2:00PM Water Cooler 3/25/2024 | naked capitalism

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, I had to cope with Trump’s latest escape. They really shouldn’t break stories just as I’m starting Water Cooler. More soon. –lambert

Bird Song of the Day

Red-winged Blackbird, Southards Pond Park, Suffolk, New York, United States. “Many songs and eight or so varieties of call notes in three cuts from the same bird.”

* * *

In Case You Might Miss…

(1) Book collecting among the youth.

(2) Boeing executives auto-defenestrate. Or so we are told.

(3) History of blotter.

(4) Where Starbucks is.. And where it isn’t.

Look for the Helpers

“Some young people have become Colorado book collectors without realizing it. Here’s their chance to win $1,000.” [Colorado Sun]. “The deadline for the Kirkpatrick Prize for Colorado book collectors under the age of 30 is nearing. Wait. What? Are you serious? There are enough under 30 book collectors in Colorado to warrant a competition and $1,000 prize? Apparently. But here’s the thing, the contestants generally don’t realize they’ve slipped into the world of book collecting. They, like many, tend to mistakenly believe that it’s the province of wealthy older men who wear jackets with patches on the elbows and perhaps berets on their heads — you know, sort of professorial, sort of eccentric. And they’re called antiquarians, clearly a name that does not invoke ‘under 30.’ That group certainly makes up a bit of the world of book collectors, Taylor Kirkpatrick said, but in the last decade he’s noticed a growing interest among young people. He started the contest four years ago to encourage that interest. ‘There’s an annual Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair and I would say 10 years ago when you went the population of attendees was in their 50s to 80s,’ he said. “If you go now, I would tell you the demographic is that it does draw a younger crowd, especially for the ephemera and specialty items.’… He started the Kirkpatrick Prize to keep that interest growing and to encourage young collectors, who likely consider themselves book lovers, but not collectors. While there have been fewer than 15 entrants in each of the first three years, Kirkpatrick, who is 51, said he hopes to have more than 15 this year — and for the number to keep growing.” • So good for Kirkpatrick. There’s a lot to be said for books, besides the fact you can drop them in the tub. They work when the Internet goes down. They don’t cause the same eye-strain that screens can. Plus, you can own them.

* * *

My email address is down by the plant; please send examples of “Helpers” there. In our increasingly desperate and fragile neoliberal society, everyday normal incidents and stories of “the communism of everyday life” are what I am looking for (and not, say, the Red Cross in Hawaii, or even the UNWRA in Gaza).


“So many of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in fact a rational management of symbolic capital.” –Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles

* * *


Less than a year to go!

I had planned to post this chart every Friday. But this is Monday. In any case, the message is the same as last Friday. (If I were the Trump campaign, I’d be worried about Pennsylvania, called “the Keystone State” for good reason. Fetterman showed how to win it: “Every county, every vote.” Does the Trump campaign think they’re going to win Pennsylvania with the air war?)

* * *

Trump (R): “N.Y. appeals court reduces Trump’s bond in his civil fraud case to $175 million, a victory for the former president” [NBC]. “A state appeals court ruled that Donald Trump and his co-defendants in the New York civil fraud case have 10 days to post a $175 million bond, down from the $464 million judgment that was originally due Monday. The 11th-hour ruling from a panel of state Appellate Division judges, all appointed by Democratic governors, is a major victory and relief for the former president, whose attorneys had said coming up with the larger bond was a “practical impossibility.” The ruling also means state Attorney General Letitia James’ office cannot yet begin collecting on the judgment. ‘I greatly respect the decision of the appellate division and I’ll post the $175 million in cash or bonds or security or whatever is necessary very quickly within the 10 days, and I thank the appellate division for acting quickly,’ Trump said in front of cameras after he left a New York courtroom for a hearing in the hush money case.” And: “The decision Monday also puts a stay on the part of the original judgment that barred Trump from serving as a public officer of a company, as well as the prohibitions placed on Weisselberg, McConney, Donald Trump Jr. And Eric Trump.” • Hmm. What’s up with that?

