Archive for April, 2020

Pandemic 22

April 29, 2020

Herewith, some more links that you might not have seen, or that you really should see, or that might just be interesting.

Quote of the day

But why is there such a close alliance between modern conservatism and quackery? One answer is that a political movement that demands absolute loyalty considers quacks more reliable than genuine experts, even if those experts currently support the movement’s policies.

Meanwhile

Vaccines. We’re working on them.

Bad news on immunity turns out to be a false alarm.

COVID Kills Hong Kong. Well, accessory before the fact.

How will it all end? It depends.

Microfiber cloth is best for home made masks. But you gotta stack it.

Pandemics of the future. We’re doomed.

Turns out, you do need a weatherman.

Taking Responsibility — None of the headlines are encouraging

Epic failure.

Loss of world leadership.

Failed state.

Welcome to the post-American world.

No, no! Trump is doing a good job!

Stuck @ Home?

Images of the British Museum.

 

So, what anime am I watching?

April 29, 2020

I have already done three TL;DR essays this season, on anime that didn’t hold my interest. Having pared down the list, I find that some of the ones I want to watch have a bad case of teh covid — production is paused for an unknown length of time.

While I am disappointed at the hiatuses, hiatusoi, hai… delays, I totally understand the need. Using Shirobako and Anime Runner as information sources, one can see that animators work in conditions that are ideal for spread of the virus, worse than the meatpacking industry. It’s not just that they are packed into their interconnected cubicles (more like MLB player lockers, really) , they work ungodly hours, get little sleep and worse nutrition. I’m surprised that some studio hasn’t come out and said “Half our staff has died, and the other half is on ventilators”. And Kyokyo Daha isn’t an approved anti-viral.

What that means, of course, is that the number of Spring anime that I’m actually watching watching has shrunk alarmingly. In fact, there’s only three: Bookworm, Villainess, and Tamayomi.

Ascendance of a Bookworm is the second season of one of my favorite anime/light novels. Now, Myne has gone from trying to survive in a sh*thole country (c’mon!, It’s a clone of the European Middle Ages, the definition of a place where the lives were like the people — nasty, brutish, and short) to trying to survive in the Byzantine politics of a Church/Nobility cultural intersection. It’s not just that she’s a commoner, it’s that she’s a commoner with Japanese cultural sensibilities.

My Next Life as a Villainess is based on a light novel series that I’m reading on J-Novel. Having been re-born in the body of a haughty, self-centered, mean-spirited noble in an otome game, Katarina (I don’t care how they spell it in the anime, it’s Kataria) fights to avoid her doom, and thereby shows the power of simply being a nice person. It helps that she’s a little dense (highly depleted uranium comes to mind, and the hashtag for the series is #Bakarina) and doesn’t see the impact of her actions on those around her. It also helps that she’s mentally no longer a noble, but instead her approach to the world is that of a commoner with Japanese cultural sensibilities.

Tamayomi is a classic Cute Girls Doing Cute Things…with Baseballs. Very muscular thighs, which you can easily see because they play wearing shorts, as if they were Australians. It’s not Big Windup by any means, but there’s just enough baseball in this baseball anime to make it worthwhile. It’s not American baseball by any means, it’s baseball with Japanese cultural sensibilities.

Meanwhile, I find myself filling in the time between avoiding covid specials with watching, or rewatching, such classics as the Monogatari series, Kotobuki, and, yeah, OK, Mayo Chiki. Not an anime, but I’ve just started a rewatch of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I’d forgotten how great the writing was.

Pandemic 21

April 26, 2020

Herewith, some more links that you might not have seen, or that you really should see, or that might just be interesting.

Quote of the day

In 20 years our country will be run by people homeschooled by day drinkers 

Meanwhile

Bill Gates on the Pandemic.

Simulating COVID. Do it yourself.

More on testing. It ain’t easy.

More on vaccines. That ain’t easy either.

Risk management. What have you got to lose?

So, how are workers doing in the hellhole that is Europe?

Double masking.

Ventilator.alt New from U of Chicago

Nursing homes.

The future of COVID.

Reopening in the Green Zone. Not that one, the other one.

Reopening on astroturf.

Question: Are Generous Unemployment Benefits Destroying the Economy?
Their answer: No, of course not.
My answer: We don’t know, we’ve never tried generosity.

