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Seeing Is Believing

Chapter 18 
The La Palma Cumbre Vieja Tsunami

Journal Of Events
800) April 5, 2008  -  847) June 27, 2008

800) April 5, 2008
This was the picture on the AOL Signoff Screen today:

In made me think of two things... Time and 11:11.
In my post #740 in Chapter 18-12 I talk about how the Titanic connects to 11:11, especially how the four smokestacks look like 1111.
So in this picture you have the Titanic and a white-gloved hand holding a pocket watch. The Titanic symbolizes 11:11; the white-gloved hand symbolizes the Hand of God; and the pocket watch (stop watch?) symbolizes Time.
In my Chapter 13 - 11:11 I explain how the 11:11 is a sign/message/warning from God about when time runs out on His "appointed day" and how that day and 11:11 connect to December 21, 2012.

Acts 17:30-31
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness...  
Daniel 8:19
And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation:
for at the time appointed the end shall be.

Titanic Artifacts Belonging to Last U.S. Survivor Going to Auction
Source: AP
Posted: 04/05/08 7:26AM

LONDON - A collection of artifacts owned by a Titanic survivor - including a ticket for the ill-fated voyage - are being sold at auction later this month. The collection also includes a pocket watch that reportedly stopped at the exact moment the ship sank in April 1912.
The items belonged to Lillian Asplund, the last American survivor of the disaster. She died in 2006 at the age of 99. Asplund was five when the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank during its maiden voyage from England to New York. Her father and three siblings were among the 1,500 people who died in the disaster.
The collection will be sold on April 19 at Henry Aldridge and Sons in Devizes in western England. It is expected to fetch between $160,000 and $240,000.


801) April 6, 2008      Charlton Heston and 4's
Yesterday on April 5, Charlton Heston died. He was born on October 4, 1923.
He was born on the 4th day and died in the 4th month.

When he died, he was 84 years old - 4 score and 4.
Actually, he was 84 years and 184 days old:

From date: Thursday, October 4, 1923
Added 84 years, 184 days
Resulting date: Saturday, April 5, 2008

Depending upon his time of birth, either the day he died - April 5, or the day before he died - April 4 - 4/4, Mr. Heston turned 44,444,444 minutes old. If he was born after 7:16 pm, he would have turned 44,444,444 minutes old on the day he died; if he was born earlier, he turned 44,444,444 minutes old the day before.

From date: Thursday, October 4, 1923 at 7:16:00 PM
Added 44,444,444 minutes
Normalized to 30,864 days, 4 hours, 44 minutes
Resulting date: Midnight between Friday, April 4, 2008 and Saturday, April 5, 2008
From date: Midnight between Wednesday, October 3, 1923 and Thursday, October 4, 1923
Added 44,444,444 minutes
Normalized to 30,864 days, 4 hours, 44 minutes
Resulting date: Friday, April 4, 2008 at 4:44:00 AM

Back in the first part of my Chapter 18, in my post #43 written April 2, 2004, I commented that the movie The Ten Commandments, in which Charlton Heston played the lead role of Moses, was going to be on television on April 4, 2004 - 4/4/4, and that the movie was 4h44 in length:

43) April 2, 2004  
The TV Guide came in the paper today and I read that the movie The Ten Commandments is going to be on Sunday (04/04/04). I noticed that the length of the movie is 4 hours 44 minutes.

It is interesting that I posted that this 4h44 Charlton Heston movie - and The Ten Commandments at that - was going to be on tv April 4, 2004 - 4/4/4. 4 years later to the day, on April 4, 2008 - 4/4/8 (or April 5, depending upon his time of birth), Mr. Heston turned 44,444,444 minutes old and subsequently passed away.
Note: Mr. Heston not only turned 44,444,444 minutes old, but he also turned 2,666,666,666 seconds old:

From date: Midnight between Wednesday, October 3, 1923 and Thursday, October 4, 1923
Added 2,666,666,666 seconds
Normalized to 30,864 days, 4 hours, 44 minutes, 26 seconds
Resulting date: Friday, April 4, 2008 at 4:44:26 AM


802) April 15, 2008 
This past weekend we drove to NS to visit our families. When we got on the highway, the very first car to pass us had the last three digits of its license plate 515. Especially because it was the very first car, it caught my attention, and I thought, "Here we go with the 515's again."
Awhile later, another car passed us and its license plate also caught my eye. It said 911. It was a personal license plate and 911 were the only characters on the plate. I pointed it out to my husband and we talked about 911 meaning 'Emergency'.
Later on during the weekend I was thinking about how these were the only two license plates that caught my attention during our 5-hour drive. 515 and 911. If you have read all the parts of this Chapter 18 you will see that I have previously connected 515 to May 15, and to the Cumbre Vieja tsunami. After we got home I decided to do a search on eBay for license plates containing 515. There was one that also had CV on it:

What could the 24 connect to? One thing I thought of is that we are now in Solar Cycle 24. This is the one that is expected to be very intense with solar maximum expected in 2012.
Will there be a 911 on 515?

803) April 15, 2008      The Days of Noah...

On our drive back from NS, this story on the radio really grabbed my attention (I found it online):

Emma, Noah top names for babies in Nova Scotia last year
The Canadian Press, HALIFAX - Apr 14, 2008
HALIFAX — For the sixth straight year, Emma was the most popular name given to baby girls in Nova Scotia.
Meanwhile, figures from Nova Scotia's Vital Statistics office also show that last year Noah replaced Ryan as the top name for boys.
The top five names for girls last year were Emma, Emily, Ava, Olivia, and Madison. Emma and Emily were also the top names for girls across Canada.
For boys, the top five names in 2007 were Noah, Ethan, Jack, Liam, and Logan.
There were 8,932 births in Nova Scotia in 2007 - 4,614 boys and 4,318 girls.


Matthew 24
37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away;
so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come,
he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.


Luke 17
26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage,
until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank,
they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house,
let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.
32 Remember Lot's wife.
33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.
35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord?
And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is,
thither will the eagles be gathered together.


to land in Metro Aug. 2
Opening acts for Magnetic Hill show to be unveiled today
By Brent Mazerolle
Times & Transcript Staff
Published Monday March 31st, 2008

The rumour already reported coast-to-coast in this concert-crazed nation will finally come home to roost this afternoon.
Debra Rathwell of AEG Live and Donald K. Tarlton of Donald K. Donald have called a news conference for 1:30 this afternoon in Moncton at which time they are expected to confirm The Eagles will headline the 2008 Magnetic Hill Music Festival August 2.
While the promoters are expected to also unveil the names of at least some of the top-calibre opening acts for the event, the veil of secrecy surrounding the whole enterprise has been unlike anything seen here before in the concert business. It is easier to get a U.S. presidential candidate's passport information than it is to see who will take the stage in Moncton this summer.
Boxes of promotional materials were double taped and locked away, promoters' jaws were clamped tighter than a mussel you shouldn't eat, and the Grand Salon of the Delta Beauséjour Hotel was locked up tighter than a drum kit last night as the set-up began for today's big announcement.
Despite the secrecy, all signs nevertheless point to what is sure to be the biggest music event in the Maritimes since the Rolling Stones stormed Magnetic Hill in 2005.
Ian Fowler, the general manager of the City of Moncton's Recreation, Parks, Culture and Tourism department, has been better known around the Maritimes in recent years as "Moncton's concert czar." But he surrendered his title last night in mock disgrace under a grilling from the Times & Transcript.
"So much for the whole czar thing. They won't even tell me," Fowler said last night as he came from a dinner with the promoters. He even skirted the issue of confirming The Eagles were landing, even though most of the city's hotels are already booked.
Fowler told the Times & Transcript that all New Brunswickers are equally in the dark about the precise nature of the big announcement, if that's any consolation. Premier Shawn Graham, who is expected to take part in tomorrow's press conference, has asked him the same questions, and gotten the same answers.
"I just don't know," Folwer said.
The musical love that dare not speak its name -- at least until 1:30 this afternoon -- will be just the latest blast in an ongoing Moncton concert boom. Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, George Jones and Anne Murray are all set for shows in coming months, and each should fill the Moncton Coliseum. An Eagles concert, especially with great opening acts, should draw crowds to surpass all those and many of the year's other concerts combined.
Eagles tickets on sale April 11
Opening acts for August 2 Magnetic Hill festival are John Fogerty, K.T. Tunstall, Sam Roberts Band
By Brent Mazerolle
Times & Transcript Staff
Published Tuesday April 1st, 2008

Last time Donald Tarlton of Donald K. Donald Events rolled in to Metro Moncton, he helped put together the largest grossing concert in Canadian history. The Rolling Stones show in 2005 was massive by any measure, and now Tarlton has come out of semi-retirement to help put together a show sure to be in the same big league.
At last it is official. Enduring super group The Eagles will play Moncton. Flying high on the success of their Number One album, Long Road out of Eden, the band will headline The Magnetic Hill Music Festival on Saturday, August 2 as part of the North American leg of the band's world tour.
They will bring with them opening acts John Fogerty, K.T. Tunstall, and the Sam Roberts Band, a combination that seems sure to provide the cross-generational appeal needed to fill the hill.
John Fogerty is, of course, a former member of the legendary Creedence Clearwater Revival who has had a successful solo career as well. Fogerty, writer of such rock classics as Proud Mary, Centerfield, Bad Moon Rising, Rockin' All Over the World, Born on the Bayou and Fortunate Son give him a play list almost as iconic as that of the band he will open for.
Thanks to American Idol contestants signing her song Black Horse and The Cherry Tree on television, Scottish singer-songwriter K.T. Tunstall blew off the charts all over North America last year, selling 4 million copies worldwide of her debut album, Eye To The Telescope, which had already gained much critical acclaim and a youthful following. Her infectious follow up Suddenly I See and her latest single Hold On from her new CD Drastic Fantastic have also invaded radio charts and dance floors everywhere.
Multi-award winner Sam Roberts Band brings some popular Canadian content to the show. Their much-anticipated Love at the End of the World is scheduled for release on May 20, and its new single, Them Kids, is already climbing the Top 5 on rock radio stations everywhere in Canada. The Sam Roberts Band is no stranger to rocking out large outdoor festivals, having opened the SARS Fest in Toronto in 2003 and performed at Lollapalooza 2007.
Co-produced by Donald K Donald Events and AEG LIVE, the Eagles-led music festival marks the fourth major concert event at Magnetic Hill in as many years.
Tarlton took pains to play down interprovincial rivalries that have been part of the burgeoning concert festival business in Canada the past few years. It was probably appropriate that Tarlton asked the, "Can't we all just get along?" question, since in many he ways he started the stone rolling when he helped bring the Rolling Stones to Magnetic Hill in 2005 for what he said yesterday proved to be the largest grossing concert in Canadian history.
"We are very flattered the mayors and premiers of the various cities and provinces in Atlantic Canada are so anxious to participate in show business. We just wish we could play in every single one of them," Tarlton said, adding he expects from time to time, different shows will go to different venues for different reasons. This time, however, geography carried the day, Tarlton said, pointing to the five or six hour radius that can draw fans to Moncton from throughout Atlantic Canada and Northern New England. "We're in Moncton because this represents the most central location for this particular presentation." Wearing his tiny Order of Canada pin on his sweatshirt, Tarlton explained he has essentially retired from the concert promotion business that made him a household name, choosing to work developing up and coming Canadian talent instead. "But every once in a while, I come back in when I have a chance to make history," he said. Giving the communities in Atlantic Canada their first chance to see bands like The Eagles is something he said "just gets into my skin and I love to do it with the people I have assembled here today."
New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham was on hand for the announcement. Noting the Rolling Stones concert in 2005 brought $15 million in economic spin-offs into New Brunswick, the premier said, "the Province of New Brunswick will be at the table with a modest investment in infrastructure for the Magnetic Hill site to continue to solidify it as a base for world-class entertainment." Graham said he couldn't say more than that, as negotiations were continuing. "We recognize the importance of positioning New Brunswick as the place to be," he said. "To bring in world class entertainment of this magnitude not only boosts tourism revenue, it also gives New Brunswickers pride in knowing we can hold world class events with the best of them."
Moncton Mayor Lorne Mitton was delighted to see the concert, two years in the planning, come together. "During my first year as mayor, I was thrilled to welcome Donald to Moncton, and just as he thrilled that he brought the Rolling Stones with him," Mitton told about 200 people gathered at the Delta Beauséjour for yesterday's announcement. "Donald assured us in 2005 he would be back and he's made good on his promise, just in the nick of time for me as my tenure is finishing just two months from now." The retiring mayor said it was a delight to have his term book ended by two such mega-events. "I can always say that I rolled in with the Stones and flew out with The Eagles."
The Eagles have sold more than 120 million albums worldwide, earning five number one U.S. singles and five Grammy Awards. Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 is the best-selling album of all time. The Eagles were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

John Fogerty
Bad Moon Rising
I see a bad moon a-rising.
I see trouble on the way.
I see earthquakes and lightnin'.
I see bad times today.

Don't go 'round tonight.
It's bound and take your life.
There's a bad moon on the rise.
I hear hurricanes a-blowing.
I know the end is coming soon.
I fear rivers over flowing.
I hear the voice of rage and ruin.
Hope you got your things together.
Hope you are quite prepared to die.
Look's like we're in for nasty weather.
One eye is taken for an eye.

804) April 16, 2008 

Ceremony honours Titanic victims
By DAN ARSENAULT Crime Reporter
Wed. Apr 16 - 5:50 AM

A decades-old ceremony held to remember the Titanic disaster came to Halifax on Tuesday, 96 years to the day after the luxury liner hit an iceberg and went down in the North Atlantic. With bagpipers and priests present, 18 members of the United States Coast Guard’s International Ice Patrol saluted the 1,500 people who died on April 15, 1912.
"It is an honour to be here," Cmdr. Scott Rogerson said in opening the brief ceremony in front of dozens of Titanic graves at Fairview Lawn Cemetery at 6 p.m. The ice patrol started operations in 1914 and was created as a direct response to the Titanic tragedy. With many international partners, the ice patrol has been on the lookout for icebergs ever since.
It started memorializing the sinking of the luxury liner in 1923 and usually dedicates a wreath to the victims and puts it into the ocean where the ship went down, 1,300 kilometres from Halifax. Most often, that wreath is dropped from an iceberg-seeking reconnaissance aircraft that flies out of the ice patrol’s base in Connecticut. Cmdr. Rogerson said a scheduling mix-up prevented his team from attending a meeting in Halifax last August, so one of his staff suggested getting together in April to recognize the Titanic anniversary in the city where 150 victims are buried. Fairview Lawn Cemetery, with 121 victims, has the most in the city but there are some at the Mount Olivet (Roman Catholic) and Baron De Hirsch (Jewish) cemeteries. "It just seemed like such a great idea," Cmdr. Rogerson said of holding the meeting in conjunction with the anniversary. He said the ice patrol intends to put wreaths into the water later this week, too.
Capt. Harry Crawford, a chaplain at CFB Halifax, also attended the ceremony. Capt. Crawford, who grew up in a Cape Breton fishing community, said the event is a way to remember everyone who has died on the world’s oceans. Besides lamenting the losses, he said, it’s important to remember the vigilance of the ice patrol, the rescue crews and others who work to keep the waters safe. "One of the reasons that Titanic occurred was because people got arrogant in the face of nature," Capt. Crawford said. "They believed that this ship was unsinkable and the forces of nature couldn’t do anything to it."



