Monthly Archives: October 2021

Smaller Brains

The human brain is the most complex structure known. As human-like species evolved over several million years into homo sapiens, hominid brain size tripled. Today the average human brain weighs about three pounds. Our nearest primate relative, the chimpanzee, has a brain that weighs less than a pound. Our brains constitute about 2% of body…


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Rationality – Review

Rationality is Steven Pinker’s latest book. It’s also one that will leave the reader nonplussed or just thinking “is this all there is”? It contains a relatively brief but accurate introduction to elementary logic and statistics. Bayesian analysis is explained successfully; but I suspect that explanation will be fully grasped only by those who already…


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Fire Shut Up In My Bones in HD

I’ll get the bad news out of the way first. In a repeat of the 2014 telecast of Werther featuring Jonas Kaufmann, the signal from the Met’s broadcast of Fire Shut Up In My Bones was lost at the opera’s climax and did not return until the middle of the curtain calls. I was told…


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Abstract of the Year – Pregnant Persons

Below is an abstract that appeared in the Journal of the American medical Association. I assume it was written by the USPSTF, but I can’t sure. Regardless, I’d be careful about taking advice from anyone who has trouble realizing only women get pregnant. I certainly would want my pregnant wife, daughter, etc to be cared…


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Colin Powell’s Death From COVID

The reporting of Colin Powell’s death exemplifies why the public is so confused about the COVID outbreak. Here’s a representative excerpt concerning the General’s demise: His passing represents a breakthrough death—when fully vaccinated patients die from COVID-19. Roughly 7,100 such deaths have been reported in the US, with 85% occurring in patients 65 and older. That the infection…


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Met Opera Cancels Next 100 Seasons

Metropolitan Opera general Manager Peter Gelb announced that following this season the venerable company will take a century long sabbatical. The not unexpected action followed Anthony Tommasini’s likening of the current run of Franco Zeffirelli’s production of Puccini’s final opera Turandot to “anti-asian” hostility. Mr Tommasini, music critic for the New York Times, has pointed…


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FDA Issues Guidance on Dietary Salt

The FDA has issued guidance about dietary salt intake. Their advice needs to be taken with a grain of salt – sorry, I couldn’t resist. The summary below conveys their intent and message. The whole report is below and can be downloaded. This guidance supports the goal of reducing sodium intake as recommended by scientific…


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Maverick – Book Review

Jason Riley is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a member of the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal. His latest book, Maverick, is an intellectual biography of the economist and public intellectual Thomas Sowell. Focusing mainly on Sowell’s thinking, it presents only the bare facts of his life. Sowell has averaged about…


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Boris Godunov in HD – 2021

The Met in HD series returned after an absence of more than a year and half. Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov was previously telecast by the Met in October 2010. German Bass René Pape then and now assumed the title role. This time around the Met decided to stage the composer’s original seven scene version of the…


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Defaulting on the Debt Was Impossible

There was a lot of scare declarations about the disastrous effects of the US defaulting on its debt if it congress didn’t raise the debt ceiling. Virtually all of it was wrong. We were told that the country had never defaulted on its debt. It’s done so several times, the last was in 1979. As…


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