Saturday, October 23, 2010

Saturday Summary

This is new news such as I rarely include but this looks pretty amazing. The newest bridge in the US, and now the longest concrete span in the Western Hemisphere, is over the Colorado River, and 900 feet above it, just south of the Hoover Dam -- a spectacular setting for the bridge: mountains, river, dam, lake -- wow!

From the new to the old: on average worldwide, one large ship is sunk every three days. Many of these are old ships from which most usable metal has been removed for resale but the ships still contain many pollutants. Of course, some of the sinkings are ships actively carrying cargo, but by no means are those the majority. Seems a human logical failure to think "out of sight, out of mind."

An ancient user of ships, Cleopatra, needs some rethinking in the minds of most of us who see a vision of Elizabeth Taylor when the name pops up. The real Cleo was not even Egyptian but Greek, and from the coins with her likeness, she wasn't a beauty although she was supposed to have been very witty and unusually wise [or maybe astute is the word] when it came to ruling her country. She even learned to speak Egyptian which none of her Ptolomy predecessors who ruled Egypt after Alexander the Great conquored it had bothered to speak the local language.

Not too far away from Egypt, but in the present, a peculiar sport is played in Yemen: camel jumping. 1,2, 3, maybe 4 camels are made to lie down side by side and then a broad jumper takes off to see how many camels he can leap over. The sport is generations old, played only by men, of course -- in fact women are rarely allowed to even watch.

But back to the US and a bit of history: In 1539 Hernando de Soto on his swing through the South introduced pigs to the continent. Of course a few managed to get free before they became bar-b-cue for the explorers. Today 38 states have problems with feral pigs, some 4 million of the estimated 8 million roaming woods and marshes, are in Texas where they are hunted both from the air and on ground. They do approximately $800 million in property damage a year. This of course has nothing to do with the many millions of domestic pigs grown for food on huge and tiny farms.

Finally a pre-Halloween story from the recent news. A woman in Costa Mesa, CA allowed a homeless woman to sleep in her car. The homeless woman died but the car owner did not report it to the police and continued to drive the car for some 3 or 4 months leaving the corpse in the passenger's' seat under a blanket -- creating a very foul smell and mummifying as time went by. The body was discovered when the woman left the car parked blocking another's driveway and the police were called about the car. People do the damnedest things!

3 comments:

Marie aka Grams said...

You have quite a way with segues. Interesting snippets, as usual.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

June, Smithfields Foods is the largest hog slaughter in our country -- that pollutes in many ways but one is by injecting their hogs with antibiotics and vaccines that eventually works itself into our food chain. So why not use the feral pigs as food and tell Smithfield to get lost. Or become a vegetarian! -- barbara

June Calender said...

I grew up eating a lot of ham, bacon and pork chops from home grown pigs [long before free range, organic and such terms had to be invented] nothing tastes the same anymore and I'm getting closer to vegetarianism each year.