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No-fog face masking

August 5, 2020

In my recent post about birding at Malibu Lagoon, I commented that my binoculars kept fogging up while wearing the mask.

Alert reader and Western Snowy Plover maven Grace Murayama spotted that lament and sent me two remedies, which – although as yet untested by me – I now pass on to you, as they appear to be both safe and likely to work. The demonstrations below are about keeping glasses defogged, but I see no reason why this won’t also work for binoculars, telescopes, cameras, etc. (By the way, this sort of thing, which used to be known as remedies, fixes or repairs, are now called “hacks.” Nothing to do with taxicabs I assume. Maybe the word “hack” went searching for a new definition when taxis began to disappear and it feared vanishing altogether.)   [Chuck Almdale]

1). Tissue: Super cheap & easy. Fold a tissue (facial/ Kleenex-type or 4 sheets of TP) and place along the top inside edge of mask – catches moisture in air /blocks moist warm breath from going up, plus absorbs moisture from your nose. There is of course a YouTube video showing you how to do this “hack.”


2). Surgical Tape: Place strip of surgical/medical tape along top edge of mask, also to block moist warm breath from going up. Use hypoallergenic (non-irritating) tape. It won’t create a rash, it’s easy to peel off and leaves your skin, eyelashes and eyeballs in situ. A band-aid also works. Here’s the de rigueur video, this one from a real doctor, not merely a YouTube doctor.


Through the Lens: Birds of Australia’s Northern Territory | Cornell Lab of Ornithology

August 5, 2020

Join wildlife photographer Marie Read as she documents the bird life in Kakadu National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory.

A film from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. If no film or link appears in this email, go to the blog to view it by clicking on the blog title above. If the film stops & starts in an annoying manner, press pause (lower left double bars ||) to let it buffer and get ahead of you. The Lab is a member-supported organization; they welcome your membership and support.  [Chuck Almdale]

Feeling stuck at Home? It’s better than being on Mars.

August 3, 2020

Hah!  Think you’ve got it tough?  Man or woman up, wussies. At least you’re not stuck on Red Planet Mars, where the air pressure outside your dome is like the top of a 100,000-foot-high mountaintop, the temperature is waaaay below whatever you happen to call zero, your only method of communication with Earth is by time-delayed email, you’re getting a little tired of mission control endlessly micromanaging your days, you have to wear an increasingly smelly space suit all the time and things are getting ever more tense between you and your five roommates.

That’s how Kate Green spent four months in 2013. Well, almost.

From St. Martin’s Press publisher’s blurb.

When it comes to Mars, the focus is often on how to get there: the rockets, the engines, the fuel. But upon arrival, what will it actually be like?

In 2013, Kate Greene moved to Mars. That is, along with five fellow crew members, she embarked on NASA’s first HI-SEAS mission, a simulated Martian environment located on the slopes of Mauna Loa in Hawai’i. For four months she lived, worked, and slept in an isolated geodesic dome, conducting a sleep study on her crew mates and gaining incredible insight into human behavior in tight quarters, as well as the nature of boredom, dreams, and isolation that arise amidst the promise of scientific progress and glory.

In Once Upon a Time I Lived on Mars, Greene draws on her experience to contemplate humanity’s broader impulse to explore. The result is a twined story of space and life, of the standard, able-bodied astronaut and Greene’s brother’s disability, of the lag time of interplanetary correspondences and the challenges of a long-distance marriage, of freeze-dried egg powder and fresh pineapple, of departure and return.

By asking what kind of wisdom humanity might take to Mars and elsewhere in the Universe, Greene has written a remarkable, wide-ranging examination of our time in space right now, as a pre-Mars species, poised on the edge, readying for launch.

[Posted by Chuck Almdale]

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