Thoughts around Covid-19

You, dear reader, has probably received your covid jab and if you are Ron, let your opportunity pass so others might get it. And if you are in India, yours truly hopes the government is doing all it can to check the deaths and spread of the infection.

I have in the recent past since this pandemic began seen a lot of talk about covid responsive spaces. You meet a client and they are asking if the office space you are proposing meets the covid protocols and I am getting tired. As a space planner, it seems to me this pandemic went with common sense of most people. It is not like this is the first airborne disease we have to deal with. How does one deal with TB?

Proper ventilation. Where AC is used, the need for filters that purify the air and faster air change is all you need. Reduce congestion in office spaces. I don’t see any sense in increasing hand washing points in office buildings besides those provided in wash rooms.

The interesting question is whether health care facilities, apart from doing the above, need to do more for health care staff? Do we need screens around beds so they take vitals remotely? Send a robot to inject the patient, have intubation done remotely and all? Maybe not. I think the common sense solutions above should be sufficient.

Maybe I am missing something and there are special design considerations that are required. Do weigh in below with your thoughts.

how turtles got their shells

long time ago, in the very distant past when birds could talk, snakes walk, asses talk, lions ate grass, and all animals lived together in friendly communes, turtles had a soft smooth shell.

One day news reached the commune of a party that was to be had high up in the sky, near the sun so to speak. Even back then, only birds could fly so when the turtle heard of this plot, he asked his bird friend if he could join the party. A committee of birds was selected to see how to make this possible. Among the options proposed was to have the largest bird haul the turtle to the party and back. The hawk said, hell no. The vulture said not on backyard, the eagle made no comments but there was no doubt the answer was no. A second plot was needed and real fast. It is here that it was decided they would donate feathers to the turtle and do a crash course in flying. This was done in no time and the whole party left for feast.

As was the custom in those days, whenever animals or people went to a feast, they used nicknames. So all the birds had their nicknames some flattering some not so much. The turtle for its nickname said it would be called all of us. And it is here that the rain started beating the turtle.

You see, when they got to the feast, every time food was served, the animals would ask for whom it was meant and the response, you guessed it right, was all of us- the turtle. And so the turtle ate while the rest of the birds watched in dismay. It went on like this till it was time to return and the birds held a quick meeting to exact their revenge. As soon as they left the venue, and had been told their goodbyes, they each and all plucked their feathers from the turtle who without this aid came a tumbling down landing on a rock with it shell cracking it in the process and since then all turtles have had hard shells.

If you have read up to this point, I will tell you the story of bats. where did they come from? When, where, why and how the first bats become airborne is another mystery buried by Deep Time.

science based weight loss program

where the scientist is me, the test subject is me and the peer reviewers are me, myself and I. What I am trying to say here is that I don’t want to do any braining today.

I finished reading Jeff Galloway’s nutrition for runners and I shocked myself. I have always said I am not reading any self help book but this felt like one of those. The advice given is quite helpful to runners and non runners alike. If there is anything I took from that book that I think makes a lot of sense, is to separate your weight loss plans from your fitness/ exercise plans.

If you are a woman, don’t feel bad or give up if the fat loss is slow, evolution it seems intended that you become efficient in fat storage and energy use. All you need to do is maintain a healthy diet. And moderate exercise for good health. Research shows that women generally lose fat 2x slower than the man next door for the same amount of exercise.

So back to the science, exercise should be fun. If after a run you are feeling sad and angry, you are running hard or wrong. And so that me and Jeanne are still good friends, consult your doctor before you begin any exercise regime that goes beyond walking a few steps a day.

Exercise vs diet

I understand the pandemic has contributed to some of you gaining weight and with restrictions on movement, no opportunity to burn all the calories you have been taking in. Those who are able to exercise (those new year resolutions) kudos. I hope you manage to keep the pounds down.

I am here to share good news. It should be obvious but I have discovered that things that are generally obvious to me are not so obvious.

