Wednesday, 30 April 2014

"...all their Predictions run upon a most dreadful Plague..."

 Randall Flagg by Mike Perkins
The coming pandemic....

As 'they' keep saying, it's not a matter of if but when. Remember Stephen King's, The Stand? I read it decades ago and loved it but you know what really blew my little mind? Not the whole battle of good vs evil, always interesting of course, but what really threw my 20 year old self was Captain Trips -- the fictional flu virus that wipes out most of the world's population.

So even now, when there's another health scare like Avian Flu, SARS or H1N1, I can't help think, "Here it comes...our world's Captain Trips."

And so we come to MERS. What is MERS? It's the latest potential pandemic currently on everyone's watch list. It's been on my google alerts list for months now. And apparently, in the last two weeks, the number of new cases now equals or surpasses the number for the previous two years. Why the jump in numbers? Well, initially the virus was thought to be contracted from animals (camels and/or bats) but some think the virus has now mutated to pass more easily from human to human. But I read this recently and that may not be the case. Regardless, the number of countries that MERS is showing up in is rising.

[UPDATE May 16: CDC "What you need to know..."]

Why am I so interested? Well, not only because I live right next door to Saudi Arabia -- the epicenter -- but we're not planning on leaving here this summer. And with Ramadan approaching (late June) the numbers of pilgrims to Saudi skyrockets. And some of those pilgrims will be returning here.

On a positive note they've recently identified antibodies that can be used against MERs.

But I've seen the horsemen....

Magnetic Man 'Getting Nowhere' from PHOTOPLAY FILMS on Vimeo.

- Public Health Agency of Canada
CDC Travel Advisory
MERS and politics

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Ad Campaign for Devil's Due Hilariously Funny!

Have you seen this yet? I stumbled across it this morning and laughed so loud I disturbed my sleeping cat! She hates loud laughter and gave me a hard nip to confirm that (she's usually such a Lady). Now I hadn't heard of Devil's Due but I sure appreciate their ad campaign, ha!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Give me more, give me more, give me more...

Some of you may be familiar with the History Channel tv series,Vikings? We started watching it last year. From my first glimpse I knew I'd like it. And, like a lot of folks, I found myself haunted by the theme music and the visuals of the opening credits.

I only just recently got the album from which this theme music comes. Fever Ray is an electronic duo of sister and brother (Karin and Olof Dreijer) that I knew nothing about. But I do now. If the music isn't enough to demonstrate where my interest stems from here are some pics of Karin...

Source Link
Source Link

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Friday, 4 April 2014

What Lies beneath? Nope, not that movie.

Damn you Gizmodo! An item on their site about the drought in California (How Bad is California's Drought? This Bad!) and then one about the sunken towns it has exposed (Flooded Ghost Towns Re-Emerge as Water Levels Drop Across the West) has eaten up this morning! What is it about these flooded places that fascinate me?

Well, it's not just me. Debbie Fletcher, a woman who dove down to visit her family's summer, but now flooded, home in Jocassee also has an interest. Her's is obviously more personal. You can read more about it in her book, Whipperwell Farewell. It's a place that seems pretty popular with divers, especially the cemetery...of course.

Now, I don't dive and the closest I've been to anything underwater is this old wreck off the bow of a tour boat in Tobermory, ON. But there do seem to be quite a lot of these flooded (or formerly flooded) places out there.

Only decent photo I got on the Glass Bottom boat tour!
And the whole underwater thing has some very spooky elements going for it. Death by drowning, obviously, but there's also something ethereal about these underwater worlds. It's like time just stopped when the waters came.

Does anyone remember a movie that involved a sunken church and bell in the Bayou somewhere? I want to say it was a Disney flick?

Yep! Just did a search and found it...The Boy from Dead Man's Bayou! 1971. Wow. Disney's first feature apparently. And now I know where this little interest of mine comes from!

If you are interested here are some more watery links...

Haunting Aerial Photographs of Drowned Villages in Canada
Sunken Villages of the St Lawrence Seaway
5 Remarkable Ghost Towns Drowned by Damming
Flooded Towers - Atlas Obscura
The Town that Spent 25 years Underwater