805) April 17, 2008     Earthquake... Tidal Wave...
Today's Garfield comic:

Garfield © Jim Davis


806) April 18, 2008     Earthquake...

Midwest quake felt far and wide
updated 7 minutes ago (10:35 ADT)
(CNN) -- People nearly 900 miles away felt a magnitude-5.2 earthquake that shook southern Illinois early Friday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
There were no immediate reports of major damage after the predawn quake, which struck at 4:36 a.m. (5:36 a.m. ET). However, some minor damage was seen in the region. Debris fell on a sidewalk and shattered in Louisville, Kentucky, after part of a cornice fell off a brick building, according to footage from the city's CNN affiliate WHAS-TV.
The epicenter of the earthquake -- the strongest in the region in 40 years -- was about seven miles below ground and 38 miles north-northwest of Evansville, Indiana, the USGS said.
Nearly 10,000 people had sent reports of shaking to the USGS Web site by 9 a.m. ET. People as far away as Niceville, Florida, 891 miles away, reported to the USGS Web site that they had felt the quake. Reports also came in from such distant places as West Virginia, Alabama and Kansas.
"Pretty typically for these eastern-central U.S. earthquakes, they're felt over a very broad area," said Dave Applegate, USGS senior science adviser, adding that quakes in California tend to be more localized. The Earth's crust is older and less fractured in the Midwest than in California, and the region's deep sediment "shakes a lot," Applegate said. "Older crust, when you have an earthquake, it rings like a bell," he said.
The USGS said the largest historical earthquake in the region -- magnitude 5.4 -- shook southern Illinois in 1968.
People as far away as southwest Michigan and northeast Georgia e-mailed CNN to say they felt Friday's tremor. Air traffic was halted for an hour at Indianapolis International Airport while the control tower was evacuated, CNN affiliate WRTV-TV in the Indiana city reported. And buildings swayed in Chicago's Loop, The Associated Press reported. "It shook our house where it woke me up," David Behm of Philo, Illinois, told the AP. "Windows were rattling, and you could hear it. The house was shaking inches. For people in central Illinois, this is a big deal. It's not like California."
Radio talk-show host George Noory said he felt the quake in his St. Louis home. "Everything shook," Noory said. "I thought the building was going to collapse." Bonnie Lucas, who hosts a morning show at WHO-AM in Des Moines, told the AP she felt her chair move for five seconds.
The earthquake occurred in the Wabash Valley fault system, adjacent to the New Madrid Seismic Zone, Applegate said. That zone, named for the town of New Madrid, Missouri, was the site of a series of huge tremors in 1811 and 1812.

Copyright 2008 CNN


807) April 18, 2008      Straight Is The Way

Overview for 'Straight Is The Way'


808) April 20, 2008
I was immensely saddened to read about yesterday's passing of Kent Steadman of cyberspaceorbit.com.
I visited his site often and greatly appreciated the information he documented and discussed, and the time and effort he spent doing so. He - and his information - were invaluable to me. I can't believe he is gone.


Subj: 11:11
Date: 11/14/01 11:14:01 AM Pacific Standard Time
From: ANON
Hi Kent,
I noticed your link to the 11:11 information and I wanted to share my experience with you regarding this phenomena again. I have copied three letters that I previously sent to you, including my first one exactly two years ago. They deal with my 11:11 experience and I hope you will find them of interest. Perhaps they did not mean much to you at the time, but perhaps now with the 11:11 apparently achieving greater attention, you will find them of more interest. "Timing is everything."
I would be grateful if you would once again link to my paper Seeing Is Believing
(Chapter 13 specifically deals with 11:11.)
Thank you, Kent
Following are the three letters that I previously wrote to you:
Subj: Information For You
Date: 10/29/99
To: [email protected]
CC: [email protected]
Dear Phikent,
My name is Juli. I am writing to you because I wish to share something with you that I believe you may find very interesting. I wish to share it with you because of something I found on your website yesterday. Perhaps this is the "connection" I have been searching and waiting for. I am very excited, and at the same time frightened, at what it could all mean. It is a very long story and covers a great deal so I am not sure if I can summarize it properly. I would appreciate if you would not publish this letter but if you could offer any information, ideas, even suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it.
My story starts last December 1998 when I "figured something out." It is something that I believe has the potential of "saving the world." It really could - if people would believe it. I have spent the last year compiling this information into a 'Theory' and attempting to get this information out to the world. (I have put it on the Internet.) As you can imagine, this has not been an easy task, and I have not, as yet, been successful. But I keep trying, hence this letter to you, because I KNOW just how important this is.
My theory is based on the fact that most people cannot "see" because they cannot "see." In other words, many people cannot see (understand) unless they can visually see it. This is why non-visible things, like ideas and concepts, like 'The Mind,' like 'God' are difficult, if not impossible, for many people to comprehend - or believe. What my Theory does is SHOW them via a diagram. Now, they can "see" because they can "see!" People can now "see" their minds. Now they can now figure themselves out. Now they can understand themselves. Now they can achieve "Peace of Mind." Now they can figure others out. Now they can understand others. Now "Peace on Earth" is possible! Now they can "see" God and "Seeing Is Believing." This diagram is so simple, and yet it explains so much - maybe even everything. I believe it may even be what the world has been waiting for.
Now let me explain some other things that provide evidence for its importance. I know that you have an open mind (also explained by my diagram) so hopefully you will believe me. I cannot explain everything to you, so I will try to explain the "connections" that led me to you.
1. For the past many years, the numbers 11:11 have had a great significance to me. I would see them so often that I just thought they were my "lucky" numbers. (I even bought a Home Lottery Ticket once on November 11th at 11:00 a.m. just to see. I didn't win). When I figured this diagram out in December, I started to see this 11:11 all the time. I knew then it had to do with this. It was then that I started a very personal relationship with God. I asked Him, "God, I don't understand. I know this 11:11 means something but I can't figure it out. You're just going to have to tell me." Approximately a week later, as we were listening to the radio for school bus delays, the announcer said, "For all you people who are wondering what 11:11 means, ..." From that moment on, my life changed. I was in shock. I asked a question and it got answered. God was communicating with me - revealing Himself to me! I KNEW then that this was important.
2. A few months later, I "was led" to the book "The Message of the Sphinx" by Graham Hancock. Again I was - I cannot explain the emotion - when I came to pages 235 - 236 where the numbers 11:11 are explained. "SEEKERS of the Truth." I wondered if that is what I am - a "Seeker."
3. I recently "came across" your website. I was amazed at all the information you have. I found everything so interesting and so pertinent. It took me a long time to get to the end of your page as I spent so much time "looking around." When I finally did, I noticed the last line "HAIL TO THE SEEKER: PROCEED." That caught my attention, and I had every intention of following it, but every time I went into your website, I would get sidetracked. Finally, yesterday, I decided that I would go directly to that link and follow it and not allow myself to get sidetracked. After quite a few connections, I asked myself, "How long is this? Will I ever get to the end of the "Proceeds" - the final destination?" I happened to notice the location of the website, and that the numbers kept decreasing, for example, /orbitback55.html. I decided that instead of going to all 55 locations, as the "Seeker" I would see what information /orbitback11.html contained. THAT is why I have decided to write to you. I cannot believe it. Everything there is what my Theory describes. Our diagram is almost identical. I even talk about ALHPA brain waves and Ephesians 3:18 (which I believe is the "Mystery of the Bible" solved). Because of this, I am "inspired" to write to you and tell you.
4. I believe that I was "destined" to figure this out. I am a Leo. I was born August 14, 1960. I can even find a place in the Bible where this date could mean something.
What do YOU think all of this means? Please reply,
NOTE: Kent, please note that the front page of your website is currently the Milk Hill Crop Circle. Also please note the date .... August 14th.
Subj: Re: Information For You
Date: 10/29/99 11:45:31 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: Phikent
In a message dated 10/29/99 7:41:19 AM Pacific Daylight Time, ANON writes:
<< What do YOU think all of this means? Please reply, >>
I think this means you ought to publish your findings in ORBIT, heh.
Subj: Info regarding Mind Control and other phenomenon
Date: 1/18/2000
To: [email protected]
Dear Kent,
I am the one who wrote Seeing Is Believing that you kindly linked to your website. I do not know if you will recall my first letter to you, but in that letter I described my experience with the number 11:11 and how connections with that phenomenon led me to you. I have since learned that this 11:11 enigma is being experienced by many people and according to one individual is even starting to be discussed by the media. (I must note that other numbers such as 4:44 are also significant). I believe that this information may open an entire new dimension of "truth" to you and your readers.
One thing I would like to talk to you about deals with the many "mind control" links you have on your site. Speaking from experience, there is no question that paranormal activity concerning The Mind is being experienced by many people, however, I can tell you with 100% certainty that this is not a man-made phenomenon. Based on personal experience, this would be impossible. Why? Because of one important factor. TIME. To whomever is communicating with us, Time is irrelevant. Let me give you some scenario-type examples:
1) You keep seeing the numbers 11:11 on digital clocks, license plates, telephone numbers, email letters, cash receipts, everywhere you look. At first it seems coincidental, even funny, but when it begins to happen too often to be coincidence, you begin to feel like you are living in the "Twilight Zone" and you begin to feel strange and even a bit frightened as you wonder if you are losing your sanity. But you know you are not, because it is not ALL in your mind. There is the physical 11:11 evidence to prove it. Finally, you say, "God, I don't know what this means. You are going to have to tell me." A few days later, you are listening to the radio, and the announcer says, "For all of you who are wondering what the number 11:11 means..." Your jaw drops in shock, you feel weak and your knees start to shake. "Oh my God. What is happening?" you cry. But in your heart you already know. God has just communicated with you. Then you really cry.
2) You wonder something. You then turn on the television and there is a program dealing with exactly that topic.
3) While discussing your paranormal experiences with a co-worker, you ask, "Why?" Your friend quotes, "Ours is not to reason why, Ours is but to do and die." You laugh and say, "Who said that?" That evening your family is watching the game show Jeopardy. As you walk into the room you hear, "Ours is not to reason why, Ours is but to do and die" ... "Who is Alfred Lord Tennyson?"
4) You are listening to the news on the radio and you hear about the death of a young musician whom you admired as being a very talented and good-hearted person, and you say to yourself, "Only the good die young." When the news is over and the music resumes, the song played is "Only The Good Die Young" by Billy Joel.
5) You write an email to someone describing your paranormal experiences. When you are done, you read it over and ask, "How does this sound? Am I saying too much... not enough? Should I send it or not?" You then say, "God, if you want me to send it, please tell me somehow. I will turn on the radio and if a song by Amanda Marshall is playing, I will send it." You then go to your clock radio to turn it on. The time is 11:11. The next song is "Birmingham" by Amanda Marshall. The person you are writing to lives in Birmingham, Alabama.
"Coincidences," you say? No. If they were a once-in-a-while occurrence, then perhaps it would be questionable. However, when this occurs on a regular basis - several times a day - then you know that it is not a coincidence - it is communication.
Getting back to TIME. These television programs and these songs on the radio are scheduled perhaps weeks in advance. How does whomever we are communicating with know exactly when we are going to think what we think, say what we say, ask what we ask, know exactly when we are going to turn on the television or the radio, know exactly what magazine we are going to pick up in the Doctor's office, know exactly when we are going to walk into a room? I think you will agree that this is not "humanly" possible.
"Then who are we communicating with?" you ask. The answer is GOD.
If at this point you are saying to yourself, "This girl is paranoid, deluded and crazy...This cannot be true...This is impossible," then you have closed your mind. And THAT my friends, is what it is ALL about: The Closed Mind vs The Open Mind. (Please read my paper, "Seeing Is Believing" for further explanation regarding that).
Since this started happening to me, I started to really study the Bible. I do believe that we are in the "End Times" (I will give you a few reasons why in a moment) and I believe that God is communicating with many of us for the reason of telling/warning others of this fact. Unfortunately, many of the others who this is happening to do not know the reason why - they only know that it is happening to them and because they do not know the reason why, it is a frustration, even torment, to them.
Why do I believe we are in the End Times? I will give you some reasons based on the following scripture in Acts 2 (also found in Joel 2:28-32) (also see Rev 6:12):
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
19 And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
1) "I will pour out of my spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and daughters shall prophesy." This is exactly what is currently happening to a great many people, as described above. I believe that if (if being the operative word) and when these people (many are very famous) "come out of the closet" so to speak, the entire world will be shocked. They will not believe that they didn't figure it out, that they didn't have a clue. They were listening, but they didn't hear.
I will give you one example, because he has talked about it himself in the December 24/31, 1999 edition of Entertainment Weekly Best of 1999 (page 36). Carlos Santana. He is nominated for a number of awards at this year's upcoming Grammy Awards for his new album - here is your first clue - "Supernatural." Here are some of the quotes from this article: "Santana considers Supernatural the product of nothing less than cosmic intervention. "It's not really chance or luck. It's something more paranormal - like divine synchronicity," he says... A chat with Santana leads naturally into this sort of otherworldy realm. He talks about how music can "rearrange your molecular structure"; he talks about how the next century will bring a revelation from the nether reaches of the galaxy. "I truly believe that we're going to be visited in prime time by a landing from the so-called invisible people," Santana says..."The extraterrestrials. Pleiadians, Arturians, Andromedans, angels. I've been saying for a long time that we have friends outside our eyeballs and friends inside our eyeballs."
2) "I will show wonders in the heavens above." On February 24, 1999 Venus and Jupiter converged over Bethlehem in much the same way that when it last happened 2000 years ago, scientists believe it was probably the Star of Bethlehem that appeared in the same year Jesus was born.
3) "The sun shall be turned into darkness." On August 11, 1999 at exactly 11:11 there was a total eclipse of the sun cutting a path of 111 miles wide. There will be another partial solar eclipse on Christmas Day of this year.
4) "The moon into blood." This Thursday, January 20th, there will be a Lunar eclipse in which "the full moon is expected to turn brick red for more that an hour."
These are a few examples that I believe are "signs" to warn us that we are indeed in the End Times. In Rev 3:3, God says, "Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt NOT watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee." In other words, if we ARE watching, we will see the signs.
There are many strange and peculiar things that are happening in the world today, which is why your site even exists, right? People are trying to figure it all out by sharing their experiences, theories and knowledge. Everyone is trying to put the pieces of this puzzle together. I hope that this letter provides another perspective as to what the answer may be. Please feel free to post this letter if you wish. Perhaps some of your readers are experiencing this 11:11 phenomenon as well, and the knowledge that they are not alone may provide them with some Peace of Mind. In fact, try it yourself. You must receive many, many emails. Do a quick search and see if any were sent to you at 11:11 or 4:44.
Yours truly,
[email protected]
Subj: Receipt for Info regarding Mind Control and other phenomenon
Date: 1/18/2000 5:16:04 PM Eastern Standard Time
     Message subject: Info regarding Mind Control and other phenomenon
     When sent: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 16:04:47 EST
     Read by: BARDSQUILL
     When read: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 17:16:04 EST
Subj: Another example
Date: 1/19/2000
To: [email protected]
Dear Kent,
Just to give you another "timely" example of what I mean, I just read the morning paper and the "Peanuts" cartoon caught my eye. If you get the paper and this cartoon is available to you, please read it. If not, I will describe it to you...
Charlie Brown's little brother, Rerun, is riding on the back of his mother's bicycle. He says..."And here we go again over the curb out into the street... "All in the valley of death rode the six hundred... Cannon to the right of them, Cannon to the left of them, Into the jaws of death rode the six hundred"... Through the yellow light! Between the trailers!... And home again in one piece...I think!"
This line is from Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem, "Charge of the Light Brigade." And what other lines are in this poem? "Their's not to reason why, Their's but to do and die."
How did God know that I was going to write to you yesterday and give you the example of this poem? How did this Peanuts cartoon get scheduled to be in today's paper? (I think God is helping me try and prove it to you.) Anyway, I think you will agree that there is too much going on to be humanly orchestrated.
Your thoughts?
The poem: <aut> Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1883) </aut> Charge of the Light Brigade

