-Are you a God?
- they asked the Buddha.
- No.
- Are you an angel, then?
- No.
- A saint?
- No.
- Then what are you?


"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure of
the universe"-Albert Einstein-

Om Mani Padme Hum

Matthew 25:40

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 7 1-6

1. Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4. Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5. Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
6. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Seeking Wisdom

Watching the movie 2012. In one scene a Tibetan priest was talking to a Master. He was upset, why is irrelevant. The Master poured tea into a cup until it overflowed. The priest tried to stop him, the Master looked at him and said "like the cup you're filled with speculation and opinions. To gain wisdom you must empty your cup."
I've read this story and similar zen advice dozens of times. On one level I understand what he means. But it makes no sense, how do you do it?  How do you empty you mind?   I've tried, but never done it. Even trying to empty your mind you're aware of doing it, and therefore it's not empty. So how do you do  it?

Lee Murray

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ancient Indian Spacecraft And Aircraft Technology

Found this article at Presenting without comment as it says it very well.

Ancient Indian Spacecraft And Aircraft Technology
By The Hindu Staff Reporter
TIRUPATI --'India had a treasure trove of hitech warfare technology that even the 'mighty West' does not possess. The Brahmastra and Vimana used in the pre-Mahabharata period are nothing but the earlier versions of today's nuclear weapons and spacecraft.'
It is this feeling that one would get after listening to a lecture on 'High Technology in Ancient Sanskrit Literature' by Mr. C. S. R. Prabhu, senior scientist, NIC, Hyderabad, on Thursday as part of the three- day Indo-Nepal Sanskrit Conference, currently underway at the Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha here.
Mr. Prabhu, quoting extensively from ancient texts, stressed that the pre-Mahabharata period was an age of high technology, which was ignored in the Medieval period due to reasons not known.
He quoted from the texts of a great scholar, Subbaraya Sastry, who, in a state of yogic trance, is said to have orally dictated the spacecraft technology in a period somewhere between 1875 and 1919, which was recorded by his disciples. The text, a copy of which is still in Nepal's Royal Library, contained technical details on assembling, fabricating and erecting a spacecraft, the metals, semi-conductors, advanced alloys used and other minute aeronautical information. Though quite difficult to be believed on the face of it, the fact that this technology did not exist anywhere in the world - not even in America and Europe - in the mentioned period, makes it hard for one to disbelieve.

Artwork by James Neff
The technical information given in Sastry's texts was as minute, precise and clear, as if it were a 'Make your own spacecraft' or a 'Spacecraft technology in 30 days' except for the Sanskrit language used, which was very much archaic and obsolete, Mr. Prabhu said. On a tip on making an alloy, the text said 'Krishnaseesam Chanjanikam Vajrathundam samamsathaha' from which the real meaning of 'Vajrathundam' (used in that context), could not be found in any contemporary Sanskrit dictionary. ''After a great amount of interaction with ayurvedic specialists and Swamijis with intuitive interpretations, it turned out to be the cactus plant,'' he said.
To further strengthen his claim, he said there were wall paintings in some forts in Rajasthan depicting the use of rockets in Mughal warfare and even by Tipu Sultan of Mysore. Another interesting fact he gave was that the spacecraft could become invisible on its own. The lead alloy (Thamogarbha loha) used in making the body of the spacecraft would absorb light around it in a photo chemical reaction that would make it disappear.
On testing the Krishna seesa metal mentioned in the formula in the laboratory of Birla Institute of Science, Hyderabad, Mr. Prabhu found the metal absorbing 78 per cent of laser light, which means, any other light could be easily absorbed, giving ample proof that there existed a technology to make things invisible. Also the use of an alloy of copper, zinc and lead made the spacecraft's body resist corrosion by 1000 times over that of the current levels. Using Ararakamra material for the axle and wheels had made it possible for taking 'U' turns and serpentine movements.
An astonishing fact is that the Ararakamra metal was an alloy of copper, zinc, lead and iron, the combination of which is impossible, according to modern metallurgy. Technically, the ''Young's modulus'' of this metal is said to be higher than that of steel, making it stronger. As the spacecraft had to be capable of resisting high temperature, on re- entering our atmosphere from the outer space, its body was made with a metal called 'Raja Loha'. Its special feature was that apart from resisting heat, it converted light from lightnings into energy. To crosscheck all these details, there were no furnaces available in Hyderabad to melt metals at a high temperature of 2500 degrees celcius, Mr. Prabhu lamented.
Another hitch came into his research in the form of the 'energy' used. 'Though the texts explained that the spacecraft was propelled by 'Sourasakthi', modern solar technology does not generate so much power to drag a rocket', he pointed out. Later he found out to his bewilderment that it was a kind of 'nuclear power' that was used in those days. 'The solar power, when coupled with gamma rays produced nuclear energy that had the power to propel a rocket', Mr. Prabhu observed.
He even spoke on 'Tripura Vimana' that was used to travel in space, water and on land, by using the metal 'Trinetra loha'. Mr. Prabhu said he had submitted the model and some more information on the 'super metal' to the Indian Metal Society Conference and further claimed that the advisor to the government on scientific affairs Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam too had asked him to bring the design of the plane.
A committee which was appointed by Indian Institute of Science to investigate into it, declared Sastry's texts as 'fraud', but Mr. Prabhu reasons that the descriptions mentioned in the ancient texts were perhaps too advanced to believe, making the committee to hastily come to the conclusion. He wanted a national level effort to prove that the so called 'myths' were in fact, scientific formulae on advanced technology. He said he had proposed a project called 'Bharadwaja Institute of Vedic Science and Technology', the objective of which was to derive, decipher and reproduce advanced methodologies and processes from Vedic and post-Vedic Sanskrit texts, for which he sought government's support.
More Reading On This Subject -

