A brief blog hiatus as a grant deadline strikes again!

Regular readers will have noted that Orac has not posted anything new in nearly a week. There’s an explanation, and it’s a grant deadline. Orac will return.

Regular readers, pining for their fix of Insolence, both Respectful and not-so-Respectful, have noted that there has not been anything truly new published on this blog in a week. The explanation is simple. I have a grant deadline next Friday, and I’m way, way, way behind where I should be one week from the deadline. This is true even though the deadline was extended four days due to the coronavirus pandemic.

I will have my usual revised and repurposed post from another source posted here on Monday, but between now and a week from Monday whether I manage to produce truly new material will depend on how much progress I manage to make this weekend digging myself out of this hole and getting the grant application back on track. I’ll be working at home four straight days because, given the coronavirus situation, all appointments on Friday and Monday have been canceled, and I don’t have any operations until Tuesday. It is truly causing me pain not to be able to comment on some of the craziness going on right now, but I know that the craziness will still be there in a week or ten days. Hopefully I will too.

In the meantime, feel free to peruse the archives. Maybe I’ll resurrect some old “classic” (if you can call them that) posts to fill the time between now and when I’m out from under my deadline.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

149 replies on “A brief blog hiatus as a grant deadline strikes again!”

Orac writes,

I have a grant deadline next Friday, and I’m way, way, way behind where I should be one week from the deadline.

MJD says,

Next friday is March 27th. In contradiction, the imaged used at the beginning of this post clearly shows the 15th circled in red.

@ Orac,

Q. Are you certain your deadline isn’t April 15th.

Keep calm and carry on….

MJD says,

Next friday is March 27th. In contradiction, the imaged used at the beginning of this post clearly shows the 15th circled in red.

You may have just outdone yourself on the blindingly stupid nuisance-comment front.

It would be a legitimate offset for a Mayan kin. Perhaps Doucheniak could try to patent his own calendrical system.

Appreciated your coronavirus report at the other site and all the covid19 coverage there. Sanity is appreciated amid the hype. And fear not, crazy and hype will need your attention and I look forward to it! Stay healthy!

Just noticed there has been an interesting blog post in French (automatically translated in English in my link) about chloroquine and Didier Raoult, which does echo the one recently posted on the SBM blog.

There are a few interesting details within…

In a few hours, I’m going to be cooking ratatouille.
Since it’s Lent (I’m an agnostic now, but old habits die hard), I decided to cook vegetarian and vegan for Sunday Lunch/Dinner. Unfortunately, when cooking something new, I always buy too much of the ingredients. I used only half of what I bought. So now I need to cook a second pot or the ingredients go to waste.

Soups like that are always nice to portion into small containers and freeze so you can take then out and heat them up for something easy; my mom says she does that a lot when she’s living alone, make a lot of something and freeze portions of it.

If you’re going to freeze the second batch, I’d suggest undercooking it somewhat so that it doesn’t turn to mush when it’s brought out of the cryonics chamber and reheated.

I have done that with homemade soup stock forever. I freeze pints and a few tiny containers so I always havebits of stock for general cooking as I use stock to replace fat as much as possible.

Interestingly, most of the kitchen things I do as routine are lovingly mocked by my grown children/grandchildren and their spouses, but suddenly (wonder why–lol) everyone is calling and asking how to make bread, soup, stock and what to put in a “pantry”–quotes because they say as though it’s a foreign word they only guessing at the meaning of.

When asked about TP I give the bidet lecture that about $100 will get you a toilet seat attachment that sprays warm water front or back position, with no plumbing needed (it has its own heater) and can be installed by most anyone in 15 minutes or so. You can add blow dry for an additional reasonable sum.

I am revelling in the sudden demand for my wisdom/experience. Maybe they’ll give me a ventilator after all!

brainmatterz: My in-laws keep asking us if we have enough food and I’m trying really hard to not be rude and say “yes, because I actually cook we have a very well stocked pantry and it would be more than two weeks before we were down to eating very strange things that are at least calories”. (Their pantry has gum and 3 cans of soup and expired ketchup.)

Sadly my bidet ($30 off Amazon, installed it myself) is not heated because the toilet is in it’s own little room with neither hot water nor an electrical outlet. Even so, it’s been a nice benefit of working from home. (Honestly, everywhere I go on the internet this week I’ve been talking with folks about bidets. Maybe this will be the silver lining of the TP hoarding.)

I’m all for a lot of the things mentioned, but I have to admit that the bidet squicks me out, and maybe not entirely for cultural reasons. Personally I just shower and wash thoroughly after I go to the bathroom, which actually seems a lot cleaner to me when you think about it to me in terms of, like, maybe runoff and residue. It really irritates me when people push bidets and act superior about it; maybe some research is in order.

I did that. Had one bowl, then put the rest into two containers and into the freezer. Here’s the recipe.
Fry two onions and two peppers at 175° C.
Cut up two large brinjals/eggplants and add in.Turn heat down to 130° C.
Flavour with pepper and garlic.
Cut up squash, zucchini, petit pain. I used one pack of Pick ‘n Pay’s soft squash selection.
Roughly cut ± 500g of tomatoes and add in. Turn heat down to 110° C and simmer.
Chop up a handful of Basil leaves. 15 minutes before the end, put the leaves in, along with oreganum, thyme, and a good splash of vinegar.
I have one of those countertop cookers with a stirring arm, so it does most of the work for me.

Ooh, one of those gadgets actually sounds handy for certain things; my family is always trying to get me to make gumbo (I have to admit I make an excellent one, and they refer to it as “crack”) when I’m home, but the main obstacle for me is standing and stirring the roux for 40 minutes or so. Might have to look into that if/when I have the spare money.

But then, idk, it might not have that human touch, on second thought: a roux is a pretty skillful thing.

We need fun, frivolity, and ordinary domesticity now. I am a trained chef who lives in Hurricane Central and have faced many terrifying evacuation situations and dire deprivation situations in which food, fuel, and potable water could not be assured.

Dry your veg and fruit!! I have a wonderful little dehydrator to address this contingency, and I want to hug it right now. I’ve been on a drying frenzy for about two weeks after going to my local ultra-discount grocery and getting things at deep discount. Fresh fruit and frozen or fresh vegetables can be a source of great comfort and security, and my kick-a$% dehydrator is readily available through various online sources (I refuse to recommend the utterly abusive evil that is Amazon).

This is a simple solution to avoid food waste and give you a sense of security. Drying things at a very low temp in the oven also works really well. I live for half the year in terror of a hurricane, so this is SOP for me. It works and will help your state of mind right now. Good wishes. Please try such simple things so you feel safer and calmer.

I am so sad and frustrated that I won’t be able to put in my planter boxes this year. I was sooo excited about growing some vegetables! Maybe if I’m lucky the problem with the builder and the city will be over in time for me to get in some kale in the fall.

(No, I don’t need a builder to put in my boxes, but I do need the builder to finish the parking strip so I can put my boxes in, and they won’t do that until they finish battling it out with the city about putting in proper ADA-compliant curb cuts.)

We’re sheltering in place in Illinois. I’m using this as an excuse to see what’s been shoved to the back of the pantry. If it’s still good, I’ll find someway to use it. If not, I’m cleaning out the pantry.

So far, I have a bag of lentils and some dried mushrooms. Add an onion and some garam masala, and that’s dinner.

Edit to add that I wipe first, although there are lots of things that will do in a pinch, as anybody who grew up poor and especially rural will tell you. When I was in college and they still delivered phone books we used to keep one in the bathroom for emergencies (you kind of have to crumple the pages up a bunch of times first.)

Julian: ” Did that. Had one bowl, then put the rest into two containers and into the freezer.”

