A Mysterious Light that Shone in Priest’s Home



, , , ,

imageMysterious Light That Shone from Priest’s Home Chapel Where Blessed Sacrament Was Kept | August 31, 2016 By Gretchen Filz

Was this photo a Eucharistic Miracle? There is good reason to believe so, because that strangely large, bright light was shining from inside the private chapel of a priest’s residence where the Blessed Sacrament was reposed.

This photo and the story behind it was originally written by Fr. Robert Lange, a priest of the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, in 2007 and posted on his personal blog. Fr. Lange went to be with the Lord in May of 2015. His website is now offline so we are unable to link to the original source of the article, although it has been republished on multiple Catholic websites in the years since he wrote it. Fr. Lange’s original article is reposted below.

Respect for Christ in the Eucharist – One Priest’s Perspective
By Rev. Robert Lange
December 2007

The picture above is of my home in Fort Valley, Virginia, and the light is coming from my chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. There is not light in the window and there is no sun out on the day of the picture. (More about the picture is at end of the article.)

Americans have the option of receiving the Holy Eucharist on the tongue or in the hand. The Vatican granted us the option of receiving on the hand in 1977. This was accomplished by an indult, a lifting of the law, so we may receive either way, on the tongue or in the hand. The indult was granted because the American bishops told the Vatican that their parishioners were clamoring for it. “We can feed ourselves” was one of the specious arguments put forward.

After Apostolic times, the Church gradually adopted Communion on the tongue as the universal practice. In the early fourth century the Arians, who denied the divinity of Christ, revived the practice of receiving Communion in the hand specifically to show a lesser respect for Christ, believing that He is not “equal to the Father.”

The universal Church law, which requires Holy Eucharist to be distributed to the faithful on their tongues, remains in force; it remains the law. However the indult has the effect of making the law inapplicable where in force.

Foreseeing the demand for the indult coming, the Sacred Office for Divine Worship sent a letter to the presidents of the bishops’ conferences to advise them how they may implement this option if granted. The letter spoke about reverence for the Holy Eucharist being the number one priority.

With this in mind, the letter went into great detail trying to explain this crucial concern. The letter contained the following specifics: Communion on the hand is an option; it is not the primary way of receiving. Catholics must be catechized to understand this important point. No one is to be forced to receive on the hand. When receiving the Body of Christ on the hand, the faithful must be aware of the fact that each and every particle, no matter how small, is truly the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. Therefore no particle should ever be discarded or treated with less than total respect due to the Body of Christ.

The faithful must also be reminded that their hands must be clean to receive our Lord, Jesus Christ.

When ordained in 1986, I was a proponent of receiving Communion in the hand, but time has changed my thinking on this issue. Seeing so many abuses and forming a deeper respect for Jesus’ true Presence in the Holy Eucharist were the factors which forced me to rethink my position.

On March 28, 1965, when the Catholic college I was attending opened their newly renovated chapel, we students were told how to receive the Holy Eucharist: standing and in the hand. There was no option given. May I add that this was fully 12 years before any American diocese received the indult, which allowed for that option.

Why did those priests, abbots and bishops disobey the authority of Rome? Communion in the hand became the norm for American Catholics in the 1960s. In many cases the practice was not presented to us as optional, but as the way to receive.

In my 24 years as a priest, I have served in many parishes and witnessed many Eucharistic abuses caused by receiving in the hand. I have picked Jesus off the floor from under pews and picked Him out of hymnals. I have followed people back to their seats and asked if they would give me the Host back (they bring it out of a clinched hand or out of their pockets) and have witnessed many other sacrilegious desecrations of the most Blessed Sacrament, far too many and varied to mention, some so shocking most people would simply not believe my words.

As I began to see these desecrations of the Holy Eucharist, I began to understand how very sickening, disheartening and avoidable all of this actually has been. Many religious education programs teach the children how to receive on the hand, with at most a cursory mention of the traditional way of receiving on the tongue. Why? The Church documents do not support such teaching. It was the same with many American dioceses in the 1960s when the faithful were being coerced into receiving on the hand a decade before being granted the indult.

Father Benedict Groeschel, a familiar face to EWTN viewers and an accomplished author, announced on his “Sunday Night Live With Fr. Groeschel” program that he considered Communion in the hand to be an abomination. That is strong language!