Monday, February 21, 2011

Interesting Concept

Came across an interesting concept. Each of us is born into a world that is centered around us. In other words, my world is slightly different than your world, although they appear the same in every respect they are in truth slightly different. It requires a lot of thought to follow this, because on the surface it makes no sense at all, but when you think about it, it does.  Each of us perceives the same thing differently, even when we think or even agree that we're seeing the same thing. It's this perception partially that makes the point.
I'm rapidly moving out of my depth, but here's what I think it means. The world gives the illusion of success, success in business, having a good marriage, living a good life and having great kids. But my reality is none of that, true there've been temporary success's but eventual failure in everything. Someone else inhabits the same world and illusion, but is successful, has a great job or business, meets and marries the perfect mate, has great kids and a fullfilling life. It's the same world, or seems to be yet it's not. Does this make any sense at all?

Lee Murray  

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Kali Yuga - The Age of Kali

  Indian sages, like the Maya believed that we moved through cycles. The one that we're in now, that the Mayan Calender says ends in December 2012, has been going on for thousands of years, actually 5126. From 3114 bc to December of next year. In India, they also believe (d) we moved through cycles, the Satya Yuga, the Treta Yuga, the Dvapara Yuga and the current one, the Kali Yuga. Beginning in 3102 bc, some authorities believe it lasts 432000 years, which is a dark prospect indeed.
Some of the attributes of the Kali Yuga are: (copied from Wikipedia)

Rulers will become unreasonable: they will levy taxes unfairly.
Rulers will no longer see it as their duty to promote spirituality, or to protect their subjects: they will become a danger to the world.
People will start migrating, seeking countries where wheat and barley form the staple food source.

Avarice  and wrath will be common. Humans will openly display animosity towards each other.
Ignorance of dharma will occur.
People will have thoughts of murder with no justification and will see nothing wrong in that.
Lust will be viewed as socially acceptable and sexual intercourse will be seen as the central requirement of life.
Sin will increase exponentially, whilst virtue will fade and cease to flourish.
People will take vows and break them soon after.
People will become addicted to intoxicating drinks and drugs.
Men will find their jobs stressful and will go to retreats to escape their work.
Gurus will no longer be respected and their students will attempt to injure them. Their teachings will be insulted, and followers of Kama will wrest control of the mind from all human beings. Brahmins will not be learned or honoured, Kshatriyas will not be brave, Vaishyas will not be just in their dealings and Shudras will not be honest and humble in their duties and to the other castes.

Reading through the list it's easy to see the world we live in. A world that is on a downhill slide picking up speed. The "Kali" of Kali Yuga means "strife, discord, quarrel, or contention." To be honest I see more of those every day, in the news, tv, movies. It seems that there is nothing but negativity taking over the world. Many Hindus believed that civilization degenerates not just spiritually, but morally during Kali Yuga creating a dark age.  Because people are as far removed as possible from God.

