Stop Spillover

Originally published as a digital essay for a university course April 22, 2020. U. S. Agency for International Development Emerging Threats Program launched the infectious disease surveillance program PREDICT in 2009. It included teams from more than 60 countries that would survey the world for unknown viruses in animals and assess their risk of causing … Continue reading Stop Spillover

Spillover in the Modern World

Originally published as a digital essay for a university course April 22, 2020. Human society traded one brand of disease outbreaks for another. In the past, we lacked hygiene, medical infrastructure, and knowledge of what causes disease. Today, we’re better in all three categories, especially in developed countries, but we’re disturbing ecology more and more, … Continue reading Spillover in the Modern World

Spillover

Originally published as a digital essay for a university course April 22, 2020. We have been slow to learn the role of virus ecology in human health. J.S. Koen, a veterinarian and inspector for the U.S. Bureau of Animal Industry in Fort Dodge, Iowa, became unpopular during the Spanish flu outbreak in 1918. He saw … Continue reading Spillover

Getting the Facts Straight on Tea: From a Non-Tea Drinker

Supposedly in the United States people consume some 80 billion servings of tea. Depending on the age demographic, an estimated 80-87% of the population regularly have it. On a given day half of those people will have a cup. The country is the world's third largest tea importer and the only Western nation to continually … Continue reading Getting the Facts Straight on Tea: From a Non-Tea Drinker

Rhino face

Pink Rhinos and Elephants?

Poisoning ivory horns tagged with pink dye to deter poachers. When I read this old news on Facebook, at first I thought, "How does this affect survival among other wild animals?" Then I remembered that this is limited to animals living in fence reserves and human kill far more than the lions do. Then there … Continue reading Pink Rhinos and Elephants?

Book Reflection: Voyage of the Turtle by Carl Safina (Part I: Human Dimensions)

Likely the biggest decision I made this year, as superficial as it may sound, is join Goodreads—yes, a social media site. How did I let myself fall into the bottomless pit of neurotic status updates? Because books are cool. Duh. A function of Goodreads I take advantage of is the group. I joined a group … Continue reading Book Reflection: Voyage of the Turtle by Carl Safina (Part I: Human Dimensions)

Neurons

Cognitive Distortions: The Term That Had to be Out There

“Who would want to get even?” I was the only one to raise my hand, and after noticing that I withdrew it. Something was wrong. The mockery began. Fifth grade teacher and several students pfft and rhetorically asked what person would spend a genie-granted wish on revenge? Then it clicked. The words “get” and “even” … Continue reading Cognitive Distortions: The Term That Had to be Out There

Quote by Walden Pond

Book Reflection: Walden or Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau

In another time and if in the same place, Henry David Thoreau would have been a great family friend. So much of what he addresses in Walden resonates deeply with my dad and me. We frequently discuss the bizarre inconsistencies and illogical manners in much of our society (past and present), speculate the hows and whys as well … Continue reading Book Reflection: Walden or Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau

Alan English Durango Silverton

Animas River: A History of Mining Contaminations

My family lived in western Colorado for many years, and one of us lived in Cortez in the southwest corner of the state. This is within an hour's drive of Durango and not much farther from Silverton. I love the area. Just about any location on Colorado's western slopes evoke nostalgia and childhood memories. It's easy … Continue reading Animas River: A History of Mining Contaminations

continent giff

Is Australia a Continent?

This brought up an interesting geography discussion on CPG Grey’s YouTube video. Indeed, what are continents? What this thread elicited were statements on what is conventional in someone’s country. For instance in North America we are taught there are seven continents: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and Antarctica. It seems the Aussies, … Continue reading Is Australia a Continent?