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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Cicadas and Hiroshima and More

UPDATE #2  NYT on cicadas ready for their "orgy."

UPDATE  An amazing "political history" of the cicada from Mother Jones today.  Even used in attack ad vs. John Kerry.

Earlier: Much discussion these days about the return of the cicadas in the U.S. after a 17-year nap (or something), with one even spotted in Midtown Manhattan yesterday!  I remember when my son's grade school class was obsessed with them...17 years ago.  But my association is quite different.  In Japan they get active, and very noisy, every summer (see article here)--they're calls "semi" there--and when I arrived in Hiroshima for a month on a journalism grant back in the 1980s I was told by a native that they would soon start to drive me crazy.  Indeed, their song would soon begin and every day they grew louder, but mainly background noise.

Wouldn't you know it but they reached their peak--or so it seemed--on the morning of....August 6.  As I sat at the annual memorial program for the victims of the atomic bomb--well over 125,000--and survivors they buzzed all around the Peace Park, almost deafening.  It was as if the souls of 125,000 were crying, screaming, screeching.  People ask me why I've kept writing about the atomic bombings for thirty years now (including in three books, just recently Atomic Cover-up and Hollywood Bomb), and now you know one of the reasons.

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