Thursday: Hili dialogue

The weeks is already drawing to an end, and I, for one, often forget what day it is—probably one of many symptoms of the pandemic. Good morning on Thursday, July 2, 2020:  National Anisette Day.  It’s also World UFO Day, also celebrated on June 24. The July holiday commemorates the bogus UFO crash in the 1947 Roswell UFO Incident. It was actually a fancy weather balloon that looked like this, and there were no aliens taken for President Eisenhower to inspect:

News of the day: The Seattle police finally began dismantling CHAZ (or CHOP) yesterday, with 44 arrests. Fortunately, most protestors left peacefully, and the violence I envisioned didn’t occur.

The U.S. set yet another record for new Covid-19 cases in a single day: nearly 50,000. States continue to roll back their “openings,” with California largely halting indoor dining.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is  128,103, an increase of about 650 death over yesterday’s report.  The world death toll now stands at 516,078, an increase of about 5200 from yesterday.

In the New York Times, Frank Bruni argues that Trump is “toast,” and that he’s already lost November’s election. I agree. I will be fun to see his tantrums then.

Stuff that happened on July 2 include:

Here it is, though it was used for only a few jobs:

In the end 35 of the 43 survivors were freed and then returned to Africa.

  • 1881 – Charles J. Guiteau shoots and fatally wounds U.S. President James Garfield (who would die of complications from his wounds on September 19).
  • 1897 – British-Italian engineer Guglielmo Marconi obtains a patent for radio in London.

Here’s Marconi’s first transmitter (caption by Wikipedia). He won the Nobel Prize in 1909 along with Karl Friedrich Braun:

Marconi’s first transmitter incorporating a monopole antenna. It consisted of an elevated copper sheet (top) connected to a Righi spark gap (left) powered by an induction coil (center) with a telegraph key (right) to switch it on and off to spell out text messages in Morse code.

  • 1900 – The first Zeppelin flight takes place on Lake Constance near Friedrichshafen, Germany.
  • 1934 – The Night of the Long Knives ends with the death of Ernst Röhm.
  • 1937 – Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan are last heard from over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first equatorial round-the-world flight.

Here’s the last known picture of Earhart, taken on July 2, 1937 before she left New Guinea (credit: National Archive/Handout Handout/EPA):

  • 1964 – Civil rights movement: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 meant to prohibit segregation in public places.
  • 2000 – Vicente Fox Quesada is elected the first President of México from an opposition party, the Partido Acción Nacional, after more than 70 years of continuous rule by the Partido Revolucionario Institucional.
  • 2002 – Steve Fossett becomes the first person to fly solo around the world nonstop in a balloon.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1906 – Hans Bethe, German-American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2005)
  • 1925 – Medgar Evers, American soldier and activist (d. 1963)
  • 1929 – Imelda Marcos, Filipino politician; 10th First Lady of the Philippines
  • 1942 – Vicente Fox, Mexican businessman and politician, 35th President of Mexico (2000-2006)
  • 1947 – Larry David, American actor, comedian, producer, and screenwriter
  • 1990 – Margot Robbie, Australian actress and producer

Those who faced the final curtain on July 2 include:

  • 1961 – Ernest Hemingway, American novelist, short story writer, and journalist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1899)

Hemingway committed suicide by shooting himeself in the the head with a double-barreled shotgun. He was a troubled soul, but he could write.

  • 1973 – Betty Grable, American actress, singer, and dancer (b. 1916)
  • 2007 – Beverly Sills, American operatic soprano and television personality (b. 1929)
  • 2016 – Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, activist, and author (b. 1928)

Wiesel, of course, won a Nobel Peace Prize and wrote many books about his experiences, including his survival of Auschwitz. A photograph exists of him in the camp; he’s circled here:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, you’d think Hili would be glad that the starlings are there, but Malgorzata notes that “Hili is a very loyal cat. She knows that cherries are valuable to us and she feels that she is co-owner of them. After all, she is family. So she worries about cherries.”

Hili: There is no end…
A: No end of what?
Hili: This swarm of starlings which are only waiting until our cherries are ripe.
In Polish:
Hili: Nie ma końca…
Ja: Co nie ma końca?
Hili: Ta chmara szpaków, które tylko czekają, aż nasze wiśnie zaczną dojrzewać.

