Howdy from Georgetown, Texas on Monday, April 5, 2021: National Caramel Day.
News of the Day:
I’m woefully deficient on the news, and I haven’t turned on the t.v. since I’ve been in Texas and don’t listen to the radio as I drive (I have Siri giving me directions). All I know is what I get from websites, which most of you know already. So I try to find odd bits and bobs.
Some lagniappe: If you’re a Beatles fan, the Guardian has a good article on Astrid Kirchherr, once engaged to the ex-Beatle Stu Sutcliffe, and who photographed, mothered, and molded the style of the Beatles (i.e., suggesting their “mop top” haircuts) when they played in Hamburg before they were famous. She also received lots of letters from the Beatles, One is below, along with a photo of her with Ringo and John.
Kirchherr died in 2020, and the letters are up for auction. (h/t: Jez)
I’ve been asked a few times if the severity of side effects you get with the second Pfizer or Moderna jab is positively correlated with your subsequent degree of protection from the virus. (This is based on the theory that a strong reaction to a second shot means that your immune system is well primed to attack the virus.) Well, The New York Times says “no”, that there’s no relationship. To support that, they say this:
A lack of side effects does not mean the vaccine isn’t working, said Dr. Paul Offit, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory panel. Dr. Offit noted that during the vaccine trials, a significant number of people didn’t report side effects, and yet the trials showed that about 95 percent of people were protected. “That proves you don’t have to have side effects in order to be protected,” he said.
Well, yes, fewer than 95% of people have significant side effects, yet your chance of not being infected is 95%. So yes, just because you don’t have side effects doesn’t mean you’re not protected. But that’s not the way to look at the issue. Suppose that every one of the 5% of doubly vaccinated people who nevertheless got infected in the trials (that’s about 1500 people) had no big side effects. That would show that Offit is wrong: that a lack of side effects does suggest that you’re less protected. (We don’t know the answer to this.) To answer the question, you need to show that the proportion of people having weak side effects is the same in vaccinated people who catch the virus as in vaccinated people who don’t catch the virus.
In a totally blah column in today’s NYT, writer Jennifer Finney Boylan gives us the answer to her title: “I know why I am here on Earth“. I thought it would involve God, but it doesn’t, for she doesn’t know what she believes. Instead, the answer turns out to be “because my mother and father mated with each other.” I’m not kidding! Oh, and there are flowers, too:
Did Christ rise from the dead? I don’t know. I wasn’t there. But I know that I am here on earth because my father loved my mother. There are hyacinths rising in my garden. I know what it is like to be loved.
Is “love” a euphemism here? Because, you know, love is not enough.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 554,579, an increase of just 277 deaths over yesterday’s figure—a sign that the pandemic is waning. The reported world death toll stands at 2,867,681, an increase of about 6,300.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has a dialogue with Paulina, who lives upstairs and is the staff for Kulka (and half of Szaron). Paulina took the photo, too.
Paulina: You look very threatening.Hili: That was my intention.
Paulina: Strasznie groźnie wyglądasz.Hili: Taki był mój zamiar.
And a photo of kitten Kulka. Look how big she’s grown! Here’s she’s sitting in Malgorzata’s chair in the kitchen.
Caption: At the Easter table.
Some memes, including leftover Easter memes.
A tweet from Titania which is the first one I remember in which she tacitly admits she’s spoofing:
We are fortunate to live in one of the most tolerant societies that has ever existed. Although there are still some problems, by seeing absolutely everything through the prism of race, gender and sexuality we are generating further division in the name of progress.#AprilFools
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) April 1, 2021
From Merilee, who found it on Facebook. I’m afraid that with my extreme love of Marshmallow Peeps, I’d gnaw that dress to nothing in a few minutes flat:
Tweets from Matthew. Sound up on this one. He says, “I don’t care about basketball but this is exciting.” This is the UCLA/Gonzaga game in which Gonzaga sunk a three-pointer in the final seconds of overtime to win 93-90. See below what was happening on the court.
In case you missed it: https://t.co/40gOibFXLs
— Oded Rechavi 🦉 (@OdedRechavi) April 4, 2021
Can you believe it: a gecko that squirts foul-smelling fluid from holes in its tail! I had no idea.
The golden-tailed gecko, native to Australia, is known to shoot a sticky, foul-smelling substance from its tail when threatened.
— A Book of Rather Strange Animals (@StrangeAnimaIs) April 3, 2021
This is a good one. I don’t know the conductor, but I’m sure at least one reader will.
— Lloyd Legalist (@LloydLegalist) April 2, 2021
This artist must have been very busy!
During the easter weekend of 2012 an anonymous artist placed 5000 stoneware eggs in various shapes & sizes in the River Thames. They travelled for miles & I've been lucky enough to find 2. This one rattles! Happy Easter #HappyEaster2021 #mudlarking #mudlark pic.twitter.com/RWu11tVPZ5
— nicola white mudlark (@TideLineArt) April 4, 2021
Caterpillars that group stand a better chance of individual survival than if they strike out on their own. The translation of this tweet from the Portuguese:
Popular mourning pink butterfly, Heraclides anchisiades caterpillars stay close together to ensure greater chances of survival against parasitism and predation.
"Se a vida te der limões…." não pera… 😲
Popular Borboleta-rosa-de -luto, as lagartas de Heraclides anchisiades ficam juntinhas para garantir maiores chances de sobrevivência contra parasitismo e predação. pic.twitter.com/TYCd1pd78z
— MARIPOSAS DO BRASIL 🦋🇧🇷 – Jhonatan Santos 🦋🐛 (@Jhonatan_xpp) April 3, 2021