BMEWS
 
Sarah Palin's enemies are automatically added to the Endangered Species List.

calendar   Monday - April 20, 2020

Screw You, California Rulers!

Punks gotta punk, but once in a while they gain my respect.

California: Maintain Social Distancing and LockDown! No More Skateparks!!! And then dumps tons of sand all over them. So no more skateboarding.

Punk-ass skateboards take their boards home, come back with dirt bikes, continue having fun and thumbing their snotty little noses at authority.


‘Social Shredding’



California authorities tried to stop skateboarders by dumping literally tons of sand into at least two area skateparks in an effort to enforce so-called “social distancing.” However, the effort was for naught, it seems.

Young residents in California responded to the government’s extreme social distancing enforcement action by grabbing a few shovels, buckets, and booms and turning at least one sand-filled skatepark into a park for both skating and dirt biking.

“Took advantage of all the sand the city dumped into the San Clemente skatepark then helped some local skaters dig it all out so they could do some social shredding,”

As noted by The Daily Wire on Sunday, the San Clemente skatepark was recently filled with 37 tons of sand by authorities to discourage skaters and “promote social distancing.”

“San Clemente had shut down all its parks and facilities on April 1 under the state’s stay-at-home orders, but skaters ignored signs warning against trespassing at the Ralphs Skate Court, 241 Avenida La Pata,” Los Angeles CBS reported. “Since park facilities have been closed city officials say they routinely saw people visit the skatepark, even by some children accompanied with their parents, according to the San Clemente Times. City officials told the newspaper they followed in the footsteps of other cities, and filled the skatepark with 37 tons of sand.”

Authorities never notified the nonprofit group that raised money to support the skatepark about the sand dumping.

Authorities manning Venice Beach’s skatepark followed suit days later.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/20/2020 at 06:19 PM   
Filed Under: • Fun-StuffFREEDOM •  
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economic fubar

It’s A Free For Oil !!

Insane oil market prices plummet. West Texas Intermediate tumbled to $4 a barrel this morning. Later on it hit $0. ZERO DOLLARS. Oil for free.

Now it’s at NEGATIVE $36.73. That’s insane. That’s impossible. WTF is going on? Duh, what’s going on is the One World Government shutting down, overnight, the greatest economy in the history of the world. Production up, everywhere. Income up, everywhere. Quality of life up, everywhere.

And then COVID-19. 

And the utterly insane panic overreaction to it.

This has to stop, and it has to stop now.

U.S. oil prices plummeted in historic fashion Monday, crashing below zero as traders unloaded positions ahead of the May contract’s Tuesday expiration.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for May delivery cratered by 305 percent to -$36.73 a barrel. At a price below zero, buyers would be paid to take delivery as there are costs associated with transportation and storage. The selling had WTI on track to close at its lowest level since recordkeeping began in March 1983, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

The June contract was trading lower by 18 percent at $20.43 a barrel.

The May contract is a “horror show” and “heading into the worst delivery situation in history,” Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Group Futures, told FOX Business. “With demand still dead and OPEC+ cuts not hitting fast enough, the market looks like it has no bottom.”

CORONAVIRUS PRESSURES US MANUFACTURERS TO BRING PLANTS HOME FROM CHINA

Demand for crude oil is projected to fall by 29 million barrels per day this month, according to the International Energy Administration, as COVID-19 has forced countries around the world to issue “stay-at-home” orders to slow the spread of the disease. Lower economic activity means weaker demand for crude oil and its byproducts, including gasoline and jet fuel.

The sharp drop in demand has storage tanks in Cushing, Oklahoma, a key U.S. oil hub, filling up at an astounding rate. Inventories have ballooned by 48 percent to about 55 million barrels, according to a recent report from the Energy Information Administration. Capacity at the hub is about 76 million barrels, according to the EIA.

Oil supplies were swelling even before Saudi Arabia launched a price war against Russia on March 8 after the latter refused to join OPEC in slashing production, causing oil prices to post their largest single-day drop on record.

After more than a month of pumping out oil at elevated production levels, the world’s largest producers agreed on April 12 to historic cuts that will reduce output by 20 million barrels per day beginning May 1.

The collapse in the world economy has led to a collapse in demand for oil, and pretty big problems for those who are trying to sell it. Oil doesn’t work like a share in a company – it’s not something you can just hold on to, waiting for the right sale price. If you buy an oil contract, you are buying an agreement to accept delivery, on a given date, of one barrel full of oil.

