Some interesting facts about the pandemic Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) – part 2

Dear reader,

As I wrote here last month, I really would like to write a new article about something very interesting to you, but unfortunately we are still facing difficult times these days due to the new coronavirus pandemic across the world. Although the situation has improved in some parts of the world (especially across Europe and Asia), there are still many places where the number of contaminated and ceased people due to the Covid-19 is increasing (for example, in my own country, Brazil 😦 )..

A lot of (des)information about the new coronavirus have been already posted in many social platforms on these last four months, so I will try to be not so repetitive here..

The main purpose of this article (and of the article posted here last month) is to share with you some interesting information about the new coronavirus, especially why social distance, washing hands and wearing a mask (especially when leaving home) are extremely important to avoid or at least decrease the rate of contamination among us.

For instance, due to the excessive demand for masks many people are unable to buy these days, so they are making their own masks using fabrics, etc. The following article shows how to improve the protection of home-made masks:

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/04/22/840146830/adding-a-nylon-stocking-layer-could-boost-protection-from-cloth-masks-study-find

If you or someone from your family is making cloth masks or just wearing them, you should know how to clean them:

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/a32173021/how-to-clean-cloth-face-masks/

Also, why a valve mask is not recommended to use is explained here:

https://www.fastcompany.com/90496717/what-is-a-mask-valve-and-why-are-cities-banning-them

The world still doesn’t have an efficient vaccine against the Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2). That’s why is important to know that the coronavirus is still mutating itself across the world and consequently increasing the rate of infection:

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/05/coronavirus-strains-transmissible/611239/

In addition, if you have or want to go out you should follow these rules to decrease the possibility of getting infected:

https://www.vox.com/2020/5/22/21266756/coronavirus-pandemic-covid-risks-social-distancing-chart

At least one good news, it seems that the coronavirus doesn’t spread so easily from surfaces:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/21/virus-does-not-spread-easily-contaminated-surfaces-or-animals-revised-cdc-website-states/

Again, I apologize in advance if you have already read the information contained in the shared links above.

See you soon, and meanwhile please:

Stay at home, Work from home, Wash your hands properly, Wear a mask outside, Keep a social distance & Don’t touch your face! 😉

3D model of the SARS-CoV-2 virus at atomic resolution

 

Some interesting facts about the pandemic Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2)

Dear reader,

I really would like to write a new article here about something very interesting to you, but unfortunately we are facing difficult times these days due to the new coronavirus pandemic across the world. At this time almost 40% of the world is still under a voluntary or mandatory quarantine.

A lot of (des)information about the new coronavirus have been already posted in many social platforms on these last three months, so I will try to be not so repetitive here..

The main purpose of this article is to share with you some interesting information about the new coronavirus, especially why social distance and washing hands are extremely important to avoid or at least decrease the rate of contamination among us.

For instance, why the new coronavirus has been so successful in spreading quickly and defeating our immune system in a different way if compared to other viruses:

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2020/03/biography-new-coronavirus/608338/

Also, how the new coronavirus structure makes difficult to our immune system to recognize it. In addition, why washing hands is extremely efficient in destroying it before it enters our body:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/health/coronavirus-sars-cov-2-structure/

The following article (one of my favorites about coronavirus) shows how important is social distance to slow down the spread of diseases:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/corona-simulator/

Finally, the last two links that I would like to share with you here are more scientific related and more difficult to understand, but still worthwhile to read:

The real origin of the new coronavirus:

http://virological.org/t/the-proximal-origin-of-sars-cov-2/398

and

A detailed study about the structure of the new coronavirus:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0092867420302622

I apologize in advance if you have already read the information contained in the shared links above.

