300,000 Excess Deaths

There is lots of controversy about counting Covid-19 deaths. Partly because you don’t die directly of covid-19, you die from complications of covid-19, which could be pneumonia, a heart attack, etc.

Turns out we know statistically with a pretty high degree of accuracy how many people will die in the US every year. Looking at how many extra (excess) deaths we can get a good look at how many people are dying from Covid-19.

This has a couple of effects. Someone who would have died this year anyway, doesn’t show up in this number. This washes out older, sicker Covid-19 victims, which leads to a conservative estimate. In the real world they would be Covid-19 deaths. If you have terminal cancer and get in a car wreck the week before you would have died of cancer, you are still listed (for statistical purposes) as being a car accident victim.

The CDC counts 300,000 excess deaths from late January until the beginning of October.

Excess Deaths Associated with COVID-19, by Age and Race and Ethnicity — United States, January 26–October 3, 2020

The Politics of White Anxiety

As I’m have mentioned, I grew up in David Duke’s Louisiana, so that probably colors (ahem) my political views. It is sad that I have seen American politics dominated by racist overtures to voters, recently by Republicans but before that by Democrats.

The recent use of social media platforms for this purpose hasn’t been deeply discussed, at least in public. It isn’t so much a problem that social media has given a neutral meeting place to neo-Klansmen as that it has given monied political groups an effective and stealth way of contacting and organizing these groups. Rather than run broadcast ads that are viewed by everyone and can be judged for fairness and accuracy and are open for discussion, targeted ads in platforms like facebook allow massive amounts of information to flow from political actors to voters, without any scrutiny. This is completely new and (I believe) unhealthy for an open democracy. More from the Boston Review of Books:

The Politics of White Anxiety

Raspberry Pi Sprinkler Controller Finished

I believe this is the “1.0” version of the Raspberry Pi 4 lawn sprinkler controller. I decided to put a fuse in after I burned up my first power supply with a badly designed ground circuit. Of course this can be used as a general purpose controller even capable of switching higher voltages, with a few modifications. Will be running it live on my sprinklers in the next few days. Will post a link when I put the code and parts list out on GitHub.

Last Steak and Egg Ramen

Well, not the last time I’ll make it, but the last time I’ll post it. We have gotten into a sort of pandemic routine with steak on Tuesday. I pan fry it and slice it up and serve it for dinner. The leftovers go to sandwiches, salads and of course, ramen.

But the recipe is mostly the same. Soy, garlic and ginger broth, carrots, sesame oil an egg and homemade sauerkraut. This time I used the flat Vietnamese rice noodles which I now realize I have been undercooking. Much better with 6 – 7 minutes of cooking. Also these noodles are bland so extra soy is needed. A little togorashi and green onions on top and it’s lunch.

COVID-19 Stimulus

I try to keep up with the news and understand what is going on in the world. I understand these are unusual times and there are many things happening, especially here in the US. Much of this ends up being “political”, which means it is based on theory and power and desired outcomes, not actual facts. Not that any of these issues are inherently political, that is, directly having to do with political power and governance. Things with no business being discussed in a political context have been “politicized”, as they say. This is seldom good for the country, though it is often good for a group of even a few individuals.

As I watch the US Senate debate saving businesses and actual lives, I had a hard time accepting what I am seeing. This article confirms my worst suspicions. Many, many people in the US are being made to suffer so that a few politicians can keep their power and their jobs. Sadly, there isn’t any other way to look at it.

Why Mitch McConnell is trying to kill a big stimulus before the election

Salmon Poke Ramen

Made some poke salad last night with sushi grade salmon, marinated in sesame oil and soy with some fresh avocado. Used the leftovers for a simp!e salmon Poke Ramen. Stuck with my usual soy, garlic and ginger broth with some carrot, an egg and homemade sauerkraut. Almost skipped the sauerkraut but glad I didn’t. The salty, crunchy taste went well with the poke. Figured I needed to up my ramen game if I was going to get this Nissin CNO position.