Friday: Hili dialogue

We’ve already reached the end of what’s called the “work week”: it’s Friday, October 16, 2020, and both World Food Day and National Liqueur Day (my favorite is Green Chartreuse).  It’s also World Anaesthesia Day and World Dictionary Day, which is appropriate since we’ve just discussed some woke machinations by Merriam-Webster.

Lastly, it’s Global Cat Day. The first reader who sends me a picture of their cat will have it posted just below. Please give names (you and the cat) and a few words about the moggie. You’ll have to be quick.

. . . and, we have the first cat, went by reader Stephen Pilotte.  Thanks to the readers who sent other cat photos; hold onto them for another appropriate time. Stephen’s notes:

Here’s a picture of our last cat named after Emiliano Zapata. We had three cats: Hombre, Morena and Zapata. Unfortunately, Hombre and Morena died last year of old age. So only Zapata is still with us. At her age she loves sleeping (she’s probably around 15 years old). Also enjoys being petted on the top of her head and scratched on the chin. She mostly eats Temptations and junk food for cats. She often looks at me like in this photo. Usually, she wants to sleep on my lap or wants more Temptations.

Don’t forget Matthew’s talk on Rosalind Franklin today (go here for free link and information). It’s at 11 a.m. Eastern Time (U.S.) and 5 p.m. CET.

News of the Day: I got an email yesterday, only two days after I had deposited my mail-in ballot in the secure box at the local polling place (I didn’t have to wait in line behind the early voters):

Dear  Jerry Allen Coyne

The Board of Election Commissioners has received your Vote By Mail ballot, and it will be counted.
Thank you for the opportunity to be of assistance!
Visit this page on Vote By Mail or call xxx or email xxx [redacted by JAC]

Chicago Board of Election Commissioners

Eat that, Trump! Not fraudulent!

I didn’t watch either of the two competing Town Hall events (Trump vs. Biden) last night. If you did, weigh in below.  But here’s the good news! If you’re feeling low, go over to FiveThirtyEight and have a look at their election prognostications. Here’s their model as of yesterday:

The temporal path of predicted Electoral College votes:

And. . . Democrats are now favored to win both the House (“clearly favored”) and the Senate.

Yes, you can kvetch and say it’s just a prediction, and predictions were wrong in 2016. If you feel that way, bet me $50 that Trump will win!

As covid is breaking out anew in many places, it behooves us to think about mortality (I can’t help it). In the New York Times, columnist Charles Blow describes some lessons he learned when his brother died of an autoimmune disease at only 58. Here’s one lesson I keep relearning, both when I have health scares or see other people survive them. But we forget the lesson so soon!

Living life fully and without regrets.

As I often say: Stop living this life like it’s a dress rehearsal. This is the show! There is only one performance. You don’t have time for fear and hesitation. Pursue your dreams. Be yourself. Love who you love, openly. Be free.

Also, stop procrastinating. Stop thinking that there is time later to do the thing you want to do. My brother was 58, only eight years older than me. He had talked about moving back to Louisiana, but didn’t want to dip into his retirement early and incur the penalty. He was going to do it next year. Well, next year never came. He never got to enjoy the money he had saved and buy the house he wanted.

He died renting a small apartment in Texas.

I suspect Blow is an atheist, for this is NOT the show if you think it’s only a dress rehearsal for the afterlife. I’m always struck by observing that those who believe in life after death seem to fear death as much as atheists. But this is just my subjective view, and I don’t know of any data.

There’s some good news for those of you avoiding flying during the pandemic. As reported by the Washington Post, the chance of inhaling viruses on planes is far less than many of us thought:

A Defense Department study of the risk of catching the coronavirus on a packed commercial flight concluded that a person would have to be sitting next to an infectious passenger for at least 54 hours to receive a dangerous dose of the virus through the air.

Researchers concluded that, if passengers wear surgical masks continuously, very little of the virus spreads, because of how the air is circulated and filtered on the planes.

