Moon’s Big Halo: A celestial event foretold arrival of the winter storm
WHO ELSE SAW the huge ring, or halo, around the moon, last weekend? I’ve seen a ring around the moon many times — it supposedly predicts rain — but never a ring soooooo big that reached out so far from the moon. On Sunday night there was a star gleaming from within the ring’s collar. I learned later that it was Jupiter, and that you could actually see the ‘Red Spot’ if you had a good set of binoculars and a steady hand.
The halo is caused by ice crystals in high clouds which bend light rays forming the halo.
I drove home from North Little Rock on Christmas Day. From NLR to Arkadelphia the trees were bent and coated with ice. I came across three accidents on the Interstate due to trees falling across the highway.
At Arkadelphia a heavy rain began, and changed to sleet when I turned off at Prescott. Before I got to McCaskill it had turned to snow. Heavier and heavier. By the time I got to Nashville the snow on the ground was so thick I couldn’t see the roadway.
I came down to the Leader office on Main Street that night to begin my regular paper route. There were very few vehicles moving. And the chamber of commerce loudspeakers were playing country Christmas songs. Surely this is all a bad dream, I told myself.
A couple of days after veterans service officer Milton Puryear did his research of our community’s Nolen Copeland for the belated presentation of the Prisoner of War Medal for WWII, he was contacted by a lady from eastern Arkansas who wanted to know more about a relative who is still missing in action from that war.
There is a local connection to this story. The woman’s relative was the brother of the late Ernest Simpson, a wonderful man and a great builder from Bingen who has been gone many years.
The man whom this woman was asking about was on a flight of bombers which went out to drop destruction on Nazi Germany, then hopefully return to base in England. Only, this airman’s bomber never made it back and has never been heard of since. The airplane and its crew just disappeared.
In doing the research, Milton determined that this young airman and Nolen Copeland were in separate aircraft which took off at the same time from the same airstrip and headed for the same target.
Nolen’s aircraft was shot down and he was taken prisoner. In his ‘stalag,’ he ran across another Howard County boy, the late Archie Cothren from Dierks.
Figure the odds.
Even in the prisoner of war camp they probably argued about the Hornets and the Outlaws.
Without a doubt, they were members of the greatest generation of Americans.
ANOTHER VETERANS nugget: Veterans service officer Milton Puryear says he has heard from veterans from all over this area who are stunned to learn that I actually received the Navy’s Good Conduct Medal. What in the heck has happened to the Navy’s standards? they want to know.
IN THE NEWS. American culture isn’t the only one which is dissolving. In China, where parents and ancestors were formerly revered almost to the point of worship, a law is being passed which would FORCE children to visit their parents.
KNOCK KNOCK. WHO’S THERE?
Due to advances in scanning the skies and understanding what we are actually seeing, astronomers from all around the world are predicting that ‘we’ will find an Earth twin planet sometime in 2013. It must be a rocky planet, with oxygen and an atmosphere and water, and be at the right distance from its sun in order for it to support life as we know it.
“Sending robotic probes to the nearest stars will constitute the greatest adventure we Homo sapiens have ever attempted,” one astronomer gushed.
CAN YOU BELIEVE that I made a mathematical error recently when I told you that Dalton Wilson would be 1,012 years old next time the calendar said 12-12-12?
Thank goodness only Thomas Boozer pointed out my misteak.
More on math. Even though our system of months is based upon the lunar cycle, there were 13 full moons in 2013. That’s because the lunar cycle isn’t EXACTLY a month. That extra full moon is known as a Blue Moon. It’s fairly rare and that’s the source of the saying: Once in a blue moon.
I’m sure Boozer will be back in our office within days to point out my mooning errors.
PUNS AND adult truths from my piano friend at Fellowship: The sole purpose of a child’s middle name is so he can tell when he’s really in trouble.
HE SAID: “Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.” William Butler Yeats, poet
SHE SAID: “Age is not measured by years. Nature does not equally distribute energy. Some people are born old and tired while others are going strong at seventy.” Dorothy Thompson, journalist
SWEET DREAMS, Baby