How to make homemade masks more effective…

candicecoverAs there is a shortage of N95 masks that should NOT be hoarded by non-medical care providers, there is a growing movement to make homemade masks.  Such masks are just not as good as the manufactured medical grade masks, but are better than nothing.

As an inventor and technologist, I’ve been thinking for the past several days how to make homemade masks more effective and protective using materials available in many homes or at least easily available at most supermarkets. I believe I have an easy solution. The masks need to be laundered after wearing to maintain cleanliness… but they should be HAND laundered in very hot water using real soap such as Ivory Soap bars then rinsed in dilute white vinegar. This will leave a film of lipids on the fibers as the acetic acid in the vinegar will convert the soap to a chemically neutral lipid that will cling to the fabric. (making the cloth feel softer, a nice bonus) Here’s why this will work to protect the wearer. Corona viruses are spheres of RNA surrounded by a lipid coat. That’s why washing one’s hands with soap and water works, soap tears that lipid coat apart allowing the RNA to be destroyed. The mask fibers treated with real soap and then vinegar will have lipid coatings that will chemically bond to the lipid coating of the virus particles, trapping the virus, FAR better than conventionally washed fabric.

I’ve been asked what fabric they should be made from:  The best choice is smooth tight knit, fuzzy yarn (but NOT terry) white cotton tea toweling.  Avoid dyed and especially print cloth.

Please share this widely. It could save lives.

Download All The Stars Are Suns Free

What to do stuck at home this weekend? How about reading? I’m putting my SciFi novel on a special for #Covid-19 lockdown this weekend. You may download the novel for free starting Friday through Sunday (3/20 – 3/22). I just ask that you write a fair and honest review on Goodreads, LibraryThing, or Amazon (and anywhere else you think might be interested. Please share this offer?
 

Video Review: DEVS

candicecoverThe only good thing that I have to say about this show is that it avoided the silly SciFi trope of using transparent displays.  My take away?  This show is cheezy anti-tech, anti-Silicon Valley agit-prop.

The show kicks off with the juxtaposition of a high tech couple leaving their nice San Francisco apartment, stepping over a homeless man camped literally on their doorstep, exchanging cheery morning greetings by name.  They then take a private commuter bus down the penisula to the over-the-top woodland tech campus with a creepy & cheezy giant, full color, statue of a little girl in modern clothing, which turns out to be the companies brand image and company name.  There is a hint that this is the Founder / CEO’s dead daughter.  And when we met this CEO, for just a moment, we would be forgiven for thinking that this is the same homeless man that was sleeping in the couple’s doorway.

One of the couple is promoted to work on a super secret project in a super protected and shielded bunker like building.  The inner sanctum is covered in what a good technologist would recognize as an oversized representation of a fractal antenna, like what can be found in modern cellphones… save that it fails to maintain the fractal pattern down to the small size that an actual working device would require.  This signals to me that the visual look was borrowed by the Hollywood set designer with no or little clue as to its actual function.  Then one goes into the sealed off room to see what is instantly recognizably an unshielded quantum computer.  This newly promoted employee turns out to be an industry spy who uses his ‘Dick Tracy’ watch, takes pictures of the code.

Bad Move.

He is discovered and murdered by the CEO and his security goon.  Thus, we are told, as if none of the rest of the obvious allusions didn’t, that they are evil.

The murder is covered up and the victim’s girlfriend tries to figure out what happened to him.  Oh… and there’s another reference to tech workers invading space that doesn’t belong to them when she approaches her old boyfriend for help, and they meet up in a bar in the Castro… get it? Heterosexual tech workers use the gay community’s space as if it was theirs.

OK, let’s unpack some of this shall we?  The well off tech workers stepping over the homeless man… pretty obvious huh.  Then the commuter bus, an icon of gentrification of The City that earlier escapees (always willing to shut the door after they get theirs) from the surrounding burbs have protested for raising the cost of rents and then bussing them to Silicon Valley.  This is clearly supposed to represent and demonize facebook and Google, etc.  The disquieting resemblance between the homeless man and the CEO… cute huh?  The list goes on and on.

As someone who grew up in Silicon Valley yet spent much time as a member of the LGBT community in The City my whole life, I can’t find this amusing nor enjoyable.  It’s crapping on everything I hold dear.  It’s a lie write on the small screens that I helped to develop by a Hollywood team that ungratefully uses all of the tech from people like me.  I won’t be watching it further.