August 30, 2016

RIP Gene Wilder (June 11, 1933 - August 29, 2016)

A Tribute to a Comedy Legend

Gene Wilder
(June 11, 1933 - August 29, 2016)

written by Richard Natale
Monday August 29, 2016

Gene Wilder, who regularly stole the show in such comedic gems as “The Producers,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein,” “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and “Stir Crazy,” died Monday at his home in Stamford, Conn. His nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman said he died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 83.

His nephew said in a statement, “We understand for all the emotional and physical challenges this situation presented we have been among the lucky ones — this illness-pirate, unlike in so many cases, never stole his ability to recognize those that were closest to him, nor took command of his central-gentle-life affirming core personality. The decision to wait until this time to disclose his condition wasn’t vanity, but more so that the countless young children that would smile or call out to him “there’s Willy Wonka,” would not have to be then exposed to an adult referencing illness or trouble and causing delight to travel to worry, disappointment or confusion. He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world.

He continued to enjoy art, music, and kissing with his leading lady of the last twenty-five years, Karen. He danced down a church aisle at a wedding as parent of the groom and ring bearer, held countless afternoon movie western marathons and delighted in the the company of beloved ones.”

He had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1989.

The comic actor, who was twice Oscar nominated, for his role in “The Producers” and for co-penning “Young Frankenstein” with Mel Brooks, usually portrayed a neurotic who veered between total hysteria and dewy-eyed tenderness. “My quiet exterior used to be a mask for hysteria,” he told Time magazine in 1970. “After seven years of analysis, it just became a habit.”

Habit or not, he got a great deal of mileage out of his persona in the 1970s for directors like Mel Brooks and Woody Allen, leading to a few less successful stints behind the camera, the best of which was “The Woman in Red,” co-starring then-wife Gilda Radner. Wilder was devastated by Radner’s death from ovarian cancer in 1989 and worked only intermittently after that. He tried his hand briefly at a sitcom in 1994, “Something Wilder,” and won an Emmy in 2003 for a guest role on “Will & Grace.”

His professional debut came in Off Broadway’s “Roots” in 1961, followed by a stint on Broadway in Graham Greene’s comedy “The Complaisant Lover,” which won him a Clarence Derwent Award as promising newcomer. His performance in the 1963 production of Brecht’s “Mother Courage” was seen by Mel Brooks, whose future wife, Anne Bancroft, was starring in the production; a friendship with Brooks would lead to some of Wilder’s most successful film work. For the time being, however, Wilder continued to work onstage, in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in 1963 and “Dynamite Tonight” and “The White House” the following year. He then understudied Alan Arkin and Gabriel Dell in “Luv,” eventually taking over the role.

Wilder also worked in television in 1962’s “The Sound of Hunting,” “The Interrogators,” “Windfall” and in the 1966 TV production of “Death of a Salesman” with Lee J. Cobb. He later starred in TV movies including “Thursday’s Game” and the comedy-variety special “Annie and the Hoods,” both in 1974.

In 1967 Wilder essayed his first memorable bigscreen neurotic, Eugene Grizzard, a kidnapped undertaker in Arthur Penn’s classic “Bonnie and Clyde.”

Then came “The Producers,” in which he played the hysterical Leo Bloom, an accountant lured into a money bilking scheme by a theatrical producer played by Zero Mostel. Directed and written by Brooks, the film brought Wilder an Oscar nomination as best supporting actor. With that, his film career was born.

He next starred in a dual role with Donald Sutherland in “Start the Revolution Without Me,” in which he displayed his fencing abilities. It was followed by another middling comedy, “Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx,” also in 1970.

In 1971 he stepped into the shoes of Willy Wonka, one of his most beloved and gentle characters. Based on the children’s book by Roald Dahl, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” was not an immediate hit but became a children’s favorite over the years. The same cannot be said for the 1974 Stanley Donen-directed musical version of “The Little Prince,” in which Wilder appeared as the fox. He had somewhat better luck in Woody Allen’s spoof “Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex,” appearing in a hilarious segment in which he played a doctor who falls in love with a sheep named Daisy.

Full-fledged film stardom came with two other Brooks comedies, both in 1974: Western spoof “Blazing Saddles” and a wacko adaptation of Mary Shelley’s famous book entitled “Young Frankenstein,” in which Wilder portrayed the mad scientist with his signature mixture of hysteria and sweetness.

Working with Brooks spurred Wilder to write and direct his own comedies, though none reached the heights of his collaborations with Brooks. The first of these was “The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother” (1975), in which he included such Brooks regulars as Madeline Kahn and Marty Feldman. It was followed by 1977’s “The World’s Greatest Lover,” which he also produced.

Wilder fared better, however, when he was working solely in front of the camera, particularly in a number of films in which he co-starred with Richard Pryor.

The first of these was 1976’s “Silver Streak,” a spoof of film thrillers set on trains; 1980’s “Stir Crazy” was an even bigger hit, grossing more than $100 million. Wilder and Pryor’s two other pairings, “See No Evil, Hear No Evil” and “Another You,” provided diminishing returns, however.

While filming “Hanky Panky” in 1982, Wilder met “Saturday Night Live” comedienne Radner. She became his third wife shortly thereafter. Wilder and Radner co-starred in his most successful directing stint, “The Woman in Red” in 1984, and then “Haunted Honeymoon.” But Radner grew ill with cancer, and he devoted himself to her care, working sporadically after that and hardly at all after her death in 1989.

In the early ’90s he appeared in his last film with Pryor and another comedy, “Funny About Love.” In addition to the failed TV series “Something Wilder” in 1994, he wrote and starred in the A&E mystery telepics “The Lady in Question” and “Murder in a Small Town” in 1999. He also appeared as the Mock Turtle in a 1999 NBC adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland.”

He last acted in a couple of episodes of “Will and Grace” in 2002-03 as Mr. Stein, winning an Emmy.

He was born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee and began studying acting at the age of 12. After getting his B.A. from the U. of Iowa in 1955, Wilder enrolled in the Old Vic Theater school in Bristol, where he learned acting technique and fencing. When he returned to the U.S. he taught fencing and did other odd jobs while studying with Herbert Berghof’s HB Studio and at the Actors Studio under Lee Strasberg.

Wilder’s memoir “Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art” was published in 2005. After that he wrote fiction: the 2007 novel “My French Whore”; 2008’s “The Woman Who Wouldn’t”; a collection of stories, “What Is This Thing Called Love?,” in 2010; and the novella “Something to Remember You By: A Perilous Romance” in 2013.

Wilder was interviewed by Alec Baldwin for the one-hour TCM documentary “Role Model: Gene Wilder” in 2008. The actor was also active in raising cancer awareness in the wake of Radner’s death.

He is survived by his fourth wife Karen Boyer, whom he married in 1991 and his nephew. His sister Corinne, predeceased him in January 2016.

Before Radner, Wilder was married to the actress-playwright Mary Mercier and Mary Joan Schutz (aka Jo Ayers).

August 28, 2016

You Take My Breath Away...♥ You Really Do.