Here is an interesting article I found at The Chapel of Our Mother God  The Chapel of Our Mother God

Kali Yuga:   The Patriarchal Dark Age

Kali Yuga, the Dharma-Ending Age, the Age of Iron. Most traditions have a name for the final Dark Age. What does it mean to us?

Modern Western thought pictures time as a straight line. Traditional thought tells us that time goes in cycles. The most recent version of Modern Western thought (a few hundred years old) sees time, in human terms, as a constant "progress". This tendency came to its fullest fruition in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which were characterised by unbridled optimism about human progress and its Utopian future. Since then, this optimism has become decidedly muted and many views of the future are dystopian.
Traditional thought, throughout the world, has always seen the "progression" of humanity as a downward movement. And throughout the world we find a division of the cycle of human decline into four Ages. The ancient Greeks called the four ages of human civilization the Age of Gold, the Age of Silver, the Age of Bronze and the Age of Iron. The Hindus and Buddhists call them Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga and Kali Yuga.
To understand this Cycle, we have to realise that it is fundamentally a cycle of solidification or materialisation. Human beings - and indeed their terrestrial environment - begin close to the Spirit from which they first issue. The material aspect of things is much less in these early stages. Only gradually do beings consolidate into full materialisation, and some never do. This is why no physical remains of "mythical creatures" from earlier Ages have been found. Part of the process of history, as it relates to maidkind, is her increasing descent to the level of physical matter, with more and more of her life being tied to the physical plane.
It is natural that when this "consolidation" is near completion and maid has become wholly a creature of the material realm, numerous advances will be made along purely material lines, and ultimately, maid will forget that there was ever any other aspect to life. This accounts for the very late myth of "progress".

Kali Yuga, naturally, is the most "consolidated" of the four ages. It is the age in which a truly "materialist" life becomes possible. It is also, and for the same reason, the Age of Quarrels and conflicts. For the "downward" tendency of solidification is also the "outward", or centrifugal, tendency, away from the Spiritual Centre of being and its Unifying Principle.
The term "Kali" in Kali Yuga should not be confused with the name of the Goddess Kali. They are two different words. The name of the Goddess means "time". The "kali" of the Yuga means "strife, discord, quarrel or contention".
This is natural, because while the Spiritual, being closer to the Primordial Unity of Dea, gives rise to harmony and concord; the more materialised we become, the more things are seen as separated and conflicting rather than rooted in their underlying Spiritual Unity.
Of the Seven Great Janyati, or planetary influences, the one that rules "strife, discord, quarrel and contention" is Sai Vikhë, or Mars. Mars is also the planet that rules the masculine principle on earth. Indeed the sign of Mars is also used as the sign of maleness. It is for this reason that Kali Yuga is also called the Age of Iron. Iron is, of course, the metal of Mars.
It makes perfect sense, then, that an era characterised by strife and conflict should also be an era in which the masculine principle is introduced into religion and gradually becomes dominant; and also that it should be the era when men become the ruling sex.
According to most calculations of the Kali Yuga, we are currently between five and six thousand years into it. This means that the patriarchal era has dominated much of Kali Yuga, but by no means the whole of it. The steady encroachment of patriarchy was, however, the most prominent movement of the early part of the Age.
Traditional texts about Kali Yuga teach us that it is a time when human beings will kill one another. Of course there has been no historical civilization (i.e. one of which written records survive, all of which are patriarchal) in which the killing of one human by another, often in large organised wars, has not been commonplace. But in early civilisations, where all or most of the iconography is female, we find no fortifications or weapons of war. These begin to appear at the same time as the male image becomes more dominant in the iconography. War and torture become increasingly predominant as the Kali Yuga moves from its early toward its middle phase, and as feminine civilization is gradually expunged from history.
Language becomes simpler as Kali Yuga progresses. It is easy to see that modern French is a simpler language than Latin, or Hindi than Sanskrit. Language becomes increasingly a tool for dealing with the material world and nothing else. The human mind becomes simpler and more materially-oriented. Studies show that the extraordinary range of consonantal sounds in ancient languages make it certain that early humanity had far finer and subtler powers of hearing and articulation than we children of Kali Yuga; and the study of ancient music, with its remarkable subtlety of rhythm and melody, confirms this.
We should also understand that Kali Yuga is not one-fourth of the Historical Cycle. Actually the Ages form the pattern known as the Tetraktys. So, taking the length of Kali Yuga as one unit, the length of the Age of Bronze is two units, that of the Age of Silver three units and that of the age of Gold four units. Thus the Age of Iron, is one-tenth of the entire Historical Cycle.

