The Widdershins

Mid-Week Palate Cleanser

Posted on: April 20, 2022

Hello Shinners! It’s been a while since we did anything light and fluffy, and boy, do we need and deserve it.

Let’s have some fun! Since it’s spring, I’m in full birding mode. Here are some of the amazing birds we’ve been seeing in our back yard and in the nearby park.

Hooded Oriole – this beauty drinks nectar, and his beak is skinny enough to insert into the holes in our “flying saucer” hummingbird feeder. We see him perched on it almost every day.

Western Bluebird – We think we have two pairs of these in our yard. The male’s deep blue and rusty breast are extremely striking.

Northern Mockingbird – This bird’s song is the real star of the show. The variety is mindboggling!

Black Phoebe – This is a really pretty black and white bird with a crested head. We see them flying around the creek in our neighborhood park.

Open thread – let the fun, fur and feathers fly!

141 Responses to "Mid-Week Palate Cleanser"

A mental health break is a very good idea! Beautiful birds – I especially like the Western Bluebird. And I googled the Northern Mockingbird, just to hear them sing. 🙂

@2 You know they’re talking about banning rainbow stickers from elementary schools… Rigatoni says, “Not so fast!”.

No more rainbow stickers
No more math
No more Mickey and Pluto “Getting Goofy” (unless you have Cinemax)

PJ, we always knew Florida was different, but it’s on a new level now.

Love the bird post, MB! What beautiful birds you have.

DYB @3, great tweet.

PJ@6, Oh for godsake!

It is a dream of mine to ride the Orient Express some day.

That Rigatoni! What a splendid doggie. And D, that looks amazing. I don’t blame you for wanting to ride on that lovely train!

@9 Whoa… that’s too cool, DYB. I hope you get that ride.

DYB, me too! I’ve wanted to ride on it since I read the Agatha Christie book in my teens. I love trains, planes and boats.

I love a fun thread, all this war, pandemic and enless downers make me want to hide.
You have beautiful birds in your yard MB, send some over to my area. I have only seen finches, and cute baby finches, a pretty woodpecker that I yell at and say, “Hay Woodie, stop that noise!” Also some plain looking little grayish bird with a pointy head. Oh yeah, some finches that have a strange sound.

But I do have a family of Peregrine Falcons at UC Berkeley’s tower. I have a new little monitor just to watch them when every I use my computer. They are on three web cams and in the middle of incubating 3 new eggs. The father Falcon, Grinnell died a few weeks ago and I miss him dearly. A new male has proven himself to mama Annie since Ginnell’s death. He sits on the eggs when ever Annie needs a brake and wants to fly, this new falcon has an injured leg and walks with a limp, but he is so good to Annie that everyone is starting to fall in love with him. He finally got a new name 2 days ago, over 3500 voted for one of their favorites. His new name is Alden, there is a story behind it, but I was voting for ‘Archie’.
Here’s a photo of the step dad on Easter Sunday:

@13 – my birds can come visit you any time! Just dump a ton of seed on your deck or in your yard and they’ll be right over. 🙂 BTW, that plain little bird with the pointy head is an Oak Titmouse. It’s a very shy bird that is quite adorable, with big googly eyes.

I’m glad to hear that Alden is treating Annie well. Grinnell must have been a hard act to follow!

MB, sorry I had a boatload of typos to get through in my post. I do that when I am excited and forgot to double check before I quickly hit the ‘send’ button.
Thanks for letting me know what a little Oak Titmouse is, I looked it up and see he is really cute. My bird feeder is right on my patio in front of a sliding glass door. Most of the birds fly away when I try to watch them close enough to see them in detail, so now I know what he looks like up close.

Speaking of birdseed, I am having a time trying to get the seeds most of the birds like. Our birds hate corn chips, so I pick those out and throw them away, they like sunflower seeds, (they make a mess), did get some without shells, but those are for ‘special occasions’, then there’s the little seeds, only the babies and a few birds like it. What do you use?

