Stuff We Need

News Flash….gun fire has broke out along the North/South Korean border….

North and South Korean troops exchanged fire along their tense border on Sunday, the South’s military said, the first such incident since the rivals took unprecedented steps to lower front-line animosities in late 2018.

Violent confrontations have occasionally occurred along the border, the world’s most heavily fortified. While Sunday’s incident is a reminder of persistent tensions, it didn’t cause any known casualties on either side and is unlikely to escalate, observers said.

Time for a Sunday look at the world of inventions…..but first the major news on the pandemic front…..

House Democrats seeking Anthony Fauci‘s testimony on the coronavirus crisis have been rebuffed by the White House, which is blocking the nation’s top infectious disease expert from appearing next week on Capitol Hill.

Democrats had invited Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, to appear Wednesday before an Appropriations subcommittee examining the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic, which has killed more than 64,000 people in the United States.

Evan Hollander, a spokesman for the panel, said Friday that Democrats “have been informed by an administration official that the White House has blocked Dr. Fauci from testifying.”

Now on to those inventions…..

There are a few inventions that are only available in Japan but I think that the world would be a better place if they were available to us all…..

The modern age we live in provides us with a lot of interesting innovations that improve our quality of life. Since ancient times, people have been inventing devices and tools that have revolutionized the world. Next, we are going to show you some interesting inventions from Japan.

Bath Pillow and Smartphone Holder

If you’re trying to find complete and utter relaxation when you’re taking a bath, Japan doesn’t disappoint. We’ve all heard of bath pillows or tables, but this new invention brings together two things that could seriously offer us a better bath experience.

I like the eyeglasses drops…..and the eating shield…..cans with Braille…..silent karaoke (the best idea since sliced bread….It means “tone deaf” in Japanese)…..vending machine for everything……

Now I do question a few….like the face shaping thingy….looks like something other than advertised…..toe straightener?

But the best is the “smart bra”….you read that right….a smart bra…..

Just a few things that the US needs to come into the technology age….

Be Well….Be Safe…..

I Read, I Write, You KNow

“lego ergo scribo”

Covid-19 And Snake Oil Salesmen

More history to help with the “lockdown blues”…….

We have all heard the horrors of some of the “cures” that are being pushed…like drinking bleach (oh sorry that was sarcastic)….UV light, etc…..but there are always those pushing “homeopathic” cures during times of a pandemic…..

It was NO different during the outbreak of the Black Death back in the 14th century that killed millions……

Just a short look into those “cures” and “treatments” from days gone by……

The Black Death is the 19th-century CE term for the plague epidemic that ravaged Europe between 1347-1352 CE, killing an estimated 30 million people there and many more worldwide as it reached pandemic proportions. The name comes from the black buboes (infected lymph glands) which broke out over a plague victim’s body. The cause of the plague was the bacterium Yersinia pestis, which was carried by fleas on rodents, usually rats, but this was not known to the people of the medieval period, as it was only identified in 1894 CE. Prior to that time, the plague was attributed primarily to supernatural causes – the wrath of God, the work of the devil, the alignment of the planets – and, stemming from these, “bad air” or an unbalance of the “humors” of the body which, when in line, kept a person healthy.

Since no one knew what caused the disease, no cure was possible, but this did not stop people from trying what they could based on the medical knowledge of the time which came primarily from the Greek doctor Hippocrates (l. c. 460 – c. 370 BCE), philosopher Aristotle of Stagira (l. 384-322 BCE), and the Roman physician Galen (l. 130-210 CE) as well as religious belief, folklore, herbalism, and superstition. These cures – most of which were ineffective and some of which were fatal – fall roughly into five categories:  

  • Animal cures
  • Potions, Fumigations, Bloodletting, Pastes
  • Flight from Infected Areas and Persecution of Marginalized Communities
  • Religious Cures
  • Quarantine and Social Distancing

Just a final thought…..

The priorities of entire generations are often shaped by the monumental events of their childhoods. For me, that event was 9/11 and the resulting national obsession with the “War on Terror.” For my younger brother, that experience will likely be a global pandemic.

In many ways, the misguided priorities that arose after 9/11—which led to a dramatic increase in already astronomically high military spending—set the stage for the U.S.’s devastatingly inadequate response to the virus that shapes the experiences of this generation.

Rather than preparing for public health crises like COVID-19, governments around the world spent a combined $1.917 trillion on weapons, maintaining their militaries, and fighting wars in 2019.

Does that give you any idea on what is important to the M-IC…..people are not part of the equation.

Be Well…Be Safe……

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The “Angels Of Dien Bien Phu”

I wrote a piece for women’s history month and the notes got lost on my desk and it did not make it when intended….

