Sit. Rep. #56: Black Swans & H2O

1- You may have heard the term “Black Swan” in the news.  A black swan event or just black swan means an unpredictable event.  It is an event beyond what is normally expected.  It is outside of the normal day-to-day routine.  This event is hard to predict and therefore causes instability.
     It is probably devastating either socially, politically, &/or economically.  Standard forecasting, budgeting, and planning usually do not cover this type of event.  The only way (that I know of) to survive these events is to build and be robust in our infrastructure and mentality.
    Let me use 2 different events from history:  Dec. 7, 1941 – Attack on Pearl Harbor.  Jan. 30, 1968 – Tet Offensive.

1B-  This Covid-19 virus is a black swan event to me.  You as a Scout are more robust (and your family because of your Scout training) than most to survive this black swan event.  Be physically fit, exercise every day, do both strength and endurance training weekly.  Physical fitness helps your mental fitness survive.  Stay active mentally.  Allow play/game time – but not more than 2 hours a day (6 days a week).  Plan your day and execute your plan.  Use this time as a positive thing.  And build yourself up physically and mentally.  What else can you do to become more prepared & robust?

2- Some First Aid notes about any lung, flu, bronchial, sinus, or cold type diseases.  The heat helps kill most viruses.  Let your body temperature rise but not go over 103F without some treatment.  At 103F – take Tylenol to reduce the fever.  (not Advil – per experts)
    Take long hot steamy showers.  Brush your teeth with “minty” flavored toothpaste before or while showering.  Cough into and through a wet washcloth to force your lungs to work harder.  This should force some bronchial dilation and help loosen the phlegm.  Cough it up & spit it out – get it out of your system!
   Keep yourself hydrated!  Gatorade with sugar or Pedialyte with REAL sugar and lots of hot drinks are good things for your body that is trying to fight the crud.  Eat well, hot soups, fruits & veggies.  Your body needs fuel to fight the crud!
   Wrap up in blankets, sweats, wool socks, warm hooded sweatshirt, watch cap, or Jeep cap, and scarves.
   Stay in your room to keep the rest of the family safe.  They should limit exposure to you by time, distance, & shielding.
   Decon your room when your fever breaks.

C- What did the prison warden say to the convict after he finished serving time on his birthday?
D- Happy returns.

3- Let us look at some numbers – consider this a case study in statistics. These numbers come from 2017.  NC DOT prints an annual accident report.  (2018 – 555 pages)

  • North Carolina has over 10.27 million population.
  • 217,067 car wrecks 
  •  81,865  injuries  – If you were in a wreck you had a 37.7 % chance of being injured.
  •   1,278 fatal accidents with 1,412 fatalities:  So either you had a 0.589% chance of being in a fatal wreck or 0.6505% of being a fatality.  See the difference?

3B- Some more numbers to consider: 

  • 41% fatalities were not wearing their seatbelt
  • 26.4% Alcohol was involved (I do not have numbers relating to other drugs)
  • 32% Excessive speed
  • 19.3%  Distracted driving

4- Water is the most marvelous stuff around.  Let’s take a look inside of H2O.  Have you ever noticed that a drop of water hangs off of the underside of a leaf?  It seems like the drop is stuck to the leaf.  It also happens to the last drop at the water spigot.  Why is it hanging and not falling? 

   Water is a bit “sticky”.  The Hydrogen atoms like to stick to other Hydrogen atoms.  Notice the water beads up on the countertop or on the car hood.  Then if enough water mass becomes available to that drop; then gravity takes over / overcomes from the sticky atoms.  And then the water puddles up or runs off in sheets.  Put a drop on a clean plate & see how far you can tilt the plate before the drop moves.

   Leonardo Da Vinci observed many years (around 1508 AD) ago that when the drop of water finally begins to fall, the neck of the drop elongates before the droplet lets go and falls.  Gravity (mass) overcame the tension in the water.

  This stickiness is caused by the weak bonds between the hydrogen atoms in the water molecule.

E- Isn’t this the most marvelous birth cake design?
F- You may be a great artist but you can’t count!

5- What can a road map tell you about the river that you are planning to go on?
     Get a county or several counties map from the state transportation department or from the county/s you will be traveling through.  This will tell you when & where are bridges.  (maybe helpful in case of medical emergency or rescue – HINT!)
     Study how many bends & curves in the river and of the roadways.  The more curves and the sharper the curves usually mean mountains.  As the terrain and waterways meander to the coast, the bends & highways straighten out.    Lots of curves & bends next to the coast — you may interpret that it means mountains right up to the coastline.
  Think of the terrain in Florida versus North Carolina.  The highest elevation in FL is 345 feet.   Belews Creek Lake, NC, and High Point, NC are right at 1,000 feet above sea level.  The highest in NC is 6,684 feet.

60% water,

Scoutmaster’s Minutes by Thomas Mercaldo

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.