Monday, October 19, 2020

Ancient Greece?

I didn’t intend to focus on ancient Greece, but … I kind of stumbled into it. About 5 years ago Hugh Hewitt on the radio strongly recommended reading “The Peloponnesian Wars” by Thucydides in an edition called “The Landmark Thucydides.” I got the 1996 edition from the library and found it very good, because every time a place is mentioned there is a map on the same, or next, page, even if the same map is repeated several times. I always have to know where places are! BTW, It was beyond foolish that Athens and Sparta went to war and kept at it for 21 years with little, not peace, but pause during all those years.

Then six months ago in the Kindle store I found the biography of Alexander the Great by Anthony Everitt, then found it in the library and read it. (It’s great that King County Library has books in Kindle format.) Somehow - maybe Hugh Hewitt again - I heard there was a good history of the Persian Wars with Greece, which is mentioned many times in Thucydides, since it greatly influenced those events. “Persian Fire” by Tom Holland. I just finished it. It is very well written. It doesn’t get to the wars until half way through, because it covers the background of the Medes, Persians, Babylonia, Sparta and Athens, which I greatly needed, but don’t test me on all those people!

I read the Bible on a continuous cycle; I get through the New Testament in about 8 months and the Old in about 18 months. I am now in Acts and find myself looking up every location mentioned so I can map it in my mind!

I don’t intend to specialize in Ancient Greece, but … today I was in Third Place Books looking at the bargain books table - the one way, way in the back - and found “The Landmark Thucydides” in paperback, 2007 edition, new for $11 and I bought it! 

About maps in Kindle editions: My Kindle is a paper white later edition. It is excellent for reading in all lighting conditions, but is monochrome and its resolution, while excellent for reading, is very inadequate for graphics like maps. Of course I can open any Kindle book on our Mac, my IPhone and our iPad and Mom's Kindle Fire - all have color. Surprisingly the IPad was no better and the same for the Fire. Well, a little better, but not to read place names on a detailed map. But my iPhone XR gets the award! Despite the small screen, maps whose text is illegible on the other devices is sharp on my iPhone! (I didn't try the Mac and it's too late now; library got it back.)  19 October 2020

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Do you want me to wear this mask?

Some people chant “just wear a d... mask”. I have two N95 masks. N95s are designed to protect the wearer, not others. Not all N95s are the same; some even have a one-way valve, so that exhaling is not filtered at all. Are you safe if I wear my N95s?

Historically masks have been designed to stop the exhalation of bacteria. The Wuhan virus is much smaller - about 1/10. Fast Company I could wear a bandana and give the appearance of wearing a mask when there are only 2 thin layers of cloth. I doubt that protects either the wearer or others, but it looks like you did something. Do you want me to wear a bandana?

Some people are careful to clean their masks. But many say "just wear a d... mask." Do they want me to wear a dirty one?

I wear a mask as required. When I enter a business the mask goes on one step before and off one step after exiting. 

Outside fresh air and vitamin D help more than filtering the oxygen I need when no one is near. The virus's life in fresh air is seconds. When doing my daily one-hour walk I carry a mask to put on when I encounter fearful people, but only when 6 feet cannot be maintained. Gov. Jay made not wearing a mask a crime. But outside it's only when you are within 6 feet of another person. So that's what I do.

The mask show: Our governor is getting better at it. He shows up wearing a mask, then gets caught taking it off when he is off camera. He doesn't get caught so often now, but it appears to be for show for Gov. Jay!!

I don’t think any one-line chant applies to maximizing the health of the public in this difficult situation. Wear what mask -- when -- where -- based on science?