Saturday, January 01, 2005

Country ditties for lefties so they won't feel all blue

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer January 1, 2005

Country ditties for lefties so they won't feel all blue

Most country songs are larded with conservative values about God, patriotism, and the right way to treat a honky-tonk angel.

Where, I ask you, is the lefty point of view?

In the spirit of unity for a new year, I propose a melding of blue-state content with red-state form - the purple contrivance known as the liberal country song. Here are a few snippets:

The Darwin Song

for the Churchgoing Lefty

I believe we come from monkeys,

I believe we swam the sea.

But I still believe in Jesus,

So back up off of me.

A Country Gay Marriage

Earl and Jimmy are in love.

They're plannin' a large weddin'.

Just 'cause they share a trailer,

Don't mean it's Armageddon.

And how's it hurt your marriage, folks,

If these boys go and try their own?

A neighbor couple so committed

Might raise the value of your home.

American Paradox

For the last time, little darlin',

Let me try and tell the truth.

You can hate the Iraq war,

But still support the troops.

And some believe the absence

Of those famous WMDs

Makes invading a foreign nation

Such a tough thing to conceive.

The Gun Song

When Kerry went a-goose huntin',

Oh man, I got the creeps

To know a U.S. president has got to pack some heat.

Now, guns pervade this culture like fruit in sangria wine.

So let's bury cop-killer bullets

And melt down those Tec-9s.

Rummy's John Hancock

Rummy don't sign letters home

To the kin of guys who died.

He'd rather let a machine

Write his "sorry" on the line.

He tells that young Southern soldier,

You must fight with the stuff you got.

So scrounge scrap heaps for armor, boys,

And hope they hit you where you're not.

Right-Thinking Christians

Only Christians know the way, now.

Only saved folks see what's right.

All that Koran, Talmud stuff

Merely blocks you from the light.

If you flinch at Ten Commandments

Posted high up in the school,

Then you miss the bigger picture

And become the devil's tool.

Just a Question

Here's a question for you now,

Just a thing I gotta know.

You oppose abortion rights,

Yet fry bad guys on death row.

Now, if all of life is precious,

Who they are and who they're not,

How can you strap a man down tight

And juice him hard with megawatts?

A slightly altered chorus of Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA"

And I'm proud to be an American

Where at least I know I'm free.

And no one like John Ashcroft

Is allowed to spy on me.

And I gladly stand up

Next to you and defend my right to say,

There ain't no doubt I love this land

Just not in the same way.

Contact columnist Alfred Lubrano at 215-854-4969 or

Thursday, December 30, 2004

A Message From Bill

Hi Everyone!,

In the event I do not make another posting before the end of 2004, I just want to wish all a Happy New Year.


Scientists: Tsunami Could Hit West Coast

Bill's Comment: Take that, Left Coast! You want global warming, you got it!
-What Mother Nature might say.

Scientists: Tsunami Could Hit West Coast

By JOSEPH B. VERRENGIA, Associated Press Writer

Tsunami scientists and public safety officials are closely watching an earthquake-prone nation with thousands of miles of crowded coastlines for signs of an imminent disaster. Indonesia? Japan? Try the United States.

Experts say the West Coast could experience a calamity similar to the one they have been watching unfold half a world away.

"People need to know it could happen," said geologist Brian Atwater of the U.S. Geological Survey (news - web sites).

Scientists say grinding geologic circumstances similar to those in Sumatra also exist just off the Pacific Northwest coast. They are a loaded gun that could trigger a tsunami that could hit Northern California, Washington, Oregon and British Columbia in minutes — too fast for the nation's deep-sea tsunami warning system to help.

In fact, Atwater said there was a 9.0 earthquake under the Pacific more than 300 years ago that had devastating consequences. He and other scientists last year reported finding evidence of severe flooding in the Puget Sound area in 1700, including trees that stopped growing after "taking a bath in rising tide waters."

The danger rests just 50 miles off the West Coast in a 680-mile undersea fault known as the Cascadia subduction zone that behaves much like one that ruptured off Sumatra. The 1700 quake occurred along the Cascadia fault.

Scientists say a giant rupture along the fault would cause the sea floor to bounce 20 feet or more, setting off powerful ocean waves relatively close to shore. The first waves could hit coastal communities in 30 minutes or less, according to computer models.

