All posts by Nathan Ruffing

Concentrated Exhaled Breath


This video on YouTube

Recommended: How Cabin Air Systems Work

https://pall.com/en/aerospace/commercial-fixed-wing/how-cabin-air-systems-work.html

Recommended: The Mathematics of Weight Loss

https://www.tedxtokyo.com/translated_talk/the-mathematics-of-weight-loss/

  1. Be outside
  2. Open the windows
  3. Put a fan in a window
  4. Ventilation
Everything else is show.

Solutions and Relevant Industries

  • Will outdoor meeting spaces get a boost?
    • Will we set up meetings in parks with mobile audio equipment? simple Bluetooth speakers for example. I have already heard of this in some schools.
  • Will we have hoses running to each workstation to selectively exhaust or filter exhaled breath? – this sounds funny but I really think we will see this if it does not already exist and I just don’t know.
  • Will we investigate air flow within each room of a building to maximize the exhaled breath content of the exhaust air? (better efficiency) Airplane cabin air systems already do this.
  • Mobile air sanitation devices?
  • air flow
  • ventilation
  • energy cost of fresh air
  • air flow visualization
  • energy recovery ventilation ERV
  • heat recovery ventilation HRV
  • air balancing

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Brazil Now What 10: Sailing

I have always been interested in sailing but I consider myself a land lover. I thought sailing would remain a dream unfulfilled, but now with the world freaked out by a virus, the ocean is calling.

Employers?

Sailing Holidays, UK

World Sailing, governing body of sport sailing, UK

PR Sailing, Netherlands

Brussels International Sailing Club

Dr. Sails, Barcelona

The Moorings Yacht Charters, Clearwater

Dream Yacht Charter, Surbiton, Surrey

Sunsail Yacht Charter

Nautal, Barcelona

YachtCharterFleet, London

ClickandBoat, Boulogne-Billancourt

Sailing Enjoy South America, Buenos Aires

Brazil Now What 9: KU Leuven Master of Engineering: Energy

Of all the universities in the world in 2020, I feel like I was at one of the best ones. The academics at KU Leuven are challenging and relevant. The university itself was taking the real action necessary to stop the virus.

Yet they still went online. I tried. I don’t do online.

Thanks you KU Leuven for the effort. I continued at KU Leuven much longer than I would have at most other universities, I am sure.

Leuven Info

Recycling and Separation

Step 1: know what the “fractions” are. Best separation info I have seen is the photo below:

This handy info is in the Living in Leuven from A to Z handbook under ‘W’ for waste. KU Leuven distributes the handbook at orientation. I wish there were a better photo of this somewhere. Maybe a poster? Anybody?

Step 2: get yourself some bags based on what you think you need. Maybe coordinate with neighbors as the bags are quite large for one person. Where to buy the recycling bags? I bought mine at Carrefour. Various places sell them. Ask at the checkout.

Step 3: the Recycle! app (icon below) can tell you when trash will be picked up at your address. Once you put your address in the app (ask your neighbors or landlord exactly what to enter) it tells you what will be collected what days and can remind you.

The app can also tell you where to take items in fractions that are not one of the main categories.

Note: I heard from multiple sources that in March 2021 the pink bags are going away and the items in that fraction will be joined with the blue bags – so don’t buy a lifetime supply of pink bags now.

The app cannot help you know what to separate. The grainy picture above is better than the app for that.

Groceries

  • Delhaize is good. It is the only grocery store I have been to so far. Delhaize also has a delivery option that works great.
  • Grote Markt has farmer’s food markets on Saturday. It may be everyday, but I know I saw them Saturday. I believe they are the best price.
  • ALDI has better prices than Delhaize I hear but I haven’t had a chance to compare yet.
  • There are little markets everywhere.
  • You can have restaurant food delivered with Deliveroo. Easy to use, but gets expensive fast.