Grinnell was wonderful and he would look straight into the camera with big black eyes, as if waiting for an answer to one of his bird questions, it was the perfect time to talk to him, as if he was listening.

This new male looks a lot like Grinnell but there is something immature and goofy about him, in a cute way. When he is around Annie, he softly chatters to her, endlessly, until she just raises her voice to him a little, as if to say, “Enough with the small talk, I have things to do.”

The bird ornithologists at Berkeley are wonderful in taking this opportunity to teach the public about these beautiful birds, they also have a good sense of humor as the photo shows a yellow Peeps at Alden’s feet.

Love hearing the falcon updates, Shadow. The birds in my backyard sound similar to yours, and they like shelled sunflower seeds the best.

Thanks Annie, I’m glad you enjoy the updates and don’t find them boring.

Yes, shelled sunflower seeds are pretty posh, in bird worlds.

Are CA birds just spoiled and the other seeds are only eaten by birds surviving in cold areas were nothing grows in the winter?

@12 annie, I’ve always loved trains. Back in the USSR several summers we took the train (overnight) from Kyiv to Sevastopol in Crimea for a summer vacation. It was a “closed” city because of the navy there, but if you had relatives, you could get special permission to visit. We had some distant aunt who let us come and stay with her. They were wonderful summers there, the Black Sea was amazing. And I loved loved loved the overnight trains.

Shadow, I’m afraid we spoil our birds rotten. I give full credit to my hubby for building a really nice space for them so they come to our back deck and stay!

We have two big bird feeders for the gold finches and vireos. We have both Lesser and American gold finches. We fill those with Nyger seed, the skinny black seed those little finches like. Then, we get a couple of different mixes from Safeway. We alternate between the shelled and unshelled sunflower seeds. The scrub jays we get like to crack the seeds on our plant stand, which is really fun to watch.

MB thanks for letting me know what you feed your birds. I am ordering Nyger seeds now.

I mainly have finches, some morning doves that help clean up the seeds that land on my patio and some weird little dark bird that wiggles his tail in a neurotic way and has a weird song.
As you can tell, I am no expert on bird identification.

Putin had a meeting with his secretary of defense Shoigu today. It was broadcast. It was all blah blah blah. The important part is the broadcast lasted about 15 mins – and Putin did not move his body an inch. He hands were clasping the desk for all of 15 mins. His torso did not move, his legs did not move. He is clearly physically not well.

D – I’ve heard the same thing. Maybe someone is slowly poisoning him…


That’s too creepy to think it’s a joke.

Is there really still an Orient Express? I’d love to take a trip on it too!

@22 DYB, that is one weird clip. Shoigu doesn’t move much either, but he’s not the one talking. I heard somewhere that it’s almost impossible to talk without moving your hands at least somewhat. Maybe that’s why he has the table in a death grip?

He could have something like Parkinson and doesn’t want people to see him shake?

@27 – one of the videos from a couple of weeks ago showed him standing very stiffly and when he moved his hand, he shook.

This guy showed up in my yard this morning!

MB, Woody showed up in your yard today, wearing his most patriotic feathers? Pretty.

My best friend was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s about a year ago, a few months later she got much worse and they finally diagnosed her with ALS.
It’s terrible, I hope Putin ends up with ALS, it shouldn’t be just that the good people get it.

Can’t get much detail from that video. He may have a tremor in his upper extremities — R fingers move irregularly. Posture is odd — looks like he has no neck. Position of L arm seems odd also, and where is L forearm & hand? From his overall body tone I’d be more inclined to guess at stroke, but this video is too short and doesn’t have enough detail to judge with any certainty.

@28, MB, that is one handsome bird!

@30, ALS? I’m so sorry. That’s a hideous disease.

Biden addresses the McCarthy tapes. Comes out swinging in that old timey way he has.

There’s also the woman in for five years in Texas, either for trying to register or for thinking she could vote. All these travesties are just hideous.

