Thursday, November 29, 2007

Face of Bravery

This is the true face of bravery…

Your prayers are deeply appreciated. These guys deserve our love, our hugs and most powerfully, our prayers.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Fallen Heros / Red Friday

First Place

Second Place

Red Fridays.

Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing

Red every Friday The reason? Americans who support our troops used to be called the "silent majority." We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers. We
are not organized, boisterous or overbearing.
Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of America supports our troops. Our idea of showing
solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and
respect starts this Friday -- and continues each and
every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that .... every red-blooded American
who supports our men and women afar, will wear

something red.
By word of mouth, press, TV -- let's make the United
States on every Friday a sea of red much like a
homecoming football game in the bleachers. If every

one of us who loves this country will share this with
acquaintances, coworkers, friends, and family, it will
not be long before the USA is covered in RED and it
will let our troops know the once "silent" majority is
on their side more than ever, certainly more than the media lets on.
The first thing a soldier says when asked "What can
we do to make things better for you?" is ..."We need your support and your prayers." Let's get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example, and wear something red every Friday.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Tree Man Who Grew Roots.

Dede, now 35, baffled medical experts when warty "roots" began growing out of his arms and feet after he cut his knee in a teenage accident.

Dr Anthony Gaspari and Dede
Watch: Dr Anthony Gaspari believes that he has diagnosed Dede's rare condition

The welts spread across his body unchecked and soon he was left unable to carry out everyday household tasks.

Sacked from his job and deserted by his wife, Dede has been raising his two children - now in their late teens - in poverty, resigned to the fact that local doctors had no cure for his condition.

To make ends meet he even joined a local "freak show", parading in front of a paying audience alongside victims of other peculiar diseases.

Although supported by his extended family, he was often a target of abuse and ridicule in his rural fishing village.

But now an American dermatology expert who flew out to Dede's home village south of the capital Jakarta claims to have identified his condition, and proposed a treatment that could transform his life.

Watch: The growths on Dede's arms and feet are known as 'cutaneous horns'

After testing samples of the lesions and Dede's blood, Dr Anthony Gaspari of the University of Maryland concluded that his affliction is caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), a fairly common infection that usually causes small warts to develop on sufferers.

Dede's problem is that he has a rare genetic fault that impedes his immune system, meaning his body is unable to contain the warts.

The virus was therefore able to "hijack the cellular machinery of his skin cells", ordering them to produce massive amounts of the substance that caused the tree-like growths known as "cutaneous horns" on his hands and feet.

Dede's counts of a key type of white blood cell are so low that Dr Gaspari initially suspected he may have the Aids virus.

But tests showed he did not, and it became clear that Dede's immune condition was something far rarer and more mysterious.

Warts aside, he had enjoyed remarkable good health throughout his life - which would not be expected of someone with a suppressed immune system - and neither his parents nor his siblings have shown signs of developing lesions.

"The likelihood of having his deficiency is less than one in a million," Dr Gaspari told the Telegraph.

Dede with his teenage daughter
Watch: Dede with his teenage daughter. He fears that his children may also become infected

Dr Gaspari, who became involved in the case through a Discovery Channel documentary, believes that Dede's condition can be largely cleared up by a daily doses of a synthetic form of Vitamin A, which has been shown to arrest the growth of warts in severe cases of HPV.

"He won't have a perfectly normal body but the warts should reduce in size to the point where he could use his hands," Dr Gaspari said.

"Over the course of three to six months the warts should be come smaller and fewer in number. He will be living a more normal life."

The most resilient warts could then be frozen off and the growths on his hands and feet surgically removed.

Dr Gaspari hopes to get the necessary drugs free of charge from pharmaceutical firms. They would then be administered by Indonesian doctors under his supervision.

Still intrigued by the origins of Dede's peculiar immune condition, the doctor would like to fly him to the United States for further examination, but fears the financial and bureaucratic barriers would prove too difficult to overcome.

"I would like to bring him to the US to run tests on where his immune condition has come from, but I would need funding and to get him a visa as well as someone to cover the costs of the tests," he said.

"I've never seen anything like this in my entire career."

  • "Half Man Half Tree", part of the "My Shocking Story" series, will be shown on the Discovery Channel at 9pm on Nov 15. For more details visit the programme's website.
  • An Elephant Never Forgets

    Rachel Cope sent me this sweet story:

    I'm not going soft, but sometimes I like these heartwarming stories, and this one truly is amazing. Enjoy.

    In 1986, Dan Harrison was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University.

    On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Dan approached it very carefully.

    He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it.

    As carefully and as gently as he could, Dan worked the wood out with his hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Dan stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being
    trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away.

    Dan never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

    Twenty years later, Dan was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son.

    As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Dan and his son Dan Jr. were standing.