Memories of my youth: I’m Old

April 24, 2020

SCENE: The day I knew it was time to retire.

ME, to CLASS: Passwords are important. The longer your password, the better.

ME: Here’s an example — HorseBatteryStaple

ME: But passwords shouldn’t be easy to guess

ME: Here’s an example — NeverGonnaGiveYouUp

OLDEST STUDENT IN THE CLASS: Isn’t that from a song?

ME: Class dismissed. I gotta go turn in some paperwork.

 

Pandemic 20

April 22, 2020

Herewith, some more links that you might not have seen, or that you really should see, or that might just be interesting. Note that these are getting further and further apart. It’s called tired clicker.

Quote of the day

At some point all the preppers are going to wonder if they purchased too much ammo and not enough cleaning products.

Meanwhile

Face shield template. Assuming you can find A4 plastic.

What the virus does. It also turns your toes blue.

Stock up.

Astroturfing.

Post-Covid Higher Ed. Glad I retired.

Testing theory and Santa Clara county.

Get ready to hibernate.

Hydroxychloroquine. Thanks, Trump

The reopening.

Yeah…about that whole vaccine thing.

Stuck at home?

Make a shield. If you can find A4 plastic.

Make a mask. Too bad it won’t fit the shield.

Where’s Waldo?

TLDR: Anime I never finished, Spring 2020 – Part 3

April 21, 2020

I have now managed to cut my anime load to six from fourteen. I’ll talk about those six later, right now, here’s the latest culls:

Sakura Wars, The Animation. Am I the only one who remembers the original Sakura Taisen anime from twenty years ago, the only one who still has a copy of the series on my shelf? None of the reviews I’ve seen do more than mention it, the way you’d mention the discovery of America before starting a discussion of the best Italian restaurants in Columbus, Ohio. Sakura Taisen 2000 takes place in the early 1920’s, before the destruction of the Asakusa Jūnikai skyscraper in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. Twenty years later, a new crew has been assembled for the Imperial Floral Assault Force/Imperial Opera Troupe [the two phrases have identical pronunciation]. They all look like 6th generation copies of the previous group, and the anime itself is a pale, CG reflection of ST2K. Plus, the mechas all look like chibi versions of the originals.

Arte. Appears to be aboutloosely based on… inspired by the life of Florentine artist Artemisia Gentileschi. I’d like to like it, but for some reason historical costume dramas just don’t work for me. I mean, I didn’t like Jewel in the Palace, either.

8th Son. After a promising start it became just another overpowered hero in an admiring isekai narrative. I guess I should have known. After all, Pratchett says the most powerful wizard is the 8th son of an 8th son.

Appare-Ranman. I was hoping for The Great Race, but all I got was Wacky Races. Besides, the tomahawk was, as far as I know, an Eastern Woodlands weapon, not one used on the West Coast or High Desert.

 

Bunny Rascal Does Not Dre…

April 21, 2020

So, the thirteen episode anime Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai has a 90min sequel movie, Rascal Does Not Dream of a Dreaming Girl. Funimation [they should only fall into the ocean] streamed it to the US on a limited release. Limited, in this case, seems to be for twenty-seven hours and fifty-four cents. Just long enough for me to watch half of it, but not long enough for me to pause it and come back the next day.

I was so irritated I sat down and binge-watched Straight Title Robot Anime. That helped, but not a lot.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

April 20, 2020

Garden Report for 200420

Mostly sunny and 65/40 through the weekend, but a touch of frost did for 7 of the 8 squash seedlings, even though they were in the greenhouse. Forecast for this week is the same, with some rain in the middle.

The tree people came. Planted a 4″ Redpointe Maple out front, a 2″ Autumn Blaze Maple to replace the Red Maple in back, and a Japanese Maple, Orangeola in the back corner. The crew that removed the Red Maple also ground the stump, but there were still lots of big roots. We ended up putting the Blaze up on a mound. I’m going to have to see about retainer blocks.

RedPointe Maple
(Sounds like it was named by a real estate developer)

Started seed on a bunch of tomatoes: German Johnson, Hybrid Parks Whopper, Brandywine, and Hybrid Better Bush. If there are seedlings out when I go to the hardware store for the retainer blocks, I may pick up some more.