Miscellaneous Shopping

  • HEMA is not the “saver” option but has many things: bed sheets, kitchen items, utensils, pots and pans, many things.
  • Carrefour is where I bought my city trash bags.
  • Action, I have not been to yet, but I think has more items like HEMA.
  • Handy Home Merckx is a big hardware store. I bought a coffee thermos and power adapter there.
  • SPIT is second-hand items so if you get lucky there and find what you want you save money. If you have extra, you can donate here.
  • Diestsestraat from the Leuven city center to the ring road, if you have a shopping list and walk that street you are sure to find many things you need. Also, the Stadskantoor (CIty Hall) is very visible at end of Diestsestraat and you will need the Stadskantoor. The train station is by the Stadskantoor as well.
  • Also Bondgenotenlaaan, which is one street over from Diestsestraat, has shopping.

Cell phone SIM card

If you need a Belgian SIM, Orange works great for €15 per month for 4Gb plus texts and 50 minutes prepaid. The data is valid for a month, so the result is usually €15 / month unless you want more minutes. If you do not need the data, the minutes and texts are valid I think 3 months so even cheaper that way.

Fun Dutch language material, click here.

Reality Overdose

With modern technology, media, and communication, one can access unlimited amounts of whatever one wants. For me, I went “extreme reality.” For years I selected entertainment that was pure non-fiction of some form. The following is a short list of the most mind-blowing descriptions of reality that I consumed, either by reading or listening:

Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond. I include this mostly because so many people mention it when discussing reality topics. It is good, but it takes a distant second place to Sapiens.

The History of our World in 18 Minutes, TED Talk by David Christian. Fascinating, just what the title says. The universe in 18 minutes. What to Watch 6

What is so Interesting about the Human Brain, TED Talk by Suzana Herculano-Houzel. Mind-blowing. “Man smart, therefore man make fire,” … ? No. Well yes, but, “Man make fire, therefore man get smarter.” The cause-effect is reversed according to her because of food energy. Makes sense. What to Watch 6

The Fall and Rise of China, a lecture series in The Great Courses, by Richard Baum. I listened to this beginning to end twice. The extremes of the Chinese Communist Party and China in general as a country are absolutely shocking.

What to Watch 24: Energy of an Industrialized Society. I do a pretty good job here of putting modern energy consumption in historical context – in under four minutes.

Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, by Sebastian Junger. This is focused on US military experience and connects the experience to our human need to feel belonging in small groups defined by clear purpose and understanding.

Sand Talk, by Tyson Yunkaporta, a look at global systems from the indigenous perspective. Imagine there is an indigenous university with an anthropology department studying industrialized global systems. What he says is recognizable in everyday life.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Noah Horari. This is the real kicker. If you want to skip the rest of reality, start with this. Every chapter, you are left thinking, “My God, no way. But yeah, sounds about right.” I personally think he goes too far in predicting a hyper-tech bionic man future with aspirations of “a-mortality,” but maybe I’m just hoping.

Sapiens asserts that a unique quality of humans is our complex language, our ability to communicate complex imagined realities, and our ability to act in unity on shared imagined realities. As he described what appears to be the probable objective reality, I felt the strong urge to immediately stop reading, and curl up into a ball until I can forget what he said and return to the blissful ignorance of human fantasy-land.

My favorite novel is The Great Gatsby. I read it for the second time in 2015 and that may be the last time I read a novel. But now it’s time to return to fiction.

Evan Sayet on Modern Liberalism – OK Now What

2007: Evan Sayet – Regurgitating the Apple How Modern Liberals “Think”

Historical Context

The historical context I notice is that Evan Sayet presents himself as a New York Jew who would by his upbringing typically identify as a liberal, but due to events that were recent at the time of the speech – in 2007 – he identifies politically as a conservative Republican. He uses an analogous story – starting ~9:00 – to place himself and his own political conversion within the historical context of the points he drives home.

The Perceived Problem

Modern Liberals don’t think. Starting at ~9:30 Evan Sayet reasons out exactly why modern Liberals “don’t think.”

The Actual Problem

We are all considering issues nationally instead of locally. We are getting most of our information from impersonal national sources like television and the most popular participants on social media. We are imagining that our problems and their solutions come from national change.

Liberals usually think up change and drag conservatives kicking and screaming to a better place with national change while the conservatives filter the change with prudence. Now, Liberals are thinking up how to destroy what’s been created while both sides are distracted from important local problems with nationally-created mass media and consumer culture. Neither side will give up the comfort the system provides even while the system itself crumbles.

