Back to: "It'll all be over by Christmas" (Part 2)

No comment necessary

Post-infection cardiac damage found in 78% of recovering COVID19 patients

That's 78% of a cohort, average age 49, of whom 67% had recovered at home (ie. disease was not categorized as severe enough to need hospitalization). Cohort was normalized with respect to other risk factors relative to uninfected patients. Diagnosis by MRI. Looks reasonably solid, at first glance, publication in JAMA Cardiol. (Journal of the American Medical Association, cardiology). Study coordinated via a German hospital.

Reason for "no comment necessary" is that this suggests most COVID19 survivors—including mild disease survivors—suffer cardiac damage.

You don't want to get this virus.

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1:

Reminder: blog entries are served as static HTML pages, but whenever you (or anyone else) posts a comment it forces the server to wake up and prod the grumpy MySQL database sitting on a 10 year old PC and re-generate the entire page. This means that if we're up to a couple of thousand comments (a) the HTML output gets kinda bulky and (b) the load on the server rises.

I put this new entry up because we were at around 2400 comments and it was taking over a minute to update with every new comment.

2:

That is NOT what I wanted to hear!

3:

They've been wondering if it's a blood-borne disease, not merely a respiratory one. And there's reports of it passing the blood/brain barrier.

4:

And some of my relatives and others will refuse to believe it.

At all.

[grumpy big sigh]

5:

Yeah, getting Covid19 seems to be a roll of the dice. Of the five people I know of who got it, four seem to have done okay, one died. No one's checking for heart damage though.

6:

I think you have to distinguish between a blood/ fluid transmitted disease, like malaria or AIDS, and one that can be transmitted through the air. SARS-CoV2 is certainly the latter, but one it gets in, the epithelial cells it infects are all over the body.

Some are lucky, in a way: AFAIK there are a large number of epithelial cells in human placentas. While fetuses do get infected, I haven't seen any reports of Covid19 causing spontaneous abortions through placental infections. The bigger problem seems to be keeping the mother healthy enough to carry the fetus to term, and heart, lung, and kidney damage complicate that.

7:

As I've said to people who don't believe it's a big deal. We don't have the data. We need people with very very complete physical workups to get it and recover and then see how they are now compared to before. The number of people who have gotten sick haven't have such a work up recently. Or ever.

I've suggested to some of the skeptics that they get a full workup plus stress test and a full body MRI then volunteer to be infected. No takers so far.

As I mentioned a while back I'm supposed to be in a phase 3 trial. Part of that will be a physical in August. Actually I think 3 over time. I wonder just how invasive they will be.

8:

Completely different subject: remember that airship to orbit thing I posted about in the previous thread at #1495. On a whim, I went and got the book John Powell put out on his adventures getting things to go high. It finally arrived, and it is bonkers in the best tradition of airship building. Whether it's worth spending the $20 is up to you, but if you like mad science airships, you might like this.

9:

The epithelial cells it infects are all over the body, and it infects (and thus disables) a receptor that appears to be a blood-pressure sensor. This also explains the clotting problems: a severe infection causes the body to presume that blood pressure has plunged insanely (more than is actually physically possible), so it ramps up clotting to match, to plug the immense hole that must have caused this. Of course this is way past sensible, so you end up with blood that clots instantly, thousands of times more clot-prone than blood should ever be.

There are a surprising number of positive feedback loops with no limiting condition in biology, only "oops it killed you". The immune system has a lot of them, but this one is thrombosis-related.

I'm not surprised it causes heart damage. I guess this makes a vaccine that much more crucial: if it turns out that the Nature study suggesting that T cell immunity lasts for decades is wrong, and you *can* get reinfected by this every year or so, like the common cold... how many times can anyone get infected by this before it kills them? I don't really want a civilization-ending disease that knocks most of the population off with heart failure by the year 2030, thanks.

10:

I don't really want a civilization-ending disease that knocks most of the population off with heart failure by the year 2030, thanks.

Morbid thoughts but I wonder if this is true what will happen to the anti-vaxer crowd. I have relatives in this group. Rabid ones.

Will there suddenly be a change of heart? Or, more likely in my mind, a bizarre rationalization that allows them to get THIS vaccine and not any others.

11:

Morbid thoughts but I wonder if this is true what will happen to the anti-vaxer crowd. I have relatives in this group. Rabid ones.

Will there suddenly be a change of heart?

That, sir, was a truly horrible pun.

Wish I'd thought of it :-)

12:

If it turns out that coronavirus vaccines confer limited immunity, then what may well happen, absent the development of global herd immunity, is that this disease gets up there with, say, malaria as a cause of global mortality.

Thing is, we've lived with these before. Until around 1900, 50% of German children got diphtheria, and it was the leading cause of childhood mortality. There was also smallpox, tuberculosis, and all the other miseries that we've temporary transcended.

Society won't collapse by itself from coronavirus. What's more likely to happen is what happens with malaria: a perpetual drain on resources, because so many people are sick. That's not a good situation to be in with a climate crisis ramping up, but it's likely survivable.

13:

Anti-vaxxer. Somewhere in the next dozen years, +/-3, I expect one of the kids to catch polio, and sue the parents for everything they own, and it will be all over the media and the 'Net, and the assholes will crawl back down.

14:

Wish I'd thought of it :-)

Ah, so do I. 8-)

15:

I had what the doctors think was COVID-19 in early March. One month at home coughing, headache, gastro, brain-fog, etc. The weren’t doing testing then unless you needed to come into the hospital. I stayed home. A second month of recovery had me massively exhausted and the brain fog was worse. Focus was impossible and I was just plain dumber to the point some stupid sitcoms were actually amusing.

I now have my faculties back to a degree I can’t tell if I’m still stupid but third party perspectives assure me I’m not an imbecile.

Throughout the entire length, from day 5 of exposure to now, my heart rate has been awful. 100-150bpm climbing a flight of stairs. Random racing heart rate while sitting on the couch. My resting heart rate is in the 80s very often and not infrequently in the 90s or higher.

Before all this I went to the gym 6 days a week and rode a bike 30-60 minutes a day and lifted weights and my heart rate rested around 65. I’m certain this thing has done real damage and I just hope my body can repair itself.

This is anecdotal not data but if this is how even a small fraction of healthy 40 something people respond, then productivity is gonna drop, and health care costs will rise for the foreseeable future.

16:

will crawl back down.

I think you underestimate the depth of their convictions.

17:

Will this reverse falling birth rates?

Or accelerate them.

One thing that lots of births did was allow a reasonable number of humans to reach their teens in the face of all the childhood killers.

18:

The depth of their convictions will run head-first into the depth of their checking accounts and other assets.

19:

I've seen several headlines that birth rates are falling.

20:

"I've seen several headlines that birth rates are falling."

What did you expect when parents are forced to stay home with their kids 24*7 ?

21:

There was an interesting article I read in the last week (no idea where) where it was projected that the US would be missing 1/2 million people at the end of the year. Covid deaths, lower birth rates, less immigration, etc... The US population will still grow but by much less than expected.

22:

What did you expect when parents are forced to stay home with their kids 24*7 ?

Totally.

When I was growing up (born in 54) on the edge of suburbia we would head out into the woods and not return for 1 to 6 hours. And in general no one thought it odd. Now with everyone sequestered it has got to be rough.

One of my clients has said every now and then the 3 people in their house have to go to separate corners and decompress for a while to avoid any homicides. The 3rd one is 12 or 13.

23:

The causes for that are pretty obvious if you believe that contraception can work: many more people are looking at the state of the world and deciding they don't want to deal with it while taking care of a(nother) child. That might be the pandemic directly, it might be the economic damage, it might be that with a bit more experience of catastrophe people are thinking more about climate change.

The current Australian Treasurer is going down the well-worn path of "have a baby for the economy" because they do that here. I still haven't printed my "eine für den Vater, eine für die Mutter, eine für das Land" T short but I might have to if this keeps up.

24:

So the most important question is does this study hold across those who show no symptoms - the choice of participants was based on those tested, which presumably has a built in bias towards those who had symptoms of some sort.

It is perhaps possible that the showing of symptoms is the result of Covid passing some sort of threshold which then allows the other nasty effects to happen - that those with no symptoms don't get the nasty side effects (which, as we learn more about Covid, may be a best case scenario).

If the showing of symptoms is not a requirement, and this does hold close to those numbers for everyone who gets Covid, then the next decade in health care could be very interesting - certainly public health care systems will need to be starting to consider some significant investments in cardiac care, and emergency facilities looking into expecting more ambulances arrive yearly with heart patients.

25:

Why? It's not a bad thing if the birth rate falls, especially in countries where per capita resource use is not sustainable. After all, if people have to move poleward, having dilapidated towns to rebuild sustainably might be a good thing, if done properly.

And yes, I'm perfectly aware that the backlash to such proposals is supposed to be terror-inducing. Silly me.

26:

"eine für den Vater, eine für die Mutter, eine für das Land"

Crap. I thought you were making a statement from Germany from the 30s. Australia or NZ had this slogan a couple of decades back?

27:

This sort of thing & other reports are why I have changed my mind, severely w.r.t. this lurgi.
Avoid, if at all possible ...
One question: What about "asymptomatic" cases - not "mild" ones, those where someone gets it, gets no symptoms at all ... what then?
Ah yes, mdive has asked the same question in different format.

Meanwhile ... keep taking the Warfarin ???

[ Oh yes, admin question: There's a time-limit on re-posting if something new pops up.
One could evade this by dropping back to a n other thread & then re-joining the original one.
Not available currently.
So - what is that time interval, please? ]

28:

Yes, keep taking your meds until you've got good evidence that you're sick with Covid19. Then call your doctor/pharmacist ASAP.

Note, I'm not a medical professional, but this is fairly standard advice: you don't want to die or disable yourself due to prevention measures you take against the Rona. Furthermore, the advice for how to cope with it changes as more data come in, so you want to get the current (hopefully best) advice when you get sick, not have save up the wrong advice for months or years prior to such bad luck happening.

29:

Peter Costello said it in English and he was a loyal supporter of the "we will decide who comes to this country" Howard Governmunt.

I very much doubt any Australian government would use a slogan that wasn't primarily or solely in English, but they will happily steal any idea they think will work. It's us filthy rabble who translate things for them to bring home where the ideas were popularised.

30:

"What did you expect when parents are forced to stay home with their kids 24*7 ?"

The only way to pull off a lockdown afternoon 'quickie' with their 8-year old son in the apartment was to send him out on the balcony with a Mars Bar and tell him to report on all the street activities.

He began his commentary as his parents put their plan into operation:

'There's a car being towed from the car park,' he shouted.

'An ambulance just drove by!'

'Looks like the Andersons have company,' he called out.

'Matt's out on his bike and his mum is telling him off'

'Looks as if the Sanders are going into full isolation!'

'Jason has had his skate board taken off him

After a few moments he announced, 'The Coopers are having sex!!'

Startled, his mum and dad shot up in bed!

Dad cautiously called out,
'How do you know they're having sex?'

'Jimmy Cooper is standing on his balcony with a Mars Bar'.

31:

I have friends who agrees Covid is real but they look at me a bit odd when I mention every day when I get out of the shower I weigh myself. And for the last 2 months I do a pulse OX and temperature and record all of it. Why? So I can notice if either of the later 2 change too fast or too far and the docs can see a baseline.

PS: If I want my income to keep flowing I have to go out into some offices. But so far those places are all on the don't come into the office unless you must. And then wear a mask and wipe down.

32:

So... no comment might be necessary but it’s worth noting that he hypercoagulability that is seen with SARS-CoV-2 affects multiple organs. The brian being a likely site of damage along with lungs, skin and cardiac tissue.

This from The Lancet:

Hypercoagulable states and cerebrovascular disease, which have been seen rarely for some acute viral infections, are an important neurological complication of COVID-19.

Overall, the proportion of patients with neurological manifestations is small compared with that with respiratory disease. However, the continuing pandemic, and the expectation that 50–80% of the world's population might be infected before herd immunity develops, suggest that the overall number of patients with neurological disease could become large. Neurological complications, particularly encephalitis and stroke, can cause lifelong disability, with associated long-term care needs and potentially large health, social, and economic costs.

33:

Don't look at me, guv, I *like* the idea of a lower population and have done my little bit (by behaving in a way that leads people to not want children 🤬)

I too shake my head a lot at the endless-growth fixation of most of society. I mean, GDP can go up forever, that's not in question (fiat currency FTW), but physical resource use? Population? Not in a finite universe, and definitely not on a single planet.

34:

It's not a bad thing (it's probably a good thing) if there are less people. But if the birth rate falls then, other things being equal, you go through a period where there are proportionally a lot more old people, and that is at best difficult: who pays their pensions? who deals with the consequences their antique bigotry? who cleans up their shit?

Pretty much this is a problem that any system built on the idiot idea that various exponential processes (population growth, economic growth, computer performance, ...) will go on for ever suffers from. And we have lots of superficially smart people with job titles like 'economist' and 'special adviser' who believe that shit because they're massively innumerate. Oh well.

(Note: I am one of these old people.)

35:

I thought we were solving that via health crises that preferentially kill old people and people who need medical help to stay alive?

36:

I have more kids than intended... but adding up my ex's, and their partners/husbands, it's still below replacement rate. Well below. And on my side, as opposed to Ellen's, I have one grandkid (and another one coming). So, still, way under replacement rate.

And How Will We Survive if there are not more kids growing up to support us?!?!?!

Well, maybe it's time to end capitalism as we know it, and fuck the "consumer society" (are you a huge mouth, sitting on a couch, and an open wallet? Don't do anything to produce anything? FtS.

37:

It's "Eins" or "Eines" — except you really mean "three daughters". >;-)

38:

Ooh, thanks. Albeit I would get it properly proof read before doing an actual T shirt.

I spent quite a while doing some "freedom" shirts where the issue was not grammar but coming up with Farsi text that was obviously not bad Arabic. In the end I put the Arabic smaller below the big Farsi text because whatever I tried Arabic-only readers could kind of recognise it and it just looked annoyingly wrong to them.

39:

It's not a bad thing (it's probably a good thing) if there are less people. But if the birth rate falls then, other things being equal, you go through a period where there are proportionally a lot more old people, and that is at best difficult: who pays their pensions? who deals with the consequences their antique bigotry? who cleans up their shit?

Same people who deal with it now: immigrants, largely. I suspect you're being a bit facetious, but I'm not. Where I am, a good chunk, perhaps a majority, of the health care professionals, are immigrants. They're very good at what they do, too. I'm married to one.

The problem the US has isn't a falling birth rate, it's an idiot government that's so screwed up our relationship with the rest of the world that few people can (even if they want to) move here to do those well-paying, rewarding, dirty jobs. Guess Australia and New Zealand could profit from that, maybe. UK too. Just a wee bit of political repositioning and welcome the migrants in before the US gets its act together and cleans up enough to be acceptable to the rest of the world. That's, what, a year-long window? Two years?

40:

Sadly, I fear that a significant number of anti-vaxxers will find someone other than themselves to blame. Being successfully sued by their own children may not change their minds.

41:

Being successfully sued by their own children may not change their minds.

Why would it? Killing their own children doesn't seem to make a difference…

When Ezekiel Stephan fell ill, his parents treated his fever with a tincture of garlic, onion and horseradish.

David and Collet Stephan did call an ambulance, but only after he’d stopped breathing, after his body had become so stiff he couldn’t be placed in a car seat.

David Stephan and his wife are naturopathy enthusiasts, but the judge found that there was nothing wrong with their choice to pursue those methods of treating Ezekiel up until the moment he stopped breathing. Queen’s Bench Justice Terry Clackson rejected the findings of a medical examiner who said the boy died of bacterial meningitis, siding with a defence expert who said the death was caused by a lack of oxygen. He also ruled the Stephans, who testified they thought their son had croup, had done everything possible to get help for their son.

“The Criminal Code does not impose a duty to seek medical attention for every sick child. For that duty to arise there must be a risk to the child,” Clackson wrote, adding that the Stephans did take action when the boy’s life was at risk, when he stopped breathing.

https://nationalpost.com/news/alberta-couples-acquittal-in-death-of-son-raises-questions-over-parental-duties-and-responsibilities

And apparently God is also on their side, so that's OK then. :-/

42:

It's not really difficult though. The difficult thing is getting people to exhibit any understanding or acceptance of why it's not difficult. Roughly speaking, the total amount of work that gets done is split 10/90 between stuff that's actually useful and makes things better, and stuff that falls somewhere between "not useful" and "makes things worse than not doing it". (Note: "work" in the aggregate, ie. above the level of division by particular tasks or workers: at or below that level there are all kinds of overlaps, such as tasks which are necessary to meet a need but harmful if done to any greater extent than the need dictates, or workers who spend 10% of their time hauling water out of a well to tip it on the garden and 90% hauling it out to tip it back in the well again.) Therefore, there is a tremendous amount of potential effort that can be diverted to keeping old people's mouths full and their arses wiped, without detracting from the ability to perform other useful operations.

I did hope that a silver lining to the current plague situation would be that it would make this point much harder to keep on ignoring. The main root of the support for the idea of "getting back to work" - among the actual workers at large, that is, rather than the politicians - is simply that they aren't getting paid. People feeling the lack of whatever it is that other people do when they're working is a factor conspicuous by its insignificance. (After all, why should they, when the people doing mostly useful stuff mostly are still working.)

It is quite obviously bloody daft to insist that people have to do some thing before they can get paid, when nobody cares whether the thing itself is done or not. Better far just to pay them anyway and avoid all the additional waste of the resources that are used to do the thing nobody cares about. Unfortunately, what is obviously bloody daft is not obvious to the bloody daft, and it is they who are in charge. Still, I should know better than to look for a silver lining in the first place. I've been inside clouds, and none of them have had silver on the inside; they're just cold and damp and manky and full of grey, and very few nuclei indeed have more than 16 particles.

43:

Even more obviously we have unemployment and underemployment, and those are higher just at the point where we need more medical assistance (much of it relatively menial rather than requiring years to tertiary education).

The problem is that people can't afford to do that work, or afford to pay for it to be done at wages that would attract citizens. Because wages are driven by the other work that pays well but doesn't necessarily help anyone. Want to rent somewhere to live? You're competing with the telephone handset sanitisers... and so on.

We've also had 50+ years of propaganda about the shittiness of that useless scutwork that no sensible person would want to do, and how we should all get university degrees so we can become lawyers and economists and executives. Apparently those very smart people didn't think through what would happen when we're all generals and there's no-one left to be privates.

44:

Nor about how people react when they've had the long-term conditioning of being brought up to believe they can be a general and thirty years later they're still doing route marches and peeling spuds.

It is very true that the amount you get paid for doing something is strongly inversely correlated with how useful it is. I don't know whether Heteromeles was being sarcastic or serious calling US medical jobs "well paid", but in the UK, excepting the case of senior doctors, it would definitely be sarcastic. We rely a lot on recruiting people from places where you get paid tuppence a week for shovelling shit. And increasingly so; if you plot "age of nurse" against "time since they or their ancestors immigrated" you get a big jump in "time" half way along the "age" range, from a few to a few tens of years at the low end to a few hundred or more at the other.

45:
Same people who deal with it now: immigrants, largely.

So even if we ignore the 'senile bigots really do not like immigrants' problem, immigrants from where? When exponential population growth ends, it ends: there are no more convenient unbounded sources of young people for the old to consume outside the stupid fantasies of science fiction.

46:

in the UK, excepting the case of senior doctors, it would definitely be sarcastic

In Australia we have had a revolution in community health care, which translates to GP practices now being owned by retired boomers and the actual GP work being done by immigrants. Real Australians specialise, and not in general practice (which is a specialty now).

The government has pushed this along by combining lower subsidies with a removal of those pesky restrictions on who can own a practice. Used to be that you had to be a doctor and work in the practice to own it, but these days private equity companies are allowed to. We haven't yet seen a collapse like the ABC Learning (many valuable learnings were made, the key takeaway being that no amount of marketing focus can conceal utter financial ineptitude*) one but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.

* since overtaken my importanter learnings, obviously, to facilitate the ongoing development of further heights of dismalitude, like our copying the Grenfell triumph in the Victorian multistorey residential market.

47:

The real question is, how much of this is real work, and how much paper pushing bs?

For the US, nationalizing health care would cut tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars from expenses (and, oh, dear, investors and execs would lose their ill-gotten gains).

A *lot* has become automated. We're running fewer jobs... except for the low-level ones.

Oh, yes, and then there's HR, who HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE about the organization they work for, don't care to learn, plan to job hop in three or four years, and want degrees and certificates because THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE JOB REQUIRES.

48:

I wouldn't use that term because of its connotations - Real Australians are Real Men doing Real Work and drinking Real Beer. But also, can we even guess at a definition for "real jobs"?

Under capitalism "real work" is paid, anything else quite literally does not count. Some more progressive{cough} countries try to add in selected other work, and sometimes also their black economies. But their selection criteria are generally "do men do it?", so subsistence farming counts but childcare does not. None of that is new, it's just that we've made fuck all progress since Marilyn Waring was a girl.

And since the only alternative to capitalism is communism {eyeroll}, where real work is that approved by the party, it's clearly not possible to progress.

I'd be tempted to divide work more into "essential" and "inessential", but on a scale rather than as bulls a dichotomy. So you might say that food-for-people farmers are 95% essential, and food-for-tractors (fuel ethanol production) is 5% essential. And "telling people how to stay safer in a pandemic" marketing is 99% essential, but telling people which is the better brand of cigarettes is -95% essential. Hmm, ok, new rule: essentiality can be negative.

49:

So even if we ignore the 'senile bigots really do not like immigrants' problem, immigrants from where? When exponential population growth ends, it ends: there are no more convenient unbounded sources of young people for the old to consume outside the stupid fantasies of science fiction.

It ends in different places at different times. For example, in 2019 and before, there were a number of filipino nurses doing elder care. As places like the Philippines or Bangladesh become less habitable due to climate change, why not let them emigrate poleward towards countries that have a falling birth rate and a radical need for people who want to do the dirty work of adaptation?

I know, I know: racism. Silly thing, really: many immigrants tend to be more patriotic than the natives. Still, stamping that particular mental illness out would make a lot of people's lives a lot easier. Including aging former bigots who need someone to care for them at the end of their lives.

50:

That JAMA Cardiology paper and other such work should be sufficient reason to cull the leadership of countries that have failed in their SARS-CoV-2 pandemic response, particularly with those with a deliberate lack of urgency about reducing R0. (That certainly includes the US.)

Here's another (mentioned previously) line, about male fertility, and mostly speculative at the moment, that can be deployed against people who want to eliminate NPI measures intended to reduce the new-infections rate, and if one is mean, against younger male COVID-19 survivors.
Speculations and call for more research:
Could SARS‐CoV‐2 affect male fertility? (Rahul Vishvkarma, Singh Rajender, 23 June 2020, free access)

Another newer paper with speculations and a call for more research:
SARS-CoV-2 and Male Infertility: Possible Multifaceted Pathology
(10 July 2020, Sulagna Dutta & Pallav Sengupta)
The figure is nice:
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s43032-020-00261-z/figures/1

Appears to be a survey, calling for more research including effects on male fertility. Abstract in English, rest in Spanish, which I can't read.
[SARS-CoV-2 infection: implications for sexual and reproductive health. A position statement of the Asociación Española de Andrología, Medicina Sexual y Reproductiva (ASESA)].

51:

Iceland already had/s a native population of Filipino women a long time ago: large fleets of ships do that kind of thing [if you want specifics, it's more common to the North]. Check out the other Scandinavian states. In the UK, the NHS lower tiers of nurses is strikingly segregated. And let's not mention MENA states.

The fact you don't know this already... is the racism bit.

Racism isn't a mental illness btw, it's a conditioned response: again, you're slipping into the indoctrination of medicalization of a conceptual issue, which is one of the paths to Fascism. In fact, we can easily find you numerous examples from many states (CN, RU, IL, USA) where it has been used in such ways.

Anyhow: Seagull links.

#1 Unbelievable scenes from Mecca today! Historic Hajj amid the threat of coronavirus. @AFP
has amazing colorful photos on a very, very sunny day!

https://twitter.com/aleeharissi/status/1288421390354460672

Do a grep about Google / EU color schemes for people. Not in the Book, nice umbrellas though. Yes, it's a color scheme thing, and yellow do the cleaning (you can find those pictures too, probably not in the broadsheets), not the processions. Again: not allowed by the book. But it'll buy you some time & it at least shows solidarity with Humanity from the people of the Hajj, which is 100% a good thing.

#2 President of Slovakia, April 2020

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Edhu0_lXsAcMKe2?format=jpg&name=medium

SF movie 1980's with space lizards or reality? Note the Black Glove and her color scheme.

#3 US to withdraw 12,000 troops from Germany in 'strategic' move

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-53589245

Work out when the Roman Empire started pulling troops from outposts etc, you can spin it into a fun story. They're only moving to Italy (hello government more suited to USA tastes) but hey.

That's your three. But a Spanish Bank just posted losses of E15 bil or so, expect more.

~ETC.

Did warn you about the Heart n Brain stuff though.

p.s.


Those who say 'block quick and block often' aren't doing the work. We don't expect you to understand it always, but come on. We did literally just read a few million of your thoughts and responses to your latest jaunt into hatred and it flopped badly enough that you're not rioting yet, cut us a little slack. The upshot of wank media Barons empty 48 hrs vrs actual progress is there. Oh, and if you're going to claim we're antisemitic or whatever: you do not want to play that tune. It has blaring horns attached. Your Mental Schema is just not equipped for it.

52:

The problem is that a lot of ageing bigots lack the mental flexibility to change. One of my relatives now has dementia and requires continuous care, so they're *losing* mental skills rather than gaining them. They are still a nasty racist sexist homophobic bigot, but they've lost those mental filters that occasionally made them bearable to visit. My understanding remains that the only improvement in their state will come when they die.

In case it's not obvious, the relative is one I disowned a long time ago*, I just get reports from people who have decided to stay in touch regardless (possibly via the small town gossip system, I don't know).

* it's possible they disowned me first, a discussion I don't care enough to participate in.

53:

W.r.t antivax/anti-mask/etc idiocy - I see claims that Rep(tile) Gohmert has been diagnosed with COVID and is claiming that wearing a mask caused it.
Excuse the upcoming reports of strong earthquakes from the Pacific Northwest ; that will be me banging my head on my desk.

54:

You're competing with the telephone handset sanitisers...

The irony of having only Ark B survive the pandemic is bitter.

55:

Under capitalism "real work" is paid, anything else quite literally does not count.

The males-only anti-feminist utopia of Athos in Bujold's novel "Ethan of Athos" is great on this count. Not that any of it is set on Athos - you get it in asides and inferred detail.

After generations of separation from the rest of humanity they use "social credits" to pay people to do essential work. So Ethan thinks that child-rearing and domestic work is "the biggest part of the economy", which consumes a vast amount of planetary GDP.

Poor Ethan doesn't get how the rest of the galaxy could possibly function without such a system, as who'd do that huge amount of work without pay?

