Sunday’s Random Thoughts

In these days of confusion and TMI around the virus….I try to give my readers something to take their minds off the disease at least for a few moments……

We Americans should be getting a check soon  and other countries are trying to help their citizens as well….like Spain who has been hard hit by this pandemic…..

Spanish Economy Minister Nadia Calvino said the coronavirus-stricken nation intends to implement a universal basic income program as soon as possible to blunt the pandemic’s economic impact.

Calvino, also the nation’s deputy prime minister, told Spanish broadcaster La Sexta in a Sunday night interview that Spanish Social Security Minister Jose Luis Escriva plans to implement a basic income plan “as soon as possible,” Bloomberg reported.

While the immediate goal of the program will be to provide relief to families that have lost income due to virus-related lockdowns, the country is developing it with an eye toward making it a resource “that stays forever, that becomes a structural instrument, a permanent instrument,” she said, according to Bloomberg.


Another side effect of the Covid-19…….military basic training……

The Army on Monday paused sending new recruits to basic training for at least two weeks in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“In concert with guidance from the Department of the Army, along with expert assessments from the COVID-19 threat, decisions have been made to pause the shipment of trainees to basic combat training,” U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command head Gen. Paul Funk told reporters at the Pentagon.

Funk added that the pause is “conditions based” and will not affect those already in basic training.

A piece of advanced tech in war……a bullet that makes body armor obsolete……seriously?

The Army is developing a more powerful bullet that’ll penetrate body armor capable of stopping 5.56 mm rounds, the Army’s Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told senators on Thursday.

“The 5.56 round, we recognize there is a type of body armor it does not penetrate, and adversarial states are selling that stuff on the Internet for about 250 bucks,” Milley explained during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, adding, “We think we have a solution … We know we have developed a bullet that can penetrate these new plates.”

The Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia, is testing different caliber rounds, which range between the 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm rounds used by U.S. troops, according to Army Times. Milley stressed that the focus is on increased lethality for the bullet, not on a new rifle. When asked if the higher-caliber round would require a new rifle, Milley responded that “it might, but probably not,” though he went on to say that there are off-the-shelf rifle options for the service.

One question…how long before these get into the hands of our enemies?

Now a little history…when was the first F Bomb dropped?

The world’s earliest recorded use of the F-word lies in a Scottish manuscript penned by a bored student who was in lockdown due to the plague.

A documentary airing on Tuesday will show off the Bannatyne Manuscript, which dates back to 1568 and is kept under lock and key in the National Library of Scotland. 

Scotland – Contains Strong Language will see singer Cora Bissett take a tour of her country and find out more about Scotland’s relationship with swearing.

One final thought… appears the the US has given Israel 1 million masks…..this is a definite WTF…..

An Israeli press report claiming the US Department of Defense had shipped one million face masks to Israel to help protect Israeli soldiers has angered Americans, causing some to question the Trump administration‘s priorities amid the coronavirus pandemic amid reports of shortages of protective equipment for US health workers.

The Pentagon’s alleged shipment was initially reported by the Jerusalem Post, however mention of American involvement was later scrubbed, raising suspicions that US public anger may have forced Israeli military censors to act.

Just few thoughts for this weekend…..

Stay Calm……Avoid Crowds….Wash Hands Often…..Stay Prepared

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

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Psi Phi Society–2020 Spring Session

My one joy in life is when the Psi Phi (ΨΦ) Society meets and we get together with friends and have a good meal and discussion.  (Please do not tell Sue I wrote that)

The Chi Xi (ΧΞ) Circle decided that I would give the talk this session.

Sadly our Spring Session for 2020 has been cancelled because of Covid-19…..we had considered a on-line version but the vote was for a cancellation……so I thought I would put my contribution to the session in a post for my weekend.

After much thought I came up with my subject from my younger days.

A little background first….in my younger days I lived in Spain on the Balearic Island of Mallorca……while there I was introduced to the history of the island……there is a round castle, more windmills than Holland and Moorish mosaics were everywhere……

Once in college in my history studies I did a paper on the influence of the Moors on the islands……I will try to reproduce the paper as best as I can here.

Mallorca is the largest of Spain’s Balearic Islands and has long been a popular tourist destination, particularly among British and German families. There are also plenty of sites which appeal to those interested in the island’s history and legacy, some dating back as far as prehistoric times.

Evidence of habitation dating back some 8,000 years has been found on the island. However, the recorded history of Mallorca officially dates from the year of 123 BC, when it became part of the Roman Empire….after the defeat of Carthage in 146BCE…..

