Odds and Ends

  • Thu Sep 17th, 2020 2:29pm
  • Life

Odds and Ends

Weather anomalies: recently a temperature of 130 degrees was reported in Death Valley. If it becomes official, it will become the highest on earth since 1913. Earlier this year Siberia, well known for setting low-temperature records, reported a temperature of 100 degrees. A few days ago a Colorado community experienced a temperature of 100 degrees one day and four inches of snow the next.

David Ben-Gurion, a principal founder of Israel and its first prime minister, was essentially an atheist. “Time,” (7-27-18)

The world could have a billion electric vehicles on the road by 2050. The latest battery requires significant amounts of lithium, nickel, manganese, cobalt, and copper. Mining these metals on land will result in considerable environmental damage. Billions of tons of these special metals are contained in modules on the seabed at depths of up to 20,000 feet. An agency established by the UN to regulate undersea mining does not include the U. S. (“Motortrend,” Aug.,2020)

I would like to reprint (with permission) my favorite joke from a recent copy of “The Reader’s Digest.”

A man is arrested for stealing a can of peaches

The judge asks, “How many peaches were in the can?”

The nan replies, “Six, your honor.”

“In that case you will go to jail for six days, one for each peach.”

Hearing that, his wife stands and says, “Your honor, he also stole a can of peas.”

In Bevin Alexander’s “Sun Tzu at Gettysburg, ” he implies that “Stonewall” Jackson was the South’s leading general because he came closest to following the principles of Sun Tzu. I would have favored Robert E. Lee. Incidentally, Jackson was killed by his own men at the Battle of Chancellorsville. Alexander also reminds us that in the Civil War six out of seven attacks failed. Prime examples are the overwhelming Southern victories at Fredericksburg and Cold Harbor and the Union victory at Gettysburg.

The media recently reminded us of the fate of Greenwood, a prosperous Black neighborhood in the city of Tulsa, OK. In 1921 it was destroyed by envious racist whites, killing or injuring hundreds and leaving about 10,000 homeless. Aerial bombing was even employed but details are lacking.

The father of Charles Dickens, premier novelist of Victorian England, was sentenced to debtor’s prison for a debt of 40 pounds (a substantial amount in those days.) Later his family joined him there.”Oliver Twist” and “A Christmas Carol” are among Dickens’ best-known books.

Ancient Spartans were sometimes outnumbered by their helot slaves by as much as 7 to 1. A favorite tactic by the masters was to declare war on their underlings and slaughter enough to restore the balance. (Wikipedia)

The “Queen Mary” made numerous trips across the Atlantic as a troopship during WW2. Painted grey, it carried about 10,000 troops and was nicknamed “the grey ghost” On one of her trips she collided with a smaller British ship with its 300 passengers and they all died because the “Queen” couldn’t stop in the sub-infested waters.

Robert Hall