A windstorm last Sunday brought literally tons of tumbleweed through the town of Clovis, New Mexico. As the storm subsided and the tumbleweed came to rest, the city was covered with the roaming foliage, with many of the piles well over 8 feet high.
Pathways have been dug out for cars and the huge piles keeping some residents stuck in their houses have been removed. But crews are still putting in 10-hour days clearing the rest and expect to continue for weeks…
Right now, a mother in South Sudan is sipping from the bucket of water she is carrying to her family. A man in Mali or Chad is cooling his head in some standing water and takes a couple of gulps. A child in Ethiopia splashes her face and has a quick drink.
One of them swallows the very last Guinea Worm larva that will ever grow to torment a human being again. It will be painful for them, but after that it will literally never happen again.
The subject of this post is disgusting. But the story is triumphant and worth knowing despite the uncomfortable details.
The subject? Guinea Worm Disease. Dracunculiasis. “The Affliction With Little Dragons.”
The story? This year, Guinea Worm Disease will become only the second disease in human history to be completely eradicated. Finished. Gone. Forever…never again to torment a man, woman, or child.
While Austin, TX had a snowpocalypse of its own this past week, Birmingham, Alabama actually got quite a bit of snow. When a city is completely unfamiliar with how to handle driving in the white stuff, the results can be dire…
If you add every natural number starting with 1 and never stopping — 1 + 2 + 3 + 4…and so on — you’d think the result would be A) massive, and B) positive. But it’s neither. It’s -1/12.
In this video, a couple physicists from the University of Nottingham offer a simple (perhaps simplistic?) explanation of why. And the best part is, even for a non-math-minded person, it almost makes sense. It’s definitely still beyond my comprehension, but almost.
And even if you remain confused, you’ll still be amazed and at least feel smarter, which is always nice…