Tuesday , April 20 2021
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Articles by Lambert Strether

2:00PM Water Cooler 4/16/2021

4 days ago

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Bird Song of the Day

Another shore-bird. Human conversation, too.
* * *
#COVID19
At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site.
I feel I’m engaging in a macabre form of tape-watching.
Vaccination by region:

In a week or so, we’ll see what effect the J&J debacle has had, if any.

Case count by United States regions:

Gaaaaah! (I added blue lines to show the slops of the previous outbreaks. I hate that the direction is up, but there’s no denying the increase, so far, is not as vicious.) Yes, the rise is from the Midwest, but wouldn’t it be nice if the rise in the Midwest was cancelled out by decreases everywhere else.
The Midwest in detail:

MI: “Michigan at ‘record high’ for COVID-19

Read More »

Links 4/16/2021

4 days ago

Patient readers, Yves apologizes for a dearth of original posts. Due to family drama, elder care, and travel planning to address her health issues, her concentration is not what it could be. –lambert
There’s a single New Jersey deli doing $35,000 in sales valued at $100 million in the stock market CNBC
Data Brokers Are a Threat to Democracy Wired
#COVID19

WHO throws in the towel on aerosols?

Thank you for updating this site to prominently include these links.
When will the Scientific Brief be updated to include the various peer-reviewed studies that have been released?https://t.co/W1fu3VcCKS pic.twitter.com/3nc2rcG7de
— C Pita (@CPita3) April 15, 2021

Over to you, CDC! Please, please, don’t make underfunded schools spend money on hygiene theatre that gives only the illusion of safety!

Read More »

2:00PM Water Cooler 4/15/2021

5 days ago

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Bird Song of the Day

Another shore-bird. Big snipe energy!
* * *
#COVID19
At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site.
I feel I’m engaging in a macabre form of tape-watching.
Vaccination by region:

In a week or so, we’ll see what effect the J&J debacle has had, if any.

Case count by United States regions:

Gaaaaah! Yes, the rise is from the Midwest, but wouldn’t it be nice if the rise in the Midwest was cancelled out by decreases everywhere else.
The Midwest in detail:

Minnesota follows Michigan’s upward trend. Illinois emerging from the pack? Oddly, that almost-entirely-covered-over chartreuse (?) line is Nebraska, and it looks like they had an upward trend, and got it sorta

Read More »

2:00PM Water Cooler 4/14/2021

6 days ago

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Bird Song of the Day

Another shore-bird. They seem talkative!
* * *
#COVID19
At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site.
I feel I’m engaging in a macabre form of tape-watching.
Vaccination by region:

South reverts to the mean.

Case count by United States regions:

Gaaaaah! Yes, the rise is from the Midwest, but wouldn’t it be nice if the rise in the Midwest was cancelled out by decreases everywhere else.
The Midwest in detail:

The Michigan dip was noise, dammit. Minnesota follows Michigan’s upward trend. Illinois emerging from the pack? Oddly, that almost-entirely-covered-over chartreuse (?) line is Nebraska, and it looks like they had an upward trend, and got it sorta under

Read More »

Links 4/14/2021

6 days ago

Pet detective says stolen giant rabbit is ‘still hot’ and a smuggling risk Guardian (Re Silc).
Distinct Species of Adorable Weasels Have Been Hiding in Plain Sight Gizmodo
The new TV show ‘Unicorn Hunters’ will feature Steve Wozniak and allow viewers to invest in pre-IPO companies MarketWatch (Mikel).
There’s Nothing to Do Except Gamble New York Magazine. The deck: “Welcome to the non-fungible, memeified, cryptodenominated, degenerate future of finance.”
Bank of England says chief economist Haldane to quit Reuters
What if Working at Home Makes Us Drive More, Not Less? Slate
#COVID19

Governors question Biden decision on J&J, warn of potential hit to vaccine confidence ABC. Another public relations/messaging debacle:

I see it’s "people should stop commenting", "begging the editors to

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2:00PM Water Cooler 4/13/2021

7 days ago

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Bird Song of the Day

Another shore-bird. Quite the wave-form.
* * *
#COVID19
At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site.
I feel I’m engaging in a macabre form of tape-watching.
Vaccination by region:

South reverts to the mean.