Such beautiful lyrics and melody. She has such an angelic voice. Please listen. Enjoy...♥

"Where there's love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong."
~ by Ella Fitzgerald ♥

"Where love reigns the impossible may be obtained."
~ Indian Proverb ♥

You Take My Breath Away ~ by Eva Cassidy

Sometimes it amazes me
How strong the power of love can be
Sometimes you just take my breath away

You watch my love grow like a child
Sometimes gentle and sometimes wild
Sometimes you just take my breath away

And it's too good to slip by
Too good to lose
Too good to be there
Just to use
I'm gonna stand on a mountain top
And tell the news
That you take my breath away

Sometimes it amazes me
How strong the power of love can be
Sometimes you just take my breath away

Your beauty is there in all I see
And when I feel your eyes on me
Oh don't you know you just take my breath away

And it's too good to slip by
Too good to lose
Too good to be there
Just to use
I'm gonna stand on a mountain top
And tell the news
That you take my breath away

And it's too good to slip by
Too good to lose
Too good to be there
Just to use
I'm gonna stand on a mountain top
And tell the news
That you take my breath away
Yep...♥ Hugs! :)

Jesus Says Come... Receive A Well of Living Waters.

Well of Living Waters
written by Karen Holland
[source: Praise Points]

Song of Solomon 4:12, 15 You are a [rock] garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.

You are a fountain [springing up] in a garden, a well of living waters, and flowing streams from Lebanon.

This beautiful picture of the bride of Christ, again, has me thinking about the 'well', the 'well of living waters'. The bride is a rock garden enclosed. This brings to mind the images from a previous article 'Sing to the Well'. Singing (or speaking) to the well (Numbers 21:16-18) was linked with striking the rock in order for abundant waters to flow. Christ is this Spiritual Rock (1 Corinthians 10:4). The Rock and those who believe in Him have a well of living water that flows forth (John 4:14, 7:38-39).

The bride is a sealed fountain. In biblical times wells were sealed to both keep out dust and dirt and to declare ownership (Genesis 29:3). Similarly God has reserved us for His very own and protects us with the seal of the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 1:13-14 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory.

Looking at Genesis 29, we discover that at this sealed well, Jacob meets his bride, Rachel. This really grabbed my attention because Jacob is a type of Christ and Rachel is a type of the bride of Christ. Rachel was coming to the well to draw water (Genesis 29:6). Looking at the cross references, Moses also met his bride Zipporah at a well, she also came to water her flock (Exodus 2:15-21).

Now my interest was really piqued. Several months ago, I was at a local church earnestly seeking the Lord on where to worship. What I was really questioning was if this was the right place for me. The sermon that night was on Isaac and Rebekah from genesis 24 - finding a bride for Isaac. Abraham's servant is sent to Abraham's native land to find a bride for Isaac. The servant arrives at a well outside this town towards evening, the time the women go out to draw water (Genesis 24:11)! The servant then prays this prayer:

Genesis 24:12-14 Then he prayed, O LORD, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a girl, Please let down your jar that I may have a drink, and she says, Drink, and I'll water your camels too-let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.

Rebekah appears as an answer to this prayer even before the servant finishes praying (Genesis 24:15). She gives the servant a drink and waters the camels too (Genesis 24:19). In Rebekah we can see the following qualities of the Bride:

• She is from the 'family' (Genesis 24:48)
• She is a 'virgin' (Genesis 24:16)
• She is able to draw water from the well and water 'the flock' (Genesis 24:19)

The Holy Spirit seemed to be telling me that this also is the way I would recognize the bride of Christ. The place of worship I was seeking would be able to draw living water from the well and offer it not only to me, but to my family -- or anyone else that I should bring. The moment I realized this, it was as if the Lord reassured me that I had found what I was seeking - a place to drink and offer living water from the well.

John 4 contains a description of another woman found at the well. Interestingly it's Jesus who first asks her for a drink (John 4:7). This leads to a discussion of living water and prompts the woman to ask where this living water can be found (John 4:11).

John 4:13-14 Jesus answered, Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

During this discussion the woman recognizes that Jesus could be the Messiah. Is it a coincidence that when Isaac and Rebekah first recognized each other, Isaac had just come from Beer-lahai-roi (the well of the living one who sees me (Genesis 24:62-64, 16:14)?

John 4:19-24 Sir, the woman said, I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem. Jesus declared, Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.

The woman then goes and tells others, drawing others back to the well.

John 4:29 Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?

The word 'come' in the above invitation is the same word used by the Spirit and the bride to invite others to take the free gift of the water of life (Revelation 22:17). This makes me think that the above verses in John 4 paints a picture of a type of bride of Christ. Again this bride seems to be found going to draw water from the well. The Messiah or Bridegroom is also at the well and it seems to be here at the well where they recognize each other. John 4:23 also reveals another quality of the Bride - she will worship in spirit and truth.

Wow! This again points back to images from a previous article 'Sing to the Well'. This article also reveals more qualities of the bride having to do with striking the Rock with a rod; these are collected below.

A picture of the Bride of Christ

• She is from the 'family' ... (Genesis 24:48)
• She is a 'virgin' ... [not physically, but spiritually. (emphasis mine)] (Genesis 24:15)
• She is able to draw water from the well and water 'the flock' ... (Genesis 24:19, 29:6; Exodus 2:15-21)
• She is found at the well, the bride & bridegroom recognize each other here ... (John 4)
• The spirit and the bride say 'Come' -- come to the well ... (John 4:29; Rev 22:17)
• The bride worships in spirit and truth ... (John 4:23)
• The bride 'sings to the well' and water flows from the Rock ... (Numbers 21:16-18)
• The bride has a rod of authority given by the Lord ... (Isaiah 11:1-4)
• The bride uses the rod of her mouth to strike the Rock at the well ... (Isaiah 11:1-4)
• The rod is dipped in honey - God's word is in the bride's mouth and heart ... (1 Samuel 14:27-29; Psalm 119:103)

The bride is a rock garden locked up, a fountain sealed. A secret place hidden and protected belonging to God thru Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The bride is a spring of living waters welling up to eternal life. A beautiful place of communion and fellowship with the Lord is found at this well of living water. The bride and Bridegroom recognize each other here. Worship in spirit and truth occurs here. Water is drawn here by the Spirit and the Bride and offered to the thirsty. The Spirit and the Bride say "Come!”

Come! Come to the well and sing with joy
Worship the Lord in spirit and truth
Give to the Lord the glory due to His name
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness ... (Psalm 29:2)
Under the shadow of His wings drink
Drink the living water from the fountain of life
The river of delights. ... (Psalm 36:7-9)
Come and abide in the secret place
High upon the Rock
Dwell in His house
Drink in His presence
Come and behold the beauty of the Lord ... (Psalm 27:4-5)
The Bridegroom!
Come! Come to the well of living waters!

Isaiah 12:2-3 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

Psalm 84:1-2, 4, 10 How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere!

Revelation 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let him who hears say, Come! Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.

Jesus, the Source of Living Water, Extends an Invitation to All Who Thirst.

Jesus, the Source of Living Water,
Extends an Invitation to All Who Thirst
[source: Bible Gateway]

John now takes us to Jesus' shocking, clear claim made on the last and greatest day of the Feast (v. 37). On each day of the feast there was a procession of priests to the pool of Siloam to draw water (m. Sukka 4:9). The priests returned to the temple, where the water was taken in procession once around the altar with the choir chanting Psalms 113-118, and then the water was poured out as a libation at the morning sacrifice. All-night revelry lead up to this morning libation. This was a time of joy so great that it was said, "He that never has seen the joy of the Beth he-She'ubah [water-drawing] has never in his life seen joy" (m. Sukka 5:1; cf. Deut 16:14-15; Jubilees 16:20, 25). This joy was associated with Isaiah 12:3, "With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation." On the seventh day of the festival the priests processed around the altar with the water not once but seven times (Bloch 1980:200; cf. Beasley-Murray 1987:113 for a more detailed description).

