Deadly Blizzard Clobbers East Coast of U.S. January 22-24 2016

monster blizzard US

By Joshua Berlinger and Elliott McLaughlin |CNN

Cities scrambled Sunday to dig themselves out from the snow and ice of a massive blizzard that clobbered the East Coast, but officials warned residents to remain vigilant even as the storm heads into the Atlantic Ocean.

Perhaps New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo put it best when he said, “We’re not out of the woods yet.”

That especially applies to New Jersey, where flooding remains a concern as residents watch high water flood a number of cities along the coast.

While areas worked to return life to normal, the Long Island Rail Road, which “sustained significant damage during the storm,” remained down, and officials in New York, Baltimore and Philadelphia warned that pooling water could refreeze, complicating Monday morning commutes.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said her city had experienced a “historic snow event” and promised city workers were working aggressively to get roads and services back on track. She asked residents to do their part by using common sense. Before you go out, she warned, decide first if it’s absolutely necessary. It not, stay home,

“Read a book. Watch a movie. That’s our hashtag,” she says.

Record snowfalls

Related Article: Magnetic Storm, Plasma Eruptions, God’s Hand | Earth & Space News Feb 2, 2015

In Philadelphia, the blizzard warning ended overnight, and the city had more than 400 plows in the street and was scheduled to conclude emergency operations at some point Sunday, said Samantha Phillips, director of the city Office of Emergency Management.

The sun and rising temperatures in some areas Sunday should aid cleanup efforts, but meteorologists continue to worry about ice.

The storm has killed at least 14 people, grounded thousands of flights and shut down travel in many of the nation’s largest cities. One of the hardest-hit locales was Glengary, West Virginia, a small town about 85 miles northwest of Washington, which preliminary figures show received 42 inches of snow.

Related Article: Earth and Space Weather News June 22, 2014: Magnetosphere Weakens More, Temperature Anomalies, Chemtrail/HAARP Discussion

Other notable snowfall totals came at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (31 inches), Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (29.2 inches, a record), Washington Dulles International Airport (28 inches), Newark, New Jersey (28 inches), New York’s Central Park (26.8 inches, the second-highest total since 1869) and Philadelphia (22 inches).

But snow wasn’t the only product of the storm. Dewey Beach, Delaware, and Virginia’s Langley Air Force Base both reported 75-mph winds, just over hurricane force.

Panda, others find major winter storm bearable

‘Like a tsunami’

Jason Pellegrini woke up Saturday morning at his home in Sea Isle City, New Jersey, expecting to see flooding. It eventually came.

“I heard commotion out my window and I looked and I saw the raging water,” he said. “It came in to the low-lying areas and it rushed fast.”

Why milk, bread and toilet paper when it snows?

Related Article: 50 Things to Disappear During an Emergency

The restaurant Pellegrini owns was damaged during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, but he says this surge came from the back bay rather than from the ocean.

Coastal flooding remains a big concern for much of New Jersey due to the timing of the storm.

“I expect our town to be under considerable water,” Pellegrini said.

After Sandy, sand dune walls were built to help keep water from flooding ashore.

They worked well during this storm, helping to push back waves that were as high as 20 feet, said Vincent Jones with the Atlantic County Office of Emergency Preparedness.

“They are basically the first line of defense,” he said.

Tide catches residents off guard

Margate City, just down the coast from Atlantic City, was also affected.

“In a lot of our business areas and our back bay areas, water is coming over the bulkhead in a lot of the same areas as Hurricane Sandy hit,” Lt. Matt Hankinson of the Margate City Police Department said. “Some areas I would say it’s thigh- to waist-deep.”


Farther south in North Wildwood, the high tide was much higher than anticipated and caught many of the town’s 5,000 year-round residents off guard — with flooding levels that actually exceeded those during Hurricane Sandy, said Patrick Rosenello, the city’s mayor.

“We had a lot of evacuations, a lot of people who had stayed in their homes not anticipating this, needing to be rescued,” Rosenello said.

Most of the city was without electricity, he said, and the phones at the emergency dispatch center were jammed all day.