Dien Bien Phu was the battle that took France out of Southeast Asia….a little background is probably needed for Vietnam is quickly becoming a war to forget for most Americans…..

In November 1953, the French, weary of jungle warfare, occupied Dien Bien Phu, a small mountain outpost on the Vietnamese border near Laos. Although the Vietnamese rapidly cut off all roads to the fort, the French were confident that they could be supplied by air. The fort was also out in the open, and the French believed that their superior artillery would keep the position safe. In 1954, the Viet Minh army, under General Vo Nguyen Giap, moved against Dien Bien Phu and in March encircled it with 40,000 Communist troops and heavy artillery.

The first Viet Minh assault against the 13,000 entrenched French troops came on March 12, and despite massive air support, the French held only two square miles by late April. On May 7, after 57 days of siege, the French positions collapsed. Although the defeat brought an end to French colonial efforts in Indochina, the United States soon stepped up to fill the vacuum, increasing military aid to South Vietnam and sending the first U.S. military advisers to the country in 1959.

The “angel”…..Her name was Genevieve de Galard…..

Born into a storied family, Geneviève de Galard was shaped by its patriotic spirit and even as a youth felt a need to prove herself worthy of its heritage. Only 14 at the outset of World War II, she faced the horrors and hardships of Nazi occupation in her most formative years. Completing her education after liberation, she eschewed a life of privilege to pursue a path of giving through nursing. Fueled by patriotism and intrigued by the raging colonial conflict in Indochina, she became a flight nurse for the French airforce and made her first tour to Vietnam in April 1953 as the war against the Viet Minh grew more desperate. Based in Hanoi, in January 1954 she began working on evacuation flights from Dien Bien Phu, the isolated outpost that quickly became the focus of the war as some 11,000 French soldiers came under siege. By March 28, de Galard had flown dozens of evacuation missions to and from the outpost and had no reason to fear the flight that day would be her last—and that over the next 56 days, as the only woman at the base, she would become a worldwide icon of hope and compassion.

An Angel in Dien Bien Phu’s Hell

I will be writing more on the debacle of Dien Bien Phu later…..

I apolgize for not posting this when the interest would have been high…..none the less this fascinating women deserves all the accolades she has received.

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


Flynn–The Case That Will Not Go Away

No that is not Errol Flynn…..this is that criminal the Trump tried to force onto the nation as a natsec adviser…..after pleading guilty he has decided that he will change his tune…..and there are several views of this situation…..

Michael Flynn is trying to get his case dismissed, with his lawyers arguing that newly released FBI documents show that agents set him up before interviewing him in 2017. “What is our goal?” reads one handwritten note. “Truth and admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?” The former national security adviser eventually pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador during the Trump transition to the White House. Here are some early takes on the new developments, from both sides:

  • Unfair: At Bloomberg, Eli Lake writes the FBI went after Flynn over obscure violations under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. “Ignorance of the law is no excuse, as they say, but at the same time justice demands that the law be applied fairly and consistently,” he writes. “Flynn was being squeezed for crimes that are rarely, if ever, enforced. He relented only under financial pressure and a promise that his son, who worked with him in his consulting group, would not be prosecuted.” Lake wonders if Democrats would be so quick to forgive the FBI tactics if the target were in the Obama administration.
  • Not unfair: The idea he was “set up” is absurd, writes Randall D. Eliason at the Washington Post.Any witness interviewed by the FBI has essentially three choices: tell the truth, lie, or assert the right to remain silent,” he writes. “The FBI had no way of knowing which option Flynn would choose when he walked into the interview. All Flynn had to do was tell the truth, or tell the agents he wasn’t comfortable talking to them. He chose instead to lie.”
  • Dismiss: Toss the case, writes law professor Jonathan Turley at the Hill. “These new documents further undermine the view of both the legitimacy and motivations of those investigations under former FBI director James Comey,” he writes. “For all of those who have long seen a concerted effort within the Justice Department to target the Trump administration, the fragments will read like a Dead Sea Scrolls version of a ‘deep state’ conspiracy.”
  • Business as usual: Actually, “framing what happened to Flynn primarily as a ‘deep state’ conspiracy to take down Trump obscures the reality that this is a routine and completely legal FBI practice that will continue unless there are serious statutory reforms,” writes at Scott Shackford at Reason. He points to a similar tactic used against Martha Stewart. “What the agency did to Flynn was wrong, not because he worked for Trump, but because it is wrong to induce an otherwise not-guilty person to break the law,” argues Shackford. “And it’s something FBI interviewers do regularly so that they can use their dishonesty as leverage when there’s little evidence of actual criminal behavior.”

Then there is the “pardon” by the president that is always dangling out there…..but if a person accepts the pardon then they are admitting that they are guilty of the crimes they have been charged with…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”