Jack: “Ooh, one of those gadgets actually sounds handy for certain things; my family is always trying to get me to make gumbo.”

Comment threading fun! I read those quotes as comments on the bidet! 😉

Stay safe, y’all.

“Comment threading fun! I read those quotes as comments on the bidet!”

Ah, I am glad that it wasn’t just me.

If you’re making twice as much as you need, maybe make a bit more and take it out to a local homeless person. A lot of restaurants / fast food outlets do their bit to help the homeless out, and they’re closed. People are donating less to food banks…

I can very much empathize, Julian — I’ve been stuck with odd jobs for some time now (and my host, the very embodiment of D-K and a hypocrite of the first water, is making even that difficult). Best of luck.

Hey Narad, what was that blog you mentioned the other evening? Does anybody know of any entry level jobs in cybersecurity/networking that could be done online? I could really…

Oh wait I’ve been having a bunch of seizures and I’m still getting over all that stuff from the winter. Maybe rest is a better idea, idk. Being broke all the time sucks though.

We’ve got some people working in SA – I’ll ask to see if they know of anyone looking for staff (or are likely to be once this blows over).

Thanks Rich. My CV can be found on the PNet and CareerJunction websites. I’ve applied for over 300 jobs at this point. Recently, I had two promising interviews, but on both the feedback was “we like you but we’re going with someone else.” Frustrating, but there it is.

Sara has good ideas.
There are ways to deal with the current situation if you can be creative and flexible enough.

Observing my local environment, just outside [REDACTED], many businesses seem to be functioning: the food market had lines but MOST of the products I wanted were available. A nearby paper company that burned to the ground is setting up production to supply these goods. I imagine that some businesses will take advantage of restrictions by offering takeout food/ delivery ( a few restaurants have outdoor seating) although I haven’t seen any food trucks around, I venture that I will.

It’s necessary to find alternatives to ingrained routines and different activities to replace what you can’t do
Unfortunately, people who have physical or psychological issues may be affected more severely so it’s important to consider them and try to make a difference if they need help. My cousin who has heart problems was surprised by FOUR youngsters who live in her building offering assistance to her for the duration so she can stay out of stores etc.
I can work through the phone. I may attempt finding reading material in other languages to see how well I do since I haven’t studied for a while.. The computer offers many opportunities for self-education or entertainment. Try images for art and nature.

Rather than thinking about how to help yourself avoid illness, it might be better to imagine yourself already infected and act so that you can prevent illness in more vulnerable others.

Being already retired, but busy, I have simply pulled out the yarn stash and accelerated the knitting for next Christmas. I am workig on German as well, but the old brain is simply not cooperating on that one. Ach!

Fun observation: German sounds a lot like English, until it doesn’t at all!

I was in Germany in February, staying in a business hotel in a very small town and on the morning elevator rides down to the (fabulous!) breakfast buffet I discovered that a mumbled “morning” sounds exactly like a mumbled “morgen”, and has the same meaning, so even when I wasn’t attempting to speak German people assumed that I was German.
(Clearly this town doesn’t get a lot of international visitors because I had to do a lot of blank staring and “I’m sorry, I don’t speak German, spraken English?”, unlike the bigger cities where the waiters and tourist desk seemed to be able to spot your preferred language from a meter away.)

@ JustaTech

“Fun observation: German sounds a lot like English, until it doesn’t at all!”

German and English are very close. In fact, it’s my knowledge of English that allows me to read German rather easily: the roots of many words are very much common (if you strip English of its latinized loanwords).

Maybe it’s less obvious to a native English speaker than to a French native speaker that these two languages are quite close. We’re looking at it from another angle, with a bit more distance.

And on lucky days, I can also pull the same trick when reading Danish newspapers, though I do struggle a bit more with danish. But German isn’t as unified a language as it may seem from the outside: From Austria to the Netherlands (on a path that goes through Switzerland and the German-speaking part of France called Alsace/Elsass), you do have a continuum of german idioms. The German in Elsass is very much like central schwytertütsch (change the endings in “e” into endings in “i” to “translate”), and dutch definitely sounds like English to someone accustomed to alemannisch dialects of German.

Old English is still pretty much German to my taste. But English is in my opinion much more latinized than German is (and you can also feel the norse influence if you look closely).

“But English is in my opinion much more latinized than German is ”

I blame the Normans – William the bastard has much to answer for!

@ Carl

Well, honestly, I think it’s quite a boon to have such a hybridized lexical base in English. It allows to shift between very different sounding styles of English. Sharp and snappy when you use germanic words. Snobby, ironic, or legalistic when you use the latinized words. It gives a real range of flexibility for rhetorical contests. Personally, I do love it.

I tend to agree with the Sapir Whorf hypothesis. And while it’s not so obvious to make a definite judgement call on the topic, I do believe that excessive politeness in French partly does come from this latin mindset, and is responsible for a tradeoff between rationality and courtesy that is detrimental to rationality.

Here are two quotes from the Alternate Carbon series that I really do love for their snappy and sharp tones: “Fuck me sideways” and “Go fist yourself”. I wouldn’t even know where to start if I tried to find an expression in my language that conveyed the same kind of rhetorical sharpness while simultaneously blending naturally in spoken language.

Sometimes I think translators have one of the hardest jobs on Earth… That’s not to diminish in any way other occupations, such as crab fishing.

@ F68.10

Quite agree about the variety of words to choose from – the only downside is that accent and vocabulary (latin origin eg commence/start equals ‘good breeding’) can be used to exclude people. I have a very good friend who was born into a fairly poor family from Newcastle, so had a strong Geordie accent, however because he was also born blind he spent some time in residential schools and now has a neutral, slightly posh accent. He has done a phd in spatialisation in electro-acoustic music – I don’t think he would have been taken as seriously had he retained his accent.

I agree about the effects of language on thinking, but I think language also reflects culture and changes in response to social/cultural changes while also acting as a filter for those changes. Unfortunately I do not speak any other languages – I tried to learn Hindi for a while as I play sitar and have sung the Khayal style of classical Indian music. But I’m too forgetful/lazy to make much progress, also from a utilitarian perspective most Indian musicians speak English better than I will ever speak Hindi. But even the basic amount that I learned shows how much language reflects culture and society, so that if you want to make a change, even words can fight against you. Incidentally the Hindi alphabet, and I think all the regional ones also, are incredibly logical, when I first learned it I was very excited (especially when compared to the frankly ridiculous ‘system’ of English spelling) and tried to write English words in it, however it proved very difficult and somewhat laborious as the phonetic assumptions are so very different.

I remember using ‘Well fuck me sideways!’, many years ago – too old for that sort of thing now. I was in Bombay studying Khyal a while ago, and amongst the other foreign students was a wonderful, if slightly melancholic German student who had a great facility for language who every now and then would ask how someone from a particular background would express something – the one that was most popular was ‘I couldn’t give a flying fuck!’, both for the pleasing alliteration and the brief consideration of how exactly one might achieve such a thing. An Italian couple there told me that he had also checked various very old Italian expressions with them – all from memory.

A French woman I knew told me that the phrase ‘Taking a French leave’ ie keeping a low profile to avoid trouble, was ‘Taking an English leave’ in France. Although the cultural assumptions around being French or English, for me at least, change my feelings in each instance – as you say, translators have a hard job.

See you later, or as they say around these parts (Black Country), ‘Tara a bit Chick’

I tend to agree with the Sapir Whorf hypothesis.

Strong or weak? Anyway, the Pirahã would seem to support (PDF), the neo-Piagetians less so (also PDF).

And yes, the Hopi have a concept of time.

