Just when you thought it was safe | TheFencePost.com

Just when you thought it was safe

Laught Tracks in the Dust
Milo Yield
Damphewmore Acres, Kan.

Just in case you don’t have enuf to worry about with such human diseases as ebola and animal diseases like African Swine Fever on the loose, I recently read an article that might make you break out in a sweat.

Scientists say that there are almost 200,000 “never-before-seen” viruses lurking the oceans of the world, including some dangerous to humans. Almost 200,000 of the infectious pathogens were found during a global marine life expedition, which took over 10 years to complete. That’s a big number, folks.

The scientists found 195,728 new viruses lurking in oceans all over the world. Most of the viruses are harmless to humans but can infect marine life, such as whales and crustaceans. Scientists have said that the discovery of all these viruses is important because they can teach us more about life on the planet and the impact of climate change. The viruses could help researchers calculate the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere as organisms in the sea help to recycle oxygen. As oceans are known to absorb and store a lot of CO2, life in the ocean is needed to help convert this compound into other forms because too much CO2 could acidifying oceans and kill off marine life. The researchers made a map showing where in the oceans they found the viruses and at what depth, with the furthest depth being 4,000 meters down.

What surprised the researchers is that they thought the hostile climate and pressure so deep underwater wouldn’t support such life. Before this study, only around 15,000 ocean viruses had been confirmed.

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Here’s my take on this viral research. One, it’s a very DEEP subject. Two, leave that one-fifth of a million viruses alone. So, far they’ve been pretty happy living by themselves in the ocean. And, three, now I have another reason for preferring the high and dry to the low and wet.

•••

Another icon from the good ol’ days of my youth is gone. One-of-a-kind comedian Tim Conway died this week and a big slice of Americana died with him.

Television back in the good ol’ days was just plain, hold-your-belly-from-laughing funny. Not so today. Too much politicizing to be really funny. Ironic? Maybe?

In my estimation, there never was a funnier television show than the Carol Burnett Show with Carol and her hilarious cast that included Tim Conway.

The younger generation would be well served if it could go back in time and laugh with their moms, pops and grandparents at the antics of Tim Conway.

•••

I mentioned last week the near historic flood in the Flint Hills. It was bad everywhere. And, tragically, some wonderful rural lives were lost in the deluge and its aftermath.

Plus, untold volumes of top-soil washed into our creeks, rivers and lakes.

We had around 9 inches of rain here at Damphewmore Acres. When the biggest storm hit, it brought walnut-sized hail with it. The hail worked the north side of our home over. It dented the gutters and downspouts. It broke most of the shutters and tore up most of the window screens. In addition, it knocked the paint off in places on our white siding. That side needs a new paint job.

In all, the insurance adjuster found just a tad less than $5,000 of damages to our home. Of course, we’ll have to pay the deductible to get all the repairs done.

•••

And, to top off the bad news of the week, our satellite internet service got so slow and unreliable that we changed internet providers. That’s always a pain in the rear getting switched over — and it’s not cheap either.

But, so far the new service is working reliably and appreciably faster. So, I guess all the turmoil was worth it.

•••

Most of my garden survived with minor hail damage, but the pounding rain wasn’t good for seed germination or plant growth. We’ve had three days of true, warm spring weather and that’s helping the garden recover, but there’s more moisture predicted for the weekend.

All the high water put the quietus to the fishing. But the water is clearing up and I’m hopeful that the crappie, bass and bluegill will start spawning soon and brighten the fishing prospects.

•••

Here’s a political funny for a column ender:

An assistant to a famous female member of the U.S. Congress came to work and told her boss about a fantastic dream she had during the night.

The aide said there was a humongous parade in Washington celebrating the congress member. Millions lined the parade route, cheering when the congress member went past. Bands were playing. Children were throwing confetti into the air. Balloons filled the skies. It was the biggest celebration ever held in the nation’s capital.

The congress member was very impressed and asked, “That’s really a great dream! By the way, how did I look in your dream? Was my hair OK?”

Her long-time aide said, “I couldn’t tell. The casket was closed.”

•••

Wisdom words for the week: “Started out with nuthin’. Still have most of it.” ❖



Milo Yield




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