April 10th, 2020

#7099: It's intentional padding of the statistics

Why, it's a mysterious and coincidental decline in heart attack deaths. Did you know that? At the very same time we're having a pandemic, deaths by heart attack have fallen, and--

Oh, wait. I get it: someone has COVID-19 and has a heart attack and dies, they count that as a COVID-19 death rather than a heart attack death.

They're doing the same thing that anti-smoking zealots convinced them to do with smoking deaths. Jimmy Humdinger smoked two packs a day until he was in his thirties, but he quit smoking fifteen years ago. The other day, he had a heart attack and died. His death is counted as "smoking-related". That's the only way those folks can claim however many smoking-related deaths they claim occur. If you control for "people who quit smoking" the number drops precipitously. (Because while smoking is decidedly not good for you, it is merely a risk factor, not a cause.)

So let's look at the mortality statistics for the county that the Fungal Vale is in. They're saying that 46 people have died of COVID-19 in this county. But did those 46 people ALL succumb to COVID-19? Or did they merely test positive for the disease post-mortem? How many of them died and then were found to have had active COVID-19 infections?

If someone has the flu, and then gets shot in the head, we don't say he died of the flu, for fuck's sake. But that's essentially what they're doing here. They're pumping the numbers.

This isn't science. This isn't statistics. It's lying.

It's an out-and-out lie.

And by the way, let's discuss the fact that so many people have antibodies for this thing.
A phlebotomist working at Roseland Community Hospital said Thursday that 30% to 50% of patients tested for the coronavirus have antibodies while only around 10% to 20% of those tested have the active virus.
If you have antibodies but not virus, that means that A) you contracted the disease, and B) you got over it.

The thing is, this information indicates that if we had done nothing--no shutdown, no "shelter in place" none of the stupid crap we're doing--we would have seen exactly the same mortality (however you care to count it) but we also would have gained "herd immunity". By shutting down when we did, we interrupted the natural process for disease propogation through the infectable population, put a stop to naturally-acquired herd immunity...and we did not save so much as one life in the process.

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The Daily Telegraph fisks commie bullshit and calls it out on being commie bullshit.

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This pretty well encapsulates the Democrat-media response to this thing.

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It's important to understand that everything we do has an economic component.

I'm not kidding: there is not one single thing humans do which does not involve economics one way or another. And not to put too fine a point on it, but economics is the study of scarcity, not money.

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It is not cheap...yet. It takes a pretty high-zoot laser and it needs to be tuned to a specific wavelength, but damn if it doesn't yield effective, pretty, and fast results.

This is the first time I've seen one of these demostrations without a music overlay. The sound is really cool. What you're hearing is the sound of the rust and other junk vaporizing--the laser itself is silent. The light given off by it is emitted by the vaporizing junk; the laser beam is invisible.

The most entertaining thing about this is how those noises sound like something from a 1960s sci-fi movie where someone uses a laser to do something. Who could imagine those guys were right?

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Did not sleep well last night. Anxiety, coupled with Xanax, coupled with wife waking me up because my snoring was waking her up, so I went and slept on the sofa for a good three to five hours solely so she could sleep. But sofa is less comfortable than bed and I didn't sleep all that well.

Today's main tasks are to pay the bills and to cut the grass. The back yard is swampy but the east 40 needs it and so does the front yard. But the "cutting grass" thing will need to wait until this afternoon, when it's supposed to be warmer than it is now anyway, because I really want to get a nap. And there's no reason for me not to take one. Ha!!!

#7100: STINKINOUS GOVERNMENT

So, Village Hall is closed because COVID-19 and of course it is. Water bill due Wednesday and Village Hall is not likely to be open by then because the stupid and useless "shelter-in-place" garbage continues through the end of the month.

$9 fee, on top of the bill itself, to pay the bill electronically.

*sigh*

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YouTube underwent a redesign a month or two ago and the new version stinks.

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I was just thinking about Mazes and Monsters the other day and here it is on YouTube video. (Linked instead of embedded for several reasons, not the least being that it's 1.5 hours long and the encoding doesn't play nice with Pale Moon.)

Yes, it was the result of the big "D&D is SATANIC!!!!!11oneone" scare in the early 1980s

If I were Tom Hanks' agent, I would keep a couple of things on hand to make sure the guy didn't get too big a head. The first would be a clip from his appearance on Happy Days, in which he played a guy with a black belt who was challenging the Fonz to a fight over a long-held grudge. The second would be a movie poster for that movie.

