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22 October, 2020

The sound of a dishwasher is less unpleasant than that of a washing machine.

In the morning I fixed up the drip irrigation to the patio - water was pouring out of the end of the thin spaghetti piping in one place, and a couple of the drippers had got blocked, as a result of which some of the plants weren't getting enough water. I sometimes wonder whether drip irrigation saves or conserves water, as when the whole system is based on the idea of leaky pipes, it no doubt takes a very careful observation in order to maintain them, added to which most people have only a cursory knowledge of how many litres of water plants actually need. And drippers often become either partially blocked or, if they aren't properly regulated, give differing amounts of water depending on water pressure and relative elevation. Also, the drippers are poorly marked or use a color system which changes according to the manufacturer. And the amount of water necessary no doubt changes according to the season. I have two different computers controlling the system. For a long time our small lawn wasn't getting any water at all because I hadn't programmed its sprinklers properly.

In Britain, meanwhile, a new study has shown that toilets with a half-flush option actually waste more water than traditional siphon toilets because most of them leak. Siphon based systems have less of an opportunity to leak. But anyway, I haven't actually seen siphon based systems around here. One of our toilets definitely leaks and I keep forgetting to take a look at it.

In the afternoon I went to the health food store and the supermarket. It's a bad day to go because Thursday afternoons are a busy time. Last Friday I went to a local mini-market but would not repeat the experience. Friday is an even busier day and in the small space of the mini-market there were too many people and little social distancing. It's true that most people are finally wearing masks, but many don't wear them properly.


✭ Palestinian official Erekat undergoes bronchostomy
 has been one of the Palestinians' most recognizable faces over the past several decades, serving as a senior negotiator in talks with Israel and making frequent media appearances."

It looks as if another Arafat-era negotiator won't be with us so long. But he has had a near-death experience before, which convinced him there is life after death.

Anyway, his life is currently in the hands of an Israeli hospital. He has previously accused Israel of poisoning Yassir Arafat (which is not an unreasonable position).

✭ ‘We’re hoping we can have some version of a physical festival’: Sanjoy Roy on Jaipur Lit Fest 2021
"There will be no international travel in the foreseeable future. As far as international participation goes, we will use technology to beam them in and have some Indian speakers physically present."

The Jaipur literary festival is normally one of the largest in the world, and brings a staggering number of people. If it goes international, it could be interesting for the rest of us.

✭ Weekend Quiz: Which of the five Mahakavyas tells the story of the birth of Shiva’s son Kartikeya?

Well, got that one right, but only because I could guess it from the play's name (a dead give-away).

✭ Coronavirus: Face masks are worsening Earth’s waste problem. Here’s how you can help
From a purely environmental perspective, research suggests owning multiple reusable face masks, and machine-washing them together, is the best option. Using filters with reusable face masks is a second-best option.