Category Archives: Science

How to protect yourself from Covid.

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Introduction

I studied microbiology in Sweden. When the Corona virus spread in Italy i decided to update my virology knowledges creating a page about it
I were astonished how Italian  put al focus on mask and how healthcare personnel HCP protected themselves at the beginning of the epidemic. It did not look secure in my opinion. So I looked at protection practices too in different countries and documented about it in a second page.
you find these pages in the meny above under learning – biology.

Index

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Italian lesson

It is the first time I hear such a clear explanation with excellent metaphors and examples of infections in USA and Italy.
I copied this explanation given by the Italian virologist Roberto Burioni in “Che tempo che fa” an Italian television program in RAI 3, yesterday.
I put a copy of it on youtube with subtitles and transcripts for the deaf and foreigners who don’t know Italian.
News from November 5.

The mask does not hurt you if you use it while jogging and cycling as it was believed before. “A new study has found that exercise performance and blood and muscle oxygen levels are not affected for healthy individuals wearing a face mask during strenuous workouts.” 
Read more in
www.sciencedaily.com.

Read the transcript for the video below.

I sent request to publish this video in my channel.

What do you think? https://youtu.be/RXNgj1sl-hI

Copy of Transcript:

How does infection work? We listen. You know that the coronavirus is extremely contagious.

But the coronavirus doesn’t spread by itself. We are the ones who spread it with our behaviors. 

So it is very important to understand what the transmission mechanisms are,  to implement behaviors that do not allow the spread of this virus.  

 

The banalest is the one with the hands. We touch a contaminated object
and then we put our hands to our face, mouth, nose and we get infected. 
Well, to interrupt this transmission path, the solution is quite easy: just wash your hands, disinfect them frequently as we have learned to do. 
But this is not the main way of transmission of this virus.
 
The main route of transmission of this virus is by air. There is a contagious person. There are other susceptible people alongside. The virus moves through the air and comes to infect these people.
But how does the virus move? How does it fly? It has no wings. . The virus takes the plane.
 
And do you know who gives it to him on the plane to travel? We give it to him. And we give it to him with droplets that we emit involuntarily, every time we speak. 
 
Of these droplets, we must speak carefully because they are the vehicle that the virus uses to infect others. Droplets are of two types:  
 
  1. there are some small but slightly larger ones called droplets. 
    These fall within two meters of each other. 
  2. But then there are others, much smaller, the aerosol.
    Here, here you no longer have to think about drops. You have to think of something like a cloud of smoke which remains suspended in the air and which can also reach much greater distances, 
    especially when we are in a closed environment. So how can we defend ourselves from these droplets that carry the virus?
For the larger droplets, it’s simple. These cover only 2 meters,
so it is sufficient to keep a distance greater than 2 meters to be safe.
 
For the smaller droplets, on the other hand, the matter is much more complicated. Because as I told you,  they can cover much greater spaces. 
 
You have to imagine them as smoking that in a room can travel. And how do you protect yourself from these smaller droplets?
Well, how do you defend yourself from smoking if it bothers you in a room? Very simple:  
you open the windows and the moment you open the windows, the smoke goes away. The same thing happens for the aerosol. For this reason, contagion is much more difficult outdoors where this aerosol is immediately dispersed. 
But it is much more dangerous to stay indoors because it remains there.
So, we understand what these droplets are. But we didn’t say that we have a fantastic way to fight them: the mask. A contagious patient who puts the mask emits a very low number of these droplets. So the mask is essential. 
 
The mask does not hurt. Just whoever says it tells you a lie. And above all, the mask is extremely effective.
 
There are dozens of studies that claim this. And therefore also on this point, it is no longer necessary to discuss. He tells you an example. 
 
  • A hairdresser in the United States got sick with Covid and has however continued to work. He combed 139 people and didn’t infect anyone: he wore the mask. But then he went home and there he removed the mask and infected his family members. Therefore, when we evaluate any situation, we must take it into account what are the factors that increase the risk of infection. First of all, there is more risk if you are not wearing a mask. Then you risk if you are in a closed environment with little ventilation.  
Then there is a risk if at the same time practices are implemented that increase emission of  droplets, talk or even worse, scream and sing.
Finally, proximity if you are close.
The risk increases and obviously, the risk exposure time because if you are in  
a place where you can get infected the longer you are, the worse it is. Let’s see some example things that they really happened and let’s imagine for a moment a bus with 68 passengers. The bus is clearly an enclosed space if cold. Keep the windows closed. It is close. Maybe we talk, yes sings- Here, the journey is long in this case they didn’t have a mask. 68 passengers, 23 infected.
 
  • Let’s look at another completely different example. We are in a hockey game, we are indoors.The players shout, obviously, they are not wearing masks. The hockey game is long. I’m forced to stay close. Out of 22 players, one was contagious. They are infected with it 14.

But in the end, there is A situation that I must mention to you in which many of these risk factors are concentrated:

When we eat together. When we eat, we obviously don’t wear masks.
When we eat, we stay in an enclosed space because at this time of the year we don’t eat outdoors.
And when we eat, we talk because we like to chat at dinner and when we eat, we are close,
because we are sitting at the same table. And when we eat, we also have dinner for more than five minutes
because we like to be in company. So, unfortunately, many epidemic outbreaks have been linked
to convivial episodes. 
  • In Maine in the northeastern United States, there was a wedding with 55 guests. one was contagious. Thirty of them became infected but from here an epidemic outbreak started which even caused not only 177 infections but seven deaths.
  • A similar thing it happened just a little while ago in the province of Pavia. 34 invited to a wedding, 21 infected people.
    But it didn’t stop there, because these 21 people brought the infection home where it occurred  13 other cases.

    And even here it is not over, because the infection arrived in a school with 2 other cases.
  • In another restaurant where there was a christening dinner. And finally in a second school with 5 other infected people.
 
Now you understand that we have to be careful.
I would always like to give you some good news like the one I gave with the vaccine. But why I’m here it’s not to tell you soothing lies.
 
It’s to tell you exactly how things are so that you can behave as safely as possible for yourself and your loved ones.
 
It is one thing to eat 4 at the restaurant. It’s one thing to have dinner as we usually do in a windowless rumpus room with 40 people.
 
The danger has not passed and one of our best feelings is that of wanting to be together with the people we love. 
But the virus is a particularly vile enemy that exploits this feeling of ours to infect, to make sick even to kill the people we love. We have to hold on.
Because everything makes us think we are truly at the last quarter of an hour, as they once said against this terrible enemy that has ruined our lives. 
And it would be a shame to let this virus hit a loved one in the last few minutes.
And in my opinion, if all goes well soon. this nightmare will be forgotten and we can return to manifest our most beautiful feeling which is that of wanting to be,  wanting to hug, and want to dine together with the people we love.
Thank you Professor Burioni thank you very much.

How do we educate children around the world ?

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Introduction

Hello. I wonder how are children educated in different countries.
 

In Italy, education is still a problem, especially in the south. Spanking and offenses are allowed if these “do not harm the children physically and psychologically”.

I paraphrased an Italian song that you may know. The song shares the word of a house owner and what he says and thinks about his wife. My neighbor’s wife didn’t like to listen when her husband sang this song in their kitchen some time n the seventies.

After the song, you will listen to a few Italian children(after minute 6). Especially the last child showed wisdom and intelligence, something we should listen to and learn from.
 
Here is the paraphrase i uploaded on my channel: https://youtu.be/G-8DHq80nLI

As a retired teacher and volunteer in a global school project (www.kidlink.net),  I wondered how children, are educated in different countries.

