Pfaith

Seen recently at a Facebook Friend’s page:

While searching for more about this, I came upon this recent story:

A single pill home cure for Covid could be available by the end of the year, according to reports.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, whose coronavirus vaccine has been successfully rolled out around the world, has begun human trials of the first pill specifically designed to stop the virus at its buildings in the United States and the European manufacturers’ base in Belgium.

The company, which brought the first US-approved Covid-19 vaccine to market, is conducting the stage one clinical trial on an oral antiviral therapy that a patient could take when they first develop symptoms, which would make it the first oral antiviral treatment of its kind in the world for coronavirus.

My take on Covid as of now (guess (reserve the right to change mind without embarrassment)) is: Lockdown CROSS, Treatment TICK, Vaccines TICK. Most of “They” were wrong to obsess about Lockdown, wrong that treatment wouldn’t work, and right about vaccines being something worth throwing a ton of money at. Good that the treatment error seems now to be being corrected.

Alas, Lockdown, is something that many now love, for quasi-religious reasons, and want to continue with.

James Tooley talks about Really Good Schools

I’ve just listened to the whole of this podcast (which I encountered here), in which Paul E. Peterson talks (for a little over forty minutes) with one of my most favourite public intellectuals on the entire planet, Professor James Tooley:

It’s not just what he says; it’s the way he says it.

Here is a link to more information about Tooley’s latest book, Really Good Schools. If you want to buy it on Amazon, here.

When I searched Amazon for “tooley really good schools” I was asked if I meant “toilet really good schools”. But, it did at least show me what was looking for.

What Tooley says, in his ingratiatingly polite and scrupulous manner, is that the best way to sort out education is to have a totally free market. He is the world’s leading spotter of private sector schools for the world’s poorest people, and would like to see this sort of thing spread to richer countries. Although, interestingly, he is skeptical about education vouchers. Politically, they don’t seem to work, because they attract such heavyweight teaching union opposition, and crucially, even if they could be made to stick politically, they might well put off the very people who would be best at owning and running such schools.

Tooley and Peterson also talk about the impact of Covid restrictions, and the consequent rise of home schooling, particularly in the USA. But although Covid has revealed that public schools have been bad compared to private schools during this crisis, when the crisis passes, will very much be revealed as having changed with any permanence? Maybe. We shall see.

Blue iceberg

CuriositĂ  Scientifiche:

How come? Here’s how:

Blue icebergs form in 2 ways: either because they flipped upside down by emerging the submerged part out of the water, or because of extreme ice compression that takes place in hundreds of years.

Blue icebergs are often very old, and contain very little air, originally present in the ice. This composition varies the refractive index generating the amazing blue color.

Comments included: “Spettacolare!”, “Bellissimo”, “Fantastico!”, “La natura è meravigliosa” and “Stupendo”. Or as we Anglos say, and as an Anglo did say: “Wow”.

Photo by Robert B. Dunbar. All hail the Internet. Thank you Nick Gillespie.

No wonder artists don’t do beauty any more.

Surrey pasted

Ouch:

Surrey overnight looked like they could maybe make a fight of it, but by lunch they’d been totally blown away.

Following sport has not been so good lately, for me. Various England cricket teams, after a good start, getting beaten in India in all formats. England in the Six Nations. Spurs being Spurs.

And now this. Surrey, having Spurs money and Spurs talent but now getting (with apologies to 6k) Sheffield United results.

LATER: On the other hand, Patrick Crozier will be very happy about Watford getting promoted straight back to the Premier League. And in addition to supporting the England rugby men I also support the England rugby ladies, and also the Harlequins rugby men. So, the news got better as the day went on.

SUNDAY: Here is how Ravindra Jadeja ended the innings of the Chennai Super Kings against the Royal Challengers Bangalore:

Thirty seven off the over. RCB never got close. Surrey’s Sam Curran plays (rather effectively) for the Super Kings, so that cheered me up.

On the other hand

Invisible Oscar

Oscar, the cat of GodDaughter2’s parental home down in the South of France, is a favourite object of photographic devotion here, and on the right there, the latest Oscar photo, from GD2D, showing him in one of his favourite resting places.

One of the many malfunctions of the Old Blog was that if I wasn’t careful, photos next to text, like that one, would crash into the posting below, if there wasn’t enough text. Doesn’t happen here. Good.

Three especially good links to SteveStuWill

As I mentioned earlier in the week, I’ve been catching up with the SteveStuWill Twitter feed. This time, I’ve picked out just three creaturely amusements that particularly entertained me. I could have listed many more, but these are the ones I especially liked. I mean, if I link to lots of them, you might as well just go there and scroll. If I pick only a few, you get only a few, which may be just what you want.

So: Male sea horse giving birth, to a lot of sea foals; a black heron hunts fish by blocking out the sun; and perhaps most remarkable of the lot, the courtship dance of the hooded grebe. Enjoy.

You can see every organ in the glass frog

Today’s ephemera at David Thompson’s blog has links to some excellent animal amusements.

There is this scaredy cat. And my favourite for a good LOL is this very sensible cat.

But the most seriously remarkable ephemeron is this glass frog:

How did that come about, I wonder? And given that it did, why we do not see this sort of thing more often?

Vincent House with tree shadows – Vincent Square with cricketers

Today I forced myself out, to post a letter which had to be posted, something I don’t think I’ve done in years.

My guess as to where there was a posting box, or whatever they are called, took me to the nearest post office that I am aware of, via Vincent Square, which I hoped would be looking good in the sunshine. It was:

That building is Vincent House, which sounds and looks like it might be important, but it’s just a block of flats.

And this is the middle of Vincent Square:

In earlier times, on a day like this, I would have gone a-wandering and a-photoing, but now, I’m afraid I feel the cold, and although delightfully sunny it was still cold. Also, all walks now take twice as long. So I posted that letter, and also did some shopping and then went straight back home. Shopping being another thing that has had to change recently. Big and occasionally has had to be replaced by less but more frequently, because there are limits to how much stuff I can now carry in anything resembling comfort, especially up my stairs.

Just before I went on this expedition, I got a phone call from one of the Marsden exercise experts. Apparently exercise is good for you. But he would say that, wouldn’t he?

Life goes on.

The front of an electric scooter gets attached to the front of a wheelchair – turning it into an electric tricycle

My habit of opening too many windows at once, and also the rather intrusive vagaries of my back-up system, mean that Twitter, for me, comes and goes. So it’s been a while since I took a look at the Steve Stewart-Williams Twitter feed. Earlier today, I picked out lots of stuff to link to this coming Friday, involving creatures of various kinds doing various amusing and surprising things things. However I was particularly impressed by this bit of video showing … well, see above.

The electric “scooter” (inverted commas because that words seems to include lots of very different contraptions) market is a classic emergent market which has yet to discover exactly what its big products are going to be, rather like cars in about 1900. Maybe this idea of attaching the front of a “foldable scooter” to the seating or standing arrangement of your choice may end up being part of the product range that finally emerges.

A view from The Rooftop

Dined last night at this place. I photoed lots of photos, the four below showing the view that I later zoomed in on:

The day was warm, what with it being cloudless. But the evening got cold, ditto. Which, I fear, has somewhat prolonged the process of me recovering from my second Covid jab last week. Now have headache. So that will have to be it for today.