Quote of the Day


06/25/2013 by syrbal-labrys

I was very adversely affected by being trapped in traffic for over four hours. Besides auto exhaust, in heavy traffic it is almost a certainty that latex particles from tires are aerosolized. I have a mild latex allergy and have been feeling lousy since Saturday evening.
So I am resting and reading science fiction by Iain M. Banks.

And I want to share a quote from one of his characters:

“One should never mistake pattern….for meaning.”
(QiRia in “The Hydrogen Sonata”)


6 thoughts on “Quote of the Day

  1. LanceThruster says:

    I was kicked out of my vanpool by wonderfully selfish and self-centered xians for repeatedly asking that we not breath diesel fumes. I wrote this for our vanpool coordinator to try to spare anyone else that same headache (literally) I went through. When I polled other vans, they mentioned brake dust, and even excess personal fragrances, as being an issue as well.

    Best Practices for Climate Control Settings in Vanpools using Ford Econoline Vans

    In most late model Ford products, there is no separate RECIRCULATE setting. In order to adjust the climate control to keep toxic fumes and pollutants out of the interior, the only setting that will accomplish this is MAX A/C. This does not require the air to be necessarily chilled as the actual temperature setting is a separate control (with red and blue markings for warmer/colder). This allows all passengers to have a comfortable air circulation, but protects those with greater sensitivity to toxins such as diesel exhaust fumes, brake dust from trucks and other heavy vehicles, or other concentrated pollutants in commuter traffic from adverse physiological effects (which include headaches, nausea, light-headedness, and increased fatigue from degrees anywhere from moderate to severe – these can last up to 90 minutes or more past exposure). There are also a number of pronounced psychological effects resulting from the feeling that other riders are not willing to make reasonable accommodations for those experiencing these immediate and sometimes intense physical responses such as heighten anxiety and depression.

    The Ford Econoline van has separate controls for the front passengers and the back passengers. Sometimes the temperature output of the two zones is not equal. This can be regulated by the driver switching that control on and off intermittently to balance out the temperature (much like adding hot or cold water to a bathtub to control the overall temperature) and only needs feedback from the other passengers to maintain.

    The worst setting for keeping outside fumes from permeating the interior of the van is the REG A/C climate control setting. This actually concentrates the toxins due to the nature of the air conditioning compressor and is worse for people sensitive to outside fumes than just having the climate control set to VENT which circulates air no heavier with pollutants than the outside concentration.

    If air directly from the outside it desired, the effects to sensitive passengers can be mitigated by switching to OFF or MAX A/C for the duration that the vehicles creating the noxious fumes are present. It works particularly well if the climate control is switched before catching up to the truck or bus emitting the fumes, but making the switch when the fumes are detected is better than nothing. Also, having outside air come through the floor vents rather than the ceiling vents allows the fumes to be diluted somewhat before sensitive passengers breathe them in.

    In the absence of cooperation by the drivers, sensitive passengers can opt to wear a surgeon’s mask, which is not too terribly uncomfortable, and keeps substantially reduces the effects resulting from multiple exposures. These are available from a number of dollar stores in a 10- pack. I found mine at the 99 Cents Only Stores.

    Highway pollutants have been linked with a number of adverse health effects from studies done on Highway Patrol officers, children living near freeways, and pregnant women. It has even been shown to interfere with the effectiveness of medication taken by diabetics.

    The article “The Effect of Traffic Fumes on your Health” (http://www.pollutionissues.co.uk/effect-traffic-fumes-your-health.html ) cites in detail the negative effects on health, and goes on to state – “Diesel fumes in particular are dangerous to health. 100 times more particulates are formed from diesel emissions than from petrol.”

    • LanceThruster says:

      this line s/b – and substantially reduces the effects resulting from multiple exposures.

    • syrbal says:

      Believe me, I know it. I avoid traffic and freeways as often as possible for all of these reasons. I have tried the masks, but although I’m not really claustrophobic, these make me start feeling smothered.

      • LanceThruster says:

        Until these Xians of unquestionable integrity booted me, it was my only option. Prior to that, I put my jacket over my head (seriously) and had a bit of relief in the air pocket it provided, though you can imagine it was not unlike a sweat lodge under there.

        They had no concern for my physical well-being, but invited me to attend their churches on multiple occasions as if my atheism was something in need of cure (the worst bully told me in no uncertain terms, “You really need to come with me to church.”)

        “Jeebus, protect me from your followers.”

      • syrbal says:

        I’d prefer if Jeebus beat his followers like the proverbial red-headed stepchild!

      • LanceThruster says:

        I’d prefer if Jeebus beat his followers like the proverbial red-headed stepchild!

        One can only hope for cosmic justice dispensed in that manner.


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The name of this blog, and my Dreamwidth blog, Herlander Refugee, is taken from a 1915 feminist novel "Herland". It makes my heart sing that modern women are experimenting with creation of a new "Herland"! Yes, comments are closed. Anyone who just MUST reach me can do so at syrbal6 at gmail dot com.

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