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta was asked what was the worst thing that has happened to the Church in her lifetime. She replied without hesitation, “Communion in the hand.” Again powerful language!

Why would these two great figures of our time be so fervent in their opinions regarding this issue if it did not affect their whole being? Somehow I think they would agree that Communion in the hand is a true American tragedy.

Our Holy Father, Benedict XVI, leads by example. Since becoming Pope, anyone receiving the Holy Eucharist from him must receive on the tongue and kneeling. He is not requiring a change throughout the world, but is giving us a profound message by example.

Proper respect shown to the Holy Eucharist is primary. Please consider these thoughts before receiving Holy Communion this Sunday. Thank you.

Further note on picture: In May of this year Bishop Loverde gave me permission to reserve the Blessed Sacrament in my chapel – The chapel is on the second floor of my home. The Eucharist had been reserved in the chapel less than a week when this picture was taken from the front porch of a neighbor’s home.

The person taking the picture was enamored by the beauty of the valley and decided to take a picture for her collection. When she aimed the camera towards the valley and tried to focus for the picture, she says the light coming from my house was so bright she said it was difficult trying to look into camera to view the picture to be taken (It was a cloudy day and I did not have a light on in the room/chapel where the light is coming from.) She took the picture and the image – the Star of David – is what came out on her digital camera. She did not know what to make of it. Not being Catholic, she had no understanding of the Sacrament of the Eucharist (Holy Communion).

My opinion is that our Lord wanted to give us a beautiful reminder of His true presence in the Holy Eucharist – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity! It is a reminder that He is with us always, that we are never alone, that He is the Son of God and the Son of Man. It is a vivid reminder that He truly suffered and died on the cross and that He is present in this world – until His Second Coming – in this most special manner – the Eucharist.

Just as the Star appeared over the stable in Bethlehem when the Christ Child was born, so the Star of David has appeared through the window of my Chapel on St. David’s Church Road, Fort Valley, Virginia, to remind us of His care, love, protection, and presence in our lives today and always.

By Rev. Robert Lange

(June 13, 1944 – May 4, 2015)

Source URL: https://www.catholiccompany.com/getfed/mysterious-light-priests-home-chapel/

Definition: Ship-shape and Bristol fashion


, , , , , , ,

I began to think about a phrase I heard a long time ago in a personal favorite movie, ‘The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.’ That was this phrase, ‘Ship-shape and Bristol fashion.’

I don’t know why I never thought about researching it before, but here it is.

What’s the meaning of the phrase ‘Ship shape and Bristol fashion’?

If something is ‘ship-shape and Bristol fashion’ it is in first-class order.

What’s the origin of the phrase ‘Ship-shape and Bristol fashion’?

In May 2005 there was a brief flurry in English newspapers concerning the origin of the term nitty-gritty. A company that had recently presented an ‘equality and diversity’ course in Bristol had suggested that this term was a reference to an ethnic slur and should no longer be used. Those English journalists with a seek and destroy mission against political correctness rubbed their hands when, much to their satisfaction, it turned out that the claim had no substance. 

What wasn’t picked up by many at the time was an additional claim that ‘ship-shape and Bristol fashion’ was also a derogatory description of black people who were ready for sale as slaves. This is also unsupported by any evidence. The phrase has a perfectly sound derivation which is nothing to do with race. 

‘Ship-shape and Bristol fashion’ isn’t widely used outside the UK and even there less so than in earlier times, so a little background may be in order.

Bristol has been an important English seaport for more than a thousand years. The city is actually several miles from the sea and stands on the estuary of the River Avon. Bristol’s harbour has one of the most variable tidal flows anywhere in the world and the water level can vary by more than 30 feet between tides. Ships that were moored there were beached at each low tide. Consequently they had to be of sturdy construction and the goods in their holds needed to be securely stowed. The problem was resolved in 1803 with the construction of the Floating Harbour. There’s no absolute proof that the term ‘Bristol fashion’ originates with that geography but the circumstantial evidence seems very strongly in favour of it. 

Just as an aside, Bristol has another linguistic claim to fame. In earlier days the town was called Bristowe (or Brigstow). A quirk of the local spoken dialect is to add els to the end of words, hence Bristowe became Bristol. Another nice example of this is the name for the laminate sheeting used on worktops. You might call this Formica; in Bristol it is Formical.

