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19
Mar 20

How are you settling in?

Everyone is getting a little more adjusted to their current realities. More people are staying indoors and at home, such as they can. And there are adjustments we’re all learning to make. It’s interesting to see and hear about. In between the many work emails and such.

Not everyone can, of course. Some people’s work requires them to be physically present. And some people just don’t get it. (But they’re liable to, if they keep that up, and they’re going to give it to others.)

And, it turns out, we don’t have the power of bulletproof young people we thought we did, either. Yes, Young People Are Falling Seriously Ill From Covid-19:

New evidence from Europe and the U.S. suggests that younger adults aren’t as impervious to the novel coronavirus that’s circulating worldwide as originally thought.

Despite initial data from China that showed elderly people and those with other health conditions were most vulnerable, young people — from twenty-somethings to those in their early forties — are falling seriously ill. Many require intensive care, according to reports from Italy and France. The risk is particularly dire for those with ailments that haven’t yet been diagnosed.

I wonder when the stigmatization of the people living their social lives really begins. You’ll have to somehow distinguish between the folks going to work to pay their bills or venturing out to take care of the vital necessities of life. But places that haven’t shut down their venues, or had their events shut down for them by executive power, the people there are going to get judged, I’m sure.

Even our cats get it; stay home.

We had to open a box late last evening and boxes, as cat owners know, may as well be C.S. Lewis’ wardrobe. So I thought I would turn it upside down. Defeat the cat! He can’t get in. No, he couldn’t. He got on. So, I thought, maybe I’ll just make you a little cat house.

He liked it immediately.

Because they don’t have enough things to climb on or in around here.

I shared that picture with a fellow cat owner, and she sent me this video and urged me to build …

I will not. Because I have another idea.

On the dual subject of pets and finding things to break up your days just now …

Don’t watch that one while walking up steps, that’s what I learned.

This one is quite interesting, for different reasons:

These sound interesting to me.

Experiments: Now is a great time to learn science by doing science. In this series, we take kids through real scientific research projects, showing them how to apply the scientific method to develop their own experiments. Check out the full collection of experiments — and give one a try!

Explainers: We have explainers on many topics, from how to read brain activity to the greenhouse effect. Each is designed to take a deeper dive into the concepts that underlie science news and research.

Technically Fiction: These stories look into the science behind fiction, from Harry Potter to bigfoot to what it would take to make an elephant fly. These can be a great place to start if your child doesn’t think they like science.

I started a musical conversation this evening. Some of the good ones that came through …

And this is aimed at marketers, but we’re all doing a bit of that these days, if you think about it. So think about it.

Be mindful. That’s terrific outreach advice. Grace and patience, friends. Grace and patience.


18
Mar 20

Hello, hello, hello

The best time, I told Instagram, for a run in the early age of social distancing? Obviously on a day when it is in the mid-40s. The preferred time would be when it isn’t raining, but the forecast was not a reality today.

Aside from the wind, and the rain, and the cold, it was a nice little three-and-a-half miles around the neighborhood. In a few weeks, if and when it warms up, I’ll have to think adding a few more miles back into the routine.

After a big meeting today, and thinking of an email and a conversation from the last few days, I pitched an idea which got the approval for further pitches. Up chains it goes. Now it needs a title, apparently. So that was a happy task for much of the afternoon, and perhaps part of the rest of the week and, if it goes well, for some time into the future. More on that then, then.

Let’s look at links.

I’ve come to really admire The Undefeated in it’s short run. It launched in late 2016, but it has covered a lot of ground and its writers manage to have a simultaneous air of authority and attitude that’s not always easy to pull off.

Maybe it is a bit easier in this brief essay, because the whole system has been a farce and the women who have been at the center of it have carried themselves with such poise, none more so than Simone Biles, who does all that while still competing at heretofore unknowable levels, having to maintain a criticism of her sport and constantly being the center of that as a spokesperson while also, you know, at the ripe old age of 23, being amazing:

She knows that it takes a village to raise a predator above reproach, to look the other way when his predations become so far out of hand as to be a well-known secret. She knows, from experience, that true, explicit acknowledgment and real structural change are required.

It’s unforgivable that Biles must use her hard work and success in this way — risking it all to advocate for herself and other gymnasts trapped under the governing body’s irresponsible purview. It’s unfortunate that the other side of her luminescent medal and legacy is dulled by that governing body’s paternalism and neglect. By pressuring an institution that performs in the face of its own inaction and injustice, Biles makes legible the ways our society tucks violence against women under the proverbial floor mat, and the ways in which women continue to materialize the strength necessary to demand the world beyond violence that we deserve and imagine.

This will be something a lot of people find useful, or will otherwise be looking for in the coming weeks. Stuck at home? Enriching activities to do with all ages from the Indiana Young Readers Center:

Looking for extra activities to keep children busy? Explore some of these activities put together for you by the Indiana Young Readers Center, located in the Indiana State Library. Remember, children of all ages can benefit from play and reading. Keep your kids engaged with some of these resources.

Sadly, my age group was not included. I’ll just have to fall back on my experience as an only child.

The apparently innumerate senator is from Wisconsin.

And the 3.4 percent he’s using here in his rhetoric works out to just over twice the population of his state. But, really, it is the rhetoric that’s a problem here. That data point isn’t being used correctly. So he’s using an incorrect data point, incorrectly.