56:

Gohmert is not known for his intelligence:
Louis Buller "Louie" Gohmert, Jr. (born 1953) is a Republican Representative from Texas (first elected in 2004) and an accomplished idiot. He continues Texas' long, well-deserved reputation of electing eminently stupid people to federal office.
The nasty bit is that he believes (apparently!) that he has a right under the US Constitution to randomly kill people (including possibly himself).
I dunno, maybe the Second Amendment; he was spewing forth little droplet-bullets that would have been stopped by a simple cloth mask.

57:

he was spewing forth little droplet-bullets that would have been stopped by a simple cloth mask.

This just in:
https://www.theshovel.com.au/2020/07/29/ned-kelly-wore-mask-to-stop-spread-of-covid-new-documents-show/

(yes, it's satire. Strangely relevant satire)

58:

Yeah. It ties in nicely with the "what work is actually essential" question, although it seems increasingly likely that unless you actually lick a recently-smeared surface you're vanishingly unlikely to get infected with the current pandemic.

Still, I'm going to refrain from licking any supermarket trolleys just in case.

59:

Not in the Book, nice umbrellas though.
Good (not perfect) distancing and mask discipline too. With the hot dry air and sun and umbrella-colour social bubbles, it's possible that nobody will get infected while in such formations.

60:

I haven't posted any graphs, because there has been no change. There is slight evidence of an increase in positive cases, but the data are such a mess that the statistical confidence level is "well, possibly, or possibly not". However, for people who know something about data analysis, I thought I would share this gem; for those who don't, compare the intent (first paragraph) with the description.

"Surveillance tests (pillar 4) (UK)

Testing in this pillar is designed to understand the spread of the virus and the reliability of different testing methods.

As in pillar 2, pillar 4 tests are counted either when they are sent out or when they are processed by a lab.

This includes antigen and antibody testing. People tested and positive cases are not reported due to this covering a variety of different studies that do not currently allow to deduplicate individuals."

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public#number-of-cases-and-deaths

61:

Brian
Apart form getting on the warfarin Really Fast what steps can one take to resist or diminish hypercoagulation - just in case?

Various
"Same people who deal with it now: immigrants, largely."
I'm still wondering how the Brexshiteers are going to deal with this problem ... ( They aren't of course - but their inventive lies might be amusing for a few seconds )

Moz @ 48
You forgot the last bit ... "... and where the Sheep are scared"

62:

And the first signs of study rejection start coming.

I quote:

Most of the 'damage' is myocarditis which is simply heart inflammation. It happens during infections and can be pretty common.

You heard it guys. It's all normal for an infection. Nothing to see, move along.

We need a term for these people. We have anti-vaxxers for vaccines. What would you call anti-covid people in a way that makes it catchy and easier to remember when you label fools?

63:

It seems people are bleeding at about the rate they're clotting. It's also possible that people on anticoagulant are doing both. Which presents the great option of stroking with a brain bleed while simultaneously losing your kidneys to thrombosis. It's not clear yet what the best therapy is.

The more I hear about this, the less I want to catch it. I've got extended family in the USA (Brother's wife is USAian) and my sister in law's grandfather died from it yesterday. He was in good health though old. Being old the hospital stopped treating him, moved him to a hospice, and he only lasted hours after that.

https://ashpublications.org/blood/article/136/4/489/460672/COVID-19-and-coagulation-bleeding-and-thrombotic

64:

"We need a term for these people."

how about "Capitalism's hostages" ?

People who got all their news only from FaceBook bubbles and Ultracapitalist's propaganda vehicles for years and years literally suffer from Stockholm Syndrome, where they now defend their captors cause, because they no longer belive there is any other way.

65:

'Covidiots' seems to be the accepted term...

66:
Oh, yes, and then there's HR, who HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE about the organization they work for, don't care to learn, plan to job hop in three or four years, and want degrees and certificates because THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE JOB REQUIRES.

I worked in (and part owned) a little 10 man company for decades, no HR, everything was ok.

We sold ourselves to a smallish (~1,000 people) multinational a few years ago, real HR department.

And it's fucking great. They do all that boring crap and they do it well. They are better at finding new people that we ever were, they just make life better.

67:

I make a distinction between administrators, who attempt to ensure their organisation works effectively, and bureaucrats, who regard their job is to make Rules and Procedures and Apply and Enforce the Now Holy Rules and Procedures. In the case of HR bureaucrats, they feel that it is also to Minimise Staff Costs and Protect the Organisation (against the employees' demands, that is). I have had dealings with the sort of HR people that whitroth described.

I had a problem when applying for a parking permit, which was needed for the start of Term (October 1st). The Form did not cover my case of partial disability, which caused an issue. I tried contacting them about that and the conversation went like this:

Me: people like me are covered by the Disability Discrimination Act, but not your form. All you need to do is have a box marked 'other' and somewhere to write the reason.

Them: We can't change the form.

Me: Who is responsible for the design and contents of and changes to the form?

Them: We are.

Me: Why can't you change it?

Them: we aren't allowed to change it.

Another year, the Relevant Person (i.e. the sole administrator in a team of bureaucrats) was on leave from July until mid-September and, of course, nobody else could deal with Exceptional Cases. It was fortunate that he wasn't away wasn't until the end of September because, as well all know, October The First Is Too Late.

68:

It would seem to me to be a reasonable expectation for COVID to do similar damage to female reproductive systems. Speculating further, for those with unlimited access to health care, it might be possible to acquire eggs and sperm from behind blocked tubes and allow those people to reproduce in spite of the damage. My question is, will the small percentage of global population with the resources to access that level of fertility clinic provide enough genetic diversity, if COVID sterilizes all of us?

69:

My sympathies, I've been in the same boat for over 2 years. I have M.E, I have lost my job and have barely left the house in that time. It is shit. If Covid does a similar thing to a lot of people, it will be bad!

70:

Apart from getting on the warfarin Really Fast what steps can one take to resist or diminish hypercoagulation - just in case?

I take an aspirin and a multivitamin (for D and zinc) every day. Hopefully the aspirin thins the blood a little.

71:

That's the one I keep seeing.

72:

Interesting: Trump is now proposing delaying the election, because fraud…

"With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???,"

https://www.teletrader.com/trump-delaying-election-better-than-mail-in-voting/news/details/52827590?ts=1596114476506

Interesting given that Trump uses mail-in votes. (He calls them absentee, but Florida doesn't have absentee only mail-in.) The only difference between mail-in and absentee voting seems to be who is doing it. Democrats use mail-in, Republicans use Absentee :-/

73:

Rbt Prior
Yes
That, or anyhting else at all that allows him to stall, delay, invalidate the election &/or shit-stir enough to start a civil war.]
Arsehole

74:

Interesting: Trump is now proposing delaying the election, because fraud…

Translation:

Even Trump has now figured out Covid is in charge, and that the mess his underlings have made (because it can't be him) means the economy is again tanking, and taking his election chances with it.

And of course the GOP senators, having somewhat figured out that Trump is going down, are no longer united and thus happily squabbling based on what they think their own voters want rather than what is good for the GOP, thus throwing a lot of Americans into extreme financial trouble this weekend.

75:

happily squabbling based on what they think their own voters want rather than what is good for the GOP

So you're saying American democracy is actually functioning as it says on the label, rather than business as usual?

76:

Interesting article on the issues Biden faces picking a VP, and the impossibility of making everyone happy.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/30/joe-biden-pick-running-mate-democrats-name-favorites

77:

Re: Hypercoagulation

Be careful with anticoagulants - ACE2 is pretty well distributed everywhere throughout your body with various parts needing slightly different levels for optimum function. Keep an eye on your diet because drug-food interactions happen: for anticoagulants it's mostly with VitK - see below.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/thrombophlebitis/expert-answers/warfarin/faq-20058443


This looks promising ...

The article below was published yesterday in Nature. It's a mouse study and hopefully someone will soon test/verify this on humans because it appears to show a very direct correlation, i.e., therapeutic target.

Here's the key finding/result:

'Anti-C5aR1 therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) prevented C5a-mediated human myeloid cell recruitment and activation, and inhibited acute lung injury (ALI) in human C5aR1 knockin mice.'


'Association of COVID-19 inflammation with activation of the C5a–C5aR1 axis

Abstract

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new pandemic disease caused by infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)1. The C5a anaphylatoxin and its receptor C5aR1 (CD88) play a key role in the initiation and maintenance of several inflammatory responses, by recruiting and activating neutrophils and monocytes in the lungs1. We provide a longitudinal analysis of immune responses, including immune cell phenotyping and assessments of the soluble factors present in the blood and broncho-alveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of patients at various stages of COVID-19 severity: paucisymptomatic, pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). We report an increase in soluble C5a levels proportional to COVID-19 severity and high levels of C5aR1 expression in blood and pulmonary myeloid cells, supporting a role for the C5a-C5aR1 axis in the pathophysiology of ARDS. Anti-C5aR1 therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) prevented C5a-mediated human myeloid cell recruitment and activation, and inhibited acute lung injury (ALI) in human C5aR1 knockin mice. These results suggest that C5a-C5aR1 axis blockade might be used as a means of limiting myeloid cell infiltration in damaged organs and preventing the excessive lung inflammation and endothelialitis associated with ARDS in COVID-19 patients.'

As depressing as this pandemic is in terms of day-to-day life, the quality and amount of research plus the level of cooperation by scientists and clinicians on this virus is amazing and encouraging. Bravo and thanks to all involved!

78:

So you're saying American democracy is actually functioning as it says on the label, rather than business as usual?

No - notice the word "think"

It is, I suspect, a reasonable assumption that many GOP voters at this point want a good response to Covid, and likely a continuation of the Covid financial help given many of them will be relying on it (or have customers that do).

None of them are proposing that.

Instead what they are doing is reverting to what got them selected in the primaries in the first place - for many of them the extreme positions that made the (small part of the GOP) Tea Party and it's descendants happy.

79:

Developments with Trump's Troops in Portland - supposedly they are leaving today after an agreement with the State Governor.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/30/federal-agents-portland-oregon-trump-troops

80:

A brief counter:
The study did not assert permanent heart damage. Of course, it also didn't deny it. It was a brief study, and IIRC only covered about a couple of months after symptoms.

So... It *could* be very bad news. But it might just be a warning. https://newatlas.com/health-wellbeing/heart-damage-recovered-covid19-patients-coronavirus/

quote:
Again, there is no evidence at this stage that the viral presence in heart tissue means the disease has any long-term negative cardiovascular effects. But, the two studies combined do suggest this new virus certainly has an effect on the heart.

81:

So you're saying American democracy is actually functioning as it says on the label, rather than business as usual?

The earthquake will occur if 4 Senators bolt and for a coalition with the D's to pass a bill or replace Mitch as Senate leader. He can stop a bill but if voted out as leader then bills can be forced.

But this is a very very long shot.

Happened at the state level in NC 15 or so years ago when there was an even number of Ds and Rs in the state Senate. Cost a few decent politicians their political lives.

82:

My wife points out that it is operating within a mouse immune system, so may not transfer to humans. So don't get your hopes up too far, yet. There are some monoclonal antibody treatment trials going on, but I don't know if they are related.

83:

Interesting article in the New Yorker on American police unions:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/08/03/how-police-unions-fight-reform

84:

Ok, I clearly need to step back and define my terms.

Back in the sixties, even, people used to talk about "real work" and "what daddy does", which is pushing useless pieces of paper that are signed, filed, and never looked at again. Huge amounts of that are done in the US, and much of it isn't just for regulation, but for management's happiness... even though they don't realize how much make-work they've created.

Really. Now, given the general idea that I've gotten over the years, people here do, in fact, work. Too many of the general public does what I describe above. And then, of course, there are the people whose lives the TOP wants to recklessly endanger... the folks who stock the shelves, give haircuts, etc.

Most manufacturing jobs in the US are gone, and not all to overseas. The coal miners? Sorry, in the sixties, there were about 780,000 of them, directly, miners. Now? about 78000, thanks to not doing classical mining, but mountaintop removal and pit mining, and the use of HUGE earth movers and trucks big enough to put small buses in them.

That's what I was talking about when I said "real work". Plowed the back 40 this year? Harvested? Built things on an assembly line? Worked construction? And, yes, worked in childcare or taught middle-schoolers (and you're not allowed either duct tape or whips in the latter profession....)?

85:

Greg, STOP RIGHT THERE!!!

Warfarin is NOT A SAFE MEDICINE, escept under extreme medical supervision.

A very close friend, Jack Chalker's widow, nearly DIED after flossing her teeth... because the pharmacy somehow managed to give her warfarin, instead of her antidepressant prescription... AND she normally took 1.5 pills... while the users of warfarin normally took HALF A PILL.

86:

"There are very few childcare applications that cannot be handled by a suitable application of duct tape."

Duct tape these people in a chair, in front of a TV, which alternately, in the US, switches between, say, MSNBC (my SO's preferred news) and Public TV, and leave them there for a week....

87:

Sounds like a wonderful thing to advertise, loss of fertility. That might make the maskaphobics change.

88:

Thanks for reminded me, I haven't had D this week, though I do have milk and cereal every weekday morning, and milk in my tea...

And I take a stress complex - B with zinc, been doing that since the eighties....

89:

Rbt Prior
NOT a surprise
Lots of supposedly "progressive" Trades Unions in this country sold women down the river & actively opposed their working or getting equal pay for many many years.
IIRC the old NUR was particularly bad & reactionary & "male fascist pig" about this ...


mdive
Biden's VP
Entirely correct & not a surprise.
He has got to pick the one who will, if not "offend the least", at least offend as few as practicable and, much more importantly, be able to step into his own shoes at a second's notice - he's already said "I will be a one-term President" & he knows, all too well, that he might not last 4 years.
That last really matters.

whitroth
STOP SHOUTING & calm down ...
my aunt, who finally had an accident & died at 99yrs &10 months, had been on * very carefully prescribed * warfarin for several years.
Jack Chalker was a great guy - had a long talk with him at some long-ago worldcon - probably the second Brighton one.

90:

Yes. There are a LOT of dangerous drugs out there. But if the other option is to be bed ridden or die, sometimes the dangerous drug is the best option.

Especially when someone's body is breaking down due to old age or for other reasons.

91:

Off-topic, but really cool: a new explanation for why leaves are green and other photosynthetic organisms are the colors they are. It's not to maximize energy input through photosynthesis, it's to stabilize input rate against fluctuating and noisy light levels. Fun stuff, and the model code is apparently available if you want to tinker with plant color on an alien world:

https://www.quantamagazine.org/why-are-plants-green-to-reduce-the-noise-in-photosynthesis-20200730/

92:

In this case, whitroth is right. My stepfather was on it, too. The problem is that warfarin is available online, and is is NOT something you should self-prescribe, or in response to COVID 19 symptoms. Even ignoring the risk of an internal bleed (which can kill you faster that you seem to realise and is an eually common cause of strokes), the link in #63 indicates that an anti-coagulant is as likely to make things worse as better.

93:

He has got to pick the one who will, if not "offend the least", at least offend as few as practicable and, much more importantly, be able to step into his own shoes at a second's notice - he's already said "I will be a one-term President" & he knows, all too well, that he might not last 4 years.

Good point.

Sadly not covered by the article but he should also be factoring in side effects of the choice in Senate races given the need to also win the Senate - something that it seems a lot of these factions in the DNC seem to be entirely overlooking in their demands that they be rewarded/satisfied by the pick.

94:

Looks like Ontario has announced some more back-to-school guidelines, and they are not nearly as bad as I feared. For one thing, they mandate masks for all children above 10.

Whether they are enforceable is another matter. I would like to think that "refuses to wear a mask" or "keeps taking mask off" is grounds for removal, to protect everyone else in the room, but three decades of experience with the system has made me dubious.

And given experience with colleague who apparently don't need masks because they take essential oils*, I'm dubious about enough staff following the rules, too.

Still glad I decided to retire. Wish my subconscious would realize I have — I'm getting back-to-school nightmares (which usually don't start until late August) starring non-compliant students who refuse to wear masks…


*Seriously.

95:

I don't think the DNC is ignoring that at all. The loss of a Massachusetts senate seat is the big argument against him picking Elizabeth Warren. The governor of Massachusetts is a Republican, and he'd pick her successor until an election could be held. Contrarywise, it's a good argument for Kamala Harris (California is safely Democratic in 2020, so her replacement would be a capable Democrat) or Susan Rice (who's currently teaching and writing).

One minor bit of awkwardness is that both Harris and Rice have white husbands. That was a problem for Harris as a presidential candidate, as her spouse (a Jewish lawyer) would face a bit of awkwardness doing the Michelle Obama thing of going to black church barbeques and talking up the spouse. I don't think that's as big an issue for the VP, but I could be wrong.

We'll see who Unca Joe picks next week. Yay.

96:

Warfarin is rat poison, after all. (Though I think they use some turbo derivative these days.) I still find it slightly odd to see it used as a drug since it was in the rat poison application that I first heard of it. Not clear as to the advantage of internal haemorrhage as a means of dispatching rats, but there you go. It certainly makes humans leak copiously externally as a result of everyday activities that you wouldn't normally suspect of being injurious at all.

97:

How about Coumadin?

My point is there are lots of drugs that taken in more than the recomended dosage will do nasty things. Especially things like blood thinners.

From the WebMD site:

This medication can cause serious bleeding if it affects your blood clotting proteins too much (shown by unusually high INR lab results). Even if your doctor stops your medication, this risk of bleeding can continue for up to a week. Tell your doctor right away if you have any signs of serious bleeding, including: unusual pain/swelling/discomfort, unusual/easy bruising, prolonged bleeding from cuts or gums, persistent/frequent nosebleeds, unusually heavy/prolonged menstrual flow, pink/dark urine, coughing up blood, vomit that is bloody or looks like coffee grounds, severe headache, dizziness/fainting, unusual or persistent tiredness/weakness, bloody/black/tarry stools, chest pain, shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing.

Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: persistent nausea/vomiting, severe stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin.

98:

I knew Jack from the seventies, before he and Eva got married. You probably never heard him do the art auction - he had taken an actual *course* in it, and was actually one of those you see in movies, talking that fast.

Sorry, but we nearly lost Eva just a few weeks back, she wouldn't stop bleeding after the flossing....

99:

Duct tape the masks to their faces.

100:

Coumadin is the same stuff. (Culture-based confusion: Americans are far more likely to refer to a drug by the trade name used by one specific manufacturer, British to use a generic name.) What makes it particularly dodgy is it has a whole stack of weird interactions with very ordinary kinds of food; the right dose is difficult to determine, specific to the individual, and can suddenly become the very wrong dose if you eat the wrong thing.

101:

Whether they are enforceable is another matter. I would like to think that "refuses to wear a mask" or "keeps taking mask off" is grounds for removal, to protect everyone else in the room, but three decades of experience with the system has made me dubious.

Maybe the ability to invoke the local health department to enforce things will help.

102:

Maybe.

I still remember how much paperwork it took to remove one student who was on video stamping on someone's head (with parents who weren't fighting the removal, and a VP who was willing to work lots of overtime). With parents who are fighting the removal, and administrators who usually choose the easiest option…

103:

Re: '[Coumadin/Warfarin] ... the right dose is difficult to determine, specific to the individual, and can suddenly become the very wrong dose if you eat the wrong thing.'

Agree - hence why anyone on this drug must have blood work [INR] done regularly including people who've been on it for decades. Major reason so many MDs now prescribe the NOACs: no fiddling with dosages, no having to go regularly for blood work. Some people feel that the blood work isn't a big deal but it's a major problem for those who are housebound (bed-ridden) due to a medical condition. At-home blood draw services are available with some insurance plans.

https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/arrhythmia/prevention--treatment-of-arrhythmia/a-patients-guide-to-taking-warfarin

'The INR is a standardized way of expressing the PT value. The INR ensures that PT results obtained by different laboratories can be compared. It is important to monitor the INR (at least once a month and sometimes as often as twice weekly) to make sure that the level of warfarin remains in the effective range. If the INR is too low, blood clots will not be prevented, but if the INR is too high, there is an increased risk of bleeding. This is why those who take warfarin must have their blood tested so frequently.

Unlike most medications that are administered as a fixed dose, warfarin dosing is adjusted according to the INR blood test results; therefore, the dose usually changes over time. Coumadin/ warfarin pills come in different colors, and each color corresponds to a different dose (see graphic below).'

104:

timrowledge @ 53: W.r.t antivax/anti-mask/etc idiocy - I see claims that Rep(tile) Gohmert has been diagnosed with COVID and is claiming that wearing a mask caused it.
Excuse the upcoming reports of strong earthquakes from the Pacific Northwest ; that will be me banging my head on my desk.

Gohmert is STUPID AS FUCK and it wouldn't surprise me at all if he did it all wrong and DID infect himself. But it wasn't from wearing a mask, it was wearing the mask WRONG.

He said he had been putting it on and taking it off and all he had to do was flip it inside out one time so that whatever might have got on the outside was now on the inside.

As Bugs Bunny is won't to say, "What a Maroon! What an ignoranimus!"

105:

timrowledge @ 53: PS: You know HE will get top dollar medical care and there is little or no chance it's going to kill him, so it won't lead to culling the herd of idiots.

He's already as evil as a bad tempered as a feral hog with an infected tusk, and this is just gonna make him worse.

106:

Re: 'There are some monoclonal antibody treatment trials going on, but I don't know if they are related.'

Haven't checked but would be surprised considering this article has just been published. Can't imagine that this - or any COVID-19 research - would have been sitting around all that long in pre-prints.

Re: Mouse model - my impression was that the mice used were genetically bred to have a closer simulation of that particular immune functionality, i.e., more like that of a human. Even so - yes, I agree - this is still iffy because there are so many other potential layers therefore differences between species' immune systems. Still, it's one more treatment approach they can examine more closely. With any luck Racaniello and his TwiV group will review this article in one of his podcasts.

107:

He also berated his staff for wearing masks, so one might suppose that he wore a mask as little as he could get away with.

“Jake, thank you for letting our office know Louie tested positive for the Coronavirus. When you write your story, can you include the fact that Louie requires full staff to be in the office, including three interns, so that ‘we could be an example to America on how to open up safely. When probing the office, you might want to ask how often people were berated for wearing masks."

https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewsolender/2020/07/29/gohmert-aide-alleges-staffers-are-berated-for-wearing-masks-office-is-regularly-full/#610b902377f2

108:

icehawk @ 55:

Under capitalism "real work" is paid, anything else quite literally does not count.

The males-only anti-feminist utopia of Athos in Bujold's novel "Ethan of Athos" is great on this count. Not that any of it is set on Athos - you get it in asides and inferred detail.

After generations of separation from the rest of humanity they use "social credits" to pay people to do essential work. So Ethan thinks that child-rearing and domestic work is "the biggest part of the economy", which consumes a vast amount of planetary GDP.

Poor Ethan doesn't get how the rest of the galaxy could possibly function without such a system, as who'd do that huge amount of work without pay?

I don't feel too sorry for "poor Ethan". He manages the culture shock, defeats the bad guys (and the bad woman), wins a new friend & gets TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE of the number of tissue samples he came for plus the bonus of Elli Quinn's donation.

109:

Here's a bit of news: The prime mover behind a lot of the rapid response vaccine and treatment approaches was - the boffins at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Here's a link to the Washington Post paywalled article. (Sorry for that, Charlie - I'll post a free link when one of the aggregators picks it up).

It turns out that, post the H1N1 scare, some of the eggheads at DARPA realized that it would be a really good idea to have a way to rapidly develop protection for deployed troops to a novel pathogen.

"In the years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a series of anthrax incidents, combined with overseas intelligence about potential biological threats, heightened fears of bioterrorism and drove DARPA to invest in faster ways to respond, including technology to accelerate vaccine development, spot emerging viruses and speed up pharmaceutical manufacturing. A decade ago, a brainy Air Force doctor named Dan Wattendorf helped push rapid pandemic response further to the top of DARPA’s priority list.

Regularly citing the 1918 flu pandemic, the DARPA program manager saw how a novel pathogen, whether from another species or an enemy’s lab, could cripple the American military in the field.

“If we need to deploy someone in harm’s way and it’s a new virus, you don’t have time to wait for a new vaccine,” Wattendorf said. “That could be a decade.”

Wattendorf had ideas for a solution. In 2010, he took to a conference room at DARPA headquarters in Northern Virginia with notes scribbled on his hand to make a pitch.

At the time, the Obama administration was emphasizing the need to step up pandemic response capabilities in the wake of the H1N1 outbreak, and DARPA was increasingly focusing on biology — an emphasis that would lead to the agency’s first biotechnology office in 2014.

In the conference room, Wattendorf outlined his ideas to agency higher-ups. Regina E. Dugan, the DARPA director at the time, ribbed him for the writing on his hand before greenlighting his proposal.

The result was a program called ADEPT, which invested $291 million from 2011 to 2019 in an array of technologies — including a credit card-sized device for rapid antibody discovery developed by the Vancouver-based firm AbCellera — that, taken together, could significantly reduce the timelines for vaccines and antibodies.

“It may turn out to be the most important program from my time at the agency,” said Dugan, who ran DARPA from 2009 to 2012."

110:

Bill Arnold @ 56: Gohmert is not known for his intelligence:
Louis Buller "Louie" Gohmert, Jr. (born 1953) is a Republican Representative from Texas (first elected in 2004) and an accomplished idiot. He continues Texas' long, well-deserved reputation of electing eminently stupid people to federal office.
The nasty bit is that he believes (apparently!) that he has a right under the US Constitution to randomly kill people (including possibly himself).
I dunno, maybe the Second Amendment; he was spewing forth little droplet-bullets that would have been stopped by a simple cloth mask.

I can believe he's stupid enough that he'd fuck up wearing the mask and infect himself.

I kind of agree that stupid people should be allowed to kill themselves. Cull the herd, improve the breed.
I just don't like the idea of them randomly killing other people.


111:

John Hughes @ 66:

Oh, yes, and then there's HR, who HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE about the organization they work for, don't care to learn, plan to job hop in three or four years, and want degrees and certificates because THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE JOB REQUIRES.

I worked in (and part owned) a little 10 man company for decades, no HR, everything was ok.

We sold ourselves to a smallish (~1,000 people) multinational a few years ago, real HR department.

And it's fucking great. They do all that boring crap and they do it well. They are better at finding new people that we ever were, they just make life better.

It often starts out that way. But as the original founders move on and hired management replaces them, HR often ossifies and becomes unresponsive to the needs of NON-HR parts of the company.

112:

Me @109: Well, that didn't take long. Here's the non-paywalled link from MSN.

113:

I just returned from Texas. Last bit of Texas I was in was in his district. Ugh.

Last week was fun. Tues-Wed drive to Texas. (NC,SC,GA,AL,MS,LA,TX) Spend 3 days loading van and boxing and whatnot. Then drive back for 2 days. Tuesday get a Covid test. Results back this morning. Negative.

Wheee.

PS: If you search for Gohmert on US news sites you'll find he is fairly known as a crazy guy even by the Rs. But wins his district by unreal margins every year.

114:

Troutwaxer @ 70:

Apart from getting on the warfarin Really Fast what steps can one take to resist or diminish hypercoagulation - just in case?