Seattle; Vancouver, British Columbia; and other big cities in the region probably would be relatively protected from deadly flooding because of their inland locations. But other, smaller communities could be devastated.

And while buildings in the United States are far more solid than the shacks and huts that were obliterated in some of Asia's poor villages, few structures could withstand nearby tremors as powerful as those that occurred Sunday in Sumatra.

Moreover, such a quake would be way too close to shore for the nation's network of deep-sea wave gauges to be of any help.

Even in the case of quakes happening farther out in the Pacific or in Alaska, the U.S. warning system might not be adequate.

The network — which consists of six deep-sea instruments in Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Hawaii and near the equator off the coast of Peru — is thin and scattered, and at least two of the gauges in Alaska are not even reporting daily wave readings. Also, predicting where a tsunami is likely to come ashore cannot be done with the kind of precision seen in hurricane forecasts.

Eddie N. Bernard, who directs the network for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said the six sensors are the "bare minimum" for adequate warning. He said there are plans to expand the system to 20 sensors in the next five years, including 10 gauges for the seismically active Aleutian Islands.

Whether the continental United States is vulnerable to tsunamis from Asian earthquakes is another question. Hawaii and parts of Alaska certainly are exposed, but whether earthquake fault lines in Japan and Southeast Asia are oriented in the right directions to send tsunamis all they way to the Lower 48 states is debatable.

As for the Atlantic Coast, a tsunami is considered extremely unlikely.

Some computer models suggest East Coast cities are vulnerable to a large tsunami if there were a huge volcanic eruption and landslide in the Canary Islands, off northwest Africa. But other researchers say such an event would happen only once in 10,000 years, and such a disruption is unlikely to occur all at once.

Make this new year your year for love

Make this new year your year for love
Brought to you by!

With the approaching new year, many people are preparing long–winded resolutions they have no intention of keeping. Most do so with good intentions and don't lose much sleep over it when they fail. Others beat themselves up for 11 months and start the cycle over the following January.

There's just something about a new year that represents more than simply a turnover in tax seasons; it's an opportunity to start at the beginning, to make changes you've been waiting for some milestone to implement.

Whether or not you have been wildly successful in love, you can make next year your breakout time. It doesn't matter if you plan to find the love of your life and settle down or just meet someone you can have a good time with, so long as you commit yourself to being a mover and shaker of the romantic world, you're likely to have some success.

When people don't do well in dating or love, it's usually because they try for a while and then become discouraged for some reason. They got dumped, dated a psycho, went to jail, whatever. The point is, they never lost the desire — they just stopped trying.

If you allow setbacks to dishearten you on your quest, you might as well not start in the first place. Yes, it can be painful or humiliating to brush yourself off and go meet someone else, but you're going to have to keep doing it until you meet the right one.

That's not the same as keeping at it until you "do it right." There is no right or wrong way; in fact, the worst mistake you could make is to try and become something you're not in the vague hope that it will make you more attractive. Be yourself because whatever that may be, it's going to be an asset when you meet the person who's truly right for you.

Admittedly that person may be harder to find if you're a social troglodyte, own entire seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD or walk the streets doing your best impersonation of the elephant man. But the fact is, if you hide those truths, you'll only involve yourself with people who aren't right for you.

If you choose this coming year to be "The Year of You" then it will happen. Like most New Year's resolutions, the only thing that can defeat you is yourself. When you go out on the town to meet with someone special, you may find the perfect relationship on your first try — or you may need to demonstrate some resiliency, and keep trying if things don't work out the first dozen times.

Finding people who are right for each other is no easy task. Luckily services like have made it easier to compare interests, lifestyles and desires by quick search technology. Remember, though, that the your romantic success is your responsibility. Keep at it and you won't be disappointed.

10 Dating Resolutions for the New Year

10 Dating Resolutions for the New Year
Brought to you by!

I like making lots of New Year's resolutions. This year I'm going to get more exercise and stop ordering miracle products from late–night TV. I also realized that my social life could use some resolutions. Here's my list; maybe a few of them could work for you, too!

10. I will explore new hobbies and interests. What does this have to do with dating? I need something to talk about. There's nothing worse than spending a whole dinner just talking about how much I'd like to be in a relationship. This year, I'll become a more interesting person (and have a great time) by pursuing things I've always wanted to do.