What the Mainstream Media Says

The mainstream media blasts entertaining political provocation like this at full-volume 24/7.

My Opinion

The idea that modern Liberals have arrived at a point where they can’t find anything to change is not new. I believe it is accurate. I believe the content of the video is a mostly-accurate description of what has happened to modern Liberalism. However, there are just a few words I would alter. Instead of saying modern liberals “don’t think,” he should have said, “liberals focus exclusively on how to make change nationally through government and mass media. In their fanaticism for change, near perfection has required them to consistently mess everything up.”

Solutions

The core of the solution is to address our problems that appear national at a local level. The only way Hollywood and other national entertainment will improve is to be abandoned and replaced locally. The only way the federal government will improve is to be less by being challenged by local governments.

Evan Sayet gives the solution at 24:10. “We have to take back universities, schools, media, the entertainment industry.” I agree. This is best done with participation in local government, local decision-making, and local entertainment. If we must educate our own children because the Liberal-influenced education administrators will not do it properly, how can we get it done? Fortunately our schools are funded locally, but we must participate in their governance. How can we entertain ourselves locally? Live minor league baseball, youth sports, adult sports leagues, golf, live local bands, symphonies, plays, and concerts are the answer. Unfortunately we face the challenge to eliminate what threatens these things with complacency: TV and air conditioning. We must turn off the TV, open the doors and windows, go outside and socialize.

At 43:22 Evan Sayet says modern Liberals question authority and attack the ability to distinguish right and wrong, but we have not replaced the authority and morality with anything. We need to replace this authority locally. A return to dressing decent in public would help. Once we turn off amoral TV, what do we do? We will only know once we do it. If a state were to refuse federal funding in order to maintain sovereignty, what would be the effect? How would we fund local projects and infrastructure? Are we prepared to really challenge the power of the federal government? How can we prepare? Are we educated voters on these issues?

I list five “bad” items on the Post-Industrial Time Blog that bring only comfort and complacency and should avoided to the max extent possible: TV, cars, air conditioning, sugar, pills. These five items are almost entirely new in our daily lives in the last century. They barely existed in 1900. Nationalism and the internet are equally as new as the “bad” five items, but they each have a good side. They bring more than just comfort and laziness. Nationalism keeps relative peace and the internet enables almost unlimited bi-directional communication. We must learn what these two things really mean in order to understand the solutions to the complete failure of national leadership. Nationalism is only effective if the large whole is made up of strong, healthy individual parts. We cannot outsource everything to the national specialization. Hollywood and Netflix cannot be our source of entertainment. The internet can enable local entertainment and I don’t mean friends on Facebook and YouTube. Blogging is a great way to experience the bi-directional internet. Blogging can be as simple as organizing your internet experience and sharing it with others in a positive way that you completely control. Pay attention to local events through the internet. The internet, unlike television and Netflix, is just as powerful locally as it is nationally.

“Science”

“Science” is the labeling of what one feels like saying with the name science to give a conclusion credibility by association with real science through the word. The connection to science is often also established through implication by quoting whatever study or statistic feels like it supports a conclusion. Usually characterized by:

  • Using a personal survey of media headlines as evidence to support a conclusion.
  • Citing “a consensus of scientists” as evidence.
  • Using a correlation, however weak or even just perceived, to establish a cause-effect relationship.
  • Presenting a conclusion to an audience who mostly follows the same “science.”
  • Use of some form of the phrase, “They say…”
  • A religious adherence to a conclusion.
  • A religious dependence on what “they say.”
  • Accusation of the use of “science” by an opposing view.
  • Adherents to the religion of “science” almost always watch some TV and / or read mainstream media.
  • Reference to a well-known opposing individual or a story of a scientist who fabricated data in order to shift discussion to easier more familiar opposition.
  • Grouping complex issues into “two sides” due to low-resolution thought, short attention span, and inability or unwillingness to comprehend complexity / a continuum.
  • Reacting to a lack of evidence by shifting to a more extreme conclusion rather than adjusting hypothesis, level of certainty, or searching for objective evidence.
  • Claims of reading “both sides” to get a “balanced view,” under the assumption that the right answer is “in the middle.”
  • Misunderstanding and misapplication of the terms evidence, hypothesis, reproducible, correlation, cause-effect relationship, theory, objectively, confirmation bias, and other terms critical to disciplined science.
  • Lengthy discussions between disagreeing parties, both using “science” to support opposing conclusions.
  • Equating the opposition suggesting a bias with conspiracy theory.
Science

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science#Scientific_method

Religion

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion

Both science and religion have their place. Mixing the two, or using one or the other to harm other people is bad.

