Posted by: maboulette | December 14, 2014



Isn’t this a handsome lad!! – Do you know who this it?  This is a Christmas picture of Prince George – what a cute guy!!

Posted by: maboulette | November 16, 2014


Did you know that underground around the world are coal fires – fires that have burned for years? If you have – it is probably the coal fire that has been raging under the abandoned town of Centralia, Pennsylvania since 1962.

57 years – that a long time for a lot of coal to be burning but that is barely a blink when you compare this to Burning Mountain in Australia that has been burning for over 6,000 years.

Fires along coal seams are very common, as it happens, and thousands of them are now burning undergrounds everywhere. A seam of coal that is 700 miles south of Australia’s Burning Mountain caught fire about a month ago, spewing poisonous gases and prompting intense firefighting efforts. But once a subterranean coal seam fire gets out of hand – as in Centralia, as in Burning Mountain – it is nearly impossible to put out.

image of coal fire


At Burning Mountain, also known as Mount Wingen, sulfur-tinged smoke is the only hint of a massive coal seam burning 70 feet under the ground. Heat and toxic gases from the fire have left it rocky and jagged in parts, and the land has caved in.
Now how the mountain was first set ablaze is still a mystery. It could have been a lightning strike, forest fire, spontaneous combustion, or even aboriginal burning practices could even have been the initial spark.

China, with its thousands of small-scale mines as well as India, with its crumbling old and large mines, have the most serious underground fire problems. The burning coal releases potentially toxic elements such as arsenic, fluorine and selenium into the air

india fires

Out in Wyoming, there is an energy company that is getting creative about extracting coal from deep below the surface. Rather than blast a hole in the side of the Earth and go digging for it, Linc Energy just wants to set the stuff on fire and gobble up the gas emitted by the blaze. What could go wrong?


Wyoming fire

Posted by: maboulette | November 12, 2014


sick boy

Landon Jones, a 12-year-old from Iowa, woke up one day with a mysterious illness. Although he can taste, swallow and digest food normally, his body no longer tells him when he’s hungry or thirsty.

His parents have held off on sharing their story for the sake of his privacy, but now, desperate for answers, they’re speaking out, reports CBS News medical contributor Dr. Holly Phillips.

“It’s hard to explain,” Landon’s father Michael said. “You have a child who’s running and playing and laughing and then you wake up one night and our world is flipped upside down.”

It all began last fall just days after celebrating his 11th birthday. Landon woke up one morning with absolutely no urge to eat or drink. He was dizzy and severely congested.

A chest x-ray revealed a bacterial infection in his left lung, and although that eventually went away, Landon’s ability to feel hungry or thirsty never returned.

“You can put food in front of him, he won’t touch it,” Michael said. “It’ll sit there all day and all night.”

Over the past year, the sixth grader has lost about 40 percent of his body weight, plummeting from 104 pounds to just 67.

The Jones’ search for answers has taken them to five different cities including Rochester, Minnesota, where pediatric neurologist Marc Patterson examined Landon at the Mayo Clinic.

“This combination of loss of appetite and loss of thirst is something that I have not encountered before,” he said.

Patterson believes the problem could lie within the boy’s hypothalamus, the pea-sized portion of the brain that regulates hunger, thirst and essential functions like sleep and body temperature.

“Functions that are normally automatic for all of us have become voluntarily, or need to be voluntary in Landon’s case,” he said.

Posted by: maboulette | November 12, 2014


comot landing

European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft on Wednesday successfully deployed the robotic lander Philae on the Comet 67P.

This is the first time a spacecraft has ever landed on the surface of a comet. The mission was ten years in the making.

Posted by: maboulette | November 11, 2014


This is to honor the heroes in my family – three men who were killed in different wars.

My father – Capt. Reginald Martin George, USMC – died from a war connected disability and was in the Marine Corp for 23 years. His disability occurred in Korea. He spent WWII in the Pacific and was stationed at different Marine bases in the states. He died on Father’s Day when I was 10 years old.

