Too many coincidences are adding up

         It was like a thunderclap. That a major American city -- in fact a mecca of high-tech, home to Bill Gates himself -- should be badly shaken by a tremor was one thing. Those who remained skeptical that there has been a steady increase in all kinds of disasters might still try to write that off -- might try to write it off despite the unusually destructive quakes in India and El Salvador and China that preceded it. They might try to say it was a coincidence. They might try -- but then there was the fact that it occurred on Ash Wednesday, and it just seemed too much.

         A time of devotion. A time of reckoning. A time of penance.

         What were the chances of a "coincidence"?

         Well, simple: the odds that any given year a quake would occur on Ash Wednesday are one in 365. That's not bad, considering that scientists consider something "statistically significant" when it defies odds of just 20 to one! The fact that the quake would occur in a cluster with other around the world and when such a magnitude is expected only every fifty years puts the odds far higher.

         And then there was the flooding in Texas and tornado in Mississippi and the epidemic of animal disease in Europe and a storm set to once more pummel the East...

         "With prayer and fasting you can suspend natural laws," the Virgin said at Medjugorje.

         And that too was another signal, a sign that we better start: for Ash Wednesday is the definition of fasting.


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