Covid-19 FYI

Yes Irene yet another blog with yet more Covid-19 news….the news that is not sensational to make the major outlets.

Someone has to read this stuff and try to keep the unwilling to be informed….so why not the old professor who needs stuff for weekends?

There had been some confusion about whether the virus can be passed on surfaces……the CDC tries to clarify….

Wiping down groceries to protect yourself from the coronavirus might be overkill, according to the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency says in its updated guidelines that while it “may be possible” for someone to become infected by touching a surface with the virus on it and then touching their face, it “does not spread easily” in this manner, USA Today reports. The risk of the virus spreading from animals to people or vice versa is also considered low. “COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning about how it spreads,” the CDC says. “It may be possible for COVID-19 to spread in other ways, but these are not thought to be the main ways the virus spreads.”

The agency warned, however, that the virus “is spreading very easily” between people. Dr. John Whyte, chief medical officer for WebMD, tells Fox that the updated guidance “may help reduce anxiety and stress.” “Many people were concerned that by simply touching an object they may get coronavirus and that’s simply not the case,” he says. “Even when a virus may stay on a surface, it doesn’t mean that it’s actually infectious,” Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, says infected surfaces are “little paths” and person-to-person contact is a “highway.” “The safest thing is to continue social distancing, wear masks, and wash hands frequently and thoroughly,” he says.

More depth info……

What the virus and exercise?

Amidst a global pandemic, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to sort the safe from the risky. Should we wear masks outdoors? What happens when a cyclist or runner passes by while not wearing one?

That’s why University of Massachusetts Dartmouth associate professor of biology Erin Bromage decided to start a blog about how to keep safe — and his latest post is going viral because it confronts difficult and common questions.

“A big part of me writing these posts is just to give some tangible advice to friends, family, about what risks they should really be worrying about and wasting mental energy on,” Bromage told CNN.

What about public restrooms?

When Steven Soifer, a social work professor at the University of Mississippi, and his wife finally left social isolation for the first time since early March, they encountered a familiar problem: the call of nature. They first stopped by a Starbucks, but the franchise was taking drive-through orders only — the bathrooms were closed. Eventually, the couple came across a gas station, where one toilet seemed to be open.

“I walked in, and I had my face mask on and rubber gloves, so I figured, no problem at all,” explains Soifer, who also heads the American Restroom Association. “And so I lift up the toilet seat, and I realized: Oh my god, that touched the rubber gloves. So I’ve got a problem here.”

This pandemic has been yet another nail in the unity of the nation’s coffin….the country is more divided than before……the time for unity has been lost….

Red- and blue-state America was already divided before the coronavirus epidemic hit. Globalization had enriched the East Coast and West Coast corridors but hollowed out much in between.

The traditional values of small towns and rural counties were increasingly at odds with postmodern lifestyles in the cities.

There were, of course, traditionalists in blue states. And lots of progressives live in red states. But people increasingly self-segregate to where they feel at home and where politics, jobs, and culture reflect their tastes.

The ensuing left/right, liberal/conservative, Democrat/Republican divide not only intensified in the 21st century, it also took on a dangerous geographical separatism.

The coasts vs. the interior reflects two Americas — often in a manner similar to the old Mason–Dixon line that geographically split the U.S. for roughly a century.

Take a break from missed news…..Speaking of the National Review……that bastion of conserv thought….it has finally said what they think…”F*ck White People”….that is according to one blogger….

Kevin Williamson for The National Review had this to say about poor whites:

Nothing happened to them. There wasn’t some awful disaster. There wasn’t a war or a famine or a plague or a foreign occupation. Even the economic changes of the past few decades do very little to explain the dysfunction and negligence — and the incomprehensible malice — of poor white America. So the gypsum business in Garbutt ain’t what it used to be. There is more to life in the 21st century than wallboard and cheap sentimentality about how the Man closed the factories down.

Trump screws Guardsmen…..

In 2017, Donald Trump signed something called the “Forever GI Bill” at his company’s golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey. The law expanded the educational benefits that had been made available under the “Post-9/11 GI Bill,” which was passed in 2008, and which supplemented various benefits that can be traced back to the original 1944 GI Bill. The White House would later tout the “Forever GI Bill” as an example of how Trump was “working tirelessly to provide the benefits and services that our veterans deserve.”