At this high point of the festival Jesus dramatically cries out loudly (krazo, as in v. 28), If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink (v. 37). If he spoke this invitation during the revelry, he would have to shout just to be heard. But we have also an allusion to the image of Wisdom, calling out, inviting all mankind to come and drink (cf. Prov 8--9; Sirach 24:19). What Jesus offers is the fulfillment of the very things they were celebrating. Here is grace upon grace (Jn 1:16). Here the Son is repeating the offer of the Father, "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters" (Is 55:1). Indeed, he is fulfilling the role of God, who "will guide them and lead them beside springs of water" (Is 49:10). His offer shows he is far more than just a prophet or an agent; here we have God himself offering us life.

In Jewish writings water is a very rich symbol (cf. Goppelt 1972:318-22). God himself can be called "the spring of living water" (Jer 2:13; 17:13). Other texts that use water imagery speak of Wisdom (Baruch 3:12; Sirach 15:3; 24:21, 25-27, 30-31), the law (Sifre on Deuteronomy 48) and, as here in John 7:39, the Holy Spirit (Genesis Rabbah 70:8; Targum of Isaiah 44:3). Jesus, in offering the Spirit (v. 39), is claiming to be able to satisfy people's thirst for God. The cries of the psalmists are answered. David prayed, "O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water" (Ps 63:1). The sons of Korah sang, "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?" (Ps 42:1-2). Both of these psalms go on to speak of meeting God in the temple: David has seen God in the sanctuary (Ps 63:2), and the sons of Korah speak of "leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng" (Ps 42:4). When Jesus cries out at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles on this particular day, the worshipers meet God in his sanctuary--in the person of his Son. The longing for God is met with God's invitation to come and be satisfied. In Jesus, God's own desire for man is expressed and the desire of man for God is met. All that the temple represented is now found in Jesus.

This invitation to come and drink is the climax of a series of references to water in this Gospel: the water turned to wine (chap. 2), the water of the new birth (chap. 3), the living water (chap. 4), the cleansing water of Bethesda (chap. 5) and the calming of the waters (chap. 6). All of these have revealed Jesus as the agent of God who brings God's gracious offer of life.

In offering them the Spirit he is claiming that the age to come has already arrived. Just as water flowed out from the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:10-14), so a river flows from the eschatological temple (Ezek 47). Ezekiel's vision has begun to be fulfilled in Jesus' offer in the temple, and it will come to completion in heaven in "the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb" (Rev 22:1). That heavenly water of life is already available through Jesus. His invitation at the Feast of Tabernacles is repeated in the invitation at the end of the book of Revelation: "Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life" (Rev 22:17).

The words of Jesus' invitation echo in our ears. Jesus stands at the doors of our hearts and speaks to the heart of each person on earth, offering the water of eternal life--the life that flows from God. Evangelism is a matter of our giving voice to this spiritual call. Christians need to hold up Jesus in all his beauty, that those with a desire for God may find the God who is offering himself.

While Jesus is clearly offering the water of the Spirit, it is not entirely clear to whom him refers (v. 38). Both the ancient church and modern scholars are divided over whether him refers to Jesus or the believer (cf. NIV text and margin). A reference here to Christ is more in keeping with John's thought. Christ is clearly described as the one through whom believers receive the Spirit; he breathes on them and says, "Receive the Holy Spirit" (20:22). Although John 4:14--"Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life"--refers to the believer with language similar to that in verse 38, Jesus speaks there not of an outward flow to others, but of an inward well of eternal life. Christ indeed dwells in believers and radiates from them his light and life and love, but, despite the claims of some contemporary ministers, believers do not mediate the Spirit to others. Rather, they bear witness to Jesus (4:39), and people come to him (4:40-42) and receive the living water of the Spirit (4:10) from him. This is clear in the context of Jesus' invitation, for it is to himself that he invites the people to come (7:38) and those who believe in him are the ones who receive the Spirit (7:39).

No Old Testament verse speaks of living water that flows from within him, him being either a believer or the Messiah. But there are many Scriptures that speak of God's provision of water as evidence of his grace and as an image of his gift of life in his presence. Indeed, many of these texts were read at this festival, such as the gift of water from the rock (Ex 17:1-6), the water from the eschatological temple (Ezek 47:1-11; cf. Joel 3:18) and the water from Jerusalem that will flow in the age to come (Zech 14:8; cf. Beasley-Murray 1987:116). In Nehemiah there is a reference to the water from the rock in the wilderness (Neh 9:15), which is followed by a description of God's gracious provision: "You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst" (9:20; cf. Carson 1991:326-27). In Nehemiah the focus is on the giving of the law, but the connection between the gift of the Spirit and the giving of manna and water suggests correlations in the Jewish tradition. Given John's motif of Jesus as the fulfillment of God's earlier revelation, the reference here to Scripture probably recalls a general set of images in the Old Testament rather than one particular text. Jesus provides the promised water of the age to come, which was itself a fulfillment of earlier provisions of water.

The people could not receive this Spirit until Jesus was glorified (Jn 7:39), that is, until his death (cf. 12:16, 23; 17:1). In the Son's death the glory of God shines brightest since God is love and love is the laying down of one's life (1 Jn 4:8; 3:16). One of the Spirit's roles is to bear witness to Jesus (Jn 15:26), and he could not do this until the revelation was complete. Until the Son's death, the heart of God could not be known and thus eternal life, which is knowledge of God (Jn 17:3), could not yet be experienced (cf. 1 Jn 2:20). Until the death of the Son, the life of God could not be conveyed by the Spirit.

Jesus' offer of the Spirit is both universal and addressed to individuals: If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink (v. 37). The first requirement is thirst. Everyone has spiritual thirst, for it is part of the human condition. Our need, our thirst, is what we bring to our relationship with God. This verse is one of many revealing, diagnostic texts in John. What do we thirst for? What do we really desire? Sin is our seeking relief from this thirst in something other than God.

Jesus invites those who know their need, those who are poor in spirit (cf. Mt 5:3), to take the initiative and come to him and drink (v. 37). Drinking refers to believing (cf. v. 38), which means aligning oneself with him, trusting him, receiving his teaching and obeying his commands. Such faith will enable one to receive the Spirit and enter an abiding relationship with Christ after his glorification. All of this is based on who God is and what he has done for us. When we believe we open our hands to receive what his grace offers--we come and drink.

♥♥♥ I Believe In Lღ√Ƹ Lღ√Ƹ Lღ√Ƹ ♥♥♥

HAPPY SUNDAY everybody!!! I've been enjoying this day taking it easy, relaxing listening to Barbra Streisand albums... IN HEAVEN! ;) Must share this wonderful feeling! :D Enjoy this great uplifting song!