Trump (R): “New York appeals court cuts Trump’s bond to $175M” [Axios]. “It’s a huge win for the former president, who was staring down the prospect of a devastating financial and personal blow if he was unable to post the nearly half-billion-dollar bond by the Monday deadline…. A spokesperson for James in a statement on Monday said that ‘Trump is still facing accountability for his staggering fraud.’ ‘The $464 million judgment – plus interest – against Donald Trump and the other defendants still stands.’”

Trump (R): “Trump Bond Reduced to $175 Million as He Appeals NY Fine” [Bloomberg]. “The decision means Trump may be able to push ahead with his appeal without the risk of his assets being seized by New York Attorney General Letitia James for lack of payment.”

Trump (R): “People of the State of New York vs. Donald J. Trump et al.” (PDF) [Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division, First Judicial Department]. In relevant part: “It is ordered that the motion is granted to the extent of staying enforcement of those portions of the Judgment (1) ordering disgorgement to the Attorney General of $464,576,230.62, conditioned on defendants-appellants posting, within ten (10) days of the date of this order, an undertaking in the amount of $175 million dollars….” • No rationale given.

Trump (R): “Today Is the Day That 50 Years of Grifting Finally Comes to an End” [David Cay Johnston, The New Republic]. • Premature triumphalism, excusable in a writer, not in an editor.

Trump (R): “Eric Trump, in Brutal Self-Own, Says Insurance Companies ‘Were Laughing’ as He Tried to Secure $464M Bond for Donald Trump” [Mediaite]. Eric Trump: “I went after the largest sureties in the world, the largest sureties in the country. They said, ‘Eric, the last time we’ve seen a bond that size is when we did the Big Dig of Boston, which was a $25 billion construction project that lasted almost 25 years!’ They’re trying to put my father out of business, they’re trying to take all his resources that he’s trying to put into his own campaign for the presidency…. Leticia James campaigned on this promise, and now they’re making him do something that’s not physically possible! Putting up half-a-billion-dollar bond — bonds that size don’t exist in this country. A $10 million bond is a large bond. A $15 is million bond is an enormous bond. A half a billion dollar bond? Maria…this is ‘lawfare..’” • The headline seems deceptive to me, when I look at the quote (assuming Trump Fils is telling the truth).

* * *

Trump (R): “Trump to Israel Hayom: Only a fool would have not acted like Israel on Oct. 7” (interview) [Israel Hayom]:

Q: I want to present you with a question I think every world leader has to answer. How would you react if your children or grandchildren were kidnapped by Hamas and underwent the same atrocities many Israelis have experienced since Oct. 7?

[TRUMP:] “I would say I would act very much the same way as you did. You would have to be crazy not to. Only a fool would not do that. That was a horrible attack.”

Q: If you were president again, how would you counter the wave of antisemitism in the wake of the war’s outbreak?

[TRUMP:] “Well, that’s because you fought back. And I think Israel made a very big mistake. I wanted to call [Israel] and say don’t do it. These photos and shots. I mean, moving shots of bombs being dropped into buildings in Gaza. And I said, Oh, that’s a terrible portrait. It’s a very bad picture for the world. The world is seeing this…every night, I would watch buildings pour down on people. It would say it was given by the Defense Ministry, and said whoever’s providing that that’s a bad image.”

I’m too lazy to find the quote, but IIRC that was how Trump framed the pointlessness of the Iraq War, in 2016; the destruction of buildings genuinely seems to get to him. And on (per Mearsheimer) The Lobby:

[TRUMP:] Some 15 years ago, Israel had the strongest lobby. If you were a politician, you couldn’t say anything bad about Israel, that would be like the end of your political career. Today, it’s almost the opposite. I’ve never seen you have AOC plus three, these lunatics, frankly. But you have AOC plus three plus plenty of others. And all they do is talk badly about Israel, and they hate Israel, and they hate the Jewish people. And they are open about it. Take a look at some of these, Rashida Tlaib, what she says the way she talks, and they truly hate the Jewish people. And 15 years ago, that would have been unthinkable to be doing that. So Israel has to get, Israel has to get better with the promotional and with the public relations, because right now they’re in ruin. They’re being hurt very badly. I think in a public relations sense.

