This is our third update on the corona Virus.
You would be wise to listen to this!
Dr Andy Wilcox
Dr Pat Turin
This is our third update on the corona Virus.
You would be wise to listen to this!
Dr Andy Wilcox
Dr Pat Turin
The future source of electricity is fusion power plants, solar collectors, dams, and windmills. Batteries will be the way to power all moving vehicles, including air planes. Petroleum will be a thing of the past just like coal is becoming now. The other major use of petroleum is the manufacturing of plastic bottle which will also become nonexistent if we want to keep living on planet Earth.
There is no such thing as clean oil or gas, it all releases CO2 which is the problem. Do not be duped by current adds that say gas is a clean alternative to other petroleum products. If you refuse to believe this, you are living in the past.
The moon has an abundance of the hydrogen isotope that we need to power our fusion plants and can be sent cheaply to the earth with a linear accelerator.
Here is another fact you might want to get ready for; All motor vehicles will be run by computers. The idea of a human driving a car safely is absurd. Nearly 1.5 million people die in car wrecks in one year!
OK, so I got all that off my chest…I feel better now.
Years ago I made the statement that we spend the first 30 years of our life trying to figure out why we are here, and the second part of our lives wondering why we have to leave. Now that I am securely in the second half of this scenario and mostly retired, I have more time to reflect on this idea. I see the obituaries full of many folks who are considerably younger than I am, who have moved on to greener pastures. This causes me to realize that at my age, the grim reaper could be around the next corner waiting to cash in my chips. About a year ago, I hit a dog while doing a workout on my bike. I hit him at about 25 mph, which won me a ride in the ambulance to Hampshire Memorial Hospital. I know the reaper was in the woods saying , DARN, I NEARLY HAD HIM… There are times after a tough workout and my body is yelling at me, I am sure I am ready to move on but in short order I regain my composure and jump back on the proverbial horse.
Obviously, everyone lives, but what percentage of people have mastered the art of living and make it their focus to live everyday to its fullest. With a small amount of thought you quickly realize that the word LIVING has many different definitions. To a mountain climber it is the thrill of reaching a summit and seeing the world from above. To an artist it is seeing something in ones mind and successfully recreating it in some medium. To a teacher it is seeing the light in a students eye when he sees a whole new idea for the first time. I could go on for a long time but I think I made my point.
On a deeper layer, below all our personal adventures and conquest there must be a more comprehensive answer to the idea of enjoying ones life. It is easy to tie ones happiness to a particular career or hobby, but is that all there is to it? Is the man who sits on his deck in his favorite rocking chair and watches the season change, the birds building nest, the grass grow and his life fade quietly away, happy? I would say he probably is. If one spends their life looking for happiness, maybe someday they will find it. I feel that if we spend our lives looking for this illusive feeling we may have missed the proverbial train to happiness. If a person spends all their time thinking about the physics of riding a bike rather than enjoying the act of riding a bike, they would probably wreck. I hear the term , THE GRASS IS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE many times and I think it has much to teach us about true happiness. If the grass is not green where you live you might consider watering it!
In our world of increasing violence, it is becoming more difficult to determine the difference between reality and fiction. Movies, video game, commercials and TV news bombard us with a steady stream of horrendous violence. According to A.C. Nielsen Co. the average child watches on TV over 8,000 murders before finishing elementary school, the average 18 year old has witnessed over 200,000 acts of violence! It is important to realize that this number is an average!
With that said I wish to tackle the very difficult issue of police violence. As you are aware there have been very large protest held in almost every major city in our country and in other parts of the world. The BLACK LIVES MATTER movement is a response to police violence used by a small percentage of officers on people of color. From the information released by the media it would appear that one does not have to be a person of color to be pushed around by the cops.
As a young man, way back in 1973, I worked as a baggage man at the Washington DC bus station in the heart of the city. A typical white suburban kid dropped into a violent and highly unpredictable situation is a good way to summarize my situation. It became quickly apparent to me that I was in a war zone unlike anything I had ever witnessed, and that includes TV. As an observer I was able to watch the war from the sidelines which allowed me to make more impartial observations. I watched criminals working the system in extremely creative ways as well as police officers trying to keep up with the increasing violence and volatile situations. The criminals were struggling to keep their drugs moving, women working and various other assaults on humanity. The cops were attempting to work within the laws to control these various criminal and lucrative enterprises.