“There’s going to have to be major renovations,” Rosenello said.

Only 25,000 households in New Jersey remained without power Sunday morning, roughly a quarter of those reported Saturday night, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said. About 90% of those homes will have power by day’s end, he said.

The transit system and most roadways were reopened, and the governor said only 300 auto accidents were reported during the storm, a low figure given the storm’s severity.

Massive blizzard seen from space


At least 14 people have died as a result of the storm — six in North Carolina, three in Virginia, one in Kentucky, three in New York City and one in Maryland. Officials have cited a higher collective death toll, but CNN has not been able to confirm the individual reports and it’s unclear if all reports of death are related to weather.

Cuomo, the New York governor, and Rawlings-Blake, the Baltimore mayor, said during Sunday morning news conferences that there were additional reports of people dying while shoveling snow.

“Shoveling is an intense aerobic exercise, and it’s easy to become exhausted,” said Baltimore Fire Chief Niles Ford, reminding anyone who is working outside to dress in layers and to go inside frequently to warm up.

Cuomo warned his state’s elderly to be especially careful shoveling snow.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the blizzard will almost certainly rank among New York City’s “top five snowstorms” in recorded history in terms of snow accumulation.

“I’ve never seen snow like this,” said Luis Abraham Garcia, a doctoral student from Mexico City, as he trudged along snowy sidewalks with his suitcase.

Washington schools remain closed

Animals at the National Zoo in Washington saw just above 22 inches during the storm. Tian Tian, the giant panda, seemed to enjoy it.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said equipment arrived Sunday and is being dispatched as workers strive to make major and secondary roads passable. She urged business owners to shovel in front of their buildings and warned that anyone who impedes a plow will be ticketed.

“We need to get our business districts open,” she said.

Washington schools will remain closed Monday, and the city will make a decision on bus and train service sometime Sunday, she said.

Traffic a mess

Hundreds of motorists faced the storm’s wrath stuck on highways.

Road accidents Friday night …….

Read the rest of the article and see additional photos and videos here….


Methane and Arctic Warming’s Global Impacts (Project Censored #6)

By Michael Brannon & Peter Phillips | * Project Censored

Polar Bears and Global Warming Hoax

Editor’s Note: There are those who believe in so-called global warming and others who believe it a hoax. Some come at these respective perspectives with either legitimate heartfelt concern or they are motivated by money; profits from cap and trade and others who simply don’t want businesses to lose money by having to curb or filter their emissions. Still others see chemtrails, and their influence on our climate and environment, as being the most important “weather” concern. Within this debate, there isn’t much discussion of what methane gas, trapped within the earth, might do if it escapes. This article talks about this issue.

In recent years, atmospheric methane levels have reached an all-time high. A greenhouse gas that is a leading contributor to global warming, methane is far more destructive than carbon dioxide. In his report for Truthout, Dahr Jamail quoted Paul Beckwith, a professor of climatology and meteorology at the University of Ottawa: “Our climate system is in early stages of abrupt climate change that, unchecked, will lead to a temperature rise of 5 to 6 degrees Celsius within a decade or two.” Such changes would have “unprecedented effects” for life on Earth.

The melting of arctic ice releases previously trapped methane into the atmosphere. “What happens in the Arctic,” Beckwith observed, “does not stay in the Arctic.” The loss of arctic ice affects the Earth as a whole. For example, as the temperature difference between the Arctic and the equator decreases, the jet stream increases. This in turn speeds the melting of arctic ice.

Leonid Yurganov, a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland, stated that “increased methane would influence air temperature near the surface. This would accelerate the Arctic warming and change the climate everywhere in the world.”

The East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) is one area of particular concern. Some million square kilometers in size, the ESAS releases seventeen million tons of methane into the atmosphere each year, according to a recent study. Natalia Shakhova, a researcher with the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ International Arctic Research Center, reported that ESAS emissions “are prone to be non-gradual (massive, abrupt).”

