BS or Truth III – WIF Confidential

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Facts That

Sound Like

BS

no_bs_zone

 

It seems like only yesterday that we dredged the back vaults of our list-writing brains to give you ten facts that sounded like they couldn’t possibly be true, but were. And what a list that was, huh? Full of crazy, once-in-a-lifetime facts of the sort you’re unlikely to witness ever again, the sort of tales that could only come once in a blue…

 No. Hold on, now. You mean we’ve got a whole other list of impossible facts lined up? And this one features a levitating city, 20 million tons of unclaimed gold lying right under our noses, and a mouse that literally screws itself to death? Jeez, we’ve really got our work cut out for us on this one, haven’t we?

10. Chicago Was Once Raised 6 Feet (and no-one noticed)

chicago

There are some facts that you instinctively know are BS, even if you’re not sure why. The idea that someone once managed to make the city of Chicago levitate 6 feet in the air without anyone noticing is definitely one such fact. For one thing, it’s impossible. For another, well, just listen to what you’re saying. You might as well claim the Moon is made of cheese.

Well, sorry, but we’re about to completely mess with your perception of how reality works. On New Year’s Eve 1855, the Chicago Board of Sewage Commissioners tasked engineer E.S. Chesbrough with finding a solution to the city’s regular cholera outbreaks. Chesbrough decided the easiest option would be to hike the entire city out its swamp, 6 feet into the air.

It was known as the Raising of Chicago, and it was completely literal. To get the city out the cholera-infested swamp it sat on, hundreds of men jacked up the streets using massive screws, filled in the space beneath them, and called the result ‘ground level’. The work carried on for 20 years, and was often completely mad. There are stories of whole hotels being hoisted up into the air, and not a single person inside them realizing it was happening.

Nor was it a temporary fix. The Chicago you see today is the ‘raised’ version. That’s right: Chicago is still levitating today, and no-one living there has ever noticed.

9. Irish Traffic Police Accidentally Invented their own Supervillain

prawo-jazdy

Not so long ago, the name Prawo Jazdy struck fear into the hearts of Ireland’s traffic cops. A Polish immigrant, Mr. Jazdy was also the most prolific petty-criminal the Garda had ever encountered. Over the course of two short years, he racked up over 50 speeding tickets in every part of the island. Stranger still, he’d never been caught.

It gets weirder. Mr. Jazdy was a master of disguise. Sometimes he’d be dressed as a middle-aged man when he was stopped. Other times he’d be dressed as a young woman. Irish traffic cops found he’d given them a different driver’s license every time they’d stopped him. He’d given 50 different home addresses, and 50 different dates of birth. Eventually, a special task force was assigned to catch this international man of mystery.

At which point a native Polish speaker joined the Garda’s traffic division. He took one look at Mr. Jazdy’s file and probably fell down laughing. Y’see, Prawo Jazdy wasn’t a supervillain. He wasn’t even a person at all. Prawo Jazdy is Polish for ‘driver’s license’.

According to the BBC, Ireland’s confused traffic cops had spent 2 years writing up tickets for different Polish drivers under the assumption that they were all the same person. The mistake was finally discovered in 2009, to the embarrassment of all.

8. The State of Maine Has More Black Bears than Black People1

black-bear

The northeasternmost state of the US, Maine is one of the most-rural places in America. With a population of 1.33 million, it’s not the emptiest state, but it’s definitely kinda lonesome. It’s also one of the whitest places in the whole of the States. How do we know this? Because according to data from both the state of Maine and the US Census, Maine has more black bears than it has black people.

Seriously, it ain’t even close. The last US Census recorded roughly 19,000 African-Americans living in Maine. A couple of years before, the state of Maine estimated its black bear population at roughly 36,000. In other words, there are roughly two black bears for every single black person in Maine.

That’s a crazy figure, especially if you grew up in a big city, or in the South, or on the West Coast, or, well, anywhere but Maine. Nationally, black people make up 13.2% of the US population. In Maine, they make up just 1.4%. By contrast, if black bears were people, they’d make up 2.7%.

