Day 92 – Some good advice and some nice visuals

Two things to share with you today: one is some good advice and the other is some nice visuals.
You’d probably guessed that from the title of the post though.

First up, a nice, practical piece from the Daily Maverick, written in language we can all understand.

We cannot be saved by government policy alone – the things we can all do are what will save South African lives. And those things are pretty simple.

Our Summary:

Do everything possible outdoors;
Open windows;
Wear masks;
Keep at least one metre distance (two metres is better) from people
Avoid crowded spaces
Be quick

It’s good stuff, it’s easy to read, and each point is backed up by (layman’s) scientific reasoning.

My one gripe is the little contradiction that creeps in under the “No Shaming” heading:

There is no need to shout at people exercising outdoors without a mask but at a distance, or in the park with their family; they are not going to infect you.

Sure, I wasn’t going to shout at them. But wearing a mask outdoors costs no time, money or effort and reduces the risk of transmitting the virus from “low” to effectively “nil”. So why make any exception at all: why not just wear the damn mask like the law and any decent sense of morality says you should?

It’s not hard.

And then these visuals of “How the Virus Won” from the NY Times. (This link spotted first via @JacquesR, and then in about four other places I frequent very shortly afterwards.) Yes, you need to register (free), but it’s very interesting and probably worth it.

Some basic graphics, some good data – again explained in layman’s terms, the odd political quote (only the ones where the politicians in question got it horribly wrong – hindsight is 2020 – but why on earth would you want to go there ever again?).

It regularly looks horribly like one of the 1960s graphics you get where some killer plague spreads across the world.

Strange that.

 

Those are your interesting links for Friday. Have a nice day.
Wear a mask. Don’t be in America.

Day 91 – Title-less

The sky is getting darker, the wind is blowing ever more strongly and the temperature is dropping ever so slowly.

There’s a storm front coming
White water running and the pressure is low
Storm front coming
Small craft warning on the radio

So sang Billy Joel. Mind you, he also famously claimed that

We didn’t start the fire

And as you will read below, that’s actually something I fully intend to do just now.

Yes, there’s another Cape cold front on the way in. It’s not a huge one, but it has been sitting just to our south west for a few hours now, teasing us about its imminent arrival. It’s coming in two parts: one today and one on Saturday. Much like the UK’s coronavirus problem, it seems likely that the second wave will be the worse of the two, but much like South Africa’s coronavirus problem, that assumes that we’ll make it through the initial wave first.

As ever, I have battened down the beagle and I will be lighting the fire presently. But I’m tired and I’ve been making silly mistakes all day. It wouldn’t surprise me if I have actually battened down the fire, so I will double-check before I stick a paraffin-laced cube of white stuff anywhere.

I’m listening to 6 Music on what would have been the prelude to the Glastonbury 2020 weekend. Obviously, that’s not happening for viral reasons, but they have been celebrating what has gone before and what would have been, with some really uplifting, joyful, positively emotive music.

I don’t think that the currently wonderful weather in the UK is helping those people who had tickets for the Festival this year either. It would have been fantastic. And while there’s obviously no substitute for actually being there, I would have still enjoyed watching it in big bold 4K, 6000 miles… away in front of a smouldering hound.

In the meantime, the last bits of online schooling before the staff and students of the kids’ school get a well-deserved week off, several household chores, a bit of football, some red wine.

See you tomorrow.

Day 90 – Some interesting ideas about writing.

Spotted this earlier on twitter. Actually some quite interesting points. Don’t make your audience bored. Vary the lengths of sentences. Change things here and there. You need variety and diversity. Or things quickly get dull. It’s great advice for newbies.

These aren’t mistakes I make. I use many nice adjectives. And that keeps things interesting. Otherwise, it’s all rather pointless.

Have a really good evening.

Day 89 – Project re-Restart

The pandemic couldn’t have come at a worse time for the world Sheffield United.
There we were back in March, riding a wave of positivity, optimism and unbeatenness [just check if that’s actually a word before you hit ‘publish’, please – Ed.]. We were injury-free, cruising, loving the support of the Bramall Lane faithful, every game a joy.

But, like much of football since its return, we’ve lost our sparkle a bit.

The first game was to be expected. Every team has been a bit unsettled, none of them are match fit and it’s all been a bit weird. And – as I mentioned here, seething (mostly) quietly under my breath – we should have got all three points there, anyway.
But Sunday delivered a really sloppy, really disappointing performance and we got soundly beaten by a rather ordinary Newcastle side who probably couldn’t believe their luck.

Look, it’s just one game – and only our third defeat of the year! (the others being to Liverpool and Man City) – but we’ve got a trip to Old Trafford tomorrow, and with three of our infamous and well-respected defensive quartet missing for one reason and another (and another), and ManU now apparently riding the same wave we were on in March, there needs to be a change in attitude.

We’d better buck our ideas up; we’d better buck them up sharpish. Capisce?

[reference] (because why wouldn’t you want to watch that again?)

If the second coming of the Premier League was dubbed Project Restart (and it was), then I think that Sheffield United need a Project re-Restart.

The fact is that we’ve always bounced back after a bad performance, and so I’m not distraught, but there are a whole number of things which could give us more of a chance tomorrow (different opposition, crowd, injuries, more money, bigger squad, suspensions, 5 days rest instead of 3, actually owning Dean Henderson etc.)

Otherwise though, it’s a pretty even playing field.

Whatever happens, I’m still a proud Blade and this season has still been absolutely amazing. Despite the disappointing return, we’re some distance from me wanting to bite your hand off for 17th place – something I thought I’d probably be doing with 8 games left.

Come on, as I often say, you red and white wizzzzzaaaards.

Day 88, part 2 – Carrot cells

Yeah.
This wasn’t one of my finest moments, but I’m still hopeful that no-one will ever find out about it*.

I heard a song over the weekend and I liked it – a lot. I knew who it was by: Doves (you may remember them from such posts as Kingdom of Rust), but I was busy with other stuff and put it on the mental back burner to look up some more convenient time.

Well, this morning was that time as, while cleaning the kitchen (MOAR GLAMOUR!), Chris Hawkins introduced it. Yeah, the title was a bit weird: Carrot Cells, but this is the wonderful world of music and anything goes.

And who knows: maybe they are remembering their high school biology classes and the introduction of the microscope; Hooke, van Leeuwenhoek and all that. I mean, we used onions, but one plant epithelial cell is very much like another, right?

What I’m saying is that they can call their song whatever they want. It’s not for me to judge.

Anyway, long story short, it turns out that they called this song Carousels. Not Carrot Cells.

It is a memory, but of the local fairground – the one that they went to in the afternoon once they’d finished with the biology lesson:

I’m gonna take you down
Back to the old fairground
Open muddy fields spin round
Oh! Hey now is this a Sign?
I’m falling down deep with the Carousels in your eyes

And it’s got a weird, surreal video, packed with brutalist buildings:

Very, very nice. And (obviously) yet another addition to my InspiredBy6 Spotify playlist. Please share the wealth: I don’t make any money from it, but more people do get to listen to better music.

Whatever the title might be.

 

* oh.