Incidentally the Hindi alphabet, and I think all the regional ones also, are incredibly logical

Check out Hangul — modulo refinements, it was built from scratch in the 15th century.

@ Narad

I haven’t fully mapped out the Sapir Whorf controversy, but if you help a barrel to my head and you coerced me to choose between strong and weak, I’d pick weak. Assuming that I do not want to die, that is…

Just checking — the strong version has few True Believeroonies, as far as I can tell. I have a friend doing psycholinguistics at the place across from MIT; perhaps I’ll include the question as a postscript to my next, overdue E-mail.

@ F68.10
@ Carl:

I work with international students who are EFL; some say that “English is difficult” ( although they may already speak two or more languages from non-European areas).I occasionally ask them to understand why that is: historically, you can trace how English developed through conquests of England early and England’s exploits around the world, trading and creating colonies.
So there was a base, later influenced by the Romans, Vikings, Normans and then by acquisitions from colonies and trading partners around the world, giving them examples from specific sources and showing how although the word choices are indeed rich, spelling and grammar can be daunting.

I’ve only studied in English-speaking universities and have studied only two other languages formally but a few others on my own ( through people I knew or self-study): I am usually impressed by these students’ abilities speaking and navigating culture alone. I am much better at reading than speaking but I can listen in to conversations ( well, I DID, when we could be close enough to hear them before the plague) and understand quite a bit .I try to understand non-English television shows with variable success.

1) Here’s to “granting” Orac luck with that deadline. As a former mentor of mine often said: it’s only money.
2) For the minions that are also health care providers (especially whose spouses are also HCPs) we should plan for downtime as ~20% of us may have the opportunity to experience COVID-19 based on data from Lombardy (
3) First public facepalm by Dr Fauci captured today ( If it is true that all publicity is good, maybe #fauciforpresident gets a lift from this?

First public facepalm by Dr Fauci

Sometimes, you have to accept a risk for your life and do the right thing.
Sometimes, the right thing to do is a facepalm.

I have been admiring the abilty of the public health community’s valiant effort to be apolitical and keep up appearances, but everyone has limits. Thank you Dr Fauci.

Agreed. Maybe in this break we need to start a few memes. How about a photo of Dr Fauci with the slogan “The flu has to get Tony Fauci shots once a year”?
I think we all understand why Rush Limbaugh is more worthy of the Presidential Medal of Freedom than Dr Fauci. That said, if Chuck Norris and Mike Ditka can be meme icons so can Tony Fauci…

Memes are a good idea.

I try to find idiocy that will make sceptics laugh but sometimes it misfires atrociously..
today, AoA:

Kim: epidemics are nothing new for her because the vaccine autism epidemic has no cure, no treatment, no prevention, cuts lives short, isolates people at home, stops work and school, ruins savings etc

( except that there is no epidemic but in their minds)

Things anti-vaxxers say in response to Covid-19 might be darkly hilarious.

@ Denice Walter

Well, you’ve got this one from Anthony Mundine, which indeed is hilarious. And this other one too is hilarious.

The ending of that Facebook post is a gem:

“But apparently we’re just conspiracy theorists ! ??”

Hum. No. Not even close. This is sheer idiocy that doesn’t even rise to the level of flat earth. Judge for yourself by its content:



Yep. Some people would have had problems coming down out of the trees. Let alone walking upright.

And this other one too is hilarious.

I’m still trying to figure out the “by Jason Radcliffe” part. This guy seems like a possibility for the person being referenced, but it seems marginal for the already obscure “Pardon My American.”


Is one of our sometimes commentators hosting that podcast?

Or are we being invaded from the Q Continuum?

I’ve been streaming the later years of ST Voyager and will have to watch out for the John de Lancie episodes.

@ squirrelelite

Or are we being invaded from the Q Continuum?

IDK about the Q continuum, but the Q discontinuum is quite vocal nowadays.

We may want to dust off our tool-making skills – splitting a silex stone into a knife, making a gun out of bamboo, sulfur and coal deposits… Just in case an alien superentity drops by and want to check if we are an intelligent species.

OTOH, as Fredric Brown once wrote in a novel, there may be benefits if aliens kidnap a total wacko like the one quoted above and assume he is representative of the human species. Any such alien would immediately drop off any idea of subjugating us as a labor slave race.
Well, they could still be interested in serving man for dinner. Or decide the Earth is in the path of their project for a hyperspace express route.

Is one of our sometimes commentators hosting that podcast?

I haven’t actually listened to it; I think I was directed there after happening across this person.

We can count on altie loons to provide ‘encouraging’ posts for a worried populace…

–“Scientists created an enhanced corona virus capable of infecting humans, particularly the respiratory tract” says Heckenlively at the Bolen Report

–Bolen himself calls it a “fake ‘Corona virus’ pandemic”

–Mike Adams ( Natural News) “predicted” this 2 years ago after getting information from a top governmental official: cities will be shut down ** and martial law will prevail.
” globalists have planed to exterminate humanity for years”; people will “beg for vaccines”

** Mikey has a thing against cities: that’s where criminals, lazy people, liberals and those who poop outdoors live…
Amazing though that money seems to be concentrated there

“Scientists created an enhanced corona virus capable of infecting humans, particularly the respiratory tract” says Heckenlively at the Bolen Report

Yah. I guess he missed this item.

Amazing that if you poop outdoors in the countryside then you are at one with nature. If you poop outside in the city……well you’re a degenerate. Are there more nutbag people in America? Or are they just louder?

Is ‘nutbag’ a word? I feel that it ought to be.

I mean, pros know that if you’re going to poop outside you either need to bury it well or use a damn outhouse or something, you know, what the circumstances grant. Otherwise, you know, disease.

I love the fact that there could be ‘pros’.

Everything that the light touches, this is your pooping ground. But what of the dark? Nope, solid concrete with CCTV.

Thanks Narad, I may well use the phrase ‘caught in the devil’s nut-bag’, or variants, from now on.

One may wish to protect the keyboard if liquids are being consumed.

Hasn’t someone got around to build keyboards machined from stainless steel with a cleanable membrane over the keys? Business idea anyone?


You can certainly buy membranes to cover keyboards for use in high-liquid environments, but if you use one say goodbye to any ability to touch type. add in gloves and you might as well just hunt and peck.

(Says someone who’s been trying to find a liquid-resistant, cleanable keyboard for an ISO5 BSC for years.)

Next year contest: testing the ability to hunt & peck at 50 WPM with a keyboard membrane and gloves…That would be interesting.


Now that I finished wrapping up 3 tax declaration for clients, got a bit more time to discuss keyboard design. Basically, the raw idea I had in mind would be a vacuum sealed elastic membrane over a gamer keyboard’s keys made of a very thin transparent film. I can foresee some complications in the fabrication process.

Re: iso 5 cleanroom, this is an interesting read:


Alain, at least part of the problem I had the last time I looked into cleanable keyboards wasn’t that there weren’t any, it was that all of them 1) had a cord (no good in a BSC, you can’t have things breaking the laminar air flow like that) and 2) the liquid-proof membrane was made of a material that reacted with our cleaning-verification swabs to consistently produce a false positive for protein.

So while the keyboards might have actually been clean, they would only test as dirty, which was just a total no-go.

If you only want a liquid-proof keyboard then I think there’s a decent selection, if you’re willing to give up some typing speed. Heck, I think there are even light-projection keyboards where you “type” on the desk surface and a camera picks up your movements.

A colleague once wrote a piece for ‘The Worm-runner’s Digest’ about an experimental test of the “100 monkeys with keyboards recreating Shakespeare if given long enough” thesis. In the paper, the experimenters eventually scale the project down to one orangutan and a keyboard, due to budget constraints. Anyway, the “Methods” section goes into details about making a computer that was resistant to such perturbations as bananas being inserted through the ventilation grill.

