Author Archives: Guestspeaker

About Guestspeaker

A joint effort of several authors who do find that nobody can keep standing at the side and that “Everyone" must care about what is going on in today’s world. We are a bunch of people who do not mind that somebody has a totally different idea but is willing to share the ideas with others and to be Active and willing to let others understand how "today’s decisions will influence the future”. Therefore we would love to see many others to "Act today".

Coronacrisis biedt geen oplossing voor het broeikaseffect

Door de vele lockdowns werd er gehoopt dat het verminderd verkeer en het verminderd actief zijn van vele vervuilende bedrijven, dacht men dat dit het milieu ten goede zou komen en de opwarming van de aarde wat zou kunnen temperen.

Na de lockdown werd de lucht in India zo schoon dat het bergmassief vanuit Bihar zichtbaar was.

In verscheidene steden konden ook minder kleine stofdeeltjes waargenomen worden en mocht men wel vast stellen dat de lucht zuiverder was. Echter viel dat niet overal zo goed mee, doordat mensen thuis elk hun verwarming meer gebruikten alsook meer water verbruikten.

Onderzoekers hebben vastgesteld dat al zou de uitstoot tot eind volgend jaar lager blijven dat wij dan toch nog geen vermindering van de opwarming van de aarde in 2030 met niet meer dan 0,01 graad zullen kunnen waarnemen. Die conclusie trekt een internationaal team van onderzoekers.

Alleen wanneer klimaatdoelen een centraal onderdeel worden van de herstelplannen voor na de coronacrisis, is er winst te behalen: dan zou de helft van de opwarming die verwacht wordt voor 2050, kunnen worden voorkomen en zou de opwarming op termijn onder de 1,5 graad blijven. De onderzoekers brachten de daling in de uitstoot van kooldioxide, stikstofoxiden en andere vervuilende stoffen tijdens de coronacrisis in kaart. Die daalden met 10 tot 30 procent door de lockdown die in een groot deel van de wereld plaatsvond.

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Filed under Ecologische aangelegenheden, Levensstijl, Natuur, Nederlandse teksten - Dutch writings, Nieuwsgebeurtenissen - Journaal, Wereld aangelegenheden

20 years ago: wreckage of the Hunley raised from the ocean floor

2000: The wreckage of the Hunley, a Confederate submarine that was lost during the American Civil War , was raised from the ocean floor near Sullivans Island, South Carolina; it was the first submarine to sink (1864) an enemy ship (the Union sloop Housatonic). [Take our quiz about submarines, ships, and other watercraft.]

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Redeeming Our World

Man, created in the image of God, received the world to use it for the best and not the worst. The man had to take care of it, but has proven to make a mess of it.

All problems that come over man are created by man himself, him polluting his own living quarters and not respecting that what he has received in loan from His Creator, the God of heaven and earth.

Mother Earth cries for distress and signals that it is high time to do something to get better. Each individual has to take his or her own responsibility.

Let us not wait but take this pandemic to make a turnover and start to find a more respectful way of living for each living being.

Wouldn’t it be great if, along with learning from this world crisis how to take better care of ourselves, we also learned how to take better care of our world? {Earth Day Lockdown}

Mitch Teemley

“Then the LORD God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to cultivate and watch over it.” ~Genesis 2:15

Reeem the Garden

As we return, post-lockdown, to the world around us, so does the pollution we create. If it is true, as some have said, that we ourselves are the disease (and there is truth in that), it’s also true that we hold the cure. But it seems those who focus habitually on what’s wrong with the world take little action to make things right with it, whether the world without or the world within, our souls. Yes, by all means, let us remove the toxins from the garden. But then let us go on to re-plant the garden.

“Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.” ~Henry David…

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Ecological affairs, Lifestyle, Nature, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

Coronavirus disinfectant use alarms scientists

Everywhere a lot of people want to use a lot of disinfectants, antibacterial products, Dettol, Alcohol, a.o..

