Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Hilton Head Island: cyclone; THE GUARDIAN OF MERCY; 60 in 90; fools


God-like I spin the world each morning and in doing so frequently first become aware of storms, tropical and otherwise.  Such was the case this morning when I saw the above.


I then went to the Living Earth app where I learned that the bigger storm between Fiji and Vanuatu is Yasa, a Category 3 cyclone with 110 knot winds moving SSE and the smaller storm over Tonga is Zazu with 50 knot winds moving WSW.  

As the hurricane season ends in this hemisphere the cyclone season begins in the Southern.  Same storms just different names.

I hope that this cyclone season on the better side of the Equator is not as historic as was the just ended hurricane season on this side.

I am reading a jewel that came via BookBud  THE GUARDIAN OF MERCY:  How An Extraordinary Painting by Caravaggio Changed An Ordinary Life Today.  The painting is The Seven Acts of Mercy.  It was painted in 1607 and is in a small chapel in Naples, Italy.

Renaissance art is not my favorite and I generally am not interested in explanations of paintings, but the explanation of this painting is fascinating and the author, Terence Ward, an American who married an Italian woman, brings the painting, Caravaggio, and Naples both in his time and ours to vivid life.  I am only half way through the book, but so far it has been an unexpected and unequivocal pleasure.

I thank Larry for a link to a study about testing heart health.  


The link says it.  A flight is stated to be fifteen stairs.

Immodesty should prevent me from observing that 60 stairs in 90 seconds seems very slow to me, but obviously it doesn’t.  As regular readers with good memories know, in Evanston I routinely do the 100 stairs from bottom to top of our condo’s stairwell in less than 60 seconds.  My record time, not running, but moving fast is 43 seconds.  Here in Hilton Head we have only two flights of stairs.  I did buy a stair stepper, but seldom use it.  My legs and heart are exercised in other ways, including bicycling, weights and resistance bands.

An article in the NY TIMES this morning suggests that yesterday was historic:  the confirmation of the election of Joe Biden and the first shots of anti-Covid vaccine.  The article may be right.

Another article in the TIMES says that a recent survey shows that 25% of those in the US are unwilling to take the vaccine.

Based on my experience and reading of history, I am long on the record as believing we are not an intelligent species, but clearly some of us are stupider than others.  Of those who refuse the vaccine I would like to say, fine, let them die; but there are hospital costs involved in their dying paid in one way or the other by all of us, and the virus does not kill all who contract it.  Some of those who are not vaccinated will survive infection and spread the virus to others, some of whom will die, even some of whom have been vaccinated.  The vaccines are said to be about 95% effective.  That leaves 5% ineffective which in the US is almost 17,000,000 people.  It must be hard to go through life so ignorant and fearful.

Of numbers, also in the news is that the death toll in the US from the pandemic has just surpassed 300,000.  That is not quite 0.1% of the US population. 

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