Of course, they didn’t have passengers walking around or talking to each other, as people tend to do on flights, but the elimination of viruses from air via filtration is far more efficient on planes than on any other normal indoor space. (I am not a doctor, so don’t take this as advice!) And of course there are risks involved in walking through an airport, waiting to board, boarding, and getting off.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 217,585, an increase of about 800 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll is 1,103,693, an increase of about 4,000 over yesterday’s report.  

Stuff that happened on October 16 includes:

  • 1793 – French Revolution: Queen Marie Antoinette is executed.
  • 1834 – Much of the ancient structure of the Palace of Westminster in London burns to the ground.
  • 1846 – William T. G. Morton administers ether anesthesia during a surgical operation.
  • 1847 – The novel Jane Eyre is published in London.

A first edition of that classic will set you back about $65,000. Here’s a photo of the title page:

  • 1859 – John Brown leads a raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia.
  • 1869 – The Cardiff Giant, one of the most famous American hoaxes, is “discovered”.

How anyone could be deceived by this 10-foot-tall block of carved gypsum (an appropriate stone, eh?) is beyond me, but Wikipedia says that people came by the wagonload, paying the equivalent of ten bucks to see what was billed as a petrified man.  It was revealed as a hoax within two months of the “discovery”, and now resides in the Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, New York. Photo:


Sanger has been canceled (Planned Parenthood removed Sanger’s name from its Manhattan facility) because of her adherence to eugenics, but her views are invariably distorted and exaggerated (see here). She was an antiracist and her work should be celebrated. A photo:

Here’s a poignant photograph of the outside of Sanger’s first birth-control clinic (source: NYT):

  • 1919 – Adolf Hitler delivers his first public address at a meeting of the German Workers’ Party.
  • 1923 – The Walt Disney Company is founded.
  • 1934 – Chinese Communists begin the Long March to escape Nationalist encirclement.
  • 1940 – Holocaust in Poland: The Warsaw Ghetto is established.
  • 1946 – Nuremberg trials: Ten defendants found guilty by the International Military Tribunal are executed by hanging.

Here’s a video of the verdicts; you can read the last words of the condemned and see photos of their bodies here. A list of the executed is in the obituary section below:

  • 1962 – Cuban Missile Crisis begins: Kennedy is informed of photos taken on October 14 by a U-2 showing nuclear missiles (the crisis will last for 13 days starting from this point).
  • 1964 – China detonates its first nuclear weapon.
  • 1973 – Henry Kissinger and Lê Đức Thọ are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • 1984 – Desmond Tutu is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • 1998 – Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet is arrested in London on a murder extradition warrant.

Pinochet died in 2006 under house arrest; he was never convicted of any crime.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1758 – Noah Webster, American lexicographer (d. 1843)
  • 1854 – Oscar Wilde, Irish playwright, novelist, and poet (d. 1900)

Here’s Wilde; you can’t miss his grave at the Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, for it’s surrounded by plexiglas onto which women have affixed lipstick prints (his gravestone was defaced in this way before the plexiglas was erected):

Before the plexiglas was installed (sculpture by Jacob Epstein):

  • 1890 – Michael Collins, Irish general and politician, 2nd Irish Minister for Finance (d. 1922)
  • 1898 – William O. Douglas, American lawyer and jurist (d. 1980)
  • 1927 – Günter Grass, German novelist, poet, playwright, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2015)
  • 1938 – Nico, German singer-songwriter, model, and actress (d. 1988)

Those who decamped from life on October 16 include:

  • 1553 – Lucas Cranach the Elder, German painter and engraver (b. 1472)
  • 1946 – Nuremberg trial executions of the Main Trial:
    • Hans Frank, German lawyer, politician and war criminal (b. 1900)
    • Wilhelm Frick, German lawyer and politician, German Minister of the Interior (b. 1877)
    • Alfred Jodl, German general (b. 1890)
    • Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Austrian SS officer (b. 1903)
    • Wilhelm Keitel, German field marshal (b. 1882)
    • Alfred Rosenberg, Estonian architect and politician (b. 1893)
    • Fritz Sauckel, German sailor and politician (b. 1894)
    • Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Austrian lawyer and politician, 16th Federal Chancellor of Austria (b. 1892)
    • Julius Streicher, German journalist and politician (b. 1887)
    • Joachim von Ribbentrop, German lieutenant and politician, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany (b. 1893)
  • 1973 – Gene Krupa, American drummer, composer, and actor (b. 1909)
  • 1997 – James A. Michener, American author and philanthropist (b. 1907)