‘Ship-shape and Bristol fashion’ is actually two phrases merged into one. Ship-shape came first and has been used since the 17th century. It is recorded in Sir Henry Manwayring’s The sea-mans dictionary, 1644:

“It [the rake] being of no use for the Ship, but only for to make her Ship shapen, as they call it.”

Source: https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/ship-shape-and-Bristol-fashion.html

Bristol, England

Words of the day: Vowels and Consonants. Brought to you by Nitpicking Linguistic Monks from the Middle Ages!


, , , , , , , , ,

Okay! So many of my linguistics questions arise with conversations with my husband. Today’s word/s are vowels and consonants. Specifically, how to teach our five- year old granddaughter to read. He wanted to know how to go about teaching her what vowels and consonants were. However, all we know of it is the standard: a-e-i-o-u and sometimes-y. All else in the alphabet are consonants. But as so often in conversations with my spouse we begin to query the words themselves and their meaning. So, with that, here are our dictionary findings. Enjoy!


noun vow·elˈvau̇(-ə)l


one of a class of speech sounds in the articulation of which the oral part of the breath channel is not blocked and is not constricted enough to cause audible friction; broadly : the one most prominent sound in a syllable

a letter or other symbol representing a vowel — usually used in English of a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y


Middle English, from Anglo-French vowele, from Latin vocalis — more at vocalic.

First known use: 14th century

Who Said “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors”?


, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I had always grown up under the notion that, “Good fences make for good neighbors.”

What follows, particularly in the current political arguments about border security, are some studies of just exactly what this phrase means and where it came from.

However, before we jump into the fray, I would like to make an observation in all of this. I think the argument about “walls” or “fences” is misleading, in that it is really about “doors,” and how we choose to use them: leaving them either open to anything and everyone, or selectively allowing only those few that we allow into our homes. But, onto the following article:

Who Said “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors”?

Good fences make good neighbors is a proverb that exists in many different cultures and languages and due to its longstanding history and prevalence, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where this insight originated.

In English its common usage seems to have sprung from Robert Frost’s use of the phrase in his poem, “Mending Wall,” published in 1914. He writes, “Good fences make good neighbors… Why do they make good neighbors?” and ends the poem with “He will not go behind his father’s saying, And he likes having thought of it so well, He says again, ‘Good fences make good neighbors’.”

“Mending Wall” is a favorite among literary lovers who enjoy discussing the poem’s true meaning. Some believe the narrator of the poem dislikes the wall that divides him from his neighbor. Others think the poem tells the story of a well-established relationship and ritual between two friends and neighbors.

Just as the meaning of “Mending Wall” remains debatable, the origin of this proverb is also shrouded in mystery. Wolfgang Mieder, a proverbs scholar and author of Proverbs: A Handbook finds it difficult to attribute this ambiguous saying to one person in particular. His research traces the history of different versions of the proverb to a number of different cultures and languages, including German, Norwegian, Russian, Japanese, and Hindi, as well as English, dating back to the 17th century.

In his article, “Good Fences Make Good Neighbours: History and Significance of an Ambiguous Proverb,” Mieder also delves deeper into the interesting complexity this simple line possesses and quotes from Caroline Westerhoff’s book Good Fences: The Boundaries of Hospitality, “[The proverb] contains the irresolvable tension between boundary and hospitality.”

Do Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?

How can neighbors come together if they are divided by fences? The introduction to Mieder’s article reads, “A glance into any proverb collection reveals their contradictory nature: ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder,’ but, ‘Out of sight, out of mind.'”

He goes on to point out that, “[Proverbs] contain the general observations and experiences of humankind, including life’s multifaceted contradiction.” And as Caroline Westerhoff stated, there is value in balancing the fine line between welcoming people in and keeping them at an arm’s length. Even Benjamin Franklin is known to have said, “Love thy neighbor, yet don’t pull down your hedge.”

Since many cultures have adopted this proverb into their lexicon, it seems to represent a sentiment among neighbors everywhere. Perhaps it gets repeated because it repeatedly applies.

A Good Question

We may never know who first uttered this phrase but Robert Frost’s poem “Mending Wall,” started up a whole new conversation regarding this proverb in the early 20th century. In the poem, two neighbors walk the length of their dividing wall each spring to mend whatever has fallen off. The speaker does not understand the purpose of the fence; however, his neighbor says, “Good fences make good neighbors,” twice. The speaker has no alternative but to continue this ritual with his neighbor each year, despite his own belief that mending the wall is a waste of time.

