Blog #720.5 End of Pride Month

On The End of Pride Month: – A guest column by Kristof

My wife and I were having a comprehensive discussion about racism and pride weeks earlier this week.  I classify myself as a conservative on nearly subject. Some people choose to interpret conservatism as racist and ignorant; a topic for another time.  I don’t really care about the color of someone’s skin or their sexual preferences in either expression or activity. I care about people being tolerant, honorable and living their life with a sound tenet of values incorporating such characteristics as integrity, fun, compassion and continual spiritual and intellectual growth.  As one of my crew members states, “Just do you.”

I don’t understand month long observances or celebrations. like black history, LGBTQ, Irish-American, etc.  I do understand month long observances for awareness of a cause such as autism, cancer, ALS, dementia, diabetes, etc….

What got me thinking about this is why do certain kinds of people get a month to celebrate and advocate for whatever race, gender or chosen sexuality?  Frankly – being gay, brown, transgender or Irish doesn’t make someone any more special, better or worse than anyone else. It is an identity label that has been accepted by society.  Where are months to celebrate Indians (Native American or otherwise), children, familial hierarchy (great uncle twice removed day)? Whenever I have questioned celebration of these identities I have been told I am part of the problem because I am white and every month and every day is a celebration of “me, my people and causes.”  I don’t buy into the argument for one moment. What I will buy into is white people are/were the majority. What I do buy into is the notion we are all separate but equal; which also makes grouping people into different categories acceptable – the black group, the LGBTQ group, the cancer group, etc. And therein lies a flaw of society.  We look at people’s attributes and group them accordingly and that is where all the problems begin. Instead, we should look at people as people – Kristof as Kristof, Betty as Betty, Bruce as Bruce, etc. Segmenting is bad. Inclusion is good. Trying to be inclusive of all people regardless of sex, race, creed, sexuality, socio-economic position makes one realize how tragically flawed and complicated our social construct really is.

One of the key takeaways from wife is these observances and celebrations represent people who have been mistreated by society and white people haven’t exclusively mistreated everyone on the planet besides themselves.  These observances and celebrations exist to give people who have been oppressed a time to celebrate their uniqueness with other people unlike them – which I presume is the intention behind them. The black community and the LGBTQ community has been treated (and some still are) horribly and denied their inalienable rights.  Until these segments of the population see themselves as equal to the straight white guy the celebrations, observances and awareness outreaches will continue until they feel they are separate but equal. I wish we could do away with being separate and stick with being equal. It is unfortunate our society works the way it has – especially since say the mythological first Thanksgiving happened “when the pilgrims broke bread with the people already in North America as an act of friendship.”  It’s pretty much gone downhill since then under the assumption that the original intentions where to live in harmony.

This morning I stumbled a song called “We Shall Be Free” collaboratively written by Stephanie Davis and Garth Brooks.  The lyrics captured by thoughts beautifully:

“This ain’t comin’ from no prophet

Just an ordinary man

When I close my eyes I see, the way this world shall be

When we all walk hand in hand

When the last child cries, for a crust of bread

When the last man dies, for just words that he said

When there’s shelter over, the poorest head

We shall be free

When the last thing we notice, is the color of skin

And the first thing we look for is the beauty within

When the skies and the oceans are clean again

Then we shall be free

We shall be free

We shall be free

Stand straight, walk proud

‘Cause we shall be free

When we’re free to love, anyone we choose

When this world’s big enough for all different views

When we all can worship, from our own kind of pew

Then we shall be free, yeah

And when money talks for the very last time

And nobody walks a step behind

When there’s only one race and that’s mankind

Then we shall be free

We shall be free; We shall be free; Stand straight; Walk proud

Have a little faith; Hold out

‘Cause we shall be free

Thanks Kristof!!!  WOOOO!!!!  

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Blog #720 Health Benefits of Coffee – part 3

Health Benefits of Coffee – part 2

https://www.caffeineinformer.com/7-good-reasons-to-drink-coffee

Yesterday, I started on the health benefits of coffee – and there were a lot of them!!  So, today, I will finish off the list!!!! (most of the information comes directly from that article).

-9 Coffee drinkers have stronger DNA

“white blood cells of coffee drinkers had far less instance of spontaneous DNA strand breakage”  (I just hate it when my DNA strands break!!!)

-10 Lower Risk of Multiple Sclerosis. 

