It’s great to be hypnotized while watching stock footage on the news, as the little glass vials swirl around.

They will soon be coming our way, bit by bit. Being hypnotized is better than worrying about, well, whether the Supreme Court might consider those who want to reverse the votes in the four swing states. 

Or, whether a group of Colorado Republicans on the state’s Audit Committee will hold a meeting next Tuesday to investigate the integrity of our voting in Colorado. We have had mail-in ballots since 2013 with nary a peep. But, well, when the elephant in the White House honks his horn, some people stand up and support him. 

Or, when a senator – Mike Lee of Utah – whose solitary vote blocked the ability this year to create a Latino museum and a women’s museum — well, just throw up my hands. These museums have been waiting in the wings for support for years. In The New York Times, the senator noted: “The so-called critical theory undergirding this movement does not celebrate diversity; it weaponizes diversity.”  Uh, really?

Some nights, it’s hard to sleep when this kind of mumbo-jumbo is floating around. So at 4 a.m. today, it seemed like a good idea to finish last week’s New Yorker

One of the most intriguing things in the issue was a photo essay about the glass that Corning has made to keep the vials from tainting the material inside. The photographs are by Christopher Payne, and the text – titled “Vital Vessels” — was written by Raffi Khatchadourian.  A caption noted, “Corning researchers discovered that standard medical vials often rub against one another on production lines, generating glass dust that can contaminate medicines.” 

We don’t want that at all, especially when the COVID-19 vials are something we are really waiting for. 

Corning made vials of Valor Glass, which has a polymer coating to reduce surface friction. This special glass goes through quite a process: “They cut and shape tubes of Valor Glass into vials, which are then submerged in a molten-salt bath. Potassium atoms in the hot mixture swap with smaller sodium atoms embedded in the surface of the glass, creating tension and therefore toughness.”

Corning is not the only company creating these special vials. The next time I get a shot (this vaccine will be for me some time in spring or summer), I will remember how much work went into the vaccine and the vessel.

For links: the story in The New Yorker, and the topics on Colorado’s Audit Committee, and the  one lousy vote that blocked two museums.

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