October 09, 2014

A Few More Random Links on Ebola

It appears that a UK citizen has died of Ebola...In Macedonia. More worrisome are reports that he had not been to the affected regions. 

More on this here

On a hopeful note. At this point,  none of those being monitored in Dallas have yet manifested any signs of the disease.   

There are persistent reports about scientists saying that Ebola could mutate and become airborne...well a lot of  things COULD happen, but this does not appear to HAVE happened. There seems to be nothing other than Niberuistic speculation and doesn't serve much purpose. In the vanishingly unlikely event it goes airborne, we're screwed anyway, so it seems better to focus on the matter as it exists. This short video shows what it takes to deal with the actual disease.  

Ebola is quite infectious as it exists now and even with its limits could cause some serious issues. ,  I suggest you read this whole thing.  There are further thoughts on how to protect oneself here. Both are very informative, neither is encouraging. 

So what to do?

I suggest that, if there is an outbreak, if possible, avoid mass transit, and don't shop or eat out (eat out of the hurricane chest..that's what it's there for).  In other words,  one should keep ones disaster stock current and be prepared to stay in ones home for a month or so in the event of a quarantine or lockdown. Above all, don't panic. 

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Bad Day For Borepatch

Borepatch has apparently had a bike accident...

7 broken ribs, a broken collar bone, and a bruised lung. I was lucky that the lung didn't collapse or get punctured. They had me in the ICU for almost 24 hours. The guy in the next room didn't make it this morning. I guess it could have been worse. 

Well, not so bad when taken from a certain perspective I suppose, but still...OUCH! 
Send him your thoughts here

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China's New Path

Via Eaglespeak comes this interesting piece on China's current political direction. It's only 8 minutes, I strongly suggest you watch the whole thing. 

The most worrying bit is the mention towards the beginning where the guest mentions the current emphasis on an unsavory strain of Howard Zinnesque nationalism that focuses on China's victimhood. That tends to lead to rather dark places. Note though, that there are promising signs as well pointing to less bellicose influences. 

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October 08, 2014

Well, I Guess It HAS Been That Long

PowerPuffage by Tjota.

Good grief I'm old....

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Thomas Eric Duncan Has Died

It is easy to despise the man who lied to authorities and in so doing, knowingly brought Ebola to our shores. However, it bears remembering that he was infected by an act of selflessness. Duncan helped carry his landlords stricken daughter as her desperate father went from hospital to hospital trying to get her medical help. 

There were no beds available at any hospital. No one could see her. 

She died that night. 

Duncan then was confronted with the fact that there was no way to get treatment in his country and he had just been exposed. At the same time, there was, no doubt, still in the Liberian press, news of the recovery of both missionaries who had been transported to the US for treatment. 

So, surrounded by death and a condemned man, Duncan took a chance. Because he had connections here and Liberia is a nation whose history is closely linked to ours, it is easy to get passage from there to here. Duncan came to the US and at the first sign of illness checked himself into a hospital where he explained his background. 

They told him he was clear, gave him antibiotics and sent him home. 

Why did he not get a second opinion?

That which we most desperately want to believe, we often believe. 

I can only speculate, but I imagine that Duncan, having been "cleared" by American doctors, allowed himself to believe for a few joyous days that he had dodged the bullet, the sheer elation would have made his symptoms seem to pass...until the cruel truth was made undeniable by stabbing pains and the blood that vomited forth from his mouth. 

Thomas Eric Duncan died in a most dreadful fashion at 07:51 this morning. Given that his actions have greatly endangered many who would not otherwise been at risk, he is certainly open to criticism. However, it is probably advisable to pause and reflect while denouncing this desperate man's actions. I say this not simply because of the charitable manner in which he became infected, nor out of empathy for the terror he must have felt in the hell-hole that Monrovia now is. 

I say this because he can teach an important lesson to those of us not too arrogant to learn from his mistake. Disbelieving terrifying truths or denying facts we find dreadfully unfair are types of self delusion that do not confine themselves to Fed Ex drivers from Africa.  Such wishful thinking can spread death amongst many, no matter the social status or education of the willfully deluded.

That judge mentioned in the linked piece, no doubt thought he was being decent and kind by not treating the family as unclean, that it was unfair that they, through no fault of their own could be infected and despicable that they be treated as plague carriers.
The problem is that they are almost certainly infected, this bug is extremely contagious in confined spaces, quarantine for the incubation period is the only rational option and the judge has endangered not just himself but his coworkers and his daughter.

Thomas Eric Duncan did an awful thing and endangered many for perfectly human (though not really justifiable) reasons.  Rather than simply cursing the man, we should learn from and endeavor to not repeat his mistakes. 

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October 07, 2014

Log Horizon 2: First Impressions

Log Horizon was huge surprise to me last year and a pleasant one. This season hardly feels like a break at all as the series starts pretty much where the last episode left off (actually a bit before that). It takes a somewhat different tack almost immediately and the looks like it will continue to be interesting. 