See you soon, and meanwhile please:

Stay At home, Wash your hands properly & Don’t touch your face! 😉

A mental model of how to block transmission of the virus

Starlog 2020.03.27

Dear all (especially those enrolled in the SmithsonianX’s  online course “Star Trek: Inspiring Culture and Technology”, on edX.org),

It is with great pleasure that I announce here my promotion of Commander to Captain!  🙂

I was promoted to the highest rank because I was able to complete the following assignments of Unit 7 in this interesting online course:

  • In what ways does the U.S.S. Enterprise function as a character, not just a vehicle in Star Trek?
  • Does “she” have a personality?
  • Do the other ships in the Star Trek universe have the same level of character development?

https://wilsonpardijunior.wordpress.com/2020/02/14/starlog-2020-02-14/

AND

  • Where do you think ion propulsion and future engine technology will take us?
  • What are the dangers?
  • Are there other applications?

https://wilsonpardijunior.wordpress.com/2020/02/28/starlog-2020-02-28/

Since I have finished the course last month and I was able to graduate with the highest possible rank, this is last starlog that I’m posting here. I do really hope you’ve enjoyed reading all these starlogs! 😉

Thank you so much for your patience in reading them on these last ten months! 🙂 

See you on next month with a different topic! 🙂

The insignia of Captain

Starlog 2020.02.28

Dear all (especially those enrolled in the SmithsonianX’s online course “Star Trek: Inspiring Culture and Technology”, on edX.org),

In this post I will try to answer the following questions also related to unit 7 of this interesting course:

  1. Where do you think ion propulsion and future engine technology will take us?

I strongly believe that ion propulsion and new engine-related technologies will provide mankind the opportunity to explore distant planets not only in our solar system, but also in other galaxies! That’s because we can significantly decrease the time it would take to reach a distant planet such as Mars or Jupiter for example, as well as to have manned space missions for some of these interplanetary expeditions. 

For instance, according to Irving “the X3 Hall Thruster developed by NASA, the University of Michigan, and the United States Air Force has been in development since 2011 and is one of the most powerful compact ion thrusters created. The dimensions of the X3 combined with its small mass gives the thruster the flexibility to be applicable unmanned space probes as well as possible manned missions. When operating at full capacity, the X3 utilizes around 100 KW of power and produces 5.4 N of force!” 

The X3 thruster tested at the NASA Glenn Research Center, firing at 50 KW

  1. What are the dangers?

Unlike other propulsion systems an ion thruster does not produce its own power. Therefore, an external power source (xenon gas, for instance) must be used. Consequently, the most imminent danger related to it would be to end the space mission at some point since the quantity of propellant is finite. In addition, the propellant should not erode the ion thruster to any great degree to permit long life and consequently should not contaminate the space vessel. 

A gas (usually Xenon) serves as a “fuel” and is injected into the ion thruster

  1. Are there other applications?

Yes, of course. According to Wikipedia “applications include control of the orientation and position of orbiting satellites (some satellites have dozens of low-power ion thrusters) and use as a main propulsion engine for low-mass robotic space vehicles (such as Deep Space 1 and Dawn). However, ion thrust engines are practical only in the vacuum of space and cannot take vehicles through the atmosphere because ion engines do not work in the presence of ions outside the engine. Additionally, the engine’s minuscule thrust cannot overcome any significant air resistance. Spacecraft rely on conventional chemical rockets to initially reach orbit.” 

NASA’s 2.3 KW NSTAR ion thruster for the Deep Space 1 spacecraft during a hot fire test at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

That’s it for today! I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading this starlog too.

See you soon! 🙂

Works Cited

Irving, Michael. “NASA’s X3 Ion Thruster Smashes Records in Test Firings.” New Atlas, New Atlas, 24 Oct. 2017, newatlas.com/x3-hall-thruster-test-record-nasa/51869/.

“Ion Thruster.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 17 Feb. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ion_thruster.

Starlog 2020.02.14

Dear all (especially those enrolled in the SmithsonianX’s  online course “Star Trek: Inspiring Culture and Technology”, on edX.org),

In this post I will try to answer the following questions related to unit 7 of this interesting course:

  1. In what ways does the U.S.S. Enterprise function as a character, not just a vehicle in Star Trek?

I think the U.S.S. Enterprise  NCC-1701 started to function as a character as the number of episodes in the series increased. In other words, an intimate interaction of some key characters with the spaceship became apparent, mainly through Captain James T. Kirk and Lt. Commander Montgomery Scott (a.k.a. Scotty) who occasionally spoke to the U.S.S. Enterprise  NCC-1701 as if they were talking to another living being! 

