To the editor: I am impressed with professor Don Olson and his colleagues' scientific challenge to the exact time of the famous kiss celebrating the end of World War II. (Astronomical time unraveler," Science File, July 4)
I've just realized that if you focus on the people in the background, the clues are there. A few people close by are smiling at the young sailor and the nurse, apparently amused by their youthful, romantic exuberance. Look behind them, though, at the others in the scene. They are all walking along normally, not exhibiting the giddy and joyous emotions that Americans felt just after hearing that the war had ended.
Maybe it was simply a case of "Life, liberty — and the pursuit of a great symbolic picture."
Ramona Saenz, Alhambra
To the editor: Sometimes you have to believe your own eyes, despite trigonometry and geometry.
In the clock pictured, the minute hand points to 10 minutes before 12 and the hour hand has passed the six, approaching the seven. Even astronomer Steven Kawaler said the time looked like 6:50 p.m.
And speaking of evidence of shadows, which astronomers say don't lie, the happy sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square has much more than a 5 o'clock beard shadow. I think he has a heavy 7 o'clock shadow. He needs a shave badly, but the nurse doesn't care.
This photographic symbolism of that one wonderful moment in the long arc of history should stand as a reminder of that joyous day and time when peace at last returned, making sailors, nurses and the rest of the entire world very happy indeed.