A 2013 study, published in Nature, reported that a fifty-gigaton “burp” of methane is “highly possible at any time.” As Jamail clarified, “That would be the equivalent of at least 1,000 gigatons of carbon dioxide,” noting that, since 1850, humans have released a total of approximately 1,475 gigatons in carbon dioxide. A massive, sudden change in methane levels could, in turn, lead to temperature increases of four to six degrees Celsius in just one or two decades—a rapid rate of climate change to which human agriculture, and ecosystems more generally, could not readily adapt.

[Read more here]

* Originally entitled: #6 Methane and Arctic Warming’s Global Impacts

Sources: Dahr Jamail, “The Methane Monster Roars,” Truthout, January 13, 2015, https://truth-out.org/news/item/28490-the-methane-monster-roars.

Robert O'Leary 150x150

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England & “virtually” the world, with his website, www.romayasoundhealthandbeauty.com. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.com.

5 Things You Need to Know About the Upcoming Paris Climate Talks

Paris COP21

By Christine Ottery and Ruth Davis | Eco Watch

1) What is COP21?

Between Nov. 30 and Dec. 11 politicians and global leaders from more than 190 countries will be involved in the United Nations 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21). They’re meeting in Paris to try and agree on a global legally binding climate treaty.

Related Article: Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela Agree To Defend Mother Earth at Climate Change Conference

2) Why is it important?

The goal of the talks are to agree on a plan that will avoid the worst impacts of climate change, such as more severe droughts, floods and storms. In practice, that means getting us on track to keep global warming below 2C—this is the agreed threshold that we must not let the planet’s warming exceed if we are to avoid catastrophic effects of climate change.

Some nations are already feeling the impacts of climate change even now, at the current level of just under 1C of warming on average. There are already people being officially called climate refugees, and conflicts exacerbated by climate change and extreme weather caused by climate change is on the increase. COP21 is also about supporting vulnerable countries and communities in adapting to the impacts of climate change that are happening right now.

Some nations, including an alliance of small islands, think the 2C threshold is too high and are advocating that we should stay within 1.5C of warming, which is the level of warming we may already be locked into.

Related Article: Activists Talk Chemtrails at Climate Change Conference

3)  So what do we hope to come out of the talks?

We hope an internationally legally binding treaty comes out of the climate talks. Not a declaration or other empty promises, but something that legally binds nations and holds them to their commitment.

In order to achieve this, UN diplomats asked for more preparation to be done beforeCOP21 and a contribution from all states is required.

That’s where Intended Nationally Determined Contributions—or INDCs—come in. These are the pledges that countries responsible for more than 80 percent of emissions have made towards emissions reductions in advance of the talks.

However, these aren’t legal commitments—they are more like indications of intentions for the155 countries that have submitted them. But one of the aims of COP21 is to try and get parties to agree to a level of legal “bindingness” at Paris.

Related Article: The Global Warming Hoax – A Convenient Excuse for a New World Order?

While the INDCs submitted currently don’t add up to us staying within 2C of warming (according to a UNFCCC analysis), they are a good start. That’s because the INDCs signify what the biggest polluters—including the U.S., China, Europe and India—are willing to do to tackle global climate change. But the important thing is that there will need to be a mechanism thatreviews INDCs and ratchets up climate ambition after Paris, which will need to be agreed to at the talks.


Why Are Bill Gates and Monsanto Funding the Svalbard “Doomsday” Seed Vault?

Svalbard was selected for the storage of seed bank because of the permafrost and low tectonic activity in the archipelago.

A new documentary called “The Seeds of Time” is bringing the mythic “Doomsday Vault” of Norway back into the limelight.

By Jake Anderson | Anti-Media

(ANTIMEDIA) A new documentary called The Seeds of Time is bringing the mythic “Doomsday Vault” of Norway back into the limelight. If you have heard of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, it has likely been either in the context of a conspiracy theory or some cryptic reference in a science journal.

