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God Bless Lakshmi and Her Remarkable Surgeons

Lakshmi Tatma's family and neighbors believed that with eight limbs, the baby was the embodiment of a goddess.

Her mother sobbed uncontrollably as Lakshmi Tatma lay on the gurney, ready to be pushed into the surgical chambers where she would be forever changed. She would emerge either freed from the parasitic twin to which she had been attached since birth, or–her mother hated to think of it, but the doctors had warned them–she might not survive the extensive dangerous surgery.

It’s been eight months now since the grueling 27 hour operation. Lakshmi is as beautiful and tough as ever, mobile now, and smiling broadly as she twirls in a wheeled plastic disc. The surgery was a remarkable success.

Now CNN has released an extensive article with interviews by the doctors which I believe you will find as captivating as I did when I viewed and read them. A full documentary is here.

God bless this beautiful family and her wonderful doctors.

Picture from Sparsh Hospital
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Rebecca, Nathaniel and Down’s Syndrome Development

A test that can detect Down’s syndrome from the blood of pregnant women, which would be the first reliable noninvasive prenatal test for the chromosomal disorder, has raised the prospect of routine screening for the condition for every expectant mother who wants it.

The advance, however, will also create ethical dilemmas for many couples following positive tests. There are fears that the simpler procedure and more extensive screening could lead to more abortions.

Fox News

Because of various concerns, my daughter, Rebecca’s, pregnancy was categorized as high risk. She had suffered through fertility tests, treatments and multiple disappointments, now was pregnant again, and I sat with her for one more test. For although she was indeed pregnant, a blood test had returned positive, indicating that her baby had a neural tube defect, including the possibility of Down’s syndrome. That particular test though often showed false positives, and an amniocentesis would now be necessary.
I remember well our discussion, for none of us would consider the abortion of Rebecca and Greg’s baby. Why then would she want to proceed with the amniocentesis?
“But are you sure you want to test for Down’s syndrome, Rebecca? Why?”
“I’m sure, Mom. I want to be prepared for what is ahead of me. I would just feel better knowing,” she told me, and I understood that.
We had cried together when she received the negative report, and I assured her of my love for her baby no matter its condition, and she nodded, and yes, she knew, but, “Mom, I really don’t want my baby to be a Down’s syndrome baby.”
“I know, Bek, I know.”
Well, the amniocentesis relieved our minds as it showed no abnormalities, and a few months later was born this perfect little boy. Wish you could see Nathaniel now. He’s a big, burly 11-year-old, bright and talented…and always hungry. 🙂
So when I read this article today, I thought of Nathaniel, and I was reminded again how wrong abortion is, how deceptive are its proponents and with what hideous darkness it stains our world.
How strange it is that whether or not to kill one’s baby could ever be considered a moral dilemma.
My devotional blog is here.
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Pregnant “Man,” A Freak for Father’s Day

Edit: July 4, 2008 The “woman” who claims to be a man has given birth to a little girl. A sad day for the world.

You may have seen the disgusting picture. Claiming the shady honor of being the first man in the world to give birth to a baby, his/her revolting image has torn around the world. I was aghast when I saw it–a grinning bearded face which he/she was in the process of shaving as he/she rested his/her arm on a naked bulging belly. To Jerry, who sat a few feet away, I spoke, telling him of the pregnant man.

“The what?” he roared.

I related the tale. He snapped. “That is NOT a man.”

Jerry’s right, of course. Thomas Beatie is not a man. This is a freak show.

This person was born a girl–a physically beautiful girl it seems–who won beauty pageants, but who somewhere along the way sucked up some testosterone, had her breasts surgically removed, and then took Nancy as a lesbian partner. Conveniently, she kept her internal female organs, into which she artificially inseminated herself, utilizing donor vials from a cryogenic sperm bank, and from which, in early July, will be born a baby girl.

On a news site, I saw an image of Oprah as she caressed the pitiful rounded bulge. I then glanced at a screengrab from Oprah’s website which shows the ultrasound of this unfortunate child. I understand Oprah to have asked, “Are we ready for this?” and then to have lectured on the couple’s bravery and to have sighed, “Love makes a family.”

