I am struck by the otherness of things rather than their sameness. The way a tiny pile of snow perches in the crook of a branch in the tall pine, away by itself, high enough not to be noticed by people, out of reach of stray dogs. It leans against the scaly pine bark, busy at some existence that does not need me.
It is the differences of objects that I love, that lift me toward the rest of the universe, that amaze me. That each thing on earth has its own soul, its own life, that each tree, each clod is filled with the mud of its own star. I watch where I step and see that the fallen leaf, old broken grass, an icy stone are placed in exactly the right spot on the earth, carefully, royalty in their own country.
Read by Garrison Keillor
I’ve been following Eurovision this year, because I’m a fan of PKN, the 2015 Finnish entry. I’ve recently also become a fan of Tommy Krångh, the sign language interpreter for the Swedish finals. Check out this guy’s fantastic interpretation of this year’s Swedish entry, Måns Zelmerlöw with the song Heroes.
Aside from the Norman Luboff Choir (and maybe the Mormon Tabernacle Choir?), the only choir I can think of who has had popular hits were the Edwin Hawkins Singers. Their biggest hit was a song I’ve loved since childhood, Oh Happy Day, which was played on the eclectic pop radio I listened to as a kid.
Still gives me chills. Even more so to hear the recording that made the song famous (if you don’t need to look at a video while you listen to this wonderful music).
It only made me happy to learn that the it was the Edwin Hawkins Singers who collaborated with my childhood idol Melanie on her hit Lay Down.
I bought a Geiger counter at an antique store in November. It was an impulse buy, but reasonably priced, and I thought it was perfect for the fallout shelter I’m putting together. I’ll show you the fallout shelter some day, but in the meantime I have a Geiger counter story.
I replaced two 45-volt batteries & one 22.5-volt battery, and the thing clicks when turned on, as though registering background radiation. But I can’t be sure it really works without waving that wand over something radioactive, like an old watch, or an old smoke detector, both of which I have not got. Enter United Nuclear Scientific.
I found United Nuclear Scientific on the internet. They sell radioactive samples specifically designed to test Geiger counters for $5.00 + shipping, courtesy of the U.S. postal service. Mine arrived the other day.
The Geiger counter doesn’t register anything when presented with this sample, meaning either it doesn’t work or the sample isn’t radioactive. So I looked at United Nuclear again, and found that it’s run by Bob Lazar. I, of course, have heard of him.
Bob Lazar claims to be an M.I.T. physicist who worked at Area 51, tasked to reverse-engineer the flying saucer that crashed in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. He said the saucer was from Zeta Reticuli, home of the “Greys.” The ship ran on ununpentium, also known as element 115, an element that was first synthesized on earth in 2003. Lazar signed a non-disclosure agreement with the U.S. military and was warned that, should he reveal anything, his family would be executed. Bob runs United Nuclear with his wife, Joy White. M.I.T. says they never heard of Bob Lazar. Bob says his past has been deleted by the government in an attempt to discredit his claims. And so on, and so on, in the endless circle of conspiracy kookiness that I’ve grown to love & hate.
People have asked if it’s legal to send radioactive material through the mail. Also, didn’t I find it foolhardy to purchase uranium on the internet. These are good questions. I chose United Nuclear Scientific because they were cheaper. Lolarusa says, “Sounds like you were a smart shopper. If you’re buying radioactive material, there’s no need to get picky about where it’s coming from.”
So I still don’t know if my Geiger counter works, but I do have a souvenir from Bob Lazar, and Bob has my $5.00.