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“Abandoned to violence” – Ottawa People’s Commission first report

Posted February 3, 2023 by Anonymous

The Public Order Emergency Commission report is due this month, but already we have an initial report from the Ottawa People’s Commission — a community initiative set up last June when it looked like official Ottawa just wanted to deep-six the whole m…

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Today’s News: “In the Covid era, the vulnerable die earlier, the remaining become vulnerable earlier”

Posted January 31, 2023 by Anonymous

I’ve been noticing and collecting a variety of recent posts and tweets about Covid and our situation these days, and the challenges we will be facing in 2023.

This pretty well sums it up, really:

And as for the continuing political implications:

Yes indeed:

But wait, there’s more….

In Stat, Helen Branswell writes a good article about the “scariants” – XB what? BQ huh? Do you need to keep up with Omicron’s ever-expanding offspring?:

When people start to develop immunity to a virus, it must evolve to be able to continue to infect people. Three years into our coexistence with SARS-2, most people on the planet have either been infected (in some cases several times) or vaccinated (in some cases multiple times) or some combination of the two. The virus must employ new tricks to get around our mounting defenses.
“It is important to explain that variants will continue to emerge as the very survival of the virus depends on it,” Pollard explained. “We can expect new variants for the rest of our collective lifetimes, but we might anticipate less frequent waves in the future as immunity across the population continues to build.”

Others are not so sanquine about the virus evolution:

In The Tyee, Andrew Nikiforuk writes We Now Face An Army of Covid Viruses — a useful article to read in full, but here is a summary of his points:

Here are six observations on viral evolution and how it may shape our lives in this, the fourth year of the pandemic. 

1. One virus has become many…
2. The new COVID soup is a unique experiment in evolution…
3. What were viral peaks are now a constant rising sea of infections with high and low tides…
4. One pandemic has morphed into regional epidemics…
5. Reinfections rarely happened. Now they are commonplace…
6. We can do more to blunt the evolutionary threat of COVID subvariants…
Here is a useful tweet thread summary of the current situation — I am copying some of the most significant tweets in this thread:

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Some recent comments on Covid epidemiology:

Here are some comments about Long Covid:

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Long Covid now seems to be called Covid DECATI – Delayed Effect Cardiovascular And Thrombotic Injury:

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Finally, some new statistics on excess deaths.

Stats Canada recently released some info about Canada’s excess deaths over the last three years — more than 50,000 extra from January 2020 to October 2022, mostly due to Covid and its damage to our health, but also due to drug overdoses. 

Stats Canada says:

There is evidence of excess mortality when weekly deaths are consistently higher than the expected number, but especially when they exceed the range of what is expected over several consecutive weeks.
Provisional data show there were an estimated 53,741 excess deaths in Canada from the end of March 2020 to the end of August 2022, 7.6% more deaths than expected had there not been a pandemic. During this period, at least 42,215 deaths were directly attributed to COVID-19.

The worst times in Canada for excess deaths were January/ February 2022 in Ontario and Quebec, and  mid-April/ mid-May 2022 in Alberta and BC. 

Though Canada’s 7.6 percent excess death percentage seems high to me, England is reporting even worse percentages:

Finally, an interesting thread on Covid in the workforce:

Tern gets the last word:

UPDATE: Just saw this one, about booster shots:

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Today’s Great Stuff

Posted January 29, 2023 by Anonymous

Here are some of the funny tweets and stories I have seen over the last couple of weeks: I am so tired of living like it’s the 1600s. Can I afford eggs at the market? Are my friends gonna die in the plague? Puritans coming for my sinful lifestyle. I wa…

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Today’s Scene: Enshittification

Posted January 27, 2023 by Anonymous

I used to title these posts “From the Substacks” but good commentary is not just Substacks these days, its Medium and Patreon and blogs and opinion pieces from all over. So I will call these posts Today’s Scene – a collection of observations and o…

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And whoosh! The McGonigal spy story is gone!

Posted January 25, 2023 by Anonymous

Was there ever a conspiracy theory more bizarre, more crazy, than believing that Russia was behind Trump’s unexpected 2016 election victory? But just because something sounds crazy doesn’t mean it isn’t true. For years now, I have believed so…

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Funny stuff

Posted January 22, 2023 by Anonymous

First, a few recent cartoons:

Next, here are some fascinating accounts to follow:

(If you can’t remember the details about the “half a giraffe” asteroid measurement, its at the end of this post from March – Today’s News: The end of the beginning?)

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Today’s News: Another one gone

Posted January 20, 2023 by Anonymous

One of our growth industries these days is baby boomer deaths — today, it was David Crosby:  “If you’re sad today, just remember the world is over 4 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Crosby.”HT: @simonp…

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Ukraine update – Bob Rae: “To base decisions on fear would be devastating for democracy”

Posted January 18, 2023 by Anonymous

I’m doing a Ukraine update every two or three weeks now – my last one was Dec 28, when I talked about the resilience and courage of the Ukraine people.Tonight’s update covers the recent events in Dnipro, as well as analyst expectations for the future -…

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I’m so tired of Teh Stupid!