(new link: http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/poem/2116.html)
Subj: Receipt for Another example
Date: 1/19/2000 10:15:09 AM Eastern Standard Time
     Message subject: Another example
     When sent: Wed, 19 Jan 2000 09:13:01 EST
     Read by: BARDSQUILL
     When read: Wed, 19 Jan 2000 10:15:09 EST


809) April 25, 2008   


810) April 27, 2008     Solar Tsunami - 1408



811) April 28, 2008   

Honest Questions about the End of Days
Aired April 25, 2008 - 19:00:00 ET


812) April 28, 2008   

Iraqis See Red as US Opens World’s Biggest Embassy
The 104-acre, 21-building enclave was cleared for occupancy recently and will open next month
Published on Thursday, April 24, 2008 by the Christian Science Monitor

by Howard LaFranchi
BAGHDAD - For the average American who will never see it, the new US Embassy in Baghdad may be little more than the Big Dig of the Tigris. Like the infamous Boston highway project, the embassy is a mammoth development that is overbudget, overdue, and casts a whiff of corruption.
For many Iraqis, though, the sand-and-ochre-colored compound peering out across the city from a reedy stretch of riverfront within the fortified Green Zone is an unsettling symbol both of what they have become in the five years since the fall of Saddam Hussein, and of what they have yet to achieve. “It is a symbol of occupation for the Iraqi people, that is all,” says Anouar, a Baghdad graduate student who thought it was risk enough to give her first name. “We see the size of this embassy and we think we will be part of the American plan for our country and our region for many, many years.”
The 104-acre, 21-building enclave - the largest US Embassy in the world, similar in size to Vatican City in Rome - is often described as a “castle” by Iraqis, but more in the sense of the forbidden and dominating than of the alluring and liberating. “We all know this big yellow castle, but its main purpose, it seems, is the security of the Americans who will live there,” says Sarah, a university sophomore who also declined to give her last name for reasons of personal safety. “I heard that no one else can ever reach it.” Among the Iraqi elites who have suffered so much in the chaos of the post-Hussein period - the professors, doctors, architects, and artists - the impact of the new American giant is often expressed more symbolically but sometimes using the same terms.
Castles in the sand
“Saddam had his big castles; they symbolized his power and were places to be feared, and now we have the castle of the power that toppled him,” says Abdul Jabbar Ahmed, a vice dean for political sciences at Baghdad University. “If I am the ambassador of the USA here I would say, ‘Build something smaller that doesn’t stand out so much, it’s too important that we avoid these negative impressions.’ ”
Yet while the new embassy may be the largest in the world, it is not in its design and presence unlike others the US has built around the world in a burst of overseas construction since the bombings of US missions in the 1980s and ’90s. Efforts to provide the 12,000 American diplomats working overseas a secure environment were redoubled following the 9/11 attacks. Designed according to what are called the “Inman standards” - the results of a 1985 commission on secure embassy construction headed by former National Security Agency head Bobby Inman - recent embassies have been built as fortified compounds away from population centers and surrounded by high walls. In the case of larger embassies in the most dangerous environments, as in Baghdad, secure housing is included, along with some of the amenities of home - restaurants, gyms, pools, cinemas, shopping - that can give the compound the air of an enclave.
The US government cleared the new Baghdad Embassy for occupancy last week, with the embassy’s 700 employees and up to 250 military personnel expected to move in over the month of May, according to Ambassador Ryan Crocker.
$1 billion a year to operate
The $740 million compound - expected to cost more than $1 billion a year to operate - was originally expected to cost $600 million to build and was to open in September 2007. Design changes and faulty construction caused repeated delays.
Congress learned last fall of problems with the site’s electrical system, and early this year reports surfaced of significant problems with the fire-fighting systems. Nevertheless, embassy personnel have been anxious for the complex, with more than 600 blast-resistant apartments, to open and give them some refuge from the mortar fire that has increasingly targeted the Green Zone this year. Last month, a mortar slammed into one of the unfortified trailers where personnel now sleep, killing an American civilian contractor. At least two US soldiers have died from rocket fire on the Green Zone since then.
But even the embassy’s opening may not be assuaging diplomats’ concerns about assignments in Iraq. Last week, the State Department warned that it may start ordering employees to serve at the embassy next year if more volunteers do not come forward for the 300 posts expected to open. The State Department announcement follows a similar warning last fall of a shortfall of volunteers for about 50 Iraq positions. Candidates were eventually found without any compulsory assignments for 2008, but the prospect of ordered assignments to a war zone caused tensions at the department.
Such challenges to the full manning of the new embassy have yet to reach Iraqi ears. Still, some Iraqis who condemn the imagery of the imposing new compound say they are even more critical of what, in an indirect way, it also tells Iraqis about their own leadership.“What does it say to Iraqis that we cannot walk along a beautiful part of the river in our own land because of this big American place?” says Qasim Sabti, an Iraqi artist and Baghdad gallery owner. “But it shows us something else about our own government,” he adds. “At least the Americans could build this thing, but we Iraqis have no new buildings or streets, everything is destroyed - but still the corruption is so great that the money goes into pockets before it can build something new.”
Other Iraqis say the embassy highlights the long-term interests the US has in both Iraq and the region. “If it is so big, it is a reflection of the size of the designs they have for Iraq and the Middle East,” says Maimoon al-Khaldi, an actor and professor at Baghdad’s Fine Arts Academy. “It is a sign of their energy agenda and of their security agenda in this region,” he adds. “This building faces the Iraqis, yes, but also the Iranians they have declared to be their enemies.”
Mr. Jabbar says the Americans “surely have a right and duty to protect their delegation here.” But he says he still wouldn’t have built something so large. “That is too much of a symbol,” he says. “It sends a message to the Iraqis that says, ‘Be careful, we removed Saddam Hussein and we can remove what has come after him anytime we want.’”
Copyright © 2008 The Christian Science Monitor
(2006 article) 
Giant U.S. embassy rising in Baghdad
Posted 4/19/2006
12:51 AM ET
By Barbara Slavin, USA TODAY

Three years after a U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein, only one major U.S. building project in Iraq is on schedule and within budget: the massive new American embassy compound.
The $592 million facility is being built inside the heavily fortified Green Zone by 900 non-Iraqi foreign workers who are housed nearby and under the supervision of a Kuwaiti contractor, according to a Senate Foreign Relations Committee report. Construction materials have been stockpiled to avoid the dangers and delays on Iraq's roads.
"We are confident the embassy will be completed according to schedule (by June 2007) and on budget," said Justin Higgins, a State Department spokesman. The same cannot be said for major projects serving Iraqis outside the Green Zone, the Senate report said. Many — including health clinics, water-treatment facilities and electrical plants — have had to be scaled back or in some cases eliminated because of the rising costs of securing worksites and workers. "No large-scale, U.S.-funded construction program in Iraq has yet met its schedule or budget," the committee report said.
Security is the "No. 1 factor that impedes progress," said Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction. Contractors and Army Corps of Engineers officials "are being shot at or threatened every day," he said. At least 467 contractors in Iraq have been killed, said Christine Belisle, a spokeswoman for the special inspector general. According to the special inspector general's office, which Congress created to oversee U.S. projects in Iraq, 25% of nearly $21 billion for Iraq reconstruction has been diverted to pay for security.
The massive new embassy, being built on the banks of the Tigris River, is designed to be entirely self-sufficient and won't be dependent on Iraq's unreliable public utilities. The 104-acre complex — the size of about 80 football fields — will include two office buildings, one of them designed for future use as a school, six apartment buildings, a gym, a pool, a food court and its own power generation and water-treatment plants. The average Baghdad home has electricity only four hours a day, according to Bowen's office.
The current U.S. Embassy in Iraq has nearly 1,000 Americans working there, more than at any other U.S. embassy. Most embassy functions are now housed in Saddam Hussein's former Republican Palace, also within the Green Zone. The U.S. government and military, which occupied many of Saddam's palaces after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, are turning the facilities back to the Iraqi government.
The lead contractor on the embassy project is a Kuwaiti firm, First Kuwaiti Trading & Contracting, Higgins said. There are also five U.S. subcontractors, but he would not name them for security reasons. The Senate report recommended that First Kuwaiti consider hiring more Iraqis, if they can be properly screened.
Posted 4/19/2006 12:51 AM ET


813) April 28, 2008   

Carter: U.S. would not stand in way of Israel-Syria peace deal
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent and The Associated Press

Former U.S. president Carter clarified in a meeting last week with Syrian president Bashar Assad that the U.S. would not stand in the way of serious peace negotiations between Syria and Israel. Carter also said the U.S. would even support any agreement that is reached. He told Meretz chairman Yossi Beilin at a meeting in Jerusalem on Monday that he had made these statements to Assad. The former U.S. president approached Beilin in an effort to jumpstart a "Syrian Geneva Accord," which would put on the table a comprehensive plan for peace between Israel and Syria. Carter was referring to an unofficial peace proposal that included unprecedented compromises for both Israelis and Palestinians, which was first launched in late 2003. Beilin told Carter that the Israeli government failed in its attempt to de-legitimize his visit, and that the public understands better than its government the need for a cease fire and for the release of captured soldier Gilad Shalit.
In a meeting on Monday with another MK, Israeli Arab lawmaker Ahmed Tibi, Carter discussed the state of Israel's Arab minority. Tibi accused Israel of discriminating against its Arab citizens. Carter said that the American public is unaware of the discrimination Arab Israelis suffer from and suggested that Tibi do more to increase U.S. public awareness of the matter.
Also Monday, Carter said that Assad is "eager" to restart negotiations with Israel over the Golan Heights and believes that 85 percent of the differences between the two countries have already been resolved. Speaking to reporters following talks with officials in Syria and Egypt, Carter said: "In all my conversations with President Assad, whom I've known since he was a college student, I was impressed with their eagerness, complete the agreement on the Golan Heights." According to Carter, Assad said that "the only major difference in starting good faith talks was that Israel insisted that there will be no public acknowledgement that the talks were going on when Syria insisted that the talks would not be a secret." The former U.S. president also relayed that Assad believes "85 percent of the differences [between Israel and Syria] had already been resolved, including an agreement on the borders, on water rights - which is applied on the Sea of Galilee - on the security zone and on the presence of international forces." Carter reiterated that "Syria believes that for all practical purposes all the differences have already been resolved between Syria and Israel and it is just a matter of reconvening the talks and concluding an agreement." Speaking about the possibility of renewed peace talks between Israel and Syria, he said "Syria wants the U.S. to play a strong role in bringing to two sides together."
In recent days, both Olmert and Assad have confirmed putting out feelers to each other about resuming negotiations. Talks broke off in 2000 after Syria rejected Israel's offer to return the Golan Heights, which it captured in the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed.
Assad confirms trading messages with Israel
Syrian President Bashar Assad said Sunday that he has exchanged messages with Israel through a third party to explore the possibility of resuming peace talks, the country's official news agency SANA reported. During a meeting with Syria's ruling Baath Party officials, Assad commented on media reports about indirect contact between the two countries. "There are efforts exerted in this direction," he was quoted as saying.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told Haaretz last week in an interview "I know exactly what the Syrians want and I think the Syrians know what the State of Israel and I expect from the peace process." Assad echoed these comments Sunday, saying "Israel knows well what is accepted and not accepted by Syria." "Syria rejects secret [direct] talks or contacts with Israel... Anything Syria does in this regard will be announced to the public," Assad was quoted as saying.
Negotiations broke off in 2000 after Syria rejected Israel's offer to return the Golan Heights, which it captured in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed. Syria wanted Israel to withdraw to the prewar line on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. But Israel wasn't prepared to give up any control of the lake that provides about half of the country's drinking water.
Despite the peace overtures, tensions have been high between the two countries in recent months, largely stemming from a reported Israeli airstrike on a Syrian military facility in September. Some foreign reports have said the target was a nuclear installation Syria was building with North Korean assistance. Damascus denies having a nuclear program, and North Korea says it was not involved in any such project. Syria did not retaliate for the attack.
Both Syria and Israel have expressed a willingness to renew talks since Israel's war against the Lebanese-based Hezbollah militia in 2006. Olmert has insisted that if Syria is serious about peace, Damascus must withdraw its support for Hezbollah and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
Casting himself as a champion of Arab rights, Assad said Syria would remain "a country of resistance and opposition" to what Damascus regards as aggressive U.S. and Israeli policies in the Middle East. "The more steadfast we are the more fierce the campaigns against us become," he said, according to the state news agency.

Syria, Israel reportedly in indirect talks
Thu April 24, 2008
CNN) -- Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has been indirectly negotiating with Israel for a year, through Turkey, according to Arabic language newspaper published this week. Al-Assad told Qatar's Arabic language al-Watan newspaper Syria has been speaking to Israeli representatives since Israel's war with Hezbollah militants in Lebanon in the summer of 2006. "However, Turkey's involvement only started last year and particularly in April 2007, leading to new and positive outcomes," he said.
According to the Syrian leader, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert "has confirmed to the Turkish Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip Erdogan] his readiness to return the Golan Heights." "We received this news a week ago, and after that we heard Olmert saying in a statement: 'We know what Syria wants, and Syria knows what we want.' "
Syria has been pushing Israel to return the Golan Heights, which Israel seized from Syria in the Six Day War in 1967. Al-Assad said there have not been any direct talks with Israel, but signaled that could happen in the future. "Maybe with the coming administration in the United States we can talk about direct negotiations," he told al-Watan.
Israel has yet to officially comment on Al-Assad's interview.
Alon Liel, a retired Israeli diplomat who supports Israeli-Syrian negotiations, said he believes talks between the two countries could change "the balance of power in the Middle East in favor of the moderates." "I think that [what] the Israeli public will understand [is] that in return for the withdrawal we are getting a moderate Syria in the region," Liel said, adding, "I think the Israeli public will be ready to pay the price."
News of the interview comes days after former U.S. President Jimmy Carter wrapped up a visit to the region, which included talks with Al-Assad on the Golan Heights issue. "Senior government officials pledged to complete an agreement on the Golan Heights and peace with Israel as soon as possible," according to Carter. "The government took very seriously the recent comment by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that he understood Syrian expectations, and he thought Syria understood Israeli expectations," Carter said following his trip. "Since the Syrian government considers that about 85 percent of the issues have been resolved in prior negotiations, it believes the agreement should be completed soon," he added.
Al-Assad told the newspaper that issues relating to Israel will be discussed this weekend when Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan visits the Syrian capital, Damascus.

