Friday, July 12, 2013

On what started as a normal Saturday night, residents of a small, remote Peruvian town saw a bright light streak across the sky, heard a resounding bang and suddenly found themselves at the center of a media frenzy.
Initial suspicions of an airplane crash quickly spiraled into widespread reports that a meteorite had plummeted to Earth and left a smoking, boiling crater whose supposedly noxious fumes were reported to have sickened curious locals who went to peer at the hole.
Despite doubts expressed by geologists that the crater was actually caused by a meteorite and firm explanations that a meteorite would not even emit fumes and that the "sickness" was likely a case of mass hysteria, numerous onlookers far and wide were fascinated by the idea that this event could be some real-life "Andromeda Strain" (the 1969 novel by Michael Crichton), where a mysterious rock falling to Earth from outerspace made anyone who went near it ill.
So what is it about things falling from the sky that fills us with such fear that we can make ourselves sick with panic?
Mass hysteria
Media reports of the number of locals afflicted by a "mysterious disease"--with symptoms such as nausea, headaches and sore throats--after visiting the crater figured in every news article about the Aug. 15 event, with some reporting that as many as 600 people had fallen ill.
But doctors who visited the site told the Associated Press they found no evidence that the crater had actually sickened such a large number of people.
If noxious fumes did emanate from the crater, they were most likely the result of a hydrothermal explosion that could have actually formed the crater, or were released from the ground when the meteorite struck, if in fact one did, according to many geologists.
Arsenic is found in the subsoil in that area of Peru and often contaminates the drinking water there, according to Peruvian geologists quoted on Sept. 21 by National Geographic News. Arsenic fumes released from the crater could have sickened locals who went to look, said one geologist who examined the site.
Some health officials suggest that the symptoms described by the locals, the large number of people reporting symptoms, and the apparently rapid spread have all the hallmarks of a case of mass hysteria.
"Those who say they are affected are the product of a collective psychosis," Jorge Lopez Tejada, health department chief in Puno, the nearest city, told the Los Angeles Times.
This psychosis could have begun as a result of fear of the meteorite and the mysterious "disease" on the part of the residents and spread as official and media reports seemed to confirm it and give it credence.
"The Peruvian event seems to be a rare case where we may be witnessing collective anxiety that is approaching near hysteria," said Benny Peiser, a social anthropologist at John Moores University in England. "The major[ity] of the affected Peruvian town hinted that some of the mass anxiety is due to fear of imminent impacts and psychological stress which is not surprising given the premature speculation and media hype."
Fear of outer space
Fear of a meteorite impact is nothing new--humans have long looked to the heavens with a wary eye.
"The fear of cosmic disaster, in particular cometary impacts, has existed in all cultures for millennia," Peiser told
But the space age revealed just how many dangers, including comets, meteors, asteroids, and cosmic rays, await us in the final frontier.
"Only since the late 20th century, humankind has become aware of the risk posed by asteroids and comets," Peiser said. "Unfortunately, this risk has been wildly exaggerated by popular culture."
Our curiosity and fear of impact events has increased their coverage by the world media, Peiser says, which in turn has increased the number of meteorite impact reports, even when the evidence doesn't point that way.
"In recent years, there have been numerous cases where alleged meteorite falls were linked to mysterious explosions on the ground--only to be proven wrong," Peiser said. "One of the main reasons for the significant increase of such claims is almost certainly due to the growing media interest in the cosmic impact risk. It is part of human nature-- and extremely tempting for the news media--to hype any event that initially looks mysterious."
While this fear is normal and understandable, it's been blown out of proportion so that the public thinks that impact risks are higher than they are, Peiser argues.
"Most people are simply not aware that we are making enormous progress in finding and identifying the population of Near Earth Objects and that the impact risk is thus diminishing year by year," Peiser said.
And when meteorites have struck, they have never carried any hint of some mysterious space disease.
"I don't know of any known record of a meteorite landing that emitted odors so noxious that people got sick from it," said geologist Larry Grossman of the University of Chicago.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Last night I resumed where I left off last winter, attending small eclectic concerts. Thomas Dolby was in Greenville last night. I am sure you remember him from his 80's mega hit "She Blinded Me with Science" If you don't you are either under 20 or you lived a music blocking igloo totally devoid of radio or tv since that time.

