A Closer Look … (that virus)

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with Anthony Newcombe (Vol. II)

Let’s take a closer look

Area: Covid-19 / Health & Pandemics

Issue: What “good” has already resulted from shutting down entire city, state, and nation populations due to the Covid-19 pandemic? Let’s take ‘a closer look’ …

If you haven’t yet noticed, we are in an international health crisis – the likes of which have never been seen on this size and scale. Our global population is closing in on 8 billion – and one of its largest, China, first experienced one of the most enigmatic and deadly outbreaks of what is termed “Covid-19.” As of this post publication (3/21/2020), China has (reportedly) gained control of the outbreak of new infections. Conversely, the location I’m currently residing in, Los Angeles, Calif., U.S.A. – is in its second full day of a complete lock down/ social distancing/ shelter-in-place, house arrest, or whatever you’d like to call it.

But rather than continuing to describe all of the necessary “inconveniences” that we are enduring (and will likely continue to endure for weeks or months ahead) I’m going to shift gears on the fly and discuss some of the obvious “positive repercussions” of this home confinement program.

  1. Traffic and other congestion: Almost immediately, our local neighborhood has been freed up of an unbelievable amount of “non-essential” traffic. Just to provide some perspective, the main street we live adjacent to is a thoroughfare for over 65,000 automobiles, trucks, motorcycles and ‘lambos’ per day. Yes, per day! The noise level, the noticeable lack of constant tripping of our motion sensor lights during the overnight hours and everything that comes with it (i.e. SLEEP) is nothing less than stunning!
  2. People are a lot nicer: With full disclosure, I must admit I don’t spend much time in the local supermarkets, big box retailers, etc. However, my wife does! And from what I’m hearing, people (yeah, the L.A. ones) are treating each other with a bit more respect.
  3. Trash in the streets: Since there are no car “meal-eaters,” coffee cup throwers, or whatever else, the streets are a lot cleaner and we don’t have to spend our mornings and/or evenings in the gutters picking up after strangers … again, a good thing!
  4. Cleaner air: Actually, I first noticed this from a report out of Wuhan, China last month (and more recently in Italy) that showed an infrared image before lock down (factories emitting particulates 24/7) and after (all closed and nothing emitting at all). Guess what? We see it here too. The local factories (we call them “malls”) aren’t overflowing with people and cars looking to hang out all day. More importantly, with most of the local businesses either closed or mostly empty, as bad as it is (admittedly) it does, in fact, allows the environment to “take a break” from the constant and considerable pounding it has been taking for so long.

What do you have to say about where you are? Don’t be shy, please tell us!

-A.N.

Microsoft APAC

WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy

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FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailWikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy

by David Leigh & Luke Harding, pub. 2011, 250 pps.

Sneak Peek: For book info, click FB link

What I learned from this book

I learned that a few tidbits that I thought I’d already known previously.  First, I forgot how many supporters Assange had in the courtroom in England.  My recollection from afar was that the world basically considered him to be an outsider or persona non grata, when, in fact, he became more of a cult-like figure – adorned with big-name stars and even a few groupies in tow.  Second, I wasn’t aware of how targeted Hillary Clinton was during the dawn of WikiLeaks.  It is almost surreal to read some of the descriptions of how her enemies plotted her demise.  It gives a different perspective to the 2016 election and all that has taken place since.

What I liked about this book

I liked the way the authors laid out Mr. Assange’s childhood/ upbringing and showed how his experiences during youth lays an accurate and detailed groundwork for the type of figure he ultimately became.  Basically, no matter what side you are on with respect to how and what Julian Julian Assange does (and has done) with WikiLeaks, it is more easily understood the elements of what makes him tick.

What I disliked about this book

There wasn’t much to dislike about the book.

Whom would I recommend to read this book

This book is a great read for all of those who don’t understand the enigmatic Julian Assange.  When dealing with a complicated and intelligent human being, it is important to take the time and make the effort to understand his or her perspective prior to making judgment of character and/or actions. Hence, no matter which side of the political “side” our reader is on with respect to Assange and WikiLeaks, this work is inarguably an informative and historically important read.

Any thoughts?

-A.N.

 

Microsoft APAC

Alexander Hamilton – by Ron Chernow

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What I liked most about this book

 I liked the way Ron Chernow laid out the book.  His writing style made it an amazing read and allows the reader to quickly get in the flow to obtain a full understanding of the complicated brilliance of this man (Hamilton) and his amazing contributions to the formation of the U.S.A. in such a brief time – while simultaneously addressing the issues that led him to an early and tragic death.

 What was most challenging about this book

 The biggest challenge of this book was simply keeping it balanced and upright while reading all 730 pages!  My left wrist and fingers took quite a beating from many weeks of twists and turns. However, the pain was well worth it!

 Why and to whom would I recommend this book

 I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning a lot about our country’s start (and probably over the age of 12). There are so many compelling details of which many of us probably are completely unaware. Finally, it is a great way to gain a better understanding of how the United States of America took shape, what the environment was like at the time, and who made the greatest impact.

Microsoft APAC