Watching the World
◆ The more man studies animals the more evident it becomes that their bodies were designed by a wise Creator. After studying the long ears of rabbits an ecologist at the University of Wisconsin recently concluded that they serve as heat radiators so as to maintain body temperature under extreme weather conditions. When the temperature is very low, rabbits were observed to flatten their ears against their body; but when the temperature is very high, they extend their ears to increase the surface area for radiating more heat from the body.
Smoking Hurts Infants
◆ According to United States Surgeon General Jesse L. Steinfeld, there is strong evidence indicating that smoking mothers reduce the chances for their babies to live. This is in line with a British report that said that “the mortality in babies of smokers was significantly higher than in those of nonsmokers.” In regard to a study of 2,000 pregnant women, the surgeon general contended that 20 percent of the unsuccessful pregnancies “in women who smoke regularly would have been successful if the mother had not been a regular smoker.”
◆ Handcrafted pitchers can be poisonous to your family if they are improperly glazed. The lead in the glazing may dissolve in such liquids as fruit juice, coffee, wine and even soda pop. In one case a boy of two died from lead poisoning after drinking apple juice from a-handcrafted jug. The juice contained twenty times the amount of lead-that is considered safe.
Disastrous Floods in Brazil
◆ After almost forty days without rain, the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was deluged with 360 millimeters (14.2 inches) in twenty-four hours. The area’s eighty-five rivers went wild. More than 3,000 families lost their homes, 700 people were injured, and forty died. In some areas the water rose two meters (over six and one-half feet). In the city of São Paulo 2,000 families were left homeless.
Nudity in Church Service
◆ Before the eyes of 800 delegates to the convention of the Southeastern Minnesota District of the American Lutheran Church, a man and woman in their early twenties disrobed and joined the Communion lines in the nude. There was no call from those present for the pair to be censured or removed from the ceremony. After receiving the bread and wine from a clergyman the couple returned to their seats, dressed and gave no explanation for their actions.
Ban on Birth-Control Data Ended
◆ The highest court in Italy struck down a legal ban on the dissemination of information on birth control in Italy. It was declared unconstitutional because the ban violated the right of free speech. Due to the opposition of the Roman Catholic Church to mechanical and chemical forms of birth control, the ban had been kept in force since the days of the Fascist government of Mussolini, with whom the Vatican made a concordat in 1929.
◆ Quasars have scientists baffled. They are not thought to be stars or galaxies. A quasar is about 100 times as bright as some galaxies and is a strong emitter of radio waves. There has been much debate as to their distance from the earth. These celestial objects appear to be very distant, but some scientists have argued that they are not. Recently an astronomer at the California Institute of Technology discovered evidence suggesting that quasars are as far away as they seem—from one billion light-years to almost ten billion light-years.
Priests Plead for Reforms
◆ The House of Delegates of the National Federation of Priests Councils, representing groups of priests in 122 out of 148 dioceses in the United States, voted eight to one (182 to 23) to end mandatory celibacy. Clergyman William F. Graney, executive director of the organization, observed that many dioceses in the United States have lost from 10 to 15 percent of their priests in the past three years. He also expressed the opinion that the priestly exodus may increase if the Vatican fails to heed this latest call for reform.
Cosmic Rays in the Eyes
◆ On their trips to the moon astronauts have reported seeing strange flashes of light. It is now concluded that they were caused by cosmic rays passing through their eyes and making direct impacts on the retina or the optic nerve. This was confirmed by experiments conducted by the crew of Apollo 14. Scientists are worried that cosmic rays may cause serious eye and brain damage on long space flights of a year or more.
New York’s Drug Curse
◆ Like many other cities, New York is suffering from the curse of drug addiction. It is the largest cause of death for persons between the ages of fifteen and thirty-five. The approximately 100,000 hardcore heroin addicts in the city of New York are charged with being responsible for 50 percent of its serious crimes.
◆ An old, abandoned textile mill in the United States is to be torn down in what has been described as “the most dangerous and expensive demolition job in the nation’s history.” The building is infected with anthrax spores. Anthrax is an infectious disease that is fatal to cattle, sheep and sometimes man. The five-story building of 286,000 square feet is first to be soaked in formaldehyde. This treatment is not expected to render the building entirely safe, as spores may be hidden under paint, in woodwork, under floors, in partitions and in crevices. The building is to be carefully torn down by hand, raising as little dust as possible. The combustible materials are to be burned in special high-heat incinerators and the noncombustible materials are to be dumped in an isolated place, soaked with formaldehyde and inspected periodically for years thereafter.
