/ in English


Laughing to Transgress

This also implies that when humor-police shows up, they are a symptom of a collective lack of understanding and of unacknowledged taboos.

When we ban fun and mockery, we ban challenging insights, and we do so at our own peril” (Steven Wittens).

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How Iceland Beat Covid-19 (So Far)

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Last Person to Receive a US Civil War Pension Dies

Until this week, US taxpayers were literally and directly paying for the Civil War, a conflict whose origins stretch back to the earliest days of the American colonies and continues today on the streets of our cities and towns” (Jason Kottke).

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Reduced Flights Reduce Meteorological Accuracy

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Wait! Rakuten bought Marie Kondo?

She has a new book coming on tidying up what workspace — Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life. Guest (sic.) what — I know, I won’t be picking that up — Marie Kondo’s hokum doesn’t spark joy anymore.” (Om Malik).

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Thank god for the internet

What the hell would be happening now without it?” (Joshua Topolsky).

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Alas, Zoom’s video conferencing technology is best of breed, and because Zoom is easy to use and the quality is so high, it is exploding in popularity now that the whole world is working and socializing remotely. All of the following can be — and I believe are — true: Zoom is popular, useful, and by their own admission not trustworthy” (John Gruber).

Alas, Zoom is the service I am stuck with to do my work. Yet another reason to wish this situation to be over.

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Happy Piano Day!

🎹 🎼🎶🎶🎶🎶

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Albert Uderzo, l’un des pères d’« Astérix », est mort

Sad. I love Asterix. (Although, to be honest, the more recent… ) There are worse ways to go than by a heart attack at age 92 though. By Belenos!

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Another great video on Covid-19.

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Good summary.

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Climate change is not the only threat to our plants

We should definitely take the climate issue seriously, but when it comes to biodiversity, there are other threats that are at least as important to consider, says Johan Ehrlén, professor at the Department of Ecology, Environment and Botany (DEEP) at Stockholm University” (my translation from the Swedish press release).

Yes! This perfectly sums up what has been bugging me about the otherwise great thing of more and more people waking up the the problems of global warming. Because, if we only focus on that threat we run a huge risk of throwing the baby out with the bath water. We need to fight climate change but we must not forget why we fight climate change!

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Who is getting sick, and how sick? A breakdown of coronavirus risk by demographic factors

The new coronavirus is not an equal-opportunity killer: Being elderly and having other illnesses, for instance, greatly increases the risk of dying from the disease the virus causes, Covid-19. It’s also possible being male could put you at increased risk” (Sharon Begley).

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Covid-19, March 2020


Good news:
+ The mortality rate of Covid-19 is 5 times lower than that of SARS
+ For most people it is no worse than a common flu
+ It seems like only the elderly and especially those who suffer from a previous health condition is at risk
+ The virus is only spreading after a person has become ill and not during the incubation period

Bad news:
– No one is immune to the virus (Of course – because, this is what the main problem is)
– A vaccine will take at least a year to develop

The big unknowns seem to be, and these are my questions (not discussed in the video), how long will we restrict travel to and from northern Italy and other risk areas? Will we have to wait for a vaccine? Or is there a point when enough people, everywhere, has been infected so that it doesn’t matter anymore? And when is that point reached?

It seems that, ironically, the quicker the population get infected the quicker our problems will be over. Nevertheless,

Stay safe and healthy!

Update: This video address the questions I raise. It turns out that the answer has to do with whether we consider the disease to be an epidemic or a pandemic.

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This is crazy!

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Freeman Dyson, Math Genius Turned Visionary Technologist, Dies at 96

“Life begins at 55, the age at which I published my first book” (Freeman Dyson).

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Lawrence Tesler, Who Made Personal Computing Easier, Dies at 74

What a resume.

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A travel guide to Xbox destinations

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Hacking Google, a red handcart for red roads

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The Celsius scale was born in 1742, globally endorsed in 1948 and got its modern definition in 1967. Late bloomer.

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Who Buys Big SUVs?

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Sad. Although, if Graham Chapman’s Memorial Service is anything to go by, sad does not have to mean not funny.

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Fast Company: Apple and Google’s Location Privacy Controls Are Working

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For 50 years, what is called “globalization” has in fact consisted in two opposing phenomena that have been systematically confused.

Shifting from a local to a global viewpoint ought to mean multiplying viewpoints, registering a greater number of varieties, taking into account a larger number of beings, cultures, phenomena, organisms, and people. Yet it seems as though what is meant by globalization today is the exact opposite of such an increase. The term is used to mean that a single vision, entirely provincial, proposed by a few individuals, representing a very small number of interests, limited to a few measuring instruments, to a few standards and protocols, has been imposed on everyone and spread everywhere. It is hardly surprising that we don’t know whether to embrace globalization or, on the contrary, struggle against it” (Latour 2018, pp. 12-13).

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Orphei Drängar

The concert yesterday started a little differently.

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