9. I will give someone a chance. Sooner or later, whether it's at the coffee shop or browsing, I'll meet someone who falls outside my description of the person I think I'm looking for. Maybe he has a different religion, job or educational background, but he'll interest me anyway and I'll see what happens. What do I have to lose?

8. I will stop falling for the idea of a person. As soon as I hear that someone has a fascinating occupation or background, I create this story in my head: "If he's an architect, we could have such profound conversations about composition." I will knock if off and wait to learn who people really are.

7. I will stop bringing my lucky rock to social engagements. It was nearly discovered recently, and I have this great dress that doesn't have any pockets.

6. I will not make too much eye contact. While it's sensible and good dating etiquette to look your date in the eye during conversation, gazing too deeply tends to mesmerize the weaker minded boys or scare off potential winners.

5. I will not tell my life story on a first date. Nor will I show off my tattoo or share multiple college party stories. I'm all for honesty, but a little privacy is good at first. Besides, the present and the future make great conversation, too.

4. I will avoid last–minute hysteria before a date by combing my hair in a way that experience has proven to be technically feasible and aesthetically pleasing. I'll save the bold experiments for another night.

3. I will be straightforward with decent people who I am not interested in pursuing a relationship with. I will practice these lines for use in emails and phone messages: "Thanks for your reply, but I don't think we're a match. Good luck." and "I had a nice time Friday, but I don't see this working out. Thanks for the evening, and good luck. "

2. I will make a psych–up tape of my favorite songs to play before I go out and leave the house feeling energized and confident.

1. I will bounce better. If I learned anything from last year, it's that a bit of disappointment is part of the dating game and you've got to move on. I had a seventh grade softball coach, Coach Terry, who would shout "Way to go, tiger!" when I got up after being hit with a bat or losing some skin in an unsuccessful slide for second base. This year, I'll work on my sense of humor and remember Coach Terry.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Facts about New Jersey

If you've ever lived in'll appreciate this!!!

New Jersey is a peninsula

Highlands, New Jersey has the highest elevation along the entire eastern seaboard, from Maine to Florida.

New Jersey is the only state where all of its counties are classified as metropolitan areas.

New Jersey has more race horses than Kentucky.

New Jersey has more Cubans in Union City (1 sq mi.) than Havana, Cuba.

New Jersey has the densest system of highways and railroads in the

New Jersey has the highest cost of living.

New Jersey has the highest cost of auto insurance.

New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the nation.

New Jersey has the most diners in the world and is sometimes referred to as the "Diner Capital of the World."

New Jersey is home to the original Mystery Pork Parts Club (no, not Spam): Taylor Ham or Pork Roll.

Home to the less mysterious but the best Italian hot dogs and Italian sausage w/peppers and onions.

North Jersey has the most shopping malls in one area in the world, with seven major shopping malls in a 25 square mile radius.

New Jersey is home to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

The Passaic River was the site of the first submarine ride by inventor John P. Holland.

New Jersey has 50+ resort cities & towns; some of the nation's most famous: Asbury Park, Wildwood, Atlantic City, Seaside Heights, Long Branch, Cape May.

New Jersey has the most stringent testing along our coastline for water quality control than any other seaboard state in the entire country.

New Jersey is a leading technology & industrial state and is the largest chemical producing state in the nation when you include pharmaceuticals.

Jersey tomatoes are known the world over as being the best you can buy.

New Jersey is the world leader in blueberry and cranberry production (and here you thought Massachusetts?)

Here's to New Jersey - the toast of the country! In 1642, the first
brewery in America, opened in Hoboken.

New Jersey rocks! The famous Les Paul invented the first solid body electric guitar in Mahwah, in 1940.

New Jersey is a major seaport state with the largest seaport in the US, located in Elizabeth. Nearly 80 percent of what our nation imports comes through Elizabeth Seaport first.

New Jersey is home to one of the nation's busiest airports (in Newark), Liberty International.

George Washington slept here. Several important Revolutionary War battles were fought on New Jersey soil, led by General George Washington.

The light bulb, phonograph (record player), and motion picture projector, were invented by Thomas Edison in his Menlo Park, NJ, laboratory

We also boast the first town ever lit by incandescent bulbs.