Posted January 16, 2023 by Anonymous

 The question asked by nations around the world in 2016 was “Why is US politics so stupid?” because America’s idiotic Electoral College system allowed Trump to become president even though he did not win the popular vote. Now nations will aga…

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What a week!

Posted January 14, 2023 by Anonymous

 Sad news from all over today: Jeff Beck, Robbie Bachman, Lisa Marie Presley … gone. ☹️Life is fragile folks. pic.twitter.com/XJ7FVj7pJu— Larry Updike (@LarryUpdike) January 13, 2023 In other news, one has to wonder how incredibly stupid will th…

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Some things to think about, when you have a minute…

Posted January 12, 2023 by Anonymous

Here are some predictions for 2023 from Visual Capitalist Here’s something else to ponder: Andrew Wyeth, Fence Line ,1967,watercolor on paper21.9 x 30″”I prefer winter & fall,when you feel the bone structure of the landscape-the loneliness of it,t…

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Some neat stuff

Posted January 9, 2023 by Anonymous

And here’s some more neat stuff.  First, some great articles — – From the New York Times, a 2023 Astronomy and Space Calendar that you can add to your Google calendar, plus an article about how the Calendar was developed. Here is the tw…

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Finally the crazy is over!

Posted January 7, 2023 by Anonymous

Yeah, sure. I spent the evening watching the US House of Representatives try to elect a Speaker. Finally, they did. Just barely. A head of lettuce— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) January 7, 2023 And this was  fun moment, wasn’t it: Picture is…

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Today’s News: Update on Covid

Posted January 5, 2023 by Anonymous

I haven’t posted much about the Covid news lately, but I have been gathering together some of the articles and tweets that seem to summarize the most helpful advice right now. TL,DR: wear a mask, damn it!Above is a New York Times chart that summarizes…

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Animal crackers

Posted January 3, 2023 by Anonymous

“I had dozens of utterly bizarre experiences that were also Perfectly Normal. This is because the human condition is vast and also Very f*ck*ng Weird.” (cc: @PaulDechene) #PublicTransport https://t.co/evb0ELqgEr— Schmutzie 🦉 (@schmutzie) January 1, 202…

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Happy New Year!

Posted January 1, 2023 by Anonymous

✏️ As drawn by @AnnTelnaes: Hoping for a better year ahead https://t.co/3Rqp9s3sjf pic.twitter.com/DhESNz78dh— Washington Post Opinions (@PostOpinions) December 31, 2022 To bring in the new year, I have gathered some of the funnier posts I saw over the…

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It’s another edition of “Christ, What An Asshole!”

Posted December 30, 2022 by Anonymous

So one the dude-bros that Musk let back onto Twitter in November was the “social media personality” and wealthy kickboxer Andrew Tate – and it didn’t take long before Tate indulged himself in needless, gratituous, misogynistic insults: Hello @GretaThu…

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Keeping up with the Ukraine War

Posted December 28, 2022 by Anonymous

The resilience and courage of the Ukraine people is one of the most inspirational events our society has ever seen. This New York Times photo essay Ukraine Under Attack: Images from the Russian Invasion shows what Ukrainians have had to …

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Some amazing Christmas stories

Posted December 26, 2022 by Anonymous

For millions of people in Canada and in the US, it has been an awful Christmas – terrible weather, monster storms, no power, cancelled flights, people stuck in transit. Dozens of people have died. The only uplifting aspect in this situation is the…

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Best Christmas TV ads

Posted December 23, 2022 by Anonymous

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! — or at least, its the time when companies actually put some thought into their television ads, and when ad companies do their best work too. Here are some this year that I liked.John Lewis & Partners is k…

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How ya gonna keep ’em in Paree after they’ve been down on the farm?

Posted December 21, 2022 by Anonymous

 One of the lasting impacts of the pandemic, I think, will be the destruction of the “downtown office” concept as an organizing principle for cities. Historically, it has always taken wars to get North Americans to travel — the Civil War was…

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Today’s News: The Beginning of the End?

Posted December 20, 2022 by Anonymous

Three stories tonight seem to have the same theme — that it may be the beginning of the end for Pierre Poilievre, for Elon Musk and for Donald Trump. First, for Pierre Poilievre: Evan Scrimshaw analyzes the Angus Reid poll tonight, comparing…

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Today’s News: Twitter, We Hardly Knew Ye

Posted December 17, 2022 by Anonymous

 The chaos on Twitter continues — but I am now thinking it is forcing us to think about social media in a new way.  I am seeing a number of thoughtful posts lately and here are some good ones. This is a great summary from Ryan Broderi…

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From the Substacks – Ukraine, Carol of the Bells, Emergencies Act, Musk, & Academia

Posted December 14, 2022 by Anonymous

This may take you a minute but just wait, you’ll get it soon:We are starting to get into the “end of the year” takes where people are summarizing what happened this year and what it all means. First up, a very useful summary from Timothy Snyder’s …

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Today’s News: “Boo-urns” is trending

Posted December 12, 2022 by Anonymous

I think I should post this before all these tweets get deleted. And to begin, can I just say “Christ, what an asshole!” Here is how it started with Elon Musk yesterday: Truth resonates …— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 12, 2022 And here …

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