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Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Mom, Dad and me at Camp Le Jeune, 1952

To some of us boomers, 1952 was a very big year. I was born at Camp LeJeune where my Dad was training young Marines to fight in Korea. This war in which 1.8 million Americans served came only 6 years after World War II ended with America’s first use of an atomic bomb at Hiroshima. In the early ’50s, our post-World War II world was still reeling from the loss of 78 million people, comprising 4% of the world’s population.
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According to a recent Gallup poll, Americans today are evenly divided between the “pro-life” and “pro-choice” camps. Last week’s rollercoaster fiasco involving the Susan G. Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood has reignited the abortion debate, at the same time that insurance covering contraception is being blasted by the Catholic Church as an infringement on “religious freedom.” (more…)

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The Tetons and Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. (photo by Ansel Adams)

Last week’s bankruptcy filing by Kodak reminds me of the Italian cruise ship captain who ordered dinner after his ship hit the fatal rock. In Kodak’s case, the rock was the rise of digital photography.

My generation grew up with Kodak, and made it one of the world’s most well known brands. We took our first photos in the 50s with our Brownie cameras, which came back printed on square glossy black and white paper with scalloped edges. (more…)

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Canvasback duck

We are all feeling the impacts of declining economies in Greece and Italy. These two member countries of the 17-member “Eurozone” are impacting global stock markets as they struggle to service their debt with declining revenues. These defaulting countries are risking the survival of the Euro, the common currency of Eurozone members. To avoid a “catastrophic collapse,” Germany has taken the lead to offer solutions which if successful, will save the Euro at the expense of the citizens of Greece, Italy and other struggling European countries who will be forced to accept a more austere lifestyle. So what does this have to do with ducks?
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Bridge Day is the annual event at the New River Gorge in West Virginia when seasoned sky divers come from around the world to jump off the world’s 5th highest vehicular bridge. (This special breed is known as BASE jumpers). The promoters boast that this one day event is the “most extreme of extreme sports” when hundreds of jumpers free-fall about 400 feet before deploying small bright-colored parachutes which float them down another 476 feet to the New River rapids below. Over 100,000 people come from all over the country to peer over the rail of the 3,000 foot span to witness this high-adrenaline spectacle.
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