Oil is heavy, it’s toxic, and you have to supply your own barrel. It’s costly to ship and to store – and sorting all of that is the responsibility of whoever is holding the contract on its due date. The contract that hit $0 (though all oil prices have collapsed spectacularly) is for US oil to be delivered in May 2020.

Factories are currently producing less, and so need less energy and less oil for raw materials. We travel less during a recession. We buy fewer cars. Demand drops across the board during any economic slowdown. That can often be moderated by people filling up their stockpiles with oil. If you happen to have a huge warehouse, or a series of huge tankers, and oil is unusually cheap… why not stock up and wait for the market to recover? Those with the capacity have been doing exactly that already. The problem is they’re all now almost full.

At the moment, oil trading is an international game of hot potato, with billion-dollar stakes, and no one wants to be left holding the barrel. That means that no one thinks we are coming out of the coronavirus crisis soon, or that when we do, it will end quickly.

We are all hoping deaths from the coronavirus have peaked already. It could be that we haven’t even begun to see the scale of the economic damage it could wreak.

Granted, there is considerably lag time between pumping the black goo out of the ground and sticking the nozzle in your gas tank. But while gas prices all around the country have been below $1.80 a gallon for several weeks, and often even below $1 even before this latest wave of insanity, gas prices refuse to drop below $2.03 around where I live in NJ. If I had any kind of freedom, I’d think about driving about driving to Minnesota for that 78¢ gas. Or even out to Ohio, where I can find it for a buck and a quarter. Maybe there’s a price fix going on in NY / NJ / PA ? Prices are not dropping Free Market style there at all. A bit lower, but not the give away levels elsewhere. And this is for $25 oil. What happens when the futures come due for MINUS 26 bucks?

What the hell is going on??

[ and when the oil companies go out of business and all the overstock gets used up, then oil will go back up to $400 a barrel ( again, right Bush-Obama? ), gas will hit $5-6 a gallon plus the raised state taxes, and we’ll all have to drive microscopic electric cars, and the Green Nude Eel will rule us all forever ]

If this isn’t the biggest commie plot that ever was, I don’t know what is. And all these assholes fell for it hook line and N95 mask. Because VIRUS RISK ... with what will turn out to be a 0.01% death rate, if anybody can ever put together some honest numbers. Which won’t happen either.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/20/2020 at 05:41 PM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsOil, Alternative Energy, and Gas Prices •  
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calendar   Sunday - April 19, 2020

This joke should go viral

We all have Schrödinger’s Virus now.

Because we cannot get tested, we can’t know whether we have the virus or not.

We have to act as if we have the virus so that we don’t spread it to others.

We have to act as if we’ve never had the virus because if we haven’t had it, we’re not immune.

Therefore, we both have and don’t have the virus. Thus, Schrödinger’s Virus.

If you don’t understand this joke, you’re never allowed to talk about science again.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/19/2020 at 10:26 AM   
Filed Under: • Humor •  
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Karenopolis

LA Mayor Urges People To Rat Out Neighbors

What a Nazi

Everybody knows that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti sees to it that his city doesn’t enforce federal immigration laws, and he’s proud of it:

Regardless of your immigration status, I want every Angeleno to know your city is on your side. Here in Los Angeles, our police department does not coordinate with ICE or participate in immigration enforcement.

Know your rights: https://t.co/2zfY8lUAyn pic.twitter.com/nYf1fXhBnU

— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) February 15, 2020

But that defense of illegal behavior won’t extend to citizens trying to make a living against direct public orders, as the mayor proved by promoting a website for anybody who wants to snitch:

To protect our communities, non-essential businesses must remain closed during our Safer at Home emergency order. To report non-essential businesses that are operating illegally, visit: https://t.co/bgKX7F8JmF. pic.twitter.com/7cyPU9Taof

— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) April 17, 2020

Allo grupenfuhrer? Der is ein Jooo over here!!


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/19/2020 at 10:03 AM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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Some kind of groundhog day?

If Winnie Xi Pu sees his shadow, does that means 6 more weeks of lockdown?

Coronavirus Model Suggests Tri-State Could Start Reopening After June 1

There are still not enough tests. That’s the message Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other states leaders are reiterating as discussions of reopening economies and loosening social distancing orders collide with public safety.

