Family getaway today!

What ARGs Can Teach Us About QAnon – mssv

QAnon fascinates me (and confounds and scares me), probably because I enjoyed ARGs in the early 2000s. A good read.

Run The Jewels Return! - Broken Record with Rick Rubin

A super good conversation.

Currently reading: 1776 by David McCullough 📚

Stella Immanuel, Trump’s New COVID-19 Doctor, Believes in Alien DNA, Demon Sperm, and Hydroxychloroquine

WTF. Please vote.

Finally ditched Amazon Prime. We will see how long this lasts.

Parenting win: Stella (bass) and Lucy (drums) are jamming Another One Bites the Dust in basement.

Kate Tempest – People’s Faces Lyrics

I learned of Kate Tempest through Joe Talbot’s awesome web show… this song was released in 2019, but it’s so perfect for 2020.

🎵 Blu & Exile - Miles

SO good.

Almost one-third of Florida children tested are positive for the coronavirus | TheHill

“They are seeing there is damage to the lungs in these asymptomatic children. … We don’t know how that is going to manifest a year from now or two years from now,”

Sounds like in-person school is a good idea.

🎵 Garden Variety - Knocking the Skill Level (Remastered 2020)

Finally on streaming! One of my absolute favorite albums.

Miles Beckett on Twitter: “Why are COVID cases increasing while deaths are decreasing? The answer is simple. It’s called Simpson’s paradox and it’s the result of incorrectly pooling data and arriving at a false conclusion. A thread

Super good thread and explainer video.

Would really like a micro.blog plugin to match the Last.fm display @smith implemented on his new blog. Looks so good.

Is free speech under threat from ‘cancel culture’? Four writers respond - The Guardian

Professional consequences start off dire for the people who are cancelled en masse by structural racism. At least old white dudes get the respect of being cancelled on a case-by-case basis.

Good responses from all four writers.

Bully - Every Tradition - YouTube

Another new one from Bully. So good.

Reopening Schools in NJ- Educator Concerns

An even larger list of questions from teachers. SO many issues. It’s not as simple as “we need to open.”

Teaching with Jillian Starr on Twitter: “A Thread: America’s teachers have a lot of questions regarding the push to reopen schools.”

So good and spot on.

Free Speech

ending the charade – Fredrik deBoer

So how can someone object to an endorsement of free speech and open debate without being opposed to those things in and of themselves? You can’t. And people are objecting to it because social justice politics are plainly opposed to free speech. That is the most obvious political fact imaginable today.

Pretty sure no one is against your ability to say things, just that there are consequences for saying things (an even more obvious fact) and that, holy shit, people are finally being held to account for the racist, misogynist, hateful stuff they say (and do) and if enough people feel that way, maybe you finally feel the repercussions. If you feel that forces you to censor yourself or limits your free speech, that is on you. There are plenty of soapboxes for you to spout your bullshit.

BALLEY TV - Episode 3 with Billy Bragg & Arlo Parks

A great episode of Joe Talbot’s (IDLES) web series where he talks with fellow musicians during the pandemic. Love Billy Bragg!

Schools in the Fall

As I was listening to the Daily podcast today, I couldn’t help but think how dangerous the thinking around school opening is…

They lead off the podcast saying stuff like studies say that inside is like 20x more dangerous than outside for contracting coronavirus; that places like restaurants, bars, churches are the most dangerous (places where people congregate for long period of time, talk/sing/laugh/etc); that coronavirus lingers in the air, etc etc. Then they talk about how opening schools will be fine. Even though everything they described fits schools as well?! Crazy.

They do mention studies that seem to suggest young children haven’t been super spreaders, but what about older students and staff? And kids bringing it home to at-risk family members?

The flu ravaged many schools in our area this past school year, so I have no faith in schools coming up with a plan to prevent coronavirus spread. Even more so after reading plans that have been put forth in a few states. Some have no mandatory masks or staff testing and very little guidance in terms of dealing with all of this…

Then there are examples like Israel, which seem to be closest to what I’d expect from most states:

Two weeks after Israel fully reopened schools, a COVID-19 outbreak sweeping through classrooms — including at least 130 cases at a single school — has led officials to close dozens of schools where students and staff were infected. A new policy orders any school where a virus case emerges to close.

The government decision, announced Wednesday evening, comes after more than 200 cases have been confirmed among students and staff at various schools. At least 244 students and school employees have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the Ministry of Education. At least 42 kindergartens and schools have been shuttered indefinitely. More than 6,800 students and teachers are in home quarantine by government order.

Pretending this disease does not affect kids or isn’t dangerous in a school environment is going to get a lot of people hurt.

I understand the want and need to get kids in school, but that doesn’t change the reality of the situation. The quicker we can change the mindset of folks who won’t wear masks and the quicker we can get an actual federal plan and coordinated response to this pandemic, the sooner we will be able to get back to anything close to normal. Four months into the pandemic and that isn’t working out too well.

Dirty Projectors: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert : NPR

The new songs are so good!

RIP Laverne. You will be missed. Such a sweet pig. 😞

A collection of thoughts from our weekend outdoors

Here are my thoughts from this weekend’s camping trip to Stony Brook and. Watkins Glen:

  1. Not checking Twitter, Apple News, or RSS did wonders for my stress level. No service, no notifications, no stress.
  2. We wore masks anytime we were within 20 feet of someone, but many didn’t. Stony Brook hiking trails weren’t too busy on Friday (the rest of the park was…) so we didn’t have much to worry about as we only hiked. Watkins Glen on Saturday felt insanely packed and I’d put mask wearing at like 50% – I was very uncomfortable, even though it was probably not packed at all for “normal” times. I know I’ve been living in a bubble of Buffalo and our neighborhood for the last 4 months, but I’d prefer to not have to deal with that again anytime soon.
  3. I downloaded Hamilton before we left Friday AM so we could watch over the weekend. What an amazing production! One daughter is a super fan, so I’ve heard the music pretty much non-stop the last two or three years, but to see the whole production in order was great. Highly recommended. My only complaint was since Act One set such a frenetic pace, Act Two felt like it dragged a little… even though there was plenty of drama in the second half. If they could improve on one thing, it would be two one-hour, more evenly paced acts.
  4. Watkins Glen is insanely cool as you can see in the pictures. Highly recommended, in normal and/or non-holiday times.

Trip to Stony Brook and Watkins Glen

Friday

Saturday

Local educators urge their peers to be actively anti-racist - buffalonews.com

The kids and I accompanied my wife to the educators rally in downtown Buffalo this evening. Super inspiring. Glad the kids got to see it!