So, what do you say? Do fences communicate the same nonverbal signal as a pair of crossed arms? Or, do fences provide a healthy boundary between friends and neighbors, defining a well-balanced relationship? Let’s thank Robert Frost for continually pushing our intellects to higher levels and think twice the next time we observe a fence.

Source: https://quotes.yourdictionary.com/articles/who-said-good-fences-make-good-neighbors.html

YourDictionary definition and usage example.

Copyright © 2018 by LoveToKnow Corp.

TV antennas are making a comeback in the age of digital streaming


, , , , , , , , , ,

~ Los Angeles Times

Shared from Apple News

Karl Rudnick, a retired 69-year-old mathematician who lives in Solana Beach, Calif., recently bought a second home outside Minneapolis to be close to family members. He did not have to draw on his knowledge of advanced calculus to reject the idea of paying for two cable TV subscriptions.

“I talked to the cable companies and asked if there was a way to have one account,” Rudnick said. “There wasn’t, and all of a sudden I was looking at spending $300 a month just to have internet and TV.”

After doing some research, Rudnick decided on a throwback solution to bring down his monthly outlay without giving up the TV programming he liked. He purchased two TV antennas for about $80 each. He installed one in the attic of each house, giving him access to ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS and dozens of other broadcast channels for free. At his West Coast home, he was able to connect the antenna to the cable company’s coaxial wires.

The TV antenna is a piece of 20th century technology that evokes memories of rabbit ears placed atop the mahogany cabinet of the old Zenith in your grandparents’ living room. But Rudnick is among a growing number of consumers who are turning to over-the-air digital antennas — a one-time investment of as little as $20 — as a way to slash their monthly video subscription costs.

Research firms and electronics manufacturers say cord-cutting consumers such as Rudnick have driven up TV antenna sales and usage in recent years. These “value-conscious streamers,” as they are known in the industry, are willing to cobble together a mosaic of video sources to replace the traditional pay TV bundle, which now costs an average of $107 a month, according to a recent study by the Leichtman Research Group.

This year, 8.1 million over-the-air TV antennas will be delivered to retailers in the U.S., up 2% from last year and 8% over 2016, according to the Consumer Technology Assn.

Nielsen estimates that 13.8% of U.S. homes depend on antennas to get their TV, up from 10.3% in 2014. Research firm GfK North America puts the number of over-the-air TV homes at 16.4 million.

The rapid acceleration of cord-cutting has put heavy pressure on the cable industry and media companies that own pay TV channels that depend on the steady revenue stream that subscribers provide. The number of consumers who’ve canceled traditional pay TV service is expected to climb 33% to nearly 25 million this year, according to estimates from research firm eMarketer.

Though worrisome for Hollywood, the trend has been a boon to antenna manufacturers like Channel Master. Although it does not disclose sale figures, the Chandler, Ariz.-based manufacturer has recently doubled the size of its facilities to meet demand for its products, said Joe Bingochea, the company’s president.

“The market is primed right now,” he said. “We’re trying to capitalize on it as much as we can.”

Bingochea said the average age of his customers is about 50. Many of them grew up in homes with antennas from Channel Master, one of the oldest active brand names in the consumer electronics business.

Joseph Resnick, a former merchant marine radio operator, started the company in 1949 with the $7,000 he made from selling his family’s cabbage farm in Ellenville, N.Y. — a time when fewer than a million U.S. households had television sets.

Within five years, Channel Master was selling $12 million worth of antennas as TV ownership exploded. The company was the largest seller of indoor antennas throughout the 1950s and ’60s with sleek midcentury designs and Space Age model names such as the Canaveral.

The market plummeted in the mid-1980s as consumers moved to cable and satellite to get better picture quality and then-new channels such as HBO, MTV and ESPN. This hurt Channel Master, which went through several ownership changes and a bankruptcy in the decades that followed.

But the brand name is still recognizable to older consumers, which prompted a group of private investors to acquire the company in 2012 and focus on the emerging cord-cutting market.

Channel Master offers a DVR designed to work with over-the-air antennas, as cord-cutters don’t want to give up the convenience of watching programs on their own schedule and skipping through commercials. The products also enable consumers to stream over-the-air signals to other internet-connected TV sets and digital devices in the home.

