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A special joy at Christmastime is to bring out the family’s old ornaments and enjoy each one again. We pick out ones that add a certain design to the tree.For the season, I choose three classics from my boxes full of air pollution affairs and hang them on this year’s evergreen. The glow fills the crannies amongst nobler glories.The plan sprang to life when a friend, call him Dave, stopped to chat from his truck as I walked along an idle street. Dave is a master of plopping quips on your plate. The small talk he cooks up always starts good fun.But we agreed it couldn’t top the curious stuff served up in real life. Three incidents show the timeless wonder of our nature.• • •A while back, gypsum was an item in the state’s news. How much comes out of the stack at the gypsum plant? Where does it go and what does it do with the air? Should anybody care?Gypsum – in formal terms, hydrous calcium sulfate – is a product found in nature. It adds quality in cement and wallboard, and murk when put in clean air. Our group favors less murk.At the height of the struggle over murk, the gypsum plant owners decided to raise the public’s knowledge of gypsum. An excellent idea.The lesson they chose was that all the elements in gypsum – calcium, sulfur, hydrogen, and oxygen – naturally exist in the human body.
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