In late March, the Trump administration authorized the deployment of members of the National Guard to help local authorities conduct coronavirus tests, set up field hospitals, and perform other critical public health tasks that carried a risk of infection. More than 40,000 service members have been deployed in total, but Politico now reports that they will all be recalled on June 24—one day before the first group sent into the field would reach the 90-day active-duty minimum that’s required to qualify for GI Bill education benefits and for a retirement benefit that was also created in 2008. Says the news site (the “official” is a FEMA staffer):

Finally….in case you have not gotten your “special” letter from Trump…here is what it looks like….


BTW…the flip side is in Spanish….

I hate to tell him this but 45% approval is not the entire nation….just the low life slugs that support him.

Finally……what are your chances of dying from the virus?

You know by now that nothing about the coronavirus is predictable. Yet in order to plan for each and every scenario, the CDC and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response have just crafted Pandemic Planning Scenarios that “are designed to help inform decisions by modelers and public health officials who utilize mathematical modeling.” One of these scenarios, dubbed Scenario 5, “represents a current best estimate about viral transmission and disease severity in the United States.” And it includes a guesstimate about what percentage of those in your age group will die from COVID-19.

The CDC Just Predicted Your Chances of Dying From Coronavirus

Finally, one of the few success stories of this pandemic….New Zealand….

The popularity of New Zealand’s Labour prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, is, presently, stratospheric. With the confidence of popularity, her government is positioned to promote political ideas that were almost beyond imagination only a few months ago. One of them, mooted on Wednesday, is encouraging the country into a four-day working week.

Ardern’s leadership of New Zealand through the coronavirus crisis has compounded credentials well established by her government’s deft and empathetic handling of the horrific massacre in Christchurch last year. When corona hit, the lockdown of the country was swift, draconian and effective; there have only been 21 deaths from the disease to date in New Zealand, and while the rest of the world grapples with a rising number of daily cases, no new cases have been reported in New Zealand in three days.

Be Well….Be Safe….Be Informed….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

A Copper Mask!

Finally…I was wondering when that company that puts copper into everything from socks to back braces was going to jump on the bandwagon and introduce a mask with copper infused.

Just saw an ad for such a mask and only $29.99…a steal (sarcasm)…..

In case you are thinking about this mask please read this before throwing your money at this product.

If you’ve been on the hunt for a mask lately, you might have stumbled across one that contains copper. And if you’re not dialed into the latest on microbial surfaces, this might raise some questions. Why copper? And is it worth spending the extra money?

The answer is complicated. “I have great hopes for copper masks,” says Michael Schmidt, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina, who has studied the use of copper in medical products. “But there is a lot of research that still needs to be done about [their] effectiveness. If you’re just throwing copper layers onto a mask, we don’t [know] if they work.” Here are some things to consider the next time you see a pop-up ad for a copper mask.

Copper can destroy bacteria and viruses, as my colleague Mark Wilson recently reported. It contains positively charged ions that trap viruses that are negatively charged. Then the copper ions penetrate the viruses, stopping them from replicating. A recent study found that copper is effective at inactivating the novel coronavirus within four hours.

Buyer beware.

My FYI for the day….(well one is never enough, eh?)

Be Well…..Be Safe…..Be Informed….

I read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Sunday Morning

Over several decades ago there was a genocide in Africa…..few remember it because it was ignored by the US government until it was too late….about a million people died in a few months of murderous rampage…..Rwanda.

Now the bastard that financed the carnage has been arrested in France…..

A businessman suspected of funding militias in the Rwanda genocide has been arrested by French police after decades on the run.

Félicien Kabuga was arrested in Asniéres-sur-Seine, outside Paris, where he had been living under a false identity, officials said.

The 84-year-old had been in hiding for 23 years after the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda indicted him on charges including genocide and incitement to commit genocide.

BBQ his ass!

Some give what they can while others give nothing at all…..


I do not know how accurate this story is….but I thought I would put it in the thoughts for the weekend…..

It’s been no secret over the last three years that Melania Trump is seemingly not too fond of her husband.

Now, it could just be that that’s just the way she is. Perhaps she’s just a cold-natured person. One who’s not fond of physical displays of affection or public, verbal affirmations of her feelings. Perhaps she’s just got one killer case of “Resting Bitch Face.”

