When you get to Pahrump it feels like the end of the world. It’s California desert country, on the northwest edge of Death Valley National Park. Driving into town we pass Bride Street, Gravel Pit Road, and WTF Sand and Stone. Next to the Mobil where we gas up is a storefront church. It might have been a travel agency at one time, Anywhere But Here Travel. Now, in big letters above the door, between two crosses, the church identifies itself: IT IS FINISHED. What, as in end times? Continue reading
They are adventurous, agile, adaptable. They will manage.
Today is another bad air day. This morning in Shanghai, for the half-mile walk to my grandson’s pre-school, we’re masking up. The four-month-old has not left the apartment in two weeks. In each room in the apartment, Blue Air purifiers do their job making the space safe for occupation.
Shortly after arriving here, I learned about Plume from my daughter. Plume is an app that reports levels of particulate matter (PM), providing “full coverage from Alabama to Zanzibar.”
Plume labs rely on air quality data collected from cities and countries around the world–for example, Federation ATMO in France, DEFRA in the UK, EPA in the US. Air quality data in China is reported by US embassies and consulates. In China, Plume reports air quality, why I do not know, in PAQI numbers, short for Pakistan Air Quality Index. We look at the Plume report every morning, cross-checking it with data on the US State Department website. Continue reading
Wet means everything uncovered, unwrapped, naked and exposed to the human touch…
“If I lived here,” I tell my daughter, “I would shop at Fart Mart.”
I’m referring to the grocery store next to the high-rise where she’ll be living the next two years or so. It’s real name is FMart. She goes there only when she has to.
FMart is a full service grocery store, with a Chinese accent. The store combines elements of industrial food production and distribution with the traditional Chinese “wet market.” It’s about the size of a large 7-11, well, four 7-11’s piled on top of each other. Four floors of pandemonium. Continue reading