One evening i was privy to a rather loud discussion between a apprehended criminal and an officer. As the officer attempted to question the man for his report, the man went on a rant unlike anything I had ever experienced. He began by threatening the cops wife and family in ways that made my stomach turn. This attack continued on for an eternity as the officer continued to ask questions. He went on to explain in detail what he was going to do to his wife, at which point I wanted to go back and bash the creep in the head. With little emotion being generated by the cop, the restrained man went on to address what he was going to do to his family in vivid detail. At this point, I left the room, I could not listen anymore.
On another occasion I witnessed the DC cops beat a man well beyond anything ever shown on TV. I was working the information phone which gave me a birds eye view of the Trailways terminal across the street. A paddy wagon pulled up to the terminal and two policemen got out and ran into the station. Shortly they emerged with a tall man between them and were heading for the rear doors of the vehicle. As the one officer reached for the door, the restrained man went crazy, lashing out and throwing one of the cops to the ground. Together they wrestled him to the ground and then managed to get him to his feet and attempted to place him in the back of the truck. The closer they got to the van the wilder the restrained man became and it was clear that they were not going to get him in the van. One of the officers grabbed his walkie-talkie and radioed for help. In short order two more officers appeared. Two officers grappled with the man while the other two held the van doors. The two cops managed to get him in the back of the van after a length of time. The other two officers quickly closed the van doors. Before they could get them latched, the doors slammed open as the man busted out of the van knocking the two officers to the ground. Two more police officers pulled up and quickly joined the drama. At this point the man was laying on the ground and six police officers were beating him with clubs as he wrenched in pain. After the beatings ceased, four officers moved him towards the van doors as the remaining officers prepared to slam the doors. As they threw him into the van, the doors were shut securely. In a few seconds the doors pulsed as the man hit them with full force from inside the van. This behavior continued as the van rolled away into the night. I remember this like it was yesterday. Later I learned that the man was on some type of drug that rendered him oblivious to pain.
Two stories, two sides of a many sided coin. Being a cop, or for that matter any person in charge or responsible for other people has become an increasing difficult and dangerous job. There is no doubt there are cops out there who should not be cops, due to racism or a multitude of other issues. There are teachers who should not be teachers and the list goes on, but we must remember there are far more responsible, honorable and caring police officers. We live in one of the most violent countries on earth! For reasons we can certainly debate, our young people are becoming more susceptible to violent acts. On the other hand, we should not spank a child but we can put him to death later on. We can not abort an unwanted child but we can incarcerate him for life. Many of our children are playing video games that would have caused a person to become nauseated 100 years ago. We treat our children like adults and expect them to act like children. We work multiple jobs to buy new things when we should be spending more time with our children. Families should eat meals together as often as possible.
Police violence is not a cause of a sick society but a symptom of a sick society, like so many other behaviors we witness. Yes, a man is dead for so many reasons…
At the time of this article, America has lost almost 145,000 people to the Covid 19 virus. 620,000 people have died worldwide. Roughly 3,310,000 people have tested positive for the virus in the United States. Almost 15 million have been identified worldwide. At the current rate of death, it is my belief that 1/4 million Americans will die before this crisis will slowly come to an end and I predict the world will lose almost a million human beings before this is over.
Comparing modern outbreaks, we see that Ebola infected around 20,000 world wide and caused the death of over 11,000, MERS infected close to 2,500 and was lethal to 858 people and SARS infected around 8,000 and caused the death of approximately 800 people WORLD WIDE. Before that, we had the Asian Flu in 1957-8 which killed 1.1 million people and the Hong Kong flu in 1968-70 that killed 1 million.
This data tells us that these viruses come every so often and will continue to manifest in the future. Although the information distributed to the public about the Covid 19 virus has been evolving since the beginning of the pandemic, one thing has remained constant, this is an extremely infectious air born disease! Other countries attempted to warn us of the approaching pandemic but here in the United States we chose to ignore the evidence. Our leadership chose to listen to conspiracy theories and propose totally unorthodox approaches to fighting the disease despite the science community’s increasing warnings of approaching doom.
