Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Clara Chandler Takes On: Time

Time – the sequential arrangement of all events.

Take a moment to consider that definition. The sequential arrangement of all events. Everything realized and unrealized. Every action, reaction and non-action that has taken place, is taking place, or ever will take place. Time exists only as a concept devised by mankind, to serve mankind. It’s a tool much like a yardstick, created to help us communicate more easily.

The World Clock lists time zones for every segment of real estate in the world from Abu Dhabi to Zurich. Zones that further arrange events into neat little sectors.

The U.S. Naval Observatory keeps the “Master Clock Time” (a true misnomer – you’ll read why later in this column) which can be found here. Ah, the Navy loves the pomp and circumstance of maintaining the Master Clock. To me that’s like parading around and boasting that your yardstick is the best one in the world…

Image hosting by PhotobucketAnother site claims the honor of keeping the official Time Ticker. You can scroll across their page and see what time it is anywhere in the world. Or you can take a virtual walk through the evolution of timekeeping through the ages here. There’s even a game where you can “shuffle” time here.

Image hosting by PhotobucketEveryone’s familiar with the sundial, that most primitive tool to mark the sun’s progress. But because each society measured time in a way practical to their lifestyle, it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that Chinese time (Chinese society was basically agricultural) was measured in a temporal system based on sunrise and sunset. Day and the night were each divided into six equal periods. This obviously made the periods unequal because of seasonal changes: As winter approaches, the "day periods" became shorter while during the summer they became longer. To make things even more complicated, in practical use night was actually divided into five "special" night periods instead of the theoretical six; and each night period was in turn divided into five "points" equally. (For more on Chinese Temporal Timekeeping System, click here.

Image hosting by PhotobucketAncient cultures marked the passage of the summer and winter solstice and spring and autumn equinox. Two universally well-known monoliths dedicated to keeping time are located at Stonehenge and Easter Island. There’s even a site where you can purchase a Stonehenge pocket watch if you’re so inclined.

Most of us think we understand time. Time is what clocks measure, ticking off the steady beat of seconds, minutes and hours. Although our wristwatches may run fast or slow because of mechanical flaws, we believe that there is some "master clock" for the universe to which, in an ideal world, all clocks could be synchronized. The notion of the regular passage of time is so ingrained in human consciousness that our languages have developed special ways to distinguish events that occur in the past, present or future. And until Einstein, most physicists also accepted the idea of universal time without question.

Einstein proved that Time does not progress at the same rate for everyone, everywhere. Instead, Einstein showed that how fast time progresses depends on how fast the clock measuring time is moving. The faster an object travels, the more slowly time passes for that object, as measured by a stationary observer. Perhaps even more astonishing, one person's past could theoretically be another's future—which is why Einstein described the past, present and future as "persistent illusions."

For more on this very elementary yet seemingly counter-intuitive concept, check out the interesting article by the American Museum of Natural History here.

Image hosting by PhotobucketOnce you understand that time doesn’t progress at the same rate for everyone everywhere, your mind will be opened to endless possibilities.

Explore the limitless possibilities introduced by the new month’s fresh meat at The Horror Library.

Image hosting by PhotobucketFor a sweet dessert, be sure and read The Sugar Blues. Let me know what you think; I know you have the time…. ~~ Clara Chandler

The Way To A Man's Heart...

David Blaine, one of my heroes, demonstrates the way to a man's heart:

View other funny videos at Very Funny Downloads

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Clara Chandler Takes On: The Flu

For this week's column, check out The Horror Library Blog-O-Rama here.

I'm not pleased with the spacing this quiz requires -- screws up the blog spacing so I resized the photo, rendering the text unreadable. Sigh. Below the photo is the text and a link to the quiz.
You're like the Greek God of dreams, Morpheus. Believing there is something bigger out there, and often lost in thought. You're imaginative, and smart -- not always a leader, but usually the one who came up with the plan. You often ask, "What if..." and long to get out of the darkness and through the window.

Which Of The Greek Gods Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Real Life Horror, Propaganda, or Both?

In case you haven't read about the young man from Charleston, West Virginia (Lieutenant William "Eddie" Rebrook IV), below is an article from "The Charleston Gazette." The gist of the article is that Lt. Rebrook was required to reimburse the Army $700 for body armor and other gear damaged after he was seriously wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq.