Here’s Krupa with perhaps his most famous drum solo, in “Sing, Sing, Sing” here he is with Benny Goodman’s band in 1937 (Benny’s also seen playing that sweet licorice stick). Swing at its best.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is sorrowful at the onset of fall:

Hili: The leaves are falling off the trees.
A: Yes, but it’s not my fault.
In Polish:
Hili: Spadają liście z drzew.
Ja: Tak, ale to nie jest moja wina.

Two from Facebook:


From Jesus of the Day:

From Enrico (other sources concur): the pandemic death toll in the U.S. could be considerably higher than we think:

From Simon: a cobra knows how to strike from the moment it hatches:

Two tweets from Berry:

Scaring the bejeesus out of a hamster:

Tweets from Matthew. More Indian Runner Ducks, doing their job as pest-control agents (there’s music):

An excellent job of destruction:

Good god—how did this paper get accepted?

Matthew’s new book on the brain was one of the shortlisted works. The prize is £50,000 pounds, and I get 15 pounds for reading it for him (i.e., three pints). Fingers crossed for Dr. Cobb!



  1. Posted October 16, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Re the retracted article– the whole journal seems fake. The retraction is because the article was not about “Global Dermatology”, the theme of the issue in which it appears, not because the article was total bollocks. The authors of the retracted article publish in the same journal frequently.


    • DrBrydon
      Posted October 16, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      I was going to suggest the journal was trying to up its diversity scores….

    • W.Benson
      Posted October 16, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Six of the co-authors seem to be dermatologists. What goes? This is not their first crazy article. An earlier one that mentions Darwin should be both retracted and, in my view, burned. There, the authors say, “inspiring Darwin’s theory”, . . . they “propose a model which connects evolutions of neural circuits with evolutions of cosmos . . .” That’s as far as I got, but ouch.

  2. Silvia Planchett
    Posted October 16, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Life under a good government is rarely dramatic; life under a bad government is always so.
    Oscar Wilde

  3. eric
    Posted October 16, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    it’s surrounded by plexiglas onto which women have affixed lipstick prints (his gravestone was defaced in this way before the plexiglas was erected)

    Note to history: if I ever become so famous that woman want to kiss my memorial, just let them do it and replace the stone every 50 years or so. It’s much more artistic, elegant solution (IMO).

    • rickflick
      Posted October 16, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      I agree. Might be necessary to use plexiglass (easier to clean) during COVID.

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted October 16, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Did not watch either of the so-called town halls. Not sure why they call it that as there are very few questions from the crowd and seems to be primarily from the news person to the lying, I mean candidate. The outcome of this election is way too long and not in doubt. The democrats will spend the next four years attempting to clean up the mess. If they ever hold a meet with the candidates and just ask my questions, it is possible I would watch.

    • eric
      Posted October 16, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      I turned on the Biden one for about 5 minutes. Then thought to myself “why am I watching an infomercial about policy positions I already knew he held?”

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted October 16, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

        Just a few of my questions:

        1. What will you do to get money out of politics?
        2. Would you be for eliminating the electoral college?
        3. Term limits for federal judges.
        4. Additional amendments to the constitution
        to eliminate the Senate or change to represent the people.

        • Nicolaas Stempels
          Posted October 16, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

          Don’t amendments of the constitution necessitate approval of 3/4th of the State legislatures?
          And to even start the process, would it not need 2/3rds of House and Senate?

          • eric
            Posted October 16, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

            You forgot the Russian Roulette option: constitutional convention. That requires 2/3 of the states to agree to it but IIRC no Congressional approval.

          • Randall Schenck
            Posted October 16, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

            Yes, either that or vote to have a new constitutional convention. But so what, we have done several before. One amendment could be to change article V to make amendments easier. If you do not do these important things, nothing really changes. I happen to believe there is much that must be changed and the time is now. The current document has very much outlived it’s usefulness. The number one item that must be done is get the money out.

