static, interference, intervention, intervene, get involved so as to alter or hinder an action, white noise, snow, fuzz, fuzzy, Fuzzy, ME

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Silver Linings and Fairy Tales

I was looking today at Grimm's Fairy Tales, not the Disneyfied versions but the actual tales that were collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. I knew that the original tales were more violent and didn't necessarily end with a happy ending but I was not aware how sanitized some of these tales had become. For example, there is a version of Snow White in which a young peasant girl, lost in the forest finds the Seven Dwarves and asks for shelter. There were only seven beds available but all of the dwarves argued to give the peasant girl his. It was finally decided that the oldest would give her his bed. Before they went to sleep, an old peasant woman finds the house and asks for shelter. The girl got up and told her that there were only seven beds and there was no room for the old woman. The woman, thinking that the girl was sleeping with all seven dwarves, was infuriated and left. She later returned with two men who broke into the house and killed the seven dwarves. They buried the bodies in the garden and burned the house to the ground but no one knew what happened to the girl. There is of course a more regular Snow White legend with the witch, Snow White's mother who finds her end after Snow white is awakened and comes to the wedding to have her feet placed in iron shoes, the shoes placed in a fire, and being made to dance to death. While it is much closer to the legend most people know, it is also much more gruesome.

While happy endings aren't necessarily found in fairy tales, silver linings can be found in tragedy. One of these is the story of the Jarawa Tribe, whose DNA can be traced back 70,000 years. This tribe can be found on the northern tip of the South Andaman Island in India which was right in the line of the tsunami. Members of the tribe emerged from the forest for the first time since the tsunami and reported that all 250 members of their tribe had survived. This tribe is a group of hunter-gatherers. They have no technology to speak of and they make the Amish's rejection of civilization look very minor. Some anthropologists believe that because they don't depend on technology, they are so in tune with nature that they heard the earthquake (or at least the start of the tsunami) and ran for cover. Another idea is that they noticed the disappearance of fish and wildlife and headed for the hills. It's a sad thing that we have lost this although it is a very good thing that it still lives. It would be nice if we could get one of these people to act as a weatherman.

Another happy story is the story of the baby hippo that was sucked out to sea in the tsunami and was rescued off the coast of Kenya. His mother was apparently lost but he has apparently formed a very strong bond with a century old male tortoise in an animal facility in Mombasa. The hippo and tortoise eat, swim and sleep together and the hippo becomes aggressive to protect his "mother" if someone approaches it. I doubt that the tortoise cares but it is a good thing that the hippo found something to replace his mother.

In Iraq, one more American was lost which brings the total to 19 for January and 1352 in total. In December, a total of 72 Americans lost their lives. Their names are as follows,

December 1: Spc. David M. Fisher, Gsgt. Javier Obleas-Prado Pena, Cpl. Zachary A Kolda, Cpl. Bryan S. Wilson

December 2: PFC George Daniel Harrison

December 3: Spc. David P. Mahlenbrock, Ssgt Henry E. Irizarry, Cpl. Binh N. Le, Cpl. Matthew A. Wyatt

December 4: Sgt. Michael L. Boatright, Sgt. Cari Ann Gasiewicz, Ssgt Salamo J. Tuialuuluu, Sgt. David A. Mitts, Cpl. Joseph O. Behnke

December 5: Ssgt. Marvin Lee Trost III, Ssgt. Kyle A. Eggers, Spc. Edwin William Roodhouse, PFC Andrew M. Ward

December 7: Cpl. In C. Kim, Capt. Mark M. Steubenhofer, SFC Todd Clayton Gibbs,

December 8: Sgt Arthur C. Williams IV

December 9: PFC Christopher S. Adlesperger, 1st Lt. Andrew C. Shields, CWO Patrick D. Leach, Cpl. Kyle J. Renehan

December 11: Lcpl. Gregory P. Rund, Spc. Robert W. Hoyt

December 12: Lcpl. Jeffrey S. Blanton, Ssgt. Melvin L. Blazer, Lcpl. Hilario F. Lopez, Cpl. Jason S. Clairday, Cpl. Ian W. Stewart, Sgt. Jeffrey L. Kirk, Lcpl. Joshua W. Dickenson, PFC Joshua A. Ramsey

December 13: Sgt. Tina Safaira Time, Lcpl. Richard D. Warner, PFC Brent T. Vroman

December 14: Spc. Victor A. Martinez, Cpl. Michael D. Anderson

December 16: Lcpl. Franklin A. Sweger

December 19: Sgt. Barry K. Meza, Ssgt. Donald B. Farmer

December 21: Sgt. Lynn Robert Poulin Sr., Spc. Nicholas C. "Nick" Mason, CPO Joel Egan Baldwin, Ssgt. Julian S. Melo, Lcpl. Neil D. Petsche, Spc. Thomas John Dostie, Sgt. David A Ruhren, SFC Paul D. Karpowich, Spc. Cory Michael Hewitt, PFC Lionel Ayro, Spc. Jonathan Castro, Capt. William W. Jacobsen Jr., Ssgt. Robert S. Johnson, Ssgt. Darren D. VanKomen, Sgt. Maj. Robert D. O'Dell

December 23: 1st Lt. Christopher W. Barnett, Lcpl. Eric Hillenburg, Lcpl. James R. Philips, Cpl. Raleigh C. Smith

December 27: Ssgt. Todd D. Olson, Spc. Jose A. Rivera-Serrano

December 28: Ssgt. Nathaniel J. Nyren, Sn. Pablito Pena Briones Jr., Ssgt. Jason A. Lehto

December 29: Spc. Craig L. Nelson, PFC Oscar Sanchez

December 30: Sgt. Damien T. Ficek

December 31: Lcpl. Jason E. Smith

Details on these men and women can be found at Iraq Coalition Casualties.


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