History · The World

How the Coronavirus Compares With 100 Years of Deadly Events

This coronavirus pandemic has killed over 100,000 Americans alone. It has changed the way we live.

That’s pretty awful. But compared to other historical events, how bad is it?

This article shows how this pandemic compares to other major disasters of the last 100 years. It’s worse than the 1918 Spanish flu was in New York City and Boston, but still not as bad as the Spanish flu in Philadelphia. And not as bad the 2011 Earthquake and tsunami in Miyagi, Japan.

This article only covers the 20th century. I wish they could have included the Bubonic plague or other plagues to see how our current experience compares. 🤷🏻‍♂️

It’s a great visual to help understand a terrible event.

The World

Know Thy Enemy: Inside the Coronavirus Genome

Here’s an amazing detailed look at coronavirus genome. This article breaks the genetic code down into components such as Protein Scissors, Bubble Maker, and Copy Assistants.

This reads a lot like a software design document, with its factories, helpers, validators, and garbage collectors. 😬

The creepiest thing is the very end, where the genome trails off in a series of a’s, like the padding at the end of a Base64 string. 🧐

The coronavirus genome ends with a snippet of RNA that stops the cell’s protein-making machinery. It then trails away as a repeating sequence of aaaaaaaaaaaaa…

The World

It’s Time To Go On the Offensive Against the Coronavirus

I was talking with my kids about going after the virus the other day, half jokingly but also half serious…

I’m tired of sitting around the house waiting for the pandemic to solve itself. We didn’t win World War II sitting around the house hoping the Axis would surrender! We didn’t land on the moon waiting around doing nothing to see if somehow someone magically landed there!

It’s the same with the virus. We need to go after the virus! We need to hunt it down and destroy it until the planet earth is free if this deadly, hidden nemesis of all humankind.

It’s time for action!

As Winston Churchill would say, or rather did say, near the beginning of World War II…

We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.

Winston Churchill – June 4, 1940

I joked with my kids that we should have a day where everyone in the world just Clorox’s every inch of the planet. “Inch by inch!” was our rally cry.

So I was pleased to see this article come up on The New Yorker, which offers more realistic and helpful ideas than a Clorox Day. Still, it basically says that that yes, we can and should go on the offensive against the coronavirus. It offers hope and something specific to actually do! 💪🏻🌎

👉 It’s Not Too Late to Go on Offense Against the Coronavirus

Thank you, Jim Yong Kim, inspiring physician and anthropologist. Via Apple News.

The World

Covid-19 Relief Fund

If you’re fortunate enough to have a steady paycheck through this pandemic and you want to help other people affected directly or indirectly by the lockdown, here’s a simple way.

👉 Covid-19 Relief Campaign

The fund is underwritten by The New York Times. Every dollar goes to aiding organizations that:

  • help food banks across America meet increased demand
  • bring books to children studying at home
  • support social services, arts, and cultural organizations affected by the virus
  • deliver meals to those in need

The World

Why the Universe Contains Something Rather Than Nothing ✨🤷🏻‍♂️

Who would have thought that answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything lies in giant tank of water 3000 feet under Japan? And the answer is not 42.

Scientists on Wednesday announced that they were perhaps one step closer to understanding why the universe contains something rather than nothing.

👉 Why the Big Bang Produced Something Rather Than Nothing (New York Times)

This story is not just about speculation or a cool idea. This story is about scientists working at an underground laboratory in Japan, trying to catch neutrinos, sent from 180 miles away. This experiment helps them understand why matter won over anti-matter at the beginning of time, and thus why the universe is full of, well, stuff (this was apparently not a foregone conclusion 🤷🏻‍♂️).

As a result, a universe that started out with a clean balance sheet — equal amounts of matter and antimatter — wound up with an excess of matter: stars, black holes, oceans and us.

This article is full of mind-blowing quotes.

These ghostly subatomic particles stream from the Big Bang, the sun, exploding stars and other cosmic catastrophes, flooding the universe and slipping through walls and our bodies by the billions every second, like moonlight through a screen door.

I love the balanced excitement / skepticism of the scientists, calling this news “undeniably exciting.”

There are further plans to send neutrinos from a lab in Illinois 800 miles underground to a giant underground detector at an old gold mine in South Dakota. 🇺🇸


Music · The World

New York, New York 🎶

Here’s a great tribute to New York City as it suffers through the coronavirus.

We are tough but we are tender, and we fucking love our city though it feels impossible sometimes.

Also, as a musician, it was encouraging to hear her say “This took me a whole day to learn.” 🤷🏻‍♂️

The World

How the Virus Got Out

Here’s a pretty amazing visual story from the New York Times showing how the coronavirus started in a market in Wuhan and then spread around the world.

What I love about this article is the highly visual storytelling. It helps you understand how the virus spread around the world so much better than just a bunch of words.

Amazing work as always from the Times.