Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Re: Second COVID-19 booster shot authorized for Americans 50 and older - NBC News

I may consult with my physician before I get the fourth dose.  I would like to know what the evidence is on the 4th shot?

I had the booster six months ago.  I am wondering what the ideal time frame would be for the fourth shot?

On Tue, Mar 29, 2022 at 8:30 PM Albert wrote:
You can get your 4th shot now.

Second COVID-19 booster shot authorized for Americans 50 and older - NBC News


Monday, March 28, 2022

Fwd: Shanghai

From: John Coffey 

It seems unlikely that you could suppress Omicron.  Best to let it run its course.

I'm hoping that my booster from six months ago will still protect me, but if not, I would be willing to have another booster if the evidence supports it.

On Mon, Mar 28, 2022 at 8:46 AM Larry wrote:
Shanghai a city of 26 million shuts down tunnels, bridges and highways in a covid lockdown to begin mass testing.
Oil dropped almost 3% in response.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Re: High Resolution Sun images

When I contemplate all the ways the universe can kill us, I feel that we are extremely lucky.  At any moment a gamma-ray burst could set the world ablaze, but it is not likely to happen.  We detect around 1 gamma-ray burst every day, but fortunately, the universe is vast, and most of these bursts are in other galaxies.  Some have suspected that an event like this might be responsible for one of five mass extinctions in Earth's history, but there isn't good evidence for it.

We know that at least one mass extinction was caused by an asteroid, although a massive outbreak of volcanoes at the same time was equally responsible.  In the event of a supervolcano eruption today, this would create a worldwide catastrophe.

In 1859 a Coronal Mass Ejection from the sun collided with the Earth's magnetosphere causing sparking and fires at telegraph stations.  Such an event would be much more damaging today because we are much more wired than we were then.

It turns out that in early solar system development, gas giants tend to fall into lower orbits likely displacing the smaller planets.  However, the gravitational tug of Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune kept Jupiter in place.  It is also suspected that the Earth started at a different orbit than where it ended up, where it got pulled around by the gravity of the other planets and other objects.  This is called planet migration.  The other planets still affect the Earth's orbit, in something called the Malankovich Cycles, but fortunately, the solar system long ago settled into a stable configuration.

There are likely many more rogue planets traveling between the stars than there are planets orbiting the stars, making these like gravitational missiles.  However, interstellar space is also vast.

About 4.5 billion years ago, a Mars-sized planet collided with the Earth, causing the ejection of enough material to form the Moon.

Supernovas can destroy life up to 50 light-years away. 

It is suspected that there are many black holes between the stars in our galaxy that we don't know about.

It might be that the reason why we haven't detected alien life is that the universe is a very hostile place.    

Just as a side note, in the "known space" series of science fiction novels, there were a dozen alien species living within a 60 light-year radius of Earth.  On the galactic scale, this is minuscule, but might be plausible.  I would expect to find maybe one because a sphere with a radius of 60 light-years is a pretty big volume.


Covid booster restores vaccine protection lost against omicron variant, U.K. study finds

High chance of new COVID variant that's worse that Omicron in 2024, says UK CMO

European wave of Omicron sub-variant BA.2 foreshadows US surge | Financial Times

COVID-19 vaccine prior to infection may reduce long COVID symptoms

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Hummingbird Waits Outside The Window For His Favorite Guy

This Cat's Favorite Word Is Exactly What You'd Expect

COVID update

It is helpful to see where we are at.  

We have gone from 1 out of 11 people being infected to roughly 1 out of 15.  Still, that seems high to me.  The number of new cases is surprisingly low.  The number of deaths is approaching a million, but the daily deaths have dropped quite a bit.

I think that we got lucky with the Omicron variant.  I've been saying that it is like a different disease because it has slightly different symptoms.  Reportedly it is ten times more infectious but ten times less deadly.  It is like comparing cowpox to smallpox, where cowpox acts as a natural vaccine to smallpox.

This video is predicting a surge of the BA 2 variant...


Friday, March 18, 2022

Fwd: Overwhelmed by Omicron, Hong Kong Runs Out of Space for Its Dead - The Wall Street Journal


---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Albert 
Date: Fri, Mar 18, 2022 at 1:31 PM

It's not over until it's over. We should be cautious about putting our guard down on covid. Mainstream news has been avoiding covid stories because the Russo-Ukraine War brings more viewers and clicks. Nevertheless, as you and I know, the covid story will continue long after the Russo-Ukraine War is over.

