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Today: consumption kills eco-systems; fraud, greed, grand larceny and theft bring down world's finances; deceit, infidelity and instant gratification destroy families; murders and wars have left us without peace or stability. On top we have droughts, earthquakes, floods, storms, tsunamis … has the world gone mad! Submit now to Allah before it is too late - to the One and Only God, the Creator, Lord and Sustainer of the universe, Unique in His Person and Actions, without any blemish, weakness or relatives. Follow the Sunnah of Muhammad (the last Messenger and Prophet - upon whom be the peace and blessings of Allah), and join those who will be the really successful ones.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

3. Two days in August 79 AD

By Rossella Lorenzi

Aug. 24, A.D. 79

1 p.m.: When the people of Herculaneum saw a column of smoke bursting from Vesuvius, reaching nine miles into the sky, they looked around, astonished. As the first ash fell on the roofs of their houses, they understood it was time to run. Most stopped to gather what belongings they could: money, jewels, the family dog. Everybody rushed into the streets. Some thought the sea was their route to safety; those who didn't try to escape on boats assembled on the beach.

Midnight: The cloud reached almost 19 miles into the sky, and torrents of lava poured down Vesuvius. The beach probably offered a spectacular view of the eruption, but the fugitives didn't live much longer to admire it.

Aug. 25, A.D. 79

1 a.m.: A cloud of gas and ash plunged down on the town; the hot breath of Vesuvius killed the fugitives in a fraction of a second. By studying bone fractures and the position of the remains, anthropologist Paolo Petrone and volcanologist Giuseppe Mastrolorenzo established beyond a doubt that the fugitives were wrapped in a 900-degree Fahrenheit cloud. They died instantly of thermal shock, not from slow suffocation as scientists long assumed.

1 to 6 a.m.: More surges followed.

7 a.m.: A devastating surge killed the remaining inhabitants of Pompeii; they lay down with death on a thick carpet of pumice.

8 a.m.: Silence fell on Herculaneum and Pompeii.

Two days in August 79 AD