Big spike in new COVID cases.

A couple of days ago we set a record with 313,000 new daily cases in the United States. Now it is 465,000. This could be a reporting delay due to the holiday causing more cases to be lumped into a single day. It will be interesting to see the numbers over the next few days. Right now, 165,000 out of every million people in the United States have COVID, which is pretty impressive considering that around 70% of the population has had at least one vaccine, and around 60% are fully vaccinated. We also have 41 million recovered people.


Covid Can Linger In Body For Months, Study Finds, As Fauci Sounds Alarm On 'Extraordinarily Contagious' Omicron Variant

Fwd: secure border

OM HOMAN: I hope the American people pay attention because it is shocking for me to say this: I have worked for six presidents starting with Ronald Reagan and every president had their opinion on how to secure the border. But, every president wanted a secure border. Now, understand this. We have the first president in the history of this nation when Joe Biden who came into office and systematically dismantled the most secure border we've ever had. No president has ever done that. 

Him [sic] with the help of Secretary Mayorkas have dismantled every successful border enforcement strategy that Donald Trump created in his administration. We went from the lowest illegal immigration, 35-year low, illegal immigration down 83%. We went from the most secure border I've seen in my career to the historic numbers. This past year, 2.3 million–that's historic.


Fwd: Disney+


---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: John Coffey
To: Larry

I still recommend getting just a month of Disney+ for $8. (They will try to sell you a more expensive bundle.)  It gives you access to all the Marvel films and TV shows, along with the same for Star Wars.  The Mandalorian is worth the price of admission.  I recommend the animated series in this order:  The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, and The Bad Batch.  

You would need a month's vacation to watch it all.

I haven't written a review yet, but I just watched the Amazon movie "Becoming the Riccardo's".   Fantastic biopic about Lucile Ball and Desni Arnez.




Omicron variant and booster COVID-19 vaccines - The Lancet Respiratory Medicine

The original strain of SARS-CoV-2 has an R0 of 2·5, while the delta variant (B.1.617.2) has an R0 of just under 7. Martin Hibberd, professor of emerging infectious diseases at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (London, UK), reckons omicron's R0 could be as high as 10. In the UK, cases of omicron are doubling every 2–3 days, which puts it on track to supplant delta as the dominant variant in the country by mid-December. It also complicates control efforts. "Contact tracing works well if you have about a week between one infection and the next", explained Hibberd, "But it is almost impossible to make it work if you only have 2 or 3 days between infections.

President Ford Predicted The Future? #Shorts


How do we know if something is true?

 Let's talk about how do you know if something is true? At some point, we have to trust experts, but it becomes a question of which experts to trust? Much comes down to how much evidence they have or claim to have. We can't look at all the peer-reviewed papers out there, although I have looked at a few. It is possible to verify some of the evidence for ourselves. Much of that verification depends upon trusting the sources that we see, but when the overwhelming number of people in the scientific community back a position we can have some confidence that it is true. Still, it is good to try to verify the claims being made.

I have been trying to understand the motivation behind the conspiracy theorists which seems to me to be closely tied to the anti-vaccine movement. If a person believes that X, regardless of what X may be, is actively trying to harm us or take advantage of us, then any claim that this is the case is going to trigger a person's confirmation bias. It is going to be seen as proof that the conspiracy theory is correct, regardless of how absurd or unverifiable the claim may be.

An example of this is a friend who is pro-vaccine telling me that Pfizer, i.e. "big pharma", is trying to profiteer off of the pandemic by recommending a booster shot, and possibly a different shot for the Omicron variant. I argued that those who gave us this miracle vaccine deserve to profit from it, and we have always known that vaccine immunity may wane. We have also always known that variants may come up that might need a different vaccine.

I'm going to argue that this is not how rational people think. When you have a worldwide pandemic that has killed over 5 million people then this is a serious problem. When a vaccine is created that is almost a cure for the pandemic, it is not rational to reject it unless you have really good evidence that the vaccine is worse. When claims are made against the vaccine, a rational person would make a really strong effort to verify those claims and compare those claims to what the rest of the scientific community believes.