Otherwise, the rest of the seedlings I started earlier are surviving, and there’s enough lettuce to supplement our supermarket icebergs. I need to get the irrigation system set up, and then I’ll be able to think about planting stuff in the garden.

Pandemic 19

April 19, 2020

Herewith, some more links that you might not have seen, or that you really should see, or that might just be interesting.

Quotes of the day

Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, told Axios the U.S. needs to be performing 500,000 tests a day to consider reopening. Other experts tell NBC News that number should be more like millions or tens of millions of tests each day.

Meanwhile

Why Boris Johnson will pay nothing for his three days in the ICU

More mask making.

Paper towels beat air dryers. Quite aside from not blasting the stuff around.

More history from Three Mile Island. How not to handle a crisis.

COVID relapse? Or bad testing?

You need to get out more.

How the CDC test kits got contaminated. If you try to do things too fast, you can end up breaking them.

Stuck at home?

Can you read Old Church Latin?

Can you read a 600 page book that isn’t War and Peace?

Memories of my youth: The BBC

April 18, 2020

On April 18th, 1930, a BBC radio news announcer, reading the evening news at 8:45pm, said Good evening. Today is Good Friday. There is no news.” This was followed by fifteen minutes of recorded music.

We lived in the UK in the early 1970’s. At that time there were two BBC television channels and the Independent Television Network, ITN. Their approach to filling the broadcast hole was more like 1930 than 2020. BBC1 and ITN would broadcast from 6am to 11pm but, as I recall, BBC2 would not come on until 2pm.

And on days when, say, a sporting event like a cricket match ended early, the announcer would say something like Our next scheduled event is in twenty minutes. Here’s some music until then.

Or, if a cricket match was forced into a rain delay, they were not above providing a stillcam shot of the pitch while the announcer read selected excerpts from classic cricket literature.

“…and then W.G.Grace stepped up to the crease.”

Pandemic 18

April 16, 2020

Herewith, some more links that you might not have seen, or that you really should see, or that might just be interesting.

Quotes of the day

I think people haven’t understood that this isn’t about the next couple of weeks. This is about the next two years.
Michael Osterholm, infectious-disease epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota

Everyone wants to know when this will end. That’s not the right question. The right question is: How do we continue?
Devi Sridhar, public-health expert at the University of Edinburgh.

Meanwhile

We’re not out of the woods yet, sweetheart.

Antibodies. What they are, and what we know about them.

Viral loading. What it is, and what we know about it.

Hospital ships. What they are, and why we need them.

Diagnostic testing. What it…oh, you know. And a comment from a previous decade.

CDC and FEMA are working on A Plan for re-opening the economy. Here’s some history from Three Mile Island.

Crime and COVIDness. Arrests are down, but crime isn’t up.

Seasonality. Don’t count on it.

Asian success stories.

What do the CIA, FAA, France, and Rita Wilson have in common?

Don’t eat that dog.

The military is rejecting some mask designs.

 

COVInt

April 14, 2020

Last week, ABC came out with a report claiming that the US Intelligence Community had issued a document warning about covid back in November and that the Administration ignored the warnings.

Supposedly, the sources were radio and computer intercepts, as well as satellite imagery. Since it was about Trump once again ignoring the experts it became a widely circulated story that was Too Good To Check.

The report was followed by a rare public statement from the National Center for Medical Intelligence claiming that no such document existed.

So, what’s the truth?

Here’s a detailed timeline, concentrating on US responses, dating back to 2017. Here’s the Wikipedia timeline, concentrating more on events in China.

Based on unconfirmed reporting, the first case in Whuan was on 17 November. Between then and the end of the year the Chinese social-media platform WeChat showed a spike in discussion of “SARS” on 1 December, and the Chinese equivalent, “Feidian” beginning to rise on the 15th, with phrases like “dyspnea” and “shortness of breath” trending a few days later.

Given that online discussions in the medical community would likely precede official reporting, it’s unlikely that the seriousness of the situation was recognized by the central government before the end of November. It’s also unlikely that there would be satellite-detectable activity — clusters of ambulances, for example — before mid-December. That being the case, any NCMI warnings were probably issued late in December, not November.