            • eric
              Posted October 16, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

              But so what, we have done several before.

              Huh? We have never used the convention process to amend the constitution. We used a convention in 1787 to set it up, but never since then.

              If you do not do these important things, nothing really changes.

              I’m not arguing against amendments writ large. My comment was more about the convention process. I called it Russian Roulette because once you’re in a convention, the group can change literally anything and as much of the Constitution as they want. With the legislative process, you propose a change to senate representation, you get or don’t get that specific change. With the convention process, you propose a change to senate representation, and might get the elimination of the 1st amendment.

        • eric
          Posted October 16, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

          Three of those positions are common questions and he gave answers to them as far back as the primary:
          1. Limit contributions to $3k/person.
          2. No. (Harris is a yes).
          3. No. (Harris is a maybe).

          AFAIK, your proposal/question #4 is not taken seriously by any mainstream politician. So while I doubt there’s any record of him addressing it, you must already expect that the answer is no.

          • Randall Schenck
            Posted October 16, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

            If you think an answer to any of the questions is a simple yes or no or that is not popular, you simply understand very little about the problem in this country.

            • eric
              Posted October 16, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

              I’m sure you can find paragraphs upon paragraphs of what Biden (and Harris) have said on those issues if you want. I was summarizing for you. The point is, you said you wanted him to answer these questions, when in fact he already has.

        • Posted October 16, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

          1. What will you do to get money out of politics?

          I would funnel government contracts to companies in which I have an interest.

          • Randall Schenck
            Posted October 16, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

            There is only one way really. Amendment to the constitution that announces public funding of federal elections. All candidates running would get this public dollar amount and nothing else. No private money or even your own money. This amount should be kept small and equal for all. This would also greatly reduce the election time for candidates.

            • eric
              Posted October 16, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

              In our non-parliamentary system, that would increase the number of crazies who run, making debates even more of a joke. So, more Marianne Williamsons. Possibly 100+ candidate elections like what California saw for Governor.

              Second problem is that this exacerbates the problems associated with non-preferential voting and first past the post. Everyone already complains about the greens hurting the dems or the libertarians hurting the GOP. Give all these minor candidates exactly the same resources as the major ones, they will stay in until the election rather than most of them dropping out earlier, and this problem becomes worse.

              I’m fully on board with campaign finance reform. But I don’t think forcing Joe Biden and Marey Carey to work from the same federally determined budget is the way to do it. Allowing some limited individual campaign contributions has the effect of narrowing the field to those candidates the population is serious about, in effect reducing a lot of noise and letting the strongest signals come through. The current system unfairly amplifies a few signals above many other worthy signals, which is bad and needs fixing. But what you’re suggesting cranks up the noise.

            • Posted October 16, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

              Sounds good but what would you do to stop people running just to get the federal campaign funding? How would primaries be dealt with?

            • Posted October 17, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

              How would you deal with organisations like the Lincoln Project? They are running some ads highly critical of Trump. That’s got to be worth something to the Biden campaign. How would you account for their spending given that they are not affiliated to How Biden? Would you stop third party organisations from running what are effectively campaign ads?

              In your answers please explain how you would deal with the First Amendment.

              • Posted October 17, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

                Yes, it seems impossible to completely get money out of politics without introducing unacceptably draconian rules. On the other hand, I would like to see some kind of legislation against outright lies in political ads. I’m sure there would be some horrific battles as we sort out the dividing line between free speech and misinformation. But there has to be some penalty for pushing conspiracy theories with absolutely no basis in fact.

              • Posted October 17, 2020 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

                You mean it isn’t illegal to lie in political ads now? I find that astonishing, assuming it is illegal to lie in normal ads that are trying to make you buy something.

              • Posted October 17, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

                Even lying on non-political ads isn’t a criminal offense, as far as I know. People have to complain and launch some kind of lawsuit. I may be wrong about this.

    • Posted October 16, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      I was going to watch Trump’s for a little while just to see whether he would tone it down in order to look more “presidential”. But I couldn’t find it though I admit to not looking too hard. Better to just hear the highlights on CNN.