The facts alone make the “Vault” sound like it was taken out of a James Bond movie: 130 meters up in the glacial mountains of Norway, there is a disaster-proof, permafrost-insulated seed bank depository that, in the event of an apocalyptic event, could repopulate the Earth with virtually every known crop. Jutting out of the ice with a glowing fiber-optic display, the entrance of the Svalbard vault immediately conjures visions of a vast underground military installation.

The reality of what’s going on is a bit less dramatic, yet somehow more unnerving and awe-inspiring.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault has been in service for over six years, but the public remains mystified by the project. Buried under the permafrost of Norway, the vault is now home to over 500,000 samples of crop germplasms. Originally conceived in the 1980s as a 100-year experiment to test the durability of seeds in cold environments, the project struggled to find donors—that is, until an eyebrow-raising team of behemoths–including the Bill Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto, and Syngenta–decided to invest. And they invested big: the Bill Gates Foundation alone has poured in $30 million.

Conspiracy theorists have speculated that the agricultural bank is related to knowledge of an impending apocalypse. With the two most reviled Big Agro corporations on the planet involved, this is not surprising—nor is it particularly stunning that some conspiracy theorists regard the vault as yet another indicator that Bill Gates has a depopulation plan in mind.

Conspiracy theories aside, the new documentary does confirm that though apocalypse readiness was not one of the intended functions of the “Doomsday Vault,” it has become an inadvertent utility. According to Cary Fowler, who from 2005-2012 served as executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust (which helped create the Svalbard vault), the ostensible goal of this system is to preserve crop diversity in regions plagued by war and civil turmoil:

“There isn’t an endgame. There will always be new diversity. The story never ends.”

The so-called “Doomsday Vault” is owned and operated by Norway, however, the Norwegian government has no access to the content of any deposits, which are kept in a chamber with a strictly maintained temperature of -18C. They are heftily barricaded to stave off cross-contamination.

Seeds are the only materials stored in these boxes—they are not shared or aggregated in any way. Each unit is strictly isolated to maintain exclusive access for the national account holder. According to The Guardian,

“North Korea’s rough wooden crates sit next door to deposits from the US, Russia’s contributions on top of Ukraine’s…”

Norway is supposedly providing this service for the benefit of the entire planet by providing the ability revive essential food crops in the event of some globe-threatening disaster, a particularly virulent disease, drought, or nuclear war, for example.

Fowler speculated on the future:

“I hope [countries] never use Svalbard. It’s an insurance policy. Like car or home insurance, the hope is you never have to use it. Unfortunately, if we need to go to Svalbard it means we suffered losses in the working gene banks.”

She said climate change could present a major challenge:

“I do worry that while we have really big collections for the top 15 major crops, we’re deficient in the rest. That doesn’t bode well in an era of climate change, where we need to use that diversity to adapt our crops.”

Clearly, the stated goal of the Svalbard Seed Vault is long-term sustainability of seed genes and the human population, which by 2100 will have ballooned to an eye-popping 11 billion. That’s why the Crop Trust isn’t done asking for money. It is reaching out to even more national governments, foundations, and agribusiness titans with a goal of raising $850 million.

It has a pretty good start on that number, which beckons one to follow the money. As previously stated, it leads to four of the most polarizing groups in the world. You could fill a library with the conspiracy theories generated around Bill Gates, the Rockefellers, Monsanto, and Syngenta. It makes you wonder what might have been left out of this documentary. After all, where there’s an insurance policy, there’s usually an industry hedging against expected losses.

Watch this clip and let us know what you think about the tantalizing seed vault buried in the ice of Norway…

This article (Why are Bill Gates and Monsanto Funding A “Doomsday” Seed Vault?) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and theAntiMedia.org.

Smart Meters Can Spy on You, Then Set Your House on Fire

By Alex Newman | The New American

Government’s latest Orwellian tools to spy on citizens, known as “smart meters,” are literally blowing up and catching fire, risking lives and property to facilitate what even officials acknowledge amounts to intrusive state surveillance. In fact, your home may already have been fitted with one of the dangerous meters in recent years. The latest explosions of the controversial espionage devices, used to monitor citizens’ electricity and water usage, happened in California last week. Amid a government-caused water shortage across the state, bureaucrats are hoping to use the hazardous meters to catch citizens consuming more than their government-approved water rations. As more and more “smart” meters explode and burst into flames, though, citizens concerned about safety — not to mention privacy and liberty — are increasingly fighting back.