But if you ask me and most of the rest of the world as well, Mel gives off quite the vibe of “I hate your guts, eat shit and die” pretty much every single time she’s around her dear ol’ hubby.

How true is this report?

I guess it depends on where you stand on Trump.


I would like to believe that she does still have some dignity left after her years with Donald the Orange.

It seems now that in Missouri tells me what I can do with my support… I boycott everything Israeli and now in Missouri I cannot do that with being a criminal…..(I know that I posted on this before but it is too damn important to be ignored.)

Missouri lawmakers on Thursday passed a bill to ban the state from doing business with companies that boycott Israel.

The Republican-led House approved the measure 95-40 on Thursday, the day before their Friday deadline to pass bills this year.

The bill is in response to the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement which aims to highlight Israel’s human rights abuses.

The movement promotes boycotts, divestment and sanctions of Israeli government-linked institutions and businesses in a non-violent campaign against the occupation of Palestinian territory and other abuses.

I use to think Google was the anti-Christ…..and at times Facebook as well….now I have a new candidate, Jeff Bezos…..

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos found himself the target of attacks from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, and a lot of social media users on Thursday as outlets highlighted an analysis suggesting he’ll become the first ever trillionaire. Business website Comparisun determined the 56-year-old—with a current net worth of about $144 billion—would nab that title in just six years. It calculated each billionaire’s average growth in net worth over the last five years and applied that rate to future years. Essentially, if Bezos’ net worth continues to grow at an average of 34%, he’ll become a trillionaire by 2026, per USA Today.

Watson Coleman accused Bezos of “atrocious greed.” Warren said it was “immoral” that Bezos was “on track to become the world’s first trillionaire in the middle of a pandemic” while “Amazon is ending overtime pay for warehouse and delivery workers.” But saying Bezos is on track to become a trillionaire “is quite a stretch,” according to Theodore Schleifer at Vox. “Past performance … isn’t indicative of future performance” and “the American economy has been on a decade-long bull run that won’t replicate easily,” he writes. Still, Bezos owns 11% of Amazon, whose stock has climbed 560% since 2015. His net worth has climbed by more than $28 billion in the last year alone, despite a $35 billion divorce settlement.

Sorry NO one person needs that much cash….

Then of course there is always a man that has to show his ignorance by opening his mouth….

A Texas mayor is facing backlash after he said women shouldn’t lead prayer in public before city council meetings because the Bible forbids it.

Wylie, Texas, Mayor Eric Hogue’s remarks were made in a email to fellow city council members, which was then shared publicly on Facebook this week, The Dallas Morning News reported.

The city’s mayor pro tem, Jeff Forrester, reached out earlier this month and asked for Hogue’s thoughts on having members of the Christian missionary group Youth With A Mission attend the city council’s next meeting.

Just a small sample to start our Sunday….

Be Well….Be Safe….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


News No One Can Use

In a fit of whimsy I thought I would give my readers some news that means nothing to anybody.

First up is the news that in the UK research is being done to see if dogs can spot Covid-19…..

Dogs are to be trained to try to sniff out the coronavirus before symptoms appear in humans, under trials launched with £500,000 of government funding.

Dogs have already been successfully trained to detect the odour of certain cancers, malaria and Parkinson’s disease, and a new study will look at whether labradors and cocker spaniels can be trained to detect Covid-19 in people.

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine will carry out the first phase of a trial in collaboration with Durham University and the charity Medical Detection Dogs.

In my state there are churches that have been fighting the stay at home thing….now one has been torched…..

A Mississippi church that defied coronavirus restrictions was burned to the ground early Wednesday in a suspected arson case. “Bet you stay home now you hypokrits,” read a spray-painted message on the ground near the doors to First Pentecostal Church in Holly Springs, a city of 7,600, Maj. Kelly McMillen of the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department tells the New York Times. The graffiti also included an atomic symbol with the letter “A” in the middle, which the Times notes is used as a symbol for atheism. The church had sued the city in April over its stay-at-home order, arguing it interfered with officials’ right to free speech and ability to worship. A church lawyer says police cited the pastor for holding an Easter service and later closed a Bible study. A video shows church members confronting city officials at a local Walmart on Easter.

Personally I think these people were idiots and a bit ridiculous….but to burn down the church is a bit extreme…..

Our oceans and landfills and wilderness are all chocking from plastic….now there may be a solution…..

