Thursday, October 09, 2014

3984 Head Banging

Thursday, October 9, 2014

"I have no problem with God. It's his fan club I can't stand."


The World Health Organization (funded by members nations of the UN) has issued a bulletin saying that ebola can in fact be spread by aerosolized droplets produced from coughing or sneezing, if you inhale or touch those droplets.  It can also be spread by touching contaminated surfaces, and those surfaces can be contaminated by sneezes.  So people who visit the home of a patient after the patient has left the home, can acquire the infection from surfaces (sneezed or coughed on - and you'd be surprised how far a sneeze travels) in the home.

[NOTE - spread by aerosolized droplets does not fit the medical definition of "airborne".  Airborne spread involves dried stuff floating around in the air.  Technical difference.  Flu is airborne, ebola is not (so far).]

That's how that latest patient in Texas got it (I haven't heard the results of his test yet)(Update - he tested negative.).  He went into the other guy's home with the cleaners without protective gear.  It's interesting that he bragged that he didn't need the gear.  Oh dear.

So asking if folks have been in contact with an infected person is not a good question.  You have to ask if they had touched anything a symptomatic person had touched - or sneezed or coughed on, or near, or in the same room as, or in the next room, at any time in the past.  And how can you know that?  What do you know about the last dollar bill you handled?

Something that really bothers me is that in the involved areas of Africa, space in the treatment clinics is severely limited.  They just don't have the beds, space, or workers to handle the load.  So people show up at the door with symptoms, and they are turned away!.  The treatment centers and quarantine centers can't take anyone in until someone else dies.

Where do those people go?  Back home.  Back to their neighborhoods.

How the hell can you slow down, let alone stop, an epidemic with a response like that?  Nope, no room at the inn.  Go spread it some more.

This whole thing is a mess.

I made an online contribution this evening to Doctors Without Borders for $1,000.   I don't know how much they are involved in the ebola thing - mostly World Health Org. is mentioned, but I don't think WHO takes contributions - but I guess it couldn't hurt.


Another thing - I had mostly read that victims were being cremated.  Now I find out from several sources that they are being buried.

Hey, this is a virus!  Are we infecting the ground water?  If you want to know how nasty stuff does in the ground, ask any farmer about anthrax.  Anthrax is a bacteria.  Viruses encapsulate, which gives them an advantage over bacteria.


Workers for a company that cleans airliners went on strike earlier today at LaGuardia.  I don't blame them.

Monday, October 06, 2014

3983 Dread, confusion

Monday, October 6, 2014

I have long been of the opinion that if work were such a splendid thing
the rich would have kept more of it for themselves.
 --Bruce Grocott


Lately I've been coming across photos, pictures, videos with snow in them, and every time I see them I literally feel sick to my stomach.  Nausea.

I've never before had such a strong reaction to the coming of winter.

I hate cold.  I hate snow.  I've always hated cold and snow.  I especially hate snow when it's falling, or blowing.  The only good snow is melting snow.

I guess I have a bad feeling about this winter.


I've already said I don't understand how the moon moves in relation to the Earth and sun.  (Why do we capitalize "Earth", but not moon or sun?) This Wednesday morning at 6:25 am we are supposed to be able to see a full lunar eclipse (although I have little hope of seeing anything here - the sky is always either cloudy or full of pollution, can't ever see more than a few stars at night even on the clearest and darkest of nights).

Anyway, that got me wondering where the sun would be in relation to the moon and Earth at that time.  So I looked up sunrise and sunset times.  Sunrise here today was 06:59:00 and sunset was 18:30:08.  Tomorrow it's at 07:00:02 and 18:28:32.  On Tuesday into Wednesday the moon will be full full, and I assume sunrise will be at something like 07:01:04..  

So 35 minutes before Wednesday sunrise here, the moon will be in full sunshine.  Then as the Earth and my house turn toward sunrise, the moon will move toward the west and into the Earth's shadow, that's the eclipse, and then the moon sets here as the sun is "coming up", and the moon will remain in the Earth's shadow for about half of its next circuit.

I guess.

But, but, but, 

the moon "sets" at some point every night/morning/day, so howcome it isn't in the Earth's shadow more often?  Like almost once per circuit (per month-ish)?  Somewhere on the globe, anyway.

I don't understand.

I think my problem is that I don't understand the moon's path.  And I suspect it isn't a regular path, like man-made satellites are designed to follow, same path, over the same points on the Earth every circuit.   I suspect it "progresses".

But, but, but

does that imply that there are places on the Earth that don't see the moon AT ALL during some period of that progression?  Or is it large enough and far enough away that it is always visible to the entire half of the world it's "on the side of" at all times?  I suspect that's true.  Daytime moons aren't unusual.

But, but, but

when I look at the moon from my porch, it seems to "rise" from about the same spot every time.  Which, uh, doesn't support a path progression.

I give up.  Again.



The moon stuff gets weird.  It's no damn wonder I'm confused.  Want to blow your mind?  Read this: Wednesday's Lunar Eclipse Is Technically Impossible

To quote a line from the article, "And indeed, during a lunar eclipse, the sun and moon are exactly 180 degrees apart in the sky."  

Duh?  That's what I thought, and one reason (of several) why I couldn't figure it out.