Health Bulletin: How to Sterilise Your Groceries and Avoid the Proximate Cause of Sin
Posted 3 Days Ago
Can the coronavirus be spread by touching surfaces? The jury is still out on how common a vector it is, but the (US) National Institutes of Health are saying the virus can be stable for hours or days on surfaces:
Elektra was hunting all over for a video with the skinny on safe grocery handling technique, so I helped her find this one which I think is pretty good. It's by a practising doctor who's worried about his parents, and doing their shopping for them.
Yes: as I predicted, it is necessary to wash the apples we bought with soap and water.
I pointed out that this is the same technique doctors use, or scientists trying to keep their experiment from being contaminated.
'Remember when they used to pay you to wash glassware in the biology lab at uni?' I asked. 'I learned this helping you.' (If I helped wash glassware, we could go out afterwards, and the professor didn't care who did it, as long as the glassware got done right. We'd get done about midnight and go out for pizza.)
I also pointed out that the beginnings of this kind of technique can be found in the Torah, 'you know, the boring parts of the Bible nobody ever wants to read...' (But which I read as a small child because I didn't know any better than to start at the beginning and read all the way through. Several times. You know, like you do with LOTR.)
Did you know that Leviticus tells you what to do if you have mildew in your house? Okay, you probably don't want to do the bird sacrifice part, although I've lived in places where a good chicken sacrifice was considered reassuring. However, the rest of it is pretty good. See Leviticus 14:33-57 in a modern translation like NIV.
I also ran across this quirky thought for today in a Bible commentary:
'Suppose sin were visible - small green spots that break out on the skin. Do you think this would help people to take sin more seriously?'
- Philip Yancey, Tim Stafford, NIV Student Bible
1. Sin is what got us into this mess. No, not drinking, cussing, or fooling around. Being careless with the environment and thoughtless of each other and other creatures. Those are sins.
2. If sin were visible as green spots, politicians would need to wear face masks in public.
3. On second thought, they'd probably just tell everyone that
green spots were this year's fashion statement.
Quarantine Discovery: Time and the Singer
Posted Last Week
Ah, quarantine. It's like the whole planet is facing a rainy day situation. I noticed that Lord Vinheteiro, the crazy Brazilian pianist who stares at the camera while playing madly difficult pieces, thinks this is nothing out of the ordinary. I'm afraid I'm sort of the same way: it took me all week to finally get caught up with all the Post Stuff. Then I cheerfully went downstairs to play piano.
So what else is there to do while staying home? Besides housework, which we're all trying to avoid. One thing you can do when you're social-distancing and haven't any place to go is surf Youtube.
I discovered something magical: the changing voice of Aksel Rykkvin. He's from Norway. A few years ago, young Aksel sounded like this:
'Ombra mai fu'
Really great voice, but it couldn't last forever. Now he's 16, and he sounds like this, also good:
'O Waly Waly'
I heard those first piano chords and thought, 'Benjamin Britten'. Sure enough, yes, that's one of the folk arrangements he did for Peter Pears. Here's Peter Pears singing the same arrangement:
I have fond memories of Peter Pears singing folk songs. Back when I was in graduate school in the US , I used to have to spend a lot of time in the university library reading 'reserve materials'. That meant I only had two hours to study them, and they couldn't leave the library. So I'd waltz by the record collection, grab an LP, and do my reading in a listening booth. The Britten/Pears album was one of my favourites. Listening to them somewhat indemnified me for putting up with my professors' horrible taste in German-language reading material. (To this day, I loathe Adalbert Stifter with a passion.)
So, whatever you're listening to, happy listening.
Happy New Year 2020 to h2g2
Posted Dec 31, 2019
Happy New Year! As the clock approaches midnight in Europe and the UK, best wishes from snowy Pennsylvania to all of you, from Scandinavia to South Africa, from Moscow to the Wirral, Brighton, and the Isle of Wight. May all your wishes come true this year.
(Because Elektra complained, yes, that song is 'April Love'. It's a Medium Leslie thing because it decided to snow all day.)
Report from the Sunday Service in Hooverville
Posted Dec 22, 2019
The following comments were all made at church on this advent Sunday.
'I found Jesus!' (Everyone turns to look as she places the doll in the manger scene.)
'See these cookies?' [Cookies are shaped to resemble vegetables.] 'I asked one of the kids if she wanted a treat. She said, "Yeah!" Then I offered her this carrot...she made such a face until she realised it was just orange icing.'
'Brother Jones has some announcements to make.'
Man in suit with very loud Santa tie: 'First of all, Happy Birthday, Jesus. Second, we have gifts for the pastors.'
(Children's programme is going on.) From the pews a whisper, 'I'm pleased to see that last year's sheep have graduated to cows this year.'
(After the service.) 'Hey, [Name of Assistant Pastor redacted], love your tie!' (It had Christmas wreaths and no Santas.)
'Yes, Bob. You can pop my candy cane suspenders playfully *one more time*. The kids bought them at that truck stop place last night. I was planning to wear my light-up Grinch shirt to this morning's service, but...'
'How did you like the choir music? Feel free to lie.'
A very good time was had by all, even the instrumentalists, who managed to get through it all. Now, to survive Christmas Eve...
Merry Christmas, everyone!
How to Play/Read the Hooverville Saga
Posted Nov 1, 2019
Folks, if you're doing NaJoPoMo journals, remember to sign up on the Create page available from your Front Page. So far, Bluebottle's alone on there.
If you are participating in or reading '30 Hours from Hooverville', the page is A87951720 - each day will see a new thread added to that page.
Have fun, and stay safe out there!