Happy Perihelion Day

Perihelion Day, huh?

My last post of this Sunday is an FYI…one of those fun things that seldom gets noticed.

Everyone knows the Earth goes around the sun, but something you might not know is that its orbit isn’t perfectly circular. Earth orbits in a slight ellipsis, so it isn’t always the same distance from the sun: sometimes it comes closer, and sometimes it’s further away. Today, Saturday, January 2, the Earth is at its closest point to the sun, in an event called the perihelion.

At its perihelion, the Earth will be just 91.5 million miles from the sun, compared to its further point (called the aphelion, which will happen on July 5 this year) when it is 94.5 million miles away. According to NASA, the distance between the sun and the Earth varies by around 3 million miles throughout the year, which is 13 times the distance between Earth and the moon.

Alas, that difference in distance isn’t enough to bring noticeable extra warmth, so if you’d been hoping for a warm day in the middle of winter in the northern hemisphere then you’re going to be disappointed. That’s because the seasons are caused by the tilt of our planet, which is set at a slight angle so some parts of the globe face the sun more than others at different times of the year. The tilt is different from the elliptical orbit, which is why we won’t be getting warmer weather even though we’re closer to the sun.

This year though we can expect to learn a whole lot more about our nearest star, with missions like the Parker Solar Probe which will be getting closer to the sun than any human-made object before to observe the sun’s corona. The probe will study the sun’s outer atmosphere to learn more about solar winds, which are streams of charged particles that are periodically released from the corona and which affect space weather.

There’s also the European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter which has a camera on board to capture images of the sun directly, and which will take the closest-ever photos of the sun. Its aim is to shift in its orbit so eventually it will pass over the sun’s poles, which have never been observed before. Researchers believe that imaging the poles is essential for understanding the magnetic field of the sun.

I remember in school wondering how it could be cold when we were closer to our heat source…..it was always a bit confusing…..

And now I know….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


Whatcha Gonna Eat?

New year and new dietary standards.

The weekend and I thought I would pass on the new dietary guidelines issued by the USDA…..

My day it was a balanced diet of meat veggies and carbs…..then ever since those simpler days it has been getting more complicated to eat properly…..and yet again there is an update (go figure)……..

The official new dietary guidelines for Americans have been updated for the first time in five years, and they might be more notable for what they don’t include. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the federal guidelines don’t call for cuts in alcohol and sugar intake. Over the summer, a panel of experts recommended that the limit for alcohol consumed by men be reduced from two drinks a day to one, to match the current recommendation for women. The experts also suggested that the limit of added sugars be reduced from 10% of daily calories to 6%. However, the US departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services rejected both ideas, with a USDA official declaring that “new evidence is not substantial enough to support changes to quantitative recommendations for either added sugars or alcohol.”

Generally, the guidelines call for a diet that emphasizes vegetables, fruits, legumes, low-fat dairy, nuts, seafood, and whole grains, and de-emphasizes red and processed meats and saturated fats, per the Center for Science in the Public Interest. You can read the full guidelines here. The guidelines aren’t merely suggestions for individuals. Given the impact on school lunches and decisions by food manufacturers, big money is at stake, notes the Journal. As a result, food industry groups lobbied hard against the alcohol and sugar recommendations that surfaced over the summer. Of note:

  • Sugar, children: For the first time, the guidelines suggest that children under 2 have no added sugars at all added to their diets.
  • Breastfeeding: The guidelines recommend feeding babies only breastmilk for their first 6 months, reports the AP. If that’s impossible, iron-fortified infant formula is the next best option. Babies also should get supplemental vitamin D starting soon after birth.

It seems it keeps getting more difficult to dine properly…..my idea is to eat less…..smaller portions of meat, plenty of veggies and limit carb intake and of course some exercise of some sort.

Kinda simple but it works for me…..but please consult your doctor before doing anything radical.

Then there is debate about eating red meat…..

Healthline explained, there’s no question red meat offers essential nutrients, but a great deal of scientific evidence suggests our current red meat consumption may harm us, even shortening our lives.

On the other side of the coin, a 2019 study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine concluded red meat poses “no harm,” and even went so far as to recommend that adults continue consuming it at their current level. That being said, this study has caused considerable controversy, with respected members of the scientific community going on record to point out its inherent bias and other serious flaws (via Scientific American). Ultimately, the study was amended with the caveat that its results were “low certainty” and its recommendations “weak.”

Nevertheless, scientists continue debating the subject. Still, you might notice you feel better — or worse — after giving up red meat. Let’s take a look at just what happens when you give up the red stuff.

Read More: https://www.healthdigest.com/304906/when-you-stop-eating-red-meat-this-is-what-happens-to-your-body/

I Read, I Write, You KNow

“lego ergo scribo”

Does Working From Home Help?

Since about March of 2020 many of us have been working from home as a health precaution to fight the pandemic that is claiming lives. After 9 months or so can we say that it has helped in the spread of the virus and is working out well?

It may be helping to slow the spread of the virus but the other “benefit” is that will less travel on the roads it would also help with another problem….that of climate change.

So the next question is …..does the home from home help slow climate change?

This study has come out of California…..

A year from now, what will your Monday morning look like? 

After your umpteenth consecutive weekend hugging your mother, your friends and complete strangers in poorly ventilated spaces, do you picture yourself pouring coffee in your thermos to begin your bleary-eyed commute into work? Or are you about to begin your bleary-eyed all-staff on the morning Zoom? 

The answers to those questions will depend on your job, your income level, your employer and, if you’re lucky enough, your preference. They will also dictate whether the next decade of California’s housing affordability crisis looks radically different from the last. 

Within a matter of months, the pandemic-necessitated rise in teleworking has inverted parts of the state’s real estate market in ways housing economists never imagined possible. The median rent in San Francisco has dropped nearly 25% since stay-at-home orders began in March. Oakland, Los Angeles and San Diego have also seen rents drop or at least taper, instantly flattening a decade-long spike. 

As younger professionals flee overcrowded and overpriced apartments in urban cores, rents and home prices in many suburbs, exurbs and mid-size cities have shot up significantly. 

Fresno, Bakersfield and Chula Vista, a San Diego suburb, have seen some of the biggest post-pandemic rent increases in the country. The median price of a single family home in California set an all-time-high of over $700,000 four months ago, with some of the steepest increases in the Inland Empire and Central Valley. 

With the prospect of widespread vaccination on the horizon, private employers, local governments, urban planners and state officials are reluctantly playing the role of housing crisis Nostradamus: Is what we’re seeing in 2020 an aberration or a new normal?


Whatcha think?  Good or ineffective?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”