Index

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UN about corporal punishment of children

“Governments should ensure that children are properly cared for and protect them from violence, abuse, and neglect by their parents, or anyone else who looks after them.”

Read more in www.unicef.org.au/Upload/UNICEF/Media/Our%20work/childfriendlycrc.pdf

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Laws around the world

Sweden

According to the Act (2018: 1197) on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Article 19, children have the right to be protected against psychological or physical violence

According to the Parents Code, Chapter 6, Section 3, children … must not be subjected to corporal punishment or other abusive treatment.

According to the provision, Chapter 6, Section 1, children may not be subjected to corporal punishment or other abusive treatment.

Read more in http://barnahuslinkoping.se

Italy

Article  571 says:

“Anyone who abuses the means of correction or discipline (1) to the detriment of a person under his authority, or entrusted to him for reasons of education, instruction, care, supervision or custody, or for the exercise of a profession or an art, is punished, if the fact derives the danger of an illness in the body or in the mind (2), with imprisonment of up to six months.”

 
Abuse that may cause “illness in the body or in the mind”  is prohibited. It is not strange that parents I talked with said: “giving a spanking is ok, it is good and good”
Italian children know that they can call someone if they are punished pysically. https://azzurro.it/
In their document https://azzurro.it/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Violenza_online_offline.pdf they report this statistic:
 

Brasil

The Menino Bernardo Law refers to Brazilian law that aims to prohibit the use of physical punishment or cruel or degrading treatment in the education of children and adolescents. The name was adopted by the deputies when the bill 7672/2010, from the Presidency of the Brazilian Republic, proposed to the Brazilian National Congress, was still being processed. The Brazilian press, on the other hand, dubbed the Law of the Spanking Law.

As reported by Congresswoman Teresa Surita (PMDB-RR), the project foresees that parents who mistreat their children are referred to the official family protection program and to courses in counseling, psychological or psychiatric treatment, in addition to receiving warnings. The child who suffers the aggression, in turn, should be referred to specialized treatment. The proposal also provides for a fine of three to 20 minimum wages for doctors, teachers, and public officials who are aware of aggression against children and adolescents and do not report to the authorities. [1] The law has generated controversy and many discussions since it was proposed in 2003. This law was passed by the Chamber of Deputies on May 21, 2014 [2] and passed in the Senate on June 4, 2014. The arguments in favor of The law is that it aims at recognizing and guaranteeing the human rights of children and adolescents and overcoming an archaic custom. [3] [4] [5] Other arguments are that physical violence does not educate minors to a culture that claims to be peaceful. According to its defenders, the spanking law is one of the actions that aims to educate people to solve their problems through mutual dialogue and understanding, and not through physical aggressions and/or humiliation. She is supported and suggested by the presenter Xuxa Meneghel, who says that this is the ideal model for education.

The reactions against the bill were due to the cultural acceptance of physical punishment for children and adolescents by parents and guardians. The main argument against the law is the rejection, by families, of State intervention in private matters, such as the education of children at home. Other criticisms are the punishment, provided for in the law, from 1 to 4 years in prison, in addition to the loss of family power, not only for adults who beat their children heavily but also who pinch, “pedagogical spankings” [6] or even psychological aggressions, such as punishment without physical punishment in minors.
read more in agenciabrasil.ebc.com.br/direitos-humanos/noticia/2014-06/entra-em-vigor-lei-da-palmada

 
 

negationists and young humans are not safe from Covid-19

This video contains two Iatlian television interviews. One about a 60+ old negationist who got covid-19 and one about young boy who were intubated. Negationists take big riscs not only for themselves but also for their friends and relatives.

With translation extension installed in your browser, activating transcript and translate this page you can get afairly good translation from Italian.

the mustard grain and the Universe

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INTRODUCTION

Sunday 19 Mt 13,24-43 is read. It is about the Kingdom of God.

Kingdom of God is restricted to the Christian world of faith.

For most Christians the Kingdom of God is restricted to the Christian world of faith.  There is no logic in this. Jesus was a Jew and had contact with the Smaritans  regarded as dogs by the Jews. He for sure had contact with the Essenes to.he wanted to convert to lost Hebrews. He did not want to spread phobia but love.  I see a different Kingdom of God  were all humans are welcome, with faith or not.

I decided to make a second post about this reading with focus on the mustard grain seed.

No priest talked about this parable probably because they are looked into the Genesis story of Moses and don’t want to see what Science says about the Universe’s first moments of existence.

Nils Bohr said once

Bildresultat för if you are not astonished by quantum mechanics then you have not understood it.

I say:

“if you are not astonished by the words of Jesus,
then you have not understood Jesus.”.

INDEX

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The text

( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

Mathew 13,24-43 says among others :

the grain of mustard grain parable
13:31 He set another parable before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field;
13:32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”

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The message

I have all the parables indexed in this page.

The parable of the yeast and the grain of mustard.

 Luke 13:18 shares the same parable  with these words. To be able to compare these I put both parable versions beside each other in this table.

Matthew 13:31  Luke 13:18 Thomas
13:31 “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field;
13:32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”
 “13:18 He said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? To what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and put in his own garden. It grew, and became a large tree, and the birds of the sky lodged in its branches.” 3 [20]. The disciples say to Jesus: “Tell us what the Kingdom of heaven is like!” He says to them: “It is like a grain of mustard: it is smaller than all the <other> seeds, but when it falls on ploughed land it produces a big stalk and becomes a shelter for the birds of heaven.”

 

what msutard seed was it really?

“At times, Bible scholars concluded erroneously that is was seed of the black mustard (Brassica nigra)  Jesus talked about. The Brassica nigra seed grow up to a brush to seek shelter in as Thomas wrote but not a tree were birds lodge like Matthew and Luke said.

 

Closeup of yellow blossoming black mustard or Brassica nigra plants growing in the wild on a pile of earth at the edge of a farmer’s field in the Netherlands. It is in the middle of the summer period.

But this seed 
a  mustard tree that become so big that it can lodge birds  in its branches is the three of  Salvadora perisica. In scientific communities, the mustard tree is the Salvadora perisica, commonly called the toothbrush tree. they are in favor for the Salvadora because it is a larger plant than the black mustard and better able to accommodate birds resting in its branches. TheSalvadora perisica mustard tree grows throughout arid Africa and the Middle East.” ( godasagardener.com )

Thomas was more accurate.
Jesus may have talked about the brassica nigra seed but described the parable as Thomas reported it. Indeed can birds find shelter in a big brassica nigra plant.

Metaphore for faith?

The metaphor of the seed is mainly interpreted as the faith in God that can grow. As I wrote in my introduction:

For most Christians, the Kingdom of God is restricted to the Christian world of faith. The Christians want to be the chosen people. But there is no logic in this.

Jesus was a Jew and had contact with the Samaritans that were  regarded as dogs by the Jews. he had no Samarophobia like the Jews.
He for sure had contact with the Essenes too like John the Baptist. He wanted to convert to lost Hebrews. He did not want to spread phobia but love.  I see a different Kingdom of God were all humans are welcome, whatever faith they belong to. As fart as they behave as good caring humans.

the kingdom of God

But is the Kingdom of God only restricted to the world of faith? I doubt that. I think that everything that exists (visible and not) is part of the Kingdom of God.

The disciples did not have knowledge enough to understand the parable of the grain of mustard in other contexts than their own faith and life experience.

Nor does probably many priests understand it, listening to their obscure bla bla bla explanations. 