Case count by United States regions:=

Gaaaaah! Yes, the rise is from the Midwest, but wouldn’t it be nice if the rise in the Midwest was cancelled out by decreases everywhere else.
The Midwest in detail:

Michigan dips (and since this is a one-week average, this might be meaningful). Minnesota follows Michigan’s upward trend. Illinois emerging from the pack?
MI: “Feds won’t play ‘whack-a-mole’ by sending more vaccines to Michigan” [Detroit Free Press].

Read More »

Links 4/10/2021

10 days ago

Insatiable Shipping Companies Set the Table for the Suez Canal Ship Debacle Labor Notes
Crude Greeks decide it’s time to go very large Lloyd’s List
Credit Suisse Scandal Toll Goes Ever Higher as Rivals Thrive Bloomberg
‘This crisis is different’: the dramatic rebound in the global economy FT
Stabilising the economic outlook Philip R. Lane, European Central Bank
Redefining insurance supervision for the new normal Bank of International Settlements
Managing Divergent Recoveries IMF
Assets Have Tanked at Two of the World’s Biggest Short Sellers Institutional Investor
The Nope theory to explain volatility in equity markets FT. Net Options Pricing Effect.
#COVID19

Ethical, Legal, and Scientific Challenges for COVID-19 Vaccine Passports Bill of Heath, Harvard Law
Antibody evasion by the P.1

Read More »

2:00PM Water Cooler 4/9/2021

11 days ago

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Patient readers, more soon. –lambert
Bird Song of the Day

At reader request, Birds of Australia. A duet.
* * *
#COVID19
At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site.
I feel I’m engaging in a macabre form of tape-watching.
Vaccination by region:

A little dip, hopefully supply not demand. • Early in February, I said a simple way to compare Biden’s performance to Trump’s on vaccination would be to compare the curves. If Biden accelerated vaccine administration, the rate of vaccination post-Inaugural would kink upward, as the policies of a more effective administration took hold. They have not. The fragmented, Federalized, and profit-driven lumbering monstrosity that we laughingly call

Read More »

Why Does the United States Ignore the Possibility of Using Sniffer Dogs to Detect Covid in Mass Settings?

11 days ago

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
I don’t know. By Hanlon’s Razor, because we’re dumb. So that’s it, that’s the post. Anyhow, I stan for sniffer dogs to detect Covid (Links May 5, 2020 and August 5, 2020, those being the examples Google allows me to find). And I keep seeing stories about them. So this will be a very simple post. First, I’m going to list all the real-world examples of sniffer dogs detecting Covid that I can find; some are pilots, some are fully implemented. Next, I’ll present the (few) studies I’ve been able to find on their effectiveness. Finally, I’ll briefly discuss the cost of Covid sniffer dogs, and their cost-effectiveness. First, to the examples.
The United States (March 18, 2021). The New York Post:

International researchers have claimed that well-trained dogs have

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Fact-Checking is Dead, Killed by Snopes over Biden’s Broken Promise of $2,000 Checks

11 days ago

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
I thought the $2,000 check controversy could be allowed to recede into the disconsolate mists of time, as just one more Democrat betrayal, until I heard on The West Wing Thing that Snopes, “the internet’s definitive fact-checking resource,” had rated this claim:
In late December 2020 and early January 2021, President-elect Joe Biden and Georgia U.S. Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock misled the public with claims that winning both Georgia races would allow the immediate passage of “$2,000 checks” for COVID-19 relief.
“Mostly false.” Since I remembered Warnock running on an actual image of a check with “$****2000.00” printed on it, in authentic-looking IBM printer-style type, I wondered what sort of gymnastics Snopes had gone through. Before

