FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE

Friday

Things Caused By Global Warming

We see it in the news everyday. "It has been determined the Global Warming was the cause of ___________." (You can fill in the blank with just about anything.)

According to the media, Global Warming has been the cause of everything from bridge collapses to a reduction in African circumcisions.

Dr. John Brignell, a British engineering professor, runs a website called Numberwatch. On his website, he has compiled a list of things that, according to the media, were caused by Global Warming. This list of over 600 items contains links to all of the source material. It is the most complete list I have ever seen in one place, and it is growing.

Take a look at the list and recognize the ridiculousness.

Agricultural land increase, Africa devastated, African aid threatened, Africa hit hardest, air pressure changes, Alaska reshaped, allergies increase, Alps melting, Amazon a desert, American dream end, amphibians breeding earlier (or not), ancient forests dramatically changed, animals head for the hills, Antarctic grass flourishes, anxiety, algal blooms, archaeological sites threatened, Arctic bogs melt, Arctic in bloom, Arctic lakes disappear, asthma, Atlantic less salty, Atlantic more salty, atmospheric defiance, atmospheric circulation modified, attack of the killer jellyfish, avalanches reduced, avalanches increased, bananas destroyed, bananas grow, beetle infestation, bet for $10,000, better beer, big melt faster, billion dollar research projects, billions of deaths, bird distributions change, bird visitors drop, birds return early, blackbirds stop singing, blizzards, blue mussels return, bluetongue, boredom, bridge collapse (Minneapolis), Britain Siberian, British gardens change, brothels struggle, bubonic plague, budget increases, Buddhist temple threatened, building collapse, building season extension, bushfires, business opportunities, business risks, butterflies move north, cancer deaths in England, cardiac arrest, caterpillar biomass shift, challenges and opportunities, childhood insomnia, Cholera, circumcision in decline, cirrus disappearance, civil unrest, cloud increase, cloud stripping, cockroach migration, cod go south, cold climate creatures survive, cold spells (Australia), computer models, conferences, coral bleaching, coral reefs dying, coral reefs grow, coral reefs shrink , cold spells, cost of trillions, cougar attacks, cremation to end, crime increase, crocodile sex, crumbling roads, buildings and sewage systems, cyclones (Australia), damages equivalent to $200 billion, Darfur, Dartford Warbler plague, death rate increase (US), Dengue hemorrhagic fever, dermatitis, desert advance, desert life threatened, desert retreat, destruction of the environment, diarrhoea, disappearance of coastal cities, diseases move north, Dolomites collapse, drought, drowning people, ducks and geese decline, dust bowl in the corn belt, early marriages, early spring, earlier pollen season, Earth biodiversity crisis, Earth dying, Earth even hotter, Earth light dimming, Earth lopsided, Earth melting, Earth morbid fever, Earth on fast track, Earth past point of no return, Earth slowing down, Earth spinning out of control, Earth spins faster, Earth to explode, earth upside down, Earth wobbling, earthquakes, El Niño intensification, erosion, emerging infections, encephalitis, equality threatened, Europe simultaneously baking and freezing, evolution accelerating, expansion of university climate groups, extinctions (human, civilisation, logic, Inuit, smallest butterfly, cod, ladybirds, bats, pandas, pikas, polar bears, pigmy possums, gorillas, koalas, walrus, whales, frogs, toads, turtles, orang-utan, elephants, tigers, plants, salmon, trout, wild flowers, woodlice, penguins, a million species, half of all animal and plant species, not polar bears, barrier reef, leaches), experts muzzled, extreme changes to California, fading fall foliage, famine, farmers go under, fashion disaster, fever,figurehead sacked, fir cone bonanza, fish catches drop, fish catches rise, fish stocks at risk, fish stocks decline, five million illnesses, flesh eating disease, flood patterns change, floods, floods of beaches and cities, Florida economic decline, food poisoning, food prices rise, food security threat (SA), footpath erosion, forest decline, forest expansion, frostbite, frosts, fungi fruitful, fungi invasion, games change, Garden of Eden wilts, genetic diversity decline, gene pools slashed, gingerbread houses collapse, glacial earthquakes, glacial retreat, glacial growth, glacier wrapped, global cooling, global dimming, glowing clouds, god melts, golf Masters wrecked, Gore omnipresence, grandstanding, grasslands wetter, Great Barrier Reef 95% dead, Great Lakes drop, greening of the North, Grey whales lose weight, Gulf Stream failure, habitat loss, Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, harvest increase, harvest shrinkage, hay fever epidemic, hazardous waste sites breached, health of children harmed, heart disease, heart attacks and strokes (Australia), heat waves, hibernation ends too soon, hibernation ends too late, homeless 50 million, hornets, high court debates, human development faces unprecedented reversal, human fertility reduced, human health improvement, human health risk, hurricanes, hurricane reduction, hydropower problems, hyperthermia deaths, ice sheet growth, ice sheet shrinkage, illness and death, inclement weather, infrastructure failure (Canada), Inuit displacement, Inuit poisoned, Inuit suing, industry threatened, infectious diseases, inflation in China, insurance premium rises, invasion of cats, invasion of herons, invasion of midges, island disappears, islands sinking, itchier poison ivy, jellyfish explosion, Kew Gardens taxed, kitten boom, krill decline, lake and stream productivity decline, lake shrinking and growing, landslides, landslides of ice at 140 mph, lawsuits increase, lawsuit successful, lawyers' income increased (surprise surprise!), lightning related insurance claims, little response in the atmosphere, lush growth in rain forests, Lyme disease, Malaria, malnutrition, mammoth dung melt, Maple syrup shortage, marine diseases, marine food chain decimated, marine dead zone, Meaching (end of the world), megacryometeors, Melanoma, methane emissions from plants, methane burps, melting permafrost, Middle Kingdom convulses, migration, migration difficult (birds), microbes to decompose soil carbon more rapidly, monkeys on the move, Mont Blanc grows, monuments imperiled, more bad air days, more research needed, mountain (Everest) shrinking, mountains break up, mountains taller, mortality lower, mudslides, National security implications, new islands, next ice age, Nile delta damaged, no effect in India, Northwest Passage opened, nuclear plants bloom, oaks move north, ocean acidification, ocean waves speed up, opera house to be destroyed, outdoor hockey threatened, oyster diseases, ozone loss, ozone repair slowed, ozone rise, Pacific dead zone, personal carbon rationing, pest outbreaks, pests increase, phenology shifts, plankton blooms, plankton destabilised, plankton loss, plant viruses, plants march north, polar bears aggressive, polar bears cannibalistic, polar bears drowning, polar bears starve, polar tours scrapped, porpoise astray, profits collapse, psychosocial disturbances, puffin decline, railroad tracks deformed, rainfall increase, rainfall reduction, rape wave, refugees, reindeer larger, release of ancient frozen viruses, resorts disappear, rice threatened, rice yields crash, riches, rift on Capitol Hill, rioting and nuclear war, rivers dry up, river flow impacted, rivers raised, roads wear out, rockfalls, rocky peaks crack apart, roof of the world a desert, Ross river disease, ruins ruined, salinity reduction, salinity increase, Salmonella, salmon stronger, satellites accelerate, school closures, sea level rise, sea level rise faster, seals mating more, sewer bills rise, sex change, sharks booming, sharks moving north, sheep shrink, shop closures, shrinking ponds, shrinking shrine, ski resorts threatened, slow death, smaller brains, smog, snowfall increase, snowfall heavy, snowfall reduction, societal collapse, songbirds change eating habits, sour grapes, space problem, spiders invade Scotland, squid population explosion, squirrels reproduce earlier, spectacular orchids, stormwater drains stressed, street crime to increase, suicide, taxes, tectonic plate movement, teenage drinking, terrorism, threat to peace, ticks move northward (Sweden), tides rise, tourism increase, trade barriers, trade winds weakened, tree beetle attacks, tree foliage increase (UK), tree growth slowed, trees could return to Antarctic, trees in trouble, trees less colourful, trees more colourful, trees lush, tropics expansion, tropopause raised, tsunamis, turtles crash, turtles lay earlier, UK Katrina, Vampire moths, Venice flooded, volcanic eruptions, walrus displaced, walrus pups orphaned, war, wars over water, wars threaten billions, water bills double, water supply unreliability, water scarcity (20% of increase), water stress, weather out of its mind, weather patterns awry, weeds, Western aid cancelled out, West Nile fever, whales move north, wheat yields crushed in Australia, white Christmas dream ends, wildfires, wind shift, wind reduced, wine - harm to Australian industry, wine industry damage (California), wine industry disaster (US), wine - more English, wine -German boon, wine - no more French , winters in Britain colder, wolves eat more moose, wolves eat less, workers laid off, World bankruptcy, World in crisis, World in flames, Yellow fever.