I Believe In Love
by Barbra Streisand

(Feeling love is feeling good, I believe in love)
(Feeling love is feeling good, I believe in love)

Feeling love, that's all
That's enough for me

Yet I see, I see faces
Covered up and empty eyed
Empty spaces
Where there used to be a soul inside

Nothing and no one ever gets to you
Seems the wind could blow right through you
Believin' in gods that never knew you
I believe in love

I believe in love
I believe in feelin' good
And that's feelin' love

Now worry
Climbin' up your money tree
You've got to hurry
Monkey do what monkey see

You're on a one-way street and you're speeding
Missin' the signs you ought to be readin'
Passin' things you'll later be needin'
I believe in love, what?

I believe it nobody sold me
Always knew it, nobody told me
I believe in someone to hold me
I believe in love

I believe in love, I do
Yes, I believe in feelin' good
And that's feelin' love, yeah

(Feeling love is feeling good)

Feeling love, that's all
That's enough for me
I won't be, don't wanna be lonely

Sleeping in an empty bed
Shouldn't be only
A place to rest my head

But I don't want to find myself one day
Waking up and looking at Monday
With some what's his name left from Sunday
I believe in love, what?

I believe it nobody sold me
Always knew it, nobody told me
I believe in someone to hold me
I believe in love

I believe in love
I believe in feelin' good
Now everybody should
They believe in feelin' good
Believin' in, believin' in love, LOVE!

SUNDAY Morning Cartoons To Cheer Everybody Up And Take A Break From This World's Nonsense! Let Donald Duck Put A Smile On Your Face. :)

Enjoying a lighthearted Sunday morning nurturing my inner-child. Life is good always. :D

To thrive in life you need three bones. A wish bone. A backbone. And a funny bone. ~ by Reba McEntire

The leadership instinct you are born with is the backbone. You develop the funny bone and the wishbone that go with it. ~ by Elaine Agather

10 Inspirational Quotes By Walt Whitman

Walter Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) was an American poet, essayist, journalist, and humanist. He was a part of the transition between Transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. His work was very controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass, which was described as obscene for its overt sexuality. [source: wikipedia]

10 Inspirational Quotes By Walt Whitman
  1. Oh while I live, to be the ruler of life, not a slave, to meet life as a powerful conqueror, and nothing exterior to me will ever take command of me.

  2. I exist as I am, that is enough.

  3. Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.

  4. Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes.

  5. Produce great men, the rest follows.

  6. After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on - have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear - what remains? Nature remains.

  7. Behold I do not give lectures or a little charity, When I give I give myself.

  8. The shallow consider liberty a release from all law, from every constraint. The wise man sees in it, on the contrary, the potent Law of Laws.

  9. There is no week nor day nor hour when tyranny may not enter upon this country, if the people lose their roughness and spirit of defiance.

  10. The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.

I say to mankind, Be not curious about God. For I, who am curious about each, am not curious about God - I hear and behold God in every object, yet understand God not in the least.


Be curious, not judgmental.

A High Day In Heaven ((( ♥ )))

A Sermon Delivered by C.H. Spurgeon
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington,
On Thursday Evening, June 27, 1878
[source: Spurgeon Gems]
“Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10
EARTH has engrossed our thoughts too long. It is time that we should lift our eyes and look upward to Heaven. Do you say that you cannot see as far as that? Look again and ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes, for the Lord Jesus has set the gate wide open that you may at least get a glimpse of what is going on in the Glory Land. He has plainly declared to you many of the things which He has seen and heard of the Father—and if you will only give good heed to His words, you shall be enabled, by the eye of faith, to see what to mortal eyes is invisible!

Gaze thus upon the scene depicted in our text. They have an eternal Sabbath in Heaven, but the Sabbath of which our text speaks is, evidently, a specially high day. They have all holy days there, but now it is a holiday as well as a holy day, for there is some special cause for unusual joy! What is it all about? Our Lord tells us that "there is joy"—very special "joy in the presence of the angels of God"—and He tells us what is the cause of it. Let us draw near and see for ourselves this great sight and seek to learn its lessons. The heavenly harpers are evoking from their golden harps even sweeter music than usual! They are lifting up their voices as high as even their exalted notes can possibly rise. We will listen to them, but we will also remember the reason for their jubilation. We are told, by our Lord, the special "joy in the presence of the angels of God" is "over one sinner who repents."
Sin means to fall short of the glory of God's perfection. No person is perfect. Therefore, all are sinners. Romans 3:23
Repent means to ask God for forgiveness. Luke 15:11-24
(emphasis mine) ♥
Now, you workers for the Master, you sweepers in the dust looking for the lost pieces of money! You candle-holders who have been shedding your feeble rays as far as you can—and who have become somewhat weary—now come and refresh yourselves by looking upon some of the results of your service! And you, who in imitation of the great, good, Chief Shepherd, have gone after the lost sheep and are scratched by many a briar and tired after your many desperate leaps over hill and dale—forget your weariness for a while—and begin to share in the joy of Christ's servants as you see how, before the Throne of God on high, they are making merry over the souls that are being saved! I do not think that anything can be more comforting to you who are serving the Lord than to see what comes of your service. You, who have been going forth weeping, bearing precious seed—wipe your eyes and look above—and begin to anticipate the time when you shall come again with rejoicing, bringing your sheaves with you, for, up yonder they are shouting, "Harvest home!" with great delight!

And while I thus invite the working saint, I would equally invite the seeking sinner to note the cause of this special joy of Heaven. It is about persons like yourselves! O you wandering sheep, the joy is over wandering sheep that have been found by the Divine Shepherd! O prodigal sons, the merriment is over sons who were dead, but who are alive again— wanderers who were lost, but now are found! It should, surely, encourage you to hasten home while yet the joy-bells are ringing and the dance is going on! Get home as quickly as you can, for, as they are rejoicing over one Brother or Sister like yourself, everything will be in readiness for welcoming you and the Father will only need to say, "Let us keep up the feast, for here is another of My children that I had lost, but who now is found." It is evidently a propitious season—a time in which bright hopes ought to be kindled within you and the birds within your soul should begin to sing in sweet anticipation of the bliss awaiting you! Arise, then, and go to your Father—He is rejoicing over those who have come back to Him—and He will equally rejoice over you!

I. In considering this passage, I shall ask you, first, to NOTE THE TERMS IN WHICH OUR LORD JESUS DESCRIBES THIS HEAVENLY JOY—"There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

And notice, first, in these terms, that this joy is over one sinner. What the joy is over hundreds, thousands and millions of sinners, you can scarcely imagine, but Jesus tells us that "there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner." That one may be a poor servant girl, or a working man whose name will never be known to fame—and there is only one—but the angels are not so sparing of the praises of God that they will wait till there is a score of penitents! They see them gathering Home one by one and they are glad of every opportunity of expressing their special delight at the increasing number of the redeemed. So, as they come to Jesus, one by one, the blessed spirits before the Throne of God begin to sing with special thanksgiving for every sinner saved. Have you taught for a long time in your Sunday school class and have you had only one girl saved? Do not be satisfied with that one, but, at the same time, do not forget to thank the Lord for that one. If you are not grateful to God for letting you win one soul for Him, you are not likely to be allowed to win another. Remember that the conversion of one sinner is, in Heaven, reckoned to be such a marvel that it makes special joy there in the presence of the angels of God!

Surely, then, the salvation of even one soul ought to make your spirit exult and rejoice with exceeding joy! If you have lived to bring one sinner to Christ, you have not lived in vain. Has not God already given to you in that one, my dear Brother, my dear Sister, much more than such an unworthy creature as you might ever have expected to gain? I say again, cry for more blessing, be greedy to win hundreds of souls for the Savior, but, still, do not neglect to praise God for the one whom He has already saved.