Read More »

2:00PM Water Cooler 4/8/2021

12 days ago

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Bird Song of the Day

At reader request, Birds of Australia.
#COVID19
At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site.
I feel I’m engaging in a macabre form of tape-watching.
Vaccination by region:

A little dip, hopefully supply not demand. • Early in February, I said a simple way to compare Biden’s performance to Trump’s on vaccination would be to compare the curves. If Biden accelerated vaccine administration, the rate of vaccination post-Inaugural would kink upward, as the policies of a more effective administration took hold. They have not. The fragmented, Federalized, and profit-driven lumbering monstrosity that we laughingly call our “health care” “system” has not responded to

Read More »

Links 4/8/2021

12 days ago

Mulligan? Golfers consult rule book after ball lands on alligator’s back at SC course Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Peter Thiel Calls Bitcoin ‘a Chinese Financial Weapon’ at Virtual Roundtable Bloomberg
Can Blood from Young People Slow Aging? Silicon Valley Has Bet Billions It Will Newsweek. Actual blood-sucking parasites! Intriguing!
Record rise in global methane emissions in 2020 FT
Analysis: High stakes at sea in global rush for wind power Reuters
Emerging Markets Need a Savior. It’s Not the Fed John Authers, Bloomberg
Greenland elections: Left-wing opposition Inuit Ataqatigiit party wins snap vote Euronews. “According to the US Geological Survey, the sparsely inhabited island has the world’s largest undeveloped deposits of rare-earth metals.” No wonder Trump wanted to buy it.
Party like

Read More »

2:00PM Water Cooler 4/6/2021

14 days ago

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Bird Song of the Day

At reader request, Birds of Australia. A pair of Superb Fairy-Wrens.
* * *
#COVID19
At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site.
I feel I’m engaging in a macabre form of tape-watching.
Vaccination by region:

That’s the stuff to give the troops. • Early in February, I said a simple way to compare Biden’s performance to Trump’s on vaccination would be to compare the curves. If Biden accelerated vaccine administration, the rate of vaccination post-Inaugural would kink upward, as the policies of a more effective administration took hold. They have not. The fragmented, Federalized, and profit-driven lumbering monstrosity that we laughingly call our “health care”

Read More »

Links 4/6/2021

14 days ago

Why more of us are seeing stars: Lack of light pollution from pubs and restaurants during lockdown is a boon for skygazers Daily Mail
Can we engineer our way out of the planetary problems we’ve engineered our way into? Science
Demand boom on collision course with ocean transport ceiling Hellenic Shipping News
Some of the World’s Top Artists Are Trying Their Hand at NFTs. The World’s Top Galleries Are a Bit More Skeptical Artnet News
NFT Price Crash Stirs Debate on Whether Stimulus-Led Fad Is Over Bloomberg
As ransomware stalks the manufacturing sector, victims are still keeping quiet Cyberscoop
#COVID19

Children now playing ‘huge role’ in spread of COVID-19 variant, expert says ABC7 (mv). Osterholm on B117.
Estimation of secondary household attack rates for emergent spike L452R SARS-CoV-2

Read More »

2:00PM Water Cooler 4/5/2021

15 days ago

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Bird Song of the Day

At reader request, Birds of Australia. The Superb Lyrebird does not disappoint.
* * *
#COVID19
At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site.
I feel I’m engaging in a macabre form of tape-watching.
Vaccination by region:

That’s the stuff to give the troops. • Early in February, I said a simple way to compare Biden’s performance to Trump’s on vaccination would be to compare the curves. If Biden accelerated vaccine administration, the rate of vaccination post-Inaugural would kink upward, as the policies of a more effective administration took hold. They have not. The fragmented, Federalized, and profit-driven lumbering monstrosity that we laughingly call our

Read More »