The first seaplane was built in Keyport, NJ.

The first airmail (to Chicago) was started from Keyport, NJ.

The first phonograph records were made in Camden, NJ.

New Jersey is home to the Miss America Pageant held in Atlantic City.

The game Monopoly, played all over the world, named the streets on its playing board after the actual streets in Atlantic City.

And, Atlantic City has the longest boardwalk in the world,

Not to mention salt water taffy,

New Jersey has the largest petroleum containment area outside of the Middle East countries.

The first Indian reservation was in New Jersey, in the Watchung Mountains.

New Jersey has the tallest water-tower in the world. (Union, NJ!!!)

New Jersey had the first medical center, in Jersey City.

The Pulaski SkyWay, from Jersey City to Newark, was the first skyway highway.

NJ built the first tunnel under a river, the Hudson (Holland Tunnel).

The first baseball game was played in Hoboken, NJ, which is also the birthplace of Frank Sinatra.

The first intercollegiate football game was played in New Brunswick in 1889 (Rutgers College played Princeton).

The first drive-in movie theater was opened in Camden, NJ, (but they're all gone now!).

New Jersey is home to both of "NEW YORK'S" pro football teams!

The first radio station and broadcast was in Paterson, NJ.

The first FM radio broadcast was made from Alpine, NJ, by Maj. Thomas Armstrong.

All New Jersey natives: Sal Martorano, Jack Nicholson, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Jason Alexander, Queen Latifah, Susan Sarandon, Connie Francis, Shaq, Judy Blume, Aaron Burr, Joan Robertson, Ken Kross, Dionne Warwick, Sarah Vaughn, Budd Abbott, Lou Costello, Alan Ginsberg, Norman Mailer, Marilynn McCoo, Flip Wilson, Alexander Hamilton, Whitney Houston, Eddie Money, Linda McElroy, Eileen Donnelly, Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson, Walt Whitman, Jerry Lewis, Tom Cruise, Joyce Kilmer, Bruce Willis, Caesar Romero, Lauryn Hill, Ice-T, Nick Adams, Nathan Lane, Sandra Dee, Danny DeVito, Richard Conti, Joe Pesci, Joe Piscopo, Robert Blake, John Forsythe, Meryl Streep, Loretta Swit, Norman Lloyd, Paul Simon, Jerry Herman, Gorden McCrae, Kevin Spacey, John Travolta, Phyllis Newman, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Eva Marie Saint, Elisabeth Shue, Zebulon Pike, James Fennimore Cooper, Admiral Wm.Halsey,Jr., Dave Thomas (Wendy's), William Carlos Williams, Ray Liotta, Robert Wuhl, Bob Reyers, Paul Robeson, Ernie Kovacs, Joseph Macchia and, of course, Francis Albert Sinatra and "Uncle Floyd" Vivino, Kelly Ripa.

Bob Meade adds: The Great Falls in Paterson, on the Passaic River, is the second highest waterfall on the East Coast of the US.

You know you're from Jersey when . . .

You don't think of fruit when people mention "The Oranges."

You know that it's called Great Adventure, not Six Flags.

A good, quick breakfast is a hard roll with butter.

You've known the way to Seaside Heights since you were seven.

You've eaten at a diner, when you were stoned or drunk, at 3 A.M.

You know that the state isn't one big oil refinery.

At least three people in your family still love Bruce Springsteen, and you know the town Jon Bon Jovi is from.

You know what a "jug handle" is.

You know that WaWa is a convenience store.

You know that the state isn't all farmland.

You know that there are no "beaches" in New Jersey--there's the shore--and you don't go "to the shore," you go "down the shore" And when you are there, you're not "at the shore"; you are "down the shore."

You know how to properly negotiate a circle.

You knew that the last sentence had to do with driving.

You know that this is the only "New" state that doesn't require "New" to identify it (try . . . Mexico . . . York . . . Hampshire-- doesn't work, does it?).

You know that a "White Castle" is the name of BOTH a fast food chain AND a fast food sandwich.

You consider putting mayo on a corned beef sandwich a sacrilege

You don't think "What exit?" is very funny.

You know that people from the 609 area code are "a little different."

Yes they are!

