…Sit a Spell

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The South is famous for southern cookin’ and also for hospitality.  I must say, the hospitality here is wonderful.  People are very friendly.  Even folks you’ve never met make you feel like an old friend.  It is one of the things that I like the most about being here as opposed to the fast-paced, never-stop-for-a-moment speed of California.  I know that there are exceptions – but since we don’t live in the big city (like Atlanta) we are able to live a more reasonably paced lifestyle.

In fact, the weather has been great the past week….shirt sleeves are very comfortable.  I am tempted to go outside, sit on a porch and sip an ice-cold lemonade.  Why don’t y’all come on over and sit a spell?  We can talk about the Georgia Dawgs and the weather, and maybe later, go catfishin’ down at the lake!

Today’s photo is an HDR image that I took in Helen, Georgia, about a month ago.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  in 1984, in the early morning hours, one of the worst industrial disasters in history began when a pesticide plant located in the densely populated region of Bhopal in central India leaked a highly toxic cloud of methyl isocyanate into the air. Of the estimated one million people living in Bhopal at the time, 2,000 were killed immediately, at least 600,000 were injured, and at least 6,000 have died since.

The leak was caused by a series of mechanical and human errors in the pesticide producing plant, operated by the Union Carbide Corporation, a U.S.-based multinational. For a full hour, the plant’s personnel and safety equipment failed to detect the massive leak, and when an alarm was finally sounded most of the harm had already been done. To make matters worse, local health officials had not been educated on the toxicity of the chemicals used at the Union Carbide plant and therefore there were no emergency procedures in place to protect Bhopal’s citizens in the event of a chemical leak. If the victims had simply placed a wet towel over their face, most would have escaped serious injury.

The Indian government sued Union Carbide in a civil case and settled in 1989 for $470 million. Because of the great number of individuals affected by the disaster, most Bhopal victims received just $550, which could not pay for the chronic lung ailments, eye problems, psychiatric disorders, and other common illnesses they developed. The average compensation for deaths resulting from the disaster was $1,300. The Indian government, famous for its corruption, has yet to distribute roughly half of Union Carbide’s original settlement. Union Carbide, which shut down its Bhopal plant after the disaster, has failed to clean up the site completely, and the rusty, deserted complex continues to leak various poisonous substances into the water and soil of Bhopal.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  Since the Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937, more than 1,200 people have jumped to their deaths, making it the number one spot in the world for suicides.

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