Once people were confronted with the seriousness of the possible spread of the new 6th coronavirus they wanted to disinfect the surroundings. China, South Korea, France, Spain, and several other countries thought they best would be to spray copious amounts of disinfectant throughout densely populated urban areas. Fleets of trucks, drones, and even robots doused streets, parks, playgrounds, and other outdoor public spaces with virus-killing chemicals.

On television, we could see that in several countries government people even went into the houses spraying loads of chemicals.

China was the first country, in January 2020, to start sanitizing its cities — and as soon as it did, reports of poisoned animals started coming in. In February, an investigation by the Chongqing Forestry Bureau in Chongqing, a huge city in southwestern China, found that at least 135 animals across 17 species — including wild boars, Siberian weasels, and blackbirds — had died after exposure to disinfectants, according to Chinese news agency Xinhua.

Disinfectant ingredients, mostly sodium hypochlorite, chlorine, and bleach, are “acutely toxic to both terrestrial and aquatic animals,” says Dongming Li, professor of ecology at Hebei Normal University and co-author of the Environmental Research analysis, which was based solely on the Chongqing Forestry Bureau’s investigation. Li and his colleagues did not personally examine the dead animals to confirm what had killed them.

Even so, the animals’ deaths are concerning evidence, Li believes, that

“the overuse of disinfectants may contaminate the habitats of urban wildlife.” (Read more about how animals are moving into cities.)

Li’s team is now calling on world leaders to regulate the dispersal of disinfectants in urban areas, which they say is being done without input from the scientific community.

Furthermore, we also want to warn people antibacterial products are of no use against viruses, and an overdose of such products kills also the necessary and good bacteria we do need, whilst it makes the bad bacteria resistant. That will give a lot of problems in the treatment and prevention of bacterial infections.

Antibiotics have been used since ancient times, but the last few years there was such an increase that many bacteria managed to resist those articles. The World Health Organization has classified antimicrobial resistance as a widespread

“serious threat [that] is no longer a prediction for the future, it is happening right now in every region of the world and has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country”. {Antimicrobial resistance: global report on surveillance(PDF). The World Health Organization. April 2014. ISBN978-92-4-156474-8. Retrieved 13 June 2016.}

People should be fully aware that chemical disinfectants kill viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms by destroying their cell walls and damaging their proteins through oxidation. If inhaled or ingested by people or animals, these substances can irritate or corrode the mucous membranes of the respiratory and digestive tracts. In extreme cases, exposure can lead to death.

We also may not forget that using all those disinfectants, also by washing our hands with such products they all come into our water system. Christopher J. Schell, professor of urban ecology at the University of Washington, in Tacoma, ways:

“If you put toxicants into a system, they are going to travel through the food web,”

While sanitizing frequently touched surfaces can help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, scientists now know that most people get the disease by breathing in droplets in the air from an infected person and not so much by coming into contact with a contaminated surface.

That’s why, in May, the World Health Organization advised against using disinfectants outdoors, both because streets and sidewalks

“are not considered as routes of infection for COVID-19”

and because spraying such chemicals

“can be noxious for people’s health and cause eye, respiratory or skin irritation or damage.”

The WHO didn’t mention the harm to wildlife as well, but many wildlife rangers and animal scientists warn people of the danger of those products contaminating the environment and endangering wildlife. Though with that knowledge there are still several countries which continue to spray disinfectants in public areas.

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused public fear in many countries. Many health agencies around the world may spray more disinfectants to ensure the virus is fully killed and to alleviate their worries of viral infection,”

Li says.

Politicians who dare to take the right measures, demanding restrictions to where people go, are not risking their popularity and therefore ordered going on the streets with spraying trucks or spraying agents, or drones, and even robots dousing streets, parks, playgrounds, and other outdoor public spaces with virus-killing chemicals, is more visible for many, who then would think their government does it best. Though it would be much better and safer for the environment if people would be encouraged to stay home.

“Rather than indiscriminately spraying high volumes of disinfectants in biodiversity-rich areas such as urban parks, wetlands, and green spaces,”

Dongming Li says,

“it would be preferable to suspend human activities in such places.”

*

Please find also to read:

  1. Why antibodies may not be the key to beating coronavirus
  2. Why COVID-19 will end up harming the environment
  3. Antarctica is the last continent without COVID-19. Scientists want to keep it that way.
  4. How Wild Animals Are Hacking Life in the City

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Filed under Ecological affairs, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Nature, Welfare matters, World affairs

What can each individual do to lessen the burden in times of pandemic

Ms. Sarah Ibershimi, a third year medical students, studying at ‘Universiteti i Mjekësisë Tiranë (UMT)’, in Albania. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting, for which she wrote an article about mental health in times of pandemic and what each individual can  do to lessen the burden.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has spread rapidly between and within countries and it has sickened more than 2.5 million people all over the world. Pandemics are not only health emergencies in which human life is threatened but they are also human dramas that cause psychological disturbances. Due to the emergency caused by the novel coronavirus, the governments put their countries on a lockdown, in order to break the chain of transmission. But, what are the consequences of social isolation on mental health and what can be done to mitigate these effects?

The coronavirus outbreak is clearly shaping our lives. Coping with unemployment, mobility restrictions, social distance and excessive fear in such a short time, is not easy at all. In terms of mental health, this emergency exceeds the capacity of the population to handle on the situation. Moreover, the psychological effects are more marked in vulnerable groups such as elderly people, children or even those who have a lack of resources and access to social and health services. Regarding this, there are a lot of effective initiatives that we can undertake to lessen the burden.

> Continue reading: Mental Health in times of pandemic: What can each individual do to lessen the burden?

++

Find also to read:

  1. Making deeper cuts than some terrorist attacks of the near past
  2. The unseen enemy
  3. Under-reporting the total number of coronavirus cases
  4. From the Old Box: Coughs and sneezes spread diseases
  5. Remembering what happened in the previous influenza pandemic
  6. Staying at home saves lives
  7. A new start when the lockdown comes to an end
  8. Time to add value

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Educational affairs, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Social affairs, Welfare matters

A candle of love and rays of happiness


“Light the candle of love.
Spread the rays of happiness in every direction in every breath.”
~ Amit Ray.

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Filed under Positive thoughts, Quotations or Citations

Has Bible Engagement during Coronavirus Increased or Decreased?

When coronavirus hit, churches scrambled. Those that weren’t online figured out solutions fast, and those that already were online embraced remote church as a new normal. Since then, churches have worked tirelessly to ensure their congregations can continue meeting for weekly services, Bible studies, and the like (albeit online) and that people feel as connected as possible.

And things seem to be working.

Online services and meetings might be going swimmingly, but have faith communities been able to maintain Bible engagement during the coronavirus?

Not so much.

On July 22, American Bible Society and Barna Group released the 10th Annual State of the Bible report, and the information is sobering. Bible engagement has declined amid the coronavirus outbreak, pointing to a clear relationship between Scripture engagement and in-person church participation.

According to American Bible Society president and CEO Robert Briggs, Bible engagement was already experiencing a downward trend. But the July 2020 study revealed that trend has accelerated since January 2020.

Briggs states:

The study shows a direct correlation between increased Scripture engagement and those efforts typically organized by a church, including mentorship programs and small group Bible studies. Church closures due to COVID-19 are, therefore, likely contributing to decreased rates of Scripture engagement.1

But it’s not all bad news. In fact, Briggs sees it as a huge opportunity for Christian organizations to make an impact on Bible engagement.2

What is Bible engagement?

Bible engagement is more than attending church services or even reading the Bible. Dr. Fergus McDonald, past general secretary of National Bible Society and United Bible Societies, says it is

. . . interaction with the biblical text in a way that provides sufficient opportunity for the text to speak for itself by the power of the Holy Spirit, enabling readers and listeners to hear the voice of God and discover for themselves the unique claim Jesus Christ is making upon them.3

It’s the process of diving deep into Scripture, turning verses and passages around in our minds like bingo numbers in a round, metal cage, and letting them drop from our heads to our hearts. By sifting through and processing God’s Word, we come to experience the author in a profoundly personal way.

