Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Paridoxically, This is Good News

 Tests reveal silent [coronavirus] reinfections in hospital workers.  It's the September 28 post, you may have to scroll down and around a bit.  It's worth it, it's short.

Corona reinfection?  On the face of it, that doesn't sound very good, and it is true that no reinfection is  what we'd really want.  However, there is a silver lining.  It's a slightly different strain, so OK, viruses are gonna mutate and reinfect, anybody who's gotten more than one cold in their lifetime knows that.  Here's the good news though: the fact that these are  asymptomatic cases means that these hospital workers weren't slammed by antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) on reinfection. 

ADE was a remote but real possibility, something that could make a good-but-not-perfect vaccine completely backfire.  With this news though, it seems that if the possibility of ADE was remote before, it's now remote-squared.  Additionally, the fact that only a couple of cases have shown up means that there is likely some cross-protection between slightly different versions of the virus.

It's all very preliminary, but I'll take any good news on this topic that I can get these days.  BTW, these brief daily updates from Nature are one of the best sources of real news on the matter that I've found.  No sensationalism, just a bite-sized bit of the latest science.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Happy Coffee Day!

 Not much else to say – pour yourself a cup and enjoy.

More later, maybe this weekend.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Coffeeneuring 2020: One Good Thing

 Every year this event has a theme: "Eight is Great," "The Best of Intentions," etc.  Well this year we all need One Good Thing, and so that's this year's theme.  Anyway, this year's rules (which are much the same as previous years') and the kick-off post are here at Chasing Mailboxes.

Past years' misadventures can be seen here: 2019  2018  2017

Friday, September 25, 2020

A Good Finish for the Last Two Weeks

 Pretty much for the month too for that matter.

Monday, September 21, 2020

What a Difference 22 Years Makes

 1942: XB-29 first flight.  Maximum speed: 357 mph.  Service ceiling: 32,000 ft.

 1964: XB-70 first flight.  Maximum speed: 2056 mph.  Service ceiling: 77,000 ft.

Compare and contrast.  That is all for today.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

As the World B^HTurns...

 ... and as 2020 grows even more 2020-ish, it's good to see some good things still around:

A London coffee shop is charging $64 for its premium brew -- here's what it tastes like

Rainy Saturday here, with a storm still milling around in the Gulf.  Don't think I'll be taking down the window board just yet.  Time to go brew a very-much-not-$64 cup of coffee and fiddle with this newly-mandatory Blogger interface.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

A Slight Change in the Weather


What a difference a week makes.  Water should be back down in a day or two.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Lillies for Hurricanes

They always pop up in the yard this time of year.  I'll probably plant a few more for luck in the coming year.  As always, click to embiggen.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Coffeeneuring Returns for 2020

A tad busy watching this year's "S" storm (can't remember the name...  why not "2020-S" etc. for a new naming convention?), so here's a quick bite of good news: 
Coffeeneuring returns for 2020!

Read all about it here.  And expect maybe something more creative in a post later in the week.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Something Bright and Colorful


Also, Blogger's gone back to breaking the interface.  Let's see how much longer this whole blogging thing lasts.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The Pre-History of MFJ

MFJ is a medium-sized electronics manufacturer in upstate Mississippi, making products primarily geared toward ham operators and shortwave listening enthusiasts.  Started by a graduate student making filter boards in his spare time, it has become a remarkable success story.  It could well be the only sizable U.S. consumer electronics manufacturer that has thrived since the 70's.  

Read about it here at the SWLing Post.

I use their gear on a daily basis, primarily antennas, RF switches, tuners, meters, and the like.  (Strangely, the make very few actual radios.)  They're not built to absurdly high standards, but they do the job and the price is always right.  We need more companies like this one.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

All Those Mystery Seed Packs Explained

Probably.  The term is "brushing scam," and no, the receiver isn't the one being scammed (though I still wouldn't plant those seeds).  Here's the article at the BBC.

What a convoluted way of attempting to gin up business.  Even a hint that a company is trying something like that should be a sign to take your money elsewhere.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Man with Electric Flyswatter Blows Up Part of House

You just can't make this stuff up.  Story here.

No word as to the brand of electric flyswatter, but we can probably guess: The Pros choose ACME.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Saturday Morning Cartoons

Warner Bros. is making a few new Roadrunner cartoons!  We'll see if this leads to a new golden age, but in the meantime here's one from last summer to enjoy:

Wow, it's "last summer" already.  Anyway, click the lower right corner to embiggen.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Good News – Perhaps. Probably.

CDC Asks States to Plan for Potential Vaccine Distribution in Late October (NPR)

Even though this has been walked back a little since the initial announcement, even if a covid vaccine is available in say late November, that's still faster than anyone could reasonably have expected just six months ago.

This is encouraging, so long as the antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) question is addressed.  You can read up on ADE here (TLDR: fading/low antibody levels can backfire and actually assist viruses in attacking cells).  Some are saying Yikes!, while others are saying this problem is unlikely, but we're watching out for it anyway.

Either way, I figure there are the Phase III trials plus several million healthcare workers and first responders in line ahead of the rest of us ordinary folks.  Any questions will be long answered before we get to line up.  But, pretty much... yeah, sign me up already.

Thursday, September 3, 2020


Just when you thought 2020 couldn't get any worse:
Truck crashes into Bay liquor store[!] at The Sea Coast Echo.

Know Your Wizard Hats

Article at Nerds on Earth:

Not the best site perhaps, but it is a nice little lightweight article.  You take your small joys where you find them these days.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

More on the Moka Pot

This article crossed my field of view recently: The Humble Brilliance of Italy's Moka Coffee Pot.  It's short so RTWT.

I really like my Bialetti two-cupper.  Still haven't taken it camping or coffeeneuring, but that day is coming soon, very soon.  (Side note: I wonder if coffeeneuring will officially be on this year?  Regardless of official status, I'm still up for it.)  When tested last year, it worked great with a little alcohol penny stove.

Let's give Mr. Bialetti the Final Words on today's post.