  1. Does “she” have a personality?

Yes, I think so. 🙂 That’s because sometimes “she” used to react (i.e., she used to operate) according to the way “she” was treated by some key characters in the series. For example, if Lt. Commander Montgomery Scott (a.k.a. Scotty) or Captain James T. Kirk treated her with affection in some dangerous situations (for example, when the spaceship had its protection shields at low level or almost no power at all to travel again), then she would return to operate perfectly to the delight of the crew on board! 🙂

The 3.4 m U.S.S Enterprise NCC-1701 filming model at the Smithsonian Institution to which Paramount Pictures donated the model in 1974.

  1. Do the other ships in the Star Trek universe have the same level of character development?

It’s difficult to me to answer this question considering that I still haven’t watched all the movies and episodes related to the Star Trek universe, with exception of Star Trek: The Next Generation which I have watched a lot of episodes. Maybe its spaceship, the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D, had a similar, but a lower level character development when the Holodeck was used in some episodes..

That’s it for now! I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading this starlog too. 😉

See you soon! 😉

Starlog 2020.01.22

Dear all (especially those enrolled in the SmithsonianX’s  online course “Star Trek: Inspiring Culture and Technology”, on edX.org),

It is with great pleasure that I announce here my promotion of Lieutenant Commander to Commander!  🙂

I was promoted because I was able to complete the following assignments of Unit 6 in this interesting online course:

  • Why is it important to see yourself on television?
  • Why is television an important subject for scholarly study?
  • How does what we watch shape the world we live in?

https://wilsonpardijunior.wordpress.com/2020/01/14/starlog-2020-01-14/

AND

  • What would it take for the Vulcan philosophy of IDIC (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations) to happen here on Earth?
  • What would it look like?
  • How might things be different?

https://wilsonpardijunior.wordpress.com/2020/01/21/starlog-2020-01-21/

That’s it for now! I do really hope you’ve enjoyed reading these starlogs so far.. 😉

See you on next week! 🙂

The insignia of Commander

 

Starlog 2020.01.21

Dear all (especially those enrolled in the SmithsonianX’s online course “Star Trek: Inspiring Culture and Technology”, on edX.org),

In this post I will try to answer the following questions also related to unit 6 of this interesting course:

  1. What would it take for the Vulcan philosophy of IDIC (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations) to happen here on Earth?

That’s a very good question and a difficult one to answer! For those readers that don’t know what is this about, IDIC (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations) “represents a Vulcan belief that beauty, growth, and progress all result from the union of the unlike” (Andor). Particularly I think that it will take a quite long time to happen here in our chaotic world. That’s because there is a lot of intolerance these days everywhere, i.e, in many parts of the globe. There is still a lot of discrimination regarding race, gender, age, disabilities, sex, political or religious belief, carer and parental status, etc. Therefore, it would take a drastic change in our behavior for the Vulcan philosophy of IDIC happen here on Earth. In other words, we need to be more emphatic!

  1. What would it look like?

Definitely it would be a better world since the number of arguments, fights and deaths would reduce drastically! According to Scheyer, “empathy acknowledges the importance of diversity and universality and provides the ability of identifying as a global citizen – being connected through empathy.”

  1. How might things be different?

Having more tolerance and empathy towards the person next to you would make us accept diversity more quickly and understand different opinions on any subject without any grudges. Consequently, we could focus more objectively on the serious problems that affect our world, such as social inequality, destruction of the environment and proliferation of wars!

The IDIC symbol and its meaning!

That’s it for the time being! I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading this starlog too.

See you soon! 🙂

Works Cited

Andor, Therin of. “IDIC (Glossary Term).” Fanlore, Apr. 2019, fanlore.org/wiki/IDIC_(glossary_term).                                                                   

Scheyer, Victoria. “Lack of Empathy as a Threat to Peace.” Peace and Conflict Monitor, Lack of Empathy as a Threat to Peace, 26 Jan. 2018, http://www.monitor.upeace.org/innerpg.cfm?id_article=3120.

 

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