One of the problems here is that nobody has good data, and that all of the actors are lying, to some extent. The local governments are lying to the central authorities because they don’t want to seem incompetent. Beijing is lying to the Chinese people, the CDC and the world, because they cannot allow any hint that The Party is not in complete control of the situation. LIkewise, Trump and company are lying to America, for much the same reason.

On the other hand… there are some reports noting that Wuhan (a city the size of Chicago) is a large biological research center, with a major interest in the coronavirus. In that case, a virus that escaped from a lab would be noted by the central authorities far sooner than any public awareness, and it might be the resulting comms flare from Beijing that was reported in November.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

April 13, 2020

Garden Report for 200413

Nothing to report last week, and nothing much to report this week, either, but one gets tired of sitting in front of the PC, yelling at the Republicans. Weather is clear and cool, shading to cold at night. Very slight chances of snow and rain early in the week, then mostly sunny and 65/40 into next weekend. Tree people are coming on Tuesday to deliver three new trees, so next report should be interesting.

Started shoveling dirt to fill in Section 4 last week. Pulled all the muscles across my lower back and hips. Paused shoveling operation. Started it up again this week, properly protected with a warehouse worker corset. Seems to work. Layer of cardboard (household recycling is closed), layer of leaves (garden recycling is closed since the day before I collected them), layer of dirt from the stockpile. Repeat with twigs and dead weeds from our Spring cleaning.

The seeds I planted earlier indoors are now seedlings, so I’ve transplanted them into individual pots and put them out into my five year old Communist Chinese greenhouse on the deck. Most of them survived 28F temps Saturday night (the bottom shelf is kindof wilted, we’ll see if they recover), so it’s very nearly doing its job. Starting tomato seeds soon.

Seems to work

Pandemic 17

April 12, 2020

Herewith, some more links that you might not have seen, or that you really should see, or that might just be interesting.

Quote of the day:

FedEx can tell you where any package is in the United States at any given moment. But the nation’s leading researchers on critical care resources can only give you reliable numbers on ICU beds from 2017

Meanwhile:

Stockpile of 39 million masks intended for California found to be fraudulent. Discovery made by Feds trying to steal them for national stockpile

Road to recovery.

not so fast, there.

Making sense of models.

COVID-19A, B, C.

Herd immunity and vaccines.

Speaking of herds, the farmers are hurting. Drink more milk.

Responses to stay at home. The American colonial legacy.

Shortages. Highly optimized systems are brittle.

Recovery indicators.

Guess which major country is laying off health workers. Go on, guess.

Stuck at home?

Pizza risk calculator. How many pizzas is that activity worth?

Here’s some free D&D

How to draw robots.

Thoughts on homeschooling.

Yet another how-to for mask making.

Thoughts on clusters of COVID and Clovis points.

Memories of my youth: Apollo

April 11, 2020

I never had the best seat in the house for the Apollo program. When Apollo 11 landed on the moon, I was in Vietnam, and TV reception was terrible. When Apollo 13 took off for the moon, fifty years ago. I was in England, and while their coverage was good, the BBC didn’t follow the mission the way the US networks did. Plus, I didn’t have access to a personal TV in my BOQ. They did manage to splashdown during prime time.

We make it a point to watch the movie every April 11th. And Julia Ecklar covered one of my favorite songs about it.

Multiple Perspectives and COVID-19 Part 4

April 11, 2020

This is part 4 and final of a short but erratic series explaining how we can apply Linstone’s Multiple Perspectives to understanding the US response to COVID-19.

Previously, on MultiplePerspectives: The late Hal Linstone, was the founder of the Systems Science Program at Portland State University and the developer of an approach to framing problems that he called Multiple Perspectives.

Basically, MP says that every business/government/societal problem should be considered along three dimensions: Technical, Organizational, and Personal.

Technical looks at the hardware/software/knowledge aspect of a given problem.

Organizational looks at how a problem is impacted by the organizational structure around it.

Personal (in some situations Political) considers the preferences and opinions of the actual people involved in solving the problem.

So, how does this apply to the current epidemic? It looks like the four main components of a solution are:

  1. Detection, finding who has it, how many have it, where the hot spots are.
  2. Containment, keeping it from spreading, and dealing with the side effects (AKA effects) of your containment actions.
  3. Treatment, caring for those who have it, without giving it to the caregivers.
  4. Prevention, developing and distributing effective vaccines to prevent future outbreaks.