I take an aspirin and a multivitamin (for D and zinc) every day. Hopefully the aspirin thins the blood a little.

I think it does. They had me stop the baby aspirin a week before my surgery.

The surgery went Ok. Can't breath through that side yet, but no headaches so far, so it does seem to be draining ... or at least allowing the pressure to equalize.

115:

timrowledge @ 53: PS: You know HE will get top dollar medical care and there is little or no chance it's going to kill him, so it won't lead to culling the herd of idiots.

Maybe.

Herman Cain died today, his social media says it was from Covid - and he was admitted to hospital within 2 weeks of Trump's Tulsa rally which he attended and didn't wear a mask or social distance.

116:

Robert Prior @ 72: Interesting: Trump is now proposing delaying the election, because fraud…

"With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???,"

https://www.teletrader.com/trump-delaying-election-better-than-mail-in-voting/news/details/52827590?ts=1596114476506

Interesting given that Trump uses mail-in votes. (He calls them absentee, but Florida doesn't have absentee only mail-in.) The only difference between mail-in and absentee voting seems to be who is doing it. Democrats use mail-in, Republicans use Absentee :-/

It's a SCAM! It's how wannabee dictators operate. First they delay the election because of potential fraud, then they cancel it all together.

... and doubly interesting because the only election fraud regarding absentee/mail-in ballots in recent elections CAME FROM REPUBLICAN CRIMINALS

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/30/politics/north-carolina-election-results-delay/index.html

https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/election/article222263905.html

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/04/politics/north-carolina-house-race-mccrae-dowless-absentee-ballots/index.html

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/419693-second-woman-says-she-was-paid-to-collect-absentee-ballots-in-north?rnd=1543953464

https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article224173095.html

117:

Iraq is hitting record temps (for the stupids: they measure by the water, not the desert bits, derp) - 51oC. Spain is hitting records. And so on.

It doesn't get better.

Mecca will look like this in 20 years (although those $mil cool mega-umbrellas were cool, and makes anything made in the UK for the general public look like a bowl of poo):


But, ignoring the UK Football scene, it did actually cut down on potential mega-death by approx. 1.3 billion, so they did a good thing.


In other news:

#1 Priittttiii Patel comes out swwwhinging over GRIME UK racism claims (no, really: 80+ actual cases, fuck that. Single ex-Grime artist on Twtter spat: DIPLOMATIC ACTION), totes not a full media spread to bury that Windrush thing, at all. Fuck me, if we'd known we were playing against that level of evil, we'd not have allowed the BBC to publish "NIGGER" on main time tv. While decrying racism and how BLM was a threat to the "WHITE SOCIETY" as a Jewish lady.

Oh, and the NIGGER comment was over live TV, prime time about someone running over a black UK national. While the Wiley stuff .... OMG, don't tell me you've fallen for the fake twitter stuff already, you fucking ancient muppets?

Fuck me: if this goes more off the rails, you'll have Ganesha live on TV pointing out that these fuckers are totally insane.

Which they are


Note: all of that happened. Today. Really.

It didn't just jump the shark, these fucker's noodles are scrambled. Good luck with future **SERIOUS BUZINESSZ" legal libel cases when this lot are all tied into this amount of clownish fuckery.

Best £200k we ever spent.

118:

mdlve @ 74:

Interesting: Trump is now proposing delaying the election, because fraud…

Even Trump has now figured out Covid is in charge, and that the mess his underlings have made (because it can't be him) means the economy is again tanking, and taking his election chances with it.

And of course the GOP senators, having somewhat figured out that Trump is going down, are no longer united and thus happily squabbling based on what they think their own voters want rather than what is good for the GOP, thus throwing a lot of Americans into extreme financial trouble this weekend.

No, Trumpolini's proposing to Delay the election IS THE FRAUD. It's the first stage of stealing the election by canceling it.

119:

We're joking about us spending the £200k.

The rest, actually happened. Everyone saw it happen.

Actual reality bite: Cool. You spent your shot, got a fucking member of the serving government involved (already fired once for dodgy deals with non-UK governments), SkyTV (hello little editor), a few magazines, and your reach was?

What.

10 minute blowout before Philippppan de-Time managed to declare race war live on TV?

$%KODK made a shit load of gremlins more money in a lifetime that your grimly shit-house entertainment business has ever dribbled down to the fucking clowns running your bullshit.


Fuck me. UK is cursed land. Fucking muppets.

120:

David L @ 90: Yes. There are a LOT of dangerous drugs out there. But if the other option is to be bed ridden or die, sometimes the dangerous drug is the best option.

Especially when someone's body is breaking down due to old age or for other reasons.

The best option is to discuss any medications & supplements you take with a physician, understand WHY you are taking them (what do they do for you?) and what side effects to look out for. And if any of those side effects crop up contact your physician immediately to see about adjusting the dose or switching to a different medication (or supplement).

And don't take drugs based on what some internet quack recommends ... although you might ask your doctor & maybe it IS something he/she will prescribe.

I also talk to the Pharmacist & read the package insert because sometimes they might spot some drug interaction the doctor overlooked & you might want to go back and talk to the doctor about it.

121:

Hey, you missed that the impeached resident of 1600 PA Ave, Washington, DC, voted in the primary in FL, claiming Mar-a-Lago as his residence.

And Pence voted in the primary in IN, claiming the GOVERNOR'S MANSION, which he moved out of four years ago, as his residence.

122:

Heh, heh. From the LA Times,
excerpt:
In 1845, Congress set a national date for the election — the Tuesday after the first Monday in November — and that is when it has been ever since. In theory, Congress could choose to change this date, as well as the date set for the electoral college to choose the president. But it is unimaginable that the House of Representatives would pass such a bill this year and I doubt even the Republican-controlled Senate would agree to such an unprecedented effort to manipulate the electoral process.

Moreover, the 20th Amendment to the Constitution established that the president’s term ends on Jan. 20 at noon. If at that time a president and vice president have not yet been chosen by the electoral college, the speaker of the House of Representatives becomes president. My guess is that President Trump has not considered that delaying the election for a significant amount of time would mean Nancy Pelosi becoming president.
--- end excerpt ---

123:

Herman Cain died today, his social media says it was from Covid

He said he had Covid a week or so ago.

And he was worth a $billion or so. Well maybe only a few $100 million. So if his money can't stop it maybe it will get through to a few others that if they get it luck (or the prior 50 years of living) will determine if you live or not. Not the size of your bank account.

124:

whitroth @ 99: Duct tape the masks to their faces.

No need to waste a mask. Just use Duct Tape.

125:

Seriously.

No-one is playing by the old rules anymore. We keep trying to tell you this, with examples, but you keep ignoring it.

THEY. DO. NOT. GIVE. A. SHIT.

Oh, and they also have a majority in the Courts.

They're not looking for impeachment or a dribbling Biden to wander around the WH calling out for his POTUS Obama thinking he's still the VP.

No. ONE. CARES.

You fucked up: you failed to make a working society. Your influence on the rest of humanity was corrosive. You managed to allow the corrosive elements to ruin and then gain power within your societ.

~


Fuck me.


Now. We have to go harvest Murdoch, and that fucker has some seriously [redacted] shit. Kissinger too.

126:

I doubt even the Republican-controlled Senate would agree to such an unprecedented effort to manipulate the electoral process.

Mitch on down said nope almost as fast as they could read then type.

127:

mdlve @ 101: Whether they are enforceable is another matter. I would like to think that "refuses to wear a mask" or "keeps taking mask off" is grounds for removal, to protect everyone else in the room, but three decades of experience with the system has made me dubious.

Maybe the ability to invoke the local health department to enforce things will help.

If y'all are referring to Pelosi's decree after that idiot from Texas got himself infected that henceforth everyone in the House of Representatives WILL wear appropriate face coverings, she DOES have the authority to have the House Sergeant at Arms remove ANYONE who is NON-compliant.

128:

If y'all are referring to Pelosi's decree

No, talking about the school plans in Ontario and what happens if the kids (10+ year old) refuse to wear the required mask.

129:

whitroth @ 122: Heh, heh. From the LA Times,
excerpt:
In 1845, Congress set a national date for the election — the Tuesday after the first Monday in November — and that is when it has been ever since. In theory, Congress could choose to change this date, as well as the date set for the electoral college to choose the president. But it is unimaginable that the House of Representatives would pass such a bill this year and I doubt even the Republican-controlled Senate would agree to such an unprecedented effort to manipulate the electoral process.

Moreover, the 20th Amendment to the Constitution established that the president’s term ends on Jan. 20 at noon. If at that time a president and vice president have not yet been chosen by the electoral college, the speaker of the House of Representatives becomes president. My guess is that President Trump has not considered that delaying the election for a significant amount of time would mean Nancy Pelosi becoming president.
--- end excerpt ---

... and we know Trumpolini always follows the law and would never attempt to cheat in any way.

He might not be successful, but you know damn well he doesn't care what the law says and HE IS GOING TO TRY TO STEAL THE ELECTION!

He's incapable of feeling like he's really won unless he cheats. And if he loses he's going claim he was cheated and ignore the results and cling to power. You think his minions at DHS, INS & CBP will refuse to send the GESTAPO out to restore order by taking his opponents into custody? He's already setting it up.

130:

As opposed to children in their 60s refusing to wear the required mask… :-)

131:

the House Sergeant at Arms

Not a toothless post, it would appear:

https://www.house.gov/the-house-explained/officers-and-organizations/sergeant-at-arms

and

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/2/5605


2 U.S. Code § 5605. Law enforcement authority of Sergeant at Arms

(a) Law enforcement authority

The Sergeant at Arms of the House of Representatives shall have the same law enforcement authority, including the authority to carry firearms, as a member of the Capitol Police. The law enforcement authority under the preceding sentence shall be subject to the requirement that the Sergeant at Arms have the qualifications specified in subsection (b).

(b)Qualifications

The qualifications referred to in subsection (a) are the following:

(1) A minimum of five years of experience as a law enforcement officer before beginning service as the Sergeant at Arms.

(2) Current certification in the use of firearms by the appropriate Federal law enforcement entity or an equivalent non-Federal entity.

(3) Any other firearms qualification required for members of the Capitol Police.

(c) Regulations

The Committee on House Oversight of the House of Representatives shall have authority to prescribe regulations to carry out this section.

132:

mdlve @ 129:

If y'all are referring to Pelosi's decree

No, talking about the school plans in Ontario and what happens if the kids (10+ year old) refuse to wear the required mask.

Can't duct tape kids. That always gets you in trouble. Probably can't even expel them.

About the only thing you can do is to exclude them into separate classrooms with other kids who refuse to wear the masks so they can only infect one another.

Probably the first teacher who gets sick should sue the parents of the non-complying students. Make them bear the brunt.

133:

Well done.

That's what you build.

Jack is going to take a long look at his IL investors and do a UK specific wank job then tell them to fuck off.

And .... that's the political discussion allowed for 2020 to the plebs. And they're so shit at it, they manage to shit the bed the very next day over "White Society".

Ok. Here's the real antisemitic rule: stop media companies taking millions of dollars off these fucking insanely myopic fucktards constantly to spam shite that backfires.


p.s.


Your economy is about to break. Being fucking muppets is singing loud and clear who they should blame, death cultists.

134:

We know he's going to try to steal the election.

The goons... yeah, and then there's some other folks. I'm sure you read about the wall of vets in Portland.

There are people in the government, and the military, who do, in fact, believe in the Oath.

Fuck, I never took it, and I believe in it. And if there's even the slightest question, I do plan to go down to 1600 PA on Wed, 4 Nov.

135:

Nope, sorry, the economy is *already* broke.
Excerpt:
The US economy contracted at a 32.9% annual rate from April through June, its worst drop on record, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said Thursday.
--- end excerpt ----
https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/30/economy/us-economy-2020-second-quarter/index.html

136:

About the only thing you can do is to exclude them into separate classrooms

Not necessarily. Look at the record on violence, which is often to integrating special needs students with inadequate support. And the current Ontario budget for Covid protection measures in school is 7¢ per student per day. All other required money will have to come from regular funding (textbook, lab supplies, etc.).

A recent poll of Ontario elementary teachers, for instance, found seven in 10 have personally experienced violence and witnessed violence against another staff person. This poll was conducted by the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario which represents 83,000 teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals employed in Ontario’s public elementary schools. Thus the poll suggests more than 58,000 education workers are victims or have been exposed to violence at work. Almost 40 per cent of those polled also report suffering mental stress, physical injury or illness as a result of workplace violence.

Many polled reported being told not to report the incident, or chose not to report, for fear of repercussions. Fifty per cent of those who reported an incident say there was no follow-up or investigation “in all cases” or “in some cases.” Even when actions were taken by school administrators to prevent recurrence, most polled said the actions were ineffective.

https://www.whsc.on.ca/What-s-new/News-Archive/Workplace-violence-growing-in-education-sector-st

Julie Austin said in October that she was attacked by a 10-year-old student with special needs, an attack she said lasted 20 minutes.

“I ended up taking a chair over the head and suffered a mild traumatic brain injury and now I’m suffering from post-concussion syndrome,” Austin told Global News Tuesday.

“I’m a sitting duck. My hands are tied. I can’t touch him. I can’t leave him. So I had to take what was coming.”

https://globalnews.ca/news/3983569/ontario-elementary-educators-union-classroom-violence-survey/

Rebecca Robins says there aren’t a lot of jobs where you can expect to be injured with virtual impunity. Educational assistants are increasingly facing violence in the classroom, she says. “We endure concussions, broken bones, sprains, being spit upon, bitten, bruised and sworn at.

“I get the kids who do the most damage,” he says cheerfully, including children with both developmental and mental health conditions who lash out at teachers and assistants unexpectedly, hitting, punching, kicking and spitting. His name has been withheld to protect the identify of the children he has worked with.

One elementary school child was so aggressive he was placed in a room by himself with three full-time educational assistants, says the man. “He was violent toward anybody, anything, anywhere. I’ve had multiple shirts torn right off me.”

The hallways in the school had to be cleared of other students if the child walked to the washroom because he might attack them. That student ended up being expelled when he reached high school after he attacked two girls in the hallway, dragging them by the hair and kicking them.

The educational assistant says staff are told they can’t restrain a child until a student hits them twice. “Can you imagine showing up to work and being told ‘you are going to get hit twice today, but you don’t do anything about it until the second hit.’

“We have to take whatever comes because they have the right to an education.”

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/wage-war-of-words-are-salaries-a-key-issue-in-ontarios-dispute-with-education-union


Children legally have the right to an education. The Powers That Be seem to think that making policies and setting targets will magically change things, without considering the work necessary to actually get there.

So like placing special needs kids in class without adequate support, I expect handling children who can't/won't wear a mask (or distance, or stop spitting or coughing on people) will be left to the classroom teacher to handle.


I would be happy to be proved wrong in September.

137:

Now. We have to go harvest Murdoch, and that fucker has some seriously [redacted] shit. Kissinger too.
Those guys are both ... slippery.
If Murdoch and the worst of his crotch-fruit lose political influence levers I and much of the world will be a bit happier and safer.

Recent easy-reading profile just noticed:
How Rupert Murdoch turned a small Australian newspaper into a global media empire — and built a family dynasty worth $17 billion (Meira Gebel and Melissa Wiley, Jul 14, 2020)

(SARS-CoV-2 crashed the global economy; more precisely, the incompetent response(s) to it did.)

138:

https://theconversation.com/the-secret-history-of-news-corp-a-media-empire-built-on-spreading-propaganda-116992

It started just over a century ago, by Australian mine owners to publish anti-union propaganda.

Murdoch, for what he's done to the world, deserves the guillotine.

139:

It's a shame Keith didn't get popped at Gallipoli.

140:

I've read that it's a vascular disease transmitted through aerial droplets - but that was last month and the theories may have changed since then.

141:

Mine check your temperature before letting you in. Some have questionnaires on symptoms. (So far I'm okay.) But I'm only going in when I have to - some things can't be done by phone.

142:

he was in the hospital for a *month* with the virus. The Tulsa rally was in mid-June.

143:

I'd settle for a pillow lovingly pressed to his face for 3-5 minutes. Apparently he's one of the few people who has managed to feed on nothing but the hate directed towards him. If the world is just and right he'll get coughed on by an unregistered migrant house keeper who he's currently underpaying and has to work three jobs.

But on a serious note, 6 months into the slow spiraling doom of the current empire why are most countries struggling so badly with what appears to a low-ball disaster?

Talking with folks who did/do public health professionally it seems that strategies that we've had for going on 500 years work just as well with Covid-19 as other respiratory illnesses, and on-mass we seem unable to apply them in most countries (including my own now, FFS Melbourne). If I hear a another politician say "people know what to do and should just do the right thing" I will scream, it's like the plastic drinking straw debacle all over again. Lots of gumn'ts seem to want to blame people for bad choices rather than create systems where bad choices are hard to make.

Anyway, to ask the community, is your country doing (which seems like it may be enough):
Government run isolation for sick people (aka sanatoriums for the sick e.g. Dubai, Vietnam, Thailand?)
Mandatory covering of the coughy bits, and handing out face masks where required.
Banning large public gatherings bars/clubs/church/football/weddings/funerals/dance-parties for the foreseeable future
Setting up quarantine stations/accommodation at borders (Australia really badly)
Offering widespread free/fast/no hassle testing (Australia).
Passing laws to stop people working 5 different front line jobs a week.
Paying sick leave for people who have the covids (???).

Or is your country :
Hoping people will "do the right thing" (Sweden, Australia, I assume everwhere).
Advising people to stand further apart (everywhere?).
Advising people to wash their hands more (everywhere).
Advising people to not go to work if the have symptoms (everywhere).
Talking about how important it is that everybody get back to work.
Going back into lock-down, well after everyone has pointed out that the horse has bolted.
Hoping for a treatment to pull its chestnuts out of the fire (USA).
Hoping for a vaccine to pull its chestnuts out of the fire (USA).

The second list isn't bad, but its just thoughts and prayers which is nice and all.
A ton of countries appear to be acting like they have no agency (like the US with gun violence) and no plans beyond the phase one knee jerk lock everything down (which was the right thing to do).

This apparent inability for countries to learn from others mistakes (and successes) is starting to freak me out and makes me wonder if someone is... (looks at Murdock).

144:

f I hear a another politician say "people know what to do and should just do the right thing"

If "people will do the right thing" was a viable strategy we wouldn't need laws, let alone prisons. We shouldn't need Parliament, either, except perhaps for negotiating with countries where that premise doesn't hold (ie, you can't sign an international treaty without some form of government to do the actual signing... 1.3B Chinese can't *all* sign it)

But as a public health strategy there is a whole bunch of science covering that approach, ranging from the Olson Paradox through dozens of game theory experiments right up to the War Games problem. So apparently those politicians qualify for Darwin Awards when people obey their instructions.

It would obviously be better if whoever supervises those people just responded "ah, you say you are not doing your job, so I have noted your resignation and will start the appropriate process". Because saying that isn't just a failure of leadership, it's an active abdication of responsibility.

[[ link fixed - mod ]]

145:

Not sure your point. To me and others it seems he didn't catch it at the rally.

My point was before he died he said it was Covid. And his money made no difference.

146:

The offices I go to are a all basically shut down except for required in person things. So I'm unlocking the door most of the time.

Home offices are a bit different but we are all on similar pages in terms of isolation and protections.

I've had 2 tests in the last 3 weeks. Before driving NC to TX so my clients could know if I got sick it was after I was with any of them. Ditto when I got back to make sure I didn't get it in the land of denial and spread it to them.

Plus an isolation time after my son't roommate was stupid.

Hell of a time to need a dental molar implant.

Ditto getting the flu March 1.

147:

JBS
Trump has Belarus as a model to follow
Unfortunately even Moscow Mitch & all senior "R's" immediately screamed "NO!" to postponing the election ...
Interesting, in the old sense.

148:

People keep saying "when" or "until" herd immunity develops. But thats by no means certain. Its "if" herd immunity develops and there is some evidence that immunity may be short lived. One would hope that if you had it once that a second round would be less severe. But thats not a certainty either. The best of the worst scenarios is that its just as bad. The worst of the worst is that maybe the first bout primes your immune system to over react. Then the second kills you.

Similarly, theres a study that suggests that some people who have never had covid might have some resistance. They hypothesize it might be from existing seasonal corona virus "common colds".The article assume that this might be the reason that some people have mild or no symptoms. That may be, but thats an assumption thats not yet supported by data. You can't conclude that. Its also possible the ones that had that pre existing immune response, or some subset of them were the ones that get very sick or die. Similar to the failed SARS vaccines, where they vaccinAte all the mice, get a really good encouraging immune response, then infect them all with the disease and every single vaccinated mouse drops dead when their lungs fill up as their immune systems over react.

149:

Things like 75 mg aspirin and 25 mcg vitamin D are pretty safe; beyond that gets rapidly trickier, and drugs that have a narrow boundary between therapeutic and lethal doses or potentially serious interactions or side-effects are definite red flag territory.

And relatively few people have the expertise to distinguish - indeed, I check up on what the doctors say (and I mean on the professional Web pages) because I know that they often know less than they think they do.

150:

Moz,

First, your link to the Olsen Paradox just takes us back here. I take it you mean This.

Then, even if people are ready to do the right thing, there is still a lot of room for disagreement about what the right thing is. In extremis there are things where it doesn't matter what is done, but it is essential that everybody does the same thing (eg what side of the road you use). Laws and so forth are needed to cope with that.

JHomes

151:

This should not be a problem. The Democrats have a super majority in the Massachusetts legislature. They can pass a law requiring the appointment of a replacement from the same party without the danger of a gubernatorial veto.

152:

Probably not Pelosi. I am not a constitutional lawyer, but from what I read, the following would apply:

20th amendment specifies the Presidential term ends 20 Jan; but the congressional term ends 3 Jan. All 435 congressional representatives lose their jobs, but only 33 (or 34?) Senators do.

Therefore a new House can not be formed, but a new Senate can. Due to the makeup of the remaining 67 Senators, there will be a democratic majority. They will elect a democrat as the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, who will become President when Trump is turfed on the 20th.

153:

You fucked up: you failed to make a working society. Your influence on the rest of humanity was corrosive. You managed to allow the corrosive elements to ruin and then gain power within your societ.

Correct. And the UK escort destroyer is going down with the US carrier.

(This is why I'm urgently advocating for Scottish independence in the near future. The London political culture is as much a lost cause as DC, for the same reasons: English public sentiment is lurching towards actual no-shit nazism: but Scotland still has more of a civic culture and a political system that got a 300 year reboot about two decades ago and is still running on founders' idealism -- if we cut loose in time we might be able to survive the coming shit-storm without dictatorship and mass graves.)

154:

Oops, thanks. And yes, disagreement about what's the right thing is another of the many problems with that particular bit of stupidity. Another big one is that a l;ot of people *can't* do the right thing - for example "stay home" as applied to homeless people. See for example India, where the governmunt locked the country down hard on four hours notice, poverty-stricken slums, day labourers, caste system and all. That worked about as well as you'd expect (if you're someone who looks at Modi and sees a genocidal maniac).

156:

Children legally have the right to an education.

In Ontario, schools can't legally exclude or send home troublesome kids?

(UK schools have that power and tend to overuse it for trivial shit like uniform infractions or casually racist attitudes to non-white hairstyles. Violence would in principle be an instant exclusion issue.)

157:

Charlie
NOT "The London political culture" PLEASE!
London would LURVE to declare UDI from the tories & remain in the EU ...
It's the deep, ignorant, stuck-in-the-mud shires & provinces that are committing this slow-motion suicide ....
Even I who simply couldn't stand Salmomd & has no love for the Wee Fiswife, can begin to see why a poverty-stricken independant Scotland might be (short-term, anyway) better for them, than tied to BoZo's bootlaces.

158:

No, you are wrong, but OGH is being unfair. Politically and economically, London is at least 60 miles, possibly more, in diameter, and includes the 'commuter belt', including much of the Home Counties. In that area, there are two Londons.

The first is what he described, is the London of the ruling cabals, and is the London that has been artificially and viciously depressing the provinces for at least 60 years, and using its power to concentrate the UK's wealth in its hands.

The second is everyone else and, despite what you imply, 40% of even Greater London (let alone the commuter belt) voted Leave. That was fractionally more than in my 'shire' constituency.

159:

Please note: it's too hot to work creatively today, so I have finally plugged in my new KeyboardIO Atreus ergonomic keyboard, and am back to hunt and peck for pretty much anything that doesn't fit on the default QWERTY area because this is a totally alien typing ecperience! And it took me five minutes to even find the exclamation mark. Flipside: really good keys, compact, and I'm noticing markedly less finger extension already.

Now I just have to burn about eighty new key chord combinations into muscle memory and I'll be all set!

160:

In Ontario, schools can't legally exclude or send home troublesome kids?

Not sure about Ontario but in the land south of there it can be problematic.

When I was in school 60s into 70s students could be kicked out for somewhat trivial reasons. Well suspended but if you didn't want to go to school you could work it out to be suspended all the time. In 1969 guys got sent home for hair over ears to touching collars and the girls for not wearing a skirt or dress. Then there was that guy who had been in the marines (and I think did a tour in Nam) who came back to get his diploma. [eyeroll]

Now it has gotten to be where unless you pull a weapon (or maybe sneak one into school) you are treated as someone who needs to be "treated".

It has caused teachers in rough schools to walk over the years as they fear from their safety. Which has lead to many schools in the US having issues with "police" taking down students. And over reacting.

Just what does a teacher do with a 14 year old who is threatening and out weighs the teacher by 50%?

161:

so I have finally plugged in my new KeyboardIO Atreus ergonomic keyboard, ... Now I just have to burn about eighty new key chord combinations into muscle memory and I'll be all set!

Back in the 70s Byte magazine had an article on building a chording mouse where you had 4 buttons for the non thumb fingers and the thumb could click and move a button in 4 directions. I lost the issue and haven't found it online when searching but haven't looked in 10 years or more.

Always though it would be interesting to build.

The point of it was that you could do everything with one hand holding a single "hockey puck".

162:

Fully customizable

Way back in the day with IBM 327x terminals VM geeks would program lots of custom function keys to make themselves way more productive. Of course everyone had their own key sets. Which meant no one could use anyone else's log in / terminal as the muscle memory was a total fail.

163:

In Ontario, schools can't legally exclude or send home troublesome kids?

It is possible, but rarely done. Actual violence captured on video can do it. Being troublesome in-and-of-itself isn't sufficient. Most suspensions are short, and repeated infractions are common.

If the student has a medical condition (eg. autism) then the violence is often accepted as part of accommodating the student — and the school has a legal obligation to accommodate. Hence the violence against teachers and EAs.

And students can't be permanently excluded. We often get kids on Safe Schools Transfer, which means they caused problems elsewhere and are being moved to give them a fresh start. Leaving aside how one gets a fresh start in an age of social media…

164:

I'm in the process of building a programmable button array to automate some common operations for graphics, editing and the like. This will be the Mk 3, the first version used footswitches, the second was a hacked-up keyboard. I'm now trying arcade machine buttons, a row of ten of them plus a Sparkfun Pro Micro which has a USB interface that will work as a Human Interface Device (HID) to push keystrokes into a PC.

