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Thread: Really trivial stuff that amuses you...

  1. #12211
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    With Covid prevalence ludicrously high in these parts...

    Grant Hutchison
    I'm not sure what "ludicrously high" is in your parts, but it's stupidly high here. We had maybe five deaths for all of 2020 and now are having several per day.
    Sorry, not at all amusing. I'll have some more wine.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  2. #12212
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I'm not sure what "ludicrously high" is in your parts ...
    Not that it's a competition, but Scotland is currently sitting at more than twice the USA's case rate per 100k, according to the Financial Times dataset.

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  3. #12213
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Not that it's a competition, but Scotland is currently sitting at more than twice the USA's case rate per 100k, according to the Financial Times dataset.
    Wow. I see the US was higher last year to early this year but then drops, presumably because of the vaccines, then goes up again, probably because of delta. And the earlier peak might mean there is more natural immunity now. It looks like the number in the US might have just peaked again and is dropping.

    Any idea of why Scotland is so high now? I thought vaccines were better accepted there. Have they not been available?
    Last edited by Van Rijn; 2021-Sep-11 at 01:06 AM.

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  4. #12214
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Any idea of why Scotland is so high now? I thought vaccines were better accepted there. Have they not been available?
    Accepted and available. We have >90% of the population over 16 years old with at least one dose of vaccine, and >80% fully vaccinated. Uptake is worst, predictably, among the 18-35 age group (but still >75%), and they also do most of the mixing, so they're accounting for most of the transmission, along with schoolkids. In the UK we haven't really seen an up-tick of ICU Covid admissions among children, as you've had in the USA, so the case for vaccinating healthy children is quite finely balanced on individual risk/benefit. We'd primarily be vaccinating children to protect adults, which is a thorny moral issue.*
    Of course, all the transmission among younger folk eventually finds its way into the older fully vaccinated population, and some of them (along with some of the younger adults) will get sick enough to end up in hospital or die. So hospital numbers and deaths are rising slowly.
    In the last week case numbers haven't risen, and the test positivity is beginning to go down, so we may have hit a peak for now--but we've got the return of university students to look forward to, which will create another burst of transmission.

    And the fact that fully vaccinated people, and people who've previously been infected, can still catch and transmit the disease means it won't be going away any time soon. The predictions I see are of "seasonal endemicity" in the temperate zones--it'll end up circulating at low levels and spiking in winter.

    * Pro-vaccination arguments can be made that there are significant detrimental effects on children's mental health and socialization, not to mention their adaptation to life-long learning, if they keep having their schooling interrupted by periods of self-isolation to control school outbreaks. As someone whose mental health and learning would have benefited hugely from being locked away from my ghastly little contemporaries for a few months every year while at school, I have to just accept the epidemiology in this regard. But again, the isolation of children and interruption of schooling is largely being done to protect adults from infection, given that the UK is not seeing a lot of very sick children. It's the sort of argument that would have kept my old moral philosophy class engrossed for hours.

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2021-Sep-11 at 09:00 AM. Reason: footnote
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  5. #12215
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Pro-vaccination arguments can be made that there are significant detrimental effects on children's mental health and socialization, not to mention their adaptation to life-long learning, if they keep having their schooling interrupted by periods of self-isolation to control school outbreaks.
    That's not so much a "pro-vaccination" argument as it is an "anti-self-isolation-to-control-school-outbreaks" argument.

    Given that:

    a) school-age children have not been shown to be at any significant risk themselves from Covid; and
    b) we are being told that vaccination reduces the severity of infection, but doesn't reliably prevent infection or transmission to others

    it seems logical to presume that the people who have been pushing those mitigation efforts would still push them even if large numbers of kids were vaccinated, and that the people who have accepted those mitigation efforts would still accept them.
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

  6. #12216
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    That's not so much a "pro-vaccination" argument as it is an "anti-self-isolation-to-control-school-outbreaks" argument.

    Given that:

    a) school-age children have not been shown to be at any significant risk themselves from Covid; and
    b) we are being told that vaccination reduces the severity of infection, but doesn't reliably prevent infection or transmission to others

    it seems logical to presume that the people who have been pushing those mitigation efforts would still push them even if large numbers of kids were vaccinated, and that the people who have accepted those mitigation efforts would still accept them.
    The critical point here is that data from adults show that there's a reduced risk of becoming infected, on exposure to Covid, if you're vaccinated. For instance, a recent report from the ongoing REACT study in the UK showed a three-fold higher prevalence among unvaccinated, compared to vaccinated, adults who had been matched on various potential confounders, at a time when Delta was the completely dominant variant. So even though infected vaccinated adults show similar (estimated) viral loads to infected unvaccinated adults, vaccinated adults are still more likely to interrupt the chain of transmission (simply by not becoming infected in the first place) than are unvaccinated adults. To that we can a little bit of data from Singapore which suggests that, although peak viral load might be the same in vaccinated people, the peak may last for a shorter time than among the unvaccinated. Again, if true and generalizable to asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic people, that would be another mode in which vaccination reduces transmission of the Delta variant.
    And if all that holds true for children, then vaccinating them will necessarily reduce the level of transmission in the classroom. There are other ways (physical, social and engineering) of reducing transmission in the classroom, of course, and there are arguments to be had over which methods of reducing transmission are most desirable. You can even have an argument about whether or not any effort needs to be made to reduce classroom transmission. They all suffer from a lack of hard data, at present.

