It has been raining all day, with temperatures in the 40s, so nobody in this house is inclined to go outside. The ground is covered with leaves knocked down from the latest rain showers. It’s also covered with robins. At lunchtime, for example, I looked out the window and saw eight of them in the front yard. They’re probably looking for worms, because worms come out of the ground when it rains to avoid drowning. In that sense, today is when the robins have their Thanksgiving feast.
As the Thanksgiving weekend and the month of November draw to a close, I have several links to interesting news stories I have read over the past day or two. The first two have to do with the Second World War, hence the title to this message.
First, the caves and quarries where French civilians hid, to escape the fighting during the D-Day invasion, have been found. Think of it as a time capsule from 1944:
And in London, the tunnels under the center of the city, used as wartime shelters and for several secret government functions, are now on sale for $7.4 million. I sure hope they check the background of whoever buys the tunnel network; we don’t want terrorists or any criminal syndicate turning them into a hideaway.
Now we have proof that Herodotus was telling the truth when he told us that the Scythians were the first people to smoke marijuana. The tomb of a Central Asian shaman was found in northwest China, and dated to 700 B.C. (near the beginning of the Scythian era on the steppes). He had blond hair and blue eyes, so he could not have been Chinese, and he was buried with his supply of pot, 789 grams (1.73 pounds) of the stuff.
And a few months ago, it was announced that several large communities, which could have been home to as many as 50,000 people, existed in the middle of the Amazon basin before Europeans arrived in the western hemisphere. Normally a jungle is a nasty place to live, with all kinds of microbes and beasties waiting to kill you, and the soil is usually too poor to farm on it for long, so how did the Indians build these pre-Columbian towns? Now a National Geographic article suggests an answer; contrary to what is found elsewhere, some of the world’s most fertile soil was right here!
And remember the controversy over the Pledge of Allegiance from a few years back, where some atheists tried to ban it because it contained the words “under God?” Now the pastor who made sure the words “under God” were in it has died at the age of 97.
And finally, along the line of the last link, here’s the video where Red Skelton explains what the Pledge of Allegiance means. If you’re like me, when you hear the name “Red Skelton,” you probably think of comedy from the early days of television (the 1950s and 60s), but here he was serious, and did a better job of explaining the Pledge than anyone else I know.
See you in December!