Comparing different historical pandemic events may help put the Covid 19 virus in a better perspective. But keep in mind that in early times medical knowledge was quite limited compared to modern medicine.
In the 1300’s the Black Plague killed almost 200 million people making it the all time most deadly disease on record.
Small Pox killed almost 56 million people in the early 1500’s.
Spanish Flu killed between 40 and 50 million people at the beginning of the 1900’s.
So, compared to the Black Plague, Small Pox or the Spanish Flu, the Covid 19 virus is much less lethal. With the exception of HIV, which resulted in the death of around 30 million people between 1981 and the present, the recent virus outbreak is one of the worst in the last 20-30 years.
Where does this leave us? With the onslaught of information we are exposed to on a daily basis, it is difficult to discern truth from fact, we must make some difficult decisions. Lets go back to basics. Even though this current pandemic pails in comparison to previous historical events, it has caused considerable suffering to the human race.
We now know how it moves through the populations.
We know that wearing a mask provides a small advantage to the person wearing the mask and a very large advantage in keeping the infected person from spreading the disease to others.
We know that many carry the disease with no apparent symptoms which makes this a very difficult disease to follow through the population.
We know that between 1 and 2 percent of the population infected will die from the disease.
We know that it is more lethal to older and health compromised individuals.
Most important, we know that through the use of mask and social distancing we could get this virus under control!
So, there it is, the facts as they stand right now. We as a country must make a decision as to how many people we are willing to lose to this virus.
Below is an excellent sites to educate yourself on this subject. Enjoy.
In these times of turmoil and unrest it helps me to sit back and view our situation from another place. Please let me explain. Currently, here on earth, and particularly here in the USA, the situation is looking a little bleak. In addition to a world wide pandemic of biblical proportions, civil unrest unlike we have seen since the 60’s and a government that reminds me of the picture of a snake eating it’s tail, we are moving into an electronic age that our evolution did not prepare us for. Each one of these crisis on ts own is enough to blow one’s mind, but in conjunction it could be the Juggernaut that sends us back to the stone age.
Alright, alright, alright, that is not what I wanted to write about. I was going to tell you about how I deal with these crises, so let’s move on. As you may know, I love astronomy. Standing in the dark, gazing up into a night sky, seeing the countless stars, galaxies and occasional planets lifts my spirit. The Milky way, the galaxy that our earth is in, contains somewhere around 300,000,000,000 stars! One should sit back and think about the magnitude of that number! 300 billion seconds is 9539 years. It would take almost 20,000 years to count to 300 billion! That is a lot of stars and a high percentage of them have planets around them. An unknown percentage of them have intelligent life which is calculated by the Drake formula, if you want to read about that. Add to this idea the fact that there are at least 100,000,000,000 and counting galaxies and your mind begins to drift into oblivion. So you may be asking yourself, where are you going with this Cosmic?
We humans like to think of ourselves as the only living thing in the universe. As you can see, there are a whole lot of planets other beings could be living. As Jody Foster said in the movie CONTACT, (one of my all time favorite movies) if we are the only beings in the universe, that seems like an awful waste of space. Right now, in this very moment there are civilization on the brink of disaster! Somewhere in the universe a star is dying of old age and a race of people are trying to figure out a way to survive! Imagine if a planet size meteor is heading for your planet poised to destroy all living creatures! Now those are serious disasters!
Yes, here on earth we are in the midst of some real scary stuff, but in the end we will survive and hopefully move on to greener pastures. As a species we have faced countless hurdles in the last couple of million years and there are many waiting around the corner to come, but our current problem are lessened if we picture ourselves in the galactic frame of reference and not in our small backyard. So, put some mosquito spray on and venture outside on a starry night and gaze into the cosmos, take a deep breath and take in the wonders of the universe and thank your god, whomever he or she may be for the beautiful world we live on.
On May 26th, 2020 our illustrious Hampshire County Commissioners decided to restrict the access of the Hampshire Recycling Cooperative from using the recycling center in Augusta. If you are not aware, this group of volunteers maintains a station at the recycling center to collect aluminum and steel cans which are transported to a recycling center in Winchester. This project was initiated almost three years ago, and has been quite successful, costing the county zero dollars.