I see that  the mustard grain and tree metaphor rather as a beautiful metaphor for the birth of the Universe. Something very small becomes something huge. I do it after having followed Pauls advice in Romans 1:19-20

Study the creation to be remove your blindness.

paul wrote a  about woman, natural sex and other issue out of studio stereotypes of his time and biases.  But I admire a free thinking part in Romans where he motivates us to study the creation:

. Paul’s motivation to do this in Romans 1:19,20 is very important to consider:

“What may be known of God is manifest in them for God has shown it to them. 
For since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,

even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse”
(Romans
1:19,20).”. 

I find that Pauls words were followed by a few famous people Scietnist with open minds like Einstein who said: 

“I believe in Spinoza’s God, Who reveals Himself
in the orderly  harmony of what exists,

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. - Albert Einstein(Image source : www.brainyquote.com/quotes)

read more about  Einstein in my page dedicated to him.

To study the creation became my way to try to understand God. 

Look at this Nautilus lesson about seeds:

The mustard seeds

I write the page “Evolution of Physics” and “Earth and life primordial atoms” some time ago. As you can read on my first page, the building blocks of the Universe are very very small. They may not even be regarded as particles anymore.

David Tong, Professor of Theoretical Physics, call these The real building blocks of the Universe”

”Source:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNVQfWC_evg minute 33)

These may in fact be just strings according to the string theory)

At Jesus time what smaller could be seen than mustard grains?

The Kingdom of God could be a metaphor for the Universe and its origin. A metaphor that is today illustrated with this image:

St. Augustine wrote: ‘If it happens that the authority of Sacred Scripture is set in opposition to clear and certain reasoning, this must mean that the person who interprets Scripture does not understand it correctly.” [St. Augustine, Epist. 143, 7, PL 33, 588]

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conclusion

I have found an alternative explanation for the grain of mustard and yeast that is in agreement with” clear and certain reasoning”.

But I have still not looked at the other parables about the Kingdom.  These may contradict the conclusion I came to today. 

Whatever, I find the parable of the yeast and mustard grain, to be just genius. Miracle stories are not needed to justify that this man is to be listened to.


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Hypatia – famous woman in antiquity

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INTRODUCTION

I my learning about math history, I discovered a  very special woman. I describe her with the help of texts taken from en.wikipedia.org. I reedited the text removing links that are required in Wiki, to make the text  easier to read.

As you can see bleow there is a French book about her. I have not read it yet.

Because of her background and tragic end, I added this article in the main menu under Learning -Phislosophy as she was well known among philosopher. I added this article also  under Theology – Christianity.as she is part of the early (and bad) history of Christianity, accused of being a whitch.

You will find all sources and references in wiki if you want to know more.

INDEX

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Presentation of Hypathia

Hypatia, was born c. 350–370 and  died 415). She was a Hellenistic Neoplatonist philosopher, astronomer,  mathematician and teacher, who lived in Alexandria, Egypt. Her father was her teacher and became later, her cooperator.

At her time, Egypt was part of the Eastern Roman Empire. She was a prominent thinker of the Neoplatonic school in Alexandria where she taught philosophy and astronomy.

 She is the first female mathematician and philosopher whose life is reasonably well recorded.

Hypatia was the daughter of the mathematician Theon of Alexandria (c. 335 – c. 405 AD).

Nothing is known about Hypatia’s mother, who is never mentioned in any of the extant sources.

Hypatia was renowned in her own lifetime as a great teacher and a wise counselor. 

Tollerant pagan

Although she herself was a pagan, she was tolerant towards Christians and taught many Christian students, including Synesius, the future bishop of Ptolemais. Ancient sources record that Hypatia was widely beloved by pagans and Christians alike and that she established great influence with the political elite in Alexandria. 

A virgin

Damascius states that Hypatia remained a lifelong virgin and that, when one of the men who came to her lectures tried to court her, she tried to sooth his lust by playing the lyre. When he refused to abandon his pursuit, she rejected him outright displaying her bloody menstrual rags and declaring

“This is what you really love, my young man,
but you do not love beauty for its own sake.”

 

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Career and works

Hypatia was a Neoplatonist, but, like her father, she rejected the teachings of biographer Lamblichus and instead embraced the original Neoplatonism formulated by Plotinus. (In Plotinus  philosophy, described in his Enneads, there are three principles: the One, the Intellect, and the Soul.)
 The Alexandrian school was renowned at the time for its philosophy, and Alexandria was regarded as second only to Athens as the philosophical capital of the Greco-Roman world. Hypatia taught students from all over the Mediterranean. According to Damascius, she lectured on the writings of Plato and Aristotle. He also states that she walked through Alexandria in a tribon, a kind of cloak associated with philosophers, giving impromptu public lectures.

The Christian historian Socrates of Constantinople, a contemporary of Hypatia, describes her in his Ecclesiastical History:[21]

“There was a woman at Alexandria named Hypatia, daughter of the philosopher Theon, who made such attainments in literature and science, as to far surpass all the philosophers of her own time. Having succeeded to the school of Plato and Plotinus, she explained the principles of philosophy to her auditors, many of whom came from a distance to receive her instructions. On account of the self-possession and ease of manner which she had acquired in consequence of the cultivation of her mind, she not infrequently appeared in public in the presence of the magistrates. Neither did she feel abashed in going to an assembly of men. For all men on account of her extraordinary dignity and virtue admired her the more.”

Works

She is known to have written a commentary on Diophantus‘s thirteen-volume Arithmetica, which may survive in part, having been interpolated into Diophantus’s original text, and another commentary on Apollonius of Perga’s treatise on conic sections, which has not survived. Many modern scholars also believe that Hypatia may have edited the surviving text of Ptolemy’s Almagest, based on the title of her father Theon’s commentary on Book III of the Almagest.

Hypatia is known to have constructed astrolabes and hydrometers, but did not invent either of these, which were both in use long before she was born. 

Hypatia has been described as a universal genius, but she was probably more of a teacher and commentator than an innovator. No evidence has been found that Hypatia ever published any independent works on philosophy and she does not appear to have made any groundbreaking mathematical discoveries.

During Hypatia’s time period, scholars preserved classical mathematical works and commented on them to develop their arguments, rather than publishing original works. It has also been suggested that the closure of the Mouseion and the destruction of the Serapeum may have led Hypatia and her father to focus their efforts on preserving seminal mathematical books and making them accessible to their students.

The Suda mistakenly states that all of Hypatia’s writings have been lost,but modern scholarship has identified several works by her as extant.

This kind of authorial uncertainty is typical of female philosophers from antiquity.

Hypatia wrote in Greek, which was the language spoken by most educated people in the Eastern Mediterranean at the time. In classical antiquity, astronomy was seen as being essentially mathematical in character Furthermore, no distinction was made between mathematics and numerology or astronomy and astrology.

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Towards the end, murder and aftermath

Towards the end of her life, Hypatia advised Orestes, the Roman prefect of Alexandria, who was in the midst of a political feud with Cyril, the bishop of Alexandria. Rumors spread accusing her of preventing Orestes from reconciling with Cyril. Despite Hypatia’s popularity, Cyril and his allies attempted to discredit her and undermine her reputation. 

