Archive for June, 2012

The Kobe Earthquaqe

June 29, 2012 Leave a comment

My grandson loves to watch documentary TV shows about disasters, the dirtiest jobs, and so on.  The other day he was watching a show about Japan’s Kobe earthquake in 1995.  There were scenes of incredible devastation everywhere, snippets of the ground rocking and rolling, death and destruction as far as the eye could see, and so forth.

I’ve seen many similar videos of other earthquakes.  So while the event is terrifying (having experienced one in California in 1971), there was nothing particularly striking or unusual about the footage, until the clip showed water bubbling up from the ground.

Just imagine seeing a curtain of water about 30 feet long and six inches thick squirting up out of the ground about three to four feet high!  First thought is that it’s from a broken main, but that is not the case at all.  It is an example of soil liquifaction.[1]

Soil liquifaction is the process of groundwater being forced up out of the ground at great pressure as a result of violent earthquakes.  It works something like this:  Read more…


June 28, 2012 Leave a comment

[A true story and a book review]

The $20 bill

My eight year old grandson is very bright, curious, and observant.  The other day he found a $20 bill on the kitchen counter and came running over to me.  “Opa!” he said (for that’s what the grandchildren call me), “Look at this.  This is just a piece of paper with a bunch of stuff printed on it.”

Why is it that we can’t use a different piece of paper – say Monopoly money – to buy things?  What’s the difference? Is there a difference?  Why can’t I print a piece of paper and use it to buy things?  In fact I can.  Everyone can, and everyone does this all the time.  Let me explain. Read more…

Categories: Political, Review Tags: , ,

Star Spangled Sailabration

June 27, 2012 Leave a comment

This year represents the 200th anniversary of the composition of the Star Spangled Banner, composed by Francis Scott Key in Baltimore’s Ft. McHenry after a night of British bombardment.  Baltimore celebrated this historic moment with a “Star Spangled Sailabration” from June 13-19.

Nearly 40 visiting ships participated in the event, including many tall ships, active duty warships, and research vessels.  An air show by the Navy’s Blue Angels and performances by the British Royal Marines band at Ft. McHenry supplemented the nautical displays.  Vendors of all types populated Baltimore’s Inner Harbor in support of the celebration.  Enjoy these pictures of tall ships. Read more…

Categories: Review, Travel Tags: ,

A Test

June 26, 2012 Leave a comment

The following is a photograph of Harbor Towers, an upscale condo building on the waterfront of Boston Harbor.  Does anyone notice anything interesting, special, or different about the building itself?  (No, it’s not leaning.  That’s just the camera angle.)

Love to hear from you.


Categories: Uncategorized

Hungary: Ancient History

June 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Our history shapes and defines us.  We cannot know who we are, where we are, where we belong, or where we’re headed unless we understand our history.  This is true of every person, every nation, and every culture.  A culture that ignores, forgets, or attempts to redefine its history is doomed to extinction.

As I was traveling in Hungary, I found two interesting, notable bits of history that shed a unique light on today’s Hungarian culture:

Orosháza Monument

Orosháza is a small town in the southern part of Hungary.  The entry to Orosháza is dominated by the view of a church; this is reasonably common practice in small towns.

But as I entered the town, a memorial in front of a school on my right caught my eye.  I had to stop.  Read more…

Categories: Review, Social, Travel Tags:

Hungary: Cave Bath (Barlangfürdő)

June 23, 2012 Leave a comment

In my previous post I wrote about Budapest’s famous mineral baths but provided no pictures.  Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ll write very little and let the pictures do the talking in this post.  But first a bit of background.

There is a very unusual bath in Miskolc:  The Barlangfürdő.  It’s unique in all of Europe. Read more…

Categories: Review, Travel Tags: , ,

Hungary: Mineral Baths

June 23, 2012 Leave a comment

[Written Sunday June 3]

Last night I went to Franklin Graham’s Festival of Hope at the Budapest Sports Arena.  It was a classic evangelistic event.  There was great musical worship, prayer, and a proclamation of The Good News.  Thousands upon thousands came forward at the end to receive Christ Jesus as their personal Savior.  As a result thousands upon thousands will be experiencing perfect eternal life with their Creator:  Not just life without end, but life without sorrow, pain, suffering, discord, sickness, and death.  The life that we all seek but can’t find here on earth, because it simply doesn’t exist here on earth.  We must lose our lives to find it, Jesus teaches.  (John 12:25)

This morning I had the opportunity to experience one of Budapest’s many delightful treasures.  People come from all over Europe and from around the world for this experience. Read more…

Hungary: Franklin Graham’s Festival of Hope (Reménység Fesztivál)

June 23, 2012 1 comment

My trolley arriving with hills of Buda in background.

Finally!  I had finally made it to the Franklin Graham Festival of Hope a bit early – in spite of all the difficulties encountered earlier in the day.  The trolley ride was uneventful, but there was one more hurdle to overcome:  I didn’t have a ticket.  Fortunately the door was opened to all comers about 15 minutes before starting time; I found a seat and settled in.  The seat wasn’t optimal, but I was in.

I had found out about the whole event quite by accident:  I simply saw a billboard in Budapest, and thought it would be interesting to attend.  I had no idea what to expect; I had never attended a Billy Graham event before. Read more…

Hungary: Budavári Libamájfesztivál (Goose Liver Festival in Buda Castle)

June 22, 2012 Leave a comment

As I visited Budapest I saw widespread advertisements for a Goose Liver Festival.  Huh?  Are they serious?

But I admit it.  I’m a secret liver lover.  I do enjoy a good chicken liver spread or fried liver – be it chicken or beef.  And I do know that goose liver is a delicacy almost as expensive as caviar.  Furthermore goose liver is a signature Hungarian delicacy.  So I really wanted to check out this Goose Liver Festival they were advertising. Read more…

Categories: Travel Tags: ,

Hungary: What’s in a Name?

June 22, 2012 1 comment

Budai Krémes

The French, it seems, invented everything delightful in this world.  After all we have French fries, French toast, French cut green beans, French milled soap, and much more.  They even gave us crepes and Napoleons.  Yes, crepes – those paper thin pancakes rolled or folded and filled with some kind of delicacy.  And Napoleons are those delightful, flaky pastries filled with custard.  Suddenly I’m getting hungry… Read more…

Categories: Social, Travel Tags: ,