According to local news reports, more than 5,000 homes in Stockton, California, were left without power late last month after the smart meters on the houses exploded. “Neighbors in the South Stockton area described it as a large pop, a bomb going off, and strong enough to shake a house,” reported CBS13 on its website. Resident Brad Abernathy was quoted as saying that his neighbor’s electricity receptacles “are all blackened” from the event. Apparently the blasts and resulting damage were caused when a truck crashed into a utility pole and two wires touched, producing a power surge that blew up the unstable meters. The damage reportedly varies by house, and a spokesperson for the utility said that home appliances may have also been damaged in the surge. Electrical panels were being replaced as well.

Of course, as The New American reported just last year, Stockton’s exploding espionage devices are hardly unique to that city. In fact, all across the United States, Canada, and beyond, the deeply controversial meters for electricity have been randomly catching on fire and even exploding. The scandal became so huge that one Canadian province with exploding meters — after politicians ignored widespread citizen concerns and foisted the dangerous meters on the populace — ended up forcing authorities to start removing all of the more than 100,000 devices. They were reportedly replaced with the older analog meters that permit far less surveillance. In Oregon, after numerous reports of the meters catching on fire, officials announced that over 70,000 smart meters would be replaced. Taxpayers, of course, have been stuck with the mounting bills. With dozens of smart meters going up in flames in Pennsylvania, at least two homes there also caught on fire.

After a series of fires and explosions involving the meters last year, one of the top manufacturers of the “smart” monitoring devices, taxpayer-funded North Carolina-based Sensus, sparked even more controversy with a stunning admission. “Our experience has shown that these issues are systemic in the industry,” Sensus President Randy Bays admitted in a statement at the time, giving even more credence to the widespread safety concerns expressed by critics of the smart-meter rollout. Of course, with public outrage growing over the dangers and politicians forced to respond, Bays was trying to deflect responsibility over the fires from his firm. Still, he is hardly the first to suggest that the dangers of smart meters are, in fact, “systemic” in the industry.

But why are governments around the world — and especially in the United States — putting the lives and property of citizens at serious risk by imposing smart meters on the population when the dangers are already well-documented? A partial answer, at least, emerged this week in drought-stricken California. That state, as The New American reported on April 7, is facing water shortages blamed on radical Big Government policies that prevented the construction of reservoirs for decades under the guise of “environmentalism.” To deal with the self-inflicted crisis, the smart meters will be used, just as opponents warned, to monitor and control citizens’ water usage across California — a notion that was ridiculed by the establishment and its media organs as fear-mongering. Governor Jerry Brown recently issued an executive order purporting to mandate fines for citizens who use more than their “fair share” of water by, for example, watering their lawn or taking long showers. To enforce the rationing schemes, officials will be relying on data from smart meters — and they are boasting about it in public.

“It collects the data every five minutes, then after midnight, the cellphone that’s built in here comes on, makes one call, and calls it in to the database that we and the customer, through a password security system, have online access to their consumption,” Long Beach Water Department General Manager Kevin Wattier was quoted as saying after using smart meters to bust a local business that “overwatered” its lawn. “The accuracy is just incredible, because we get the data the next day.” Using data collected by the warrantless-surveillance meters, Wattier said he knew exactly when to send out his employees to gather videotaped “evidence” of the “infraction.” “We are using it specifically for an enforcement tool to go after those customers who we’ve gotten lots of complaints about,” the water boss continued, adding that smart meters would be used to target homes and businesses alike.