COVID-19 Restructuring

A “shared air” virus has emerged that has entered into the public collective conscious. Fact. While few large-scale long-term changes have yet been solidified, a restructuring began in March. Just assuming some knee-jerk change remains and becomes permanent, long-term change has already occurred. If attitudes persist, the stage is set for widespread adjustment in individual decision making. What loses and what wins? To close the post on a positive note, the winners go second.

Have Lost
  • Skyscrapers. Ventilation retrofit is expensive at best. Lower density is less money. They face the challenge of convincing their tenants of their safety with respect to the shared air environment. Even if real science can determine a building is perfectly safe, the challenge remains against the alternative of guaranteed safety (work from home). Skyscrapers rely on high-density. High-density indoors has taken a direct hit globally.
  • Commercial real estate, especially office space. The work-from-home gradual movement became a revolution overnight. No longer is the worker tentatively requesting the employer to work from home. Now the employer is maybe asking the employee to return to work. Even the employer may be happier transferring the office costs to the employee. Neither is strongly incentivized to continue paying rent.
  • Commercial real estate, retail. The online buying gradual movement became a revolution overnight.
  • Urban residential real estate. People don’t go to offices and big retail malls, then people don’t have a reason to live near them. Urban landlords are searching for tenants. Tenants are asking for month-to-month.
  • Some travel. Hotels, cruises, casinos – tourism economies.
  • Airlines. Business travel, the bulk of their business, is near zero. However, airlines are more prepared for this than most people realize. Aircraft cabins, partially due to physical requirement to maintain positive pressure gradient, are very well ventilated. This video explains very well: https://www.pall.com/en/aerospace/commercial-fixed-wing/how-cabin-air-systems-work.html
  • Indoor sports arenas. Is the indoor ventilation and large space as good as being outside? Time will tell. Studies will be conducted. The people must be convinced.
  • Science and “science.” Trust and credibility of leadership is the real loser here. There has been a glut of misinformation hastily disseminated, labeled as science, but much of the information deserves the title “science.” Those who care are now more skeptical than ever and in many cases still confused by the conflicting information. Those who follow science and “science” equally are just confused. We all lose when trust is lost.
  • Public Schools. Public schools maintained a minimum education standard and integrated a wide range of people within a community from a young age. They educated and indoctrinated good citizens. They are a staple of America. Their value has historically been:
    1. Access to curriculum
    2. Paid professional teachers
    3. A disciplined environment conducive to education
    4. Collective agreement – all the other kids in town go to public school.
    5. Sports
    6. Reliability
    1. The internet has removed public schools’ information advantage making curriculum universally available to anyone who downloads it. The internet spoils the classroom in the form of distracting smartphones.
    2. With the virus, schools have to convince teachers to return to work.
    3. The virus impacts discipline by introducing multiple standards for multiple approaches to the virus.
    4. The virus forces parents and adolescents to collectively reconsider the value of school all at the same time.
    5. Sports outside school have been rising for decades as competitive parents look to give their kids an edge. Independent sports leagues now offer parents a like-minded group of peers around which to organize independent education.
    6. Public schools are not opening in many places. How much worse can it get than the school self-identifying as not essential?
The Winners
  • Sailing. naturally ventilated, the frontier of the ocean looks more attractive with the land inhabited by “sick” humans wearing masks and avoiding each other.
  • Rural high-speed internet providers. Many rich work-from-homers will require fast internet in rural places. An internet-enabled ruralization has already begun.
  • Suburbia. City dwellers will not move to farms and ranches in the middle of nowhere. They will move to the first place with a house big enough for a home office that has a yard.
  • Architects. New buildings will pay more for design. Many old buildings may retrofit better ventilation. Money will be spent on building design. Building design is front and center for public health, no longer for just aesthetics.
  • HVAC. So far HVAC companies are making more money just changing filters, selling expensive germicide filters, and general attention to ventilation. Long-term they may have to come up with proven solutions. Money will be spent on ventilation, HVAC.