Woo-meisters are doing their best to calm people down and provide SBM information during the Covid-19 crisis
No, they aren’t, I’m joking

Instead, Mikey predicts ” chaos.. looting.. violence.. gangs ” and food shortages in LA.
( Interestingly, to illustrate his article, he uses an image of the Brooklyn Bridge with military presence)
some of his figures/ outcomes:
7 million infected
140K- 320K dead
collapse of health care system, legal enforcement and food distribution
Mike often creates scenarios in which society collapses in CITIES** whilst the country, where the fine, decent, hardworking people reside, thrives, protecting its upstanding citizens with loaded guns; he merely peppers his older diatribes with the word virus. He commented elsewhere that his store is sold out of most products. Gary’s Vitamin Closet: he broadcasts exaggerated figures about the virus and advises how to strengthen your immune system, selling a webinar and products designed exclusively for this purpose ( limited purchases because of ‘high demand’)

So, as expected, they’re CASHING IN on fear and disruption.***

** which may be a code word for Black people/ Hispanic people/ immigrants/ hipsters/ university students for his readers
*** -btw- I took a drive along the river, where you can see the great city of [REDACTED]; shopping areas in the former were deserted ( except for the Japanese supermarket/ food court) and traffic seemed impossibly light in the latter. Only essential service businesses ( food-related, medical, gas) are permitted to remain open in both jurisdictions I was surprised to learn that a local cosmetics/ OTC meds/ diverse products ( non RX) was allowed to stay open. Lots of people walking, many with masks.

** which may be a code word for Black people/ Hispanic people/ immigrants/ hipsters/ university students for his readers

No bet.
Cities are where crimes are. Cities are where the others are.
It may not be fully intentional on his part, but that’s part of the context provided by the word Cities. He wouldn’t be successful as a conman if he was not able to pick up fear-mongering, context-loaded words. Consciously or by some predatory instinct.

@ Athaic;

Oh, I think it’s intentional mercenary predation.
Mikey became very political during the Financial Crisis of 2008-9. He began to espouse more conservative explanations of society and economics, eventually becoming a rabid Trumpite while he vilified Mr Obama and other more liberal politicians,
Since the Covid-19 crisis, he has written many screeds to frighten his followers ( see Natural News) while he sells “immune supporting” supplements and face masks at his store there.

Eh, country paranoia takes different forms; that’s one form. But like, this area has always been multi-ethnic to a greater or lesser extent; some people are weird and racist about it, a lot aren’t. And in the 80s and 90s, cities could be really dangerous places, so it’s not entirely just paranoia.

Some of it goes back to literal party lines, I think; people listening in (for real), not respecting the etiquette, that kind of thing.

And then there are cultural differences. My friend Rose used to say that she saw ghosts when she was home alone at night; maybe she did, idk, maybe it’s a Philipina thing. When I was a kid my folks let the older kids take me “snipe hunting” when we were camping, which is where you go out to ostensibly search for cryptid birds and then they ditch you to find your own way back to came. It is a very quick way to learn navigation, and I wasn’t really traumatized that much (although it was scary), but me and my cousin Scott came up with a version that was much more fun and instructive. I’m not terribly scared by ghost stories; maybe it’s an “aphantasia” thing. I can find sci-fi stories much scarier, especially if they’re reasonably plausible.

I remember up on the Quilute rez (not sure if that’s the right spelling, but that’s how it’s pronounced), the Natives there said there were ghosts on the beach, so they didn’t even go there. I went there during the day, but there was this one time some of us were having kind of a party on the beach and a few people decided they wanted to sleep on the beach (far enough from the tides), but I couldn’t sleep at all and went back inside eventually, so who knows. I’ve also been told that I can’t say words like “Indian” or “shaman,” which is pretty stupid if you ask me.

Some people are paranoid of the federal government, not entirely without reason. And then there’s some really weird out-there sh!t that I can’t totally explain. Idk, maybe too much scary TV, too much Internet, brains can go haywire.

Cabin fever is a real thing, too; “stir-crazy” isn’t just a figure of speech. I think there’s a movie that takes place up in Alaska that I’ve heard about where some pretty weird stuff starts happening.

Omry Ronen used to talk about a “metaphysical evil” in the world; maybe that’s plausible too, idk. If I think about stuff like that too much I get kind of paranoid myself.

I mean, he was right about differences in relation to alcohol in people with light or dark eyes, and several other things as well. And he always thought maybe I should read my Martin Luther for some reason.

Some interesting ideas about mushrooms (fly agaric mainly), linguistics, lots of stuff. “Just as long as you don’t eat the SOMA mushroom.” Haha.

I mean, the dude was definitely an eccentric, his lecture notes could read like Lewis Carroll, but he was touched that I took them down and brought blue books to the exams. (He figured grad students would bring computers, which, like, come on man, haha.)

Died too young, stroke in his sleep. Probably not a bad way to go, though, all things considered.

BTW, if anybody from SDF is around here reading, there was an era (I don’t know how many people were remembering or paid attention) where, when you were automatically disconnected from the “host,” there was ascii artwork and a message saying “Broken pipe!” The meaning probably wasn’t entirely humorous, y’all.

When I use “Solar PuTTY,” it just says “hard reset,” with an image of gears. That one is more puzzling to me for whatever reason. If you’re using other ways and means, sometimes you’ll get messages like “FATAL ERROR.” It’s best to pay attention to things that might seem trivial, probably.

“Don’t piss off the sysop” also has meanings, ones that I’m not responsible for, but they exist for, idk, reasons.

A message that some of us are actually familiar with:

“We trust you have received the usual lecture from the local System Administrator. It usually boils down to these three things:

#1) Respect the privacy of others.

#2) Think before you type.

#3) With great power comes great responsibility.”

“Your Choice. y/n”

I don’t know whose idea that screwy (Round Robin) sh!t was, but it wasn’t mine. “Random seed” (pretty sure it’s an Ubuntu “Unity” thing, I had that desktop option on my laptop for whatever reason) also seems like a stupid idea, for reasons a person might think of if they’re a little bit down to earth.

Have you people ever considered cleaning up your own damn messes once in a while. Christ.

Speaking of COVID-19, South Africa is under curfew.
Schools closed March 18. People are staying home. Pick ‘n Pay has set aside the first hour of every Wednesday for pesioners. You will not be allowed in at that time unless you have ID confirming you are a pensioner.
Our Parish Priest died on Monday (he was 84), and his funeral service was streamed online. St Therese Catholic Church (our parish) will not be having weekend services until further notice. Weekday service will be held, but only a limited number of parishioners will be able to attend.
And yet, there are still fools who act as if nothing has changed.

@ Julian Frost

“Speaking of COVID-19, South Africa is under curfew.”

Curfews in South Africa… That’s my childhood all over again. Gives me this weird nostalgic lump in the chest.

I loved coups and curfews: didn’t have to go to school.

The pyrotechnics also was great. Nice shiny bullets sparkling through the night. Not as cool as the magnificent sunsets (not the best video, colors were much more vivid), but still, pretty cool.

A friend of mine had flow to South Africa from South Carolina to teach a special advanced graduate math (maths?) program. He was the only professor of three that managed to get there, and had to split up the classes so they were small enough to teach. He just left a few days ago (possibly before the course was supposed to be over), but said that the students were doing a great job with virtual lectures. (He said the class was allowed to continue because they were already restricted to a single building for everything, so they just kept the groups small.)