CNN's Roba Alhenawi in Atlanta, Georgia, contributed to this report

White House: Syria reactor not for 'peaceful' purposes
Fri April 25, 2008
From Ed Henry
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A covert nuclear reactor destroyed last year in Syria would have been capable of producing plutonium and probably was "not intended for peaceful purposes," the White House said Thursday. But senior intelligence officials later said they had only low confidence that the facility was meant to build nuclear weapons. A senior U.S. official said the reactor was weeks or months away from being functional when it was bombed by Israel in September. "This thing was good to go, so we had to assume they were ready to throw the switch," said a senior U.S. intelligence officer who, along with another senior intelligence officer and a senior White House official, briefed reporters about the site Thursday afternoon.
A White House statement said North Korea may have assisted Syria's nuclear activities. "We have long been seriously concerned about North Korea's nuclear weapons program and its proliferation activities," the statement said. "North Korea's clandestine nuclear cooperation with Syria is a dangerous manifestation of those activities." At the media briefing, one of the intelligence officials said information collected by the United States suggests North Korean "nuclear entities" met with high-level Syrian officials as early as 1997. In 2005, the investigators learned that Syria and North Korea were working together on a project in a remote part of the Dayr az Zawr region of eastern Syria, the official said.
A working reactor would make Syria the first Arab nation with nuclear capability and would potentially put nuclear weapons in the hands of a regime that the United States accuses of committing human rights abuses and supporting international terror groups.
During the briefing, the intelligence officials said they had "high confidence" that North Korea had aided Syria with its nuclear program. But they said they have only low confidence about concluding that it was meant for developing weapons. That's in part because the site had no reprocessing facility, needed for making bombs.
The nation's most senior intelligence officials spent much of Thursday briefing key lawmakers on the September bombing by Israeli warplanes. The officials showed a narrated video with still photographs and animated images they said indicate similarities between the Syrian facility and North Korean nuclear facilities. "The reactor would have been capable of producing plutonium for nuclear weapons, was not configured to produce electricity and was ill-suited for research," CIA Director Michael Hayden said in a message, obtained by CNN, that he sent to employees Thursday. In the message, Hayden said intelligence officers learned last spring that the building was a nuclear reactor built using North Korean technology. He said the CIA had suspected that the countries were cooperating on nuclear technology as early as 2001.
Outside nuclear experts -- none of whom had immediately reviewed the administration video Thursday -- have said that none of the fuel needed to run a nuclear reactor was present on the site. Asked why David Albright, a former weapons inspector, and other experts have said Syria was not close to getting the reactor functional, a U.S. official said that such comments are coming from people who are "only half-read-in on" the intelligence.
Syria's ambassador to the United States criticized the Bush administration claims, saying Syria never worked with North Korea on a nuclear program. "I hope the truth will be revealed to everyone," Imad Moustapha told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "This will be a major embarrassment to the U.S. administration for the second time; they lied about the Iraqi [weapons of mass destruction], and they are trying to do it again."
Pyongyang has resisted pressure to reveal who has received North Korean nuclear know-how.
On Capitol Hill, the briefings raised questions about how the news would affect ongoing six-party talks in which the United States and other world powers are trying to get North Korea to give up its nuclear program in return for the loosening of sanctions. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said the briefing had come eight months too late. And he warned that the briefing would complicate the talks with North Korea, saying it "would be much harder to go through Congress and get [any] agreements approved."
Rep. Howard Berman, the Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued a statement calling the reported details about the site "disturbing." But he said they provide no reason to suspend talks with North Korea. "Rather, the information that has been released to the public demonstrates the importance of insisting on a verifiable enforcement mechanism to ensure that North Korea honors its commitments to stop spreading the means to create nuclear weapons and to end its nuclear program permanently," he said.
Officials said they delayed releasing details of the September 6 Israeli air strike for fear that doing so would provoke Syria to retaliate against Israel, leading to major warfare in the region. In their briefing with reporters, the senior officials said that Israel had consulted the United States before launching the strike that took out the facility but stressed that U.S. officials did not "green light" the action.


814) May 2, 2008      Capital of Syria... Damascus

Seven killed in Arkansas storms
, Arkansas (AP) -- At least seven people, including three members of the same family, were killed Friday and at least 12 people were injured as severe weather swept through Arkansas, emergency officials said.
Three people -- two adults and a child -- died when their home in Damascus, Arkansas, took a direct hit from what may have been a tornado, Van Buren County Sheriff Bradley Scott said. Two people were killed in Conway County, Arkansas, and one in Hensley, south of the capital city of Little Rock in southern Pulaski County, said Tommy Jackson of the state Department of Emergency Management. He said he did not have details. In Siloam Springs, Arkansas, a 15-year-old girl was killed when a tree fell through the bedroom where she was sleeping, said Brenda Balk, spokeswoman for Siloam Springs police. A 10-year-old boy sleeping in the same room was extricated and taken to a hospital, Balk said, but was in good condition and was expected to be released soon.
"We're not currently certain if it was straight-line winds or a tornado," said Stacy Vaughn of the Siloam Springs communication department. National Weather Service investigators were expected in Siloam Springs, about 160 miles northwest of Little Rock, she said.
Scott said six people in Van Buren County were taken to local hospitals with injuries. Jackson said six others in Conway County were also injured. In Van Buren County, Scott said, the suspected twister destroyed 28 homes, a church, three businesses and six chicken houses. If confirmed, it would be the second tornado in the area this year, he said; one struck February 5. He said authorities were conducting house-to-house searches to ensure that everyone was accounted for. "We live in a great place," he said. "A lot of people are stepping up and helping. We're going to get through it again."
State Department of Emergency Management spokesman Tommy Jackson said there also was confirmed damage and an unknown number of injuries around Bee Branch in Van Buren County, just north of Damascus. "It sounded like all hell was breaking loose," said Randy Payne, 38, who hid in a hallway at his aunt and uncle's house in Damascus.
Eleven Arkansas counties have reported receiving some kind of storm damage, said Renee Preslar of the Department of Emergency Management. The National Weather Service said tornado touchdowns were also reported in eastern Texas, near the Louisiana border. High winds were reported in Missouri and Illinois.


815) May 2, 2008   

Matthew 24

3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying,
Tell us, when shall these things be?
And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.


Subject: May 2008 VisionTV Newsletter
Date: 02/05/08 4:47:41 P.M. Atlantic Daylight Time


Many accounts give May 14, 1948 as the date that the State of Israel was born, but according to this newspaper's front page, it was proclaimed at "midnight on May 14."
Midnight is 12:00:00 AM so it is really the beginning of the next day. So "midnight on May 14" is actually May 15.


For a larger image where you can actually read the articles click here:
The Palestine Post is dated Friday, May 16, 1948. The headline is 'STATE OF ISRAEL IS BORN'. Under the headline it says, "The first independent Jewish State in 19 centuries was born in Tel Aviv as the British Mandate over Palestine came to an end at midnight on Friday (May 14), and it was immediately subjected to the test of fire."
The title of the article to the far right is 'Proclamation by Head Of Government' and reads, "The creation of "Medinat Yisrael", the State of Israel, was proclaimed at midnight on Friday by Mr. David Ben Gurion, until then Chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive and now head of the State's Provisional Council of Government.
If the British Mandate over Palestine ended at midnight on May 14, i.e. 12:00:00:00, then the State of Israel was born on May 15 at 12:00:00:01. If Mr. David Ben Gurion made the proclamation at "midnight on Friday" - Friday being May 14 - by the time the first word left his mouth, it would have been at least a second after midnight - so it would have actually been May 15. And, as stated above, midnight is 12:00:00 AM so "midnight on May 14" is actually May 15.
I have stated previously that this significant event on May 15 could possibly connect to my May 15 - 515.

816) May 5, 2008     "Get Connected!" ... Connect the dots


See Chapter 12 - SIGNS
See Chapter 13 - 11:11


817) May 5, 2008   



818) May 5, 2008   

Myanmar death toll 'could reach 10,000'
YANGON, Myanmar (CNN) -- Almost 4,000 people have died and another 3,000 remain missing in Myanmar as a result of this weekend's devastating cyclone, state media reported Monday amid fears that the death toll could continue to soar. Diplomats summoned to a government briefing on Monday said the foreign minister had acknowledged that as many as 10,000 could be dead as the reclusive southeast Asian country's ruling military junta issued a rare appeal for international assistance in the face of an escalating humanitarian crisis. A state of emergency was declared across much of the country following the 10-hour storm that left swathes of destruction in its wake... 


Myanmar ... Uzbekistan


819) May 6, 2008 

8:44 am ADT

Myanmar: 15,000 dead, up to a million homeless

YANGON, Myanmar (CNN) -- The Myanmar military regime said Tuesday that at least 15,000 people were killed and the U.N. estimates up to a million could be homeless after the catastrophic cyclone that has battered the country. The country's state-run MRTV reported Tuesday that more than 10,000 people were killed in Myanmar's Irrawaddy Delta region alone and 59 in the Yangon division. It said another 3,000 were missing and that the death toll was expected to rise. China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported a death toll of more than 15,000, citing official sources. More than 10,000 were killed in the township of Bogalay, according to Xinhua.
CNN's Dan Rivers, the only western journalist in Bogalay, said he had seen nothing but destroyed homes for 30 kilometers and people were now sheltering under canvas covers. They had little food bar a small amount of eggs and rice. Rivers said he had seen the army and Red Cross in the area, but the weather remained awful and conditions were miserable. The aftermath has pushed Myanmar's normally secretive ruling military junta to ask for aid and release details of the devastation. However, the U.N. said its aid workers were still waiting for visas to enter the country. It, the Red Cross and other aid organizations have been gathering supplies to ship to the country. Some aid agencies reported their assessment teams had reached some areas of the largely isolated region but said getting in supplies and large numbers of aid workers would be difficult, The Associated Press reported.
Maung Maung Swe, Myanmar's social welfare minister, told reporters Tuesday that 95 percent of the homes in Bogalay -- a city of 190,000 -- had been destroyed, AFP reported. "Ninety-five percent of the houses in Bogalay were destroyed," he said, adding that most of the damage was caused by the 3.6 meter storm surge that accompanied the cyclone. "Many people were killed in a 12-foot tidal wave," he said.
Swe said the country needed aid now, AP reported. "Instead of waiting for figures on casualties and damage, it will be practical to send humanitarian aid to victims as soon as possible." The U.N. World Food Program (WFP), which was preparing to fly in food supplies, offered a grim assessment of the destruction: up to a million people possibly homeless, some villages almost totally destroyed and vast rice-growing areas wiped out, AP reported. "We hope to fly in more assistance within the next 48 hours," WFP spokesman Paul Risley said in Bangkok. "The challenge will be getting to the affected areas with road blockages everywhere." Based on a satellite map made available by the U.N., the storm's damage was concentrated over about a 30,000 square-kilometer area along the Andaman Sea and Gulf of Martaban coastlines, which is home to nearly a quarter of Myanmar's 57 million people.
Kyi Minn, of the international aid group World Vision, told CNN that the situation was bleak. "It could be worse than [the] tsunami," Minn said, comparing the cyclone's impact on Myanmar to the damage caused following the tsunami that struck the region in late 2004. The tsunami was triggered by a a massive earthquake off the coast of Indonesia and killed more than 150,000 across the region. Minn said clean drinking water, food, medicine and shelter were all at a premium.
Tropical Cyclone Nargis pummeled Yangon for more than 10 hours from Friday night into Saturday, with 20 inches of rain and winds above 240 km/hr.
While Myanmar's ruling military junta has been accused by U.S. first lady Laura Bush of not warning the public about the approaching cyclone, witnesses say state media did report the storm -- it just came too late. "We did get a warning, but it seems the military warned at a late stage," an Australian witness in Yangon told CNN, adding there was no time for people to evacuate or buy emergency supplies. She also said that perhaps "a lot of Burmese didn't take it as seriously as they could have." MRTV disputed media accounts of insufficient warnings ahead of the storm. "Timely weather reports were announced and aired" on TV and radio two to three days in advance to keep people "safe and secure," an MRTV anchor reported...

6:30 pm ADT
Myanmar cyclone survivors desperate for aid
YANGON, Myanmar (CNN) -- Bodies are being thrown into rivers by Myanmar cyclone survivors in desperate need of help. The government-run radio station said Tuesday that 22,464 are confirmed dead and 41,000 are missing, and the United Nations says that up to 1 million could be homeless...


820) May 6, 2008     



821) May 8, 2008     

updated 2:04 a.m. EDT, Thu May 8, 2008
U.S. envoy: Myanmar deaths may top 100,000
YANGON, Myanmar (CNN) -- The death toll from the cyclone that ravaged the Irrawaddy delta in Myanmar may exceed 100,000, the senior U.S. diplomat in the military-ruled country said Wednesday. "The information we are receiving indicates over 100,000 deaths," said the U.S. charge d'affaires in Yangon, Shari Villarosa. The U.S. figure is almost five times the 22,000 the Myanmar government has estimated. The U.S. estimate is based on data from an international non-governmental organization, Villarosa said without naming the group. She called the situation in Myanmar "more and more horrendous." "I think most of the damage was caused by these 12-foot storm surges," she said. Villarosa also said that about 95 percent of the buildings in the delta region were destroyed when Cyclone Nargis battered the area late Friday into Saturday.
On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice once again called on the junta to allow aid into the country and said she is speaking with leaders from other nations who may be able to help persuade Myanmar's leaders to do so. "It should be a simple matter," Rice said. "This is not a matter of politics; this is a matter of a humanitarian crisis, and it should be a matter that the government of Burma wants to see its people receive the help that is available to them, and so we are speaking with governments that might have influence with Burma." Myanmar is also known as Burma.
The United States has pledged $3.25 million and offered to send Navy ships to the region to help relief efforts -- if Myanmar's government agrees. The U.S. military has flown six cargo helicopters onto a Thai airbase as Washington awaits permission to go into the south Asian country, two senior military officials told CNN's Barbara Starr.
Villarosa said 70,000 people are missing in the Irrawaddy Delta, which has a population of nearly 6 million people. The official Myanmar government figure for the missing is 41,000. "I can only assume that the longer the delay, the more victims that are created," Villarosa said. Little aid has reached the area since Nargis hit, and on Wednesday, crowds of hungry survivors stormed reopened shops in the devastated Irrawaddy delta. The United Nations urged the military junta to grant visas to international relief workers amid estimates of 1 million homeless.
A United Nations official said that nearly 2,000 square miles (5,000 square km) of the hard-hit delta are still underwater. Charity workers have gathered at Myanmar's embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, with vehicles, emergency food supplies and medicine, waiting for their visa requests to be approved. "We need this to move much faster," said John Holmes, U.N. humanitarian chief, after reading a statement from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. There were reports of "civil unrest" in the worst-hit areas where people are scrambling for limited food supplies, a U.N. spokesman said. In the flood-soaked Irrawaddy delta townships, U.N. assessment teams observed "large crowds gathering around shops -- the few that were open -- literally fighting over the chance to buy what food was available," World Food Program spokesman Paul Risley said Wednesday from Bangkok. There were also also reports of price gouging in urban areas around Yangon, Myanmar's largest city and former capital. "There were long lines of people trying to buy what food was available, even at those higher prices," Risley said.
The delta, Myanmar's rice-growing heartland, has been devastated by Cyclone Nargis, threatening long-term food shortages for survivors, experts said. "We can't delay on this; this is a huge disaster, and the longer [Myanmar] waits, the worse it's going to become," International Rescue Committee spokesman Gregory Beck said. The Rome, Italy-based U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that five states hit hardest by Saturday's cyclone produce 65 percent of the country's rice, The Associated Press reported. "There is likely going to be incredible shortages in the next 18 to 24 months," Sean Turnell, an economist specializing in Myanmar at Australia's Macquarie University, told AP. Holmes said 24 countries had pledged financial support, with a total of $30 million expected in aid. The WFP, which has started feeding the estimated million homeless, said there were immediate concerns about salvaging harvested rice in the flooded Irrawaddy delta.
The cyclone battered the country with winds of 240 kph (150 mph) and 3.5-meter (11.48 feet) storm surges. Damage was also extensive in the country's largest city, Yangon. Much of the former capital is without power and littered with debris and fallen trees. CNN's Dan Rivers, the first Western journalist into the devastated town of Bogalay, said Wednesday that it was difficult to find the words to describe the level of destruction. "Ninety percent of the houses have been flattened. ... The help that these people are getting seems to be pretty much nonexistent, from what we've seen." He saw members of Myanmar's army clearing roads but handing out little food or medicine. "There has been scant help, really. I think we saw one or two Red Cross vehicles in the entire time we were driving," Rivers said of his travels over a 12-hour period. Hundreds of World Vision staff are in Myanmar with limited supplies, according to spokesman James East. Tons of supplies have been readied in Dubai and can be brought in quickly once clearance is given. "Even when aid comes in, it's going to be a logistical nightmare to get it out to the remote delta region," East said. However, Yangon is almost back to normal, World Vision health adviser Dr. Kyi Minn said. Roads have been cleared of debris, and electricity and potable water are available. The Myanmar Red Cross has been handing out relief supplies, such as drinking water, plastic sheeting, clothing, insecticide-treated bed nets to help prevent malaria, and kitchen items, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said. Other countries and world bodies offering help include Britain, Japan, the European Union, China, India, Thailand, Australia, Canada and Bangladesh have also pitched in.
Based on a satellite map made available by the U.N., the storm's damage was concentrated over a 30,000-square-kilometer area along the Andaman Sea and Gulf of Martaban coastlines, home to nearly a quarter of Myanmar's 57 million people.