I like to dwell upon the thought that the person who caused this melody in Heaven was "one sinner." I do not know what sort of a sinner that one was, but I should not wonder if the conversion of special sinners makes special joy up there. Was that "one sinner" a publican, a hard-hearted Jewish tax-gatherer? Was that one sinner a harlot, lost even to society as well as to her God? We do not know, but we do know that as they would rejoice in Heaven over one king, or one prince, or one senator, or one philosopher who repented—so they would over one publican or one harlot! The angels and the redeemed in Glory know that "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." They know that the precious blood of Christ was shed to cleanse sinners from every stain of sin. They know that the sweetest singers throughout eternity will be those who once were sinners, so they rejoice over any and every sinner who is saved! Out of a certain company of a hundred, there were 99 people who had not gone astray—according to their notions—and the spirits in Heaven did not rejoice over them. No, you mere moralists, you people who are so excellent in your own esteem who reckon that you will gain admission to Heaven by your own good deeds, you will never make the angels sing until you repent! But the poor lost sinner, however deeply he has plunged into crime, when he becomes a monument of the saving and renewing Grace of God, sets all the golden harps ringing with the melodious music of praise and thanksgiving unto the Most High!

Notice, next, that the rejoicing is "over one sinner who repents. "To repent is to be sorry for sin—to undergo a complete change of mind, heart and life—to turn away from self to Christ. In a word, to be converted, that is, turned completely around. Yet many people, nowadays, think very little of repentance. Some ministers whom I know scarcely even mention it in their preaching, so that their hearers may well imagine that it is out of date. They seem to believe in a kind of faith that ignores repentance. Well, they differ very much in their estimate from that of the angels and the spirits ofjust men made perfect, for they rejoice "over one sinner who repents." The poor sinner has not yet the faith that moves mountains, or the heroism that takes lions by their beards and slays them. The poor sinner has not yet preached a sermon, or even sung a hymn to the praise of God—he has simply sat down in some obscure corner and wept over his sin! He has returned to his God and said, "Father, I have sinned." But that was sufficient to make the angels sing!

I want you to remember this, you who are just beginning to come to Christ—you who have only a little Grace—the very faintest evidence of the work of God's Spirit in your soul. You are Believers, or else you would not be penitents, for there is no true repentance but that which is accompanied by faith! But the most prominent thing is not so much your faith as your holy mourning and moaning over sin, your sincere desire after holiness—this is the proof of that change of mind which is the essence of true repentance—and this is such a work of Grace that there is joy over you in the presence of the angels of God!

I want you also to notice, with regard to the terms used by our Lord, that He says, "There is joy in the presence of the angels of God. "Is there not always joy there? Certainly! Is there ever any sorrow up yonder in the courts of the Most High? Do cherubim and seraphim ever pine and cry, and sigh in agony? Never! Then, what can this joy be which makes Heaven even more joyous than it usually is? I do not know whether you or I can conceive what it must be—what I may call the ordinary, everyday joy of Heaven is perfect, yet there is something over and above that in this rejoicing over penitents. It is a bliss above bliss! A joy that rises out of joy like some huge Atlantic billow that towers above all the rest of the waves. They have a special, extra, doubly distilled joy in Heaven, sometimes, and that comes to them whenever one sinner repents! I think I can explain it a little by an expression of Rutherford's, in which he says, "God is my witness that my own Heaven would be seven heavens if I could but see you saved. If I could but see souls brought to Christ, my own bliss would be sevenfold bliss." Yes, and so it is with the spirits before the Throne of God! They are always happy, but, sometimes the joy that is always full begins to overflow and down from the celestial hills there rushes a sacred torrent that carries all before it! And this unusual delight of those who are in the presence of God is caused by one sinner repenting and returning to the Lord!

I have only one more remark to make under this first head, and it is this—our Lord does not say that the angels rejoice over one sinner who repents, but that "there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." Who, then, has the joy? The angels, of course, first. They must be included because the previous parable says that when the Shepherd comes home, "He calls together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost." The redeemed from among men and the holy angels are the friends and neighbors of Christ—and they all rejoice over every sinner who repents. But, first of all, this joy is the joy of God, Himself. The angels and the redeemed stand in His Presence—they are His courtiers—but He Himself is the center, and Glory, and Lord of All—it is God Himself who rejoices "over one sinner who repents." God the Father rejoices, for has He not found His child whom He had lost, the child whom He loved, before the foundation of the world, with all the love of His infinite heart?

God the Son rejoices, for has He not found the sheep which the Father gave Him—the sheep which He was pledged to bring safely home—the sheep for which He paid the purchase price in His own heart's blood—the sheep which, though it had wandered far away from Him, He had brought home? God the Spirit also rejoices, for did He not see, in the soul's repentance, the fruit of His working, the result of His enlightenment, the consequence of His convicting and the commencement of the whole work of sanctification? Yes, dear Brothers and Sisters—Father, Son and Spirit—the one God of the spiritual Israel—rejoices greatly "over one sinner who repents." I can hardly convey to you the delight that I have in this thought! God is always full ofjoy. He is rightly called "the happy God," yet even He describes Himself as being, in some mysterious manner, more happy at one season than at another! I am, of course, speaking after the manner of men, but, then, we are only men and we can only speak after our own manner as the prophet Zephaniah does when he says, " He will rejoice over you with joy. He will rest in His love, He will joy over you with singing." So that repentance of one sinner gives joy to the Eternal, Himself! Who would not, then, repent of sin and so give joy to God and, at the same time, find the highest joy for himself?

Thus I have noticed the terms in which our Lord Jesus describes this heavenly joy.

II. Now, secondly, I want you, very briefly, to CONSIDER THE REASONS WHY THERE IS THIS JOY IN HEAVEN.

First, God rejoices over every sinner who repents, because He then sees one of His creatures delivered from the horrible power of sin. God is full of benevolence toward men. He wills not the death of the sinner and He is delighted when the creature, whom He has made, becomes happy because he has become holy. He is glad when those, whom He has fashioned, enjoy the delights which He intended for them.

God rejoices, too, when a sinner repents, because He then sees, not only one of His creatures, but a new creature in Christ Jesus. He sees His own handiwork in that heart. We all like to see our own work when it is well done. Nobody wants to see bad work, but every worker rejoices in good work. And God rejoices in the good work of regeneration, the good work of the renewal of the heart, restoration from death and rescue from Hell.

Especially does God delight in every sinner who repents, because He then sees His own child restored to Him. He who has the heart of a true father knows what joy he has when he sees his boy, who has gone astray, coming back again— when he returns from the distant land to which he went in an ill humor, and comes home weeping and mourning, but loving and gentle and anxious to be better. Thus God rejoices over His returning children. There is no earthly father who can love as God loves—and if all the love of all the fathers in the world were made into one, it would not equal the love which God has for even one of His children! So He rejoices with peculiar joy when He sees any of His children repenting and returning to Him.

Moreover, God always rejoices in everything that is holy and good and, therefore, He rejoices in a sinner's repentance. It is a right and holy thing that a sinner should repent of doing wrong. It is the beginning of something higher, nobler and better when a soul comes to the turning point, confesses its lost condition and seeks to be set right. And, therefore, because the Lord is good and righteous, He will teach transgressors His ways and when He sees them walking in that way, He will rejoice and be glad concerning them!

