Seriously, Don’t Use Krokodil

Seriously, Don’t Use Krokodil

These photos will turn your stomach. Krokodil is a street version of desomorphine, an opiate that’s 3 times more powerful and 10 times cheaper than heroin, and has become an epidemic in Russia. It’s so named because regular users develop gangrenous, scaly skin resembling that of a crocodile. Krokodil is made with such toxic chemicals that it rots the flesh and bones of its users. WARNING: Extremely graphic images.

 

Meghan Ralston

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It’s easy to focus on the sensational aspects of the emerging krokodil “flesh-rotting drug” story, but that ignores the most troubling issues around its origins, its popularity and its continued use. Krokodil is the street term for a home-made injectable opioid called desomorphine, a drug with effects similar to, but not as long lasting, as heroin. Desomorphine was first patented in the U.S. in 1932, but the homemade version has risen in popularity in Russia in recent years. Desperation often breeds tragedy and disaster, and Russia’s shoddy methods of treating their sick and addicted created the desperation that led to the disastrous popularity of krokodil.

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Professor Stephen Hawking

Professor Stephen Hawking

Professor Stephen Hawking Calls The Afterlife ‘A Fairytale For People Afraid Of The Dark’

The hope of an afterlife is just that, HOPE, its a failsafe device that, in moments of extreme grief makes us come to terms with the parting of a loved one, and, in lots of cases prevents us going with them to that great unknown.
Logic says that it cannot exist, and only a means for churches to justify their existence, in fact weddings and death are probably the only reasons for a churches existence….. to celebrate one, and to ease the pain of the other, with the fallacy of life after death.

Suspect, 12 others killed in attack

So another mass shooting, as it stands at the moment although the FBI have the shooters body, they as yet do not have the motive.

Washington (CNN) — The FBI has identified the dead suspect in Monday’s shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard as Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old military contractor from Texas.

But authorities are still searching for more information about him, and they’re asking members of the public for help.

“No piece of information is too small,” ,  “We are looking to learn everything we can about his recent movements, his contacts and associates.”said Valerie Parlave
assistant director in charge of the Washington FBI Field Office.

In addition to the gunman, authorities said at least 12 people were killed and about 12 others were injured in the shooting, which put government buildings on lockdown and sent police SWAT teams rushing to the scene.

Whole story

Recently, this is by no means an isolated case, and is becoming more common. yet since 1900 cases are in decline. There have been at least 67 mass shootings in the US in the last 30 years, but mass homicides, although we think of them as a modern day phenomena, actually go back many years.

ImageThe figures are similar from country to country and range in weapons from grenades ….. to…..

Firearms and other ranged weapons, especially rifles and handguns, but also bows and crossbows, grenade launchers, flamethrowers, or slingshots. Melee weapons, like knives, swords, spears, machetes, axes, clubs, rods, stones, or bare hands. Other weapons, such as bombs, hand grenades, Molotov cocktails, poison and poisonous gas, as well as vehicle and arson attack.
A full list country by country
The fact is, where ever you are, a person with a grievance can and will find a way to kill, and that is the issue that needs to have a little more attention paid to it, before the event and not after it.
Today this event occurred it the United States, and by morning the anti gun lobby will be out in force to ban weapons, but the sheer incidence rate of a huge amount of other weapons, show that firearms have little to do with the discontent that the aggressors have, simply because, as the chart above shows, they will find alternative means.
It may be easier to understand if the case were spontaneous, but in most case there has been a lot of thought to carry out attacks from the shooter/s.
From Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, or the  Boston marathon took a significant amount of preparation, or even prepping a bulldozer…..
Marvin John Heemeyer (October 28, 1951 – June 4, 2004) was a welder and an automobile muffler repair shop owner most known for his rampage with a modified bulldozer. Outraged over the outcome of a zoning dispute, he armored a Komatsu D355A bulldozer with layers of steel and concrete and used it on June 4, 2004, to demolish the town hall, the former mayor’s house, and other buildings in Granby, Colorado.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4nlcmmt8X0
The rampage ended when the bulldozer got stuck in the basement of a building he had previously destroyed. Heemeyer then killed himself with a handgun.Heemeyer had been feuding with Granby officials, particularly over fines for violating city ordinances and a zoning dispute regarding a concrete factory constructed opposite to his muffler shop that he believed had caused his business to fail unfairly.
That in part maybe a reason some of the rampages actually occur. An inability for some autonomous element of the system to understand an individual need, and the sheer arrogance of some departments.You cannot condone a mass murderer at any time, but what we can do is be more vigilant to notice the signs and help before they become the next mass murderer!