There are programmable keypads available off-the-shelf but they're eye-wateringly expensive for some reason.

165:

Have you thought about midi controllers? Some are pretty cheap and if you use python, dotnet or god forbid java you should be pretty covered for apis.

166:

Some people are less than happy about the potential candidates :

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2020/07/kamala-harris-or-susan-rice-the-veepstakes-appears-to-have-kicked-out-two-truly-terrible-choices.html

What's your take ? I kind of like this site, but they are also often not shy of pushing pie in the sky "solutions".

167:

Not sure your point. To me and others it seems he didn't catch it at the rally.

Tulsa Rally - June 20th

Cain admitted to Hospital with Covid - July 1st

So 11 days after attending an event in a location experiencing a Covid outbreak, an event where we knew at the time a bunch of the staff had Covid, where he posted images of himself sitting close to other people, with none of them wearing masks.

Can we say definitely that he caught it at the Tulsa rally? No.

But the time frame certainly suggests that it was highly likely unless he was doing any other really stupid things.

168:

unless he was doing any other really stupid things.

Nine Nine Nine

Medical people who looked into it said it was definitely possible he caught it there but that was not the most likely source due to the time lag. And give that he was a big anti-masker meeting with lots of similar people all the time.

169:

Some people are less than happy about the potential candidates :

https://levniyilmaz.tumblr.com/image/178858888734


170:

Re: '... the first teacher who gets sick should sue the parents of the non-complying students.'

Are all of the kids' parents in Ontario rich enough to make money out of suing them? Recall seeing some data about 15-20 years ago showing that per capita Ontario had the largest number of students in private schools suggesting that public school kids in Ontario skew pretty heavily toward low-to-middle income families.

Seriously though --- What about the 10-15% of school kids whose only real daily meal is the free one they eat at school? There's still a helluva lot of poverty around and I don't think their parents have extra cash on hand to buy disposable masks*. Personally - if the schools have a compulsory mask policy then they should supply the masks out of whatever COVID-19 gov't budget/moneys they receive. The mask count could be a useful visible metric for what they have to contend with - good for newspaper pix, tweeting, TV news.

* These parents would probably have to buy about 2-3 times as many masks per kid because kids lose any/at least one of a pair of any smallish clothing item that's not directly and firmly attached to their bodies/outerwear/snowsuits.

171:

I cannot agree more.

But the number of people that prefer ideological purity over practical progress is always worrying.

172:

Re: '... the first teacher who gets sick should sue the parents of the non-complying students.'

Not gonna happen. Hard to prove that the non-compliance of student A caused the infection of teacher B, especially when students C-Z were also non-compliant.

The Parental Responsibility Act allows someone to sue parents for restitution when a child "takes, damages or destroys property" and is convicted under the Young Offenders Act. I'm not certain that it applies at school, because schools have a duty of care and teachers are in loco parentis*, so technically it is up to the teacher/school to enforce compliance.


if the schools have a compulsory mask policy then they should supply the masks out of whatever COVID-19 gov't budget/moneys they receive

Which in Ontario is currently 7¢/student/day to cover everything, including leasing computers modems etc for students whose parents have opted for remote learning.


It comes down, as usual, to how much money the system is willing to spend (and how much of what is spent actually reaches the front lines). Which is a rant for another time.


*But held to higher standards than parents, because they have training.

173:

The advantage of warfarin as a rat poison are that rats don't notice that they've been poisoned. They die of blood loss, and considerably later. Also it's extremely bitter, so people and many other animals aren't tempted to eat it.

The disadvantage of warfarin as an anticoagulant is that there is a dose that varies with the amount of green leafy vegetables that you eat. My wife objected to that sufficiently that her doctor shifted her to apixaban.

174:

Coumadin *is* warfarin. I think they changed the name so that people wouldn't realize that they were being prescribed rat poison, but it's exactly the same drug. More highly refined, usually, but otherwise the same. Dosage is critical.

175:

But the number of people that prefer ideological purity over practical progress is always worrying.

This impression I get is that they are a very small and very vocal minority, their perceived (self-)importance magnified by the fucking Internet and the one-click retweet button. Time was they were the sort of folks, like the Socialist Workers Party, who were prone to appearing on street corners waving flags on a Saturday afternoon, all eleven of them. Nowadays they've got blogs and an Instagram account and fancy-sounding group names and a few thousand "followers" meaning people who read what they publish for a moment's amusement. No biggie but it is not a crime to point and laugh at them while the retired granny down the block gets out the vote one person at a time in her local community but without the clicks and Internet exposure. And there's a lot more grannies out there than Berniebots.

176:

whitroth @ 135: Nope, sorry, the economy is *already* broke.
Excerpt:
The US economy contracted at a 32.9% annual rate from April through June, its worst drop on record, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said Thursday.
--- end excerpt ----
https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/30/economy/us-economy-2020-second-quarter/index.html

Nobody wants to say it, but we're headed into another Great Depression.

177:

I'm definitely in the anti-Kamala camp. She's got that "I'm a sociopath" vibe in a way that's obvious even without knowing her record, which is terrible.

Susan Rice is what you'd expect of a former "National Security Advisor."

My favorite possible VP pick is Keisha Lance Bottoms, the mayor of Atlanta. She's good-looking, has an approachable feel, and seems to have done all the right things where COVID-19 is concerned.

178:

whitroth @ 134: We know he's going to try to steal the election.

he goons... yeah, and then there's some other folks. I'm sure you read about the wall of vets in Portland.

There are people in the government, and the military, who do, in fact, believe in the Oath.

I think he might have figured out the military are not going to support a coup. That's why he's using his Homeland Security GESTAPO the way he is now. Get them compromised now; drag them so far down the slippery slope they can't back out later.

Fuck, I never took it, and I believe in it. And if there's even the slightest question, I do plan to go down to 1600 PA on Wed, 4 Nov.

I took it. Just because I'm retired doesn't mean it doesn't still apply.

On the subject of postponing the election (as a prelude to cancelling it altogether) .... Here's the template.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/31/asia/hong-kong-election-coronavirus-intl-hnk/index.html

179:

David L @ 146: I've had 2 tests in the last 3 weeks. Before driving NC to TX so my clients could know if I got sick it was after I was with any of them. Ditto when I got back to make sure I didn't get it in the land of denial and spread it to them.

One of the fun things I had to deal with at the VA was the list of questions they ask you before they'll let you in:

Have you had a stuffy nose? Nasal Congestion?

Well, yes I have had a stuffy nose & nasal congestion ... I'm here to have sinus surgery (or surgical prep or getting my pre-surgical Covid19 test ...)

Didn't slow me down much, but they did have to think about it for a few seconds before letting me in.

The surgery went well. I have very little pain, not even enough to warrant a single Tylenol, much less a Tylenol3. I have a bandage loosely affixed under my nostrils to catch any blood seepage & it itches a bit. And this morning I am slowly developing that headache again, but I think this time the blockage will clear as the passage heals, so I don't think it's going to be a problem.

And I too am developing a toothache. I'm not sure why it hurts because that tooth had a root-canal & has a crown. There shouldn't be anything there to feel the pain.

180:

I can't argue with your worst case scenario, but it looks unlikely.

Most likely seems that antibody based immunity is transient, but TCell based immunity is durable. This MAY mean that second cases become "silent spreaders", but would also mean that the second case was much milder.

Unfortunately, to be on topic, it looks as if each case you get is going to cause additional permanent(?) damage. If so, then at some point your heart will just stop, or your kidneys give out. IF the damage is permanent. Antibody immunity seems to last a couple of months, and then start decreasing.

OTOH, possibly TCell immunity will be a real immunity. That is won't be is my own worst case scenario.

Also, preliminary indications are that a second case won't be worse, or even as bad, as the first case. But these are quite preliminary, as there is disagreement that any second cases have even been detected.

181:

Microwriter. Two buttons for the thumb rather than a multiway. A bit big and clunky, and right hand use only. I did wonder of it would be possible to fit a mouse ball and mechanism (it was a long time ago) underneath. Could probably be duplicated using a Wemos ESP32 or similar as a Bluetooth keyboard.

182:

My take on it is that ALL the Democrat VP candidates are better than either Trump or Pence. Which one will do the most to ensure that Trump loses? (I don't know.)

It *is* a very important question, as the winning VP is quite likely to end up being president before their term is up. But the most important step is to get elected. The only one I really liked was E. Warren. Most of the others I don't know well enough to have a considered opinion.

183:

Elderly Cynic @ 149: Things like 75 mg aspirin and 25 mcg vitamin D are pretty safe; beyond that gets rapidly trickier, and drugs that have a narrow boundary between therapeutic and lethal doses or potentially serious interactions or side-effects are definite red flag territory.

And relatively few people have the expertise to distinguish - indeed, I check up on what the doctors say (and I mean on the professional Web pages) because I know that they often know less than they think they do.

Everything I take (including the supplements) I have discussed with multiple doctors & understand why I'm taking them and what I'm supposed to look out for in terms of possible side effects & interactions.

Because I'm getting old & sometimes absent minded, I have it all written down & pinned to the wall right above the row of meds & supplements where I keep them in the kitchen.

I also try to be advertent when taking them, looking at & reading at least the name on the bottle so I don't get to the fourth bottle and start to wonder did I take the third one or not?

184:

Wrong. "Coumadin" is a trademark for a proprietary brand of Warfarin (the generic pharmaceutical). It's one of a bunch of coumarins (polycyclic lactones) that are found in plants (notably sweet clover, from which warfarin was first isolated) as plant defenses -- appetite suppressants, bittering agents (to deter herbivores), and hemorrhagic poisons (in the case of sweet clover).

185:

Charlie Stross @ 156:

Children legally have the right to an education.

In Ontario, schools can't legally exclude or send home troublesome kids?

(UK schools have that power and tend to overuse it for trivial shit like uniform infractions or casually racist attitudes to non-white hairstyles. Violence would in principle be an instant exclusion issue.)

Broadly speaking, NO.

If it's anything like it is here, teachers have limited recourse & school administrations are reluctant to enforce even what little recourse they have. Violence can get the child excluded, but the school system has to provide some alternative venue and frequently does not have the resources to do so, so the violent child ends up back in class, perhaps in another teacher's classroom.

And for non-violent offenders, a lot of it depends on why they're troublesome. Mental, physical and emotional handicaps have to be accommodated in the "mainstream" classrooms; again frequently without additional resources.

186:

And woodruff (Waldmeister), which smells of hay when dried and is sometimes used to flavour drinks. I find it makes apple juice much better but, when I served it at parties, I warned people not to have it if they were on anti-coagulants or pregnant. I believe that I was being wildly over-cautious, but that was before the Internet, and ....

https://www.drugs.com/npp/woodruff-sweet.html

187:

Just to cheer you up, abcesses are common in teeth with root canal fillings. On the other hand, I have one with a root canal filling and crown that has been twinging (and slightly loose) for 5-10 years now!

188:

And I too am developing a toothache. I'm not sure why it hurts because that tooth had a root-canal & has a crown. There shouldn't be anything there to feel the pain.

If it is in your upper jaw it might be a sinus issue that your brain is confused about due to the location.

189:

it's too hot to work creatively today

(Checks weather in Edinburgh)

So ~ 25 C? That's coolish here.

190:

A HIGH of 77F. Let me move.

Today and for a few days (we may get the edge of a hurricane) we're supposed to be 92F/33C with humidity around 70%.

And this is a relief from the heat of the last 2 or 3 weeks. (North Carolina, not the Gobi desert.)

My birds have been light at the feeder the last few weeks.

191:

Violence can get the child excluded, but the school system has to provide some alternative venue and frequently does not have the resources to do so, so the violent child ends up back in class, perhaps in another teacher's classroom.

Or in another school, which is called a Caring and Safe Schools Transfer here.

Policy manual:
http://ppf.tdsb.on.ca/uploads/files/live/98/476.pdf

We are governed by P/PM 145:
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/extra/eng/ppm/145.pdf

Key distinctions between shall consider and shall are in appendix 1, as well as the mitigating factors that must be considered. Actions that require suspension (which might be short-term) are:

1. Possessing a weapon, including possessing a firearm.
2. Using a weapon to cause or to threaten bodily harm to another person.
3. Committing physical assault on another person that causes bodily harm requiring treatment by a medical practitioner.
4. Committing sexual assault.
5. Trafficking in weapons or in illegal drugs.
6. Committing robbery.
7. Giving alcohol or cannabis to a minor.
7.1 Bullying, if,
i. the pupil has previously been suspended for engaging in bullying, and ii. the pupil’s continuing presence in the school creates an unacceptable risk to the safety of another person.
7.2 Any activity listed in subsection 306(1) that is motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other similar factor.
8 Any other activity that, under a policy of a board, is an activity for which a principal must suspend a pupil and, therefore in accordance with this Part, conduct an investigation to determine whether to recommend to the board that the pupil be expelled.

Mitigating factors that must be considered are:
1. The pupil does not have the ability to control his or her behaviour.
2. The pupil does not have the ability to understand the foreseeable consequences of his or her behaviour.
3. The pupil’s continuing presence in the school does not create an unacceptable risk to the safety of any person.


So committing bodily assault that doesn't require medical attention does not automatically lead to suspension. (It might. Didn't when I was assaulted.)

192:

I've been to the Gobi. It's a dry heat, not as bad as Toronto as long as you stay hydrated…

(Seriously, last weeks low-30s with 90% relative humidity did me in.)

193:

Sorry, but I don't understand why you think a new House can not be formed. In fact, a later section of the Amendment explicitly says that the House must meet at least once a year, and that meeting *MUST* begin on 3 Jan, so they form it, and elect a Speaker on the 3rd.

194:

Stop it. Stop it, NOW.

Either introduce me to a single berniebot, or STOP TALKING ABOUT THEM.

195:

Let me know when you're treated for carpal tunnel.

196:

Either introduce me to a single berniebot,

Nina Turner, co-chair of the Sanders 2020 campaign said recently, of the choice between Trump and Biden, “It’s like saying to somebody, ‘You have a bowl of shit in front of you, and all you’ve got to do is eat half of it instead of the whole thing.’ It’s still shit.” It sounds rather that she doesn't really support the idea of Biden being elected President.

197:

Yes. I have been in the Sahara, at 49 Celsius, and it wasn't too bad even under the sun. It shows my age and lack of adaptation that I more-or-less flaked out today at 35+ Celsius and c. 45% humidity. Oh, yes, I could be and was physically active when needed, even under the sun, but most of the time I thought "sod it", and read in the shade.

Scots are even less used to heat, but what dispirits visitors (other than the winter darkness) is when it is below 5 Celsius, above 90% humidity, with a 30+ kph wind and a continual drizzle of slush. You can get that in the Highlands even in summer.

198:

(Seriously, last weeks low-30s with 90% relative humidity did me in.)

I know the feeling. Hauling down from the third floor 40 boxes plus other stuff into the van was brutal. I'm 66 and by the end of it after 3 days I was just spent. Dallas area but similar to NC last week.

199:

Could she justify her position? If so, she's not a bot. Were I a transpondian, I would have backed Sanders. I wasn't happy about Blair and am not happy about Starmer, either, and the more of see of the latter the more I think he is another of the same (though with a fraction of the ego). But does that make me a Corbynista, let alone a Corbinbot?

200:

It shows my age and lack of adaptation that I more-or-less flaked out today at 35+ Celsius and c. 45% humidity.

In my teens I was mixing mortar for 3 people laying blocks. Temp was over 100F/38C for a week or more. 2 of the guys laying the block were in their early 60s. They just kept on going. This was their job (building houses for my father) before they would leave at 330pm to take care of their farms. After about a week of this Cue said during lunch "Maybe we should just call it a day." No one argued the point.

The only time they EVERY quit early over a 6 year period.

201:

Even now, I would have no trouble with doing heavy work (for me) at 40 Celsius - I was agreeing with Robert Prior that it's the humidity that is the issue, and pointing out that it's also adaptation.

202:

All you've done is demonstrated that Turner is sane.

In the U.S. right now it's like running for Captain of the Titanic. It's either "I promise to build bulkheads around the engineering room as soon as I'm elected," or "What do you mean? This ship can't possibly sink!" Obviously the best of your very limited and stupid choices is to vote for the guy who wants to build bulkheads around the engineering section, but the idea that you might slow down while cruising through iceberg-filled seas never registered to either candidate and if you comment on this you must be some kind of communist agitator who wants the boat to sink because it didn't go fast enough.

203:

Saved by someone else because the arseholes responsible have judiciously deleted it but Cain's Twitter account was still posting covid bullshit just hours before he shuffled off. - https://twitter.com/sandiuagain/status/1288856408323219462?s=09

As for Trump's attempts to delay? Well I'm sure he'd like to but it's also a huge infobomb to draw the newsfeed away from the cratered economy figures.

204:

EC
You too?
the London that has been artificially and viciously depressing the provinces for at least 60 years
What utter gullible twaddle. London is not only the main financial generator of the country, it's taxes are subsidising the rest of the country & Scotland.
This idiocy was tried before in the 1970's & failed, but I'm terribly frightened that this time it wil "succeed" & accelerate the crash, caused by the combination fo this idiocy, C-19 &, of course Brexshit

JBS
THe economic figures here & in the EU are, if not as bad as the US, pretyy grim
The BoE is saying 14% overall, with a 20-25% drop in the worst month - April

Temperature
High of fractionally under 38°C at Theifrow, today - in my greehouse I had the doors open, the flaps up & the thermometer was reading 36°C in the shade & the draught ...
Relative humidity is highish ( Over 60% )- very unpleasant.

205:

Interface Age (remember them?) had an article about a one-handed keyboard. It wasn't a mouse, but I remember the shape being something like a half-sphere. Sounds similar: You had to press a "chord" to get a character. Friend of mine who played the trumpet thought it was a great design.

I probably have that issue in my archive yet...

206:

I sort of remember them. And maybe that is why I could never find the article in my old Bytes. :)

207:

Meanwhile, the joys of utterly corrupt tory privatisation & regulatory capture are to be seen here
Finding this was actually a relief to me, as I am tryng to deal with these very arseholes, who are doing this to our allotments ...
And guess who the Treasurer is?

208:

I remember something similar to that - a sort of lump with buttons on that you could enter a byte at a time in binary with, as long as it didn't have more than five 1s, or something like that. It had memory in it as well and the idea was that you could use it to write things down without taking it out of your pocket. It was, apparently, very popular and the best thing since sliced bread etc. etc.... with piano-playing journalists who wanted to take notes while making it look like they were fiddling with their goolies. Since that is a set with very few members, it almost instantly sank without trace.

209:

I was agreeing with Robert Prior that it's the humidity that is the issue, and pointing out that it's also adaptation.

Totally. I'm there. I sweat more than most so I do OK in dry heat if I can drink water. I've worked outside in 110-115F a few times (younger days) but the humidity was such that instead of sweat on your skin you had salt.

My wife doesn't sweat much and it caused issues with her a few years back walking around the rim of the Grand Canyon. She got sick to her stomach and we had to bail.

210:

So if anyone is curious I'm going to my first Phase 3 trial medical exam next week and may get a shot of something. The trial vaccine or a placebo.

211:

Make your own Quirkey - https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3433244

I had a microwriter many decades ago, the version that attached to a BBC Micro. Got quite comfortable with it fairly quickly. Been meaning to make one ever since

212:

*phew*

I'm back. What, you didn't notice me leaving, looking nervous?

About two weeks ago, a new vulnerability was announced that affected a ton of routers... including mine.

Moi, trust the phone company's router to be secure?

I have mine inside of theirs. Anyway, it was time to update the firmware to fix the vulnerability. For those of you who've never updated firmware, trust me, speaking as a just-retired sr. Linux sysadmin, this is *always* scary - if it doesn't work, you frequently wind up with what is technically known as a brick.

Anyway, I tried to use their UI... and for some reason, it couldn't connect. I emailed them... an d it wasn't more than an hour before I got a response. Admittedly, I'm the tech suupprt email they want (what I have, here's what happened, got a link to the firmware for this model?), but still - that's amazingly fast for consumer tech support. Updated the firmware, it rebooted and reconnected, and all is well.

Oh, Asus is the vendor. They are *definitely* on my "vendors to trust" list.

213:

Re the top post, another study, also in JAMA. This one is an autopsy study.
Association of Cardiac Infection With SARS-CoV-2 in Confirmed COVID-19 Autopsy Cases (July 27, 2020, Diana Lindner, Antonia Fitzek, Hanna Bräuninger, et al)
Results Cardiac tissue from 39 consecutive autopsy cases were included. The median (interquartile range) age of patients was 85 (78-89) years, and 23 (59.0%) were women. SARS-CoV-2 could be documented in 24 of 39 patients (61.5%). Viral load above 1000 copies per μg RNA could be documented in 16 of 39 patients (41.0%). A cytokine response panel consisting of 6 proinflammatory genes was increased in those 16 patients compared with 15 patients without any SARS-CoV-2 in the heart. Comparison of 15 patients without cardiac infection with 16 patients with more than 1000 copies revealed no inflammatory cell infiltrates or differences in leukocyte numbers per high power field.

214:

She's not a bot.
For a concentrated dose, see https://twitter.com/ninaturner
and look through the replies on a few tweets.
(The problem is that the US is an entrenched two party system, with elections often very close.)

215:

Wouldn't worry. My posts got edited a bit, tweaked, spread out, additions made, things removed. It's a primitive form of gaslighting when it's done professionally and it's used almost constantly by lower order operators.

MiM is a bit fierce atm. Νέμεσις.

Getting audited for genuine Feminist contributions[0] when we're working with males is kinda harsh though. Still: if it appears on a human tech platform, chances are someone somewhere is able to fuck around with accreditation and so on after it happens.

Which is why we cheat, and do it before it happens / is an 'Event'.[1]

~

Small tip: planned media campaigns are a thing, almost all (90% ish) charities and NGOs in the USA/UK don't do what they say on the tin, & the entire system is endemically myopically corrupt.

Nobody wants to say it, but we're headed into another Great Depression.

Someone told you that in Sept 2019, only you weren't paying attention. Same to W.


Oh, and media is hawking this nonsense: Public Disorder and Public Health: Contemporary Threats and Risks https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/904677/S0578_SPI-B_Public_Disorder_and_Public_Health_-_Contemporary_Threats_and_Risks.pdf

1. The escalation of programmes of protest paused during the lockdown (e.g. Extinction Rebellion, anti-HS2).2. The beginning of protests planned during the lockdown, (e.g anarchist / anti-capitalist groups seeking to frustrate a ‘return to normality’; some are planned for July).3. Possible resumption of terrorist activity beyond lone-actors, which may complicate the policing and volatility of large assemblies.4. Resumption of right-wing protests planned on issues such as child sexual exploitation or ‘blaming’ BAME communities for local lockdown measures


Come on: if you want to nab someone for inciting BAME riots, look for your local Conservative MP or SkyNews editor.


The jokes, they write themselves.

Also: you obtain no knowledge of us via intrusive stuff, we're camouflaged. Chances are: this is us slow, spiking shitty media campaigns is us being nice and friendly.


*Points to the sky*


[0] Not by Humans.

[1] LOL.

[2] Cowards! Metallica - For Whom The Bell Tolls https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KO3l6qNA2Q4

216:

For something different, something old, the CIA's nuclear-powered(*) spy drone disguised as a bird!

http://alert5.com/2020/07/31/cia-declassifies-project-aquiline/
The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has declassified its Project Aquiline on Jul. 30. The secretive program from the late 1960s was to build a bird-like unmanned air vehicle that can collect photographic and electronic intelligence plus emplacing sensors in denied environments.

Prime contractor was McDonnell Douglas and the vehicle’s dimensions are 5ft length with a wing span of 7.5ft. Powered by a silent engine with 3 1/3 horsepower, the mechanical bird has an endurance of at least 50 hours and a range of 1200 miles. It was proposed in the research study to add a radioisotope engine for it to stay airborne for up to 30 days or 36 000 miles range.


(*)Well, kinda. It was a proposal for an isotope-heated Stirling engine the size of a small trash basket. Never went anywhere AFAIK.

217:

The point of it was that you could do everything with one hand holding a single "hockey puck".

In the 90's, the one-handed keyboard/mouse of choice in the MIT "Wearables" community was the Twiddler. I still have a Twiddler 2 in a box somewhere. It worked fine, but took a bit of a grip, and had a learning curve.

218:

As ever, it's mostly projection there (we *know* we sound corrosive and most of your readers *cannot process* the crap, but we don't know how much more 'tricks' when the other side has zero repercussions and so on)

However:

The London political culture is as much a lost cause as DC, for the same reasons: English public sentiment is lurching towards actual no-shit nazism

It's more Ethno-Nationalist-Supremacy with an massive throbbing need to hit weaker things with a sado-sexual inability to experience emotions, with a side order of "we were PROMISED that £££ = worth in society, but now the entire thing is falling apart", but yeah.

Check the talent: there's none up there. Notice how... interesting voices / good art is getting strangled. It's not just Disney, although... they're Fasch tooo.

Actual reality check: grep shooting in forests. It wasn't a joke. Look @ new RU HOUSE OF LORDS entree (and the pathetic other scrapings they entered, which all mostly just "FU, traitors get bantz" entries).

Klept. Kelpt with some really nasty hard-core tech behind them [SATELLITES]. Makes D-the-Fink's Gateshead poison look... quaint.

Still, Mrs May becomes Lady May because her husband is a fucking arms dealer.


That's what's running the show now. No-more nice polite "embarrassed BBC cuts feed as MI6 is mentioned", they're going full on 'Superman and dross, fuck information'.


Unless

Nah, fuck it. "Deserves a bullet in its head".


~


And then pulling that Human Scale bullshit on us? Noooooo.

p.s.

Our Feminist Contributions (*waves at ISIS*) are there. Gotta see the **OTHER SIDE***

219:

and had a learning curve.

As someone who on some days will use 20 different keyboards and mice/trackballs/trackpads from different vendors with different concepts of how things SHOULD work ...

I've gotten to be a bit flexible.

Now that my life will be a bit less hectic I'll track down some of the references to see what out there these days.

220:

1) It wants to be using something like 90Sr for its isotope because if it uses transuranics like they do in spaceships the real nuclear pigeons will eat it.

2) One hundred times the peak power output of an ordinary biochemical wood pigeon. Geese and swans are nothing like that.

221:

Just saw this ad from Juice Media. Thought many of you would find it blackly amusing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpIkl2QnJeI


Compare with this gem from Congressman Jim Banks' latest newsletter:

Without a vaccine, the virus was always likely to spread through most of the country, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicted in March. The lockdown-as-miracle-cure is a fantasy, as the World Health Organization has now acknowledged. The economic and public-health harm is too great and the virus is too easily transmissible.

The public is smarter than the media and can adjust its behavior when flare-ups occur.

222:

200+ comments in a couple of days. If you charged a farthing for every comment, you would have a lot of farthings.

Perhaps upgrading movable type will yield better performance, i see they are on ver 7. You must find great benefits from this product to put up with it, their current terms are a bit harsh. I expect there are way better options out there for a blog spot.

