covid-19

Scoop Saturday: Iowa Man Receives 33 Year Old Postcard

Posted on

Elizabeth Kay Postal Box Unsplash Image One
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Kay on Unsplash

An Iowa man, who received a postcard from his sister, said he was surprised to note the card had been mailed in 1987. Paul Willis, a hog farmer in Thornton, said a postcard appeared in his mailbox, recently, from his sister, Annie Lovell […]. [H]e soon noticed the card bore a picture of Lovell on a Grand Canyon hike in 1987 and a San Francisco postmark from December of that same year.

Willis said the postcard bore a second postmark from April 29 of this year in Des Moines so, he called the post office to see if they had any explanation for the postcard’s tardiness. [An] employee said the postcard may have been discovered while furniture and machines were being moved for cleaning. “She said, ‘Well, the post offices are all going through deep cleaning because of COVID-19…'” Willis [recounted to] the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat.

An Illinois woman experienced a similar incident in July 2019, when a postcard showed up at her home that had been mailed 26 years earlier. Kim Draper said the card was addressed to the previous residents of her Springfield home and, [it] recounted the residents’ father’s travels in Hong Kong.

Ben Hooper
United Press International
May 7, 2020
No Video Clip

Short Piece on Kim Draper

Story Sunday: The Asteroid & The Mask

Posted on

Researcher Wearing Face Mask Image One
Researcher Anne Virkki comparing her mask.
Photo Credit: Arecibo Observatory & USA Today

I haven’t done a Story Sunday since 2014.

It’s funny how every news article out there these days just has to make a tie in with the virus. And, that image doesn’t look like a mask to me. It looks like something else. Just sayin’… ~Vic

An asteroid is hurtling close to the Earth, and with it, a startling reminder of the coronavirus pandemic. The space rock, known as 1998 OR2, will be nearly 4 million miles away from Earth on Wednesday at 5:59am EDT, classifying it as a “potentially hazardous” asteroid, despite the impossibility of it posing a threat to Earth anytime soon.

A newly captured image by [the] Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico brings its own surprise. As the asteroid approaches our planet, it looks as if it’s wearing its own mask and may very well be conducting its own social distancing practices. “The small-scale topographic features, such as hills and ridges on one end of asteroid 1998 OR2, are fascinating, scientifically,” Anne Virkki, head of planetary radar at Arecibo Observatory, said in a statement. “But, since we are all thinking about COVID-19, these features make it look like 1998 OR2 remembered to wear a mask.”

Asteroid 1998 OR2 Image Two
Image Credit: Arecibo Observatory & USA Today

It’s classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid because it is more than 500 feet in diameter and closer than 4,650,000 miles to Earth. “Although this asteroid is not projected to impact Earth, it is important to understand the characteristics of these types of objects to improve impact-risk mitigation technologies,” she said.

The asteroid, which is about one mile in diameter, has been traveling at nearly 20,000 mph since its discovery in 1998. Though it may not come anywhere near Earth in the coming weeks, Flaviane Venditti, a researcher at the observatory, said in a statement that, in 2079, it “will pass Earth about 3.5 times closer than it will this year.”

Joshua Bote
USA Today
April 24, 2020
Updated April 26, 2020

 

Additional Articles:
S-Band Spotlight (National Astronomy & Ionosphere Center)
Rocky Horror (The Sun)
Asteroid Visiting Earth’s Neighborhood Brings Its Own Face Mask (University of Central Florida)

Weird S*** Wednesday: Wet Wipes Wastewater Wads

Posted on Updated on

UPI Facebook Image
Photo Credit: Palm Beach County
Water Utilities Department
Facebook Post

I haven’t done one of these since 2013. I read a lot and sometimes I come across some strange things. This is an article from United Press International:

Wet Wipes Clog All Four Pumps At Florida Wastewater Facility

April 15, 2020 (UPI) Utility officials in a Florida county are reminding residents not to flush wet wipes down the toilet after all four of the wastewater facility’s pumps clogged at the same time.

The Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department said in a Facebook post that all four pumps at the organization’s wastewater pumping facility in Boca Raton ended up clogged at the same time “for the first time ever.” The post blamed the clogs on increased use of wet wipes.

“It took a team of three utility mechanics to dissemble and reassemble the pumps in order to remove the compacted wipes,” the post said. The department said residents who find themselves “low on toilet paper” amid shortages from the COVID-19 pandemic should remember that all wet wipes, including those labeled “flushable,” should be thrown in the trash and not disposed of in the toilet.

Wait a minute. Are these folks insinuating that “residents who find themselves low on toilet paper” are using Clorox and/or Lysol wet wipes in lieu of TP? Or, are we talking baby wipes here? The article isn’t all that clear. Either way…just…DAMN. ~Vic