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Madelaine McMasters

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Everything posted by Madelaine McMasters

  1. Prine's wife Fiona reports that John is stable, but not yet improving. Fingers crossed...
  2. It is tough to take the top off for those who've not learned from Milwaukee County Zoo monkeys. In the wild, monkeys don't eat bananas and probably are no better at opening them than humans. But, not in Milwaukee! Though I don't like being the smartest monkey in the room, there's always something I can learn from watching others. To a chimp, they all opened them from the "bottom"*... Bonus... * I've seen different behaviors at other zoos, including eating them whole, suggesting they also learn by watching others. Some zoos no longer feed bananas to their primates because that leads to diabetes and cavities. Don't make a diet of them!
  3. Nope. My avatar represents who I want to be, not be with.
  4. I don't think the virus is gonna jump off the floor to get us. The precautions I'm taking are super easy for me, taking mere seconds to do. Meanwhile the li'l buggers are just waiting for all the stupid things I do without thinking, like touching my face. Some of these precautions, like washing my hair so the rinse water doesn't run into my mouth, I also do after spraying pesticides/herbicides around my yard. I also wear shoes with easy to clean shoes so I'm not constantly having to clean mud out of nooks and crannies. I hate cleaning so I'm always looking for ways to avoid it. If I stop the dirt at the door, I don't have to remove it from inside. The garage entry to my house is in the laundry. The first door in the hallway to the house is my downstairs bathroom with shower. It's super easy for me to clean up before entering bumville.
  5. https://www.amazon.com/Day-Use-No-Crack-Cream/dp/B006Z8A8XU/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=no+crack+hand+cream&qid=1585777002&sr=8-3
  6. In addition, remove your shoes before walking into your house. Most of those droplets people are sneezing and coughing out end up on the ground... and then you walk on 'em. In the last three weeks, I haven't set foot outside of my yard or car, so my shoes aren't a vector. If I were to go to the market, I'd wear shoes with a smooth sole with no li'l nooks and crannies for bugs to hide in. Then I'd drop a disinfectant wipe on my garage welcome mat and wipe my shoes on it before kicking them off and stepping into the house. If I didn't have wipes, I'd move the welcome mat outside so I could leave my shoes, sole up, in the sun. I'd probably also doff my outer clothes and shoot them straight into the washer. Even though my hair is short, it's a perfect filter for grabbing icky bits out of the air. So, I'd take a shower, keeping my face pointed into the shower stream with my hair behind, to not get my hair's rinse water in my eyes, nose, and mouth. It may be that none of this is necessary, but it's easy to do. Then, after exercising all those precautions, I'd go back to being a bum.
  7. Damn, Alwin. I'm saddened by your news and share your concern about your mom. Mine's dealing with a bucket-load of health issues that threaten to send her to the hospital, to which we both know she'd have to go alone and from which we both think she's unlikely to return. I'm hoping for the best for everyone.
  8. I do have an actual "weather" request for the LL team @Patch Linden. Years ago I discovered something that was once more widely known to others, that the SL Wind can vary in velocity and direction within a region. There's apparently a little fluid dynamics engine at work there, seeded by interactions with adjacent neighboring regions. Absent those neighbors, the wind within a region is uniform in velocity and direction. That aggregate vector still changes over time, but it's the same everywhere. This has significant impact on... my SL wind driven contemplation spot. It produces lovely motion on any region that has at least one adjacent neighbor and is best when a region is bordered by others on all four sides. Any chance someone could tickle that fluid dynamics engine so lone regions don't have bland winds? Here's a thread I started, in which we discussed this...
  9. I'm working off the current guidance that COVID-19 survives no more than three days on any surface (minutes to hours on most), and that I've done a pretty good job of cleaning myself and anything else that enters the house. The only things entering these days are foodstuffs, and my regular kitchen cleaning routine should handle that, after my initial scrub down of packages before putting them in the pantry and fridge. Outside of those additional precautions, I'm not doing anything out of the ordinary. If it were discovered that COVID-19 is as resilient as prions, I'd take a vastly different approach to house cleaning.
  10. They do use them, routinely. Mom's been in the hospital three times in the last two years, with respiratory difficulties. All three times they've put her briefly on an automatic BiPap machine with built-in humidifier. I think all of the hospital's airway assist devices have the ability to control humidity.