223:

Hey, you missed that the impeached resident of 1600 PA Ave, Washington, DC, voted in the primary in FL, claiming Mar-a-Lago as his residence.

And Pence voted in the primary in IN, claiming the GOVERNOR'S MANSION, which he moved out of four years ago, as his residence.

Regarding the IMPOTUS, the elections board says voting is legal even if the person's residence is illegal, which sounds like good law to me. Even if their analogy to someone living under a bridge might not be one that the GOP likes.

(For those watching from a safe distance, one of the things The Donald promised in order to open Mar-a-Lago as a resort was that it would not be a private residence.)

I hadn't recalled the one about the governor's mansion but a moment on Google says it's true. No doubt lots of voters have out-of-date addresses on record but that just seems sloppy.

224:

So if James Murdoch just resigned from the News Corp Board over "disagreements over certain editorial content"...who's Darth Siddious' new heir in the Dark Empire?

225:

Why? I don't see anything wrong with it.

226:

Um, nope. He agreed to one thing, and the real point is HE LIVES AT 16oo PA AVE, NW, Washington, DC. Period. And the FL *county* board of elections....

Meanwhile, Pence has *not even the vaguest* cover.

Like imPOTUS, though.

227:

My upper teeth ache when I get colds - the previous dentist said that sinus pressure affects the nerve 8right there*.

228:

I understand it's Lachlan. (James is the more liberal of the two.)

229:

And... there is Hugos.

230:

FWIW, it hit 40C in my neighborhood today, and the current dew point is about 2C (up from -2). The high humidity is at night, when it's maybe 70% - during the day it gets down to 15 to 20%. (In the "rainy" season, it's routinely down in the 10-25% range.)

It's so much fun when your eyelids are sweating.

231:

Hadn't posted this. Yeah, churn in the House of Murdoch. Lachlan is now apparently the favored son, but it is not clear; his history is mixed too. "In 1994, he graduated with a bachelor's degree from Princeton University in Philosophy", so he might not be stupid like son-of-DJT. (Probably worth doing a dossier skietch if interested in the Murdochs.)
News Corp: Rupert Murdoch's son James quits company
James Murdoch, the younger son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, has resigned from the board of News Corporation citing "disagreements over editorial content".
Perhaps climate change related:
Their spokesperson told The Daily Beast they were "particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary."

232:

I used to live slightly inland. We had a few days in the high 40's. I think 49 was the highest official number. I ride into town one day when the roadside temperature sign said 52. In full leathers it was uncomfortable but bearable.

A couple of months ago I was riding in the rain at an indicated 32 and it wasn't bearable. If I hadn't had only a few minutes to go I would have had to stop and pour water over my head.

233:

Oh yes, I forgot ...
Charlie ...
WHat's your take on this?
If the Scottish Police Fereation are campaigning vigorously against a new law, it should be a warning sign, but (from here ) it looks as though the SNP are determined to (re)-introduce a blasphemy law ...
The level of stupid is as bad or even worse than our lot's, if true.

Rbt Prior
Sick, amusing & horribly true - & STILL idiots will vote for this tosser.

Bill Arnold
A philosophy degree is no guarantee of rationality.
Plato / Hobbes / Houston S Chamberlain ....

234:

Interesting but not surprising that the post of Sergeant at Arms, like most US police agencies I've seen, require qualifications in weapons and firearms, but no qualification in law.

It appears possible to be one of the most critical law enforcement agents in the country while being completely ignorant of the law.

235:

Again, IANAL. But who forms the new house? The terms of all the old house members will have expired on 3 January, and since no election took place, there's no one to form the new congress.

Maybe.....

236:

Perhaps upgrading movable type will yield better performance, i see they are on ver 7.

Alas, this blog is running on the last open source release. They took it closed source and currently demand a minimum $1000/year price for a license. It's
pretty glaringly obvious if you're running a blog on illegal/pirated software, not to mention hypocritical (if like me you earn your living via licensing copyrighted IP), so I'm not going to do that.

Most likely at some point I need to get someone competent (I no longer am: 20 years of neglect have rotted my sysadmin/webadmin skills) to move the blog to a more modern platform. I considered WordPress hosting, but ... I still have an aversion to PHP on security grounds, and something tells me porting over this blog might choke the hosting system (it's closing in on a quarter of a million comments).

The alternative would be to freeze the current blog as a static HTML snapshot and start a new one. Which might actually be easier.

237:

Mine is similarly dated, and not entirely relevant, but I recommend the last. My experience with similar systems is that facilities you rely on are quite often seriously incompatible or just plain broken in the new system, so you have to do things differently, anyway.

238:

All you've done is demonstrated that Turner is sane.

Sane in that her ideas are generally good, and would make things better for Americans?

Yes.

Sane in that she is grounded in reality?

No.

She, like AOC, is living in a bubble and thinks because a small section of Cleveland voted for her in the past that the same applies to the entire US.

In the U.S. right now it's like running for Captain of the Titanic. It's either "I promise to build bulkheads around the engineering room as soon as I'm elected," or "What do you mean? This ship can't possibly sink!" Obviously the best of your very limited and stupid choices is to vote for the guy who wants to build bulkheads around the engineering section, but the idea that you might slow down while cruising through iceberg-filled seas never registered to either candidate

Except in your analogy there currently is no way to slow the Titanic down and building a speed control will take 10, 20, or more years.

Yes, medicare for all is a great idea - but most of the US isn't going to vote for it (at this time), and those who make money from the current mess will fight to keep making money.

I believe I have mentioned this before but the ACA allows states to go single payer - and Vermont attempted to and failed. If Vermont can't do it, there is no way currently to get it done in the entire US. It will take decades of educating the public.

239:

What's your take ? I kind of like this site, but they are also often not shy of pushing pie in the sky "solutions".

Nojay's cartoon response is certainly valid - perhaps the result of the Internet and social media we (as in the public at large) seem to be tending to want an exact match and purity instead of compromise, with unpredictable results.

But there does appear to be some truth in general to what that commentator is saying - the DNC VP choice has become about checking certain boxes and rewarding factions in the DNC with a total disregard for actually winning - and by winning I mean the Senate as well as the White House.

242:

Re: ' ... and those who make money from the current mess will fight to keep making money.'

I'd really like to see a vs-previous-years comparison of the various HMOs' earnings for 2020. Would also like to see which (if any*) HMO contributed even a penny toward any healthcare for their inflated-premium paying customers affected by COVID-19. Many of the big name pharma at least have been going full tilt at finding therapies and vaccines, i.e., they've been doing their as-advertised jobs.

I'm guessing that the cost of COVID-19 is being covered almost entirely by tax-payers but that somehow the HMOs will be able to find some statistics to justify hiking up premiums. I'm also guessing some of the Cal-based HMOs might have done the right/ethical thing and provided some medical services to customers who might not have been able to keep up their premium payments.

The UK and EU have universal healthcare as well as large pharma companies so I wonder what their financials look like vs-USian pharma particularly re: changes in revenue sources/streams, write-off's, increase/decrease in intra-company (subsidiary-to-HO) transfer payments, etc.

243:

Charlie
The alternative would be to freeze the current blog as a static HTML snapshot and start a new one. Which might actually be easier.
Don't understand that, I'm afraid ...

mdive
The "D's" have to make a choice for VP that:
Is really capable of stepping into Biden's shoes at a moment's notice.
That will help them get control of the Senate
Be reasonably popular with a large number of their prospective voters

I suspect that you can only get 2 out of 3 there ....

244:

The "D's" have to make a choice for VP that:
Is really capable of stepping into Biden's shoes at a moment's notice.
That will help them get control of the Senate
Be reasonably popular with a large number of their prospective voters

I think all 3 are possible - particularly this year when "popular with a large number of voters" comes down to being a) not Trump and b) not being to "scary" to middle America.

The problem is that they don't appear to be looking at "popular with prospective voters" but rather "popular with a faction within the DNC".

In other words, the standard way to lose an election...

245:

Be reasonably popular with a large number of their prospective voters

Piling on mdive, both D and R are really an association of tribes. The major unifying factor is tax cuts, Trump, and judges. At this point.

Within these major tribes are many smaller ones that really think their way is the only way. The D VP pick and the current Senate state of affairs within the Rs over the next relief bill are both good examples of such.

246:

Hm, my mental picture of the isotopes used in RTGs and their Stirling-engine cousins is this red-hot pellet of plutonium oxide. Strontium-90 seems to pack a similar amount of energy, so I wonder what the heat signature of the drone would look like.

(I shortly wondered if we could use nuclear isomers to make it easily recharchable, but, err, we want alpha, not gamma radiation.)

I noticed we are shy of the usual 300 postings we need before we can ramble around, but I hope the rule isn't enforced this time[1]; if so, sorry for that one[2].

So, as for the rest, well...

I handed in my letter of resignation yesterday[3], let's just say it has been a week.

On Thursday, I wasn't careful enough with a paper box at work, those edges are sharp, thankfully I had my last tetanus vaccination in March 2020, but it feels like ages ago.

To JBS, I mentioned people brought up neutering the male cat to the owner, that's all I can do. Less testosterone might help with him domineering the other cat, his sister. But I have no say in this, and, short reminder, I'm out of the appartment in about 2 weeks.

Weather has been quite sunny the last few days (today it rained), and most bars serve drinks on the outside, so yesterday after work I drank a limo at the local collectivist bar, sitting somewhat apart from the groups on the tables. Guess it helps somewhat with my cognitive skills and mood, empathising too much with the protagonist in Watts' "The Island" makes for a strange headspace.

Oh, and mods, "errorneous" was my erroneous way of writing, err, you know which word, err. I'm still not a native speaker and writer, and sadly it shows.

[1] Let's remember I ran into that one last time, quite a few people use Floyd's tox results to smear him, my comment was, well, you need methamphetamine to keep multiple jobs and can't afford modafinil for "shift work sleep disorder"[1a], cannabis can be anxiolytic, and as for the fentanyl, quite a few drugs are laced with it, and back pain is quite common. Sorry, just in case people wondered what I wrote in this deleted comment.
[1a] Let's just say this indication not getting the shitstorm it deserves and this diagnosis not leading to some serious soul searching is, err, indicative. Thankfully, I already took my antihypertensives.
[2] Err, yes, I know I can be quite disruptive.
[3] Link goes to the Propagandhi version, I first encountered the version by "The Weakerthans", apparantly their concert was Kamp Bielefeld was already in early 2001. 'I guess I mentioned I call my way of reconstructing the past and the way I though at that point "cognitive archaeology", though the concept is somewhat different?

247:

I'm also concerned that COVID-19 might have a long term effect analogous to shingles.

Has anyone suggested that, since COVID-19 might be very bad for male fertility, men should be freezing sperm?

Could pandemics be part of the Fermi Paradox? It's not the way I'm betting, I'm going for a combination of life with a possibility of getting into space is very rare, we're probably the first in the region, and expanding into space is harder than it sounds.

Still, the easier travel is, the greater the risk of a serous pandemic, and I suspect that easy travel contributes a lot to technological progress.

248:

Going back to the fun with Libertarianism and Anarchism in the last thread...

This is David "Debt" Graeber on Anarchism.

(Hey, I see Anarchy Archives is still up. Made me giggle when the German translation of an article from "Scientific American" described Chomsky as a .)

249:

Concerning the Fermi Paradox, that would be "Periodic extinction by natural events", though veering into "It is the nature of intelligent life to destroy itself".

Please note most intelligent species on earth live in somewhat smallish groups like packs, which is also the state of hominids for much of our history.

Most of the pandemics (leaving aside HIV) are not native to us or other apes, we got them from cattle, pigs, birds living in big groups etc.

So maybe intelligent life itself is somewhat protected from pandemics, but once it develops civilization, with big concentrations of individuals, this changes.

250:

Pu-238 hits a sweet spot for RTGs -- it's got a half-life of about 84 years which means it produces quite a lot of heat energy per second but it will continue to produce significant amounts of heat, decreasing in intensity of course, over decades. The Pu-238-fuelled RTGs on the Voyager probes have been running for nearly half a century now. Pu-238 emits only alpha radiation which is easy to shield, a real bonus for spacecraft where every gram counts. Its big downside is that it's not cheap and requires intermediate isotopes produced in specialist reactors and complex chemical separation processes.

Sr-90 has been used by the Soviets to make RTGs to power land-based "lighthouses" and other navigation aids. In those use cases the shielding can be a lot heavier than an RTG intended to fly on spacecraft and Sr-90 produces quite energetic beta particles. The half-life of Sr-90 is shorter than Pu-238, about 28 years IIRC so it's hotter per kilogram but the heat decays faster.

ESA have been investigating using Am-241 as an RTG thermal source. Like Sr-90 it can be extracted easily from spent nuclear fuel and it emits mostly alpha particles so shielding is less of an issue compared to Sr-90. Its half-life is quite long, 430 years or so which means it lasts longer but more of it needs to be used to generate a given amount of electrical power on Day One.

251:

David L @ 188:

And I too am developing a toothache. I'm not sure why it hurts because that tooth had a root-canal & has a crown. There shouldn't be anything there to feel the pain.

If it is in your upper jaw it might be a sinus issue that your brain is confused about due to the location.

Lower. Hurts when I have to bite into something "chewy". I think maybe the crown is loose & pushes into the gum when pressure is applied. It's a very old crown, at least 30 years old.

252:

Good news everyone... Vitamin D is as many have suspected is vital in battling COVID-19 a study from Israel found.

Also Ivermectin may be a good treatment, but we need more data. If anyone here wants to follow the science but not have time to read The Lancet / preprint servers daily I would recommend YT channels MedCram, DrBeen, Vincent Racaniello (TWIV - This Week In Virology).

Stay safe out there.

253:

I recently let myself be roped into doing some of the work on a site running on WordPress. The combination of PHP, CSS, WordPress, themes and plugins seem to have recreated all of the worst system maintenance problems of the 1990s...

254:

whitroth @ 193: Sorry, but I don't understand why you think a new House can not be formed. In fact, a later section of the Amendment explicitly says that the House must meet at least once a year, and that meeting *MUST* begin on 3 Jan, so they form it, and elect a Speaker on the 3rd.

There is no Constitutional provision for what to do if the current Congress ended without new House members being elected.

House terms are two years. If Trumpolini did somehow manage to prevent an election the terms of ALL House members would end Jan 2. There would be no new House members to take office on Jan 3.

It would be a problem.

OTOH, there is no provision in the Constitution to allow the President to postpone or cancel an election. It's a Jacksonian dilemma. What would the Supreme Court do? What would Congress do? What would they do?

John Marshall made his decision, now let him enforce it,

...given the makeup of the current Supreme Court, I don't know if they would even try.

255:

Pu-238 hits a sweet spot for RTGs

For relatively short-duration applications like the proposed Aqualine drone Po-210 looks promising. Half-life of about 4.5 months, mostly alpha radiation with not many gammas and high specific heat output. Just don't eat any.

http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2011/ph241/yemane1/docs/ragheb.pdf

256:

The office "Sergeant At Arms" of the House of Representatives is not an important law-enforcement position. It's far more ceremonial, much more along the lines of "Sergeant At Arms, are the chamber doors open and are all dressed in their formal cerements of office?" than "Arrest that man!" - and like many House members probably a lawyer and not-unlikely to be a former prosecutor.

257:

Probably some different attractors for Democrats; Equality for all, a safer financial system, don't screw with Social Security.

258:

I think this is something the U.S. does a pretty good job on: We have something called a "Hate Crimes Law" which allows the state to add charges if someone commits a violent crime on the basis of some kind of prejudice. So someone can say "I hate Muslims" (protected speech) but if they've said "I hate Muslims" at some point, then the assault a Muslim the assault becomes a "Hate Crime" and extra penalties are applied.

259:

David L @ 219:

and had a learning curve.

As someone who on some days will use 20 different keyboards and mice/trackballs/trackpads from different vendors with different concepts of how things SHOULD work ...

Now that my life will be a bit less hectic I'll track down some of the references to see what out there these days.

I learned to type on a standard, manual Remington office typewriter. It had all blank keys, so we had to learn the key positions in muscle memory. If the teacher caught you looking at the keys you were likely to earn a rap across the knuckles with a wooden ruler.

To this day, I can still type more efficiently when I'm not looking at the keyboard. If I actually LOOK at the keyboard while I'm typing, I get confused. My only issue with keyboards is where they put the '\' key (I'm more comfortable with it above the Return key. I can use a keyboard with a backwards 'L' shaped Return key, but it's not comfortable. (The [Enter] key is the one down at the lower right-hand corner of the number pad.)

One problem with computers is I'm developing bad habits, backspacing to edit while I type instead of typing out the whole thing and then making corrections. You couldn't do that in typing class, so you had to pay close attention and not make mistakes that had to be corrected.

We were graded not just on typing speed, but on the number of errors we had to correct with even more points taken off if we had uncorrected errors.1

1 Meet or exceed the required word count for the timed test = 100. Minus 1 point for each corrected error; minus 2 points for each UN-corrected error ... typing with carbon paper, so you had to correct the errors on the carbon copy as well as on the original.

I breezed through Keyboarding class when I had to take one years later.


260:

I remember Turdpress as being a fucking mess on the server side when I used to deal with it, which was quite a long time ago now. As well as being as full of holes as a sieve. And their method of dealing with that seemed to be to release an update every couple of weeks, which broke anything you'd done to fix its problems yourself.

I am glad to no longer have to have anything to do with maintaining sites using it. It's bad enough just encountering it from the client side. It seems to have become ten times more of a fucking mess now, and moreover, it has spread its fucking mess to the client side as well. All kinds of things that used to work fine when it did them with plain HTML are now done with javashit and therefore don't work any more. Mainly because of sheer bleeding stupidity on the part of whoever wrote the stuff. The general principle seems to be to set CSS rules such that all the stuff you don't need to see is visible and all the stuff you do need to see is not, and assume falsely that the javashit will then go round and invert the sense of all those rules, instead of doing it the sensible way round and making that inverted sense the default.

Some variants of it go to incredible lengths to disable the browser's standard built-in scrolling mechanism, so there are no scrollbars and no way to see the rest of the page. They've added megabytes of fucked-up shit which is supposed to re-implement the scrolling which they have deliberately broken, and of course it doesn't, and for fuck's sake what possible point is there to begin with in doing such an utterly idiotic thing. And as for the sheer mindblowing stupidity of hard-coding style="display: none;" as an inline attribute on the BODY element, words fail me.

As for posting comments, forget it. Even in "the old days" that never worked, largely because of some fanatically oversensitive anti-spam crap called "akismet" that everyone used, along with comment forms that reported success on submission even if they had never actually contacted the server at all. These days it would take a week of hacking just to get it back to that useless condition, never mind to make it actually work.

I am particularly grateful to Charlie for running his blog on Movable Type simply because everything works just as it comes. I could simply come here and read it and sign up and start posting comments. I did not have to hack around for ages first fixing who knows how much broken shite just to reinstate a bunch of standard browser functionality that it had fucked up for no reason. I am similarly glad that he can't be arsed with moving it on to anything else. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

261:

Ivermectin? Really? That's the stuff you put a drop of on the back of pets' necks to get rid of ectoparasites. (The stuff that works, that is, that you have to get from the vet, as opposed to the half-arsed things you can get anywhere.) It's also a good idea to wear rubber gloves while doing that, because getting even a tiny smear on your skin is not fun. Good thing for the pets that they only need it once.

Two things so different as arthropods and viruses both responding to the same drug is kind of weird.

262:

210Po is kind of dodgy stuff. Its specific power output is so high that getting more than a minute quantity together in one place is thermally contraindicated. Also, even in tiny quantities, it walks. So many alphas whizzing around in it crashing into the large atoms that they don't stay put but go on their own little sightseeing tours, all over the inside of the back of the truck you were carrying some fraction of a gram in. Not that easy to get any quantity of, either, because you have to get it from the end of a decay chain. Be handy if someone developed a method for grabbing it out of tobacco smoke though.

263:

I think drive-by poster "TJ" was a spammer or, being kind, a mission poster with IMPORTANT and SIGNIFICANT INFORMATION to pass on to us. It's snake-oil season out there, everything from pieces of the True Cross to Himalayan salt is being touted as a sure cure and preventative to COVID-19. Random-blind trials, pfffh, who needs 'em? It worked in a cell culture, buy buy buy!

I know plagues of old were rife with the selling of indulgences and propounding of odd cures (toad vomit was apparently a solution to the Plague, according to Newton) but I wonder what sort of flim-flammery was going around in the early scientific Age during the 1918 flu pandemic?

264:

Sorry, I disagree. From what I've read, heard, and spoken with, most Americans REALLY would like Medicare for all.

265:

HMO's? Other than Kaiser-Permanente, there are few left - the insurance companies are all about "PPO", preferred provider network, and, oh, sorry, they're not in network, no, neither are they, nope, nope.....

266:

The FDA-approved drug ivermectin inhibits the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro

Ivermectin has an established safety profile for human use (Gonzalez Canga et al., 2008; Jans et al., 2019; Buonfrate et al., 2019), and is FDA-approved for a number of parasitic infections (Gonzalez Canga et al., 2008; Buonfrate et al., 2019). Importantly, recent reviews and meta-analysis indicate that high dose ivermectin has comparable safety as the standard low-dose treatment, although there is not enough evidence to make conclusions about the safety profile in pregnancy (Navarro et al., 2020; Nicolas et al., 2020). The critical next step in further evaluation for possible benefit in COVID-19 patients will be to examine a multiple addition dosing regimen that mimics the current approved usage of ivermectin in humans. As noted, ivermectin was the focus of a recent phase III clinical trial in dengue patients in Thailand, in which a single daily dose was found to be safe but did not produce any clinical benefit. However, the investigators noted that an improved dosing regimen might be developed, based on pharmacokinetic data (Yamasmith et al., 2018). Although DENV is clearly very different to SARS-CoV-2, this trial design should inform future work going forward.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166354220302011#!

LeonCalyaJulian D.DruceaMike G.CattonaDavid A.JansbKylie M.Wagstaffbhttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.antiviral.2020.104787


Authors / centres are AUZ and legitimate, however: there is a major gold rush type situation out there at the moment, so *everything* (including Kodak) is being chucked until something sticks.


267:

Well, no. The GOP base are a tribe, alright, but really, REALLY do not understand democracy, and think that if they won, locally, they can shove what they want down everyone else' throat... and "bipartisanship" means "here's a bill, take it or leave." They do not understand having give and take.

For example, on another website, I said to a gun nut, "What are you willing to give me?", and this moron's reaction was, "nope, we already gave up too much"... with not even a single example.

268:

Troutwaxer @ 256: The office "Sergeant At Arms" of the House of Representatives is not an important law-enforcement position. It's far more ceremonial, much more along the lines of "Sergeant At Arms, are the chamber doors open and are all dressed in their formal cerements of office?" than "Arrest that man!" - and like many House members probably a lawyer and not-unlikely to be a former prosecutor.

He has the same law enforcement authority as the Capital Police:
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/2/5605

The current incumbent, Paul D. Irving is a former agent of the FBI & the Secret Service who served as a supervisory agent in the Presidential Protection Division, as Deputy Assistant Director for Congressional Affairs, and as Assistant Director for Administration; elected to the office in January 2012.

Removing a non-compliant member from the House Chamber at the direction of the Speaker of the House is not an actual arrest, although the Sergeant at Arms does have that power to the extent required by his duties of "maintaining order and decorum in the House chamber."

The Sergeant at Arms can also be sent to "arrest" someone who refuses to comply with a Congressional subpoena, forcing them to comply. Apparently it has been done before.

https://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/04/opinion/04tue4.html

Although, Congress apparently no longer has a jail in the basement of the Capital Building.

269:

It's a link to a legit newspaper, the article passes the sniff test, and the commenter's email address isn't a thinly-disguised link to a MAKE MONEY FAST scam. Could plausibly be a lurker? We do have them, you know.

(Caveat: I use a bunch of adblockers: if anyone thinks that Times of Israel web page has been hit by malware or spammers, tell me and I'll go back and remove the comment.)

270:

But the Sergeant does not traditionally use that authority.

And I'd be thrilled if Nancy Pelosi would rebuild the jail in the basement of the Capitol

271:

Sorry, I disagree. From what I've read, heard, and spoken with, most Americans REALLY would like Medicare for all.

Most Americans would also like strict gun control, how well is that working out for you?

(for those not aware, gun control is wanted by 60% of the US population, single payer health by 70%)

What the public wants - particularly when it isn't yet being opposed by a massive publicity push - is irrelevant as long as those same Americans keep voting in politicians who oppose what they want.

Which bring us around (yet again) to the US Senate and the anti-democratic way in which seats are given. If the minority of people in the south and flyover states don't want something, you aren't getting it given their (current) control of the Senate.

Things may change, say in 10 years, when population change finally (hopefully) swings enough of those states to semi-permanently DNC instead of GOP but until then the votes simply won't be there.

As I said, the Vermont government was very much pro-single payer - until the money got involved and then after 3 years or so they gave up because they could no longer get the votes.

272:

"Concerning the Fermi Paradox, that would be "Periodic extinction by natural events", though veering into "It is the nature of intelligent life to destroy itself"."

Not 'destroy itself', just 'technological civilization is hard to maintain, for either internal or external reasons'.

There's the classic idea that if a (post) oil-based civilization collapses, then a successor has to deal with the fact that all easily obtained oil sources have been thoroughly exploited.

Or nuclear war, or massive conventional WWII-type wars, or massive pandemics with bad medicine/leadership.

273:

All sorts of snake-oil gets reported by the press. Sometimes the retractions get printed too when it turns out it was a badly-carried-out trial based on a couple of dozen carefully-selected random cases and the data was tortured until it confessed -- see hydroxylquine for a worked example.

Give me solid double-blind trials bigger than a single ward in a single hospital and three researchers and a significance value very much greater than 0.05 and I'll listen, but until then the snake-oil pushers can kindly fuck off.

274:

210Po is kind of dodgy stuff.

It seems to have had a brief fling in the late-1950s through late-1960s, but clearly lost out to Pu-238 for NASA. Other interested parties were absent or lost interest.

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19700026329.pdf

275:

@Nojay 263

Drive by? Like with an AK? I'm more of a Teller-Ulam man myself.

Mission poster is a new one on me, but then the only other place I post is ycombinators Hacker News. If by mission you mean to inform what seems like an interesting community of what the latest scientific knowledge is regarding the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the COVID-19 disease it causes then I am guilty as charged.

276:

From what I've read, heard, and spoken with, most Americans REALLY would like Medicare for all
From my experience talking to Americans about healthcare, a significant number don't want their money going to the undeserving poor, even if this results in worse results. "I don't want to pay for poor fat people who don't look after themselves" as one woman said to me.