The urgency paid to reopening states has seemingly grown in recent days as New York State - the epicenter of coronavirus in the U.S. - continues to see positive trends. Hospitalizations are declining, as are intensive care admissions and net intubations, says Gov. Cuomo says.

The University of Washington and Gates Foundation-backed IHME, has released its own predictions of when individual states could begin easing restrictions. According to the IHME, an ease on restrictions could be possible if there are strategies in place “that include testing, contact tracing, isolation, and limiting gathering size.”

The model suggests New York, New Jersey and Connecticut might all be able to loosen stay-at-home orders and reopen non-essential businesses after June 1. Other states, the IHME says, could start as soon as May 4 while others are dated toward the end of June.

Yadda yadda, SSDD.

~~~

And yet, at the same time, those same states have let people back on their boats. But how do you maintain social distancing on a little boat? And all boats that aren’t ships are little. How many people can stay 6 feet apart and still move around even on a 50 foot yacht? Less than 10 I’d guess.

Marinas, Boatyards Allowed to Open for Personal Use in the Tri-State

Marinas and boatyards are now allowed to open for personal use in the tri-state area as long as strict social distancing and sanitation protocols are followed.

Conn. Governor Ned Lamont, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced the decision Saturday.

Chartered watercraft services or rentals will not be allowed, and restaurant activity at these sites must be limited to take-out or delivery only.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/19/2020 at 09:09 AM   
Filed Under: • Pandemic Pandemonium •  
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calendar   Saturday - April 18, 2020

Money, yay!!

I have day or two of work! Doc needs his office repainted, floors polished, windows done. So I get to play Handy Andy for a bit, freshening the place up. Maybe he’s found a buyer for the franchise, or is trying to get another doctor involved now that he’s retired. Cool.

I don’t know if it’s a full 2 days of effort, but I should be able to get a couple hundred bucks out of it. Not that I really need the cash; but it’s nice to get out of this place and feel like a normal working stiff again, even if it’s just for a short while.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/18/2020 at 02:56 PM   
Filed Under: • Daily Life •  
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calendar   Thursday - April 16, 2020

Gazing Into My Crystal Ball

COVID will change the way we shop, forever.

Even after the government allows society to re-open, you know you’re going to have to wear your mask everywhere. Maybe gloves too. Googles? We’ve already figured out that shaking hands may never happen again. But that’s just the start. Reusable shopping bags were really pushed by the greenies last year, but are now utterly verboten. Plastic straws are also back in vogue, but you will never see an unwrapped straw again, or the old glass container with dozens inside, pick your own. Gone forever, with good reason. 

I read an article yesterday talking about the effectiveness of UV-C as a sanitizing process for protective masks, to allow their re-use. It probably works, but why not use boiling water or an autoclave if your masks are made of the right materials? But for your phone, your keys, and so on it may be an answer.

I’ve known about UV-C used in HVAC ducts for a long time now. I expect this use to grow exponentially. I also expect a lot more use of electrostatic air filtration, which is many times better at catching dust and dirt (and germs?) as your typical $1 fiberglass furnace filter. I’d push it a small step further, using a disposable standard air filter as a pre-filter. How long until both of these become mandated for all office buildings and stores? And homes?? Cars???

But it was a trip to the grocery store that really made this idea bloom. Even with all the shopping restrictions currently in place, people have not yet really changed their shopping habits. They still seem to touch, smell, and pick through every piece of produce in the store. Are you nucking futz?? This behavior needs to be GONE. The open food areas in the store are already shut down - the hot prepared pick-your-own trays over by the deli, the salad bar, the trays of pickled mushrooms and peppers, fresh cheese, etc - gone. Probably forever. Even with sneeze guards. It simply is not enough at this point. We are going to shift to a “you touch it you buy it” philosophy. Expect all produce to be behind a plexiglass barrier, with PPE wearing clerks bagging your selections. The old days of Mrs. Grundy picking up every cantaloupe, squeezing them, bringing them up to her face to sniff them. Never again, ever. But as long as the economy recovers, we won’t be reduced to the Soviet style “This is your issued turnip comrade. You can buy another one Thursday” thing.

The “shop from home” service provided by our local grocery store is booming. Text in your list, and your credit card. Pick up your order at the sidewalk, or pay extra and they’ll drive the van right to your house. Will that become mandatory? Or will this all just blow over and we’ll go back the same old ways?

I can also see that a balance point will be necessary. We can not expect, demand, or even survive in an absolutely germ free environment. Not only is the cost of implementing that insanely expensive, but we become weaker people from it, with lowered immunity to an infinite number of illnesses.

But I can see a day when the guys in the butcher shop are fully gowned, gloved, and full face masked. And I can see that same day where every piece of raw meat is sent down the UV-C sanitizing tunnel before and after it gets wrapped. And I can see a similar thing with all produce. I don’t think this will extend to boxed products, but it might be needed at the Post Office or at bulk shippers or at Amazon.

Already people are spraying down the boxes of stuff that they order, or putting them off to the side for a number of days before even touching them. Because COVID. Is this extreme behavior? I can’t say. But the last box that got dropped off here stayed out on the porch for 3 days before we even brought it in the house. Lucky us that we live in a crime free area, and our front patio is not visible to anyone from any angle.

I don’t know if NJ’s law against pumping your own gas will extend to other states. But if I was getting gas in Kansas, I’d wear gloves while doing so, and hold the gas pump nozzle with a wipe. Just to be sure.

Will we become a “plexiglass city” society, not just to reduce crime, but to reduce the spread of germs? I want that to be a laughably excessive solution, but we already live in a world of extremes. Where is the balance point between freedom of choice (at least in terms of shopping) and public safety?

Get back to me in a year or two and we’ll see if my predictions become reality. If you want, put your own predictions in the comments. How else will “raised viral awareness” change our lives?