      He was given a chance to disavow QAnon but didn’t take it. I will admit that the QAnon conspiracy really amazes me in the gullibility of a substantial part of the US population who truly seem to believe in it. They are even willing to be interviewed on TV, saying “Well, it could be true.” I’m sure a big part of it is that it’s become part of the Trumper identity. Which is more outrageous? The idea that Hillary Clinton is a pedophile that eats babies or that Donald Trump is a savior battling the forces of evil? It’s a toss-up.

  5. Andy Lowry
    Posted October 16, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Cat sent, and his “fingers” are crossed.

  6. Jenny Haniver
    Posted October 16, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Will World Dictionary Day occasion a post on words?

  7. phoffman56
    Posted October 16, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    “…I get 15 pounds for reading it for him (i.e., three pints)..”

    5 quid per pint. I can remember it being ‘one and seven’ in pubs around 1966, where in 3 years I’ll bet I scoffed down over 2,000 pints.

    That’s 1 shilling 7 pence, so IIRC, that would be 19/12 parts out of 20 shillings per pound of a quid, i.e. .08 parts, i.e. quid inflation has been about 5/.08 or a factor of about ‘62.5 times’ for beer inflation. An average inflation per year to get that in 52 years would be about 8% inflation every year.

    Wow, but that’s beer, not general inflation.

    Did I get the old money backwards, with instead 20 pence/shilling and
    12 shilling/pound being correct? Can’t remember. I think the reverse, but …

    • Posted October 16, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      There’s 12d in a shilling and 20 shillings in a pound. Inflation has gone up by 18 times since 1966, so a pint should be £1.43. Beer prices vary through the UK but £5 is not unusual in London

      However, about 50p of that £5 is alcohol tax and nearly £1 is VAT.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted October 16, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        So 240 pence in a pound. Odd the pence was about the size of a half dollar and the old 2 pence piece was very small?

        • Frank Bath
          Posted October 16, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

          £4.10 for a pint of real ale in my Greenwich back street local, cheap as inner London borough prices go. Prices rocket in town.

        • David Harper
          Posted October 16, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

          There wasn’t a two penny coin in pre-decimal days. You’re thinking of the three penny coin, commonly known (before 1971) as the threepenny bit. It was twelve-sided. The new pound coin is also twelve-sided in tribute.

  8. DrBrydon
    Posted October 16, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Regarding the Electrical College (as Homer calls it), RealClearPolitics reports that in the battleground states, although Biden is ahead, his lead is less than Hillary’s was in 2016.

  9. Posted October 16, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    I get the three silent k’s in the Senate but I don’t see where the four silent k’s in “knickknack” come from.

  10. Posted October 16, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Charles Blow’s message: “Don’t bother saving for retirement. You probably won’t live that long.” But seriously, it is difficult to decide whether it is prudent to spend your money or save it.

  11. rickflick
    Posted October 16, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Benny Goodman’s band in 1937 – none of these men is overweight! If you gather any 20 men in the US today, probably at least half will be chubbinskies.

  12. Posted October 16, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink


    A special thanks for posting columnist Charles Blow’s piece about his brother’s death. I’ve lost all four of my brothers—two of them, both younger than I, just last year—so I can definitely identify with his pain.

    As for how to “live life fully,” I still find Walt Whitman’s words in his preface to Leaves of Grass to be a good directive:

    “This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”

  13. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 16, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    1898 – William O. Douglas, American lawyer and jurist (d. 1980)

    Also outdoorsman, environmental activist, and prolific author, with about a dozen general interest books to his credit, in addition to his SCOTUS opinions and other numerous legal writings.

    Justice William Brennan was once quoted as saying the only two geniuses he met in his life were Douglas and Richard Posner, Brennan’s former law clerk, jurist, prolific author, and our host’s cat buddy at the U of C.

  14. Curtis
    Posted October 16, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Many of he extra deaths are not a result of coronavirus but a result of the reaction to coronavirus.

    “Delayed care, fear of seeking care or emotional crises stemming from the pandemic could have also contributed to these deaths”

    Lock downs have real benefits (fewer cases of coronavirus and the flu) and real costs (mental health, skipping cancer screenings, education, economic, etc.) We need to weigh the two in an method freed from politics.

