Phonebots


Phonebots clog city streets. Tenacious, impenetrable and defiant, they march catatonic to the glow of their hand held device. They invade crosswalks with self absorbed surety of army ants, oblivious to crossing signals, traffic flow or common decency.

Wanting to scream “what’s wrong with you!” never goes well when driving a company vehicle. Self centred numskulls always take offence. Sometimes they snap a photo of our company logo/phone number, calling to express outrage over the employee who almost ran them down. Propriety dictates polite restraint. I take a deep breath, waiting patiently for phonebots to cross the street. Every so often my inner prankster honks the horn, if I’m lucky a phonebot jumps and scurries. One time a phonebot dropped their device, I laughed out loud.

Do phonebots know how infuriating they are? Believe it their right to cross intersections with flashing “Don’t Walk” signals? Create gridlock by stepping off the curb seconds before a light changes preventing vehicles from making turns, then dawdle along with kaleidoscope eyes fixated on their cell phone? Do the self absorbed little darlings care? Absolutely not! So I sit, and I wait, and every so often I shake them up with a strategically dispatched blast of the horn. It’s hysterical, phonebots hate it when you interrupt social media dribble in the middle of an intersection at rush hour.

 

Ponder Saharan Night Skies


Take a moment to ponder timelapse perfection by Lucie Debelkova – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClDKSZTXcuOz4lC_Zv183Ng Lucie travelled along ancient trade routes from the Atlas mountains, across the Sahara to Marrakech during darkest Moon phases to capture night skies without light pollution. Dark skies reveal the Milky Way of our ancestors – mesmerizing, irrefutable and bristling with thought provoking imagination.

 

CIMAvax


In 2011 the Center of Molecular Immunology in Cuba launched a lung cancer vaccine, they called it Cimavax. Inexpensive to manufacture, the government absorbed the cost of $1 per inoculation, providing free Cimavax shots to all citizens. While not exactly a cure for lung cancer, Cimavax prevented growth of cancer cells, significantly extended life expectancy of existing lung cancer patients and did so without side effects.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CimaVax-EGF

President Obama actively championed relaxed U.S./Cuba relations. In 2016 America eased up on the Cuban embargo, making way for medical and technological collaboration with Cuba. A deal was struck with Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY to apply for FDA approval and proceed with clinical trials of CIMAvax in America. Along came Trump, complete with a mission to undo all things Obama and maintain antiquated absurdity of an iron fist Cuban embargo.

I’ve spent the last hour researching CIMAvax, FDA approval in the U.S., Roswell Park Cancer Institute, clinical trials and patient testimonials. Truth is, information indicating  collaborative efforts to advance lung cancer treatment in America by making CIMAvax available to patients outside Cuba, pretty much evaporate in 2016. Several articles dated 2016 reported FDA approval for clinical trials in the U.S., one article written in 2016 said it would be 2023 before CIMAvax was available in America.

Humanity deserves a world where the greater good eclipses politics. CIMAvax isn’t snake oil quackery akin to FDA approved weight loss pills or faith based sales of miracle holy water guaranteed to cure the incurable. Cuba doesn’t want to harm its citizens, free CIMAvax vaccinations exist to strengthen a nation, not line the pockets of a entitled few. If I were Cuba CIMAvax wouldn’t leave my shores without contractual surety from America that vaccinations would be available to all Americans at a nominal fee. Yeah, right!

As I write the fate of CIMAvax in America is unclear. All I can say for sure is free lung cancer vaccinations have been available to Cuban citizens since 2011.

 

Full, Total, Super And Bloodless


Invitation to the first full moon of 2019 arrives with the promise of cosmic splendor. January 20 marks the first full moon, first total lunar eclipse and first of three consecutive full supermoons ( lunar orbit coinciding with perigee, the closest point of orbit to Earth ). Full, total and super define the show, blood is an inaccurate rumour. Participants sold Blood Moon tickets needn’t despair, absence of Biblical prophecy won’t detract from the spectacle. Missing the show means waiting until May 26, 2021 for another.

See the source image

There was a time when total lunar eclipse viewable from North and South America, Greenland, Iceland, Europe, northern and western Africa and the Arctic was enough to attract participants. Today media dumbs us down with banners of blood moon click bait. In 2013 fundamentalist Christian pastor John Hagee published his book “Four Blood Moons: Something Is About To Change”. Four blood moons refers to a tetrad – four consecutive total lunar eclipses with no partial lunar eclipses in between, each separated from the other by six full moons. The last astronomical tetrad occurred during 2014/2015.  End-timers dusted off the Book of Joel, equating “the sun will turn into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes” with ominous end times prophecy. Never mind that a sun turning to darkness refers to solar eclipse, or science of atmospheric conditions make an early rising moon appear red. Hagee’s book spent weeks on NY Times best seller list, sold millions of copies and solidified full moons as blood. Blood Moons are fundamentalist poppycock, total supermoon lunar eclipses are cosmic gems. Shame on Christian fundamentalists for trying to steal cosmic wonder. Leave the moon alone.

Visit https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/ to determine optimal viewing at your location. Watch live at https://www.virtualtelescope.eu/2019/01/15/21-jan-2019-supermoon-total-eclipse-live-events-online/ or throw caution to the wind by going outside. 

 

 

Eternal Africa Loop


 

Music history regards 1982 as the year American rock band Toto achieved its greatest success. Mainstream radio saturated airwaves with Top 100 Toto hits – Roseanna, Hold the Line and Africa. You didn’t have to like Toto, I changed the station when they aired but still knew every word by heart. Toto hits were a fact of life, songs destined to occupy  supermarkets and customer service hold lines 30 years later.

Screen-Shot-2019-01-14-at-8.44.49-PM-1547516796

Fast forward to the continent of Africa, Namibia to be precise. Namibian artist Max Siedentopf recently created an ode to Africa in his nation’s desert. Seven stark white pedestals, each with a solar powered mp3 player constantly looping Toto’s Africa. Siedentopf freely admits that despite using the most durable materials available, his dream of Africa looping for all eternity could be stymied by harsh desert conditions.

https://www.cnet.com/news/africa-by-toto-is-playing-on-infinite-loop-in-the-african-desert/