Poor Will's Almanack for the third week of Middle Fall.
It wasn’t that long ago that all the workings of the world were great mysteries. Since people didn’t know what kinds of forces made the weather, they gave equal weight to a regular rain shower and a shower of frogs (yes, there have been showers of frogs). Stories about amazing weather phenomena were popular not only because they were different, but because people couldn’t figure out at all why they were occurring. Some people… a lot of people… thought the unusual events were signs from heaven.
The Ohio Department of Health says the number of meningitis cases linked to recalled steroid injections has risen to nine in the state.
The health department says five cases have been reported in Marion County, and one case each in Crawford, Hamilton, Morrow and Warren counties. None have died.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday that 19 people have died among the 247 sickened in 15 states in the outbreak of rare fungal meningitis. They all received shots of an apparently contaminated steroid medication made by a Massachusetts specialty pharmacy.
This is Bill Felker with Poor Will's Almanack for the second week of Middle Fall.
The season is sending messages. Migrating flocks of birds, sometimes large enough to stretch across the sky, remind the commuter and trucker that ice and snow lie ahead. The urgent call of the geese, common at this time of year, evokes an autumnal restlessness. As the days shorten, sheep and goat owners pay attention to the signs that their does and ewes are cycling. And even human conceptions are said to increase as the weather cools.
As the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the US Supreme Court case legalizing abortion, approaches, many Americans assume that legalized abortion is only as old as that ruling. In fact, as Anna Peterson discusses this month, abortion had only been made illegal at the turn of the 20th century. The different histories of abortion in Europe and the United States reveal much about the current state of American debates-so prominent in the 2012 elections campaigns-over abortion and women's health.
A two-year, $8.5 million project to stop toxic algae in Ohio's largest inland lake isn't working.
The 13,000-acre Grand Lake St. Marys in western Ohio was sprayed with aluminum sulfate in April that was supposed to keep the blue-green algae from feeding on phosphorous in the water. A similar treatment was applied last year.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that this year's treatment was spoiled by high winds that helped stir phosphorus-rich mud from the lake bottom.