Omicron, global exposure


The prediction that everyone in the U.K. is going to be exposed by Christmas does not seem remotely realistic. That is like two weeks from now.  We don't yet know the reproductive rate or the incubation time.

In the United States, we only have a small number of cases that we know of.  I'm sure that this will change.

We also don't know the case fatality rate, which so far seems very low.

This does not take into account mitigation efforts.

I am hearing that the symptoms tend to be different from regular COVID.  It might more resemble a cold. Unvaccinated people have more severe disease with much worse headache.


Re: Omicron COVID-19 variant found in 11 states as Delta variant cases are rising

That is fine.  I'm not trying to evoke panic.  I was just commenting on how quickly it is spreading.  If history repeats itself, it will be all over the country by month's end.  If this proves to be a milder version of the virus as some are saying, then this could be a problem that solves itself.  Everybody will get the milder but more contagious variant and aquire immunity.  Then the virus will turn into a seasonal disease like the flu.

In March of 2020, COVID-19 went from just a few places in the United States to all over the country by the end of the month.

I have been feeling slightly sick for two days.  I am hoping that it is allergies.  I have repeatedly had times where allergies made me feel bad.

On Sat, Dec 4, 2021 at 5:14 PM Albert  wrote:
News such as the omicron variant gets primarily two responses: panic or apathy. I say bring it on. We will all do fine.

On Sat, Dec 4, 2021 at 3:01 PM John Coffey wrote:


Carlsen-Nepomniachtchi: Predictions - Chess.com

For Magnus, it's inevitably getting difficult. It's already his fifth match, so I don't think the fire is burning so hard inside.
—Vishy Anand



The Amazon Fire HD 10 is 50% off right now in Black Friday tablet deal

I'm going to start off by saying that I don't know why anybody needs a tablet.  Compared to smartphones with large 5.5. to 6.5 screens, tablets are bulkier and more difficult to take everywhere.  However, Amazon has $75 off their 2021 10.1 inch tablets, which is a heck of a nice deal on already budget tablets.  Last year during Black Friday I purchased the 2019 model for $80, and it is fine as a tablet.  My only complaint, besides not really needing a tablet, is that iPads, costing hundreds of dollars more, feel nicer to hold in the hands.

If you want more processing power and slightly more RAM, and you probably should because it will provide a better overall experience, then spend the extra $30 to get the "Plus" model, which is also $75 off.

Reviewers have complained about being limited to the Amazon ecosystem, with the Amazon store and Amazon software.  However, there are fairly easy ways to get around this, and there are videos on youtube showing how to install the Google store or how to turn the device into a regular Android tablet.

You might get much more value out of the tablet if you have an Amazon Prime membership.




Re: Facebook's Odd "Metaverse" Move

This is an interesting take on the future of the "metaverse."  

I think that it overestimates the advancement of technology.  It might be a long time before we are all living in a virtual reality, however, we will problem see different degrees of this happening in the near future with augmented reality.  

I saw something a few years ago where you could rent a robot in a tourist location and drive the robot around from your computer at home.  However, the real thing has to be much better.  I enjoy riding my bicycle outside much more than I enjoy using my stationary exercise bike in front of my TV set.

White Tail Covid

A new study has found widespread COVID-19 infections among deer populations in Iowa.

Researchers from the Penn State University found that more than 80 percent of white-tailed deer sampled in parts of Iowa between December of 2020 and January of 2021 tested positive for COVID-19, according to an announcement from the university on Wednesday, Nov. 3.

"We found that 80 percent of the sampled deer in December were positive for SARS-CoV-2, which proportionally represents about a 50-fold greater burden of positivity than what was reported at the peak of infection in humans at the time," said Suresh Kuchipudi, Huck Chair in Emerging Infectious Diseases and associate director of the Animal Diagnostic Laboratory at Penn State. "The number of SARS-CoV-2 positive deer increased over the period from April to December 2020, with the greatest increases coinciding with the peak of deer hunting season last year."

COVID-19: New Study Finds Significant Virus Spread Among Deer Population | Middlesex Daily Voice


Pecans Appeared to Help Control Lipids in At-Risk Patients | MedPage Today

Eating fat can lower stroke risk as long as it's the right kind, study says - California News Times

Stroke: Which types of fat reduce risk?

Israeli study shows natural immunity delivers 13 times more protection than COVID vaccines

Ten states sue Biden administration over COVID-19 vaccine mandate for U.S. health workers | Reuters


You Are Immune Against Every Disease

World Population Growth

World population growth during my lifetime has been remarkably linear, notwithstanding 5 million deaths from COVID. On the year of my birth, the Earth had 3 Billion people. At the present rate, it will be 8 Billion in four years.


Human size hamster wheel

Why I'll NEVER buy a Samsung TV

DUNE Author Frank Herbert on Environmentalism. He Said This in the 70's!


This Frank Herbert 45 years ago saying that we would run out of fossil fuels in 40 years.

Tucker: This is the most deranged story in history

Columbus East graduate, athlete slain in Indianapolis

Poindexter was working for a delivery service at the time he was killed. Sources and news reports say that when police arrived on the scene of the shooting, Poindexter's car was running and the trunk was open. Sources and reports say Poindexter was shot multiple times and was unarmed.

Poindexter graduated from Columbus East in 2018

Apple SUED for refusing warranty repair!


How American Citizenship Is Under Attack

Follow the (Climate Change) Money | The Heritage Foundation

Worldwide the numbers are gargantuan. Five years ago, a leftist group called the Climate Policy Initiative issued a study that found that "Global investment in climate change" reached $359 billion that year. Then to give you a sense of how money-hungry these planet-saviors are, the CPI moaned that this spending "falls far short of what's needed" a number estimated at $5 trillion.


China circles globe with nuclear test

China tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in August that circled the globe before speeding towards its target, demonstrating an advanced space capability that caught US intelligence by surprise. Five people familiar with the test said the Chinese military launched a rocket that carried a hypersonic glide vehicle which flew through low-orbit space before cruising down towards its target. The missile missed its target by about two-dozen miles, according to three people briefed on the intelligence. But two said the test showed that China had made astounding progress on hypersonic weapons and was far more advanced than US officials realised. The test has raised new questions about why the US often underestimated China's military modernisation. "We have no idea how they did this," said a fourth person. The US, Russia and China are all developing hypersonic weapons, including glide vehicles that are launched into space on a rocket but orbit the earth under their own momentum. They fly at five times the speed of sound, slower than a ballistic missile. But they do not follow the fixed parabolic trajectory of a ballistic missile and are manoeuvrable, making them harder to track. Taylor Fravel, an expert on Chinese nuclear weapons policy who was unaware of the test, said a hypersonic glide vehicle armed with a nuclear warhead could help China "negate" US missile defence systems which are designed to destroy incoming ballistic missiles. 

The case for Russia collusion ... against the Democrats | TheHill

Russia Stole U.S. Hypersonic Missile Tech to Make Nuclear Advances – Bolton - The Moscow Times

'Favorite of presidents' Colin Powell dies of COVID-19 complications | Reuters

The Republican party wanted Colin Powell to run for president.  He could have been the first black President.  He actually turned it down because he thought that he would be assassinated. 


Journalist want to quit reporting both sides...


John Durham and the Mysterious DNC Email Hack

VIPS concluded that the DNC data were not hacked by the Russians or anyone else accessing the server over the internet. Instead, the data were downloaded by means of a thumb drive or similar portable storage device physically attached to the DNC server...

VIPS also determined that the files published by Guccifer 2.0 on June 16, 2016, had been "run, via ordinary cut and paste, through a template that effectively immersed them in what could plausibly be cast as Russian fingerprints." In other words, the files were deliberately altered to give the false impression that they were hacked by Russian agents.

Thanks to the VIPS experts, the Russia-hacking claim — the very prologue of the Trump-Russia conspiracy story — appeared to have been affirmatively and convincingly undercut.


Judge rules against natural immunity claim challenging COVID-19 shot mandate

Natural immunity

There was some early research that claimed that the vaccine worked better or longer than getting the disease, which makes no sense.  In the last couple of months or so there was some new research saying that having the disease provides better immunity.   Getting vaccinated after the disease creates the best immunity, which does make sense.

On Sat, Oct 9, 2021 at 11:35 PM Albert wrote:
I just read an article which showed research done by Pfizer's own scientist that those who have contracted COVID-19 and survived have better and longer lasting immunity than those who have taken the vaccine.

Chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov speaks at Purdue lecture series

I find it interesting that the former World Chess Champion is speaking out about freedom.


The science of growing old and older

Biogerontologists at Sierra Sciences are working to lengthen telomeres, the "caps" at the end of each strand of DNA, which get shorter every time a cell divides itself. After a well past middle age, the cells become inactive, as the telomeres get very short.

China Prepares For Possible Large-Scale COVID-19 Outbreak: Leaked CCP Documents


Tesla Autopilot Hits a Deer (and I think it will happen again.)


Personally, I think that autopilot is a bad idea.  Being engaged while driving is important to our survival or at least to maintain our skills.  

Can you imagine having an autopilot in a chess game where it only depends upon you to make the most critical decisions?  The player would not be fully engaged.

Maybe in a decade, it will be perfect.  Maybe the computer will be safer than my own driving, especially as I get older.  I can see using the time for something more productive.


Catching Criminals With Their Relative's DNA

There are obvious privacy concerns.


Stephen Hawking

Hawking warned that superintelligent artificial intelligence could be pivotal in steering humanity's fate, stating that "the potential benefits are huge... Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. It might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks."[364][365] However, he argued that we should be more frightened of capitalism exacerbating economic inequality than robots.[366]

Hawking was concerned about the future emergence of a race of "superhumans" that would be able to design their own evolution[351] and, as well, argued that computer viruses in today's world should be considered a new form of life, stating that "maybe it says something about human nature, that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. Talk about creating life in our own image."

5 Studies on Saturated Fat — Time to Retire the Myth?

I went looking for studies on fat intake and heart disease.  I ran across many studies claiming no association between saturated fat intake and heart disease.  

This isn't me trying to cherry-pick data.   I see contradictory claims everywhere, and I would really like better health information

Re: Sen Johnson says FDA approved vaccine not available in US

On Sat, Oct 2, 2021 at 1:33 PM Larry wrote:

SEN. RON JOHNSON: We do not have an FDA-approved vaccine being administered in the U.S. The FDA played a bait and switch. They approved the Comirnaty version of Pfizer drugs. It's not available in the U.S. They even admit it. I sent them a letter three days later going "What are you doing?" What they did is they extended the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer drug vaccine that's available in the U.S., here that's more than 30 days later, they haven't asked that very simple question. If you're saying that the Pfizer drug is the same as the Comirnaty, why didn't you provide FDA approval on that? So, there's not an FDA-approved drug and, of course, they announced it so they could push through these mandates so that people actually think, "Oh, OK now these things are FDA approved." They are not and again, maybe they should be, but the FDA isn't telling me why. 

Here are the fine details from Sept 14th...

COVID death rates

A while back I was surprised to learn that Brazil had lost one out of every 400 people to COVID. It is now 1 out of 356. At the same time, the United States was only 1 out of every 540, but it is now 1 out of 479. For those skeptics who frequently claimed that COVID had a death rate of only 0.2%, that is now the death rate of the entire US population, the vast majority of which hasn't gotten COVID. In terms of known and resolved cases, which is approaching 1 out of 7 people, it is 2.1%.

Best wishes,

John Coffey



Democrat on federal monetary system

"I read Joe Manchin's statement, I've listened to him. He has no understanding of how the federal government monetary system works when he compared it yesterday to his household income. That has no relevance to what we can do," Yarmuth, who represents Kentucky, told CNN Thursday evening.

"It's not a question of what we can afford. The federal government can afford anything that it feels it needs to do, and right now that's what we ought to be focused on," the Democratic lawmaker said

On Wednesday, Manchin released a statement asserting that he would not support $3.5 trillion in new federal spending. "I can't support $3.5 trillion more in spending when we have already spent $5.4 trillion since last March. At some point, all of us, regardless of party, must ask the simple question: How much is enough?" he said.


COVID-19 variant R.1 spreads quickly at Kentucky nursing home

A new variant of the COVID-19 virus has been identified at a Kentucky nursing home, where it infected 45 residents and workers, many of whom were vaccinated.

The R.1 variant originated in Japan, and contains dangerous mutations that can improve "transmission, replication, and immune suppression," a scientist wrote in Forbes Monday.

There are already more than 10,000 entries of the R.1 variant in a database used by researchers to track genomic material, infectious disease expert Dr. William Haseltine said.

The variant shares the highly infectious D614G mutation that is present in other variants fueling new surges of the coronavirus, according to the doctor.

"R.1 is a variant to watch. It has established a foothold in both Japan and the United States," Haseltine wrote.


Remdesivir reduces Covid hospitalizations when given early, study shows


What I Learned From My 'Mild' Breakthrough Case of COVID | KQED


The Boys Who Cried Wolf

Between 1 July and 1 October 2012, we received 13 serum samples collected from 4 patients (one of whom was deceased) who showed severe respiratory disease. These patients had visited a mine cave at Tongguan town, Mojiang County, Yunnan Province, China, to clean bat feces in order to mine copper before being admitted to the First Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University on 26–27 April 2012.

It also stated that:

We suspected that the patients had been infected by an unknown virus. Therefore, we and other groups sampled animals including bats, rats, and musk shrews in or around the cave, and found some alphacoronaviruses1 and paramyxoviruses2. Between 2012 and 2015, our group sampled bats once or twice a year in this cave and collected a total of 1,322 samples.

During these expeditions, the WIV sampled the closest-known bat coronavirus relatives of SARS-CoV-2 including RaTG13, which is 96.2% similar to SARS-CoV-2. To be clear, the RaTG13 and the SARS-CoV-2 viruses diverged more than a decade ago (2003-13 95% HBD limit). This distance in evolution is short enough to indicate that the more proximal ancestors of SARS-CoV-2 likely come from the same geographical region in Yunnan province and the surrounding area where the RaTG13 virus was collected...

We know now from Shi Zhengli's interview with Science that the WIV team sequenced the whole genome in 2018. This reveals interest in SARS-CoV-2-like bat coronaviruses shortly before the pandemic. However, we don't know if they indeed encountered SARS-CoV-2 itself or a closer progenitor than RaTG13 during their expeditions. There is also evidence of Wuhan lab scientists admitting to being bitten by bats and evidence of scientists at the Wuhan CDC not wearing protective equipment or taking proper safety measures during similar expeditions to bat caves. Given what we know about the research at the WIV and the Wuhan CDC and the interest in SARS-CoV-2 like bat coronaviruses shortly before the pandemic, and as SARS-CoV-2 easily loses furin cleavage site when cultured, the most likely route for a lab leak is, therefore, infection of a lab worker during field activity.

So what is the significance of a lab-related leak caused by negligent field workers? It is important to note that although humans outside of laboratories come into contact with animals more frequently than scientists overall, researchers are interested in viruses with human infection potential—and therefore they are much more likely than the average person interacting with animals to come across a bat coronavirus with human infection capabilities. The miners' story provides context that explains why Wuhan scientists were interested in SARS-CoV-2-like bat coronaviruses, and may well have accidentally brought it to a population-dense city and started a global pandemic. If it is confirmed that the pandemic emerged as a result of accidental infection of a lab worker during an expedition, that would raise the question of whether it is a good idea to construct major virology labs in a population-dense city with thousands of people traveling in and out every day.

The U.S. Department of State published a fact sheet in 2020 noting that the U.S. government had reason to believe that workers at the WIV fell sick with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 in the autumn of 2019. Later, it was more specifically revealed that U.S. intelligence identified three lab workers that fell ill in November 2019 and sought hospital treatment.



