Coronavirus Prologue

Sunday, 2020 April 26

For me, the day we jumped into Coronaworld with both feet was the primary election of Tuesday, 2020 March 17. Things were starting to feel dodgy but we felt that our duty as citizens to fulfill our commitment as election judges outweighed the risk at this point. Eric was recruited to help at Rachel’s poll and we each got $200 hazard pay as many judges had dropped out. Fortunately, Eric and I had stocked up on groceries several days earlier, so we were well-equipped to begin our isolation period which we declared completed on April 1. Eric has been a great sanitation officer, disinfecting the kitchen and making coffee every morning. He seems, so far, to have kept himself quite busy with writing and phone calls.

We are fortunate to be retired and able to do the necessary isolation without too much sacrifice. I am acutely aware of being in the twilight of my life, but had been staying reasonably occupied (in between bouts of anxiety) with CTD teaching and work for Lisle Democrats. Now, teaching is off the menu for the moment (although I could do some curriculum development) and the Democrats are figuring out how to go virtual. The most surreal thing is that we are in the midst of this plague and the President of the United States is for the most part an active obstacle to fighting it.

I wake up in the morning reluctant to get out of bed but usually get at least a small boost in my mood as soon as I do. Sometimes surfing social media is better than brooding but overall I should cut down or at least time it to be more conscious of it.

There’s a lot of organization I need to do, both in organization of financial materials and in getting rid of physical junk that is hard to avoid think of as “getting ready to die”. Still, I have little doubt that I will be in a better mood if I can get this tamed.

Well, let that be my first journal entry of this phase and we’ll see if it helps.

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Marketing fascism

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Skimming Gmail inbox for newsletters and such

I’m too compulsive to just unsubscribe from stuff, so this helps a bit.

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Pachelbel Rant

One of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. I watch this every few months and it still cracks me up.

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Michael Mann on how we got here

My PhD thesis was really focused on natural climate variability, not on climate change. Climate change really wasn’t even on my radar screen as I was starting my thesis. As that work progressed, it led us in the direction of using archives of the distant climate past, known as proxy records: the tree rings, corals, ice cores. We can only go back in time about a century and a half with the instrumental climate records. I got interested in what those proxy records could tell us about long-term natural cycles.
It was the process of using those data and using them to reconstruct the past climate that produced this curve known as the hockey stick curve, which shows the abrupt warming of the past century to be without precedent as far back as we were able to go, 1000 years, in our original publication two decades ago.
We published that graph in the late 1990s, when the debate over climate change was really coming to a crescendo. While the scientific evidence was mounting, fossil fuel interests were increasingly using their tremendous financial resources and power to attack the science.

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More madness. In other words, just another day.

‘Bring back our #ChildHoodDiseases,’ White House official’s wife says as she criticizes vaccines

Darla Shine thinks childhood diseases “keep you healthy & fight cancer.”

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