* * *

Biden (D): “Biden’s cash advantage over Trump cannot be overlooked” [The Hill]. “Biden’s cash advantage over Trump — currently sitting at roughly $40 million — may prove decisive in a race largely hinging on turnout and whichever campaign can effectively reach and mobilize voters…. On top of that, outside groups have pledged more than $1 billion to support Biden’s reelection bid…. It is easy to understand why donors are hesitant to give to the candidate or his committees. The bulk of Trump’s spending is not going to the campaign but to his legal fees.” In other words, Democrats believe that lawfare works (just like they believe the Pied Piper strategy works, despite 2016). So they will keep doing it. More: “Biden’s deep pockets mean the president can open many more campaign offices in the key swing states, ensuring a robust grassroots outreach and get-out-the-vote operation throughout the states that will decide the contest.” • Maybe. It may also be that, just as in 2016, a Trump dollar stretches farther than a Biden dollar (rather like the Big Mac index).

Biden (D): “How Biden can win in the swing states by learning from New York City’s subways” [James Levine, The Hill]. “Warning that Donald Trump is a ‘threat to democracy’ is too abstract a message to sway many citizens to vote for President Biden. Instead, his campaign needs to show voters how the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will benefit them in the years ahead — especially in the swing states…. In its ‘Here’s what’s coming’ campaign, the New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is showing subway riders the future impact of their city and state tax dollars. Giant billboards along the walkway towards the shuttle train from Grand Central Station to Times Square make the coming improvements and benefits tangible: better lighting for safety, elevators to make access easier for all, and more. Biden is starting to do that with in-person visits, such as his Jan. 25 trip to Wisconsin’s Blatnik Bridge on the shores of a bay near Lake Superior. He told residents that without the infusion of $1 billion from the infrastructure funding the bridge was doomed to fail by 2030. But the Biden campaign needs to deliver its ‘coming attractions’ via every available form of visual media in a sustained, overwhelming manner. In print that means billboards on highways and other roads, at train stations, airports and waterways. On social media, that means short video clips showing every possible area of impact.” • Concrete material benefits. What a concept.

* * *

Kennedy (I): “What the Polls Say Today: RFK Jr. Now Hurting Biden, Helping Trump” [Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine]. “[M]ore recent polling has most often shown him helping Trump more than Biden, both nationally and in the battleground states…. There are three big factors that may well affect the size and shape of Kennedy’s vote in the future. First, his veep reveal on March 26 could possibly better define his candidacy and its appeal. Second, and more importantly, he will almost certainly be the object of unfriendly attention from the camp of the major-party candidate (at the moment, Joe Biden) he seems to be hurting. This could come in the form of attacks on his credibility, his ideology (perhaps to make him more attractive to voters from the other major party), or his effect on the outcome (i.e., for Democrats, the benefit Trump might receive). Third and perhaps most important will be the extent to which RFK Jr. gains ballot access, a laborious and expensive process.”

Kennedy (I): “RFK Jr. seeks major boost with VP announcement” [The Hill]. “Team Kennedy’s search for a No. 2 has gotten attention for the unconventional names it’s produced. While many believe Kennedy is likely to choose Nicole Shanahan, a lawyer and mega-donor, others have been privately mused about, with mixed reactions.” • Shannahan — “a West Coast lawyer, who has deep ties in Silicon Valley and is the ex-wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin” — would be, to say the least, a false note.