Of course, such lawless surveillance and control over citizens is precisely what critics of smart meters have been warning about for many years — among myriad other concerns. “Smart Meters are designed to provide government with detailed information on your energy use, your movements in your home, the way you use your personal private time, and even how many people are in your home at any given time,” explained Tom DeWeese, chief of the liberty-minded American Policy Center. “It is an unconstitutional invasion of your home by government, as set down in the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

Even government bodies have acknowledged the threat to privacy posed by the meters. “If law enforcement officers obtained near-real time data on a consumer’s electricity usage from the utility company, their ability to monitor household activities would be amplified significantly,” the Congressional Research Service said in a 2012 report about the meters. “For example, by observing when occupants use the most electricity, it may be possible to discern their daily schedules.” If a criminal accessed that information — a relatively simple matter for somebody with hacking skills — they would know, for instance, what time would be best for a robbery or murder. On the other side of the Atlantic, meanwhile, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), an official European Union body, has also sounded the alarm about the meters, warning in a 2012 report that they enable “massive collection of personal information” on households that is “thus far unprecedented in the energy sector.”

Explosions, fires, and the vast new opportunities for espionage, though, are hardly the only concerns surrounding the controversial devices. There are also major potential health risks, according to experts. Among the biggest health concerns (other than being burned alive) is the emission of pulsed radio-frequency (RF) radiation by the meters. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine, among others, has called for caution. “Multiple studies correlate RF exposure with diseases such as cancer, neurological disease, reproductive disorders, immune dysfunction, and electromagnetic hypersensitivity,” the Academy said on its website about the radiation emitted by smart meters and other devices with similar technology. “Genotoxic effects from RF exposure, including studies of non-thermal levels of exposure, consistently and specifically show chromosomal instability, altered gene expression, gene mutations, DNA fragmentation and DNA structural breaks.”

[Read more here]

*Originally entitled: In California, Exploding “Smart Meters” Spy on Your Water Use

Robert O'Leary 150x150Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England & “virtually” the world, with his website, www.romayasoundhealthandbeauty.com. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.com




Warning: Why You Can’t Do Without Your Community!

Fish Hoek on Fire by Paul Quentin Dirksen

A City in Flames

I felt helpless sitting behind my laptop, out in the Karoo countryside, watching my beloved Mother City burn.

Cape Town has been on fire for the past 5 days and the trail of devastation this raging inferno has wreaked is insurmountable.  Thank goodness for the rain that came early on Wednesday morning to dowse the still-blazing flames, even though it was short-lived.

As I write this, the fires status is ‘contained’.

As my Facebook feed clogged with photographs, plea’s for volunteers, donations and news updates, I noticed that the sense of community was strong.

The Miracle of Social Networking!

Everyone seemed to have their finger on the pulse and communication over sites like Facebook was phenomenal.

According to some sources, there was such a vast surge of volunteers that they were turning people away at certain fire stations.  Isn’t that something?

Donations of food, water and money were pouring in and the feeling of fellowship was palpable — even I felt it as I watched, read and listened to the unfolding events 300km outside of Cape Town.

Of course, there were the minority who took the opportunity — as people were being evacuated from their homes — to loot and pillage.  But all-in-all, the general consensus was that of camaraderie, love, compassion and a feeling of imitable human spirit.

The Power of Prayer

What caught my eye amidst the feeds, were people asking that we all prayer for rain and do group or solitary visualizations for a downpour.

On Tuesday, Cape Town was declared the hottest city in the world with temperatures reaching 44 degrees Celsius (111 degrees Fahrenheit).  It was the hottest day that Cape Town had experienced in 100 years and this was despite the blaze.

Some thermometers measured over 50 degrees Celsius with the heat of the day combined with the intensity of the fire.

The very next day (Wednesday) the clouds shifted in and it began to rain.  Was it the power of the prayer or group rain vigils?  I’d like to think it had something to do with it.

The Beautiful Human Spirit

I feel much faith being restored in the human spirit with stories streaming in about local restaurants opening their doors after midnight to offer the evacuees coffee and sustenance, fire-fighters saving tortoises that couldn’t get out of the path quick enough, businesses and civilians donating massive amounts of food and money to the fire-fighting stations — just to name a few.

It’s sad that such obliterating chaos had to bring these communities together but, in the same breath, it’s also heartening to see people of all walks of life pull together for the common good.

