Back to the gym! The week is officially begun. The weather beavers are forecasting rain for most of the week and right now thw weather is decidedly springish – as in season and not Young’s modulus. The podcasts this morning were an episode of CBC’s “Best of Ideas” and a couple of what used to be “Future Tense”, but isn;t any more and isn’t near as good. The new newsreader is way to suavey and deboner. as one of my undergraduate colleagues, “Smiling John” Angular Momentum liked to say.
The Ideas podcast had a good piece that somehow grabbed my attention. They were interviewing one of what the Canadians call “Native Peoples” – as if the Amerinds evolved in the Americas – an Ojibway, who was relating how when he was a boy living on reservation his grandparents got a television. What is riveting is that he had never seen caucasians/Europeans before and his first sight of them was Three Stooges episodes on the television. He said he is still in fear of ‘white people’ coming up and hitting him.
I can’t say that I disagree too much. We late arrivers from Europe have not been noted for being particularly nice. Of course, one of the reasons we got away with being nasty so easily was because the Amerinds had pretty well killed themselves off just before we arrived. That’s not an excuse but it is a reason.
Anyway, speaking of which, I note an article [Link] about work from the Yankee government’s National Exposure Research Laboratory, which incidentally has nothing to do with wearing rain coats – and nothing else – in public places, that indicates that the presence of amoeba in the nation’s water supply is increasing. We tend to forget about amoebic diseases so this looks like a prescription for a die-off if we aren’t careful. Of course Amoeba are big, compared to molecules of dihydrogen oxide, so we can filter the beasties out but then what do we do with them?
Naegleria fowleri amoebas, like these, can glom onto nerve endings in the nose of an exposed individual and motor along them into the brain. There they can trigger encephalitis, a nerve infection that is quickly lethal. Feeding cups on their surface are where they take in bacteria from the environment or bits of tissue while living within a human host.
This is what comes of spending tax money on stuff that doesn’t work instead of things that do work, and are important, like cleaning the drinking water and collecting the garbage.
On a similar azimuth, I note [Link] that the TED folks have started a series of mini-eBooks to augment their videos. Has anyone actually ever watched one of those videos all the way through? Most are incoherent and the remainder telegraph so strongly that you can punch out halfway through. And all I have to pay for the videos is the overhead of bandwidth-download time and my viewing time (plus a bit of wear and tear on the equipment.) So I doubt I will run out and buy the appropriate eReader so I can pay for these eBooklets. And the only format supported is Kindle. So much for this being a progressive product.
Sometimes the way society pretends to advance makes me want to go move onto that Ojibway reservation.