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Thread: EXTRAS

  1. #811
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    hmm ...

    Dear Normal: Were you really that great in the first place?



    Dear Normal,

    Everyone wants you back. It seems every day of this late-stage pandemic era is marked with someone wistfully talking about Normal: going back to you, starting new with you. It’s all about norms and normalcy. All about you.

    As for me, I’m not so interested in Normal. I defer to Taylor Swift: We are never, ever, ever getting back together.

    It felt normal to want Normal back at first. Last year, in those first months, daydreaming of you was a constant daily escape from all of the endless dire possibilities. I wanted my life back. I wanted the control.

    Complaining about commuting or being too busy was the norm in the B.C. (before COVID) era. But in those early days, the mundane was what we craved. Packing into a subway car, grabbing an unplanned drink with a friend, hugging parents, striking up a conversation with a stranger.

    And yet all of those Normal desires felt entirely unfathomable. Would we ever be able to go to a crowded space? If we could, would we want to? The answer then felt like a definite no, especially with mortality and death constantly wailing in our ears. The fear of the unknown was like a weighted blanket, but one that provided no comfort or warmth.

    It was then that I craved my Normal most.

    It wasn’t just me. Over the last year, our obsession with normalcy has shown up on Google, with the highest spike in searches around mid-April 2020, when it seemed we might have been able to resume life as we once knew it.

    Searching for normal went up again around the start of the school year in September and around the holidays in late November. But as the search trends show, these desires for normalcy ebb and flow, constantly fading and morphing.

    The collective yearning for normalcy was panic-inducing early on, around the time President Donald Trump was vowing to reopen America by Easter 2020. So much had already changed. Yet it felt then that we might just go back to Normal with the snap of a finger.

    By June, the pandemic’s staying power was more clear, and then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was saying, “We cannot go right back to normal. We need new routines.” Several months later, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott said, “We’ll begin to again turn the spigot once more and get back to whatever normal will be.”

    By then, my brain was screaming: No way. Do others feel it, too, cringing every time new Normal, old Normal, any Normal is uttered? That to go back to you would mean we don’t question the ways things were, that we ignore the cracks that have been exposed, and that we forget the lessons — good and bad — that have been learned?

    The experience of living through the yearlong aberration feels like the rapid-fire history verses of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” — condensed into one tumultuous year. The world shuts down, a racial reckoning, a divisive election. Loss after loss after loss. A previously unimaginable attack on the peaceful American transfer of power. A jittery inauguration. Multiple vaccines — and a glimpse of a world beyond the pandemic.

    After living through all that, going back to Normal feels more and more like returning to a lover we just can’t seem to leave.

    B.C., adaptability sometimes felt a lot different. It let us recover from jetlag and get used to a new time zone in days, sometimes hours. It let us move from the warming layered looks of winter to — unimaginably — a spaghetti-strap dress when the heat of summer comes. It’s turning a new house into a home.

    The past year has given adaptability a new meaning. Many people have a new perspective of their capabilities. Impossible things became possible: Maintaining relationships online and enduring not seeing family and friends, or anyone, for extended periods of time. A whole crop of young people finding grace after being robbed of moments big and small. We got used to it. We normalized the unimaginable.

    Now, in late-stage pandemic life, the echoes of this unimaginable life creep into my dreams, leaving me wandering around a packed place like Walt Disney World maskless, or being the only exposed face in a sea of people wearing a mask. “It’s normal,” my therapist told me. “Everyone is having these dreams.”



    Well, great — more Normal I didn’t ask for.

    When we have a green light to start living life again, to enter a new Normal, what will we hold onto from this time? Will we really stay unbusy? Will we care more about work flexibility, employee protections, access to medical coverage? Will anti-racism efforts, once at the forefront of the zeitgeist, be prioritized or forgotten? Will mass shootings become the exception rather than a painful rule?

    Will there be any systemic change?

    Not likely, “Pandemic” author Sonia Shah said on a recent episode of John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight.”

    “We usually go right back to business as usual as soon as the thing ends, as soon as we have a drug, as soon as we have a vaccine,” she said. “We don’t really do the fundamental social change.”