This is….really breathtaking. It’s why Biden had to ask retired Secret Service agents to rejoin the agency to protect him.

Did you see the newly revealed photos of Madison Cawthorn in a lingerie with big ear hoops?

DYB – he’d better not do Madge like that!

Madison Cawthorn is such a cliche. A homophobic cross dressing Rethug! Who could have suspected…

Meanwhile, this guy is running against the Wicked Witch of the South. I do wish I could vote for him!

Speaking of Cawthorn…hahahahaha

33 Thanks Luna, it’s breaking my heart.
She is smart, funny and one of the kindest women I have ever known.

MB @28, we get those down here also. Very striking.

Love the “Perjury Taylor Greene” nickname.

I’ve always thought Pence was playing a nightmare-level game of musical chairs. He would have kept on toadying to Trump if he guessed Trump could win, but as time went by that looked unlikely. Add to that: at some point even Pence figured out that he was one of the possible sacrificial goats so that the Dump could declare martial law or a state of emergency or some damn thing. I’ve always thought that it was those things which decided him to bet on the non-trumpy horse. I just can’t picture him as doing the right thing. Ever. In any context.

But I also thought the Dump was too senilely demented to knit two thoughts together, only to find out he was planning coups with the worst of them.

So I could easily be wrong.

Thanks, Annie!

Quixote – I agree. Pence is not a “do the right thing” kind of guy. If Beata were her she would vehemently agree.

But news from the J6 committee’s filing in Mark Meadows’ civil suit against that committee.

Finnish people are thinking joining NATO will happen.

Pence really wanted to join the coup. Remember he called Dan Quayle for input. I doubt he was calling around to ask for advice on how to stop Trump. He was looking for someone to give him permission. Because is a coward. Once Quayle – and whoever else he may have called – told him that nothing could justify it, Pence did the bare minimum. He didn’t expose Trump, he didn’t publicly break with Trump. He just followed the letter of the law, likely because he feared they would fail. Pence didn’t fear they would succeed, he feared they would fail because the law was not on their side. If Pence got permission from people like Quayle, he would have done it.

Of course, history is littered with people who decide to just throw caution to the wind and go with the strongest wind in the room. Pence could have just gone along with Trump and see how things turn out. But there were others in the circle, like people in DOJ that were refusing to play along (except for Clark.) So Pence knew there were forces inside opposing Trump.

If Pence actually believed in democracy, he would have exposed Trump’s actions, he would have gone public with the conspiracy he was seeing around him, and he would have condemned Trump. But he did not. In fact, Pence continues to suck up to Trump.

Q, I don’t think you’re wrong about Pence being a coward and not doing things because it’s the right thing to do for America. If his mommy said for him to not certify the votes, he would have marched to her orders.

I also think Pence may have gotten some feedback from Rethugs that hated Dump, that he would have a chance of running for Pres. in 2024 if he broke away from the cursed Dumper. One person that has spoken out strongly who might fit into this position is Kelly Ann Conartist’s husband.

@47 – that’s how I remember it. I’m not sure he necessarily wanted to join the coup, so much as he didn’t want to stand up to Drumpf. But when he found out he couldn’t go along lawfully, he decided not to enable the coup to succeed. Unlike Rudy and Bannon and so many other cronies who couldn’t give a rat’s ass about lawbreaking.

My best friend died yesterday, she is the person I mentioned that had ALS.

Oh no, Shadow. So sad to hear that. Even expected passings are always still a shock. Too overwhelmingly final. Holding your spiritual hand from a huge distance.

Shadow, very sorry that your friend died. ALS is an awful disease.

I’m also sorry about your friend, Shadow.

One of my grandmothers had a slow, hard death (major stroke late in life). One of my aunts was saying that if you pay now, you don’t have to pay later. You get to skip purgatory. Just a Catholic trying to make sense of something senseless – but it helped her get through it. I think it’s as hard for the people around them as it is for the person going through it. At least that was true in my grandmother’s case.

@51 – I’m so sorry for your loss, Shadow.

