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A Quick Quiz: Florida Fatalities September 7, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Mindfulness, Nature.
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IMGP1667aIn Florida, which of these natural phenomenon or predators kills the most people annually?

A.  Thunderstorms
B.  Tornadoes
C.  Sharks
D.  Rip currents
E.  Hurricanes
F.  Alligators
G.  Venomous Snakes

Despite their fierce reputation, fatal shark attacks are rather rare:  Between January 1990 and July 2005, out of 334 reported shark bites in Florida, only 4 were fatal. That’s about 1 in 100 bites that results in death. 

The same is true for venomous snake bitesAn average of five people are killed each year due to venomous snake bites in the USA.  Snakebites: eMedicine provided this breakdown: A 20-year review of data from the National Vital Statistics Systems identified 97 fatalities.  The state of Texas had the most fatalities (17), followed by Florida (14), and Georgia (12).

According to Deadly Rattlesnake Bites, the risk of fatality from rattlers is extremely low:  Rattlesnakes are one of the most feared reptiles slithering the planet, but people have a greater risk of dying from bee stings or a lightning strike.

Same goes for gators ~ the last fatal attack in Florida occurred in 2007.

So, snakes, sharks, and gators are out.

That leaves A, B, D, or E:  Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Rip Currents, or Hurricanes.

220px-Lightning_hits_treeLightning during thunderstorms is the #2 weather killer in the US, second only to floods.  On average, 40-50 people die in the USA each year from lightning strikes (about one per state).

Hurricane related deaths vary from year to year.  The Florida Review & Travel Guide provided the following info:

In February 1998, a tornado hit Kissimmee killing 25 people.  In 2004, four hurricanes (Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne) hit the Florida coast, causing 20 deaths and $40 billion in damage.

In 2007, severe thunderstorms, accompanied by three tornadoes, swept across Central Florida north of Orlando, killing 21 people.

According to Wikipedia: Florida Hurricanes (2000-2010)tropical cyclones in Florida were responsible for 69 direct fatalities and at least 82 indirect casualties during the 10 year period.

That’s an average of 15 a year.  Deaths due to Rip Currents in Florida are greater still.

CORRECT ANSWER:  D ~ Rip Currents

According to Florida Sea Grant:  Since 1989, an average of 19 persons have died each year as a result of rip currents in Florida  (National Weather Service East Central Florida Rip Current Program).   Rip currents, on average, result in more deaths in Florida than hurricanes, tropical storms, tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and lightning combined.

Wikipedia ~ Rip Currents (in Public Domain)

To avoid the grip of the rip:

* Swim in designated areas, patrolled by lifeguards.

* Never fight the rip. If you find yourself being pulled out to sea, do not fight the current by trying to swim back to shore.

* Stay calm and go with the flow.

* Keep yourself afloat by treading water or swimming parallel to the beach. In a few minutes, the current will dissipate.

* A rip current is like a fast-moving treadmill.  If caught in a rip current, do not exhaust yourself by attempting to swim straight back to shore.

*  Instead of trying to swim against the flow, swim to either side of the current, as if stepping off the side of a treadmill.

*  Keep swimming parallel to the shore until your are outside of the current.

* If you can’t break out of the current, go with the flow for 50-100 yards until the rip current  dissipates, then swim back to shore at an angle away from the rip current.

Related articles:  National Weather Service: Rip Current Safety * Florida Sea Grant: Rip Currents

The Illusion of Knowledge September 7, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Meditation, Mindfulness, Spirit & Ego.
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After fourteen years as a Tibetan Monk, Alan Wallace returned to Western Civilization and the realm of Physics:

Dynamic lecturer, progressive scholar, and one of the most prolific writers and translators of Tibetan Buddhism in the West, B. Alan Wallace, Ph.D., continually seeks innovative ways to integrate Buddhist contemplative practices with Western science to advance the study of the mind.

Dr. Wallace, a scholar and practitioner of Buddhism since 1970, has taught Buddhist theory and meditation worldwide since 1976. Having devoted fourteen years to training as a Tibetan Buddhist monk, ordained by H. H. the Dalai Lama, he went on to earn an undergraduate degree in physics and the philosophy of science at Amherst College and a doctorate in religious studies at Stanford.

With his unique background, Alan brings deep experience and applied skills to the challenge of integrating traditional Indo-Tibetan Buddhism with the modern world.

In this video, he addresses mental and emotional balance:

“The greatest impediment to discovery is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”  ~ Daniel Boorstin

Fun with Words: Jesus & The Seven Dwarfs September 7, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Word Play.
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One day, on their way home from work, the Seven Dwarfs got into a heated argument  about Jesus and his ethnicity. 

Grumpy argued that Jesus was Black:  “He called everyone brother, he liked Gospel, and he didn’t get a fair trial.”

“No way,” said Doc, “Jesus went into His Father’s business; he lived at home until he was 33; he was sure his Mother was a virgin, and . . . his Mother was sure he was God.  He was obviously Jewish.”

Bashful quietly said, “I think Jesus must have been Italian.  He talked with his hands, he drank wine with his meals, and he used a lot of olive oil.”

Grumpy raised an eyebrow and asked, “What makes you think Jesus used a lot of olive oil?” 

Bashful blushed, “Well, he must have.  He always had an olive branch to offer . . .”

Before Grumpy could respond, Dopey grinned and said, “Dudes.  He never cut his hair, he walked around barefoot all the time, and he started his own religion.  He was clearly a Californian.” 

Sleepy gazed through half lowered lids and said, “Jesus was at peace with nature, he ate a lot of fish, and he talked about the Great Spirit.  He was an American Indian.” 

Happy laughed, “You’re all a bunch of muppets!  Jesus never got married, he was always telling stories, and he loved green pastures.  An Irishman, through and through.”

Sneezy sneezed, then said, “Let’s ask Snow White.  She’ll  know.”

After reaching the cottage and recounting their argument to Snow White,  the Seven Dwarfs begged her to settle the issue for them. 

In response, Snow White laughed and said, “Oh, you silly little men.  What an argument to have had with one another the whole way home.”

Doc peered at her over his glasses, “What ever you decide, we agree to be bound by.  That’ll be the end of it.”  All seven nodded.  

Grumpy gruffly asked, “So, Snow, which one of us is right?”

Snow White considered their points, one by one, and then added, ” Jesus fed a crowd at a moment’s notice when there was virtually no food.  He kept trying to get a  message across to twelve men who weren’t listening.  And, even after he died, he had to get up again because there was still work to do.”

With seven pairs of eyes looking on, Snow White smiled, “Sounds like Jesus must have been a woman.”

* * * * *

Inspiration:  ethnicity points (e-mail, unknown author) . . . combined with the Magic of Disney!

Music For Your Ears and Eyes: RISE September 7, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Music & Dance.
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Herb Alpert: Music For Your Eyes

OK . . . here in the States, the long Labor Day weekend is over. 

Time to get back into the swing of things.

What better way to get your morning (and  work week) started off right than with a bit of Cool Jazz?

Here’s Herb Alpert with Rise:

Inspiration:  The Only Cin (Vote for the BlaBlaBlog!)