    The thing about normalcy is that it’s never universal. My Normal is not yours. And because of that, it perpetuates life’s inequalities, many of which have been laid bare by the pandemic.

    These are problems that don’t have easy solutions and may not even be solved in our lifetimes. Sure, many people may want things to change. But will they commit to being part of that? Or will it be just like a resolution made at the start of a new year, one that is broken within a month or two?



    We’ve already experienced that. When life changed, there was a period of adjustment. It took a while to get used to it. Then we did. That’s happening again right now in the United States as more people are vaccinated and infection rates decrease. Already, the pulls of Normal are tugging.

    For all the growth and change and adaptation that has happened in the past year, it is hard to even define what a post-pandemic normalcy might mean. The dictionary defines it simply as conforming to a standard — usual, typical, or expected. Is that really what we want? “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be,” Maya Angelou once said.

    Without Normal, the path forward is more open, the opportunities perhaps broader. What if there’s a whole lot of amazing that stands to be lost if Normal returns? What if, instead of banking on normalcy, we focused on that one-of-a-kind ability to adapt and evolve? Maybe that’s the way forward, instead of simply reconciling with what was and trying to recreate something that’s already had its day.

    It’s too late, anyway. Remember, Normal: You and me, we already broke up.



    By SOPHIA ROSENBAUM
    yesterday
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  3. #812
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    Oh well, we still have videos ...
    For now.



    "Sanctify Yourself"


    Is this the age of the thunder and rage
    Can you feel the ground move 'round your feet
    If you take one step closer, it'll lead to another
    The crossroad above is where we meet
    I shout out for shelter, I need you for something
    The whole world is out, they're all on the street
    Control yourself, love is all you need
    Control yourself, in your eyes
    Sanctify yourself, sanctify
    Be apart of me, sanctify
    Sanctify yourself, sanctify
    Sanctify yourself, set yourself free

    In pictures of living, in bloodshot a vision
    Sweet miracles and strange circumstances
    I see the sun up, the showdown, the cool winds that blow down
    On the big beat that life-long romance is
    You've got a gun in your hand, you're making self plans
    Stay with me all through the night
    Control yourself, love is all you need
    Control yourself, open up your heart
    Sanctify yourself, sanctify
    Be apart of me, sanctify
    Sanctify yourself, sanctify
    Sanctify yourself, set yourself free

    You can't stop the world for a boy or a girl
    Sweet victims of poor circumstances
    But you can pour back the love, sweeping down from above
    Giving hope and making more chances
    Well, I hope and I pray that maybe someday
    You'll come back down here and show me the way
    Control yourself, love is all you need
    Control yourself, open up your heart
    Open up your heart
    Sanctify yourself, sanctify
    Sanctify yourself, sanctify
    Sanctify yourself, set yourself free
    ...to the topTop

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  5. #813
    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    Simple Minds is one of my husband's favorite bands.
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  7. #814
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    Thinking

    Gone in a DC minutes ...
    All things must pass ...


    Looking back at the life of the unapologetic
    criminal behind Watergate, G. Gordon Liddy


    PBS NewsHour



    He was part political provocateur, part ruthless operator. Best known for his role in the Watergate break-in, which ultimately led to the downfall of President Richard Nixon. Lisa Desjardins has the story of G. Gordon Liddy, who died Tuesday not far from Washington.
    Mar 31, 2021

    2:29 minutes


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  9. #815
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    Thinking

    Pay heed ...

    We’re Finally Starting to
    Understand How Covid-19
    Affects the Brain


    “Perhaps [Covid] tests the weakest link,” says one researcher. “As a
    patient once said to me, ‘It goes for what you care about most’”

    By Elizabeth Yuko




    "A couple of months into the pandemic, when scientists and physicians were still approaching Covid-19 primarily as a respiratory illness, Dr. Igor Koralnik, chief of neuro-infectious diseases and global neurology at Northwestern Medicine, began seeing a new category of patients seek treatment at his neurology practice in Chicago. In addition to sharing similar neurological symptoms, they had something else in common: Each had Covid-19, but never fully recovered.