Overwhelmed by Omicron, Hong Kong Runs Out of Space for Its Dead - The Wall Street Journal



Monday, March 14, 2022

Fwd: Solid State

In the endless quest to pack more energy into batteries without increasing their weight or volume, one especially promising technology is the solid-state battery. In these batteries, the usual liquid electrolyte that carries charges back and forth between the electrodes is replaced with a solid electrolyte layer. Such batteries could potentially not only deliver twice as much energy for their size, they also could virtually eliminate the fire hazard associated with today's lithium-ion batteries.

But one thing has held back solid-state batteries: Instabilities at the boundary between the solid electrolyte layer and the two electrodes on either side can dramatically shorten the lifetime of such batteries. Some studies have used special coatings to improve the bonding between the layers, but this adds the expense of extra coating steps in the fabrication process. Now, a team of researchers at MIT and Brookhaven National Laboratory have come up with a way of achieving results that equal or surpass the durability of the coated surfaces, but with no need for any coatings.

The new method simply requires eliminating any carbon dioxide present during a critical manufacturing step, called sintering, where the battery materials are heated to create bonding between the cathode and electrolyte layers, which are made of ceramic compounds. Even though the amount of carbon dioxide present is vanishingly small in air, measured in parts per million, its effects turn out to be dramatic and detrimental. Carrying out the sintering step in pure oxygen creates bonds that match the performance of the best coated surfaces, without that extra cost of the coating, the researchers say.

Toward batteries that pack twice as much energy per pound | MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Doubling the range of electric vehicles would make them more practical.  However, I remain skeptical of electric vehicles because of the cost.  Seems like hybrids are the way to go.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Re: The Monty Hall problem and IQ


Conscientiousness is as much a predictor of success as IQ scores.  There are many smart people who are failures for various reasons.

---------- Forwarded message ---------
On Fri, Mar 11, 2022 at 8:26 AM Al wrote:
This video shows the very well known "Monty Hall Problem". Monty Hall was the game show host of Let's Make a Deal. At the end of each show the winning contestant chose door #1, door #2, or door #3. So, if Monty Hall says there are goats behind 2 doors and the grand prize behind one door. So, let's say you pick door #1. Monty now says I'm going to help you by letting you know that door #3 has goats.

So, speaking mathematically, should you keep your original pick of door #1. Or should you change your pick to door #2?

Btw, normal IQ falls between 85 to 115.

From: John Coffey

I've been aware of the Monty Hall Problem and its controversy for some time.

It is the best illustration that intuitive notions aren't always correct.

IQ scores of 85 to 115 represent one standard deviation from the norm.  One standard deviation will include 68% of the people usually regardless of what it is measuring.

Mensa is a social organization that only accepts people with IQ test results two standard deviations above the norm, which is the top 2%.   However, different IQ tests have different ranges producing different numbers.  The Mensa website currently lists different scores on different qualifying tests ranging from 130 to 132.  However, when I took the Mensa test in 1986, they were using different numbers.  They gave me two tests and I only had to pass one of them with either a score of 136 on the standard test or a score of 148 on the California test.  I scored 136 and 147, just barely passing.

I actually thought that I could do better.  Roughly twenty years ago I took an online test that claimed to be scientific and accurate.  I scored 138.  I waited a few years and took the same test again and scored 141.  This test factored in the age of the person, but I haven't seen any other test that does that.

Last year I took a short 20 question IQ test advertised on Facebook, which claimed to be scientific, but I have my doubts.  I took it three times because I kept scoring in mid 120s.  I was not able to improve my score.  I'm not sure how much of this result is due to my age, or just the result of this particular test.

Many people think that IQ is a difficult thing to measure and does not take into account all the ways that people can be intelligent.  If a test only measures analytical and spatial reasoning, which is what these tests usually measure, I suspect that I would do well.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

The Pfizer documents. Adverse effects and death

Normally I have been a fan of Dr. John Campbell's videos, but here he takes a more anti-Pfizer vaccine position with a conspiracy theory tone.  I'm kind of disappointed because I took him to be a reliable source of information.