Beer and soft drinks could soon be sipped from “all-plant” bottles under new plans to turn sustainably grown crops into plastic in partnership with major beverage makers.

A biochemicals company in the Netherlands hopes to kickstart investment in a pioneering project that hopes to make plastics from plant sugars rather than fossil fuels.

The plans, devised by renewable chemicals company Avantium, have already won the support of beer-maker Carlsberg, which hopes to sell its pilsner in a cardboard bottle lined with an inner layer of plant plastic.

We now have electric cars, buses….but what about planes?

A prototype jet engine can propel itself without using any fossil fuels, potentially paving the way for carbon-neutral air travel.

The device compresses air and ionizes it with microwaves, generating plasma that thrusts it forward, according to research published Tuesday in the journal AIP Advances. That means planes may someday fly using just electricity and the air around them as fuel.

Enough of the news you cannot use…..

Be Well….Be Safe….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

BUSTED! (Again)

Stealing is despicable…..but the theft of culture is unforgivable…..

Looks like the Green Family of Hobby Lobby fame has been caught again with stolen artifacts….this time one of the oldest sagas in history….the Epic of Gilgamesh….and must return it to where it belongs….

A 3,500-year-old clay tablet bought by the Hobby Lobby for display in the Museum of the Bible should be returned to Iraq, US federal prosecutors said in a civil complaint Monday. The cuneiform tablet is inscribed with a portion of the Epic of Gilgamesh, hence, its name: the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet. NBC News reports Hobby Lobby purchased it for $1.6 million in 2014 by a major auction house that is unnamed in the complaint. That auction house allegedly told Hobby Lobby the tablet, one of 12 bearing the creation story, was acquired in San Francisco prior to 1981. The complaint details a different backstory. One part of it, per NPR: In 2013, the person who possessed the tablet at the time allegedly got in touch with the auction house’s London office with an offer to sell it.

But the auction house’s antiquities department head was reportedly told the tablet’s provenance was not iron-clad, meaning a public auction wouldn’t be possible. Hobby Lobby acquired it in a private sale that next year. Three years later, in July 2017, the company agreed to pay a $3 million fine over thousands of artifacts it acquired without verifying their provenance; federal authorities said they had been smuggled out of Iraq. In October 2017, a Museum of the Bible curator doing provenance research on the Gilgamesh tablet reached out to the auction house. A press release from Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations division notes “the Auction House withheld information about the tablet’s provenance,” leading the museum to realize something was amiss. Agents from the HSI division seized the tablet last year.

I have written about all the problems this family has had with their Museum of the Bible… seems it is full of stolen artifacts and fakes…..which cost the family millions to acquire.

Desperation leads to stupidity and that leads to loss of money……and yet this group has been caught many times with stolen artifacts and yet they pay a fine and go on stealing the culture and history of other people….all in the hope of proving a premises….if it were anybody other than some religious twats they would be under a jail.

Time for people like these to be taught a valuable lesson and made to pay dearly for their crimes.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Saturday’s FYI

On weekends I try to provide an FYI service for my readers that may not read the same stuff as me….and plus this virus has the news reports pretty much sown up and little else gets through…..

Let us bring our FYI day….

First, one of those probing questions……why are legal pads yellow?

Comic Jerry Seinfeld, former national security adviser John Bolton and the late American author Pat Conroy are just a few of its millions of devotees. We’re talking about the quintessential office supply the legal pad. It’s simple, professional, cheap and instantly recognizable.

Part of its lure is the unwritten rule that legal pads are for adults only; some people describe a feeling of satisfaction when they finally reach the point where they’re “sophisticated” enough to use them. After all, legal pads equal important business.

The most recognizable characteristic of a legal pad? The yellow color. But why are they yellow? Good question. To answer it, though, requires a brief explanation of its history first.

The legal pad was invented by a paper mill worker, Thomas Holley, in Massachusetts around 1888. Holley came up with the idea of collecting the tons of paper scraps off the floor of the mill and stitching them together to make pads of paper.

Most of us history nerds know of the Gutenberg Bible as  one of the first books published…..but there is another (to quote Yoda in “Return of the Jedi”)

The Gutenberg Bible went to press in the year 1454. We now see it as the first piece of mass media, printed as it was with the then-cutting-edge technology of metal movable type. But in the history of aesthetic achievements in book-printing, the Gutenberg Bible wasn’t without its precedents. To find truly impressive examples requires looking in lands far from Europe: take, for instance, this “Sino-Tibetan concertina-folded book, printed in Beijing in 1410, containing Sanskrit dhāranīs and illustrations of protective mantra-diagrams and deities, woodblock-printed in bright red ink on heavy white paper,” whose “breathtakingly detailed printing” predates Gutenberg by 40 years.