Recent research showed that at least 4 cups of coffee a day may help protect against the development and reoccurrence of MS. It is believed that the coffee prevents the neural inflammation that possibly leads to the disease developing.

-11 Coffee reduces colorectal cancer risk. Even moderate consumption of coffee can reduce the odds of developing colorectal cancer by 26%.(The article also noted that this benefit increases with more intact!!  HEY – no more colonoscopy scans!!!)

-12 Reduced Liver Cancer Risk: Researchers at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center found that those that consume 1-3 cups of coffee a day have a 29% reduced risk of developing liver cancer 

-13 Less Gout Risk: Yet another reason: Risk for developing gout (in men) decreases with increasing coffee consumption.

-14 Longevity: 

Several studies showed that women who consume coffee had a lower risk of death from cancer, heart disease, and other factors, which therefore promotes a longer lifespan. Yet another study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that coffee drinkers were at less risk of dying prematurely from diseases like diabetes, heart disease and forms of cancer. Another study from Japan found that men who drink at least 3 cups of coffee per day have a 24% less risk of dying early from disease. Yet another study from Harvard also confirmed that those who drink 1-5 cups of coffee a day avoid diseases linked to premature death.  A Japanese-based study also found similar results when it comes to coffee and longevity. Two more 2017 research studies have confirmed what earlier studies have found. Those that drink coffee live longer than those who don’t.

-15 Prevents Retinal Damage. A Cornell University Study showed that coffee may prevent retinal damage due to oxidative stress. Caffeine isn’t the culprit here, but chlorogenic acid (CLA), which is one of the strong antioxidants found in the coffee bean

-16 Black coffee prevents cavities. Researchers out of Brazil found that strong black coffee kills the bacteria on teeth that leads to tooth decay. Adding milk or sugar to coffee negates this benefit

-17 Coffee may protect against periodontal disease. In a study of U.S. veterans 1,152 men was tracked from 1968-1998. The researchers found that coffee didn’t promote gum disease and actually showed a protective benefit

-18 Coffee may protect against melanoma

-19 The USDA’s new 2015 dietary guidelines recommend it for better health. They advise people that having 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day is good for their overall health and reduces the risk of disease. However, they report that adding sugar, cream, or flavored creamers quickly negates the potential benefits

-20 Reduced heart attack mortality risk. Researchers found that those who drink two or more cups of coffee daily after having a heart attack have the least risk of dying from the heart attack.

-21 Helps people get along with co-workers better.  A study showed that workers/ workplaces who consume coffee have a more positive view of self and others than do workers/ workspaces that do not consume coffee. Coffee consumption also enhanced participation in workplace group activities.

Yes – two articles on drinking coffee might be ‘overkill’  Maybe we will have to look at some negatives!!! TO BE CONTINUED!!!

Karen

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Blog #719 Coffee continued

I

June 28, 2019 at 3:55 AM · 

Health Benefits of Coffee – part 2 of Coffee
https://www.caffeineinformer.com/7-good-reasons-to-drink-co…

Yesterday I highlighted two coffee research studies – one that say any number of cups of coffee a day is okay and the other said – no more than six cups. That lead me to this link – good reasons to drink coffee. I have copied freely from that article – except the article has links to the research papers. Check out the link for verification.

Cut the Pain
Two cups of coffee can cut post-workout muscle pain by up to 48%.

Increase your fiber intake
A cup of brewed coffee represents a contribution of up to 1.8 grams of fiber of the recommended intake of 20-38 grams. [I didn’t know this – as a ‘good’ senior I try to get enough fiber through oatmeal, fruits and vegetables.]

Protection against cirrhosis of the liver
Another more recent study also showed coffee’s liver protecting benefits. Yet another study showed that both coffee and decaffeinated coffee lowered the liver enzyme levels of coffee drinkers. (While I don’t generally drink too much, that is good to know)

Lowered risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Those who consumed 6 or more cups per day had a 22% lower risk of diabetes. A related study showed that the risk of type II diabetes decreases by 9% for each daily cup of coffee consumed. Decaf coffee decreased risk by 6% per cup.

Lowered risk of Alzheimer’s disease
There is considerable evidence that caffeine may protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Another study said that the compounds in roasted coffee that may be responsible for preventing the build-up of the brain plaque believed to cause the disease.

