After a pretty crappy day, I found shreds of joy in this clip of socially distanced salsa.

In my discipline, teaching small seminars typically depends on students sharing their weaknesses and vulnerabilities in pairs and small groups, gradually building trust while the teacher moves through the room, listening and joining in and backing away as appropriate. Masked students who are 6 feet away from each other will have to shout their failures from behind their masks, which is a totally different dynamic than having students put their…

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The Most Toys (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season Three, Episode 22) Data Abducted by Eccentric Collector

Rewatching ST:TNG after a 20-year break. The crew react to losing Data in a freak shuttle accident, but he’s been kidnapped by a trader who wants him for his collection. An odd, low-stakes episode that gives us a good look at Data’s ethical principles and negotiating technique, as he calmly debates with his captor and experiments with ways to resist. I got a little tired of the eccentric Fajo. He…

Wearing A Mask Is A Sign Of Mutual Respect During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Shortly after my region ended their lockdown, I went to my local Walmart to return something I had purchased online. I was shocked that more than half of the people there weren’t wearing masks. I got in and out quickly, wondering all the while whether the chance to get infected was really worth the $22 bucks I had coming to me for returning a defective rechargeable LED utility light. When…

When is Donald Trump kidding? When is he being sarcastic? When is he being serious? Who gets to decide?

Earlier today a reporter, following her journalism training, asked Trump, “Were you just kidding, or do you have a plan to slow down testing?” His response: “I don’t kid, let me just tell you.” At this weekend’s Tulsa rally, the president had said, referring to the US response to the coronavirus pandemic, “I said to my people, slow the testing down, please.” Monday his press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the…

Rt Covid-19 — How Quickly Coronavirus is Spreading in the American States

This site tracks Rt, the value that measures how many people the average infected person infects, in each of the American states. An Rt greater than one (depicted as red in this interactive chart) means the virus is spreading to more people. A value less than 1 means it’s on track to die out. Note that we still don’t know the the extent to which people who’ve had the virus…