277:

FWIW here's the Israeli study, observational, N==7807 with 782 COVID-19 positive. There are some RCTs for Vitamin D supplementation for COVID-19, both prophylyaxis and treatment, in process or recruiting. There are 4+ observational studies(some still preprints) including this one that show a relationship between COVID-19 severity and Vitamin D deficiency, and this one might be that as well in disquise; reduce severity enough and people don't know they have it/get tested.
Low plasma 25(OH) vitamin D level is associated with increased risk of COVID‐19 infection: an Israeli population‐based study
(pdf)
To conclude, our study found that suboptimal plasma vitamin D levels may be a potential risk factor for COVID-19 infection, particularly, for the high hospitalization risks, independent of demographic characteristics and medical conditions.
and (bold mine);
there are subpopulations with lower Vitamin D levels.
The finding is important, since it could guide healthcare systems in identifying populations at risk, and contribute to interventions aimed to reduce the risk of the COVID-19 infection.

Ivermectin, on the other hand, is (appears to be) rather more fringe science-wise.
Here's Derek Lowe a couple of months ago:
https://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2020/05/11/whats-up-with-ivermectin
Any recent peer-reviewed papers re clinical trials (not in vitro, thanks though SLWOH)? Not spotting any with a half-hearted quick search.

278:

Let me guess, her BMI was above 40, and her income was below 50% of the median income?

As for "not looking after herself", if she voted for the Trumpenfuhrer, I rest my case.

279:

@Charlie Stross 269

Actually I rather like your writing and am looking forward to Dead Lies Dreaming. As you were kind enough to reply to me, I'd be very interested in your take on the GPT-3 transformer language model, it seems to me reminiscent of William Hertling Singularity series take on the AI timeline. Also with the recent Epstein-Maxwell stuff coming out Trump almost seems like a Scott Adams Pointy Hairied Boss of The Black Chamber.

280:

Sorry to reply to myself, but I forgot to add that Boris could well be The Mandate himself.

281:

Thanks. I wasn't aware the warfarin was multiple active compounds, I though Coumadin was just more purified. (So as to meet USP standards.)

282:

Well, if the elections have been postponed, then the House *can't* meet. Doesn't do any good to say they must if there are no current members. Of course, that also means that there is no legal possibility of passing any law for expenditure of money...

283:

Well, I don't think Biden is quite that bad, but I'm sure not enthused by him...quite the opposite, in fact. But I *might* become enthused by his VP choice. Perhaps.

OTOH, I've got to admit that the candidates that I like have a truly dismal record of collecting votes. Not all of them because of being sabotaged by the DNC.

284:

[RANT[
And I bet this is the kind of idiot who reposts that stupid cartoon about "under socialism, you get half of your cow".

How about EVERY FUCKING BILLIONAIRE pay for your healthcare? And NO CEOs get ANY bonuses for their medical insurance company?
[/RANT]

285:

Has anyone suggested that, since COVID-19 might be very bad for male fertility, men should be freezing sperm?

I suspect outfits like this one will soon be hawking such things.
alcor.org

Ted Williams head is there. (baseball phenom at hitting back the 30s, 40s, 50s)

286:

The combination of PHP, CSS, WordPress, themes and plugins seem to have recreated all of the worst system maintenance problems of the 1990s...

But you can make it do ANYTHING!@!#!

And free plug ins that make your site do it's special thing never go unsupported. [eyeroll]

I maintain one that is nearing 400K comments. It was the right choice for various reasons but WP/Themes/Plugins can be a bear at times.

287:

I've got my own answer.

1. Must be a technological civilization.
2. Must be within +/- 150 years of us.

And, once you've met *those* criteria...
3. Must not be too paranoid to talk, and willing to wait, unless they've got an ansible.

4. Have any interest. "Oh, it's folks at that level again. Let's wait till they have something interesting to say."

5. And, if they have interstellar travel... remember, overwhelmingly, almost all shipping is between KNOWN PORTS. Going out exploring costs real money, and the odds against a jackpot....

In my universe https://mrw.5-cent.us I've got human-settled space, 11,000 years from now, under 5k ly across. Vastly more to deal with there... and no, we are not going to go back to 20 kids per woman.

288:

To this day, I can still type more efficiently when I'm not looking at the keyboard. If I actually LOOK at the keyboard while I'm typing, I get confused.

I remember automating a business around 78 and the staff nearly revolted over having a separate "1" key. Their muscle memory said to type a lower case "L". They were very vocal in their demand that we "fix" it.

289:

Now tell us how you really feel. :)

290:

Actually, Vit D and COVID19 has been a topic of discussion since back in Feb/March. Can't recall the precise source but I'm on the stuff as a supplement anyway (Scotland! Winter! Everyone is Vit D deficient to some extent) and see no reason to stop taking it now.

291:

Re: '... ivermectin ... dengue'

Saw/heard a few discussions about meds originally developed for dengue being considered at least as part of the architecture for developing treatment for COVID-19.

Dengue has also been discussed as a serious reminder/warning about what can go wrong with vaccines. The first (?) dengue vaccine appeared safe right through most of the clinical trials until those people were re-exposed to dengue. Then the worst happened: a much higher proportion of the people who had already been exposed to the virus or got the vaccine came down with much more severe symptoms and died, i.e., 'cytokine storm' - the uncontrolled over-reaction by the patient's immune system. So the result was sensitization rather than immunization. (This happens with bee stings and a bunch of other things too.)

I've been watching MedCram and TWiV Virology fairly regularly and they're still saying 'we need more controlled clinical trial-level data' because viruses (and human immune systems) are very varied and hard to predict. Observational studies are great for background and identifying potential spots to dig deeper but are not good enough for the decisions that need to be made about new pathogen and vaccine: way too many ways of skewing/biasing the sample therefore the data.

292:

Well, I don't think Biden is quite that bad, but I'm sure not enthused by him...quite the opposite, in fact. But I *might* become enthused by his VP choice. Perhaps.

Remember, the purpose of a vote for Biden is to get the ship of state aimed away from the reef, first and foremost. Then you worry about getting it to deeper water.

To be less poetic, Biden's a reasonable choice, not for the likes of you or me, but for the overwhelming group of moderates who are a bit worried and scared about all the crises going on (maybe even...gasp!...climate change), but they think that after four years of an "ideologue" in office, we need a moderate to clean up the mess the extremist made. Moderate means, old, white, male, and mainstream Christian. Hence--Biden. He's the Milk of Magnesia after the road-baked skunk we've been forced to eat for the last four years. If we're lucky, the VP is the stomach pump and course of antibiotics we really need after all the rotten shit we've been forced to swallow.*

Now, you know and I know that there are other candidates who could do a better job. Problem is, they're not old white male moderate types, and unfortunately, we need to get the people for whom this is a problem to not vote for El Cheeto or stay home. They're the ones who will make a difference in November, more than us.

Sucks, but there it is.

*If we're more lucky than I'd dream possible, we'll see the US criminal justice system re-enact the finale of Spartacus, after the convictions and speedy appeals of all the people who caused and benefited from the current corruption. But I'm quite sure this is a pipe dream. That's why I actually hope that these people (yes, if they're convicted) get nice clean, white-washed cells all to themselves for a very long time, so that they don't have to worry about seeing another human being for 23.7 hours out of every day.

293:

Well, I guess Orthodox Marxists would speak of "false consciousness when the subordinate class internalizes the ideology of the ruling class. You might also use the term "Stockholm syndrome", though the term is problematic.

Personally, well, I'd use the term "Lumpenproletariat", please note some anarchists criticised this term, and it being coined in relation to Max Stirner is interesting, well, for some context...

Hmkay, there is this chump called Hegel, who has a reputation of being the "preußischer Staatsphilosoph" (basically, "philosopher of/for the Prussian state", or "Prussian civil philosopher"). His pupils split into two groups, called "Rechtshegelianer" ("right Hegelians") and "Linkshegelianer" ("left Hegelians"). In the latter group, you find Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, but also Bakunin (an early anarchist) and a guy called Max Stirner.

According to Hegel "Since the state is mind objectified, it is only as one of its members that the individual has objectivity, genuine individuality, and an ethical life...", Stirner countered that one with (enlightened) egoism and individualism.

In the USA, Stirner influenced one Benjamin Tucker, who was cited by Murray Rothbard (IMHO, not something to be proud of) and, well, Robert Anton Wilson.

As for what Engels made of the fellow, well, Wiki quoted from this letter:

"And it is certainly true that we must first make a cause our own, egoistic cause, before we can do anything to further it – and hence that in this sense, irrespective of any eventual material aspirations, we are communists out of egoism also, and it is out of egoism that we wish to be human beings, not mere individuals."

Let's leave it at that one.

BTW, how is 1632 doing? I thought about introducing one of my older cousins (a priest) to "Papal Stakes" in 2013 or so, sadly he was diagnosed with dementia at about the same time and died 2 years ago.

294:

TJ @ 280
BoZo is nowhere near competent (enough) to be The Mandate - more's the pity actually.
Though it means we will be rid of him in 4 years or less, but, like DT, he can do an awful lot of permenent damage in that time ...

Trottelreiner
You are, surely, aware that "Rothbart" is the egotistic controlling villian in "Swan Lake" - using women ( & swans ) as puppets for his comntrolling desires?

295:

So it is not just the US.

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/01/thousands-protest-against-coronavirus-measures-in-berlin-390021

Germany has it's crazies also.
The gathering was organized with the title "The end of the pandemic — day of freedom."

296:

Agreed. Getting rid of the Trump is job #1. As long as the other choice isn't a total fool, I'm voting for him.

297:

Thanks for pointing that one out, we listened to "Swan Lake" in musical education in school, sadly I only have a vague recollection of the plot. Reading the Wiki article, interesting, it's quite open for interpretation.

Of course, "Rothbart" is German for "red beard".

As for Murray Rothbard, he was quite important for US libertarianism; also, son of Eastern Jewish immigrants and embraced holocaust deniers. Err.


298:

Ivermectin binds to quite a few ion channels, so maybe one of those is involved.

There are some other antiviral channel blockers, rimantadine works against Herpes, in this case, the ion channel is viral.

299:

I learned on a manual typer also (ancient Royal at home, Underwoods at school). I still remember how to do it, but I adjusted to keyboards pretty quickly. (My first typer was an Olivetti with a type element - sliding latch, less prone to breaking), and the one I currently have is an Olympia.)
I also learned to use keypunches, which came in handy in college when one class required using one (most of my work was done at home, where I didn't need cards). I knew where there was a usually-available machine in a closet in the engineering building (and I surprised someone by knowing how to load *one* card quickly - there's a way that doesn't require loading two cards).

300:

The usual analogy is that we're catching a bus, not getting married.
We want to get closer to our goal, and that frequently requires voting for the lesser of two evils. Biden is *much* less evil than Trmp, and his plans as laid out so far are farther left than you would expect (closer to Sanders than to Obama).

301:

Ivermectin binds to quite a few ion channels,
Thanks for the Ivermectin thoughts. It was one of the drugs of early interest for SARS-CoV-2, like hydroxychloroquine cheap and a potential magic bullet for people looking for such things.
Dumb to be solely focused on magic bullets though. Mandatory masks and other low-economic-cost NPIs (plus contact tracing and testing, all while waiting for a vaccine) prevent people from getting infected at all, and thus they avoid the long term/life long consequences of infection.

302:

If the president were to try to order elections delayed, it would result in a legal challenge. Its likely the supreme court would weight in fast and knock it down. But if that didnt happen, its most likely that many states would hold them anyway. The ones that wouldnt would all be red states. On the appointed day, the electoral college would still meet. And they would still choose a president. But those red states that didnt would have issues sending electors that they never chose. When January rolls around, those states that voted will still send their representatives to Washington creating a house that heavily tilts democrat. The senate republicans may try to avoid seating the new democratic members, but more far more republican seats were up for grabs. That means that of the two thirds of senators that were not up for election, democrats have a majority so any attempt to not set incoming senators will fail. Later in january, the chief justice of the supreme court would swear the newly elected president into office. At that point, the electoral college chose the president, and the chief justice swore him in, and its a done deal. The only thing that could stop it is a strait up coup and a hail of gunfire.

303:

Since your eyes also have those delicious mucus membranes the medical professionals have long been (trying to) shield them. Now some experts are suggesting we should all give that a go.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/aug/01/face-shields-goggles-eye-protection-coronavirus

I've recently ordered a better workshop mask (full face), now I'm wondering whether I should be wearing it when I'm out and about.

In other news, looks like Victoria has realised that deeming people who mostly live in hotspots "essential workers" and the rest "too important to lock down" has not worked, so they seem likely to lock back down. This time they've discovered that they can use police to enforce the "do not leave your home, at all, for any reason" rules so it might actually work. Per Modi, expect a certain amount of starvation and a few murders, but that's the price we might have to pay.

304:

Thank you, and to Bill also for the Ammonia Avenue link. Seems like something does happen but they find the idea nearly as weird as I do, and the gulf between where we are now and whether it really is useful in humans has one or two places where the cliffs on either side come close to each other but nobody knows how good the rock is and it's mostly pretty wide.

305:

"I wonder what sort of flim-flammery was going around in the early scientific Age during the 1918 flu pandemic?"

Interesting point. The principal reaction I am aware of was "half our bloody troops are unfit for duty", rather more so on the German side due to poorer diet etc. But there seems to be very little flavour of seeing it as anything more than just another flu. It seems to have been pretty low on the list of concerns of the various home fronts, too, most of which had plenty of other stuff to worry about. I think it took people in general a while to realise that there was something more than just the usual stuff that comes round having fun with a population who were short of food and fuel etc.

Also the deaths were a lot more spread out and low-key than the deaths in the war. When you're used to the news reporting concentrated deluges of thousands of shredded deaths in a day, over and over again, people gasping away quietly in their own beds aren't really noticeable. Not to mention the number of them who were in foreign countries so you'd never hear anyway. It's a bit like jamming GPS: overload the front end with one big signal and it never stands a chance of picking up the small stuff, even if there is a lot more of it overall.

306:

And Bernie, and others, have been pushing him lefter... and remember, Bernie in '16 kept talking about the Democratic wing of the Democratic party. Consider Hillary... and LBJ.

And I suspect he keeps looking at Warren, and her huge crowds, and all her plans, and they're *not* stupid impossible.

I really need to talk to my Congressman, and then send him my plan for Medicare for all that's easily reachable.

307:

Any minute now, I'm going to pull out my steampunk goggles and wear them outside....

308:

The eye protection vs SARS-CoV-2 science seems to be speculative and related to this paper, though I do recall a case study of a doctor who contracted COVID-19 even though wearing a good face mask, but no eye protection, and suspected transmission through the eyes. And obviously people working (physically) closely with patients in hospitals should wear eye protection.
ACE2 and TMPRSS2 are expressed on the human ocular surface, suggesting susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection (The preprint was May 9, 2020)

I (and many others) think the primary focus should be on minimizing sharing of unfiltered recently-exhaled air. Airborne spread (droplets, that eventually settle) is a proven mode of transmission, with multiple case studies, some of large clusters. Though wearing large glasses or goggles seems like a good extra precaution.

309:

the primary focus should be on minimizing sharing of unfiltered recently-exhaled air.

I agree. Sadly my team members have to attend the office for a face to face meeting on Monday. It's expected to be 4+ hours with 4-5 people in a meeting room. We had a whole series of semi-humorous chat posts about how much protective gear they should wear, but fundamentally it comes down to me being willing to "just say no"{tm} and them not, so they've been pushed into a face to face meeting and no doubt will be socially shamed into not wearing PPE. Stupid fuckers.

310:

I'd wear a mask with a face shield, because air currents could carry droplets under the shield and into your face.

311:

If you *have* to have a F2F meeting (WTF?) then have it outdoors. Refusing to have it safely is *clearly* in breach of the v duty of care to provide a safe workplace. "Safe" on this sense doesn't have degrees. If people object, point to the hazard charts (risk of death trumps low probability) and get them to do a HASRIG.

The correct PPE is positive Pressure full face, as I've pointed out before. Dust masks are not adequate for toxic atmospheres or toxic dusts.

312:

I also learned to use keypunches, which came in handy in college when one class required using one (most of my work was done at home, where I didn't need cards)

There were only a few of us (out of a few 100) who figured out how to do inserts and deletes on the manual IBM 029s. Required finger pressure at the right time.

313:

I suggest bringing to the meeting:

a) a camera, to document it for the trial.
b) a written warning that they and the company are liable if you get sick as a result of the meeting, and advise them to take similar precautions against catching it from you.
c) an electric leaf blower, to improve turbulence. Plug in the leaf blower, leave the door and/or window open, and leave the blower running for the entire meeting. As a safety measure.

314:

An electric leaf blower? Do you mean a fan?

315:

A directional (via a tube) fan that makes a lot of noise. Mainly used to blow leaves and yard debris into the street to piss off the local city crews who get to deal with storm sewer clogs.

316:

I'm using a full-face metal mesh mask - spaced off from my nose by about a cm, so that I can actually BREATHE. But it goes from about where my hair-line ought to be, down to below my chin & sideways enough that I can't see "round" the edges. Of course, I'm also weraing spectacles.
Droplets probably could get through, but I'm lowering the odds by a really significant factor.
One of these, in fact - or very similar.

317:

Vitamin D is well-known to be important for the immune system, and there's some evidence it helps to protect against melanoma (sic), which is one reason that TOTAL sun-blocking is a good idea only for people with special requirements. In this case, it's not news:

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/landia/article/PIIS2213-8587(20)30183-2/fulltext

318:

Interesting. Very interesting. We are trying to set up a legal document, and had to correct just such an error. I remember when certain codesets didn't actually have separate characters, though it was was actually 'I' for '1' and 'O' for '0', as they were upper-case only, but they were all obsolete by the mid-1960s.

319:

No, you aren't. I agree that it's more effective than carrying a fragment of The One True Cross, but only marginally. You could test that yourself, easily enough, if you felt like it.

320:

My comment on police training was more about my shock of lack of law training in the US in general (in my extended family I can count police/civilian advisors in 4 countries including 2 in the US).

The current incumbent as Sergeant at Arms is exactly the kind of person you'd be looking for. But the role is 99.5% ceremonial and acting with as little fuss as possible (how to defuse a situation without verbal aggregation, never mind violence) and 0.5 % deeply constitutional (arresting a Senator, Potentially President,etc) - and yet the only specified qualifications are about firearms training, in a city not short of other armed police.

321:

I may have been too subtle.

it comes down to me being willing to "just say no"{tm} and them not, so they've been pushed into a face to face meeting

*I* do not have to attend this meeting. Quite probably because last time they demanded I go in to the office for a meeting I said "o rly" and sent an email saying basically the points above. The email means their reply was in writing, and it took them about an hour to decide what to write. Which was still "you have to come in for a periodic catch-up", so I did, I wore a mask, I kept looking at the time on my phone, and I made it pretty clear that I was there under protest. Oh, and because I know my boss hates it, I said a couple of times "this seems like my performance review so we're also negotiating my pay rise, right?"

I strongly suspect he does not want to go through that again. Not just ringing me to tell me to come in, but having to discuss his demand with the other partners and formalise the demand in an email. It's a hassle, it leaves a paper trail, and it's really fucking obvious *why* I want a paper trail.

Boss has since said I and the other two in my team are working from home until the pandemic is over and possibly after that. We shall see.

322:

Oh, and I've been looking at cheap rural properties within wired internet distance of train stations. Boss doesn't want me moving to Aotearoa... they have fibre to just about every premises and it's cheaper than Australia's "fibre to the neighbourhood" NBN bullshit.

The bushfires mean that there are a few properties that are going cheap, have house permits/right to occupy, and meet my internet needs. I'm just looking for one less than 50km from a train station that I can afford. Ideally one that lets me turn my house into a boarding house*, leave key stuff here, and commute in when I need to.

* not officially, but the laws seem to allow me to use this as my place of residence as long as I am here overnight "regularly" (presumably once a year, on a fixed date, is regularly?)

323:

This one is hilarious - it's a chunk literally in the middle of a reserve, more than 20km from the nearest accessible road, and I very much doubt you're going to get a building permit for it. But... it's for sale.

https://goo.gl/maps/42Spr2J5P9XYFfW76

Kind of reminds me of the private holiday homes in Abel Tasman National Park that AFAIK are still there. Many get donated to the park when the owners die, but they are/were right on the path of one of the business national parks in Aotearoa. Except this is just literally in the middle of nowhere.

324:

I wasn't aware the warfarin was multiple active compounds,

It's not!

"Coumadin" is a trademark and proprietary brand name slapped on a drug that's been around since the 1950s ("warfarin"), which is one of a class of coumarins (chemicals produced by plants for defense against herbivores).

325:

This is a digression, but it's past #300, and is a reply to Mike A in the last thread. OGH and moderators: if it's too boring, please delete it. I apologise for using mathematical jargon, but ....

I have got Shadows of the Mind, read most of the first three chapters and glanced at later ones. I agree that it is VASTLY better than the utter crap that was The Emperor's New Mind, and I may look at some of its other references, but it is seriously shoddy.

In particular, it drowns the reader in detail and hides the fact that he hasn't actually formalised his argument (probably not even in his own mind). I agree that he demolishes the hypothesis that the human brain can be modelled by a simple Turing machine, and that is an adequate explanation of 'consciousness'. As you may have observed, I have been pouring doubt on that for years. But it fails to make his case that new physics is needed, still less that he is along the right lines.

Firstly, he is making the unjustified assumption that any computer is necessarily a simple Turing machine. He correctly points out that quantum computing doesn't change anything, and that using reals rather than integers as a basis is probably only a theoretical matter, but does not point out that changing the termination requirements may extend the model. I currently believe that, but don't have a watertight example, and those are the references I may look at.

Secondly, he seriously doesn't understand emergent properties. While those are often merely indirect and unobvious effects, they can also be unprovable ones. For example, many of the provably undecidable axioms can be regarded as emergent properties of ZFC - i.e. any of them where a counter-example (should one exist) could be constructed within ZFC.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_statements_independent_of_ZFC

Thirdly, he should have applied his own argument the other way round. Start with an algebra equivalent to a Turing machine A. Find the first statement that describes an unprovable 'truth', and extend A by that, giving A1. Recurse ad infinitum, and the Axiom of Choice means that there is an upper-bound algebra A*. But A* must also have an unprovable 'truth', which could be 'consciousness'. Note that I can see at least three flaws in this argument, but he SHOULD have included it as a counter-argument to demolish.

Fourthly, what I read of his explanation of the flaws in modern physics seems sound (and he is no more impressed by the 'many worlds' bullshit than I am), but his speculation on how quantum mechanics can apply at the cellular level is well-greased with handwavium, and his one about quantum gravity is pure handwavium.

In summary, I stand by my position: I simply don't know, and he doesn't, either. Also, he bloody well should have known better than to perpetrate the above flaws, as he was and is a much better mathematician than I am.

326:

And it's done. Victoria is locked down from 6pm Sunday (~2 hours ago)

(from The Spinoff link)
Under the new stage 4 restrictions, only one person in each household can do shopping once a day. Exercise can be undertaken once a day for one hour, and no more than two people can exercise together. Residents can’t travel more than five kilometres from their home for shopping or exercise.

During the curfew, the only permitted reasons for being outside will be to receive or give care, or to go to or from work. A fine of A$1,652 will apply for anyone breaching these restrictions, and police will have the power to arrest those breaking the curfew without good reason.

(from The Conversation link above)
A state of disaster addresses matters beyond public health issues. It is intended to deal with emergencies such as natural disasters, explosions, terrorism or sieges, but it can also be used to deal with “a plague or an epidemic”. It was used in Victoria in January 2020 during the bushfires, but the declaration was limited to specific areas that were in danger from the spread of bushfires. It was initially for a period of 7 days, which was later extended for a short period.

This time, however, the state of disaster has been declared for the entire state of Victoria, and for the maximum period of a month.

One of the most extreme powers the minister has is to override legislation.

Looks as though I have been complying with those restrictions since the pandemic hit Australia.

327:

I can guarantee that the Abel Tasman ones are still there - I have stayed in one, owned by one of my relatives.

328:

Yeah, possibly to subtle, but more likely my reading comprehension had dissolved in a red mist of utter outrage that anyone would be forcing a F2F meeting during the current emergency.

329:

Sadly my team members have to attend the office for a face to face meeting on Monday. It's expected to be 4+ hours with 4-5 people in a meeting room.

Makes one wonder what the company's insurance carrier would think about such questionable decision making...

330:

"Makes one wonder what the company's insurance carrier would think about such questionable decision making..."

They take it so seriously, that they have told republicans that they will withhold donations unless a law is passed which makes companies no liable.

331:

Why the URL shortener?

I'd very much like to know the source of this without following all the redirects in a command line...

Not to mention that if this weren't Charlie Stross's blog I simply wouldn't click on a hidden URL...

332:

No, I mean a leaf blower. Unfortunately, anyone who's going to call a long F2F meeting in an enclosed room either has a real crisis on their hands (at which point the stunts need to be abandoned), or isn't paying attention to the news and deserves all the literal blowback they get (at which point the leaf blower is the appropriate device).

333:

Why the URL shortener?

Because the target is a PDF of a pre-print on a file hosting site, rather than a web page, and my attempt to grab a link off the upstream place I found it just gave me a file:/// URL pointing to my own "Downloads" directory. Which is less than useful.

334:

That's a bugger _Moz_ - here in Victoria, since the start of the first lock-down back in March, it has been illegal for an employer to require an employee to attend a place of work unless the task(s) to be undertaken cannot be performed remotely.

So it's okay for me to take tapes out to the data centre and swap them, then take the old ones in to the office to store (which I do sometime after nine at night!), but not okay for me to be required to be physically present for a meeting.

This makes sacking someone a bit of an exercise, I've heard of people in a Zoom/Skype/Teams/XYZ meeting being told, "You're services are no longer required," "Ding Dong!" "And that will be security with the contents of your desk."

336:

Actually it's the Berniebros. Having failed to hijack the Democratic Party's Presidential nomination for their Independent-forever Lord and Saviour are now trying to sink the foul usurper's chances of getting elected by splattering dirt over all possible vice-Presidential candidates he might choose. How dare he stand in the way of Medicare-for-All merely because he's infinitely more electable than an irascible old never-a-Democrat scold from Vermont?

337:

Self-proclaimed Berniebros and quiet Republican operatives are remarkably hard to tell apart from a distance. Gotta be careful about who gets credited for the dirt digging and mud slinging.

338:

I think Bass is already out. She also said something very complimentary about the Church of Scientology. The ads just write themselves...

339:

Agreed, Biden is less than ideal, but far preferable to the "Fuckwork Orange". Being in my mid sixties, there's a more personal matter to consider, anything a Democrat touched is on some Republican's hit list, Social Security is very much one of those things.
Seeing that you were so generous in providing John Carter fans a mental image to go with it, may we think of Judge Doom and the weasels from "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" when this (Mal)administration and it's enablers are in the news?

340:

We are trying to set up a legal document, and had to correct just such an error. I remember when certain codesets didn't actually have separate characters, though it was was actually 'I' for '1' and 'O' for '0', as they were upper-case only, but they were all obsolete by the mid-1960s.

Reading between the lines you were trying to extract numbers and letters from old data. The situation I was referring to had to deal with first time computer use where the system would NOT let them type the lower case "L" into a numeric field. Agony all around.