Since patriarchy does not cover the whole of Kali Yuga, we can see that the patriarchal period is in fact a very small part of the whole cycle of human civilization.
Despite the evident negative qualities of this last Age, it is a necessary part of the Historical Cycle and has also some positive aspects. In these latter days, the Spiritual Path has been made easier for us. The Path of Love, known as bhakti, or the Way of Sai Sushuri, is especially prevalent in this time and souls can be saved simply by chanting the Names of Our Mother.
Even the strongly individualist civilization of the late patriarchal West has allowed artistic achievements of a "psychological" and "realistic" nature to flourish that would have been out of place in a more spiritually-oriented world. Modern science and technics have realised many possibilities of a purely material nature which would have seemed unimportant, and indeed unnecessary to earlier Ages wherein a more direct spiritual control over material life was possible, and in any case the physical aspect of life was far from being the most important. Indeed it is only owing to the consolidation of the terrestrial environment that modern technics have become possible, even as the earlier spiritual techniques have become increasingly difficult and diminished in effectiveness. Each of these developments of Kali Yuga, however, is valid in its own right, and they constitute the "winter fruits" of the Historical Cycle, necessary for the realisation of all its possibilities, even the more inferior ones.
To "turn back the clock" is neither possible nor desirable. Our werde (or karma) has led us into being children of Kali Yuga. It is desirable, however, to understand the Cycle and our place within it and not to be misled by the claims of its material philosophies to overrule - by their simple ignorance of all higher things - what is older and wiser than themselves. Their current effectiveness in purely material terms should not overawe us into accepting their arrogant attempts to judge their spiritual betters and to place their own last and lowest age, with its shallow materialist outlook, above all higher ages.
For those of us who worship Our Mother God, let us rejoice and understand that while the masculine cruelties of Kali Yuga are regrettable, the existence of such an Age is ultimately part of the Divine Mercy. For we who have, by our choices in other lives, come to a relatively low state of being at the end of a Cycle, there is nonetheless a world for us to inhabit and a Path for us to follow.
A world full of beautiful things made by our Divine Mother: a world where we may enjoy the pleasures of sight and sound, scent and sensation and may also follow the Path of the Mother, for, as it says in the Great Hymn to Mahalakshmi
Thou Art the Giver ... of both worldly enjoyment and liberation
In this dark age, toward the end of Kali Yuga, the Spiritual Path has been made simpler for us than ever before; and our dear Mother calls us to Her, simply asking us to love Her like little children and to chant Her name.
We have not come into this Kali Yuga by accident, but because our actions have led us here. It is in many respects a dark place, yet at the centre of its darkness shines the light of our Mother, always showing us the way home to Her.

I especially like the part that talks about how as the yugas progress that we move further and further away from our spiritual norm and into the material which is not the norm. If you look around you see that we are totally immersed in the material today, and as a fan of old books and movies I realize we weren't always that way. As recently as the 1800's people were less concerned with things.

