Well... it seems that Boston University has taken the highly vaccine-resistant and super-contagious Omicron variant of Coronachan/The Pinko Pox/ Winnie the Flu/The Commie Cough/Kung-Flu-of-Dying/The 2020 Gain-Of-Function-Award-Winner/...better known as COVID-19 and crossed it via gain of function techniques with the original Wuhan variant and developed a strain of Xi's Disease that kills 80% of it's victims (at least in mice).
For further thoughts on the matter, let's go to one of our crack team of science bobcats...
Thank you Busby.
According to the Live Science article, Boston claims that this was not "gain of function research" and that they made the original Wuhan strain slightly less lethal by giving it the higher transmissibility of the Omicron variant, and that they successfully discovered that Omicron's spike protein did not cause a lack of lethality.
This seems to be quite the semantic argument, at least from a layman's perspective. While the original, hyper-deadly variant was indeed made slightly less lethal by this research, the much less dangerous but far more transmissible variant was made vastly more so.
An argument can be made that there is a need for this kind of research, but the place for that research is not in the middle of Boston (or Wuhan) it's in a secure facility in a dry valley in Antarctica, or preferably, in a crater on the moon.
I can't imagine, after the disaster we have been through the last three years, what combination of addle-mindedness, arrogance and autism compelled some of the smartest (albeit obviously not wisest) minds in the country to perpetrate this act of asininity.
There is a hubris and lack of self awareness that seems to permeate our expert class, one that may well be our downfall if we don't reign in these over-credentialed ding-a-lings.
Don't hold back, tell us what you really think... so I can agree wholeheartedly.
Posted by: Mauser at Wed Oct 19 23:06:12 2022 (BzEjn)
Yeah, I've been salty as all on this for at least a year, when I figured this out.
Mostly, at a local to me university. "Okay, you have to endorse all of this stuff, and force employees, for 'public safety' and 'public health'. But, for some reason your medical school employees have decided that teaching a bunch of humanities and social sciences to kids is an essential economic activity. That looks like fucking the rest of the country over, and only caring for your own business activities. If we /need/ such extreme measures because of one pathogen, there are legitimate questions to reconsider about whether university medical schools, and hospitals in general, are trustworthy to handle the pathogen samples that they currently do."
The fundamental issue is, blindly enforcing whims tied to federal funding is a bit totalitarian. Totalitarianism is really really bad for industrial safety. For real quality of industrial safety, you need the workers with hands on, who have the most information about what they are doing, to have the initiative and intelligence not to do stupid stuff. This does not hold where totalitarians have squashed the initiative and thought out of the work force.
The public should not be trusting the credentialed 'experts' to do any handling of pathogens, so long as those 'experts' are enthusiastically ruining any possible industrial safety at the work places of those 'experts'.
If we had any thoughtful decisive people any where in formal power, we should have had some very pointed public questions about whether the medical professionals should be prevented from collecting blood, stool, or urine samples, for fear of compromised industrial safety practices.
And, the tertiary schools are a pretty concerning area of activity. International graduate students very often come from much more totalitarian nations than the US, and combined with the wild overconfidence of professoral and administrative tyrants, do not have a good feel for not pissing off the American public.
Posted by: PatBuckman at Thu Oct 20 12:13:42 2022 (r9O5h)
...so, work proceeds well on project "Captain Trips" ?
Posted by: Doug O at Thu Oct 20 12:18:39 2022 (T6enK)
Actually... A few years back, I went to a health expo at the local hospital. They had a trainer machine for microsurgery, with little controls and two little manipulators. The task was to try to tie a tiny knot.
Well, most of the people were old ladies and did not get very far, and I could not even figure out how to start. But a young boy sat down and zwip, knot tied.
And that is when the surgeon explaining the machine took the kid and his grandma aside, and started explaining how he might have a future in microsurgery....
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Sat Nov 13 22:03:31 2021 (sF8WE)
Adventures in Algorithims Again
This evening, after a day of doctor visits and other annoyances, I sat down and watched a V-tuber named Hyasynth finishing up a Resident Evil 4run. She'd sent out notifications and members of her chat with Facebook accounts were congratulating her on her apparent new sponsorship...or were complaining about the sponsors aggressive marketing.
She was a tad confused, not having any sponsorships yet, but the matter was soon clarified. Her announcements of her Resident Evil 4 play-thru's have, on Facebook, been helpfully accompanied by ads for a pharmaceutical company.
I have questions.
Not so much about how the advertising algorithm decided that weebs on Twitch were the target audience for the distribution of peptides and selective androgen receptor modulators, that is obvious.
Rather I find myself wondering why in the name of Mercury, Greek god of messaging and commerce, someone actually thought the name Umbrella Labs would be a good one, especially for a medical supply company and even more especially since their logo indicates that they not unfamiliar with the potential downsides of that decision.