At the recent meeting our county commissioners, under the leadership of Bob Hott, took a major step backward by limiting access to the center under the guise that it created a traffic problem. Seriously? The last grant from the state that Hampshire County received to expand recycling had to be returned because they failed to spend it. They solved that problem by not bothering to apply for this year’s grant, which if used properly could help our county move into the 21st century.
Facts to consider:
Just in case you think the actions of defiling the earth are acceptable by God, I found this scripture in the King James Bible.
34 You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell, for I the Lord dwell in the midst of the people of Israel.”
I am half way afraid to actually write something that suggests who will win the upcoming presidential election. Many people did exactly that with the Hillary Clinton election and had to run home with their tail between their legs. As I run through the events that have plagued this president I try to approach it from a clearly analytical point. With the excessive emotion that this president has generated, this is an extremely difficult task. He seems to have the ability to promote conflicts between groups with his tweets and rhetoric. Honestly, when I occasionally watch him on TV, I must say he creates much anger and resentment in my thoughts. This fact makes it much more difficult to approach this matter in a more analytical way. I often ask myself if I am on the right side of these issues which forces me to reevaluate my position. After much thought, I came up with three reasons I think Joe Biden will win the 2020 election.
Few would or could argue that politicians oftentimes skew the truth to help bolster their point or, should I say, get elected. Americans have grown used to it over the 240 years of elections. Many of these these twisted statements are unable to be fact checked and linger in many conversations like echos for a length of time and then fade away. Trump has taken this art of messaging to a whole new level. A quick check on google says that he has misspoken or lied over 18,000 times since being elected! Yes, other presidents have told a few good ones, but 18,000 in somewhere around 1,300 days! That is almost 10 lies a day that have been fact checked by major news outlets. I am going to reach a little here but I do not believe that Americans in general appreciate being lied to. Because of his somewhat tenuous relationship with the truth, I think he will lose a small portion of his base.
The current pandemic has created real fear and concern in a major part of the population. No one can blame a president for events that may occur during their watch. But in this instance, I believe the writing was on the wall for anyone to read. There have been many top medical scientists who have been warning us that it was a matter of time before we would have to deal with one of these terrible viruses. The one thing that makes this virus so insidious is it ability to travel on seemingly healthy people, much like a stealth jet moves through enemy skies, dropping its bombs undetected by radar. Trump was told early on that this virus had the potential to kill many Americans, especially the senior population. His response was to tell the people it was a hoax intended to hurt his chances of being elected. The FACT that the Covid19 virus has killed over 115,000 Americans and could approach 1/4 million seems to invalidate that statement. Had Americans masked up and practiced social distancing from the beginning, that 115,000 could have been a lot less and maybe our economy would not be suffering as severely. So, many Americans have lost their faith in a man who puts his election above the welfare of his constituents. I do believe that Trump will lose a small portion of his base due to this miscalculation.
Finally, we Americans pride ourselves on having a president who is under the watch of the other two branches of government, the judicial and the legislative. Our forefathers designed it that way for just that reason, to keep us from becoming a kingdom rather than a balanced political system. This gives us some security that we do not end up with a Hitler in office, and if we did, he would not be able to take over the country. Trump has expressed frustration with his lack of authority to do many things that are beyond his jurisdiction. Earlier in his life he complimented the Chinese for taking such an aggressive approach against the groups who were fighting for civil rights in China. Regardless of whether you believe the American protesters have legitimate reasons to assemble to express their concern with the race issue, the constitution gives them that right. The constitution does not say you have to agree with the protesters but you must allow them to express themselves. In most cases the protesters were very peaceful, but the few people who decided this was a time to get a free TV or break some windows certainly tarnished the event. Trump decided to walk to a nearby church, stand outside the church, wave a bible, get some pictures taken and walk back to the White House. Because of his need for a photo opp, protesters were forcibly removed form Lafayette square to clear the way for him. He had decided that he had the authority to call out the military, who are forbidden from taking arms against American citizens, and have the solders squash the protesters. We are lucky that we have some military commanders who said that was not an option. I am pretty sure Trump will lose a small amount of his base from this action.