Lee Murray

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Man's Inhumanity to Man

Watching Rambo, a movie made in 2008, a continuation of the saga started years ago in First Blood. On the surface John Rambo is a killer pure and simple.  Deeper he's more, a philosopher, a man that hates killing and the necessity of killing. Like all movies and most books, there is truth here, but you have to look beyond, or behind the drama to find it.  As I said he hates the killing, but believes that it's the only way to resolve a problem and for that reason always returns to killing.  In the end the other path, not killing, finding another way, is too difficult and so he kills. Which isn't to say the challenges, the evils, the bad guys don't deserve to be killed. In this movie one scene is the Thai military, destroying a village killing or capturing everyone in sight, including American missionaries. Later scenes have them raping, beating, and killing the captives. It would be easy to say, yeah but it's a movie, it's not real. The truth unfortunately is that bad as these scenes are, inhumane as they are, evil as they are, they're nothing to the reality of what goes on somewhere in the world every minute of every day of every year, since humanity began.
The evil that is depicted exists in all of us, to a greater or lesser degree. It doesn't matter how tame or milquetoast you appear, under the right circumstances you're capable of the evil of inhumanity. Some would say yes, but Rambo is saving those being preyed on by the bad guys, he's a good guy.  Well, maybe the bad guys don't think so. It's kind of like we all think our military are the good guys, going all over the world killing the bad guys. But clearly millions throughout the world see them, and us, as the evil, seeking to dominate the world and force our way of life on them. Evil or good depends purely on context.
I know I can relate, because as a kid I had the same feelings that drove Rambo to become a killer, and as I grew older I, like him, realized how wrong it is and unlike him, I didn't just try to turn my back on, or sublimate those feelings, but began a search that's still going on for a way to elevate myself above them. The truth is that I, like most, if not all of us, fight every day not to fall back. I know that if I ever found the expletive deleated that stole my truck, and all my things, or if someone ever hurt someone I love, my first impulse would be to take a knife and... Well you get the idea, to paraphrase a character in another movie, I'd keep him alive for two weeks, if I had to give him blood transfusions.  I like to think I'm better than that, but I'm not and under the right circumstances, any one of you would do the same.
Based on what I've learned all life is vibratory, from mineral which we assume has the lowest vibrations, on to man which we assume has the highest, in this world. As we evolve, our vibratory rate increases until we no longer can remain in this world or level and we start over in the next.  The difference between say someone like Mother Theresa or Ghandi, near saints and someone like Rambo, is that their vibrations are higher than his and they're more evolved. The difference between Rambo, and the bad guys are that he, like us, has started to evolve realizing that something is wrong, not necessarily knowing what, and he's started to seek the answer. The problem is that at the slightest excuse he returns to the old, known, reactions.
Inhumanity whether to man or anything else, is something that is part of us as humans. Why? I don't have a clue. You'd think that our first reaction would be to help, not to hurt. Which is true with some of us, but with too many it's not. This is shown by the wars, and crimes that go on, and have gone on from time immemorial.  As long as there've been people there's been murder, torture, and other forms of inhumanity.

Lee Murray

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New Ice Age beginning????

Is an ice age starting?  I posted awhile back about a British scientist who said that the gulf stream/north atlantic drift had stopped working and was dead or nearly dead due to the oil leak in the Gulf and the dispersants used, making an ice age possible in the near future.  Is that what's happening? I found this on Yahoo News, and I've been watching the Weather Channel and the whole country is being hit by this storm. But what's bad is that this is just the next in line. I drove from NY to Calif. a couple weeks ago and it was the same thing, maybe on a smaller scale then, ice, snow and freezing weather all the way, finally going away after I passed through into New Mexico. It sure makes you wonder...

