Situational Report

”Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others.” – Philippians 2:4 (Common English Bible)

I will keep this brief and state that very little is well. There is a sense of being without aim or direction on my part that is apparently quite common in these strange times. Something has to change but I am not sure what may be the way forward.

Snakes And Drain Cleaner

Why do we have Christian folk going to strange places relative to the coronavirus? Most likely Mark 16:16-18 explains it which is rendered in the Common English Bible in this fashion: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever doesn’t believe will be condemned. These signs will be associated with those who believe: they will throw out demons in my name. They will speak in new languages. They will pick up snakes with their hands. If they drink anything poisonous, it will not hurt them. They will place their hands on the sick, and they will get well.” The “snakes and drain-o” passage doesn’t appear in all the original manuscripts of the book of Mark so various translations indicate that it might not have appeared in the original. In fact it is shown often as an “ending likely added later”.

What does this mean? We must not forget the snake handling cults of Appalachia. USA Today even reported on it way back when. The Appalachian diaspora within the USA results in such beliefs flowing outward and changing somewhat. Combining that obscure strain of offbeat religious thought with the amplification provided by today’s social media gives us a bit of a recipe for disaster.

Too many folks in academia have been trying to attack this matter from a quantitative perspective. It doesn’t come down to numbers. It is a qualitative matter that is rooted in messier things. History matters.

Keeping all that in mind makes this Facebook post by Nino Vitale far easier to understand unlike a report by WKYC.

Outside the United States of America the COVID-19 situation is not really a matter of faith. It is just a matter of virology. New Zealand just celebrated 100 days of containment. I don’t think we will be anywhere near that for some time in the USA regardless of who occupies the White House.

Things are going to be bad for some time to come perhaps.

The One That Did Not Get Sent

”The righteous heart reflects before answering, but the wicked mouth blurts out evil.” – Proverbs 15:28 (Common English Bible)

This should have been a newsletter installment of The Interim Edgewood Stratagem posted during this week. That never happened. Instead it is posted to the blog instead. Next week is another week.

This week did not turn out as expected. This should have been solely a recap of good free media outlets online. Instead I will try to catch up on circumstances that seem to have gotten away from me.

The Curious Case of Kanye West

The Associated Press reports Mr. West did not qualify for the presidential ballot in Ohio in November. reported that both Illinois and Wisconsin also tossed him from their ballots this November as well.

Forbes reports he did not make the ballot in Montana either.

The big question to ask now is what to make of all of this. He will be on the ballot in a few states. There is no conceivable beat path mathematically to outright victory for him, though.

The text of the twelfth amendment to the United States Constitution is extremely relevant at this point since it governs how the President and Vice President are elected except for some bits about when the term of office begins as the twentieth amendment changed that. The twelfth amendment states with the inoperative portion shown italicized:

The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;–The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;–The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. [And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.–] The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

Mr. West has no chance of winning the White House. He has every chance of throwing the election to the House, though. That could lead to the perverse outcome of Joe Biden as President and Mike Pence as Vice President. As you might imagine I have been playing with 270ToWin a bit much lately.

Coronavirus Vaccine & Obesity

Did I ever mention there would not be math in this? Well, MathJax does not render in e-mail whatsoever. That means I am reduced to the least easily understood form of math which is the “story problem”.

Body Mass Index (”BMI”) is determined by a fairly simple formula. It gets slightly more complicated when you have to convert from imperial measurements to metric. The basic formula in metric terms is:

BMI = Bodyweight in Kilograms / (Height in Meters) Squared

Reports have come out that the current candidates for a coronavirus vaccine may be ineffective in the “obese”. There is even discussion of encouraging weight loss as part of responses to the pandemic. The last article I could find showed the average BMI for the United States as being just a hair under 30 which is the cut off for “obese”.

I keep putting obese in quotes as BMI lets us quantify things. A BMI of 18.5-24.9 is “normal”. In the 25-29.9 range is “overweight”. Once you hit 30 and beyond you get into different gradations of obesity.

If we target the upper limit of normal and start to rearrange the equation we get this:

24.9 = Bodyweight in Kilograms / (Height in Meters) Squared

Since we are dealing with two variables and are more concerned about the bodyweight one, we solve for that which gives us this:

24.9 * (Height in Meters) Squared = Bodyweight in Kilograms

That gives you the function of what an upper bound for optimum weight would be relative to the current coronavirus situation apparently. To convert an American’s height from inches to meters the following formula should be followed:

Heights in Meters = Height in Inches * 0.0254

To work an example using a height of five feet and eight inches which is to say sixty eight inches we would see:

Meters = 68 * 0.0254

Meters = 1.7272

We would then take this result and plug this into our upper bound function which gives us this:

24.9 * (1.7272)(1.7272) = Bodyweight in Kilograms

24.9 * 2.98321984 = Bodyweight in Kilograms

74.282174016 = Bodyweight in Kilograms

As we are not done with all the floating point math we should still convert from kilograms to pounds before rounding off. That conversion function appears this way:

Pounds = Weight in Kilograms * 2.2

Pounds = 74.282174016 * 2.2

Pounds = 163.4207828352

We can round that off to 163 pounds then. It took a bit to show the work but that gives a rough idea of where things stand. An adult male standing 68 inches tall with a body mass index of 30, the lowest cut off for being classed as obese, would weigh 197 pounds. There would be a bit of a challenge there to surmount in these interesting times.