Reduces suicide risk and Depression
A 10-year study of 86,000 female nurses shows a reduced risk of suicide in the coffee drinkers. Another study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found that women who drink 4 or more cups of coffee were 20% less likely to suffer from depression. (Hmmm … so when I’m feeling down, I should have a cup of coffee to chase that depression away?)

Protection against Parkinson’s
People with Parkinson’s disease are less likely to be coffee drinkers than their healthy siblings. . Even newer research out of Sweden revealed that drinking coffee reduces the risk of Parkinson’s even when genetic factors come into play. link. Yet another study found that caffeine combined with EHT (a compound found in coffee beans) provided protective benefits to rats that were genetically predisposed to developing Parkinson’s.

Coffee drinkers have less risk of heart disease. 
Korean researchers found that study participants who consumed 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day were less likely to show the beginning signs of heart disease. [Other dietary factors should also be noted as Koreans typically have a different diet than do Westerners.] A more recent study conducted in Brazil found that those that consume at least three cups of coffee a day tend to develop less calcification in their coronary arteries. A 2019 study confirmed that coffee doesn’t cause hardening of the arteries even among the study participants who drank upwards of 25 cups of coffee per day.

WOW – I guess I ‘knew’ coffee was good for you – but there are even more options – so I’m going to continue this tomorrow (and maybe the next day)

I just brewed a pot of coffee and it is time to have my first cup!!!!
Karen

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Blog #718 Health benefits of COFFEE!!!

Health Benefits of Coffee

https://www.caffeineinformer.com/7-good-reasons-to-drink-coffee

Yesterday I highlighted two coffee research studies – one that say any number of cups of coffee a day is okay and the other said – no more than six cups.  That lead me to this link – good reasons to drink coffee. I have copied freely from that article – except the article has links to the research papers. Check out the link for verification.

-1 Cut the Pain

Two cups of coffee can cut post-workout muscle pain by up to 48%.

-2 Increase your fiber intake

A cup of brewed coffee represents a contribution of up to 1.8 grams of fiber of the recommended intake of 20-38 grams.  [I didn’t know this – as a ‘good’ senior I try to get enough fiber through oatmeal, fruits, and vegetables.]

-3 Protection against cirrhosis of the liver

Another more recent study also showed coffee’s liver protecting benefits. Yet another study showed that both coffee and decaffeinated coffee lowered the liver enzyme levels of coffee drinkers.

-4 Lowered risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Those who consumed 6 or more cups per day had a 22% lower risk of diabetes. A related study showed that the risk of type II diabetes decreases by 9% for each daily cup of coffee consumed. Decaf coffee decreased risk by 6% per cup.

-5 Lowered risk of Alzheimer’s disease
There is considerable evidence that caffeine may protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Another study said that the compounds in roasted coffee that may be responsible for preventing the build-up of the brain plaque believed to cause the disease.

-6 Reduces suicide risk and Depression
A 10-year study of 86,000 female nurses shows a reduced risk of suicide in the coffee drinkers.  Another study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found that women who drink 4 or more cups of coffee were 20% less likely to suffer from depression

-7 Protection against Parkinson’s
People with Parkinson’s disease are less likely to be coffee drinkers than their healthy siblings. Even newer research out of Sweden revealed that drinking coffee reduces the risk of Parkinson’s even when genetic factors come into play. Yet another study found that caffeine combined with EHT (a compound found in coffee beans) provided protective benefits to rats that were genetically predisposed to developing Parkinson’s.

Coffee drinkers have less risk of heart disease.
Korean researchers found that study participants who consumed 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day were less likely to show the beginning signs of heart disease. [Other dietary factors should also be noted as Koreans typically have a different diet than do Westerners.] A more recent study conducted in Brazil found that those that consume at least three cups of coffee a day tend to develop less calcification in their coronary arteries. A 2019 study confirmed that coffee doesn’t cause the hardening of the arteries even among the study participants who drank upwards of 25 cups of coffee per day.

WOW – I guess I ‘knew’ coffee was good for you – but there are even more options – so I’m going to continue this tomorrow (and maybe the next day)

I just brewed a pot of coffee and it is time to have my first cup!!!!

Karen

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Blog #717 Too Much of a Good Thing?

TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING?

https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/21/health/coffee-cardiovascular-risk-study/index.html

In the last several years that have been many studies that show coffee is good for you (primarily black coffee).  

Two recent studies appear to contradict each other on this question, which often leaves coffee-lovers scratching their heads.

