Monthly Archives: June 2022

Artificial Intelligence is Better Than No Intelligence at All

The press has covered the release by a Google engineer that the company has an AI that is sentient with a mix of fear, fascination, and foreboding. For the purposes of this article I will assume that everything Blake Lemoine (the Google engineer) has said about LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications) is true. If…


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More on Symptomatic COVID and Vaccination

The New England Journal of Medicine has published online Effects of Previous Infection and Vaccination on Symptomatic Omicron Infections. The study by the Cornell Medicine–Qatar group of investigators has received some attention in the lay press and has even been interpreted as showing that under certain circumstances that vaccination increases the likelihood of contracting the…


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Finale 34 – Act III La Gioconda

During the nearly half century that followed the premiere of Verdi’s Nabucco only two Italian operas not by Verdi entered the standard operatic repertoire – so complete was his dominance. The two survivors are Boito’s Mefistofele and Ponchielli’s La Gioconda. Amilcare Ponchielli (1834-86) was born in a small town near Cremona. He studied at the…


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Do It Yourself Screening for Kidney Disease

Chronic Kidney Disease is often asymptomatic. The commonest causes are diabetes and hypertension.There are a number of tests that clinicians use to both detect and measure the severity of impaired kidney function. Levey and colleagues examine the use of these tests in a review article in the June 2, 2022 issue of the New England…


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Axis

An eon is just a moment for a spinning rockHarnessed to an angry pyre a half a breath awayBoth huddling together like frightened sheepOn a vast vista bereft of all but trembling grassA vagrant tilt sends angled light to bathe the stoneIn vivid rays of animating warmth. A tilt with just a rumor’s nudge would…


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Hamlet in HD 2022

Hamlet returned to the Met after a 12 year absence. This time, however, it was not the 19th century French forgettable by Ambroise Thomas, but the 2017 opera by Brett Dean. The reason for the 2010 revival, which was the return of an opera not mounted by the company since 1895, was the the impersonation…


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COVID, Masks, and Children

The US policy regarding coronavirus infection in children has not been one of medical science’s great triumphs as is true of its entire package of actions regarding the infection. The epidemic has been a excuse for the imposition of central control of activities formerly felt to be outside the boundaries of government control and up…


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