III. I will not remind you of all the reasons for the great Father's joy over returning sinners because you can all think them out for yourselves. But I will, instead, say a little about THE JOY OF THE ANGELS OVER REPENTING SINNERS. Why is it that they, who are the friends, neighbors and servants of Christ, are so glad when sinners repent? They are not themselves sinners—they are not even men! They have no part in the great redemption of Christ. "For verily He took not up angels, but He took up the seed of Abraham." Why, then, do the angels rejoice over repenting sinners?

Well it is, first, because they are so fully in sympathy with God. Whatever pleases God, pleases them. The growth of holiness delights the Most High and, therefore, it delights His loyal courtiers. The coming back of Jehovah's wandering children gladdens Him and it, therefore, gladdens every servant in the family. You can see, in the parable, that the servant who went out to speak to the elder brother had his measure of joy over the prodigal's return. He speaks in happy and grateful tones—and the spirits before the Throne of God cannot help being glad when God is glad. Will loyal subjects be sighing and crying when their king has a day of special rejoicing and is peculiarly honored? It cannot be! And the angels would not be what they are—the true and faithful servitors of God—if they were not glad when God is glad!

But besides that, they also have great sympathy with men. It would be worth your while to study the subject of the friendship of angels to men—their kindly feeling, the joy with which they have often brought God's messages to men, the delight with which they have interposed, at critical times, to accomplish the miraculous designs upon which God has sent them on behalf of men. They are, indeed, most gracious spirits! We must not worship them—we are forbidden to do that—for we must worship God alone. But we may feel an intense amity, friendship and respect towards those bright and blessed spirits. What we owe to them, we shall never know, I suppose, till eternity. And then we shall set it all down to the Glory of their Master and ours! Still, he who thinks well of God may think well of God's holy angels on the principle of, "Love Me, love My servants." Does He not give them charge over us, to keep us in all our ways? Do they not bear us up in their hands, lest we should dash our foot against a stone? "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" They are not actually akin to us, but still, they are very near neighbors to us and they are very kind and helpful neighbors! So, when they see a soul saved, they are right glad of it.

Further, they know better than you and I do, what a soul is saved from when a sinner repents. They have looked over the battlements of Heaven into the dread abyss—they recollect the day when there was war in Heaven and the mighty Son of God overthrew Satan and his rebel followers and cast them down to Hell. The holy angels know that it was God's electing love that enabled them to stand fast in that evil day. They know, too, that God passed by the fallen angels and never gave them a hope of recovery, or promised them a Mediator. Yet they do not envy men because God, in the Sovereignty of His Grace, has provided for them a Savior. They rejoice to know that repenting men shall never be cast into the Lake of Fire, the awful place prepared for the devil and his angels. They have none of the modern infidel notions, for they have seen that there is a worm that dies not and a fire that cannot be quenched, so they lift up their songs right gladly whenever a sinner is saved from going down into the Pit!

Besides this, the angels know what repenting sinners gain, for they have long frequented the golden streets and walked by the river of the Water of Life. They know the bliss of beholding Christ face to face—have they not done so ever since He returned to Heaven to sit upon His Father's Throne? When a man is very happy because he is very holy, he wants other people to be happy, too, and he feels all the happier the more there are to share in his joy. Our proverb "The more, the merrier," just expresses what the angels think, so they rejoice, with the utmost gladness, over those who repent because they know that, for them, there is laid up in Heaven the triple crown of life, glory and righteousness, that fades not away.

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HAPPY Sunday! Sending Some Inspiration Your Way... ♥

August 25, 2016

Are The Italy And Myanmar Earthquakes Connected? A Similar Magnitude Had Different Effects. Two Experts Are Asked To Explain Whether The Dual Disasters Were Isolated Events.

National Geographic
written by Aaron Sidder
Wednesday August 24, 2016

We asked two experts to explain whether the dual disasters were isolated events.

Earthquakes devastated both Italy and Myanmar early Wednesday. Though the quakes were similarly sized—magnitude 6.2 in Italy and magnitude 6.8 in Myanmar—the seismic events, occurring more than 5,000 miles (8,047 kilometers) apart, were not related.

We asked two experts to explain whether it's ever possible for one earthquake to trigger another. John Bellini is a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey National Earthquake Information Center and Michael Steckler is a geophysicist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University.

Are the earthquakes in Italy and Myanmar at all related?

John Bellini: No, the two earthquakes are not related. They are located along different faults in different parts of the world. They just happened to occur on the same day. Neither of these is really that large either. Around the world, we have something like 150 earthquakes a year— around two or three a week—in the 6 to 6.9 range.

A large earthquake, something like an 8 or a 9, or even a large 7, can trigger small things nearby, but not on the other side of the world.

Michael Steckler: I don’t think they are related; they are too far apart. For earthquakes this size, the fault length that broke was roughly 30 to 60 miles long (50 to 100 kilometers). You would expect stress from an earthquake to affect another quake within several of those lengths (up to 250 miles). For something this size, it may be even less.

Are these regions typically susceptible to earthquakes?

JB: Both Italy and Myanmar are tectonically active regions, meaning they have a lot of earthquakes. Italy has many smaller earthquakes and can have some in the magnitude 6 range from time to time.

MS: Italy has a catalog of earthquakes going back hundreds of years. In Myanmar, there was another quake about this size earlier this year. There is certainly seismicity in that slab.

JB: The area in Myanmar is similarly active to Italy in the overall amount of earthquakes, but the largest ones in Myanmar can be a quite a bit larger. Italy’s usually top out around 7 magnitudes, but over in Myanmar and Nepal you can have earthquakes in the magnitude 8 range. That’s not to say that Italy will never have an 8 magnitude earthquake, but they are more common in Myanmar.

Italy seems to be experiencing more aftershocks than Myanmar. Why?

JB: They’re just not being recorded in Myanmar. Italy is a highly instrumented country as far as seismicity goes, whereas Myanmar is not. Any earthquakes that appear on our website are probably coming from data that we received from Italy.

The number and size of aftershocks are partially dependent on the size of the original earthquake. It takes some time for the Earth to settle down after the initial shock; aftershocks are really "adjustment" shocks.

These regions will likely experience aftershocks for weeks. For a magnitude 6.2 earthquake, like that in Italy, we would expect multiple aftershocks in the 5 range. Especially in Italy, people need to be aware that shocks of even magnitude 5 can cause additional damage.

Why does the destruction seem to be worse in Italy when the earthquake was larger in Myanmar?

MS: The subduction zone in Myanmar is relatively deep—the epicenter of this quake was 52 miles (84 kilometers) below the surface. When an earthquake is that deep, nobody is closer than 52 miles to the epicenter. It may affect a broader zone but it is less damaging than a shallow quake.

Italy’s earthquake was much shallower, and it was more destructive because of the proximity to the surface. In Italy, they are often building on flat mesas that may shake more, and many buildings are older structures made from stone. These don’t do well in earthquakes.

written by Madhuri Sathish
Wednesday August 24, 2016

Just hours after a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck central Italy, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck Myanmar, thousands of miles away. According to National Geographic, both earthquakes happened near two of the world's major fault lines, in regions with significant geological volatility. But the Italy and Myanmar earthquakes were not connected to one another, even though they struck on the same day. The earthquakes' different impacts on the regions they affected can be explained by the depth below the earth's surface at which each earthquake took place.