  11. Mucus has several functions. It can be used for lubrication, to keep bits from drying out, to capture icky bugs before they penetrate to vulnerable tissues, and to transport them out of the body. Mucus production increases with infections and allergies, as the body steps up efforts to eliminate them. Are you cleaning eight times a day, or is that the cumulative effort of everyone in your apartment complex? If that's just your effort, I see no reason for it. As I mentioned before, you really only need to clean surfaces that are touched by people entering your space or were touched by people outside it (like food packaging). Once inside, wash hands and any surfaces that were potentially touched by unwashed hands. Once that's done, the interior of your space should be free of virus. Any further cleaning has no effect on your susceptibility to infection. I try to be super conscious of the cleaning/touching rules when outside my home and when returning to it. Once inside, and after washing down all the potentially infected surfaces, I return to living like a bum.
  12. Dad first saw Mom at a tavern. He leaned over to his buddy, pointed at Mom and said "that's the girl I'm gonna marry." Two weeks later, Mom proposed to him. Four years later, they got married. Nineteen years after that, they had me. Start with a bang and fizzle out... that's my folks!
  13. Dad was a Corsair pilot in WWII and learned engineering after the wary on the GI Bill. Mom and Dad's favorite tune was "String of Pearls"... Thirty or so years ago at an air show, I watched Dad and his friend/our neighbor Walt (a ME-109 pilot, engineer and fan of the Corsair) run their hands, silently and gently, along the curves of a restored Corsair. That evening, in the airport's largest hanger, and under the wings of several restored bombers, Mom, Dad, Walt, Trudy (my emergency backup mom), and dozens of other couples, many frail, danced to the music of the Big Bands. Sometimes you just can't hold back those tears.
  14. I won't!... That's in my family vinyl library. The opening of Sing Sing Sing has been giving me goosebumps since I was wee tot.
  15. I spent a month in Japan when I was a teen in the mid 80s, and found it curious that some Japanese were wearing surgical masks in public. I'd never seen that here at home. I learned that they do it out of concern for infecting others when they have colds or the flu. Japan is a densely packed society, with a population of 127 million packed into an area smaller than California. Japanese citizens are fairly deferential to the needs of the community, so wearing a mask to protect others is "the right thing to do". Since my visit, the Japanese have taken to wearing masks during allergy season and in smoggy downtown areas. They've also become something of a fashion statement. They are a fastidious people and masks reflect that. I'm not as familiar with the rest of Asia, but I suspect their use of masks follows similar reasoning. Asia also has more experience dealing with pandemics, as shown in the overall response to COVID-19, compared to western countries. America's independent cowboy ethos is at odds with wearing masks. COVID-19 might change that.
  16. I had a sizable stash of N95 masks in my shop, which I used when spray painting or sanding drywall joints. I just split that stash with friends of mine in the nursing community. I still have dozens of the super cheap shop masks, which are good enough to contain any ickness I might emit should I contract the virus and have a pressing need to go out in public. So far, I think both of those are unlikely.
  17. Thanks Rolig, though this cousin wasn't close to me. At its peak, our family reunions would draw 400-500 people. We're down to less than 200, but that's still a lot of people to keep track of. At nearly 50, I'm the youngest (by far) member of my generation of the family tree. The average age of cousins in my generation is north of 70. I'm expecting to get more bad news. The relative I'm most closely watching is Mom, who at this moment is having a heart failure flare up that's got her care staff (and Mom!) concerned. The hospital isn't allowing visitors these days, so any trip she takes there is gonna be a lonely one and subjects her to risk of infection and the very high probability she won't survive it. Between Dad and me, Mom has endured nearly seven decades of exposure to dark humor. I recently offered to drive over to her retirement village, where I'd accidentally run over her with my car to invoke a quick exit with me at her side (or on top of her, depending on my driving skill). She gracefully declined, saying she'd rather have COVID-19 take the blame. That's Mom, always looking out for her li'l devil.
  18. I've a cousin who was found dead in her apartment last week. She was 85 and in poor health overall. She'd been out and about prior, with no particular complaints, according to closer family members. She was not one to enlist the help of others, nor to communicate much with friends and family. No tests are being done, so it'll never be known if she succumbed to COVID-19. I think the potential CDC advisory is more aimed at using masks to prevent infected people from ejecting virus laden droplets during coughs and/or sneezes. COVID-19 is a respiratory (lung) virus. The nose, mouth, eyes (via the sinuses), and throat are all conduits to the lungs. It's not so much the moisture that's the culprit. COVID-19 hates soapy water. It's that the vulnerable tissues happen to be wet. Similarly, blood born pathogens care less about water than the access to infectable blood cells, which are of course floating in, and filled with... water. Fortunately, human bodies do a pretty good job of keeping the circulatory system isolated from the outside world. Since the lungs must exchange gases with that outside world on a regular basis, and the GI tract must take in fuel and water from the outside, most diseases enter us via air, food, and water.