While I like that song and all it's quirkiness, it is his main body of work I really like. Thomas Dolby was truly on the cutting edge of synth/computer driven music. Actually he still is. I went to the show expecting it to be an mixture of oddly ambient music filled with strange obscure sound clips and driving rhythms programed into a somehow pleasing mosaic thought. In some ways it was indeed that. But what surprised me was how accessible and melody driven his music was. And diverse. Many of his tunes had influences of Imogen Heap, Bono, The Fixx, Mister Mister, Pink Floyd and New Orleans Bluesand maybe even a little Jónsi sprinkled over the entire mix. I guess that shouldn't be a surprise considering the wide range of artist he has worked with. Thomas is an amazing composer / musician I truly was excited to hear and see him live.

When you get time google Thomas Dolby's time machine. There is something interesting there for just about anyone.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Gourmet Goodness from Guatemala Come on and join me I'm grinding some right now. Thanks Dan

Thursday, November 10, 2011

When I woke up this morning it was foggy wet and rainy. That put me in the mood to hear rain related songs today. Here is my play list so far. Please feel free to add your favorite rain songs too.

"I Wish it Would Rain" - Perfect Heart
"Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" - CCR
"Who'll Stop the Rain" - CCR
"When the Levee Breaks" - Led Zep
"Rain Song" - Led Zep
"Let it Rain" - Clapton
"Fool in the Rain" - Led Zep
"Showdown" - ELO
"Rainy Night in Georgia" - Brook Benton
"About to Rain" -Neil Young,
"All Night Rain" -ARS,
"Another Rainy Night" -Queensryche
"Why Does it Always Rain on Me?" -Travis
"Ashes, the Rain, and I" - The James Gang,
"Blue Eyes Cryin' in the Rain" - Willie Nelson
"Purple Rain" - Prince
"Crying in the Rain" -Whitesnake
"Fire & Rain" -The Isley Brothers
"Flood" -Jars of Clay
"The Sky is Crying" - Stevie Ray Vaughn
"Kentucky Rain" -Elvis
"Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" - B.J. Thomas
"Rainin' in Paradise" - Neil Young
"Raining in My Heart" - Buddy Holly
"Let It Rain” – Mark Chesnutt
"Rainmaker" -Kansas,
"Rainy Days and Mondays" - The Carpenters
"Acid Rain" - Liquid Tension Experement
"Red Rain" - Peter Gabriel
"Smoky Mountain Rain" - Ronnie Milsap
"I’m only happy when it rains" - Garbage
"Tears in Rain" -Joe Satriani
"Walkin' in the Rain" -Jay and the Americans,
"I Love the Rainy Nights!”" - Eddie Rabbitt
"It's Raining" - Rick Derringer
"Here comes the rain again" - Eurythmics
"I Can't Stand the Rain" - Ann Peebles

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dream Theater played Atlanta last night.

Here is the set list:

Dream Is Collapsing (Hans Zimmer ) ( played as the band entered the stage )
Bridges in the Sky
These Walls
Build Me Up, Break Me Down
Endless Sacrifice
Drum Solo
The Ytse Jam

Acoustic Set:
The Silent Man
Beneath the Surface

On the Backs of Angels
Through My Words
Fatal Tragedy
Breaking All Illusions

Under a Glass Moon

More to come

Friday, September 30, 2011

The first half of my week was not very productive. There have been too many of those lately. You see after a great relaxing weekend I thought I was ready for any challenge. I was wrong. Early in the week I was ‘spinning my wheels’. Facing the same problems and issues yet achieving little in the way of results. It had gotten so bad I've been seriously wondering if stuck has become the new normal in my world. I felt like I'd become a character in the movie “Groundhogs Day”. Facing the same situations, reacting to them by doing the same things, then acting surprised when I got and getting the same results. I had fallen into the trap. I was confined to the same old system producing the same old results week after week.

That doesn't just happen to people. It occurs in organizations too. Business, charities, clubs, groups and churches, YES especially churches can all fall victim to the trap of doing it the same way over and over, while achieving little progress.

