Here is the short cut to the full COVID report for Monday.

DOMESTIC

The USA’s same-day-of-week comparison of “new cases” has now dropped for 26 consecutive days, the percentage drop has been in double digits for 14 consecutive days, and the percentage has been in the 20s for the past two days.

The USA’s same-day-of-week comparison of fatalities has now dropped eight days in a row.

The 7-day average of positive testing percentage again stayed at the all-time low of 3.3%, and the most recent day reported (Sunday) was even better at 2.6%.

GLOBAL

In the Monday-to-Monday comparison, the non-India portion of the world dropped 12% in cases and 9% in fatalities.

Their methodology is quite complex, and takes into account the excess death rate and several modifying factors.

In terms of accurate reporting, the USA actually looks better than many other countries. While the analysts estimate that American deaths are probably about 1.5 times as many as the officially reported total, the excess death rates elsewhere during the COVID era indicate that many countries are underreported by vast multiples. For example, Russia has reported 109,000 fatalities, but the analysts estimate that the actual total is 591,000; Mexico has reported 217,000 fatalities, but the analysts estimate that the correct total is 653,000.

“We think androgens or male hormones are definitely the gateway for the virus to enter our cells. We really think that baldness is a perfect predictor of severity.”

Caution: “So far studies have been of relatively small numbers of patients.”

The above headline within quotation marks was from a Brit tabloid, so you can’t treat it with the solemnity you would accord the Journal of the AMA, but they may actually be onto something, even if they have sensationalized the science to create a paper-selling headline.

The company that discovered the link last spring, Applied Biology, more recently ran a study that tested the use of an androgen inhibitor (Proxalutamide) on COVID patients, and it seems to have been very successful in preventing severe symptoms and the progression of the disease.

As sensational as it seems to propose a correlation between baldness and COVID, the whole concept is actually plausible, given that some element of male biology seems to have consistently made males more vulnerable to the virus in country after country. In the USA, about 236,000 Americans under the age of 75 have died from COVID, consisting of 148,000 men and only 88,000 women. Although that disparity may have behavioral components, it seems that biology must also play a part, and it is reasonable (but not certain) to hypothesize that androgens may be involved, since they are only present in females in limited amounts.

That said, Proxalutamide also showed a fairly high level of gastrointestinal side-effects in the test, although a bit of nausea and diarrhea seems to be a fairly good alternative to death. Once again it must be noted that only about 260 patients were studied in the Applied Biology test, although the results were statistically significant even with so few degrees of freedom.

They are shown on AstriaGraph, a map which shows where each human-made object is located in space. A team of scientists in the US has created the technology to track and predict the behaviour of space junk, the BBC reports. This is because there is a risk it could crash into functioning satellites which provide GPS, weather warnings and other vital services and stop working.”

Political power in the United States will continue to shift south this decade, as historically Democratic states that border the Great Lakes give up congressional seats and electoral votes to regions where Republicans currently enjoy a political advantage, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Texas, Florida and North Carolina, three states that voted twice for President Donald Trump, are set to gain a combined four additional seats in Congress in 2023 because of population growth, granting them collectively as many new votes in the electoral college for the next presidential election as Democratic-leaning Hawaii has in total.

Republicans will control line-drawing for 187 congressional seats over the coming year, with Democrats controlling 75 seats, while the remaining seats that need to be drawn will be decided by independent commissions or divided governments, according to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.”

Before October 27, 2018, he was a minor. Juvenile records are not available.

In August, 2019 he was charged twice, once for possessing/dealing marijuana, once for disorderly conduct. These are misdemeanors. He pled and was fined.

In November, 2019, he was charged with several counts related to criminal trespass. No further info available at this time.

Wright was charged with aggravated robbery on December 1, 2019 in Osseo, Minnesota. It is alleged that he choked a woman and threatened her at gunpoint for $820. If convicted on this charge, he would face as much as 20 years of incarceration. An arrest warrant was issued, and he was brought in. Wright’s bail was originally set at $100,000 with orders that he should not contact the victim or any witnesses, refrain from drugs and alcohol, and not have any weapons.

