Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pearl Harbor

I was speaking with a co-worker earlier today and somehow we got on the subject of Hawaii. I mentioned that of all the stuff I did and saw when I was in Hawaii, I liked the World War II stuff the best (Punchbowl, USS Arizona, etc.) He told me that he had a theory that they kept refilling the Arizona with oil, so that it would continue to leak and thereby create that sense of the Arizona as an active monument. He said, "I mean after 40 years..." I corrected him and said, "65 as of today..."

I don't blame him for getting it wrong as Boortz pointed out in his daily program notes there are certainly a lot of people who don't even know what Pearl Harbor is. Certainly my own children would fall into that category, though hopefully the fact that they're all under 10 is some excuse. Also I find myself doing the same thing, I'll figure the time difference out once and then it becomes stuck that way. This is why it took me forever to get over the feeling that I had graduated from high school not that long ago. Though I still can't come to terms with that fact that as of next year my high school graduation will be half again as long ago as I've been alive.

To continue this theme of feeling that life has gotten away from me. I was reading the (to continue yet another theme) "The Economist" yesterday and they had a review of a new translation of Dante's Inferno. In the course of the review they talked about Dante in general and other translations. One of the points they made was that the Inferno was one of the first books written in Italian (Tuscan) rather than Latin. And that Dante defined Italian for future generations, they then excerpted the first three lines of the Inferno (in Italian) to show how close Dante's Italian was to modern Italian (as opposed to Shakespeare and English). As if to say of course all of our readers know Italian well enough that they can quicky compare the medieval Italian of Dante with their vast knowledge of modern Italian.

Old and brittle

5 Comments:

Anonymous ed said...

I know it's a long, slow leak, but I cannot imagine anyone "refilling" the USS Arizona with oil. I mean, it's basically an honored tomb.

3:18 PM  
Blogger Ross said...

My thoughts exactly. I should have made that clear.

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The way you posed the problem I just knew some engineers somewhere were on the it.

http://soundwaves.er.usgs.gov/2003/01/

over half a million gallons @ quart per day leaked = N decades

Apparently the hulls are at risk of deteriorating before the leak will run dry.

Of course it is a government website, so that doesn't rule out paranoid conspiracy theories.

3:58 PM  
Blogger Ross said...

Somehow the link got some extra weirdness in it, so rather than just clicking onit you may want to copy and paste it.

But many, many thanks for locating it, aozora!

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yikes, that is ugly. Sorry all.

1:53 AM  

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