‘Rona Virus – Efficacy and Straws

Straw efficacy: Tim Horton’s has retired their red plastic straws. In my ranking system, these straws had a 95% efficacy at removing the contents of a Tim Horton’s Iced Capp. The new white cardboard straw has only a 90% efficacy because it is wider than the ‘valley’ that holds the “good to the last drop” stuff at the bottom of the cup. The red straw has a 100% efficacy rate for durability. The white paper straw has a 75% efficacy rate because it starts to get squishy about 3/4 of the way through the drink.

The word ‘efficacy’ is very old. It dates back to the 1200’s! It didn’t enter my consciousness until this year, when the term was used in relation to COVID-19 vaccines.

Vaccine Efficacy
A vaccine with an efficacy rate of, say 85%, means it demonstrated in trials that it could reduce moderate to severe disease by 85%. To do that, the vaccines initiated an immune response that  reduced the number of viruses in the lower respiratory tract. To date, the vaccines are not believed to be sterilizing vaccines that completely stop the virus in the upper respiratory tract too.

In time, the vaccine may prove to be a sterilizing vaccine in some or most of the population. Until then, some governments, such as the one in my province, explain the vaccine in terms of effectiveness in preventing severe disease, hospitalizations and death from COVID-19′.

Here is an excellent explanation of the Covid Vaccine: University of Colorado.

What about Mask Efficacy?

I somehow doubt there will be a mask efficacy rating for the products used by the general public during Covid. There are simply too many variables – material, fit, care in use; indoors vs outdoors; social distancing and other factors limiting people’s activities;  age, immunity, viral load and length of exposure of participants… Analyzing masking is going to be either a statisticians dream or nightmare.

In preparation for the (hopefully) soon removal of mask mandates, last week I performed a small test on public perception of an unmasked person (me). I had to drop a sample off at a medical lab. I walked two car lengths across a parking lot, stood in an outside lineup of one (me) for about two minutes then handed the sample (while still outside) to the masked attendant who, by protocol, stepped outside to receive it.

While I was being a line of one, there was, for a few seconds, a lineup of two – another ‘client’ arrived. Unlike me, she was masked. When the attendant moved to the door to summons me, the masked lady behind me swiftly moved forward to try to hand her item to the attendant. As she came up beside me, she suddenly drew back. I don’t know whether it was because she saw I was unmasked or whether she realized that I was handing a sample to the attendant too.

Either way, I didn’t learn anything about public perception because the attendant and the client were masked – I couldn’t read anything in their faces.

Efficacy of the Virus

Efficacy isn’t actually the term used to describe Covid mortality – it is called  Case fatality. In both Canada and the USA it is 1.8%. There are, however, an unknown number of people who have had Covid, but were not diagnosed with it, which drops the case fatality rate by some unknown amount. The fatality rate in terms of the entire population are .07% for Canada and .18% for the United States.

I’m hoping we aren’t invaded by a new and more deadly variant so that our province  can move towards full removal of restrictions by the end of June… inshallah…

Great Blue Heron

Sun Lakes Arizona
Take off
Sun Lakes Arizona
Landing gear down!

Sun Lakes Arizona

Tonto Arizona
An immature bird
Greater Vancouver British Columbia
A skilled fisherman

Sun Lakes Arizona

Up on the roof top
Shaggy breeding feathers

The Feather Files
Name: Great Blue Heron
Species: Ardea herodias
Native to and Migration: Partial – birds leave the northern edge of their breeding range to fly as far south as the Caribbean. Birds in the Pacific Northwest and south Florida are present year-round.
Date Seen: April 2019; February 2019; August 2014
Location: Sun Lakes, Chandler, Arizona, USA; Tonto Golf Course, Arizona, USA; Vancouver British Columbia, Canada

Many thanks to our friends at Sun Lakes Arizona for a great week-end of laughing, bird watching, car shopping, apricot tree netting and interesting food experiences!

 

Unexpected Entertainment in Nelson, British Columbia

We arrived in Nelson on motorcycles, hot and dusty after a long day of riding. We could almost see our hotel, but couldn’t get to it because it was on a parade route. A police officer asked us to pull over and park. That is how we came to be spectators at  the Annual Gay Pride Parade.

That evening, after we had wined and dined at a local eatery, we realized that this was a perfect opportunity for people watching. There was a wedding reception in the hall near our hotel (downtown on Baker Street). Guests in fancy dress came and went from the venue, frequently upstaged by the eclectic garb of cross-dressers, marchers from the parade and bikers. The booze evidently flowed. It was an extremely entertaining evening.

Nelson has many heritage buildings, but the finest, and most photographed, is the Court House. It was designed by a British architect, Francis Mawson Rattenbury. It was completed in 1909 at a cost of $109,145.88. Francis was also the architect of the province’s Parliament Buildings and the Empress Hotel in Victoria. Though he was a popular designer of the day, his personal life was in disarray. It abruptly ended when he was murdered by his second wife’s 18 year old lover, who was also their chauffeur. The lover was convicted and sentenced to hang. Four days later, the  wife committed suicide. The British public then decided that justice had been served and the Home Secretary agreed. The young lover’s death sentence was changed to a life sentence – and he was out in seven years.

