LtE in CMO #273

From Samuel Ray WHITBY

. . . . . .Dear Masatsugu,


I was relieved to read on the CMO page, Letters, that your medical problems seem not to be serious. I had a similar symptom 30 years ago, and, although the exact cause was never found, the doctors thought my problem might have been due to a small kidney stone.


Our weather, after years of drought, has been wet and cloudy for the most part. The few times that I have been able to try to observe Mars have been occasions when the seeing was poor.


The images on the CMO page are very impressive. It looks like a visual observer will have to be quite skillful to add anything useful.


Colleen has graduated from community college. She still plans to be an artist. Tyler, as of Friday, will have finished kindergarden. David will be a senior in high school next year.


On May 20 we had a spectacular display of solar arcs: the 22 degree halo, a circumhorizontal arc, and a small parhelic circle. I photographed the phenomena and sent the pictures to the local newspaper, along with explanations. On May 21 the newspaper published an article that called the display double rainbows. I will email some photos separately.


I am looking forward to some good seeing and the opportunity to observe.


Best wishes,

(3 June 2003 07:43:52 -0400)


. . . . . .Dear Masatsugu,


I am forwarding to you the attached sad news of the death of Tom Cave. I trust that this Yahoo group message will forward.


(6 June 2003 15:33:43 -0400)


. . . . . .Dear Masatsugu,


Thank you for your message and for the photos of the sun dog and rainbow. Would you mind if I shared them with the Richmond Astronomical Society? The spectacular display of May 20 has kindled some interest among some of the members.


In regard to the death of Tom Cave, I know only what you have probably also read. Tom Dobbins wrote an appreciation of Tom which has been on the Sky and Telescope internet page, and he attributed Tom's death to congestive heart failure. I am glad to see his passing gain some notice, for he has been a very important figure in amateur astronomy.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the war with Iraq. I suppose one could say that, if many new Bin Ladens are on the way, Arab terrorism will bring a lot more American soldiers with them. Saddam, if he is still alive, could tell you how dangerous that is. The prospect of more war does not exactly please me, but I see it in the short term anyway. Several people have written that we are already in World War Four, the war against terrorism, with the Cold War conceived of as World War Three. Others have conceptualized the war as being against militant Islam. I think that Bush could have demonized all Muslims, but he wisely did not. I hope they do not demonize themselves and bring on their own destruction. Perhaps you can begin to realize that I write about such things with unusual reluctance, for I am still angry to the core about 9/11, and I do not think I will ever get over it. Such anger is not good for a person, but it is better to be angry and careful not to injure the innocent than it is to lash out at everyone or to give up and let yourself be injured. Others may hate Bush, but he has been more moderate than many would have been in his position.


In regard to North Korea, the United States has less to lose than South Korea or Japan if North Korea develops a nuclear arsenal. I think that, if it were not for concern about our South Korean and Japanese friends, North Korea would already have been eliminated as a nuclear threat. The pity is that North Korean paranoia is the only reason the west has not fed their starving people. We do not want their land or anything they have, and we would help them if we could.


In spite of residual anger, I share your wish for no more war. That means also no more terrorism, Arab or Israeli.


I have been worried about your health problems since I learned about them and hope they will not be more serious. Take care of your good eye and enjoy it when Mars comes around. As Randy Tatum and John Barnett have mentioned, we fear that the whole apparition will be rained out in Virginia. (I will send you a photo of someone who seems to be enjoying the weather.)


I will be off from work for almost a month, while using leave prior to retirement on August 1. After that, I will still work but only do so at the hospital and as a part timer. Maybe then I will have more time to study Mars, if the weather cooperates.



(16 June 2003 10:39:58 -0400)


. . . . . .If you do not like frogs, please do not open the attached photo.


The frog was very small, about the size of my thumbnail. I think it was either a chorus frog or a spring peeper, will do more research to be sure. The photo was taken near where David and I heard loud frogs some years ago, and where I heard none at all during last year's drought.

(16 June 2003 10:44:09 -0400)

Sam WHITBY (Hopewell, VA, USA)

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