In a previous post that I did on weight loss, I mentioned healthy eating, portion size and sustainable plans. This Times article based off some studies in Ecuador and Tanzania show that the difference is in types of food and quantity.

My free advice to anyone struggling with weight is to check their portions, and adopt low calorie dense healthy foods (where possible). And remember to sleep well and drink plenty of water. Sometimes you think you are hungry when you are dehydrated.

To healthy living and better quality of life.

Wild goose chasing

Nan has had some interesting posts lately on extraterrestrial life and the possibility of our meeting them. Or their visiting us. And this has got me thinking, good money is being spent on space exploration and there is a race going on at the moment on who will take man to Mars first? There are a myriad of world crises that that money would help solve. Before you become Jesus & tell me the poor you will always have with you, hear me out.

I am aware that some of the research for space travel & living has yielded useful solutions for the here and now. But I think this has been by accident. So these kind of results would still be arrived at had money been poured towards their solving.

But back to extraterrestrials, is it out of cosmic loneliness that we seek them while at the same time working towards our annihilation? Or is it borne out of the desire to show, once and for all, the creationists that we are not alone?

What are your thoughts?


And a little digression, occasionally when I am reading a book or watching a movie, I find my eyes pissing when either a character or the narrator moves Me. And most times this happens when the writer manages, with pen and paper, to express humanity at its finest. You know, like a great show of love, joy, comradeship or something of that kind.

George william Foote

Said many lofty things and I agree with him wholeheartedly. England owes him an apology for jailing him for freedom of speech.

But he is also evidence that intelligent men can be grossly mistaken. In his response to Booth, he of the Salvation Army, he wrote and I agree that people in jail should be treated with kindness that indeed many are not psychopaths & may not be a threat to society if rehabilitated. Where i disagree with him is in saying the weak, the ‘unfit’ should not be supported & this is based on the natural selection- let the fit survive. I think this was a gross misunderstanding of evolution on his part.

He writes, for example

He is not aware that thousands of men and women are born in every generation who are behind the age. They are types of a vanished order of mankind, relics of antecedent stages of culture. Natural selection is always eliminating them, and general Booth proposes to cuddle them, to surround them with artificial circumstances, and give them a better chance. He does not see that most of them, however propped up by the more energetic and independent, will always bear the stamp of unfitness; nor does he see that he will enable them to beget and rear a more numerous offspring of the same character.

Salvation syrup by Foote

He believes there are congenital criminals and prostitutes among other things.

I am also inclined to disagree with Booth when he writes

No change in circumstances, no revolution in social conditions, can possibly transform the nature of man

General Booth

It appears to me these gentlemen misunderstood Darwin or were among the Ryan’s of the 19th century. Or am I missing something as Mike is won’t to say?

What other corona viruses can tell us about covid19

Hope you friends have been well. There has been a dry spell of articles and posts this past week as your host was under the weather- a bad cold and bike injury. I seem to be getting better on both fronts.

I found this Article which I think is good.

They also say not to raise our hopes about a vaccine coming out soon. A safe vaccine is still months or years away.

Keep safe every one and have a pleasant weekend.

sleep deprivation

might actually kill you.

Somewhere in my reading list is a book titled why we sleep. I think i have forgotten what was the premise of the book. (Note to self: Finish reading the damn book).

A study from 1894 showed

She and her lab assistants had kept the dogs awake and in constant motion 24 hours a day; within about five days, all the puppies had died. Sleep deprivation seemed to kill puppies much more quickly than starvation, she reported: “The total absence of sleep is more fatal for the animals than the total absence of food.”

and I hope no one has dared repeat this experiment to confirm if it is true. I am usually in a bad shape if I don’t get enough sleep in the night. In five days i think I would be suicidal and beyond that I may just go bananas or kukus.

If you are not getting enough of it, find a way to improve your sleeping.