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This film was written and directed by Claude Lelouch. You say the name means nothing to you? Do you remember a film called A Man and a Woman, with the most annoying film score ever recorded? Lelouch didn’t write the music, but he wrote and directed that movie – when I was in high school! And I’m so old that when I was a kid there wasn’t even matter yet, just radiation. Even after the universe started to cool, my parents were too poor to afford matter. They had to scrimp and save to surprise me for my third birthday. My present was a molecule.

And even then, the money wasn’t enough. My godfather had to pull some strings to get my present, because “Johnny’s First Molecule” was the hot toy that holiday season.

A helium hydride molecule was the Tickle Me Elmo of the early universe.

Anyway, ol’ Lelouche had already been making films nine years before A Man and a Woman, so that guy is so old you can’t even calculate his age as a time measurement, because when he was born, time as we know it had not yet begun.

(I guess that would be more impressive if the new film were scored higher than 4.9 at IMDb.)

USA:

On June 10, 2022, the 7-day average number of COVID fatalities per day hit its all-time low since they first had reasonably accurate numbers, way back in in April of 2020. The rate of fatalities per capita has now dropped lower than Canada’s.

In contrast, the number of reported cases in the States is not declining, but neither is it increasing. The 7-day average has been hovering around 100,000 since May 17. It should be noted that the case numbers are really unreliable now, because in-home rapid testing has become so widely employed. It is presumed that many, many positive tests are not reported to authorities.

Roughly half of the states have declined in the past two weeks, and in some cases by very large percentages. Nearly every Northeastern state has seen cases fall by 30 percent or more, led by Maine and Connecticut, which are reporting only half as many as a fortnight ago.

There are still areas of the country in trouble. Alaska, Colorado and Florida, for example, are all four times the red line for new cases and are still increasing. COVID hospitalizations are also increasing in all three of those states.

We may be through with the virus, but it is not through with us. The nation’s official testing percentage is 14%, which is well into the red zone, and about five times higher than it was in early April. We are fortunate that the most common current strains are rarely fatal.

Global:

As of last week, only 18 major countries were still in the red zone for new cases (1000 cases per million population per week). They are listed below, from most cases (per capita) to fewest.

Taiwan
N. Korea
Portugal
New Zealand
Australia
Singapore
Germany
Chile
Israel
Greece
Austria
France
Italy
USA
Finland
Spain
S. Korea
Brazil

Cases are still increasing in seven of those countries:

Israel
Austria
Brazil
Italy
Chile
Germany
Greece

And fatalities are increasing in four of those seven:

Chile
Brazil
Austria
Italy

None of those four are currently in the red zone for fatalities, so no countries made the devil’s quadrifecta.

There are only two major countries in the world still in the red zone for fatalities: Taiwan and Portugal. Both of those countries are in rough shape overall, but the “new cases” rate is declining in both. Unfortunately, the decline is from “extremely bad” to “still extremely bad, but less than last week.” Taiwan’s new case rate is still 20 times the red line, and Portugal’s is 11x. Taiwan is currently leading the world in both new cases per capita and fatalities per capita, while Portugal is third in new cases and second in fatalities.

To place Taiwan’s numbers into North American perspective, both its case rate and its fatality rate are approximately ten times as high as the USA’s.

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In case you had forgotten, she got completely naked for one of those ESPN body thingies in 2017, then put on her clothing and defeated Venus in straight sets in the WTA Championship finals that year. She went on to win a major (Australian Open) the following year. She is inactive on the tour now, but at one time, circa 2010-2011, she was ranked #1 in women’s singles for many, many weeks.

And not a moment too soon! I hope the inventor has space on his mantel to display that Nobel Prize.

The award for the best bullshit of the day (so far) goes to the Velveeta brand manager:

VELVEETA is known for its rich, creamy texture and cheesy, melty goodness, so what better way to bring this to life for our fans than with something equally as rich and creamy — nail polish.

Well then, maybe we need to start some new traditions. We need not be bound by the past. Who is thinking about the future?

Specifying the donut shop makes it a very narrow ruling. What about the right to walk to a convenience store with genitals out? Surely that must be one of the great traditions of liberty.

What can you say? Scottsdale is a tough town. Or as Latka used to say, America is a tough town.