In June of 2020, he was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and fleeing arrest.

Presumably because of the June firearms charge and the report of his probation officer, an arrest warrant for Wright was issued on July 30, 2020 for violating the terms of his bail on the felony robbery charge.

When he failed to make his court appearance on the firearms charge, yet another warrant for his arrest was issued on April 2, 2021. This was still in effect at the time of his fatal encounter with police.

His jury trial for the felony robbery charge was to start on May 24.

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For info:

Wright’s most recent Facebook account

The Hennepin County jail records also show that Wright faced some administrative procedure regarding aggravated robbery about two months ago. At the moment, it is not clear precisely what this is about.

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We should not attempt to justify his horrifying death, but neither should we misrepresent him or his situation. Because of the warrant(s), the police were correct in trying to bring him into custody, and because both of his recent arrests involved firearms, they were correct to assume that he could be dangerous. And he had every reason to flee, because he was attempting to avoid immediate incarceration that could have lasted as long as twenty years. Of course they completely bungled the situation. Wright was killed unnecessarily and it was fortunate that there were no other fatalities, because a panicking, desperate and fatally wounded Wright managed to plow into another vehicle as he tried to escape.

Anne Beatts was an extremely important comedy voice from my generation, having written for the National Lampoon and the original cast of SNL, and later having created the Square Pegs series.

She also pulled off the nearly impossible task of having had a romantic relationship with the master of dark humor, Michael “Mr. Mike” O’Donoghue, a man about as difficult as any who ever lived. Her humor was almost as dark as his. She infamously created this famous Volkswagen ad, based on VW’s assertion that the bug could float:

That works out to more than $500 per child per day, and it’s apparently a discount based on this sentence: “Kenneth Wolfe, a spokesman for HHS’s Administration for Children and Families, said the average daily cost per child is ‘approximately $775 per day based on past experience.’

In comparison, I just checked the price of a Sandals all-inclusive 5-star resort in Negril, Jamaica, and it works out to $300 per person per day ($4200 for a couple, 7-nights). So we could transport the kids there, hire each kid a personal nanny at $90 a day (a desirable job with a solid wage in Jamaica), house them in a 5-star resort with unlimited gourmet meals included, and still cut the price in half from that $775 figure. The older kids can even drink booze for free! (Alcohol is also included at Sandals, and Jamaica has no minimum drinking age.)

In equally daunting math:

$60 million per week is three billion dollars per year – and the number of kids is expected to grow dramatically.

The cited rate of $775 per child per day multiplies out to $280,000 per child per year!

Of course I’m not saying that we shouldn’t take care of the kids, but perhaps we need to improve our efficiency.

A lot.

“Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested 29-year-old Badlands McNally after authorities stopped to talk to him about the plane he was using.”

Hey, Dad McNally, when you named your kid “Badlands,” did you think that he’d become a philosopher or maybe go to dental school? Of course he smuggles Meth. It was either that or pro wrestling.

An amateur photog was in just the right place at the right moment to snap this meteor-and-shrine shot


“Cheese skipper flies, Piophila casei, lay their eggs in cracks that form in cheese, usually fiore sardo, the island’s salty pecorino. Maggots hatch, making their way through the paste, digesting proteins in the process, and transforming the product into a soft creamy cheese. Then the cheesemonger cracks open the top — which is almost untouched by maggots — to scoop out a spoonful of the creamy delicacy. It’s not a moment for the faint-hearted. At this point, the grubs inside begin to writhe frantically.”

On the shore of Lake Ontario in upstate NY, where I grew up, we had a specific word for that kind of condition.

We called it “May.”

Of course, I’m just fuckin’ witcha, but the truth is that Oswego, NY, once got more than 100 inches of snow in one storm, the Blizzard of 1966, including 50 inches in one day, with winds gusting to 40-50 mph. If I remember correctly, we never lost our power (a miracle), but schools were closed for a week or more, and cars had to drive through canyons called roads. Oswego averages 113 inches per year, so it’s always bad, but that storm was unforgettable to those who lived through it.