To say nothing of the knock-on effects, and the many other medical cases that will be marginalized as hospitals become forced to triage everything:

These choices could be particularly devastating for the tens of thousands of Americans awaiting new organs, transplant experts said.

The outbreak has already caused serious disruptions. Doctors in some parts of the country say an inability to quickly test potential donors for the coronavirus has led them to decline viable organs, forcing some ailing patients to wait longer. To avert the spread of the virus among vulnerable patients who must take immunosuppressive drugs to prevent rejection of their new organs, doctors have canceled most routine follow-up visits for transplant recipients. And in anticipation of a surge of coronavirus patients requiring beds in intensive care units, some hospitals are now performing transplant operations only for patients who are at the most dire risk of death.

[…]

Without a transplant, Branson said his surgeon told him last week that he might only have about 30 to 45 days to live. But he said the hospital considers the surgery needed to remove part of his uncle’s liver to be elective — and therefore nonessential.

In a statement to NBC News, Dr. Elizabeth Pomfret, the chief of transplant surgery at UCHealth, confirmed that the hospital had suspended some transplant surgeries.

Meanwhile …

Never mind that younger people are also susceptible. But if you’re talking ’bout my generation (and not the one that actually claims that song) …

So, who is taking COVID-19 seriously? Possibly Gen X, who are born between 1965 and 1980 according to Pew Research Center, and are often referred to as the “sandwich generation” because many are caring for children and older parents. On social media this weekend, the hashtag “GenX” trended, with the “latchkey generation” saying that they were the most prepared to live in isolation.

From a psychological perspective, there might be some truth to this argument.

As they tried to explain this — and I stipulate that painting sweeping generalizations over a 20-year cohort, which is nothing more than the thinnest of constructs anyway, is silly — they missed one important potential external factor: MTV.

Now, usually, when I point to MTV, it isn’t in a good way. But it works out this time. We were just ready, because of what we already knew.

Also … is any other group allowed to see itself in this light?

Our little group has always been
And always will until the end


5
Mar 20

They’re talking bass-kit-ball

It was another night for television. Television has been written, television was produced and the audience shall have television. They’re going to enjoy it, too, if they like sports.

And they always ask the question: when is it too early to start talking about the basketball tournament? The answer it is never too early. Especially since everything will be different after next week, and we’ll have to figure it all out again.

There should be a consequence, a good-natured one mind you, for bad prognostication. It isn’t a tar-and-feather circumstance, of course, but maybe it’s a wear-a-feathery-mascot-and-hold-a-sign situation. A you have to do the next TV stunt sort of resolution. Something we can all laugh at, like predictions.

Which, hey, that’s just good practice, I guess. Plus, someone is going to get to say they were right about one of these predictions. That’s what’s fun about playing Nostradamus. If time proves you right you can have the crew roll that prediction as a replay: I was brilliant! See! If your predictions don’t work out, you just gloss over the whole notion of it ever happening.

Some things from Twitter:

I thought about that for a while. That might not have been what she wanted to happen, but it’s my mother so of course she knew it would happen. In a way, then, that was exactly what she wanted to happen. In which case, happy to help!

This gives me an idea:

How much could a full-ceilinged aquarium weigh, anyway? Surely the house’s structural supports could manage that sort of challenge.

It’s not like jellyfish weigh much, after all.


3
Mar 20

Some quick videos

Tonight’s news, because I really don’t understand where the day went:

The students shot another show this evening, and it’ll be out tomorrow. It was one of the many things that went by in a blur for me today.

The award-winning morning show returned last week. I neglected to mention it here, and shame on me:

That’s a new intro, by the way. That show always has a fun opening, really, but how can you not like a horns ensemble for a morning show?

They produced another episode yesterday:

It’s so nice when programs begin to see that momentum growing. Suddenly, they can take on any project.

Me? I’m going to take on the infinity effect.


18
Feb 20

To get us through a Tuesday

Since we’re trying to mentally stretch out weekends around here, and since we were just talking about the sky and the weather and all of that. This is what it looked like during Saturday’s late afternoon run:

Not too bad. Sunday was an even more picturesque day. The Yankee had a rest day planned, but she said “You should go for a run and enjoy it.”

Meaning the weather, I think, which is more likely than enjoying the run. It looked like this:

And so I got in five quick miles. Quick for me. At one point I was running a 6-minute-and-change pace. During several phases I had a comfortable seven-minute mile pace. And then my legs or my lungs would remember I’m not a teenager anymore.

After a run like that, though, you get to use the compression boots. And so I did enjoy that this evening, and it inspired my last Valentine of the season:

Something about all of this meant I was a trending topic on Twitter:

It wasn’t me, but The Jet. This happens from time to time. I’m going to claim it anyway, of course.

Tonight, we had to move around one of the cats’ play things. They protested, as cats do, by sitting on it:

Sit-ins have a long tradition of respect. You wonder if the animals have been checking things out on Wikipedia when you aren’t looking. Maybe there’s more to it than you realize when your pet does the “I know you don’t want me in here, but I’m going to flop down, roll over, go cute and limp” routine. It could be a powerful social statement, when the cat tries to get into your closet.

Go check me out on Twitter, I might be trending! And there’s more on Instagram as well.