June 19, 2021

For the first time in nearly 40 years, Congress has moved to establish a new national holiday, and it happened with bipartisan support.  The House voted Wednesday to pass the legislation to establish Juneteenth as the 11th Federal holiday.  The final vote in the House was 415-14.  The House vote came after a surprising unanimous consent by the Senate on Tuesday, after a single Republican senator dropped his opposition.  It is interesting to note we cannot get bipartisan agreement on infrastructure or health care, but we can on a day off.  Obviously, Juneteenth represents far more than just a day off for federal workers.  This June 19th marks the 156th anniversary of the day where the last African American slaves were freed as Federal troops marched into Galveston in the wake of the Civil War. 

The legislation headed to President Joe Biden’s desk for signature on Thursday, making it a federal holiday.  This is the first official holiday declared since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was signed into law in 1983.  MLK Day came after the restructuring of the holiday system with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was enacted June 28, 1968, permanently moving Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, and Labor Day celebrations to a Monday.  It has been suggested Juneteenth will be celebrated on either the Friday or Monday closest to the actual date.  Biden was accompanied for the signing by Vice President Kamala Harris, one of the Democrats who introduced the legislation in the Senate last year.  The bill had strong bipartisan sponsorship from Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.  Texas already celebrates Juneteenth.

The lone Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who opposed the legislation last year, said in a statement that he would no longer raise his objections on the floor, even though the bill already had the support of 60 cosponsors to overcome a filibuster.  “Although I strongly support celebrating Emancipation, I objected to the cost and lack of debate,” Johnson said. “While it still seems strange that having taxpayers provide federal employees paid time off is now required to celebrate the end of slavery, it is clear that there is no appetite in Congress to further discuss the matter.”  Steve Williams, the president of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation, thanked lawmakers in a press conference on Capitol Hill earlier for, “put(ting) that exclamation mark on the fabulous work.”  Even when bipartisan, there is still division.

Thoughts:  President Biden delivered a special greeting on Thursday to a central figure in the campaign to make Juneteenth a national holiday.  Biden got down on one knee to greet Opal Lee, the 94-year-old Juneteenth advocate and former educator from Texas, at the presidential signing ceremony.  Growing up in Texas, Lee celebrated Juneteenth every year.  In 2016, Lee walked 1,400 miles from her home in Fort Worth, Texas, to Washington, DC, to raise awareness and support for making Juneteenth a federal holiday.  Unlike past holidays which have been staggered into the calendar, Juneteenth will happen immediately.  Amid the divisiveness of politics over the last six years, it is positive to find any bipartisan gesture.  The fact it occurred around recognition of a past injustice is more so.  Do the work.  Change is coming and it starts with you.


June 18, 2021

A year after implementing significant restrictions for an abbreviated offseason program due to the covid-19 pandemic, the NFL and NFL Players Association have agreed to new protocols for 2021.  The updated protocols significantly loosen restrictions on those who have been fully vaccinated for the virus during training camp and preseason games.  As NFL memos indicate, the protocols will affect everyone from players to media members.  Fully vaccinated players will no longer be required to undergo daily covid tests or wear masks or face coverings at team facilities or during travel and will be tested once every two weeks.  Vaccinated personnel are allowed to forgo social distancing and are not required to quarantine after high-risk exposure to the virus.  Finally, vaccinated players, coaches and staff will not be confined to a certain meeting capacity and will be free of gathering restrictions outside team facilities.

Since the beginning of the pandemic there has been a debate concerning receiving the vaccine or waiting until we achieve herd immunity.  The real difficulty with waiting for herd immunity is the number of persons who will die before we achieve that threshold (600,000+ and counting).  Herd immunity describes a situation where a large part of a population is immune to a particular disease due to vaccination or previously contracting the illness and developing anti-bodies.  This indirectly helps ensure protection of the remaining population and offers a higher chance of reducing transmission.  Herd immunity ensures that while not everyone is immune to the disease, everyone can enjoy a level of protection from it.  A higher number of immune people results in a lower risk of contracting the virus for everyone.  Other protocols need to be followed to reduce transmission until the level of immunity is met.  While it is difficult for certain segments of the population to get the vaccine, there are those who are willing to put others at risk by choosing to not get the vaccine.