Socrates Scholasticus mentions rumors accusing Hypatia of preventing Orestes from reconciling with Cyril. Traces of other rumors that spread among the Christian populace of Alexandria may be found in the writings of the seventh-century Egyptian Coptic bishop John of Nikiû, who alleges in his Chronicle that Hypatia had engaged in satanic practices and had intentionally hampered the church’s influence over Orestes. He wrote:

“And in those days there appeared in Alexandria a female philosopher, a pagan named Hypatia, and she was devoted at all times to magic, astrolabes and instruments of music, and she beguiled many people through her Satanic wiles. And the governor of the city honoured her exceedingly; for she had beguiled him through her magic. And he ceased attending church as had been his custom… And he not only did this, but he drew many believers to her, and he himself received the unbelievers at his house.”

Murder

According to Socrates Scholasticus, during the Christian season of Lent in March 415, a mob of Christians under the leadership of a lector named Peter, raided Hypatia’s carriage as she was travelling home.

They dragged her into a building known as the Kaisarion, a former pagan temple and center of the Roman imperial cult in Alexandria that had been converted into a Christian church.

There, the mob stripped Hypatia naked and murdered her using ostraka (which can either be translated as “roof tiles” or “oyster shells).Damascius adds that they also cut out her eyeballs.

They tore her body into pieces and dragged her mangled limbs through the town to a place called Cinarion, where they set them on fire.

According to Watts, this was in line with the traditional manner in which Alexandrians carried the bodies of the “vilest criminals” outside the city limits to cremate them as a way of symbolically purifying the city.

Although Socrates Scholasticus never explicitly identifies Hypatia’s murderers, they are commonly assumed to have been members of the parabalani. Christopher Haas disputes this identification, arguing that the murderers were more likely “a crowd of Alexandrian laymen”.

Why?

Socrates Scholasticus presents Hypatia’s murder as entirely politically motivated and makes no mention of any role that Hypatia’s paganism might have played in her death. Instead, he reasons that “she fell a victim to the political jealousy which at that time prevailed. For as she had frequent interviews with Orestes, it was calumniously report ed among the Christian populace that it was she who prevented Orestes from being reconciled to the bishop.”

Socrates Scholasticus unequivocally condemns the actions of the mob, declaring, “Surely nothing can be farther from the spirit of Christianity than the allowance of massacres, fights, and transactions of that sort.”

Aftermath

Hypatia’s murder shocked the empire and transformed her into a “martyr for philosophy”, leading future Neoplatonists such as Damascius to become increasingly fervent in their opposition to Christianity.

During the Middle Ages, Hypatia was co-opted as a symbol of Christian virtue and scholars believe she was part of the basis for the legend of Saint Catherine of Alexandria.

During the Age of Enlightenment, she became a symbol of opposition to Catholicism.

In the nineteenth century, European literature, especially Charles Kingsley’s 1853 novel Hypatia, romanticized her as “the last of the Hellenes”.

In the twentieth century, Hypatia became seen as an icon for women’s rights and a precursor to the feminist movement. Since the late twentieth century, some portrayals have associated Hypatia’s death with the destruction of the Library of Alexandria, despite the historical fact that the library no longer existed during Hypatia’s lifetime.

read more in en.wikipedia.org where you find all the sources used to know more about Hypathia.

Some modern scholars consider that the legend of Saint Ctherine_of_Alexandria martyred 18 year old 305 under Emperor Maxentius, was probably based on the life and murder of the Hypatia.

 

There is a  film in Italian shared in Italian television 6-7 years ago. There is  a Youtube with the film 

Yo may also enjoy this youtube that also describes neoplatonism.

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conclusion

A extraordinary woman. Maybe she is the first woman to have been sacrificed by Christians because of political reasons. Many women have died after her but noone I have found had this remarkable history. Read more about these women in myarticle about witchhunt-in-europe. Hypatia’s history reminds me of that of Jeanne d’Arc who also died for political reasons.


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Experiential learning about viruses

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INTRODUCTION

As for March 6, more than hundred thousand humans got infected by Corona. 148 died in Italy; France has 500 infected, second after Italy in Europe.

China and Italy was badly  hit first by this intelligent virus that has evolved to host unaware humans, keeping them  in good health so they can  “share”  the virus with others.

We know that RNA and DNA containing organisms are made to mutate and evolve. Beside of a biological evolution with acquired immunities, humanity is now in the middle of a cultural evolution learning about viral pathogens.

There is a concurrential conflict still going on between RNA carriers (bacteria and viruses) and DNA carriers (animals and humans)

Like police all over the world must continuously develop new technique to protect against hacker created codes, so must DNA Humanity fight against the evolution of RNA carriers.

With the contagiousness of Corona virus, the world is now learning by concrete experience, how to protect itself from “intelligent” viruses like this.

Humanity is lucky to have a virus that has a 1-3 % fatality rate.

We are in the middle of a Experiential learning process.

Lentiviruses that causes HIV had a combination of long incubation and high mortality but it spread mainly blood by blood which made it much easier to fight.

We must learn to protect ourselves from viruses that mutate to develope both spreading capacity and high mortality. In other words a virus that combines infectivity (like Corona) and mortality (like filoviruses that cause Ebola with viral hemorrhagic fever or  lentiviruses that causes human immunodeficiency (HIV)

I am not a virologist but I made my master in a clinical bacteriology lab (Inst för klinisk bakteriologi) in Göteborg making experiments 6 months with Salmonella typhimurium in a Morbus Chron research. So I studied basic virology. With this post I updated myself with new knowledges about virus and epidemiology.

INDEX

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Exponential learning

Katarina Chmolova Instructional Designer at OpenLearning, wrote a good post about this issue  

She writes among others:

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”
Aristotle, in Nichomachean Ethics 

Learning happens in so many different ways. Just like getting your driving licence, an effective learning process involves

  • motivation, information, reflection, thinking, experimenting,
  • and putting new ideas
  • and concepts into practice.

This is referred to as “experiential learning. One of the models of experiential learning was created and presented by David Kolb, an American educational theorist.” Read more in  www.classcentral.com

( Source: www.classcentral.com )

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RNA Evolution

I will here take a look at the most known viruses that are the results of a RNA evolution:

  • Bacteriophage
  • Arbovirus
  • Influenza viruses. “Flu viruses”
  • Filovirus “Ebolavirus”
  • Lentivirus “human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV)”
  • Polio
  • Enterovirus
  • Plasmids
  • Herpes simplex 2.
  • Hepatitis B
  • Rhinovirus “cold virus”
  • SARS virus
  • Corona virus

Bacteriophage

Bacteriophage virus does not infect eucaryote carrying animals like humans. But I include information about this virus as the lifecycle of Bacteriophage is a good example of how viruses replicates and infect. This is how a bacteriophage can look like:

Britannica writes that “Bacteriophage, also called phage or bacterial virus, any of a group of viruses that infect bacteria…. Thousands of varieties of phages exist, each of which may infect only one type or a few types of bacteria or archaea. Phages are classified in a number of virus families; some examples include Inoviridae, Microviridae, Rudiviridae, and Tectiviridae. Like all viruses, phages are simple organisms that consist of a core of genetic material (nucleic acid) surrounded by a protein capsid. The nucleic acid may be either DNA or RNA and may be double-stranded or single-stranded. “ read more in Britannica

Arbovirus

arbovirus is an acronym (arthropod-borne virus)

Any of a group of viruses that are transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks, or other arthropods. “  lexico.com

www.medicalnewstoday.com  writes:

“””There are many types of arboviruses. The different types of arbovirus are broken down into specific genera.

The three main genera for arboviruses that cause infections in humans are as follows:

  • flavivirus
  • togavirus
  • bunyavirus

Types of flavivirus include the following:

  • yellow fever
  • West Nile virus
  • Zika virus
  • dengue fever
  • Japanese encephalitis”

Read more at www.medicalnewstoday.com 

  • Mutation rate :
  • Average incubation time:
  • Transmission: mosquitos, ticks, or other arthropods.
  • Mortality rate:30% for JEV
  • Disease: Read above.