We talked about Detection in Part 1, Containment in Part 2, and Treatment in Part 3, so let’s move on to Prevention.

The Problem: COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus, similar to the common cold, only much, much worse. So the reason we talk prevention rather than cure is because unlike say, cancer, there is no cure for the common cold. It’s like nuclear weapons — the best way to survive one is to be somewhere else.  Right now, we’re not sure that even surviving the virus will give you a lasting immunity. What we’re hoping for with COVID-19 is that we can develop at least a seasonal vaccine. This is harder than it looks, because first, there’s at least three variants of COVID (that we know of) and we don’t know if one vaccine will protect against all, and second, based on how we handle regular flu vaccine, it takes four or five months for the production line to start producing, once we’ve identified this year’s flu type (and remember, we’ve had decades of experience dealing with flu).

The structure of a solution is relatively straightforward, from a Multiple Perspectives standpoint.

Technical requires the medical equipment to generate and test possible solutions, plus production facilities to produce the vaccine at scale, once it is found.

Organizational requires the ability to assemble teams of researchers with the necessary skillsets. Note that our experience with influenza shows that industry is remarkably inept when it comes to this sort of thing, and that academia usually has to do all the heavy lifting (and then the results are handed to industry so that they can make obscene levels of profit from it). It also requires a distribution organization to get the vaccine to where it needs to go, and then administer it when it arrives. We’re talking production line management, supply chain management, and health system management, off the top of my head.

Personal addresses the issues both of the necessary skillsets, and the (political) willingness to spend the money and cooperate with opponents to ensure that it gets done. At various points during the process, and at various levels in the bureaucracy, individuals will have to make decisions on how much risk we are willing to take in order to speed the process. As a historical example, several hundred children contracted polio after receiving an ineffective form of the Salk vaccine, because release of the vaccine was approved before protocols for testing each lot.

Conclusions. As I’ve said earlier, this series isn’t about a solution to our COVID-19 problem. It’s not even about how to find a solution. Instead, it’s about what things a solution will have to consider, either intentionally or by chance.

When you approach a problem like a COVID pandemic, you can’t just look at the technology and say “we need more ventilators”. You have to consider where they are (and how to make more), how to distribute them, what organizations will be responsible for the operation (CDC?, state health departments?, commercial companies?, politicians?), and what people will make those decisions (federal officials?, red-state governors?, corporate marketing?, Republican senators?).

Or take social distancing. That’s an interim technical solution while we develop a vaccine. Depending on a number of (mostly political) factors, a number of state organizations have mandated stronger or weaker adherence to social distancing rules. But the personal decision to abide by the rules turns on a complex set of attitudes towards government and science and society. In one recent study, the best predictor of social distancing behavior was attitudes toward climate change.

As with COVID, so with any other complex business or governmental decisions. The people who decry office politics don’t understand that this is one way to solve some of the problems associated with Getting Things Done.

Multiple Perspectives. It’s not just for pandemics.

 

 

 

TLDR: Anime I never finished, Spring 2020 – Part 2

April 10, 2020

At the start of the season I found myself with fourteen anime on my schedule. That’s two per night, and what will I do about the reruns of the 2001 Mariners games? That quickly became eleven,  then thirteen and now it looks like it’s going to hit ten. Reminds me of the Dow Industrials.

Sing Yesterday for Me. Lost loser looking for love can’t even find himself. Recent college grad (a) stays on at his job at the kombini, (b) gets friend-zoned by his college crush, (c) meets crow-training high school dropout, and (d) crashes his bike.

Episode 1 emphasizes his extreme lack of talent, ambition, or personality. This is evidently a phase everyone goes through immediately after graduation from college and prior to deciding on a career as an aniblogger. I was lucky. I had my orders to VietNam in-hand before I graduated, so I never had time for a case of the angsts.

Princess Connect. Obviously game based. Inept protagonist falls to earth totally unable to understand the world. Cute girl guides him. Bland. Generic. Uninspired character designs. Poorly animated.

Shachibato. Obviously game based. Inept protagonist falls for an invitation to become the President of an adventuring company. Cute girl guides him. Bland. Generic. Uninspired character designs. Poorly animated.