From David, a lawyer:

From Jesus of the Day:

Duck tracks at Botany Pond; photo by Jean Greenberg:

Here’s the video of the woman who didn’t know where her gas tank was; it was embedded in a tweet yesterday but the tweet was removed.

Eight tweets from Matthew. Here Joe Biden gives his American flag lapel pin to a kid, and then explains who he is. It is a touching video showing the decency of the man.

Matthew says, “Why didn’t they teach us this?”

I saw this the other day with a dolphin and a trumpet, with the choice of the mouth or blowhole:

Spot the crater! The second tweet gives the answer:

Matthew says about the tweet below, “Everyone sitting down – city ordinance against dancing in clubs cos they hated the hippies and the black folk.”

I don’t know the ins and out of pricing, but this does sound like a gouge. On the other hand, if it saves four days in the hospital, which costs more than the drug, though it doesn’t save lives. This tweet has been removed, but I saved it. I do object to taxpayers funding research that results in products for which they have to pay lots.

Here’s a link to a really nice article with swell pictures:

 

58 Comments

  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 2, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Poor lady at the gas station. I wonder if she is a PHD

    • Posted July 2, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      1. At least she was wearing a face covering.

      2. The woman you can hear on the commentary is also not the sharpest tool in the box.

    • boudiccadylis
      Posted July 2, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Why and who took this video? Are there a bunch of idiots (perverts) so at large that when they see a good looking young woman they have to not only video her but without permission send it out on the internet ether. I imagine she felt dumb enough without the whole world knowing it.
      Where is the gas cap on that vehicle anyway?

      • Janet
        Posted July 2, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

        I wondered too why there is extended video of this event. Looks like they set it up.

      • daniaq
        Posted July 2, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        I agree!

  2. jezgrove
    Posted July 2, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    The shark and the harmonica is great!

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 2, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    In the New York Times, Frank Bruni argues that Trump is “toast,” and that he’s already lost November’s election. I agree. I will be fun to see his tantrums then.

    I agree there will be much long-postponed shadenfreude in watching this incompetent buffoon taken down (if that is, indeed, what occurs in November). But I also have profound concerns over the agony and tsuris Trump will be willing to put this republic through in a last-ditch effort to protect his fragile ego, and over how many of his dead-end, die-hard supporters will follow him down this dark and foreboding path.

    None of us yet truly knows how low this man is capable of going.

    • Historian
      Posted July 2, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      “None of us yet truly knows how low this man is capable of going.”

      Indeed. If he wins, the next four years will mark the end of the United States as a great power, the probable end of democracy, and a world plummeting to doom as the effects of climate change become more apparent. This doesn’t even take into account what the coronavirus will do.

      If he loses, the period between Election Day and Inauguration Day will be fraught with extreme danger. Even if he leaves office voluntarily, who knows what he will do during these waning days. He may attempt to bring the country down with him, such as what Hitler attempted to do in his last days in Berlin as he was holed up in the Fuhrerbunker with the Russians closing in. My biggest fear is that he will incite his cult to violence while his Republican enablers say nothing.

      By the way, an appellate court has given the go-ahead for the publication of Mary Trump’s book on her uncle. His depravity will become even more apparent, although the likelihood that it will change the minds of any his cult members is not great.

      • boudiccadylis
        Posted July 2, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

        I too have wondered at the possible chaos he can create between election day and inauguration day. Actually it scares me. Is this the fall of the United States.
        I’m currently reading The Fall of Rome by Kyle Harper. I’m not too far into it but the symptoms and actions are familiar.

      • Posted July 2, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

        It’s now clear that Trump would indeed like to be able to kill journalists. He’s just too dumb to figure out how to use the levers of state to do that, so he can only drool over the way Putin and MSB get it done. Those around him are of course far more dangerous than he is — they’ve propped him up until now without any hitches, so if they get another four years, there will be plenty of time to organise that kind of thing.

        The election is still four months away. Think of everything that’s happened since the beginning of March (four months ago), and assume it will be more chaotic, destructive and dangerous than that period.

