S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Friday, January 28, 2011

News to amuse and amaze:

Today's "In" box revealed a number  of items of general interest, as well as the following intriguing bits of news.  The links were brought of obscurity by my regular contributor, Jon.
Heroics -- These stories have to do with heroism shown by people involved in hazardous travel in the air and on the sea.
A WWII pilot who forever repaid rescuers dies at 94.  As it turned out, the rescued pilot spent much of the rest of his life raising money and giving service to the south Pacific's New Britain islanders who has saved his life.

Teenagers adrift in the Pacific for 50 days reached land.  These three boys from Figi were very skillful and also somewhat lucky.  To quote:

. . . the boys reported having just two coconuts with them when they set out. During their ordeal, they drank rainwater that collected in the boat and ate fish they had caught. Once, they managed to grab a bird that landed on the boat and they devoured that . . .
The rescue came not a moment too soon: . . . they had begun to drink sea water because it hadn't rained in the past few nights.

Human ingenuity saved the day for a plane in crisis back in November.  When a whole bunch of things went wrong at once, an Airbus 380 Australian crew was able to override automation in order to save the plane and passengers.  In conclusion,
All the experts were agreed on one point.
"It must have been an exciting time on that flight deck," Barr said dryly. "It's not something you'd ever want to try again."

Fortunate Finds:   These stories are about amazing finds of old things -- some very, very old.Buried Alive: 34,000-Year-Old Organisms Found.  Living in a kind of suspended animation in salt crystals the organisms were eventually able to "wake up."  A few even reproduced.  The story begins,

Scientists bring back ancient salt crystals, dug up from deep below Death Valley for climate research. The sparkling crystals are carefully packed away until, years later, a young, unknown researcher takes a second look at the 34,000-year-old crystals and discovers, trapped inside, something strange. Something ... alive.
A View from the top of the de-watered Niagara Falls in 1969 in New York, was unearthed after 41 years by American Russ Glasson.  The photos were taken by his mother and father in law and show when the famous waterfall was turned off for almost six months.
Houston museum unearths the next big creature feature: The bones lie everywhere, fragments of 300 million-year-old ribs and vertebrae - spread across the hillsides, amid cactus, mesquite and red earth. They sat on the surface, next to pieces of clay and caliche rock, when paleontologists and volunteers began chiseling, scratching and brushing their way, millimeter by millimeter, toward the discovery awaiting them below.

Finders, Keepers:  
As too often is the case, Egyptian antiquities may reside not in their country of origin.  Jon related to me that he actually saw this bust as an Army family school kid living in Berlin.  Egypt asks Berlin to return  a Nefertiti bust, to no avail.  To quote:

Egypt's top archaeologist has formally requested the return of the 3,300-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti that has been in a Berlin museum for decades, the latest move in his eight-year-old campaign to bring home ancient artifacts spirited out of the country during colonial times.
By Carol Gee
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