Thursday, January 31, 2013

Rain and High Winds

We had some severe weather in my area over the last few hours. Heavy rain and high winds.

I’ve learned that daily weather knowledge is relatively new to humankind.

Aristotle was the first person to write a comprehensive book on the weather. It remained the standard work for nearly 2000 years. People just didn't do much scientific thinking about the clouds and the winds.

There weren't any significant changes until the invention of scientific instruments: Leonardo da Vinci's wind vane in 1500, Galileo's thermometer in 1593, The first weather map wasn't even drawn until 1820.

When I first started in broadcasting I did the evening weather on a local television station. I didn’t know a thing about weather. The Associated Press would send out a national weather map and I would copy it on a big map outline of the United States. I used pieces of colored tape to create frontal systems and large discs with H’s and L’s on them for high pressure and low-pressure systems. Very primitive.

Today we have meteorologists to expertly predict and explain the weather. We like to think we're pretty advanced. We've had weather satellites in orbit since 1959. There is a nationwide system of automatic weather monitoring stations that feeds information directly to a central computer. All very sophisticated.

Some people take weather forecasting a bit further. The Germans have "biometeorological advisories." Weather forecasters explain how the weather will affect people. What it does to their emotions, their health, even their ability to work safely.

German doctors can receive a daily coded report from the weather service. It warns them of the types of ills the weather is likely to cause. It seems they have determined that cold fronts increase the number of coronaries, migraines and gall bladder attacks. Cloudiness, warm fronts and heat lightening seem to cause more work related mistakes.

The weather even alters how quickly we heal. So it is not unusual for German surgeons to schedule operations for sunny days.

I wonder when they play golf.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Memories in a Grain of Rice

I had rice as part of my dinner last night. I didn’t finish it and a couple of spoon fulls were left on my plate.  As I scraped the plate I was struck by a memory. A sad memory. A memory that almost made me ashamed.

Many years ago there was an advertisement for a hunger program. It was an emotional request for donations for hunger relief.

A little boy was sitting on the ground, somewhere in a third world country. A truck had just left the area delivering bags of rice to a village to help keep the community from starvation. A small amount of rice had spilled from the burlap bags of rice.

The next scene had a child scraping through the dirt picking up individual grains of rice. He did so one grain at a time and put them into a tiny container. The image was and is powerful.

Hunger in this world is rampant. Thousands of children die of hunger and hunger related diseases each day. We in the comfortable and seemingly civilized world forget or never knew what it was like or is like to be hungry.

I remembered last night. It came from an ancient memory embedded deep within my heart. I didn’t pick-out the grains of rice from my garbage, but I wanted too.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Did you know the peace we seek is not out there, but in you?

Did you know that flowers are a reminder of our real home?

Did you know we live in the illusion, not the reality?

Did you know that children today have a different DNA and purpose than in previous ages?

Did you know that each letter of every alphabet on earth has a different vibration that is altered to a collective vibration when combined into words and altered again when words combine into sentences?

Did you know that a little piece of positive creation lingering for release in your heart could change humanity?

Did you know that each time you pass form this life to the next, you begin to laugh?

Did you know that the soul is bigger than the body?

Did you know that love is the unified field Einstein was looking for?

Did you know there is no future and no past, only NOW?

Did you know that God has no judgment; only man does?

Did you know that responsibility is really two words: Response and ability?

Did you know that all of these statements may be true and none may be true, but it is up to each of us to decide?

Monday, January 28, 2013


Courtesy or kindness is the ability to be aware of the needs and concerns of others and to respond to them with selfless grace. It is an attribute of character. It is also a waning personal craft in today's culture of instant gratification, in the self fulfillment of the "me" generation.

When you see it in abundance, courtesy is worthy of comment.

A number of years ago I flew with a Navy medical contingent to Croatia in the former Yugoslavia. The flight was on a crowded, C-141 transport plane. Depending where you sat on the uncomfortable webbed bench seats, it was either suppressingly hot or irritatingly cold. Cramped movement was measured in continuous "excuse me" rather than distance.

Not once, during the 16 hour ordeal did I see one act of intolerance toward another. No disapproving sighs, no grunts of disgust. What I saw from these Navy men and women from Fleet Hospital Six in San Diego were continuous acts of courtesy.

A pillow given up for another persons comfort.

Offers to share personal snacks.

A blanket gently laid atop a dozing colleague.

A hand extended to steady the stepping over huddled and sleeping bodies.

I thought at that time "courtesy" was another name for Navy. I appreciated the lesson and have never forgotten it.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Poetry

Goals and Age
© 2011 Rolland G. Smith

There comes a time in all our dreams
When we let go and sigh.
It could have been! We had the means
To try and try and try.

There must be something in our hopes
That lets us seek the goal.
We learned techniques and know the ropes
But then we loose control.

Perhaps it’s age or other stuff
That loosens a sure grip.
And we let go with no rebuff
The goal we think we skip.

But I have learned throughout the years
When letting go, I find
The goal I lost then reappears
As new and redefined.

So what’s the lesson in this thought
That I must now embrace
It is to never be distraught
When things seems out of place.

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