Clara checked with her military source in Charleston, WV. He claims this story isn't a story at all. Sargeant X said Rebrook chose to pay for the missing equipment rather than wait two weeks to file the paperwork necessary to complete his discharge. Now she's unsure which is the most horrible aspect of the situation:

  • The propaganda generated over the incident; OR

  • That a serviceman preferred to pay $700 to avoid two more weeks in the Army

February 08, 2006
Army blasted over soldier’s body armor

Sympathizers raise nearly $6,000 to repay Army for missing item

By Eric Eyre
Staff writer

West Virginia’s two U.S. senators asked top military leaders Tuesday to explain why 1st Lt. William “Eddie” Rebrook IV had to reimburse the U.S. Army $700 last week for body armor and other gear damaged after he was seriously wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq.

More than 200 people —from West Virginia and across the country — donated more than $5,700 to Rebrook after reading about his body armor payment to the Army.

Rebrook, 25, who was medically discharged from an army base in Fort Hood, Texas, last week, said he wouldn’t keep the donations. He’s passing along the money to charity and a Louisiana woman who lost her home in Hurricane Katrina. He said the woman’s son helped save his life in Iraq.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., sent a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld Tuesday, demanding that the Army refund Rebrook’s money immediately.

“I was outraged this morning when I read the story about what happened to Eddie,” said Rockefeller, who nominated Rebrook for admission to the US. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., when Rebrook attended George Washington High School in Charleston. “I’m heartbroken that he can’t continue his career, and I’m shocked that he has been treated this way by our military.”

At a U.S. Senate hearing Tuesday, Sen. Robert Byrd, D-WVa., asked why Rebrook was forced to pay for body armor damaged when he was wounded in Iraq.

“How can it be that the Army is charging wounded soldiers for replacing damaged body armor? Is this standard practice?” Byrd asked during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Department of Defense’s 2007 budget.

Rumsfeld and Gen. Peter Schoomaker, the Army’s chief of staff, attended the hearing.

“That is a very unusual story,” Schoomaker responded. “I have no idea why we would ever do something like that. We have issued body armor, the very best that exists in the world. Every soldier has it.

“We certainly have procedures that account for battle loss, and I just find it a highly unusual story. But we’ll certainly follow up and correct it if there’s any truth to it.”

“First Cavalry Division leadership is going to do everything to ensure this issue is brought to a conclusion that is both in line with procedures that apply to all its soldiers and in the best interest of our veterans who have served so proudly and honorably in Iraq,” Lt. Col. Scott Bleichwehl, the division's spokesman at Fort Hood, told the Killeen Daily Herald for today’s edition.

Bleichwehl said soldiers are not held financially responsible for any equipment lost, damaged or destroyed in combat.

Rebrook said he borrowed $700 from his buddies to pay back the U.S. Army for the destroyed body armor and gear. He plans to pay them back out of his own pocket.

A Charleston radio station, WKWS-FM 96.1, raised $700 for Rebrook in less than an hour Tuesday morning. One woman hand-delivered a check for $350 to the radio station Tuesday.

“We read the story on the air, and the phones started ringing,” said the station’s Mike Fitzgerald.

The bulk of money for Rebrook was raised Tuesday after the soldier’s story was posted on americablog.com, a popular liberal political blog.

Donations ranged from $1 to $400, said John Aravosis, who runs the Internet blog. More than 187 people gave money. About 200 people posted to the blog.

“Everybody thinks liberals hate soldiers,” Aravosis said. “But the majority of people get that it’s not right to abuse our troops.”

Rebrook’s right arm was shattered in an explosion while he was standing in the turret of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle in January 2005. Field medics removed his body armor, and it was later incinerated, Rebrook said. A Black Hawk helicopter airlifted him to a combat support hospital in Baghdad

Rebrook, who graduated with honors from West Point, said he was never given any records that documented the body armor loss.

When he turned in his gear last week, Rebrook said he was told to pay nearly $700 or face not being discharged for weeks. The bill included a $570 charge for his Kevlar vest and gear destroyed in battle, and $130 for other lost items.

Rebrook said he was asked to provide statements from witnesses that he lost his body armor in battle.

He said he thought he could write a memo, explaining that the body armor was stripped from him after he was injured. But that wasn’t sufficient, he learned last week.

“I understand what they were saying, but from my perspective it was a hard pill to swallow,” Rebrook said Tuesday.

Despite the “bureaucratic snafu,” as Rebrook calls it, he holds no grudges “I love the Army,” Rebrook said. “I love my soldiers. I loved being in it.”

Dozens of Charleston Gazette readers called the newspaper and sent e-mails, criticizing the Army and praising Rebrook for his service in Iraq. Some readers offered to pay Rebrook for the entire cost of his body armor.