The death toll of the Italy earthquake has risen to at least 159, according to CNN, and multiple towns were devastated as buildings collapsed. The Myanmar earthquake left at least three people dead, The New York Times reported, and over 170 temples were damaged. The earthquakes seemed similar in magnitude, so why were their impacts so different? Susan Hough, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, explained to USA Today that while Italy's quake took place roughly six miles below the earth's surface, the earthquake in Myanmar took place at a much greater depth, approximately 50 miles underground.

Deeper quakes tend to cause less damage — which explains the disparities in death tolls — but they also tend to be more widely felt. That's why the earthquake in Myanmar, which took place at an intermediate depth, was felt in Thailand, Bangladesh, and India. The reason deeper earthquakes cause less damage is that seismic waves have to travel further to reach the surface of the earth, and they lose energy along the way. In Italy's case, however, the earthquake took place at a much shallower depth. Consequently, the shaking was more intense in Italy than in Myanmar because it was like setting off "a bomb directly under a city," Hough told the Associated Press.

Earthquakes in different regions can sometimes impact each other by sending out shockwaves that impact other fault lines, Hough told USA Today, but she added that the quake in Italy was not nearly big enough to have caused the Myanmar earthquake. However, the two quakes definitely do indicate that both regions are geologically volatile. As National Geographic pointed out, Italy is near a fault line along the Apennine Mountains, in an area between Eurasian and African tectonic plates that is "tectonically and geologically complex." Myanmar, meanwhile, is located east of the Sunda Trench, where earthquakes are common.

As a result of where they are located, both Italy and Myanmar have experienced devastating earthquakes in the past. But even though they have this in common, the earthquakes that both countries experienced on Wednesday were still extremely different, and when discussing and analyzing the impact quakes have, it is important to keep factors like depth and location in mind.

MYANMAR (BURMA): A Powerful 6.8 Magnitude Earthquake Struck On Wednesday August 24th. Tremor Was felt In India And Bangladesh. 187 Ancient Buddhist Pagodas Have Been Damaged. 3 People Have Died. :'(

The Los Angeles Times
written by Associated Press
Wednesday August 24, 2016

A powerful magnitude 6.8 earthquake shook central Myanmar on Wednesday, damaging scores of ancient Buddhist pagodas in the former capital of Bagan, a major tourist attraction, officials said.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake, which hit around 4:34 p.m. local time, was centered about 15 miles west of Chauk, an area west of Bagan. It was located fairly far below the Earth's surface at a depth of about 52 miles, it said. Deep earthquakes generally cause less surface damage.

At least 94 brick pagodas in Bagan were damaged, the Ministry of Religious and Cultural Affairs said in a statement. Bagan, also known as Pagan, has more than 2,200 structures, including pagodas and temples, constructed from the 10th to 14th centuries. Many are in disrepair, while others have been restored in recent years, aided by the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO.

The vast site is the country's premier attraction for tourists, who can view a panorama of temples stretching to the horizon flanked by the mighty Irrawaddy River, an especially impressive experience at sunset.

Myo Thant, general-secretary of the Myanmar Earthquake Committee, said that other areas apparently were not badly affected and that there were no reports of deaths in connection with the quake.

However, police officer Htay Win in Pakokku, about 45 miles from the epicenter, said one person there had been killed, and one was injured. "The person was killed by falling bricks from a building," he said.

The Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement reported two other deaths in nearby Thitapwe village.

Vincent Panzani, a staff member in Pakokku for the aid agency Save the Children, said colleagues in the area agreed it was the strongest earthquake they had experienced.

"We felt quite heavy shaking for about 10 seconds and started to evacuate the building when there was another strong tremor," he said in comments sent by email. "Most of the reports of damage have been to the pagodas in the area with dozens impacted. There have also been reports of damage to smaller, more basic buildings including a collapsed wall and a destroyed roof."

The epicenter is an area where earthquakes are fairly common, but usually don't cause many casualties because there are no large, densely populated cities. However, reports of damage from remote villages often are slow to arrive.

Staff members of the London-based international charity Save the Children in Pakokku, about 45 miles from the epicenter, said they felt heavy shaking when the earthquake struck and hurried outside, according to Evan Schuurman, a spokesman for the group. He said they reported moderate damage in the area, including tilting pagodas and buildings with large cracks.

Worried residents of Yangon, the country's main city, rushed out of tall buildings, and objects toppled from tables and from Buddhist shrines in homes. However, there were no immediate reports of serious damage in the city.

The quake also was felt in half a dozen states in neighboring India, where people rushed out of offices and homes at several places. It caused buildings to sway in Bangkok, Thailand's capital, several hundred miles to the east. There were no immediate reports of damage in either country.

The last major quake in the area occurred in April about 180 miles farther north, and measured magnitude 6.9. It caused no reported casualties and only minor damage.


8:50 a.m.: This article has been updated with additional deaths.

7:40 a.m.: This article has been updated with eyewitness accounts and additional damage details.

6:22 a.m.: This article has been updated with details about the earthquake’s location and the buildings it damaged.

5:40 a.m.: This article has been updated with additional details.

This article was originally published at 4:35 a.m.

ITALY: A Powerful 6.2 Magnitude Earthquake Struck Near The Surface On Wednesday August 24th. 250 People Have Died, Thousands Were Left Homeless. Ancient Villages Destroyed, Aftershocks Continue. :'(

Dutchsinse reported this on 8/23/2016 -- Large Italy EQ -- 2 day warning given.

The Washington Post
written by Trisha Thomas, Frances D'Emilio and Nicole Winfield, AP
Thursday August 25, 2016

PESCARA DEL TRONO, Italy — Aftershocks in central Italy rattled residents and rescue workers alike Thursday, as crews worked to find more earthquake survivors and the country anguished over its repeated failure to protect ancient towns and modern cities from seismic catastrophes.

A day after a shallow quake killed 250 people and leveled three small towns, a 4.3 magnitude aftershock sent up plumes of thick gray dust in the hard-hit town of Amatrice. The aftershock crumbled already cracked buildings, prompted authorities to close roads and sent another person to the hospital.

It was only one of the more than 470 temblors that have followed Wednesday’s pre-dawn quake.

Firefighters and rescue crews using sniffer dogs worked in teams around the hard-hit areas in central Italy, pulling chunks of cement, rock and metal from mounds of rubble where homes once stood. Rescuers refused to say when their work would shift from saving lives to recovering bodies, noting that one person was pulled alive from the rubble 72 hours after the 2009 quake in the Italian town of L’Aquila.

“We will work relentlessly until the last person is found, and make sure no one is trapped,” said Lorenzo Botti, a rescue team spokesman.

Worst affected by the quake were the tiny towns of Amatrice and Accumoli near Rieti, 100 kilometers (60 miles) northeast of Rome, and Pescara del Tronto, 25 kilometers (15 miles) further to the east.

Many were left homeless by the scale of the destruction, their homes and apartments declared uninhabitable. Some survivors, escorted by firefighters were allowed to go back inside homes briefly Thursday to get essential necessities for what will surely be an extended absence.