7. Congress Name-Checks Hitler Seven Times a Month

hitler

Godwin’s Law states that the longer an argument goes on, the greater the chance of someone bringing up Hitler. It further states that, the minute Hitler comparisons are invoked, the conversation becomes worthless. Which, when you think about it, is the perfect way of describing Congress. Both parties have been engaged in a never-ending argument for decades now, and both have essentially become worthless. We know this because they just can’t stop bringing up Hitler.

The nonprofit Sunlight Foundation tracks all words in the official Congressional record for their Capitol Words project. The database stretches back to 1996, and contains millions of words. In 2015, they crunched the numbers for Hitler, and found Congress name-checked the Nazi dictator an average of seven times a month.

Hitler has been compared in Congress to Saddam Hussein, to global warming, to modern China, to Gaddafi’s Libya, to Sudan, to Iran, to ISIS, to the cloning of human beings, to the American military, and (bizarrely) to the Founding Fathers. No other dictator even comes close. The high point came in 2003, when Hitler was mentioned 93 times in a single month.

Republicans mention Hitler slightly-more often, with 57% of mentions to the Dem’s 43%. But, as the Daily Dot pointed out, no party has yet been known to mention Godwin’s Law.

6. We Still Have No Idea How Many People Chernobyl Killed

Chernobyldisaster1

On April 26, 1986, the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl, Ukraine, exploded. The resulting meltdown killed 31 people more-or-less instantly, and poisoned millions of square miles of land. At the time, the World Health Organization estimated the disaster would ultimately cause 4,000 deaths from radiation-induced cancer. Over 30 years later, we’re still guessing. Depending on your source, Chernobyl caused anywhere from a mere 53 deaths, to over half a million.

 The trouble is Chernobyl blew radiation over such a vast area, no one really knows how many excess fatal cancers in Europe, Asia and Africa are due to the accident. The UN estimates around 16,000. The Russian Academy of Sciences estimates up to 200,000. The Ukraine National Commission for Radiation Protection calculates 500,000.

And those numbers keep climbing. One recent high-end estimate pegged the total number dead at nearly one million. If true, that would make Chernobyl the deadliest disaster in human history bar the catastrophic China Floods of 1931 (which may have killed up to 4 million). For comparison, the combined atomic bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima killed a maximum of 236,000. That’s right, the screw up of a bunch of Soviet engineers may yet turn out to be deadlier than the bloody endgame of the most-brutal war in human history.

5. Nintendo Existed at the Same Time as the Ottoman Empire

nintendo cards

One is a modern Japanese entertainment company, best known for a certain, red-suited, Italian plumber. The other was a vast Islamic empire founded in the 14thcentury, that was ruled by sultans and once laid siege to Vienna in Austria. Both of these things existed at the same time for thirty three whole years.

The issue here is that Nintendo is way older than you probably imagine, while the Ottoman Empire didn’t fall apart till much later than you probably think. The Ottoman Empire only collapsed in 1922 as a result of losing WWI, after the Allies had carved up its territory for themselves. Nintendo, meanwhile, was founded way, way back in 1889.

At the time, Nintendo was a simple playing card company, with nary an Italian plumber in sight. That’s probably not surprising, as Italy had only been a unified state for less than 2 decades by that point, less than the time separating us now from the release ofTitanic. Europe was still (mostly) ruled by the Prussians, Austro-Hungarians, Russians and Ottomans, and Britain had an empire that stretched all the way around the world. Meanwhile, Japan had only just left two and a half centuries of self-imposed isolation 35 years beforehand.

4. The Ocean Contains 20 Million Tons of (unclaimed) Gold

sunken-treasure

 Imagine if you discovered a near-limitless supply of gold sitting right under your nose. All your worries would be over, right? Well, we’ve got some good news and some bad news for you. The good is that such a stash of gold really does exist, likely within easy driving distance. The bad is that its scattered over the entire ocean.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), our planet’s oceans contain a staggering 20 million tons of unclaimed gold. That’s enough to give every single person alive today 9 pounds of the stuff… or to just hoard it for yourself and become the richest person on the entire planet.

The trouble, sadly, is getting at it. Much of the oceans’ gold is distributed on a very, very fine level. As in, a single liter of seawater contains 13 billionths of a gram of gold. There’s just no way of extracting that, and the stuff that’s concentrated is equally hard to get at. The biggest gold deposits are buried a mile or two under the sea’s surface, and would require a massive mining operation to extract.

