When astronomers use some of the most powerful telescopes in the world (and orbiting it) to peer into the heavens and see the stars what they are really doing is taking a trip into the past. The light from many of the stellar bodies that scientists focus on today has been coursing through the cosmos for millions, if not billions of years. So what the astronomers see today is light that left those stars, galaxies, quasars, pulsars, etc. a long, LONG time ago, and often from a galaxy far far away.
In a very similar way, the numbers that epidemiologists use to describe an active epidemic or pandemic are not reflective of the current situation, but rather reflect the past–how far into the past depends on the virus or disease in question.
A lot has been written lately that compares the new SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease, to the much more common and more familiar seasonal influenza virus that causes the dreaded flu. Personally, I think this is a very bad comparison, and one that should really be avoided at all costs, but it seems everyone from politicians to pundits to people in my friends lists is using the flu as the benchmark to measure by, so who am I to argue with consensus. So, let’s compare the experience Italy has had thus far this year with seasonal flu and COVID-19, and see which one is truly a bigger deal. Continue reading
In the Spring of 1918 a strain of Influenza that had never circulated in the human population before popped up in a group of soldiers training to fight in WW1 in Kansas. They took the virus to Europe with them. At first the infection was limited to the camp where the soldiers lived, and it killed a few hundred people. Not much of entry for a sickness that just a little less than a year later would sweep around the globe killing somewhere between 50 and 100 million people worldwide. Viruses are like the thermonuclear weapons of the biological world. They are mysterious, can strike without warning, and have the potential to cause destruction on a truly terrifying scale.
If you’re a child of the early 80’s like me (born in ’81) then you may also have enjoyed the X-Files when it was on the Fox networks in the early 90’s. For me, the X-Files was one of my favorite shows of all time, and it still is. This show was the first that I can remember that really explored the limits of the weird, creepy, nerdy, and, at times, downright terrifying. It was awesome, quirky, and still resonates as one of the best shows that Fox has ever aired (and not immediately cancelled like Firefly…yes, I’m still bitter).
So, in honor of Halloween, I have decided to put together a brief list of some of my favorite X-Files episodes that are perfect for a marathon on this, the creepiest of days. Also, if you’re looking for a place to watch the X-Files, I know all of the seasons are currently available on Hulu and I believe seasons 1-9 are free with Amazon Prime (10-11 you can rent), and the more we watch them, the more likely they are to stay there.
Electron micrograph of Ebola virus particle
The world is currently facing the second largest epidemic of Ebola virus in recorded history. Let me say that again, the 2018-19 Kivu epidemic is now the 2nd largest outbreak of the virus behind only the 2014 West African Ebola epidemic in both total cases and deaths. Ebola virus seems to be on the way to becoming an endemic disease in Africa which could pose a serious threat to humanity. The more a virus like Ebola circulates in the human population, the more likely it will mutate and become more dangerous; not just to the areas of Africa traditionally plagued by Ebola, but potentially to the rest of the world as well. Continue reading
Years ago I started a collection of historical poetry that focused on the historic first summit of Mount Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. After I lost an entire computer’s worth of files and work, I set that collection aside for a while to work on other projects, but always planned to revisit the Everest poetry.
Here’s a sneak peek at what some of that will look like… The first poem in the collection… Why We Climb Continue reading
Reagan proudly displaying “her” deer. She loves when I cook venison and can’t wait to taste her deer!
One of the questions I get most often about hunting is why I do it. We have grocery stores where you can go buy beef, pork, chicken, seafood, and at the right stores, even venison for relatively affordable prices. The meat is high quality, clean, and readily available. So why do I layer on clothes, hike miles through rough terrain, and sit hours in the cold, at times wet, wilderness waiting for a deer to happen buy so I can shoot it?
The simple and yet incredibly complicated answer is it’s a part of who I am. Continue reading
I would like to take a moment to say thank you to someone who has shown me unconditional love and support from the moment we started dating nearly 13 years ago. Without my wife, Courtney, and her steadfast faith in my dream there’s no way I would have seen that dream realized today as I start the first day of my new career as a full-time author. Continue reading
Today marks the end of my career in property restoration. I find myself struck with a mixture of emotions, some of them quite unexpected. I never planned for my life’s career, my life’s work, to consist of my time in property restoration. I have always wanted to be an author, and I am now getting the chance to explore that career full time for the first time in my life. Continue reading
One of the coolest aspects of being a self-published author is the direct contact I have with my audience. Some readers are family members and friends that I’ve known for years, but many are people I have never met personally who have picked up a copy of my books through Amazon and have left feedback in the form of a review, a comment here on my website, or one of the various social media platforms on which I am active. And since I just released the third installment in the Blackout Series, Zero Hour, I thought this might be a good time to address a few of the more common questions I get from readers about the books and the series in general. Continue reading