"For some unknown reason, however, China still refuses to grant US scientists access to ground zero." Maybe because the bloody thing is an engineered bioweapon, and we'll all find that out just as soon as anyone from a quasi-free country has real access to the hot zone.
Okay, an agent that has properties like HIV; which can both reinfect someone who's previously had it and can kill upon reinfection; which has an incubation period of up to twenty four days where the patient will be asymptomatic but fully capable of spreading it; and the antibody in previously infected patients makes the second infection worse rather than alleviating it.
Bioweapon. Definitely. Accidentally released during development; the Chinese had been trying to make it less effective against asians rather than more.
* * *
Philippines ejecting American military and I've got a fiver that says it's because the Chinese offered Philippine president Duterte a better deal.
Whether or not you are intimidated by my strange talking money, those tea leaves are not all that difficult to read. And if China is providing defense for the Philippines, it solves a big problem for the Chinese.
The fact that the Philippines eventually end up being a Chinese possession has not occurred to Duterte, I think. "I am altering the deal. Pray I do not alter it further."
* * *
"I wish we could choose our baby fathers" complained the woman who apparently doesn't understand how basic biology works.
* * *
My wife is watching an ep of Saturday Night Live from 1980, and as it turns out, it's the ep where Al Franken's existence first entered my consciousness. He appeared in the news segment, and spent about a minute or so talking about (I think) Selective Service and the "Al Franken Decade" and the humor was supposed to come from the way he said his own name over and over and over again, and every time he said it, it appeared at the bottom of the screen.
In 1980, it wasn't even remotely funny. I remember watching this and wondering, Who the hell is this moron? (And of course the following thought: Well--Al Franken, obviously. But who the hell is Al Franken?) Today, it's still not even remotely funny.
That sketch is why I refer to him as failed comedian Al Franken.
Anyway, it's nice that I was able to put a year to the thing. 1980, because they made fun of the Republican primary, and had a Reagan campaign ad for the New Hampshire primary which consisted of Reagan making racist jokes. (Did Reagan make a racist joke? Or is this typical leftist straw man horseshit? I'm betting the latter.)
It's the ep with Kirk Douglas. A fiver (more of that weird talking money!) says it's in the wake of the release of Final Countdown.
* * *
So, just took a banana cake out of the oven. First time baking an actual cake from scratch. I've baked other things like banana-walnut bread from scratch, and of course cookies and such--never a cake.
Stand mixer made it amazingly simple, of course. Put butter and sugar in a bowl, then turned it on, and just added ingredients until it was ready to pour in the pans.
Once it's cool I turn them out of the pans and frost with cream cheese frosting. Then serve a slice to my wife, for whom I baked this as a (now belated) Valentine's Day treat.
I was going to make oatmeal cookies, too, but the recipe I have starts with two and a half sticks of butter and I just didn't feel like making five dozen cookies. Oh well.
* * *
Didn't sleep well last night, so I ended up napping this evening. Went to bed at 3, got up at 6 for bathroom, then again at 9 to go get wife's pills; came home, wrote post, went to bed for a while--then up again, then back to bed again. *sigh*
* * *
For Valentine's Day, my wife bought me a book, Recursion by Blake Crouch. Story is driven by people having "False Memory Syndrome" (FMS). The main character is introduced to us in the middle of trying to keep a woman who has it from committing suicide.
The idea is that people suddenly find themselves remembering things which didn't actually happen to them. Meanwhile, there's a scientist who is working on memory reading and writing technology.
By the end of the first third of the book, I know what is happening with these cases of FMS. I can't really explain it without giving away a major plot point, but it's all set up rather well, I think, and the story certainly is suspenseful enough.
My biggest problem with it thus far is that it was written in present tense, which I absolutely cannot stand. It's why I won't read Stephenson's Snow Crash. (Wait--or was it Cryptonomincon?) Anyway, can't stand present tense, even when it's an author I like, and I never heard of this guy until I unwrapped the book. I know why authors pick it--and considering the story this book is telling, it makes sense to use it here--I just don't like it. Personal taste, is all.
Still, if you don't have that prejudice, as of 33% read I can recommend this as a good read.