Explosion in VD
◆ During 1970 the reported cases of syphilis in the United States rose at the alarming rate of 8.1 percent. In some of the large cities the rate was over 50 percent. Reported cases of gonorrhea rose 16 percent in the nation. Gonorrhea is now second only to the common cold in frequency. Its upsurge has been particularly steep among teen-agers. The estimation has been made that one out of every ten sexually promiscuous women has gonorrhea and is unaware of it until serious complications develop or she infects a male partner. A further cause of concern is the fact that gonorrhea is becoming resistant to penicillin. The World Health Organization has reported that it is out of control world wide.
Ouija Board Side Effects
◆ According to the Australian Sunday Telegraph of January 10, 1971, Ouija boards are corrupting and depraving teenage children in Britain. It said: “Teachers and clergymen declared the Ouija cult, which is sweeping the country’s schools to be a graver menace than sex, drink or drugs . . . . The story came into the open when thirty teen-age schoolgirls began to rant, rave and scream every time the religious mistress entered the classroom. They became uncontrollably violent and kept shouting ‘There is no God.’ The girls were, normally, well-behaved.” It was found that the girls were addicted to the Ouija board and that the spirits had told them that there is no God. The paper goes on to report: “A girl tried to commit suicide after the Ouija board gave her a message, supposedly from her dead father, saying: ‘It’s wonderful here. Why don’t you join me?’” The secretary of the Spiritualist Association of Great Britain said: “Public sale of these . . . boards should be banned . . . The forces they release are irresponsible and dangerous.” The Bible warns against such efforts to contact wicked spirit forces.
◆ Ancient Romans were thrilled by bloody contests between well-trained gladiators. Today many people find an equal thrill watching well-trained boxers in a brutal contest of skill and strength as they rain punishing blows on each other. Few are aware that more than 400 persons have died as a result of such contests since the year 1900. Many have received permanent brain damage. Dr. Ward Halstead of the University of Chicago observed: “Even a light blow causes the brain to bounce—it is appalling the ruin boxing causes the brain.”
Charcoal Briquettes Can Be Dangerous
◆ When charcoal briquettes are used indoors they become very dangerous because of the carbon monoxide gas they release. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration thirty-one persons in recent years have lost their lives from this gas because of burning charcoal briquettes in tents, trailers, cars, boats and other enclosed areas. The danger is greatly reduced when they are used outdoors.
◆ A Unitarian clergyman in good standing is a declared homosexual, according to the newspaper Daily Independent Journal from San Rafael, California. After announcing that he is a homosexual, the newspaper said, he “began speaking around the country on the homosexual and his oppression. For the last two years he has been busy with this sort of speaking at Unitarian fellowship meetings.” A truly Christian organization recognizes the moral standards God has set out in his Word, one of which clearly condemns homosexuality.
Radioactive Dating in Question
◆ As reported in the New York Times, a recent discovery threatens to upset present methods of dating archaeological discoveries by measuring the rate of radioactive decay in objects. It has been assumed that the decay of radioactive materials is constant according to precisely known rates. But now this has been thrown into question by the discoveries of Dr. John L. Anderson. He confirmed his findings through independent tests at Atomic Energy Commission laboratories. His observations indicated that the decay rates might not be as constant as has been assumed. He observed that other forces could alter the process.
◆ After having his place of business robbed repeatedly by burglars, a Texas businessman decided to use rattlesnakes as “watchdogs.” He went on a snake hunt and brought back seven diamondback rattlesnakes. During the day they are kept in cages located in the window of his business office. At night he releases them to roam about the office, and in the morning he rounds them up by means of a hooked stick.
Homicide Rate Up
◆ New York city is apparently on its way to establishing a new record. Its rate of homicides is running 30 percent ahead of the record years of 1969 and 1970 and twice that of 1965. Other cities are also hitting records. The homicide rate in Detroit is up 68 percent, and increases have been reported for Baltimore, Philadelphia, Houston and Los Angeles. One reason offered for the rise is that many people have bought illegal guns as a protection against crime, and when they lose their tempers they are using these guns on one another.
Baptist Church in Trouble
◆ At the Texas Baptist Convention, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention told the 12,000 delegates: “At a time when the church faces its greatest challenge, the church is its most anemic and sickliest. . . . We’re living to see the (Baptist) church die before our very eyes.”