Category: Environment

Exercise as the Savior to Chronic Health Problems?

CEO Greg Glassman, CrossFit, started in 2000

CEO Greg Glassman, CrossFit, started in 2000

Sometimes you need to recognize that a system is broken and not as helpful as our expectations. The Western medical system is one such system. Yes, we are living longer, with viruses and bacteria largely at bay. As we progress to better health, chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, heart failure, diabetes and obesity have become much more prevalent. These chronic diseases show little abatement with current guidelines. “Lose weight, reduce salt intake, exercise more” may be medically valid advice, but the words are much easier to say and harder to implement.

China Air Quality Terrible for Xian, Beijing and Some Cities: 2018 Dec 02

Yet again, some of China’s air quality PM 2.5 readings are off the chart. Literally, and this is really terrible for people’s health. PM 2.5 measures air pollution particles smaller than 2.5 microns, which when inhaled are too small for the body to remove, so they stay there forever.

China needs to do much better to protect the health of citizens. Pollution report

Air Quality PM2.5 2018 Dec 02 10:00 Toronto time, readings for China: Xi'an 592, Beijing 268 vs Toronto at 17. Terrible for your health.

Air Quality PM2.5 2018 Dec 02 10:00 Toronto time, readings for China: Xi’an 592, Beijing 268 vs Toronto at 17. Terrible for your health.

It is 2018 September 05 and Toronto is 34C!

Usually Toronto is moderately warm in June and hot in July and August. By the time September rolls around the weather cools down considerably. This was untrue this summer, where we have had a very hot June through to August. And today, on 2018 September 05 we are experiencing yet another super hot day. Wow. At least our PM2.5 air quality, at 55 moderate is not too terrible.

Hot Toronto 34C weather 2018 Sept 05. Very unusual

Hot Toronto 34C weather 2018 Sept 05. Very unusual

Toronto Air Quality is 55, still at Moderate. This is good.

Toronto Air Quality is 55, still at Moderate. This is good.

Damn Good Idea: Using a Lake as a Battery

Using the Hoover Dam as a battery by pumping water upstream during the day, thus reducing electricity generation.

Using the Hoover Dam as a battery by pumping water upstream during the day, thus reducing electricity generation.


I had heard about this idea before, and think it requires further study. The problem is that we cannot easily store electricity. Any electricity generated needs to be used immediately, or we risk blackouts.

California has a lot of wind and solar power generation, but also has hydroelectric power generation from the colossal Hoover Dam. If operated at the same time there might be too much power during the day, when wind and solar contribute, and not enough power at night, when wind and solar do not generate electricity. Excess generated electricity cannot be stored.

Convenient Technologies are Making Us Less Intelligent

Just when you think that some newfangled device is the best thing since sliced bread, you then find out that the awesome convenience you now rely on is actually making you less intelligent. This is called “Convenient Technology”. It turns out that human physiology is more complex than simply making some tool extremely convenient.

I contrast convenient technology to demanding technology:

Just what is a demanding technology? Three elements are defining: it is technology that takes time to master, whose usage is highly occupying, and whose operation includes some real risk of failure. By this measure, a piano is a demanding technology, as is a frying pan, a programming language, or a paintbrush. So-called convenience technologies, in contrast—like instant mashed potatoes or automatic transmissions—usually require little concentrated effort and yield predictable results.

Unusually Hot 36C Weather: Toronto

It is very unusual for Toronto to exceed 35C temperatures. Anything above 30C and we simply stay indoors until the weather cools down. Today it hit 36C, with a low of 25C. That is really hot for us.

Unusually hot 36C weather for Toronto that came up from the US. We are melting...

Unusually hot 36C weather for Toronto that came up from the US. We are melting…

Unusually hot 36C weather for Toronto that came up from the US but the air quality is surprisingly smog free.

Unusually hot 36C weather for Toronto that came up from the US but the air quality is surprisingly smog free.

Toronto Weather 2018 Jul 05, 33C, humidex 43C. So hot, we are all melting.

Toronto Weather 2018 Jul 05, 33C, humidex 43C. So hot, we are all melting.

Air Quality

Toronto Air Quality Advisory 2018 May 27 vs Beijing

Air quality index PM2.5, Toronto vs Beijing, Shanghai, Changzhi, 2018 May 27 15:00 Toronto time

Air quality index PM2.5, Toronto vs Beijing, Shanghai, Changzhi, 2018 May 27 15:00 Toronto time

Toronto issues its first air quality advisory of the year 2018. Toronto AQI 2.5 is 50. In contrast Beijing is 442, Shanghai at 147, and Changzhi at 137. The scale was to go up to only 100.

Alerts for: City of Toronto
Statements

12:33 PM EDT Sunday 27 May 2018
Special air quality statement in effect for:

City of Toronto

Possible high levels of air pollution are expected today in the southwestern Ontario and Greater Toronto Area.

The World Plastic Craze is Epidemic and needs to stop

Little Giant 554405 VCMA-15 non-submersible condensate pump, removed from black base. Output tube, pump intake and impeller (large round part). You can see the impeller shaft through the intake windows.

Little Giant 554405 VCMA-15 non-submersible condensate pump, removed from black base. Output tube, pump intake and impeller (large round part). You can see the impeller shaft through the intake windows.

Even the most elementary animals do not defecate where they live. Even so, their scat is biodegradable and is quickly transformed to base organic waste by microbes. This is natural. Man, on the other hand, has created a remarkable material: plastic. Remarkable, yes, but it is inorganic and as it does not break down to an organic waste, it is polluting the earth and mankind. Ironically, we are eating our own waste.

Bumble Bee in Toronto, Canada: Macro

Bumble bee, Toronto, Canada, 2 cm long, in cup. Photo by Don Tai

Bumble bee, Toronto, Canada, 2 cm long, in cup. Photo by Don Tai

I heard this loud buzzing and thought my furnace had some issue, but the furnace wsa not on. It was a large bumble bee, buzzing inside my house, trying to break free. My front window was tricking it. He was beautiful.

I heard it yesterday in my house. How it found its way inside I do not know. By the time I thought of a plant to capture and release it outside, he had stopped buzzing and could not be found. Today near my front window he buzzed for a couple of seconds, then landed on the ground. I used a cup and captured it, and used a piece of stiff paper underneath to right the cup. With a transparent Pyrex plate on top I shot this macro at 3.5x.

Canadian Senate Condemns China’s Taking of South China Seas Islands

We all know that China annexed and militarized some disputed islands in the South China Seas. These islands are claimed by multiple countries. In 2016 a dispute between the Philippines and China resulted in the Hague ruling that China did not have claim to these islands. No matter, China took them over anyway. They how house surface to air missiles. Much more can be gleaned online with minimal Googling.

Canada’s Senate has weighed in that China should not be taking over these islands. This bill, largely ceremonial, was stopped by 3 pro-Chinese senators. They are gutless and in the pockets of the Chinese Communist Party. Senate passes motion condemning China’s ‘hostile behaviour’ in South China Sea