Parbuckling

So Monday the 16th September will see the Costa Concordia main stage commencement of the initial lifting  begin. The daring attempt to lift here is hardly a forgone conclusion, and although not used very often, has been successfully used in the past.  The most notable recent event being the par-buckling of the Zeebrugger ferry in Europe, which resulted in the re-floating of the vessel, but the ultimate scrapping of her when buyers could not be found for the vessel.

So what is par-buckling?

The best way to describe it may be the use of purchasing power of its own weight to move it. A purchase on the side that you wish to roll the weight and pulled from the opposite side. Imagine a towel under a safe and on a flat surface on the ground. It may be that you cannot roll the heavy safe, but taking the end of the towel will increase your power two fold and gives you twice the leverage and so making the roll of the safe half as hard as it was.

parbuckling

In this case the objective being to roll the vessel upright and hold it there, assisted by the tank already attached (on the right hand side of the view above) to the vessel, and attach further tanks on the part that is currently submerged, so enabling these tanks to support, stabilize and lift the vessel when they are pumped dry giving the opportunity to salvage the vessel in its entirety.

This project since its inception has cost some EU600 million so far, and has been exasperated by the method of running the vessel aground (which is traditional as a way to save lives in the event of a sinking ship) which has put the vessel parallel to the shore, rather than what you might expect of a bows in fashion. That is to say you have the vessel under as much power you can muster and head straight for a beach.

In fact beaching of a flat bottomed vessel such as this would have been absolutely perfect had the skipper managed to put the bow on the beach, with less loss of life, and a very much easier salvage operation.

Instead this is what happened………

Image

Thirty-two people died when the cruise ship hit rocks off the Tuscan island of Giglio in January 2012. It has been lying on its side ever since. Five people have already been convicted of manslaughter over the disaster, and the ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino, is currently on trial accused of manslaughter and abandoning ship.

In this case it is not at all conclusive that this vessel can be raised, as the stresses on the vessel are in directions that it was not designed for, together with the vessel lying since January 2012 and being exposed for two winters makes it a nightmare for engineers to assess the long term damage.

With the costs associated with the salvage of the vessel, some might wonder why not just blow the vessel up where it is and pick up the pieces, but ecological issues as well as the fact there is a good risk of some severe pollution if the hull is split further by par buckling, or explosion.

In any event what started as a recovery operation has since been adapted to merely salvage. Re-floating now allowing the vessel to be towed away and broken up for scrap.

To see more read; The Parbuckling Project

UPDATE: 3PM 16TH SEPTEMBER

Engineering officials in Italy say they have succeeded in lifting the cruise ship Costa Concordia free of rocks, 20 months after it ran aground.

Efforts to right the ship, one of the largest and most daunting salvage operations ever undertaken, are expected to last into Tuesday.

The ship has been detached from rocks and moved on to a platform constructed on the sea bed, officials said.

Thirty-two people died when the ship ran aground off the Tuscan coast.

The bodies of two of those killed in the January 2012 disaster, by the island of Giglio, have never been found. There are hopes that they may be located during the operation, although officials said on Monday there was no sign of them so far.

Engineers have never tried to lift such a huge ship – over 951 feet long (290m) – so close to land.

