Every day, the same, again

17.jpg Contrary to wide‐held beliefs, religiosity decreases with greater expected proximity to death

Our study cannot answer whether some men adopt a feminist identity to increase their access to sexual partners.

Questions from 1920 Still Haunt Neuroscience — A 100-year-old paper anticipated key issues in modern neuroscience

For a while, the Union’s top general in the Civil War was a perfectionist. George Meade kept looking for the perfect opportunity to engage the forces of the Confederacy in battle. He accomplished little. Ulysses Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman got the job done by their willingness to use imperfect methods. How Perfectionism Has Made the Pandemic Worse

Viruses mutate all the time, often with no impact, but this one appears to be more transmissible than other variants—meaning it spreads more easily. Barely one day after officials announced that America’s first case of the variant had been found in the United States, in a Colorado man with no history of travel, an additional case was found in California. There are still many unknowns, but much concern has focused on whether this new variant would throw off vaccine efficacy or cause more severe disease —- with some degree of relief after an initial study indicated that it did not do either. […] Bedford notes that this new variant seems to have a higher secondary-attack rate —- meaning the number of people subsequently infected by a known case — compared with “regular” COVID-19. Finally, the new variant seems to result in higher viral loads (though this is harder to be sure about as viral loads can be affected by sampling bias and timing). […] This variant, now called B.1.1.7, has “an unusually large number of genetic changes, particularly in the spike protein,” which is how the virus gains entry into our cells. The new variant may be better at eluding our immune response and replicating, or be able to better bind to locations in our body more conducive to infecting others, but that is all speculative for the moment. […] we may need to be stricter — less time indoors, better masks, better ventilation, more disinfection of high-touch surfaces. […] We don’t know. We won’t know for a while. [The Atlantic]

Decline in Marriage Associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States

New study following 12,541 healthcare workers for #COVID19 re-infection over 31 weeks published in NEJM. Natural immunisation held up well over the 6 months of the study, with only two cases of asymptomatic reinfections observed.

Scientists turn carbon dioxide into jet fuel

Google Maps’ Moat is Evaporating

You can now gain entry to any station of the New York City Subway with the tap of a phone, instead of the swipe of a MetroCard.

The largest single bank heist of all time was committed the day before the Coalition invaded Iraq in 2003, when Saddam Hussein sent his son, Qusay, to the Central Bank of Iraq with a handwritten note to withdraw all the cash in the bank. Qusay then removed about $1 billion (£810 million) in $100 dollar notes in strongboxes, requiring three lorries to carry it all. Approximately $650 million (£525 million) was found later by US troops hidden in the walls of one of Saddam’s palaces. Although both of Saddam’s sons were killed, and Saddam was captured and executed, more than one third of the money was never recovered. — Seven Greatest Real-Life Heists

How Did Madagascar Become the World’s Biggest Producer of Vanilla?

Maneki-neko (beckoning cat)

Alex’s intelligence was on a level similar to dolphins and great apes. She also reported that Alex seemed to show the intelligence of a five-year-old human, in some respects, and he had not even reached his full potential by the time he died. She believed that he possessed the emotional level of a two-year-old human at the time of his death. Looking at a mirror, he said “what color”, and learned “grey” after being told “grey” six times. This made him the first and only non-human animal to have ever asked a question.

Human chess match, Leningrad, 1924