Monthly Archives: November 2021

COVID – The Omicron Variant

As is typical of current events, the press and our medical “experts” are having conniptions over the inevitable appearance of yet another variant of the coronavirus. The latest such variant, named omicron in a fit of political correctness, is causing more distress to the physicians employed by the press than a bout of malignant constipation….


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COVID Data – Geography and Obesity

Below are some data concerning the COVID outbreak. They mostly speak for themselves. Observe the striking difference in the countries of tropical Africa compared to the developed world. The Africans are mostly unvaccinated and not dying in contradistinction to the US, etc. Then look at the data from the US and India. Lastly, observe the…


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Too Much

Winston Churchill remarked that a dominant characteristic of Germany and its people was a tendency to too much. I don’t think the great man was being fair to his Teutonic cousins as the trait seems universal, even more so with every change of the calendar. The descriptor seems to best apply to those parts of…


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Finale 31 – L’Elisir d’Amore Act 1

Donizetti’s comic opera L’Elisir d’Amore has been performed frequently throughout the opera world since its premiere in 1832. The Met has done it 302 times. Despite its ubiquity it sometimes seems like a tenor aria in search of an opera so popular is ‘Una furtiva lagrima’. That this search is typically successful speaks to the…


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On the Heat Death of the Universe

I dimly recall a talk by the critic and polymath George Steiner (1929-2020) worrying himself to near multiorgan failure about the consequences of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. The law itself is much more complicated and limited than the way Steiner used it or as I am going to use it here. I’ll just say…


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COVID Vaccination in Children

The New England Journal of Medicine just published a study Evaluation of the BNT162b2 Covid-19 Vaccine in Children 5 to 11 Years of Age that reports phase 1 and 2 data about the vaccine in children. During the phase 1 study, a total of 48 children 5 to 11 years of age received 10 μg,…


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Ferruccio Tagliavini

Ferruccio Tagliavini (1913-95) was and Italian tenor famous for his mezza voce singing which was of exceptional sweetness. He made his debut in Florence in 1938 as Rodolfo in La Bohème. He was hailed as a successor to Beniamino Gigli and Tito Schipa, though his sound was much closer to the latter. Tagliavini was born…


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Curses

Click on the red links to access the referenced audio file. Given the florid character of opera, it’s no surprise that curses are a frequent feature of the genre. I’ve collected 12 examples from eight operas that involve the imprecation. I’ll start with the opera that was once named La Maledizione – The Curse. Of…


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