Health: Important Facts Regarding Flu Vaccines And Influenza Virus

From a The Week online article:

The disease kills 12,000 Americans during mild flu seasons and up to 56,000 in severe ones, with 90 percent of the victims over 65 years old. 

Although the U.S. has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, only 45 percent of adults and 63 percent of children get flu shots each year. Scientists estimate that if the vaccination rates were boosted to between 80 and 90 percent, it could effectively stop seasonal flu from spreading because of herd immunity. 


How does the vaccine work?
The flu vaccine contains inactive or weakened versions of three or four different strains of the influenza virus. Most people receive the vaccine via injection, but there is also a nasal spray available. The weakened viruses can’t cause serious illness, but they trigger and train the immune system to fight off the invading microorganisms. White blood cells generate an army of antibodies, which attack and destroy the vaccine viruses by attaching themselves to parts of the virus known as antigens. The vaccine antigens have the same shape as real flu antigens, so the immune system now has antibodies that match up with the real flu virus. That experience teaches the immune system to recognize future flu infections and quickly make antibodies to attack the invading viruses. It takes about two weeks after receiving the vaccine to develop immunity, which is why doctors recommend getting it early in the flu season, which begins in October and can last as late as May.

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Artist Profiles: Watercolor Painter Thomas W. Schaller Interviewed By The Met

From a online article:

Thomas W Schaller Fine Art in WatercolorSince I work as a fine artist now, there are fewer commercial entities to please, so I’ve discovered something that should have been very obvious. If you want to engage the viewer, don’t tell them everything, encourage them to ask their own questions. An artist should not describe—he or she should interpret. If you design into your work a bit of mystery—areas where the viewer must “fill in the blanks”—you set up an unspoken dialog with your viewers and an emotional weight will begin to develop organically. This is just one example of course, but an important one.

Artist Thomas W. Schaller combines a passion for architecture and storytelling into emotional landscape watercolor paintings. Originally trained as an architect, he found himself drawn to images of the built environment and eventually left designing behind to pursue fine art on a full-time basis. His education places him in an ideal position for architecture painting. Schaller understands how to design structures and knows what attributes to include and what he should leave out. At the same time, he’s able to tap into the feelings we get from visiting a city—such as a sentimentality—to produce pieces that are both beautiful and alluring.

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New Photography Books: Ansel Adams’ Yosemite – The Special Edition Prints

From a online release:

Ansel Adams' Yosemite special edition printsMaking the Special Edition Photographs is an assignment I continue to this day, with Ansel’s vision and standards always in mind as I work. The prints are still made directly from Ansel’s negatives and in the “traditional” way: in a wet darkroom with amber safelights, chemicals and running water. The prints are still silver-gelatin prints, meaning that the image-forming element is literally metallic silver. Precious.

And after nearly 40 years, I can honestly say that I never tire of seeing these images come up in the developing tray. It’s an honor and privilege to play a small part in continuing Ansel’s legacy.

This collection, entitled the Yosemite Special Edition Photographs, proved immensely popular and over the years, Ansel added more images to the set until the total was capped at 30 at the time of his passing in 1984.

Today, Best’s Studio is known as the Ansel Adams Gallery, and continues as a family-run business. Ansel’s Special Edition Photographs of Yosemite are a mainstay of the Gallery’s offerings and heritage. Each print is still made by hand directly from Ansel’s original negatives, using his approach and methodology to ensure strict adherence to his standards and aesthetic.

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Top Political Podcasts: Tamara Keith And Amy Walter On The Latest In Washington (PBS)

Tamara Keith and Amy Walter PBS Newshour Oct 28 2019NPR’s Tamara Keith and Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report join Judy Woodruff to discuss the latest political news, including what the death of ISIS leader al-Baghdadi means for President Trump and how the impeachment inquiry might shift after the House takes a formal vote on it this week.