    But, with all the provisos given above, I stand by the contention that "pro-vaccination arguments can be made" (and indeed are being made) on the basis that vaccination has the potential to reduce interruptions to schooling. Whether they're good arguments or not will depend on the exact transmission dynamics observed in classrooms of vaccinated and unvaccinated children, something which we won't have for a while yet.

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  7. #12217
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    But, with all the provisos given above, I stand by the contention that "pro-vaccination arguments can be made" (and indeed are being made) on the basis that vaccination has the potential to reduce interruptions to schooling. Whether they're good arguments or not will depend on the exact transmission dynamics observed in classrooms of vaccinated and unvaccinated children, something which we won't have for a while yet.
    Well, it's always true that "arguments can be made" - on anything, for any reason. But if you're not actually making the arguments, then my criticism of the arguments wouldn't be a criticism of you.

    My point is that the school interruptions are not a naturally-occurring result of the virus. They are decisions made by people. There'd have to be a reason to believe vaccination would affect the decision-making, which is (unfortunately) only tangentially related to the virus.
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

  8. #12218
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    My point is that the school interruptions are not a naturally-occurring result of the virus. They are decisions made by people. There'd have to be a reason to believe vaccination would affect the decision-making, which is (unfortunately) only tangentially related to the virus.
    Well, in the UK the reason to believe vaccination would affect the decision-making is that we're currently waiting for the Chief Medical Officers to decided, on the basis of the argument I outlined (among others), whether or not to offer vaccination to school-children generally. It's a live issue in these parts, which is why I felt it worth commenting on in the context of case numbers in my part of the world. I guess your mileage may vary.

    Anyway, I'm uncomfortably conscious that this is the "amuses me" thread.

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2021-Sep-12 at 12:24 PM. Reason: last line
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  9. #12219
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    Currently PICUs in the US are filled, which I'm pretty sure is "significant risk."
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  10. #12220
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    The smell from piped gas is mainly a mercaptan, which resembles the smell of "asparagus urine", for those who know what that is.
    But a significant part of the smell of volatile petroleum seeps and of anaerobically decaying vegetation is hydrogen sulphide, which I guess explains the similarity. (The first is just an extreme example of the second, I suppose.) That smell leans much more towards the classic "rotten eggs". I once spent a night in a tent after falling into a bog, and almost choked on the odour of my own clothes.

    Grant Hutchison
    Yuck on both parts.

    Oddly, I do love asparagus.
    Solfe

  11. #12221
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    There's a weapons testing range in Luce Bay, off the south coast of Scotland. The Ordnance Survey 1:25000 mapping helpfully marks its boundaries with a line of inward-pointing broad red triangles.
    I'm amused by the name of the island that lies immediately south of the boundary.


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  12. #12222
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    My brother owns a small sport fishing boat. I often joke by saying “Y’know what’s better than owning a boat? Having a brother who owns one!”

    Jeff Bezos’ brother can say that same thing about rockets.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  13. #12223
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    This morning, I had "the ugly call" from our contractor. They found the plasterboard in our house had asbestos in it. This will slow doing rebuilding the house by a month or two. We are already 2 months out from the fire in what should be a in a 6-8 month process.

    I wasn't really surprised by this phone call. The walls sort of vaporized, leaving a fine white powder on every surface. Since the fridge melted and plaster burns before steel and aluminium melts I pretty much knew what the powder must be.

    File under amusing. I asked if the asbestos plasterboard was recalled because it all burned. (Burned isn't the right word, it probably vaporized and then condensed.) The contractor is a nice guy but he didn't chuckle at that.
    Solfe

  14. #12224
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    Wow, I think I'd have put that in the "non-trivial" thread. It's bad enough you had to go through the fire.
    When we had our old mobile home torn down we had to have an asbestos inspection to get the permit. They found it in the original vinyl flooring which was still there under the carpet.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  15. #12225
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    On 18 September, in the 'Weather thread' Trebuchet was writing about the high winds in his area. Last night I caught up on the rebuild of the "Tally Ho", a project often mentioned by Trebuchet. During the latest update, which was posted 2 days ago, they showed footage of high winds buffeting the waters off Port Townsend. I now am certain that Trebuchet is most definitely a reliable witness.