No, we’re not ready for this, I shout. This is a disgrace, and I for one speak strongly against such repugnant antics. This is not about love; it’s about the promotion of homosexuality by two lesbians. It’s about publicity, it’s about sinning against God’s Word, it’s about ignoring the fact that this little girl will have no father in her home. This is about further confusing gender roles in our world, and adding to the sexual perversion and confusion that already glares with evil eye among us.

Parents who truly love a child would not subject her to the constant scrutiny of an aghast peering public, as though she belonged in a circus. Her fluttering banner of “First Child Born to a Man” is not likely to be easily worn.

In the Advocate, Thomas Beatie blathers on about parental rights and her joy of having this baby. She appeals for acceptance. “Our situation ultimately will ask everyone to embrace the gamut of human possibility and to define for themselves what is normal.”

This is not normal, I tell you. Despite a far-left media, ridiculous rulings from our court system, and the widespread pleas for tolerance that would inculcate such definition for family into our vocabulary and into our souls, this is not normal.

She is not a father. She is a bearded pregnant woman…and that is not normal.


My devotional blog is here.

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Three of Animals

Wonder how He did it? How did God “invent” the spectacular animals that inhabit the planet we call earth? Was there a blueprint laid out in the heavenlies, or was all in the “mind” of God–from tiniest of insect to the impressive girth of the Orca whale to the fuzzy down of a yellow duckling? Huh? How came such glory?

Probably we never will know such answer, but I revel in the love God had for us humans when he created the remarkable animal kingdom. What joy these beings give to us. I bring you three exception specimens today. Take a look–and a listen.

Chilli the giant bullock

From the Daily Mail

His name is Chilli and he’s described as a gentle giant.

Which is just as well for his handler, Tara Nirula, pictured by his side.

His owners have contacted the Guinness Book of Records who are currently assessing his credentials and comparing them to other big bovines.

The black and white Friesian bullock weighs well over a ton and at the same height as a small elephant, casts a shadow over his cattle companions who are about 5ft.

More information about this spectacular animal is here.

Dawn Chorus Courtesy of BBC

For some of us the prospect of waking up at 4am to catch the dawn chorus is little more than a dream. If you are one of these folk, now you won’t even have to leave the comfort of your bed because you can download our specially recorded dawn chorus.

On International Dawn Chorus Day, last Sunday, Team WOtM set out for a wood in Gloucestershire to experience the cacophony of bird song that is the Dawn Chorus. This is the time of year when the UK Dawn Chorus is at its best, because the migrant birds, warblers, flycatchers and of course, the nightingale have arrived to add their songs to the chorus.

I just clicked on the link below that says download the audio here. The bird sounds are lilting, comforting and peaceful. Beautiful.

You just must watch this monkey here. He works in a bar…(heaven, help us all. 🙂 )

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Professor Stephen Hawking Travels to Africa

The man is amazing.

During recent days, Professor Stephen Hawking at 66 years old is reported to have traveled to South Africa. Despite suffering from motor neurone disease which has left him almost completely paralysed, Hawking has made the journey to launch a project in which he and other key intellectuals and scientists will be searching out the very brilliant who reside in the continent of Africa. He and others have plans to create Africa’s first postgraduate centers for advanced maths and physics

“The world of science needs Africa’s brilliant talents and I look forward to meeting prospective young Einsteins from Africa,” said Hawking.

Hawking’s keynote lecture this afternoon is expected to be the highpoint of the ceremonies in Cape Town. When he gave a talk at the Caltech campus in Pasadena in the United States, he was wheeled out of the auditorium to a standing ovation and took a victory lap in his wheel-chair while the crowd shouted: “We love you, Stephen.”

Hawking is expected to repeat his call for a global effort to enable humanity to colonise space, starting with the moon and then Mars. Turok’s hopes are more down to earth: he wants to persuade the British government to rethink its refusal to fund the Aims project.

What a brilliant, courageous man is Professor Stephen Hawking.


My devotional blog is here.