Saturday

Shameless Self-Promotion

As most of you know, I recently wrote a few scripts for a video series that our drama team was producing for Church. The video series was entitled "Common Sense." I wrote this as an homage to one of the best TV shows of all-time, "Arrested Development." The videos were a hit at Church.

Because of the great reception the recieved in the services, I decided to post them on YouTube and its Christian counter-part GodTube. I was curious what other people's reactions to them might be.

So far, the comments have been good. In fact, about a month ago, I received a call from a church in California who wanted to use the videos for a similar sermon series that they were doing. They saw the videos on GodTube and were really impressed. Naturally, I was flattered. So, I sent them a copy to use at their church.

Now, the "Common Sense" videos have even landed our drama team in the local newspaper! After finding our videos on GodTube, the Gainesville Times wrote an article about the Christian video website and featured the "Common Sense" videos. They even included an interview with me!

You can read the full story here.

Thursday

All You Need Is Love

I’m a romantic at heart. I’m sure that you can’t tell based on my other blog posts. But, it’s true. In the words of Lennon and McCartney, “All you need is love.” I believe that.

When I hear an amazing story of love such as Westley and Buttercup, Christian and Satine, Kevin and Winnie, or Cory and Topanga, I can’t help but shed a little tear on the inside (Again, the only tears I shed are immaterial in nature. I never actually cry.). But, as you know, all of these couples are fictitious. They exist only in fairy-tales of man’s creation. Most people believe that kind of love can’t exist in our own reality. But, it does.

