Gin

A great contraption sporting numerous metal tubes with complicated gauges and instruments may not be favourable to you. If so, here is a recipe for compound gin.
Seven hundred ml of quality vodka. Six cardamom pods. Two tablespoons of juniper berries. One tablespoon coriander seeds. One lemon peel and a pinch of dried rose petals.
Bruise the cardamom pods and juniper berries in a pestle and mortar. Add all the ingredients to the vodka. Replace lid on the bottle and leave in a cool dark place for twenty four hours. Strain infused mixture in a jug through a sieve lined with coffee filter paper then pour back into the bottle. Store in a cool dry place.
Enjoy compound gin just as you would regular gin in a martini or mixed with tonic.

herbivorous aperitif

Vaccines

It normally takes 10 year period to trial and develop an effective vaccine against disease. in 2020, scientists managed to develop multiple vaccines within the time frame of a single year.
Some clarity is needed in regards to fighting disease. 70% effective vaccines (in clinical trials) such as AstraZeneca and the Johnson & Johnson are effective in stopping COVID-19. While both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are 94 to 95% effective, the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are none the less sufficient in combatting the disease. In this regard the percentage effective argument is irrelevant. Their benefits over the Pfizer and Moderna are outlined below.

The first vaccines receiving EUA (emergency use authorisation) in the US are the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines and are mRNA vaccines. Both require two doses.
AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines in contrast are viral vector vaccines. AstraZeneca has received EUA in Australia and Johnson & Johnson has now received EUA in the US.

mRNA stands for messenger ribonucleic acid and could be described as giving your body instructions to construct a particular protein. mRNA is not able to modify a person’s genetic makeup or DNA. mRNA from the vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell (location of the DNA). Instead, the COVID- 19 vaccines that use mRNA work with body’s natural defence to develop immunity to the disease.

Viral vector is a gene code unique to SARs-CoV-2 and helps produce a spike protein and displays it on the cell’s surface. Once on the surface of the cell, it causes the immune system to begin producing antibodies and activating T-cells to fight off what ‘it thinks’ is an infection.

Like the AstraZeneca, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine does not require ultra low temperature storage and can cater for innumerable situations where sub zero storage is unfeasable.
Obvious advantages especially for developing countries and for increased rates of vaccination and ultimately potential for herd immunity in population.
Prior war efforts in converting factory floors to accomodate and ramp up production is analogous to recent pharmaceutical companies in their effort to combat COVD- 19. Known as second-source agreements, smaller companies in developing countries have paired up with vaccine companies in rich countries to produce faster rollout times.

Behind the lines

I stumble upon an unusual show in the State Library on my way to the bus and what a surprise. It’s strangely relevant without any reference to the dreaded COVID. But Behind the Lines is a political cartoon show based around the year 2019 so there is no pandemic, no stock market crash or storming of the Capitol.. It’s like stepping back in time without the final act. How refreshing to see everything lampooned so. Nothing is off the table. You are taken on a journey that is hilarious and informative and you are reminded of the loony politicians and their destiny of obscurity. Curator and writer, Jennifer Forest had to choose eighty odd pictures from over one thousand exhibits for the show and managed a fabulous selection. The Museum of Australian Democracy of Old Parliament House has a repository of images that defies its somewhat archaic title. Where cartoonists reign, political correctness is certainly absent. Nothing escapes the cutting satire of such traditional means as pen and paper regardless of updated communications such as messaging or YouTube. I guess everything is brought down to size. As I wander around perusing the pictures I can’t help feeling strangely uplifted. Is it because of the lifting of contagion restrictions or because of the lampooning? Who cares this is a gas.

Behind the Lines 2019 is a travelling exhibition developed by Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House

Cathy Wilcox
Mark Knight
Jon Kudelka
Alan Moir

Just a few of the cartoons on display for Behind the Lines 2019

Diary entry (continued)

Sitting on a dune overlooking the beach and suddenly gripped with a powerful memory. I realize this is the home of a close friend, the child of a Fijian mother and Scottish father. I’m instantly transported to Melbourne in the early ’90s for no particular reason. I am living next door to a Bahai temple. A mutual friend needs a scratch band and asks me to help out. I’m not madly enthusiastic but the Bahai thing pricks my interest so I go along to the temple.

Continue reading Diary entry (continued)