    One after another, via both in-person and telehealth appointments, the patients described a set of neurological symptoms that included some combination of headache, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and, most frequently, cognitive dysfunction many referred to as “brain fog.” In addition to their frustration and unanswered questions, the patients had another shared experience: While most went through a few days or even weeks of acute illness, their symptoms never got severe enough to warrant a visit to the hospital.

    Without proof of a hospital stay, many of these self-described Covid “long-haulers” — people with what researchers are now calling long-Covid or PASC (Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection) — found themselves dismissed by doctors who didn’t believe that their mild cases could possibly have impacted their cognitive function. Koralnik, on the other hand, took a different approach, opening his Neuro Covid-19 Clinic in May 2020. He made the decision to see anyone who said they were dealing with post-Covid neurological symptoms, regardless of whether they were hospitalized, or ever tested positive for Covid-19 or antibodies. (The extremely limited availability of Covid tests in the spring of 2020 meant that many people were unable to get one — regardless of whether they had every known symptom.)

    An expert in neuro-infectious diseases, Koralnik has years of experience researching and treating viral infections that result in neurological conditions — like encephalitis caused by the herpes virus, and Guillain-Barré syndrome developing in people infected with Zika. “There are dozens of viruses that cause neurological problems,” Koralnik tells Rolling Stone, “but nothing like what we’ve seen with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.”

    Recognizing the importance of not only providing his patients with clinical care but also learning about the longer-term effects of the virus on the brain, Koralnik immediately began researching this lesser-known aspect of Covid-19.

    In October 2020, Koralnik and his team published their first findings, on the frequency and severity of neurological symptoms in patients hospitalized with Covid-19. Their second article — published on March 23rd in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology — is the first study to report neurologic findings in long-Covid patients who were not hospitalized. Most notably, this research found that despite having mild cases of Covid-19, 85 percent of these patients reported experiencing at least four neurological symptoms that impacted their quality of life, and/or their cognitive abilities.

    While it’s important to keep in mind that these are the findings of a single, relatively small study, it is a significant step toward recognizing the effects the virus can have on the brain. Here are a few of the study’s insights that can help expand our understanding of the neurological impact of Covid-19.

    People with mild or severe cases of Covid-19
    could see lingering effects


    According to Koralnik’s October 2020 article, approximately 80 percent of people hospitalized with Covid-19 experience neurological symptoms. While that finding is certainly alarming, this group of patients benefits from clinical acceptance of post-ICU cognitive effects — and have the hospital wristband (and records) demonstrating the severity of their illness. But non-hospitalized Covid-19 patients with lasting neurological difficulties had neither the research nor wristbands to make their case to doctors.

    This new study changes that, providing evidence that those with even mild cases of Covid-19 could have lingering effects. The study’s participants were the first 100 eligible non-hospitalized long-Covid patients who sought treatment at the Neuro Covid-19 Clinic from May to November 2020. Their average age was 43, 70 percent were women, and 85 percent reported a minimum of four neurological symptoms. In other words, the severity of a person’s Covid-19 acute infection doesn’t predict whether they’ll experience long-lasting neurological difficulties. “Long-Covid [also] affects people who initially only had mild respiratory presentation of Covid-19 and did not require hospitalization for pneumonia,” Koralnik tells Rolling Stone. “Neurologic symptoms may persist for months and may adversely affect the quality of life and cognitive functions.”

    There is a wide variety of neurological symptoms


    Koralnik’s research also provides important insights into the types of symptoms long-Covid patients experience. “I was surprised by the high frequency of neurologic symptoms and their variety,” Koralnik explains. In the study, the most frequently reported symptoms related to brain function were brain fog (81 percent), headache (68 percent), numbness/tingling (60 percent), disorder of taste (59 percent), disorder of smell (55 percent), muscle pain (55 percent), dizziness (47 percent), pain (43 percent), blurred vision (30 percent), and tinnitus (29 percent).

    There’s a connection between mental health and long-Covid


    Prior to the release of the new research, the neurological impact of Covid had already made the news this week, following the March 18th death of Kent Taylor — the founder and chief executive of the Texas Roadhouse restaurant chain — at the age of 65. According to a statement from Taylor’s family, he died by suicide following a struggle with post-Covid symptoms, including severe tinnitus.