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Ethanol, Anyone? How About Nuclear?

One motorist who has noticed the effect that ethanol has on mileage is Cleo Campbell of Stewartsville, Mo. “I’ve been driving a long time,” he said, “and I know what I normally get, and I don’t get that now.”

In the post following this one, which I wrote yesterday, I discussed the escalating price of gasoline, and in a discussion with Jay in the comments that followed, we talked about the subject of drilling and other facets of the issue. Yesterday–must have been around the same time I was writing this column–Mervi made pertinent comments about both ethanol and nuclear energy.

Ethanol is an alternative fuel, that for a period of time was seen as quite promising. Its use does result in less pollution. Now, though, its glitter seems to have faded, for it actually is no cheaper in the long run than is using gasoline. More quantity is required, and at today’s cost, actually adds $200.00 yearly to fuel cost.

Then there is the shortage of food problem.

Corn is used to produce ethanol, and it is estimated that this year 139 million tons of corn will be used for that purpose. Because of the high cost of diesel fuel, truckers are now striking; this of course will add to the cost of food and other products.
I’m of the thought that we must continue our research into renewable fuel sources, and that we must push past the objections of environmental extremists and utilize our own natural resources. As I stated in my comments to Jay, I believe America would be a safer place if we weren’t so dependent on Mid-Eastern oil.
For a long time, I was terrified when I heard raised the subject of nuclear energy. But recently as I have read more, I have come to understand that nuclear energy may indeed be a viable consideration, and actually is thought to be quite safe.
The famous bottom line forces us to consider:
** The world is demanding more oil than is available, thus its price increase.
** The “work-arounds” include:
Drive less
Manufacturers produce more fuel-efficient cars
Drive vehicles which use less fuel
Find alternate fuels
Supply our own oil
I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.
My devotional blog is here.
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Where Goes the $4.00 You Pay for a Gallon of Gasoline?

It seems any other time Jerry and I would have found it necessary to travel a lot would have been a better time than now. We are spending a fortune on fuel as we run here and there, and the subject of gasoline and diesel prices is on the lip of everyone we meet. So….I was intrigued today by this article from the Chicago Tribune that analyzes the $4.00 we plunk down for every gallon of the oily stuff we pump into our tanks.

The average price for gasoline on Long Island is at a record-setting $3.791 a gallon for regular, says the AAA. And diesel? Fuhgeddaboutit: It averaged $4.648 a gallon.

But where is all that cash going?

59.6 cents a gallon goes to state and federal taxes — of which Uncle Sam gets 18.4 cents a gallon, and the remainder goes to Uncle David in Albany; 26.2 cents a gallon pays for refining crude oil; and another 11.2 cents a gallon goes to distribution and marketing.

And, yes, except for the taxes, each of those items includes profit for the oil industry, Dougher said. Last year’s tally was about $123 billion.

But the industry, including Dougher, hastens to point out that those numbers represent a rate of return of only 8.3 cents per dollar of company revenue — a rate lower than those of the beverage, tobacco, pharmaceutical, computer, electronic and chemical industries.

According to Ray Dougher, an economist for the American Petroleum Institute, crude oil accounted for 74 cents of every dollar consumers paid for gas, which would work out to $2.765 a gallon, based on yesterday’s New York State average of $3.736 for regular. Dougher added that the rest breaks down as such:

59.6 cents a gallon goes to state and federal taxes — of which Uncle Sam gets 18.4 cents a gallon, and the remainder goes to Uncle David in Albany; 26.2 cents a gallon pays for refining crude oil; and another 11.2 cents a gallon goes to distribution and marketing.

And, yes, except for the taxes, each of those items includes profit for the oil industry, Dougher said. Last year’s tally was about $123 billion.

But the industry, including Dougher, hastens to point out that those numbers represent a rate of return of only 8.3 cents per dollar of company revenue — a rate lower than those of the beverage, tobacco, pharmaceutical, computer, electronic and chemical industries.

Those who don’t buy that argument are not alone. And they’ll be outraged again this week when Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Marathon Oil announce how much they made in the first three months of this year.