The operation to right the vessel is now expected to go on through the night with engineers hoping that phase will be complete by early Tuesday.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24104741

UPDATE : 10.30 PM 16TH SEPTEMBER

Giglio, Italy (CNN) — The capsized cruise liner Costa Concordia was sitting upright early Tuesday after the first step of an unprecedented effort to salvage the ill-fated ship.

In a lengthy process involving massive pulleys, cables and steel tanks, a salvage crew managed to roll the 114,00-ton vessel off of the rocks where it ran aground in January 2012 as it passed the Italian island of Giglio. Once righted, the Concordia sported a sharp, slashing line separating the white paint of the exposed hull from the brownish muck that had collected on its submerged starboard side.

Time lapse footage

“It was a perfect operation, I would say,” said Franco Porcellacchia, the head of the technical team for the cruise line Costa Crochiere, owned by American firm Carnival Cruises.

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The reasons NOT to invade Syria

With public debate and the public opinion for a non intervention, we see sides putting together arguments for, which seem to be heavily outnumbered by the arguments against. Apart from the fact of course is that the USA have been fighting some of these terrorists since 9/11, and today it appears they would like to join forces with them.

Today we have a selection of pictures of social justice……….

ImageThis shows a rebel getting ready to execute a man in public…. notice some smiles?

And to follow up it is worth noticing the child being exposed to this!

Image

This young fellow is looking at a headless corpse……….

But its actually so much worse……. because it seems in the other direction we have this…….

Image

Dozens of children watching.

And we need to HELP these people? Someone does have their priorities really messed up

Life after Death

As a very young child I sometimes used to have these nightmares about dieing. The prospect of being put in a hole and then covered up was horrific, even if I was dead when they did it, and only the reassurance of my mother that she would make absolutely sure that I was not actually sleeping and was indeed dead, could placate me.

Not enough for me to actually go back to sleep as I would check often to make sure I was alive by opening my eyes until the point of exhaustion set in and then and only then would I drift back into the world of slumber.

Of course I was no different to many that go through the same phase of not really understanding the concept of death at an early age, but in earlier times that same fear was profound well into old age.

During the 18th and 19th centuries there developed a morbid fear of being buried alive, which lead to the invention of various devices with which would hopefully alert people to the fact. These included the safety coffin, where a bell was placed on top of the grave. One end of a rope was fixed to the bell and the other end placed in the hand of the deceased. If the poor unfortunate soul found themselves not to be dead after all they could ring the alarm. Other safety coffins involved elaborate contraptions of tubes and mirrors which allowed gravediggers to look into coffins for signs of life, or putrefaction.

Probably the custom had originated when after some graves being opened, scratch marks that showed some poor wretch had woken only to find they had been interned in the ground prematurely.

BURIED ALIVE
WOODSTOCK, Ontario, Jan. 18. — Recently a girl named Collins died here, as it was supposed, very suddenly. A day or two ago the body was exhumed, prior to its removal to another burial place, when the discovery was made that the girl had been buried alive. Her shroud was torn into shreds, her knees were drawn up to her chin, one of her arms was twisted under her head, and her features bore evidence of dreadful torture.

So is the obsession of life and death that is so pronounced in humans that some in history have gone to some great lengths to make sure of death.

 Burial at sea, a simple yet most impressive and dignified ceremony, is the most natural means of disposing of a body from a ship at sea. It is still the custom to sew the body into a hammock or other piece of canvass with heavy weights, formerly several cannonballs, at the feet to compensate the tendency of a partly decomposed body (as would be the case in the tropics) to float. To satisfy superstition, or to ensure that the body is actually dead, the last stitch of the sailmaker’s needle is through the nose.

And with others there was an alternative reason to be sure of death.

The story of how the good housewife, broken by hunger and imprisonment, was transformed gradually into a shriveled, decrepit hag, despised and shunned by her neighbors, and how she was finally vindicated of the charge of witchcraft by 300 descendants of her neighbors at the the annual town meeting in Hampton on March 8, 1938, is a chapter in the history of New England. Goody was tried and convicted in 1656 — 36 years before the witchcraft cases in Salem, Massachusetts — on a charge of putting a fatal curse on her neighbors’ cattle. A stake was driven through her heart after her death, many years later, to prevent her body being carried away by the devil.