In response to his video, I wrote the following comment:

It is irresponsible to say that the 1,223 deaths were due to vaccination. Reportedly, anyone can submit an adverse event whether it was caused by the vaccine or not. Two out of every 100,000 vaccinated people got myocarditis, but 20 to 30% of the people hospitalized with COVID-19 developed heart problems.

The purpose of the adverse event reporting system is to determine if adverse events occur beyond what would be normal.    During the vaccine trial, 6 people died, mostly from cardiac events, and 4 of those deaths came from the placebo group.  https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-pfizer-health-concerns/fact-check-clarifying-claims-around-pfizer-vaccine-deaths-and-side-effects-idUSKBN28K2R6

However, let us take the 1,223 death number at face value for a moment.  From what I can tell, by the end of February 2021, 20% of American adults were vaccinated. That's around 51 million people, mostly older people from which we could expect some deaths regardless.  If 1,223 died from vaccination, then that is 1 out of 41,700.  However, the risk from COVID is greater with 1 out of 333 Americans dying from the disease.

It appeared as if my comment to the video was posted and then deleted within seconds.  I don't understand this unless some automatic filter is eliminating my comment.  I tried a couple of more times and got the same result.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Even Mild Cases of COVID Can Cause Brain Damage and Shrinkage

Those who had COVID-19 had significantly more brain tissue loss and shrinkage, the researchers found. People typically lose around 0.2-0.3% of gray matter each year with normal aging, and those who had COVID-19 were losing far more, up to 2%. They also lost more overall brain volume and had higher amounts of tissue damage.

The damage was equivalent to at least an extra year of aging, Gwenaëlle Douaud, an associate professor at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences at Oxford and the paper's lead author, told NBC News.

"It is brain damage, but it is possible that it is reversible," she said. "But it is still relatively scary because it was in mildly infected people."


This is like the mother of all diseases.

Ivermectin, more evidence

I'm neutral on this.  It might take more studies to verify this.  Too many times we have seen the results of studies that were refuted later.

Saturday, March 5, 2022

COVID Cases and Deaths

Whereas the new cases have dropped considerably, the number of active cases is still lingering, going from about 1 out of 11 people to roughly 1 out of 13. The daily death rate remains fairly high, but what I can tell is about half of the recent peak

Thursday, March 3, 2022

New Study Finds COVID-19 DNA Linked to Moderna Patent Filed in 2016, Sparks Discussion on Lab Leak Theory

"We're talking about a very, very, very small piece made up of 19 nucleotides," Professor Lawrence Young, a virologist at Warwick University, was quoted as saying to Daily Mail.

"So it doesn't mean very much, to be frank, if you do these types of searches, you can always find matches.

"Sometimes these things happen fortuitously, sometimes it's the result of convergent evolution (when organisms evolve independently to have similar traits to adapt to their environment).

"It's a quirky observation, but I wouldn't call it a smoking gun because it's too small.

"It doesn't get us any further with the debate about whether COVID-19 was engineered," Young said.

A statement from the US drug maker Moderna is awaited, the report said.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Pfizer Vaccine Becomes DNA in Liver Cells. (In-vitro Swedish Study)

I'm sure that the anti-vaccine people will have a field day with this.  I think that it is helpful to have some perspective...

1.  This was an in vitro study testing liver cells outside the human body.

2.  The injections are not given to the liver.  It is thought that the injections stay in the muscles unless the injection hits a blood vessel, and this is thought by some to be responsible for the relatively rare cases of myocarditis.  Some have advocated that the procedure should be to aspirate the injection, which is to first pull back on the plunger to make sure it does not draw blood, so as to not accidentally inject into a blood vessel.

3.  The human body has around 37 trillion cells.  Viruses modify the DNA in our cells all the time.  The immune system finds these cells and destroys them.

4.  A change to the DNA of a few of our cells does not mean that our DNA is permanently altered.

5. The liver cells with the modified DNA exhibit the spike protein on their surface, which means that if this were to happen in the human body then these cells would be targeted by the immune system.

6.  Hypothetically, if some liver cells were to have their DNA altered and start producing extra spike proteins, then this would add to our immune response to the spike protein.

8.  The COVID-19 disease can have serious long-term side effects. 

9. Liver damage is one of the major symptoms of the COVID-19 disease, so pick your poison.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8192279/


Best wishes,

John Coffey

COVID-19 by County