Saturday 11 March 2023

The devil damn thee Covid

One of the threads in the woof of The Blob is that there aren't enough women in science and that girls need some inspiring role models to show that they can so get their heads around the inclined plane, genomics and food engineering . . . and diesel engines, cordless drills, railway signalling and building bridges.

Five years ago I cited zany inventor and engineer Simone Giertz as one of those inspirations: Giertz seemed to have a lot of fun in the struggle to make stuff work. Much less than a year later, I had to report that Giertz had been diagnosed with a brain tumor [called Brian ho ho] but was getting the best treatment for it. Sheesh! It knocks all kind of holes in my more-women-in-science project if the key players are in hospital rather than making video content. Giertz seems to have made a pretty good recovery.

I was disconcerted when my YT feed recently delivered a picture of Giertz on another channel presenting An Update of Dianna. Turns out that Dianna Cowern aka Physics Girl has been whacked by a terrible version of Long Covid [twitter] and is reduced to a wan shadow of her former ebullient self. We've met her before tracking and explaining mysteriously moving desert boulders. And here she is more recently tracking a moving sludge spring. That turns out to be fueled by CO2 which we've met in particularly deadly form at Lake Nyos in Cameroon. Engineers found a solution against that specific event ever repeating. Nobody doubts Cowern's enthusiasm for the Work of explaining the natural world in an evidence based way: with whoomph but without woo. Just after she cut her PBS umbilical and launched as an independent content producer, covid struck her down.

Simone Giertz says it would help her pal's struggle to recover if folks would subscribe and join 9,000 others at Patreon. But really bugger covid.

More women in science

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