We come to know God intimately, and through the process, we are changed. And according to the study, this transformation most often occurs when relational church engagement goes up. American Bible Society Director of Ministry Intelligence Dr. John Farquhar Plake says,

“It’s probably the relationships people have with one another through the church that really make the difference.”4

It’s time to reverse the trend

Now more than ever, it’s paramount that churches commit to reversing this downward trend. The Church must

“transition from ‘survival’ mode back into ‘discipleship’ mode,”5

says Briggs.

But in a coronavirus world, discipling people toward this type of engagement with the Word of God and each other will take a bit of innovation.

And Faithlife has the tools to help your church do just that.

Faithlife, the world’s first integrated ministry platform, helps churches shift from disconnected discipleship to a biblically rooted, step-by-step discipleship strategy — whether your church expects to hold in-person gatherings next week or next year. It puts a wealth of biblical resources within reach for your entire congregation, from a Bible study app to devotionals and small group Bible study guides to theology courses.

Bible engagement is critical for growing a healthy congregation in any season and must not be paused because of today’s crisis. The current pandemic might make the task seem daunting — but you don’t have to go at it alone.

*

Notes:

 

  1. ABS News Blog, “American Bible Society Releases 10th Annual State of the Bible Survey,” July 22, 2020.
  2. “State of the Bible Survey,” 2020.
  3. Dr. Fergus Macdonald, Taylor University Center for Scripture Engagement
  4. “State of the Bible Survey,” 2020.
  5. “State of the Bible Survey,” 2020.

 

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Filed under Announcement, Lifestyle, Publications, Religious affairs

Living in books


“I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else.”
~Neil Gaiman

“If a book is well written, I always find it too short.”
~Jane Austen

“I can’t imagine someone really enjoying a book and reading it only once.”
~C.S. Lewis

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Filed under Cultural affairs, Quotations or Citations

12 Verses: Where Is the Promised Land? and 4 Other Questions

In Genesis 12, God promised Abram:

I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. (2–3)

God also promised Abraham a particular piece of real estate. It would be from this land God would make good on his words in Genesis 12, to multiply Abraham’s offspring “as the stars of heaven” and bless all nations of the earth (Gen 26:4).

Here are 12 Bible passages that will help you explore the location of the promised land, when it was first promised in the Bible, to whom it was given and for how long, what piece of property was promised, and who ultimately owns the land.

Where in the Bible is the land first promised to Abraham?

Genesis 12:7
Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.”

To whom did God confirm his land covenant, in addition to Abraham?

Genesis 26:2–3
And the Lord appeared to [Abraham] and said . . . “Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring* I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father.”

Genesis 28:12–13
And [Jacob] dreamed . . . And behold, the Lord . . . said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring.”

Genesis 35:9, 11–12
God appeared to Jacob again . . . and God said to him, . . . “The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your offspring.”

Genesis 48:3–4
Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, and said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a company of peoples and will give this land to your offspring after you for an everlasting possession.’”

Genesis 50:24
Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will visit you and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”

Where is the promised land?

Genesis 15:18
On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.”

Exodus 23:31 (see also Numbers 34:1–12)
And I will set your border from the Red Sea to the Sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the Euphrates, for I will give the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you.

How long did God give the land to Abraham and his descendants?

Genesis 13:15
All the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever.

1 Chronicles 16:14–18
Remember his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant that he made with Abraham, his sworn promise to Isaac, which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan, as your portion for an inheritance.”

Genesis 17:8
I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.

Who owns the land, ultimately?

Leviticus 25:1–2, 23
The Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them . . . The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine.”

***

*Emphasis is the author’s throughout.

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Opgelet voor uw online aankopen

Nu iedereen in zijn ‘kot’ moest blijven en men best onnodige verplaatsingen meed, is internet verkoop enorm toegenomen. Zulk een zoeken op het net om aankopen te verrichten heeft echter ook ‘slechte zielen’ uit hun hol doen kruipen.

