QuickReaction, Wednesday

Air pollution in China is a tough nut to crack. It was hard here, in the 60s and 70s but for the most part that was government vs industry and thus had the normal tension in that dynamic. Now in China a lot of the issue is going to be government vs government since the state-run businesses are some of the worst offenders. I think China is going to struggle with this. Economic progress, esp. some aggregate numbers, are a lot easier to manage than actual quality of life issues (in addition to the pollution the traffic congestion makes LA’s worst days look good.) I still remember the hotel staff in China telling me there was no pollution (hey, I was in LA in the 60s, I know pollution) and it was only dust from the Gobi dessert. So they’ll first have to get past denial, which as we’ve seen with global climate change in the U.S. is very hard for truth to prevail over greedy self-interest.

Universal flu vaccine 10 years away? I doubt it. The article indicates how this could happen but doesn’t address two critical points: a) where is the development money going to come from?, and, b) how does anything get done with the anti-science and its cousin anti-vaccine denialism running rampant in Repug crazytown (if you think this doesn’t matter, look at who the Repugs put on the House unScience committee, their worst know-nothings, foxes guarding the chicken coop to make sure science stays out of controversial stuff, like biology). Plus, is the strategy for a universal vaccine even reasonable. Surely the “stalk” of hemagglutinin is already sequenced and building monoclonal antibodies against a known sequence is easy so has there been a proof of concept yet? Or is this just rah-rah stuff of people looking for funding.

Oh no, Betelgeuse is doomed. Or maybe not. Too bad, though, it’s at least 5000 years before it happens so I won’t get to see it. But losing one of the few stars I can spot is a sad event, boo-hoo.

Despicable Hypocrisy! Of course Rand Paul can claim he wasn’t around during the worst screwup of national security, but I know how he’d answer the questions: 1) should Condi Rice have been fired for not briefing Dumbya about 9/11 warnings, and, 2) should Dumbya have been impeached over ignoring 9/11 warnings because he was too busy cutting brush. Thousands died on 9/11 and hundreds of thousands since due to Dumbya and the Repug, so shut the F*k up, you stupid twerp.

Does anyone believe this stupid Repug lie? All Americans have healthcare, especially those in the paradise known as Mississippi. The governor should go to an ER where the uninsured get treatment someday and see if that can be called healthcare. What a callous greedy dinosaur!

Georgia, hang your head in shame. You already had the distinction of the worst Congressman, total nutjob, Paul Broun, who previously gained distinction calling evolution and the big bang theory “lies straight from the pit of Hell.” (And this d*bag sits on the House Science committee!) Now he decides it is perfectly reasonable to insult the presidency with this over-the-top comment (of course vying for air time on Fox). The copy of Constitution you have in your pocket is the one from apartheid South Africa. Gerrymandering is even worse than the unlimited money in politics Scalia brought us with Citizens United because total idiots like this sit in safe seats. Shame on you racist Georgia.

Apple is the moth that flew too close to the flame: When Wall Street was gaga over Apple they loved it, but now they’re learning fame is fleeting (hey, ask Microsoft about that). Wall Street analysts, who have never developed, produced or sold a single product naturally know more about projecting Apple’s sales than Apple does so now Apple fails to meet their totally artificial target. Yep, live by the sword, die by the sword. They love you one day and then spit on you the next. But really Apple (or really you deluded Apple groupies and investors) what did you expect. No more killer products in the pipeline and now you’re dog meat to Wall Street. They’ll love shorting you the way they hyped you.

Meanwhile Netflix stays alive to cook another day, as Alton says. Expectations for Netflix dropped so low now they can manage to beat them. What’s next, a revival in Groupon?

Breakfast cereal created dogs?! Fascinating idea, apparently evidence-based (popular press probably reported on real peer-reviewed article correctly) that a certain event in the evolution of wolf to dog and possibly even the key event was the gene amplification in dogs to be able to better digest starches, which seems to have happened in parallel with humans developed cereal grain based agriculture. Slightly tame wolves didn’t come near our campfires, they came to our garbage dumps and scavenged. And, IDiots, who, who says mutations can only be negative – learn some biology and about gene duplication before you make your stupid claims.

Is there anything more irrelevant? Perhaps it’s just fiscal cliff, debt ceiling, budget, and crazy Repugs fatigue and thus anything, anything at all to relieve the unremitting gloom of our utterly dysfunctional politics, but can’t we find something more relevant to buzz on about than lip syncing?

Normally this would be gloomy news: Most people probably would be unhappy at the prospect of losing 10 years of life expectancy, but for someone just entering the Medicare generation and ex-smoker who thought a lifetime of scrimping and saving from a white-collar professional salary would mean golden years, I’m glad to think I’ll be departing sooner rather than later (just make it not painful and avoid having to do it self-inflicted). My mother survives on but in the best time in history for seniors; my prospects are not so promising since the Repugs only care about fetuses and not living persons and will happily sell the elderly down the drain in exchange for tax cuts for the rich. Obama 2.0 is only a temporary reprieve before the greedies get their cuts.

Congratulations, something positive! There is some hope for us yet since there are pockets in the U.S. where sanity still exists and Repug back-to-the-stoneage anti-science mentality hasn’t destroyed. These young people are the future and kudos to them and to Intel for reviving the old Westinghouse Talent Search (in which yours truly participated but never was good enough for a finalist). If you think you know science just read the titles of their projects and see if you have a clue what they mean. What science were you talking at 18? And if anything doesn’t think immigration adds to the strength of this country look at the last names of these kids. Think about them the next time you go knocking recent immigrants.

$144 Billion is just noise: That’s one talking heads’ theory about the rapid exit (the largest since after 9/11) of deposits from big U.S. banks – it’s nothing, just noise since big capital movements are routine (yes, smaller ones are, not record ones). Does somebody know something? Is China transferring its money somewhere else? Are Repugs panicking over Obama 2.0 and yanking their money out to Dubai? Inquiring minds want to know, but somehow I bet we’ll be hearing about this again.

I’m sorry this makes no sense: I used to work with this stuff (and the largest owner of VMWare) and frankly the only part of this that makes sense is the name, Puppet Labs – yup, that sounds appropriate for gauzy over-hyped simple stuff. The CIOs need some new fad to justify all the tradeshows in fun places they want to attend. And VMWare, well, see they have all this money and nothing useful they can find to spend it on, so buying some silly outfit is a natural.

Oh if only it were true! Accomplishing what this headline calls for (annihilating the Repug party) would be the greatest thing Obama could accomplish. Unfortunately it’s not true and if anything he’s giving them a reason to exist. Plus the Repugs are doing a better job of annihilating themselves, or at least just reviving the old Dixiecrat segregationist party in the south without any help from Obama.

Big surprise: By bragging about ourselves on Facebook we create envy in other people. Of course the bragging escalates and they create envy in us. When we envy what others have (whether true or not) we feel bad about ourselves. Therefore Facebook is the biggest source of depression imaginable, after money, of course.

Sea level rise, relative to land, will not be uniform: Interesting, there are a lot of factors in determining how sea level rises, relative to land (which may sink or also rise) so you can’t take the average of some number of feet and spread that evenly. Of course, this is yet another thing about how complex global warming is and other non-uniform type effects are the increasing drought in the Midwest, home to many of the red state denialists (also those who want to deny disaster funds for anyone else but naturally want to claim plenty for themselves).

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About dmill96

old fat (but now getting trim and fit) guy, who used to create software in Silicon Valley (almost before it was called that), who used to go backpacking and bicycling and cross-country skiing and now geodashes, drives AWD in Wyoming, takes pictures, and writes long blog posts and does xizquvjyk.
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