From Our Readers

Child Prostitution I am not able to put into words my thankfulness for the series “Child Prostitution​—A Tragic Reality.” (February 8, 2003) This series exposed the problem in all its ugliness. I feel it should be reprinted in the secular press so that more people can know that this sort of slavery exists.

M. K., Czech Republic

Syria Thank you for the article “Syria​—Echoes of an Interesting Past.” (February 8, 2003) To be honest, history has never interested me. But this article enabled me to picture the different roads and cities that were visited by the apostle Paul. Information like this helps us to broaden our knowledge and to understand what servants of God in the past had to face.

T. S., United States

Staying Fit I want to thank you for all the observations on exercise and weight loss that have come out in the feature “Watching the World.” I particularly appreciated the item “Staying Fit.” (February 8, 2003) It showed that even some exercise can help to improve your health. This was encouraging to me because a medication that I take causes me to tire easily and I have to keep my workouts brief. Thanks for this health-and-fitness tip.

G. P., United States

Crossword Puzzles Just a line to thank you very much for putting the crossword puzzles in your magazines. I am totally hooked on them! They are fun, educational, and a good way for me to unwind at the end of the day.

J. G., United States

I have always enjoyed doing crossword puzzles, and when you started featuring them in Awake! I started to look forward to them. At first, I had to look up most of the scriptures, but I can do many of the puzzles now without doing so! As a result, I have learned quite a few Bible verses and Bible characters.

E. G., United States

Smiling I used to be nicknamed Smile by my family and friends. I was even given a photo of myself with the caption: “If you ever see anyone without a smile, give him one of yours.” However, some tragedies that recently befell my family left me quite depressed. The article “The Power of a Smile” (January 22, 2003) changed my outlook. Now I can once again make people happy by smiling. I thank Jehovah for using this article to help set me back on my feet.

O. F., Nigeria

Garbage In the series “Garbage​—Will It Bury Us?” (August 22, 2002), you quote an Italian environmental association’s estimate of decomposition times for various items in seawater. I believe their estimate of 500 years for metal cans is highly inaccurate. In the brackish water of Florida’s Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, I have observed numerous aluminum and tin cans that disintegrate to powder when I tap them with my boot. These cans could not have been there for more than ten years​—maybe even less. As anyone with an aluminum boat well knows, salt water corrodes aluminum.

S. S., United States

“Awake!” responds: It is true that other estimates are far more conservative. Still, “Elements of Marine Ecology,” by R. V. Tait and F. A. Dipper, suggests that it may take as long as 80 to 100 years for aluminum cans and 50 to 100 years for tin cans to decompose. Metal cans that have been exposed to the air may decompose more rapidly than those exposed only to water.