6 JUNE 2018 # 47THE WAR ON POLIO — IS VICTORY NEAR?

ONLY ONE CASE OF POLIO IN PAKISTAN SO FAR THIS YEAR The little boy in the photo is crying as his mother bends to help him. He is 3 years old and trying to take a few steps, but his right leg and arm are painful and will not move. He is the only case of polio so far this year in Pakistan, a historical low. (His mother has not learned to read and cannot decipher the Urdu words on the sign behind her urging that children get vaccinated against polio. The sign says “Don’t let your child’s dreams go to waste.”) The world is now very close to wiping out polio. Pakistan’s neighbor, India, eradicated polio in 2014. Now … Read More

23 MAY 2018 #46 GOOD MORNING, STARSHINE. (THE SPACE AGE BEGINS)

The 1960s began The Space Age: • 1961–April 12, Yuri Gagarin, Russian Cosmonaut, makes the first flight from earth into space and is the first human to orbit the globe. • 1961–May 1, Alan Shepard, American Astronaut, makes a suborbital flight. • 1961–May 25, President Kennedy famously declares, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth.” (The goal was achieved.) • 1962–Astronaut John Glenn is the first American to orbit the globe. • 1967–The musical “Hair” features a song by James Rado and Gerome Ragni whose first lines can be considered an ode to human fascination with the … Read More

20 APRIL 2018 #45 TESS — OFF TO SEEK ALIEN WORLDS

TESS was launched perfectly on Wednesday, April 18. TESS herself will not go to the stars. The little spacecraft (about the size of a washing machine) has nestled into an orbit between Earth and the moon. But, starting in June, her telescopes will spend two years searching the sky for nearby stars orbited by planets with Earthlike conditions, some of which may support intelligent life. TESS will help to answer the age-old question: Are we alone? Ad astra per aspira is the motto of the state of Kansas, a Latin phrase that means “To the stars through difficulties.” There are difficulties to overcome as we explore the universe and reach out to other stars and planets. But TESS (a cooperative … Read More

24 MARCH 2018 # 44 GIVE AN ORPHAN AN EDUCATION — LET HER KNOW SHE IS NOT FORGOTTEN

There are over 18 million children in the world who have lost their mothers and fathers. Save the Children has an Orphan Education program. They find overlooked, eager-to-learn children, pay their tuition, and purchase their school supplies. Giving orphaned children an opportunity to learn lets that them know they have not been forgotten. Anyone who has a bit of extra money to put to a good use may be interested in Save the Children’s “Gifts of Joy” catalog. A gift of $75 will provide an educational opportunity for one child somewhere in the world. Here is the link to the Orphan Education section of Save the Children’s Gifts of Joy catalog: bit.ly/2pBJGIG WarrenHall Crain Seattle, Washington 24 March 2018 Please … Read More

6 MARCH 2018 #43 THE HALF-EARTH PROJECT

HALF OF EARTH MUST STAY WILD ONE THING threatens Earth even more than climate change – the extinction of species. Species extinction is the other major threat to Earth. Extinction of species by human activity is accelerating at a pace to eliminate more than half of all species by the end of this century — destabilizing Earth’s billion-year-old environmental support system. And while climate changes can be corrected, extinct species are gone forever. Extinctions must be prevented. They cannot be corrected.Perhaps we can stabilize Earth’s climate by reducing carbon emissions and developing technologies such as carbon removal and sunlight deflection. Humans probably have the brains to halt and correct climate change … if we have the will. Species extinction is … Read More