“A study presented at the British Cardiovascular Society conference in June suggests that drinking five cups of coffee a day was no worse for the arteries than drinking less than a cup.”

“The study of more than 8,000 people across the United Kingdom also found that even those who drank up to 25 cups a day were no more likely to experience stiffening of the arteries than someone drinking less than a cup a day. [Aside – 25 cups a day?  Really? I’d be running to the restroom – and then back to the coffee “urn]

“A cup of joe can come with some health benefits, as it contains antioxidants and has been associated with living longer, but some other studies suggest that overloading on coffee can put your heart health at risk.”

“The researchers found that, when compared with those who drank one or two cups a day, the odds of cardiovascular disease were 11% higher among adults who did not drink coffee, 7% higher among those who drank decaf and a whopping 22% higher among those who drank more than six cups per day.”

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The analysis is that one or two cups a day is good – odds of cardiovascular disease are 11% less than those that don’t drink coffee!!

But, the odds of cardiovascular disease are 22% higher for those that drink more than six cups a day!!  

WOW – so one study said ‘no problem – even up to 25 cups a day’ while the other study said ‘more than six cups can raise your risk of cardiovascular disease.  

(Isn’t research fun) – I’m going to try this one out on my statistics class this fall!!!

There are other benefits other than just cardiovascular disease – such as lower inflammation, lowers risk of Alzheimer’s, lowers risk of stroke.  

But, the study shows that people “who have coffee with their cream and sugar” get little of the benefits because of the quantity of cream and sugar.

So .. my take on the latest studies – black coffee – with caffeine; no cream and no sugar – and no more than six cups a day.  

I am generally under six cups a day – unless I am really bored and have access to a lot of coffee, like at bridge club) when I’m the dummy!!!

So, moderation seems to be the word!!!

Karen

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Blog #716 Air Conditioning 2

Air Conditioning – Park 2

Taken from: https://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/03/28/air-conditioning-and-the-rise-of-the-south/

While air conditioning is nice for the parts of the United States farther north, it is almost essential for the south.  I cringe when I drive past a construction site (and in the Austin area there are a LOT of construction sites) when I see the laborers working in 90 plus temperatures.  It is HOT. Of course it also depends on the humidity too.

Air conditioning really was a game changer for the south.  Let’s look at this blog from the New York Times.

When air conditioning became available, it caused a shift in population.  From 1960 to 2000, the population distribution in the United States by percentage shows the South gaining about 19% (from about 30% of the US population lived in the South in 1960 to about 36% of the US population in 2000).  My guess is that is much higher since 2000.

It is pretty tough to live in 100 degree temperatures on a daily basis. In 2018 (last year as I write), between June 1st and August 31st there were 51 days OVER 100 DEGREES!!  That is about 55% of the days in that period that got to the 100 mark. The average high for July and August in Austin is 96 degrees. Do you think somebody from (say) Minnesota wants to live in an area where 55% of the summer days are 100 or higher?  Sure, Texans (and other Southerns) can brag about not shovelling snow in the winter – but Minnesotans can talk about those summer days at the lake in maybe 83 degree weather. [The average temperature in Minnesota in July is 83.]

So, air conditioning is a must in the south. While there might be some hardy souls without air conditioning, the number of residences and buildings with air conditioning must be close to 100%.  

And, close (if not quite) to 100% of cars have air conditioning.  

It also can be very dry in the summer.  Droughts are not uncommon. But more water conservation is occurring.  As you drive past businesses and see steel grain bins, those are really water storage units.  That water is used to water lawns and gardens when the rain stays away.

Leander Texas has been ranked #1 of the fastest growing communities in the United States.  Others in the Austin area are also growing quickly. And… it is all due to air conditioning.

So, thank you Willis Carrier for figuring out how to remove the humidity and cool the air in 1902!!!  As a lifelong Northerner, I am loving not shoveling snow in the winter and having air conditioning in the winter.  [And, if you want to go skiing, talk to my friend Kristof about flying Jet Blue to Steamboat Springs next winter!!!]

So, are you “cool enough” today?

Karen

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Blog #715 Air conditioning – part I

Air Conditioning – part 1

https://www.energy.gov/articles/history-air-conditioning

THANK YOU WILLIS CARRIER!!!

