“Halt and Identify”

mullet over

– The Plan was later tweaked: In October of 1962, a large dark figure was detected climbing the cyclone fence that surrounded a special-assignment U.S. air base in Minnesota. Subsequent to two shouted orders of “Halt and Identify,” an armed guard shot an intruder several times. The fence was wired to set off alarms whenever any trespassers encroached upon the highly-secured military site. “Alert” orders were automatically delivered that triggered launch preparations of two F-106 Fighter jets, each armed with nuclear missiles aimed at separate targets in the Soviet Union. High-ranking military personnel and the U.S. president (Kennedy) were notified. After a brief investigation, the jet pilots were ordered to “stand down.” The fence-climbing intruder was a black bear. She had become a victim of the plan with a flaw (or two).

– I am removed from modern techno-cliques by several miles. A recent survey indicated that over 45% of all Americans ages 10 to 12 have their own smartphones. I am a total fuddy-duddy (precision term) that remembers party-lines with special rings (e.g., two longs and a short).

– Another survey (of heightened interest to many of my kin) reveals that 3 companies produce 80% of the beer brewed in the United States. Those three would be: Heineken, MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch.

– I should wager that you or your kin cannot duplicate this: A mother kangaroo can house two babies of substantially different ages in her pouch simultaneously. Each “joey” usually receives his/her special milk formula, dependent upon maturity level and nutritional needs. I totally accepted zoologists’ opinions on these matters and conducted no investigations.

– Sunday, May 13 is Mother’s Day in the United States. Woodrow Wilson declared May 9, 1914 to be the first nationally recognized Mother’s Day in America. This year, March 11 was the designated special day in the UK. Mothers deserve many extraordinary occasions. Be nice to your mother.

– The Crystal Palace was a primarily glass and iron structure erected in London’s Hyde Park to display projects for the Great Exhibition of 1851. Visible from miles away, the building brilliantly “bounced” sunlight internally and was described as “a delight to the eye.” After the Exhibition closed in late 1851, the Palace was used for dozens of purposes. However, the great quantity of glass panes was expensive to clean and maintain. Over subsequent decades, the structure fell into a state of sad disrepair. Fires and German bomb raids leveled what remained of the edifice during WWII. Today, there are historical markers, photographic exhibitions and guided tours available amidst a well-maintained 200 acre oak forest. Well, plan something special for May 13 and have a groovy week.

James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at jkwhite46@gmail.com.