  • Jaywalking and other minor rule-breaking. The information dissemination by media and rule-making by the government has been so poor that people who would otherwise follow just about any rule now feel empowered to “blow them off.”
  • Street parties. Combine minor rule-breaking with a virus that primarily spreads indoors and people are finally drinking on sidewalks.
  • Speakeasies. Let’s be real. People are going to gather. This isn’t the first time the bars have been closed. This time we don’t even have to make our own booze. Let’s just hope for good ventilation.
  • Street vendors. Eat outside. Low overhead when the weather is bad.
  • Camping and RV-ing. People wanna get away! RV’s are on wait lists.
  • Chick sales. People are raising their own chickens.
  • Awnings and umbrellas. Bars and restaurants are creating as much outdoor space as possible.
  • Skylights. Let in that sanitizing UV sunlight!
  • Garage doors, especially well-insulated glass garage doors (very expensive). Bars and gyms are more viable if they can ventilate well and people feel like they are outdoors.
  • Fans. Ventilation, not enclosed air conditioning.
  • Golf. Golf courses are winning. Just ask them. You might even say golf courses are taking a piece of the office space pie!
  • Outdoor sports attendance, including minor league baseball. Hot take! I am calling it a winner. I believe people will remain skeptical of the indoors and transfer sports watching to in-person live sports. People will prefer to go to a big local stadium outdoors than crowd into a bar or stay at home to watch TV.
  • Bicycles and electric-assist bicycles “e-bikes.” With people avoiding public transit, bicycles are the outdoor way to get around. E-bikes make it even more viable long-distance.
  • Bike lanes. With more people in bike lanes, more people vote for funds for bike lanes.
  • State government power. The federal government quickly passed off decisions to the states. Governors immediately took the power and dictated. Local governments could be winners, but with many schools still shut down, local governments are missing a key component of their authority.
  • County Sheriffs. In the wake of knee-jerk outlandish dictation from on high, sheriffs became legislators overnight, deciding in many cases what would and would not be enforced.
  • Private Schools. Parents are recognizing the need to take responsibility for their children’s education. The first option by those who are willing to pay for it is private schools.
  • Trade Schools. As parents and adolescents are forced to reconsider the value of public school curriculum that has long ignored practical trade education, those willing to educate themselves, show up on time, and work for a living will quit school, stay out of debt, learn a trade, and prosper.
  • Home schooling. Many educated people already considered home schooling. Public schools are flaky at best through the pandemic. There will be more home schooling. I am not talking about isolated families holding classroom-for-two in the dining room. I am talking about parents taking responsibility and coordinating with other parents to educate their children. This is with neighbors, sports teams, classmates.
  • Video games. Sad but true. To some people, this is an opportunity to veg.
  • Home improvement. People are home. They look at their homes and make them better. Home Depot and Lowe’s sales are through the roof.
  • Pools. Sales for home pools are through the roof.
  • Local production: to the extent that trade is disrupted, local production may have a void to fill.
  • Corporate bankruptcy lawyers. Restructuring means some failures. Bankruptcy is restructure through failure.
  • Government social programs. Let’s be real, many handouts will remain and become permanent.
  • Gun sales. Gun and ammo sales are up.
  • Biotech. Money will be thrown at this. Fact.
Pent-Up Demand
  • Change management consulting. Businesses are restructuring. Currently the change is being done on-the-fly. Change management consultants are studying that change and preparing to help businesses navigate the change long-term. They will be hired once the dust settles and budgets return.
  • Personal bankruptcy lawyers. Those who will go bankrupt also spend their stimulus checks quickly. Once the government hand-outs run out, their newly improved lifestyles will turn to bankruptcy just as quickly.
Similar Articles

27 July 2020: https://www.politico.eu/article/the-death-of-the-city-coronavirus-towns-cities-retail-transport-pollution-economic-crisis/

My Personal Adjustment

As a student entering a Master’s in Engineering: Energy, I am reconsidering my class selections within the program and leaning more toward building design classes and efficiency (to include air flow) than I was before. I have begun following architects as potential employers.

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