In November 2015, a rare weather phenomenon brought extra-heavy rain for a few weeks in Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Saudi Arabia. The freak weather led to the death of thousands of people in Iraq also brought excessive rain and hail storm to an otherwise hot and dry desert area in Iraq.
This video footage captured on November 16, 2015, shows the incredible sight of the river of sand and round uniform hailstones, some the size of golf-balls, moving at a rapid pace through the desert in Iraq.
If I see something interesting and educative or witty on Facebook that others might like and relish, I get the urge to re-post it. In the past, I have burnt my fingers by reposting the posts of others without verifying their veracity.
Now, before I post anything on my Facebook book page, I try to find whether there are any omissions or inconsistencies in that particular post that caught my attention. If I see anything not factual or smell a rat, I comb the Internet for more information.
Please remember that all posts that we find on Facebook or on any other social media are not perfect. So, here is my advice to you to heed when you think of copying from social media. Follow these rules of information-gathering and you will be presenting a perfect post for others to read, relish and profit from it.
Five Ws and one H
The Five Ws and one H, 5W1H are questions whose answers are considered basic in information-gathering or problem-solving. They are often mentioned in journalism (cf. news style), research, and police investigations. They constitute a formula for getting the complete story on a subject. According to the principle of the Five Ws, a report can only be considered complete if it answers these questions starting with an interrogative word:
Who is involved?
Where did it take place?
When did it take place?
Why did that happen?
Some authors add a sixth question, “how”, to the list namely, “How did it happen?” though “how” can also be covered by “what”, “when”, or “where”.
Each question should have a factual answer – facts necessary to include in a report for it to be considered complete. Importantly, none of these questions can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”.
Hermagoras of Temnos, the Greek rhetorician best known for his works on rhetorical invention, as quoted in pseudo-Augustine’s “De Rhetorica” defined seven ‘circumstances’ (μόρια περιστάσεως ‘elements of circumstance’) as the loci of an issue:
Quis, quid, quando, ubi, cur, quem ad modum, quibus adminiculis. (Who, what, when, where, why, in what way, by what means)
Please remember that not every post I publish is perfect. I try to do my best following the above rules of good journalism and at times I do go astray.
People in many ancient cultures, such as the Egyptian, Greek, and Roman enjoyed flatbreads with various toppings, including olive oil and herbs.
Most people attribute the beginnings of the modern version of the round dish, covered with cheese and toppings, the ‘pizza‘ to the city of Naples in Italy where it has been the “thing” since the 1700s. In fact, it seems that before pizza became a popular cuisine in Italy, it stormed America. Though it was created in Naples it took a while to catch on in Italy, It wasn’t until the 1940s that pizza would spread across Italy and become a much-loved food item, instead of being a treat found only in Naples.
Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba is the oldest pizzeria in Naples to serve pizza. It started as a street vendor in 1738 and it became a real pizzeria in 1830. They’re still open and are serving pizza to this day. Vincenzo Luciano is the 5th generation to run the business.
A supercentenarian is a person who has reached the age of 110. This age is achieved by about one in 1,000 centenarians. Anderson et al. concluded that supercentenarians live typically free of major age-related diseases until shortly before maximum human lifespan is reached.
The oldest person whose age was well-documented is supercentenarian Jeanne Louise Calment (February 21, 1875 – August 4, 1997) of Arles, France. She lived to the age of 122 years, 164 days. Her longevity attracted media attention and her health and lifestyle were studied by medical personnel.
While alive, Jeanne Calment spent her life doing almost everything contra to what doctors advise us if we want to live a long life. She smoked, drank liquor. She complained about her bland foods, and ate red meat and fried, spicy food. She ate desserts after every meal. and consumed excessive amounts of sugar, about two pounds of chocolate per week. And she never ate breakfast but drank coffee – a cup or two.
The oldest verified man ever lived is Japanese supercentenarian Jiroemon Kimura born as Kinjiro Miyake (April 19, 1897 – June 12, 2013) in the fishing village of Kamiukawa. Japan. He lived to the age of 116 years, 54 days.
As of October 3, 2019, the world’s oldest verified living person is Japanese supercentenarian Kane Tanaka (born January 2, 1903) born in the village of Kazuki, Fukuoka Prefecture, Southern Japan, on the southern island of Kyushu.
On Saturday, March 9, 2019, in a ceremony joined by families and local officials, Kane Tanaka aged 116 years and 66 days, now living in a nursing home in Fukuoka City was recognized by the Guinness World Records. She received certificates for both the world’s oldest living person and the world’s oldest living woman.
Now, the oldest known living man is Gustav Gerneth (born 15 October 15, 1905) from Havelberg, Germany, aged 113 years, 353 days.
Gustav Gerneth is living still on his own in the same flat for more than 40 years. He cooks and cleans his flat without any special help. His secret of longevity: never diet and sports, but also never a cigarette and drink only for celebration.
Due to differences in life expectancy, the 100 oldest women have, on average, lived several years longer than the 100 oldest men.