822) May 9, 2008      
This evening I received an email from someone that I had previously purchased a license plate from on eBay. He had started a new online license plate store and was letting his old customers know about it. I went to his new site and decided to do a search on any license plates that contained the numbers of my birthday - 814 (August 14).
This one immediately caught my eye... CVT 814:

Cumbre Vieja Tsunami


823) May 10, 2008      


In my last post of the previous section (Post #799 - April 4, 2008) I wondered if the World Population would hit 6,666,666,666 on May 15.
Early this morning - May 10, 2008 at 03:34 GMT - it did. (So close to 3:33.)
I have been watching this closely so I stayed up late last night to try to capture this moment on a screen print. (03:34 GMT was 12:34 ADT.) The population number is not a running total on the screen. It is updated only when you refresh your screen, and I found it to usually increase by around 20 whenever I refreshed my screen. So the chances that I would be able to capture this number exactly when it hit 6,666,666,666 were basically slim to none. To capture this exact number would be nothing short of a miracle:


824) May 10, 2008   

Is there religion in Seuss books?
Published Saturday May 10th, 2008

New book by retired minister looks for parables in the stories of Dr. Seuss
By Joseph White


When "Horton Hears a Who," is there a sermon to be heard? What about "The Cat in the Hat" and "The Lorax"? Are those characters metaphors for Christ? And "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" -- if you'll only follow the Great Commission.
No one has ever doubted the layers of meaning in the stories of Dr. Seuss. "The Lorax" has obvious lessons about the environment. "The Butter Battle Book" took direct aim at the Cold War arms race. "Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now!" was one way to demand the resignation of president Richard Nixon.
So when Horton's world of Who-ville was "saved by the Smallest of All," Robert Short saw the saviour of the Whos as a symbol for the saviour of all people. From "Green Eggs and Ham" to "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", Short has reinterpreted many of Theodor Seuss Geisel's stories as subtle messages of Christian doctrine in the new book, "The Parables of Dr. Seuss."
Questions remain, however, about whether the original author intended such an interpretation or Short, a retired Presbyterian minister, is just seeing the stories through the lens of his own life. "I was amazed at what I found when I started looking at it -- all this Christian imagery was very carefully factored into his stories," Short said in an interview from his home in Little Rock, Ark. "And that's what this book intends to do, is show how he has done this in a very carefully crafted way. It's there, and you could make an argument for it being intentionally there because it's done with such great care."
Short has spent four decades drawing spiritual lessons from popular culture, starting with the 1965 bestseller, "The Gospel According to Peanuts," the first of his eight books. The 75-year-old minister also does presentations that explore religious meanings in the popular comic strip Calvin and Hobbes and even in the last episode of the television comedy "Cheers," set in a Boston bar.

Chapter 12 - SIGNS

Since this started, I also came to the realization that I am not the only one giving the "message." As I began to "see" things with new eyes, and "hear" things with new ears, I began to realize that there are many who are telling the "message" but people just aren't aware of it because, like I was, they are only looking and hearing on the surface. No one has told them to look and listen deeper. Perhaps that is my purpose. To tell you. No, I am not paranoid or deluded. In fact, just try it. Start listening to some of the songs on the radio, especially the 'Love' songs or the songs classified as "Light Rock", start reading some of the comic strips in the newspaper from this new perspective and you will see too.

London Free Press, February 19, 2000


825) May 12, 2008   

9:47 am ADT
China: 107 dead, 900 students buried in quake
BEIJING, China (CNN) -- At least 107 people died in a major earthquake that rocked central China on Monday -- but the total does not include any of the nearly 900 students feared buried in a collapsed high school. China's official news agency Xinhua did not say if the buried students were believed to still be alive following the 7.8 magnitude quake.
Xinhua did not detail where the 107 deaths occured, although it reported earlier that four students were killed and 110 hurt when a middle school building collapsed in Juyuan Township of Dujiangyan City, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) southeast of the epicenter. Another person was killed when a water tower fell in the city of Mianyang, the news agency reported. A provincial government spokesman said they feared more dead and injured in collapsed houses in Dujiangyan City in Wenchuan County, Xinhua reported. The news agency also quoted a driver for the seismological bureau saying he saw "rows of houses collapsed" in Dujiangyan.
Chinese President Hu Jintao immediately ordered an all-out effort to help victims of the earthquakes, Xinhua reported. It said Premier Wen Jiabao would go there to direct the rescue work. Bonnie Thie, the country director the Peace Corps, was on a university campus in Chengdu about 60 miles from the epicenter, in the eastern part of China's Sichuan province, when the first quake hit. "You could see the ground shaking," Thie told CNN. The shaking "went on for what seemed like a very long time," she said.
"This is a very dangerous earthquake," said Bruce Presgrave, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake had the potential to cause major damage because of its strength and proximity to major population centers, he said. In addition, the earthquake was relatively shallow, Presgrave said, and those kinds of quakes tend to do more damage near the epicenter than deeper ones.
An earthquake with 7.5 magnitude in the northern Chinese city of Tangshan killed 255,000 people in 1976 -- the greatest death toll from an earthquake in the last four centuries and the second greatest in recorded history, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Tangshan is roughly 995 miles (1,600 km) from Chengdu, the nearest major city to the epicenter of Monday's quake.
After the first quake struck Monday, the ground shook as far away as Beijing, which is 950 miles (1,528 km) from the epicenter. They felt "a very quiet rolling sensation" that lasted for about a minute, according to CNN correspondent John Vause. "Our building began to sway," he said. Thousands of people were evacuated from Beijing high-rises immediately after the earthquake.
At least six more earthquakes -- measuring between 4.0 and 6.0 magnitudes -- happened nearby over the three hours after the initial quake at at 2:28 p.m. local time (0728 GMT, 0228 ET), the USGS reported.
A spokesman for the Beijing Olympic Committee said no Olympic venues were affected by the earthquake. The massive Three Gorges Dam -- roughly 400 miles east of the epicenter -- was not damaged, a spokesman said. The earthquake was also felt in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taiwan, and as far away as Hanoi, Vietnam, and Bangkok, Thailand, according to the Hong Kong-based Mandarin-language channel Phoenix TV.

1:11 pm ADT
China: Quake death toll jumps past 8,500

BEIJING, China (CNN) -- Thousands of people have been killed by Monday's powerful earthquake in just one affected region of central China, its government said, with the toll expected to keep rising as bodies are retrieved from schools, homes and factories.
State-run news agency Xinhua said the official toll had risen to 8,533 in Sichuan Province. It reported that authorities were yet to reach Wenchuan County, which sits at the epicenter of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake with a population of about 112,000. In Beichuan County, close to Wenchuan, the number of deaths was estimated at more than 3,000, with 80 percent of the buildings destroyed. In addition, at least 48 people were killed in the northwest Gansu Province, Xinhua said. Several hundred students were also feared to be buried in collapsed school buildings, the agency said. China's Seismological Bureau said the earthquake had affected more than half the country's provinces and municipalities.

President George W. Bush released a statement saying the United States "stands ready to help in any way possible." "I am particularly saddened by the number of students and children affected by this tragedy," Bush said.
In Sichuan's Shifang city, the quake buried hundreds of people in two collapsed chemical plants, and more than 80 tons of ammonia leaked out, Xinhua said. The local government evacuated 6,000 civilians from the area after homes and factories were also destroyed.
The quake was "felt in most parts of China," Xinhua reported, with the confirmed casualties in the provinces and municipality of Sichuan, Gansu, Chongqing and Yunnan. Xinhua said several schools collapsed, at least partially, in the quake. At one, as many as 900 students were feared buried. At least 50 bodies have been pulled from the rubble at the high school in the Juyuan Township of Dujiangyan City in Wenchuan County. "Some buried teenagers were struggling to break loose from underneath the ruins while others were crying out for help," Xinhua reported. "Grieved parents watched as five cranes were excavating at the site and an ambulance was waiting. "An unknown number of students were also reported buried after buildings collapsed at five other schools in the province's Deyang City." One person was killed in Santai County, in the city of Mianyang, when a water tower fell, the news agency reported. A provincial government spokesman said they feared more dead and injured in collapsed houses in Dujiangyan City, Xinhua reported. The news agency also quoted a driver for the seismological bureau saying he saw "rows of houses collapsed" in Dujiangyan...
CNN's John Vause and Jaime FlorCruz contributed to this report.


826) May 13, 2008   

9:47 am ADT
Chinese media: 18,000 trapped in one city alone

JIANG YOU, China (CNN) -- More than 18,000 people are reported buried under rubble in just one earthquake-hit city of China as rescue teams battle through power cuts, mudslides and heavy storms in desperate efforts to reach them. The official death toll has now exceeded 12,000, according to official state media. Chinese state media, Xinhua News Agency, reported Tuesday that 18,645 people are under rubble in the city of Mianyang, which neighbors the epicenter of the earthquake. It also reports that 3,629 people have died in the city. The government had earlier Tuesday announced a death toll of 11,921 for Sichuan, the surrounding provinces and the city of Chongqing.
A string of nearly 30 seismic jolts hit the province in the first 24 hours following Monday's quake and slowed the progress of 1,300-strong rescue teams. All of those quakes were magnitude 4.0 and above.
A Chinese Civil Affairs Ministry official said his country welcomes foreign donations of money and materials, but it is not ready for outside teams of rescue and relief workers because its transportation system could not handle the additional traffic. Roads blocked by rocks and mudslides had hampered the effort to reach the epicenter in Wenchuan County, forcing military doctors and soldiers to walk to reach the area almost 24 hours after the 7.9 magnitude earthquake shook central China, Xinhua said. Chinese prime minister Wen Jiabao ordered the military to make it a priority to open the roads into Wenchuan County, home to about 100,000 people, by mid-day Tuesday. The premier arrived in the earthquake zone Monday to personally direct the relief efforts. Several thousand additional soldiers should reach the area later Tuesday afternoon, Xinhua said. Heavy rains forced the military to cancel plans to drop Chinese People's Liberation Army paratroopers into the Wenchuan area, Xinhua said. Bad weather also has grounded all helicopter relief efforts, the military said.
CNN's John Vause saw block after block of devastation in the town of Jiang You, about 60 miles (100 km) from the epicenter, arriving there about a day after the quake hit. "These people who live in the city are now hunkering down under tarpaulins and under tents," Vause said, as a steady drizzle added to the misery. "Many are afraid to go back indoors because their buildings are no longer safe."
Communications with survivors near the epicenter has been difficult because of broken telecommunication lines and poor weather. An official using a satellite phone did give an initial report that about a third of all buildings had collapsed and another third were seriously damaged, Xinhua said. In Guixi Township --35 km (22 miles) from the epicenter -- thousands of residents huddled under makeshift tents and tarps, their only shelter from a steady rain Tuesday. Row after row of houses collapsed during the earthquake, leaving people with no place to go. Many injured and hungry people wondered the streets, creating a scene of human misery. The roads to the town are open, but still no relief workers were around.
An expert told CNN the earthquake, which struck at 2:28 p.m. (2:28 a.m. ET) Monday, was the largest the region has seen "for over a generation."
The area is also the refuge for much of China's panda population. The fate of the 130 pandas housed at the Wolong Giant Panda Protection and Research Center was unknown, Xinhua reported.
President Bush said the United States is prepared to help China "in any way possible" in the quake's aftermath. A top U.S. aid official said Beijing had not yet requested assistance. The United States has search-and-rescue teams standing by in Virginia and California, said Ky Luu, the director of foreign disaster assistance for the U.S. Agency for International Development. Luu said Beijing has good disaster-response mechanisms of its own. "The Chinese have a strong capability of responding," he said, adding that the United States doesn't want to displace the internal expertise. "There is a 72-hour window of opportunity and it may be best to support regional teams on the ground." Some 20,000 Chinese troops have been deployed to the region, while another 24,000 are scheduled to be airlifted to affected areas, Xinhua reported. Another 3,000 police officers have been activated. "It looks like they've mounted a pretty monumental effort to do the best that they can there," said Kate Janie, director of Mercy Corps, a humanitarian group channeling disaster aid to the region through a partner agency. "I think the Chinese government will make very active, proactive, transparent steps in dealing with this." Zhenyao said 60,000 tents and 50,000 quilts have been dispatched to the disaster zone...
CNN Correspondent John Vause contributed to this report.


827) May 13, 2008   
I had two "coincidences" happen to me in the last few days:



828) May 13, 2008   

This story was in our newspaper today. I had never heard of this so I found it very interesting. I wonder if the 13 Skulls connect to the end of the Mayan Longcount of which corresponds to December 21, 2012 and 11:11 which I explain in my Chapter 13 - 11:11. And today is the 13th. Lots of 13's...