Read this story, and you will believe.

When he was 12, Herman Rosenblat and his family were taken from their home in Poland and sent to a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. Young Herman was forced to work shoveling bodies into a crematorium. All the while he did not know if he, too, would soon be killed.

One day two years later, Herman walked up to the barbed wire fence and saw a girl on the other side. "She says, 'What are you doing in there?'" Herman says. "I said to her, 'Can you give me something to eat?' And she took an apple out of her jacket."

The girl fed Herman an apple every day for seven months. Then one day he told her not to come back—he was being moved to another camp. "A tear came down her eyes," Herman says. "And as I turned around and went back I started to cry, too. I started to cry knowing that I might not see her again."

Herman was shipped to Czechoslovakia. Just two hours before he was scheduled to die in the gas chambers there, Russian troops liberated the camp and Herman was set free.

Almost 15 years later, Herman was living and working in New York City. A friend set him up on a blind date with a woman named Roma Radzika. Herman says he was immediately drawn to her. When they began talking about their lives, Roma asked Herman where he was during World War II. "I said, 'In a concentration camp,'" he says. "And then she says, 'I came to a camp and I met a boy there and I gave him some apples and I sent them over the fence.'

"And suddenly it hit me like a ton of bricks. And I said to her, 'There was a boy? Was he tall?' And she said, 'Yes.' I said, 'And one day he told you not to come around anymore because he's leaving?' And she says, 'Yes.' I said, 'That boy was me.'

Roma and her family had moved from Poland to Germany, using forged papers to hide that they were Jewish. They lived on a farm next to Herman's camp, posing as Christians to avoid being captured. Roma says when she brought apples and bread for Herman, he used to say, "I'll see you tomorrow."

"Well, what can I tell you? I proposed right then and there," Herman says. "I said, 'Look, I'll never let you go anymore. … Now that we're free we're going to be together forever.'"

In 1996, on The Oprah Show stage, Herman and Roma gave Oprah a moment she'll never forget. Herman stood and addressed his wife: "Darling, you've fed me when I was hungry. You fed me when we were married. You fed me…until now. But now I'm not hungry anymore, and I'm hungry for your love!"

Since that day their love has continued to grow. Herman and Roma have now been married for nearly 50 years. He says he's learned a valuable lesson from love. "Every morning when I get up I say, 'I love you. I love you. I love you,'" Herman says. "And not only [do you say], 'I love you,' but you mean it."

Eleven years after their first Oprah Show appearance, Herman decides to honor his wife again—this time by getting down on bended knee. "Sweetheart, it was 64 years ago when I first saw you," he says to Roma. "My mother came to me and said to me, 'I'm sending you an angel.' And a couple of days later you appeared at the other side of the fence while I was in a concentration camp. Then in 1957, 14 years later, I had a blind date, and it was you. Now our 50th anniversary is coming up. With this ring, my dear, I pronounce my love for you forever. And as this ring has got no end, my love for you doesn't have any end."

A story like this should make even the most devout atheist know that God exists.

Glenn Beck goes head-to-head with NBC

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

The Dishonesty of Olbermann

Witness the blatant dishonesty of Keith Olbermann and Arianna Huffington. Olbermann teases a segment several times on his MSNBC show by claiming:

“Rudy Giuliani insists the Democratic candidates will eventually come around to the Bush War in Iraq, or is it the Giuliani-Bush War? And, in the interim, he accuses the Dems of codling bin Laden and Ahmadinejad.”

“Rudy Giuliani is already contending the Democrats are going to invite Osama bin Laden to the White House to negotiate.”

Arianna stated during the interview segment:

“Here is Giuliani daring to insult his Democratic opponents by saying that
they would invite Osama bin Laden to the White House. That is really
something that should not be accepted.”

They both claim that Giuliani has stated publicly that the Democrats will invite Osama bin Laden to the White House for negotiations. Olbermann even dedicates an entire segment of his MSNBC program to this idea.

The problem with this? It never happened. Here is what Giuliani actually said:

“This is the world we live in. It’s not this happy, romantic-like world where we’ll negotiate with this one, or we’ll negotiate with that one and there will be no preconditions, and we’ll invite Ahmadinejad to the White House, we’ll invite Assad to the White House.”

“Ahmadinejad” is in reference to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran. “Assad” is in reference to Bashar al-Assad, the President of Syria. Giuliani is stating that the Democrats would be willing to negotiate with both of these countries. Gee, where would he get an idea like that?

Clinton Says She Would Negotiate with Iran
Obama Says He Would Negotiate with Iran
Obama Says He Would Negotiate with Iran and Syria

Amazingly, Olbermann EVEN PLAYED GIULIANI’S ACTUAL STATEMENT before the segment began. In doing so, Olbermann proved (to any one who was actually listening) that Giuliani never said that the Dems would invite bin Laden to the White House. But, that didn’t stop Olbermann or Arianna from lying about his actual statement. They continued to push the fiction.

For Olbermann, this is par for the course.