Kennedy (I):

First Presidential election I remember…

Kennedy (I): This nine-minute (!) video is getting some play:

Kennedy (I): On BitCoin and CBDCs:

* * *

Newsom (D): “Move to Protect California’s Indoor Workers From Heat Upended by Cost Questions” [KFF Health News]. “Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration unexpectedly yanked its support from a sweeping proposal that would have protected millions of California’s indoor workers from dangerous heat, saying it can’t endorse it without knowing the projected costs to the state. But the board that oversees worker safety immediately defied the administration Thursday by unanimously approving new standards intended to protect people who work in poorly ventilated warehouses, steamy restaurant kitchens, and other indoor job sites. The showdown represents a setback to the state’s climate and labor policy goals, and throws the fate of the rules into unknown territory. They had been expected to take effect by summer. The move by the Democratic administration angered board members, who called it a ‘last-minute stunt’ that undermines their regulatory process. It also sparked a protest by warehouse workers, who temporarily shut down the meeting as they waved signs declaring that ‘Heat Kills!’ and loudly chanted, ‘What do we want? Heat protection! When do we want it? Now!’” • Gavin Newsom, the worker’s friend.

* * *

“Biden and the party of ‘democracy’ are terrified of third-party candidates and voter choice” [Jonathan Turley, New York Post]. “[T]he DNC is seeking to block third-party candidates from ballots — Robert Kennedy Jr., Cornel West, and Jill Stein. All three are liberal and are considered a threat to Joe Biden. This effort will likely include any ticket put forward by the No Labels group, seeking a moderate alternative to the two parties. Mary Beth Cahill, the former interim DNC CEO, and DNC operative Ramsey Reid will lead this effort. According to media reports, former Buttigieg campaign aide Lis Smith will also join. This effort includes not just a public campaign against Kennedy and Stein as spoilers, but ‘legal action’ to solve the problem by denying voters a choice…. The contradiction is spellbinding. On the same sites promising to oppose the third-party candidates, the DNC and other groups push the narrative that only the Democrats are working to protect the right to vote…. The DNC is reportedly to be joined in this effort by a well-financed array of groups including the liberal think tank Third Way (which has filed complaints with secretaries of states); American ridge (a Democratic opposition operation), and Clear Choice (a super PAC composed of ‘allies of President Biden’).” • You can hardly blame them. However, that restricting ballot access and lawfare are the highest and best uses for Democrat campaign dollars, as opposed to making the case for their candidate…. Well, that says something.

Our Famously Free Press

“Led by NBC, U.S. corporate media is learning to live with Trump” [Semafor]. “For weeks before NBC News journalists exploded into open revolt Sunday over the network’s hire of a top Donald Trump supporter, the media company that controls three of the top U.S. news networks had been quietly rebuilding its ties to the former president. Network insiders noticed on March 5, when, during MSNBC’s Super Tuesday broadcast of Trump’s primary wins, host Rachel Maddow indicated to producers off-camera that viewers had heard enough from the former president. MSNBC president Rashida Jones told production staff that she wanted to stay with his speech. Maddow mused live about the challenges of taking Trump’s comments on the fly and ‘allowing somebody to knowingly lie on your air.’ Six days later, CNBC welcomed the former president back to Squawk Box for a phone-in interview primarily conducted by right-leaning host Joe Kernen.” • So presumably the Ronna McDaniel flap will die down, even if McDaniel herself turns out to be a sacrificial victim.

Democrats en Déshabillé

“James Carville, the Cajun Who Can’t Stop Ragin’” (interview) [Maureen Dowd, New York Times]. “‘A suspicion of mine is that there are too many preachy females’ dominating the culture of his party [Carville says]. ‘Don’t drink beer. Don’t watch football. Don’t eat hamburgers. This is not good for you.’ The message is too feminine: ‘Everything you’re doing is destroying the planet. You’ve got to eat your peas.’ ‘If you listen to Democratic elites — NPR is my go-to place for that — the whole talk is about how women, and women of color, are going to decide this election. I’m like: ‘Well, 48 percent of the people that vote are males. Do you mind if they have some consideration?’” • Hmm.