Phew! Macron defeated Le Pen. That could have been disastrous.

Thanks everyone. I am burying myself in art to keep from crying 24/7.

Oh Shadow, I am so sorry to hear this. Don’t know which is worse — sudden death or knowing that it’s coming closer day by day. May her memory be for a blessing.

@54 PJ. That is so tough.

It was, quixote – but thank you. (hearts)

Yes, PJ and Shadow – big hugs to you both!

It looks like Elon Musk is going to buy Twitter. I’ll drop off as soon as that happens.

I hope a lot of people drop out. I hope the bottom drops out and Musk falls in it. I guess that means Trump will be back? Shitter Twitter again. Yay.

I’m curious to see who is going to win the GOP senate primary in PA. Pompeo (and probably McTurtle) support McCormick and Dump has endorsed the Wizard of Oz. We’ll get to see how Dump’s mojo is doing.

I still think that Trump will run again – he can’t live without the rallies and he can’t give up the MAGAt money gravy train. Plus the whole insatiable need to be the center of media attention. The Republican Establishment doesn’t want him. They want a wolf in sheep’s clothing (a Youngkin-type), not a wolf in wolf’s clothing. If Trump runs and loses, he’ll claim it was rigged (of course) and then maybe he’ll make good on his 2016 threat and run as an Independent (remember those GOP loyalty pledges?). That way, he can keep the party going (rallies, money and media attention) while destroying the Party that rejected him. The true dumpers will go with him.

A girl can dream.

I hope you’re right, MB!!

Shadow, just saw the message about your friend. So sorry to hear that!! 😦

It’s official, Musk has bought Twitter. Interesting to see if anything happens as he takes over. He says he wants to verify every person, which is fine, but I’m NOT providing any of my personal info beyond what they already have. That’s just a data grab, which they will then sell.

Let’s also see if he brings Trump back, and other accounts that have been shut down.

For now I’m keeping my account to see what happens.

DYB @71, I also wondered if this whole thing is a data grab. I’m also waiting to see what happens but will likely leave it pretty soon. I’m seeing on twitter that a lot of people are moving to another site . . . social something that is run by that Jester guy. It had so many people sign up for it today, it crashed.

@68: you incurable optimist, you!

Seriously though, even I think it’s not out of the question if anybody ever gets their act together and stops hoping Somebody Else™ will deal with that reeking dayglo garbage pile. And the Jester guy is apparently a fan of George Zimmerman. :thinking face: I wonder how much control he has. I remember his handle from way back (late aughts?) and vaguely remember him being just a regular left-leaning yahoo. Anyway, be nice to know a bit more about that ecosystem.

Q – it’s more realistic to assume that one of the myriad lawsuits and investigations will bring him down, than it is to assume that somehow he will dodge every single one. He is a complete moron who has only escaped prison through graft and corruption. He doesn’t have access to those levers anymore.

Today is Ella Fitzgerald’s birthday.

Lady Ella! Sweet.

Nicolle Wallace had Igor Novikov (he’s been on MSNBC several times. I really like him) on her show today and he was talking about how backwards the Russian soldiers are which has been revealed by how they have behaved going into Ukrainian houses. Like he showed a picture of an Italian bottle of olive oil with two drinking glasses – the Russians thought it was liquor. They’ve been stealing toilets (they don’t have toilets back home?). They built wood fires to cook their food because they didn’t know how to work the stoves. It makes you wonder just how bad the living conditions are for a lot of Russians. I’m sure Putin loves them. Just like Trump loves “the poorly educated”.

I guess Trump is too good for Twitter now. He said he’s staying with Trothe Truth Sential (Rachel Maddow had a lot of fun with that). LOL

@78. Officially (don’t know if this is still the official line) Putin isn’t sending conscripts to the front. Well, the only way you’d voluntarily sign up for the Russian military meatgrinder is if you had no other alternatives. So they may be cooking over a wood fire at home, for all we know.

