Rose At Dusk

With all of the New York City Ebola-related madness, here’s a quiet image for you (observed on 16th Street, Northwest D.C.):

Night time rose

And a closeup:

Night time rose

Posted in DC, Plasmids | Leave a comment

It’s Not Treason When They Do It

I realize the Secret Service is having a tough time of things lately, but this seems worthy of a personal visit (boldface mine):

In a Facebook post last week, Jefferson County Recorder of Deeds Debbie Dunnegan referred to Obama as “our domestic enemy,” according to a screenshot published by Progress Missouri.

“I have a question for all my friends who have served or are currently serving in our military … having not put on a uniform nor taken any type military oath, there has to be something that I am just not aware of. But I cannot and do not understand why no action is being taken against our domestic enemy. I know he is supposedly the commander in chief, but the constitution gives you the authority,” she wrote in the post. “What am I missing? Thank you for your bravery and may God keep you safe.”

Didn’t know the U.S. military had an electoral veto, though, given our predilection for leaving bodies in the street, the notion that we are a republic of laws, not a satrapy, does seem to be a bit worn.

Constitutional ignorance notwithstanding, it’s worth noting that she is not only a Republican but an elected official–and she called for the armed overthrow of a legally-elected president.

This, not the ‘reformicons’ that inhabit the delicate environs of Washington think tanks, is the heart-and-soul of the Republican Party and the conservative movement.

It would appear that even treason is not beyond them.

Posted in Conservatives | 2 Comments

Links 10/23/14

Links for you. Science:

Congressional Ebola debate invokes PLOS paper
Ebola Is Coming. A Travel Ban Won’t Stop Outbreaks
In setback for Ebola vaccine, company says work will take longer than hoped
Jack the Ripper: Scientists who claims to have identified notorious killer has ‘made serious DNA error’ (will the publisher pull the book?)
US hospitals prepare for flood of patients who mistake flu for Ebola

Other:

Probe of silencers leads to web of Pentagon secrets
When Planning for Retirement, Consider Transportation
My Childhood Friend, the ISIS Jihadist
Maine school board puts teacher on leave after she traveled to Dallas (the insanity that will ensue once norovirus and influenza seasons begin is mindboggling)
What really undid the Berlin Wall
Your media guide to the differences between #Ferguson and #pumpkinfest (degeneratesuburban‘ culture in action; also, when will prominent white leaders be called to account for #pumpkinfest?)
The Civic Minimum
A farewell to paws (Loukanikos, the Greek Freedom dog, is dead. Long live Loukanikos).
Whites riot over pumpkins in NH and Twitter turns it into epic lesson about Ferguson
Can’t we all just get along?
Ancient Siberian Mummy Had Breast Cancer and Self-Medicated with Marijuana
How Companies Kill Their Employees’ Job Searches
The role of influence
Breaking Up Fortunes

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The Question That Needs to Be Asked of the Ebola Fear Mongers

It is this:

Have your had your flu shot?

Between norovirus and winter vomiting disease, we’re going to have a lot of false alarms, if the hysterical reaction to Ebola right now is any guide. The fewer people coming down with influenza, the less stress on our emergency rooms. So these bozos need to get their flu shots.

While we’re on the subject of assholes, how many of these ninnies do you think go to work still sick but on the mend and tell everyone, “I’m not contagious.” How the fuck do they know?

Posted in Fucking Morons, Influenza, Viruses | 1 Comment

Ebola and the Trauma of TV

In a recent column, David Brooks made a good point…

[throws up in mouth, rinses with water]

In a recent column, David Brooks mad a good point [cough, cough] about the role the constant news cycle plays in stoking fear and anguish over the Ebola epidemic:

Third, you’ve got the culture of instant news. It’s a weird phenomenon of the media age that, except in extreme circumstances, it is a lot scarier to follow an event on TV than it is to actually be there covering it. When you’re watching on TV, you only see the death and mayhem. But when you’re actually there, you see the broader context of everyday life going on alongside. Studies of the Boston Marathon bombing found that people who consumed a lot of news media during the first week suffered more stress than people who were actually there.