Now he’s back in the US and quarantined, but still teaching by video. He always says the students in South Africa are the best, the most eager to learn (and really, really smart).

You may be a brain-dead idiot if . . .

Your plan to infect minorities and LEOs with Covid-19 starts with getting infected with Covid-19 yourself.

White supremacists are encouraging members to infect Jews with coronavirus: FBI

White Supremacists Hope To Get Coronavirus In Order To Give It To Minorities

Think of it as evolution in action.

@ Julian:

Hopefully it won’t be as bad as you may imagine:

I am pleasantly surprised that there is relative order and peace here, They started a partial lockdown, closing dine-in restaurants with most businesses and most schools closing ( Monday last). On Saturday, all non-essential businesses were closed ( except food related, medical/ pharmacy, gasoline) and people were asked to stay in as much as possible and to maintain physical distancing. These orders were regional: 4 governors jointly initiated them and were later joined by others nearby. Obviously, this is an international business, entertainment and population hub with perhaps 80 million people. Traffic is down considerably and the skies look perhaps a little clearer. A few places report increased pedestrian traffic: people crowded outdoors areas where there are cherry blossoms, beaches and a few farmer’s markets in large cities, skirting rules. So far, the shopping is quite orderly and cautious despite lines.

I think that people with vehicles ( cars, bicycles) may feel better emotionally because they have an escape valve. I also saw a lot of scooters – motor and not- near the river ( not at a park but on empty shopping parking lots). Restaurants that provide takeout food, drive through or delivery are doing a brisk business. I told a few people that if their local grocery is over crowded, try some of the ethnic markets- no lines and interesting product choices.

Unfortunately, a large ORANGE person** is suggesting that restrictions end soon- endangering lives to protect assets. Some conservative talkers are disparaging the GOOD SENSE and SCIENCE of Dr Fauci ( see @ gorskon). Anti-vaxxers like Katie Wright echo this inane sentiment.

We’ll get through ( most of us any way)

** not from the Orange Free State or Orange County

@ Denice Walter

Well, the lockdown is a good thing. But to what end? Flattening the curve essentially. And buying time to be more prepared on three main counts: healthcare logistics, research (not entirely happy there…), and uptake of natural immunity.

Quite a lot of information-based business can still go on, at a slower pace. But supply chains on matters such as food and other necessities must go on nonetheless. And the financial blow will likely be significant and I’ve heard of no international cooperation to mitigate its impact yet.

International cooperation? They’re having enough trouble cobbling together a national plan.
In the Financial Crisis, lack of agreement between parties increased both the length and severity of the recession. I expect this to happen again with a different emphasis as the causes are dissimilar. I worry about people who have little assets to fall back upon- 40-50% can’t afford a sudden expense. True, information-based business will survive as will staples.
Those whose major assets are in the markets most likely can wait it out until a recovery ( the well to do own more) but many others can’t hold out.. Unemployment and hospital relief need to be priorities.

@ Denice Walter

“Those whose major assets are in the markets most likely can wait it out until a recovery (the well to do own more) but many others can’t hold out.. Unemployment and hospital relief need to be priorities.”

Markets are systems that are designed to either go up or down. Going down is not a big issue as long as you do not have significant disruption. And disruption may happen either in the financial system (fond memories when money markets broke the buck 11 years ago or so) or in the “real economy”. For instance, some big civil engineering projects have grinded to a halt in many places, which is to be expected, but disruption may happen if contractual financial penalties kick in in this environment. Legal insecurities of this kind may spread across the economy, and if the lockdown is going to be long (and I expect it to be), these insecurities have to be addressed.

It has nothing to do with the rich being already rich enough, or unemployment being at this or that level. But hey, that’s probably my former self working in the hedge fund industry speaking… who knows? (Callous one day, callous always…)

As for hospitals, yes, their capacities do need to preserved as much as possible. But let’s not kid ourselves anyway: they’re only awaiting the real blow, and they’d therefore better stick their two feet firmly in the ground within the timeframe they’re allotted by the lockdown. Indeed, what other long term solution is there except natural herd immunity in the absence of a vaccine? When is such a vaccine supposed to be due, by the way? 18 months minimum? (OK, OK, I haven’t recanted my pro-disease proclivities, but I’m trying to keep them low-key.)

Anyway, enjoying looking at the VIX chart these days. Maybe one day, we’ll be able to trade derivatives based on the volatility of the VIX index itself. My wet dreams are made of this

@ 68.10:

During the 2008-9 crisis, my life seemed to revolve around what the VIX presented each day. I still have nightmares about those charts. I just looked at the past year’s chart. Oy Vey!

@ Denice Walter

As a substitute for some form of exposure therapy for your traumatic condition, I’d advised reading one of the foundational papers that triggered the creation of the VIX.

I must say I did enjoy the excitation at my desk when Bear Stearns went down. Financial risk management is much more fun when you have to be on the lookout for a silver lining. I wasn’t emotionally attached to my stock options anyway…

@ F:

Unfortunately, that article doesn’t work on my machine. But thanks.
At any rate, I have systematically desensitivised myself and no longer fear graphs.

By the way, coronavirus wears a mask…

And is accompanied by his faithful Bacillus.

Umm… PSA: There is this big trend from the young to ‘do not go gently into this good night’ while they wave their arms around and gasp for every breath like they are drowning (because they are).

Babies do not have these ACE2 sites in their lungs… as you get older there are more of them. One major ‘underlying condition’ is high blood pressure. People who are identified with high blood pressure are often on high blood pressure medicine — an ACE inhibitor.

I don’t understand why high blood pressure in and of itself should lead to a bad outcome. Would that not also contribute to the Frisk diffusion rate?

This is just an hypothysis published by oxford, so take it for what it is. It says that the virus depends on those ACE2 sites and that those drugs futher increases those while making the virus more likely to penetrate.

Of course, there is an admonition not to stop taking your medication but maybe do that while monitoring your blood pressure and take anoxyolitics/asprarine to keep it under control??? I think it takes about 7 days for skin to replace. IDK about lung cells.

People who are identified with high blood pressure are often on high blood pressure medicine — an ACE inhibitor.

First, not all HTN meds, by a long shot, are ACE inhibitors. Second, please make a vague effort toward not mangling your mother tongue. Third, don’t fucking barf up press releases. HTH. HAND.

Thx, Narad; I did ‘have a nice day’.

If anyone is wanting to wear a mask while going out and about and not get the shit kicked outta ya because you took one from a doctor, I’ve made one with an Oreck HEPA-rated** vacuum cleaner bag, the cut-off top of a v-8 bottle, and foam window seal.

As it turns out, the throat of the v-8 bottle fits perfectly into the rubber on cardboard inlet into the bag. any looser and it would be wiggly; any tighter and it would have destroyed the seal to get it in.

I used a drimmel to carve out a nose bridge space ( I took a little too much out). I put a cotton ridge inside the bag to keep it from sucking up against the v-8 throat — there is a plastic backing in front of the inlet so that high-velocity incoming dirt does not shred the bag in its’ intended operation. Even on my unshaven face, the $3 window seal was so effective that the plastic strip pulls against the inlet (the cotton fell down into the bag on exhale) and stops you taking a breath and pulls the mask tight against your face — gotta work on that — even though if you breath shallow it is comfy and not restricted or feel hot at all. The rubbery fully-enclosing type safety goggles with the nose bridge also fit over it.

One can either tuck the bag inside ones’ shirt, or proudly display it with graffiti such as Y’OUNSTA FUCK? as a more effective ‘social distancing device’.

