Thursday, August 6, 2020

75 Years Ago Today

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
Seventy-five years ago today at 8:15 AM local time in Japan, the first atomic weapon to be used during conflict detonated above the city of Hiroshima, Japan. 

On this day seventy-five years ago, the United States became the first, and thankfully so far, the only country to use these most powerful weapons that mankind has been able to produce. It devastated the city of Hiroshima and three days later the second atomic weapon devastated Nagasaki, Japan. Many of us know even the names of the weapons that caused the widespread devastation and destruction-- Little Boy and Fat Man. 

In remarks at the ceremony, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan delivered a cautious statement in which he vowed to gradually work toward the elimination of nuclear weapons.

“As the only country to have experienced nuclear devastation in the world, this is our unchanging mission to step by step and steadily advance the efforts by the international community for a world free from nuclear weapons,” he said. He added that nuclear and non-nuclear states should pursue “common ground” to address severe security challenges.
(Hiroshima 75th Anniversary: Preserving Survivors’ Message of Peace - The New York Times, August 6, 2020)

We should remember the devastation of these two bombs and continue to work to ensure the world can be free from the threat of the use of nuclear weapons. The explosion in Beirut yesterday, reminds me that devastation of our society and planet is always close at hand as long as nuclear weapons continue to proliferate. According to one article, the explosion in Beirut yesterday measured 2.75 kilotons. The bomb dropped on Hiroshima was estimated to be between 12 and 15 kilotons. 

Take a moment on this anniversary of the devastation of Hiroshima and pray for peace. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Resilience with an Attitude

Over the past few days, I have discovered two butterflies, well, OK, technically one butterfly and one moth, that have displayed the signs of the dark side of nature. 

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Elkridge, MD
August 1, 2020
First was an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail I found flying around the yard on Saturday. 

If you look closely at the trailing part of the right wing--it is missing. This butterfly had been in some altercation and survived. Somehow. The butterfly demonstrated resilience in the face of adversity and continued to dance around the yard enjoying the wind and freedom. 

Common Gray Moth
Elkridge, MD
August 3, 2020
Then I discovered this probable common gray moth relaxing on the garage door on Monday morning. This moth definitely had seen better days, but like the butterfly it was still living and preparing to live. Its entire lower left wing is missing. I do not know what it tangled up with, but the moth lived to fly again.  

Resilience, that is what life is about. No matter what gets tossed at us, we need to find a way to cope and thrive. Despite coronavirus, the bad news, and the uneven/ineffective leadership from D.C., we each need to have resilience with an attitude!

The sun is coming up today. Are you ready to greet it?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Starting Off August

Well, it is August after all. 

I note that the days are getting shorter and the temperatures are cooler. I am seeing some lows in the 60s in the forecast--which is a sign that Autumn is lingering on the horizon. 

Periodically Funny Chemist

A friend sent me the link to the above image. I thought it might be nice to begin August with a bit of humor. 

Lights Reflecting in the Pool
Elkridge, MD
August 3, 2020
Last evening as I was preparing for my second encounter with Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaias, the first being my condo in Florida, I looked out at my pool and found the reflection of the lights in the rain to be interesting.  

We have colored lights on the pool house and white lights on the fence. I found the reflection in the water interesting, at least for a few seconds. 

The colored lights are a good way to celebrate, well at least note, that yesterday the U.S. had the smallest daily rise in coronavirus cases in weeks. Perhaps, as a country we are beginning to turn the corner. That would certainly be good news! And we definitely need some good news. 

Maybe August will be the turning point?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, August 3, 2020

Monday Musings - August 3, 2020

1. It is the first Monday of August. Wow! Where is the year going?

2. How about the Orioles? They currently have the third best record in the American League! I never saw that coming! Maybe there is hope for the rebuild.

3. Did you note the the two astronauts deorbited yesterday and landed in the Gulf of Mexico completing the first water landing for U.S. astronauts since 1975!

4. The hurricane passed over our condo in Florida with relatively little damage. Our recently installed new hurricane shutters were successfully used for the first time. Now, the rain and winds are headed our way!

Dawn over the Beach
Ocean City, MD
July 30, 2020
5. I enjoyed a sunrise on the beach last week while visiting Ocean City, MD. There is something that excites me about looking out at the dawning day and thinking of the possibilities. Of course, on that day I went to play golf, but the golf course played me. 