Plus, try to deal with modern kitchen appliances! I had to buy a new stove for the first time in forever, it’s an electric house, so I got this induction thingie. For the first month, I was pulling out the (badly written!) manual *all the time*. Eventually I got good enough at two or three basic and totally counterintuitive functions not to starve to death, but a year later I was still, still!, looking up how to set the time on the blithering oven clock. I don’t know how advanced the Ukrainian kitchen was that stymied the Russians, but in my case I actually began thinking about starting a fire pit!

@76, mb, not sure you can assume that he no longer has access to levers of blackmail. That new NY DA who quick dropped the case against him? Beyond fishy. Plenty of Repubs, eg McCarthy, seem to go much further out on illegal limbs for him than seems likely if the only thing they’re scared of is being primaried.

Of course, they might be bigger cowards than I can imagine.

@80 That’s hilarious, quixote. 🙂

81 – He is no longer President with Bill Barr blocking all the legal avenues to take him down. That’s what I’m talking about.

I don’t know about blackmail – you’re right, he could be doing that, or, the QOP could have aligned with him for other reasons. But unless he can blackmail the DOJ, and the state of GA, and Tish James, etc., he is going to prison.

My guess is after the public hearings of the J6 Committee in May/June, we will see a very different political landscape than we do today. It sounds like they have the goods on a lot of QOP Congresscritters as well as Drumpf and his corrupt cronies. If MTG is ruled to be ineligible to be in Congress because of her treason, that will be another factor to consider.

Happy birthday to Ella! One of my favorite singers of all time.

I deleted my Twitter account. I was on it solely because of my interest in food and the food world. But it’s been a long time since I’ve looked at it because just about everyone in the food world left and is now on Instagram.

Roz in NJ/NYC

@87, that may be old news. I just saw it today.

@77, Lady Ella! Queen of Jazz.

MB, forgot to say earlier that I’m jealous you have orioles in your yard! The nerve, stealing hummingbird nectar!

We have a goldfinch pair visiting our feeder this year. They’re not too common in the area.

Not that Putin cares except that it makes his invasion harder.

Putin “never imagined that the world would rally behind Ukraine so swiftly and surely.”

Re: Musk owning Twitter. If there’s more free speech — such as people not being banned for saying that men can’t be lesbians, or that women don’t have penises, or that Lia Thomas is a man, or that a woman with a double mastectomy wearing a packer is not a gay man — I’ll be very happy!

The irony of people anxious about Musk taking over Twitter and the free speech ideal is that Twitter has been censoring women and men for some time. Sam Barber’s account tracks many of these examples, along with comparisons with the violence which is just fine to Twitter.

Skip over if you’re bored/seen enough. Here are a couple more examples.

Yeah, except Elon is quite the misogynist. I don’t know this for a fact, but my guess is that in his world (where the sky is a curious lime green color) free speech means tech bros, especially tech bros named Elon, saying anything and never having to say they’re sorry. As for women … (giant silence) … “Who?” … “You know we had spaghetti at our house three times last month.”

Probably a case of out of the frying pan into the fire…

I never had a good feeling about twitter (as I’ve said before) even though I love the tweets posted here. I feel doubly creeped out now because that dude has creep written all over him.

Bird engineers!

And more astronomy.

Hey Shinners – sitting in the airport waiting to get on a plane. I’m very worried I’m going to get COVID but it’s a work event and I feel pressured to go.

I cannot imagine that Elon Musk’s reign will be kind to women given that he is well known for creating a hostile work environment at Tesla. I think he had to pay out millions because of it, as well.

@102 That sucks, MB! I hope you don’t get COVID. I agree with you that Musk is no friend to women.

@47 Wow, DYB. I think Stuart Stevens read your comment. He said almost exactly that last night on “The Last Word” (although I think you said it better). 🙂

It starts at about the 14 minute mark.

MB, wear at least a KN95 mask and take either 91% alcohol wipes if you can. It’s not about protecting others from us, but protecting yourself from everyone else. If anyone gives you a funny look, just think about how many times they are going to be sick with Covid…

Peer pressure is your enemy.
Fingers crossed you stay safe.

