Malia Jones at The Conversation advises that we stop obsessing about "risk assessment" in re COVID and return to risk reduction: "wearing masks, getting vaccinated and boosted, avoiding indoor crowds and improving ventilation." The last item often requires legislation (for public buildings) and/or shaming and shunning (for private buildings), but you have a lot more control over the first three items. Remember: you're better off trusting an actual epidemiologist on these matters than a social media "influencer."
Study reverses memory loss in aging mice by "washing" their brains in cerebrospinal fluid. The fluid apparently washes out waste products, bathes brain tissue in proteins, and boosts growth of myelin, the sheathing material that protects neurons. Needless to say no one's done this in humans yet, but if it works anywhere near as well as it did in mice, it could be a game-changer in treating dementia and similar conditions. I wish the researchers (from at least four nations!) the best in continuing their work. If only spinal fluid could wash out the memory of watching all those pricks on Fox News!
Find yourself cringing a bit that Spain has outlawed harassment of women who try to get abortions at clinics? The key word in that formulation is harassment -- you don't need to be that creative, of course, to exercise your right to free speech without actually harassing an individual. But I would have struck the words "annoying" or "offensive" from the list of proscribed behaviors -- let shame, not the law, handle that stuff; outlawing "intimidating or coercive acts" is justice enough. It'll all be moot in the United States, of course, once our Supreme Court rules there's no right to an abortion anymore.
When I hear that Elon Musk says he'll be voting entirely for Republicans this year because Democrats are "too much captured by the unions" which is to laugh, I can't help but think I might be using that information as a reason not to vote for Republicans! But in truth, we've got enough evil to which we can tie Republicans (book banning, immaturity about masks and vaccines, fear about confronting their own racism, and of course, January 6), and also Elon Musk just isn't as unpopular as other titans of industry such as Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg. At least, not yet.
Gov. Ron DeSantis (E-FL) has signed a bill that actually makes protesting in front of a private home illegal. How typical -- if someone, somewhere, is being an asshole, Ron DeSantis gets insanely jealous and tries to be an even bigger one. And where sane people see peaceful protestors, Mr. DeSantis sees only "angry mobs," which sure is rich coming from a man who obviously aspires to be a one-man angry mob. I'd say our Supreme Court would smack this down with a quickness, citing the precedent about protesting at abortion workers' homes, of course, though given how many good Americans have protested their houses lately, I'd just as soon expect the opposite -- which sure would be ironic, coming from a gang of jurists who've spent their lives devaluing other folks' lived experiences.
Finally, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he opposes NATO membership for Finland and Sweden, and though I prefer not to resort to ad hominem arguments, if Mr. Erdogan's against it, that's a pretty good reason to be for it. And dig his reasoning! Finland and Sweden haven't "taken a clear stance against terror organizations"? I think everyone's taken a "clear stance" against "terror organizations," though we may disagree that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party actually is a "terror organization." Anyway, yammering on about "terror organizations" is what dictators do. We know Mr. Erdogan's a dictator not just by what he does, and not just by how easily he wins re-election these days, but by the fact that our former President has such a hard-on for him.