Still, if you go looking, you might get lucky. In 2015, the nation of Colombia discovered$1 billion worth of sunken Spanish gold sitting right off the coast of Cartagena.

3. The Biggest Quake in History Hit 23 on the Richter Scale

earthquake

 If you live in earthquake country, you’ll know anything above about a 4 on the Richter Scale is terrifying. The 2010 earthquake that leveled Haiti was a magnitude 7.0. The 1964 earthquake that nearly upended the whole of Alaska was 9.2. The largest in modern history was a 9.6 off the coast of Chile, and that caused 35 foot waves 6,200 miles from the epicenter.

But there’s actually an even-bigger earthquake on record. It went beyond standard measurements and hit a devastating 23 on the Richter Scale.

That estimate comes courtesy of NASA, who observed the quake in action. That’s right, thankfully for all life on Earth, the quake happened millions of lightyears away, at a star known as SGR J1550-5418. The ‘starquake’ was big enough to destroy everything in a 10 light year radius.

Starquakes are caused when the crust of a magnetar – a super, super dense neutron sta1r that packs the mass of more than million Earths into an area the size of Manhattan – cracks. The resulting release of energy is one of the deadliest events in the universe. Any nearby planets would be wiped out instantly. One single, 20 minute quake releases more energy than our sun does in 20 whole years. Thank God we haven’t got any in our galactic neighborhood.

2. Antechinus Mice are so Sex-obsessed They Literally Screw Themselves to Death

mouse

 You might like to think you’ve got going power in the sack. You ain’t got nothing on the Antechinus. A mouse-like marsupial found in Australia, the male is capable of mating for 14 hours straight. In mating season, guy Antechinus’s get so much action in that they literally screw themselves to death.

We don’t mean there’s some crazy biological mechanism that makes them die after reproducing. We mean they simply keep going for so long, and go so hard, that their bodies are destroyed by multiple stress injuries and they die of a failed immune system. Think about how you get more susceptible to disease if you’re tired and already injured, from playing football, say. Mr. Antechinus gets that times a million. Eventually, his stress levels rise so high that his immune system cuts out and he dies.

According to National Geographic, this malady infects every single male Antechinus. 11 months after birth, they become so desperate to mate that they wind up screwing for 3 weeks solid. They then die, and a new generation of boys are raised, who will also grow up to have a libido even Ron Jeremy would envy.

1. You Make History Every Time You Shuffle a Deck of Cards

cards

 Stop reading this for a second, and go find yourself a deck of cards. Got it? Right, now give that mother a shuffle and lay the cards in the order they come out. Congratulations, you’ve just done something completely unique in the whole of human history.

52 cards may not sound like much, but it creates an insane number of possible combinations. Highbrow British quiz show QI calculated the number at 52 factorial, which means 52 times 51, times 50, times 49… etc. Written out, it looks like this:

80,658,175,170,943,878,571,660,636,856,403,766,975,289,505,440,883,277,824,000,000,000,000.

That’s a big number, but we’re not even close to describing just how insanely big. The QI ‘Elves’ phrased it like this: “If every star in our galaxy had a trillion planets, each with a trillion people living on them, and each of these people has a trillion packs of cards and somehow they manage to make unique shuffles 1,000 times per second, and they’d been doing that since the Big Bang, they’d only just now be starting to repeat shuffles.”

 So there you have it. If you wanna make history, don’t cure cancer or invent a new device or conquer half the world. Just grab a pack of cards and get shuffling. We guarantee the results will be historically unique.

BS or Truth III

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– WIF Confidential

For Readers of Alpha Omega M.D.

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For Readers of

Alpha Omega M.D.

…Today’s Episode #250 (7-13-2016) the spotlight shines on 2 new(ish) characters:

  • Carolyn Hanes

  • Sara Fenwick

Before I began blogging my book THE LIFE & TIMES OF A BLACK SOUTHERN DOCTOR, I blogged my book CONSTANCE CARAWAY P.I. ~ Forever Mastadon. In the “links” column of WRITING IS FUN-DAMENTAL, you will find an Episode Catalog for CONSTANCE CARAWAY. https://writingisfun-damental.com/2014/12/20/episode-catalog-forever-mastadon/

Synopsis CONSTANCE CARAWAY ~FOREVER MASTADON~

A private eye and her colleagues are blinded by science…and a greater power

Historical Fiction from Gwendolyn Hoff

Creation vs. Evolution, Heaven & hell collide on Earth.

