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Tutoring in your own home, at your own convenience

Today's schooling typically doesn't allow any room for individual learning, which means that students who don't suit the pace of the whole class can fall between the cracks. If students aren't achieving at the level they are capable of, their learning can stall, leading to boredom and frustration. Their confidence can suffer and they won't enjoy school as much as they should.

I can help. I offer personal tutoring in a range of subjects for NCEA and Cambridge International Exams, and can provide students with the skills and confidence they need to achieve their potential.

I'm based in Auckland and will come to your home at a time that suits you, for maximum convenience and maximum learning. Because the home is a familiar environment, it's where the student is the most comfortable – this is an important part of enjoying learning.

Ian Mander.

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News

1 Mar 2020 – Asphixiating gas

In what appears to be a very sad sequel to the Particulate Fireballs story I posted in July 2017, three people in Russia have died after dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) was dumped into a private pool in a bath house in Moscow to create a visual effect for a party. It basically created a carbon dioxide gas chamber resulting in the deaths, while six or seven others were admitted to hospital in intensive care.

When put into warm water, dry ice quickly sublimates – it turns from a solid straight into a gas. It makes a wonderful cloud effect from water droplets suspended in the air, but carbon dioxide gas is heavier than air and can form an asphixiating layer on top of the water. Breathing high concentrations of carbon dioxide can also form very unpleasant amounts of carbonic acid in the lungs, and result in too much carbon dioxide in the blood.

The Taiwan government minister from 2017 said "if there had been someone with a basic understanding of science at the scene, the tragedy could have been prevented." The "influencer" who was celebrating her birthday is said to be a highly qualified pharmacist, while her now-deceased husband had a "higher technical education."

I said in 2017, science enriches lives, broadens horizons, and can save lives. But we have to use it sensibly.

29 Feb 2020 (updated 2 March) – It's all coronavirus!

What the news media is not telling you: Every cold you've ever caught is caused by a coronavirus. Every flu you've ever suffered through is caused by a coronavirus. Coronaviruses have been in New Zealand for over a hundred years and killed hundreds of New Zealanders in the 1890s; they have not just arrived, "coronavirus" is not new. Coronavirus-caused diseases kill up to 650,000 people worldwide each year. COVID-19 is not coronavirus.

A coronavirus is a member of a particular group of viruses that cause respiratory tract infections and have "corona" in their name because of their appearance. Flu and the common cold are both caused by any of multiple different coronaviruses.

"Coronavirus" is not the name of the virus discovered in Wuhan, China in December 2019. That virus has a name: SARS-CoV-2. (The name has been criticised.) The disease it causes has a name: COVID-19, which stands for COronaVIrus Disease 2019, the year it was discovered. If someone is talking about COVID-19 they should be referring to a disease, not a virus. COVID-19 is certainly not "the coronavirus". The phrase "COVID-19 coronavirus" is almost completely nonsensical.

Almost every mention of "coronavirus" in the news is wrong. The New Zealand and international news media are being very irresponsible in their reporting.

To be clear: Coronavirus is any virus from a particular group of viruses. SARS-CoV-2 is a coronavirus. COVID-19 is a disease, and not a virus. SARS-CoV-2 causes COVID-19.

COVID-19 preferentially affects the elderly and those with coexisting conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and hypertension. The elderly and people with these conditions are much more likely to develop pneumonia, and much more likely to die from it than are members of the general population. For these people, it's a very serious disease, and great care needs to be taken.

However, 80% of total cases are mild. Unusually for a coronavirus, young people are very little affected. As of mid-Feb, no known deaths of children under 10 have occurred, although hundreds have had COVID-19. Children have also been found to be carriers of SARS-CoV-2 but without showing any symptoms of COVID-19.

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