The early Romans developed two settlements which remain important commercial centers to this day, namely Pollensa in the north and Palma in the south. The mining of salt and the growing of olives proved to be the mainstays of Mallorca’s economy during this era, while the island’s soldiers became legendary in the Roman ranks.

Roman rule lasted until 426 AD, when Mallorca was overthrown by the Vandals. The island was conquered by the Byzantine Empire in the second quarter of the 6th century AD, which promoted Christianity and funded church construction. By the 8th century, Mallorca was coming under increasing attacks from North African Muslims and by the 10th century, it had been completely swallowed up by the powerful Caliphate of Córdoba.

The Caliphate was at the peak of its powers when it conquered the island in 902 AD, and the next century was a golden era in the history of Mallorca. The capital, Palma, was known as Madina Mayurqa at this time. The island later came under the independent Taifa of Dénia until Palma was occupied by the Catalans and the Pisans in an early 12th-century siege. These invaders were eventually driven off by the Almoravides. Modern Mallorca has few remnants dating back to the Moors, although the ancient Arab Baths in Palma still remain open to visitors.

For more info about the Islamic Balearic Islands…..

The house I lived in Mallorca was part of the “Old Town” or the Arab Quarter……there were so many points of interests especially the mosaics…..but sadly not much architecture is left from the Moors….the Arab Baths remain and the Arch of Almudaina……

Arab Baths, Palma, Mallorca, Spain | Stock Photo

Arab Baths , Palma-de-mallorca | Halal Trip

The night would have ended…..After a good discussion the evening ended with a snifter of brandy and some suggestions about the next session, Summer, but that will be up to the Chi Xi Circle.

All in all it would have been another great evening with friends.

Hopefully this virus thing will be under some sort of control by the Summer Session (TBA)……

Learn Stuff!

Be safe and well……

“lego ergo scribo”

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A Dire Sunday Thought

Today is Easter and this country is in the midst of this damn pandemic and that brings me to the horrific prediction for today…..

A well-regarded coronavirus forecasting model now says the most ominous coronavirus day in the US won’t be in a week’s time but this Sunday—the date on which the daily death rate in the US is projected to peak at 2,212 deaths. The Tuesday night update to the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model is yet again predicting far fewer American lives lost. Last Thursday, its model put the number at 93,531. The latest update dropped that count to 60,415 by Aug. 4.

There are some other positive downward adjustments, among them, a decrease in the projected number of ventilators needed here from nearly 32,000 to about 16,500, as well as the number of ICU beds needed at the virus’ peak now down to 19,438, a drop of 10,000 from Sunday’s projection. It’s worth noting that the projections are accompanied by this label: “COVID-19 projections assuming full social distancing through May 2020.”

As I was typing this story was reported….

The US death toll from the coronavirus eclipsed Italy’s for the highest in the world Saturday at more than 19,700, as Chicago and other cities across the Midwest braced for a potential surge in victims and moved to snuff out smoldering hot spots of contagion before they erupt, the AP reports. With the New York area still deep in crisis, fear mounted over the spread of the scourge into the nation’s heartland. Twenty-four residents of an Indiana nursing home hit by COVID-19 have died, while a nursing home in Iowa saw 14 deaths. Chicago’s Cook County has set up a temporary morgue that can take more than 2,000 bodies. And Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has been going around telling groups of people to “break it up.”
The outbreak’s center of gravity has long since shifted from China to Europe and the US, which now has by far the largest number of confirmed cases—a half-million—and a death toll higher than Italy’s count of nearly 19,500, according to the tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. The death rate—that is, the number of dead relative to the population—is still far higher in Italy than in US, which has more than five times as many people. And worldwide, the true numbers of dead and infected are believed to be much higher because of testing shortages, different counting practices and concealment by some governments. New York state on Saturday reported 783 more deaths, for a total over 8,600. “What do we do now?” asked Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “We stay the course.”

Please continue to do the right thing and self-isolate… will save lives…..

Social distancing is inconvenient at best, truly burdensome at worst. What hasn’t helped matters is the confusing messaging of why we should social distance at all. We’ve been conditioned to think social distancing is only about us — lowering the risk to one’s self and one’s family. And yet we’ve also been told that this is something we need to do to protect others.

While not necessarily incorrect, both ways of thinking about it are not equal to the task before us. What we need is an exhortation to act that is grounded firmly in an ethical foundation, one that not only gets at the deeper purpose of social distancing, but that also lays the groundwork for a more resilient society on the other side of this crisis. We as a global society need to see social distancing as nothing less than an act of solidarity, an intentional choice that binds us in a common cause.

Be Calm…..avoid crowds….wash hands often….stay  prepared……

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

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