“I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.” –William Lloyd Garrison

* * *

Resources, United States (National): Transmission (CDC); Wastewater (CDC, Biobot; includes many counties; Wastewater Scan, includes drilldown by zip); Variants (CDC; Walgreens); “Iowa COVID-19 Tracker” (in IA, but national data). “Infection Control, Emergency Management, Safety, and General Thoughts” (especially on hospitalization by city).

Lambert here: Readers, thanks for the collective effort. To update any entry, do feel free to contact me at the address given with the plants. Please put “COVID” in the subject line. Thank you!

ake effect by summer. The move by the Democratic administration angered board members, who called it a ‘last-minute stunt’ that undermines their regulatory process. It also sparked a protest by warehouse workers, who temporarily shut down the meeting as they waved signs declaring that ‘Heat Kills!’ and loudly chanted, ‘What do we want? Heat protection! When do we want it? Now!’” • Gavin Newsom, the worker’s friend.

Resources, United States (Local): AK (dashboard); AL (dashboard); AR (dashboard); AZ (dashboard); CA (dashboard; Marin, dashboard; Stanford, wastewater; Oakland, wastewater); CO (dashboard; wastewater); CT (dashboard); DE (dashboard); FL (wastewater); GA (wastewater); HI (dashboard); IA (wastewater reports); ID (dashboard, Boise; dashboard, wastewater, Central Idaho; wastewater, Coeur d’Alene; dashboard, Spokane County); IL (wastewater); IN (dashboard); KS (dashboard; wastewater, Lawrence); KY (dashboard, Louisville); LA (dashboard); MA (wastewater); MD (dashboard); ME (dashboard); MI (wastewater; wastewater); MN (dashboard); MO (wastewater); MS (dashboard); MT (dashboard); NC (dashboard); ND (dashboard; wastewater); NE (dashboard); NH (wastewater); NJ (dashboard); NM (dashboard); NV (dashboard; wastewater, Southern NV); NY (dashboard); OH (dashboard); OK (dashboard); OR (dashboard); PA (dashboard); RI (dashboard); SC (dashboard); SD (dashboard); TN (dashboard); TX (dashboard); UT (wastewater); VA (dashboard); VT (dashboard); WA (dashboard; dashboard); WI (wastewater); WV (wastewater); WY (wastewater).

Resources, Canada (National): Wastewater (Government of Canada).

Resources, Canada (Provincial): ON (wastewater); QC (les eaux usées); BC (wastewater); BC, Vancouver (wastewater).

Hat tips to helpful readers: Alexis, anon (2), Art_DogCT, B24S, CanCyn, ChiGal, Chuck L, Festoonic, FM, FreeMarketApologist (4), Gumbo, hop2it, JB, JEHR, JF, JL Joe, John, JM (10), JustAnotherVolunteer, JW, KatieBird, LL, Michael King, KF, LaRuse, mrsyk, MT, MT_Wild, otisyves, Petal (6), RK (2), RL, RM, Rod, square coats (11), tennesseewaltzer, Tom B., Utah, Bob White (3).

Stay safe out there!

* * *

Immune Dysregulation

“A prognostic model for SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infection: Analyzing a prospective cellular immunity cohort” [International Immunopharmacology]. “. After breakthrough infection with SARS-CoV-2, there was a decrease in effector T cells and an increase in naïve T cells. The assessment of cellular immunity prior to breakthrough infection can serve as a prognostic tool for SARS-CoV-2 infection.” • Hmm.

“As Princess of Wales reveals diagnosis, doctors warn of mysterious cancer ‘epidemic’” [Daily Mail]. “There is significant confusion among researchers as to what might be causing the trend, although most agree it is unlikely to be down to a single factor…. Researchers are also beginning to turn their sights on possible changes to the microbiome to explain the trend…. However, despite growing theoretical enthusiasm, scientists are hindered by the difficulty in conducting the necessary long-term cause-and-effect studies needed to draw a link between what people eat and their risk of the disease…. Models based on global data predict that the number of early-onset cancer cases will increase by around 30 per cent between 2019 and 2030, a markedly faster increase than the previous 30 years.” • Huh. Since 2019. Huh.