As someone who was out on Boylston Street very shortly after the second bomb at the Boston Marathon bombings went off, this jibes with my personal experience: having seen the carnage in person*, I decided not to watch news reports about the bombings (trust me, the video didn’t tell the half of it). While I was discombobulated for a couple of days (in part, because the FBI wouldn’t let my neighbors and me back into our homes, even as they allowed the first story restaurant in my building to operate on Tuesday–but that’s a separate story), I really didn’t seem to be screwed up about it as a lot of people who weren’t even there. I’m not going to tell people how they should or shouldn’t feel, but that intuitively felt a little odd.

Fortunately, we have science for when our intuition falters (boldface mine):

The relevance of indirect media exposure became apparent again after last April’s Boston marathon. In the days following the marathon bombings, my University of California, Irvine colleagues and I decided to replicate our 9/11 study and examine the impact of media exposure to the Boston Marathon bombings. We sought to look at all types of media: how much TV people watched, their exposure to disaster-related radio, print, and online news, and their use of social media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Vimeo in the week following the bombings. We were especially interested in responses to social media coverage. Unlike traditional media that warn us about the gruesome nature of an image before showing it to us, social media typically display such images without warning.

We also wanted to compare responses to direct vs. indirect media exposure to the bombings—were these different ways of being “exposed” tied to more or less acute stress?

Two weeks after the bombings, we launched another web-based study with more than 4,600 people from all over the country—including nearly 850 people who were in Boston on the day of the bombing. As we expected, both direct exposure and indirect media exposure were linked to acute stress symptoms. However, the people who consumed lots of bombing-related media in the week after the bombings (six or more hours per day) were six times more likely to report high acute stress than those who were at the Boston Marathon. That is, indirect media exposure was associated with a wider range of acute stress-related symptoms—flashbacks, feeling anxious, wanting to avoid reminders of the bombings, etc.—than direct exposure to the bombings. Even when we took into account pre-existing mental illness or TV-watching habits that might draw people into media coverage, our findings did not change (Holman, Garfin, Silver, 2014).

The best thing that could happen to this country would be for all of the cable ‘news’ outlets to go under. Sure, there might be a persona or two you like (I’m guessing some readers are partial to Maddow or Hayes), but any benefits are vastly outweighed by the costs.

*And I didn’t get all of other people’s blood off of me and my clothes until about 24 hours later. Boring, if sad, story there. Suffice it to say, no good deed goes unpunished.

Posted in Boston, News Media | Leave a comment

Links 10/22/14

Links for you. Science:

Doing Diligence to Assess the Risks and Benefits of Life Sciences Gain-of-Function Research
In The Ebola Fight, A Defense Of Embattled CDC Chief Thomas Frieden (worth noting that if Texas Presbyterian hadn’t fucked up, we wouldn’t be having this discussion)
Budget cuts hurt USA’s ability to prepare for Ebola
An Ebola ‘Czar’ Won’t Stop Ebola. But What Can He Do? Czars and travel bans won’t prevent another Ebola case in the U.S.
If Airport Ebola Screening Makes You Feel Safer, You Should Know What Workers Are Saying (if we don’t protect all of the people who are the first points of contact, then we are not ‘bioprepared’)

Other:

The Making of Ferguson: Long before the shooting of Michael Brown, official racial-isolation policies primed Ferguson for this summer’s events. (long, but very good)
The many reasons millennials are shunning cars (another reason: driving is an awful experience today)
Riots Hit Kiev, Neofascists Hold Torch-Lit March In Ukraine
Alice Walton, The Villain (by the fruits of your labor, do they prosper)
Is This the Single Most Important Statistic About Millennials?
William Gibson Has No Idea How the Future Will See Us (I’m guessing ‘incredibly violent is somewhere on the list)
The Racist Housing Policies That Built Ferguson: The geography of America would be unrecognizable today without the race-based social engineering of the mid-20th century.
Syracuse University bravely saves students from exposure to journalism
Freezing Eggs Is an Extreme Example of How We’ve Privatized the Work/Family Clash
Midtermia
11 People Who Should Really Shut Up About Ebola
Grooming Students for A Lifetime of Surveillance (a little tin-foily in tone, but parents would be shocked to realize how much monitoring of their children’s habits goes on)
The GOP’s Dangerous Demagoguery on Ebola

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Louise Hand Laundry

Observed on 12th Street, between O and P, Logan Circle, D.C.:

Laundry house

You can read more about the history of the building here and here.

Posted in Architecture, DC | Leave a comment