Fake News Can Be Deadly. Here’s How To Spot It

We are all vectors by which fake news can spread. That means you and I can make things better for everyone if we practice information hygiene. Don’t share the meme that has a screenshot of a headline until you’ve Googled for that headline and read the story for yourself. If you won’t listen to me, listen to this cartoon cat. (Kindness is important, too. We’re all fellow humans going through…

It’s reckless and dangerous for a leader with a habit of doubling down in the face of criticism to brainstorm that wildly on coronavirus treaments

Today my Facebook feed featured memes that mocked Trump for telling people to drink bleach, pour it into their bodily orifices, etc. He did say some reckless things, but Donald Trump did *not* suggest that people inject bleach, drink disinfectant, or expose their bodily orifices to sunlight. An opinion on the president is more valuable if it responds to something he actually does say and do. The truth suffers anytime people…

What Each Side of the COVID-19 Debate Should Understand About the Other

I’m very conscious that my lockdown experience has been fairly smooth. I’m teaching two classes right now, versions of which I have already taught online. At home, my nuclear family is getting restless and bored, but we’re busy and productive. Yesterday afternoon I went for a walk with my son in our quiet little suburb. That evening, my daughter asked us all to sit down and watch Spirited Away as…

COVID-19 deaths vs. other common causes (in America)

The number of weekly COVID-19 deaths in America has recently surpassed the 2018 average weekly death rates for heart disease (now the second most common cause of death) and cancer (now in third place). As a kid in school, I expected scientists to be able to provide the one and only correct answer, because that’s how science textbooks and science tests treated the scientific knowledge we were taught. But in…

COVID-19 Cases (Useful Breakdown by Country, State, Population)

A few interesting bits I found interesting to explore: There are two different ways to view the exact same data: The logarithmic scale shows a great comparison of the magnitude of growth between countries, but less of the human impact. The linear scale shows the real human impact — a growth twice the size is twice the number of real people infected. Switch between the two by toggling the scale at the bottom of each…