Friday, July 30, 2010

Feds think public can't HANDLE THE TRUTH about toxic dispersants says EP...

Sometimes it amazes me what the American government and BP thinks it can get away with it. Not only is BP paying scientists NOT to reveal their findings, but the government is backing up BP's lies.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist (which is good because BP would probably pay them off too) to figure out that oil and dispersants are toxic. These materials are entering the food chain and will affect everything that it comes in contact with. Just look at a recent report on toxins found in whales or the ongoing results of autopsies performed on Gulf marine animals. The seafood in the Gulf of Mexico is NOT SAFE TO EAT. 

Below is a report from the EPA's senior analyst Hugh Kaufman exposing what the government doesn't want people to know. 

A Review of The Wolf of Tebron; Book 1 (The Gates of Heaven Series)

In "The Wolf of Tebron" the author, C. S. Lakin, seeks to impart a message of faith to the readers by weaving a tale that takes the hero of the story, Joran, on a journey to the four corners of the earth in an effort to rescue his lost love, Charris. Along the way Joran happens across a powerful wolf who joins him on his journey. 

"The Wolf of Tebron" seems to fall short on several key elements of good story telling. Though intended for teen audiences, the writing shifts uncomfortably from overly-simplistic to overly-intellectual, so much so that it will likely go beyond the grasp of an average reader. Combine that with weak character development and a shallow plot and "The Wolf of Tebron" makes for a tedious read. 

From the beginning the characters don't have enough substance to really form a connection with the reader. In his quest, Joran must find his missing wife and rescue her from the villain, the Moon. However, readers never meet the wife initially nor are they given enough information about her to make the readers connect with or feel concerned about her well-being. As a husband, Joran's character fails to give the appearance of being a mature adult with solid family responsibilities. 

After the wolf, Ruyah, formally joins the quest things don't improve much. As a companion, the wolf's dialogue is weak, especially when compared to the wolf's true nature as it is later revealed. The book is confusingly labeled as a fairy tale for teen readers. Most of the dialogue between Joran and his animal acquaintances, Ruyah and Byrp, is more suited for much younger readers while dialogue between Joran and Sola, the mother of the Sun, goes over even Joran's head. 

The story drags in places giving the reader plenty of time to wonder why they should care about Joran and his wife at all. When not conversing with Ruyah, Joran spends much of his time mentally torturing himself with second-guessing and regret. Although the story's message is clearly one of hope and forgiveness, the journey itself isn't as enjoyable. 

*Note: This reader was provided with an advanced copy. Read more reviews here.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Kayaking Near Marianna FL

For those of you who don't follow my adventure blog, Northwest Florida Outdoor Adventure, I had an amazing trip on Merritt Mill Pond this weekend. You can view pictures there, on my article and on my Flickr page. If you live close enough be sure to check out the pond. You'll be glad you did.

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

BP Oil Spill Still Flowing 80 Days Later

Apparently BP can't do much right except fail. At failure, BP excels! 80 days after the explosion of the Deep Water Horizon oil is still escaping from the well head. The last hope rests with the two relief wells being drilled in an effort to kill the original well. We can expect, if history is any example, that once BP succeeds with stopping the leak that they will expect to be touted as heroes and Saviours of the Gulf; all of the lies, cover-ups and efforts to impede clean-up and relief efforts will magically evaporate and life on the Gulf Coast will go back to normal. Wrong. What stands out instead is the callousness and disregard for the impact to the environment and livelihoods of the residents who live there.

Residents of the Gulf Coast have long memories. If BP thinks that they'll be able to quietly slip into the background they're wrong. Expect new legislation and stricter regulations on off-shore drilling and forget about any chance of allowing drilling off of Florida's coastline. Florida's health and well-being depends on a healthy tourism and fishing industry and there's no room for error from oil companies. The other oil companies can thank BP's fiasco for giving all gulf drilling companies a black eye — maybe they should file a claim with BP. 

Economic impact aside, BP has also made enemies of animal and nature lovers. The images of oiled birds, dead dolphins and sea turtles will haunt BP and other oil companies for decades. Animals may not have voices but their advocates do. The long term effects of the oil and dispersant dumped into the Gulf are yet to be known. Already the impact on endangered species and those species of special concern have been devastating. The oil companies are wrong if they think that they can continue to operate as haphazardly as they have done in the past. The free ride is over.   


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