  It was successful enough to warrant a second season but not enough to get a bigger budget, or even a new theme song. However, this reinforces the feeling that the show is simply continuing. Marielle is one of a few characters off model, possibly in an attempt to add some detail, though like the first season, it continues to have mediocre art and animation at best. It has been the intriguing story and the characters that have really carried it and made this one special. 

This is starting out slow, but it remains clever.

 it's still available on Crunchyroll and I recommend it highly, hell in a week or so you can be caught up!


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Over 25 days

I note that the Spanish nurse who has contracted Ebola got it from treating Father Miguel Pajares, who was reported dead on the 12th of August. Therefore, one can assume that 25 or more days passed since she was exposed.

Incubation is said to be no more than 21 days. 

UPDATE: Belay all that.

Well then: JP Gibb in the comments points out that she had treated another priest since the death of Father Pajeares, 

I swear, when I looked this up this morning trying to get the dates there was no mention of the second priest. However Father Manuel Garcia Viejo is also mentioned here.  He died 12 days ago which puts this well within the 21 day incubation period. 

Oh well. Thanks JP Gibb! 

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October 05, 2014

Dispatch From the Department of Redundancy Department

I got this from Dustbury's blog while using the internet via my computer to read Dustbury's blog. 

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There was a post here...with a typo.

I tried to edit it and then managed to delete the post. 


Anyway, as to the post, here is a related video with a minor RWBY spoiler.

The true measure of a man is not his attire but whether he keeps his word.

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October 04, 2014

Suddenly Last Month's Craziness Makes All Too Much Sense

On September 19, Information Dissemination reported on a bizarre attack by Al Qaeda affiliate AQIS that seemed to be an attempt to seize a Pakistani Warship. The stated intent was to use PNS Zulfiquar to launch an attack on the US Navy.

PNS Aslat, which was also an Al Qaeda target.

  Robert Farley has a run-down of how unlikely ( but not impossible) a scenario this would have been. Note though that the attack was carried out with the assistance of several Pakistani Navy officers, so if they had, in fact gotten control of the vessel, the corsairs could,  have conceivably done some mischief in the very, very brief window before the ship would have been sunk. "Mischief" might not even involve leaving harbor (or even the pier) if the general vicinity of a target was already known. The C-102 missiles the ship is armed with have a range of up to 500 kilometers depending on version.  The Long War Journal  has an account of the incident including info from a press release by AQIS and it is claimed that the operation was much more elaborate and involved a large number of Jihadis in uniform. One aspect of the attack was to have crewmen loyal to Al Qaeda take over the ship's main gun and fire rounds at USNS Supply which was scheduled to be doing refueling drills with Zulfiquar

While the 3 inch gun would be unlikely to sink the big ship, fires and explosions on a combination Tanker/ Ammunition ship have great potential to get out of hand. The fact that USNS Supply is one of only 4 of the big AOEs left would have made any damage to the ship a severe blow to the Navy's ability to supply ships on far flung stations. 

This is quite disturbing of course, but the large number of double agents involved is even more troubling. 

Pakistani nukes have always been a source of worry, but this level of infiltration is terrifying. This is even more true in light of recent developments in Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. Pakistan is developing tactical nukes and claims to have developed warheads small enough for that task. Significantly it is suggesting that it is or will be, putting them on its warships' surface to surface missiles

Tactical weapons are, by necessity, deployed with the military forces, so the chances of them falling into jihadist hands is much greater. To get some idea of what these can do we'll look again to the well photographed shot of 'Atomic Annie' popping off a 15 kiloton W-9 shell. 

Note the size of the weapon, 55 inches long 11 inches wide and 850 pounds. The later W-19 round for the same gun was only 600 pounds and had a slightly higher yield. This is not a particularly powerful nuke, but I'm being conservative in estimating what the Pakistani's are capable of. More disturbing; the size of the weapon is such that it could easily be smuggled into a city, and while the blast damage of such a weapon would be limited compared to a strategic nuke detonated at altitude, the fallout from a ground burst would be horrific. 

The prospect of a terrorist nuclear attack, is as great as ever, so it's probably a good idea to look into how to prepare for modest sized ground bursts. RAND has a paper on that, available in PDF format here

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This was Unexpected

It is certainly interesting...

 The two Koreas shocked everyone on Saturday when a North Korean military delegation led by Hwang Pyong-so, Choe Ryong-hae, and Kim Yang-gon arrived in Incheon, South Korea on an unannounced trip.
Although the North Korean leadership structure is highly opaque, Hwang Pyong-so is widely believed to be the second highest ranking official after only Kim Jong-un.

This is particularly intriguing given rumors regarding Kim Jong Un's absence from public view over the last months., which have taken a rather different flavor over the last few days

It's unclear if this is a sign of a major change (for good or ill) or if it is meant to reassure the ROK government that the status quo is unchanged, but it certainly bears watching. 

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An Epiphany

For some time I've noted the existence of Nightcore, which has become the bane of my existence whenever I browse for AMVs. I'll come across an AMV of a song thinking "That has has potential."only to discover that it is the Nightcore cover.

