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The Life Slant

China goes viral

China Goes Viral

*The global economy has suffered and enormous punch to the gut, and the economies of many nations are coughing and wheezing while dozens of their citizens perish. The culprit in this calamity is the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. The origin of this pandemic (empowered by the global economy) has been traced to the city of Wuhan, in Hubei province, China, where it emerged in December of 2019.

Actually, according to Helen Davidson of “The Guardian,” COVID-19 was first detected on November 17 of 2019, and by March 13, 2020, had killed 4,702 people. The Chinese government only admitted that there was human-to-human contact on January 21 of 2020. Doctor Ai Fen of the Wuhan Central hospital lost four of her fellow doctors to the virus and is guilty of “criticizing hospital authorities for suppressing early warnings of the outbreak.” To further add to the global mayhem, Dr. Fen and whistleblower ophthalmologist Li Wenliang were risking their jobs as well as detention to reveal to the public about the conditions in Wuhan. The global economy advances (and kills) everyone equally, if not for the preparations by their nation. Keep Reading

Covid-19: The Chicken or the Egg

*What came first is debatable when asked about the chicken and the egg. However, when we ask what happened first, labor or corporations, the answer is labor.

The president has claimed, “I am facing the biggest decision of my life.” He is referring to getting people back to work as our economy has taken a big hit because of the pandemic. Many of us were not around during the Great Depression when people were out of work; there were food shortages, confusion, health risks, and more. None of us want to repeat that era. As Americans, we must support cautious and well thought out legislation on the mobilization of our economy.

Living in a Democracy claiming freedoms has been one of the many issues creating issues on our health care providers, enforcement, getting to solutions, and understanding the impact and meaning of a pandemic. Keep Reading

COVID-19: The Clear and Present Threat to Military Families During This Crisis is Not the Virus

*Too many veterans and their families aren’t mentally, emotionally and spiritually prepared for the difficult days ahead. Since the spread of COVID-19, we’ve heard from hundreds of military families who are afraid – not of catching a virus – but of the long term damage this crisis will have on their lives.

They’re afraid they’ll turn to older ways of coping with their challenges as the stress of this crisis looms over them. Many nationwide closures have affected support groups such as alcoholics anonymous (AA), and other key outpatient services due to government action to limit large gatherings. People are overwhelmed with financial buckling, uncertainty, school cancellations affecting their children, and being closed off from normal routines. Keep Reading

A Sweet Story

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*Science is exhilarating, challenging and rich with rewards. As a scientist, the bees have shown me many things.

Last week, the bees revealed a lesson on speed and stamina. At 230 wingbeats per second, on my bicycle, I clocked one gal soaring down the street at 27 miles per hour (mph)!

honeybees
An indefatigable worker on a nectar run. Image credit: Reese Halter

She had an empty load. When topped-up with nectar, pollen, water or tree resin (used to make propolis, or bee glue), a honeybee can reach an impressive 20mph. She can maintain that stamina for possibly a couple miles or more.

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When Ghosts Come a-Haunting – DNA Tests and You

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*The following recounts true and recent events.  The names have been changed.

•••

Sally had spent scores and scores of hours researching her family’s lineage, an interest she had begun to cultivate after her youngest headed off to college.  By the time she finally got around to send a little spit off to a popular genealogy website she was certain about what the outcome would be – after all, she had memorized the family tree from her dad back to her great-great-Grandfather!

When the report arrived in the mail she opened it with pronounced anticipation and began to scan for Johansons. There were none.  More slowly this time, she again perused the list of relatives and still no Johansons.  She checked to make sure it was her report and not a case of mistaken identity.  Hers.  Wow!

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Androgyny’s Abrogation

*Here’s the call:

Dispatcher: 911 what is your emergency?

Caller: I think we have a heart attack victim.

Dispatcher: OK please tell me the age and sex of the victim.

Caller: I can’t.

Dispatcher: You can’t tell me the age and sex of the victim?

Caller: About 40 years old, I guess, but I don’t know the sex.

Dispatcher: You don’t know the sex?

Caller: They’re androgynous. Keep Reading

Do You Love America’s Youth?

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*More dead kids.  Another devastated town.  We mourn, we complain and we do nothing.  NOTHING!

As tiresome as it is to listen to NRA Nutz misquote, misinterpret and misuse the Second Amendment, and as badly as we need gun ownership regulation of some sort – as the Second Amendment dictates – gun control legislation is not going to stop these monstrous school killings; at least not any time soon.  Even if gun control legislation passed this afternoon it would take decades before guns weren’t readily available – if then. Keep Reading

Bogus Blaming of Baby Boomers

*One Lyman Stone, in The Atlantic of June 24, 2019, blames the Baby Boomers for many of the problems in America, in an article titled “The Boomers Ruined Everything.” According to Stone, the younger Americans (Gen X, Millennials) are having a hard time, economically and otherwise, because of the acts and behavior of the Baby Boomers. The Baby Boomers ruined everything about America? Hardly. Stone’s universal generalization is the first key flaw in his argument. But let’s take a look.

To start off with, Stone begins with this gem: “The average U.S. state constitution is more than 100 years old. We are in the third-longest period without a constitutional amendment in American history: The longest such period ended in the Civil War.” What about our treasured Constitution needs to be changed? He offers no suggestions, so allow me to suggest one. Keep Reading

America’s Bees – 55 Billion Dead, Feds Drop Bee Survey

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*America’s bees are in big trouble. Instead of protecting our important buzzing brethren and those who  faithfully tend to them, the Trump administration is overtly pandering to Big Chem, the makers of more deadly nerve poisons.

Normally, a beekeeper can expect to lose about 12 percent of a colony to overwintering deaths. Since 2006, U.S. beekeepers have lost around 30 percent of their hives each winter. The winter of 2007-08 recorded a death spike of 36 percent. Some beekeepers were forced into bankruptcy.

America's Bees
Image credit: Reese Halter

Since then, my colleagues have conducted hundreds of scientific studies on the deadly effects of a wide array of nerve poisons used in commercial insecticides e.g. neonicotinoidssulfoxaflorflupyradifurone, chlorpyrifos. When honeybees encounter less than a dozen parts per billion of these nerve poisons, they instantaneously exhibit the full strength symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The Einsteins of the insect world lose their minds and shake to death.  Horrible. Keep Reading

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