Instead of insisting that we remain "free from" government control, we should view taking vaccines and wearing masks as a "freedom to" be a moral citizen who protects the lives of others.
- Now that the vaccine is becoming widely available, why do so many insist on not taking it?
- As different episodes in history have illustrated — including the building of an atomic bomb in the U.S. – true freedom is to choose to place the well-being of your family, community, and country above your own personal values.
- We shouldn't confuse the privilege of choice with a threat to personal freedom. In threatening times, our best defense is to act together to the benefit of all.
What's to blame for the recent uptick in containership accidents?
- At any given time, 6,000 containerships are moving the vast majority of global trade on the world's oceans.
- The average number of annual containership accidents has been on a downtrend for the past decade, but accidents have become more common since the start of the pandemic.
- One factor behind the recent rise in containership accidents could be rising demand for imported goods from U.S. consumers.
The World Shipping Council<p>In short, parametric rolling is a sudden side-to-side movement of a large ship caused by a specific alignment of waves, usually during a storm. Parametric rolling can send containers, which are sometimes stacked six stories tall, toppling over each other.</p><p>Bigger ships tend to be more at risk.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"The new container ships coming to the market have large bow flare and wide beam to decrease the frictional resistance which is generated when the ship fore end passes through the water, making it streamlined with the hull," <a href="https://www.marineinsight.com/marine-safety/what-is-parametric-rolling-in-container-ships/" target="_blank">wrote</a> Marine Insight.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"As the wave crest travels along the hull, it results in flare immersion in the wave crest and the bow comes down. The stability varies as a result of pitching and rolling of the ship. The combination of buoyancy and wave excitation forces push the ship to the other side."</p>
Credit: Pixabay<p>On a broader scale, the cost of shipping goods by any method—train, truck, air, ocean—is rising as supply chains are becoming congested and demand for imports keeps increasing. For the most part, companies are fronting the bill.</p><p>As for U.S. consumers? They might start paying a premium for imported goods, or for goods that feature imported parts.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Most prices along the supply chain have gone in one direction, and that's up, so it has to appear somewhere," Joanna Konings, a senior economist at ING, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/26/business/global-shipping-supply-chains/index.html" target="_blank">told</a> CNN Business.</p>
People may be more willing to get vaccinated when told how popular it is.
Ultrasound might be able to damage the novel coronavirus in the same way an opera singer's voice can shatter a wine glass.
- The researchers created computer models of the likely structure of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and then subjected those models to various ultrasound frequencies in a simulation.
- The results showed that key parts of the virus ruptured at specific frequencies.
- More research is needed, but the authors noted that the frequencies that damaged the virus fell within a range that's known to be safe to humans.
Reconstruction of the 3D model of the spike-decorated Influenza A virus from 2D photographs. Top view (a) and side 3D image. The plane ultrasound harmonic wave is perpendicular to the axis of the sphere joining the North and South Poles.
Credit: Marco via Abobe Stock<p>If future research validates ultrasound techniques, they could become a valuable weapon in the fight against coronaviruses, the authors noted.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"The acquired immunity provided by the vaccine recently developed by Pfizer and Moderna would be an ideal solution to fight SARS-CoV-02. But it would be just temporary because the emergence of new mutations or strains would require the development of new vaccines, as occurs seasonably with the influenza virus, with an investment of time of one year."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"In this paper, we presented a new concept of using ultrasound and mechanical resonance to target SARS-CoV-2 and other enveloped viruses that do not have this time limitation. Currently, we have only outlined the promising first step of this ambitious project that would require more profound interdisciplinary research."</p>
Masks are great, but what happens when we try to throw out a billion masks at once?
- A new study suggests that the huge numbers of disposable masks we're using may end up polluting the environment.
- The materials used to make some of these masks may be especially disposed to break down into microplastic bits.
- Once those plastic bits get into the environment they end up everywhere, including inside people.
Remember all that “Nature is healing” stuff from last year? It didn't last long.<img class="rm-lazyloadable-image rm-shortcode" type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTgyMDA5My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY3MjYyMzI2OX0.iigYnQKviVAqTa9FMu3iPLlSaNXk2lNePiSQBPY_xCw/img.jpg?width=980" id="a566b" width="1024" height="683" data-rm-shortcode-id="4372020006f233efeb2c97e3ed0716f1" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Gary Stokes, founder of the environmental group Oceans Asia, poses with discarded face masks he found on a beach in the residential area of Discovery Bay on the outlying Lantau island in Hong Kong.
Credit: ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images<p> According to recent studies, humanity is going through 129 billion face masks a month, which works out to three million a minute. While we go through a lot of plastics in a month, the number of plastic bottles we use has been estimated at 43 billion a month, a large fraction of those have well-known guidelines around them promoting recycling.</p><p> Such information doesn't exist for masks, making it likely that most of them are ending up in the <a href="https://phys.org/news/2021-03-masks-plastic-timebomb.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">trash</a>.</p><p>Like any other object with plastic in it, improper disposal can cause the plastic to enter the environment. Where the tiny bits of plastics spread into water and soil before eventually working their way into animals. The authors of this <a href="https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s11783-021-1413-7.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">study</a>, doctors Elvis Genbo Xu of the University of Southern Denmark and Zhiyong Jason Ren of Princeton, argue that the specifications of these masks make them particularly likely to contribute to plastic pollution:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"A newer and bigger concern is that the masks are directly made from microsized plastic fibers (thickness of ~1 to 10 micrometers). When breaking down in the environment, the mask may release more micro-sized plastics, easier and faster than bulk plastics like plastic bags. Such impacts can be worsened by a new-generation mask, nanomasks, which directly use nano-sized plastic fibers (with a diameter smaller than 1 micrometer) and add a new source of nanoplastic pollution."</p><p>At the moment, no data on how much masks have contributed to the amount of plastic in the environment exists. </p><p> The authors suggest that there are steps to be taken to prevent this problem from getting out of control. They include helping people switch from disposable plastic masks to reusable cloth ones, inventing biodegradable masks, designating special disposal areas for masks, and standardizing waste processing procedures concerning these plastics. </p>