      • rickflick
        Posted July 2, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

        Here’s a horrible but likely scenario – he pardons all of his convicted cronies before turning over the keys. He’s already started with Flynn and Stone.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted July 2, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

          Trump will almost certainly attempt to pardon himself before leaving office — presenting the national with a novel constitutional question. He will also likely issue a blanket pardon for his family (or at least for Ivanka, since she’s the only one he seems really to like; the sons and Jared may be left to fend for themselves 🙂 ).

          Trump may also pardon his cronies and staff — depending upon whether he foresees any continued need for them. Loyalty is a one-way street with Trump, to be reciprocated only so far as it serves Trump’s own immediate interests.

          • rickflick
            Posted July 2, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

            I seem to remember Clinton pardoned one of his cronies triggering a wave of criticism. When tRump does it on a wholesale basis, it will likely be so expected, it won’t make a ripple.

        • Posted July 2, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

          I remember reading that he can’t pardon Flynn as the charges have been withdrawn. In other words, there’s nothing to pardon him for. And, once Trump and Barr are gone, they can refile the charges against Flynn. Lawyers, is this the case?

          • Mark
            Posted July 2, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

            Because the charges were dismissed with prejudice, there’s a time limit for new charges to be filed, and I think it expires before a new administration takes office.

            I’m not a lawyer, I read that somewhere online, so my reply is subject to correction.

            • Posted July 2, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

              Is it possible that the judge in the case will reject the “with prejudice” part of the dismissal? While the judge (Sullivan?) may not be able to force the Justice Dept. to proceed against Flynn, preventing future prosecution would seem to require a lot more justification than they have offered to this point. AFAIK, that is only allowed in cases where the prosecution has treated the defendant improperly in the eyes of the court. Justice may believe that but I don’t think they’ve made that case anywhere that would/should count.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted July 2, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

            There needn’t be any charges pending; a pardon can be completely prospective. See Gerald Ford’s pardon of Richard Milhous Nixon.

            • Mark
              Posted July 2, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

              Can the President issue a so-called “prospective pardon”?

              With respect to crimes committed prior to the issuance of the pardon, it appears the President can issue a pardon before
              any criminal proceeding against the pardon recipient has been initiated. In the1866 case ex parte Garland, the Supreme
              Court announced that the pardon power “extends to every offence known to the law, and may be exercised at any time
              after its commission, either before legal proceedings are taken or during their pendency, or after conviction and
              judgment.” Put another way, for the President to issue a pardon, the crime must have already been committed, but the
              President need not wait for an indictment or other information before granting the pardon. Take, for example, President
              Gerald Ford’s pardon for former President Richard Nixon, which granted Nixon “a full, free, and absolute pardon . . .
              for all offenses against the United States which he . . . has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the
              period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.” Although no indictment had been brought against Nixon, his
              pardon shielded him from any future federal prosecution based upon any criminal acts he may have committed during
              the time period stated. A 1995 memo from the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) confirms this
              understanding by the executive branch, noting that “throughout the Nation’s history, Presidents have asserted the power
              to issue pardons prior to conviction, and the consistent view of the Attorneys General has been that such pardons have
              as full an effect as pardons issued after conviction.”

              • Mark
                Posted July 2, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

                I apologize for that not formatting so well.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted July 2, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

                A president can issue a pardon for any past crimes, whether they have been charged, or are even ever likely to be investigated, or not.

                What a president cannot do is issue a prospective pardon for future crimes.

                Whether a president can pardon himself is an issue the nation has never before faced, and about which there is scholarly disagreement. In this sense it is like the unresolved constitutional question whether a sitting president can be charged with a crime while still in office (indeed, some legal scholars think that a sitting president’s immunity from indictment is the quid pro quo for a president’s powerlessness to pardon himself).

                By the time all is said and done with Donald Trump, the first issue may require resolution by the courts.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 2, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        “He may attempt to bring the country down with him, such as what Hitler attempted to do in his last days in Berlin as he was holed up in the Fuhrerbunker with the Russians closing in.”

        I’ve always imagined Trump making his last stand from the Situation Room in the West Wing basement, two loyal sturmbannführers like Stephen Miller and Corey Lewandowski armed with lugers alongside him.

        • rickflick
          Posted July 2, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

          tRump will make sure the scene is broadcast live, reality show style. Then he’ll brag – “best ratings ever”.