 

CONSTANCE CARAWAY ~FOREVER MASTADON~ 75,000 words that chronicle an early case taken on by CONSTANCE CARAWAY INVESTIGATION, a Tallahassee Florida based private detective agency, consisting of the title character and her partner Fanny Renwick.

Constance and Fanny are drawn to Chicago to investigate the disappearance of Willard Libby, a University of

You can read from the archival links

You can read from the archival links

Chicago biochemist who has been working on a breakthrough project. They are hired by an associate of Libby, who does not trust his conventional local options.

Set in 1951 Chicago, Forever Mastadon (Mastodon is intentionally misspelled) is an organization that is bent on permanently quieting Libby, as it applies to radiocarbon dating. Bottom line: the devil himself is behind a conspiracy that includes textbook publishers, the United States Justice Department, a cult leader and a handful or two of 2-bit hoodlums.

As a result of good detective work and some dumb luck, the scientist is located………catatonic–at a mental hospital. But that is just the beginning; his mind will be fully restored, he is hidden away and his death wrongly reported,  all the while the antagonists behind his abduction are about to be found out.

It is not long before a supporting cast comes together to combat the unknown forces behind the “Great Deception”, the lie being that

Have Truth - Will Find

Have Truth – Will Find

carbon dating has identified life on Earth as 100 of millions of years old. A Chicago taxi driver, a pilot friend of Constance, a Tallahassee lawyer and a CIA rogue, unite to see that Willard Libby’s truths see the spotlight of day.

While God has his angels, the Libbyites (13 people who are his advocates) get help from a young Southern preacher named Billy Graham, who incorporates the science supporting Creationism into his Crusades and finally a Revival Meeting for the ages, a finale that will either make you sit up in your chair or stand up and cheer.

I have branded my own style of Historical Fiction, which I first brought to the world with my book, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A BLACK SOUTHERN DOCTOR (1896-1959),(ISBN13 978-1-4691-9018). Constance Caraway and her friends give me the wings to bring history to life, with this riveting story and others to follow.


Bookmark the Episode Catalog and read along

https://writingisfun-damental.com/2014/12/20/episode-catalog-forever-mastadon/


Thank You for Reading

Alpha Omega3-001

Alpha Omega M.D.


 

CONSTANCE CARAWAY P.I. ~ Appendix A

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APPENDIX A

WARNING!!!  Do not read this before you have read the body of Constance Caraway ~Forever Mastadon~. If you continue to read this “spoiler section”, you will have a greater insight into the aftermath.

As an author, specializing in my own brand of Historical Fiction, I would be the first to admit that I deal in fiction. The  characters (most, you guess which) are figments of my imagination and the ones that are not i.e. Billy Graham, Samuel Goldwyn Jr., Martin Kamen and of course Willard Libby are carrying out my version of what happened in 1951 Chicago.

I believe that when I say, “My method of using history as a backdrop is an incredibly accurate depiction of what is going on, in any year that I write about”, that it is not an immodest statement. Here in Forever Mastadon, as in THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A BLACK SOUTHERN DOCTOR, I encourage you to dig deeper and test what I put to page; call me out on anything questionable.

Here is an example: When I have the Chicago Police frequenting a donut shop (a blatant generalization), I refer to Dunkin’ Donuts as the name of their hangout. They are tending to Worth Moore after he was mugged in the Bronzeville. To make sure of the veracity of that reference, I use one of my greatest assets, WIKPEDIA to find out that Dunkin’ Donuts was incorporated in 1950. SO, I trust that I am correct on the ‘Windy City’ connection, though there may not have been one in that particular neighborhood.

The type of airplane Ace Bannion flies, the taxi that Eddie Dombroski uses or the streets of the day that he drives or the authenticity of the Danforth Lodge in the 1951 version of my hometown, Oconomowoc Wisconsin; other instances where research methodology is tested. If that twin-engine Beechcraft Caraway & Associates (Ace) buys, near the end of the book, does not exist in real time, I would not have mentioned it, some other airplane model would have been used.

The bottom line: you can trust that this author takes care of the past, while praying for the future, loving both for their place in time.

I must admit to a personal bias, one that has taken hold of my text, not knowing with what magnitude it would hijack it. I am a committed Christian who, when confronted with the issue of radiocarbon dating and its relevance to the issue of Creation versus Evolution, I decided to not only side with Creation, but tie it into the distinct possibility that “6 days and a rest” is closer to the truth.

If you happen to disagree, so be it. I have endeavored to make Forever Mastadon an interesting story none-the-less.

Constance Caraway is not finished solving cases, and as her author I have everything to say about that. Chances are good that future books will not turn into a religious laden, good and evil diatribe.
Episode catalog-001

CONSTANCE CARAWAY P.I.

~ Appendix A

CONSTANCE CARAWAY P.I. ~ Episode 242

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Forever Mastadon ~ Episode 242

Chapter Twenty-two

DOWN THE ROAD

So what is in store for the Libbyite nation?

 

Eddie Dombroski and his Cousin Rex forge a solid business model with their carriage cartage. Though others will imitate, none can duplicate that Southside family legacy.

Edie D. will continue to support the husband that she came oh so close to losing; two bullets short, a hundred stories yet to endure.

You can read from the archival links

Jesse James will always have a connection to Caraway & Associates, but will hang on to his Agent Daniels personae. Or is it that he is terminally tied to government service?

Sister Mary Joseph will continue to serve the Lord at the Tolentine Monastery, fifty yards or so from where a rare, stray lightning bolt struck on a fortuitous January day in 1951.

Doctor Louis Steinberg, formerly of Elgin State Mental Hospital, takes his experience with Willard Libby (John Doe) and makes catatonia his life’s study, writing many go-to books on the condition.

Martin Kamen will go on to extol the virtues of his radioisotope carbon-14, while searching other chemical corners of Creation for undiscovered gems.

Willard Libby wins the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of carbon-14 half-life, as it relates to dating organic elements. He ends his tenure at the University of Chicago, takes an emeritus position there and he tours the world, lecturing open, eager ears about the probable age of the Universe.

William Franklin “Billy” Graham Jr. spreads God’s Word through his Crusades, counsels US Presidents (for their own good) and begins to champion the civil rights movement by his association with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Thanks to his crusades and television broadcasts, millions across the globe accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. No better man of God has there ever been made.

 

The members of Caraway & Associates, Constance, Fanny Renwick, Ace Bannion and R. Worth Moore are united in their continuing mission: No Stone Unturned and No Place To Hide; one for all, each with a particular skill-set to contribute to the cause.

 

Please stay tuned. Though this is THE END to the story of Forever Mastadon, it is not an end to further adventures; forward or backward in time, Tallahassee/Chicago or the world and beyond, the fictional tales of Constance Caraway will live on, somewhere down the road.

 


 

 

CONSTANCE CARAWAY P.I.

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CONSTANCE CARAWAY P.I. ~ Episode 241

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Forever Mastadon ~ Episode 241

reflection

Eavesdropping on this discussion is a cathartic occurrence for the rest of the Libbyites; other than Sister MJ, none of whom have much of a religious rooting self-interest:

  1. Ace= is up in the air
  2. Worth= legally speaking
  3. Eddie/Edie= hard to lose their catechism guilt
  4. Jesse/Daniels= always cloaked in mystery
  5. Martin= glad it’s over
  6. Libby= what a ride
  7. Steinberg= he was on my doorstep
  8. Sam Goldwyn Jr= part of the best parts

Though not overtly religious, Constance Caraway and Fanny Renwick have always known who butters their bread. They had no idea that, when they agreed to take on this seemingly straightforward case, it would turn into a battle between Heaven & Hell. But it did and they did not shrink away in fear or shirk their moral calling.

Libbyites-001

Libbyite (plural Libbyites) n.

  1. Neither Philistine nor Jew, friend of Satan nor foe of God; 12 individuals who came together to support the cause of Willard Libby, a modest scientist with a monumental responsibility.
  2. Somebody who helped, aided or abetted Libby in his quest for The Truth
  3. Anybody who subscribes to the science of Creation and fills out the form in the appendix of this book (and is accepted)

 

Satans Place-001

An antonym for Libbyite is:

Pentateuchian (no plural) n.

