurs because the door deflects too much under excessive wind pressure and fails.

To secure your garage door:

  • Check with your local government building official to see if there are code requirements for garage doors in your area.
  • Check with your local building supplier or garage door retailer to see if a retrofit kit is available for your garage door.

You should probably reinforce your double-wide garage door at its weakest points. This involves installing horizontal and/or vertical bracing onto each panel, using wood or light gauge metal girds bolted to the door mullions. You may also need heavier hinges and stronger end and vertical supports for your door.

If you decide to retrofit your garage door with a kit that allows you to operate the door after it is installed, make sure the door is balanced by lowering it about halfway and letting go. If the door goes up or down, the springs will need adjusting. Note: Since the springs are dangerous, only a professional should adjust them.

If you are unable to retrofit your garage door with a kit specifically designed for your door, you can purchase garage door retrofit kits to withstand hurricane winds at your local building supply store. Also, check to see if the supplier can do the installation.

A great time to start securing – or retrofitting – your house is when you are making other improvements or adding an addition.  

Remember: building codes reflect the lessons experts have learned from past catastrophes. Contact the local building code official to find out what requirements are necessary for your home improvement projects.

FLOOD INSURANCEThe National Flood Insurance Program, is a pre-disaster flood mitigation and insurance protection program designed to reduce the escalating cost of disasters. The National Flood Insurance Program makes federally backed flood insurance available to residents and business owners

Flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.  Do not make assumptions.  Check your policy.

5.  Have a plan for your pet.

Contact your veterinarian or local humane society for information on preparing your pets for an emergency.

BEFORE THE DISASTER

  • Make sure that your pets are current on their vaccinations.  Pet shelters may require proof of vaccines.

  • Have a current photograph

  • Keep a collar with identification on your pet and have a leash on hand to control your pet.

  • Have a properly-sized pet carrier for each animal – carriers should be large enough for the animal to stand  and turn around.

  • Plan your evacuation strategy and don’t forget your pet!  Specialized pet shelters, animal control shelters, veterinary clinics and friends and relatives out of harm’s way are ALL potential refuges for your pet during a disaster.

If you plan to shelter your pet – work it into your evacuation route planning.

DURING THE DISASTER

  • Animals brought to a pet shelter are required to have:  Proper identification collar and rabies tag, proper identification on all belongings, a carrier or cage, a leash, an ample supply of food, water and food bowls, any necessary medications, specific care instructions and news papers or trash bags for clean-up.

  • Bring pets indoor well in advance of a storm – reassure them and remain calm.

  • Pet shelters will be filled on first come, first served basis.  Call ahead and determine availability.

AFTER THE DISASTER

  • Walk pets on a leash until they become re-oriented to their home – often familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and pets could easily be confused and become lost.  Also, downed power lines, reptiles brought in with high water and debris can all pose a threat for animals after a disaster.

  • If pets cannot be found after a disaster, contact the local animal control office to find out where lost animals can be recovered.  Bring along a picture of your pet if possible.

  • After a disaster animals can become aggressive or defensive – monitor their behavior.

Don’t forget your pet when preparing a family disaster plan.

PET DISASTER SUPPLY KIT

•Proper identification including immunization records
•Ample supply of food and water
•A carrier or cage
•Medications
•Muzzle, collar and leash

This information was provided courtesy of the National Hurricane Center on the web at:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/disaster_prevention.shtml

24
Aug
11

The Darwin Awards


Most people have heard of the Darwin Awards, but for those who have not, they are awards given out to people who have done very stupid things and end up getting themselves killed.  In other words, those who do humanity a favor and clean out the human gene pool by getting themselves killed because of their stupidity.

Now many of you might wonder what made me want to post this blog.  Well, I was watching the news of this woman who is vacationing in Florida, and a hurricane is about to hit (hurricane Irene).  She told the reporter that she was not going to do anything special to protect herself, she was going to go about doing the same things she had planned to do: Read books, go shopping, etc.  I think this woman is a great candidate for the Darwin Awards.

But while I was at it, I also wanted to share some great Darwin Award winners:

Patent GENES? Bile Overload.. In another illogical legal maneuver, a US Federal Court ruled a gene patentable. Patenting genes interferes with researching the functioon of those genes, of life, and is wrong. The legal justification was a lie. “Isolating DNA created a new chemical entity” unlike the chromosome, which is a work of nature.

Because courts like to rule “against-for” when they rule a contested opinion, the judge ruled against a clearly legitimate patent claim for the diagnostic method for risk of cancer.

Women, I have done you a disservice.

I have preliminary research on the causes of Darwinian Deaths in Women. High heel shoes are killing women! On railroad tracks, in front of buses, reports flood into Darwin Awards Central from everywhere in the world. We are literally falling victim to our own fashion sense, and it’s so common I did not even post a single story; I considered the valid news reports to be salacious and dumb. I was wrong.

High heels are a major source of voluntary injury and death among women. I do not wish to offend anyone in this audience. I love the tall, graceful feeling of high-heeled shoes, too. But they belong in the bedroom, not on the street! Women, we have been talking amongst ourselves about the problem for years, and doing nothing.