~~~~



Somewhat Related:

Over at Townhall, a look at other things they are a changing. Like college. Like the office. Like everyday people’s awareness of the media BS and the one-world BS. Nothing you don’t already know, but a nice 5 minute read.

Work: Working at home was already getting to be sort of a thing. Now, it’s pretty obvious that a lot of people can work at home. In fact, they should. Sure, there’s the management challenge of making sure employees don’t confuse working at home with a vacation, but for a lot of us, the office is going to be a thing of the past. This is especially good news if you tend to dislike other people.

I’ve thought about that one too, but from a different angle. If you have a job at an office in NYC, and live in NJ and are now a permanent work from home employee, do you still owe income tax to NYC or NY? I used to work for a multi-national IT company based in Plano TX. I worked in NJ. I did not pay income taxes to Texas. Why should these people? We need some sensible nationwide legal clarification. As in: no, they don’t get to tax you, period. Just the state you work in. Extending this idea into the future could create a massive remote corporate workforce in states with no or very low income tax. Sweeet. OTOH, do you get to keep that inflated NYC salary? Which goes 3 times further in Tumbleweed Wyoming? Orgasmic, but don’t bet on it. OTTH, low cost of living area employees could totally boost a corporation’s profit margin via salary reductions.]


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/16/2020 at 11:54 AM   
Filed Under: • Health and SafetyPandemic Pandemonium •  
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New Jersey To The Resue Again?

Good news, everyone!

FDA Gives EUA To Rutgers Developed COVID Saliva Test

Our community college is opening a drive through coronavirus testing facility that uses this brand new test. You need a prescription and an appointment, but there is no charge. Spit in the tube, or use a swab in your mouth. And they’ll contact you and your doctor and the CDC with the results. I don’t yet know how long it takes to get the results. But I do know that if this works, the hope is that it could ramp up 10000% and be used for DIY mail-in universal testing.

It is much less invasive than the deep nasal swab or the lung fluid sample test. There is no need for a blood sample. If this works, this will be the Big One.

And it was developed at Rutgers University, right here in the state everyone loves to hate on, New Jersey. They took the home ancestry DNA test concept and applied it to COVID. Awesome: standing on the shoulders of giants.


****

Minor update because I try to be a responsible journalist: FDA granted EUA on April 10, not April 15. Even with a game changing bit of news like this the MSM is at least 4 days behind the curve. WTF.
Also the first site to use this test is the existing testing site in Edison. I don’t know of any other test sites, so these two are probably the first in the nation.

****


Rutgers University researchers have received U.S. government clearance for the first saliva test to help diagnose COVID-19, a new approach that could help expand testing options and reduce risks of infection for health care workers.

The Food and Drug Administration authorized the test under its emergency powers to quickly clear new tests and therapies to fight the outbreak, the New Jersey university said Monday. [ “EUA” is Emergency Usage Approval ] The test initially will be available through hospitals and clinics affiliated with the school. The announcement comes as communities across the U.S. continue to struggle with testing to help track and contain the coronavirus.