  16. #12226
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    On 18 September, in the 'Weather thread' Trebuchet was writing about the high winds in his area. Last night I caught up on the rebuild of the "Tally Ho", a project often mentioned by Trebuchet. During the latest update, which was posted 2 days ago, they showed footage of high winds buffeting the waters off Port Townsend. I now am certain that Trebuchet is most definitely a reliable witness.
    Yup, I noticed that as well! I need to go to town today so I'll drive though the boatyard and see if they've got the door open. Also being rebuilt in our boatyard is the Western Flyer, on which John Steinbeck sailed the Sea of Cortez in 1940.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  17. #12227
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Yup, I noticed that as well! I need to go to town today so I'll drive though the boatyard and see if they've got the door open. Also being rebuilt in our boatyard is the Western Flyer, on which John Steinbeck sailed the Sea of Cortez in 1940.
    Watch out for that big boatlift that always seems to be moving around the boatyard.

  18. #12228
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    Watch out for that big boatlift that always seems to be moving around the boatyard.
    I actually got obstructed by one of the smaller ones yesterday! Which had a surprisingly large boat on it. I have, on occasion, had to drive through the middle of one of the lifts when it didn't have a boat.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  19. #12229
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I actually got obstructed by one of the smaller ones yesterday! Which had a surprisingly large boat on it. I have, on occasion, had to drive through the middle of one of the lifts when it didn't have a boat.
    Just be careful they don't decide to lift the car up and launch you.

  20. #12230
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    Tapatalk is sending me McDonald's ads. In Korean.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  21. #12231
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Wow, I think I'd have put that in the "non-trivial" thread. It's bad enough you had to go through the fire.
    When we had our old mobile home torn down we had to have an asbestos inspection to get the permit. They found it in the original vinyl flooring which was still there under the carpet.
    It's just been that kind of life.

    Ironically, because I have a cold and I am waiting on a Covid test, I am missing an appointment with the asbestos abatement team and air quality gang. You know, the guys in hazmat suits... If you don't laugh at some things, you'll go nuts.

    Anyway, I'm here for a better, more universal, amusing story.

    We got this calico kitten named Sarafina. She's super cute. However, this week she discovered my coffee. I take it with some powdered coffee creamer that leaves a few bubbles floating on the surface. If I don't "smoosh" out those bubbles, she'll try to grab them or bite them. In either case, she doesn't like coffee on her furry and cries. And also sloshes the coffee all over the table.

    She is very picky about the coffee, she'll check for bubbles before diving in. No bubbles, no problem. Bubbles? Big problem.

    She is so stinking cute.

    Edit - I still can't post photos, but here is a video of Sarafina and her dog.
    Last edited by Solfe; 2021-Sep-29 at 05:45 PM.
    Solfe

  22. #12232
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    Must remember not to fly low over crocodile infested waters.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-...ming/100496512

  23. #12233
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    Pretty awesome how the croc kind of let it go on by before snapping! And the camera kept working under water.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  24. #12234
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    And the camera recorded the motion of the tail at the moment when the crocodile started its lunge. Very cool.

  25. #12235
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    Last night I noticed red Christmas tree lights in my neighbor’s yard across the street and took a closer look. They have a “Nightmare before Christmas” Jack Skellington figurine in the yard with the lights, so it covers Halloween and Christmas, I guess. It seems a tad early to me, but during the pandemic I have noticed people putting up more decorations and lights at times I wouldn’t normally expect and leaving them in place longer.
    Last edited by Van Rijn; 2021-Oct-05 at 01:23 AM.

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  26. #12236
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    We'll be putting up the Halloween Tree soon. May keep it going until Easter with variations in decor and lighting.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  27. #12237
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    When targeted advertising goes wrong:
    I just watched this NSF video titled "Enormous liquid methane tank delivered to Starbase." YouTube preceded it with an ad about the dangers of methane as a greenhouse gas.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  28. #12238
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    The national BBC television news took to calling vaccinations "jabs" at the start of the Current Unpleasantness. It's a common enough word for an injection, at least in England.
    I was amused today to hear a BBC medical correspondent refer to the nasal-spray flu vaccine used in children as "the nasal jab". She seems to have lost track of the meaning of "jab", and I don't imagine she reassured many of the schoolkids who were watching.

    Grant Hutchison
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  29. #12239
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    I was amused by this infographic on the original Star Trek series. It has things like how many crew died, broken down by uniform color, number of nerve pinches and vulcan salutes, number of times the ship was captured, etc.

    Apparently this was originally done by another person who sat down and watched the show through specifically to record these details, and enhanced a bit here, also it is easier to link to at this site. I just wouldn’t have that dedication to spend the time to record such trivia but it’s nice somebody did.

    The infographic:
    http://robslink.com/SAS/democd93/sta...nfographic.htm

    from this blog page:

    https://blogs.sas.com/content/sastra...s-infographic/

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  30. #12240
    The other day at the auction there was a crib board in the shape of a guitar which reminded my of Mothers boyfriend who died years ago because he played crib and the guitar. During the auction I was busy and forgot about it.
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