In the NFL, those who are not fully vaccinated will still be required to follow protocols like those in 2020.  This includes daily testing, wearing masks, and practicing social distancing.  They are not allowed to eat meals with teammates, cannot participate in media marketing while traveling, are not allowed to use the sauna or steam room, and may not leave the team hotel or interact with people outside the team while traveling.  While several players have expressed concern about getting the vaccine, the updated protocols provide more incentive to receive one.  Players can be fined up to $50,000 for violations.

Thoughts:  Most conversations about getting the vaccine revolve around choice.  I am a huge proponent of giving people the right to choose what can happen to their own body.  However, what some refuse to acknowledge is the choices we make come with consequences.   The NFL is not requiring players or personnel to receive the vaccine.  If they chose not to do so, there are different protocols they are also choosing to follow.  The same should apply for the general population.  You have a choice to get the vaccine or follow a different set of protocols to keep others safe.  This does not require vaccination, but it should mean your decision will result in a different set of protocols you will need to follow.  It is your choice.  Follow the science.  Change is coming and it starts with you.


June 17, 2021

While they are already famous at home, China’s wandering elephants are rapidly becoming international stars.  Global media has been chronicling the herd’s yearlong, 300-mile (500-kilometer) trek from their home in a wildlife reserve in mountainous southwest Yunnan province to the outskirts of the provincial capital of Kunming.  Twitter and YouTube are full of clips of their various antics, particularly those of two calves who slipped into an irrigation ditch and had to be helped out of the ditch by older members of the group.  What motivated the elephants to make their epic trek remains a mystery.  I think they just went for a vacation trek during the lockdown.

The Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) is the only living species of the genus Elephas and is distributed throughout the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.  There are three recognized subspecies, E. m. maximus from Sri Lanka, E. m. indicus from mainland Asia and E. m. sumatranus from the island of Sumatra.  The genus Elephas originated in Sub-Saharan Africa during the Pliocene and spread through Africa before they too went on a trek and expanded into the southern half of Asia.  The Asian elephant is the largest living land animal in Asia and has been listed on the endangered species list since 1986.  The population has declined by at least 50 percent over the last three elephant generations (60 – 75 years), primarily from loss of habitat, habitat degradation, range fragmentation, and poaching.  It seems their trek cannot get them away from people.

The 15-member herd has been caught at night trotting down urban streets by security cameras, filmed constantly from the air by more than a dozen drones and followed by those seeking to minimize damage and keep both elephants and people out of harm’s way.  They have raided farms for food and water (roadside café?), visited a car dealership (checking options for travel?), and even showed up at a retirement home (thinking ahead?), where they poked their trunks into some of the rooms.  While no animals or people have been hurt, reports put damage to crops at more than $1 million.  Sixteen animals were originally in the herd, but two ended their trek (typical tour group) and returned home.  A baby calf (not so typical) has also been born.  Some have speculated the reason for the trek is their leader simply got lost.  And they say elephants never forget.

Thoughts:  According to Nilanga Jayasinghe, manager for Asian species conservation at the World Wildlife Fund, Asian elephants are loyal to their home ranges unless there have been disturbances, loss of resources, or development, in which case they may go on a trek for new resources.  There are less than 50,000 Asian elephants left in the wild.  One YouTube follower made this comment about the elephant trek, “We should be more like the elephant and be more family oriented, take family vacations and help and care for and protect each other.”  While the thought may be anthropomorphic, these are wise words to live by.  Do the work.  Change is coming and it starts with you.


June 16, 2021

The OmaHogs, as they are affectionately known by the faithful, started the season with a weekend sweep over three top ten ranked teams from Texas and never looked back.  They continued to sweep rival Arkansas nines and then headed for the SEC, where they won ten straight weekend series and were crowned the regular season champion.  The next week they took home the tournament championship.  After being ranked #1 for 75% of the season, they entered the Regionals as a #1 seed and consensus overall #1.  While they rolled through their first two games, their starting pitching looked shaky, including a loss to Nebraska in their third game before winning the elimination game and retaining their series sweeps.  Kevin Kopps was a bright spot at relief, solidifying the victory with a seven inning, 90 pitch victory (12-0, 11 saves).  Kopps threw 185 pitches in three days in his three relief appearances.  There appeared to be a chink in the armor.