The current approach to screening for COVID-19 requires health care workers to take a swab from a patient’s nose or throat. To lessen infection risks, many hospitals and clinics instruct staff to discard gloves and masks after close contact with anyone who may have the virus. And many institutions are struggling with shortages of basic medical supplies, including gloves, masks and swabs.

With the new saliva-based test, patients are given a plastic tube into which they spit several times. They then hand the tube back to the health care worker for laboratory processing.

“This prevents health care professionals from having to actually be in the face of somebody that is symptomatic,” said Andrew Brooks, who directs the Rutgers lab that developed the test.

An infectious disease expert not involved with the new test said it would help overcome some of the patient discomfort and difficulties in taking swab samples.

Rutgers tested the accuracy of its method by taking both saliva and swab samples from 60 patients. The results from patients’ saliva samples had a 100% match with results from the swabs.

Rutgers developed the laboratory method for the test using saliva collection kits from Spectrum Solutions, a Utah company that provides similar devices for DNA-based ancestry testing services. The Rutgers lab can currently process 10,000 patient samples per day, according to Brooks.

In its authorization letter to Rutgers, the FDA said the test should only be performed “in a health care setting under the supervision of a trained health care provider.” The FDA has not cleared any COVID-19 tests for use at home, though several companies have announced plans to make them available.

Additionally, the FDA said patients who test negative with the saliva-based kit should have their results confirmed with a second testing method.

Ok, that’s a bit of CYA from the FDA, but it’s additional risk abatement. It’s more of risk to the public to allow false negatives then it is to allow false positives.



“Nasal swabbing is an uncomfortable process for patients and can be associated with risk for the health care worker who is doing the swabbing,” said McNally, a physician and genetic expert not involved with the Rutgers test. “Another option like saliva makes it potentially easier and safer.”
...
McNally cautioned that both saliva-based and nasal swab tests aren’t always perfect because they depend on how much of the virus is actually present in the saliva or nasal sample; this is the biggest reason such tests could miss an infection.

“But overall these are still very helpful tests for knowing who has an active viral infection,” she said. “All tests are imperfect, but they are still very, very useful.”
...
“In the ideal situation, we would be able to test and identify every person who has infection with the virus,” McNally said. “We know the testing system missed a lot of people, especially those with mild symptoms or those who did not have any symptoms. We have so much more to learn about how many people were infected and what the state of active infection looks like going forward.”

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a saliva test for “emergency use” for diagnosing Covid-19. Rutgers University, where the test was developed in collaboration with other groups, announced the FDA authorization on Tuesday [ April 14 ] after formally receiving it over the weekend.



The Rutgers University scientist who oversaw the development of a saliva test to detect coronavirus said he believes this new way to collect patient samples could serve as a bridge to widespread national testing—modeled off the kits used by familiar commercial genealogical brands like Ancestry.com and 23 and Me.

“It opens up a lot of doors,” Andrew Brooks, the chief operating officer and director of technology development at the Rutgers lab, told ABC News.

Brooks painted a picture of what a future with large-scale, nationwide testing could look like, and it is very similar to the method commercial genealogy firms use to collect their DNA samples from their of customers. As with genealogy tests, he said a testing company could ship a kit to the patient, they can spit into a vial and then the vial is sent to a lab for analysis.



From the email sent out by my county the same day as the FDA approval was granted:

Who can get tested at the clinic?

Individuals who meet ALL of these criteria are eligible for testing:

● Somerset or Hunterdon county residents
● Age 5 or older
● Have COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath)
● Have a written doctor’s orders or prescription
● Have an appointment

What do I need to bring

Paper copy of doctor’s orders/prescription
Government issued ID
Pen

What are the dates and hours of the clinic?
The clinic will run Thursday 4/16, Friday 4/17, and Monday 4/20 from 10am to 1pm.

Do I need an appointment?
Yes. Only individuals with an appointment will receive testing.

