Never thought this would be the scenario I wouldn't be able to travel for


When my nephew Elliott's health started taking a turn for the worse, my first thought was to start preparing for the possibility of needing to make a trip to Ireland to be with my family. Unfortunately with the COVID-19 pandemic uprooting the entire world, flying is both not recommended due to the viral load component of virus transmission, and also not easily achieved because so many airlines have stopped their flights. Even if I was to make it back to Ireland somehow, the Irish health board has requested that "Everybody flying into Ireland from overseas should self-quarantine for 14 days". There was not going to be any chance of completing that in time, which would run the risk of me transmitting the illness to my parents or others, should I pick it up along the way (if I don't already have it and am asymptomatic); alternatively, I could pick it up from someone in Ireland and bring it back to the US to share with everyone I was in contact with between the airport and home, never mind my family.

So instead my brother and I have worked out how to use the conference call system Zoom to stream the funeral to family and friends across Ireland and the world. While I won't be able to comfort my family, we'll at least be able to say our farewells to Elliott.

Historically when people from Ireland emigrated to the US family and friends would hold a party for them to send them off. This was traditionally called an "Irish wake" as it was from a time when it was not expected that the emigrating person would ever be seen again. When my wedding 22 years ago became a makeshift Irish wake for me, I never in my wildest, worst dreams believed I would be unable to return home because of a pandemic, with the ease of travel across the Atlantic I assumed I would be able to pop over with short notice, as happened in 2016. The timing this year really is atrocious, and gut-wrenching.

Now the best I can do is tell my family in Ireland I love them, do everything in my power to keep my family here health so that when the pandemic subsides we'll be able to travel. Because there are so many hugs to be shared, and tears to be released.

RIP my nephew Elliott Seamus Patrick McKenna Roddy

Elliott smiling while listening to music being played for him


My wonderful sister and her husband lost their child after a long uphill battle against the odds. Dearest Elliott Seamus Patrick McKenna Roddy passed away quietly in his mother's arms on Saturday, March 21st, with his dad at her side and his two grandmothers in support. Please keep them in your thoughts.

Why the "Lost in Space" is a huge Meh


I've watched both seasons of the "Lost in Space" reboot on Netflix and I've found it to be monumentally meh. While it is true that space is life in "Hard" mode, IMHO there were several pieces that made me think the show runners / script writers either just didn't either think things through, or were told to really dial down the realism.

The first thing that stood out was how at the beginning of season 2 they had enough resources to start farming, and they picked corn as their first crop. Corn is one of the least nutritious crops you can grow, so did they choose it because they didn't know any better (and didn't bother spending five minutes on google) or were they told to pick corn because people would recognize it?

The second thing was the garbage pickup. They had garbage collection like is done today where there's negligible consideration for reuse, recycling, composting, etc - everything was just bundled into huge garbage bags and dumped in a waste disposal section. With the minimal amount of resources they have in space, why wouldn't they have a significant effort to make the absolute maximum use of everything, including all waste products? Did they either not think it through, or again did someone tell them to make it match life today so people would understand?

The Mandalorian


The (kinda) new Star Wars show The Mandalorian is all kinds of wonderful - great acting, great story telling, great incidental humor, great special effects, it's just what the Star Wars universe needed to revitalize itself after a more staid final trilogy in its Skywalker saga. IMHO it's worth subscribing to Disney+ just to watch this one show.

Eddie Glaude's raw, honest, true take on White America


I encourage every single person who can understand the spoken English language (or read English subtitles) to watch this 150 second clip of Eddie Glaude, to take it in, to accept the truth of it, to process it. The White people of this world, we (yes, me included) must let go the baggage of the lies we call our history.

(via Hari Kondabolu)


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