    While there’s still much to learn about the link between long-Covid and mental illness, a few details are emerging. For example, 42 percent of the participants in Koralnik’s study reported having depression and/or anxiety prior to contracting Covid-19. “We were surprised by the number of patients who were suffering from depression/anxiety before their Covid-19 diagnosis, and this suggests a possible neuropsychiatric vulnerability to developing long-Covid,” Koralnik explains.

    This presence of pre-Covid mental-health conditions or symptoms is something Dr. Anna Nordvig, a neurologist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and the co-founder of the CUIMC Post-COVID “Brain Fog” Clinic, has observed among her patients as well.

    “I am surprised how often I hear ‘yes’ when I ask about pre-Covid, ADHD-like tendencies and mood symptoms, because the patients I see in the clinic were functioning well pre-Covid — even if they had some underlying susceptibility, like mild, well-controlled anxiety or ADHD,” she tells Rolling Stone. “Perhaps [Covid] tests the weakest link. As a patient once said to me, ‘It goes for where you’re weakest and what you care about most.’”

    In other cases, changes in mood or the presence of mental-health conditions may occur after a Covid-19 infection. A recent article published in Nature — which Nordvig co-authored, along with colleagues from Columbia University — details some of the psychiatric effects of long-Covid, including the development of anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and post-traumatic stress disorder in some patients. In her cognitive clinic, Nordvig says she has had patients report various changes in mood, “sometimes with passive suicidal thoughts in patients who had never before had them.”

    Next up: Research into possible treatments


    While there is no cure for the neurological impacts of long-Covid, Nordvig says that there are treatments that doctors are now trying, based on patient-specific symptoms. This itself marks a promising shift from the challenges many long-Covid patients faced only a few months ago, when it wasn’t uncommon for health care professionals to dismiss the concept of long-Covid altogether — let alone attempt to treat it.

    The pandemic is far from over, but looking back at the accomplishments of research conducted over the past year — including the development of multiple safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines — there are reasons to be cautiously optimistic about the possibility of future advancements. One is the unprecedented cooperation among many researchers to try to find solutions to the innumerable problems the pandemic has caused, affecting nearly every aspect of our lives.

    “I have never seen the scientific community collaborate with such openness and immediacy, and with critical inclusivity of patient advocacy groups like BodyPolitic,” Nordvig says. “This gives me hope for answers, faster.”"

    Source/reference links
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  11. #816
    Administrator Aragorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by giovonni View Post
    "A couple of months into the pandemic, when scientists and physicians were still approaching Covid-19 primarily as a respiratory illness, Dr. Igor Koralnik, chief of neuro-infectious diseases and global neurology at Northwestern Medicine, began seeing a new category of patients seek treatment at his neurology practice in Chicago. In addition to sharing similar neurological symptoms, they had something else in common: Each had Covid-19, but never fully recovered.

    One after another, via both in-person and telehealth appointments, the patients described a set of neurological symptoms that included some combination of headache, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and, most frequently, cognitive dysfunction many referred to as “brain fog.” In addition to their frustration and unanswered questions, the patients had another shared experience: While most went through a few days or even weeks of acute illness, their symptoms never got severe enough to warrant a visit to the hospital.

    Without proof of a hospital stay, many of these self-described Covid “long-haulers” — people with what researchers are now calling long-Covid or PASC (Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection) — found themselves dismissed by doctors who didn’t believe that their mild cases could possibly have impacted their cognitive function. Koralnik, on the other hand, took a different approach, opening his Neuro Covid-19 Clinic in May 2020. He made the decision to see anyone who said they were dealing with post-Covid neurological symptoms, regardless of whether they were hospitalized, or ever tested positive for Covid-19 or antibodies. (The extremely limited availability of Covid tests in the spring of 2020 meant that many people were unable to get one — regardless of whether they had every known symptom.)

    An expert in neuro-infectious diseases, Koralnik has years of experience researching and treating viral infections that result in neurological conditions — like encephalitis caused by the herpes virus, and Guillain-Barré syndrome developing in people infected with Zika. “There are dozens of viruses that cause neurological problems,” Koralnik tells Rolling Stone, “but nothing like what we’ve seen with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.”