This is a photo of the Court House – as it appears to most people.

I used Topaz Studio filters to alter the photos that follow:

Cartoon Filter
Black and White filter
Light HDR filter
Textured Impressionist Filter

Which photo best captures the architect’s life, now that you know the rest of his story?

Where is the Letter ‘F’?- Alberta, BC, Florida

Can you find the shape of the Letter ‘F’ or ‘f’ in the photos below?

British Columbia
Courthouse, Nelson, British Columbia
stile
Ceramic fence stile
Disney World
Epcot Japan, Disney World
Alberta Canada
Wooden fence

The letter ‘F’ is used as an abbreviation for:
Fahrenheit
False
Failing Grade
Female

Did you find a ‘F’ or ‘f’ in each of the photos? I’ve posted the answers at Photos Containing the Letter ‘F’.

Arizona, BC, Germany – Looking at Bridges

Old Town Hall
Bamberg Germany, Old Town Hall

Bamberg is an beautiful example of an early medieval town in central Europe. It has a large number of surviving ecclesiastical and secular buildings. It is crisscrossed by many rivers, winding canals, and bridges. Some of the bridges are old and famous and some, like this one, are more modern, but don’t detract from the architecture of the surrounding buildings.

Deception Pass State Park; Oak Harbor, Washington USA
Deception Pass Bridge, Washington

Deception Pass Bridge is the common name for two, two-lane bridges that connect Whidbey Island to Fidalgo Island in the U.S. state of Washington. Pass Island lies between the two bridges.

 

Arizona, USA
New Navajo Bridge across the Colorado River, AZ

Navajo Bridge – The original Navajo Bridge was completed and opened to traffic in January 1929. Prior to the building of the bridge, the only way to cross the Colorado River and its formidable gorge was at Lee’s Ferry a short distance upstream. Construction on a new, wider bridge began in May of 1993. The old bridge became a walking bridge.

Finding Sea Glass at British Columbia Beaches

Brown and White Sea Glass – I found these tumbled and weathered pieces of glass on beaches in and around Vancouver, BC, Canada. They were originally brown and white bottles that were discarded twenty or so years ago. Green glass is also fairly common.

Other colours of glass are not that easy to find, but if you have a rock tumbler, you can make your own weathered looking glass: Making Tumbled Glass.

If you would like to learn more about sea glass, click on this link: Sea Glass Journal.

 

This weeks WordPress Challenge is Weathered.

Colours of Water – Aquamarine and Boysenberry

My skin is kind of sort of brownish
Pinkish yellowish white.
My eyes are greyish blueish green,
But I’m told they look orange in the night.
My hair is reddish blondish brown,
But it’s silver when it’s wet.
And all the colors I am inside
Have not been invented yet.
– Shel Silverstein, Colors-

One of the bloggers I follow said he had a favourite colour – aquamarine with a hint of boysenberry in it.

I had to look both colours up to be sure what they are. Aquamarine – I think that is the official colour that timeshare units are decorated in for the Canadian visitors to Florida.  Boysenberry seems to be quite a regal colour, but because I have never seen a boysenberry, let alone eaten one, I’m not entirely sure this is the colour the blogger was thinking of.

No matter. With a little bit of magic in Photoshop Elements, I came up with a colour that I have named Aquaboyse.

I scoured my photos in order to show aquaboyse at work, but I was not all that successful. It doesn’t seem to be a colour in Mother Nature’s palette.  The closest I could find were four photos of water. The Latin word for water is aqua, hence the word ‘aquamarine’, which must mean sea water;  ‘Aqua pura’ meaning Pure Water; ‘Aqua vitae’ or the Water of Life (alcoholic spirits) and ‘Aqua concus dipporum’  meaning go soak your  head.

MexicoMy first  water photo is at the Xel-Ha Park in Mexico. It is a nature reserve, but also a tourist recreation park. The lagoons are full of fish watching people, and people watching fish. The water is crystal clear and almost aquaboyse in colour!

British Columbia AlbertaThe second photo is a lake at Fairmont Hot Springs in British Columbia. Because it is fed by a creek that flows down from the hot springs above, it stays ice free all winter long. The plants that grow on the bottom of the lake help to give the water a bit of an aquaboyse colour.

Qatar

The third photo are the Dhows in the Doha Harbour in Qatar. The water is the Persian Gulf. There is a colour called Persian Blue, but I think the water looks much more like aquaboyse.

The last photo is a fish tank at The Vancouver Aquarium – a bit too green for aquaboyse, I’m afraid.

And there you have it – a brand new name for a colour.

Getting Ready for a Motorcycle Ride

The best alarm clock is sunshine on chrome.
– Author Unknown –

Rough and ready motorcycle riders get up at the crack of dawn to make sure everything is ready to roll.

The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.
– Henry David Thoreau –

And that is the challenge. When a group rides together, no one goes anywhere until the last person is ready! That means every boot is done up, every chap is buckled, every jacket is zipped, every helmet is cinched and every glove is slipped on. If the weather is cold, it takes extra time to add another layer or two. If the weather is hot, it means no one wants to be ready first because they don’t want to overheat while they wait.

Multiply this by the number of stops per day, which can sometimes be five or six, and it is actually quite amazing how far we get in a day!