  1. Anyone who sides with Satan and his minions
  2. A resident of hell in good standing
  3. On the path to Hades or not believing The Good News, as stated in the Bible

 

Looking up from hell and looking back at bad results, the chief Pentateuchian never has any regrets. He is quite used to his hopeless perspective — a doom with no view.


 

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CONSTANCE CARAWAY P.I. ~ Episode 240

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Forever Mastadon ~ Episode 240

…“I don’t know how NBC is explaining the broadcast interruption…..do you Sam?”…

“Yeah their telephone banks were lit up, but operators were told to tell them that it was related to the electrical blackout, which technically it was. But I was told that they were back on the air for your explanation and altar call, Billy.”

 

“If that is the case, then untold millions heard the truth from my lips.”

“I also heard that the main sponsor, LUCKY STRIKE, was quite pleased with the viewer numbers.”

“A tobacco company for a sponsor, isn’t that ironic? Well God can help you or any other believers ditch that nasty habit Sam.”

“I smoke menthol Billy; they say it is better for you.”

“I see actors and actress smoking them in movies all the time, so someone thinks it’s cool. But YOU know better than to blow smoke my way!” Graham errs on the side of caution when it comes to vises. “Speaking of habits, did ancient peoples smoke cigarettes, Willard?”

“I am not an anthropologist Reverend Graham, but ancients were more concerned about their next meal, let alone acquiring a senseless habit. As we, well me anyway, have learned, that Devil will do anything to keep us slaves to something, anything, even believing that our species started out as sea creatures, then fins into legs to walk on land, then two legs get longer, we grow hair and stand upright, hang around in trees and finally decide to get smarter than apes and invent things; like cigarettes.”

“Now if that isn’t the case for creation!” A nonsensical progression like that makes a good preacher proud.

“I never used to pigeonhole life on this planet, really care much or give it a label, but after discovering that 20,000 year cap, intelligent design is the only reasonable explanation for it.”


 

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CONSTANCE CARAWAY P.I. ~ Episode 239

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Forever Mastadon ~ Episode 239

…Willard Libby and Billy Graham, the scientist and the evangelist, tie a bow around  an event of Godly proportions…

“Awards and accolades are great, but that is not what I set out to obtain when I hijacked Martin’s C-14 and took it one step further. Without carbon as a stable, consistent isotope, the rest of the puzzle is just so many oddly shaped pieces. With it, I got lucky and guessed the age of a mummy, one that already identified and verified and was able to guess his (or her) age within 50 years. And yes there are going to be tweaks to the half-life down the road and there will be those that insist on blasting the outside limit past twenty thousand, but I have the numbers on my side.”

“Nobel, Nobel, Nobel!” the chant rises among the gathered Libbyites.

“My cousin Syl was up for the Nobel Prize in 1909 for……,” peanut gallery member Eddie stops short of slandering himself.

“In the category of literature, the N-O-B-L-E prize for fiction goes to Eddie “50 Cousins” Dombroski,” mocks Ace Bannion, expressing what others are thinking, but would not say.

Constance has been there for most, if not all of the Cousin stories. “I encourage you to start making detailed notes about your 1st and 2nd removed family, put those stories down on paper. I have two friends who can help you with that,” she refers to Carolyn Hanes of Tallahassee and that wordsmith by the name of Gwenny.”(wink)

mighty God

“That is a wonderful suggestion Constance,” adds Billy Graham, among the group that is finding it hard to split up, considering what they have gone through. “I feel I need to clarify a few things. Clarify? No, perhaps just add my perspective on things.

“Our God picks his fights judiciously. In recent history, seldom has the world experienced his supernatural power first hand and if they have, HE is not given credit for it. On this day, we and 50,000 of our newest friends and millions we don’t even know have witnessed the Creator taking charge of an important moment, a blink of his eye, but a turning point for this generation of believers.

“The entire world went dark tonight. If only for a few fleeting seconds, he silenced this planet to take care of His business, there is no other explanation except God and He knows-we know it.”

 


 

CONSTANCE CARAWAY P.I.

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