    Recognizing the importance of not only providing his patients with clinical care but also learning about the longer-term effects of the virus on the brain, Koralnik immediately began researching this lesser-known aspect of Covid-19.

    In October 2020, Koralnik and his team published their first findings, on the frequency and severity of neurological symptoms in patients hospitalized with Covid-19. Their second article — published on March 23rd in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology — is the first study to report neurologic findings in long-Covid patients who were not hospitalized. Most notably, this research found that despite having mild cases of Covid-19, 85 percent of these patients reported experiencing at least four neurological symptoms that impacted their quality of life, and/or their cognitive abilities.

    While it’s important to keep in mind that these are the findings of a single, relatively small study, it is a significant step toward recognizing the effects the virus can have on the brain. Here are a few of the study’s insights that can help expand our understanding of the neurological impact of Covid-19.

    People with mild or severe cases of Covid-19
    could see lingering effects


    According to Koralnik’s October 2020 article, approximately 80 percent of people hospitalized with Covid-19 experience neurological symptoms. While that finding is certainly alarming, this group of patients benefits from clinical acceptance of post-ICU cognitive effects — and have the hospital wristband (and records) demonstrating the severity of their illness. But non-hospitalized Covid-19 patients with lasting neurological difficulties had neither the research nor wristbands to make their case to doctors.

    This new study changes that, providing evidence that those with even mild cases of Covid-19 could have lingering effects. The study’s participants were the first 100 eligible non-hospitalized long-Covid patients who sought treatment at the Neuro Covid-19 Clinic from May to November 2020. Their average age was 43, 70 percent were women, and 85 percent reported a minimum of four neurological symptoms. In other words, the severity of a person’s Covid-19 acute infection doesn’t predict whether they’ll experience long-lasting neurological difficulties. “Long-Covid [also] affects people who initially only had mild respiratory presentation of Covid-19 and did not require hospitalization for pneumonia,” Koralnik tells Rolling Stone. “Neurologic symptoms may persist for months and may adversely affect the quality of life and cognitive functions.”

    There is a wide variety of neurological symptoms


    Koralnik’s research also provides important insights into the types of symptoms long-Covid patients experience. “I was surprised by the high frequency of neurologic symptoms and their variety,” Koralnik explains. In the study, the most frequently reported symptoms related to brain function were brain fog (81 percent), headache (68 percent), numbness/tingling (60 percent), disorder of taste (59 percent), disorder of smell (55 percent), muscle pain (55 percent), dizziness (47 percent), pain (43 percent), blurred vision (30 percent), and tinnitus (29 percent).

    [...]
    Yep... I've had Covid-19 twice now so far, with only six months between both infections ─ almost down to the day ─ and there's no telling whether I might get it again, because not everyone is observing all the rules regarding disinfecting their hands, wearing their masks (properly), and so on. And ever since my first bout of Covid-19 now about one year ago, I've been periodically experiencing all of the symptoms listed in the above article, except for tinnitus. The two symptoms that upset me the most are the brain fog and the inability to properly remember names and words. Both occur most frequently when I get up in the morning, but they may also temporarily kick in during the rest of the day. I find it noticeably harder now to remember names ─ bands, song titles, automotive marques/models, historically relevant people and places, movie titles ─ and/or the correct word or term for any given thing.

    My sense of taste has never changed ─ some people report a loss of taste and smell ─ but I do occasionally smell things that just aren't there. For instance, when washing my hair, I will occasionally smell the scent of twin-stroke fuel ─ i.e. petrol/gasoline that is pre-mixed with engine lubricant. It is a scent that's very distinct from the petrol/gasoline used in four-stroke engines, and I'm quite accustomed to the two-stroke scent ─ not that it's a pleasant one, because it irritates the airways ─ because of the youngsters who visit the kine practice below my apartment and who get here by way of a scooter with a two-stroke engine. Maybe it's just the synapses containing the memory of that scent which get triggered, because the shampoo I use certainly doesn't smell anything like two-stroke fuel.

