Friday, May 20, 2022

2020 updates

Moving these from my ongoing log for brevity of that one

News from 2020

recent performances 

courses completed

  • Art 147, "Introduction to Digital Animation" Prof. D Krikun (fall semester 2020 -- via Zoom) New blog site created for this course 
  • Improv 2, Magnet Theater with Ross Taylor (retaking the course -- via Zoom) October-December 2020. Class Show: December 4 on Zoom
  • FTS 212 "Introduction to films and TV," Prof U Gonzalez, Lehman College online (Movies watched: "The Persistence of Vision," "The Kid," "Hugo," "13th," "Pulp Fiction," "The Unforgiven, "Pan's Labyrinth") (Encore program) (July-Aug 2020)
  • 6/1/20, 5/4/20, 4/27/20, 4/20/20, 4/1/20, 3/24/20, 2/25/20, 2/15/20 zoom dance class with James T Lane
  • 2/7/20 dance class with James T Lane
  • 1/21/20 dance class with James T. Lane

CLE courses completed

  • November: several courses from NYIPLA 
  • 9/5/20 "Social Security and Disability Claims: A Primer" United CLE
  • 8/25/20 "Dissecting the New York Primary: Lost Votes and the Creation of a Better Process for November"
  • 8/19/20 "Practicing Law in  a Pandemic: Remote Lawyering in the Age of COVID-19 Part II" United CLE
  • 8/8/20 "Recognizing and Removing Bias from the Legal Profession" United CLE
  • 6/23/20 "Litigating and appealing health care and long term disability insurance denials" United CLE
  • 5/22/20 "Hot Topics in IP" JPPCLE

media consumed

  • albums purchased: "Sing Gently" by Eric Whitacre Virtual Choir; The Soundflowers EP; David Foster "Eleven Words," The Hu "Gereg," Avi Kaplan "I'll Get By", John Williams "The Rise of Skywalker," Adam Lambert "Velvet," Adam Lambert "Trespassing"
  • Livestreams: 4 by Josh Groban; 1 by Matt & Savanna Shaw


Thursday, April 28, 2022

My art shows

 Nov 2020: art show in the Warner Library in Tarrytown, NY.  Instagram posts

Flyer for art show: Cortelyou branch of the Brooklyn Public Library.  I'm hoping to move this show to libraries in Westchester soon.

My art was previously on display at the Mapleton Library in Brooklyn.  Here was the flyer.  Please note that most of my drawings are done with sparkle ink, which may not be immediately apparent on still photos.

My art was on display at the Borough Park Library, 1265 43rd St, Brooklyn NY -- 1/15/19-2/28/19.  This was the flyer -- tho the show was extended from the original announced date

Monday, April 18, 2022

Water failing inspection due to haloacetic acids -- Tarrytown NY

 I posted this question on the 10591 FB group.  

Twice now I have received a notification that the water in Tarrytown has failed inspection due to excessive halo-acetic acids.  What, if anything, are people doing about this?  Do people have a preferred water filtration system?  

I pulled an old Brita filter pitcher out of the cupboard, put in a new filter, and started using it again.  I had stopped, because I was more concerned about the plastic in the pitcher than I was about the water.  Now, tho, since we've gotten this notice, I decided to use it again.

But someone told me I should use a Berkey.  Then I discovered that those were rather expensive, and, moreover, there are a baffling array of filtration options out there.  

I'm thinking a whole house filtration system is overkill.  I don't need to flush my toilets or wash my laundry in filtered water.

Anyway, if anyone has any thoughts, I would like to hear them.

This has turned out to be my most popular comment in that group.  I got 60 comments before the admin turned off commenting.  I'm not going to reproduce all the comments here, but here were some interesting points.

The Tarrytown Village Administrator posted a copy of the village notice.

(This follow-up notice was originally circulated Village-wide on April 1, 2022, and is posted on the Village website)

Dear Concerned residents of Tarrytown:

Good morning.

Although a Village-wide e-mail blast already went out, it appears that some people did not receive it. We wanted to make sure that the Village had shared this information with everyone.

The Village sent out a village-wide e-mail with further information on Friday, April 1, 2022.

This communication is to follow-up on the elevated chemical quarterly notice that the Village of Tarrytown issued on March 31, 2022.

• Our water is safe to drink, wash and cook with.

• Westchester County Health Department and the New York State Health Department gave us a notice of violation and mandatory order to issue that notice.

• It is a quarterly notice of elevated Tri-halomethanes (THMs) and Haloacetic acids (HAAs).

• This warning is targeted to people with suppressed immune systems and who have elevated risk of cancer over long-term exposure (20 to 30 years), so they can consider drinking bottled water for the time being.

• THMs and HAAs are a byproduct of the chlorination process, and are created when chlorine reacts with organic material like algae, bacteria and parasites that occur in natural water like the water we receive from NY City’s Catskill and Delaware systems.