  19. My Mom's daughter occasionally ferments stuff accidentally, and should really clean her pantry more often.
  20. I'm reminded of camping out on our family acreage in northern Wisconsin with college friends one summer. I made chili the first night, cooking it over the campfire in a cast iron pot. The others, all city kids, thought that was pretty neat. Before starting, I asked everyone whether they wanted it mild or hot. Maybe it was the way I said those two words, the vote was unanimously "hot". So, off I went. There was a lot of crying at dinner, and they burned through half of our three day supply of liquids in two hours. It wasn't until 4AM that the full realization of our mismatched understanding of "hot" arrived. I can still hear the clenched teeth hissing and moaning from my friends as they each crawled off into the nearby woods to fill the little latrines we'd dug earlier in the day. One of them described the feeling as if he was inhaling through his ass after sucking on an Altoid with it. I'd never heard of Altoids before. They're now my favorite mint.
  21. It's that part of homeopathy that posits a therapeutic effect from diluting or titrating some ingredient down to the point it's not actually there anymore. As in putting a drop of arsenic in a swimming pool, then taking a drop of the mixture and putting it in another swimming poll, taking a drop of that and ending up with something that hasn't a single arsenic molecule in it, but has some magnificent therapeutic benefit. I probably should have said "homeopathic dilution". ETA: In addition to the absence of benefit from the absence of the "active ingredient", I've always wondered whether the "inactive ingredient" used to dilute the active one into oblivion wasn't just another prime example of The Law of Unintended Consequences. Murphy loves to appear inactive.
  22. I certainly don't understand that, Pam! I don't understand that, either. I really do hope we'll discover that first step into life before I take the last breath of mine. If we don't, it'll remain one of many things I never understood.
  23. I think we might disagree. Humans are involved in religion and science, so we're gonna find plenty of examples of deep skepticism and blind faith in both disciplines. I see a difference though. Religious folk who exhibit blind faith are sometimes called "deeply faithful", "fundamentalist", "evangelical" (in the broadest sense, every belief system has people evangelizing the faith) or some other favorable appellation. Scientific folks who exhibit blind faith (we have no shortage of them, including those who evangelize) are sometimes called "not a scientist". My own personal history of deep conversations with religious people has been (I'm anecdotal, I understand the fragility of my evidence) that, the deeper their skepticism, the less truly religious they are. This was nowhere more evident than in the cranky old Jesuit priest who taught my comparative religion class. At the lectern, he was a straight up Jesuit. During office hours, you might mistake him for a Buddhist. The Lutheran pastor of the church that hosted our little community theater for years lost his son to agnosticism via theoretical physics. He was sanguine about their vastly different paths to the "truth" and allowed that his son might get ahead of him. Our entire conversation was bittersweet. I've also had pointless discussions with deeply faithful, deeply skeptical people who can't be pried loose from their disbelief in objective reality, such as the value of vaccines or the uselessness of homeopathic titration. All they need is the certainty of their truth. Those who don't share the vision can go to hell. I'm sure I could find atheist anti-vaxxers, but I think it would be a more difficult search. I don't discount the possibility an anti-vaxxer might actually be atheist, yet recognize the power of religion to advance the cause. We can be as evil as anyone. Dad was raised Lutheran and converted to Catholicism to marry Mom, suggesting that a tactical move to avoid a skirmish was enough to unmoor him from the strategic belief system of his youth. By the time I was born, his scientific bent had got him to park all his uncertainties into something that looked like that Jesuit's Buddhism. Mom, who remained a Catholic until the Unitarians offered up better pot-luck, gets frustrated with her own inability to understand virtually anything she's ever heard in church. Meanwhile, she's lived as moral a life as anyone I know. I know I was exposed to the great thinkers in my philosophy and comparative religions classes, but apparently nothing in them got me to think that their religion's beliefs had somehow improved their clarity of thought. It seemed more to me that they'd often reasoned out some good ideas, then coopted the attraction of religion to back them up. I've come away appreciating their moral analysis, but wondering whether the religious wrapper wasn't ultimately superfluous. And so this is where I end up. I see science as the best path towards our understanding of objective reality, everything but the "why". We have ethics and morality to ponder that, and I believe we can do justice to ourselves without invoking the supernatural. And maybe we do agree a bit. You said... "The history of religious thought, not only in Christianity but across religions, shows otherwise." If you average all that skeptical, insightful thinking to reveal the moral common ground, how much religion remains? What if religion is orthogonal to morality, but just doesn't "feel" that way?
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