    I've also read the account a few days ago of a woman who's had Covid-19 and who regularly smells something rotting whenever she opens up her fridge door. She had her daughter completely check out the fridge, but there was nothing spoiled in there, nor could the daughter herself detect any stench of rotting food, while the mother could swear that there was indeed something spoiled in there.

    One thing I do know. Even more so than the virus and the damage it would have caused to my neurology, I hate the people who keep on claiming that it's either a common cold or the flu, and that it's only a respiratory disease. I ran into a couple of those again on Usenet a few days ago, and I was insulted, ridiculed and humiliated. It even made me contemplate terminating my now 20+-year presence on Usenet ─ which I may yet decide to do, because the level of intelligence on Usenet appears to be dropping significantly with every passing year, the trolls and kooks are running amok, and there isn't much being posted anymore that's interesting anyway.

    Either way, our government is now rolling out a mass vaccination program, but so far they've been handling things with great incompetence, and you get the feeling that they're just flailing about back and forth between the experts and the economic lobbies. The whole situation is incredibly chaotic, even though the government pretends that they've got it all under control and that their approach is the best. And we've now also got an entirely new Covid-related vocabulary, with terms like "family bubble", "outdoor bubble" and "cuddle contact". And of course, the term "social distance", but that one has already become an internationally accepted term now.
    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =
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    Returning Topic

    Congratulations to one of my fav's ...

    German in Venice ...

    Unboxing the silver play button for 100,000 subscribers on Venice beach


    Apr 2, 2021

    13:40 minutes


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  15. #818
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    And speaking of Venice Beach ...
    The Doors under the Santa Monica Pier



    Moonlight Drive

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  17. #819
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    Lightbulb

    And speaking of water ...

    The Clever Architectural
    Feature That Makes Life on
    Bermuda Possible


    How does an island with no lakes, rivers, or
    streams provide water for 65,000 people? Look
    up.


    by Luke Fater March 31, 2021



    Bermuda's solution to its water conundrum is visible in the historic town of St. George.

    "In 1609, the flagship of the Virginia Company, Sea Venture, was blown miserably off course by a brutal summer hurricane that wrecked the ship near a tiny island, some 700 miles off the Virginia coast. Fortunately, no lives were lost. Unfortunately, the island offered not a drop of fresh water.

    Today, that island is among the most densely populated countries on Earth, and it is still without a permanent body of fresh water. Oddly enough, visitors to Bermuda can see the solution to the problem of potability before the plane even touches down.

    Bermudians are some of the most water-conscious people in the Western world, and this consciousness is built into their homes. The blindingly white, limestone Bermuda Roof—an architectural rain-catch concept with roots dating back to the 17th century—is singularly responsible for making human life possible in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The roof of each home is mandated, by law, to catch and redirect rain into underground cisterns that serve as islanders’ primary source of freshwater. While initially conceived as a means of survival, the elegant roofs have become an aesthetic landmark. “Architecturally, Bermuda really hasn’t changed,” says Guilden Gilbert, a born-and-raised Bermudian. “It’s unlikely that you’d see any modern design in island architecture, which I think is actually a good thing.”


    The limestone roofs are designed to slow, direct, and capture rain water in underground cisterns.

    "Gilbert and his wife left Bermuda 24 years ago, but he took the roof with him. Today he runs a construction company that exports the concept throughout the Caribbean. “Bermuda’s roofs last for generations,” he says. “The house I grew up in was 95 years old, still had the original roof. The house next door was 200 years old, still had the original roof.” In fact, the Carter House (named after one of the shipwrecked sailors from 1609) was built in the 1680s—original roof.

    It’s an ingenious concept, even if the land itself does most of the work. Bermuda is a limestone island, so for most of the houses, the stone that is unearthed to make room for the foundation and mandatory water tank becomes the slabs that form the actual roof. The sloping slabs then catch, slow, and redirect rain through several pipes that meet in the underground tank. “When it’s heavy rain, you actually hear it in the various downpipes in the walls,” says Geoffrey Smith, an environmental engineer with the Government of Bermuda. “It’s actually a nice sound.” He says regulations demand that 80 percent of each roof be designated for rain catch, and that for every 10 square feet of roof, the tank below must hold 100 gallons of water.