Other technology companies are courting the over-the-air users as well. This fall, Amazon rolled out the Fire TV Recast, a new version of its streaming media device that records broadcast shows when connected to an antenna. Sling Media also entered the market with an antenna-connected recorder called AirTV, and TiVo launched the Bolt OTA.

Companies targeting over-the-air viewers say the bulk of their customers are baby boomers and Gen Xers who grew up with traditional television and a cable box. Their rediscovery of free TV is largely through word of mouth, said Grant Hall, chief executive for Nuvyyo, a Canadian firm that makes Tablo, a digital video recorder for over-the-air TV antenna users.

“Typically they will go to a party and start complaining about their Comcast bill and how it’s gone up so high and getting ridiculous, and someone will say, ‘Hey, I cut the cord and I’ve got an antenna now, and I can get all these channels over the air,’” Hall said. “Most people have forgotten about over-the-air TV entirely or recall it as poor experience with ghosts and pictures fading in and out.”

But the quality of over-the-air broadcasting improved dramatically in 2009 when TV stations made a government-mandated switch to high-definition digital transmissions, offering higher-resolution images and more channels.

“Once viewers learn everything is different now and the picture is actually better than cable and satellite — and best of all it’s free — they become converts,” Hall said. He declined to disclose sales figures but said his company’s growth rate has been in line with the popularity of streaming.

The Consumer Technology Assn. has estimated that consumers will spend $13.4 billion on streaming video subscription services in 2018, a 42% increase over last year.

Rudnick’s over-the-air TV viewing supplements the programming he watches through streaming. He uses his broadband internet connections (around $60 a month for each home) for online services such Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Until recently, he also subscribed to Sling TV’s streaming video service so he could watch pay channels such as ESPN, the NBC Sports Network, Fox Sports and the Golf Channel (he’s switched to YouTube TV). He also has a Channel Master DVR to record over-the-air shows.

“My yoga instructor’s husband turned me on to Sling TV, and they switched over to YouTube TV,” Rudnick said. “The way I stay plugged into this is through talking to young people. I don’t know anyone under 35 who pays for a cable TV subscription.”

One industry that is not aggressively promoting this trend is the TV station business, even though broadcasters have been losing audiences to streaming competitors like Netflix. Station ownership groups and the media conglomerates get a cut of pay TV subscriber fees, giving them little incentive to promote over-the-air antenna use.

Consumers largely have to depend on manufacturer websites or blogs such as Cordcutters.com to learn which channels are available over the air in their area and which antenna is right for them.

“We do a terrible job of explaining that your local stations are available over the air for free,” said Neal Sabin, vice chairman of Weigel Broadcasting, a Chicago-based TV station group. “Part of the reason is it’s a double-edged sword. Every time someone cuts the cord and puts up an antenna, it’s lost revenue for us and the cable company.”

Though antennas are enjoying a comeback, analysts do not see over-the-air becoming a preferred option in the new TV landscape. Millennials have not taken to the old-school technology as they are content to stream video on their digital devices.

“They are digital natives,” said Steve Koenig, vice president of research for the Consumer Technology Assn. “People lead increasingly itinerant lifestyles and they expect access to video content wherever they are on whatever device they have in front of them. With over-the-air, you are pretty much sitting on the couch in front of your TV.”

There are also limitations to what broadcast TV offers. Major sports teams have most of their games committed to regional sports channels still dependent on the hefty revenue they receive from cable providers. Rabid local fans of the New York Yankees or the Los Angeles Lakers need a subscription to catch every game.

Billy Nayden, an analyst for the research firm Parks Associates, said the TV antenna resurgence is a byproduct of consumers feeling overwhelmed by the many viewing platforms available. Some are even suffering from what he calls “subscriber fatigue.”

“I can’t tell you how many people that we know in everyday life who ask, ‘You’re in this industry — how do I cut the cord?’” Nayden said. “Interestingly it’s not an easy answer. ‘Do you watch live TV? Do you care about news? Do you care about sports?’ There is no one clean answer for everyone. It’s a bit of a mix, and antennas are a part of that.”

Rudnick acknowledges there is some inconvenience that comes with using an antenna in combination with other devices to replace the cable box. “My wife became frustrated with it,” he said. “We went out and got a really good universal remote.”


