WTF Weekly for Oct 12th, 2020
Originally I started writing a WTF Weekly about the Apple Sept 15 event, but life (cough:work:cough) intervened and too much time has passed. Besides, the world is far more fascinating now: Orange Dipshit One, who goes around mask-less to appease his low-IQ ego, has contracted coronavirus. It couldn’t have happened to a better person.
This account is already old news, so short is the news cycle these days. In fact, Trump has apparently recovered completely, something that leaves me with mixed emotions.1
Still, the takeaway for me is that when you ignore all social distancing and mask guidelines, as much of Trump’s party does, there’s a high probability of contracting COVID-19.
Federal tax-return data for Mr. Trump and his business empire, which was disclosed by The New York Times last month, showed that even as he leveraged his image as a successful businessman to win the presidency, large swaths of his real estate holdings were under financial stress, racking up losses over the preceding decades.
But once Mr. Trump was in the White House, his family business discovered a lucrative new revenue stream: people who wanted something from the president. An investigation by The Times found over 200 companies, special-interest groups and foreign governments that patronized Mr. Trump’s properties while reaping benefits from him and his administration. Nearly a quarter of those patrons have not been previously reported.
I have to admit that over time, I’ve probably worried less and less about the likelihood of coronavirus infection from touching random surfaces, but maybe I shouldn’t get complacent. Still, other humans are a much larger potential source of transmission.
Director of US Geological Survey James Reilly is blocking studies of the impacts of coronavirus on black-footed ferrets. Part of why he’s doing so seems reasonable, to be honest, but much of it stems from fear of accidentally unleashing mutated viruses.
Reilly’s opposition to the research appears to gibe, to some extent, with the Trump administration’s line on the pandemic’s origins. While most researchers believe that the new coronavirus spread naturally from bats to humans, perhaps via an intermediary host, senior White House staff and some Republican members of Congress have speculated that the virus was engineered in a lab in Wuhan, China, and then unleashed, deliberately or not, from there.
On the surface, these human-engineered theories seem like nutty conspiracy theories, and we’ve got more than enough of those. But in fact it’s inevitable that labs dealing with pathogens will have accidents. Which leads us to a great read on that particular topic.
This happens even in well-run labs. The National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases estimates that, at their labs, a lab-acquired infection will occur once for every 600,000 hours of work. That’s really low, and if there were just a few scientists working with these pathogens, the odds of an accident would also stay low. But with hundreds, maybe even thousands of such labs proliferating around the world, even low-probability events can become relatively common.
And finally, from the Department of “I can’t even”:
The GOP really IS this bad at trying to emulate being actual human beings.
But wait, there is one more thing… and it’s a great one.
Lewis Hamilton becomes only the second person in history to win 91 Formula One Grands Prix, a record by a huge margin over third place Sebastian Vettel, who has 53. He’s also on pace to equal Schumacher’s record 7 F1 World Championship titles this year, and is certainly one of the best drivers ever, if not the best.
Hit me up on Twitter to yell at me if you really think that will help.
I’m not bragging about the fact I wouldn’t be sad to see this particular man suffer, just being honest here. ↩︎