Odds and Ends

Dear Editor:

April 20, 2021

Forty mass shootings in thirty days! What a shameful record. I’m beginning to wonder whether those flags flying at half-mast in honor of the victims will ever be lowered again. Congress offers thoughts and prayers.

In 1942 a Sandakan death march in Borneo involved 2,400 captured British and Australian prisoners. At the end of the march, all of the captives were shot along with 2,000-4,000 civilians. This horror was only exceeded by Unit 731 in Manchuria where Japanese prisoners were subject to vivisection while still alive. (Wik)

“On average humans produce 15-30 gallons of tears in a year.” (R.D., Feb. 2020)

If you answer the phone and hear the cheerful greeting, “How are you today?”, you can assume that you’re hearing Internet jargon for “Reach for your checkbook or bank card.”

Forecasters predict that by mid-2000 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea. (TIME, Feb 3-10-20) An ad currently running on TV claims a company is producing recyclable plastic bottles. If true why aren’t other companies being required to do likewise?

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is now a fraction of an inch to the vertical after a ten-year closure for adjustments. At this rate it will take only 4,000 years before it becomes perfectly vertical. (R.D., 3-20) I can’t guarantee the math.

Michael Smith, an archeologist at A. S. U. has identified a complex system of 11 different kinds of taxes that Aztec provinces paid at the city-state level before the Spanish arrived. The highest officials could depend on the provinces for a yearly total of 40 jaguar skins, 70 gold bars, 2,200 jars of bee honey, 4,000 loaves of salt, 16,000 rubber balls, two live eagles, and a host of other items. (Archeology,” May-June-21)

When the Chinese communist party carried out a series of reforms in 2010, North Koreans suspected it could be a capitalist trap. Party cadres told Felix Alt, a Swiss businessman that they did not consider China to be a socialist (communist) country any longer, but some praised the Chinese while others disagreed. Alt was allowed to work with entrepreneurs, according to his book, “A Capitalist in North Korea,” 2014.

The brain requires more oxygen than any other bodily organ, according to Dr. Thomas, a forensic pathologist in the George Floyd trial. April 9, 2021.

Bob Hall