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    Other Thoughts

    Thoughtworthy (History Primary Sources, New Episodes & More!)

    July 10, 2020 by Brandy Vencel

    This post contains affiliate links.

    :: 1 ::

    This new Thoughtworthy graphic made me laugh. You may be wondering if there will be unexpectedly deep thoughts this week, but I think it will just be like usual. (Sorry to disappoint.)

    I was on Homeschool Conversations over at Humility and Doxology and and that felt deep, so that’s something. Click here to go listen!

    :: 2 ::

    I ordered a copy of The Patriot’s History Reader this week. I have a similar book but decided to go ahead and splurge because I realized this had all the documents I need (and want!) for high school American history and having them all in one place will be nice, especially once I have more than one high schooler again.

    It has the basics you’d expect, like The Mayflower Compact or The Constitution, and it also has famous speeches and a number of Supreme Court decisions. I was required to read a number of decisions in high school and I consider that a very formative part of my own education. I didn’t really pass that on to my oldest and while I think I gave him something worthwhile, I’m trying to remedy that with the younger set.

    This book is entirely primary sources (well, with brief introductions explaining context). Something I appreciate is that they updated the antiquated spelling in some places. (I have one child who gets hung up about spelling.)

    :: 3 ::

    The first of the two summer Scholé Sisters episodes is out today!

    It’s short but sweet and to the point. (Possibly makes up for the looooonnnng previous episode?)

    :: 4 ::

    This month in 2016:

    This starts off with advice in the first paragraph that I didn’t follow this year and I’m feeling the pain for that already. The part about pre-transcripts, which I forgot I wrote, is right now. It really did work out perfectly doing it that way.

    :: 5 ::

    Podcast episode of the week:

    :: 6 ::

    This week’s links collection:

    • US National Debt Clock
      • Not an article, but if you want to freak yourself out for kicks, just watch the national debt going up by thousands in a blink of an eye. It’s frightening.
      • Weird thing: the credit card debt is moving backwards. Huh.
    • The world is finally uniting against China’s bully tactics from New York Post
      • Time will tell us whether this is for real.
      • “The sight of the 7.3 million free people of Hong Kong being crushed under the heel of the Communist boot is one the world will not easily forget.” Have you been seeing this? Our own country is so noisy I fear we are missing important things happening elsewhere.
    • Looking at Deep Red Light for Just Minutes a Day Significantly Improves Declining Eyesight from Sci Tech Daily
      • I don’t talk much about my eyesight, but I’ve been legally blind since I was a teenager. Lately, I realized my night vision is declining. My dad owns an infrared/far red light box and I think I’m going to take it for a test drive.
      • The study said no effects were shown in persons under 40. But I’m over that, so here’s hoping. ♥

    :: 7 ::

    Corona reads:

    • Use of Surgical Face Masks to Reduce the Incidence of the Common Cold Among Health Care Workers in Japan: A Randomized Controlled Trial from American Journal of Infection Control
      • I’ll apologize now that you can’t read the whole study; only the abstract is available without payment or subscription.
      • The biggest weakness in this study was sample size (only 32 participants).
      • The results were predictable: the masks didn’t make a difference. What is interesting about this study is the other observations. Namely, those wearing masks were more likely to get a headache.
      • Also this: “Subjects living with children were more likely to have high cold severity scores over the course of the study.” Hmmm… thoughts on this?
    • Effectiveness of N95 respirators versus surgical masks against influenza: A systematic review and meta‐analysis from Journal of Evidence Based Medicine
      • This had a wonderful sample size: 9,171. But … this isn’t one single study; it’s a meta-analysis. Always good to keep such things in mind.
      • The results were not, in my opinion, predictable: the N95 respirators didn’t make a difference in influenza transmission when compared to surgical masks. This actually surprised me because N95s are presumed superior.
        • Technically, they are superior in some ways: “Meta‐analysis with fixed‐effects model revealed that compared with surgical masks, N95 respirators significantly reduced bacterial colonization in hospitals.” This might be explained by the difference in size; viruses tend to be much smaller than bacteria.
    • Immunization with SARS Coronavirus Vaccines Leads to Pulmonary Immunopathology on Challenge with the SARS Virus from PLOS One
      • Please remember this is an animal study.
      • So this is a big reason to be concerned about a Covid vaccines. The link above details the results of the vaccine challenge stage for SARS (and obviously Covid is a derivative of SARS). The problem? Well, the results imply, first, that all the exposed animals were infected upon challenge (meaning the vaccine didn’t work) and, second, that they hyper-responded to the infection. The interesting thing is at least some of the vaccines did initiate antibody production (proving, once again, that antibody production does not equal immunity).
      • We already knew that respiratory virus vaccination could cause hyper-sensitivity to those viruses. That’s what happened in the (human) RSV trial, which is referenced in this study. (You can read this, for example, on what is called “vaccine-enhanced disease.”)
      • Which is why the researchers concluded with this concern: “This combined experience provides concern for trials with SARS-CoV vaccines in humans. Clinical trials with SARS coronavirus vaccines have been conducted and reported to induce antibody responses and to be ‘safe’… However, the evidence for safety is for a short period of observation. The concern arising from the present report is for an immunopathologic reaction occurring among vaccinated individuals on exposure to infectious SARS-CoV, the basis for developing a vaccine for SARS. Additional safety concerns relate to effectiveness and safety against antigenic variants of SARS-CoV and for safety of vaccinated persons exposed to other coronaviruses, particularly those of the type 2 group.”
        • So possibly the hyper-senstivity would be induced not just to the virus in the vaccine, but to other viruses with enough cross reactivity to initiate T-cell response.
        • And yet Fauci keeps telling us our one great hope is a vaccine. I’m pretty sure a better scenario is the fact that viruses like this mutate so much and so fast that they tend to play themselves out in about two years’ time.

    Other Thoughts

    Thoughtworthy (Theology Book, School Planning, Big Kids & More!)

    July 3, 2020 by Brandy Vencel

    This post contains affiliate links. :: 1 :: While I had heard good things about it, I put off ordering The Wonderful Works of God because it’s over $40. However, in my end of the year interviews with my children, they let me know what they wanted to read and think about more and it became very obvious that something like this book would fit the bill — and if something like it, why not the actual book itself? So Continue Reading…

    Mother's Education, Other Thoughts

    Thinking Through my Oxygen Experiment

    July 1, 2020 by Brandy Vencel

    As most of you know, I invited all of you to participate in a little homeschool science experiment concerning masks. There are a few negative things said about the health consequences of mask wearing, most of which we could never test out at home. But pulse oximeters make it possible to test one thing easily: whether or not mask wearing negatively affects a person’s oxygenation. My hypothesis, which I stated at the outset, was that it would negatively affect oxygenation. Continue Reading…

    Other Thoughts

    Thoughworthy (Why So Busy, Book Charts, Annual Review & More!)

    June 19, 2020 by Brandy Vencel

    This post contains affiliate links. :: 1 :: Wow, what a week! So much to do, so little time. I feel like that’s been my theme all week. I’ve had my head down working overtime. Charlotte Mason Boot Camp sold out within 48 hours of opening (sorry if you were meaning to do it this summer — the next session is in September), but the Liberty of Logic course is still open. Prepping for that has involved hours of formatting Continue Reading…