Gongol.com Archives: May 2024

Brian Gongol

May 18, 2024

Threats and Hazards You couldn't pay enough

There are plenty of honest jobs that already come under the umbrella of "You couldn't pay me enough to do that", even with the benefit of proper person protective equipment, safety regulations, and training systems. But some efforts to make a dollar don't respect the law and are even more dangerous as a result: Like the person who probably electrocuted themselves in Omaha while apparently trying to cut into live power lines to salvage the copper inside. Sometimes we under-appreciate just how dangerous normal life used to be -- but habits, norms, and practices all make a difference. Seeing what happens when people disregard all of the rules because they think no one is watching.

Aviation News Fly-through view of new Des Moines airport terminal

(Video) Everything always looks better in the computer renderings than in reality, but the planned design looks like it heavily emphasizes high ceilings and ample natural light

Weather and Disasters Wildfire smoke damages air quality in Iowa

Even though the wildfires involved are in Canada

Iowa Putting the forgotten to rest

A funeral home in the Des Moines area has coordinated an event to provide a dignified memorial and interment service for three dozen babies who were miscarried or stillborn -- in some cases, 70 or 80 years ago. Their cremains have been stored at a number of local facilities for all that time without having been claimed. ■ The origins of the story are sad, but the decision to do something honorable for the deceased reflects well on our humanity. Treating death with dignity is a way to honor life. Mourners deserve an opportunity to gather and grieve; where mourners cannot be found, the dead still deserve to be treated with respect for their humanity. ■ That is no less the case for the unclaimed baby than it is for the unclaimed veteran. One doesn't have to subscribe to the formally ritualized aspects of religious funeral practice to recognize the importance of dignity and consistency in these practices. Rectifying the shame-ridden practices of the past to afford dignity in the future is a sign that we (as a species) are becoming better than we were in the past.

News One-paragraph book review: "In Praise of Public Life"

An inoffensive but not especially memorable tribute to service in public office