Friday, April 24, 2020

Evanston: The Church of Bleach; Bach and Rembrandt; bests: Happy birthday Hubble

There is something that calls itself The Genesis II Church of Health and Healing.  It claims to be a ‘non-religious church’ and was founded by Jim Humble, a former Scientologist who claims to be a billion year old god from the Andromeda galaxy.  The ‘church’ sells a potion which it calls MMS—variously Miracle Mineral Solution or Master Mineral Solution.  The solution, composed mostly of bleach, is to be ingested and is claimed to cure in addition to Covid 19, Alzheimer’s, autism, brain cancer, HIV/AIDS, and multiple sclerosis, among others.  Testimonials to this are found on its website.

I am not making this up.  I probably could have.  Obviously the curiously named Jim Humble or someone did.

Two observations.  One man, one vote sounds good, but it means that the vote of each member of this ‘church’ and each purchaser of MMS equals yours or mine.

You may have seen or heard that yesterday the head of the government of a I suppose still major nation suggested that injecting disinfectant may cure Covid 19 and ‘clear the lungs.’

A friend referred to Thomas Hardy as too severe.  To the contrary.  

I finished THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE.  The novel was first published in weekly installments in 1886.  It is a page turner.  Hardy later said that in order to put new incidents into almost every installment he may have over elaborated.  Perhaps so, but the quality of his writing and the main character, Michael Henchard, redeem it.

The novel begins when Henchard, then a farm laborer, gets drunk at a village fair and sells his wife to a passing sailor.  Sensational in 1886.  Probably resulting in life threatening social media outrage in our inconsistently puritanical times.  That sale comes back to haunt him two decades later.

I have moved from Hardy to Emile Zola’s GERMINAL.

Assuming the world will eventually return to something resembling normal, I expect there will be lasting changes.  Personally I am not going to shake hands anymore.  I don’t need to prove I am not holding a weapon.  And I will not ever watch national television news.  

As I have mentioned here before Apple’s AirPod Pros are life changing.

One of the ways in which Carol and I differ is that I take in information visually and she orally.  This has always been true of me.  I need to see a new word printed or in writing to learn it.  The same with directions.  Carol likes to watch and hear the news on television.  I cannot abide it.  So in the early evening, we sit on the sofa, sipping our drinks, she watching the news, I with my noise cancelling AirPods in my ears, listening to music and often watching videos of performances by the Netherlands All of Bach Project.

Here are two.  The first is a slight girl who amazes that she has obviously worked so hard and is so good so young.  The second a juxtaposition of greatness, Bach played before Rembrandt in the Rijksmuseum, on a harpsichord from 1640.  Even if this is not your kind of music, admire the ambiance and the harpsichord.

I am not competing with you or anyone else.  I compete with myself.  I like personal bests.  

Some of you may recall my writing a few months ago of the impossibility of maintaining stasis, that you are either getting stronger or you are getting weaker.   Inevitably entropy  will prevail, but for a while I am getting stronger.  The proofs are personal bests. 

I did 100 pushups again last Monday.  This makes the third time this month.  I attribute this to the workout I now do twice weekly with ten pound weights.  Not heavy, but the entire routine takes about twenty-five minutes and has clearly made a difference.

I tied my personal best for the stair climb.  In our building from the bottom of the stair well to the top is exactly one hundred steps.  I almost always take them two at a time.  If I go at a normal pace it takes about a minute.  If under 55 seconds, it is something like a wind sprint.  Two days ago I went hard and did 43.5 seconds.

My standard push-up and crunch based workout usually takes about nineteen minutes.  That is when I do just my age or 80 push-ups and crunches in the first series.  When I go to 100 the workout takes a minute longer.  On Wednesday I did the standard workout in 17 minutes and 25 seconds.

In an email to a friend I recently wrote:   I do what interests me.  I report as well as I can.  And I leave it there.  

I’ve defined the responsibility of the artist I think about as well as anyone ever has.  That is also true of the scout who goes ahead of the main troop.  His responsibility is to learn what he can and report it truly.  He has absolutely no responsibility about what anyone at headquarters does with his report.

So I am just reporting.  Draw your own conclusions, if any.

The beautiful photo above is not of the birthplace of Jim Humble, but of a star forming region a mere 163,000 light years from Earth that astronomers have nick-named ‘The Cosmic Reef’ because it resembles an undersea world.  It was taken by the Hubble telescope which was launched thirty years ago today.

1 comment:

Paul S. said...

Great choice of music! Thank you for sharing!

Best regards,