My uncle George “Buster” Lightman was in the Army Air Corp during WWII and was executed by the Japanese in the Philippines. Uncle Buster was missing for years but my mother would not give up until she knew what happened to him. The Department of Defense finally had witnesses that were at his execution. The story was that he was a prisoner of war but escaped and worked with the guerillas in the mountains of the Philippines. He was recaptured on a mission to break out other POW and was then executed.

My cousin PFC Samuel Lightman, USMC was killed by sniper fire in the fall of 1966 in Viet Nam. He was in a unit that was guarding the Army Corp of Engineers who were building a bridge over a river. Sammy had already been shot once but was sent back to the front lines after he healed.

These are my heroes who I have some memories of. My Uncle Buster I never knew and I only have one small picture of. My cousin Sammy and I wrote letters when in high school but after he graduated he and two of his friends joined the Marine Corp. I have been in touch with one of Sammy’s good friends. Sammy always thought that my dad looked so good in his dress uniform. I spent many summers with him and was almost like a brother to me. I was a freshman in college when my mother called about Sammy being killed.

I am so proud of my three heroes just sad that they could not have lived longer.

Posted by: maboulette | November 6, 2014



VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Wednesday denounced the hardships Catholics can face when seeking marriage annulments, revealing he once fired an official who tried to charge thousands of dollars for one.

Francis told participants at a Vatican course for officials dealing with annulments that as bishop of Buenos Aires, he was dismayed to learn that some faithful needed to travel hundreds of kilometers (miles) and lose days of work to reach church tribunals.

He also recalled sacking an unidentified church tribunal official, possibly a lawyer, who told someone: “Give me $10,000 and I’ll take care” of the annulment process.

“One must be careful that the procedures don’t become a business,” Francis said.
The Vatican teaches that matrimony is a sacrament and forbids divorce. Many Catholics wanting to end their marriages seek annulments, a church ruling their union was invalid and thus, essentially, never existed. Possible reasons include a spouse who never intended to be faithful or who was psychologically too immature to understand the forever nature of marriage in the Catholic Church.
Annulments allow Catholics to marry again in the church.

Francis said he was considering requests, made at a recent Vatican meeting of bishops about families, to make annulments cost-free.

Many dioceses customarily ask annulment petitioners to pay hundreds of dollars to defray administrative costs, but some are now dropping fees, as a northern Indiana diocese started doing last month.

Francis reiterated his resolve to streamline annulment processes, which are sometimes “so long and so weighty,” he said, that people become “discouraged.”

Divorced Catholics who remarry without annulments cannot receive Communion since the Vatican considers them as adulterers living in sin. Many such divorced Catholics are hoping the pontiff, who says he wants a merciful church, will relent and let them receive Communion.

Posted by: maboulette | November 5, 2014




The Democrats are absorbing their historic losses from Tuesday’s midterm elections, and the pundits are already reflecting on what it means for the Presidential prospects for 2016 for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Politico already is writing that Clinton will likely be facing more pressure from the Democratic Party to declare her candidacy as soon as possible, giving donors and supporters a new leader to rally around for the next 2 years.

On the other hand, Clinton might choose to delay a planned announcement so as to put distance between herself from the party’s losses.

These losses could also give Clinton a new strategic opportunity to tap on the anti-Washington sentiment among voters that drove the results of this midterm.
These results will make it somewhat easier for her to separate herself from President Obama. At this same time, she might also be able to campaign against a GOP Senate that may struggle to unify the conservative and establishment wings of the party.

Clinton will also benefit from the success of the minimum wage ballot initiatives in the red states of Arkansas and Nebraska. These results show a populist momentum behind an issue that she has been campaigning on for months.

In the meantime, the new political landscape gives the White House a chance to nudge Republicans further to the right, potentially giving a new center ground for the likely Democratic nominee in 2016.

New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheed’s re-election victory, however, will likely boost Clinton’s chances in the early primary state.

Posted by: maboulette | October 29, 2014


Today is National Cat Day and I am going to introduce you to my three cat:

Sleeping Kitten


This is Baby  Kitten – she really my son’s –   and she is a mess – she thinks that she is  special when the other cat don’t think so!