** yes, yes. HEPA is rated as .3 micron — not small enough for this virus. But, it is rated that for the flow rate of a fucking 1.5 HP vacuum cleaner. As it turns out, there are different mechanisms of filtration with those bags. Under low flow conditions (diffusion realm), they are actually pretty good down to .01 micron. The virus is .0125 micron and, besides, you mostly want to stop droplets. Mostly. I think. I’m not so sure anymore.

Yea, fuck Narad, you are right. Not everyone has access to a drimmel. So, a moderately hot soldering iron might work but if one tries to use a knife on this type plastic it is going to lead to a bad outcome.

another problem I’ve encountered is attaching it to the face. The problem is that the shape of the ‘bell’ of the mask precludes using the holes in the cardboard to use the leather straps with the little wooden ‘cinch’ off my hats to attach it. Now, I’ve stapled the backing off the window seal into a ring and I’ll try the ‘elastic’ decorative christmas package ties stapled onto that. I have hair so that narrow diameter of the straps won’t be a problem; but I need to make a couple more for family members so that actual elastic strips (for those who do not have hair) would be more desirable. I don’t wish to sacrifice my lone n-95 bands for a test article.

I’m thinking about using a bra to cup and attach the mask. Hell, some guidance came out yesterday telling HCW to put a fucking diaper on their face!!

Oreck bag mask attachment solved. I went back to the leather strands, wrapped one around the threads of the throat of the V-8 bell with the half-granny knot being on the bottom; (When cinched up, it wraps runs from there to around the above-equator towards the top of the bell and pulls that into your nose also). I then passed the straps through the original holes in the aforementioned aussie-style hat, pulled the straps to the center – front, cinched with the little leather piece with two holes, centered, cinched again, tested, then pulled the excess strapping back on itself and tucked it back past itself past the holes it enters.

That this works so well in this configuration with only one strap is total serendipity; Stylish and effective, I’ll take it.

{Elastic straps did not provide enough ‘lift’ off the bridge of the nose to be comfy (the bag is kinda heavy), while also providing enough retraction for a good seal around an not well-shaven face

It takes a little fucking with while doing all that to put it on, but you do not have to touch your face or your hair — just the brim of your hat and plastic bell of the mask. and It stayed put with talking, walking, and gaming for one hour.

I think I’m going to be rocking the look of it. I hope it will spread before I get beat up.

addendum: I pulled the cotton out — figured it could be a nasty bunch of surface area for growing things.

The bag is folded in half and the top (after folding) of the bottom of the bag is super glued onto the cardboard backing.

The corners of the top of the bag are bent over and super glued onto the cardboard to reduce visual obstruction.

A thin but stiff piece of shellacked wire ( I think it is around 24 – 26 guage; I don’t know, it was ripped from an old subwoofer crossover) is wrapped around the top of the bag just below the cardboard so as to scrunch the bag up a little.

A ‘peg’ of the foam window seal is stuck to the inside of the throat of the v-8 bottle and pushes against the plastic backing of the bag… This so that when the wire ‘scrunches’ the bag that it pulls away from the inlet instead of toward it.


I’mma having a really difficult time nailing down how HEPA rated filter data and moisture exposure/age correlate to these consumer crap vacuum cleaner bags.

If anyone could point me in that direction, that wouild be great. (Ignore the TPS reports for now).


I spoke to soon, last night. Putting it into practice for the first time this morning seemed to be going well. But it was cool outside so condensation was building up in the plastic bell. I made to, then in, then out of the tobacco store no problem but sitting in the parking lot of the beer store, waiting for a singular exchange of cash for product with the beer store girl, one on one, and without anyone else in there observing us did disaster then strike.

Little by little the corner of a lens started getting fogged then the whole lens was getting fogged and cleared with every breath. Then, the peg came loose and fell into the bag — I swear, it felt like that scene in Andromeda Strain where the pilot’s oxygen mask is dissolving. So, had to remove it.

In retrospect, I should have just clamped or stapled the strap in place after adjustment because you can take hat off with mask connected and put it back on again but I was going for differing bags of others’ to be used with that same hat. Had I just set it static, I would not have it on for so long during the drive; just don it at the stores.

Idk what is with that window backing; Either it is somewhat permeable to water vapor (unlikely, i think) or the condensation goes at the edge and works inward (the stuff does not stick that great to that plastic to start with.

Well, I gotta few days before going out again so that I can procrastinate applying silicone around the inside edge of the seal to then find out if that is a cock-up as well. Man, i wish I had a 3d printer.

Insulation around bell to stop condensation? Heavy. Replaceable paper towel strips tacked along the inside to absorb the condensate? Pain in the ass. A one way exhaust valve? A clean breath for me but not for thee?

btw, it is being said now that it is ‘air born’. But what that MIT paper is suggesting is that ‘droplets’ are suspended in ‘puffs’ of turbulent exhalations and thus have time to evaporate to small enough not to fall ballistic-like (no, wait… so, in other words air born — makes sense, I loved blowing vapor rings from the vape pen and that mist hangs there forever with 2d cross sections highlighted as it drifts through a sunbeam in a room with no flow.

tldr; My disappointment is immeasurable and my day is ruined.

@ Tim:

If it’s any help, searching for “face masks scarfs” ( I saw a good video on television with a scarf and hair elastics) I found a Huffington Post article from Tuesday on how to make no-sew ( and other) masks.
I’m not sure if it is protective enough to be worth the effort.

I’m not sure if it is protective enough to be worth the effort.

Duhh? I’m the bag guy.

SUCCESS! Succ is right there in the verb so ’69, noice.

A little superglue droplets around the top of the widow seal stopped the disintgegrating and collapsing in with moisture. The trick with that cyanno acrylate is that you need to smear the surface first with finger, nose, or palm grease/oil. That shit does not stick to anything but human skin so that you gotta make what you are trying to adhere look like skin by rubbing all the nasty parts of skin on the surface first. Most adhesives say to clean the surface well so that is a little backward from this type adhesive.

If y’all make one of these, be aware that it is a little awkward at first… I takes a little bit of time to go from ‘fuck this’ to this is my trusted friend; kinda like first time firefighters freak the fuck out over the first experience with full-face PPE. So, put it on and watch netlflix or something for an hour or so — then, if it is doing its’ job, treat it as absolutely hot after going out and about.

P.S. The beer store girls can not understand what I’m saying. This is a testament to the HEPA structure breaking up the coherence of sound waves coming out of my mouth — this is the ‘diffusion realm’ for those type filters. 1/50’th the thickness of a double folded wash cloth yet the wash cloth does not muffle your speech.

I just noticed s bag of coffee beans I bought last week has the legend “GLUTEN FREE” in 24 pt. type on the back. This does not speak well for the smarts of the masses.

I think you can even bet more safely on gin being gluten free than vodka is (though it does indeed also seem to be gluten free).

I’d choose gin over vodka anyday anyway. Gluten or no gluten. London dry.

The good news is that cases of Covid-19 are only doubling every FOUR days rather than every TWO days as it had been ( NY’s Governor Cuomo today)

Woo-meisters are capitalising on the public’s fears:

Mercola: tells you to “tap away” anxiety about the virus ( EFT) and sells various immune boosters after fear mongering articles.

Adams ( Natural News) stokes fear and then ( his Store) sells colloidal silver, Black Cumin Seed Oil, Spirulina ( SOLD OUT) as well as other “immune boosters” and Survival Kits ( ONLY 449 USD!)

Null ( PRN/ Gary’s Vitamin Closet) is selling a Corona Virus Survival Seminar ( ONLY 20 USD), various “immune products” and is limiting ” digestible products” to one per order because of demand. Also water and air filtration. He is currently hosting seniors at his Texas estate to “de-age” them: videos show his instructional process to a group. He quotes vitamin C studies: 24K mg per day IV.