Lee Murray

Ice, snow wreaks havoc from Texas to New England

ST. LOUIS – Layers of dangerous ice and blowing snow closed roads and airports from Texas to Rhode Island on Tuesday as a monster storm began bearing down on the nation and those in its frigid path started to believe it would live up to its hype.
The storm's more than 2,000-mile reach threatened to leave about a third of the nation covered in a hodge-podge of harsh weather. Ice fell first and was expected to be followed by up to two feet of snow in some places. Storm-battered New England towns feared they wouldn't have anywhere to put it.
Making matters worse was the expectation of brutal cold and winds gusting to near 60 mph.
As truck driver David Peck waited outside to deliver food to a Missouri restaurant whose owners were nowhere to be seen, he implored his boss on the other end of the phone to shut down the route.
"By the time I go to Columbia, all hell broke loose," said Peck, 51.
"I've already fell once, right on my back," he said, standing atop an ice- and snow-covered ramp propped on the back of his truck. "There was black ice underneath the snow."
Snow and ice fell to varying degrees from Colorado to Maine, tornadoes were possible in the South, and the weather disrupted the lives of millions. Multiple airports were at least temporarily shut down due to ice, including in Dallas — the destination for thousands trying to get to Sunday's Super Bowl.
Flight tracking service FlightAware had logged almost 6,000 cancellations by midday Tuesday. More were expected Wednesday.
White-outs paralyzed Oklahoma City and the Tulsa area, where snowpack caused the partial collapse of a roof at the Hard Rock Casino but no injuries were reported. Blowing snow created drifts up to 4 feet high and trucks, city buses, snowplows and at least one ambulance had trouble navigating the treacherous roadways.
Tulsa coffee shop owner Brian Franklin said he spent most of the morning watching people on the roads, even laughing at those trying to turn into the store's parking lot. He made it to work in his four-wheel drive Land Rover, but it was a slippery commute.
"After I got out in it, I saw a fire truck with snow chains get stuck, and I wondered if it was a good idea to be driving in this," he said.
Ice-covered roads were all but deserted in Dallas, where the few motorists who braved the unfamiliar terrain slowed to a crawl as they passed jack-knifed tractor-trailers on slick highways. But the NFL stuck to its Super Bowl schedule, holding media activities at Cowboys Stadium in suburban Arlington as planned.
Still, pedestrians struggled as they shuffled along sidewalks — a common problem even hundreds of miles away.
"I think it's crazy the people not putting salt on the sidewalks," said Hagerstown, Md., call center worker Kelly Rataiczak, who slipped several times — but didn't fall — as she made her way from her overnight shift to a bus stop.
Massive amounts of ice were predicted south of St. Louis, followed by strong winds, could cause a repeat of 2006 when ice then brought down trees and transmission lines and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of people in Missouri.
St. Louis-based utility company AmerenUE said lessons were learned. Chip Webb, superintendent of reliability support services, said the company has significantly increased efforts to trim trees near power lines, put more power lines underground and inspect and replace more aging poles.
On Tuesday Ameren had nearly 500 of its own linemen ready to go and was bringing in another 800 from as far away as Michigan.
The storm brought the potential for some strange happenings — thundersnow, lightning, even tornadoes. Forecasters said some regions could get up to 2 inches of snow per hour through parts of Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Blizzard warnings were in effect in much of the Midwest. Even Chicago, where snow is common, could be in for its third-worst blizzard since record-keeping began, with up to 20 inches forecast.
After burying the Midwest, the storm was expected to sweep into the Northeast, parts of which already are on track for record snowfall this winter. A winter storm warning was in effect for New York City, with forecasters predicting a mix of snow, sleet and ice. Federal workers in Washington were given the option of working from home because roads already were slippery Tuesday.
When the snow finally ends, bitter cold will set in. Temperatures in some parts of the Midwest will dip well below zero. Gusty winds will blow all of that snow. Visibility will be virtually zero at times.
In Chicago, the National Weather Service warned high winds could produce waves on Lake Michigan of up to 25 feet, leading to considerable coastal flooding and freezing spray, particularly along Lake Shore Drive. If forecasters are right, Chicago could see its third-biggest snowstorm, overshadowed only by the 21.6 inches in 1999 and the 23 inches of snow that fell in 1967.
Further west, the Iowa Department of Transportation said most roadways in the state were partially or completely covered with a combination of ice and snow. Deadly wrecks were reported in Minnesota and Kansas.
"If you don't have to travel, don't do it. If you can stay home, do it," Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said before heading to the state's emergency operations center. "You might get in. You won't get back."
Plows and salt trucks were out in full force, just in case. The worst of the weather was still a full day away in Michigan, but 85 percent of Oakland County's fleet was already out salting roads in preparation for the "death storm," county Road Commission spokesman Craig Bryson said.
"We're trying to get hard pack off the roads before the big stuff comes," he said. Cots were set up in the commission's garages so drivers could nap between making their runs.
School districts, universities and legislatures closed. Governors in Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Illinois declared emergencies, others activated the National Guard to help stranded motorists and others affected by the storm.
It wasn't just people getting ready for the weather. The Humane Society of Missouri urged people to bring pets inside. Farmers and ranchers prepared livestock.
Kevin Hafner, who works for Express Ranches' operation in El Reno, Okla., said workers prepared enough feed to last their animals for 48 hours. Workers were preparing to chop ice on ponds so the cattle will have adequate water.
"They are tough enough to handle it," Hafner said of the cattle. "They've got a good hair coat this year, but we have to have enough feed to give them energy to keep going."