Thanks for the kind words, DYB.

MB, yes, I agree take and wear a good mask. As far as alcohol, 70% is more effective than 90%-100% concentration. I was surprised too. Learned that in one of my microbiology class experiments so the results stuck in my memory.

“The Gov’t failed to contain the virus.” WTH? The CDC made some mistakes, but it’s-just-the-flu and anti-vaxxers who wrecked it for the rest of us.

Everyone, I do not like Elon Musk! I suspect, however, that he knows men don’t give birth and women don’t have penises.

Twitter’s already misogynist! I doubt it’ll get much if at all worse when Musk gets his algorithms and moderators into action. I simply want to be able to tweet grade-school biology without getting suspended. If it means I have to block a few more anti-vaxxers, vicious idiots who tweet death threats when I point out that ‘intersex’ is a misnomer and has nothing to do with being trans, and MAGAts, that’s a reasonable trade for me.

@80, Q, I have an induction stovetop and I love it! It’s a Fisher & Paykel from New Zealand, lol. Induction is the most energy-efficient type of stove, and no emissions when cooking. It’s so fast! Also liked it because it came in a small size — only 23-1/2″ wide — so that leaves more counter space. Mine doesn’t have a clock. The oven and microwave do, and it often takes me a trial or two to get the clock-setting feature figured out. Why put a clock on appliances anyhow? Now with the clock in my newish car — I have to get the manual out twice a year with the time changes. The manual doesn’t have an entry under “time” or “clock.” It’s under something like “dashboard” and I finally stickied it so I could find it next time, rather than going for months mentally adding or subtracting 1 hr from the display.

@103 PJ > Haha! I’m smart! Why am I not on TV??

On induction stoves: I really wanted to get one for my apartment. Unfortunately the electric grid in my building is so outdated that we don’t have the 220v outlets for it. Everyone’s apartment only has one 220v outlet for the AC. But it’s the only one. And all induction stoves are 220. So I had to stick with gas. I was bummed. Gas is good, but I feel like induction is next level in convenience and cooking capabilities (like the ability to really control temperature, etc.)

I guess I should have stuck with the local brand 😆 !

We’re so fed up with the current one (it’s supposedly high-end and we got it on serious special…) that we’re going to swap it out sooner or later. I’ll keep Fisher & Paykel in mind.

God, there is nothing, *nothing*, you can tell me about the frustration of resetting all the stupid clocks they put *everywhere*. They could make them so they get their time wirelessly from NIST or the Navy or Greenwhich Mean Time, but nooooo.

Forget about soup…

Tonight, I learned on the Rachel Maddow Show about the lethality of… fruit. You get hit with fruit, it’s — no, it’s very violent stuff. Very dangerous stuff. You can get killed with those things. And some fruit is a lot worse than tomatoes. But tomatoes are bad, by the way. Throwing pineapples, tomatoes, bananas, stuff like that, yeah, it’s dangerous stuff.

You SHOULD be on TV, DYB. I’d watch!

@111 I don’t think Archie looks happy. Aren’t there Dog Labor Laws??

Oh maaaaan, that fruit stuff? ROFLMAO for minutes on end!

Honestly, all the Dems need to do is have an ad video of the Orange Blob doing one of his weird jerky speeches and run the fruit quote as the soundtrack. All his mega-macho-compensating white supremacists will edge out the back door and pretend they don’t know who he is.

Great idea, quixote!

@111, Archie is no chiropractor! He’s a massage therapist, and a very good one!

Quixote, this is the cooktop model we got. We got a separate oven.
It’s a little techno looking for my design taste, but it’s so practical. Love the flat surface of induction and how if (oh who am I kidding, when) something spills you can wipe it up off the flat surface. Kid and pet safe — won’t heat up unless there’s a pot on a burner surface, even if the cat accidentally pads across the “on”, “select burner”, and “temp” buttons in the proper order. 🙂

DYB, that’s too bad about the wiring in your building. We did some remodeling a few years back –had a weird kitchen going into rickety porch feature — and decided to bring the wiring up to date. The city electric company cut us a deal because they want to encourage the safer, up to date wiring.