Garth Brooks sings the song, “Papa Loves Mama” about a wayward wife getting surprised by her husband.  One of the lines says, “It was bound to happen and last night it did.”  That is how I felt about the Arkansas Men’s Baseball team last weekend.  The OmaHogs continued their dominance in the first game blowing out NC State 21-2, including two grand slams.  Then they lost a close one 6-5 with Kopps sitting the bench.  That set up the final.  Kopps, the SEC Pitcher of the Year who only allowed six runs in 81 2/3 innings out of the bullpen in 2021, started his first game of the season in the winner-take-all game against NC State on Sunday.  Melissa and I both held our breath.

Kopps pitched a solid game but still ended up with a 3-2 loss, his first.  The loss came despite an incredible effort from the right-handed senior.  Kopps threw 118 pitches across 8+ innings and made just two mistakes (2 homeruns).  A ninth-inning homer by NC State’s Jose Torres ended up being the deciding factor.  This was Kopps first loss of the season.  This was also the OmaHogs first series loss of the season.  Even after this heartbreaking loss, Kopps did not forget his fans.  Kopps stayed on the field for an hour after the finale signing autographs and taking pictures for Razorback fans. 

Thoughts:  After the OmaHogs failed to return to Omaha for the College World Series for the third straight time, Kopps could have been crushed by the loss and rushed into the locker room, but he did not.  “One of the big things I think about is something Michael Jordan said about playing as hard as he can every single game because it might be someone’s one and only game”, Kopps said in his postgame interview, “I feel like it’s important to give back to the fans because they give so much to us.”  While Kopps numbers are staggeringly impressive, his attitude is more so.  While it is easy to be gracious in victory (at least for some), it is harder to accept defeat and remember those who stood beside you on the journey.  No one is an island, even if they act like it.  Do the work.  Change is coming and it starts with you.


June 15, 2021

I was forwarded a post on CNN that told of an Ohio restaurant that found an innovative use for the Brood X cicadas emerging in parts of the East and Midwest.  The Pizza Bandit in Dayton, Ohio, tested out a Spicy Thai Cicada Pie.  In a Facebook post showing the new creation, they noted, “We’re not even sure if we legally can sell you locally foraged Cicadas.”  The restaurant did livestream a tasting panel trying out the pizza, which also featured miso hoisin sriracha sauce, mozzarella, provolone, mushrooms, cabbage, green onion, mango, cilantro, and a spicy Thai sauce.  The post said, “Opinions of the pizza range from absolutely delicious to . . .  well . . . uh . . . yeah . . .”.  Cicadas are not toxic, but the US Food and Drug Administration has warned people not to eat them if you are allergic to seafood.  “These insects share a family relation to shrimp and lobsters.”  This gives new meaning to “peal and eat.”

The Washington Post reports that Brood X is made up of three cicada species: Magicicada septendecim, Magicicada cassini and Magicicada septendecula.  The adult stage of the insect has a black body, long wings, and red eyes.  According to the University of Michigan’s Animal Diversity Web, Magicicada septendecim is the largest of the periodical cicadas and grows up to 1.5 inches (almost 4 cm) in length.  During their years underground, periodical cicada nymphs molt through five growth cycles, known as instars.   Then, when ground temperatures reach 64F (18C) at a soil depth of 8 inches (20 cm), the nymphs emerge together and metamorphose into winged adults.  Adult cicadas are fragile, white, and vulnerable for hours or even a few days until their new exoskeletons harden.

Cicada Broods are neither species nor populations.  They can best be described as “regional, multispecies groupings of periodical cicadas that emerge on a common schedule.”  The different species found in any given brood may also have separate evolutionary histories and may have joined the brood at different times or from different sources.  One hypothesis for brood formation is they are driven by climate shocks and temporary life cycle anomalies.  Brood XIX resides in the southern states and includes Arkansas.  This is a 13-year emerging Brood and is next prepared to emerge in 2024.  I can hardly wait for my pizza.

Thoughts:  I have two clear memories of visiting my great aunt and uncle in western Kansas.  The first was staying overnight and waking up the next morning to the largest plate of bacon I had ever seen.  My great aunt must have fried up five pounds of bacon and it was piled on a large platter at least four or five inches high.  The other was the cicada castings.  When I went outside the exoskeletons of the larva literally covered the trees in their yard.  I had never seen these before and was fascinated by the skins clinging to the trees.  There are times when humans get caught in the same lockstep that drives a Brood.  While we are all the same species, we do represent different languages and cultures.  Across the world the initial response to the virus was that it was a Chinese problem.  Even when it advanced it was not “our” problem.  Hopefully, the lesson learned will be that globalization means exactly that.  Whatever it is (climate, economic insecurity, pandemic), is OUR problem.  Do the work.  Follow the science.  Change is coming and it starts with you.