    The large bull elephant stared at Dan, lifted its front foot off the ground, and then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

    Remembering the encounter in 1986, Dan couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant.

    Dan summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its
    trunk around one of Dan's legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

    It probably wasn't the same elephant.

    Monday, November 5, 2007

    Made-up story about Hyles-Anderson College

    I found this fabricated story about Hyles-Anderson here.

    It says that HAC is trying to make a coin so America will never forget Bro. Hyles. It's really a funny, and kinda pathetic attempt at theological satire. The best part is where they "quote" Dr. Evans.

    26 February, 2007

    Hyles-Anderson College Proposes "Authorized Coin"


    The excitement level was high last Thursday at Hyles-Anderson College. The fundamentalist school founded by the Reverend Jack Hyles finalized and submitted a proposal to the United States government to issue a one dollar "Authorized" commemorative coin featuring the late minister.

    Hyles pastored the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana for over 40 years during which time he founded Hyles-Anderson College, staunchly defended the King James Bible and forcefully spoke out against other Christian leaders as being 'liberals.'

    The announcement was made to the student body during Thursday's chapel service. "This is an historic day." Said Dr. Jack Schaap, pastor of First Baptist Church Hammond and Chancellor of the college. "We are submitting this proposal to the United States Government as a lasting monument to the work of Brother Hyles and the King James Bible. This coin will be a witness of his work and the purity of the Authorized Version 1611 every tim
    e someone spends a dollar."

    The coin will feature a portrait of Hyles on the obverse along with the national motto "In God We Trust," and the standard U.S. coin information, the date and the mint mark. On the reverse of the coin there will be an artistic rendition of an open Bible, the phrase "e pluribus unum" and "The Authorized Version of 1611" commemorating the King James Version of the Bible.

    "I have never seen such a beautiful coin." Said Dr. Wendell Evans, president of the college. "This coin is perfect and without error. It is pure, refined in a fire seven times. We are hoping and praying that the United States Government will see fit to authorize this beautiful coin."

    But the celebration and enthusiasm may be short-lived.

    "This is very strange." Said United States Mint Director Edmund Moy. "The United States Government does not receive proposals for coinage in this fashion. I'm not sure what these people are expecting will happen, but I can assure you the U.S. mint will not be minting any Jack Hyles coins in the future."

    But Hyles-Anderson College remains confident.

    "Our faith is strong on this matter." Said Schaap. "We are confident that the Authorized Coin will be approved and that soon millions of Americans will know the great legacy of Jack Hyles."


    Friday, November 2, 2007

    Free Screen Magification Tool

    Do you need a tool which can make your screen easier to read? Do you have vision problems? If the answer is yes then we have a tool for you, Its free. Its open source and it is called Virtual Magnifying Glass. You can view screen shot and download it here.

    Tech Boys

    Thursday, November 1, 2007

    Happy Haloween!

    Ok, so last night we went to Waikiki to "check out the costumes". We had NO idea how crazy and fun it is here! Seriously, I would estimate 5,000+ people dressed up with the best costumes! After walking up and down the strip, meeting people, taking pictures, and having a blast, we found some magazine stands to perch on.

    It was the best view for the awesomest party of my life! We were having so much fun, that we forgot the parking garage closed at midnight! I felt like Cinderella running down the street to see if we had indeed been locked out! After passing tons of people, a few druken folks, and a police car with a slashed tire, we discovered that, indeed, we were toast!

    Well, you would think the 40 or so cops standing around would afford some help, but this was not the case. We were given directions to the only convenience store open, and set out to purchased the essentials for a night's stay in Waikiki.

    Interesting to say the least, was our midnight stroll. We stopped for breakfast at a little pancake place, and finally found a drugstore where we could obtain what we needed, including a great bargain on blankets and pillows.

    Thus began the longest walk of my life, back to the beach. Confusing streets, scary allies, out of control sprinklers, deep mud, and a canal with only one bridge were just the tip of the iceberg. I was never so happy to finally reach the hotel's beach, blow up my pillow, and recline on a padded cabana-covered chair. Thankfully, the hotel staff was gracious enough to let us rest in peace.

    The soldier and his new girlfriend he met were not as considerate. We were awakened an hour later to hear him loudly trying to persuade her how wonderful it would be to skinny-dip in the Pacific. Of course, with Bacardi on his side, he won, and I was SHOCKED to see two complete strangers strip completely, and head for the water! However, I don't think they counted on the 15 or so people who would be there when they emerged, as they were very apologetic to all those offered a free show on the beach!

    A little before six, we headed to the car, and were amused (and appalled) to see that someone had poured soap in a huge fountain, and it was filled with suds! At last, we found a security guard who opened the gate for us, and we were on our way, driving into the sunRISE. A definite first for me. Ok, most of that was a first for me.

    Happy Halloween, folks!