Influenza virus

There are several types of Influensaviruses: Influenzavirus A, Influenzavirus B, Influenzavirus C, Influenzavirus D

With Isavirus, Thogotovirus, and Quaranjavirus.  influenza viruses are part of the family Orthomyxoviridae.

September2019 the prevailing type was A(H1N1)pdm09

Filovirus

So far, three genera of this virus family have been identified: Cuevavirus, Marburgvirus and Ebolavirus. Structurally, filovirus virions (complete viral particles) may appear in several shapes, a biological features called pleomorphism.”   www.cdc.gov

Lentivirus

In the family of retroviruses there is the lentiviruses that causes HIV.

“Lentiviruses persist lifelong. This is a function both of their ability to integrate into the host chromosome and of their ability to evade host immunity. This ability to evade host immunity may be related both to the high mutation rates of these viruses, and to their ability to infect immune cells (macrophages, and in the case of HIV, T-cells).” ( ehs.stanford.edu/reference )

“Lentiviruses belong to the family retroviridae, subfamily Orthoretroviridae, genus Lentivirus, characterized for long incubation periods (lente-, Latin for “slow”). The virions (or virus particles) are enveloped, spherical and within a size range of 80-100 nm in diameter. Inside the envelope (a lipid membrane derived from portions of the host cell membranes (phospholipids and proteins), but include some viral glycoproteins) resides the nucleocapsids or core where the single strand of viral RNA is packaged. One of the most striking features of this virus, from the retroviridae family, is its ability to infect both dividing and non-dividing cells and its ability to integrate a significant amount of viral RNA into the DNA of the host cell, which qualifies them as one of the most efficient methods for gene delivery.” ( ki.se )

    •  

Retrovirus. Source: (Wiki )

Variola

There are two types:

  • Variola major 
  • Variola minor.

Smallpox was an infectious disease caused by one of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor

“Extinct Genetic Strains of Smallpox – World’s Deadliest Virus – Discovered in the Teeth of Viking Skeletons” (Read more in scitechdaily.com )

Poliovirus

The scientific name is Enterovirus C.

“people can shed infectious viruses without having symptoms.” Read more at www.medicinenet.com

“Human enteroviruses are a genus in the family Picornaviridae (small positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses) that were originally classified or named as polioviruses, Coxsackie A viruses, Coxsackie B viruses, echoviruses, and enteroviruses.” Read more at www.medicinenet.com

Enterovirus

“enteroviruses cause two main types of human disease, polio, and non-polio disease. …. Non-polio enteroviruses may cause a wide range of infections that overlap; for example…

enterovirus: aseptic meningitis with rash, conjunctivitis, hand, foot, and mouth disease (EV-71), paralysis (EV-71), myopericarditis

group A Coxsackie virus: flaccid paralysis, hand, foot, and mouth disease, hemorrhagic conjunctivitis, herpangina, aseptic meningitis (with or without rash)” Read more at www.medicinenet.com

  • Family: Picornaviridae
  • Mutation rate:
  • Average incubation time
  • Transmission:
  • Mortality rate

Plasmids

A plasmid is a small, circular, double-stranded DNA molecule that is distinct from a cell’s chromosomal DNA. Plasmids naturally exist in bacterial cells, and they also occur in some eukaryotes. Often, the genes carried in plasmids provide bacteria with genetic advantages, such as antibiotic resistance.” read more in www.nature.com

I added plasmids despite it is a DNA molecule as it is interesting in research and how our cells can be reprogrammed. The given “antibiotic resistance.” is also interesting. to foresee future threats.

Herpes simplex type 2

A herpes virus that causes genital herpes, which is characterized by sores in the genital area. Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease. Read more at www.medicinenet.com

  • Family: Herpesviridae
  • Mutation rate:
  • Average incubation time: 3-6 days (2-12)
  • Transmission: sexual
  • Symptom: genital herpes, encephalitis
  • Mortality rate

Herpes Zoster

  • Family:
  • Mutation rate:
  • Average incubation time:
  • Transmission:
  • Symptom: Varicella
  • Mortality rate:

Hepatitis B

Approximately 2 billion individuals in the world have evidence of past or present hepatitis B, and 1.2 million people in the U.S. are chronically infected with hepatitis B. Read more at  www.medicinenet.com

  • Family: Hepadnaviridae
  • Mutation rate:
  • Average incubation time: 4 months, (1-6)
  • Transmission: sexual contact, blood
  • Symptom: cirrhosis or liver failure
  • Mortality rate:

Rhinovirus

“Human enteroviruses are a genus in the family Picornaviridae (small positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses) that were originally classified or named as polioviruses, Coxsackie A viruses, Coxsackie B viruses, echoviruses, and enteroviruses. Rhinoviruses are included as enteroviruses by many researchers but not all.” Read more at www.medicinenet.com

SARS virus

French research has understood that there are two families of this Corona virus.

Corona virus

Since the first reports of novel pneumonia (COVID-19) in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, there has been considerable discussion on the origin of the causative virus, SARS-CoV-2 (also referred to as HCoV-19). Infections with SARS-CoV-2 are now widespread, and as of 11 March 2020, 121,564 cases have been confirmed in more than 110 countries, with 4,373 deaths.

SARS-CoV-2 is the seventh coronavirus known to infect humans; SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 can cause severe disease, whereas HKU1, NL63, OC43 and 229E are associated with mild symptoms

Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus.(Read more at/Source: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0820-9 )

“The new corona virus continues to spread despite significant measures taken by the authorities in China to stop the outbreak. However, this time the fast response coupled with increased knowledge about the nature of the virus means the world is better placed to handle the outbreak compared to 18 years ago when SARS caused widespread concern, says virus researcher Ali Mirazimi, adjunct professor at the Department of Laboratory Medicine at Karolinska Institutet.” ( news.ki.se )

A separate analysis by the team suggests that the L-type was derived from the older S-type. The first strain is likely to have emerged around the time the virus jumped from animals to humans. The second emerged soon after that, says the team. Both are involved in the current global outbreak. The fact that the L-type is more prevalent suggests that it is “more aggressive” than the S-type, the team say. Read more: www.newscientist.com/article

“We can fight Corona as a flue but it is not a flue” (Fabrizio Sala , vicepresident at Region Lombardia at Euronews March 11)

French research has understood that there are two families of this Corona virus.

Source: www.nytimes.com

 How corona hijacks a human cell. Read in www.nytimes.com

Read more at onlinelibrary.wiley.com

Family: Coronaviridae

 

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Epidemiology

I think that this youtube is a good presentation of epidemiology.