As time goes by, it really hasn’t been that long since Willis Carrier discovered air conditioning\:

“The idea of artificial cooling went stagnant for several years until engineer Willis Carrier took a job that would result in the invention of the first modern electrical air conditioning unit. While working for the Buffalo Forge Company in 1902, Carrier was tasked with solving a humidity problem that was causing magazine pages to wrinkle at Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing and Publishing Company in Brooklyn.

“Through a series of experiments, Carrier designed a system that controlled humidity using cooling coils and secured a patent for his “Apparatus for Treating Air,” which could either humidify (by heating water) or dehumidify (by cooling water) air. As he continued testing and refining his technology, he also devised and patented an automatic control system for regulating the humidity and temperature of air in textile mills.

“It wasn’t long before Carrier realized that humidity control and air conditioning could benefit many other industries, and he eventually broke off from Buffalo Forge, forming Carrier Engineering Corporation with six other engineers.

“In May 1922 at Rivoli Theater in New York, Carrier publicly debuted a new type of system that used a centrifugal chiller, which had fewer moving parts and compressor stages than existing units. The breakthrough system increased the reliability and lowered the cost of large-scale air conditioners, greatly expanding their use throughout the country.

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I remember theaters proudly displaying signs that announced “Air Conditioning” and people could flock to the theaters to relax, enjoy a show – and to stay cool!!!

I was born on (then) the hottest August 24th ever – with the temperature reaching 100 degrees.  Hospitals were not air conditioned. Refrigeration did exist so ice and cold items did exist, but I’m sure my mother would have wished for air conditioning.

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Back to the article on the history of air conditioning

Chemical air conditioning fluids

“Around this same time, Thomas Midgley, Albert Henne and Robert McNary of General Motors synthesized chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) coolants, which became the world’s first non-flammable refrigerating fluids, substantially improving the safety of air conditioners. However, the chemicals would be linked to ozone depletion decades later and were eventually phased out by governments all across the globe after the Montreal Protocol in the 1990s. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which don’t destroy the ozone, gain popularity but are eventually linked to climate change. Recent breakthrough research by the Energy Department’s Building Technologies Office and Oak Ridge National Laboratory is resulting in new refrigerants and technologies that are less harmful to the planet.”  [HURRAY!!!!]

Air Conditioning moves inside:

“Engineer Henry Galson went on to develop a more compact, inexpensive version of the window air conditioner and set up production lines for several manufacturers. By 1947, 43,000 of these systems were sold — and, for the first time, homeowners could enjoy air conditioning without having to make expensive upgrades.

“By the late 1960s, most new homes had central air conditioning, and window air conditioners were more affordable than ever, fueling population growth in hot-weather states like Arizona and Florida. Air conditioning is now in nearly 100 million American homes, representing 87 percent of all households, according to the Energy Information Administration.

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I can’t image the 13% of households without air conditioning!!

I remember a trip we made from Oregon to San Jose for a training session.  My budget was limited and somehow we found a motel without air conditioning – and a rare hot day in San Jose.  Our children were pre-schoolers and we ran bathwater and through in ice cubes from the ice making machine. I remember the next day in class – where I kept falling asleep in the wonderful air conditioned educational center

To be continued tomorrow!!!

Karen

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Blog post #714.5 Thoughts from dying people

I was reading an excerpt from “A Thousand Naked Stranges” by a paramedic (Kevin Hazzard), He was describing what strangers who died in his arms said:

“1- Those who were dying often expressed regret about something they had done or had not done

2- In their final moments may people hoped that they would be remembered

3- As their lives faded away, people wanted to believe that their lives had value and meaning.”
(As cited in the Caringbridge newsletter).

Do you have regrets about something you have done – or NOT done? Do you want to be remembered? Do you know your life has meaning and value?
Just something to think about today!!!

Is that true for you?

Karen

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Blog #714 Space Data Storage?

My business data is up in the air (literally)

Taken from: https://www.ozy.com/fast-forward/the-next-way-to-stop-climate-change-storing-data-in-space/

The article starts with this:

Data centers consume the energy of 50 power plants and spew out more greenhouse gases than 140 countries. Now, space could save the day.

“LyteLoop, has developed technology to store data in motion, but not just between servers on Earth. It is planning to use photonics — the science of generating and harnessing light that undergirds technologies critical for everything from smartphones to lasers — to store data in space, by sending it back and forth between satellites. The impact could extend to the health of the planet, and LyteLoop isn’t alone.”

“Storing data in space uses up significantly less energy than the traditional data center and, therefore, emits drastically less carbon dioxide.”

