Dr. Deborah Birx is making quite a name for herself at the Daily Coronavirus Briefings.  She is poised, knowledgeable and professional.  No wonder; she is a former Army Colonel who studied HIV/Aids for the Dept. of Defense at Walter Reed.   She is winning many fans.

Mass media, you know, the Enemy of the People, aka Talking Snake Media, all seemed to notice her today.... [Read More]


“COVID-19 — Evidence Over Hysteria”

CensorshipAaron Ginn, a Silicon Valley technologist who worked on the digital team for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign and subsequently co-founded Lincoln Network, a conservative group of technologists, posted a long (≈ 7000 word) think piece on titled “COVID-19 — Evidence Over Hysteria”.  This is a fact-based exploration of what we know and what we don’t know about this disease and its progression so far, the steps taken to deal with it and their potential economic consequences, and recommendations for course changes.  He concludes:

These days are precarious as Governors float the idea of martial law for not following “social distancing”, as well as they liked while they violate those same rules on national TV. Remember this tone is for a virus that has impacted 0.004% of our population. Imagine if this was a truly existential threat to our Republic.... [Read More]


They Couldn’t Have Done (Any) of It Without Us.

Here is an interesting story – about our good ole Harvard, the pinnacle of American education (if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you).

This is not a unique situation. I believe it is repeated all over “academia”, who basically hate this nation, while living off the fat of it so well. AND I’m betting the DOJ has something on Harvard but has used this as a bargaining chip to advance some other need they have. It is too incredible for Harvard not to have known that these hyjinks were going on. ?Who on this earth isn’t aware of Chinese infiltration and wouldn’t have been suspicious of this cur.


Discordant Data from the Diamond Princess

Diamond Princess (ship)One of the first concentrated outbreaks of COVID-19 was on board the cruise ship Diamond Princess, one of whose passengers tested positive for COVID-19 in Hong Kong on 2020-02-01.  The patient had onset of symptoms on 2020-01-19, one day before boarding the ship and disembarked at Hong Kong on 2020-01-25.  When the ship returned to Yokohama, Japan on 2020-02-03, it was held in quarantine, during which time a total of 3,063 PCR tests were performed on the 3,711 passengers and crew.  By 2020-02-20, there were 634 confirmed cases on-board, of which 328 were asymptomatic (positive on the PCR test, but with no self-reported symptoms as of that date, although symptoms may have developed subsequently).

A detailed analysis of this outbreak by eleven authors from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, “Estimating the infection and case fatality ratio for COVID-19 using age-adjusted data from the outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship” [PDF] has been posted on the medRxiv preprint server.  The paper has not been peer-reviewed.... [Read More]


What Are Your Quarantine Plans?

Isaac Newton quarantined himself at his childhood home in 1665 when Cambridge University closed because to the plague.

It was the most productive time of his life. He discovered calculus and the laws of motion.

What are YOUR plans? Continue reading “What Are Your Quarantine Plans?”


China Smears the US !!!


Excerpt from article: If you listened to Chinese state-run media, you’d think President Trump went to China and released vials of COVID-19 on groups of unsuspecting men, women and children.


Fear Potion Number 19

Corona Virus Disease 19 (CoViD 19) is the word of the day, 24-7, and will be for so long as it seems useful to Talking Snake Media as a hook on which to hang criticism of Team Trump.

Team Trump is reacting really well. President Trump ordered restrictions in the very early days that helped to slow transmission. That bought us some badly needed time. And, he is playing the science card as well as possible. This is of course a controversial assertion. Media, Democrats and other Leftists say that Trump is “anti-science,” but that is just an empty slogan without any basis in truth.... [Read More]


Patience! 1:10100 Reduction Gear Train

To commemorate his first billion seconds (31.7 years) on Earth, Daniel de Bruin built a gear train which consists of 100 gears meshed in series, each with a ratio of teeth of 10 to 1.  Thus, the first gear has to make ten complete revolutions before the second gear completes one revolution.  Since each gear in the train moves at a tenth the angular speed of its predecessor, gear n will rotate at \(1/10^n\) of the speed of the first gear or, equivalently, the first gear must rotate \(10^n\) times before gear n completes one revolution.  Thus, for the final gear in the 100 gear train to revolve once, the first gear must turn \(10^{100}\) times, or a googol revolutions.

... [Read More]


This Week’s Book Review – How to Find a Higgs Boson

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) After my review appears on Sunday, I post the previous week’s review here on Sunday.... [Read More]


A Cultural Turning Point- Thanks Coronavirus

I am sitting here at home in southwest Washington State, run by a hack governor and silly politicians tempered by the need to keep actual industry working, and backed by a fairly efficient set of state bureaucracies. (It seems states without income taxes seem to run their state departments with a lot more efficiency than the ones with a large money flow).

It is my birthday and due to the fears of the virus, my grandchildren in Seattle are staying away as they fear infecting the old man. My other grandson in Eugene is home with a cold. I am quite content with video calls from all in the family, a leisurely lunch at a keto bakery, a nice Thai dinner out tonight and with better weather tomorrow a drive to the north Oregon coast to take the truck on a beach run.... [Read More]


Saturday Night Science: Introduction to Probability and Statistics

DiceCalculation and Chance

Most experimental searches for paranormal phenomena are statistical in nature. A subject repeatedly attempts a task with a known probability of success due to chance, then the number of actual successes is compared to the chance expectation. If a subject scores consistently higher or lower than the chance expectation after a large number of attempts, one can calculate the probability of such a score due purely to chance, and then argue, if the chance probability is sufficiently small, that the results are evidence for the existence of some mechanism (precognition, telepathy, psychokinesis, cheating, etc.) which allowed the subject to perform better than chance would seem to permit.

Suppose you ask a subject to guess, before it is flipped, whether a coin will land with heads or tails up. Assuming the coin is fair (has the same probability of heads and tails), the chance of guessing correctly is 50%, so you’d expect half the guesses to be correct and half to be wrong. So, if we ask the subject to guess heads or tails for each of 100 coin flips, we’d expect about 50 of the guesses to be correct. Suppose a new subject walks into the lab and manages to guess heads or tails correctly for 60 out of 100 tosses. Evidence of precognition, or perhaps the subject’s possessing a telekinetic power which causes the coin to land with the guessed face up? Well,…no. In all likelihood, we’ve observed nothing more than good luck. The probability of 60 correct guesses out of 100 is about 2.8%, which means that if we do a large number of experiments flipping 100 coins, about every 35 experiments we can expect a score of 60 or better, purely due to chance.... [Read More]


A Flabbergasting Visit to SpaceX’s Starship Factory

SpaceX Starship, Boca Chica, TexasEric Berger, senior space editor of Ars Technica, recently visited the SpaceX Starship assembly and test facility at Boca Chica, Texas.  He was given a tour of (but not allowed to photograph inside) the huge tents, just erected in January, February, and March 2020, where work on the Starship components is underway.  His report, just published, is “Inside Elon Musk’s plan to build one Starship a week—and settle Mars”, and I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like it outside science fiction.  In fact, it reminds me of “Doc” Smith’s Skylark stories where things of astonishing scale were done by tiny teams on a breakneck schedule.

Here are just a few quotes.... [Read More]