On the other hand tributes to the dead and what faced them ahead are legend. The idea of preparing a grave with all the finery that might be needed in the afterlife gave many a grave robber a job for life.

The 5th dynasty (Old Kingdom) which saw the construction of more modest pyramids contained the first decorations. These decorations took the form of hieroglyphic writings – known as the Pyramid Texts – which provide guidelines and instructions on how to ensure safe voyage through the nether world and the eternal life thereafter.

The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Work is ongoing at this site, which is around 1.5 kilometers east of Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum in Lintong, Xian, Shaanxi Province. It is a sight not to be missed by any visitor to China.

Xian guerreros terracota general.JPG

Of course we are looking at the elite when buried, after all not everyone could have a TerraCotta army of a thousand warriors buried with them. But even so the paupers in life often had jewelry trinkets and memento of life to carry with them to their death.

Fear of death being the norm, and then the fear of not being dead when buried to a celebration of the future worlds that you will soon encounter. Death and an afterlife is a widely held belief from all parts of the world.

The Vikings believed that after death they would join their gods in an afterlife much like the world we live in. In the afterlife they would need the same type of things they needed in this life so they took them with them into their graves.

A male Viking burial including all the objects a man might need in the afterlife

Men generally took their weapons and the tools of their trade while women were buried with domestic equipment and their jewelery. Some burials were made in boats or even ships.

A female Viking burial including all the objects a woman might need in the afterlife

Women taking the comforts of home associated with the more feminine labors.

For some years I have had a morbid curiosity about death. Of course I want to believe in the afterlife, and when mother passed, I would often find a period of seclusion where I could ‘talk’ to her. And no less when my father died, the conversations actually manifested themselves to where I was almost getting answers.

To this day and many years after the passing of my parents, in times of pressure mostly I still talk to them as if they were actually next to me. In doing so I feel an uneasy, but comfortable feeling that assures me they are listening.

I have had instances of hearing my name being called and on looking up no one there but the voice being no more than three feet away. On occasion I have felt a cloth, like a skirt brush over my skin as when a woman passes. In one episode I remember that I can hear a person moving and humming to herself, and assuming it was my wife, took very little notice as I thought she was going about normal business, only to hear her car approach and at that instance the realization dawns that there is an unidentified person I had heard moving about for around 45 mins. But on investigation, no one there.

When I satisfy myself that I am not sufficiently insane to require committing, I examine all avenues of belief in an afterlife and the the traditions are long and common to all countries and all continents, from Incas to Pharaohs , indigenous Indians to Eskimos and  even cavemen, who believe with a passion that they will one day meet there loved ones in some galactic garden that enables the loved ones to be joined with them once again.

What all of us find confusing is that there is absolutely no evidence to prove that these customs and traditions are valid in any shape or form, but to query, even realists such as myself, who really know better, you get a not very scientific response of they ‘KNOW and Feel” it is so. No attempt to justify and no inclination to want to justify as if our conviction cannot be shaken merely on the basis of theoretical scientific studying.

This is not a passing phase and one deep rooted in history to be the basis for cultivating whole societies, and this incredible belief of the afterlife dominates not only how some live but also how some die. From sebukku to being a walking bomb in the belief that what you are about to do will grantee your place in the afterlife.

This author is now a skeptic, but would not dare question the absolute existence of an afterlife because the gods that control your spirit may be listening, and an Irish friend once told me it is really like a lucky horseshoe……”It works even if you don’t believe”

What is clear is that civilization needs the premise of life after death to hold on to, when loved ones are taken prematurely, from a child or a spouse that you have spent the better portion of life with. The only way to bear the sorrow you feel at not seeing them again is to console yourself that you will, a self hypnosis that maybe the only way to stop you joining them on their demise……….