June 14, 2021

Last night I had asked Melissa to wake me up before she went to work this morning.  She has been recovering for the last weeks and I knew this would be a stressful day so I thought I would get up to support her.  When she did wake me, she mentioned the trash truck broke, and it was sitting in our cul-de-sac.  Then when she tried to log online for work, she found that the link that allowed her to get online had been dismantled and she did not have access.  To top it off, yesterday I had sent a link to a zoom call for later in the day and one of the recipients pointed out that I had forgotten to include the source of information we were going to discuss.  This was turning out to be a stressful Monday.

When I went out to get my paper the truck operator was standing in the street next to his truck, so I stopped to see how he was doing.  He told me that the hydraulics in the compactor were broke.  After trash is dumped into the truck, the hydraulics move a steel plate to smash the trash into the rear of the bin and then move it back into place in the front of the bin.  This is fitted with a sensor that does not allow the lift arm to work unless the plate is reset.  This keeps the unit from dumping trash behind the plate and causing the system to fail.  When the sensor malfunctioned, the arm was sitting on the ground.  The lift would not operate, and the truck would not move.  Another indication of a Monday.

Since the operator had begun the conversation, I decided to ask a question I have always wondered.  What happens to his route when a holiday falls on Monday (my scheduled pickup)?  He told me the entire route was just pushed back a day.  Monday trash was picked up on Tuesday, Tuesday on Wednesday, and so on.  While I sort of knew this, what I did not know was he worked a 40-hour week and Saturday was usually a day off.  With Monday holidays, he was paid for the holiday and then given overtime to work the following Saturday.  Trash is one of those essential services that need to happen.  The operator told me at least the truck broke in a spot where there was shade.

Thoughts:  I have always heard that Monday was the worst day of the week.  While I assumed this was because it meant having to go back to work, my online sources said there were scientific reasons for feeling bad on Monday.  You do not just feel less healthy on a Monday, you are less healthy.  Scientists have found that even people who generally maintain their weight weigh the most at the beginning of the week.  A Monday is the most common day for people to suffer heart attacks and strokes.  Even if you do not end up in the hospital, your blood pressure is higher on Monday, as is your chance of getting sick in general.  You can become negatively influenced in your attitudes and feelings about yourself more easily. Clemson’s national Ag Safety Database says that stress can cause as much as 90 percent of illness and disease.  Stress can interfere with your physical functioning and bodily processes.  We are stressed when the relaxation of the weekend meets the reality of work on Monday.  You are better off in a job you enjoy without so much stress.  For most of our essential workers, that is not an option.  Do the work.  Follow the science.  Change is coming and it starts with you.


June 12, 2021

I got the first of my onion sets in the ground this last week.  While I still have about half of the bag to plant, at least I have not wasted them all (yet).  I have mentioned how I have tried to grow onions on three previous occasions with no luck.  My mom tells me it is Karma.  When I was four years old I “harvested” the onion sets a neighbor had planted earlier that morning.  He never was able to get his onions to grow.  Now I am being punished for my past deeds and my onions refuse to grow.   

When I looked online, I found that onion seeds take two years to grow into onion bulbs.  In the first season, onions (Allium cepa L.) will grow from a seed to a plant and then a dormant bulb.  After a period of cold temperatures, onion bulbs will grow and flower in the second season.  When you use onion sets, you are planting the dormant bulb of the previous season.   The small bulbs are harvested prematurely from the first year of an onion’s life cycle and stored through winter.  Sets are easy to find and plant, but typically yield smaller onions than when grown from seed.  Onions are cool season crops that prefer full sun yet cooler temperatures.  Onions are often planted in early spring and harvested in late fall.  I was close, getting mine in the ground in June.