I’ve heard statements by these guys not based on SBM : remember that they have often told their followers to distrust the CDC and professionals which might have meaningful effects during the pandemic.
Doubt authorities, listen to quacks. Dr Fauci is despised by anti-vaxxers.

At the other extreme there are the conspiracy theorists who think a) it is not as bad as the flu and b) is being used tO impose a NEWWORLDODER or that big pharma/the French Gov’t is suppressing a cure.

At least the nut jobs do not seem to be grifters.

The only New World Odor in this house is from our field spaniel Pluto, who could use a shower.

that big pharma/the French Gov’t is suppressing a cure.

Eh; In my corner, it’s big pharma/the French Gov’t suppressing a cure AND the US sneakily stealing all the chloroquine.
With the help of the joos, of course.

An uncle of mine (tied for favorite, honestly, with an uncle on my mom’s side), who I really like in spite of the fact that half of our conversations are arguing (it’s part of the relation maybe) had some idea that the Chinese are hiding a vaccine or a cure, because otherwise why do they have the same amount of cases but so many more of them are better? I think I talked him out of it with things like, “because the virus started there in December, so people have had more time to recover.”

@ Athaic

“With the help of the joos, of course.”

I missed the part on the Joos when following the current rants on the coronavirus. But yes, people are not assessing the situation very rationally, from what I see.

But I did witness antivaxxers coming out of the woods on various blogs. We do not hear them much IMO around here, but the current situation did bring them out of the woods.

Rather weird to be one of the people on Earth with arguably one of the most shameful pile of psychiatric records ever recorded to be observing this crazyness from afar with mild delectation… I guess they are “normal” people for what it’s worth…


Projection is definitely a thing. Some of us seem to get a lot more of it or get it a lot worse, for whatever reason.

@ JP

“Projection is definitely a thing. Some of us seem to get a lot more of it or get it a lot worse, for whatever reason.”

Being born in a family where a psychiatrist within that family has the final word on everything may be an explanation for why some individuals may get a shitload of “projections”. I call them “lies”, but I can tolerate mild syntactic pedantry…

I’ve been reading about a lot of that stuff recently; the “identified patient,” “scapegoating,” etc. I think part of the thing is that I just seem to have hyper-empathy and hyper-sensitivity; seeing as my dad and I always got each other really well (he died when I was 11) and I tend to relate better to my dad’s side and definitely “take after” that side, I think it’s probably a genetic thing. (Also culturally we have more in common tbh.)

Whereas my mom’s side seems to not even be able to cope with their own feelings barely at all and they also seem to often employ really primitive defense mechanisms, so in their context (which, for various reasons, is pretty much what I got after my dad died), I get all the projection and all the labels.

There’s other stuff, too, like jealousy and all kinds of unconscious motives, but I’m not going to go all that in detail; parts of it are certain, some of it is speculation.

I’ve had the same dynamic happen a bunch in my life, though. Since part of it seems to be a product of inborn traits, it’s hard to see what to do about that other than educate myself and be a lot more vigilant and assertive when that kind of stuff starts to happen.

Another thing I find incredibly irritating and difficult is when people think they’re expressing some kind of empathy or concern, but they’re really just throwing their own “personal distress” in your face. “I’M SO WORRIED ABOUT YOU,” “YOU’RE SCARING US,” “WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU,” etc., being yelled at you (both literally and in, like, the other way you can hear it) is extremely unhelpful when you’ve got plenty of your own internal (and external) stuff going on. “WE’RE TRYING TO HELP YOU,” yeah, no you’re not, you’re just trying to make yourselves feel better.

@ JP

What have you been reading concerning “scapegoating”? I’ve stumbled recently on one of the wildest fantasies around in scholarly literature.

One could believe that it’s only literary criticism fantasy. But, no, this guys and his followers do claim scientific status to their claims… Seriously…

Bottom line: having gone through part of the literature produced, I noticed quite a number of psychiatrists, psychotherapists and directors of psychiatric hospitals in the original group he formed around him at the time. Nowadays, you have quite a number of scholars orbiting in this group, and some para-theological institutions pushing this theory.

It’s all right making fun of Paltrow and jade eggs, but when I see scholars and psychiatrists with quite an institutional backing spinning up these theologically flavored theories around scapegoating as if it explained literally everything in the world, I tend to get mightily scared. And a bit more scared than I would by hearing that some women push up jade eggs up their vagina. Redefining violence and responses to violence on such shaky para-biblical grounds while claiming scientific status may seem seductive to some people, but to me, it’s utterly frightening.

Just regular scapegoating, dude. Basically what I described; dumping all your own issues (or the group’s issues) on somebody else.

Uhhhh, regular fcking stuff? Like Wikipedia and stuff from the citations there and normal, reputable, sane psychological articles and sources? It’s a real dynamic, I don’t know why you’re freaking out so bad. See, now *you’re doing it by assuming I’m crazy or into something crazy or insane. Calm down or something, Christ.

@ JP

Not freaking out. Just curious about what you were reading. Nothing more.

But yeah, I heavily dislike what I’ve been reading recently on “scapegoating”. I make no bones about it.

Maybe you should read something else, like something besides French psychoanalytic bullish!t, idk, you might learn something. That kind of thing is very fringe just about anywhere outside of France, as far as I can tell.

Psychoanalysis in general strikes me as a ridiculous scam; “yes, I think you will benefit from three weekly appointments an hour long a piece, to go over every little detail of possible “trauma” from your youth (most of these people are hypochondriacs or blow tiny things out of proportion, but those type of shrinks get blame for encouraging that), it will also be very good for my wallet and self-image, thanks, I’ll send you the bill.”

Also, like, Sigmund, NO I don’t want to kill my father and have sex with my mother, Jesus Christ, what’s wrong with you? I think that might be a you thing.

@ JP

I have no patience for psychoanalytic bullshit, nor for the bullshit I just pinpointed out. It just happens that quite a number of scholars who have gone down the path of this guy happen to be in the US, where he taught (Buffalo NY and John Hopkins). You have them in France too, but nowadays, you find them elsewhere (Switzerland and Austria are two places I’ve got mapped out), and the Royal College of Psychiatrists is an English institution. Not a French one.

This theory claims to be a contender of psychoanalysis. Among other things, it claims that it has the right interpretation of the Oedipus myth… (as if I cared anyway if other loons didn’t care, which they obviously do…)

What I’m interested in is WTF is going on in the head of these scholars and psychiatrists / psychotherapists. I’m personally not into theological self-help bullshit…

The point is that I’ve been harassed recently by fundies who take cover under that kind of BS and claim they know the Whole Truth ® about victims and victimisation, blackmailing some people into godly nonsense with perverted arguments. In a few decades, such BS might be an acceptable intellectual cover for the mission-creep of theology into medicine through what these people think is social sciences… Got a few psychotherapists on my radar using this sh*t already. Won’t let that specific shit fly past me.

I’m personally not into theological self-help bullshit…

Don’t forget the 12-step cults.

Urgh… made a mess with my link. It was supposed to encompass only the “slide 2” item. Screwed up big time. Sorry.

It appears that AoA have only just discovered the existence of the NCCIH, or at least that’s my interpretation.

I’d say that Ginger Taylor is close to the bottom of the barrel at AoA, but that would be an insult to lees.

GREETINGS from Plague Central!

