Archive for Quarantine Time

Public Art and the Homeless…

This is public art (and science). Like all good art it’s unique and thought provoking. It sits in one of the less visited corners of Magnuson Park (the old Sand Point Naval Air Station) in Seattle.

Briefly… the artist, Perri Lynch, crafted 12 limestone pillars along a 1- kilometer line called the Sand Point Calibration Baseline where surveyors’ measure, test, and calibrate their equipment. There are about a dozen such baselines in the State of Washington, but some local surveyors worried that this one would be destroyed by unknowing visitors. They lobbied for public art monument to raise awareness and prevent its accidental destruction. read more

The New Stress-Test…

Stress has various meanings. Some are personal, some material. The personal involves a feeling of emotional or physical tension. Material stress refers to external or internal forces on an object. We all feel the personal kind at times—even normal times—but these are not normal times. Stress is overwhelming us now. Pandemic stress. Racial stress. Economic stress. Healthcare stress. Education stress. Upcoming election stress. 

Back in 2008, following the collapse of the US economy we were introduced to a new application of the material kind of stress. Combined with test it morphed from noun to compound verb, and rather than denoting a condition of personal health or material pressure it became checklist of steps used by regulators to measure the stability of banks. The Federal Reserve, US Treasurer, regulators, bankers, and Congress needed a new vocabulary to cope with the financial devastation and prevent a repeat of the crisis. “Stress test” became the nomenclature used to measure the safety of our banking institutions. In July of 2010 Congress enacted the bipartisan Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to prevent a reoccurrence. read more

The Great Escape…

When I was 19, I ran for sophomore class president at the University of Washington. The night before the election there was a convertible caravan through the campus ending at a bonfire and outdoor stage where we candidates were to give campaign speeches. Great theater. The only complication was that I was a patient in the University Hospital. I had a classic case of mononucleosis – the kissing disease – and with swollen neck glands and a small fever university doctors thought it was serious enough to keep me in the hospital for a few days. read more

Vaccines…a Cautionary Tale

Health officials are beginning to wonder whether it will be possible to contain a spreading killer if society does not take more aggressive, intrusive measures. ‘Right now, we are paralyzed,’ said [the] director of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta leading the Federal Government’s epidemiologists tracking the disease. ‘We don’t have the data to fight this epidemic,’ he said yesterday.  

Opponents of widespread mandatory testing argue that it is unnecessary and could prove self-defeating by frightening possibly infected people away from the medical system.” February, 10, 1987 (NY Times) read more

Bon Courage, mes Amis…

“Lately one heard the expression ‘Je suis las’,” it meant I’m tired of the way I have to live my life, and this is what Mathieu saw in their faces, in the way they walked. But then, he would think that, he cared for the people of Paris, as though he were a guardian.” Alan Furst – A Hero of France

I’ve just finished two books about the French Resistance in World War II. Madame Fourcade’s Secret War and A Hero of France. Both are about spy networks. I thought they would provide some relief from the Trumpian news cycle but was surprised to find a number of parallels. read more