Some consider Droṇāchārya as a casteist due to his pervert behavior towards Ekalavya, the son of a Nishadha chief, who came to him for instruction. Droṇāchārya refused to train Ekalavya along with the kshatriya princes because Ekalavya was not a kshatriya prince but hailed from a lower caste.
Holding Droṇāchārya in high esteem as his virtual guru, Ekalavya made a clay idol of Droṇāchārya, and began his study of archery by himself in front of the idol. Through his steadfast determination and practice Ekalavya became a warrior of exceptional prowess and proclaimed that he was a pupil of Droṇāchārya.
But Droṇāchārya had a strong bias in favor of Arjuna, his favourite pupil and.had promised him that he would train him as the world’s greatest archer. So, to prevent Ekalavya from excelling Arjun, the perverted Droṇāchārya demanded that Ekalavya cut off the thumb of his right hand and offer it as Guru Dakshina (fee) for proclaiming that he, Droṇāchārya, was his teacher. Immediately, Ekalavya severed his thumb and offered it to Droṇāchārya, his evered guru though he was aware that by doing so, he would lose his prowess as an archer.
Ironically, the Indian Government now presents the Dronacharya Award for excellence in “Sports Coaching” in the name of Droṇāchārya, the biased casteist guru.
The Tamil and Sinhalese New Year, generally known as Tamizh Puthandu (Tamil: தமிழ் புத்தாண்டு) in Tamil Nadu and among the Indian worldwide Tamil diaspora, and as Sinhala Aluth Avurudda (Sinhala: සිංහල අලුත් අවුරුද්ද) in Sri Lanka, is a major anniversary celebrated by the Sinhalese and Tamil people in Sri Lanka.
The festival date is set with the solar cycle of the Hindu calendar, as the first day of the Tamil month of Chithirai. It, therefore, falls on or about 14 April every year on the Gregorian calendar. The same day is observed by Hindus elsewhere as the traditional new year but is known by other names such as Vishu in Kerala, and Vaisakhi or Baisakhi in central and northern India.
The Sinhalese New Year / Sinhala Aluth Avurudda has a close semblance to the Tamil New year / Tamizh Puthandu and is a public holiday in Sri Lanka. It is generally celebrated on 13 April or 14 April and traditionally begins at the sighting of the new moon.
On January 29, 2008, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)-led Government of Tamil Nadu enacted the Tamil Nadu New Year Declaration Bill 2008 which declared that the Tamil new year should be celebrated on the first day of Tamil month of Thai (14th January) to coincide with the Tamil harvest festival of Pongal. However, the Tamils in Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia and Canada continued to observe the new year in mid-April.
The law enacted by the DMK-led Government of Tamil Nadu was met with resistance by the majority of Tamils in the state and elsewhere. It was also challenged in court, questioned by Hindu priests and many Tamil scholars around the world. Many in Tamil Nadu ignored the DMK government legislation and continued the celebration of the traditional Puthandu new year festival in mid-April.
The then opposition All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) in Tamil Nadu subsequently condemned the decision of the DMK Government in that state and urged their supporters to continue celebrating the traditional date in mid-April.
In an effort to placate popular sentiments the DMK-led government renamed Tamil Puthandu as “Chithirai Tirunal” (the festival of the Tamil month of Chithirai). It maintained April 14 as a public holiday purportedly to commemorate late Dr B.R Ambedkar, who was the Chairman of the Drafting Committee of Indian Constitution even though all the television channels in Tamil Nadu continued to telecast festive “Chithirai Tirunal Special Programs” on April 14, 2010.
In April 2010, the Governor and the Chief Minister of the Indian Union Territory of Puducherry, which has an ethnic Tamil majority, wished and greeted the public for the Tamil new year 2010.
Subsequently, on August 23, 2011, an AIADMK majority-led government rescinded this law legislated by the DMK majority-led government by a separate act of legislation in the Tamil Nadu Assembly.
John Brown (May 9, 1800 – December 2, 1859) was an American radical abolitionist who believed in and advocated armed insurrection as the only way to overthrow the institution of slavery in the United States. He had 20 children of which 11 survived to adulthood.
In mid-October 1859, John Brown and 21 other men seized the federal armoury at Harper’s Ferry, the holding place for approximately 100,000 rifles and muskets, with the hope of arming slaves and start a violent slave liberation movement that would spread south through the mountainous regions of Virginia and North Carolina.
Within 36 hours, the revolt was suppressed by local farmers, militiamen, and US Marines, the latter led by Robert E. Lee, the commander of the Confederate States. The raid resulted in thirteen deaths – twelve rebels and one U.S. Marine.
John Brown was hastily tried for treason against the Commonwealth of Virginia, the murder of five men (including 3 blacks), and inciting a slave insurrection. He was found guilty on all counts. He was the first person convicted of treason in the history of the country.
On Sunday Evening of October 30, 1859, two weeks after John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry, Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862), the American essayist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, tax resister, historian, development critic, and transcendentalist read to the citizens of Concord, Massachusettes, “A Plea for Captain John Brown” and repeated it several times before Brown’s execution on December 2, 1859. It was later published as an essay as a part of Echoes of Harper’s Ferry in 1860.
