December 31, 2012

Turning the page

Much as I dislike odd numbers – they never feel quite right – I must say I’m looking forward to the new year. I had high hopes for 2012, but they dimmed considerably thanks to politicians, mad killers, the media and Bashir Assad.

Lola and the Mailman

Lola and the Mailman

There were personal sad occasions to be observed and a few impersonal ones, although any year that sees the entrance of not one, but two wonderful dogs into one’s life is more than a little redeemed.  Alice the Beagle was my Virgil, a guide through the canine world who led me to Lola the Doxie and Lo is not only a fabulous dog, but a comedienne of superior talent. (See photo.) And to be guaranteed   laughter every day is no small thing.

While it’s disappointing to realize that the human race is no more just or honorable or kind than it was a year ago, there is nonetheless one small corner of endeavor that continues to be a comfort and that is the field of scientific research. Just this week the University of Copenhagen announced the discovery of a method of removing Volatile Organic Compounds from the air, a method that is both cheap and effective.

In this case, a chemist named Matthew Johnson had his eureka moment when he realized nature already had a system for removing pollutants – he just adapted it.  The sun causes gasses rising into the atmosphere to combine with ozone and other natural compounds to create particles that are then washed out of the atmosphere by rain.

“I have investigated the self-cleaning mechanism of the atmosphere for years. Suddenly I realized, that the mechanism is so simple, that we could wrap it in a box and use it to clean indoor air,” Johnson explained. The whole story can be found at Science Daily.

Johnson was working with a company that treats bilge water from oil tankers, but lots of things give off VOCs – paint, furniture and floor finishes, etc. – and his method should be applicable in many areas.

It’s nice to be reminded from time to time that there is an island of sanity out there, where creative minds are trying to solve real problems – mostly by using real facts – for the betterment of us all.



  1. An inspiring New Year’s Eve statement. Thanks, Jean


    Comment by Jane — December 31, 2012 @ 4:42 am | Reply

  2. Thank you Jean for your upbeat views… I agree with you on all points… Alice, Lola, and science. Wonderful picture of Tim and Lola.
    Good news for the coming year, that a doggy can be friends with the postman!


    Comment by GALYA TARMU — December 31, 2012 @ 1:00 pm | Reply

  3. double good blog story & picture


    Comment by avery zia — December 31, 2012 @ 5:17 pm | Reply

  4. To think we’re friends and I prefer uneven numbers! The Infuser is heaven sent IF it ever gets to the market. Think positive thoughts. HNY


    Comment by Carol — January 1, 2013 @ 11:41 am | Reply

  5. i love this pic! lola is amazing…but then again so is your mailman! 🙂


    Comment by nina c — January 4, 2013 @ 4:47 pm | Reply

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