COVID-19 Leadership Matters – A Tale of Two States

The response to the COVID-19 crisis has varied from state to state depending on the perceived need for aggressive action and depending on political considerations in our divided nation. As a result, the United States offers 50 simultaneous experiments in epidemiological response, often with dramatically different initial conditions, such as the high population density and [...]

Quick COVID-19 Math

Due to the scarcity of tests across the country, hospitals usually only test those cases that they need to admit to the hospital.  The hospitals are not testing the majority of people complaining of symptoms, nor the many possibly infected asymptomatic people.  We need to keep this fact in mind when looking at the statistics [...]

Planting Pacifies Pandemic Panic

The cognitive disconnect is extreme. Beautiful March sunshine, flowers in bloom, the bees, buzzing in anticipation of a new season. Shuttered businesses, empty grocery shelves, shelter-in-place orders and lock-downs around the country, all in preparation for the onslaught of an invisible enemy. A liar in chief tries to turn a catastrophe to his personal advantage. [...]

Twinning Intelligence

We have entered the age of "pretty smart" machines.  There have been some showpieces in the form of Jeopardy's Watson and recently the game playing AlphaGo and AlphaZero machines that far and way bested the best human players at their game.  Notably, unlike previous game playing machines, AlphaZero was never programmed on how to play [...]

States Must Adopt EU Pesticide Regulations to Stop Insect Extinction

The world is in the midst of an insect extinction crisis.  We've all heard about the plight of bees, but the plight of all insect fauna is much less widely appreciated.  The figure below is from a report in Science  a few years ago showing the precipitous decline in insects worldwide.[1] What beekeepers and naturalists [...]

Peak Phosphorous

I've just become aware of another malady that industrial society has to worry about. Peak phosphorous is probably not on your radar yet, but it could be as big a problem for society as peak oil or climate change. Phosphorous is an essential element for all life forms. Phosphate is part of the DNA and [...]