Kudos to our local government. Obviously they knew about this ahead of time and had it all set up in advance. So they rolled it out the instant that EUA was granted, and it opened the next day. I expect there to be screwups in the process for the first few days, but that will quickly smooth out. And if preliminary testing works out, I fully expect twenty dozen other testing facilities to open up nearly overnight. This will cut down the processing time and ramp up the scale of testing by orders of magnitude. Imagine if 10 million people could be tested every day. From home. Why, this could even save the US Post Office, giving them lots of work delivering all the little “red bag” packages. Get them some PPE too, have a special test kit drop off mailbox and get those selected postmen some PPE. And get them all on HCQ + Zn, just to play it safest.

extra info: https://www.livescience.com/how-coronavirus-tests-work.html


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/16/2020 at 10:37 AM   
Filed Under: • Health-Medicinepandemic and epidemic diseases •  
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calendar   Wednesday - April 15, 2020

another day, plus a fox

It’s been a bit challenging getting online here on the PC. We are itching to remodel this place a bit and have been drawing up designs left and right. And then going online to look at washers, dryers, refrigerators, kitchen cabinets, wooden flooring, tiles, paint colors and on and on and on. Sometimes it’s fun, and interesting to play “what if” as we hash out the ideas. Sometimes it gets a bit much, as in “could we hold off on this until I’ve had my first coffee or two this morning?” But it beats reading about you-know-what endlessly.

I think it’s about time to take another trip to the grocery store. I made up a pot of yellow curry tonight, which is a great way to get rid of leftovers. A bit of leftover pork chop, a bit of leftover steak, an onion, half a bag of frozen green beans, a carrot. And plenty of curry paste and a can of coconut milk. Turns out we were out of rice, but with all this remodeling daydreaming we’ve been doing we’ve also moved everything around from this cabinet to that cabinet in the kitchen. And found a couple pounds of sushi rice in one of those airtight containers. I’m sure it’s 7 years old or more. But it cooked up just fine. And we ate well, and I didn’t have to grill.

After dinner I was out on the patio in the dark, checking out the tulips in our side garden, and they’re just starting to open. And I saw a bit of yellowish movement on the hill. I figured it was Ginger our outdoor cat, but it was a fox. Big bushy tail, and her little legs going a mile a minute as she trotted along. Went down the bank behind the tree, but for a second she wasn’t 9 feet away from me. Pretty cool. Yet another member of the menagerie here in the friggin jungle.



Yes, I’ve been watching the news. Best story I’ve seen all day is those protesters arrested in Raleigh. Because exercising your First Amendment rights of peaceable assembly to redress your grievances is now considered a “non-essential” activity by the neo-Gestapo.

Oh, to have a modern Patrick Henry or a Tom Paine with rhetorical skills in the courtroom with them.

Godspeed protesters, sic semper tyrannis!

image


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/15/2020 at 08:41 PM   
Filed Under: • Daily LifeFREEDOM •  
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calendar   Tuesday - April 14, 2020

never mind

I just killed a post that I spent hours on, trying to find some correlation for COVID cases here in NJ, based on county by county population, population density, county land size, whatever. I thought I had something, but I was wrong. So I killed the post.

I had churned a bunch of numbers I looked up, and made a graph. And it looked really neat. It was only later that I noticed that the data for the X axis was not displayed in increasing order. Once I fixed that, the graph went to hell. There is no smooth correlation between population density and the percentage of the population infected.

So, never mind. Oh, and as I’m not a professional spreadsheet jockey, I find making graphs to be counter intuitive in Excel. It sucks.

image

COVID infection rate as a percentage of the population of the counties in New Jersey





I think this graph shows only a loose correlation at best. Low population density areas are more likely to have lower infection rates as a percentage of the population than high population density areas, but the numbers are very wobbly. There is some other factor involved, and I have no idea what it is.

There ... at least that’s honest reporting on my part. I looked, I crunched, I didn’t get the results I thought I would.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/14/2020 at 07:48 PM   
Filed Under: • pandemic and epidemic diseases •  
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Just another Tuesday in lockdown: Running the numbers

Yes, I’m still here. And we’re both fine, thanks, as the coronavirus “rages” around us.

I’ve been tracking the numbers for my county for a week now, and I can’t really draw any conclusions. I’m not seeing any real correlation between population density and the number of COVID cases. But I know that the data I have has holes in it; missing pieces. Large ones.

Hunterdon County NJ is on the very outer edge of the NY Metro suburban area. More than half this county is farms, forests, and lakes. It’s not a very big county, 427 square miles, but we do have 1/8 million people living here. 292 people per square mile on average. Compared to most of the rest of New Jersey, this county is empty.

Hunterdon does have pocket populations though. Several tiny little areas with relatively large numbers of folks. I’m living in one of the “large” pockets, with probably 900 neighbors on this 20 acre parcel. And we have “regular” suburbia in the neighborhood around us. And the COVID numbers in our township are the highest in the county, with a “frightening” 0.724% infection rate, compared to the county average of 0.271%. That 0.724% means nearly 7 1/4 cases per 1000 people. PANIC !!! LOCKDOWN !!! Quiver in place !!!!

