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 blackbird, or “calling bird,” or (originally) “colly bird.”
Here are a couple Covid charts. Case count by United States regions:
Jaw-dropping. Dumbfounding. Flabbergasting. Impressive. The anti-triumphalist black “Fauci Line” seems beside the point. We are in unknown territory on cases alone. (Worth noting the case count is probably an undercount. Home tests don’t get counted, and not everybody can go get a test.)
NOT UPDATED 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 dotted the major cities that are also rapid riser counties — in blue (plus Denver and Nashville). Looks like those Blue Cities have some sort of Enemy Within thing going on…. (Chicago isn’t red, but pink, so no dot.)
Today looks worse, especially in the lower Mississippi.
Merry Christmas everyone! pic.twitter.com/jXryqtzj7e
— Luke Savage (@LukewSavage) December 25, 2021
Always shown plumping Mary's pillow, the midwife is a central figure in every Nativity image I've seen from this period. But she isn't mentioned in the Bible. So why is she there, and why did she stop being depicted? 2/
Bibliothèque Municipale 274 (Y.6) – England 11th C pic.twitter.com/YIPgXk6W70
— Florence of Northumbria (@FlorenceHRS) December 24, 2021
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 (Re Silc):
Re Silc writes: “Pear blossom. Never in December before. Chapel Hill, NC.”
Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the recently concluded and — thank you! — successful annual NC fundraiser. So if you see a link you especially like, or an item you wouldn’t see anywhere else, please do not hesitate to express your appreciation in tangible form. Remember, a tip jar is for tipping! Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of donations helps me with expenses, and I factor in that trickle when setting fundraising goals:
Here is the screen that will appear, which I have helpfully annotated.
If you hate PayPal, you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check. Thank you!