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Immunity

“It’s unclear whether people who recover from COVID-19 will be immune to reinfection from the coronavirus and, if so, how long that immunity will last.” Read more at www.npr.org

Incidence

Here is a chart with some virus incidences of selected upper respiratory tract infection pathogens. PIV = parainfluenza virus; RSV = respiratory syncytial virus; MPV = metapneumovirus; Group A Strept = group A streptococcus. “ Read more in  emedicine.medscape.com

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Myths

“Here at Live Science, we’ve compiled a list of the most pervasive myths about the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, the disease it causes, and explained why these rumors are misleading, or just plain wrong.” Read more at www.livescience.com

Here are the main titles in the article. I mark with text in bold for myth that may be interesting also for other viruses than Corona. read about these in www.livescience.com

  • Myth: Face masks can protect you from the virus
    “Standard surgical masks cannot protect you from SARS-CoV-2, as they are not designed to block out viral particles and do not lay flush to the face”
  • Myth: You’re waaaay less likely to get this than the flu 
  • Myth: The virus is just a mutated form of the common cold
  • Myth: The virus was probably made in a lab
  • Myth: Getting COVID-19 is a death sentence
  • Myth: Pets can spread the new coronavirus
  • Myth: Lockdowns or school closures won’t happen in the US
  • Myth: Kids can’t catch the coronavirus
    “when children become infected, they seem less likely to develop severe disease”
  • Myth: If you have coronavirus, “you’ll know”
    “early on, infected people may show no symptoms at all.” (ed. due to longer incubation time)
  • Myth: The coronavirus is less deadly than the flu
  • Myth: It’s not safe to receive a package from China
    “coronaviruses can stay on surfaces such as metal, glass or plastic for as long as nine days,”
  • Myth: You can get the coronavirus if you eat at Chinese restaurants in the US

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Prevention

prevention from common cold (Rhinovirus that belongs to the Picornaviridae) is good to practice for most viral infections.

“The common cold refers to a group of symptoms caused by viruses. Rhinoviruses cause the most cases of the common cold, and more than 200 different viruses have been identified that cause cold symptoms. Colds are most often transmitted from one person to another via the hands – for example, by shaking hands with a person who has a cold. Droplets containing the virus may be coughed or sneezed by an infected person into the air and inhaled by another. The virus may contaminate a surface such as a doorknob or countertop.” Read more at www.medicinenet.com

It says

1. Wash your hands often.
2. Avoid touching your face.
3. Don’t smoke
4. Use disposable items if a family member is infected.
5. Keep household surfaces clean.
6. Wash toys
7. Use paper towels
8. Throw tissues away after use
9. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
10. Control stress

Read more at www.medicinenet.com

Masks

Type of masks

From Repubblica about FFP2 and FFP3:

According to a Canadian study where hospital personel participated. 20% of those who used surgical masks got flue:

Il Tempo published this table about inhaling and exhaling data for different masks. No sources were given:

Mask effectivenes after wearing time

Searching with the words “Influence on BFE of wearing time of surgical masks”

You dont find masks to buy while many use masks the wrong way, when it is not necessary. Who has a good instruction on how to use masks. Read in www.who.int . Below are the recommendations given by www.who.int .

  • If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.

Sanitizers

Saanitizer liquids to protect surfaces are sold out in several countries. I found a site with a receipt (60% alcool, 40 % water or aloe gel solution)

www.businessinsider.com

says “Insider talked to Miryam Wahrman, a biology professor at William Paterson University and the author of “The Hand Book: Surviving in a Germ-Filled World,” about exactly how.

All you really need is alcohol, either isopropyl (rubbing) or ethyl (used in beer, wine, and spirits). As long as the solution is at least 60% alcohol, you can rub the liquid into your hands and let them air dry, then you’ll have effectively sanitized them.

“The bottom line is that alcohol is the active ingredient” in hand sanitizer, she said. 

To make the experience a little gentler on your skin, you can moisturize after the alcohol has dried. You can also add a few drops of aloe vera to the rubbing alcohol, but make sure the liquid is over 60% alcohol so that the aloe doesn’t dilute it too much.

“If you drop below 60%, the effectiveness drops very dramatically,” Wahrman said.

A simple recipe

I tried this recipe that makes my hand feel good after sanitizing
(I made 3 dl sanitizer).

  • 1/3 denaturated water with some hand moisture fro dry skin (glycerol or similar to be bought in farmacy)
    (e.g. 1 dl)
  • 2/3 96% alcohol
    (e.g. 2 dl)Calculated with 96% alcool you get a 0.96×2/3=64% sanitizer. You can therefore add some more if you want without passing 80%

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conclusions

 Noone can tell why Corona spread so easily in Italy and now is spreading very fast in France.

I have to hypothesis about this.

Unawareness and myths

Italians (like Frenchmen, have a deeply rooted tradition of accepting close physical relations. Cheek kissing each other among friends is tradition like in Russia. Hand shake is of course also tradition as everywhere in the world.

There is a widely spread myth that cold air is a pathogen that causes cold, bronchitis and pneumonia so people avoid having windows open in winter and often accept vicinity with others.

  • This myth is built in the word in several languages.
  • English: You get a cold if you are in a cold environment.
  • Italian: You get a raffreddore  if you are in a freddo environment.
  • German: You get a erkältung if you are in a kalt environment.
  • Swedish : You get a förkylning if you are in a kyld environment.

Despite many had bronchitis in January on the island of Lipari many were happily talking with each other in the small waiting rooms  wiitng for a   talk withe the  doctor of course with windows and door closed as it was cold outside (about 17 Celsius). the doctor warned them telling them to keep distances but noone moved out.

Italians are used to flu epidemias but I see there has been little knowledge about how influenzaviruses spread itself and how to protect yourself from it except by vaccination.

Believes in Saints

A friend joked about Corona that the Saint Bartolo may save us islanders from Corona. But that joke may reveal a untold tradition that praying enough to the right saint, you are safe. There are saints for all kind of problems. If you travel Saint Christopher may keep you alive. If you travel with boat then pray to Saint Bartolo. The Romans had many gods. The Italians have many saints giving them immunity from all kind of dangers.

I wonder if this make people less interested in other solutions or motivated to protect themselves.

With the corona epidemia in Italy, Italians are now learning a lot about how to prevent spreading of this virus. As even the Vatican that should be safe from all kind of disease, also has a corona case, Italians are learning that praying to saints does not help them. So they are now starting to be preventive, accepting that schools and other activities are closed and prohibited.

 

Silence updated

Introduction

With mental fatigue, Silence may become very important.
Other posts and pages about silence on my site are:

This page resumes what I have learned about Silence.

Index

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Elisabeth of trinity about silence

I read years ago about Silence and the importance of it in Andliga skrifter” page 122 from Elisabeth of Trinity a Carmelitan sister living in France at the end of Nineteenth century. It is remarkable that this sister, who was a talented pianist as a young girl became the “Messenger of the Silence”.

Her vocation was simply prayer, silence, and suffering, “because our Lord lives in our soul, His prayer dwells within us and it is there I want to abide without ceasing, as a little vase at the source and fountain of life” 

“Prayer, solitude, praise of glory, silence of the mind and heart are, as many biblical values, dear to Eastern Monasticism, and they culminate in “Esychia” (hence hesychism), that is interior quietude and serenity of the soul which has emigrated to God and found its peace in Him

To be with God, Elizabeth sought silence and solitude. “

“‘I so long for Him!’ wrote Elizabeth, ‘He creates a great void in my soul that only He can fill, and to do that He leads me into deep silence from which I should like never to emerge”

( Source: www.quies.org )

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Sufi about silence

Sufi ask you to listen. But they really do not request silence to hear the voice as Rumi said. Maybe it is more about inner silence because music is part of Sufi spiritual meditation.

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Silence in churches

In Italian catholic churches on Lipari, there is no silence before mass. It is like being at a theater where people talk loudly before the spectacle starts. This was not so in the Catholic church Kristus Konungen in Göteborg. Italians seem not to talk with God or pray in the Churches.

I looked for silence now and then in Lutheran churches. But most Lutheran churches in Sweden are closed when there is no mass. When I was in Visby I found however the Dome open. This is a video of its interior. Raise the volume and listen if you hear something. Do not worry. No stupid sound jokes.