Life is too short to chase variants. But KP.2?

Let’s see if it starts showing up….

Elite Maleficence

This seems odd:

Does CDC remove treatment guidelines routinely?

* * *

TABLE 1: Daily Covid Charts


1) for charts new today; all others are not updated.

2) For a full-size/full-resolution image, Command-click (MacOS) or right-click (Windows) on the chart thumbnail and “open image in new tab.”


[1] (Biobot) Our curve has now flattened out at the level of previous Trump peaks. Not a great victory. Note also the area “under the curve,” besides looking at peaks. That area is larger under Biden than under Trump, and it seems to be rising steadily if unevenly.

[2] (Biobot) Backward revisions, I hate them.

[3] (CDC Variants) As of May 11, genomic surveillance data will be reported biweekly, based on the availability of positive test specimens.” “Biweeekly: 1. occurring every two weeks. 2. occurring twice a week; semiweekly.” Looks like CDC has chosen sense #1. In essence, they’re telling us variants are nothing to worry about. Time will tell.

[4] (ER) “Charts and data provided by CDC, updates Wednesday by 8am. For the past year, using a rolling 52-week period.”

[5] (Hospitalization: NY) Looks like a very gradual leveling off to a non-zero baseline, to me.

[6] (Hospitalization: CDC) Still down. “Maps, charts, and data provided by CDC, updates weekly for the previous MMWR week (Sunday-Saturday) on Thursdays (Deaths, Emergency Department Visits, Test Positivity) and weekly the following Mondays (Hospitalizations) by 8 pm ET†”.

[7] (Walgreens) Leveling out.

[8] (Cleveland) Flattening.

[9] (Travelers: Posivitity) Now up, albeit in the rear view mirror.

[10] (Travelers: Variants) JN.1 dominates utterly.

Stats Watch

The Economy: “United States Chicago Fed National Activity Index” [Trading Economics]. “The Chicago Fed National Activity Index edged up to a three-month high of 0.05 in February 2024 from a downwardly revised -0.54 in January, signalling a slight increase in economic growth.”

Manufacturing: “United States Dallas Fed Manufacturing Index” [Trading Economics]. “The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ general business activity index for manufacturing in Texas decreased to -14.4 in March 2024, down 3.1 points from -11.3 in the previous month.”

* * *

Finance: Is there wheel repo?

Manufacturing: “Boeing CEO to Step Down in Overhaul Sparked by Safety Crisis” [Bloomberg]. “CEO Dave Calhoun will leave the company at the end of 2024, while Chairman Larry Kellner will not stand for re-election, Boeing said in a statement. Stan Deal, who leads Boeing’s commercial airplanes division, will also retire immediately. Chief Operating Officer Stephanie Pope [came up through finance] will take on Deal’s role, the company said.” And the airlines haven’t even met with the Board yet! More: “The changes come amid growing customer frustration with Calhoun and Deal as a crisis centering on the planemaker’s manufacturing quality and safety shows no signs of receding nearly three months after a fuselage panel blew out of an airborne 737 Max in January.”

Manufacturing: “Boeing CEO, other executives stepping down amid safety crisis” [NBC]. “How many times can ‘won’t happen again’ happen again?” Bank of America Corp. analyst Ronald Epstein wrote in a report in January. ‘Both Boeing and [Boeing parts supplier] Spirit [AeroSystems] need a drastic cultural overhaul. This cultural change won’t come from FAA mandates, congressional hearings, internal memos, or one-hour all hands meetings. For culture to move from corporate jargon to being embodied in the habits and minds of both workforces, we see it as necessary for Boeing and Spirit to drastically rethink the ways they have operated.’” • So, defenestration.

Manufacturing: “Boeing whistleblower John Barnett was spied on, harassed by managers, lawsuit claims” [FOX]. “The lawsuit, filed to the U.S. Department of Labor, says in January 2017, Barnett was notified that his name was ‘1 of 49’ listed in an e-mail on a supervisor’s desk titled ‘.’” • Oh, right. Not that kind of hit list.