This is Biggins and she is probably the real leader of the pack – she makes the plans and tells the other two what to do.  If anything happens, she is the one that will make the other two do it!  She is the biggest but the youngest.


This is my cat – KayKay – she will never look at the camera.  She is the oldest but the smallest – she is my constant companion!

Since today is National Cat Day – please comment by telling me about your cat!

Posted by: maboulette | October 27, 2014


The European Space Agency’s star spacecraft, Rosetta, is honing in on its target, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. And the closer it gets, the more scientists are learning.

The latest report is the scent with which this comet is permeating space. If all comets smell like this one, then the solar system is a very stinky place!
Mix together the bitter smell of almonds, the sour odor of rotten eggs, the dank aroma of horse stable, the pungent aroma of formaldehyde, the biting scent of alcohol all together and voila: comet perfume.

Scientists can smell this comet because Rosetta has a spectrometer, which detects the chemical make up of the comet’s misty aura, called a coma, which forms around the comet when it travels close to the sun and the ice turns into a gas.

The chemicals that make up these nasty smells on Earth are usually pretty dense whereas the chemicals scientists are detecting from this comet are relatively sparse. As the comet approaches close to the sun, however, its fuzzy coma will grow. Thankfully, it will be too far for us to smell.

This stinky discovery is getting scientists pretty excited for what this comet will teach us.

“This all makes a scientifically enormously interesting mixture in order to study the origin of our solar system material, the formation of our Earth and the origin of life,” Kathrin Altwegg of the University of Bern, said in a release, for which an English version is avaible in pdf on the right of the site.

Posted by: maboulette | October 26, 2014


AUSTIN, Texas — Dan Patrick is a political dirt-digger’s dream, a candidate with a history of incendiary comments, a bankruptcy and two hospitalizations for mental health issues, one after an attempted suicide.

He is also poised to become lieutenant governor of Texas and thus one of the most powerful and important politicians in the country’s second most-populous state.

The tea party movement may be flagging elsewhere in the country. But here in Texas it’s going strong, shoving establishment Republicans out the door and promising to push this already deeply conservative state even further right.

Texas is no longer the bastion of country-club Republicanism that twice elected George W. Bush governor in the 1990s. Even the departing governor, Rick Perry, might have a hard time surviving a GOP primary these days; Patrick has gained considerable traction with a pledge to end in-state tuition for college students in the country illegally, a policy that Perry defended at great political cost when he ran for president in 2012.

While Patrick’s story, with its harrowing valleys, may be a testament to perseverance and personal redemption, his expected election Nov. 4 also speaks to the impotence of Texas Democrats, whom Patrick promises to further undercut with the formidable powers the lieutenant governor wields as the state Senate’s presiding officer.

He has promised to appoint fewer Democratic committee chairs and to scrap the long-standing convention that requires two-thirds support to bring a bill to a vote on the floor; the latter has been one of the few levers of power held by outnumbered Democrats in Austin, the state capital.

But it’s not just Democrats who fret about Patrick’s ascension. Many fellow Republicans wince at his heat-seeking rhetoric, especially on illegal immigration, and fear his short-term success will hurt the party in the long run, given Texas’ shifting demographics and rapidly growing Latino and Asian populations.
“It’s going to bite us in the butt,” Jerry Patterson, who lost to Patrick in a nasty four-way GOP primary, said in an interview. Patterson, the state land commissioner, plans to vote for the Libertarian candidate for lieutenant governor rather than support his party’s nominee.

Patrick, 64, a two-term state senator from Houston, came to the Legislature via talk radio and, before that, sports broadcasting, where he acquired a reputation for stunts such as painting himself blue to support Houston’s former NFL team, the Oilers. (He shares a name with a better-known sportscaster who works for NBC.)

Along the way there was his bankruptcy, owing to a failed chain of sports bars, and two hospitalizations in the mid-1980s, for anxiety and depression.

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