Do you ever suffer from “Aphantasia”?

The term “aphantasia” comes from the Greek words a, which means “without,” and phantasia, meaning “a capacity to form mental images.” The phenomenon was first described by psychologist Francis Galton – one of the pioneers in the science of eugenics – in 1880. The term, which denotes the lack of a “mind’s eye,” or inability to visualize in the mind, was coined to describe the phenomenon in 2015 by neurologist and University of Exeter Medical School professor Adam Zeman.

While Zeman believes that heredity and environment both are likely to be relevant causes, the exact cause of aphantasia is still unknown. Aphantasia could potentially occur in different ways in different people. Neuroimaging has shown that mental imagery is definitely associated with the left temporal lobe and requires an extensive series of pathways in the brain to occur. Scientists are still studying why these pathways might work in different ways in different people. Zeman theorizes that, while people with a functional ability to see things in the mind’s eye use visual circuitry, some people use non-visual paths to process visual data.

Now on to the absurd…..

Recent revelations that the Pentagon had an actual alien-hunting division have rocked conspiracy theorists everywhere, adding fuel to the long-held beliefs of many that the government is hiding the truth from us. Luis Elizondo, the military intel official who headed the now-defunct “Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program,” which ran from 2009 until 2012, was so convinced by what he saw that he continued his search for E.T. until this day. He now has a UFO-research startup and alerted CNN that there’s “compelling evidence” we are not alone.  

While Elizondo’s evidence may be based on being privy to a number of unexplained encounters with flying objects, the aliens haven’t made their presence very clear. If the universe contains at least two trillion galaxies full of billions of stars like our sun, shouldn’t there be other complex life forms out there by now? It would only make sense. So “where is everybody?” as the Nobel laureate physicist Enrico Fermifamously asked about the absence of evidence and the high probability of alien existence.

Then there is the story from my home state of Mississippi…..

Two Saucier residents are charged with five counts each of animal cruelty.

Wednesday, Harrison County Sheriff Troy Peterson arrested 57-year-old Sharon Bertok and 50-year-old Daniel Bertok after animal control officers found several species of animals living in deplorable conditions at their home on Wright Road in Saucier.

A total of 108 animals were taken from the property including 69 dogs, seven cats, one pale fox, one hedgehog, one skunk, 15 birds, one monkey, one pig, five goats, a miniature donkey, and six miniature horses.

The dogs, cats, the hedgehog, and the birds are in the care of the Humane Society of South Mississippi and are reportedly doing okay.

Some are expected to be up for adoption within the next few days.\


That about sums up the FYI portion for the day…..thanx for stopping by…..

Be Well….Be Safe….Enjoy Your Weekend…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–22May20

Why is the federal government buying more riot gear during this time of pandemic?

What are they expecting that would require more riot gear?

The federal government has ramped up security and police-related spending in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including issuing contracts for riot gear, disclosures show.

The purchase orders include requests for disposable cuffs, gas masks, ballistic helmets, and riot gloves, along with law enforcement protective equipment for federal police assigned to protect Veterans Affairs facilities. The orders were expedited under a special authorization “in response to Covid-19 outbreak.”

The Veterans Affairs department, which manages nearly 1,500 health care care facilities around the country, has also extended special contracts for coronavirus-related security services.

Redcon Solutions Group, a private security company founded by Iraq War veterans, has won over $1.6 million in contracts to provide guards for “Covid-19 screening security guard services.” Similar contracts have gone out to private security firms to guard VA facilities in San Francisco, Des Moines, and Fayetteville, among others.

The increased security contracts appeared shortly after a recent Inspector General report noted an increase in absenteeism among VA employees and shortages among VA police. The IG report noted that there is “additional strain caused by the need for additional police presence for COVID-19-related screenings” of veterans at all VA health facilities and recommended the hiring of contract security services.

Apparently the Trump White House is taking some of the conspiracy theories about the breakdown of society seriously and they want to protect the Orange Man from accountability.

I Read I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”