Eugene Linden
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Latest Musing

Maddening Numbers

The way in which the media and policymakers are using the numbers on coronavirus approaches insanity. Most of the numbers published are about as credible as Trump’s estimates of the size of his inaugural crowd. Absolutely no one with any expertise believes that China has only 80,000 cases o...

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Deep Past
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endangered animals
rapid climate change
global deforestation
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Books

Winds of Change
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Afterword to the softbound edition.


The Octopus and the Orangutan
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The Future In Plain Sight
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The Parrot's Lament
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Silent Partners
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Affluence and Discontent
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The Alms Race
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Apes, Men, & Language
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It's Firefly Season


Saturday July 12, 2014

It's firefly season, high summer, pretty much my favorite time of year. My evening ritual this time in July is to head out to my favorite bench, nestled in a corner of the yard. 

I usually bring a glass of wine:

The cat's troop out for family hour. Here's Noodles:

 

Typically the air is balmy. Birds sound the alarm about the cats. The cats tustle. I look out at the giant trees that frame the yard:


My teenagers always seem to have something else to do, That's fine; just sitting there, looking out at the trees or up at the clouds, makes it a perfect summer evening. At about 8:15, the fireflies start coming out, and then about ten minutes later the sprinklers come on and chase me and the cats away. I suppose I could reset the timer, but I usually just repair to the porch to finish my glass of wine.

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Short Take

A Glimmer of Hope in the Coronavirus News?

I’m usually the most apocalyptic guy in the room, but, maybe, there’s a glimmer of hope in the latest news on the coronavirus. If it’s been circulating in Washington state for several weeks, it’s probably also been circulating in a few other states for weeks as well. And if there hasn’t been a big spike in visits to emergency rooms with respiratory ailments (and I have not read about such), it may well be that the virus is already widely spread in the U.S., but not hitting Americans as hard as it has populations elsewhere. If this turns out to be the case, the difference might be that there are far fewer smokers in the U.S. than in China, South Korea, Japan and Italy, and that the air is far cleaner in American cities than in China’s. 

We’ll find out in the next few weeks whether Americans are better able to withstand the disease. There remain major unknowns about coronavirus; nor do we know how hard the virus will hit the elderly and infirm. Still, this latest news could be a positive. 



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