The cynical answer - because there are far more people who do not play video games, let alone Resident Evil video games, than do. Thus the pool of people who would be amused/thunderstruck by a company named Umbrella is far smaller than the pool of people who could not be bothered to think twice about it when they see it.
I feel the same way whenever I see any beauty products from Vichy Laboratoires.
Posted by: cxt217 at Fri Sep 10 20:16:19 2021 (MuaLM)
Karl Kasarda, the showrunner, is, as we've noted before, generally pretty grounded and reasonable, not at all one of those crazy Big-L-libertarian-boogaloo-boys. He is very safety minded and gives a lot of attention to less discussed firearms/safety/preparedness topics like the importance of always having trauma kits.
With that in mind it will be interesting to see what In-Range sees as practical firearms training for current year.
Kaku and the Rovelli probably should be switched.
Dover has some nice texts. Cheap coverage of some topics that are usually a lot more expensive, at least in paper.
Took me a while to realize why you might have wondered if it was a real quote.
Even now, Statistical Mechanics is supposed to worse than Continuum Mechanics.
Back then, before Fisher's statistics, and other recent developments in statistics, I can see it being a lot worse. Might have been the sort of thing that takes a pretty extreme personality type to study.
You totally should read up on statistical mechanics approaches to super sonic reacting turbulent flows. Would definitely suck less than trying to follow the current political situation very closely.
I'm pretty sure that statistical mechanics is one of those topics that needs a pretty good foundation, and to avoid unreasonable expectations for what one is able to learn.
Posted by: PatBuckman at Fri Jun 11 13:21:36 2021 (6y7dz)
I read the kindle edition of The High Frontier. It came off as kind of ... pie in the sky - if you will. Although after thinking about the design of O'Neill colonies, I had an idea for improving the ratio of land to window space, and simultaneously improving the light gathering capabilities of the mirrors for colonies out, say, in the orbit of Mars, or further.
(Short form. Windows can be narrower if you parabolically curve the mirrors so the focus is near, but not at, the window, and spreads across a wider swath of land. You can similarly double-up, so that two mirrors, focused through two adjacent windows, light the same swath of land - AND have two mirrors each shining through the same slot aimed at different lands.)
Posted by: Mauser at Fri Jun 11 22:30:39 2021 (Ix1l6)
The island designs are definitely soft. You can look the flywheels in some editions of the machinery's handbook, and apply the thinking to any spinning colony design. Colony bursts in Gundam should be more frequent.
Posted by: PatBuckman at Sat Jun 12 08:46:07 2021 (6y7dz)
Ugh, more gratuitous shoehorning of quantum mechanics into things where it isn't essential, and doesn't help.
There is a classical version of statistical mechanics. It deals with the lengths of time a system spends within various positions in an abstract configuration space. Classical positional entropy is proportional to ln(V). Classical entropies only have meaning in a relative sense, because they relate ratios of phase volumes between states.
Posted by: MadRocketSci at Sat Jun 12 18:31:20 2021 (hRoyQ)
They're basically doing all the same stuff, they're just dividing up their velocity configuration space into cubes of size related to hbar/m. No additional physical content.
Posted by: MadRocketSci at Sat Jun 12 18:35:04 2021 (hRoyQ)
One of the reviews thought that the book was useful for solid state physics.
Is it possible that the quantum version of statistical mechanics is useful for a deeper understanding of very tiny electrical gates?
Posted by: PatBuckman at Sat Jun 12 19:58:07 2021 (6y7dz)
In the Intrests of Evironmental Awareness, Food Security, and Economic Prosperity
... The Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes are celebrating WORLD BEE DAY!
Bees are vital to the ecosystem but vulnerable to environmental toxins. Bees can be a sign of environmental problems much like a canary in a mine.
Bees provide pollination for many plants including primary and secondary food crops.
Bees have an exoskeleton and no bones. But, unlike me, they have all the other organs
Commercial beekeepers alone produced 37,830,000 pounds of honey which at 207.5 cents a pound comes to a contribution of $78,497,250.00 dollars to the economy irrespective of their secondary benefits to other types of agriculture.
It's unclear what causes it, and since bees don't wear masks, the government is banning certain pesticides and beekeepers are applying medications like menthol, which is used to treat certain bee parasites.
Art is by Houtengeki (who has "issues" involving bees apparently.) Support him on Fanbox.
Random Non-contextual facts; mostly from Wikipedia
This post has determined by this blog's office of standards and practices to bee educational in nature and not appeal to the prurient interest of normal Americans which we are defining as "those people who do not want to have conjugal relations with bees".
A Question for You, Gentle Reader
Has "Minecraft" become the latest code word for what was previously referred to as a b00g@L00? 'Cause I just blundered into some discussion concerning the relative merits of .308 versus .223/5.56 caliber ammunition in the context of.... "Minecraft". This was not a video game board.