115, quixote, I dunno. TFG’s done so much batty shit but it hasn’t thrown off his followers yet.

Giant geode! If you haven’t yet heard about this, here’s a short video. Nice nature break from news.

As far as needing instructions, I have a Fisher & Paykel refrigerator. Whenever I change the water filter, I have to check the instructions for how to reset the filter counter. There is no specific button for it, it’s a weird combination of buttons that in no way seem to have anything to do with the water filter. So each time I have to check what the button combination is. Very annoying. Why not just put a special button for it!

(I just commented this at skydancing, and I’m putting it here too, just in case it’s useful for those of us not on both places.)

(comment re Luna noting that at this point Long Covid is the scariest concern.)

And, ***and***, that 30% chance [of long covid] is for every infection, symptomatic or not.

Even if the chances ultimately prove to be lower (there are arguments about it), say 15%, that’s a one in six chance of getting a horrific long term disabling event every time covid strikes. Neurological issues, up to and including Parkinsons, Alzheimers, and the like; Type 1 diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, etc etc etc. Cool, huh? /*endless screaming*/

Now add to that what scientists mean by “endemicity.” Colds are “endemic.” Endemic means a disease that simmers along while affecting some very low proportion of the population if it’s dangerous, like whooping cough, or a much higher proportion if it’s not, like colds.

When scientists say we’re out of the pandemic and into an endemic phase that does NOT mean it’s over. It means “it’s here to stay and you will get sick.” But not sick enough — we hope — to overload hospitals because that would make headlines. Some people will die, as with flu, but hopefully nobody will care much. *That* is what endemic means. Fauci knows that. That’s why he’s not going toWHCA. But he can’t say it because, um, “people will panic.”

Plus, endemicity for covid, specifically, is assuming people may get three or so infections a year.

Put that together with the long covid chances, and, as they say on the web, let that sink in.

Public health — keeping YOU healthy — isn’t even on the table at this point. The only “public health” goal right now is keeping people out of hospitals — short term! — and out of headlines.

@119 You’re probably right Luna, but it was a really fun thought quixote had…

MAGAts do live in a bubble that nothing seems to penetrate. I know they are currently at war with Disney, but don’t they also live in a fantasy world? A theme park of the mind that Trump created (only they don’t just visit occasionally). TrumpWorld. A wonderland for deplorables.

@122, Yes, yes, and yes. Doesn’t matter how severe the infection. Once that virus gets in to your body and frolics around wrecking your immune system, the effects may stay a few weeks, a few months, even for a few years in some people. We don’t know how many years yet. Although women are less likely to get covid in the first place, women are somewhat more at risk for long covid.

TW for TM(medical)I:

Reports of the prevalence of ongoing symptoms after COVID infection range from 32.6% to 87% of hospitalised patients. (Nalbandian et al., 2021;Bell et al., 2021). In a non-hospitalised cohort, 37% report fatigue and 30% cognitive impairment (Chopra et al., 2021). In Wuhan, China, 76% of infected patients were still troubled with at least one symptom after 6 months after discharge (Huang et al., 2021). A Melbourne study found persistent symptoms in 34% even after 45 weeks (COVID, 2021). These raw data may just reflect local conditions and are unadjusted for standard variables such as age, gender, ethnicity, employment, social deprivation, medications that are sedating, and co-morbidities such as diabetes, obesity and vascular disease.
If these symptoms are simply a consequence of critical illness or hypoxia in patients requiring ventilation, it would not explain why it occurs in non-hospitalised patients and why it is not obviously linked to the severity of the initial infection. It has been suggested that a major cause of neuronal damage is indirect: i.e. through immune-related microvascular inflammation and thrombosis. If so, this would explain the absence of viral markers (Farhadian et al., 2021). The degree of proinflammatory markers is correlated with cognitive and behavioural changes. The simple fact that neurofilament light chain (NFL) is elevated in serum implies brain injury in COVID (Ameres et al., 2020), despite the apparent absence of neuronal virus. SARS-RNA, has been found in the frontal lobe of infected individuals and SARS-2 positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to this virus has been demonstrated in CSF (Ritchie et al., 2020).

