David Eckess's Social Stream:

  • From PBS - When the SS Sultana exploded on April 27, 1865, more than 1,800 died —outnumbering the death toll from the Titanic disaster. Why, then, do so few people know about one of the worst maritime disasters in U.S. history? And what caused the explosion that took so many lives? Meeting with descendants of rebel boat burners and Sultana survivors, uncovering government records, and hunting for the wreck site, the team reveals a tale of incompetence, bribery, politics and nepotism that leads all the way to President Lincoln and the White House. Can the History Detectives solve the mysterious explosion of the SS Sultana?
  • Almost thirty-five years ago, President Reagan went to the British House of Commons and said “freedom and democracy will leave Marxism and Leninism on the ash heap of history.” Reagan chose his words carefully, using a phrase – the ash heap of history – very similar to the one used by the Russian Communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky against his political enemies. Within a decade, the Berlin Wall was no more and neither was the Soviet Union.

    Now it appears OPEC, another nemesis of the US from the prior century is heading for the ash heap of history as well, not because of geopolitics, but because of the hard work of engineers. A combination of fracking, seismic imaging, and horizontal drilling has led to a huge reduction in the cost of drilling and an increase in the supply of oil and natural gas, not just in the US but around the world.

    Case in point: in the past twelve months the US has run an $8.4 billion goods trade surplus with OPEC, including Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. What a difference from less than a decade ago. Back in 2007- 08, the US ran a $190 billion goods trade deficit with OPEC.

    The reason for the change in the trade balance is that the US is importing much less from OPEC, $64.8 billion in the past twelve months versus $253.4 billion at the peak in 2007-08. No wonder so many of these countries are in turmoil. They’re losing money and also losing the political leverage they used to have over the US.

  • http://healthypets.mercola.com/ Dr. Karen Becker, a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian demonstrates foot soaks for your dogs.
  • With the S&P 500 down 10.5% through February 11th, questions about the health of the economy seem to intensify daily. The concerns typically go something like this:  If the financial markets are a predictor of where the economy is headed, has the plow horse finally lost traction?  Is a recession looming?  

    An old joke says the stock market has predicted 19 of the last five recessions.  Stocks don’t always lead the economy, and earnings clearly don’t show that things are awful.  With 375 S&P 500 companies having reported Q4 earnings as of February 11th, 70.7% have beat estimates, although earnings are down 5% from a year ago it’s all due to just one sector, energy. Of the 375 companies that have reported, only 23 of them have been energy. Excluding those 23 energy companies, earnings for the other 352 companies are up 1.0% from a year ago.  So, for those claiming the market drop is due to declining earnings, it seems more like an energy story than an economic one. It’s plow horse earnings growth outside of energy, but it’s earnings growth. 3���p�K

  • David Eckess spends much of his free time sailing Lake Quachita.

  • landscape-photo-graphy:

    We often forget that there are still many spots on Earth where humankind has not set foot on. Many of these locations are remote and inaccessible. Most of the photographs taken are aerial views — since it is the closes we can come with these mysterious spaces. Their beauty is unmatched and obscure.

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    The forest lake, Russia:  The exact location of this mysterious lake is unknown. According to some, it can be found in the Tyumen region of Russia. How did it come to sit deep inside the forest? No one knows...(img src)

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    Tepui, Venezuela: The word ’Tepui’ means ’home of the gods’ in the language of the indigenous people of Gran Sabana where these incredible, ominous natural structures are located. (img src: kn3 / blazepress / samsebemagellan)

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    Honokohau Falls, Maui: This remote place is drenched in greenery. The mere sight of it gives you a feeling of the exquisite beauty, majesty and mystery of the natural world. Just imagine what it would be like to travel there. (img src: media / mirkrasiv / eco)

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    The Amazon rainforest: This incredible, immense forest sprawls across nine different countries in South America: Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. It’s so huge that mankind can never hope to explore all of it — or know everything that’s hiding there. (img src:  lejournalinternational / schraubwerk / brasileiro)

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    Gangkhar Puensum, Bhutan: This is the highest mountain in the world which has not been conquered by mankind. It’s located on disputed territory between Bhutan and China and soars 7,570 metres into the sky. (img src: imgur / amazonaws / lh4)

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    Tsingy de Bemaraha, the ’stone forest’ of Madagascar: 
    These rocky projections and canyons formed over a period of a million years, predominantly under the ground in the form of huge caves. Over the years, monsoon rains washed away metre upon metre of limestone and thick layers of chalky sediment, creating this system of unique, mysterious looking natural bridges, spires and gorges which can reach up to 120 metres in depth. (img src: eclipses / travelel / mandalay)

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    Kerguelen Islands: Hidden away in the southern part of the vast Indian Ocean, these islands are extremely far away from their ’home’ country of France. No planes or tourists go there, and the only way to reach them is via boat from the island of Réunion, close to Madagascar. They might as well be part of Atlantis for all humanity knows about these hauntingly beautiful islands. (img src: )wikimedia / tomclarkblog)

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    Rock Islands, Palau: For modern human civilisation, the Rock Islands are a remote area of the world we know virtually nothing about. However, at some point over the past few thousand years, we can be certain that people have set foot on them. We know this because archaeologists have found evidence of so-called ’tiny people’ — an offshoot of humanity which apparently had severely stunted growth — which used to live there. (img src:gifsanimes / goodwp / medias )

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    Dallol, Ethiopia: Today, salt mining takes place in the vicinity of the Dallol Volcano, so strictly speaking this isn’t an untouched area. But the immediate area of the volcano is, of course, uninhabitable. Fascinatingly, scientists believe the alien-like landscape of the volcano bears a striking resemblance to the surface of Io, the violently volcanic moon of the planet Jupiter. (img src:flickr / wikimedia / turcanin )

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    Palmyra Atoll: Located in the Equatorial zone of the Pacific Ocean to the south of the islands of Hawaii, this pristine island is supposedly home to a mysterious, magical force. (img src: wikimedia / werc / coastalcare)

    via brightside

  • A report from The Giving Institute found that U.S. companies gave $17.8 billion to various causes in 2014, up 12% from 2013’s total. Overall, Americans donated an estimated $358.4 billion (60-year high) to charity in 2014, up 7.1% from 2013’s total.

  • Guatemala Mission Trip 2015 Impacto Ministry
  • The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.“ John F. Kennedy
  • For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.
  • Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. Thomas A. Edison

  • None who have always been free can understand the terrible fascinating power of the hope of freedom to those who are not free. Pearl S. Buck

  • Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged. Ronald Regan

  • Pleasure is the only thing to live for. Nothing ages like happiness.
    Oscar Wilde