Manufacturing: “Blind Items Revealed #4” [Crazy Days and Nights]. “A detective who thinks a very recent whistleblower death is not a suicide says someone tried to recently kill him. John Barnett/Boeing.” • This is a gossip site, so take with a truckload of salts. Nevertheless:

* * *

Manufacturing: Crapification:

My father bought a Bakelite electric coffee grinder in 1964. Still going strong. I thought I’d get something a little more up-date, bought a streamlined Braun coffee grinder at Macy’s, when we had Macy’s. It lasted a year. So it goes!

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 68 Greed (previous close: 71 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 69 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Mar 25 at 12:55:59 PM ET.

Rapture Index: Closes up one on Food Supply. “Many nations have a shortage of food” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 187. (Remember that bringing on the Rapture is good.) NOTE on #42 Plagues: “The coronavirus pandemic has maxed out this category.” More honest than most! •


“Landmark Study Confirms Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Is ‘Unambiguously Biological’” [ScienceAlert]. “In 2016, years before long COVID was a thing, the US National Institutes of Health, the largest single public funder of medical research in the world, launched a study into a long-neglected and puzzling condition: chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, or ME/CFS. Eight years later, the results of that study are finally out. In one of the most thorough investigations to date, researchers took a deep dive into a small group of 17 people who developed ME/CFS after an infection and found distinct biological differences compared to 21 healthy controls. ‘Overall, what we show is that ME/CFS is unambiguously biological, with multiple organ systems affected,’ neurologist Avindra Nath, lead researcher of the study and clinical director of NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), said in an interview with JAMA.” • So that should stop the gaslighting [hollow laughter]. Now do Long Covid (and don’t take eight years. Or blow another billion).

The 420

“For Brilliant Color: Packaging the First LSD Blotter” [The MIT Press]. “In contrast to today, when psychedelics are imagined to be medicines, party favors, or indigenous sacraments, many LSD users in the 1960s imagined their favorite substance as a kind of media. Like the increasingly technological media of the postwar world, LSD filters, transforms, and amplifies non-drug phenomena. Ghost played with this association by disguising his acid as film stock promising “brilliant color.” Each sheet was wrapped inside mylar, which not only protected the acid from damaging UV light, but also discouraged suspicious parties from opening the package on a whim, potentially destroying unexposed film. This “medium is the message” idea permeated acid discourse and marketing. Other examples include “Window pane,” “Clearlist,” and some of the first printed LSD blotters, which featured electric light bulbs.” • Like this:

Class Warfare

“Playground bullies do prosper – and go on to earn more in middle age” [Guardian]. “Children who displayed aggressive behaviour at school, such as bullying or temper outbursts, are likely to earn more money in middle age, according to a five-decade study that upends the maxim that bullies do not prosper. They are also more likely to have higher job satisfaction and be in more desirable jobs, say researchers from the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex. The paper, published today, used data about almost 7,000 people born in 1970 whose lives have been tracked by the British Cohort Study. The research team examined data from primary school teachers who assessed the children’s social and emotional skills when they were 10 years old in 1980, and matched it to their lives at the age of 46 in 2016.”

News of the Wired

If you’re considering internal exile, here’s a handy map:

* * *

Contact information for plants: Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) find out how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal and (b) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi, lichen, and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. From SR:

SR writes: “Shot in Staunton River State Park in remote southern Virginia.” Autumn leaves, but what’s revealed after the snow melts, too.

* * *

Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the annual NC fundraiser. So if you see a link you especially like, or an item you wouldn’t see anywhere else, please do not hesitate to express your appreciation in tangible form. Remember, a tip jar is for tipping! Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of donations helps me with expenses, and I factor in that trickle when setting fundraising goals:

Here is the screen that will appear, which I have helpfully annotated:

If you hate PayPal, you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check. Thank you!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button