“It’s a disgrace to humanity for our military to do that to a young boy who graduated from West Point,” said William Crouch of St. Albans. “I’m so mad now I can’t stand it.”

To contact staff writer Eric Eyre, use e-mail or call 348-4869.


Clara checked with her military source in Charleston, WV. He claims this story isn't a story at all. Sargeant X said Rebrook chose to pay for the missing equipment rather than wait two weeks to file the paperwork necessary to complete his discharge. Now she's unsure which is the most horrible aspect of the situation:

  • The propaganda generated over the incident; OR

  • That a serviceman preferred to pay $700 to avoid two more weeks in the Army

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Clara Chandler Takes On: INTIMIDATION - Life Under Damocles' Sword

Note: This post contains disturbing images and text and is not intended to be viewed or read by minors.

Image hosting by Photobucket “Intimidation is the act of making others do what one wants through fear. Intimidation is a maladaptive outgrowth of normal competitive urge for interrelational dominance generally seen in animals, but which is more completely modulated by social forces in humans.

Like all behavioral traits it exists in greater or lesser manifestation in each individual person over time, but may be a more significant compensatory behavior for some as opposed to others. Behavioral theorists often see intimidation in children as a consequence of being intimidated by others, including parents, playmates and siblings.

Image hosting by Photobucket “Intimidation may be manifested in such manner as physical threat, glowering countenance, emotional manipulation, verbal abuse, purposeful embarrassment and/or actual physical assault.

Image hosting by Photobucket““Various means of intimidating include: Physical abuse, torture, severe corporal punishment, psychological abuse, humiliation. bullying, hate speech, manipulation, stalking, coercive persuasion, sexual abuse, sexual assault, rape, and sexual harassment.

Image hosting by Photobucket “I imagine specific scenarios of intimidation filled your mind as you read this article. Important aspects of intimidation incorporate a certain authority, such as a physician. Intimidation may also be employed consciously or unconsciously, and a percentage of people who employ it consciously may do so as the result of rationalized notions of its appropriateness, utility or self-empowerment.” ~~ Source: Wikipedia

So why are there so many forms of intimidation? I believe modern society created numerous layers of authority in order to control burgeoning numbers of people. In the “olden days,” human beings had parents, tribal elders, and a supreme being. Other than those authority figures, there were of course threats in the form of aggressive people and animals, and weather conditions. A desire for protection from those threats coupled with the advent of agriculture and the need for collaborative societies created societal structure.

Image hosting by PhotobucketToday endless threats in the form of intimidation (medical, governmental, sexual, and generic bullying in numerous forms) exist.

Indulge me as I expand on a form of intimidation that is particularly frightening to me personally:

Vivisection And Other "Medical Research"

Vivisection was practiced in the Roman era on gladiators and slaves. The famous chemist, E.E. Slosson wrote on Dec. 12th, 1895, in the New York Independent, "A human life is nothing compared with a new fact in science....the aim of science is the advancement of human knowledge at any sacrifice of human life....We do not know of any higher use we can put a man to." Professor Starling of University College, London, openly declared in 1906 to Britain's Parliament at its investigation into vivisection practices, "The last experiment must be on man."

Beginning in 1942, mustard gas experiments were conducted on 4,000 United States service men in order to study the effects on the human nervous system. These tests concluded in 1945.

From 1937-45 Unit 731 of the Imperial Japanese Army performed human experimentation without the use of anesthetics because it was believed that it might affect the results. A short list includes:

  • Vivisections (The act or practice of cutting into or otherwise injuring living animals, especially for the purpose of scientific research)

  • Prisoners were amputated limb by limb to study blood loss.

  • Arms were cut off and reattached to opposite sides.

  • Limbs were frozen and sawed off.

  • Parts of the brain, lungs, liver, et cetera were taken out.

  • Vivisection of a pregnant woman (impregnated by one of the doctors) and the fetus.

In 1997, 180 Chinese victims or the family of victims of Unit 731 sued the Japanese government for a full disclosure, apology and compensation.

