Being concerned is not the same as taking action

I’ve ranted before about how the news is really not a very good use of one’s time. It’s the IMMINENT CRISIS SHOW all the time. And when they get their teeth into a legitimate crisis, it’s really hard to discern the right level of concern and the right modes of action.


The Poor and Marginalized Will Be the Hardest Hit by Coronavirus

Coronavirus is a great case in point. It’s about 10 times worse than the flu and spreads much more effectively. So we should be careful because the flu is already pretty bad for vulnerable people.  Is it EbolAIDS? No. Will it disrupt essential services? Almost certainly not. Will it overcrowd a medical system where excess capacity (i.e., inefficiency) has been cut at every opportunity? Possibly. What can everyone actually do? Wash hands, social distancing.


Proof of Concept of an Iron-Iron(III)Oxide Hydroxide Battery Working at Neutral PH.

Awesome! These folks did a battery very similar to the Allen lab’s, but our current performance is considerably better. Cool.


Could curly straws hold the existentialist meaning of life? Only if you are a glass of lemonade.

Novel Peptide Inhibitors of Angiotensin-converting Enzyme 2

This paper found an ACE2 inhibitor by phage display. That’s cool because ACE2 is the protein that nCoV-2019 binds to get into cells. The peptide that these researchers found might not inhibit the virus, but the approach might work to find peptides that could bind directly to the virus. That would be cool.


Opinion | How Working-Class Life Is Killing Americans, in Charts – The New York Times

I live in the same age group that is hitting that ugly red patch. My hot take: The implicit promises for how life goes are being broken. They were never good promises, and they were only available to a select group. But it still hurts. We (white men) thought that all it would take was the virtue of being willing to work. If we had that, we would be rewarded with homeownership, a new car, and a wife to take care of us.  That simple dream is impossible for lots of people. It was already a nightmare for lots of people, so we should let it go. That being said, a job guarantee seems like a good idea to give people sustainable income and a sense of purpose.


Scientists were close to a coronavirus vaccine years ago. Then the money dried up.

Look, science funding is important, OK?


Confessions of a Failed Self-Help Guru

This was great. I need to read this every year. A self-help book represents a sellable idea. Just because an idea is sellable doesn’t make it honest or good.