• Chlorine has for many decades been considered one of the safest ways to make drinking water safe to drink, cook and bathe with.

• New York City treats our water with chlorine before it reaches Tarrytown’s system.

• The THM and HAA chemicals are elevated because New York City had been using higher levels of chlorine.

• New York City has since reduced their chlorination levels, in turn has reduced the levels of THMs and HAAs.

• We may have to issue another one or two quarterly notices, if the quarterly average levels remain above the notice threshold, but the last readings this past quarter were back down into the range of levels that are safe.

Let us know if you have any other questions or concerns.

Very truly yours,

Richard Slingerland

Village Administrator


Articles linked to: 

Filters reported to remove haloacetic acids

NIH article about haloacetic acids

Environmental Working Group article


Products recommended

And apparently Brita filter pitchers are sufficient to remove haloacetic acids


#NYCWater #HaloceticAcids #WaterContamination #WaterFilters #TarrytownWater #WaterFailedInspection

Thursday, March 17, 2022

My car pool fantasy

 I would like an app, for instance Google Maps, that would dynamically deploy car and van pools in response to trip searches.

Participants could be pre-screened for safety and credit.

There could be a mileage charge & toll charge that would be used to reimburse drivers for gas & tolls.  Perhaps drivers could get credits at a local gas station for miles driven.

We need to protect the environment and reduce dependence on foreign oil.  We've got to stop being beholden to Russia and Saudi Arabia.

One of the problems with existing public transportation systems is that they generally take much longer than driving.  I live in Westchester County NY.  I once interviewed for a job in Murray Hill, NJ.  I found that it took one hour & fifteen minutes to drive there.  When I checked the public transportation, it was 3 hours one way.  Driving was manageable.  Spending 6 hours in public transportation was not.

With today's artificial intelligence, we should be able to do better with public transportation, by having routes be determined dynamically, rather than once every few months.  We should be able to approach the transportation time that we would expect with a car.

#ClimateChange #CarPool #VanPool #ForeignOil #ArtificialIntelligence

Sunday, January 9, 2022

COVID-19: conflating absence of evidence with evidence of absence

 I started noticing this issue when I started blogging about masks in the spring of 2020, when I wrote a blog asking why the virus was innocent until proven guilty.

That was after I started the blog in March of 2020 saying we should use masks -- and was frustrated at how long it took for that to become a public recommendation -- until July -- 4 precious months where we might have stemmed the spread of this virus

It wasn't until November of 2020 that I saw someone with a platform condemning the medical community for the same pattern of behavior.   She called it conflating absence of evidence with evidence of absence

It's still happening.  I was just having an argument with my cousin on Facebook, arguing about the need for eye protection.  This is what I said

In fact there has been totally inadequate study of the role of the eyes in contagion. This whole pandemic has been cursed with making the virus innocent until proven guilty. 

They had to prove it was airborne, even tho similar viruses were known to be airborne -- delaying mask recommendations for months -- and therefore allowing the pandemic to spiral out of control.   I blogged about this back in March of 2020.  I had extensive arguments with a friend who is a doctor who kept insisting that masks were not necessary — changed her tune a few months later.  

They claimed they had to prove that children could spread the virus, even tho there haven't been other viruses that adults could spread and children couldn’t.  When the proof finally arrived, it turned out that children were more contagious than adults.  The widespread statements implying that children could not spread the virus — in the absence of evidence -- also helped the pandemic spread. 

They alleged for the longest time that people couldn't catch it from animals, even tho it was generally believed that the virus initially jumped from animals to people.  Now they're finding it endemic in various animal populations — and they’re concerned about it.  White tailed deer are now suspected vectors. White tailed deer routinely kill off competing species by spreading disease that they’re able to live with, but other species can’t.  Why should they be surprised that COVID-19 would be in the same category?  Yet it had to be proven. Some scientists are now even suggesting that Omicron developed in mice — which may be a good thing, as it may be milder, but that wasn’t the obvious result of it having spread to rodents.

The lack of recommendations regarding eye protection, despite the clear communication of the eyes with the nose, is in this vein. The virus hasn't been scientifically proven to be transmitted through the eyes, so, despite the widespread empirical experience in emergency rooms, no eye protection recommendation is given.  

This innocent until proven guilty attitude towards the virus is really an appalling.  It has resulted in millions of deaths.  

In fact, my personal experience with common colds is that they ALWAYS start in the eyes.  First, the eyes itch. Then I get the scratchy throat.  Then the cold develops.  If you look at the configurations of the orifices of the face, the eyes are most exposed.  The nose points downwards.  The mouth has saliva, which has been shown to kill many coronaviruses.  The eyes are just sitting there — sitting ducks.

Here's an article about the possible role of the eyes in infection It's really only a matter of time before they "prove" that the eyes are important in infection with respiratory viruses.  In the meantime, people die.