Although we can’t know for certain how much obedience to rules will flatten the curve, compliance is visible: deserted streets, emptied shopping malls, offices and schools, shuttered restaurants and parks and playgrounds with barricaded entry points. Well trafficked tourist and business hubs are nearly devoid of activity; roads are not clogged as they usually are. Security officers remind walkers to keep their distance or to stay at home.While there is no quarantine, travel within the area has been discouraged by the feds. Digital message boards instruct drivers about safety and offer informational web sites.
I had to call several restaurants to find take out options last night and earlier today, for a planned event later this week: the former’s patrons waited patiently outside the ristorante, cheerfully keeping their distance and two elderly Japanese men promptly answered their phones saying that their businesses would remain open this week: other attempts showed no response or recorded messages about closures.

Actually, I expected worse: impatient, anger and aggression but then I’m not inside people’s houses. Tomorrow is 2 weeks since stronger guide lines were implemented.


I am an alcoholic. I depend on the beer store. I need the beer store girls to stay healthy. I’m also a little OCD and diagnosed scizophrenic (though I dispute the findings as I’m also ‘aphantasiac’). I am unmedicated because my former psychiatrist (state-assigned dr., whatever) said that hydroxyyzine was just too sedating (Jesus Fuck, dude… have you ever known me to come in here sedated?) and that I abused mirtazapine by taking it at 1/4 his prescribed dose of 30 mg.

they closed most of the ABC stores here and the ones that are open only let in two persons at a time and they have to tell the cashier what they want and not go ‘shopping’ or touch the product.

This. Is. The. Way.

But, now the beer store is overloaded with those spill over customers and I wait for a long time in the
parking lot for a minimum in customers before I go in.

They have not implemented these policies to restrict numbers of customers in the store at a time; And I have witnessed 3,4,5 people getting out of one vehicle at a time to then loiter around the entrance, pretending to be helpful, holding the door, talking back inside, and rubbing their eyes, nose, hair… after holding the door.

In other words, the people around here are mostly oblivious. What am I to do?? Would it be of any hope to call that fucktarded state doctor I dumped last september to see If he can prescribe me something or…………

@ Tim:

That is pretty awful.
Could you bring something with you ( a phone or a book?) perhaps to entertain yourself with whilst you wait? You could inform shoppers that they are being foolhardy thus helping both yourself and them ( I advised my SO to tell the offenders who come too close in the store: this action is more likely to be efficacious if you are larger/ taller than average)
It’s possible that you live where there is not great concentration of infection YET so people are not scared YET. Maybe you could get someone to shop with you or for you. I hope that you don’t have to go everyday. If you drive, you might head for a less densely populated area or get someone else to take you there. Would meds help? Does your area have a call in number for mental health emergencies or talk?
-btw- I do only some of the shopping but I’m thinking of wearing disposable gloves when I go next although workers spray your hands and cart with sanitiser if you like now..
Good luck.

Nahh, DW; I’m a little 5’8 pip-squeak. Telling someone what is good for them is not gonna fly ’round these parts. I’m not crying — you’re crying (ohh, wait. Yea, I guess it is me.)

I have been thinking on taking this little picture frame gadget I have that will display gifs and jpeg and ask if the beer ladies might set it on the counter. It would basicly involve showing the procedure for kind of a ‘dance step’ where one puts the item on the counter, steps back, lady steps forward, rings it up, steps back, customer pays, steps back, cashier takes payment, steps back, customer takes item and leaves. I know. That is way too many steps as we can’t even do the macarana ( it is a red state) around here — It will never fly.

One thing is very clear to me… Just talking can spread it. My computer screen mysteriously gets covered with all kinds of gunk and dip particles after even a week because I sometimes yell at it or just read shit out loud.

I do wear a glove if I have to touch the gas pump. Otherwise, I just treat everything after I touch the doorknob to go out as ‘hot’ untill I get back. The truck, the garage floor, the keys, the wallet. my glasses. the products. Everything. and change clothes and let the old ones sit for at least 3 days.

A good lathering soap is castille soap made of vegetable oil — Dr. Bronner’s or Kirk’s comes to mind but it is kinda pricey until you find out that you can wash your hands 5 times a day and you still have a whole bar after two months — just don’t take a shower with it; if it stays wet, it will be gone in an hour.

I feel very bad for people in prisons. They don’t get soap, or be able to stand apart, or even have hand sanitizer because it is contraband because of the alcohol content. So is news about what is happening as the guards have been instructed to not inform them.

@ Tim:

re “just talking can spread it” ; computer screen gunk

Right, people broadcast liquids when they speak etc
that’s why they recommend staying 6′ apart: even if someone is spraying virus-laden material, it’s probably too far away for much to land on you!

Anyway, that store sounds problematic. If you drive ( you mention gasoline) try to find another place further away in a less densely populated area. Good luck. -btw- Ativan isn’t the worst drug in the world.
Take care.

AND I doubt that they’ll shut everything down. It’ll get worse before it gets better though. It sounds like restrictions are helping in San Jose.


I think I’mma going to need librium or something in advance because I am afraid that if they shut it all down then I’ll start detoxing and then have a very bad outcome, virus or not. Are there any programms that foresee that and can be subscribed to?? I’m pretty sure I’m just fucked because this is ‘Merica where we can piss test 300,000,000 a day to make sure they are not smoking pot and are thus qualified to keep pissing on the burgers but can’t test for sars-cov-2 or antibodies thereof for shit.

I think I’mma going to need librium or something in advance because I am afraid that if they shut it all down then I’ll start detoxing and then have a very bad outcome, virus or not.

I think Ativan is probably what you would want, but I presume you’re not in a position to hit the ER for a couple of days IV. On a more forward-looking front, have you considered baclofen or one of the usual suspects?

Now we have the french justice system (notably its administrative branch, which I’ve been bitching about for quite some time) ordering hospitals around to go fetch hydroxychloroquine and implement testing on patients.

I just love it when a pandemic serves the same purpose as a collision chamber in a particule accelerator. Ideas and practices collide, and we now see who is the true boss. And it’s neither science nor the scientists…

We do not have such large-scale socio-legal-medical experiments of such a nature so often. But I believe it would be arguably too pro-disease of me to argue that science would benefit if that specific experiment kept going on “long enough”…

I just love it when a pandemic serves the same purpose as a collision chamber in a particule accelerator. Ideas and practices collide, and we now see who is the true boss.

You might want to work on that analogy, because that’s not what accerators are trying to “see,” even with unequal-mass collisions.

@ Narad

The analogy is indeed not perfect. Just means that I love it when the shit hits the fan.

That seems like a better analogy…

Oh great and beneficent ORAC, who is as perspicacious as he Is perspicuous, YOU, the annihilator of trolls, slayer of Wakefield, woo-meisters’ bane and scourge of vitamin salesmen everywhere, despite their income bracket, hear my anguished pleas:

your minions thirst for new insolence, consider our plight: abandoned and marooned on a deserted shore bereft of entertainment and enlightenment- and hopefully novel viruses- quarantined, isolated, rationed in our actions, working on the phone, eating our own cooking ( mostly), reading substandard writing and being just rather disheartened in general. Whilst many of us are acquainted with the secret of the other not-so-secret blog AND your alternate persona, we believe it prudent to NOT spill the proverbial beans because of scoffers and random anti-vaxxers so we will hold our tongues, knowing that material there could be transported- as if by magic- here. You would perform a priceless public service so that loyal readers could tear themselves away from sick making Trump messaging, DJIA figures and plague data flashing across our screens incessantly and instead, make fun of pseudoscience as we should. Merci beaucoup

As this isn’t directly related to any recent topics I’ll post here. Here in the UK the Guardian newspaper has an item about a legal challenge to a local authority vaccinating a child in care.
Over on the Children’s Health Defence site they’re now soliciting appeals to municipal authorities to place moratoriums on 5G installations, which I won’t link to. You can tell CHD is run by a dodgy lawyer, can’t you.

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