    • Posted October 16, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      “Many of [t]he extra deaths are not a result of coronavirus but a result of the reaction to coronavirus.”

      If one wouldn’t have died unless they had gotten coronavirus, then that’s all that matters as far as determining death rate due to coronavirus. Weighing the risks vs the benefits involving lock-downs, mask-wearing, economic loss, etc. is policy, politics, and is worthy of discussion. Denying the real death rate due to coronavirus in order to pretend the risk is lower is playing bad politics and is a false discussion.

      • Curtis
        Posted October 16, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        How do we balance coronavirus infections, cancer screenings, mental health issues, education, etc? This should be THE discussion but I am not hearing about trade offs. If you have a link to this type of discussion, I would love to hear it.

        The headline “About 75,000 more Americans died from COVID-19 pandemic than reported in spring and summer, study finds”, at first glance, appears to say there are 75,000 extra coronavirus deaths.

        If this were so, it would be an argument for stricter measures. However, since many of those 75,000 died from the reaction to coronavirus, it is likely an argument for modifying our of measures to minimize the total cost.

        • Posted October 16, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

          You can question the 75k additional deaths but that’s a medical statistics question that doesn’t involve economics, risk/reward trade-offs. As you suggest, once we acknowledge the additional deaths due to COVID, it does change the economic risk/reward trade-offs.

          “However, since many of those 75,000 died from the reaction to coronavirus, it is likely an argument for modifying our of measures to minimize the total cost.”

          I don’t see this at all. What’s the difference between dying from “reaction to coronavirus” and dying from coronavirus proper? Assuming you can define a difference, how would it affect economic risk/reward calculations? It doesn’t.

          • Curtis
            Posted October 16, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

            I am not sure what you do not understand. The study says that 150,000 people died from coronavirus and another 75,000 excess deaths were also reported. Many of those extra deaths are due to things like not getting cancer screening or mental health issues or heart attacks from gaining weight and not exercising. I call these deaths due to the reaction to coronavirus.

            We need take actions to reduce the total deaths whether from coronavirus or lack of cancer screening or suicide or whatever. A lockdown that reduce coronavirus deaths by 5000 but caused 10,000 deaths from cancer and heart attacks would be foolish.

            • Posted October 16, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

              Now I see what you’re getting at. No, these extra deaths are due solely to coronavirus. They are deaths over and above those that would have happened if we we weren’t in a pandemic. They just weren’t diagnosed with coronavirus when they died. This means they weren’t tested not that they tested negative. This is a reasonable conclusion from the statistics. You can play games with it and pretend that because we can’t prove they had the virus then they died of something else but that’s just silly.

  15. pablo
    Posted October 16, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    The Cardiff giant had an enormous schwanzstucker. No wonder he was quite popular.

  16. Posted October 16, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    I really hope Democrats don’t get too confident from those 538 results. Vote like it’s 50-50.

  17. KD
    Posted October 16, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    BTW, why is there all this discussion about packing the Court?

    Make 70 years old the mandatory retirement age for Judges (after you eliminate the filibuster in the Senate). Bye-bye Alito, Bye-bye Thomas, now its 4-2, and you have 3 judicial appointments.

    • Posted October 16, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Imposing a mandatory retirement age would require a Constitutional amendment. Increasing the size of the court requires only an act of Congress.

  18. Michael Waterhouse
    Posted October 16, 2020 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    I think atheists fear death much less than believers. I have no data, just observation.
    It doesn’t bother me at all.

    Margaret Sanger was an amazing heroic women who played an enormous part in the freedoms women today posses. At the time she was tireless in her efforts to help the poor, of all colors escape the crushing burden of relentless pregnancy.
    Her views have been distorted and misrepresented.
    She is and should be regarded as an American and world hero.

  19. Wayne Y Hoskisson
    Posted October 16, 2020 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations to Matthew Cobb. The Idea of the Brain is a great read. First he explains the history of what we have discovered about the brain (it is amazing how much of it is recent history) and ends with about a dozen “alternative scenarios about how the future of our understanding of the brain could play out” because with all we know we do not have a complete theory of how the brain works.

Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: