2:00PM Water Cooler 12/27/2021

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, I will be taking a holiday breather, and running an abbreviated Water Cooler though January 3, 2022 (may it be a better year). Please consider this an open thread, and talk amongst yourselves. –lambert

Bird Song of the Day

A partridge. Although I have no pictures of pear trees.

* * *

Here are a couple Covid charts. Case count by United States regions:

I recall reading, though I’m too lazy to find the link, that the Biden Administration is shifting away from using cases as a metric, and toward hospitalization and deaths. So I suppose that means that case data is key. The last few days are certainly impressive.

Here are the CDC’s rapid riser counties as of 12/23/2021:

Thanks to the sharp eyes of alert reader ChrisFromGeorgia, I have helpfully circled the major cities that are also rapid riser counties — in blue. Looks like those Blue Cities have some sort of Enemy Within thing going on….

* * *

Big, if true. If we had a functioning press, somebody would ask Walensky about this*:

Now, it is true that Armbrust is a US-based mask manufacturer (and good for him). But WHO had the same view, Fauci told his noble lie so the proles wouldn’t demand masks, and the hospital infection control community is very insistent on surgical masks only for the lower orders, so this tweet rings true. Futher, the Biden administration has consistently denigrated non-pharmaceutical interventions or rendered them dysfunctional as part of its Vax Vax Vax strategy; reserving the good masks for professionals as an exception to the general rule would fit right in with that. And speaking of “fit,” wouldn’t Badger Seals fix that? Has CDC never heard of them?

NOTE * Or a whistleblower would throw something over the NC transom….

* * *

Contact information for plants: Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) find out how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal and (b) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (Carla):

Carla writes: “Autumn squash & gourds —- a mostly edible centerpiece. Nov. 2021.” Rembrandt would be proud of this still life.

* * *

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


    1. Lee

      A bumper sticker on my neighbor’s car reads: “If you love someone give them cheese.” He’s got quite the little DIY household food production operation going. He gives out jars of honey from his backyard hives during the holidays. Alas, he does not love us enough to have given us homemade cheese.

        1. Carla

          What a fun video — my mouth is watering!

          Just checked my Trader Joe’s whole milk ricotta — ingredients: whey, milk, acetic acid, salt.

  1. Samuel Conner

    re: consumer fit testing of N95s:

    is it that hard to let consumers have access to the materials used in fit testing? (some sort of sprayed nano-scale particles that are smelt or tasted if they get around the mask/face)

    But it’s not just consumers whose well-being is disregarded. All staff, up to senior MDs, at an oncology clinic I have been visiting are limited to the procedure masks. I don’t think it’s the employees’ preference.

    Me thinks it may be difficult for them to avoid an in-facility outbreak unless Omicron peaks and recedes quickly. The lost revenue from procedures canceled or delayed would, I expect, greatly outweigh the savings from not deploying N95s (this, of course, values the employees’ well-being at nil, but I think that’s just generally accepted accounting practice).

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Does it seem ever more obvious that the CDC’s real mission is to spread covid as far and wide as possible?

      1. skippy

        Reality shaped by dominate orthodox economics overrules all sciences and evidence to the contrary e.g. anything outside this doctrinaire methodological approach is an encroachment of illogical threats to be ignored at any cost.

        1. Jen

          So someone finally did the math on exponential growth and said “oh [family blog]! Everyone’s going to be sick! How do we keep the economy going?”

          And some stable genius replied: “shorten the isolation period. We’ve already done it for health care workers.”

          I really think these people do not understand the level of rage that is out there.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          The airline industry was asking for this shortening of the period. Did CDC do it to please the airline industry?

          Anyway, airports are potential superspreader places s I guess I won’t be taking any unnecessary flights anywhere.

          ( I hear United is do desperate for business that they have stopped beating passengers in the seats).

      2. The Rev Kev

        ‘Does it seem ever more obvious that the CDC’s real mission is to spread covid as far and wide as possible?’

        You gotta be reasonable about this, drumlin. If they don’t, how will we ever transition from the pandemic phase to the endemic phase of infections? We just have to learn to live with the virus so that we can get back the 2019 economy when everything was going so well. Well, for some people that is. /sarc

    2. Jen

      Is it that hard to stop referring to human beings as “consumers?” I can’t decide what irked me more about that tweet. Was it the very on brand application of credentialism to (checks notes) face masks, or referring to human beings whose safety would be materially improved by said face masks as “consumers.”

      Sorry, you’re not a mom, or a dad, or a kid, or a grand dad, or a teacher, or a health care worker, or any one of the millions of people who keep this country running. You’re nothing but a [family blogging] consumer.

      On another note, I’m seeing a level of rage from doctors, nurses and other health care workers directed at the CDC that is quite something to behold.

      1. Wuki

        “Consumers”: Picture goose with a funnel jammed down it’s throat being forced fed.

        “Customer”, “Discretionary purchaser”, “Patient” ” is more like it.

        Hot new post Christmas items for sale along Santa Monica Beach:

        N95 Masks with “F*** Fauci”, “F*** Biden”, or “OBEY” stenciled on them. Somebody must be selling rubber stamps with the same because seeing money with same messages on it in red and blue ink, plus hand written equivalents.

      2. The Rev Kev

        ‘Is it that hard to stop referring to human beings as “consumers?” ‘

        Can you imagine that instead of having a US Bureau of Consumer Protection, that instead that there was a US Bureau of Citizen Protection? That sounds like such a totally radical idea it tells you that there is something wrong with our take on society.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          And yet I think Ralph Nader approved of the name and the concept when it was first created.

    3. Lost in OR

      Another big advantage to the N95 over other masks is the sturdy metal strip over the nose. I can close the gaps at the side of my nose which significantly decreases the fog on my glasses. Without that I have to choose between the mask or my glasses.

    4. Reify99

      My N95 fit test:
      1.no fogging of glasses
      2. clean a kittie’s litter pan without smelling anything
      3. Can’t smell neighbor’s obnoxious dryer sheets with mask on
      4. Can’t smell cigarette smoke with mask on

      The main advantages to formal fit testing are:
      consistent conditions and the opportunity to adjust the mask after initial failure (smelling something) and to try again.
      It IS true that an ill-fitting mask can be as bad as NO mask.

      1. MichaelC


        I’m sure it’s a comfort to her to have received the outpouring of affection and condolences from her friends in this community. I’ve observed over the years since I’ve followed her that she mostly strives to keep the personal at arms length from her mission here.

        Perhaps Yves will let us know who she would like us to donate to in her mother’s name.

        My sincere condolences to Yves.

        The death of a parent is a uniquely personal experience and I wish her the best during these days.

        1. Mantid

          Good idea, see what Yves would prefer. Our father just passed in mid Dec. and we requested donations to the local Raptor Recovery Installation. She may have a favorite group to honor her mom. All moms (even the tough ones) deserve honor. Lambert, have a chilla in Manila vacation!

  2. allan

    For some unexplained reason, Larry Summers decided that he should share his thoughts on inflation and antitrust.
    A long thread, with such gems as

    However, as described, hipster Brandeisian antitrust, with which the Admin and its appointees flirt, is more likely to raise than lower prices.


    There is no basis in economics for expecting increases in demand to systematically larger price increases for monopolies or oligopolies than competitive industries. ,

    No basis in economics. Larry sounds desperate. Maybe the Maxwell trial is concentrating his mind.

    1. Procopius

      There is no basis in economics for expecting increases in demand to systematically larger price increases for monopolies or oligopolies than competitive industries.

      I wonder if I’m experiencing the first symptoms of senility. This sentence makes no sense to me. It seems like there should be a verb somewhere close to “systematically.” Also, too, I thought I remembered from intro economics that monopolies are expected to price gouge. Of course that was neoclassical econ, which does not fit with reality very well anyway, except I think the price gouging behavior does.

  3. Adam1

    Rapid Risers… that red dot in Upstate NY… that’s Tompkins Co. Mostly flyover country except for Ithaca which is also home of Cornell University. I’d put money on it being the university students (or those they hung out with after getting back to Ithaca) who came back after Thanksgiving from all over the country/world.

    1. John

      Don’t the blue circles mark most of the largest cities in the USA? As to the Cornell likelihood, my granddaughter attends SUNY Binghamton and that appears to be a yellow blotch non the rapid riser map. 18-21 year old persons do not want there to be a pandemic and many act as if there is not one.

    2. ambrit

      The red dots in the centre of Mississippi are Jackson, the state Capitol and biggest city.
      The red blotch at the lowest left corner of Tennessee is Memphis, a big city and major air hub.
      The reddish zone in the upper right hand corner of Texas is Dallas, yet another big city and air hub.
      The red area in Colorado looks like Vail. Nuff said bout that!
      The rosy blotch in Missouri looks like the Kansas City metropolis. Big city, colleges, and air hub.
      I’m a bit worried about what happens as the “new improved” virus spreads out from these nodes.
      Aren’t those ‘hinterlands’ the poorly served by “official” medicine regions?
      Stay safe! Remain vigilant. Believe your lying eyes.

      1. Wukchumni

        We rarely pass through El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles, which either is a rapid-riser, or there’s one hellova big UFO circling as per the map, and saw even more homeless living rough right off the freeway in every nook & cranny, with trash strewn about.

        I do volunteer trash pick up here and my share is 5 or 6 large bag fulls in a mile, i’d estimate 6 bags might clear out 10 feet wide and 30 feet up the embankment on one side of freeway. The look to me is the city has just given up, and it was never like that when I lived there, and if they can’t do the little things right, how can you trust them to do bigger things?

        We stopped @ a supermarket in the City of Angles and I went perpendicular winding through the aislerderness all masked up while my better half was stretching her legs outside the jalopy sans mask when a masked man in the near distance asked if she’d shod her face, please.

        You got the feeling the SoCalist movement is hep to how fast this bad boy is raging, you’ll infect 2 friends and they’ll infect 2 friends and they’ll infect 2 friends and so on.

        On the drive back through the Inland Empire (a warehouse Empire) about 1/3rd of the billboards were for 420 stores, what would Sgt Stedanko make of that?

      2. RockHard

        Looks to me like it’s Eagle and Pitkin counties, which is Vail (Eagle) and Aspen (Pitkin). But accurate enough, and should be interesting next week seeing the effect of all the Xmas vacationers.

      3. polar donkey

        Major indoor sports venues as well. The Lakers are playing in Memphis Wednesday. Expect 12,000 to 13,000 people. No masks.

    3. Lee

      Alameda county, CA where I live appears to be listed as a rapid riser but we are starting from a point of low rates of cases, hospitalizations and deaths, with >80% “fully vaccinated” and 40% with boosters, or as I like to think of it, “more fully vaccinated”, while the term, “even more fully vaccinated” can serve as a descriptor for those who receive a fourth jab.

      The highest prevalence of disease, according to our county map is at the University of California Berkeley campus and in the poorer districts. https://covid-19.acgov.org/data.page?#cases. The hospitals are nowhere near full capacity. But let us not forget, it’s early days as so often seems to be the case of late, winter has arrived and “the night is long and full of terrors.” Stay frosty.

    4. chris

      I’m pretty sure there are shenanigans going on with the Maryland data. There’s no way we don’t have any rapid riser counties per that map. We have several school districts with known outbreaks and our daily case rate curve is straight up.

    5. drumlin woodchuckles

      I went to high school in Cortland, New York, which is in Cortland County which is next to Tompkins County.

      I went back for our 25th High School Re-Union. Nobody else was interested in seeing the High School except me so there were no trips. I just walked there on my own on Sunday morning. I sat on some of the concrete benches.

      It was quieter than a National Park. There were zero plane overflights or even faraway flights the whole time. Cortland, New York was in ” not even flown-over” country.

  4. ChrisRUEcon

    Well, if you want to assess the root cause(s) of The Chicago Circle, look no further than Mayor Lightfoot’s December 21st Press Release (via Chicago.gov)

    TL;DR – By Vax Alone*, Shall We Overcome

    (* well, given that the indoor mask mandate pre-dates, and remains in effect)

    A couple noteworthy excerpts:

    Firstly, this goes into effect January 3rd! So yep, she gave a whole two extra weeks for Omicron to spread in the bars, restaurants and stores over Christmas and New Years!

    The vaccine requirement does not include houses of worship. Yes, the commentariat will remember well the articles posted in Christmas Eve links about choral singing being a super-spreading type event. #DeityTakeTheWheel

    Given that we in Illinois/Chicago are actually past the peak of last December/January, one would think we should be going back to the protocols enforced back then which included stay-at-home advisories and no public consumption of alcohol. Once again, business before public health, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

    I hope as others have seen elsewhere, that people will start voting with their feet, and just start staying away in droves.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      One might put that as . . . ” voting with their butts”, as in . . . sitting on them at home.

    2. LawnDart

      Bars and restaurants in NWI really do appreciate Lightfoot’s restrictions, for sure: lotsa IL plates around dinnertime and on weekends in Crown Point and Chesterton (don’t worry, Delta peaked in NWI about a week or two ago so they’re on the backside of that wave).

      Chicago’s independent bars and restaurants have been under assault since the mid-90s when the liquor license moratorium was enacted. Deep-pocket corporate groups (who have no problem getting licenses) will infest the shells left by independents after “public health” restrictions expire.

      The “vaccine requirement” is bulls#!t and does f–kall for public health: Lightfoot’s just mouthing the d-wing propaganda while she continues the scorched-earth policies against small/independent businesses in place since Daley 2.0 was in office.

  5. ChrisFromGeorgia

    200k cases per day. We did it, heckuva job Fauci, Walensky, CDC, etc.

    Here in Atlanta the lines for the drive-up testing sites stretch for miles.

    200k ! 200k!

    (Chant it to the tune of, USA! USA!)

    Merry between-the-holidays to all, despite my Grinchy start to the post.

  6. thoughtfulperson

    Do I see 250,000 coming soon? Time to move the goal posts! (oh right, hospitalization and death is all that matters) longcovid? was that?

    Really awful situation for all the evil unvaccinated children under 5. I guess they deserve to suffer the consequences (of our leaders inaction).


    Sorry about the snark. The situation puts me in a pretty bad mood!

    1. Samuel Conner

      > longcovid? was that?

      Given the stated goal of endemicity, I think it’s a very fat meal ticket for Pharma and the chronic illness care industry.


      Interesting to contemplate what “personal zero COVID” lifestyle might be like in a world in which CV is a recurring annual epidemic. I imagine it would be a bit like the early christians in pagan Rome — avoiding essentially all public events. They were thought to be an antisocial element; I think I’ve read that they were regarded to be “haters of humanity”.

      1. Caleffe

        It’s almost like they want Covid to spread for fungible profits and more social control.

        That is the conclusion to which most educated people arrive after witnessing “our government” in action at the federal, and California state level for going on the last two years.

        Do keep track of names and titles of those who are really making the decisions for future payback.

    2. Jason Boxman

      The Omicron variant is spreading quickly and has the potential to impact all facets of our society,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the C.D.C. The new recommendations “balance what we know about the spread of the virus and the protection provided by vaccination and booster doses. These updates ensure people can safely continue their daily lives.”

      Go die for capitalism. Tiptoeing back to business as usual.

        1. Robert Hahl

          I heard it on NPR yesterday, an “expert” said that the reason we have a new wave of COVID is because we did not vaccinate enough people in time. This was said in passing, but it may well have been his primary reason for appearing on the radio that day.

  7. Samuel Conner

    Is it too early to start speculating how the most progressive President since FDR will spin things in the upcoming SOTU address?

      1. ambrit

        Meanwhile, Vladimir Vladimirovitch bangs a shoe on his podium.
        (Heretical thought; why not put the naming rights for the annual speech up for auction? Let “The Market” sort it all out!)

      2. The Rev Kev

        Here is a preview of things to come-

        “There is no federal solution,” Biden said on Monday in a teleconference with governors. “This gets solved at the state level.”

        In other words, he is bailing and says that the pandemic is no longer his problem.

  8. Jason Boxman

    So I don’t think we’ve seen flight cancellations on the scale we’ve seen in the past week; This gives me a moment of pause, to be sure, when considering what this might portend in regards to the transmissibility of Omicron. I don’t recall seeing this with wild, alpha, or delta variants?

    Over the holiday weekend, airlines canceled thousands of flights as the Omicron variant hit flight crews. In all, about 2,300 U.S. flights were canceled on Saturday and Sunday of the Christmas holiday weekend, with more than 3,500 more grounded globally, according to FlightAware, which provides aviation data. On Sunday alone, more than 1,300 U.S. flights and nearly 1,700 additional ones worldwide were canceled.

    While some of the groundings were caused by bad weather and maintenance issues, several airlines acknowledged that the current wave of coronavirus cases, contributed significantly. A JetBlue spokesman said that the airline had “seen an increasing number of sick calls from Omicron.”


    An airline trade group has asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to shorten the recommended isolation period for fully vaccinated employees who test positive to a maximum of five days, from 10 days, before they can return with a negative test.

    I haven’t seen any concrete information on to what extend we’re having canceled flights due to exposed employees quarantining and to what extent employees are actually confirmed as having COVID. But if this gets into close quarters places of employment, it’s going to be unimaginably bad; airplanes at least have some kind of ventilation system.

    As data reporting catches up with reality this week, I don’t expect what we’ll see is all that great. (Somehow the obviousness that COVID is airborne and travels across oceans via air travel will continue to be ignored at the highest levels, I suspect, even now.)

    Stay safe out there! Biden’s ‘dark winter’ surely has arrived, but not in the manner he meant.


    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Somehow the obviousness that COVID is airborne and travels across oceans via air travel will continue to be ignored at the highest levels, I suspect, even now

      Covid is transmitted across oceans on the wings of little fairies. Everybody knows that.

  9. fresno dan


    According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the top 30 US billionaires are worth a total of $2.23 trillion. On average, that amounts to a wealth of $74.5 billion per billionaire among the top 30 richest US billionaires. Three months ago, each of the top 30 US billionaires at the time was worth on average $69.2 billion. So, over the three-month period, the average billionaire among the top 30 US billionaires each gained $5.3 billion in wealth.

    ou can kill someone with reckless usage of percentages. If I give a homeless person $5, and he already has $5 in his pocket, I increased his wealth by 100%. But he still is homeless and still doesn’t have any wealth. Percentage increases are touted as a way to show that the wealth at the bottom increased, when in fact, it increased by only peanuts because the bottom 50% have so little and even a big percentage increase is still nearly nothing, compared to the billionaire class.

  10. Tom Stone

    The Biden Admin is imploding and Harris has begun distancing herself from Biden’s policies,the SF Chronicle has actually had several neutral or mildly favorable articles about Harris lately, a big change.
    Once we start seeing coverage that talks about her work ethic and her youthful vitality we will know that it is nearly time for fresh drapes at the White House.
    3 to 2 odds we’ll see President Harris ( The people’s choice! ) on or before July 4th, 2022, with Joe retiring for health reasons.

  11. Expat2uruguay

    This looks important from Doctor Malone’s newsletter :
    Omicron: A Drug Developer’s Perspective

    Emergingg Microbes& Infections 2021 Dec 24;1-10. doi: 10.1080/22221751.2021.2023330. Online ahead of print.

    This is an interesting paper. The authors tabulate the 35 spike mutations in Omicron, listing out the mechanisms of action for each mutation as determined via computer modelling. This exercise gave insights into what Omicron might be capable of. They then tried to use this data to integrate new perspectives on future approaches in combating SARS-CoV-2.

    The authors write that Omicron appears to have learned from the older variants:

    “Only 6 of its 61 mutations are unique, the rest already existed in the sequenced genomic pool of SARS-CoV-2, including 20 very abundant convergent mutations that Omicron shares with other prominent variants. Notably, the Omicron spike protein contains 15 convergent mutations, all of which confer an advantage either in immune evasion or in transmissibility.”

    The authors then reviewed recent literature. They write that Omicron significantly escapes the two-dose vaccine regime, ranging from complete loss to 33- to 44-fold* reduction of neutralizing activities and that the 2-dose vaccination and the boosted vaccine(s) regime quickly loses protection against delta.

    The authors hypothesize that future COVID19 therapies should ideally meet three criteria:

    1.) it should have high potency and resistance barrier;
    2.) it should be effective at reducing viral replication and minimize viral spreading;
    3.) it should be effective against all SARS-CoV-2 variants, including the future ones, and avoid introducing additional selective pressure towards resistant variants.

    The authors conclude that the prospect of controlling spread of Omicron and the future SARS-CoV-2 variants by vaccination is not viable, especially if the virus continues to enhance its abilities in immune evasion and transmissibility.

    *Fold: A fold change is basically a ratio. It indicates the number of times something has changed in comparison to an original amount. For quantities A and B, the fold change of B with respect to A is B/A. For example, A twofold increase indicates that an amount doubled. Fold change is useful in examining data for increases and decreases.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Fold: A fold change is basically a ratio

      Fold change is so called because it is common to describe an increase of multiple X as an “X-fold increase”. This is good to know, since, given the context, I was about to file it next to “protein folding.”

    1. Tom B.

      Ah – after digging through the comments, finally found that the energy saving was actually 1.6 MILLION kW/hr. A common electric space heater is maybe 1 kW per hour so it was hard to see 1.6 kW amounting to much.

      1. juno mas

        …or to use the mega term for big numbers: It produced 1.6 Gigawatts.

        That number may just be the *calculated* quantity of electrical power installed and not the actual amount of power produced. But maybe not.

        Three cheers for this school to realize that “green power” production (solar pv) is best coupled with power conservation (LED lighting). My local community college made this conversion to solar and LED lighting and received a total return of investment (payback) in 5 years.

        Converting to LED lighting requires the use of lighting consultants as LED’s are much brighter (whiter on the color spectum) than other lighting types. My city is converting street lamps to LED and the complaints from some liveing near the new lamps say they are much too bright and need “cutoff” shields. Eventaully we’ll get it right.

  12. The Rev Kev

    Well this must have been awkward for the New York Times-

    ‘Max Blumenthal
    49-year-old NY Times editor Carlos Tejada died of a heart attack 24 hours after a Moderna mix-and-match booster. Instead of investigating and seeking justice, NYT omits this fact in his obit, the media looks the other way & his colleagues ignore it.’


    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Hopefully it was the kind of nice nursing home that people want to get into, rather than the kind of nursing prison that people would rather stay out of.

      Decades ago when I was visiting my brother in Greater Boston area, I visited Harvard and sat in the auditorium to hear back to back lectures by Stephen Jay Gould and E. O. Wilson. I don’t remember anything about the Gould lecture, but the Wilson lecture was about ” Evolution along an alometry” and used many examples taken from the world of ants.

      1. Robert Hahl

        I met my wife at an E.O. Wilson lecture that was open to the public. It was probably in the same room you were in, Lecture Hall D In the Science Building (looks like a Kodak camera pointing up.) The security guard looked her over, obviously not a student, and decided that her Eddie Bower jacket and hiking boots meant “radicle feminist” looking to protest Wilson having said something about female ants. She said that she was just into bugs, and he believed her.

      2. Carolinian

        The book may have used the term “retirement home”–perhaps more like assisted living. He had mobility issues.

        When Rhodes came there to interview him Wilson was meeting with Paul Simon, funder of one of his projects.

  13. Joe Well

    Hello, brain trust:

    any consensus on how well does the Badger Seal + surgical mask compare to N95? KN95?

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