How humanity fought infectious disease before vaccination

Siddartha Mukherjee, who won the Pulitzer Prize for the magisterial “The Emperor of All Maladies,” a history of cancer, wrote in The New Yorker last month about the history of our ability to control infectious disease. The answer for one plague came came from the East, from an era before doctors and medical science. It’sContinue reading “How humanity fought infectious disease before vaccination”

Fauci leads: Trump flails

From Michael Spector in The New Yorker, How Anthony Fauci became America’s Doctor, three weeks ago today: “Just before midnight on March 22nd, the President of the United States prepared to tweet. Millions of Americans, in the hope of safeguarding their health and fighting the rapidly escalating spread of┬ácovid-19, had already begun to follow theContinue reading “Fauci leads: Trump flails”

“The fire had me fully terrified” — T.C. Boyle on the Thomas Fire (and more)

For the Ojai Quarterly [pdf], yours truly had the opportunity to talk to T.C. Boyle about the Thomas fire, debris flows, climate change, and other scary realities of the 21st Century. The interview also motivated me to catch up on some past works of Boyle’s, and boy was that worth the reading. Check it out:Continue reading ““The fire had me fully terrified” — T.C. Boyle on the Thomas Fire (and more)”

Baked Alaska

From The New Yorker, of course, in today’s daily cartoon. It’s worth noting that in earth’s long history yes, evidence of the existence of palm trees and other tropical plants living at the North Pole has been documented. A tropical Arctic existed for over a million years. Runaway global warming is not only possible, it’sContinue reading “Baked Alaska”

An inequality graphic that’s not a chart but a cartoon

Take a glance at this depiction of the raging income inequality debate. It's refreshing, because on this subject there have been approximately 573 stories, studies, and graphs, graphs, graphs posted in the past 48 hours or so in the press, and this is about the only one that's been humorous. It's incredible, the volume of this debate, and its implications, inContinue reading “An inequality graphic that’s not a chart but a cartoon”

John Cassidy: Start the blame game — it’s over for Mitt

From veteran writer/editor John Cassidy, blogging for The New Yorker: When Romney decided to run in 2012, the best argument for his candidacy was that he had nothing to do with the Bush Administration and could appeal to moderate voters. But rather than trying to make a break with the Bush Administration and portraying himselfContinue reading “John Cassidy: Start the blame game — it’s over for Mitt”

Lovelock Predicts Global Warming Will Kill Billions

Seasoned journalists tend to look down on the Q & A format as useful only for those who can't really write, but when it comes to truly original thinkers — such as James Lovelock, famous for the Gaia idea that the earth is a self-regulating system — I dare disagree. It's difficult to hear "theContinue reading “Lovelock Predicts Global Warming Will Kill Billions”