Friday, December 29, 2006

Ancient Ice Shelf Breaks Free

Sounds like a logline for an Edwardian drama of manners, doesn't it? The "Breaks Free" part sounds hopeful, at least. But no, it's a development in Global Climate Change. You know, the kind right-wing cranks and industry shills keep grousing has nothing to do with human activity, nor could be changed in any way by moderating our creature comforts (or, in the case of the Hummer, Beastly Comforts). The Ayles Ice Shelf, about the size of Manhattan, has broken away from its position of the last several millenia. Anyway, I hope those right-wing-nuts enjoy their climate change, because they've gotten almost all their wishes: our President has renounced the Kyoto agreement, our industry will not change its habits one meaningful whit, and whether for comfort or to spite environmentalists, who they see as unmanly and controlling, the private right-wing individual (though I suppose there are left-wing anti-environmentalists and right-wing environmentalists here) won't change his or her piggy habits either.

The only wish they won't get is that the environmentalists should like it and beam happily about it.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pearl Harbor Survivors

This article on the AP wires says that many of the survivors of Pearl Harbor, who have been reuniting every five years since the war, expect December 7, 2006, to be the last reunion. 65 years on, most of the survivors are in their 80s or 90s, many wheelchair-bound.

There are survivors who still feel that there can be more reunions:

...some veterans don't believe, or refuse to accept, that this will be the last major gathering.

"They claimed the 60th was going to be the last one. Now they have the 65th. When they have the 70th, then they'll be claiming, 'This will be the last one,'" Hyland said. "They've been crying wolf too many times."

Hyland does accept the fact that their numbers are falling fast.

"We all have our turn and our turn is getting closer," he said.

[...]

The bond is so strong that some ask to have their ashes interred inside the Arizona, laid to rest with shipmates who were not so fortunate as to survive Dec. 7, 1941.

"They're coming home," Middlesworth said. "They feel they're coming home."


My parents had me late. My mother survived a Japanese internment camp. I often felt, while she still lived, that the world she grew up in was so distinct from ours, that to talk to her about it was to travel to another time, completely alien but completely familiar. This other era, this other Britain. The other America, where she and my father later met, after my father served in the Pacific. It's so very long ago.

Anyone with grandparents or parents who were alive during that war should talk to them tomorrow.