Look at my feet. I am wearing plain flat sandals. Hobbling ourselves is not sexy, it is sending a signal of weakness. This is Darwin Awards dumb. We invent “fashion” to solve the problem of how to look sexy. We pay $$ to solve the problem, we pay again with broken bones and Darwin Awards deaths, all to fix an imaginary need to “improve” our appearance.

Our natural inclination to attract a mate has been driven to ridiculous peacock extremes. Nature took care of the problem already. You. Are. Sexy, ladies, just as you are.

Memetic evolution. The more I look the more I see that marketing is driving memetic evolution. Those who do not see the irony in the marketing of sexual selection are doomed to suffer, because it’s so common it’s invisible.

(The above 2 Darwin award posts are courtsy of The Darwin Awards Website:  http://www.darwinawards.com/)

23
Aug
11

Earthquake and Hurricane


Amazing isn’t it?  A 5.9 earthquake hit Virginia and was felt throughout the East coast of the United States today, and soon (this weekend) a hurricane is due to hit the East coast as well.  Well, as you can imagine, there has been quite a stir-up of people talking about this topic on the web, and cell phones, etc.

However, I find many people speaking about one event, or the other, but not putting the two of them together.  I mean, what are the odds that there would be an earthquake AND a hurricane within the same week of each other?  Probably about as much chance as a large asteroid hitting the Earth directly.

Ok, so don’t quote me on that probability, but you have to admit, it is pretty odd, and highly unlikely.  When I searched for the probability of an earthquake coming in the next 50 years, for a 5.9 magnitude AND a hurricane 50 miles from where the earthquake hit, it said 0.162 percent.  That is a very low probability, but of course not impossible.

Now, you might be curious why I am writing about this, or why it concerned me today.  Well, today around the same time as the earthquake hit, our cable was out.  I suspect now that the cable was out because of the earthquake tremors.  It is like the 9/11 attacks, or remembering where you were when JFK was shot.   However, there is a much broader thing here which needs to be considered.  Why is this happening?  Unlike the 9/11 attacks, or JFK getting shot, weather is considered “an act of God”.  If so, then we have to ask, why is God doing this?

23
Aug
11

Tom’s Of Maine


I really wanted to write about this company, because they are very unique.  I remember them when they had first come on the store shelves and my parents thought their products were a great idea.  They even had me try their deodorant, and when I saw them on “How I Made My Millions”, I knew I had to write about them.

Tom’s of Maine is great because they use all natural ingredients in their products.  I remember the Deodorant and how different it was compared to the other deodorant products you normally find out there.  It was runny, almost like a liquid and had what seemed like some kind of herb or something in it.  I never checked the ingredients, but it seemed all natural to me.

The one product which Tom’s of Maine is best known for though is their toothpaste.  I have never tried their toothpaste, but I am sure it must be good if so many people like it.  How did this company start out?  Well, it had a very rocky beginning.  Founded by Tom Chappell, had a very difficult time in getting the ingredients just right to even be effective.  When they found out it was ineffective, they went back to the drawing board to figure out what would work.

They got it right after a while, but this flaw was due to the fact that Tom did not have any real lab experience.  He mostly had the great idea of making all natural hygiene  products.

Tom’s of Maine is now owned by Colgate-Pomolive, who bought out the company for $100,000,000.00 now owning 84 percent of the company.  They have approximately 90 oral- and body-care products are sold at more than 40,000 retail outlets worldwide.

22
Aug
11

Noah’s Ark Found!


Did Noah’s ark really exist?  This is a question which many people have asked.  Over the many years there have been many expeditions to find Noah’s ark, even as far back as the year 1917, when Nickolas II sent an expedition to Mount Ararat to see if there was anything that remotely resembled the Ark.

More recently, an archaeological expedition was sent to search for Noah’s ark with the tools to dig it out.  This team was a group of Evangelists, making some people suspicious of the validity of the find.  Many think that their biases have gotten in the way of the facts of this find.  The expedition team was composed of some Chinese and Turks.  The Ark remains were suspected to be on top of Mount Ararat in modern Turkey because that is where it was tracked to be from certain passages in the bible.  Once they found where the ark was and dug out part of it, they carbon dated it and it seemed to be from 4,800 years ago; precisely around the time when Noah’s ark was supposed to set sail.  If this is in fact the case, it makes it very probable that this was in fact Noah’s Ark.

Of course there is one part of the story which makes the Ark an impossible feat.  And that is the collection of 2 of EVERY animal.  How would it be possible to first of all find 2 of every animal… and most of all, how would Noah have been able to pack 2 of each and every animal into an ark, no matter how big it was?  There is anywhere between 10-100 million different species on this planet (estimated). 1.8 million of those have been classified by scientists.  So, even if we go by the smallest amount (1.8 million) and double it (male and female of each species), that would be 3.6 million species which had to fit in the Ark.

 

Others argue that the number of species would be much less because God only included certain species, not all species, nor even all land animal species, but only one of each “kind”, i.e.: 2 dogs, but not 2 of each species of dogs.

Information courtesy of:

http://5magazine.wordpress.com/2010/09/19/noah%E2%80%99s-ark-found-on-turkish-mountain-top/

And

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_species_of_animals_are_there