“Consider this: Data centers on Earth, which store our information on the cloud, are currently among the largest consumers of energy, and significantly contribute to rising carbon emissions. In the U.S., all data centers make up 2 percent of national electricity consumption, according to a 2016 report by Berkeley Lab. By 2020, data centers are expected to consume 140 billion kilowatt-hours of energy, according to a report by the National Resources Defense Council.”

“That’s equivalent to the annual output of 50 power plants, the report says, and will cost American businesses $13 billion annually in electricity bills while spewing out nearly 100 million metric tons of carbon pollution per year — that’s more than the greenhouse gas emissions of 140 countries.”

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In recent years various companies have tried to deal with the energy usage issue.  There are huge data centers in northern Sweden – close to the Arctic Circle. That rely on hydroelectric power (which is abundant in that area) and the cool (really ‘cold’) environment.  A lot of energy is burned up in storing data. And, much of that data is never used again. For example, hospitals have to store all kinds of data – including images from Cat Scans, and MRI.  Now, it might be needed some time in the future – and it might not be needed – so the data is stored.

Even with data that is stored and never retrieved it takes power (energy) to move it to the data center and to keep it.  Why not keep it in the frigid world of space?

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The article also says:

“It’s already possible to store petabytes — a thousand trillion bytes — of data on satellites. “Storing data in motion simply relies on light,” he says. With attached solar panels, data can be transmitted between satellites without any carbon emissions. “We’re saving so much in energy costs and carbon emissions.”

“Then, there are other advantages to storing data in space. ConnectX, for instance, is focused on using satellites to ensure cybersecurity of transactions in the international commodities market.

“If [the U.S.] wants to buy $300 million worth of oil from Saudi Arabia, there are so many middlemen involved in that and so much risk,” says Lance Parker, the firm’s CEO and founder. “Instead, our satellite would hold a secure key, mitigating the risk.”

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I’m not sure what might happen if a meteor would hit a data storage satellite – if the data is lost.  Most likely (in my estimation) data would be duplicated on another data storage satellitel

None-the-less, it seems like an interesting concept.  Moving from “cloud” storage (which is not really in the clouds) to space storage might be a good move.  Just one more thing to keep in mind!!!

Karen

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Blog #713 Super Size that

I have an appointment in London in three hours.  Can you get me there?

Taken from: https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/22/boom-wants-to-build-a-supersonic-jet-for-mainstream-passengers-heres-its-game-plan/

The speed of sound is much slower than the speed of light.  The speed of sound is about 767 miles per hour. The speed of light is 6.706e+8 (that is 670,616,629 miles per hour.  (The only thing faster than that (joke) is the amount of time between when the light turns green and the person behind you starts honking his/her horn!!!)

From the article:

“Indeed, while most commercial airliners today fly at between 400 and 650 miles per hour — largely because it’s more economical to burn fuel more slowly — a spate of startups is borrowing from the age of the legendary Concorde to build planes that they say will fly at 1,000 miles per hour, 1,500 miles per hour, and, even in one case, at more than 3,000 miles per hour.”

“The last of these, and seemingly the most audacious, is Hermeus, a year-old, Atlanta-based startup that wants to build planes capable of getting from New York to London in 90 minutes.”

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The previous SuperSonic jets (most notably the Concorde) did break the sonic barrier – but had troubles.  Another article says “Air France and British Airways blamed low passenger numbers and rising maintenance costs. Passenger numbers fell after an Air France Concorde crashed minutes after taking off from Paris in July 2000, killing all 109 people on board and four on the ground.”

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For humans, going faster than the speed of sound means that there will be a loud sonic boom.  (I remember one from my childhood from some Air Force tests in our area).

So most SuperSonic planes will fly over the oceans so the sonic boom does not affect major population areas.  

To my limited knowledge there is no way to stop the sonic boom from occurring and thus populated areas where such planes have made it illegal to cross the sonic barrier until they are out of the area.  

So, if a trip from New York to London might take about seven hours now, but could be as low as one-and-one-half hours with super-sonic planes.  (I have made a few trips across the Atlantic and it is a long, boring flight!! Thank goodness they feed us!!)

It will be some time before SuperSonic flights will resume, but I find it interesting that companies are investing time and money to develop such new planes!!

(So, what will be next in terms of fast travel?  “Beam me up, Scottie”!!)

Karen

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