Mayan crystal skull worship inspires Indiana Jones film
Some believe crystal skulls can emit and focus light, project visions and influence terrestrial forcesPublished Tuesday May 13th, 2008
PALENQUE, Chiapas - There is a legend that the ancient Maya possessed 13 crystal skulls which, when united, hold the power to save the Earth — a tale so strange and fantastic that it inspired the latest Indiana Jones movie.
Experts dismiss the hundreds of existing crystal skulls as fakes that were probably made by colourful antiquities traders in the 19th century. But Mayan priests continue to worship the skulls and real-life skull hunters still search for them. The true story of the skulls stretches over continents and hundreds of years and, in it’s own way, is as extraordinary than the tale portrayed in the fourth instalment of the Harrison Ford franchise.
It’s unclear what version of the tale will appear in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” which opens in theatres in North America on May 22. The plot of the film — the first Indiana Jones movie since “The Last Crusade” came out in 1989 — revolves around a race against the Soviets to find the skulls. Pre-release publicity from Paramount Pictures, the film’s distributor, mentions the legend of the 13 skulls.
While much of the film’s action occurs in Peru, the Paramount release also mentions a skull purportedly found at a Mayan ruin in 1924. Known as “The Skull of Doom,” its provenance cannot be proved. In fact, few of today’s crystal skulls can be documented any further back than the 1860s, when Europe was swept by a rage for pre-Hispanic relics. Eugene Boban, a colourful French antiquities dealer with a checkered past and murky political ties, set up a store in Palenque to supply the trade after the French invaded Mexico. Eventually he carted skulls to New York, Paris and Mexico City, selling them to private collectors. Buyers were often told that the skulls were made by the Mayas, whose civilization peaked between AD 300 and AD 900. But no crystal skull has ever been excavated from a documented archeological site.
Some believe the skulls can emit and focus light, project visions and even influence terrestrial forces. Today, these beliefs persist in the jungles of southern Mexico among the Lacandon, the last unassimilated Mayas, some of whom still worship the skulls. In the shadow of the Palenque ruins, Lacandon priest K’in Garcia fans copal incense and holds a heavy crystal skull above his head during ceremonies for Hacha’kyum, the Mayan god of creation. Garcia, son of the Lancandon’s most respected elder, Chan Kin, believes the skull has special powers, including the ability to stave off sickness and deforestation in the rain forest where the last Lacandon still live. “When I am alone at night, at about 2 a.m., it starts to glow, it emits light, and it stays like that for about a minute,” said Garcia. Garcia says the skull was given to him by a local man — and while he believes it is very old, he doesn’t know where it came from.
Thousands of kilometres away in Washington, D.C., Jane MacLaren Walsh keeps one of the skulls in her office at the Smithsonian Institution. She doubts the ancient Mayans ever had such skulls. An anthropologist and antiquities sleuth, she has spent more than a decade studying the best-known skulls, like the ones acquired by the British Museum and Paris’ Quai Branly museum over a century ago, as well as the Smithsonian’s own skull. She says they are stylistically unlike pre-Hispanic depictions of death’s heads, and often show microscopic marks from cutting tools unavailable in pre-Hispanic times. “None of them is ancient,” Walsh said. About the purported powers, she notes wryly: “I’ve been sitting in fairly close proximity to one of the skulls for about 16 years, and I have not witnessed anything like what people say.” The British Museum keeps a skull in its collections largely as a curiosity, listing its provenance as “probably European, 19th century.”
It’s possible that the near-human sized fakes may have been inspired by two real crystal skulls now on display at Mexico City’s respected National Anthropology Museum. Much smaller and less perfectly carved than the ones held at the museums in Europe, these jewelrysized trinkets, about 2.5 centimetres in height, are in the Aztec and Oaxaca collections.



829) May 13, 2008   

Is something lurking just over the sun's eastern limb? Yesterday's impressive display suggests the answer is yes. Amateur astronomers in Europe and North America witnessed fountains of hot, magnetized gas surging over the eastern edge of the sun. "My hard drive is full of movies," says Didier Favre of Brétigny sur Orge, France, who counted no fewer than seven eruptions.

UPDATE: Observers are reporting a sunspot (or proto-sunspot) emerging from the direction of yesterday's prominence.


830) May 15, 2008
May 15, 2008 -- Updated 1517 GMT (2317 HKT)
U.N.: Myanmar deaths could exceed 100,000
BANGKOK, Thailand (CNN) -- The death toll from a killer cyclone in Myanmar could be "in the region of 100,000 or even more," says the chief of the United Nations Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief agency. John Holmes, U.N. under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs, said Wednesday his organization already has confirmed 38,491 deaths -- much more than the 22,000 figure from Myanmar's government.
The weather forecast, meanwhile, calls for rain in the next several days in Myanmar, which is also known as Burma. That could cause flooding in low-lying areas that already are saturated with water left when Cyclone Nargis slammed into the country on May 2.
Aid agencies have struggled to gain access to the country from the secretive military junta that rules Myanmar, though some relief flights have arrived this week. The regime has indicated that it would like supplies but not international aid workers. That lack of access makes it hard to bring the scale of destruction into sharp focus.
Citing figures from 22 organizations in 58 townships, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said estimates of the death toll in Myanmar range from 68,833 and 127,990. "They are all estimates, which may or may not be right," said spokesman John Sparrow. "There is no way to verify the figures, no way any organization could substantiate them." The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies does not formally estimate death tolls, he said. It compiled figures through an informal survey of numbers cited by other organizations. Those groups say the cyclone affected from 1.6 million and 2.5 million people...
updated 8:04 p.m. EDT, Thu May 15, 2008
China warns quake toll could reach 50,000
BEIJING, China (CNN) -- Parents are waiting at schools destroyed by the devastating Chinese earthquake hoping their children will be pulled from the debris but hope is fading. There are scattered success stories around Sichuan province but as time goes on they will be fewer. The government estimated death toll rose Thursday to around 20,000 but could eventually top 50,000, Xinhua reported...



831) May 22, 2008

updated 2:30 p.m. EDT, Wed May 21, 2008
Israel, Syria acknowledge indirect talks in Turkey
JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israeli and Syrian officials confirmed Wednesday they are indirectly negotiating a possible peace deal under Turkish mediation.
At a speech in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday night, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the disclosure of the talks was the end of a phase that had been going on for over a year. He also said that he has no illusions and that the negotiations will be difficult, lengthy and will require difficult concessions. Earlier, Olmert's office issued a statement saying: "The two sides stated their intention to conduct these talks in good faith and with an open mind."

It was the first official confirmation of the indirect talks between Israel and Syria. Turkish and Syrian officials also confirmed the talks.
Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria during the 1967 Six Day War, and the area has been a source of contention since. The last round of peace negotiations between the two countries broke down in 2000, after Syria demanded a full return of the Golan. For its part, Israel wants Syria to abandon its support of Palestinian and Lebanese militant groups as part of any peace agreement.
The United States has been informed about the indirect talks, according to Assistant Secretary of State David Welch, who praised Turkey for playing "a good and useful role." Welch noted that the United States is not playing any role in those talks, adding that President Bush is focused on getting an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal by the end of this year. "The expansion of the circle of peace would be a good thing and it would be helpful if that includes an agreement with Syria," Welch said.
Wednesday's announcement comes about a month after Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad admitted his country has been indirectly negotiating with Israel for about a year under the auspices of Turkey. His admission last month, in an interview with a leading Arabic language newspaper, confirmed long-standing rumors that the two countries were discussing the Golan Heights. A week after the interview, senior Israeli officials met with their Turkish counterparts and agreed to publicly announce the year-long talks.


832) May 23, 2008 

updated 1 hour, 28 minutes ago (10:00 am ADT)
BEIJING, China (CNN) -- China's government has appealed for more than 2 million tents to shelter the estimated 5 million people made homeless by the huge earthquake as the death toll continued to rise. More than 55,740 people are known to have died in the 7.9-magnitude quake, centered in Sichuan province, with another 24,960 missing and 292,481 injured, authorities said...


833) May 27, 2008     8-8-8

I turned on CNN this morning at the exact moment they started talking about this:

Coming up on AMERICAN MORNING, crazy eights...
PHILLIPS: Eight is the luckiest number in China, and that's why the 2008 Beijing games start on 8-8-08. But if you do the math eight may add up to trouble. How is your mind working at 7:42 in the morning? Are we mathematically challenged?
CHO: August 8, 2008.
PHILLIPS: That's my birthday, by the way.
CHO: Oh it is.
PHILLIPS: And I don't like this whole no good luck thing.
CHO: Well, and also 8:00 p.m., eight minutes after 8:00, eight seconds. It's funny. Anyway, you know, the blogs has gone crazy about this story, which is how we got wind of it. But you know, a couple of bad things have happened over the past few months in China, including that devastating earthquake that had been linked to the number eight. So now the Chinese are wondering is eight really a lucky number or is it a curse?
CHO (voice-over): It may be the worst kept ancient Chinese secret. Eight is a lucky number. That's why the Beijing Olympics will begin on August 8th, 2008. Or 8-8-08. In Chinese, the world for eight is similar to the word for wealth. So the Chinese people believe eight and prosperity are connected. The number eight is everywhere. People try to get married on the 8th. And a Chinese airline paid more than a quarter million dollars to get this phone number, 88. So if that's the case, why are the blogs on fire with this? Eight is a curse for China. Three recent events, all negative, all linked to the number eight.
First, a massive snowstorm blankets China on January 25th, one plus two plus five equals eight (1 + 2 + 5 = 8). Second, widespread protests against Chinese rule in Tibet. Date? March 14th, three plus one plus four equals eight (3 + 1 + 4 = 8). Third, a devastating earthquake hits Sichuan province killing tens of thousands on May 12th. Five plus one plus two equals eight (5 + 1 + 2 = 8). And the quake hits 88 days before the start of the Olympics. Is this a lucky number? Is it an unlucky number? So which is it?
CHO: Rose Welsh is a numerologist. She said eight on its side is a chain, like a chain of events.
WELSH: It was waiting to happen because eight --
CHO: Something they should have known?
WELSH: They did know.
CHO: But on the streets of Beijing many believe it's just a bad coincidence. Says this man, it's nonsense, it's just superstition. And in New York's Chinatown.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My old house was 404. Four is a bad number in Chinese, but nothing happened to me.
CHO: At least we don't think so. And maybe that's because four plus four equals eight. Now, we should be clear that a lot of people we talked to in and around China believe all of this eight business is just a coincidence. Many still believe eight is a lucky number, and there is no talk about changing the start date for the Olympic games. But it certainly gives us something to talk. It is interesting.
ROBERTS: Kyra is moving the date of her birthday.
PHILLIPS: Exactly. I'm moving my birthday. But here I'm looking, OK, eight in Chinese also means prosper well.
CHO: That's right.
PHILLIPS: So let's change it around here. This is going to mean good fortune, good things --
CHO: Well, and the numerologist said listen, eight also represents competition and games. She thinks this is going to be a very good thing for China. It's how you look at it.
PHILLIPS: You're competing to turn back the clock on 9-8-08.
ROBERTS: It gives people lots to talk about.
CHO: It does.
ROBERTS: Alina, thanks.
CHO: You bet.


Coincidentally, yesterday when I was checking my counters I noticed that the counter on my King Arthur / Holy Grail Connections chapter was 888. I took a screen print:


834) May 31, 2008     
Here's a funny "coincidence" story for you...
Last year the eavestroughing on the front of our house came loose at one end so instead of the rain water going down the drain spout it was falling down in my flower bed. Unfortunately we did not have a ladder long enough to reach the eavestroughing to fix it. I had been after my husband to either borrow or rent one, or hire an eavestroughing company to come reattach it, but it did not get fixed last year. This year, as I was just planting my flowers again, I asked by husband again if we could do something so my flowers didn't get destroyed. He had just taken one of our vehicles in to get repaired yesterday and our mechanic said he had a long ladder we could borrow.
So today my husband got the ladder. I stood at the bottom and held it steady while my husband climbed the two stories and repaired the eavestroughing. He had just about finished when I heard a truck coming down the street. I was still holding the ladder so I glanced over my shoulder and I could not believe what I was seeing. (Seeing is Believing :) Here was an eavestroughing company truck coming towards us. For a second I thought it was coming to our house but it stopped at our neighbour's. That was bizarre (even for me :)...


835) May 31, 2008    

Many Canadians Don't Believe in a God
Source: The Canadian Press
Posted: 05/31/08 9:48AM
Filed Under: Canada

TORONTO -- A new Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey suggests that fewer than three-quarters of Canadians believe in a god.
Seventy-two per cent of respondents of the 1,000 people questioned this month said they believed in a god, 23 per cent said they didn't, and six per cent had no opinion. In looking at the numbers, United Church minister Keith Howard says they aren't much different from previous polls about Canadians' beliefs. Howard says he senses that people who believe in a god increasingly imagine a powerful, but nebulous force for good - kind of like the Force in the Star Wars movies. He also notes that a recent international survey rating the importance of religion in people's lives placed Canadians fourth, behind the U.S., Mexico and Italy.
The Harris-Decima poll also found women are more likely than men to believe in a god, and that Canadians over 50 are far more likely than those under 25 to be believers.
The survey has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.


836) June 2, 2008  

Food crisis threatens 22 countries, U.N. says
updated 1:55 p.m. EDT, Wed May 28, 2008 
ROME, Italy (AP) -- Twenty-two nations are particularly threatened by the global food crisis that has seen soaring prices increase hunger, leading to protests and riots in some countries, the United Nations said Wednesday.
A report prepared by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization for a summit in Rome next week said the countries are vulnerable because they suffer from chronic hunger and are forced to import food and fuel. The report said Eritrea, Niger, Comoros, Haiti and Liberia are particularly affected.
The three-day conference that opens Tuesday is expected to draw a number of world leaders. The FAO said it will provide a "historic chance" to relaunch the fight against hunger and poverty and boost agricultural production in developing countries. High oil prices, growing demand, flawed trade policies, panic buying and speculation have sent food prices soaring worldwide. Food riots have occurred in Haiti, Egypt and Somalia this year. The crisis underlines "the fragility of the balance between global food supplies and the needs of the world's inhabitants," said the FAO's director-general, Jacques Diouf.
The report warned that the world must prepare for further sharp price increases and continued market volatility. "We hope that world leaders coming to Rome will agree on the urgent measures that are needed to boost agricultural production" while protecting the poor from rising prices, Diouf said. The report said the conference should agree on plans to boost local food production and increase investments to stimulate production. At the same time, the leaders need to agree on assistance to the poor, including food subsidies and cash transfers, the report said.
The FAO list of 22 "particularly vulnerable" countries: Eritrea, Burundi, Comoros, Tajikistan, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Haiti, Zambia, Central African Republic, Mozambique, Tanzania, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Malawi, Cambodia, North Korea, Rwanda, Botswana, Niger, Kenya.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

837) June 3, 2008  

Ahmadinejad says Israel will "disappear"
Mon Jun 2, 2008 4:01pm EDT 
By Hossein Jaseb and Fredrik Dahl
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's president said on Monday Israel would soon disappear off the map and that the "satanic power" of the United States faced destruction, in his latest verbal attack on the Islamic Republic's arch-enemies. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was speaking at a gathering of foreign guests marking this week's 19th anniversary of the death of Iran's late revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the official IRNA news agency said. "You should know that the criminal and terrorist Zionist regime which has 60 years of plundering, aggression and crimes in its file has reached the end of its work and will soon disappear off the geographical scene," he said.
Turning to the United States, Ahmadinejad said the era of decline and destruction of its "satanic power" had begun. Ahmadinejad, who often rails against the West, is expected to travel to Rome on Tuesday to attend a U.N. summit on global food security. It will be his first visit to western Europe since he won the presidency in 2005.
In Washington, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino described Ahmadinejad's comments as "that kind of rhetoric that just serves to further isolate the Iranian people". U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack condemned the Iranian president's latest comments on Israel: "Again, more hateful vitriol coming from President Ahmadinejad."

