About the Lab Leak Hypothesis

UPDATE June 10th 2021, as I find new articles they’re included in the list below.

Science reporting has always been atrocious. The facts and basics of how science works are more often wrong than right as presented in the media. Reporting on the origins of Covid-19 is no different. Two of the biggest errors that journalists keep making during the pandemic are, confusing possibility with probability, and giving too much weight to hypothesis from non-experts like Nicholas Wade.

Here’s a few of articles from actual scientists which include lots of information from other scientists who have even more actual subject matter expertise.

Source: Sandwalk: Real scientists discuss the lab leak conspiracy theory

Source: The Origins of SARS-CoV-2 | Science-Based Medicine

Source: The origin of SARS-CoV-2, revisited | Science-Based Medicine

Source: Sandwalk: Let’s analyze the Newsweek lab leak conspiracy theory article

Source: SARS‐CoV‐2, Covid‐19, and the debunking of conspiracy theories – Hakim – – Reviews in Medical Virology – Wiley Online Library

Source: The COVID Lab-Leak Hypothesis: What Scientists Do and Do Not know – Scientific American

Source: CGGCGG: The latest new-old wrinkle in the COVID-19 “lab leak” conspiracy theory – RESPECTFUL INSOLENCE

Walter Hussman Tr., Just another Rich White Male Southerner Who Helps Discriminate Against Black Women

Here’s actually the true facts of it,” Hussman told Policy Watch. “I never pressured anybody. I didn’t pressure [UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media Dean] Susan King. I didn’t pressure the chancellor. I didn’t pressure [Vice Chancellor for University Development] David Routh or anybody on the board.”

Hussman, however, acknowledged sending as many as five emails expressing his concerns about the hire to King, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and Routh, who is also chief executive of the UNC-Chapel Hill Foundation, the nonprofit that receives gifts on behalf of the school. Hussman also said he sent the emails to at least one member of the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees, who he did not name.

Shorter Hussman – Oh I didn’t pressure anyone except the six emails I sent so I’m not a racist asshole.

Source: UNC mega-donor Walter Hussman denies exerting pressure over Hannah-Jones hiring | NC Policy Watch

Hat tip to :

Source: Nikole Hannah-Jones update: It depends on what the definition of ‘pressure’ is – Media Nation

Cindy Suchan & Jim Garrison Have Shown Their Extreme Racism

The best part of the Trump era is that racists are coming right out and demonstrating their bigotry. Frankly all these racist, dishonorable, un-American, anti-Patriots should be banned from all involvement with honorable Americans.

What at first seemed to be a short audio malfunction at Monday’s Memorial Day ceremony in Hudson’s Markillie Cemetery turned out to be anything but.

Source: Veteran’s audio cut when he discusses Blacks’ role in Memorial Day

Hat Tip to PZ: Racism comes in many forms

UPDATE June 10th – Both of the bigots have resigned:

Source: Another Official Resigns Over Censored Memorial Day Speech | Military.com

American Legion leaders in Ohio also suspended the post’s charter and are taking steps to close it.

That implies that the whole local AL post has a racial bigotry problem. That would not be a surprise to me. Throughout my 60+ year life it’s always seemed that VFW & AL posts, Sons of Italy and other oddly specific ethically named social clubs have mostly been places for old white bigots to hang out and tell racist jokes.

Source: Legion official resigns over censored Memorial Day speech

The draft text of the speech is available to read (the story of the former slaves is great).

Source: Draft of speech given by vet whose mic was cut at Memorial Day service

SolarWinds hackers Clearly Indicate They Think the Most Gullible US Citizens are Trump Supporters

On Tuesday, Nobelium blasted 3,000 different addresses with emails that purported to deliver a special alert from USAID concerning new documents Former President Trump had published about election Fraud.

Only fools who do not understand what USAID is and believe the silly election fraud confidence trick would click the link.

Source: SolarWinds hackers are back with a new mass campaign, Microsoft says | Ars Technica

FlashPix (.fpx) File Conversion

Back at the turn of the century there was file format in Kodak and other digital cameras that offered lossless compression. This format was essential back when cameras were one megapixel or less and any JPEG compression severely limited post processing capabilities.

At that time nearly all photo editing software supported this open standard file format but as camera resolutions increased FlashPix was dropped by manufacturers and the software vendors followed a little later. By the start of the last decade only a few programs supported the format and usually only in the 32 bit versions with plugins that needed to be installed and configured (hard to do for ordinary folks).

I thought I had converted everything I’d ever need back when PaintShop Pro still supported FPX but I was wrong. A decade ago I found a handful of photos I’d taken to document experiments for my job. Searching around I found My ViewPad a free image viewer that still works on modern Windows to view FlashPix files and convert them to many other file formats.

This morning I discovered 90 photos that had never been converted! Since there was such a large number of photos to convert I decided to try out some of the programs that were supposedly capable of doing batch conversion of FPX photos 10 years ago. Unfortunately none of those programs can open FPX files in 2021 (XnView/Convert & IfranView) :-(. So I’m going to have to convert these 90 photos one by one using the still great My ViewPad.

A final tip, when converting your FPX files save them in a lossless format to keep the quality as high as possible. The extra size on these low megapixel photos is insignificant by 21st century data storage standards. Probably the best choices are lossless PNG or TIFF because they are supported by every photo viewing/editing package I’ve tried.

A Must Read for Understanding Trumpism

I don’t think any of us believe that Trumpism is going away. To the extent that we take any comfort from the current chaotic state of the Republican Party, it’s that it seems mainly to be defined by the QAnon craziness of Marjorie Taylor Greene, the alleged perversion of Matt Gaetz and the cartoonish cynicism of Josh Hawley. Yes, we need to keep an eye on them. But they’re so out there on the fringes that the amount of damage they could do would appear to be limited.

Which is why an essay published recently by Glenn Ellmers of the Claremont Institute should chill you to the bone. Running at more than 3,200 words, Ellmers’ screed is nothing less than an assertion of authoritarianism and white supremacy, dressed up in intellectual garb.

Source: From a right think tank, a chilling pseudo-intellectual case for Trumpism – Media Nation

Looks Like Birx is trying to assure her place in hell for helping cause more death and suffering

I thought her mask fashion show instead of a science based briefing and failure to halt Trump’s drink bleach idea were bad, now this.

Source: Former Trump adviser joins company that makes hazardous air cleaners | Ars Technica

Reading her biography it seems to me she’s one of those people who got the degree but really only did good administration work not good science based medicine.