        • darrelle
          Posted July 2, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

          I don’t at all discount any of the bad scenarios even up to Trump refusing to accept election results and rallying his base to violence. But I also wouldn’t be surprised if Trump suddenly folds, takes his ball and goes home. All the while blithely acting as if it’s what he was aiming for the whole time.

          • Mark
            Posted July 2, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

            Democratic strategic James Carville said Thursday he sees a “significant chance” that President Donald Trump will withdraw from the presidential race before the 2020 election, and predicted that congressional Republicans including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will turn on him if he remains in the running.

            “I think there is a significant chance he doesn’t run,” Carville said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “I mean, this thing is going so poorly. He’s so far back. It doesn’t even — to me, it doesn’t make much sense for him to run.”

            • Posted July 2, 2020 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

              I wonder whether this is just James Carville using the moment to pile on. I have no problem with that and encourage him to do so. Any way we can get the message out that Trump is doing badly helps push supporters over the edge.

              As far as McConnell and the like abandoning Trump, I think it’s too late for that. There’s no way they can get away from this sinking ship. The earlier they abandon Trump, the longer Trump has to lash out at them before the election. If they do it a week before the election, no one will believe them or even listen to them.

              • Mark
                Posted July 2, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

                “This is the great ‘Moscow Mitch’ strategy. After Labor Day, we’re going to turn on him. That’s really going to work,” Carville said, sarcastically. “McSally and Sullivan and Lindsey have been licking his boots for three years and nine months. But boy, come Labor Day, we’re going to get some separation.

                “The chances of that working are zero,” Carville added. “He is going to take the whole outfit down with him.”

            • darrelle
              Posted July 2, 2020 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

              Huh. That would be interesting to see. I wouldn’t care to bet on whether that would improve the RP’s chances of holding on to the White House or not. Seems like it would be political suicide to me, but then their core supporters are too detached from reality to predict.

  4. Simon Hayward
    Posted July 2, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Couple of comments re remdesivir pricing. (And not to suggest that price gouging in the pharmaceuticals market is not an issue in the US in particular)

    First the prices is $3120 (not “nearly $2500”) in the US. Which is still a lot cheaper than four days in hospital. However, the tweet is pretty misleading. Gilhead pumped $300m into clinical trials, had unrecovered development costs and have to set up a production line. So while the per dose cost of the drug may be low (I have no idea – some are some are not) there is a need for them to recoup investments. The old joke is that the first does cost $2bn and the subsequent ones were ten bucks each. This is a product that may well have limited application after this pandemic so they essentially need to recoup their investment pretty quickly.

    The second comment is that the medical research system is set up for the government (i.e. the taxpayer)to pay for basic research, identifying draggable pathways etc., while companies do development and distribution. The public investment is then (supposedly) recovered through taxes on profits – another contentious issue! It could be argued that this is not a good model (especially for low profit areas like antibiotic and vaccine development which might well be done better by national or international organizations), however it’s the one we have.

    PS Glad you found the parking video

    • jezgrove
      Posted July 2, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      There’s also the cost of all the research and development of drugs that don’t work out and never make it to market at all, of course. The cost of the Covid-19 treatment sounds shocking – but then so does the cost of a few days in a US hospital.

    • Posted July 2, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      I was going to comment along the same lines, although with no specific numbers.
      The tweet is aimed at inducing easily triggered negative emotions about Big Pharma. But even a moments reflection quickly susses that out.
      Same with eventual Covid-19 vaccines. Whatever the cost, I’ll gladly pay it assuming they sort of work.

    • Steve Pollard
      Posted July 2, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Some good points. But there is another current issue here, which is that the USG is apparently buying up nearly all of the Remdesevir production for the next three months, despite the fact that the clinical trials showing its efficacy against Covid-19 were carried out (and paid for) by a number of other countries. Including the UK. A bit bloody unfair.

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 2, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    I had previously bragged about the assisted living facility where my wife’s mother resides but that too has changed. Two residence in the place came down with covid so now they have locked the place down even further. Testing of all residence and employees taking place today.

