Monday, August 30, 2021

Elisabeth, Princess of Bohemia: Freedom is not free


You are exercising what the poet Keats called your chameleon quality, the ability to ‘tolerate a loss of self and a loss of rationality by trusting in the capacity to recreate oneself in another character or another environment’. Such a feat of imaginative recreation has always come easily to me. Too easily. It’s part of being a watcher, forgetting who you are and putting yourself in the thing you are watching.
Helen Macdonald, H is for Hawk

Fast Company: 3 Habits Of Especially Happy People

Great question: which died-too-young artist would you grant 50 more productive years to? Basquiat? Aaliyah? Mozart? Robert Johnson? Janis Joplin? River Phoenix? Selena? Notorious BIG? James Dean?

More than one ton of Nazi uranium is still missing.

County-Level Estimates of Excess Mortality Associated with COVID-19 in the United States (preprint) medRxiv. From the Abstract: ” In the present study, we estimate a generalized linear model of expected mortality in 2020 based on historical trends in deaths by county of residence between 2011 and 2019. We use the results of the model to generate county estimates of excess mortality and excess deaths not assigned to COVID-19 for each county in the US. Overall, we estimate that 437,849 excess deaths occurred in 2020…. Across individual counties, the percentage of excess deaths not assigned to COVID-19 varied substantially, with some counties’ direct COVID-19 tallies capturing only a small fraction of total excess deaths. Our findings suggest that consideration of excess deaths across counties is critical for a full accounting of geographic inequities in mortality during the pandemic.” Scientific American has a summary and this handy chart:

On the negative excess deaths: “Some New England counties actually had negative excess deaths last year—fewer people died than usual—possibly the result of reductions in other causes of death while people stayed at home, the researchers say.” Freedom isn’t free.