In case you have forgotten, Trump lost the popular vote during his election but won the electoral college vote. Many analysts have said that as few as 10,000 votes in key states could have made the difference in the 2016 election. For reasons I cannot pin down, many Americans decided that Hillary was not a good presidential choice. I believe she would not have been a major game changer in the American scene, but I do believe she would have stayed the course and been a competent choice. In the upcoming election we again have a candidate who will probably not cause any large social and economic change but he is quite competent and has much political experience. Joe is very likable and as Obama once said, most folks would certainly sit down and have a beer with him.
So, there you have it. Joe will win because Trump has burned too many bridges. He has lost some of his base and many folks are simply tired of his endless lying and drama. His constant attack on the Affordable Care Act will also cost him a few votes. A good friend of mine, who happens to be a republican, said he would vote for Biden because he is tired of the reality show insanity and our diminished stature in the world. Unless Joe does something truly terrible, he will be our next president.
Don’t forget to do your part, VOTE!
In 1968 I was a middle class white boy graduating from a predominately white high school knowing very little of the complex web of racism that infected our society. After an on and off college career that lasted almost 4 years in which I had very little direction in my life, I decided that I wanted to be a teacher. I had run out of money and was forced to move home, which, I must say, was not the best situation.
I did not want to attend the mega university which forced me to discover a small college about seven miles from where I was living. This college was tailored to mainly black students with a small amount of older part time white folks. I made the necessary arrangements to continue my education at Bowie State College. My earlier college time had provided me with about 60 hours of math and science credits, so all I needed was a few upper level math classes and a bunch of education and psychology classes to obtain my education degree in math and science. Dr Brown, my advisor, convinced the college to created a math science education degree major that was tailored to me. I had a direction for the first time in my life, spending the next two years obtaining a math and science teaching degree.
When I told friends that I was attending a black college, the looks were pretty predictable. I explained to them, not only was I being educated to become a teacher, I was being educated on how to become a better human being. I came to admire many of my new black friends. It became obvious to me that they had something I did not, a thirst for life and a commitment to each other that I had never been exposed to. I recall one summer class I took in which we performed a small play. The girls were trying to teach me to dance, to shake that skinny white booty, and the laughter and excitement I felt from them has stayed with me to this day. During a social studies class we were having a discussion on crime and drugs in the inner cities. I raised my lily white arm and made a comment. The black kid who sat in front of me turned and in very colorful language informed me that I did not have a clue as to what the conditions were like for his people in the inner cities and that I should sit there quietly and listen, and I did just that. Towards the end of my stint at Bowie State I asked a friend, who happened to be black, to come over for lunch. While were sitting in the kitchen making bologna sandwiches, my parents walked in and the tension that permeated the room was stifling. I introduced my friend and they very quickly acknowledged him and left the room. Later, after my friend left I witnessed the rage and racism that they had kept hidden for so many years. Towards the end of the encounter, I announced that I could not stay in a house with this amount of hate, informing them that I would be leaving as soon as possible. Two days later, I left.
That was over forty-five years ago and I must say for many, that attitude has not changed. The death of George Floyd has rekindled the fires of racism in this country. Even after electing a black president, which many of us though foolishly was the end of racism in America, we are now watching as our cities burn, just like we watched over 50 years ago! The emptiness I am feeling in my stomach is the same feeling I had in 1968, after the death of Martin Luther King. Being young and dumb I did not fully fathom what Dr King was trying to teach us but I felt that society, especially black society, had been dealt a severe blow. Still fresh in my thoughts at the time was the death of one of the most inspirational presidents in my lifetime, John F Kennedy.