You know that no respectable New Jerseyan goes to Princeton--that's for out-of-staters.

The Jets-Giants game has started fights at your school or localbar.

You live within 20 minutes of at least three different malls.

You refer to all highways and interstates by their numbers.

Every year you have at least one kid in your class named Tony.

You know the location of every clip shown in the Sopranos opening credits.

You've gotten on the wrong highway trying to get out of the mall

You know that people from North Jersey go to Seaside Heights, and people from Central Jersey go to Belmar, and people from South Jersey go to Wildwood. It can be no other way.

You weren't raised in New Jersey--you were raised in either North Jersey, Central Jersey or South Jersey.

You don't consider Newark or Camden to actually be part of the state.

You remember the stores Korvette's, Two Guys, Rickel's, Channel, Bamberger's and Orbach's.

You also remember Palisades Amusement Park.

You've had a boardwalk cheese steak and vinegar fries.

You start planning for Memorial Day weekend in February.

And finally . . .

You've NEVER, NEVER pumped your own gas.


Preliminary report says Reggie White died from lung ailment

Preliminary report says Reggie White died from lung ailment

December 27, 2004

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- NFL great Reggie White may have died because of a respiratory disease combined with other health problems, a preliminary autopsy report said Monday.

White most likely had a condition that affected the amount of air his lungs could hold, resulting in ``fatal cardiac arrhythmia,'' said Dr. Mike Sullivan, the medical examiner for Mecklenburg County and a forensic pathologist.

The report issued by Sullivan's office also said sleep apnea may have been a factor.

The report is a preliminary one; determining a final cause of death could take up to three months, Sullivan's office said.

White died Sunday at Presbyterian Hospital in Huntersville after being taken there from his home in nearby Cornelius. His wife, Sara, called 911.

White had the disease, known as sarcoidosis, for several years, family spokesman Keith Johnson said Sunday. He described it as a respiratory ailment that affected his sleep.

On its Web site, the American Lung Association describes sarcoidosis as a disease characterized by the presence of small areas of inflamed cells that can attack any organ of the body but is most frequently found in the lungs.

The cause of the disease, which is most common among blacks and white northern Europeans, is not known.

Sleep apnea causes people to stop breathing repeatedly -- in some cases, hundreds of times -- during their sleep.

White and his wife lived in a gated community on Lake Norman. They had two children, Jeremy, a freshman at Elon College in Elon, and a daughter, Jecolia, a junior high school.

A public viewing will be held 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at A.L. Jinwright Funeral Service in Charlotte. A private service also will be held, although the details won't be made public, the funeral home said Monday.

A two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and ordained minister who was known as the ``Minister of Defense,'' White played 15 seasons with Philadelphia, Green Bay and Carolina. He retired after the 2000 season as the NFL's career sacks leader with 198. The mark has since been passed by Bruce Smith.

A member of the NFL's 75th anniversary team, White was elected to the Pro Bowl a record 13 straight times from 1986-98. He was the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year in 1987 and 1998.

He retired -- for the third time -- from the Panthers at the age of 39.

White worked tirelessly in the offseason with inner-city youths. But his image was tarnished when he gave a speech in which he denounced homosexuality and used ethnic stereotypes. White later apologized.

Updated on Monday, Dec 27, 2004 4:59 pm EST - Gibbs Racing mourning the death of NFL's White - Dec 27, 2004 - Gibbs Racing mourning the death of NFL's White - Dec 27, 2004

From Official Release
December 27, 2004
12:12 PM EST (17:12 GMT)

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- Reggie White, a former defensive star in the NFL and a partner in the Joe Gibbs Racing Diversity Program, passed away Sunday. He was 43.

The cause of death was not immediately known, however White had a respiratory ailment for several years that affected his sleep, according to Keith Johnson, a pastor serving as family spokesman. An autopsy was scheduled.

White, who played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers in his 15-year NFL career, partnered with JGR to form a diversity program in 2003. White was instrumental in the successful beginning of the program.

In 2004, under the leadership of White and Gibbs, Chris Bristol, an African-American competed in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series at Caraway Speedway in Ashboro, N.C., while Aric Almirola, a Hispanic, competed in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series at Ace Speedway in Altamahaw, N.C.