In de eerste weken van de lockdown kwamen er ruim 117.000 nieuwe online kopers bij, waardoor het totale aantal online aankopen steeg tot 28 miljoen. Die stijging trok ook cybercriminelen aan. Het Centrum voor Cybersecurity België (CCB) meldde dat ze alleen al in het eerste kwartaal meer dan 4.500 verdachte URL’s naar valse webshops moesten blokkeren. Fraudeurs probeerden massaal hun slag te slaan met mooie aanbiedingen en stevige kortingen.

Wat kunt u als consument doen om niet in dergelijke valkuilen te vallen?

online shoppen

Tips om veilig online te kopen

Online shoppen houdt bepaalde risico’s in. Zo bestaat de kans dat de webshop waar u koopt frauduleus blijkt. U bent uw geld kwijt, maar krijgt er helemaal niets voor terug. Het is vaak niet eenvoudig om te achterhalen of een webshop te goeder trouw is. Neem daarom deze 8 tips zeker ter harte als u online aankopen wilt doen:

  1. Reviews of recensies van klanten van de webshop wekken vertrouwen, maar zijn ook eenvoudig te vervalsen. Laat u dus niet blind leiden door de online getuigenissen van andere klanten.
  2. Google de naam van de webshop in combinatie met trefwoorden als ‘oplichting’, ‘bedrog’, ‘vals’ … Doe dit ook in het Engels als het om een buitenlandse webshop gaat. Zo kunt u informatie terugvinden over frauduleuze aanbieders en klanten waar het verkeerd liep.
  3. Als een aanbod te mooi is om waar te zijn, dan is het doorgaans ook niet waar. Lees steeds de voorwaarden van een aanbieding in detail (de kleine lettertjes).
  4. Installeer virus- en malwarebescherming op uw computers.
  5. Shop nooit via een site waarvan het internetadres met http:// begint. Dit dient steeds https:// te zijn. Alleen dan bent u er immers zeker van dat uw gegevens op een veilige manier verstuurd worden.
  6. Print altijd uw betalingsbevestiging af of neem een screenshot en bewaar dit.
  7. Binnen de EU hebt u het recht om online aangekochte spullen binnen 14 dagen terug te zenden en uw geld terug te krijgen. Vergeet dit niet! Ga daarom steeds na of u uw verkregen goederen ook makkelijk kan terugsturen.
  8. Als u lid bent van Test-Aankoop, dan kunt u via dit platform nagaan welke webshops veilig zijn.

Rustmoment inbouwen bij online shoppen

Eén van de troeven van online shoppen is dat het erg snel en gemakkelijk verloopt. U kiest het product, vult uw contact- en betalingsgegevens in, klikt op bevestigen en klaar is kees. De verleiding kan dan ook erg groot zijn.

Maar daar ligt natuurlijk net één van de grootste gevaren van online kopen: u hebt veel minder het gevoel dat u echt geld uitgeeft dan wanneer u fysiek dingen koopt. De zogenaamde betaalpijn (pain of paying) is quasi volledig weg. Dit brengt mee dat u niet alleen vaker online koopt, maar dikwijls ook gewoon meer geld uitgeeft dan u van plan was.

Webshops spelen hier handig op in door u de kans te geven om uw betalingsgegevens op te slaan in het systeem van de webshop. Zo moet u die niet elke keer opnieuw invullen … We raden u dan ook aan om dit nooit te doen. Bewaar uw betalingsgegevens niet in een webshop. Dit maakt weliswaar dat u, telkens u online wilt shoppen bij dezelfde webshop, de gegevens van uw bankkaart opnieuw zult dienen in te voeren. Maar dat is net goed. Want zo bouwt u voor uzelf een rustmoment in, waardoor u nog eens goed kunt nadenken of uw aankoop wel de moeite waard is.

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Filed under Aankondiging & Introductie, Economische aangelegenheden, Levensstijl, Misdaden & Wreedheden, Nederlandse teksten - Dutch writings