Many people believe that these riots are unfounded. Many believe that they are comprised of just looters and other criminals, that could not be further from the truth! Yes, there are bad people involved and we have witnessed that they come out at night after the sincere people have returned home. I strongly disagree with violence as a means to success but I will say, sometimes violence helps move the wealthy along as they watch their investments become damaged. After all, this is the root of the problem. That pesky one percent that owns almost everything, works very hard to keep it from leaving their wallets and moving down to the needy. These riots could just as easily have been the needy white people who are often bullied by the police. There is a growing sector of our population, black, white and brown who are underpaid, under insured, unhealthy, under represented, uneducated and sometimes abused by an increasing police state. Yes, the black race has been the focus of much of this abuse but they are not alone.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
This is not written for one particular group of people. WE…that means all of us! We are all in this together! We are the United States of America, a beacon of light for the world to see. A place where people from all over the world still come to find safe harbor and a chance to have a better life. If we allow hate to dictate how we see the world and how we see our fellow man, then we are doomed to become a nation of despair, not hope. We must find our way back to a place of tolerance and understanding and leave the dark area we are witnessing.
There is no shortage of sci-fi stories about the entirety of humanity uniting to ward off some evil aliens. One of my favorite movies is, The Day The Earth Stood Still (the first one). In Brief, an alien came down with his big shinny robot and said, GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER ON EARTH OR WE WILL KICK YOUR ASSES BACK TO THE STONE AGE! Of course he had to give us a display of his power and then we earthlings decided that maybe the alien had a good idea. Story over.
Our alien/Covid 19 virus is much more insidious and less interested in our well being and has the potential to slap the crap out of our world and devastate the world economy. Who knows just how this bug came to be, in a Chinese lab, bat shit, Alien cosmic dust or the evil Dr Strange, but the end result is, it is hear and killing humans faster than they can be born. Us old folks are more susceptible to its workings and anybody who is in a weakened physical state has a higher chance of dying.
Governments around the world have closed down and asked their populations to huddle up in their homes and wait this bug out. As a math teacher I have enjoyed watching the population learn a little about statistics as politicians and governmental officials struggle to teach the concept of flatting the curve. For those of you who have not figured it out yet, it means to slow the onslaught of the disease, stretching it out into the future, NOT decreasing the number of people who contrack the disease. The number of people who are susceptible to the disease is a constant and can only be changed if they are not exposed to the bug. This may prove to be next to impossible prior to a vaccine. This virus is one mean bugger and has continually amazed us with it’s resilience and most important, its ability to survive between host.
So hear we are in the middle of a pandemic event. This has occurred many times in our history and will continue in our future. It is natures way of controlling population and keeping the herd strong. In the past these diseases spread slowly because of the speed of travel. Today they spread like wildfire with the advent of aviation and people moving freely about the globe. Believe me when I say “I don’t want to die” but I accept the fact that this disease will take many people, especially senior citizen before it is done. I just hope I am not one of them. My defense is to stay strong, by eating right and exercising daily so that my body may be able to survive this evil germ if I am exposed to it.
Bottom line? I had a good friend who used the term crisis management to refer to how our schools handled many situations. Rather than thinking ahead to an event that was bound to happen, we generally wait until it attacks us and then try to figure out a way through. Every notable disease scientist has been warning us of the coming of this pandemic event for years. SARS MERS, EBOLA, MEASLES and many others are out there lurking, waiting for a window of attack. Believe me when I say you have not heard the end to EBOLA. Here in the US and much of the world we had no plan of defense for this newest virus. In sports terms we were caught on our heals. Now we are in the pandemic event and there are few avenues out without many people dying. Our leaders are weighing the price of human life against the profits of business. There are almost 330,000,000 Americans which makes us expendable in the eyes of big business. Many of us seniors are doing very little to support our economy other than spending our retirement and telling old stories we can tell over and over again. Lets face facts, we are expendable in the eyes of the capitalist monster devouring the earth, as are the many people who are challenged in many different ways.
These are difficult times and possibly fore warnings of times to come. These events may very well be Gia, a theory of the living earth, telling us we are not cherishing our world. There are pandemic events attacking various animals and plants in our world right now but we give little notice to them. Just as they are, we are merely visitors on this beautiful planet. Humans in our current form have been on this planet for almost a million years. As a point of reference, dinosaurs were here for almost 165 million years and if not for a very large space rock that struck earth, they would probably still be here! At our current rate, we are likely to destroy our planet in a couple of hundred years!
My advice, hunker down, try to eat as little processed food as possible, exercise, recycle, wear you mask to keep from infecting others (its not to protect you) and think of mother earth as our friend, someone to love a cherish. Stay safe!