Why You Should Nurture Strong Communities

If you’re the type of person who doesn’t even know your neighbor’s name then here are some tips to get that sense of community going in your life:

  • Meet people in your area.  Introduce yourself to your neighbors, go hang out at the local coffee shop or pub (even if you don’t drink alcohol — have a soda water!), participate in local events (fairs, plays, markets, social gatherings, events, charity or fund raisers, etc) and do what it takes to get to know your fellow townies.
  • Join Social Network Community Pages.  This one is easy!  Join your local town/city community page on Facebook or Twitter.  If you don’t have one then start one!  This is a great way to get to know other people in your community and to broadcast local events and other important local news.  These pages or e-mail lists provide vital information such as traffic updates, neighborhood watch, local produce and businesses, activities in your area, ‘swap shops’, local job vacancies to missing pets.
  • Give and Take.  You’ve got to understand that when you get involved it is a mutually beneficial situation.  You will build invaluable relationships that you may require to call on in times of need.  You will know who to contact should you find yourself in dire straits.  You may be of great value to the community with what you have to offer — skills, expertise or even just a listening ear.  What’ya waiting for?  Get out there!

Building a solid community vibe is of paramount importance for our future.  And, as outlined above, it’s a win-win situation.  We’ve lived too long trying to keep our heads down  whilst passing people by in the street and not looking up.

It’s time to get to know those people and engage!

We need to bring back that all-important beneficial sense of comradeship — we aren’t that dissimilar to our fellow citizen.

I think we’d all agree that we have a common goal and that is to live a joyful, peaceful, comfortable life.  It’s up to you to make that a reality in your locale.

Should you wish to donate to the Volunteer Wildlife Services (Cape Town) CLICK HERE.

Other articles that may interest you:

14 haunting photos from the Cape Town fires

South African Firefighters Battle Blaze on Cape Town Mountains

Touching Moments From the Cape Fires

Out of the Ashes: Notes on the March 2015 Cape Town Wildfire


Cherie-Roe-Dirksen_172x200Cherie Roe Dirksen is a self-empowerment author and multi-media artist from South Africa. To date, she has published 3 self-help and motivational books and brings out weekly inspirational blogs at her site www.cherieroedirksen.com.  Get stuck into finding your passion, purpose and joy by downloading some of those books gratis when you click HERE. Her ambition is to help you to connect with your innate gift of creativity and living the life you came here to experience by taking responsibility for your actions and becoming the co-creator of your reality. You can also follow Cherie on Facebook (The Art of Empowerment).

Cherie posts a new article on CLN every Thursday.  To view her articles, click HERE.

How to Survive Without Running Water

By Gaye Levy | www.survivallife.com 


Getting caught without running water — due to a freeze, busted pipe or some other unforeseen emergency — is no laughing matter. It can be devastating and, if it lasts long enough, deadly.

Gaye Levy from Backdoor Survival has some tips on how to cope when you don’t have running water.

Every prepper worth their salt stores water and lots of it.  Not only that, they store one, two, three or more ways to purify water.  That is all well and good because you never know when a disaster or other disruptive event may occur and those water resources will be called upon for drinking, cleaning, hygiene, and sanitation purposes.

Recently, my number came up and I was the one without water during a short term, personal water apocalypse.  Now really, that may be a bit dramatic because I was simply without running water.  This was caused by a break in the line from the water main at the street to my home.  All told, I was without running water for 12 days.

To be honest, I was quite relaxed about the ordeal.  After all, I had cases of bottled water for drinking, a 55 gallon water barrel holding purified water, a source of raw, unfiltered water from a gravity pump right outside my house, and of course, my Berkey, LifeStraw Family, SolarBag, and pool shock for water purification.

Still, being without running water brought up issues I had not considered.  Albeit water-ready, the reality of not being able to turn on the tap and have fresh, and especially hot, water was a new experience.

Today I share tips for coping without running water so that you can be better prepared if something similar happens to you.