2:00PM Water Cooler 4/2/2021

18 days ago

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Bird Song of the Day

Another migratory bird from the Birds of the Atlantic Flyway.
“The secret life of the Grey Plove‪r‬” (podcast) [Conversations]. “Andrew Darby is a writer who recently became fascinated by the life of a dovish migratory bird called the grey plover. Each year thousands of these birds fly heroic distances, non-stop from the Gulf of St Vincent in South Australia to the mudflats off the Chinese coast near Shanghai. From there they fly up to the Arctic Circle. Until recently, the exact location of their breeding ground at the top of the planet was a mystery.” • This is wonderful episode, from an Australian Broadcasting Podcast that’s also good.
* * *
#COVID19
At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns

Read More »

Links 4/2/2021

18 days ago

Why Animals Don’t Get Lost The New Yorker
Mapping the World’s Key Maritime Choke Points Visual Capitalist (dk).
The Suez Grounding Was an Accident. The Next Blocked Chokepoint Might Not Be. Defense One (Re Silc).
Global chip supply chain increasingly vulnerable to massive disruption, study finds Reuters (Re Silc).
Banks must act to control fraud epidemic FT
Markets pass the Archegos test Axios
#COVID19

CDC Data Suggests Vaccinated Don’t Carry, Can’t Spread Virus New York Magazine. I don’t know what New York Magazine’s editors were thinking when they wrote that headline. It’s not just wrong, it suppresses the key story, which begins in paragraph five:

Though the study is an impressive piece of evidence of the effectiveness of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, some public-health experts

Read More »

2:00PM Water Cooler 4/1/2021

19 days ago

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Patient readers, this is a bit short. More soon. –lambert
Bird Song of the Day

Another migratory bird from the Birds of the Atlantic Flyway. From the Note: “See 1:27 for a masterful run.”
* * *
#COVID19
At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site.
I feel I’m engaging in a macabre form of tape-watching.
Vaccination by region:

Early in February, I said a simple way to compare Biden’s performance to Trump’s on vaccination would be to compare the curves. If Biden accelerated vaccine administration, the rate of vaccination post-Inaugural would kink upward, as the policies of a more effective administration took hold. They have not. The fragmented, Federalized, and profit-driven

Read More »

Links 4/1/2021

19 days ago

Ancient coins may solve mystery of murderous 1600s pirate AP
Mastercard to Share $44 Million Fine Over U.K. Welfare Funds Bloomberg.
New Wells Fargo Employee Walked Through All The Crimes He’ll Be Asked To Commit The Onion
Spac boom fuels strongest start for global mergers FT
One of World’s Greatest Hidden Fortunes Is Wiped Out in Days Bloomberg. A family office.
Bull Market Bull The Big Picture
Why asset managers aren’t solving the climate crisis New Statesman
State of Maine orders review of $54.6m Workday project as it alleges delivery failure and threatens cancellation The Register
#COVID19

Interim Estimates of Vaccine Effectiveness of BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 COVID-19 Vaccines in Preventing SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among Health Care Personnel, First Responders, and Other Essential and

Read More »

2:00PM Water Cooler 3/31/2021

20 days ago

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Patient readers, this is a bit short. More soon. –lambert
Bird Song of the Day

Another migratory bird from the Birds of the Atlantic Flyway. This one very chatty!
* * *
#COVID19
At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site.
I feel I’m engaging in a macabre form of tape-watching.
Vaccination by region:

Early in February, I said a simple way to compare Biden’s performance to Trump’s on vaccination would be to compare the curves. If Biden accelerated vaccine administration, the rate of vaccination post-Inaugural would kink upward, as the policies of a more effective administration took hold. They have not. The fragmented, Federalized, and profit-driven lumbering monstrosity that we

Read More »

2:00PM Water Cooler 3/30/2021

21 days ago

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Patient readers, this is a bit short. More soon. –lambert
Bird Song of the Day