My first attempt at onion sets was planting in containers in the public garden I was growing at work.  I dutifully watered them for two months and when I checked, none of them had grown.  I do not think there was enough soil or nutrients in the shallow containers I had used.  Part of the experiment was to show you could plant in anything.  It did not work.  I shifted to planting in the ground the next year to ensure they had enough soil to grow.  I am not sure why, but they did not work that year either.  Last year I again planted in the ground in a bed that constantly flooded.  Many of the sets washed out and those that did not failed to grow.  I am hoping this year will be different.

Thoughts:  When I bought the onion sets earlier this year Melissa reminded me that I had vowed to never try and grow onions again.  I am still determined to grow and make my own salsa, and onions are an integral ingredient.  I was able to make Pico last year, but the onions were store bought.  I have already lost my cilantro plant, but maybe my onions, tomatoes, and jalapenos will produce this year.  I find a lot of correlation with life in my garden.  Even when I work hard and put in the effort, it does not guarantee success.  Other times I become lackadaisical and do not put in the work and have no success.  Then there are those with green thumbs that find success regardless of what they do (probably because they know how to do it right).  Success in life is never guaranteed but I have found it happens more frequently when you take proven steps.  Do the work.  Follow the science.  Change is coming and it starts with you.


June 11, 2021

I believe we have officially jumped into summer.  I know, there are still ten more days until the official summer, but it feels like it already.  The last several days have been over 90F which really is not too bad.  The problem is we have also had high humidity.  That means the heat index has been over 100F all week.  Today I decided I would beat the heat and get out into the yard early.  Even getting out in the morning the heat was oppressive.  I was able to weed two of the small succulent beds and the flower bed around the mailbox.  As usual, I threw the weeds into the yard since I planned on mowing later.  I also got most of the weed eating done at the front of the house.  By that time, it was around 11 am and the temperatures were rising.  Thankfully, a longtime friend of Melissa’s stopped by, and I had an excuse to stop.  I was just about done in. 

Weather forecasters seem to always be looking for new ways to describe the weather.  The official record has always been the temperature recorded at six feet above the ground on either the Fahrenheit or Celsius scale.  Then forecasters realized the official temperature could feel way colder or far warmer than the temperature recorded.  Now they talk about wind chill factor (winter) and heat index (summer).  During both seasons the forecasters now talk about the “feels like.”  Wind chill comes as the wind causes exposed skin to freeze.  Heat index combines temperature with humidity, and as the humidity increases, the heat index will rise.  While a temperature of 90F is not dangerous to most people, if the body cannot regulate heat because of 95% humidity, the heat index is dangerous and could cause heat heat-related disorders.

Melissa’s friend had a good visit and lunch, and I did not get back outside until after 3.  That meant I was mowing in the hot part of the day.  While the heat may have affected me, the combination of hot temps and scattered showers have been perfect for my grass to grow.  The problem is, I still cannot get into the back stretch of lawn.  The grass in this stretch is about 4 inches high and provides perfect cover to keep the low-lying soil damp.  I made one swath along the fence and decided that was all that was going to get cut.  I had gotten soaked when I weeded earlier, and even mowing got me there again.  When I checked my weather app, it said the official temperature was 90F.  The Feels Like was 100.

Thoughts:  I went out on the back deck to check my feeders after I finished mowing and noticed despite the nightly showers and official low temperature, the heat was causing my vegetables to dry out.  The tops of the tomatoes were wilted, and the bottom leaves and stems were yellowed.  I did notice the flowers were still intact and there was fruit on many of the plants.  It was late enough in the day that my plants were now in the shade, so I went ahead and broke out the hose to give them all a good dousing.  The effects of covid on some last beyond their official recovery.  These persons have become known as “long-haulers,” as some people report lingering symptoms of the illness for months.  While the official infection has run its course, secondary symptoms linger for months.  Another reason to get the vaccine.  Follow the science.  Change is coming and it starts with you.


June 10, 2021

I have been faced by mystery in my back yard several times over the last two years.  Several days ago, I wrote about how the suet feeder I keep in the back yard had been robbed.  I blamed the squirrels for knocking the feeder open and then running off with the suet cake.  Although I had no proof, I assumed that was the most logical conclusion.  When I went out to my feeders today, I thought something was different, but could not place what it was.  Then I realized the suet feeder was no longer hanging from its pole.  I again assumed that being unable to open the feeder (I fastened it differently), the squirrels had knocked it to the ground.  When I looked for it, the feeder was no where to be seen.  Now it was no longer just a mystery, it was an enigma.