16 Tips for Coping Without Running Water

  1. With advance notice of a water shutoff, fill the bathtub and as many spare jugs and buckets as you can round up. In addition, fill the Berkey, if you have one and all of your sinks.
  2. Double up on hand sanitation.  Fill a spray bottle with liquid castile soap, water, and a copious amount of tea tree or other anti-bacterial essential oil. To wash you hands, spray with a generous amount of your soap/tea tree mixture then rinse with water from a filled sink or a container of water set next to the sink.  Follow-up with commercial hand sanitizer.  See DIY Liquid Castile Soap.
  3. Know the location of your preps!  In my case, I had two camp showers that could have been used for taking hot showers after heating water on the stove.  Could I find them?  Nope.
  4. No mater how many buckets you have, you need more.  In addition, make sure the buckets you have are manageable, weight wise, when filled with water.  Remember, water weighs 8.35 pounds per gallon.  My buckets were re-purposed 2-pound buckets obtained for free from a local café and were small enough for me to handle comfortably when filled.  A water filled 5 gallon bucket would have been a problem.
  5. When using the toilet, flush liquids daily but solids upon each use.  I had two toilets in use so it was easy to abide by this formula.  I did not, however, flush TP (see below).
  6. Dispose of toilet paper into a wastebasket and not into the toilet.  This will prevent your toilet from backing up because it is crammed with paper!  Been there, done that.  Do, however, be mindful of the smell and dispose of the contents of your wastebasket daily.  Baking soda helps control odors if you can not dispose of soiled TP often enough.
  7. When it comes time to flush, fill the tank with water and use the handle on the toilet to flush.  This uses less water than dumping water into the bowl.
  8. Stock up on disposable plates, cups, and eating utensils.  Cleaning up after meals will be a challenge and will use a lot of water.  Save the water you have for cooking utensils and use disposables for everything else.

[Read more here]

Robert O'Leary, JD BARA

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products and modalities since the early 1970’s, and he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist and father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive and safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England and “virtually” the world, through his new website, www.romayasoundhealthandbeauty.com. He may also be contacted at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.com


Recyclable, Compact Pop-Up Shelter for Disaster Relief

Bridget Borgobello | gizmag  | June 13 2014

Young Australian humanitarian and social entrepreneur, Alastair Pryor has created a foldable crisis relief shelter for disaster victims and the housing displaced. Dubbed Compact Shelter, the portable dwelling boasts an innovative design that is simple to use, collapsible and lightweight. What’s more it pops up and down in less than two minutes. 

Twenty-four-year-old Pryor was inspired to create the shelter after unintentionally disturbing a homeless man in the Melbourne CBD during the middle of winter, when working on a construction site.

“I used to work as a ‘tradie,’ building scaffolding and one morning we were drilling and it woke up a homeless man below us. It really made me think about how poor his living conditions were,” Pryor tells Gizmag. “I thought if I could design a shelter that he could fold up each day or fold into a box it would be highly beneficial. I worked on this idea for quite some time until I started to think on a larger scale – aid relief. So I created a larger shelter to fit four people.”

The Compact Shelter was thus designed to address the humanitarian need for cost-effective aid relief on a local and international scale and is suitable for use in a range of different environments or scenarios. Made from a UV stabilized polypropylene, the shelter weighs an impressive 16 kg (35 lb) and comes flat packed for easy transportation. The shelter collapses down to dimensions of 200 x 100 x 7 cm (79 x 40 x 2.75 in) and when fully erect measures 2 x 2 x 2 meters (6.5 x 6.5 x 6.5 ft), providing enough interior space for two adults and two children to sleep.

The Compact Shelter is also modular in design, meaning individual units can be joined together to create larger dwellings or two separate rooms. When combined together, the shelters can comfortably accommodate larger families, as well as providing privacy during times of hardship.

Pryor chose to use polypropylene as the main material for the shelter due to its durability, weather resistance and thermal properties. Having undergone extensive testing in order to meet the high standards set by aid relief organizations, the shelter has proven to be suitable to all sorts of weather conditions and is water- and wind-proof.

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