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Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

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Four Things

1. Two centuries ago, a man confined to his bedroom for 42 days (under house arrest for dueling) wrote a parody travel journal about his time there.

Futility Closet supplies the following excerpt:
Next to my arm-chair, as we go northward, my bed comes into sight. It is placed at the end of my room, and forms the most agreeable perspective. It is very pleasantly situated, and the earliest rays of the sun play upon my curtains. On fine summer days I see them come creeping, as the sun rises, all along the whitened wall.
The author saw his effort as a diversion, but his brother got it published. The whole thing is available today at the Internet Archive.

2. I had to break some good news to my son the other day: He won't need glasses. A failed vision screening at his annual check-up had me bringing him to an ophthalmologist, who found nothing to be concerned about. (Apparently, failed vision screenings in kids with good vision are not rare.)

I chuckle about "breaking good news:" He wanted glasses so he could be like his old man, and enough that he was counting down the days to his appointment!

I tried to get him to see the bright side on the drive home, but I'm not completely sure he's convinced.

3. My wife, a physician, has already been vaccinated against Covid, and her parents will get their first jabs today. For the curious, pharma blogger Derek Lowe sketches out what happens when you get a dose of one of the new mRNA vaccines. Some of the background is entertaining:
One thing to note is that such vaccines can have rather different effects if administered through different routes. Here's a mouse study in 2015 from researchers at Penn and Acuitas (the Vancouver lipid company that's now partnered with Pfizer and BioNTech for their vaccine), looking at lipid nanoparticle mRNA injected several different ways (intradermally, intraperitoneally, subcutaneously, intramuscularly, and intravenously). They just used the RNA for firefly luciferase as a marker for convenience, because you can inject the mice later on with luciferin (the partner for the enzyme) and just look to see where they light up. For those of you outside the biomedical sciences, I am speaking completely literally. [links in original]
We are lucky, as he notes, that this interesting work, which took decades, came to fruition when it did!

4. My favorite soccer team, Arsenal is rebuilding, with all the tribulations that can imply. A seven-game winless run in the league late last year had me concerned that the new, young, and relatively inexperienced skipper might be unable to coach them out of their slump. By January 2, though, the Gunners had won three straight, and I could finally mostly enjoy watching them again.

A highlight of the recent improvement has been the play and leadership of left back Kieran Tierney. I had seen and heard comments of his to the media during the slump that told me he was taking the run of bad form personally and wanted to do something about it.

And indeed he did, as you can see in the video below of Tierney bombing forward to score a stunner against West Brom.


"This guy has 'future captain' written all over him," I texted to a friend who was also watching the game.

I'm not the only one who thinks so, either. Even his post-game interviews are good.

-- CAV

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