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Illness treated differently now

People’s attitudes toward spreading diseases have changed in the last century. When I was I was a child, if someone in a family came down with something contagious, the health department would post a sign on the front of their house, warning others to keep out. As I recall, the one for scarlet fever was in bright red.

January 1, 2014 midnight read more..

Underground wonders astonish visitors

In several places in the United States there are caves that attract people to come and see these natural wonders. I have been to the Gardner Cave on the east edge of the state twice.

December 18, 2013 midnight read more..

Holiday brings memories of critters

It has been a long time since I have heard the cry of the pika, a small member of the hare family. While the North Cascades Highway was being built, the roadbed was in, but not yet surfaced, as far as Lone Fir Campground. If you wanted to go farther up, you walked.

December 4, 2013 midnight read more..

What’s the next big scientific proposal?

In 1995 David Alt and Donald Hyndman published a book called “Northwest Exposures.” A fat (442 pages) book, it was a physical and historical geologic history of the Northwest states, including scraps of Montana and California and, once, I think, a piece of Utah along with Washington, Idaho and part of British Columbia.

November 27, 2013 midnight read more..

Pneumonia vaccines can save lives

The other day, while I was at my clinic (for something else), I was offered flu and pneumonia shots and accepted. In my family, pneumonia is a word that commands attention. My grandmother died of it when in her 30s, leaving, in addition to her husband, three children, the oldest of whom was 9.

November 13, 2013 midnight read more..

Scientists’ risks benefit us all

There have been times when geologists and other scientists have undergone certain hazards to obtain the information they sought. Take, for instance, John Wesley Powell and his hazard of boating down the Grand Canyon with his company. They were warned of its perils, but lured by the information to be gained by such a traverse of the great river in its mighty canyon and what could be learned from seeing it close up.

November 6, 2013 midnight read more..

Locals fall into winter preparation ritual

Every year there are certain things that householders do as fall develops. Given the tendency of our climate to do things suddenly, sometimes it is hard to see a seasonal change appear.

October 9, 2013 midnight read more..

Slides can vary from fun to terrifying

The English language contains words that have multiple uses, and “slide” is one of them. Just now, one of those meanings is in the headlines, but let’s look at a number of them, beginning with the more innocent ones.

September 18, 2013 midnight read more..

Frequency of recent storms is unusual

When George Stewart wrote his book “Storm,” published in 1941, he named the storm Maria; the author stipulated that it should be with a long I (Mar-aye-uh).

September 11, 2013 midnight read more..

Cats do more than control rodent levels

Let us consider cats, specifically house cats. In an effort to be official about it, I dug out my “Encyclopedia Americana” and looked them up. There followed columns of information, more than I ever wanted to know.

September 4, 2013 4:44 p.m. read more..

North Cross ranks among favorite spots

I don’t know that I could name my favorite place in the county. There are so many lovely ones! But among them surely would have to be the North Cascades Highway, locally known as the North Cross.

July 24, 2013 midnight read more..

Powell’s story fascinates, even today

John Wesley Powell, as any good Methodist might guess, was born to a Methodist pastor, in 1834. His father may have planned teaching or the ministry for him, but from the outset his interests were strongly scientific.

July 3, 2013 midnight read more..

Incomplete symphonies given new life

When Franz Schubert began writing his 10th Symphony, he was a mortally sick man. I have wondered many times if he knew how sick he was. He had to know he had an illness, but did he know how bad it was?

May 29, 2013 midnight read more..

Early vaccinations meant much travel

They were the doctors Dick, a husband-and-wife medical research team who, working for years, had developed an inoculation against scarlet fever. It was a dreaded disease which, if one lived through it, left a child with a damaged heart.

May 22, 2013 midnight read more..

Shows require an entire army backstage

This is not a concert review, but it is going to talk about the Okanogan Valley Orchestra and Chorus productions. I am thinking of the small army of people involved every time a show is given.

May 15, 2013 midnight read more..


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