Shelbyville hospital boss urges skeptics to get vaccinated

In addition to Major Hospital being at capacity, he said the Indianapolis hospitals are at the breaking point.

Re: V'ger

There is a saying in science that it is never aliens... until it is. A great many natural phenomena can generate electromagnetic radiation.

On Wed, Sep 8, 2021 at 7:01 PM Larry wrote:

I am enjoying a great sci fi book called Omega from Jack MxDevitt, which has bad things coming from the galactic center...but here is something new in reality...

Astronomers have detected a strange, repeating radio signal near the center of the Milky Way, and it's unlike any other energy signature ever studied.

According to a new paper accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal and posted on the preprint server arXiv, the energy source is extremely finicky, appearing bright in the radio spectrum for weeks at a time and then completely vanishing within a day. This behavior doesn't quite fit the profile of any known type of celestial body, the researchers wrote in their study, and thus may represent "a new class of objects being discovered through radio imaging."

The radio source — known as ASKAP J173608.2−321635 — was detected with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope, situated in the remote Australian outback. In an ASKAP survey taken between April 2019 and August 2020, the strange signal appeared 13 times, never lasting in the sky for more than a few weeks, the researchers wrote. This radio source is highly variable, appearing and disappearing with no predictable schedule, and doesn't seem to appear in any other radio telescope data prior to the ASKAP survey.

When the researchers tried to match the energy source with observations from other telescopes — including the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, as well as the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy in Chile, which can pick up near-infrared wavelengths — the signal disappeared entirely. With no apparent emissions in any other part of the electromagnetic spectrum, ASKAP J173608.2−321635 is a radio ghost that seems to defy explanation.

Prior surveys have detected low-mass stars that periodically flare up with radio energy, but those flaring stars typically have X-ray counterparts, the researchers wrote. That makes a stellar source unlikely here


Merced River closed to public after California family dies on hiking trail in Sierra National Forest - ABC7 San Francisco

A cause of death has not been determined, and investigators are considering whether toxic algae blooms or other hazards may have contributed to the deaths.

Toxicology reports are still pending, and investigators have ruled out any weapons being used or dangerous gases from a mine along the trail.

On Tuesday, forest officials had closed access to trails in the area due to "unknown hazards."



How The Immune System ACTUALLY Works

Natural Immunity Is Real, And Here's What That Means | A Doctor Explains

China draws three bottom line on bilateral relations with U.S.

The U.S. must not challenge, slander or even attempt to subvert the path and system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, Wang said, stating the first of the three demands. Chosen by history and the Chinese people, China's path and system are matters of Chinese people's welfare and Chinese nation's future as well as core interests that China must firmly uphold, he added.

Secondly, the U.S. must not attempt to obstruct or interrupt China's development process, Wang said. The Chinese people have the right to live better lives and China has the right to modernize, as modernization is not an exclusive right of the U.S., he said, urging the U.S. to remove all unilateral sanctions, high tariffs, long-arm jurisdiction and technology blockade it has imposed on China as soon as possible.

China's third demand is that the U.S. must not infringe upon China's state sovereignty or damage China's territorial integrity, Wang said, referring to issues surrounding China's Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan. These issues have never been about "human rights" or "democracy," but concerning "Xinjiang independence," "Tibet independence" and "Hong Kong independence." No country will allow its national sovereignty and security to be compromised, he reiterated.

As for the Taiwan issue, Wang said it's even more important. He said the fact that both sides of the Taiwan Straits belong to one and the same China and Taiwan is part of China has never changed and will never change. If "Taiwan independence" forces dare to provoke, China has the right to take any necessary measure to stop it, Wang said, urging the U.S. side to honor its commitment on Taiwan issue and act prudently.


List of Wrong doings:

Wolf warrior" foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian explained the "wrongdoings" include U.S. visa restrictions on Communist Party members, increased supervision of Chinese students, sanctions on Chinese companies, and the U.S. extradition request targeting Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

First off, and without any apparent sense of irony, China is saying the only way Washington and Beijing can improve relations is if Beijing can make Washington's China policy. However, when we consider the issues China has raised, it becomes clear why that might be difficult.