The most supported theory is an autoimmune process with an exaggerated innate immune response and cytokine activation. Most patients with severe COVID-19 exhibit substantially elevated serum levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines including interleukin 6, 1- beta, 2, 8, 17, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, chemokine ligand 2 and 10, and tumour necrosis factor alpha, resulting in the now well- recognised cytokine storm (Ritchie et al., 2011). The presence of oligoclonal IgG bands and activated microglia resemble the process causing fatigue and cognitive impairment in MS [multiple sclerosis] (Muccioli et al., 2020).

Neurofilament light chain is also elevated in multiple sclerosis, with higher levels associated with more severe disability. I’m going to be very cautious about where I’ll go without a mask.

Endemic? The average person gets a couple of colds a year, though I’ve only had 1 since covid started (no doubt due to masking and appropriate distancing).

If people would panic by wearing masks properly and keeping good public-health behavior, that’d be great. But they panic by buying up toilet paper by the grocery cart full. SMH.

PJ, “a wonderland for deplorables” LOL!


Yipes, someone’s gonna have to dig me out from under the covers with that big heap of bad news.

All put together, it’s almost as cheerful as reading the Old Testament.

@DYB, I have a Fisher & Paykel refrigerator too! But it’s a bare-bones model: no ice, no water — and no clock. (grin)

Nah, the Old Testament is less scary because it was mythmaking. Covid ain’t goin nowhere, whether it’s believed in or not. (The good news is: we do have some idea how to deal with it. Vaccines, masks, distance, ventilation, UV light.)

I just can’t get over people’s gonzo attitude toward something where *we don’t know the risks*. And as far as we have an inkling, they look a lot worse every time a new paper comes out.

Just a footnote: long covid is bad enough, but there are also the indications that long term consequences exist. Heart attacks, strokes, Parkinsons, aren’t strictly speaking long covid, but they’re also awful. I have a bad habit of kind of lumping together all-the-consequences-I-don’t-want-thank-you-very-much.

Cardiovascular problems appear to be possible with long covid too. I tend to focus on the neuro sequelae since neurorehab is my specialty.

I would love to see the political data on deaths from Covid in the US. What percentage are Dump supporters, or even the ‘Freedom nitwits that will never get vaccinated’?

66% of the country is going to suffer from the effects of Covid because of these people, where are the consequences for their treacherous behavior?

Luna @100, bird nest is amazing, and so is the planets aligned @101!

I’ve heard of induction stovetops. When I read my brothers boys series books, Rick Brant (like Nancy Drew but much wilder action) he had an induction stove in his bedroom. These books were from late 40s to 60s. Anyway, my question is, are induction stoves like the old flat white corning stove tops?

Shadow @131, I’ve been wondering about that also.

Love everyone’s comments btw, very interesting stuff. I wish I had the energy to comment on more. Going to shower and hit the hay.

I guess this video is from pre-pandemic (no masks). But very cute.

@132, socalannie, the induction stoves are a universe better than the old smooth-top conduction stoves, which were slow and inefficient.


They are both still in love…so sweet.

What a beautiful family.

Annie, the old flat white stovetops were heating coils underneath the smooth surface.

Induction heating is a different principle: an electromagnetic field induces a matching current in electrically conductive material within range. The induced current is what heats the object. You’re not heating up A (eg a hotplate) and then transferring the heat to B (eg a pot). Instead you’re generating heat directly in the pot by magic (well, electromagnetism 😀 ) so you’re not losing all that energy in the transfer.


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