In August 2002, the Tokyo District Court acknowledged the existence of Unit 731 and its biological warfare activities, but ruled that all compensation issues were settled by the Joint Communique of the Government of Japan and the Government of the People's Republic of China of September 29, 1972. [Note: In return for data gleaned during these horrors, the U.S. government did not prosecute the Japanese doctors, many of whom became prominent members of both Japanese and American society. ~~CC]

Image hosting by PhotobucketOur moral horror at the Nazi medical experiments was dissipated by our government's decision not to prosecute the Japanese for almost identical experiments on an almost identical number of victims, three thousand (many of whom were American prisoners), in exchange for the information from those experiments. As Raoul Hillburg wrote in The Destruction of the European Jews, ‘If the world was so shocked at what it discovered to be the extremes to which experimental medicine would go, it has yet to condemn the method or find the means to control it.’” ~~http://www.micahbooks.com/readingroom

Doctors can be intimidating...

Big Brother & Nuclear Testing On The Public
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“After 15 years of investigating, I have concluded that the United States government’s atomic weapons industry knowingly and recklessly exposed millions of people to dangerous levels of radiation.

“Nothing in our past compared to the official deceit and lying that took place in order to protect the nuclear industry. In the name of national security, politicians and bureaucrats ran roughshod over democracy and morality. Ultimately, the Cold Warriors were willing to sacrifice their own people in their zeal to beat the Russians.” —Former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall from the foreword to Atomic Harvest: Hanford and the Lethal Toll of America’s Nuclear Arsenal By Michael D’Antonio

Image hosting by PhotobucketIn 1949, as part of the Green Run experiment, over 5000 curies of radioactive iodine-131 and xenon-133 were released without warning into the atmosphere. By comparison, the notorious Three Mile Island accident of 1978 released a mere 15 curies into the environment.

The story of the uranium miners is as tragic as any. During the 1940s and 1950s, thousands of poor, uneducated men, most of whom were American Indians, labored in mines in the Four Corners region to produce uranium needed to manufacture plutonium for bombs and atomic tests.

Forced to work without even the most basic ventilation system, the miners breathed uranium-laced air, drank uranium-contaminated water and carried the deadly dust home to their families. Thousands have since died of lung cancer and other radiation-related diseases. Thus far, Congress has approved no compensation for them.

The deadly rain of fallout stopped in 1963 but only momentarily. Even after the United States and the Soviet Union’s limited test-ban treaty, many of the next 700 underground tests “vented,” the government’s euphemism for explosions that drifted radiation across the country.

Our government can be intimidating… Image hosting by Photobucket

Okay, enough creepy quotes. Here are my own ideas: When I boiled down the main forms of intimidation, I came to a surprising conclusion. Intimidation seems to fall within three main areas: Physical (corporal punishment and other physical abuse, bullying, and medical); sexual; and psychological intimidation (the use of fear tactics to control behavior by a government, school, parent, or other figure of authority, including filmmakers and writers).

Phobias As Tools of Intimidation

Scary stories frequently utilize our phobias to intimidate us. "Arachnia" (fear of spiders) is a good example of a widespread phobia being used as a vehicle for a commercial film. "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" was a television series that featured a group of children (The Midnight Society) who gathered in the woods and exchanged ghost stories.

Women's Fantasies
Image hosting by PhotobucketMany women entertain what is mistakenly referred to as a rape fantasy. In my conversations with other women over the past 30+ years, rather than desiring an actual rape scenario most agree what they really dream of is an adept, masculine, desirable partner who knows when to take control in a responsible, non-painful manner and go on to bring the woman to a mind-numbing climax. That’s not a bit intimidating!

Maybe People Enjoy Intimidation?
Who reading this doesn't like to feel intimidated while reading a scary story or watching a scary movie? Isn't the biggest letdown finding that the movie or story doesn't intimidate us? It's a safe form of intimidation -- one we can lay down or close our eyes and it ends. Intimidation we can control and enjoy

Go Get Intimidated
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Read Boyd E. Harris' County Road 2246. Be sure and drop Mr. Harris a note and tell 'im Clara sent you.
© 2006 Clara Chandler - All Rights Reserved

Sunday, February 12, 2006

R.I.P. Peter Benchley

Peter Benchley, the author of "Jaws," died Sunday. He was 65.

Read Article.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Clara Chandler -- Miss Piggy In Disguise?

You Are Miss Piggy

A total princess and diva, you're totally in charge - even if people don't know it.
You want to be loved, adored, and worshiped. And you won't settle for anything less.
You're going to be a total star, and you won't let any of the "little people" get in your way.
Just remember, piggy, never eat more than you can lift!

I bet my brother will say this suits me. ~~CC

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Dead People's Things For Sale

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The February issue of The Horror Library is now available for your reading pleasure. Be sure to wander around the site. I hear there's some Dead People's Things For Sale. ~~Clara