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Saturday, January 07, 2006


Now just imagine instead of a parrot there were a canary in that joke. Miners use canaries to indicate if the environment of the mine is safe. They were used to test the air quality in the mine shaft. The following is excerpted from Environmental Education for Kids:
In the 1800s, (as today in the 21st century), few jobs were harder or more dangerous than working as an underground coal miner. Over the years, thousands of men, women, and even children were killed in mine accidents. One common cause of the accidents was a build-up of dangerous gases like methane and carbon monoxide in the mine shafts. Large amounts of these gases could lead to violent explosions. Methane and carbon monoxide have no color and no odor. The miners of the 1800s didn’t have the special equipment scientists have today to measure chemicals in the air, so it was impossible to tell if the gases were building up to dangerous levels. Miners started to use canaries to test the air quality in the mines. Canaries are very sensitive to carbon monoxide. The canaries would chirp and sing and make noise all day long. But, if the carbon monoxide levels got too high, the canaries would have trouble breathing, and maybe even die. When the canaries were no longer singing, miners would know that the gas levels were too high. They would leave the mine quickly to avoid being caught in an explosion. This is how canaries acted as a warning system for miners.
Imagine the mining company officials as the pet shop owner and the miners' families as the customer.

What is going on in the news? Move over Eyewitness NEWS executives. Sit down ActioNEWS managers.The once reliable, and accurate American news media is now providing "NEWS to Confuse". The news organizations have resorted to making up stories, and we sit mesmerized by female anchors who all look alike, and pretty male anchors who all look alike and they all tell us things that we can not believe, but the suspension of our disbelief has gone on for years now. We're paralyzed. We don't know how to respond anymore. Most of us are numb.


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