Bristol scored one victory and finished fourth in the Caraway Speedway point standings, while Almirola won three races and finished 11th in points at Ace Speedway.

"On behalf my dad and the entire Joe Gibbs Racing family, I would like to express my deepest sympathy to Sara and the White family for their loss," said J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR. "He was much more than a great football player. He excelled as a husband and father and he honored the Lord with his life.

"It was a true pleasure to collaborate with him on the Joe Gibbs Racing Diversity Program. I know that my father and I, as well as all the employees of JGR, were looking forward to a long relationship with Reggie through this program. All of us at Joe Gibbs Racing will ensure that his vision to cultivate a diversity program within NASCAR will continue. Our thoughts and our prayers are with his family during this difficult time."

NASCAR released the following statement:

"The passing of Reggie White is a loss for the NASCAR community.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the White family, Joe Gibbs Racing, and everyone who had the pleasure of working with Reggie.

"The Reggie White/Joe Gibbs Racing team helped to further diversify NASCAR by providing opportunities to drivers such as Chris Bristol and Aric Almirola."

Comedian George Carlin Enters Rehab Program

Comedian George Carlin Enters Rehab Program

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Comedian George Carlin, who became a counter-culture hero in the 1970s with routines about drugs and dirty words, said on Monday he was voluntarily entering a drug and alcohol treatment program.

"I'm going into rehab because I use too much wine and Vicodin," Carlin, 67, whose latest book "When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?" is a current national bestseller, said in a statement. "No one told me I needed this; I recognized the problem and took the step myself."

The announcement came weeks after the veteran stand-up comic caused a stir at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas with a performance that questioned the intellect of people who visit the resort city.

According to media accounts of the incident, Carlin's bit about "moronic" Vegas tourists touched off a bitter, profane exchange with members of the audience, including one woman who shouted "Stop degrading us."

Carlin has acknowledged having battled cocaine addiction in the 1980s but said he quit on his own by tapering off the drug. He also has suffered three heart attacks.

Speaking of his current problem, he said: "My levels of use are nowhere near the worst you hear about these days; I could easily have continued functioning at a good level ... for awhile. But my use would have progressed, I would have been in deeper trouble, and I didn't want to tolerate that."

Carlin's spokesman, Jeff Abraham, said the comedian entered rehab on Monday but did not know how long he would remain in treatment. He said Carlin was currently scheduled to begin a new engagement at Stardust Hotel in Vegas in February.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

In Memoriam: Reggie White (1961-2004)

Bill's Comment: A very sad day, for both the National Football League, and humanity itself.

May the "Minister of Defense" rest in peace. You will be missed, as you were taken away from us much too soon. May your star shine eternally.

Former NFL Star Reggie White Dead at 43

White died Sunday morning of a massive heart attack. He was 43.

White, the league's former all-time sack leader, put together a Hall of Fame career as a defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers from 1985-1998. He also played for the Carolina Panthers in 2000.

A 13-time Pro Bowl selection, White died at his North Carolina home just seven days after his 43rd birthday.

ESPN reported his death Sunday morning on its NFL preview show.
12/26/04 12:12

© Copyright Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved. The information contained In this news report may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of Reuters Ltd.

Update: 12/27/04: Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie announced that the number 92, which Reggie White wore for all but one season for the Eagles, will never be worn again, and be retired.

Thank you, Mr. Lurie!

Be Informed: Natural Disasters

Joyce Comments: This post is not intended to scare you, but inform you. A major earthquake estimated to be measured about 8.9 has occurred earlier today that may have briefly interfered with the Earth's rotation. This is huge news considering that other related or non-related natural disasters are also occurring now around the world hours after this major quake. Not to scare you, but please take this post to heart of information. I am posting from and prepare yourself and your family for any unwanted or unexpected dramatic natural disaster that may occur (likely it won't) and feel free to give the Red Cross any monitary help you can. People in Florida with the numerous hurricanes this year; New Jersey with the floods in Southern New Jersey; and California and Texas with the abnormal snow may be quick to scream Global Warming, but don't jump to conclusions. In the case of American weather abnormalities it is probably just another El Nino passing through like it did in the 1990s. These huge natural disasters around the world could be two things: Mother Nature or Man-made, or even a mixture of the two. I'm leaning toward it being from Mother Nature with some help from Man (China, may be getting restless doing some illegal testing of major weapons underground in preparation for war against free democratic countries like the United States following the 2008 Beijing Olympics causing the pot to boil??) For the latest news these major earthquakes and tsunamis go to Yahoo News Full Coverage: Earthquakes & Volcanos. Following are the suggestions from that you can use if you choose followed by USGS Earthquake Hazards Program:


Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as making an emergency supply kit and developing a family communications plan, are the same for both a natural or man-made emergency. However, there are important differences among natural disasters that will impact the decisions you make and the actions you take. Some natural disasters are easily predicted, others happen without warning. Planning what to do in advance is an important part of being prepared.

Find out what natural disasters are most common in your area. You may be aware of some of your community’s risks: others may surprise you. Historically, flooding is the nation's single most common natural disaster. Flooding can happen in every U.S. state and territory. Earthquakes are often thought of as a West Coast phenomenon, yet 45 states and territories in the United States are at moderate to high risk from earthquakes and are located in every region of the country. Other disasters may be more common in certain areas. Tornados are nature's most violent storms and can happen anywhere. However, states located in "Tornado Alley," as well as areas in Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and Florida are at the highest risk for tornado damage. Hurricanes are severe tropical storms that form in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Scientists can now predict hurricanes, but people who live in coastal communities should plan what they will do if they are told to evacuate.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has information available about the following natural disasters:

Extreme Heat
Landslide and Debris Flow (Mudslide)
Winter Storms and Extreme Cold

Planning what to do in advance is an important part of being prepared. Find out what natural disasters are most common in your area.

For more general information, see "Are you Ready?" from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or Disaster Safety from the Red Cross.

USGS Earthquake Hazards Program

2004 December 26 00:58:50 UTC

Preliminary Earthquake Report
U.S. Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center
World Data Center for Seismology, Denver

A great earthquake occurred at 00:58:50 (UTC) on Sunday, December 26, 2004. The magnitude 8.9 event has been located OFF THE WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)

Magnitude 8.9
Date-Time Sunday, December 26, 2004 at 00:58:50 (UTC)
= Coordinated Universal Time
Sunday, December 26, 2004 at 6:58:50 AM
= local time at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 3.298°N, 95.779°E
Depth 10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program
250 km (155 miles) SSE of Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
320 km (200 miles) W of Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia
1260 km (780 miles) SSW of BANGKOK, Thailand
1605 km (1000 miles) NW of JAKARTA, Java, Indonesia

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 9.2 km (5.7 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters Nst=157, Nph=157, Dmin=>999 km, Rmss=1.35 sec, Gp= 29°,
M-type=moment magnitude (Mw), Version=9

Event ID usslav
Felt Reports At least 2,200 people killed in Sri Lanka, 1,600 in India, 700 in Indonesia, 220 in Thailand, 29 in Malaysia and 2 in Bangladesh by tsunamis. Tsunamis also occurred on the coasts of Maldives, Cocos Island and Somalia. At least 200 people killed, buildings destroyed or damaged in the Banda Aceh area, Sumatra. Felt widely in Sumatra. Also felt in Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand. This is the fifth largest earthquake in the world since 1900 and is the largest since the 1964 Prince William Sound, Alaska earthquake.

Today's shallow, thrust-type earthquake occurred off the west coast of northern Sumatra at the interface between the India and Burma plates. In this region, the Burma plate is characterized by significant strain partitioning due to oblique convergence of the India and Australia plates to the west and the Sunda and Eurasian plates to the east. Off the west coast of northern Sumatra, the India plate is moving in a northeastward direction at about 5 cm per year relative to the Burma plate. Preliminary locations of larger aftershocks following today's earthquake show that approximately 1000 km of the plate boundary slipped as a result of the earthquake. Aftershocks are distributed along much of the shallow plate boundary between northern Sumatra (approximately 3 degrees north) to near Andaman Island (at about 14 degrees north).

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The official magnitude for this earthquake is indicated at the top of this page. This was the best available estimate of the earthquake's size, at the time that this page was created. Other magnitudes associated with web pages linked from here are those determined at various times following the earthquake with different types of seismic data. Although, given the data used, they are legitimate estimates of magnitude, they are not considered the official magnitude.


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