6. Although the summer continues for another 50 days, I have already begun to notice that the sun is rising later and setting earlier. 

7. I enjoyed a five hour drive yesterday and my take-away is that a discrete subset of drivers are determined to ignore safety and speed as fast as they can. I am not a slow driver and at time I felt as if a Formula 1 car was passing me on the racetrack.

8. Today in History. On August 3, 1958, the U.S. nuclear submarine Nautilus accomplishes the first undersea voyage to the geographic North Pole. The world’s first nuclear submarine, the Nautilus dived at Point Barrow, Alaska, and traveled nearly 1,000 miles under the Arctic ice cap to reach the top of the world. It then steamed on to Iceland, pioneering a new and shorter route from the Pacific to the Atlantic and Europe.

Birx Warns That U.S. Epidemic Is in a ‘New Phase’Birx Warns That U.S. Epidemic Is in a ‘New Phase’ - The New York Times

‘Thanks for Flying SpaceX’: NASA Astronauts Safely Splash Down - The New York Times

Microsoft Aims for a Deal to Buy TikTok’s U.S. Business - The Wall Street Journal

Luxury Department Store Lord & Taylor Files for Bankruptcy - The Wall Street Journal

Changes Coming to Baseball’s Health Protocols After Outbreaks - The Wall Street Journal

Isaias scrapes Florida, set to unleash heavy rain along East Coast - The Washington Post

The Lincoln Project’s plan to save the union: Drive Trump out of office by driving him nuts - The Washington Post

Singapore to make travellers wear electronic tags to enforce quarantine - Reuters

Divisive Trump nominee gets new Pentagon post, despite snub by Congress - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

The choices this year are not just between two different personalities or between two political parties. They're between two different visions of the future, two fundamentally different ways of governing -- their government of pessimism, fear, and limits, or ours of hope, confidence, and growth.
Their government sees people only as members of groups; ours serves all the people of America as individuals. Theirs lives in the past, seeking to apply the old and failed policies to an era that has passed them by. Ours learns from the past and strives to change by boldly charting a new course for the future. Theirs lives by promises, the bigger, the better. We offer proven, workable answers. 
Remarks Accepting the Presidential Nomination at the Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas, August 23, 1984

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, August 2, 2020


It happened so quickly it. Overnight it seems. 

July is gone! My favorite month of the year has passed and the race to end 2020 is at hand. 

Of course, most of us will be more than happy to see 2020 in the rearview. 

Sadly, August is starting much the same as July ended. There were 1207 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. yesterday continuing the tragedy which has become the governmental response to the pandemic. 

I have canceled 5 weeks of planned vacations already this year. Three were planned last year and two weeks were replanned from canceled vacations this year. 

Hopefully, things will turn around soon.

August has arrived with so much promise--let's hope it is the beginning of the salvation of the remainder of 2020!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, August 1, 2020

This is Strategic, How?

I guess I am missing the bigger picture.

How did banning TikTok become an issue of strategic importance in the middle of an uncontrolled pandemic with a hurricane bearing down on the U.S. and with the economy in the toilet?

Yesterday, the president, according to The Wall Street Journal, made the following statement:

“As far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States,” Mr. Trump said. “Well, I have that authority. I can do it with an executive order or that,” he said referring to emergency economic powers. (Microsoft Is in Talks to Acquire TikTok, as U.S. Considers Banning the App)

The daily COVID-19 death toll is over 1,000 Americans per day, it has been reported that Americans are dying at the rate of one per minute. 

And the president still attempts to deflect the seriousness of the situation by claiming that we are doing more testing, that is why we have more cases recorded.

Yet, he has not yet addressed the rising death toll on Americans. That surely is not the result of increased testing, but rather a lack of action and believing what the testing is indicating. I don't really care about the positive tests as much as the human suffering and toll the results are causing.

And he is concerned about a trade war and a Cold War with China! How does that help the Americans that are suffering and dying?

What is TikTok anyway?

Wikipedia reportsTikTok is a Chinese video-sharing social networking service owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based internet technology company founded in 2012 by Zhang Yiming. It is used to create short dance, lip-sync, comedy and talent videos. ByteDance first launched Douyin for the Chinese market in September 2016. 

So somehow banning a social app is strategically important during a pandemic that is tolling over 1,000 American lives per day? And that trend is, sadly, upward.

This is strategic, how?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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