This is my first post in quit a while. The reason was that I had an 11 day hospital stay at the beginning of February for a severe lung infection, that required chest tubes, broad spectrum IV antibiotics, etc. I had wonderful care by terrific doctors and nurses, and have been home for 2 1/2 weeks, still recovering but “on the mend”
Given the long time since I last wrote anything, this will be a real smorgasbord or hodgepodge.
First, I’m very happy with the beginning of the Biden Administration. He’s really “hit the ground running”, with a strong an effective effort to get the COVID vaccines to as many people as quickly as possible (my wife and I got out first doses of the Pfizer vaccie about a week ago). I also like the success, so far, in promoting the next COVID-related relief package in congress, though that’s still a work in progress (as I writer this, the House of Representatives has just passed the bill last night, with only Democratic votes). The new administration has quickly undone a number of the horrible policies of the previous one, including rejoining the Paris Climate accords, starting an effort to re-engage Iran about am agreement on nuclear arms development, and reversing inhumane policies on immigration. It’s very encouraging to once again have a President who I feel is competent and knowledgeable, with excellent advisors who he listens to. Also, I certainly don’t miss government by Tweet, as was so prominent the past four years.
In the area of science, the successful landing of the Perseverance probe on Mars was a real thrill for me. The actual, complicated landing sequence was amazing to watch (and even more amazing that it was captured on real video, not just in simulation.). This probe has equipment to search for evidence of the existence of life on Mars in the past (and the present ?), which, if found, would certainly change a lot of attitudes of people here on Earth about the uniqueness of our place in the Universe.
Finally, I have a wonderful book to tell about. I have my cousin to thank for it, who sent it to me. It’s called The Soul of the Night, by Chet Raymo. It’s not a new book (written in 1992). Raymo is an astronomer, and astronomy is the books subject, but it’s written in a really beautiful, poetic way. It includes some fascinating factual material, but the way it’s written is truly enchanting. A great book!
I guess that’s about all I have for now. I’ll try to be back again, sooner rather than later!