Consider that increased U.S. scrutiny of Chinese student visa applications is necessary because many students are official or casual intelligence officers and agents.

COVID-19 origin tracing matters because there is a substantial possibility a devastating global pandemic originated in a Chinese government laboratory.

U.S. action over Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Xinjiang matters because of grotesque human rights abuses and China's betrayal of its treaty obligations. U.S. efforts to uphold free passage in the South China Sea matter because China intends to leverage access to those waters at the price of nations kneeling to its political demands.

Considering the South China Sea accounts for more than $3.5 trillion in international trade flows, this is no small concern.


Also on the list of "wrongdoings," was the suppression of Chinese companies, "harassing" of Chinese students overseas and attacks on the Confucius Institute. Beijing also wants America to not extradite Meng Wanzhou, a Chinese business executive who served as Huawei's chief financial officer.

Meng was detained and arrested at a Canadian airport in 2018 on a U.S. extradition request alleging fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud. The Department of Justice accused Meng of conducting "millions of dollars" in transactions that violated sanctions the U.S. had against Iran.

"For years, Chinese firms have broken our export laws and undermined sanctions, often using U.S. financial systems to facilitate their illegal activities," former Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement. "This will end."


How long does covid-19 immunity last? | The BMJ

How does natural immunity compare with vaccine induced immunity?

Various studies have shown that an immune response involving memory T and B cells emerges after covid-19 infection.11 But people's immune systems tend to respond in very different ways to natural infection,12 notes Eleanor Riley, professor of immunology and infectious disease at the University of Edinburgh. "The immune response after vaccination is much more homogenous," she says, adding that most people generally have a really good response after vaccination. Data from the clinical trials of the leading vaccine candidates have found T and B cell reactivity.13

Does vaccination make a difference to those who have already had covid-19?

There is some evidence that vaccination can sharpen immunity in people who have previously been infected with SARS-CoV-2 and recovered. A letter published in the Lancet in March discussed an experiment in which 51 healthcare workers in London were given a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Half of the healthcare workers had previously recovered from covid-19 and it was they who experienced the greatest boost in antibodies—more than 140-fold from peak pre-vaccine levels—against the virus's spike protein.14


This Virus Shouldn't Exist (But it Does)

Apple Store vs. Repair Shop: What the Right to Repair Is All About


Moderna Creates Twice as Many Antibodies as Pfizer, Study Shows - Bloomberg

On Tue, Aug 31, 2021 at 9:21 AM Albertwrote:
Some good news for those who have taken the 2-shot Moderna vaccine.

Moderna Creates Twice as Many Antibodies as Pfizer, Study Shows - Bloomberg


On Tue, Aug 31, 2021 at 1:59 PM John wrote:
It appeared that people had more reactions to the Moderna vaccine, so I wanted Pfizer.

The number of antibodies isn't the whole story.  Your body creates memory T-cells that provide long-term immunity.

From: Albert 

Most likely these are all moot points since we are just about to authorize booster shots for the original COVID-19 virus. Unfortunately, for us, COVID-19 will continue to mutate and we will have to stay ahead of the mutations. When the true "killer mutation" comes into being, our vaccines may be impotent and unable to save us. Thanks, China!

Now Games Can Look Like Pixar Movies - Unreal Engine 5

The bottom line is that the Unreal Engine allows massively detailed images to be generated in real-time for either games, or like on The Mandalorian TV series where they use a dome with screens on all sides to generate the environment for the actors to act in.  (https://techcrunch.com/2020/02/20/how-the-mandalorian-and-ilm-invisibly-reinvented-film-and-tv-production/)


The first version of the Unreal Engine was used to make a videogame in the late '90s called "Unreal".  I played this game.  By today's standards, it was very crude, but it was actually a step up from what we were used to at the time.


