Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself.
-old Apache saying
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Wait, what? A thunderstorm caused a gigantic release of pollen and blasted it deep into the lungs of people, killing 6 and sending 17 more to the hospital?
Earth never ceases to amaze.
Death toll from Australia's thunderstorm asthma reaches 6
MELBOURNE, Australia – Six people have died and five remained on life support after a rare condition known as thunderstorm asthma struck Australia's second-largest city, officials said on Sunday.
The sixth victim died in a hospital on Saturday night from medical complications stemming from a wild thunderstorm that struck Melbourne on Monday night, a Health Department statement said.
Five patients remained in intensive care units and three of those were in critical condition, the statement said. Another 12 patients were in hospitals with less serious respiratory and related conditions.
Monday's storm caused rain-sodden ryegrass pollen grains to explode and disperse over the city, with tiny pollen particles penetrating deep into lungs. Around a third of patients who suffered asthma attacks on Monday reported never having asthma before.
The storm overwhelmed emergency services and hospitals in this city of 4.5 million people, with 8,500 receiving hospital treatment.
The world's first recorded thunderstorm asthma event occurred in Melbourne in 1987, when hospitals reported a five-fold increase in asthma cases. Similar events have happened in the United States, Canada, Britain and Italy. The last major event in Melbourne was in November 2010.
If we are honest - and scientists have to be - we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination. If religion is still being taught, it is by no means because its ideas still convince us, but simply because some of us want to keep the lower classes quiet.
Public prayer is not intended to promote religious values, but to enhance the authority of some churches and some political views over others. Similarly with the posting of the Ten Commandments. It is about power, not about religion. Government by Christian or Islamic or any other faith has rarely been progressive. And the Constitution clearly intends that there should be freedom from religion.