I'm sure that they were typing such into Alpha fields for inventory items and such but it didn't matter. This was a 50 year old family business dealing with autos (service, gas, parts, etc...) since the 20s. And the family decedents all had very different opinions on how to do things. Turns out they computerized to bring some order to things. But the computer showed them how bad things were and they just shut it down within a year.

On a side note the office worker who handled petty cash got to leave within a week of the computers showing up. She could no longer hide that she was balancing petty cash with IOU's from herself. I suspect she was the tip of a very large iceberg.

341:

The thing is, one way in which the human mind is not equivalent to a Turing Machine is that it's inconsistent. This implies that the rules of formal logic will not be of use, though it doesn't say what to replace them with.

IIUC, the way this is handled is by using environmental inputs to strengthen valid conclusions. But it can still lead to wildly unprovable, or even disprovable, beliefs.

Note that in a system (DNA) depending on multiple copies with variations the gains in efficiency can compensate for the fact that individual instances (people) can go off on wildly dysfunctional courses. Often speed of reaction can be better than guaranteed correct reaction.

342:

No - I was referring to the codesets used by machines on which such old data were produced in the first place! Yes, there WERE both those and paper-tape punches which did not have a full range of digits. I saw some. As I said, they were OBSOLETE by the mid-1960s.

343:

Zeynep Tufekci has been a voice of sanity on NPI measures against SARS-CoV-2 transmission for the entire (declared) pandemic. Good read; she does a superb point in time exposition of the issues re minimizing sharing of unfiltered recently-exhaled air.
We Need to Talk About Ventilation - How is it that six months into a respiratory pandemic, we are still doing so little to mitigate airborne transmission? (Zeynep Tufekci, July 30, 2020)

344:

Turing machines can be effectively inconsistent, too, and can be genuinely inconsistent if you just add a true random bit generator. Any Turing program containing one of those can be emulated by an extended program including a pseudo-random number generator, which does not necessarily mean that one of the latter is findable.

345:

Seeing that you were so generous in providing John Carter fans a mental image to go with it, may we think of Judge Doom and the weasels from "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" when this (Mal)administration and it's enablers are in the news?

It's rude to weasels, but certainly, whatever works for you. Heck, if you're into magic or psionics, I'd suggest repeatedly blessing every member of the administration with a conscience, broad-spectrum empathy, and an overwhelming urge to tell the whole truth. It would be fun to watch them try to operate with that.

346:

Tim Bass
I like that new one: "The Fuckwork Orange"

"Debating" with said orange ...
The "playing chess with a pigeon" meme seems to fit that, doesn't it?
What should Biden do? Avoid it entirely?
Be thoroughly prepared to call out DT as a public liar, every time he does it?
Or what?

347:

Well, if she was with the Venceremos Brigade, good on her. And a lot of the 2nd and 3rd generation Cuban-Americans don't really care - remember when Obama opened Cuba, and a *lot* went to visit relatives? The pro-Mafia and pro-Battista-dictorship screamed... and everyone discovered it wasn't that loud any more.

On the other hand, Scienterology is Right Out.

348:

Don't see where the John Carter image is from... but I'll note I saw a headline in the Guardian today, that Paul Begals, referring to the Hairball, says that nothing unites the people of Earth like a threat from Mars.

349:

Unfortunately, COVID-19 is a very credible SQUID.

350:

Mallen @ 302: The only thing that could stop it is a strait up coup and a hail of gunfire.

Which cannot be entirely ruled out. Trumpolini is already defying the Supreme Court on DACA.

351:

Actually, a nation-wide strike would shut him down pretty nicely. If, say, Amazon struck until Trump left, especially including all the online stuff the government and business depend on, that would make it hard to do anything. Ditto Google.

On the other hand, the simplest way to get Trump to leave is if every employee in the White House, including the Secret Service, locks up anything important and walks off their job when he fails to step down. It's hard to run that place without government employees.

The other thing is for prosecutors to withhold any indictments until 30 seconds after Biden (or whoever) gets sworn in, so as not to put him against the wall prematurely.

352:

David L @ 315: A directional (via a tube) fan that makes a lot of noise. Mainly used to blow leaves and yard debris into the street to piss off the local city crews who get to deal with storm sewer clogs.

... as opposed to just raking them into a big pile in the gutter the way the city told us to do.

The real drawback with the leaf blower is that I've already raked my leaves into a city approved pile in the gutter when the guy next door's "yard service" comes along with their leaf blower and half of the leaves from his yard end up scattered across mine so I have to rake again to clean up his leaves (or face nasty letters from the city for not raking up the leaves in my yard).

353:

_Moz_ @ 322: Oh, and I've been looking at cheap rural properties within wired internet distance of train stations. Boss doesn't want me moving to Aotearoa... they have fibre to just about every premises and it's cheaper than Australia's "fibre to the neighbourhood" NBN bullshit.

That's still better service than most rural areas in the U.S. get.

354:

Superconductive Quantum Interference Device? Please elucidate!

355:

It's a reference to the Watchman Comic books. The SQUID was a ruse meant to unite the world against an obvious external threat.

356:

Heteromeles @ 332: No, I mean a leaf blower. Unfortunately, anyone who's going to call a long F2F meeting in an enclosed room either has a real crisis on their hands (at which point the stunts need to be abandoned), or isn't paying attention to the news and deserves all the literal blowback they get (at which point the leaf blower is the appropriate device).

I know the "dads" who came out to support the "moms" brought hockey sticks to try & shoot the tear gas canisters back, but I think a Lacrosse racket might be more effective.

357:

mdlve @ 335: So it appears the Biden campaign may be trying to lose Florida - https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/07/karen-bass-cuba-venceremos-brigade/614662/

You're reading way too much into it. AFAIK, Bass is only one of a number of women being considered. She's not even near the top of the list. Kamala Harris still appears to be the front runner.

All of the women who have been mentioned have someone with a axe to grind who wants the world to know why "That woman" would be the worst possible choice & the only reason Biden would select "HER" is because he secretly wants to throw the election.

It's all bullshit. Doesn't matter who he picks, even if he were to pick the virgin Mary, there's going to be someone screaming he's made the wrong choice. Name ANY name and you'll get termites swarming.

358:

re: the wordpress thing, one big advantage of such a widespread platform is the relatively easy access to short-gig help.
Yes, I could create a complex website all by myself, or using Seaside, or Aida etc but then I wold heve to spend my time on maintaining it instead of doing the work that the website is meant to be selling. Also, using WP + WooCommerce means I don't have to worry constantly about handling credit card details and the data safety. SEP field confirmed.

359:

Agreed completely, though I hope he'll pick Liz Warren!

360:

Considering who started this, I think a cricket bat may be more to hand. Or, since it's winter, a nice, big golf umbrella to establish appropriate space.

361:

Re: ' ... or isn't paying attention to the news and deserves all the literal blowback they get'

Everyone's at risk (kids included) as reported below.

F2F hours' long meetings are insane, unsafe and -- given the real possibility of threat to one's health -- unethical. Some top-of-mind questions/thoughts about that meeting:

1- Does that outfit have a meeting room with a table/seating plan large enough to maintain the minimum 6ft social distance between participants.

2- Unless all of the meeting participants are miked, they'll need to speak more loudly which means that their raised voices will propel air (virus) farther than the minimum social distance of 6 ft.

3- Most offices have central AC and windows that cannot be opened. CAC even if it has 'air (dust) filters' does not filter out virus. Meeting/confereence rooms are probably comparable to restaurants which have been identified as venues for super-spreader events.

4- Bathroom breaks - most office building bathroom toilets do not have lids therefore if anyone's infected, the virus gets sent out into and trapped in the (usually) closed bathroom air. If this is an hours' long meeting - I'm guessing most people will need to use such facilities.


https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/31/health/georgia-camp-coronavirus-outbreak-cdc-trnd/index.html

'According to the study, published Friday in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the camp adopted most of the components outlined in the CDC document "Suggestions for Youth and Summer Camps," but it did not make campers wear cloth face masks -- only the staff.

Nor did the camp open windows and doors for increased ventilation In buildings.'


Not a bright idea to hold a F2F meeting during a pandemic.

362:

I absolutely agree that the F2F meeting is stoopid in multiple ways. That's why I suggested bringing a leafblower in to keep the air turbulent enough that the viruses ended up on surfaces that weren't mucus membranes.

Otherwise, you've got to use a gas mask, or an n-95, face mask, gloves, ppe, and no bathroom breaks.

363:

whitroth:
And a lot of the 2nd and 3rd generation Cuban-Americans don't really care - remember when Obama opened Cuba, and a *lot* went to visit relatives?

Personally I think the whole Cuban thing is stupid, and the US should just treat Cuba like any other country.

But I'm not running for President, and Trump's wins in some of the swing states in 2016 were by very small margins - and thus even contemplating pissing off a small number of older (and thus more likely to vote) voters seems to be very poor judgment.

JBS:
You're reading way too much into it. AFAIK, Bass is only one of a number of women being considered.

My point is that given the Cuban issue she shouldn't even be on a long list never mind a short list in the weeks prior to an announcement.

All of the women who have been mentioned have someone with a axe to grind who wants the world to know why "That woman" would be the worst possible choice & the only reason Biden would select "HER" is because he secretly wants to throw the election.

I agree, a lot of this is politics, with (sadly) the added problem of the candidates being female and (mostly?) non-white.

But the Cuba issue is such a long standing issue that it should have disqualified her from even making a list.

364:

"the DNC VP choice has become about checking certain boxes and rewarding factions in the DNC with a total disregard for actually winning"


In french : "Vendre la peau de l'ours avant de l'avoir tué"

365:

Il faut le tuer? Personne me l'a dit!

366:

Lacrosse was originally a military training exercise. The Turks on Gallipoli used bombs with long enough fuses that you stood a good chance of being able to pick them up and chuck them back. The Brits and Anzacs lost a few hands doing this, but the French trained up a corps lacroissiers to sling them back with nets on sticks, which was a lot safer.

367:

Yeah, well... I'm not really into chess. (Or any other kind of game, really.) That's how it goes.

368:

The Cuba issue is only an issue with some politicians, those who are unimaginative and out of touch, that Fidel and communism are the only words beyond the racial slurs they can think of to show they are gr8. Fidel's been dead for years and wasn't running things before he died. I would confidently make book that these ignorant bozos can't tell you who matters in Cuba's current government, not a single name.

Cuba is not the same as it was in 1960, and it's not even the same as it was in 1990, and certainly not what it was in 2014. In the meantime, Cuba has crushed the virus and people are living normal lives again -- but quite hungry lives as there are real food shortages for all the same reasons -- though they do keep ramping up their own food production. Even in Havana everybody has a garden now.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

But here -- how in hell is this not a mass gathering of people???????

https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/news/15-new-locations-added-to-nyc-open-streets-open-restaurants-program-to-allow-for-more-outdoor-seating/ar-BB17shCz?li=BBnbfcL

The photo was taken in the morning. By mid-afternoon, the hordes had fully taken over all the blocks of streets and sidewalks surrounding where we live, and through which we must make our way -- for blocks and blocks -- to get anywhere else. The teeny walk ways in-between -- there is no way I am not passing well within the 6 foot DISTANCE rule and guideline -- and very few of these places have remotely six feet between the tables. By evening, holy cow. These are not neighborhood people -- a lot of them aren't even from the city. Other stories report people literally driving in from Michigan and other states to have weekends here now. How in hell is this not way over the density gatherings the rules have set -- there are hundreds and hundreds of people within the radius of these blocks -- and I'm talking at 5 - 6 blocks in every direction.

In this humidity, particularly as Isaias barrels up the coast, one feels palpably this miasma of covid-19 bearing aerosole droplets the moment of stepping outside the the apartment building's door. These are the age groups that are spreading it everywhere throughout the country. They take no precautions whatsoever, anywhere.

What in hell are They -- the mayor and the governor -- thinking? This isn't saving any frackin' restaurant from going under. The cold weather comes. In any case, the nation is gonna be shut down entirely, whether willingly or not -- if only because way too many people are sick and dying and dead at numbers that no one will be able to handle -- BECAUSE OF THIS BS.

Also those flights of tourists from Europe and Asia, disgorging 10s of thousands every day ain't coming back either. And these places live on that, and had already destroyed our neighborhoods to make money out of it -- people who don't and never have lived here.

I guess ... de Blasio and Cuomo don't care because of the pressures put on them by the real estate multi-nations ... November! elections! Neither of them are running but others with whose political future they are connected are running.

369:

Morbid thoughts but I wonder if this is true what will happen to the anti-vaxer crowd. I have relatives in this group. Rabid ones.

After many years of experience with anti-vax crowd, my inclination is: "Let Saint Darwin sort them out"

370:

ilya187
Entirely correct, but there's one slight problem:
Do their children deserve to be eradicated as well, because the parents are terminally stupid?

371:

but I think a Lacrosse racket might be more effective.

The canisters aren't smooth balls and would get caught up in the webbing.

372:

outrage that anyone would be forcing a F2F meeting

One of the joys of working in the hobby business of a rich property developer is that there's no danger of losing my job just because the hobby isn't profitable for a while. The flip side is that he has a well-developed sense of being above the law, and an equally well-developed inability to understand why anyone would think that matters.

He's also a talking type not a writing type, and he prefers video calls to voice calls when he can't have face to face. So the pandemic really is hurting him (in the rich person sense of his inconvenience is equivalent to your major problem).

My expectation is that until someone he cares about dies from covid he's going to continue on with his "{sigh}, if you must" approach to pandemic precautions.

373:

the anti-vaxer crowd. I have relatives in this group. Rabid ones.

Literally, I presume? Not wanting that particular vaccine could be very revealing of the value of vaccines, I would have thought.

374:

Not quite. But let's see how I remember comments my 2nd cousin made to my brother on FB.

I'll never take a Covid-19 vaccine. (and by implication his wife and kids)

Everyone knows the flu vaccine causes the flu.

The only thing I'll take are natural things that enhance my body immune system. Like hydroxylquine.

My brother just kind of walked away.

375:

Non-biologist here, but if this St. Darwin's way, and one approves of the way the consequences for anti-vaxers play out because by their very stance they prove themselves too stupid to exist, shouldn't one spend no grief on their progeny going the same way as their progeny are genetic inheritors / carriers of the too stupid to live genes?

Or, as in the days of Vietnam, the days that are the source of all this insanity, kill 'em all and let the lord sort 'em out.

376:

That is precisely how evolution works after all.

378:

You'll be lucky if anything like that is in stock. You'd be better off with something like this:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=plague+doctor+mask

Cheaper too, and more to the point (so to speak).

379:

JBS, I had a tooth with a root canal and a crown (2nd molar) that split and gave me pain that ricocheted arounnd my mouth for a week before it finally settled in the tooth that had the problem. When it was X-rayed, it looked like there was interaction between the sinus cavity and an infection in the bone around the tooth. Antibiotics and a tooth extraction fixed the problem. I'm looking at a tooth implant next month. Glad I'm working, since I have no dental insurance.

My dentist had done complete X-rays less than three months before, and the endodontist told me that the infection had been there for a year. I now have a new dentist.

Glad to hear that your sinus thing has been dealt with.

Is there a reason you don't use a 7 day pill box to ensure that you've taken today's pills? Your method sounds like it works for you, but I wouldn't remember which pill I was up to...

380:

https://theconversation.com/secondary-school-textbooks-teach-our-kids-the-myth-that-aboriginal-australians-were-nomadic-hunter-gatherers-133066

Meanwhile, back on a somewhat happier note, more coverage of "Dark Emu" by Bruce Pascoe. Albeit in the context of what's being taught to kids here and the "controversy" over whether facts have any place in our education system.

381:

I checked in with my mate who works in Victoria Barracks, Melbourne. He (and his wife) have been working from home since March. He has gone on-premises about once a month to perform specific tasks. The new restrictions mean that he's limited to only two independent booze stores with interesting beer selections, rather than occasionally going further afield. Glad the ADF is running such things sensibly .

382:

Lacrosse was originally a military training exercise.

Not certain I'd call it that. Certainly violent, with a playing field 2-3 km long and games lasting 2-3 days (while daylight lasted) between warriors of different tribes. Less violent than warfare, so probably a good way to keep the young men active and channel their aggression.

The Wikipedia article is a decent summary:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lacrosse

The modern version is a pale shadow of the original game.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cf/George_Catlin_-_Ball-play_of_the_Choctaw--Ball_Up_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

If you're interested, this is a good book:
https://archive.org/details/lacrossehistoryo0000fish/

TLDR: Anglo-Canadians adapted the Hodenosaunee game of tewaarathon, creating modern lacrosse.

383:

The only thing I'll take are natural things that enhance my body immune system. Like hydroxylquine.

Coincidentally, I'm currently reading (and very much enjoying) Dan Rankin's book Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You.

TLDR: Most people have an idyllic and pacifistic view of what "nature" is like.

384:

That's what Hitler thought too, taking his pages from 19th C US eugenicists' handbooks, and, how, law and order-wise (lynchings,etc. how to handle racial incursions one prefers not to be in one's spaces, for his own ways with the Jewish populations and other undesireables of at home and conquered territories.

Which led FDR into incredible contortions and even evil, such as turning away boats of Jewish refugees, until he could get the Southern segments of the Senate and House to vote for war against Germany.

And other contortions to deal with the Depression earlier.

385:

until he could get the Southern segments of the Senate and House to vote for war against Germany.

The USA did not declare war on Germany in WW2.


386:

Sorry? We declared war on Japan, Germany declared war on us, and we declared war on Germany, 11 Dec 1941.

https://www.visitthecapitol.gov/exhibitions/legislative-highlights/declaration-war-germany-december-11-1941

387:

TLDR: Most people have an idyllic and pacifistic view of what "nature" is like.

Couples having 10 babies was my clue. But no where near 10 grown children.

388:

Well Japan declared war on the US first. But got the timing wrong by an hour or so.

389:

Well this is interesting.
COVID-19 and Misinformation: How an Infodemic Fueled the prominence of Vitamin D (pdf avaiable at link)
is saying that “Patterns of COVID-19 Mortality and Vitamin D: An Indonesian Study” (I linked it a few months ago), a preprint which oddly disappeared from the internet a while ago (supposedly due to the death of the lead), is almost certainly fraudulent, if they are to be believed. What would the motive be? Who did it? The authors do no speculate in print. (Vitamin D supplements are really cheap, and the sun is cheaper.) The broader point is to do some extra digging when reading preprints to estimate credibility.

There are a few remaining observational studies about Vitamin D and COVID-19 severity, one out of Iran, and one Israeli, one UK, and some reviews, and a few RCTs are in progress.
Vitamin D Sufficiency Reduced Risk for Morbidity and Mortality in COVID-19 Patients (14 Jul 2020, Zhila Maghbooli, Mehdi Ebrahimi (both Tehran University of Medical Sciences), more)
and an Israeli one linked at #277 in this comment thread.
and this one (preprint):
Low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels in patients hospitalised with COVID-19 are associated with greater disease severity: results of a local audit of practice. (June 25, 2020)
and the google scholar search used: https://scholar.google.com/scholar?start=0&q=%22covid-19%22++%22vitamin+d%22++severity&hl=en&scisbd=1&as_sdt=0,5

390:

"the DNC VP choice has become about checking certain boxes and rewarding factions"

The running-mate choice is about uniting your party's after the bruising primary fight. That's not new.

Hence Obama's choice of Biden - he beat the establishment candidate (Clinton) in the primary, so got Mr Establishment as his VP. Trump's choice of Pence - Mr Establishment Evangelical Conservative.

It's not done because uniting your party is a lovely inclusive thing. It's about money.

The running-mate choice is a chance to convince the donors that are a bit dubious about you that you're okay. Modern US election campaigns are heavily about fundraising, and this is part of the campaign.


Whether they'd actually be any good as a VP is hardly relevant to the choice.

391:

Actually, the GOP has done two things, since Raygun: they pick a VP who is not only something for a major section of their voters... but also protection against assassination. I mean, Cheney, replacing W? Or (GHU!) Quayle replacing Bush, Sr.?

392:

The D's have also picked some turds.

That hometown[1] boy John Edwards had a big mess he was hiding from Kerry and most everyone else. If Kerry had won he would have had to deal with Edward's affair, love child, and the very messy break up with his wife to contend with.

[1] At the time he lived within 2 miles of my home. Go down the street, under the 6 lane belt line and home prices triple or more. :)

393:

Through the 90s I worked as a treeplanter in Northern Alberta. July - August would mean temperatures up to 35C. It was a piece rate job, hard physical labour. I was good at it and enjoyed being outside all summer.

I would suffer under the heat but was able to keep working. One crew I worked on had some recent immigrants from Ghana that came alive in the heat. While I was gasping along in light pants, a t-shirt and a hat, these guys would be wearing sweat pants and sweat shirts, working twice as fast as me and enjoying themselves.

The point being adaptation. I adapted somewhat, they had grown up in temperatures like that and were no strangers to hard work. They very much humbled the pampered college types such as myself.

394:

"...Northern Alberta. July - August...35C...recent immigrants from Ghana that came alive in the heat..."

For the other side of that:

I've a friend who worked with Jamaican immigrants in Toronto in the 90s, for the city park service. She said in winter it included night-shifts on the outdoor ice rinks downtown, spraying water onto the ice which then froze. Brutally, brutally, brutally cold.

The Jamaicans thought those night-shifts in winter purest hell. And said their mothers back in Jamaica - who'd never seen snow - loved the pictures of it and to tell their friends of it as they thought it sounded romantic and beautiful, like something from a fairy-tale.

395:

In Australia puffer jackets are a bit of a fashion thing in certain non-snowsport circles. Round Sydney we see some people rugged up as nigh on Antarctic mission dress when the temperature gets below about 15 degrees.

The Kenyan nurses that were living in my cold house really suffered. I suspect the three of them slept in one single bed purely to survive, despite the electric blankets in both beds. They definitely appreciated being able to buy snow sport clothing from op shops, once I told them to head to the shops in the rich suburbs.

I'm told by Canadians that the appropriate response to snowy winters is to treat "going outside" as a recreational activity that you do occasionally when the weather is nice. Meanwhile inside is nice and toasty warm, because you have insulation and central heating. Instead my house has ventilation and is well designed to shed heat and stay several degrees below the outside temperature year-round. It fails dreadfully in many ways, the least offensive of which is that when it's below about 5 degrees outside it is often not colder inside. That's no consolation to a Kenyan experiencing 5 degrees *inside* in the morning.

396:

"Dark Emu"
WELL!
That's an enormous surprise - I too, & ( I think ) the whole population of Britain have been fed what turns out to be a (?) deliberate (?) lie.
The extracts from the really early European accounts simply damn the intervening years taradiddles.
Thank you.

397:

How long untill english immigrants are as badly considered as ... say italians in the 1930s ?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/02/brexit-fuels-brain-drain-as-skilled-britons-head-to-the-eu

"Co-author Daniel Tetlow added: “We’re observing a new social migration phenomenon and a redefining of what it means to be British-European. In 2019, Brits came in just behind Turks in numbers receiving German citizenship – way ahead of Poles, Romanians, Iraqis or Syrians, whom you might otherwise expect to be more eagerly applying for German/EU citizenship.”"

398:

Right. But, as those (real) papers and I said, vitamin D is well-known to be important to the immune system and, as you say, it's cheap and safe. As my wife and I were discussing l;ast noght, the sane thing for hospitals is to check the levels of everyone admitted for COVID, and supplement as necessary.

399:

) the whole population of Britain have been fed what turns out to be a (?) deliberate (?) lie.

You seem surprised. Have you not learned about the deep and richj history of war crimes in the "civilised" world (the Ghandi quote is apposite)

Empire, and arguably nation-states, are built on lies from necessity. If our ruler said "go die in a foreign country so I can be slightly richer" even the most devout capitalist or racist would say "hey, what?" if not something stronger.

So instead they say "for Empire, for Glory, for Holy Writ, let us go forth, conquer the savages and bring peace to the world". These days we have various war crimes and tribunals but it only illuminates the problem rather than solving it. That list is just for one invasion of one country and it's not exhaustive en so...

400:

We've had this discussion here before, and it's gratifying to see that Greg has read something about Dark Emu this time around and is starting to grasp the point. He might even come around on the Dickens-based assumption that all transportation was "for the term of his natural life" and all that. I think there is more work in pointing out the range of dissent from Salman Rushdie to Shashi Tharoor and how it contains a lot of simple factual background that contradicts a lot of assumptions inherited from the Olden Days too. But that could be a bridge too far for today.

In terms of the mechanics of colonialism, we really need to appreciate just how awful life could be for ordinary people in the hearts of empires. So for the imperial project, you take people who have no prospects, put them in a context where they can expect hard work to lead to realistic rewards, but make them travel to the other side of the world for it, watching their fellows die on the way. Make the work backbreaking and by the time they start to see something for it they have been through a lot of things that we wouldn't even consider reasonable these days. Then when they encounter people whose land or village or way of life is in the way: they weren't told this would be a problem, they've been through all they've been through, of course they will gladly participate in whatever it takes to remove the obstacles.

Sure it's an ideology too: God, King and Empire and all that. But it's like most animals can be trained to do things they already have some natural inclination to do relatively easily, likewise it's easy to convince people to support Empire when it's in their interest, part of their way of life. And when doing the dirty work of the imperial project is intrinsically linked to their own hopes and aspirations. And that's how Queensland pioneered death squads, for instance, some decades before the concept caught on back in Europe.

401:

The running-mate choice is about uniting your party's after the bruising primary fight. That's not new.

Except as you noted Biden is the establishment candidate.

Whether they'd actually be any good as a VP is hardly relevant to the choice.

Except when it is relevant, as in this year.

Biden is a one term President, thus the choice of VP matters as they will most likely be the leading candidate in 2024.

402:

After many years of experience with anti-vax crowd, my inclination is: "Let Saint Darwin sort them out"

If vaccines were 100% effective that would be a viable option.

But vaccines aren't 100%, but instead rely on herd immunity to protect those who can't take the vaccine for medically valid reasons (often an allergy), or those who take the vaccine but for whatever reason it is not effective in their body.

Thus as anti-vax numbers grow they also put everyone else at risk.

403:
"Co-author Daniel Tetlow added: “We’re observing a new social migration phenomenon and a redefining of what it means to be British-European. In 2019, Brits came in just behind Turks in numbers receiving German citizenship – way ahead of Poles, Romanians, Iraqis or Syrians, whom you might otherwise expect to be more eagerly applying for German/EU citizenship

Tetlow is an idiot?

"Poles, Romanians... eagerly applying for German/EU citizenship"?

They already have EU citizenship, there is nothing to apply for. If you're already an EU citizen the usefulness of German citizenship is small.

"Iraqis or Syrians, ... applying for German/EU citizenship".

Iraqis or Syrians in Germany are mostly refugees, they won't be eligible for German citizenship for many years, if not decades.

404:

But here -- how in hell is this not a mass gathering of people???????

We need to start accepting and following the evidence of Covid, and stop the knee jerk reactions of fear.

Most of the evidence is that outdoor activities are relatively safe given the ability of the air to circulate and refresh, thus helping to keep levels of the virus low - something that is not possible in almost any indoor space.