“Last night we slept in the car. Tonight, I don’t know,” said Nello Caffini as he carried his sister-in-law’s belongings on his head after being allowed to go quickly into her home in Pescara del Tronto.

Caffini has a house in nearby Ascoli, but said his sister-in-law was too terrified by the aftershocks to go inside it.

“When she is more tranquil, we will go to Ascoli,” he said.

Charitable assistance began pouring into the earthquake zone in traffic-clogging droves Thursday. Church groups from a variety of Christian denominations, along with farmers offering donated peaches, pumpkins and plums, sent vans along the one-way road into Amatrice that was already packed with emergency vehicles and trucks carrying sniffer dogs.

Other assistance was spiritual.

“When we learned that the hardest hit place was here, we came, we spoke to our bishop and he encouraged us to come here to comfort the families of the victims,” said the Rev. Marco as he walked through Pescara del Tronto. “They have given us a beautiful example, because their pain did not take away their dignity.”

Italy’s civil protection agency said the death toll had risen to 250 Thursday afternoon with at least 365 others hospitalized. Most of the dead — 184 — were in Amatrice. A Spaniard and five Romanians were among the dead, according to their governments.

There was no clear estimate of the missing, since the rustic area was packed with summer vacationers ahead of a popular Italian food festival this weekend. The Romanian government alone said 11 of its citizens were missing.

As the search effort continued, the soul-searching began.

Italy, which has the highest seismic hazard in Western Europe, also has thousands of picturesque medieval villages with old buildings that do not have to conform to the country’s anti-seismic building codes. Making matters worse, those codes often aren’t applied even when new buildings are built.

“In a country where in the past 40 years there have been at least eight devastating earthquakes ... the only lesson we have learned is to save lives after the fact,” columnist Sergio Rizzo wrote in Thursday’s Corriere della Sera. “We are far behind in the other lessons.”

Some experts estimate that 70 percent of Italy’s buildings aren’t built to anti-seismic standards, though not all are in high-risk areas. After every major quake, proposals are made to improve, but they often languish in Italy’s thick bureaucracy and chronic funding shortages.

Premier Matteo Renzi, visiting the quake-affected zone Wednesday, promised to rebuild “and guarantee a reconstruction that will allow residents to live in these communities, to relaunch these beautiful towns that have a wonderful past that will never end.”

Geologists surveyed the damage Thursday to determine which buildings were still inhabitable, while Culture Ministry teams were fanning out to assess the damage to some of the region’s cultural treasures, especially its medieval-era churches.

Italian news reports Thursday said prosecutors investigating the quake were looking in particular into the collapse of Amatrice’s “Romolo Capranica” school, which was restored in 2012 using funds set aside after the last major quake in 2009.

In recent Italian quakes, some modern buildings — many of them public institutions — have been the deadliest. Those included the university dormitory that collapsed in the 2009 L’Aquila quake, killing 11 students and the elementary school that crumbled in San Giuliano di Puglia in 2002, killing 27 children — the town’s entire first-grade class — while surrounding buildings survived unscathed.

Major quakes in Italy are often followed by criminal charges being filed against architects, builders and officials responsible for public works if the buildings crumble. In the case of the L’Aquila quake, prosecutors also put six geologists on trial for allegedly having failed to adequately warn residents about the temblor. Their convictions were overturned on appeal.

In Pescara del Tronto, rescue crews were still looking for three people believed crushed in a hard-to-reach area.

“The dogs from our dog rescue unit make us think there could be something,” said Danilo Dionisi, a spokesman for the firefighters.

Emergency services set up tent cities around the quake-devastated towns to accommodate the homeless, housing about 1,200 people overnight. In Amatrice, 50 elderly people and children spent the night inside a local sports facility.

“It’s not easy for them,” said civil protection volunteer Tiziano De Carolis, who was helping to care for the homeless in Amatrice. “They have lost everything: the work of an entire life, like those who have a business, a shop, a pharmacy, a grocery store.”

Violeta Bratu and the 97-year-old bedridden man she cares for were among those who sought shelter at the Amatrice sports facility. Her dog, a white Bishon Maltese, rested at their feet.

“It’s the only thing of mine here,” she said.


The Washington Post
written by Sarah Kaplan
Wednesday August 24, 2016

The earth beneath Italy's Apennine Range — where a magnitude-6.2 earthquake struck early Wednesday — is a tangle of fault lines and fractured rock.

The mountains, which run the length of Italy like the zipper on a boot, were formed about 20 million years ago as the African plate plowed into Eurasia, crumpling crust like a carpet. Now things are moving in the opposite direction. The crust on the northern side of the range is pulling away from the south at a rate of three millimeters per year, causing the earth to shudder along the spider web of minor fault lines that run beneath the surface.

That, in part, explains why Italy is so earthquake-prone, and why Wednesday's temblor was so destructive. At least 241 people were killed and dozens injured. The town of Amatrice, near the epicenter, was almost entirely reduced to rubble. Thousands of people were left homeless.

"Things are shifting around in complicated ways," said Susan Hough, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. "There's faults all along the Apennines that are fairly fragmented. They're capable of producing moderate and even large earthquakes, and it's kind of like throwing darts at a dart board — they just hit at different places over time."

Seven years ago, the target was L'Aquila, a city about 30 miles south of Amatrice. That earthquake killed more than 300. A century ago, it was Avezzano, where about 30,000 people died. Medieval Italians wrote of temblors that shook the mountain ranges and set church bells ringing as far away as Rome.

Earthquakes in this region are modest in magnitude — hundreds of 6.2 quakes happen around the world every year. Within hours of the Italian quake, a 6.8-magnitude temblor hit Burma. But that earthquake was much deeper, which means it was less destructive. According to Reuters, relatively few buildings collapsed, though three people were killed, including two children.

By contrast, quakes like those that hit L'Aquila and Amatrice were centered just below the surface.

"With deeper earthquakes, the waves have to travel farther, so we can have quite deep earthquakes that are not so damaging," Hough said. "But if it’s shallow, the energy released is quite close to the surface, so that’s an immediate punch."

Just as important as what the earth does, added seismologist Leonardo Seeber, is "what humans build on top of it."

Seeber, a research professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, was born in Florence and has studied the tectonic activity of the Apennine region for more than 35 years.

"Italy is an old country, and the houses are made of stone," he said. Closely packed medieval buildings, constructed before the emergence of things such as building codes and reinforced concrete, are vulnerable to shaking and much more dangerous when they collapse.

He compared the Italian temblor to the 2011 Virginia earthquake that shook the D.C. region exactly five years ago on Aug. 23. That quake measured a 5.8 on the Richter scale and was similarly shallow. But it happened in a more sparsely populated region, where most homes had resilient wooden frames. Not a single person died in that quake, and the property damage was relatively modest.

"It's tragic because these towns are like jewels," Seeber said of Amatrice and other hard-hit areas; they are centuries-old time capsules nestled in the mountains.

Their beauty is part of what makes them vulnerable. Italy got its gorgeous natural resources — craggy mountains, fertile soil, crystalline rivers — because of its tectonic activity. The collisions of plates and explosions of volcanoes account for some of what's best about Italy, Seeber said.

"As a seismologist, very often people ask me, 'I’m afraid of earthquakes, where should I go?'" he said. "And I tell them, 'You can go in the center of these plates, but you wouldn’t necessarily like it there."

This post has been updated to reflect the rising death toll of the quake.