Twitter: @SteveBattaglio

Stove up – phrase meaning and origin

Phrase.org.uk: https://www.phrases.org.uk/index.html

Stove up

After walking all over a local hospital trying to reach an appointment on time recently, with narry a wheelchair in sight (I have problems walking), I was exhausted at the end of the day.

It was at this point that I recalled the words of my maternal Scots-Irish grandmother saying every once in a while that she was, “all stove up.” I felt the phrase was very much my own at that point. But, I began to wonder where the phrase came from, so here is what I found in my search. Enjoy!

Originally posted by Graham Cambray on January 22, 2009 at 01:59

In Reply to: Stove up posted by ESC on January 19, 2009 at 12:27:

What are the origins of the phrase: ‘stove up‘?

I have heard it in West Virginia. “I’m all stove up.” From the references below, it sounds to me like it has to do with the strips of wood used to form a barrel, etc.

STAVE — Verb. To act recklessly or heedless, rush, drive, stick, smash, etc. See also “fall to staves” and “stove.” 1904-07, Kephart “Notebooks,” “I stove a nail into (my foot).”

“Many common English words are used in peculiar senses by the mountain folk, as stove for jabbed.” 1913, Kephart, Our Southern Highlands.

STOVE – Verb, past participle of stave. Adjective, bruised up, crippled up so it’s hard to get around, sore or stiff from overwork or injury, worn out.

FALL TO STAVES – To collapse, fall apart. 1914, Raine, “Saddlebags. “We had a cedar churn, but it fell to staves. “Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English” by Michael B. Montgomery and Joseph S. Hall (University of Tennessee Press, 2004).

STOVE UP – Broken down. Stave, to break to pieces, splinter, shatter. “Southern Mountain Speech” by Cratis D. Williams (Berea College Press, Ky., 1992). Page 110.

Another reference has the expression under the “Yankee Talk,” New England, section. STAVE UP – To break up. “She staved up the whole place.” “Facts on File Dictionary of American Regionalisms” by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 2000). Page 305.

The Ozone Hole is Healing


, , ,

cold glacier iceberg melting

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

From Popular Science

by Jennifer Lu

A new report shows the ozone hole is healing, but it’s not all good news

Despite mostly positive changes, a scientific assessment of the Montreal Protocol shows how we still need to do better.

A three decades old international treaty to phase out chemicals that deplete the ozone layer protecting our planet from harmful solar radiation is paying off. 

Thanks to the 1987 Montreal Protocol, the ozone layer continues to recover, according to the 2018 Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion released Monday by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme.

This includes the “hole” over Antarctica where the ozone layer is exceptionally thin, which has been gradually shrinking since the early 2000s and is projected to heal by the 2060s. This year, the hole spanned about 9 million square miles, an area slightly smaller than the entire North American continent. 

“Generally, it’s good news,” says Paul Newman, co-chair of the new assessment and chief scientist of earth sciences at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Ozone-depleting gases are decreasing and have continued to fall since the mid-1990s. “The projections into the future are pretty positive as long as parties continue to comply with the Montreal Protocol.”

Ozone, a molecule made of three oxygen atoms, occupies two regions of the atmosphere. Ten percent of atmospheric ozone is found in the troposphere, which extends from ground level to an altitude of about seven miles. At ground-level, ozone is an air pollutant in smog that’s formed from byproducts in vehicle exhaust and fossil fuel combustion.

Then there’s the ozone layer, a 31 mile wide buffer that occurs naturally above the troposphere and protects the Earth against ultraviolet-B radiation from the sun. Within this band, a cyclical reaction takes place: solar radiation splits elemental oxygen (O~2~) into single oxygen atoms that react with other elemental oxygen molecules to form ozone (O~3~), which is converted back to elemental oxygen when it absorbs radiation. Without this reaction, life on land could not exist. More harmful radiation would reach the earth, increasing the likelihood of skin cancers, cataracts, and suppressed immune systems in humans and damaging plants and most aquatic life. 

In the mid-1970s, scientists discovered that man-made gases containing chlorine and bromine atoms, such as chemicals released from refrigerators, air conditioners and aerosol cans, can escape into the upper atmosphere. There, they are transformed by ultraviolet radiation into chlorine and bromine radicals which initiate the chain reactions that destroy ozone.