None of this constitutes medical advice, mind you. Go talk to your doctor! Whether it is scheduling a telehealth consultation or going in to being poked and prodded now would be a very good time to be seen. I know I will have tons of questions at my next appointment with someone from my general practitioner’s office.

Various & Sundry

There has been so much weirdness going on. With Identica presently crashed I have been stashing links as quick notes to my OneNote account. One thing I have noticed about Microsoft’s various online tools is that while they might not be as popular as Google’s at large they do seem to not suffer catastrophic crashes. Yes, I do need to get back to reading Microsoft Azure for Dummies admittedly.

In no particular order:

In Closing…

Hopefully the coronavirus situation calms down elsewhere. Columbia University’s Earth Institute did some modeling of what would happen to COVID-19’s spread if a hurricane forced an evacuation in Florida. The situation report is a bit scary.

Amidst all the doom and gloom we cannot lose hope. There will be a new dawn.

Until next time, I will say that I am up to the second episode on Nebula-75. Hopefully you find something good as traditional media starts drying up in terms of new releases. A goal for next week is to do a recap of good free media outlets online.



Floating On The Island

”We have many parts in one body, but the parts don’t all have the same function. In the same way, though there are many of us, we are one body in Christ, and individually we belong to each other.” – Romans 12:4-5 (Common English Bible)

The infamous newsletter had the following written in it:

Currently out of 88 counties in Ohio my very strange county is 8th from the bottom in the league table for occurrence of COVID-19. Either we are not testing or our ridiculously low population density is acting to prevent spread. Nobody is quite sure in that regard. Reading the slides from Tuesday is likely profitable.

Counties far smaller than Ashtabula County in terms of land area as well as population have far higher incidence of coronavirus spread. We are at the lowest risk possible in the state for the eighth week running on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System tracker. People disbelieve coronavirus out here in major part as it is barely spreading except in congregate care settings where we’ve had two nursing homes hit extremely hard as well as the state prison.

With those prefatory remarks said I should explain what I need help with.

Hollywood is having quite a hard time trying to produce anything due to coronavirus outbreaks still happening. We have plenty of open space out here in Ashtabula County as well as a regional film commission based in Cleveland willing to back work in setting up production spaces. Setting up something akin to "Made In Georgia" or the like out here would provide some societal benefit.

The big problem is that that is something I cannot do alone. I don’t have sufficient capital and also need other people to work with me on such an endeavor. There is not a local talent pool that I could dip into to make this work. The financial capital simply is not there.

I am not trying to simply make a remote Hollywood studio out of nothing. If I can set up something to produce online content that is even moderately or minimally successful then that would work nicely. Setting up a linear video on demand channel serving the community would be another heroic project to undertake with something like OpenBroadcaster but I would need a team to make that happen.

Hurricane Laura might make a great excuse for people to move out of Texas. There are plenty of possible refuges here at decent prices.

I should mention a bit about the infamous EB-5 immigrant investor visa. USCIS has a big page in the matter at According to the Ohio Development Service Agency’s files, Ashtabula County qualifies in its entirety as a rural county under the heading of "targeted employment area". That means that lowered investment amounts are permitted for people seeking EB-5 visa if they decided to investment here compared to investing in New York City. The minimum investment is only \$900,000 in United States Dollars which converts as of current spot rates to just over 680,000 pounds sterling, 1.3 million Australian dollars, roughly 1.2 million Canadian dollars, and 1.3 million New Zealand dollars. Clicking any of those links will give you up to date rates. In short, though, anybody from Commonwealth realms that wanted to act as reverse missionaries from Stone-Campbell settings would have some nice opportunities out here.

We have very little economic growth happening in Ashtabula County. When the Ashtabula County Commissioners gave out support grants this week from CARES Act dollars most of the money went to restaurants and lawn care companies. If I was able to get the help I think securing a large enough plot in the southern reaches of the county would give enough space to start production for something. Whether online content or traditional content there will be a need as new content starts drying up.

Reruns will start getting old once we start hitting winter. Even if it is a spoof of Big Chuck And Little John it would be something new. Somebody may well buy that to air. There seems to be a niche to exploit but I can’t do this one alone.

With as screwed up as things have gotten thanks to lockdowns, protests, and worse the ability to go out and seek partners as well as help just isn’t there like it once was. Going to a film festival would have been the way to have sought support in the past. There are no more in-person film festivals now, though. As a start I will at least get this blog post up and then move forward from it.