Gleipner. Obviously game based. Inept protagonist falls for …. didn’t we just do this?

 

Pandemic 16

April 9, 2020

Herewith, some more links that you might not have seen, or that you really should see, or that might just be interesting.

Quote of the day:

Every single measure of this pandemic is an undercount. Every. Single. One. Confirmed cases? Skewed by lack of testing. Hospitalizations? Skewed by huge # of sick people we are sending home because there’s no room in ERs. Deaths? Massive undercount because of dying at home.

Meanwhile:

The Intelligence Community got it right, got it early, gave a warning. Just for the record.

Hard data on masking material. Note that pulling a sheet tight over the end of a hose is nothing like wearing an actual mask on your actual face.

What will the recovery look like? Square root? Integral tree?

Now the Navy wants masks. Also, the Pentagon.

Seasonal coronavirus. What about COVID?

About that hydroxychloroquine study. That’s not how science works.

Simulating pandemics. You’re only as good as your assumptions.

We need a NHS.

Bring out yer dead

No good deed shall go unpunished.

Stuck at home?

Here’s a live streaming directory.

Here’s some food-themed board games.

Here’s a Shakespeare coloring book.

Here’s a mask-making site.

Here’s some James Dyson do-physics-at-home experiments.

Here’s a guy who sneaked out and did physics on an empty road.

Pandemic 15 — Sounds like a call-sign

April 7, 2020

Herewith, some more links that you might not have seen, or that you really should see, or that might just be interesting.

How to breath if you have COVID. His first statement says “flat on your back” He meant “flat on your front”, as he says later.

Systems Science and the pandemic. Everything is connected to everything else.

COVID and evolution.

Variolation. A debate.

BC flattens the curve. Better than the rest of Canada.

Germany flattens the curve. Better than most of the rest of the world.

America … flat on its back.

China. What happens next.

MASKS

My non-medical thinking about masks. If you are wearing a mask, it will reduce some of the virus contamination from breathing infected air, and any reduction will reduce the amount of covid viral loading on your system, and that appears to impact the infection rate.

Decision making. If you’re wearing a mask, no one can tell who made the bad decision.

more on masks.

Masks. The final word.

TLDR: Anime I never finished, Spring 2020 – Part 1

April 6, 2020

At the start of the season I found myself with fourteen anime on my schedule. That’s two per night, and what will I do about the reruns of the 2001 Mariners games? Fortunately, many of the shows look to be dropping of their own accord.

Listeners. Rock and roll saves the world from big black fuzzy things. I’m not a big music anime fan. I’m not a big mecha fan. Finally, I’m not a big fan of girls with giant MIL-P-642/2 patch plug sockets in their spines. FLCL could get away with that sort of stuff, but not Listeners, and the whole circle dance thing looks like it was stolen from Howl’s Moving Castle.

Where’s my yellow Vespa?

Bungo and Alchemist*. Literature saves the world from big blue fuzzy things. Author, not the real author, just a simulacrum of the real one gets sucked into a simulacrum of one of his books in order to fight the taints (yes, I laughed too). Entirely too meta, and not well-done meta, either. If you want to see how to do literary meta, read some of the Thursday Next novels (and why, pray tell, aren’t they an entire anime franchise?).

George and Ethel Taint

Tower of God. Girl wants to see the stars, and boy wants to see the girl, and then things get weird. Boy likes girl, who leaves him for a tower. Other girl likes boy and helps him get started on the tower. Other girl (not the first other girl, but an other other girl) also likes boy and breaks big bowling ball for him so he can move up in the tower. He gets out on the second floor, and nobody likes him. Reminds me a little of 2018’s Angels of Death. I didn’t like that one, either.

This way up

 


*Shouldn’t this be Bungo to Alchemist? Or maybe Author and Alchemist? That alliterates better.

Pandemic 14

April 5, 2020

Herewith, some more links that you might not have seen, or that you really should see, or that might just be interesting.

Kitchen sanity.

Mask making movie.

animal transmission.

exponentials. the new growth industry

vaccine steps. and a candidate. Also.

testing, testing.

Taiwan shows us how.

Santa Clara shows us how.

Supply chains.

Blame. More than enough to go around, but it always seems to land in the same place.

Masks. Also masks. And the next shortage.

