Day 637, part 2 – Immunity

That didn’t last long, did it?

Ugh. I’m not having a good day.

Many reasons for it, but the shifting sands of Covid policies, together with the shifting plans of the next couple of weeks, a touch of added crappy service from the local Amazon wannabe, and just a soupçon of just sheer meh as a garnish.

I turned to the internet for amusement and escape.

Mostly, that was a very bad idea, but there was this from xkcd, which is so simple and so perfect:


In related, better news, it looks like I might be able to go heterologous with my booster vaccine. Which is great, but does bring up the awkward question of why we have to wait until after the period of maximum benefit to actually get it again.

Day 143, part 2 – Just say no

Spotted online.
And relevant, given the upcoming move to Level 2 and the precautions people should still be taking.

Just say no… but how?



I’m certainly not happy to share indoor spaces (here’s why), and so far, I’ve always alternated between “direct” and “too indirect”, but “I’m not setting foot in your haunted plague box” might just be my new goto line from now on.

How fast is the ISS?

We’ve done International Space Station posts before. Many of them.
There are even photos.

But it’s been a while and so I have grasped the opportunity presented to me by to answer the question: How fast is 8km/s anyway?

8km/s is the speed that the ISS goes – indeed, has to go – in order to continue orbiting the earth. However, because of the unfamiliar units, people find it difficult to visualise exactly how quick it is, especially when shown the serene footage of earth taken by Chris Hadfield and others.

8km/s is equal to 28,800kph or just under 18,000mph. Yes. Go whoosh whoosh.

It’s 10 times faster than a rifle bullet.
Travelling at 8km/s, you could get from Cape Town to Joburg in 2 minutes and 38 seconds. If you wanted to.
Or Cape Town to London in 20 minutes. Pop over for a pint of real beer and some annoying accents.

But the best way of visualising it comes from the what-if crew, with the help of the Proclaimers:

To get a better sense of the pace at which you’re traveling, let’s use the beat of a song to mark the passage of time. Suppose you started playing the 1988 song by The Proclaimers, I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles). That song is about 131.9 beats per minute, so imagine that with every beat of the song, you move forward more than three kilometres.

It would take you about two lines of the chorus to cross the English Channel between London and Paris.

The song’s length leads to an odd coincidence. The interval between the start and the end of I’m Gonna Be is 3 minutes and 30 seconds, and the ISS is moving is 7.66 km/s.
This means that if an astronaut on the ISS listens to I’m Gonna Be, in the time between the first beat of the song and the final lines, they will have traveled just about exactly 1,000 miles.

And that being the case, they’d have every excuse to fall down at my door.