    The roofs have side-benefits, too. According to Gilbert, the limestone is naturally cooling, relieving most families of the need for central air conditioning. So long as there are no overhangs or gaps between the coated slabs, the inch-thick roofs are also virtually hurricane-proof. “In rare cases, the whole stone roof will have been lifted up and shifted a foot or two,” says University of Rochester historian Michael Jarvis. “But it’s still solid.”

    Between the roofs, pipes, and tanks, the uniquely Bermudian relationship to water trickles into day-to-day life. Hydrogeologist Shaun Lavis grew up in the United Kingdom, but has acclimated to the centrality of rainfall in island living. “I’ve got a little part of my brain that’s always aware of the tank level,” he says. “Pretty healthy at the moment, we’ve had good weather.” He says islanders refer to prolonged bouts of precipitation as “tank-rain” or a “tank-filler.” The water pressure isn’t quite the same as back home, he says, and baths are more of a rarity. “Probably a quarterly event, if there’s been a good rain. But it’s somewhat frowned upon.”


    The roofs are also resistant to hurricanes, and many old buildings retain their original roofs.

    "Indeed, rain is exalted, and water waste is condemned. “Bermudian kids are always taught about conservation and the Bermuda Roofs from a young age,” says Gilbert. From taking short showers, to turning off the water while brushing your teeth—and, in rough times—flushing toilets as little as possible, the interplay between water and survival is ingrained from a young age. “We were raised to be cognizant of how much water was in the tank,” he says. “We had to make it last.” Of course, droughts still happen. While roof catch meets the needs of most Bermudians most years, innovations have been made to accommodate an expanding population. In the 20th century, the growth of the tourism industry (today a distant second to financial services) meant the arrival of hoards of water-gluttonous mainlanders, mostly Americans. Around then, according to Jarvis, the island developed its first desalination plants, which use reverse osmosis to make fresh water. Other backup sources were identified throughout the century, including groundwater lenses (fresh water that floats on top of denser saltwater), as well as water mains and trucks to bring water to empty-tanked families. The island now fills all its water needs consistently, but, according to Smith, rain catch from Bermuda Roofs is still far and away the largest source.

    Bermudians appreciate the backups, but cling to tradition anyway. As Jarvis says, “Bermudian families strive for self-sufficiency. To need government water is almost like surrendering, like you lost the fight.”

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    Off the beaten path with Kurt Caz ...

    Lunch In The Forgotten Coast of Colombia


    An hour away from Medellin via the smallest plane ever, lies the small town of Bahia Solano in the State of Chocó on the pacific Coast of Colombia.
    From there I caught a ride on a boat to Playa Huina.
    That is where I am.
    Let's go get something to eat!

    Apr 3, 2021

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    Even on TOT - Joolz gets around ...

    London Taxis and Lots of Spiffing Stuff About Them


    London Taxis have been carrying Londoners around for over 300 years. In this video Joolz travels around London in Taxis talking to lots of drivers and finding out all about them.

    The history of the taxi, what are the rules and regulations? Who owns one? How do you become a taxi driver? How long does it take to do the knowledge?

    Of course there is the usual foolishness and funny anecdotes too.

    Apr 4, 2021

    24:38 minutes


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    "The national debt only exists when republicans are not in power" ...

    The National Debt: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

    The national debt has long been portrayed as a burden we’re placing on future generations. John Oliver discusses how national debt works, why people are so concerned about it, and why it might be more helpful that you think.

    Apr 4, 2021

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    Think about it ...


    "He's Misstra Know-It-All"

    Stevie Wonder


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    Give thanks for individuals like this ...

    Washington Post editor Marty Baron on our nation's "wake-up call"

    CBS Sunday Morning


    The retiring leader of the Washington Post's newsroom talks with "60 Minutes" correspondent Lesley Stahl about the changing world of newspapers; how Jeff Bezos' purchase of the Post reinvigorated the paper; and how events of the past several years have shined a light on the fragility of democratic institutions and the importance of a free press.
    Apr 4, 2021

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    Tiny is mighty ...

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