Sunday, March 27, 2011

Recordio 1947

I have a collection of old, home recorded records that I found at various junk and thrift stores. I found several recently, all apparently recorded by the same person, at the Latter Library book sale. My favorite of the bunch is labeled "Wayne, Jack and Brian - 3/24/47". Wayne and Jack both introduce themselves as students at the "Audubon School" and gave their last names as something that sounds to me like Laszlo.

The record is very sweet with the eldest, Wayne, reciting two nursery rhymes for his dad, then Jack, slightly less sure, and then, finally, little Brian, unable to talk above a squeak as his dad encourages him to say a few words for the record so that his grandparents can hear him.

These little boys would all now be past sixty. I would like to give them their record back. Anyone know a Laszlo family, or something like that, with three boys, Wayne, Jack, and Brian, all born in the thirties or forties and from New Orleans.


Here are two of the rhymes they recited for their dad:

We have a secret, just we three,
The robin, and I, and the sweet cherry-tree;
The bird told the tree, and the tree told me,
And nobody knows it but just us three.

But of course the robin knows it best,
Because she built the--I shan't tell the rest;
And laid the four little--something in it--
I'm afraid I shall tell it every minute.

But if the tree and the robin don't peep,
I'll try my best the secret to keep;
Though I know when the little birds fly about
Then the whole secret will be out.

The Turtle

There was a little turtle
Who lived in a box.
He swam in the puddles
And climbed on the rocks.

He snapped at the mosquito,
He snapped at the flea.
He snapped at the minnow,
And he snapped at me.

He caught the mosquito,
He caught the flea.
He caught the minnow,
But he didn't catch me!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's 10:20 a.m., do you know where your power comes from?

After reading the headlines about nuclear meltdowns in Japan, I thought to myself, I wonder if I live near a nuclear power plant, here in disaster prone Southern Louisiana. A link from Greenpeace informed me about Waterford 3, a nuclear power plant about twenty miles up the Mississippi River in St. Charles Parish. Greenpeace offered the following risk assessment in the event of a serious accident:
Government data estimates that an accident at Waterford 3 would lead to 96,000 deaths and 279,000 injuries within a year, as well as 9,000 cancer deaths over the lifetime of the exposed population. The cost of such an accident was predicted to be $131 billion in 1980.
The crisis in Japan is the world's second (and far biggest) environmental disaster to strike the world, greedy for power, in the past year. When we were facing the BP spill last year here in Louisiana, I was reminded of Moby Dick, and the lengths that we have gone to historically to keep the lights on. (An op-ed in the New York Times beat me to the punch in employing the metaphor.)

The power from Waterford 3 keeps my air conditioning on all summer long in my drafty, inefficient New Orleans home. Realistically, I do not expect that my concerns about where my energy comes from, or its consequences, will change my thermostat. And if we are unwilling, I can be pretty sure that others, less concerned, will not change there behaviors. But clearly with consumption of energy growing these energy related disasters will continue until we identify energy sources that don't spoil the seas, rape the earth, and rise the tides.

I expect, or at least hope, that these past few days have tipped the scales on the cost benefit analysis that keeps us dependent on dangerous means of energy production.