(Published and © by Chesapeake Bay News Service, 1/28/2014)
by John Messeder
The nightly television news tells seemingly disconnected stories.
California is suffering a historic drought in the middle of its winter “rainy” season.
Power plants have been forced to reduce output in the summer as the Great Lakes, several rivers and an ocean used to cool the machinery become too shallow or too warm —or both.
Earlier this month, a Freedom Industries storage tank leaked 7,500 gallons of coal-processing chemical into the Elk River near Charleston, W.Va., to be sucked into a West Virginia American Water treatment facility about a mile downriver.
Continue reading …
(Published in the Gettysburg Times, 7/4/2014)
Last week, I took my granddaughter and her best friend to the local swimming pool. The aroma of bacteria-killing chemicals assaulted us as we entered the pool area. Within about a half hour, one of the girls came to me.
“Do my eyes look red,” she asked.
(Published in the Gettysburg Times, 6/27/2014)
Recently, I needed a prescription. My doctor called it in and later I went to the drug store to pick it up.
I am old enough to be on Medicare, but I didn’t buy the extra part that pays for prescriptions. I also am retired from the U.S. Navy and therefore covered by TriCare For Life, the current version of continued medical benefits for military veterans. It pays, except when it doesn’t.
(Published in the Gettysburg Times, 6/13/2014)
A favorite tee-shirt of mine shows four Native Americans prepared for battle. Around the image are the words, “Homeland Security / Fighting terrorism since 1492.” I’m always amazed when people don’t get the message.
“In fourteen-hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” And so began a dedicated effort by predominantly white Europeans to erase cultures which had existed for at least centuries in the “new” world.
(Published in the Gettysburg Times, 5/23/2014)
My wife-slash-Resident Travel Agent and I went to Florida recently. We left my Jeep in Long Term Parking and flew to Fort Lauderdale, where I signed for a rental car to use for the week.
Renting a car for a trip actually is a good way to go. You get a fairly new vehicle, and all you need do is drive – and turn it in when you are done for someone else to clean out any dog hairs or French fries you might have dropped between the seats.
(Published in the Gettysburg Times, 5/16/2014)
“I should prefer to have some boy bend them, / As he went out and in …” Birches, by Robert Frost.
Better a boy than an ice storm should bend the birches. A girl could bend them, as well, if a girl is in the house, and requires exploratory forays into a nearby forest. To climb a really tall tree is to gain a sense of accomplishment not available to parents and other adults who are well advised to stick to the lower, thicker branches.
And to have Mom worried that you might fall is to have an opportunity to show her, “No, I won’t.” There is no finer feeling than to tell her you will not fall, and then prove it.
(Published in the Gettysburg Times, 5/9/2014)
Nuclear disaster in Japan and aggression in Ukraine could be good for natural gas producers in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region. For Pennsylvania taxpayers, not so much.
Much of western and central Europe buys about a third of its natural gas from Russia. That’s a lot of countries wondering how they will cope if Russian President Vladimir Putin makes good on his threats to close the valve.
(Published in the Gettysburg Times, 4/25/2014)
An exciting piece of news crossed the television screen last week, sandwiched between a missing airplane (“Breaking news: Searchers still have not found Malaysian Flight 370.) and Russian troops daring the Ukraine army to come out and play.
The news was the discovery of a planet that may be capable of supporting life as we know it. It didn’t get a lot of play – couple mentions during the day and it was done – but it’s pretty big news in the history of human-kind. It is the first planet that is both the right size and the right distance from its sun for its climate to possibly have water and other features essential to human existence. Continue reading
(Published in the Gettysburg Times, 4/18/2014)
The world is coming alive with the warmth and light of Spring – this week’s below-freezing day notwithstanding.
A little bit ago, there was a bird singing loudly in joy at the edge of my back yard. I couldn’t find him to discover his name or photograph his appearance, but it was enough to hear his robust love song.
(Published in the Gettysburg Times, 4/4/2014)
I finally gave up trying to keep the House Sparrows out of the bluebird house. For about three days.
I feel badly for them, trying to set up a home outside my studio window. They are mid-1800 immigrants to this country from the Mediterranean Sea shores, by way of Europe. I’ve read they were a pest in China; Chairman Mao tried to eradicate them thinking it would make more grain available for his burgeoning human population.
(Published in the Gettysburg Times, 3/21/2014)
An article in the Gettysburg Times reported on “Discovery Gettysburg,” a 2,000-unit housing development proposed for the intersection of US15 and PA394 (Shrivers Corners Road).
It’s a fact that residential growth is the most expensive when compared to agricultural and industrial. For one thing, each new worker living in a residential development occupies a separate home; the same number of employees work together in stores, factories or office buildings.