The United States, which severed ties with Iran shortly after its 1979 Islamic revolution, is leading efforts to isolate Tehran over its disputed nuclear program, which the West suspects is a front for developing atomic bombs. Washington says it wants a diplomatic resolution to the nuclear row but has not ruled out military action if that fails. Iran, the world's fourth-largest oil producer, says its nuclear program is only aimed at generating electricity and insists it will not bow to Western pressure.
Opposition to Israel is a fundamental principle in Shi'ite Muslim Iran, which backs Palestinian militants opposed to peace with the Jewish state. A 2005 statement by Ahmadinejad saying that Israel should be "wiped off the map" outraged the international community. The call was originally made by Khomeini and Ahmadinejad referred to this at another speech on Monday evening at the shrine near Tehran where the Islamic Republic's founder is buried, saying "his ideal is about to be materialized today." He added: "The Zionist regime is in a total dead end and, God willing, this desire will soon be realized and the epitome of perversion will disappear off the face of the world." The crowd chanted "Death to Israel" and "Death to America." In April, a senior Iranian army commander said Iran would respond to any military attack from Israel by "eliminating" it. Some analysts have speculated that Israel might attack Iran to stop its nuclear work. Iran says it has developed ballistic missiles able to hit Israel and U.S. bases in the region.
(Additional reporting by Hashem Kalantari in Tehran and by Jeremy Pelofsky and Sue Pleming in Washington; Editing by Ibon Villelabeitia)


838) June 5, 2008
My husband and I drove to NS for a few days. I have not been driving the car lately (my son has been driving it for work) so I did not notice the mileage. While my husband was in the lumber store, I thought to check it and it was 131000. I was disappointed that I had missed 130000 (Mayan Long Count - - December 21, 2012 - 11:11 - See Chapter 13 - 11:11) but I took this picture anyway:

I wonder when it hit 130000... Maybe the week before on May 30?

From date: Friday, December 21, 2012
Subtracted 1666 days
Resulting date: Friday, May 30, 2008

839) June 10, 2008  

Nations to stiffen sanctions to deter a nuclear Iran
updated 12:58 p.m. EDT, Tue June 10, 2008
KRANJ, Slovenia (AP) -- President Bush and European allies threatened tougher sanctions Tuesday to squeeze Iran's finances and derail its potential pursuit of a nuclear weapon.
Bush said the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran would endanger world peace. "They can either face isolation, or they can have better relations with all of us," Bush said of Iran's leaders while capping his final European Union-U.S. summit.
The president and EU leaders embraced new financial sanctions against Iran unless it verifiably suspends its nuclear enrichment. They said Iran must fully disclose any nuclear weapons work and allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to verify that work.
Iran is also under fire for defying three sets of U.N. Security Council sanctions and continuing to enrich uranium -- which can generate both nuclear fuel and the fissile material for the core of nuclear warheads. Iran insists that it has only civilian uses in mind for its nuclear program.
The president flatly said Iran "can't be trusted with enrichment." "A group of countries can send a clear message to the Iranians," Bush said. "And that is: We're going to continue to isolate you, we'll continue to work on sanctions, we'll find new sanctions if need be if you continue to deny the just demands of a free world."
Speaking to reporters on the lush, sun-splashed lawn near Brdo Castle, Bush also fielded questions on economic woes at home and climate change. Bush essentially rejected the idea of possible government intervention to prop up the value of the U.S. dollar. He said he believed in a strong-dollar policy, but that world economies will end up setting the value of the dollar.
On global warming, Bush declared, "I think we can actually get an agreement on global climate change during my presidency," which ends January 20. He said no global warming agreement can be effective without China and India. The United States has been at odds with allies about whether any climate strategy should include mandatory emission reductions, among other sticking points.
Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa, the president of the European Council, said European members and the United States might have different approaches to some of its common challenges. Jansa said a global agreement without the developing countries would be a short-term solution. But he added "those who are the most developed have to take the leading role."
The summit, consisting of about three hours of meetings and a working lunch, took place in a modern glass building on the vast Brdo grounds in the shadow of Slovenia's jagged mountain peaks. The president had a long list of issues to cover with his European counterparts, but Iran seemed to dominate.
Six world powers -- the United States, Russia, China, Britain, Germany and France -- are developing a package of fresh penalties and incentives aimed at reining in Tehran's alleged atomic ambitions. The EU's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, plans to visit Iranian leaders soon in Tehran to appeal to them to accept negotiations over the nuclear standoff. Bush's national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, said that Solana will convey that message when he travels there, adding that Iran's hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wasn't expected to be among those consulted. The plan is to figure out a way to make the Iranian people aware of the offer, Hadley told reporters traveling with Bush to Germany. He said officials want to demonstrate to the Iranian people that acceptance of the offer would end their isolation. The package involves concrete political, economic and diplomatic benefits including support for a peaceful nuclear energy program, Hadley added. "All of this is available if they suspend the enrichment and come to the table," he added. "On the one hand, there is a way out for the Iranian people. On the other hand, as the president said, if they do not take it, then the Iranian people need to understand that the choice their regime is making is going to result in increasing isolation of the Iranian regime and, regrettably, the Iranian people as well." He also said the EU and the United States are on the same page in stepping up pressure on Iran.
Bush and the heads of the EU, a political and economic coalition of 27 countries that works to promote security and commerce across the continent, called on Tehran to stop its support for terrorist organizations destabilizing the Mideast. The statement said the United States and the EU would work to ensure that "Iranian banks cannot abuse the international banking system to support proliferation and terrorism." It was unclear whether the freshly stated concern over Iranian banks meant that Europeans had signed on for the kind of tough measures the U.S. favors, such as banning business with Iranian banks, or merely represented a repeat of previous calls for closer monitoring of dealings with them.
The Bush administration has warned that Iran is using an array of deceptive practices to hide involvement in nuclear proliferation and terrorist activities. Iran insists that it has only civilian uses in mind for its nuclear program. Yet it is under fire for defying three sets of U.N. Security Council sanctions and continuing to enrich uranium, which can generate both nuclear fuel and the fissile material for the core of nuclear warheads. Iran has also stonewalled attempts by the IAEA to delve into allegations that several Iranian projects appear to represent different components of a nuclear weapons program. "A mutually satisfactory, negotiated solution remains open to Iran," the statement said. But the leaders also said that they would fully implement U.N. sanctions against Iran and were "ready to supplement those sanctions with additional measures." Bush warned that if Iran ends up with a nuclear weapon, "The free world is going to say why didn't we do something about it at the time? ... Now's the time for there to be strong diplomacy."
Iran's central bank, also known as Bank Markazi, is involved in the deceptive acts, according to the U.S. government. The White House has been looking at new steps to cut off more Iranian banks from the international financial system and has been seeking backing from European allies. Tensions over Iran are only rising. An Israeli Cabinet minister warned Friday that Israel will attack Iran if it doesn't abandon its nuclear program. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert distanced himself on Sunday from the statements but didn't explicitly reject them. Verbal threats and political tensions have increased between Iran and Israel after Ahmadinejad said in 2005 that Israel should be "wiped off the map." "First of all if, if you were living in Israel you'd be a little nervous, too," Bush said Tuesday. "If a leader in your neighborhood announced that they, he'd like to destroy you, and one sure way of achieving that means is through the development of a nuclear weapon -- therefore, now is the time for all of us to work together to stop them."
Bush flew to Berlin later Tuesday for a social dinner with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He took a helicopter from the airport from Schloss Meseberg, a guest house of the federal government about 50 miles north of Berlin. Bush, Merkel and their spouses walked across a cobblestone plaza. A reporter asked what he liked about Germany. "The people. Followed by the countryside," he said. During his weeklong stay in Europe, Bush also is going to Italy, France, Britain and Northern Ireland.

840) June 12, 2008    "Be Prepared"


Four killed by tornado at camp were Boy Scouts
(CNN) -- Boy Scouts dived under picnic tables and were buried under a collapsed chimney when a deadly tornado hit their camp in western Iowa, survivors said Thursday morning. The tornado at the Little Sioux Scout Ranch killed Scouts Josh Fennen, 13; Sam Thomsen, 13, and Ben Petrzilka, 14, all of Omaha, Nebraska; and Aaron Eilerts, 14, of Eagle Grove, Iowa, who was a Scout and camp staff member, said Gene Meyer, Iowa public safety commissioner. Forty-eight Scouts and staff members were injured.
Possible tornadoes also struck northeastern Kansas, killing at least two people, injuring many others and damaging buildings at Kansas State University.
Rob Logsdon, a 15-year-old staff member at the camp, said although he was injured, he rescued some of his fellow Boy Scouts trapped underneath the collapsed chimney. "I was standing up trying to pull bricks off the kids that were sitting there, and then I couldn't do any more because my hip and leg were hurting so badly," Logsdon told CNN's "American Morning." He dislocated his hip, sprained his ankle and was gashed in his knee when the tornado struck the shelter. "We were sitting there watching lightning ... and we saw it [the tornado] come around the end of a bluff toward the entrance of the camp," Logsdon said. "So we flipped on the siren and the youth staff members ran to the assigned shelters." The adult leader ordered everyone to get under the tables. "All of a sudden, two seconds later, the tornado was on top of us," Logsdon said. "I know it picked up our adult leader's car and threw it 50 yards, easy."

Camper Ben Karschner said it was over quickly. "Eight seconds, and the tornado passed. That was like the longest eight seconds I've ever had," he told CNN affiliate KETV in Omaha.
Thomas White, an 18-year-old staff member, said he lay on the ground with several of the younger Scouts as the tornado roared through. "The grace of God helped us for sure," he said.
Logsdon said one of his friends was among the four killed. "I went back to Little Sioux after I got out of the hospital, and his dad had just found out he died," he said. "He was my staff partner and he was a good kid, and it's a big loss. He was a great kid."
Survivors were receiving trauma and grief counseling, officials said. "There were some real heroes at the Scout camp," Iowa Gov. Chet Culver said.
Meyer, the public safety commissioner, said 93 campers and 25 staff were at the camp when the storm struck about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. All have been accounted for, he said, but the 1,800-acre park was still being searched Thursday morning.
The Scouts at the ranch were advanced Scouts between 13 and 18 years old and were there for a week of training, said Lloyd Roitstein, president of the Mid-America Council of Boy Scouts of America. He said all of them were staying in tents and that the site is destroyed. "All of the buildings are gone; most of the tents are gone; most of the trees are destroyed," Roitstein said. "You've got 1,800 acres of property that are destroyed right now." The ranch, which has four cabin shelters in addition to camping space, is about 45 miles north of Omaha and 45 miles south of Sioux City, Iowa.
Iowa Gov. Chet Culver said he was proud of how the Scouts reacted. "After the tornado hit, these young men responded," Culver told KETV. "They helped their Scouts in need of medical assistance. They essentially set up their own little triage unit -- very inspiring. "And it's not a surprise," he added. "This is a Scout leadership academy for the best and most outstanding young men."
The storm that struck Kansas State University's campus destroyed a wind erosion lab, damaged several engineering and science buildings and tore the roof off a fraternity house at the school in Manhattan, said Cheryl May, the university's director of media relations. "Our campus is kind of a mess," she said. The storm destroyed up to 50 homes and damaged hundreds in Manhattan, said Lt. Kurt Moldrup of the Riley County Police Department. "We had a lot of damage, but very few injuries," he said. A man was killed outside Soldier, Kansas -- about 50 miles north of Topeka -- said Sharon Watson, a spokeswoman for the state emergency management agency. His body was found outside his mobile home, she said. A woman was killed in Chapman, Kansas, her body found in a yard, Watson said. "The town took a direct hit," she said. The storm destroyed 60 houses in Chapman, she said. Another 30 suffered major damage, and about 30 received minor damage, she said, citing early estimates from the American Red Cross.
The storms struck as Midwestern states deal with severe flooding along the upper Mississippi River. Heavy downpours hit the region over the weekend, with more thunderstorms predicted for Thursday morning. Flooding in the Iowa cities of Des Moines, Waterloo, Cedar Falls and other areas prompted mandatory evacuation orders and sandbagging in the state on Wednesday. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is expected to attend a noon news conference with Iowa's Gov. Culver.


841) June 12, 2008 

Behind the Midwest's Crazy Weather
Wednesday, Jun. 11, 2008

For days, the American Midwest has endured bands of slow-moving thunderstorms that have unleashed massive tornadoes and caused dams to fail. At least four people were killed as a tornado tore through a Boy Scout camp in the remote hills of western Iowa Wednesday. An entire Wisconsin lake has emptied. Carp are swimming through suburban Milwaukee streets. An Iowa farmer has drowned in his own field. And the havoc is expected to continue, with more bizarre weather and even an alert about a mini-tsunami on Lake Michigan in Chicago. What next? Twisters down Michigan Avenue? Don't scoff.
Last weekend, tornadoes swept through Cook County, which includes Chicago. As a barbecue began on this city's North Side Saturday afternoon, the sky turned the color of charcoal and the wind quickened. One man burst through a door announcing that a tornado had been reported nearby. "Whatever," another man said dismissively, holding a Corona, before adding, "We can't get tornadoes here." Not so. Major cities with skyscrapers aren't less vulnerable to tornadoes than rural, flat areas. Consider the tornadoes that swept through downtown Atlanta and parts of New Orleans earlier this year, and the series of deadly tornadoes that battered Salt Lake City, Nashville and Miami in the late 1990s. "They're a very rare event," Jim Keeney, meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Kansas City, Mo., office, said of urban tornadoes. But, he explains, tornadoes form at an atmospheric level far above skyscrapers like Chicago's iconic Sears Tower. So tall buildings don't prevent their formation in cities.
Part of the blame for the regional atmospheric eccentricities, experts say, lies with La Niña: cool oceanic surfaces in the Pacific that generally produce wetter springs and early summers in the Midwest than El Niño would. The country is now in the middle of a three-year La Niña period. That explains the fierce rain that has battered central Midwestern states like Missouri, Illinois and Iowa. Flooding in Iowa's southeastern corner has been particularly pronounced this year, as it was last summer, mainly because bands of thunderstorms have stubbornly hovered above already-saturated corn and soybean fields. This year, however, the storms have extended farther north, into Wisconsin and Minnesota, and farther south, into Oklahoma and Arkansas.
But does La Niña explain another odd incident that came about at 3:52 p.m. Sunday? At that moment, the National Weather Service issued a seiche warning for Lake Michigan, near Chicago: "Public reports of a drop in Lake Michigan water level at Chicago by 2 feet in the last hour indicates that a seiche is affecting the water levels of Lake Michigan." Many people had never even heard of a seiche, so no one paid attention—until the Chicago Tribune splashed headlines about it the next day. A seiche (pronounced saysh) occurs when an approaching thunderstorm pushes water away from a large enclosed body of water's shorelines. But after the storm passes, the water swiftly returns in the form of a wave. Sort of like a tsunami. Last weekend's Lake Michigan seiche occurred over a roughly 60-min. period and was not noticeable to the untrained eye. But now seiches have entered into the Windy City's vocabulary of weather apocalypse.
One of the biggest threats seiches pose is to people walking on piers: surging water may sweep them away. That's what happened on June 26, 1954, when a 10-foot seiche swept eight Chicago fishermen away in what meteorologists say remains the most destructive seiche recorded here. The Great Lakes are particularly vulnerable to seiches because they are the largest enclosed bodies of water in the U.S. Edward Fenelon, an NWS meteorologist in Romeoville, Ill., however, says fewer than three seiches are reported at each of the Great Lakes each year.
Meanwhile, on late Sunday, Wisconsin governor Jim Doyle declared a state of emergency. National Guard troops were dispatched to severely flooded areas. More than 100 roads, many with significant structural damage, were closed. Doyle swiftly ordered the inspection of his state's roughly 3,500 dams. So far, 13 dams have been destroyed and water is seeping through several others. "It's a full-scale response," Doyle told TIME this week. "We're thankful that, despite all the physical damage, nobody lost their lives."
Federal Emergency Management Agency officials are expected to arrive Thursday to assess the damage. One area likely to get particular attention is Lake Delton, Wis., about a three-hour drive west of Chicago. Residents of the popular resort community watched the lake's level rise 51 inches above its usual 12 feet between Friday and Sunday. Volunteers filled sandbags, and by dawn Monday, the sun was shining. "We were in waiting mode, hoping to see the water go down," says Tom Diehl, general manager and co-owner of the Tommy Bartlett Show, a circus-like variety show popular with Midwestern families. But the water kept rising, saturating the land around the lake. Eventually, it collapsed, Diehl says, "right before our eyes." Diehl is hoping to reopen the show this weekend. But his worries are hardly over: storms are expected to batter the region in the coming days.