These are the age groups that are spreading it everywhere throughout the country. They take no precautions whatsoever, anywhere.

They are spreading it through indoor gatherings - usually being done to try and avoid the eyes of the authorities who treat outdoor gatherings the same as indoor.

It's the indoor bars and nightclubs that are the prime problems, hence why many places have opened them and then been forced to close them again.

What in hell are They -- the mayor and the governor -- thinking?

Multiple things - including the fact that human nature (particularly among the younger who feel invincible) means that you can't successfully implement a total lockdown for month after month after month.

You need to provide a way for people to socialize in person, because the population at large is a social species.

But they also need to allow people to relax and get this done before the colder weather comes, and with (at least those of us in Northern areas) the resulting retreat into the much more dangerous indoors and the likelihood of further lockdowns.

This isn't saving any frackin' restaurant from going under.

Maybe. Depends what happens on the vaccine and treatment fronts (I don't particularly believe it but there are multiple reports of vaccines by Christmas).

What it does to though, given the infighting in Washington inside the GOP, is provide at least some income for some people so that they can continue to eat, pay the rent and utilities, etc. as the $600 week has now ended.

405:

That is not true. Some vaccines are to provide the person with resistance aginst a disease that would otherwise kill: e.g. rabies, tetanus and anthrax. Herd immunity works only against anything that is almost entirely spread by entity-entity contact (and there are vaccines for many domestic animal diseases, too).

407:

""Poles, Romanians... eagerly applying for German/EU citizenship"?
They already have EU citizenship, there is nothing to apply for. If you're already an EU citizen the usefulness of German citizenship is small.""

Until Poland, Romania or wherever, decides to leave the EU, of course.
EU citizenship alone doesn't mean much when my government can unilaterally strip it from me, as indeed it has done.

408:

mdive
I have, very cautiously, started going foa a beer, once a week, or even less frequently ... but always, outside at an open table, away from others.
NOT going to sit inside a pub, even with supposed distancing in place.

Richard H
Yes ... grrr.

409:

Until Poland, Romania or wherever, decides to leave the EU, of course.

Or, the EU grows a backbone and tells those countries to return to being a modern European democracy with failure to reform resulting in being kicked out of the EU.

410:

Ah the joys of macho diplomacy.

The EU doesn't get to tell its member states what to do. The EU is its member states.

Stop thinking like a Brexiter.

411:

The EU doesn't get to tell its member states what to do. The EU is its member states.

It's also a legal framework.

This is why the brexiteers have run into a brick wall trying to "negotiate" the terms of brexit: they keep asking for stuff that is simply unlawful, and the negotiators try to explain this to them and they go "huh? Why can't you bend the rules -- just for us?"

Well, that's the whole point of laws: there are no exceptions and no loopholes, they apply equally to all. (Which is why we in the UK are screwed. We've elected a junta of bullshit artists who are willing to play fast and loose with the law -- look at Dominic Cummings, especially his record of defeats last year after he prorogued parliament, never mind his "eye test" road trip -- and can't understand how anyone else's laws could possibly apply to them. Which is also the whole sticking point over the ECJ. Wanting to be outside the jurisdiction of a transnational court should be a clear tell about their intentions ...)

412:

Heteromeles @ 360: Considering who started this, I think a cricket bat may be more to hand. Or, since it's winter, a nice, big golf umbrella to establish appropriate space.

I don't own a cricket bat. It's not a sport much played around here. Maybe it's big in Portland, but I don't know.

... AFAIK, it's still summer here in North America (Portland, Raleigh, DC) & I don't think umbrellas are effective against tear gas or pepper spray. Maybe against those pepper balls

413:

Pigeon @ 366: Lacrosse was originally a military training exercise. The Turks on Gallipoli used bombs with long enough fuses that you stood a good chance of being able to pick them up and chuck them back. The Brits and Anzacs lost a few hands doing this, but the French trained up a corps lacroissiers to sling them back with nets on sticks, which was a lot safer.

Are you aware that Lacrosse is a derivative of a "sport" practiced by the indigenous people of North America. It wasn't invented by the British/French.

414:

Erich Zann has nothing on this old Black man. Maybe Mo should take up the guitar as a replacement instrument!

You could just about read COVID news as a unicorn chaser for this one.

415:

RockyTom @ 379: Is there a reason you don't use a 7 day pill box to ensure that you've taken today's pills? Your method sounds like it works for you, but I wouldn't remember which pill I was up to...

I tried it before when I didn't have as many pills to take. It just traded one memory problem for another - remembering to load the pill box every week. It's a bit easier to remember if I do it every day.

Plus, they don't make 'em large enough to hold all the pills I have to take now. I'd need something like this.

https://www.amazon.com/Plano-728001-Angled-Tackle-System/dp/B006PKXVAA/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=Plano+Angled+Tackle+System&qid=1596472171&s=sporting-goods&sr=1-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFHRFlOTDRERkRGM0omZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTA2Mzc1MTYxTlpIWDM5OUlSNFJIJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTAzMzMyODYzRk9IODlETkxFSlYzJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

416:

Charlie
a junta of bullshit artists who are willing to play fast and loose with the law
To the point were a tory MP is seriously investigated by Plod, for rape ... & keeps the whip.
But an MP who dares to thwart BoZo, even for a few seconds, by sidelining the vile & incompetent Grayling is kicked out ... yeah.

417:

icehawk @ 385:

until he could get the Southern segments of the Senate and House to vote for war against Germany.

The USA did not declare war on Germany in WW2.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_declaration_of_war_upon_Germany_(1941)

Admittedly it didn't come until after Hitler declared war on the United States, but the United States did indeed declare war on Germany in WW2.

That old smoothie Winston Churchill pulled a fast one on Hitler by declaring war on Japan without waiting for Parliament to act, causing Hitler in turn to declare war on the U.S. in a tit-for-tat response.

Had Hitler not declared war on the U.S., Roosevelt might have had a harder time getting the U.S. into the war against Germany. Popular sentiment would have favored ignoring the war in Europe to concentrate on the war against Japan. As it turned out, the U.S. agreed to a strategy of essentially conducting a holding action against Japan until Germany could be defeated.

418:

Someone once asked me why my pigeon was always standing on one leg. I replied that if he stood on two legs, he'd fall over.

419:

I have an inhaler with an automatic counter on the side that displays in big numbers how many honks it's got left. It helps me to not run out of it, true, but it does not help me to remember whether I've taken today's honk yet, since I can never remember what number I left it showing last time.

420:
I have, very cautiously, started going foa a beer, once a week, or even less frequently ... but always, outside at an open table, away from others.

No idea if I mentioned it before, but since last week I visit my regular coffee house and an collectivist bar about every second day, sitting outside and keeping some distance from others. Both are somewhat small, with the coffee house, you have to write down your contact information for contact tracing in case of an outbreak.

As for beer, too many people at the coffee house, having a slight buzz makes it hard to keep discipline, the collectivist bar is less crowded, but at the moment I have to keep a tight schedule, so no alc....

421:

David L @ 388: Well Japan declared war on the US first. But got the timing wrong by an hour or so.

They didn't. Even allowing for the delay in decoding, it's just more diplomatic obfuscation replying to Secretary of State Hull's November 26th note.

Text of the Japanese note, Dec 7, 1941 -
https://avalon.law.yale.edu/wwii/p3.asp

It doesn't declare war, merely expresses regret that "in view of the attitude of the American Government it cannot but consider that it is impossible to reach an agreement through further negotiations."

It wouldn't have made any difference if they'd managed to deliver the note before the sneak attack at Pearl Harbor, it would still have been an attack without a preceding declaration of war.

422:

Yeah, well, I *wanted* Edwards that year... after Faux News used tens of millions in illegal campaign contributions to take down Dean.

After Dean, Edwards' policies were good.

423:

What is this "puffer" jacket business? I look, and see old-style quilted jackets, since they're cheap, I'm guessing filled with cheap insulation?

Why, yes, I do have a down parka. And the better kind, overlapping seams and an outer cover....

424:

As I understand it, the original "sport" was "beat up opposing team members, but if it doesn't keep you from doing that, and you're in a convenient spot, try to make a goal".

425:

If there's any folkies here, you'll understand that my reaction to that is that the only song any of them can play is "Oh, the wind and the rain".

426:

Some friends with parents in Montana would not pack such things when visiting in the winter. They would fly into the "big" town, visit a thrift store and buy up cold weather gear, then do the 5 hour drive to the family farm. (They would call ahead so if they didn't show search parties could head out. Literally.)

When leaving they'd stop by the thrift store and donate the winter gear and fly back to where the world wasn't frozen solid.

427:

Edwards' policies were good.

Locally most of us (at least the ones I personally knew) decided, after voting for him for the Senate, that he was a total fraud.

Trump only with better PR and facade.

He proved us to be totally correct.

428:

My SO lived in the Central Valley in California for a total of 7 years. I *lived* in Austin, TX for 7.5 years, and on the Space Coast of FL for another 3.5 years. She boggles at the sheer number of t-shirts I own....

429:

Oh, and I miss both Philly and Chicago. I *like* my cold winters.

For you Suddeners, I have two things to say: kudzu and fire ants. And, for Texas, grass burrs (yes, they *will* go through thin leather soles).

430:

That old smoothie Winston Churchill pulled a fast one on Hitler by declaring war on Japan without waiting for Parliament to act, causing Hitler in turn to declare war on the U.S. in a tit-for-tat response.

What else happened on December 7th, 1941?

Hint: it wasn't only Pearl Harbour that got attacked.

Over the 7th and 8th of December Japan bombed Midway, invaded Thailand and Malaya, invaded the Dutch East Indies, landed on Batan island, invaded Guam, attacked Wake Island, and kicked off the Battle of Hong Kong. The Royal Navy's Force Z set sail from Singapore that day to attack the Japanese troop carriers, resulting in the loss of the battleship Prince of Wales on the 10th of December.

Frankly, Churchill declaring war on Japan on the 8th was sluggish and late: Australia jumped the gun and declared war an hour into the Pearl Harbour attacks, and the rest of the British Empire dominions followed suit rapidly.

431:

You left off the Philippines on Dec 8. Which might have been the 7th for the US and Europe due to the date line.

432:

Oh, and I miss both Philly and Chicago. I *like* my cold winters.

People I know from Montana and N. Dakota talk about visiting Chicago to get warm during the winter.

Personally I really don't like such cold. I can't imagine winters on the Canadian prairie.

433:

Ah the joys of macho diplomacy.

Hardly. Simply a matter of stating that if you want to belong, you need to follow the rules.

If you don't want to follow the rules, fine, but you no longer belong.

The EU doesn't get to tell its member states what to do. The EU is its member states.

Stop thinking like a Brexiter.

Thanks for the laugh - I am anything but a Brexiter. While it doesn't directly have any consequences for me (living in Canada), having lived in the UK I do still sort of care and I have believed since before the referendum that Brexit is a damaging "shoot ourselves in the foot" exercise that will provide no gains - at least to the 99%.

And while I am not familiar with intricacies of the EU and its legal framework, the fact remains that countries like Hungary and to a lesser extent Poland are making a mockery of everything the EU is supposed to stand for, and designed to prevent.

The fact that Hungary can regress to the 1920s/1930s and still retain all the benefits of being a member of the EU will only cause further problems down the road.

(and as a side note, Hungary is merely doing what the Brexiters want - just smarter. They get to ignore what they don't like and keep what they want - ie. getting the cake and eating it to0 like the Brexiters want).

434:

For one thing, you down there, it gets hotter, and they won't let you take any more clothes off.... [g]

435:

I don't own a cricket bat. It's not a sport much played around here. Maybe it's big in Portland, but I don't know.

Moz started the ball rolling by complaining about a (hopefully completed or ditched) 4 hour F2F meeting at his office.

He's in Australia, so it's winter there, so a nice big umbrella to enforce social distancing within the conference room is appropriate.

Aside from being a salute to Portland (where CBP learned to use leaf blowers in self-defense), the leaf blower is there to make the air environment so turbulent that any virus particles end up stuck all over the place, not inhaled because the primary air movement is people exhaling and inhaling. It also shortens the meeting.

The cricket bat (it being Australia) is in case someone gets uppity about forcing him to endanger himself for a meeting. Generally it's bad form, but I suppose it could also be used to dispose of shared food without touching it.

As for the use of umbrellas, I've learned of a couple more that makes me want to start collecting the buggers:
--surveillance blocking
--IR blocking on some models
--Stopping anyone hosing with pepper spray or dye markers, and deflecting pepper balls and similar light stuff.
--They're legal to carry, especially if you don't go for the one with the solid metal/carbon fiber main rods and kevlar canopy.

Turns out sun-blocking hiking umbrellas are now a thing, especially in Europe. The Fair Folk reading this might want to check these out.

437:

Or possibly the report author knows what he’s talking about and uninformed internet commenter is an idiot.

- Poles and Romanians and any other EU residents can still benefit from German nationality, starting with the right to vote, as well as everything just being that bit simpler with a German passport. And, as noted, if your country goes insane, you still have the right to live and work in the EU.
- EU members don’t have to give up their original nationality. As someone who’s going to miss the opportunity to do this by 6 months and will face the choice of giving up my British citizenship for German naturalisation, I’m quite bitter about this.
- stateless people or refugees can apply for German naturalisation early. I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention to the news but things have been less than good in Iraq and Syria for some time now.

On the plus side, the planned law confirming the residence status of British citizens in Germany is sensible and humane, which is more than anything that’s come out of the UK government for the last 4 years.

438:

(I couldnt work out how to flag it on the Tor site, but in your author bio, they misspelt Delirium:

> including Locus Award finalist The Dilirium Brief

439:

And if there's even the slightest question, I do plan to go down to 1600 PA on Wed, 4 Nov.

It may be more productive for you to go to the nearest polling place situated in a minority district. Not to vote (that you should do in your own district), but to keep an eye on the goons. Because that's where they will cngregate.

440:

Not to vote (that you should do in your own district), but to keep an eye on the goons. Because that's where they will cngregate.

This is the kind of thing were HE might be perceived as a goon if he ethnically doesn't blend in.

441:

It's not always bad news.

Kid uses a technique he saw on TV to stay afloat when he was swept out to sea.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-53637025

442:

I can't imagine winters on the Canadian prairie.

Brisk. Invigorating.

As long as you have the proper clothing, of course.

443:

The Manhattan D.A. is investigating Donald Trump and his company.

There's just over 91 days to go to the election. Not sure how this could go.

444:

I like brisk, bracig... but when I was in Chicago, and it got down to 9F (-13C) it had gone to fucking bitter.

445:

I live in Mongomery Co, MD, a very large, DC 'burb. It's *very* liberal (our current county executive is, in fact, a socialist - came to the DSA for endorsement, and I decided he was good when he mentioned what he had done when young: when I was in the streets during 'Nam... he was in SDS).

Won't be a problem here. Elsewhere... the cops might go after *me*.

If it wasn't for the pandemic, I'd consider volunteering with the ACLU, or some such.

446:

That's not a problem if you walk over to the folks already there, and start talking to them.

And it's not like I'd go armed... well, I am having hip issues, so if I take my walking stick, not a thing.

I mean, just because in the late seventies and early eighties, I fought heavy in the SCA, and my walking stick's the length and about the weight of an SCA broadsword.... [g]

447:

Do their children deserve to be eradicated as well, because the parents are terminally stupid?

Alas, that is a problem. Especially in places like US, which traditionally regards children as property of their parents.

448:

"What else happened on December 7th, 1941?

Hint: it wasn't only Pearl Harbour that got attacked."


Yeah, the Japanese wanted SE Asia, and thought the US would come to defend the British if they attacked British SE Asia (Malaysia, Burma and Singapore) and took the Dutch oil fields of Indonesia. They were just wrong about that.

They should have stuck with their Plan A for Dec 1941 which was a surprise attack on the British in Burma and Malaysia. Their military got too entranced by the military advantage of first strike on Pearl Harbour, when the politics was all wrong.

Because FDR didn't have the votes to bring the US into WW2. The US would have sat out the war and watched the world burn.

449:

Probably nothing will be filed until the day after the election, but (Comey) you never know, because sometimes (Comey) poetic justice is poetic.

450:

but when I was in Chicago, and it got down to 9F (-13C) it had gone to fucking bitter.

A comedian once said (maybe Richard Prior) that the winter wind in downtown Chicago could rip the skin off your face.

I am in agreement with that.

451:

They should have stuck with their Plan A for Dec 1941 which was a surprise attack on the British in Burma and Malaysia. Their military got too entranced by the military advantage of first strike on Pearl Harbour, when the politics was all wrong.

If Japan had just done the 3rd wave at Pearl things might have turned out very different. The last wave was supposed to hit the repair facilities and fuel depots. Without those the US just might have decided they couldn't fight on and sued for peace.

But they didn't (were afraid of carriers they couldn't find) and the US was able to repair their fleet and keep operating what was working.

If you are willing to do a Pearl Harbor attack then you should be willing to risk your carriers to take out the ability of the enemy to repair and sail. Especially when you are risking only 4 of your 11 and the other side only has 4 total with only 3 in the Pacific. (Numbers from memory.)

I think Japan blew it for themselves and Germany by cancelling that 3rd wave. Not that Germany would have won against the USSR but they might have done a truce. Europe and the Pacific rim would sure look different today if the US had sat out the war or even started way further behind that they did.

452:

The Royal Navy's Force Z set sail from Singapore that day to attack the Japanese troop carriers, resulting in the loss of the battleship Prince of Wales on the 10th of December.

And the sinking of Prince of Wales by mostly land-based aircraft marked a different kind of turning point in naval strategic thinking. Up to that point aircraft had only sunk a fully operational battleship at port, or at least in circumstances of limited manoeuvrability.

453:

I like brisk, bracig... but when I was in Chicago, and it got down to 9F (-13C) it had gone to fucking bitter.

Chicago is damp. Prairies are dry. Makes a big difference.

I'd rather have -25 in Saskatchewan than -10 in Toronto.

454:

Charlie Stross @ 430:

That old smoothie Winston Churchill pulled a fast one on Hitler by declaring war on Japan without waiting for Parliament to act, causing Hitler in turn to declare war on the U.S. in a tit-for-tat response.

What else happened on December 7th, 1941?

Hint: it wasn't only Pearl Harbour that got attacked.

Over the 7th and 8th of December Japan bombed Midway, invaded Thailand and Malaya, invaded the Dutch East Indies, landed on Batan island, invaded Guam, attacked Wake Island, and kicked off the Battle of Hong Kong. The Royal Navy's Force Z set sail from Singapore that day to attack the Japanese troop carriers, resulting in the loss of the battleship Prince of Wales on the 10th of December.

Frankly, Churchill declaring war on Japan on the 8th was sluggish and late: Australia jumped the gun and declared war an hour into the Pearl Harbour attacks, and the rest of the British Empire dominions followed suit rapidly.

I know all of that. I know the U.K. had it's own reasons for going to war with Japan. I know Parliament would have declared war on Japan in due course.

Immediately after Pearl Harbor, there was solid sentiment in the U.S. to turn its back on the U.K. & Europe to fight its own separate war with Japan. The U.K. would have been screwed if those sentiments had prevailed.

Churchill's declaration and Hitler's response pulled the rug out from under those in the U.S. who were ready to abandon the U.K. and I believe that was part of Churchill's calculation.

455:

Give FDR some credit too, I think. He was preparing for war with the Axis long before the US public came around.

456:

Autarch @ 443: The Manhattan D.A. is investigating Donald Trump and his company.

There's just over 91 days to go to the election. Not sure how this could go.

On and on ... it'll go on and on ... and on ... and on ... and on ... and

The Supreme Court ruled that the accountants have to comply with the subpoena, but that Trumpolini & his lawyers could go back to the original court in Manhattan with additional arguments to challenge them. This news comes out of the additional filings the New York DA made in response to those arguments.

The plan appears to be to obfuscate & stall until some statute of limitations kicks in and it's too late to charge him.

I don't think that's right, but apparently it can be done. The statute of limitations should not apply when it's the accused who's delaying the process. They shouldn't be allowed to escape justice by running out the clock.

457:

-10 in Toronto.

Been there. Nearly 40 years ago. Memory is still seared on my cold senses.

458:

[ 'Most of the evidence is that outdoor activities are relatively safe given the ability of the air to circulate and refresh, thus helping to keep levels of the virus low - something that is not possible in almost any indoor space.

These are the age groups that are spreading it everywhere throughout the country. They take no precautions whatsoever, anywhere.

They are spreading it through indoor gatherings - usually being done to try and avoid the eyes of the authorities who treat outdoor gatherings the same as indoor." ]

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6931e1.htm

"SARS-CoV-2 Transmission and Infection Among Attendees of an Overnight Camp — Georgia, June 2020
Early Release / July 31, 2020 / 69"

https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200731/kids-efficient-transmitters-as-covid-19-raced-through-a-georgia-summer-camp#1

There are quite a few other stories reported about YOUNG PEOPLE outdoors. Virus doesn't care that you are singing OUTSIDE, when in the company of the same people for hours and days at a time, asymptomatics are present and they spread the stuff throughout.

Which is why party boats and outdoor concerts are prohibited. And where I live at any one time through the weekend there are hundreds of people who are only inches apart, for hours at a time, yelling, screaming, dancing, getting drunker and drunker, and I can't walk around them for it goes on blocks and blocks and blocks.

459:

Heteromeles @ 455: Give FDR some credit too, I think. He was preparing for war with the Axis long before the US public came around.

I agree. But without Hitler's declaration of war on the U.S., for which I at least partially credit Churchill's quick declaration against Japan, it likely wouldn't have been war against the Axis, it would have been a war against Japan alone and the U.K. & Europe would have been left to fend for themselves.


460:

I can see an outcome there with an eventual victory for Stalin, and Soviet occupation forces probably clashing with British in eastern France - the British having grabbed what was available as Berlin pulled every functioning unit eastward.

461:
Not that Germany would have won against the USSR but they might have done a truce.

Yeah, nope.

Stalin's empire was able to save itself from Germany. Lend Lease equipment didn't start coming in numbers that made a difference until 1943 - by which time the war was unwinnable by Germany[1]. Could the Germans have forced a draw? Not with Hitler in charge, with his increasing disassociation from reality.

With no lend lease, and no US presence in Europe, it would have taken the USSR longer to defeat Germany. It would have happened, though. D-Day happens in 1945 with Commonwealth / Polish forces, and they occupy France and maybe Belgium and possibly the Rhineland. The allies might free southern Italy as well. Who knows? Let's be super-optimistic and say that the UK liberates Greece as well.

The rest goes to the USSR.

My $0.02 worth, and worth every penny.

~~~

[1] Note that the war actually became unwinnable for Germany on 22 June 1941.

462:

Oh god. I contributed to the strange attractor!

463:

Lend Lease equipment didn't start coming in numbers that made a difference until 1943

Not quite. The Arctic Convoys were supplying tanks and aircraft from September 1941; Hawker Hurricanes and Valentine tanks fought in the Battle of Moscow. The kit was often worse than the latest Soviet equivalent, but given the dire situation that the Red Army faced, and the appalling losses that they had taken, every little helped...

464:

These are the age groups that are spreading it everywhere throughout the country. They take no precautions whatsoever, anywhere.

And it is for the most part spreading through indoor activities - bars, nightclubs, etc.

I can't quickly find the story, but there was a case of a party by young people that involved people outdoors by a fire, and some people also went indoors to the kitchen. Those who stayed outdoors remained Covid free, while those who congregated indoors had a Covid infection rate of about 50%. Thus outdoor is low risk.

"SARS-CoV-2 Transmission and Infection Among Attendees of an Overnight Camp — Georgia, June 2020
Early Release / July 31, 2020 / 69"

There are quite a few other stories reported about YOUNG PEOPLE outdoors.

Except that story is about INDOORS - they were doing stupid activities like yelling and singing indoors, sleeping packed into cabins with no social distancing, etc.

In other words, entirely predictable - we know deep lung activities like singing are bad, and we know lots of strangers indoors is bad.

Which is why party boats and outdoor concerts are prohibited.

Party boats are primarily indoors, and essentially a water based nightclub with physical activity in close proximity (aka dancing) with lots of alcohol. So yes, banned.

Outdoor concerts - frequently can have physical activity in close proximity - so banned.

And where I live at any one time through the weekend there are hundreds of people who are only inches apart, for hours at a time, yelling, screaming, dancing, getting drunker and drunker, and I can't walk around them for it goes on blocks and blocks and blocks.

Which is not what you claimed earlier, and is not what the original link you posted.

The original link you posted was the expansion of outdoor restaurant dining - aka people sitting at tables and eating. And that is, while not perfectly safe, reasonably safe and relatively low risk.

465:

Right. But, as those (real) papers and I said, vitamin D is well-known to be important to the immune system and, as you say, it's cheap and safe. As my wife and I were discussing l;ast noght, the sane thing for hospitals is to check the levels of everyone admitted for COVID, and supplement as necessary.
What's intriguing to me is that that possibly/probably fraudulent paper might have been crafted to manipulate by exploiting conceptual biases, but there isn't an obvious motive involving personal gain. Somebody adjusting the direction of scientific research, perhaps. (I agree that more attention should be paid to Vit D levels at hospital admission time, at least large-scale experimentally.)

Anyway, this is interesting for the apparently-negative result, after adjusting for "potential confounders".
Vitamin D concentrations and COVID-19 infection in UK Biobank (30 April 2020?)
Adjusted for ethnicity, sex, month of assessment, Townsend deprivation quintile, household income, self-reported health rating, smoking status, BMI category, age at assessment, diabetes, SBP, DBP, and long-standing illness, disability or infirmity..
That list is a little suspicious (unclear causality), and this lays out a few complaints:
Letter in response to the article: Vitamin D concentrations and COVID-19 infection in UK biobank (Hastie et al.) (2020 Jun 13)
The statistical error is that the multivariable model was over adjusted due to including factors that are likely mediators of disease rather than confounding factors. Statistical criteria and causal diagrams should be utilized to identify confounders and communicate assumptions being made [2,3]. Multiple causal structures between 25(OH)D and COVID-19 infection may be equally plausible so we suggest performing multiple analyses with both simple and complex models.

466:

What, Alt-WW2, with the USSR victorious on both fronts (Germany and Japan), the US in neither theater to as great a degree as it was, the UK and France exhausted, and the US with nukes that it hasn't tested in battle?

What could possibly happen after that? All you need to do is to add in aliens or psionics and you've got a nice, alt-golden age SF universe.

467:

The original link you posted was the expansion of outdoor restaurant dining - aka people sitting at tables and eating. And that is, while not perfectly safe, reasonably safe and relatively low risk.

Read her text though; this is large-scale street closures to make room for more tables, with many tables filled with people from COVID hotspots, some loud and drunk, and the ventilation is only good if the wind is blowing in the right direction. Sort of a hybrid between inside and outside. And disruptive to people who live there, and it increases death/disablement risks for them with little or no compensating gain.

But so far the NYS tracker looks "good" (no obvious spike, horrifying to much of the rest of the world) for new cases for NYC (though some cases return to where they came from to get counted.)

JReynolds