Another mystery involves my finch feeder.  I purchased the feeder in mid-summer with the hope of attracting the colorful birds to my yard.  I filled it and placed it in an unobstructed location.  The feeder sat in my yard untouched for the rest of the year.  It was not until last winter that the finches began to eat the thistle.  As the spring wore on, I had literally dozens of birds of different varieties fighting over the feeder at the same time.  The feeder has been vacant for the last two weeks.  When I looked online, I believe I resolved this mystery.  finches are migratory and move north to south and back during the fall and spring seasons.  The abundant birds have probably just moved on and my feeder will likely remain mostly uneaten until they return in the fall.

Last summer I also wrote about the tube mystery in our pool.  I kept getting pale brown tubes floating on the surface of the pool.  These were around 12 inches long and a good half inch in diameter.  I ruled out dead flower stocks or some sort of trash blown in by the wind after fishing them out of the pool and examining them.  I finally realized they were large earthworms when I came across a live one in the front of our house.  The ones in the pool had fallen into the water, drowned, and had then swelled in the water.  This mystery kept me wondering for several weeks.

Thoughts:  While I felt sheepish not realizing the mystery of the dead worms, I have found out I am not alone.  I am on a community chat site and a woman in our subdivision wondered if small brown snakes had been showing up in others houses (another also said they were).  She has had several inside and her husband has had to kill them for her (should have used them for bait instead).  While I knew the answer to her mystery, I did not want to embarrass her by saying they were worms.  Luckily, there was another woman on the chat who had no problem making fun of her fear of worms.  Mystery can cause fear because we do not know the answer to the situation we face.  That was true during the influenza pandemic in 1918 and the covid pandemic in 2020.  While they are still lethal, vaccines have since been developed for both and there is less of a mystery.  Knowing the answer to a mystery only helps if you take the steps necessary to resolve it.  Follow the science.  Change is coming and it starts with you.


June 9, 2021

The buzz round our house lately has been the continued success of the OmaHogs.  The Arkansas Men’s baseball team won the conference, conference tournament, and now the Fayetteville Regional.  They will host the Super Regional and then hopefully back to Omaha for their third straight appearance (2020 was canceled).   If you were lucky enough to be in Fayetteville over the weekend, you probably saw someone on an e-scooter.  A year and a half after Fayetteville’s e-scooter program launched in November 2019, the two-wheelers are proving a popular way to make quick trips around the city.

Two different companies supply Fayetteville’s e-scooter corps, Veo and Spin.  Each have 500 e-scooters in the city with every scooter averaging one ride per day.  As of May 10, an ongoing Fayetteville community survey shows that nearly 60% of respondents are either “happy” or “very happy” with the program, and more than 67% would recommend visitors use e-scooters to explore Fayetteville.  The reason micro-mobility programs like e-scooters and bike share are so popular is their potential to reduce car trips, traffic, parking needs and carbon emissions.  Fayetteville has several price options for riders, ranging from monthly memberships ($17) to pay as you go options (unlock and minute charges averaging under $3 per ride). This provides the mobility demanded and avoids the hassle of parking.

The downside for both bike share and e-scooter programs comes when the devices are not used responsibly, putting pedestrians, other cyclists, and users at risk.  The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) says there were 18 shared scooter fatalities in the US in 2019.  There were 136 million shared micro-mobility trips on scooters and bikes during the year, up 60% from 2018.  A study conducted by Henry Ford Health System shows that nearly 28% of scooter accidents in the US result in head and neck injuries.  Dane Eifling, Fayetteville’s mobility coordinator, said there have been no fatalities or severe injury crashes reported through the city’s shared bikes or e-scooter programs.

Thoughts:  Micro-mobility is more common in countries where traffic is crowded, and cars are expensive to buy and maintain.  Typical trips on shared e-scooters and bikes in the US are around 12 minutes and usually range from 1 mile to 1.5 miles.  According to Fayetteville’s survey, 14% of respondents would have skipped a trip if not for an e-scooter.  While most folks ride responsibly, there are always those who do not, and there are accidents involving e-scooters.  Research has shown most activities would be safer if not for human error.  That is true as well with driverless cars.  The problem comes when human drivers act irresponsibly and defy traffic laws.  AI has yet to learn to compensate for “stupid.”  I admit, I struggle with this as well.  Follow the science.  Change is coming and it starts with you.