Appalachian Spring.

Anime Preview: Spring 2020

April 4, 2020

Unlike others, who use knowledge of the source materials, close observation of the previews, and who actually read the press releases, I’m going to base mine on pretty much just the title and the cover art.

First, let’s say what’s not in here. Sequels and continuations of stuff I dropped before (Kaguya-sama, Shokugeki no Souma), shorts and kids stuff (Dino Girl ), movies and OVA’s, and anything with Shin or Digimon in the title

WILL WATCH: The title or the cover art is properly enticing, so I definitely will watch at least the first three eps

MIGHT WATCH: The cover art is not too off-putting, so I might watch it.

WON’T WATCH. The cover art and/or the title tells me more than I ever wanted to know on the topic.

Yellow Dog Democrat – 1

April 3, 2020

Back in the day, the Democratic Party used to own the South. That was because of long term southron hatred of the Republicans, the party of Lincoln, in a region where (as it does to this day) a casual reference to The War meant The War of Northern Aggression. There was a saying back then: I’d vote for a yaller dog, if’n he was a Democrat. That coalition held strong, as long as the northern Democrats turned a blind eye to the rampant racism of the south. Then, in 1964, the Democrats under Lyndon Johnson, passed the Civil Rights Act, and the southrons decided that what they hated worse than a Republican was a Democrat who stood up for the blacks. As Johnson told an aide at the time, We have lost the South for a generation.” And they did, because the Republican Party was more than willing to accept the racist mantle that would help them gain power, because to the Republicans, power was the most important thing in the world.

Well, we are two and a half generations on, and the Republican Party is even more concerned with power than with good government. I am going to write more about this, closer to the election, but I wanted to point out one area where the Republicans have just revealed their true natures — voter suppression.

On Monday, Trump criticised several elements of the pandemic legislation that the Democrats were pushing for. Elements that would make it easier to vote in a time of social distancing. Trump couldn’t stand that.

The things they had in there were crazy. They had things, levels of voting that if you’d ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.

Then, on Wednesday, Georgia House Speaker David Ralston echoed that position.

So, here, you know, the process keeps going up and up and up and so a multitude of reasons why vote by mail in my view is not acceptable…the president said it best, this will be extremely devastating to Republicans and conservatives in Georgia.

They don’t want to allow it because they know, they admit, that if all the citizens of the United States got to vote that they’d vote the Republicans out and never let them back in.

I should be a Republican. I am old, white, male, career military from a military family; lived half my working life in the Old Confederacy. I once voted Republican, but that was in a previous century. Now, thanks to what you read above, and myriad other things that I’ll go into come November, I have become what you’d call, a Yellow Dog Democrat, and it was the Republicans what did it.

 

Pandemic 13, not the moonshot

April 2, 2020

Herewith, some more links that you might not have seen, or that you really should see, or that might just be interesting.

My current take on the pandemic, in case anybody needs a refresher.

  1. In the short run, social distancing by itself only temporarily slows the spread
  2. Once the distancing directives are relaxed, if there’s any number of people with the disease, we’re right back to the Lombardy scenario
  3. Social distancing/curve flattening doesn’t reduce the total number who get it. It reduces the number who have it at any one time, easing stress on the health system. You don’t want a stressed health system.
  4. In the medium run, we are all going to get it. That being the case, you want to hold it off until we’re at a point where there’s enough ventilators to go around and we have a good idea of what drugs keep you alive while your body drives it out. And the doctors that are left alive aren’t staggering from fatigue and PTSD.
  5. In the long run, and unfortunately longer from now than my wine cellar will last, we will have a vaccine, and the virus will have mutated to a less virulent form. Then and only then can we go back to normal.

Humidify.

Maskirovka. Good summary. TL;DR we don’t really know if home-made masks work, but probably not a lot

Vampire vaccine. No, you go first

NWC wargame. Yeah, that’s what it’s like

Honesty in modeling. We knew this. Also.

Carrier qualms. They’re now in hotels on Guam.

Poopyvirus. Disinfect your butt

Good: Nafamostat may protect against COVID. Bad: it’s an infusion (= office only) and can cause anaphylactic shock

COVID and the ecosystem.

Exponents. They grow fast.

Kid stuff

Stuff for kids.

Plans.