    • Mark
      Posted July 2, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      All such facilities should have been locked-down back when this started, and they should STILL be locked-down.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted July 2, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        Actually the place has been locked down. There is no visitors allowed. Anything we have for her mother must be left inside the first doors at the front. They had also stopped feeding at the dining area and all meals were in the room. So no residence allowed to leave and no visitors. But employees still must come to work and leave. All you can do there is monitor them as well as possible. A couple of weeks ago they started allowing a very controlled visit outdoors for one hour. It had to be scheduled in advance and allowed two people to sit in chairs outside a safe distance from the resident. That was the only thing they allowed and that has been stopped. So I am not sure what else they could have been doing.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted July 2, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

          My aunt and godmother, who, at 92, is now matriarch of the whole huge clan, is in a really high-end facility that — knock on wood — hasn’t had any COVID cases yet.

          I went up to see her late last year, since I got a call from my sister saying it was time to visit while she was still compos mentis. We had a grand old time.

          I called her the weekend before last to check in, and she still seemed of healthy body (relatively speaking) and sound mind. But then I spoke to my sister later the same day, who said my aunt had called to tell her she’d just seen my mother (who died in 2012) on CNN.

          That made me feel bad. I mean, I can imagine my mom coming back to take it to the streets to protest Donald Trump and police brutality — but I’m hurt she didn’t at least call me herself while back visiting this mortal realm. 🙂

    • Posted July 2, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      My mother is in an independent living retirement facility. They locked . it . down early on. No direct contact between staff and residents, and the residents can’t even socialize in the same space. It is very tightly controlled. But it seems very safe.
      I call her a lot.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted July 2, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        Maybe independent living facility allows the no contact but that is not the case in assisted living or in nursing homes. You can wear all the protective equipment, just like hospitals but the no contact just is not so.

  6. Mark
    Posted July 2, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Actually, the gas gauge of modern cars indicates which side the gas cap is on. There’s a triangle next to the gauge that points to the cap.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted July 2, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      I did not know that. Would have guessed it means turn this way for gas. Although my car tells me I have a low tire it does not tell me which one.

  7. Posted July 2, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I become very nervous when people start declaring/celebrating victory four months early…or ANY amount early, really. One should declare victory only once it has happened, not before. And then, of course, there are the possible problems people have noted above even if/when Trump loses the election.

    • Doug
      Posted July 2, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      This time 4 years ago, most people were certain that Hilary would win the election.
      Before that, people were certain that Trump would never get the Republican nomination. After he was elected, people were certain that he wouldn’t last the whole term.

      It ain’t over ’til it’s over.

      • Posted July 2, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely! And it is not just about Trump anyway. If Biden wins but Mitch McConnell is still in charge of the Senate, nothing much will happen. Still, it would be a big improvement but we need to go all the way.

      • merilee
        Posted July 2, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        It ain’t over till the tub o’ lard sings😖

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 2, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Those who faced the final curtain …

    Sampling Paul Anka lyrics made famous by Frank?

  9. merilee
    Posted July 2, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    🐾🐾

  10. Posted July 2, 2020 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    The whole drug pricing issue is a tough one. Although I am in favor of free markets, there are so many distortions in the drug market that it really doesn’t work. Drug companies can charge US patients enormous prices when they aren’t in a position to shop elsewhere and are forced to pay them. On the other hand, developing drugs costs huge bucks and someone has to pay for that. Then there’s the lack of motivation to develop drugs for diseases with few customers or only poor customers. There are areas of the economy for which free markets don’t work and pharma is one of them.

    • rickflick
      Posted July 2, 2020 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      I wonder if it’s feasible for the government funded research to carry with it some pricing leverage. We (the people) help you develop it, we get half off.

      • Posted July 2, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        That might work but this is such a complex business that I have no idea what the ultimate solution should be. First, we have to win the battle over those that want to rely solely on the free market. I am a big fan of the free markets but their are definitely situations where the market is distorted by conditions that can’t be eliminated by usual means. The fact that people that need drugs are in a terrible position to negotiate is just a fact of life. Of course universal health care that covers the drugs would be one solution.

        • rickflick
          Posted July 2, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

          What if there was a monopoly running the NY water supply. In fact it’s a private company. As the summer drags on, the water pressure is slowly dropped and the price inches up. The board of directors award themselves a $10 million dollar bonus. Some people at the bottom of the society cannot afford to flush there toilets. The parks dry up and turn brown.