Minecraft LARPing sounds like it could get out of hand.
I honestly don't know what Boston Dynamics is going for with regards to customer perceptions of the firm or product messaging. But they may wish to reassess their customer relationship management.
After the Gatling gut punch and cliffhanger that was the prequel, I was expecting some respite for the characters and none has been forthcoming. There really needs to be SOMETHING to break the tension, a tender moment, perhaps some comedy relief.
A beach episode would be nice.
However, the writers seem to be a bunch of disaffected boughie boys who think that the unrelenting misery and depravity of iron age comics is the hight of literary accomplishment.
The writers are also hacks because this show is not a medical procedural, the last cour was not entertaining, and this particular emerging plotline is derivative, unoriginal, unappealing and has been done to death.
Also, he must be a squish, because a True Conservative (TM) would be enjoying this plot line. A True Conservative (TM) would have intuited instantly that we will now be able to do something about the last thirty years of rising evil; with the courts defunct a True Conservative (TM) would absolutely be eager and enthusiastic about resolving all disputes with knives.
Slightly more seriously, Trump was the breather episode. This plot arc started in 1992 or 1988, when they needed a new villain to replace the Soviet Union. So 41 stabbed 40 in the back, leading to 42, and 42's wife's ambition to become America's Lenin and turn the US into the USSR. 43 was a relief that this didn't immediately happen, even as 43 stabbed the base in the back. Then with 44, back on track to mass graves. 45 was the brief hope spot before we head into the climax.
Posted by: PatBuckman at Thu Feb 25 09:51:52 2021 (6y7dz)
So what you're saying is that it's a Mexican soap opera?
Posted by: J Greely at Thu Feb 25 17:49:18 2021 (ZlYZd)
Oh. I'm avoiding current events until the next election, war with China, or the revolution, whichever comes first.
Posted by: Ubu at Sat Feb 27 17:39:05 2021 (UlsdO)
You see, she's a pretty good V-Tuber....buuuut... on Saturdays she's been doing a dramatic readings of what may be the most [ ADJECTIVES GO HERE ] RWBY / High School DxD / Sonic the Hedgehog / Harem / Gary Stu / Hentai Fanfic in the history of ever.
The pain begins at minute 28 with an overview of what has gone before and a brief explanation of the "stylistic quirks" that she has to cope with during her reading. The actual reading begins 41.5 minutes in and if you play it in the background will provide your day with 5 hours of pure, distilled, concentrated, and unadulterated cringe guaranteed to make you dumber. I caught the last two hours and when I got in from work today I burned my sausage biscuit in the microwave because I'm that stupid now.
This is epically abominable.
Luna is not responsible for writing this travesty, and her voice box suffered greatly from it.
That sale banner is taken from the Palmetto site, I'm pretty sure. I remember it because I saw it pasted upon cases of ammunition (they only lasted for an hour). I was quite amused that their computer algorithm deemed it necessary to create an advertising campaign for ammunition of all things -- which they no doubt could sell just as quickly with no discounts at all.
Also, anyone knows if Avatar is doing okay? I left him a comment, but he may have abandoned Mee.nu a while ago. My power was out for 4 days straight. I think he's in Dallas and weather was worse up there. I know someone on Plano who had pipes burst.
Ubu is in Houston, but he's faring a little better. He already posted a summary of sorts.
I haven't seen anything from you but I can't get to my old email addresses for Bridgebunnies and Houblog right now. Have power; no water (busted pipes outside). Was still recovering from WuFlu; this has set me back a couple weeks or so in recovery.
Posted by: Ubu at Sat Feb 20 10:57:15 2021 (UlsdO)
Crap. That's horrible. Do you, by any chance, have any out of season Hurricane water?
I hope you feel better
Ben responded yesterday, he and the rest of the 4 Geek Family are OK but the local infrastructure is now a unique fixer-upper opportunity.
Still no word on Avatar.
I'm down to a couple of small bottles of potable water. Got a 250 gal. tank that I don't consider potable; that's what I'm flushing toilets with. carrying buckets is wearing me out though. Grocery store is out. Despite covid, i had to go there yesterday; out of other necessities.
Posted by: Ubu at Sat Feb 20 14:37:41 2021 (UlsdO)
Ubu, I'm out in Friendswood dealing with fallout from all the leaks. We've got pressure, but we're supplemented by the Houston system, so we're on a boil notice. May be safe/potable by Monday. Friendswood can't certify until Houston can certify.
Posted by: Will at Sun Feb 21 00:46:17 2021 (G6Lqs)
Yep, I'm finally in water as of today. Could not get a plumber to return my calls; but my yard guy does contracting on the side and knew someone to do the work.
Posted by: Ubu at Mon Feb 22 21:45:03 2021 (UlsdO)