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Science about Silence

The importance of Silence is now more and more recognized scientifically.

On my trip to Göteborg 2019  I found a article in Swedish about Silence in the train www.sj.se Magazine by Erica  Jakobson with the title

“Silence – I try to live!”

 

 

 Erica informs in her article about recent research about silence.

  1. Two hours silence each day help develop nerve cells in Hypocampus, the part of the brain that deals with memories, feelings and learning. This is the conclusion of a American research group after experiments with adult mice exposed to noise and silence.
  2. Another study organized by WHO and the EU-commission has found that lo levels of noise increases stress hormone levels,  decreased learning hability and even hearth failure.

Victoria Palm grounder of OAS says :

“We know that people restore while sleeping but never think about relax during the day. In a world where we are constantly exposed to stimuli, it is impossible for the brain to restore energy.”

I was surprised that there was a department in the train wagons were people are informed that it is a silent department.

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A italian article about silence translated

I found a good article about silence in La Republica Dossier 13/7 2019. here is a translation I made of this italian article:

The World Health Organization has defined noise pollution a “modern plague” because “there is indisputable evidence that exposure to environmental noise has negative effects on the health of the population”.

The human being needs silence to live well. Silence has become a rarity tin our increasingly noisy  cities. In the Western world we run away from the noise ,wearing a noise canceling headphones or participating at yoga meditation sessions. 

In India,  the population went to the streets to demand the right to silence, against honking cars and motorbikes. 

Meanwhile, the technology is studying and putting devices on the market to soundproof environments taking advantage of the wireless vibration, but also bracelets that replicate the heartbeat to remove stress from the brain, caused by the surrounding noise. 

A ingenious publicity tourism office in Finland to attract tourists to Finland with slogans about silence, depicting views of unspoiled nature. It is the same principle that inspired the Benedictine monks of Pluscarden Abbey, Scotland, to open the doors of the convent, which dates from the thirteenth century, to anyone who wants to spend a few nights (or months) in complete tranquility. 

The silence, in short, has become a business. 

This business grows with the  noise of the cities. depicting views of silent nature.  The silence, in short, has become a business.

Repubblica talked with ALESSANDRA FRIGERIO, PSYCHOLOGIST WITH a PhD in cognitive and clinical social psychology, is a professor at the University of Milano-Bicocca and the Sigmund Freud University.
“In the hyper-connected world and in the noisy society we live in, is there really an increased demand for silence?”
AF:There is a high quest to get to silence. These requests are answered, for example  in meditation classes, yoga retreats, relaxing drive.”
“However, there are ways to live the silence, that allow access to its own needs through structures and standardized methodologies, like e.g. silent fast food.”

What can  silence be?

AF: “People often perceive it is repressed by silence, because silence can represent a heavy experience.  Be in silence means dealing with an apparent void, with a series of enigmatic aspects of unresolved questions.  Our tendency is therefore  to fill the silence with noise (ed. music e.g. in stores, bars or on the beach) or repetitive meaningless talking. Silence confront us with the limits of language. It is the space of the unspoken, what we fail to express with words.!”

Effects on mental well-being

AF:In the past, many psychologists have shown that silence serves to foster creativity. The brain cells regenerate and, in the hippocampus area a development of new cells that can become neurons is made possible that help boost memory and learning. “

silence is essential for the healthy development of a child?

AF: “In this regard, silence is essential for the healthy development of a child. A parent who knows how to give the silence, as well as the words, shows the child the significance of absence, which is as important as the presence. In addition, leave the child in an empty space, in the silence, where even you can get bored, so need to be able to feed their own creativity.  In other words, an agenda full of commitments is often counterproductive”

Silence in clinical practice 

AF:Silence for a psychologist or a psychoanalyst is an integral part of the instrumentation. The therapist is mostly silent because it leaves the patient an area of ​​freedom. Thus permitting a chain of speeches, to get rid of the words, beyond the constraints of consistency, morality, rational logic. The silent listening allows the patient to be a able auto-listener, grasping the implications of his own words. Sometimes the analyst’s silence is for those who do not an”swers at  a patient’s questions. It does so because it avoids influencing the individual with his judgment and to avoid being pedagogical. Silence, in this case, is to return the patient’s own question,  to find the best solution.

Silent zones in India. 

India has  silent zones that are comparable to the C zones in the center of Milan that prohibit cars to circulate. The difference is that in India  the traffic ban was not raised against smog and air pollution, but against noise. 
It all started a few years ago in the chaotic Mumbai, where a group of activists began to demonstrate for the right to peace. The reason is that the average decibel level in Mumbai is more than 80, while the World Health Organization indicates it should not exceed the maximum threshold of 65 decibels by day and 40 at night.

So the Mumbai High Court ruled the noise absolute prohibition in a radius of at least 100 meters around hospitals, schools, courts, parks, public buildings, libraries and universities.

Read more in La Republica Dossier 13/7 2019

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Silence on the island of Lipari

The silence has partly abandoned Lipari. Donkeys have disappeared and cars and motorbikes have taken over on the roads. Police do not care about the noise that some cause with their scooters and motorbikes. Happily, July is the month of silence. You are not allowed to run building machines during that month probably to protect the tourists that come to the island on that month. But for those that are unlucky to live in the village near a bar, you may not be able to sleep at all from the evening at 10, until morning at 4-5 the next day. The night,  summertime is party time on Lipari with musicians playing all the evenings, an Eden for youth that prefers to sleep during the day. 

But there are many opportunities to enjoy the silence on the island anyway.  In the early mornings or if you make trekking in the valleys you find a incredibly relaxing silence.

If you come to Lipari and you want silence, I recommend not to stay in the village of Lipari in July and August but instead find rooms outside like in the smaller villages like Pianoconte, Quattropani or Acquacalda. E.g. hotel Cutimare in Acquacalda on the north part of the Island is probably a  good choice. there is only one road that has little or no traffic, one little bar, and at a distance, one restaurant.

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Conclusion

I definitively prefer to live on Lipari. Fortunately my house is outside the village so I really enjoy the dark and silent nights and the early silent mornings. Sometimes there are dogs barking. But I can stand that.

 

 

No climate emergency?

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introduction

500 scientists sent a letter to the UN. Read the Italian article about it at www.qualenergia.it or the original letter in English at clintel.nl with the title  “There is no climate emergency”

It would be nice is there is no climate emergency. I will in this article, analyze their letter and share my personal conclusions. 
I am a biologist and make my conclusion out of my knowledges in sceintific method, biology and chemistry. My knowledges in climatology are acrtualy limited so I will update my conclusions when I will be able to read a climatologists answers.

Index

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Scientists?

Ruggiero Rollini is  a Italian student in chemistry dedicated to inform about scientific research and knowledge. he says that the 500 scientists are not climatologists. The climatologists around the world agree according to him, that the climate is changing rapidly The reason of this is the carbon dioxide rising levels in the atmosphere. 

Searching for the word climatologist in the letter I found only Gerrit J. van der Lingen, that is a Paleoclimatologist from  New Zealand. The others are experts in other areas like Chemistry, Civil engineering, Law, Philosophy, Pysics and mathematics.

Ruggiero Rollini talks about this letter in this Youtube:

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the letter

“Natural as well as anthropogenic factors cause warming
The geological archive reveals that Earth’s climate has varied as long as the planet has existed, with natural cold and warm phases. The Little Ice Age ended as recently as 1850. Therefore, it is no surprise that we now are experiencing a period of warming. Only very few peer-reviewed papers even go so far as to say that recent warming is chiefly anthropogenic (ed. originating in human activity).”

