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The E.Newspaper By Dr. Howdy, Ph.D. A.P.E., N.U.T.
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Earthquakes can strike without warning, and being prepared for such a disaster can mean the difference between life and death. Here are some tips to help you and your loved ones make it through a quake:
~ Those living in areas not prone to earthquakes can respond quickly to the plight of disaster victims in quake zones by complacently smirking and saying, "I told you so."
~ To minimize loss and damage in a quake, try not to own things.
~ Practice your burrowing-out-from-under-40-tons-of-rubble skills ahead of time.
~ Look out your window often. If you see a large, zig-zag-shaped crevasse moving rapidly from the horizon toward your home, step either to the right or the left.
~ Do you have a treasured childhood toy? Perhaps a stuffed animal, such as a teddy bear? Well, let's see Mr. Bear help you now!
~ For those who fear earthquakes, it may comfort you to know that a majority of the damage during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake did not come from the tremors themselves. Instead, it was from the raging, out-of-control fires that consumed most of the city.
~ A doorway is the safest place to be during a quake. Eat, sleep, and work in doorways.
~ Be sure to mail your house-insurance payments a full five business days before a major earthquake strikes.
~ In the event of a quake, get under something heavy, such as a desk, a table, or your boss.
~ If you are caught in a major earthquake in Southern California and are part of the entertainment industry, take a moment or two to reflect on how grossly you've wasted your life.
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Here are some actual label instructions on consumer products:
1. On a blanket from Taiwan - NOT TO BE USED AS PROTECTION FROM A TORNADO. 2. On a helmet mounted mirror used by US cyclists - REMEMBER,OBJECTS IN THE MIRROR ARE ACTUALLY BEHIND YOU. 3. On a Taiwanese shampoo - USE REPEATEDLY FOR SEVERE DAMAGE. 4. On the bottle-top of a (UK) flavored milk drink - AFTER OPENING, KEEP UPRIGHT. 5. On a New Zealand insect spray - THIS PRODUCT NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS. 6. In a US guide to setting up a new computer - TO AVOID CONDENSATION FORMING, ALLOW THE BOXES TO WARM UP TO ROOM TEMPERATURE BEFORE OPENING. (Sensible, but the instruction was INSIDE the box.) 8. In some countries, on the bottom of Coke bottles - OPEN OTHER END. 9. On a packet of Sunmaid raisins - WHY NOT TRY TOSSING OVER YOUR FAVORITE BREAKFAST CEREAL? 10. On a Sears hairdryer - DO NOT USE WHILE SLEEPING. 11. On a bag of Fritos - YOU COULD BE A WINNER! NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. DETAILS INSIDE. 12. On a bar of Dial soap - DIRECTIONS - USE LIKE REGULAR SOAP. 13. On Tesco's Tiramisu dessert (printed on bottom of the box) - DO NOT TURN UPSIDE DOWN. 14. On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding - PRODUCT WILL BE HOT AFTER HEATING. 15. On a Korean kitchen knife - WARNING: KEEP OUT OF CHILDREN. 16. On a string of Chinese-made Christmas lights - FOR INDOOR OR OUTDOOR USE ONLY. 17. On a Japanese food processor - NOT TO BE USED FOR THE OTHER USE. 18. On Sainsbury's peanuts - WARNING - CONTAINS NUTS. 19. On an American Airlines packet of nuts - INSTRUCTIONS - OPEN PACKET, EAT NUTS. 20. On a Swedish chainsaw - DO NOT ATTEMPT TO STOP CHAIN WITH YOUR HANDS.
Few influences in life are as dominant and faltering as the power of culture. While we boast of individuality and freedom of thought, by nature we often surrender to culture's demands. This absorbing effect of culture is analogous to the heartbeat of a people. Let me illustrate this:
A medical doctor who is a friend of mine suffered a serious heart attack while he was still in his thirties. He described the pain of that event as different from any other pain he had ever felt. Every prior injury or hurt, whether a broken arm or a sore knee, he had experienced as a hurt to a part of his body. In some measure he could separate himself from the pain. "But during my heart attack," he said, "I was in the pain. There is no other way to describe it." The notion conveyed is instructive—that the very organ that should have been pumping life was instead disseminating pain.
I can think of no better analogy to describe the all-consuming hold of culture as it becomes the source of thinking and feeling in its members. So engulfing is this power that we cannot discuss the essential themes of our culture without being locked into it ourselves. We are in it, and are hard pressed to find a fulcrum outside of it with which to leverage a shift.
An old Chinese proverb says if you want to know what water is don't ask the fish. The fish does not know any other kind of life because it is submerged in the monotony and single vision of a watery existence. To the fish, no other environment is possible; hence, it can conceive of nothing by which to measure its own existence.
Similarly, we need to recognize that proximity does not necessarily guarantee an accurate perspective of the environment. Sometimes a culture can so absorb and transmit ideas that it is hard for those within it to be objective about its values and practices when measured against a counter-perspective.
Undeniably, being part of a culture brings about a level of comfort with the ways and means by which people live. But that familiarity does not guarantee sensitivity or objectivity. For the Christian, then, to live wisely in this age is to heed the words of the Apostle Paul: "We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." Otherwise we may find that it is we who have become captives.
A Slice of Infinity is a daily radio by Ravi Zacharias program aimed at reaching into the culture with words of challenge, words of truth, and words of hope. A Slice of Infinity transcripts are also available on the Internet. If you know of others who would enjoy receiving A Slice of Infinity in their email box each day, tell them they can sign up on our Web site at http://www.sliceofinfinity.org.