Beam me up, Scottie

mullet over

Tremendous strides to prevent and cure blindness have been made during the last decade. Simple ocular hygiene and protective eyewear could prevent more than 8,000,000 cases of blindness annually, according to ophthalmologists. Astounding procedures utilizing implants, chemical stimuli and weak electrical jolts have returned vision to thousands of people previously blind. A professor at the University of Washington has even apparently cured color-blindness – in male squirrel monkeys. The procedure involves penetrating the retina with a needle and inserting a normal human photopigment gene contained in a virus. This is very good news for those of us who resemble male squirrel monkeys.

It will be 50 years ago in September of 2016 that Star Trek boldly made its debut. Versions of some of the devices “created” by the show’s writers have come to be prescient. The combadge (a wearable clip-on communication device) and the medical tricorder (a long distance health analysis-transcender) are two cases in point. The transporter has yet to materialize, so “beam me up, Scottie” does not represent reality. Yet.

There exists a project led by ecologist Alize Carrere in Bangladesh to utilize floating gardens developed for areas that have been predicted to soon be covered by fresh water. Densely populated Bangladesh is a low-lying nation and scientists predict that rising water levels are expected to affect the removal of at least 18,000,000 people. The strategy involves binding bamboo, hyacinth, manure, etc. to form buoyant nutrient-rich farms with schemes to raise ducks, vegetables, fish and various fruits in regions previously thought to be doomed and soon worthless. Covering thousands of acres, floating hospitals, schools, etc. have been included in outlines presented to government officials for consideration.

In the recent Rio Olympics, the nation of Kosovo was an entrant for the first time ever. An athlete (Majlinda Kelmendi) won the country’s first gold medal in women’s judo. Rruga per te shkuar!

The reason several of the old TV Westerns had their main characters seldom or never wear different outfits was one of pragmatism. The motive was to make stock footages where segments could easily be inserted into numerous different episodes, saving time and money. I did wonder why Matt Dillon and Adam Cartwright seemed to own only one shirt each. Well, here’s hoping some squirrel monkeys can make it possible for me to safely coordinate my own color arrangements. This “orange is the new black” fad was nothing “new” to me. Have a great week.

James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at