...though, to my surprise, they are contemporary with his stint as a main character on Bosom Buddies. Half-hour sitcom, ran a good two years.

I watched M&M the first time it was televised. It was in the early 1980s. My friends and I--into D&D--all watched it together, and when it was over we universally thought it was a huge pile of horseshit.

Oh well.

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The other day I fitted the replacement fuel petcock to the motorcycle's fuel tank. It fit perfectly and looks great. Test-fitted the tank to the bike and it looks as if it'll work fine.

Now if I can just get the damned carbs off, I can clean them, and maybe ride the thing. Once I get it plated and insured again. *whimper*

#7101: They're in the wrong business

NASA analyzed Boeing's lunar cargo delivery proposal and was, uh, less than flattering in its assessment.
Due to its high price and ill-suited proposal for the lunar cargo contract, NASA didn't even consider the proposal among the final bidders. In his assessment late last year, NASA's acting chief of human spaceflight, Ken Bowersox, wrote, "Since Boeing's proposal was the highest priced and the lowest rated under the Mission Suitability factor, while additionally providing a conditional fixed price, I have decided to eliminate Boeing from further award consideration."
That's the penultimate paragraph of the article. That quote, worded that way, is enough to take the wind out of you. "Highest priced" and "lowest-rated"--this for what is otherwise the premiere aerospace corporation in the world--has got to hurt.

Kind of like a 1978 Cadillac with a diesel engine, eh?

The problem reduces down to a relatively simple prospect, and it's a solution that SF authors and fans have been advocating for several decades: instead of selling rocket ships, companies need to be encouraged to sell flights to a destination.

Okay, when you call up United Airlines and buy a ticket, you're not buying an airplane. You're not even buying a seat. What you are doing is paying them to get you somewhere. Can you imagine what it would cost per flight--how bloody expensive it would be--if people had to buy expendable hardware to hop a plane for New York or Cancun or Lower Crotobaltislavonia?

Let's imagine that we do air flights the way NASA did rocket flights before SpaceX. Even if you had five hundred people go in together on the cost of a 737, they'd still have to pay something like $180,000 apiece for the airplane alone, plus the cost of crew and fuel. Boeing would have to get the order for the airplane two years in advance to have it built in time, and there would probably be cost overruns and delays, and when ground tests inevitably discovered problems with the plane they'd have to fix them at greater cost and more time waiting. Eventually, everyone on the flight would end up paying $300,000 apiece for their ONE FLIGHT to wherever they're going, at which point the airplane would no longer be usable and another one would have to be built. In that model, air travel never would have seen the light of day, much less become a common mode of transport.

Boeing's problem is, that's what they're selling. They're selling disposable rocket ships--worse, they're bespoke disposable rocket ships. Built to order at enormous cost with staggeringly long lead times, and somehow they have never managed to produce something for the government on-time (let alone early!) and under budget. NEVER.

All of this is fine as long as some smartass upstart doesn't come along and start building reusable rockets, on which he offers flights for a fraction of what one of our rockets costs. As long as some person with really deep pockets and a rare level of business acumen doesn't realize that he can sell about ten flights on a rocket for the price we charge for one rocket, we're golden. I mean, who would think that anyone would try to make a reusable rocket, am I right? Besides, we own all these Senators and congressmen. How's some upstart going to navigate the labyrinth of regulation and red tape (which we paid for!) to keep everyone out of this business?

I'd be interested to know what happened to the shipbuilding industry starting in oh, say, 1955. At what point did shipyards stop building passenger ships? I don't mean those floating casinos that people vacation on; I mean actual "I need to go to Europe, book me some passage on a ship" passenger liners? WW2 probably had some major influence on that shift but there has to have been a point at which it was down to one or two companies; and I wonder if any of them is building the floating casinos, or what? But what they are not doing is providing a necessary service but a luxury service.

I don't know if Boeing can overcome its inertia. Like all large corporations, "agility" is a buzzword they aspire to rather than an attribute they can take advantage of. The fact that the 737MAX program was so spectacularly bungled does not give me much confidence; and looking at what--and how--they're doing with the Starliner program reinforces that.

But the company's confident boast that the first manned ship to land on Mars will be a Boeing product is looking ever more hollow these days.