I’m not an economist, nor an oil tycoon or driller, nor a naturalist, nor a developer. I’m just a consumer whose wallet is suffering because of these prices. Can’t something be done? I ask.


My devotional blog is here.

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Extremely Rare Identical Triplets Are Born–Home from Hospital

Edit: October 15, 2008 Now another set of naturally conceived identical triplets–of the boy variety, though–have gone home from the hospital. Healthy!

Desmond, left, and Kerry Lyons, of Irvington New York, hold their newborn identical triplets Kevin, right, Declan, center, and Cormac during a news conference at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008 in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

©2008 Google – Map data ©2008 Tele Atlas – Terms of Use

NEW YORK (AP) — Forgive Kerry and Desmond Lyons if they sometimes mix up their sons’ names. After all, they’re brand new and look alike.

The rare set of identical triplets conceived without fertility treatments left a Manhattan hospital Tuesday for their suburban


Some say it is a 200 million to one chance they would be born. But here they are: three beautiful identical triplets. They’re of the girl type, were naturally conceived, born in England and are named Gabriella, Alessia and Olivia

The proud parents with their identical triplets (left to right) Olivia, Gabriella and Alessia

The girls were kept on an incubator in Peterborough Maternity Unit where they built up their strength until they were taken home to the house Miss Testa shares with the proud father, her fiancé Richard Rees, 22.

As a midwife, Miss Testa was aware just how exceptional her pregnancy was. ”I found out at my 12-week scan I was having triplets,” Miss Testa said.

More of the story here. From


My devotional blog is here.

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Space Aliens Traveling In Phoenix Skies?

During Stephen Hawking’s lecture at the George Washington University yesterday, where he included remarks concerning space aliens, this was occurirng in Phoenix. Hmm….

Mystery lights reported over Phoenix

April 22nd, 2008 @ 5:44am

by KTAR Newsroom

People are looking for an explanation for mysterious red lights that appeared in the north Phoenix sky Monday night, reminiscent of a similar event 11 years ago. Dozens of listeners called News/Talk 92-3 KTAR just after 8 p.m. reporting they were watching the four mystery lights. “From my position, it looked like they were just hanging, not moving at all,” said one man, who called 92-3’s “Gaydos After Dark.” He said he “absolutely” saw something. A woman caller said, “It looked like four red tower lights, but it was pretty high up in the air. I called my husband and he said, `Get home, what’s wrong with you?'” Those who saw them said the lights were visible about 13 minutes before moving off to the east. Deer Valley Airport, which was the closest air field to the lights, had no explanation for them. Neither did Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport or Luke Air Force Base, which said it had no jets flying at the time. On March 13, 1997, thousands of people reported seeing a v-shaped formation of lights over north Phoenix. They lasted about three hours. Some described them as forming a carpenter’s square. Among those who saw the lights in 1997 was former Gov. Fife Symington, who initially played down the episode. However, he said last year that he believes the lights came from “crafts of unknown origin” and, “It remains a great mystery.”


My devotional blog is here.

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Stephen Hawking Speaks in Honor of Nasa’s 50th Anniversary

In his lecture yesterday, in which he spoke to the probability of life in other worlds, famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking held forth on extra-terresstrial life, saying, “Primitive life is very common and intelligent life is fairly rare.” Then in a light and (perhaps) joking moment, he added, “Some would say it has yet to occur on earth.”

I greatly admire Stephen Hawking and have written of him often. He is a brilliant 66 year old British cosmologist who suffers from ASL and who speaks through a mechanical device. Hawking’s comments on Monday were part of a lecture at George Washington University.

So should you worry about aliens? he continued. He concluded that alien abduction claims come from “weirdos” and are unlikely. He is a strong proponent of the colonization of the moon, and of other planet exploration, especially that of Mars.

Again, I honor Stephen Hawking, who despite incredible physical limitations, continues to make great scientific contributions to our world. By honoring Mr. Hawking, my intent is also to honor all those, who despite considerable limitations, live productive lives and contribute to the wellness of our society.


My devotional blog is here.