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IN THE MOVIES. Several years ago, a series of movies appeared called Taken, starring Liam Neeson, who was ex-CIA. When his daughter was kidnapped by sex traffickers, Liam told the bad guys that he was coming after them with a special set of skills that he would use to hurt them. They laughed at him, but not for long…

The wrenching part of the first movie was when Neeson found his daughter drugged and trapped in a house of prostitution.

IN WICHITA, KANSAS. I never dreamed such a thing could happen in conservative mid-America where people say hello and stop to talk with you on the street and go to church on Sunday.… More

WHATS GOING ON WITH GLACIERS? First, glaciers move forward under the weight of the large ice sheets behind them. A typical speed is 10 inches (25 cm) per day.

Second, glaciers are retreating all over the world and are a dramatic sign of global warming. It’s quite simple. As the earth’s atmosphere warms up, the ice in the glaciers melts faster, so a long glacier shortens in length and this is what is meant by glacier retreat. Such glaciers occur in the Himalayas, Greenland, and New Zealand, for example.

Now it turns out that Antarctica has glaciers too – absolutely enormous ones that can be two miles thick.… More

FRACMAN CONFLICTED.I am excited. My new novel, FracMan Conflicted, is being printed. Release date is March 2020 by Deep River Books. Here is a short review by Brian Morrison of Albuquerque, New Mexico:

After all these years I finally have an idea what fracking really is, and the correlation to earthquakes. With the wonderful love story aside, I enjoyed the engineering behind fracking and the inherent dangers from blowouts and explosions. It had an uplifting spiritual side to the story as well, which made me reconsider my lack of faith in God. Kelly is intelligent and forward thinking, and it was fascinating to see how she dealt with hardship in her personal life while determined to move up in an industry dominated by men.… More

MARIACHI CHRISTMAS. Its 3 am on a Monday morning, and I cannot sleep. Last nite, I went with a friend to a show called Mariachi Christmas and it was a splendid performance. The backdrop was a mariachi band — a dozen violins, four guitars, a double-base, two horns, and one accordion – all but the accordion player were females in classical mariachi dress. The singing by the female musicians – solos plus choir – lifted and soared through the theater.

Each segment was a mix of Mexican folk dancing and songs from a different state in Mexico. The entire theater came alive with vibrant, toe-tapping energy.… More

Some of the following story is adapted from a BBC News report by Philippa Roxby Health, dated 23 November 2019.

The original trial of ipilimumab was in 2005. It’s a tear-jerker story of Sharon Belvin, who was dying. Sharon was a 22 year old grad student just two weeks away from her wedding when she received news that would forever change her life. Sharon was diagnosed with late stage melanoma, a skin cancer that spreads easily, that had metastasized to her lungs. But the cancer was completely destroyed by the new drug in 12 months.

WHAT IS IMMUNOTHERAPY? It is a treatment that does not kill cancer cells itself but instead stimulates the body’s immune system to attack them.… More

This story is adapted from a BBC report dated 9 November 2019. THE PRESENT. In early November 2019, concurrent wildfires were raging in eastern Australia and California. This is unprecedented because its Spring in Australia and Fall in California – the wrong seasons for wildfires, let along wildfires that are this intense.

I was in Australia in August 2019 and reported on a massive drought that stretched from Sydney west into the state of South Australia. We saw no blade of green grass for two whole days of four-wheeling in the northern Flinders Ranges. We saw dozens of dead kangaroos by the roadside.… More

MARY ANN has had chronic pain for 30 years. Several lower back surgeries, neck fusion, fibromyalgia, RA (rheumatoid arthritis). On top of all this, she has to take oxygen all the time, and a C-PAP at night to help her sleep apnea. She has suffered more than anyone else I know.

In the past two years, her shoulders have caused joint pain, which became unbearable. Bone-on-bone said the orthopedic specialist. Surgery to replace her right shoulder was deferred twice due to a potential heart valve problem.

Mary Ann is a fighter and has remained remarkably positive while under all this duress.… More

This story is adapted from a BBC report by Matthew Ponsford dated 22 October 2019.

Recent research efforts using underwater remote operated vehicles (ROVs) has ventured below the Black Sea waters and revealed pieces of ancient history never before seen. They have discovered ships from several millennia of seafaring trade and war, including the world’s oldest intact shipwreck: a Greek trading ship from around 400 BC lying uncannily well-preserved on the seabed.

An English-Bulgarian team discovered the 2,400-year-old Greek trading ship last year, in addition to more than 60 other wrecks found in deep waters.

Appearing into view as the ROVs scanned the site, the ancient ship was lying on its side, the mast and rudder clearly visible as well as rowing benches and large ceramic containers in the hold.… More

WHEN PAIN IS SO BAD YOU CRY OUT IN THE NIGHT: My good friend Mary Ann lives in Kansas. She was having migraines when I got in on the story……pounding migraines that completely immobilized her. She could do nothing but go to bed. This went on for almost two months. The migraines appeared like clockwork….every three days.

During this time she discovered that Excedrin Migraine helped, and helped a lot…..two tablets took away the pain in about 30 minutes and she could function again. But Excedrin is a mix of Tylenol and aspirin and caffeine, and the aspirin can tear up your stomach.… More

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