          • Posted July 2, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

            That would be bad. What’s your point? Don’t local utility companies have prices fixed by the government? I seem to remember that they have to request permission to change prices. This is another case where people understand that there is not a free market for very good reasons that can’t be circumvented.

            • rickflick
              Posted July 2, 2020 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

              My point is, to what extent is a medicine that holds the power of life or death something who’s price should only be subject to a single manufacturer, or even the free market with several manufacturers where the supply remains low and the demand very, very, high. $3,000 per dose seems excessive in that case.

              • Posted July 2, 2020 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

                I think we’re in agreement. Even though the free market determines the price to be $3000, it doesn’t seem like a fair price. On the other hand, how does one determine a fair price? Looking at the cost to manufacture plus a reasonable profit, we arrive at a much lower price but this doesn’t allow the companies to cover the cost of developing the drug which is considerable. And what about the inevitable failure of some drugs? Drug companies don’t make such failures on purpose, of course, but someone has to pay for them. There’s also a big difference in price between poor countries and rich countries, and even between rich countries when one has a universal health system which can efficiently negotiate a fair price for all its citizens vs a broken system like in the US.

  11. Dave Weaver
    Posted July 2, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Karl Ferdinand Braun shared the Nobel with Marconi rather than Karl Friedrich Braun

  12. revelator60
    Posted July 2, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    “He was a troubled soul, but he could write.”

    Unfortunately toward the very end he was no longer able to write cogerently—his mental health was in ruins. And before then his gift had ebbed; aside from the wonderful “A Moveable Feast,” his later books were not patch on his work from the 1920s, which remains his claim to immortality.

  13. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted July 2, 2020 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    So I hear the erstwhile “war” president has now seen more people killed than the wars in Vietnam, Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan combined [ https://edition.cnn.com/2020/06/30/health/us-coronavirus-toll-in-numbers-june-trnd/index.html ].

    I woke up with articles having as headline “Trump’s US goes down in stupidity” [ https://www.aftonbladet.se/ledare/a/VbWLxl/trumps-usa-gar-under-i-dumhet ].

    And maybe we can now start to joke about it, the article pointed me to a recent social media meme:

    Here’s a quick visual summary of what got us here:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EbvH-VFWkAAKlTP?format=jpg&name=large

    I also want to point out the more satisfying news, that the science on Sweden’s middle way is in [and that it is from my alma mater]: what an epidemic model paper calls “a unique approach of not implementing strict closures, instead urging personal responsibility” seems to work.

    Sweden’s strategy to reduce the spread of the corona virus, which is largely based on recommendations and voluntary work, has worked. This is shown by a study at Uppsala University, where researchers, using computers, built a mathematical model.

    “The individual efforts have had a great effect and fundamentally changed the course of the pandemic in Sweden,” says Peter Kasson, senior lecturer at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Uppsala University.

    The study was recently published in the scientific journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

    “Powerful individual measures can work almost as well as a comprehensive shutdown – if a large part of the population adopts the measures,” says Lynn Kamerlin, professor at the Department of Chemistry, BMC, Uppsala University.

    Peter Karsson concludes that all Swedes who have stayed at home have prevented the spread of infection.

    – People have even been even stricter in their behavior than the authorities have recommended. Sweden is the ideal place for this strategy – people want to take responsibility, he says.

    [ https://www.svt.se/nyheter/lokalt/uppsala/forskning-visar-fhm-har-haft-ratt-taktik-for-minskad-smittspridning , https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/doi/10.1093/cid/ciaa864/5866094?searchresult=1 ]

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted July 2, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      The large blockquote is actually two pieces, see the source article. Oh, well.

  14. ritaprangle
    Posted July 3, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    The item on reversibility of percentages reminds me of something Hemant Mehta posted on facebook in response to a mother’s complaint about common core math. Her daughter was docked points on a test because, while the problem asked for the solution to 5 X 3, the student wrote down three fives, then totaled that to arrive at 15. But the solution given by the teacher was to write down five threes, then sum that to arrive at 15. So, the student was penalized for recognizing 5X3 is the same as 3X5. Hemant defended the teacher, and I was furious. This happened a long time ago, and I still get angry on behalf of the student.


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