Tony Morgan has a unique outlook and great style of communicating. In his coming book "Hanging Up the Leisure Suit: How to Get Unstuck” the 2nd in the Leisure suit series, Tony outlines steps for getting 'unstuck'. He shows ways of breaking free of the past and moving ahead. And he does it in a very readable manor that should work for anyone. From regular people to business leaders to senior staff and pastors.

We all get stuck. Sometimes we don't even know it. In his previous book Tony showed why this happens. He related how the same old thinking is rather like continuing to wear that Leisure Suit you had worn so proudly "back in the day". That look is outmoded in today’s world just as many ideas, styles and practices are outmoded by current standards. He teaches how foundations, systems and strategies need to be updated in order to meet the challenges of today. As I said, some people don't even know they are stuck. Because of this, Tony thoughtfully offers an assessment type quiz for you and your organization to take.

I totally needed this book this week in my personal life. Several of the thoughts and ideas I learned can put into practice right NOW. Then I’ll take those thoughts and apply them to my small group leadership. I’m looking forward to the results.

This book came at a perfect time for me. If you are a leader of a church, business or any group you should read this book and take the quiz. Maybe you are like me an individual condemned to simply taking the same old steps but moving nowhere. Feeling like you are knee deep in quicksand of non-progress. If so then by all means read this book, take the quiz and apply the ideas within it. It’s an easy fun read, yet could be one of the most effective tools you’ll find.

We need to "Mind the Gap" between vision and execution The gap between goals and action. Mind the gap lest you slip into it and fall under the train.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

2nd Chance??

Our church gave away t-shirts a while back that said " People of the Second Chance" .

Really that is true. Do we really deserve it. After all we fail time and time again. But God is always there giving us that 2nd chance.

"But you don't understand what I've done" you say. God does ! And STILL he is ready to not only forgive, he is ready to forget. And he is ready to use you.

Paul's job was killing Christians. Now that is bad. But look at the 2nd chance God gave him

It really doesn't matter who you are, what you done or if this is actually your 87 millionth "2nd chance"

Want a 2nd chance? All you need is to ask Jesus to take control.

John 3:16

Friday, July 22, 2011


Hi there webbies My name is Lulu from Honolulu... I just flew in to help wish a friend of a friend a happy B*day. I really hope he likes me. I fixed myself up real nice for this my first main land gig.

Lets see I gots my

  • grass skirt
  • flower in lovely hair ( denoting my dating status )
  • several flower Leis
  • my "special" flower covered flip flops
  • and my snazzy shades ( that tropical sun is brutal )
  • red lipstick for that special look

Seems like I am ready. I am looking forward to this. They tell me he is a manly sorta man, just like Lulu likes, sugar.

Well it's show time I will try to post more photos later when I get back and get my film developed sweetie.

Next time you are in the islands just ask for sweet Lulu. I'd just love showing you all the real sights.

hang loose!!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Last night at NewSpring

Saturday, June 18, 2011

You don't really need a scientific study to tell you the percentage of the population that eats out. Especially on a Friday evening. One drive down the main drag of most towns show restaurant after restaurant, parking lots filled, crowd backed out the door waiting their turn. It has become a way of life for many. I know several families who never eat at home. In fact the number of "3- meal -out- a - day" diners has risen 23% in the past five years according to one study I saw.

I'd get tired of that very fast I think. Eating out for us is still something special. Or something we do on vacation or travels. I enjoy dining out, but really I am lucky in that I've never seen a restaurant that could beat what I get at my own table. Kristie and I enjoy cooking. It's an important part of our lives to cook and eat together.

Tonight I was "in charge" and with her assistance we made a great sweet red sauce served over egg noodle pasta with a serving of stir-fried ( slightly steamed ) veggies and Hillshire Farms Hardwood smoked chicken sausage. You need to try it sometime.

After dinner it was coming up a thunderstorm so we unplugged everything and set down together ready to ride it out. The storm didn't last long and as soon as it had past I was cuing-up some soft romantic music. There is nothing better than to be snuggling together for a nap on the couch while soft Randall Bramblett music plays in the background.

Next thing you know it is hours later. Now that is what I call real reality programing.