Thursday, October 21, 2021

Time for Not COVID News

edge of the forest with a perfect circle in the trees
A Witch's Portal? 
from the Witches Vs Patriarchy subreddit

 It feels like COVID-19 dominates the news cycle these days.  But there must be other things happening in the world, right?

Right!  And you can find some of them here, a place where COVID new is verboten and anything else goes.

Chinese Scientists Find Evidence of 
More Recent Volcanic Activity on the Moon

Recent is a bit of a misnomer.  The Chinese mission Chang’E-5 returned with moon rocks that place volcanic activity from around 2 billion years ago, give or take 4 million years. Not exactly hot off the press.  But previously the scientific community believed that the last volcanic activity on the moon was around 3 billion years ago.  A billion years later does, in fact, mean more recent.

The interesting find here, though, is the cause of the volcanic activity.  Or rather, the lack of causation.  There was an expectation that radioactive elements would be a heat source of any volcanic activity past after the 3 billion year mark.  But the moon rock samples showed no indication of radioactive elements.  This leads to the question - what caused the volcanic activity in the first place?

photo of the Moon
 (Image credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University)

Li, QL., Zhou, Q., Liu, Y. et al. Two billion-year-old volcanism on the Moon from Chang’E-5 basalts. Nature (2021).

Reason #134 To Avoid NYC in 2021:
Disease Transmitted through Rat Urine

cartoon rat

While it's not a plague, New York City now hosts leptospirosis, a zoonotic bacterial disease with 15 cases so far in 2021.  While this sounds low, NYC averages around 4 cases per year, so this is a four fold increase.

While no one can state with certainty why there is a spike in cases now, theories abound with shout outs to climate change and weather.  What we do know is that the likely carrier is the humble rat, and the transmission method is rat urine.

So far, 14 out of the 15 people have been hospitalized, and one person died.

"Flesh-Eating" STI in the UK??

Who knew that Eddie Murphy could predict the future?  For those who have not seen Delirious, Eddie jokes that STDs were evolving from a simple rash to exploding penises.  While I know of no exploding penises yet, the UK now reports a spike in donovanosis, which appears to be a flesh-eating STI.

In reality, this disease causes:
  • loss of color in genital tissue
  • large, deep red bumps that can bleed
  • widespread ulcers around the genital area and anus
If it is not treated properly, donovanosis can spread internally and can cause scarring. Oh, and proper treatment takes a minimum of three weeks, with a decent chance of the infection reappearing up to six months after what you think was an effective treatment.

Ugh, that sounds almost as bad as flesh-eating, doesn't it?  

Anyway, doctors are urging people to use condoms, since that significantly reducing the chance of transmission.  To help spread the word, here are some slogans to encourage people to use condoms:

Funny condom slogans

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