OTOH, I’m seeing a 35% growth rate in a 4 day window for the whole county, which is quite below what I’d call a pandemic infection rate. So maybe this social isolation stuff is working. Or maybe the whole concept falls apart when the overall numbers are small; we’re certainly below the 3 day doubling rate I’ve read about in other places, and we’re probably also below the percentages for those areas.

OTTH, I do not know the testing rate for my county or for any of the areas within it. I’m sure that such data exists, but the best I can locate are the numbers for the entire state. Sure, I think it’s great that our bi-county area is setting up a drive-thru testing center at the community college, but you can’t just go. You have to have a prescription, which means you have to be sick enough that you’ve contacted your doctor, and “passed” your virtual office visit with enough of the COVID symptoms boxes checked off.

There is no routine public testing going on here, nor anywhere else in the whole country. So we’ll never know how many of us are asymptomatic carriers, or have had the bug, not even noticed it, and already recovered. And with overwhelmed health workers giving people but a single test (type unknown!) we’ll never have hard good numbers with a low rate of false positives.

And certainly nobody at Big Brother is going to hand out the HCQ like Halloween candy to the general population as a preventative or as a cure for those only lightly symptomatic. We’d need a huge number of pills for that. 350 million people, 2 pills a day for 5 weeks (to cover the incubation period and the average recovery period) ... that’s 3.5 billion pills, minimum. But that would stop the virus dead in it’s tracks. And also cut our malaria rate down to nothing.

So about the only thing I can pull from my numbers is that the infection rate isn’t all that much, and the odds of me even seeing an infected person in public are way less than 1 in 100. And I don’t think I’ve seen 100 people total in the past 2 weeks.

So I’m going to mask up and get some Chinese take out for lunch.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/14/2020 at 11:15 AM   
Filed Under: • Pandemic Pandemonium •  
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calendar   Saturday - April 11, 2020

Bugging Out

Hey, remember Africa? All those locusts eating everything, spreading across the Red Sea, all the way to the edge of China? And that Chinese fungus that was supposed to stop them. Or those 100,000 hungry ducks. Yeah, right.

At least it isn’t a coronavirus post.

New thing learned today: immature locusts that can’t yet fly are called hoppers.



Locusts, Round Two: 20x more bugs, just as hungry

image

The little chompers are breeding like mad all over, over there. There could be 400 times as many of them by June.

KAMPALA, Uganda – Weeks before the coronavirus spread through much of the world, parts of Africa were already threatened by another kind of plague, the biggest locust outbreak some countries had seen in 70 years.

Now the second wave of the voracious insects, some 20 times the size of the first, is arriving. Billions of the young desert locusts are winging in from breeding grounds in Somalia in search of fresh vegetation springing up with seasonal rains.

Millions of already vulnerable people are at risk. And as they gather to try to combat the locusts, often in vain, they risk spreading the virus — a topic that comes a distant second for many in rural areas.

It is the locusts that “everyone is talking about,” said Yoweri Aboket, a farmer in Uganda. “Once they land in your garden they do total destruction. Some people will even tell you that the locusts are more destructive than the coronavirus. There are even some who don’t believe that the virus will reach here.”

Some farmers in Abokat’s village near the Kenyan border bang metal pans, whistle or throw stones to try to drive the locusts away. But mostly they watch in frustration, largely barred by a coronavirus lockdown from gathering outside their homes.

Aww crap, it is a coronavirus post. EVERYTHING is a coronavirus post.


Ok, this place stays on topic.

Taken in it’s entirety from Locust Watch, along with the above map. It’s part of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization:

Desert Locust situation update 8 April 2020

Swarm increase expected in East Africa

Widespread rains that fell in late March could allow a dramatic increase in locust numbers in East Africa, eastern Yemen and southern Iran in the coming months.