It is not strange that the 500 mention this as a some of them are geologists. No professional  climatologist would deny this fact.

But the issue is not the warming but the velocity of its increase and the raise of the carbon dioxide atmospheric content as can be read in the Italian article in www.repubblica.it and in www.nature.com

The average Carbon dioxide content during 2018 was 207.4 ppm (part per million)

Image Source: www.climate.gov

Earth had that levels during the Triassic period. So we are moving Earth toward CO2 levels when the Dinosaurs enjoyed life.  the 500 scientists ignore this of course.

Image Source: www.nature.com

“Only very few peer-reviewed papers even go so far as to say that recent warming is chiefly anthropogenic”

“Only a very few…” ansd “go so far” are not scientific statements and can therefore be ignored.

“Warming is far slower than predicted
The world has warmed at less than half the originally-predicted rate, and at less than half the rate to be expected on the basis of net anthropogenic forcing and radiative imbalance. It tells us that we are far from understanding climate change.”

First of all, warming velocity is not the same all over the world. It depends on the biotopes. As a article in  www.nature.com writes  “the velocity of temperature change is lowest in mountainous biomes such as tropical and subtropical coniferous forests (0.08 km yr-1), temperate coniferous forest, and montane grasslands. Velocities are highest in flooded grasslands

If the average “Warming is far slower” then his is good news. But they conclude this paragraph with the statement  that we are “far from understanding climate change”.  
Professional “scientists” conclusion could in effect be something else:  “Some countries already emit less than half as much carbon dioxide as the global average.”. E.g. India has discovered that producing electricity with carbon and other fossile fuels is far more expensive than  by using photovoltaic panels. So they are doing huge investement in solar energy.

“Climate policy relies on inadequate models
Climate models have many shortcomings and are not remotely plausible as policy tools. Moreover, they most likely exaggerate the effect of greenhouse gases such as CO 2 . In addition, they ignore the fact that enriching the atmosphere with  CO2 is beneficial.”

The scientists do not explain why “Climate models have many shortcomings and are not remotely plausible as policy tools.”  

Then the scientists say that “they most likely exagerate”. What is “they” referring to? The models or the creator of the models? The 500  do not clearly write “they exagerate” adding  names. There are probably no climatologists  exagerating its conclusions.

CO2 is plant food, the basis of all life on Earth
CO 2 is not a pollutant. It is essential to all life on Earth. Photosynthesis is a blessing. More CO2 is beneficial for nature, greening the Earth: additional CO2 in the air has promoted growth in global plant biomass. It is also good for agriculture, increasing the yields of crops worldwide.

Yes, CO2 is needed in photosynthesis but not to “all life on Earth”.  They ignore the  secondary effects of CO2.  Look at the carbon dioxide levels from the time of the dinosaurs. and look at what happens with CO2 in the rain, rivers, lakes and seas. 

“CO2 is not a pollutant” is another not scientific generic statement. What happens if you breath high levels of CO2?  Try to be several people in a small space like a elevator without windows for a longer period. CO2 is not a pollutant for leaves thaty live with it. But it is a pollutant for plant roots and animals who suffer for the increased water and blood acidity.

Scientists should not be aprtial, generalizing and ignoring facts.

Global warming has not increased natural disasters
There is no statistical evidence that global warming is intensifying hurricanes, floods, droughts and suchlike natural disasters, or making them more fre – quent. However, CO-mitigation measures are as damaging as they are costly. For instance, wind turbines kill birds and insects, and palm-oil plantations destroy the biodiversity of the rainforests.

has not increased natural disasters” is another statement without proof. How do you know that?

“There is no statistical evidence that global warming is intensifying hurricanes, floods…”

If  their  statement would be scientific they  should show evidence of the opposite, that : 

“There is statistical evidence that global warming is not intensifying hurricanes, floods….”

“wind turbines kill birds and insects.” 
yes some  birds are killed. But how many are killed by increased CO2 levels.  A scientist should compare.

“palm-oil plantations…”

Who is talking about producing more palm-oil to decrease CO2 levels ? For sure not scientists. Another not scientific misleading and irrelevant stateent.

Climate policy must respect scientific and economic realities
There is no climate emergency. Therefore, there is no cause for panic and alarm. We strongly oppose the harmful and unrealistic net-zero CO2 policy proposed for 2050. If better approaches emerge, we will have ample time to reflect and adapt. The aim of international policy should be to provide reliable and affordable energy at all times, and throughout the world.

Climate policy must respect scientific and economic realities”
off course but not pseudo scientists like these 500 that do not follow scientific rules of conduct.

there is no cause for panic and alarm”
the 500 have not shared any proof we should not panic. But I can add one. Panicking is never good for psychological reasons.  our frontal reasoning love  does not work well in states of panic.

“to provide reliable and affordable energy at all times”

Are only fossile fues reliable and affordable energy. The 500 ignore the development of batteries and energy conservation methods.

And of course we may need fossile fules somewhere, now and then. like e.g. in mining but this need is very restricted. 

But there are more reasons to start investing in solar energy and avoid fossil fuel consumtion: price and health are scientific and economic realities we should look at:

  • Solar panels are becoming cheaper and cheaper 
  • Driving with solar energy you do not spend money in fuels.
  • by walking and cycling you gain physical and psychological health.
  • we save money and time by taking train or buss. How much time We we spend  taking care of  our car and motorbyke?
  • By taking e.g. the train, we get more time for relax and learning by  being able to read and talking with copassengers.
  • By walking and taking the train or bus we are able  socialize if we want to. Wed get to know new people and cultures.
  • The risc of accidents is not to be ignored for the different transport methods.
  • Fuel cosuming airplane traveling can be avoided in many cases.

Conclusions

There is something called scientific method, rules of conduct, ethics and etiquette.

These 500 scientists have with this letter,  breached several of the rules of conduct by doing “Deceptive reporting of research results” presenting partia,l scientific prooven knowledge while ignoring other basic scientific results. They do not share  any climatologic proof nor  climatologic source.

No scientific journal of dignity, would publish this letter with its lack of sources and plentiness of generic, not scientifically based statements and subjective language (with words like “very few “, “far from”, “unlikely”, “far”, “remotely”, “inadequate” and generic personal pronoun  like “they”).

That Gerrit J. van der Lingen, a Paleoclimatologist, signs such a unprofessional and unscientific document, is remarkable.

  • The 500 “scientists”, do not give any proof that  carbon dioxide can be excluded as a cause of climate change.
  • they do not give any explanation why temperature on Earth fluctuates and in what extent. e.g telling about he distance of Earth to the Sun)
  • They do not explain why the rate of temperature change we see this century, is so fast.
  • They presume that the melting of glaciers and ices at the north pole only depend on natural phenomena and  they do not  explain why.
  • they never mention the speed of climate change as has been written about  in e.g. a  article July 25. See  the Italian article in www.repubblica.it

Greta is a young girl that uses a young girls enthusiastic language. She correctly repeated the we should listen to the Scientists. She should instead now instead say

“Listen to the climatologists
and avoid pseudoscientists!

As Ruggero mentions, 97% of the climatologist agrees about the conclusion regarding climate change. Ruggeros Rollini shares several sources in the comment of his youtube. one of these mentioning the number 97% and the no of articles about the issue, is 

“Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature. Environmental Research Letters 8(2), 024024.

It will however  be interesting to read the climatologists answer to this letter.