Then, in 1985, scientists discovered a hole in the ozone layer growing over Antarctica. Knowing that chlorine-containing compounds including chlorofluorocarbons could deplete ozone, 46 countries acted to regulate ozone-depleting gases under the Montreal Protocol, which has since been adopted by every country on earth. 

Substances controlled under the Protocol include chlorofluorocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons, carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform, and bromine-containing halons and methyl bromide. Assuming continued compliance with the Montreal Protocol, ozone in the northern hemisphere is projected to return to healthy levels in the 2030s, southern hemisphere ozone in the 2050s, and polar regions–where depletion is most severe–in the 2060s. The reduction of ozone-depleting substances, which are also potent greenhouse gases, has averted at least several centimeters of future global sea level rise, according to the assessment. 

That’s not to say there aren’t any flies in the ointment, Newman says.

Certain ozone-depleting substances like chlorofluorocarbon-11 (CFC-11) are decreasing from the atmosphere more slowly than projected. Two independent networks have confirmed an uptick of emissions over eastern Asia since 2012, though their exact origins are still being investigated.

That’s troubling because compounds including CFC-11 are banned under the Montreal Protocol and persist in the atmosphere for decades. If someone is releasing them today, they’ll continue to do damage for generations to come.

To make this point, Newman keeps a small can of a different CFC—chlorofluorocarbon-12, the original Freon refrigerant—in his office. While CFC-12 was a clear improvement over the toxic and sometimes fatal refrigerants used prior to the 1930s, it wasn’t perfect. “If I were to dump this can onto my floor,” Newman says, “five percent of that would still be floating in the atmosphere 300 years from now.”

To make matters worse, once a molecule of CFC makes its way to the upper stratosphere, it is broken up by UV radiation to release chlorine atoms. A single chlorine atom can destroy thousands of ozone molecules in its lifetime before it is cycled back to the lower atmosphere and rained out altogether.

That’s why it’s important that parties abide by the Montreal Protocol and the Kigali Amendment that was added in 2016. Newman says both treaties have or will have a real effect on reducing emissions. 

The Kigali Amendment, which takes effect in January 2019, addresses chemicals used to replace those banned by the Montreal Protocol. Replacement hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), commonly used in the air conditioning units of cars, are not as long-lived as CFCs and do not destroy ozone, but have greenhouse gas properties up to several thousand times more potent than carbon dioxide. 

With the Kigali Amendment in place, we could avoid global surface temperature increases of between 0.2 to 0.4 degree Celsius, according to the assessment. 

Since the planet has already warmed by one degree Celsius within the last century and global temperatures are on track to increase another degree or more by the end of this century, the report says benefits from eliminating these substances would be “substantial.”

Word Definition: marasmus


, , , , , , , , ,

While researching a genealogy line, I came upon a death record for a 14 day old child. The cause of death was given as “marasmus.” I had never heard of this word before, so I looked it up. Sure enough, it is an archaic word that would today be interpreted as “failure to thrive.” Here is the full definition:


noun ma·ras·mus \ mə-ˈraz-məs \

Popularity: Bottom 30% of words

Definition of marasmus

: a condition of chronic undernourishment occurring especially in children and usually caused by a diet deficient in calories and proteins

— marasmic play \-ˈraz-mik\ adjective

Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/marasmus

Word Definition: amok


, , ,

1 amok

noun \ ə-ˈmək , -ˈmäk \

variants: or less commonly amuck \ə-ˈmək\

Definition of amok

: an episode of sudden mass assault against people or objects usually by a single individual following a period of brooding that has traditionally been regarded as occurring especially in Malaysian culture but is now increasingly viewed as psychopathological behavior occurring worldwide in numerous countries and cultures.

Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/amok

Word Definition: hoodoo


, ,


plural hoo·doos

  • 1: a body of practices of sympathetic magic traditional especially among African-Americans in the southern U.S.
  • 2: a natural column of rock in western North America often in fantastic form
  • 3: something that brings bad luck
  • 4: nonsense, hokum
  • hoo·doo·ism\ˈhü-(ˌ)dü-ˌi-zəm\ noun
  • Examples
  • some economists have characterized the proposal as economic hoodoo that should be hooted down

some hoodoo must be at work—I lost both sets of house keys


perhaps alteration of voodoo.
First known use: 1875