Kids...My lawn...Off it...GET!

Then the other day, it occurred to me.
This is just The Chipmunks for today.  

I guess this is what Vocaloid sounds like to native speakers of Japanese?

This genre is not without its merits though. It's perky, you can dance to it and after listening to that for an hour and a half, I find myself so disillusioned with humanity that I'm not really all that concerned about Ebola anymore.

"That's why I like Nightcore almost as much as negligence and stupidity!"

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October 03, 2014

Low Tech Electronica

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All That is Needed is Discipline, Competence and Awareness

...we opined about the matter of the Ebola patient in Texas, advised our readers that there was a lot of hype and pointed to the heartening examples of Senegal and Nigeria as representative of how, when alerted to the danger ahead of time and given basic health care facilities, even a third world government can successfully deal with an outbreak of this disease. 

Last night however, I noted something that concerned me. It concerned me enough that I was not, in fact, able to sleep the rest of the night and this has haunted me all day. Before I potentially alarm our readers I think it advisable to get a second opinion, so we'll ask some of the Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes if they are optimistic about the situation in Dallas...

Well then.

Last night on Gateway Pundit, these two images in particular caused me some worry. 

These pictures are allegedly of the cleanup of the vomit and blood soaked sheets in the apartment that the Ebola patient was in. It took days for the city to get a cleanup team out there which puts the family's efforts to break quarantine in a far more sympathetic light. as they were in the house with deadly, infectious blood and spew...in Dallas...In September. 

It gets worse of course.

They aren't wearing any hazmat gear.

I did hazmat cleanup and response for 12 years and EVERYTHING in these pictures is wrong. The pressure washer is the LAST thing one should use as it temporarily aerosolized the infecty bits. Dispersing it into the dirt where children play is an additional sin and as Gateway Pundit notes, there is a woman in sandals walking through the stream unaware. The apartment cleaning crew's precautions consist of holding the bags of death at arms length. 

EVERYONE in these photo's is likely exposed and their friends. coworkers and families are now at risk too when some or all of these people develop symptoms in 3-21 days. Every single person in the picture needs to be tracked down and quarantined. Not only that, other employees of the cleaning firm have likely been exposed as well, from the pressure washer, vehicle and the linens themselves, since no particular precautions seem to be being taken...those do not appear to be HAZMAT bags. 

It gets worse. The pressure washer makes it likely that droplets got inhaled by some people. This could cause the bug to develop in the lungs first. Ebola is NOT airborne. It can't hang in the air like a flu virus, but it is conceivable that a pneumonic infection could make a victim able to spread the disease over a wider area more efficiently much like pneumonic plague. Note that plague is also not really airborne. It's spread mainly by fleas and exploding buboes, but if inhaled it is far more virulent as sneezing and coughing can project it a much longer distance.  This does not require any mutation of the disease just that it get into the lungs. 

Whoever sent these completely unprepared and untrained men (who are obviously woefully uninformed about what they are dealing with) to this apartment needs to be arrested, and tried for negligent manslaughter as soon as anyone associated with this fiasco dies. Whatever government agency hired these people needs to have its chairman, and all responsible for this fiasco face the same fate. There is NO reason why a city health department does not have a HAZWOPER qualified contractor or in house department to handle an infectious substance cleanup. That would seem to be one of the Health Department's main jobs.  Heads need to roll, but I fear that a far worse fate awaits many Texans because of this gross negligence

What should have been a scary but contained event like the Nigeria outbreak now looks like it could very possibly be an utter catastrophe. Add everyone in these picture, the children who play in the complex, their families and friends and the owners of any dogs that happen by and lap up a bit of the water to the potentially exposed list. 

Now it is possible that they were using bleach, but given the level of PPE displayed in the photo's I'd say that was not likely. 

 If this pans out like I fear (and I pray to God I am wrong) this is going to be a real disaster. If it finds an animal reservoir, it's going to be with us a long time.

Seirgen, regarding your inquiry....

It is never the time to panic. Situations like this demand anything but panic. Panic is why this disease is rampaging through Liberia, In that case though the doctors were caught flat-footed. Dealing with a malaria outbreak they were were unaware Ebola was in the area,  and misdiagnosed the disease and infected themselves in the process. By the time they realized they were dealing with Ebola a huge number of the doctors were infected and dying themselves...The United States had ample warning and rescources that the doctors in Liberia ( and Nigeria for that matter) could only dream of. And we may have squandered it with negligence and stupidity. 

Ebola Tan says: "Negligence and stupidity are two of my favorite things!"

UPDATE: It appears that the family has been moved out and a proper hazmat team has been called in. Unfortunately they have been stymied by agents from the CDC and Dallas City EMT both of whom have helpfully required that they file an approved cleanup plan

We're doomed. 

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October 01, 2014

Just Kick Your Heels Together and Say "It's a Destroyer! It's a Destroyer!"

JS Izumo, Japan's newest...um...destroyer, begins her sea trials

Izumo-Tan by Eroquis and Okomoto Kazihiro

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