Reread #Vollmann’s Whores for Gloria:
Nobody else has ever made the Tenderloin seem so tender.
Changed car battery in Corolla… and then got locked out by an RFID engine immobilizer and previously unknown alarm system becoming activated after 6 years of stealth. Spent basically half a day figuring out how to hack the damn RFID key sequence to override the engine lockout, and how to pair and clone the damn remote FOBs to override the alarm. As a result, I now know how to boost, erase, and reprogram keyless entry Toyotas (among others). A productive day.
One thing I rarely see addressed even in the most pedestrian near-future novels will be the sad, extreme lack of nice sandy beaches in our immediate future. Even before the global sea level rise, we were already seeing beaches receding widely because we have interrupted the natural flow of eroded particles from the interior to the coast. Some of the oldest beaches are around 5,000 years old (dating from after the last extreme phase of ocean level rise) and would take minor geological timescales to re-establish naturally. Together with the rapid destruction of coral, within a couple of centuries, except for stinky river deltas, the only sandy beaches could likely be small enclaves created only through expensive, limited engineering. And much of the coastline could itself be a toxic mess due to the rising sea levels overwhelming and eroding all the waste storage buildings/vats/lagoons.
So all those seaside novels? Anything where ordinary people casually promenade along a seaside? Could become historical fiction as alien to our descendents as tales of balmy Hyperboreans.
First suspected Ebola case dies in quarantine in Nigeria after collapsing in the Lagos *International* Airport. On the bright side, as is common with many highly lethal crowd diseases, this strain of Ebola seems to be evolving towards less lethality. Current mortality is now “only” 60%, vs 90+% for smaller outbreaks in the 1970s.
On call last night in ED (A&E for non-US readers!). People wonder how US healthcare costs can be so ridiculously high wrt OECD averages, yet the average health outcomes of the population can be so shockingly poor wrt other OECD countries. Here are some of the actual “Chief Complaints” as recorded by triage nurses:
Pt found naked at a porn store after being down for an unknown time, arrives with blood around perioral area.
Unbearable torture since 12/25/2013. Reports weakness and insomnia for past 49 months.
Pt states she got mad her parents would not let her go out.
Cuticles are painful. Per Pt: I bought a new soap but I’m afraid to use it. My fingers are getting puffy.
Upon arrival they were met by a 16-year-old male, covered in blood, who refused to let them in, resisting their efforts to open the gate with “superhuman strength” and later becoming combative … the teen’s 18-year-old girlfriend was also combative with emergency responders, and both of them spit blood into the faces of the firefighters … The officers gained control of the scene and emergency workers were able to begin assisting the teen suffering from a seizure, possibly brought on by a bad LSD episode. Inside, the deputies discovered eight partygoers, many covered in blood.
My balls! The Stupidity!
“You have 100 million viruses sprayed up the nose, along with other things like MSG (monosodium glutamate) and sugar, which causes inflammation … Someone who gets vaccinated could say, ‘Well the flu didn’t kill me.’ But when you’re sitting there with Alzheimer’s, ALS, MS or you’re watching your kid develop seizures or become autistic you’re going to kick yourself in the butt for allowing your child or you yourself receiving it.”
Conveniently, Mr Handler’s LinkedIn page lists him as an employee of the “Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation”, where Dr Harper is a board member. PPNF is an organisation based on extrapolating dietary preferences of cats to human health (ie, raw meat and raw dairy with lots of saturated fat is optimally healthy) and advocates mainly for increasing dietary meat consumption. It also occasionally publishes “scholarly” books pimping Focal Infection Theory, an ancient “just so” medical theory largely discredited by the mid-part of the last century and enjoying a modern popularity really only with homeopathic and naturopathic fakirs. Focal Infection Theory also led to some horrific surgical abuses during the darkest years of early biological psychiatry.