EAST AFRICA
The current situation in East Africa remains extremely alarming as hopper bands and an increasing number of new swarms form in northern and central Kenya, southern Ethiopia and Somalia. This represents an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods because it coincides with the beginning of the long rains and the planting season. Although ground and aerial control operations are in progress, widespread rains that fell in late March will allow the new swarms to mostly remain, mature and lay eggs while a few swarms could move from Kenya to Uganda, South Sudan and Ethiopia. During May, the eggs will hatch into hopper bands that will form new swarms in late June and July, which coincides with the start of the harvest.
● KENYA. Swarms appear to be increasing in size in some central and northern areas with some moving westwards.
● ETHIOPIA. A large swarm was reported in the south (SNNPR) today.
● UGANDA. Several immature and maturing swarms appeared in the northeast (Katakwi, Amuria, Agago districts) on 5-7 April. The military carried out control operations. Additional swarms may appear in these areas from Kenya and move towards the northwest.

ARABIAN PENINSULA
Spring breeding is underway. The situation in Yemen continues to deteriorate.
● YEMEN. An immature swarm was seen on the coast at the Oman border and another one north of Aden, and adults are laying on the eastern plateau.
● SAUDI ARABIA. More hatching and early instar bands form near the Persian Gulf where control operations continue.
● OMAN. Control underway against hopper and adult groups in the north. A few immature adult groups seen in the south.

SOUTHWEST ASIA
Spring breeding is underway. The situation in Iran is becoming increasingly worrisome.
● IRAN. An increasing number of hopper bands are forming along the southern coast from earlier swarm laying.
● PAKISTAN. Control underway against hopper groups in Baluchistan, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/11/2020 at 10:36 AM   
Filed Under: • AfricaMiscellaneous •  
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calendar   Friday - April 10, 2020

Chafing At The Bit

So while the shrimps thawed for what will be our Good Friday dinner, I drove downtown to the local Krauser’s, which is our version of a 7-11.

Sign on the door, with the badge logo of the local police department: Do Not Enter This Business Without A Mask. Violators of NJ Executive Order 122 will be subject to fine or citation.

Less than two weeks ago, our pinko Governor “Red” Murphy was telling us common people that masks were not necessary, possibly made things worse, were no substitute for mandatory social distancing, and should not be purchased so that the health workers would have enough.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) ordered all residents to wear masks in grocery stores as coronavirus cases and deaths continue to climb.

Murphy announced Wednesday that he was signing an executive order enforcing restrictions to try to decrease the spread of coronavirus in some of the only businesses that remain open in the state.

To lessen overcrowding, all “essential retail” stores will only be permitted to allow up to 50 percent of their approved capacity inside. All customers and employees will be required to wear face coverings while inside the store, and businesses must supply employees with masks, coverings and gloves.

We’re also aiming to mitigate overcrowding at essential retail stores – particularly in our grocery stores.

Under this Executive Order, all essential retail must indefinitely limit the number of customers allowed in their stores to NO MORE than 50% of their approved capacity.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) April 8, 2020

The executive order also mandates stores provide certain shopping hours for high-risk populations such as seniors, place physical barriers between customers and employees “where practicable” and regularly sanitize employee areas.

He said during a press briefing Wednesday that those not wearing face coverings would “get asked to leave,” except for those who are under age 2 or with medical reasons to not wear a mask.

The store is a little bit bigger than our living room. And now all 3 short aisles have one way arrows taped to the floor, and those ubiquitous “stand here” tape boxes 6 feet apart. There is a heavy clear plastic sheet in front of the checkout; the guy behind the counter is wearing long sleeves, gloves, and a mask. A stack of milk crates in front of the counter keeps customers from getting too close. Hot coffee is no longer for sale. The grill is shut down. No bagels, premade sandwiches, or pastries are allowed either. On the other hand, the place is spotless. I’ve never seen it so clean.

I groused to the fellow working there by himself, asking if he was getting tired of constraints on his freedom. This ain’t America I told him (naturally he’s an immigrant; Joe Biden was right), and I was getting pretty sick of it. Another week, maybe to the end of the month. And then I’m going to blow. Hey, at least that guy still has a job.

Out here in the “sticks” of “rural” NJ, our county numbers have grown to around 292, with 7 dead. Until earlier this week we had no deaths, and our numbers were half this. So the wave has reached us, either the disease wave or the testing wave. Both I guess. We have food here for at least a week, maybe two if we eat hot dogs day after day.  The county has a population of about a 125,000 people, so we’re looking at bit over 1 in 425. 0.23%. And life ground to a halt here 3 weeks ago.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/10/2020 at 07:09 PM   
Filed Under: • Pandemic Pandemonium •  
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coin of the year

image

yes, it’s real.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/10/2020 at 04:17 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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