Another migratory bird from the Birds of the Atlantic Flyway.
* * *
#COVID19
At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site.
I feel I’m engaging in a macabre form of tape-watching.
Vaccination by region:

Early in February, I said a simple way to compare Biden’s performance to Trump’s on vaccination would be to compare the curves. If Biden accelerated vaccine administration, the rate of vaccination post-Inaugural would kink upward, as the policies of a more effective administration took hold. They have not. The fragmented, Federalized, and profit-driven lumbering monstrosity that we laughingly call our

Read More »

Is Dr. Fauci Trying to Steal the Credit for All the Vaccines Delivered by Operation Warp Speed?

21 days ago

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
On Sunday Night, CNN ran a special, “Covid War: The Pandemic Doctors Speak Out ” (“Covid War”) which gave rise to the narrative embodied in the following headlines (which cross the political spectrum, from the Independent to the Daily Mail):
All these stories are basically wrappers for a Fauci quote from “Covid War,” which I’ll get to, and if you look carefully, the headlines are pretty vague. What does “pioneered” mean, and is OWS “the project”? What “decision” did Fauci make? What does “started the ball rolling” mean?
So how much credit should we give Fauci? How much credit should we give to Operation Warp Speed? And what is the over-arching narrative that the Biden administration, through Fauci, and with the help of CNN, is trying to construct?
First,

Read More »

2:00PM Water Cooler 3/29/2021

22 days ago

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Bird Song of the Day

I thought I would do Birds of the Atlantic Flyway, and even though it’s very early for them to have returned, I love hummingbirds, so here one is. I love the train whistle in the background!
* * *
#COVID19
At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site.
I feel I’m engaging in a macabre form of tape-watching.
Vaccination by region:

Early in February, I said a simple way to compare Biden’s performance to Trump’s on vaccination would be to compare the curves. If Biden accelerated vaccine administration, the rate of vaccination post-Inaugural would kink upward, as the policies of a more effective administration took hold. They have not. The fragmented, Federalized,

Read More »

Ponzis Go Boom!!!

22 days ago

By Harris “Kuppy” Kupperman, founder of Praetorian Capital, Adventures in Capitalism. Originally published at Wolf Street..
For the past few years, I have been critical of the Ponzi Sector. To me, these are businesses that sell a dollar for 80 cents and hope to make it up in volume. Just because Amazon (AMZN – USA) ran at a loss early on, doesn’t mean that all businesses will inflect at scale. In fact, many of the Ponzi Sector companies seem to have declining economics at scale—largely the result of intense competition with other Ponzi companies who also have negligible costs of capital.
I recently wrote about how interest rates are on the rise. If capital will have a cost to it, I suspect that the funding shuts off to the Ponzi Sector—buying unprofitable revenue growth becomes less

Read More »

Links 3/29/2021

22 days ago

A Dog Who Kept Sneaking into a Dollar General for a Unicorn Toy Gets His Plush and a New Start People
Credit Suisse and Nomura warn of losses after Archegos-linked sell-off FT
Tiger Cub Hwang’s Family Office Behind Friday Trade Frenzy Bloomberg
The Gray Market: How Deep-Pocketed Crypto-Collectors Are Rushing Into an Old Art-Market Trap (and Other Insights) Artnet
Football Index: how ‘stock market’ ended up costing customers millions Guardian
Is that ship still stuck? As of this writing: “Sort of?”
Mega-ship in Suez Canal moved ‘80%’ in right direction Agence France Presse. But the front is still stuck:

“We have seen many celebratory messages over the past week, but I will stick to the facts,” Peter Berdowski of Boskalis (SMIT salvage) told @NPORadio1 on Monday morning.
“The facts are

Read More »

