Right now the big picture isn't visible, but with the passage of days or a week, it should become clearer. The current spate of cases could burn itself out as warmer weather ensues. Flu is a highly seasonal disease, for reasons we don't understand. That wouldn't mean we were home free, however. Wherever flu hides in the "off season" (flu does find work in the southern hemisphere's winter), it can come back the following year. Those familiar with 1918 know there seems to have been a milder "herald wave" the previous spring which came back like a freight train in August.
Last weekend while waiting for our ferry to cast off from Swartz Bay, Sidney, BC, a pod of resident killer whales passed within 100 m of us. In all the excitement we managed only one decent photo, a female and her offspring, likely chasing dinner in the harbour.
Saw this over at Deep Thoughts. A beautifully weird fish, the "barreleye", with upward pointing eyes under a transparent canopy of a skull. Another quirky player in life's mad pageant. This release from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute describes how researchers have discovered that these eyes can rotate to fix on prey (it was previously thought the eyes were fixed in their "barrels"), and that it might specialize in feeding on organisms trapped in jellyfish tentacles. The two duct-like bits above the mouth are nostrils.
Another photo, and a link to the paper in Copeia.
I just finished a wonderful biography of Albert Einstein. Well crafted and striking a happy balance between personal life and his understanding of the universe. A number of random thoughts:
His major contributions were generally behind him by 1920. The theory of relativity was published in 1905.
He didn't fail math.
A rebel and a non-conformist, he struggled to find work in academic physics until he revolutionized it.
Some casual conversations with a friend and a letter to Roosevelt, and the US was in the atomic bomb business.
Had Hitler not lost his theoretical physicists, we'd all be speaking German.
The Schrodinger Cat thought experiment was an approach to challenging quantum mechanics, not demonstrating it.
He was an A-list celebrity. Will we ever again pour such fame on a scientist? Particularly for a discovery of no practical application (at least for the next 3 decades).
He was the archetype absent minded scientist.
He was a weakly observant Jew who was offered the presidency of Israel, and turned it down.
He liked to sail.
Friendly and gentle, he was a world government pacifist.
His theories as described in the book are accesible and understandable, and his use of thought experiments is well described. The treatment of quantum mechanics and Einstein's rejection of 'spooky action at a distance' are satisfyingly clear.
My only regret is that I progressed through it in in fits and starts. It's a great read.