Odds and Ends

Dear Editor:

Score: Entomologists, 1; giant Asian hornets, 0. In my last column, I described the threat posed by these potent insects. Now I’ve learned that one of their nests was discovered near Blaine. It was located in a hollow tree, though it prefers the ground. With thick gloves and heavy suits “Those men destroyed the nest and vacuumed the survivors, thus reducing the threat to local honeybee colonies.” Stay tuned.

“Those who have no time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” (Edward Stanley)

The Masada is a low mountain complex located in the Judean desert of Israel. In 73 A.D.a Jewish revolt against the Roman emperor Vespasian’s troops forced a group of Jews to seek shelter on the mountain top. But the site was not impregnable. They fought off the enemy until the Romans built a huge ramp and an assault tower that finally breached their defensive wall and set it on fire. When the Romans finally broke through, they found that all the Jews had committed suicide. Needless to say, this site is a popular tourist destination in normal times.

Have you ever pondered the term “strict interpretation of the Constitution?” When it and the Bill of Rights were drawn up, the modern world was not possible to imagine, so how can it be interpreted without the intervention of politics to some extent? Just wondering.

Henry Kaiser was a prodigiously talented WWII pioneer who grew rich from his various enterprises during the war. He is best remembered for the speed with which he produced Liberty ships, something like one a day eventually. His ventures into steel and autos were nowhere near as successful, but today his name survives in the kaiser-Permanente health care system. I recall writing to my father from overseas asking to check out the Kaiser J auto.

Antarctica comprises 5.4 million square miles compared with Australia’s 2.9 and Europe’s 3.9. It is buried under a layer pf ice averaging 7,100 feet. It contains 90 percent of the world’s ice and 70 percent of its freshwater. Most of you are aware that the ice is melting relatively fast.

As I approach 96 years of age my thoughts drift back to my early years. I recall vividly when I served a four-hour shift at an aircraft warning station and then boarded a school bus for the 12-mile ride to my high school. People throughout Puget Sound were doing the same. Windows were blacked out and severe rationing was in effect. When F.D.R. issued his order that sent Japanese-Americans to hastily constructed internment camps farther inland (British Columbia followed suit), most Westerners felt more comfortable, though few alive today would admit it.

At any rate, those Japanese sent their sons to fight for the U.S. in Europe where they proved their loyalty by their heroism in battle. And there was not a single case of treason among their counterparts in Hawaii.

Robert Hall