Where the Beltway Mainstream Thinks Obama’s Performance Could Have Been Improved

22 days ago

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
The original title of this post was “Why Obama Was a Bad President,” but in the end I thought that would be preaching to the choir; good clean fun, but not much value added. (Here is a long and detailed — I won’t say exhaustive, because there’s just too much — thread on Obama’s malfeasance and bungling, suitable for retweeting.) So I decided instead to focus on where the great and the good in the Beltway felt Obama’s performance had been sub-par.
Interestingly, MoDo seems to ratified the trend toward Obama revisionism, with “Old Pol, New Tricks” on March 20. She wrote:

So now comes a delicious twist: President Biden is being hailed as a transformational, once-in-a-generation progressive champion, with comparisons to L.B.J. and F.D.R. aplenty, while Obama

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Links 3/28/2021

23 days ago

Investors hunt for source of fire sale that sent stocks tumbling FT
Questions raised over cause of Ever Given grounding Lloyd’s List. Final sentence: “If it does turn out to be the bank effect, questions will need to be answered over how a ship that was under the control of a Suez Canal pilot was allowed to get so close to the shore.” Alternatively:

Is that boat blocking the Suez Canal or is it taking time out for itself as a radical act of self care?
— Desus Nice (@desusnice) March 27, 2021

Suez Canal: Effort to refloat wedged container ship continues BBC. Prematurely triumphal tugboats:

THE SHIP MOVED!! Although just 17 metres but this is good indication. The tugboats are all sounding their foghorns in jubilation. 👏👏👏#SuezBLOCKED #suezcanel #Suez #Evergreenship #Evergiven

Read More »

Need Amid Plenty: Richest US Counties Are Overwhelmed by Surge in Child Hunger

23 days ago

By Laura Ungar, Kaiser Health News Midwest Editor/Correspondent. Originally published at Kaiser Health News.
Alexandra Sierra carried boxes of food to her kitchen counter, where her 7-year-old daughter, Rachell, stirred a pitcher of lemonade.
“Oh, my God, it smells so good!” Sierra, 39, said of the bounty she’d just picked up at a food pantry, pulling out a ready-made salad and a container of soup.
Sierra unpacked the donated food and planned lunch for Rachell and her siblings, ages 9 and 2, as a reporter watched through FaceTime. She said she doesn’t know what they’d do without the help.
The family lives in Bergen County, New Jersey, a dense grouping of 70 municipalities opposite Manhattan with about 950,000 people whose median household income ranks in the top 1% nationally. But Sierra

Read More »

2:00PM Water Cooler 3/26/2021

25 days ago

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Patient readers, this will be a short-ish Water Cooler. I’ve had a busy day of it so far, with more to come. Have a good weekend! –lambert
Bird Song of the Day

In the Big Alabama Bayou.
#COVID19
At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site.
I feel I’m engaging in a macabre form of tape-watching.
Vaccination by region:

Early in February, I said a simple way to compare Biden’s performance to Trump’s on vaccination would be to compare the curves. If Biden accelerated vaccine administration, the rate of vaccination post-Inaugural would kink upward, as the policies of a more effective administration took hold. They have not. The fragmented, Federalized, and profit-driven lumbering

Read More »

Links 3/26/2021

25 days ago

How we discovered a hidden world of fungi inside the world’s biggest seed bank The Conversation
This rabbit walks on its ‘hands.’ Scientists think they’ve found the genetic reason why (video) Science. It does!
More Evidence Links ‘Cat Scratch’ Bacteria and Schizophrenia Gizmodo (Furzy Mouse).
Scientists Finally Identify a Deadly Toxin That’s Been Killing Birds Wired (Re Silc).
The Big, Stuck Boat Is Glorious The Atlantic
Suez Canal Transit Sail Safely. Entertaining. From 2003.
Suez blockage prompts shippers to call US Navy over piracy threat FT
Expert predicts toilet paper shortages will happen again The Hill (Re Silc). Go long bidets….
#COVID19

Pilot Investigation of SARS-CoV-2 Secondary Transmission in Kindergarten Through Grade 12 Schools Implementing Mitigation Strategies — St. Louis

Read More »