CNN: “There is no room to put these bodies,” Alabama health official says as COVID-19 deaths climb

"There is no room to put these bodies," Alabama health official says as COVID-19 deaths climb
The rate of Covid-19 deaths has increased in 42 US states in the last week, according to new data, as the spread of the more virulent coronavirus Delta variant has upended a spring of reopenings and led to increasing concern headed into autumn.

Read in CNN: https://apple.news/AWTntWpaaQOGf5U7Ub2n_fQ

Shared from Apple News

N95 masks

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: John 

There is misinformation that has been around since the beginning that claims that trying to stop a virus with a mask is like trying to stop mosquitoes with a chain-link fence due to the submicroscopic size of the virus.  However, N95 masks are designed to stop 95% of all particles.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQmZou7TaVc&t=261s

In addition, all masks help stop infected people from expelling water droplets that carry the virus.

On Wed, Aug 25, 2021 at 3:20 AM wrote:
If you can smell a fart through your mask, how is it going to stop a microscopic COVID-19 virus? It's not. Your most likely to get covid by touching a covid infected surface and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.


US Coronavirus: 'There is no room to put these bodies,' Alabama health official says, as Covid-19 deaths climb - CNN

The state activated two of its four refrigerated trailers for the first time since the pandemic began, Harris said, in Mobile and Baldwin counties this week.

"These are typically held in case of a mass casualty event for example, when a large number of bodies appear at one time. This is actually a situation that is happening in Alabama hospitals now," Harris said.

Antibodies waning? The immune system has a backup plan for that

The team noted that antibodies gradually ebbed, but that the shots generated durable immune memory to SARS-CoV-2 in the form of B and T cells that increased over time to help ward off serious illness.

Afghanistan: British Army surgeon used new parenting skills to comfort baby passed over barbed wire

Every effort was made to unite the children with their parents - and the baby girl was reunited with her mother, who are both now safely home.

He Was On The Fence About The Vaccine, Then THIS Happened


What immunity did having COVID give me? Do I need a vaccine? - WHYY

A prior infection offers protection in the range of 80%, compared to about 95% for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, said Dr. John Wherry, director of the Institute for Immunology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. That means about 15 to 20 out of every 100 people who have previously had COVID-19 could get reinfected, while 5 out of every 100 people who got an mRNA vaccine might get infected.

It is not clear to me why a prior infection wouldn't be more effective at preventing the disease.


An evidence review of face masks against COVID-19 | PNAS


Our review of the literature offers evidence in favor of widespread mask use as source control to reduce community transmission: Nonmedical masks use materials that obstruct particles of the necessary size; people are most infectious in the initial period postinfection, where it is common to have few or no symptoms (45, 46, 141); nonmedical masks have been effective in reducing transmission of respiratory viruses; and places and time periods where mask usage is required or widespread have shown substantially lower community transmission.

The available evidence suggests that near-universal adoption of nonmedical masks when out in public, in combination with complementary public health measures, could successfully reduce ReRe to below 1, thereby reducing community spread if such measures are sustained. Economic analysis suggests that mask wearing mandates could add 1 trillion dollars to the US GDP (32, 34).

Models suggest that public mask wearing is most effective at reducing spread of the virus when compliance is high (39). We recommend that mask use requirements are implemented by governments, or, when governments do not, by organizations that provide public-facing services. Such mandates must be accompanied by measures to ensure access to masks


During past national crises, persons in the US have willingly united and endured temporary sacrifices for the common good. Recovery of the nation from the COVID-19 pandemic requires the combined efforts of families, friends, and neighbors working together in unified public health action. When masks are worn and combined with other recommended mitigation measures, they protect not only the wearer but also the greater community. Recommendations for masks will likely change as more is learned about various mask types and as the pandemic evolves. With the emergence of more transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants, it is even more important to adopt widespread mask wearing as well as to redouble efforts with use of all other nonpharmaceutical prevention measures until effective levels of vaccination are achieved nationally.


I suspect that mask-wearing is marginally helpful, mostly to prevent the infected from spreading droplets, but not near as good as vaccination.  I find that wearing a mask for more than an hour to be pretty uncomfortable around my ears.  I am going to try to see if I could find a more comfortable mask.