In his “A Plea for Captain John Brown“, Thoreau vents his rage at the scores of Americans who have voiced their displeasure and scorn for John Brown. Thoreau says, the same people, who say their prayers and then go to sleep aware of injustice but doing nothing to change it can’t relate to Brown because of their concrete stances and “dead” existences.
About 148 years before, on March 8, 1711, Joseph Addison (May 1, 1672 – June 17, 1719), an English essayist, poet, playwright, and politician wrote an essay that appeared in The Spectator in which he says:
When I lay me down to Sleep, I recommend my self to his Care; when I awake, I give my self up to his Direction.
All the bedtime prayers of the modern pious Christians, then and now, begin with one of the variants of this classic children’s bedtime prayer from the 18th century which is sometimes combined with the “Black Paternoster”, one version of which goes:
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, Bless the bed that I lie on. Four corners to my bed, Four angels round my head; One to watch and one to pray And two to bear my soul away.
In his “A Plea for Captain John Brown“, Thoreau criticized contemporary Christians by saying that “The modern Christian is a man who has consented to say all the prayers in the liturgy, provided you will let him go straight to bed and sleep quietly afterwards. All his prayers begin with “Now I lay me down to sleep.”
In plain English, the modern pious Christian does not wish to be disturbed. He looks forward to a future of inactivity. All effort, especially intellectual effort, is distasteful to him and is apt to offend and unsettle him. Hence the intellectual life must not be real; what must be real is the sleep. Sleep seems to be his quest, and in the words of Thoreau “he is forever looking forward to the time when he shall go to his ‘long rest.’“
Last Sunday, during the sermon, the village Pastor told his congregation that one should always embrace his/her mistakes and say “mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa” meaning “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault”.
Now the Pastor wonders why his pious gardner hugs him every day and utters “mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa!“
The following story is a modern-day admonition to many “I’m holier than thou” churchgoers to not allow transient secular needs to get in the way of their belief and faith.
The tale prompts the readers to assess the true contents of their hearts and find if they aren’t at times engaging in a bit of religious distancing by setting aside their faith when faith becomes inconvenient or whether they stand up for their beliefs and proudly proclaim them even when doing so is to their disadvantage, financial or otherwise?
The judge in the story points out, that there is something untoward about the congregation that puts worldly matters first and denies its belief in prayer.
A Tavern Owner Sues Members of the Baptist Church
In the early 19th century the Goshen Road was the main road in Mount Vernon, the county seat of Jefferson County, Illinois, United States. The Baptist settlers built a church on this road and had a good following.
In 1860, a Mr Drummond got a permit to open the first tavern in Mt. Vernon and he bought the building opposite the Baptist church and launched his business.
The members of the Baptist church who strongly opposed the opening of the tavern appealed to the authorities to shut it down. The officers, already bribed by Drummond with liquor and money turned a deaf ear to their appeal. So, every day, the members of the Baptist congregation started praying to God to intervene.
A few months later lightning struck the building housing the tavern. It caught fire. The members of the Baptist church rejoiced until they received notice that Mr Drummond, the tavern owner was suing them.
In court, Mr Drummond contended that the lightning bolt that destroyed his tavern was the result of the prayers of the members of the Baptist church. The members of the church, nonetheless, denied all responsibility for the destruction of the tavern.
After the preliminary hearing, the judge warily remarked, “It’s difficult to decide the case because Mr Drummond, the tavern owner, believes in the power of prayer and the church people don’t.”
After dating for six months, Antonio and Sophia finally decided to marry. It took such a long time for Antonio to propose because of Gina, the voluptuous unmarried elder sister of Sophia, who from the day he met her was tempting him by offering spectacular views of her braless breasts whenever she came near him.
A month before the wedding Gina phoned Antonio and asked him to come over to their house to check the wedding invitation.
When Antonio parked his car under the porch of Sophia’s house. The usually noisy house was calm. When he rang the bell, Gina opened the door and he could feel a hint of trepidation in her mien as she pulled him inside and shut the door. Embracing him she said that she was alone in the house and had been waiting long for such a moment to express her feelings and desires for him and wanted to sleep with him as many times as she could before he married her younger sister.
When Gina said, “Let’s go upstairs to my bedroom and ...”, he just stood there stupefied. As she climbed the stairs, he rushed out of the house. He froze in his tracks when he saw Sophia and all the members of her family standing near his car, and Sophia’s father was holding a gun. They all smiled and cheered.
With joyful tears streaming down his cheeks, his future father-in-law gave the gun to Sophia. He hugged Antonio and said, “You have passed our little test. We don’t think we can find a better man than you as a faithful husband for my younger daughter. Welcome to the family!“
Just then Gina came out of the house and joined her family members. They all went laughing into the house with Antonio. After dinner, Gina accosted Antonio and while offering a view of her gorgeous braless breasts, whispered, “My offer still stands even after you marry my sister!“
He smiled slyly as acceptance of her offer and silently vowed to keep his condoms always in his car as a precautionary measure and never in his pockets!