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The Lakeville Journal Opinion/Viewpoint

The (bird) band plays on

Nature's Notebook

What a difference a week makes. My wife and I went out of town for a few days. When we left, brown was still the predominant color. When we returned, green was sprouting up all over! The buds had broken on most trees and young leaves were emerging in every direction. Daffodils were in full color and the smell of freshly cut grass was in the air. This all happened in a matter of days, or so it seemed.
The symphony of bird song that had just started when I wrote my Nature’s Notebook column two weeks ago is now in full volume, with all the players contributing to a melodious fanfare.

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Bin Laden with angels

Editorial Cartoon

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The worried person’s guide to the effects of radiation

The Body Scientific

I once knew a student who swallowed radioactive iodine. We (I was a student at the time, too) used radioactive iodine as a tracer for various experiments — it came in a little vial inside a lead container and the student decided to remove some by sucking it into an open pipette. Why she swallowed it is beyond me.

The thyroid gland contains a marvelous molecular pump that pulls iodine from the bloodstream into the thyroid, where it is used to make thyroid hormone.

After Osama bin Laden: Do we require a new devil?

The Long View

The killing of Osama bin Laden removed a terrible human being from among us. It also made me think of what Eric Hoffer had to say about devils.
While trying to understand the relationship between a mass movement and its doctrine, Hoffer asked whether any mass movements had “holy” books, and immediately came up with a list of them: the writings of Karl Marx, Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” the Quran and the Old Testament.

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Republicans really need somebody now

If You Ask Me

In a monologue two weeks ago, Jay Leno said, “Donald Trump says he’s President Obama’s worst nightmare. No, having to make a decision is President Obama’s worst nightmare.”
The joke sounds ridiculous now but it worked then. A firefight in a Pakistani terrorist hideout changed what was a widely held view of a president into a bad joke overnight.
But a triumph, even one as great as getting Osama bin Laden, can quickly fade in the rush of events in an election year. Ask the first President Bush.

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Turning Back The Pages May 12

75 years ago — May 1936
Reflections of the Season (editorial): The song of the lawn mower is heard and it is a heap more pleasing to the ear than the scrape of the shovel.
SALISBURY — Miss Mildred Coons has returned to her duties at the Salisbury Pharmacy after an illness of several weeks.
TACONIC — Lorrin Frink has taken a position at the Main Street restaurant in Lakeville.
LAKEVILLE — A broken gate at the Knife Shop outlet of the lake drained the water from Factory Pond on Tuesday. Repairs have now been completed.
50 years ago — May 1961

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Energy innovation is crucial right now

The Lakeville Journal Editorial

Can it be denied that good sources of alternative energy are important to the continuation of life as we know it in the United States today? While conservation should be part of the approach to energy consumption, the demands for power usage grow every day. The more Americans depend on digital devices, for instance, the greater the amount of electrical power that is needed. In order to meet those demands, there will have to be alternative ways to harness power and more creative ways in which to heat our homes, as well.

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Replacing more (lawn) with less (maintenance)

The Garden Coach

Some places were never meant to be lawn. And some problems might be opportunities in disguise. To look it another way (which is what garden coaches do), some places have too much character to waste on greensward. In this hilly part of the world, putting lawn everywhere that isn’t a planted bed by default leaves some pretty iffy if not downright dangerous places to mow.

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Now is the month of Maying

Nature's Notebook

Spring is now in full swing. Kestrals and kingbirds swoop and soar above the meadow. The woods are awash in wildflowers, and the grass in my yard is full of violets and dandelions. The apple trees outside my window host furtive warblers and flashing orioles.
The blooms of bloodroot have already come and gone, to be replaced by trillium and columbine and wild geraniums as the season advances. Marsh marigolds quiver like yolks in the swampland, and in deep secret places the tips of yellow lady-slippers have emerged from the fens and will grace the next few weeks in golden glory.

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Constitutionality of the health insurance mandate

Insight

Now that two lower courts have ruled in favor of the constitutionality of the individual “mandate” (requirement) provision of the Affordable Health Care Act, and two other courts have ruled against it, the question now goes to the U.S. Supreme Court, but not on the “fast track” for immediate resolution. What are the issues, and what is the likely outcome?

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