842) June 12, 2008 

A reader friend sent this to me today:

The Sunspot Enigma: The Sun is “Dead”—What Does it Mean for Earth?
June 11, 2008

Dark spots, some as large as 50,000 miles in diameter, typically move across the surface of the sun, contracting and expanding as they go. These strange and powerful phenomena are known as sunspots, but now they are all gone. Not even solar physicists know why it’s happening and what this odd solar silence might be indicating for our future.
Although periods of inactivity are normal for the sun, this current period has gone on much longer than usual and scientists are starting to worry—at least a little bit. Recently 100 scientists from Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa and North America gathered to discuss the issue at an international solar conference at Montana State University. Today's sun is as inactive as it was two years ago, and solar physicists don’t have a clue as to why.
"It continues to be dead," said Saku Tsuneta with the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, program manager for the Hinode solar mission, noting that it is at least a little bit worrisome for scientists. Dana Longcope, a solar physicist at MSU, said the sun usually operates on an 11-year cycle with maximum activity occurring in the middle of the cycle. The last cycle reached its peak in 2001 and is believed to be just ending now, Longcope said. The next cycle is just beginning and is expected to reach its peak sometime around 2012. But so far nothing is happening. "It's a dead face," Tsuneta said of the sun's appearance.
Tsuneta said solar physicists aren't weather forecasters and they can't predict the future. They do have the ability to observe, however, and they have observed a longer-than-normal period of solar inactivity. In the past, they observed that the sun once went 50 years without producing sunspots. That period coincided with a little ice age on Earth that lasted from 1650 to 1700. Coincidence? Some scientists say it was, but many worry that it wasn’t.
Geophysicist Phil Chapman, the first Australian to become an astronaut with NASA, said pictures from the US Solar and Heliospheric Observatory also show that there are currently no spots on the sun. He also noted that the world cooled quickly between January last year and January this year, by about 0.7C. "This is the fastest temperature change in the instrumental record, and it puts us back to where we were in 1930," Dr Chapman noted in The Australian today.
If the world does face another mini Ice Age, it could come without warning. Evidence for abrupt climate change is readily found in ice cores taken from Greenland and Antarctica. One of the best known examples of such an event is the Younger Dryas cooling, which occurred about 12,000 years ago, named after the arctic wildflower found in northern European sediments. This event began and ended rather abruptly, and for its entire 1000 year duration the North Atlantic region was about 5°C colder. Could something like this happen again? There’s no way to tell, and because the changes can happen all within one decade—we might not even see it coming.
The Younger Dryas occurred at a time when orbital forcing should have continued to drive climate to the present warm state. The unexplained phenomenon has been the topic of much intense scientific debate, as well as other millennial scale events.
Now this 11-year low in Sunspot activity has raised fears among a small but growing number of scientists that rather than getting warmer, the Earth could possibly be about to return to another cooling period. The idea is especially intriguing considering that most of the world is in preparation for global warming.
Canadian scientist Kenneth Tapping of the National Research Council has also noted that solar activity has entered into an unusually inactive phase, but what that means—if anything—is still anyone’s guess. Another solar scientist, Oleg Sorokhtin, a fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, however, is certain that it’s an indication of a coming cooling period. Sorokhtin believes that a lack of sunspots does indicate a coming cooling period based on certain past trends and early records. In fact, he calls manmade climate change "a drop in the bucket" compared to the fierce and abrupt cold that can potentially be brought on by inactive solar phases. Sorokhtin’s advice: "Stock up on fur coats"…just in case.
Posted by Rebecca Sato


843) June 12, 2008      Pretty In Pink



844) June 13, 2008 
I was watching a movie on TCM (Turner Classic Movies) and when it finished there was a little vignette on Henry Fonda where his two children, Jane and Peter, were talking about him and his career. One of the movies they showed a clip of really caught my attention, and I successfully located it on the Internet:

The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)

The heart-breaking reading, posthumously by Gil Carter (Henry Fonda), of a letter written by a lynched man, Donald Martin (Dana Andrews), to his wife:
My Dear Wife.

Mr. Davies will tell you what's happening here tonight. He's a good man, and he's done everything he can for me. I suppose there's some other good men here, too, only they don't seem to realize what they're doing. They're the ones I feel sorry for, 'cause it'll be over for me in a little while, but they'll have to go on rememberin' for the rest of their lives. A man just naturally can't take the law into his own hands and hang people without hurtin' everybody in the world, 'cause then he's just not breakin' one law, but all laws. Law is a lot more than words you put in a book, or judges or lawyers or sheriffs you hire to carry it out. It's everything people ever have found out about justice and what's right and wrong. It's the very conscience of humanity. There can't be any such thing as civilization unless people have a conscience, because if people touch God anywhere, where is it except through their conscience? And what is anybody's conscience except a little piece of the conscience of all men that ever lived? I guess that's all I've got to say except - kiss the babies for me and God bless you.

Your husband, Donald.

This is something that I have been thinking about for a long time...

Sadly, a conscience seems to be a dying trait of the human being.

845) June 18, 2008      Schedule Two

Case in point...

I saw this story on The National news last night and I found the story online:

Lakes across Canada face being turned into mine dump sites
By Terry Milewski, CBC News
Last Updated: Monday, June 16, 2008 | 9:42 PM ET

CBC News has learned that 16 Canadian lakes are slated to be officially but quietly "reclassified" as toxic dump sites for mines. The lakes include prime wilderness fishing lakes from B.C. to Newfoundland.
Environmentalists say the process amounts to a "hidden subsidy" to mining companies, allowing them to get around laws against the destruction of fish habitat.

Under the Fisheries Act, it's illegal to put harmful substances into fish-bearing waters. But, under a little-known subsection known as Schedule Two of the mining effluent regulations, federal bureaucrats can redefine lakes as "tailings impoundment areas." That means mining companies don't need to build containment ponds for toxic mine tailings.
CBC News visited two examples of Schedule Two lakes. In Newfoundland and Labrador, the Vale Inco company wants to use a prime destination for fishermen known as Sandy Pond to hold tailings from a nickel processing plant.
In northern B.C., Imperial Metals plans to enclose a remote watershed valley to hold tailings from a gold and copper mine. The valley lies in what the native Tahltan people call the "Sacred Headwaters" of three major salmon rivers. It also serves as spawning grounds for the rainbow trout of Kluela Lake, which is downstream from the dump site.
Lakes 'safest option': mining association
Vale Inco's proposal was the subject of a public meeting on June 10 in Long Harbour, N.L. Billed as a "public consultation" on the proposal, the meeting was attended by government officials, mining executives, environmentalists and fishermen.
Lakes are often the best way for mine tailings to be contained, said Elizabeth Gardiner, vice-president for technical affairs for the Mining Association of Canada. “In some cases, particularly in Canada, with this kind of topography and this number of natural lakes and depressions and ponds … in the end it's really the safest option for human health and for the environment," she said.
But Catherine Coumans, spokeswoman for the environmental group Mining Watch, said the federal government is making it too easy. She said federal officials are increasingly using the obscure Schedule Two regulations to quietly reclassify lakes and other waters as tailings dumps. “Something that used to be a lake — or a river, in fact, they can use rivers — by being put on this section two of this regulation is no longer a river or a lake," she said. "It's a tailings impoundment area. It's a waste disposal site. It's an industrial waste dump." Coumans said the procedure amounts to a subsidy to the industry and enables mines to get around the Fisheries Act. "What Canadians need to know is that this year, from March 2008 to March of 2009, eight lakes are going to be subject to being put on Schedule Two, which is just about every mine that is going ahead this year is looking around, looking for the nearest lake to dump its waste into.”
A local environmentalist who attended the Long Harbour meeting, Chad Griffiths, said of Sandy Pond: “It's easy enough to consider just one lake as just one lake, as a needed sacrifice, right? But it's not one lake … It's a trend. It's an open season on Canadian water.”

'Open season on Canadian water': environmentalist
A test case: the Red Chris Mine in northwestern B.C.
Last fall, a Federal Court judge ruled that federal bureaucrats acted illegally in trying to fast-track the Red Chris copper and gold mine without a full and public environmental review. The decision put the project on hold, but late last week, the Federal Appeals Court reversed the decision, paving the way for federal officials to declare lakes to be dumps without public consultation. Imperial Metals said in a release Monday that federal authorities "are now authorized to issue regulatory approvals for the Red Chris project to proceed," although the matter could still be appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada. In the earlier decision, Justice Luc Martineau overturned the decision by federal officials to skip a public review, saying it "has all the characteristics of a capricious and arbitrary decision which was taken for an improper purpose." He also found those officials "committed a reviewable error by deciding to forgo the public consultation process which the project was statutorily mandated to undergo."
The dump site includes two small lakes in a Y-shaped valley. Imperial Metals plans to build three dams to contain mine tailings within the valley. But environmentalists say there is no way to stop effluent leaking downstream in groundwater.
Jim Bourquin of the Cassiar Watch Society, a conservation group, said Kluela Lake, immediately downstream from the site, is “one of the best trout fishing lakes in northern B.C.” “This is a precedent-setting decision by the federal government to start using fish-bearing habitat as a waste management area," Bourquin said. "It's totally bizarre for the federal government to come here and say that this Y-shaped valley up here is no longer a fish habitat, it's no longer sacred headwaters, it's just a waste dump site.”
(The Almighty $)

But Steve Robertson, exploration manager for Imperial Metals, told CBC News the dump site will be sealed and that the economic benefits of the planned Red Chris mine will be enormous. “This is a project that can bring a lot of good jobs, long-term jobs, well-paying jobs to a community that desperately needs it,” Robertson said.
He added that the total investment over the 25-year life of the mine would be about half a billion dollars and that the risk to the environment will be carefully managed.
“Tailings are part of the mining process,” Robertson said, “and, if treated properly, if they're built into a proper structure and kept submerged, they should be able to withstand the test of time and actually not pose a detriment to the environment.”
But James Dennis, a 76-year-old elder of the local Tahltan people, told CBC News he doesn’t buy that. “We want it stopped,” said Dennis, who lives in the native village of Iskut, 18 kilometres northwest of the mine site. “We want to stop the mine … The animals will be drinking that water and they'll all be polluted too. "Once they do the mine, they’re going to leave, and we're the people who are going to live with that. Not me, but my grandchildren, the small little kids like this. That's who's going to live with the pollution.”
Lakes proposed for use as mine tailings ponds:
Since the introduction of Schedule Two of mining effluent regulations under the Fisheries Act, in 2002, 16 lakes have been proposed for reclassification as tailings dumps.
Four of the 16 are already being used as dumps — all in Newfoundland. Two of those are at the Duck Pond Mine and the other two are older mines due to be brought under Schedule Two retroactively.
Only one of the 16 — Kemess North in B.C. — has been turned down. Eight are to be decided in the coming year.


Newfoundland and Labrador:

Northwest Territories:



846) June 20, 2008   


847) June 27, 2008   

North Pole could be ice-free this summer, scientists say
updated 3:34 a.m. EDT, Fri June 27, 2008
By Alan Duke
(CNN) -- The North Pole may be briefly ice-free by September as global warming melts away Arctic sea ice, according to scientists from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado.

"We kind of have an informal betting pool going around in our center and that betting pool is 'does the North Pole melt out this summer?' and it may well," said the center's senior research scientist, Mark Serreze. It's a 50-50 bet that the thin Arctic sea ice, which was frozen in autumn, will completely melt away at the geographic North Pole, Serreze said.
The ice retreated to a record level in September when the Northwest Passage, the sea route through the Arctic Ocean, opened briefly for the first time in recorded history. "What we've seen through the past few decades is the Arctic sea ice cover is becoming thinner and thinner as the system warms up," Serreze said. Specific weather patterns will determine whether the North Pole's ice cover melts completely this summer, he said. "Last year, we had sort of a perfect weather pattern to get rid of ice to open up that Northwest Passage," Serreze said. "This year, a different pattern can set up. so maybe we'll preserve some ice there. We're in a wait-and-see mode right now. We'll see what happens."
The brief lack of ice at the top of the globe will not bring any immediate consequences, he said. "From the viewpoint of the science, the North Pole is just another point in the globe, but it does have this symbolic meaning," Serreze said. "There's supposed to be ice at the North Pole. The fact that we may not have any by the end of this summer could be quite a symbolic change." Serreze said it's "just another indicator of the disappearing Arctic sea ice cover" but that it is happening so soon is "just astounding to me." "Five years ago, to think that we'd even be talking about the possibility of the North Pole melting out in the summer, I would have never thought it," he said.
The melting, however, has been long seen as inevitable, he said. "If you talked to me or other scientists just a few years ago, we were saying that we might lose all or most of the summer sea ice cover by anywhere from 2050 to 2100," Serreze said. "Then, recently, we kind of revised those estimates, maybe as early as 2030. Now, there's people out there saying it might be even before that. So, things are happening pretty quick up there."
Serreze said those who suggest that the Arctic meltdown is just part of a historic cycle are wrong. "It's not cyclical at this point. I think we understand the physics behind this pretty well," he said. "We've known for at least 30 years, from our earliest climate models, that it's the Arctic where we'd see the first signs of global warming. "It's a situation where we hate to say we told you so, but we told you so," he said.
Serreze said the Arctic sea ice will not be the same for decades. "If we had a few cold years in a row, we could put sort of a temporary damper on it, but I think at this point going to an ice-free Arctic Ocean is inevitable," he said. "I don't think we can stop that now."
Reduced greenhouse gas emissions could "cool things down a bit," he said. "It would recover fairly quickly, but it's just not going to happen for a while," he said. "I think we're committed at this point."
There are some positive aspects to the ice melting, he said. Ships could use the Northwest Passage to save time and energy by no longer having to travel through the Panama Canal or around Cape Horn. "There's also, or course, oil at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean," he said. "Now, the irony of that is kind of clear, but the fact that we are opening up the Arctic Ocean does make it more accessible."
The U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center Web site, NSIDC.org, publishes a near-real-time image of the Arctic sea ice cover.


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