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Status Updates posted by william.scherk

  1. I see your footsteps, Carol.

  2. Science magazine:




    How does coronavirus kill? Clinicians trace a ferocious rampage through the body, from brain to toes

    By Meredith Wadman, Jennifer Couzin-Frankel, Jocelyn Kaiser, Catherine MatacicApr. 17, 2020 , 6:45 PM


    What follows is a snapshot of the fast-evolving understanding of how the virus attacks cells around the body, especially in the roughly 5% of patients who become critically ill. Despite the more than 1000 papers now spilling into journals and onto preprint servers every week, a clear picture is elusive, as the virus acts like no pathogen humanity has ever seen. Without larger, prospective controlled studies that are only now being launched, scientists must pull information from small studies and case reports, often published at warp speed and not yet peer reviewed. “We need to keep a very open mind as this phenomenon goes forward,” says Nancy Reau, a liver transplant physician who has been treating COVID-19 patients at Rush University Medical Center. “We are still learning.”




    How the virus attacks the heart and blood vessels is a mystery, but dozens of preprints and papers attest that such damage is common. A 25 March paper in JAMA Cardiology documented heart damage in nearly 20% of patients out of 416 hospitalized for COVID-19 in Wuhan, China. In another Wuhan study, 44% of 36 patients admitted to the ICU had arrhythmias.

    The disruption seems to extend to the blood itself. Among 184 COVID-19 patients in a Dutch ICU, 38% had blood that clotted abnormally, and almost one-third already had clots, according to a 10 April paper in Thrombosis Research. Blood clots can break apart and land in the lungs, blocking vital arteries—a condition known as pulmonary embolism, which has reportedly killed COVID-19 patients. Clots from arteries can also lodge in the brain, causing stroke. Many patients have “dramatically” high levels of D-dimer, a byproduct of blood clots, says Behnood Bikdeli, a cardiovascular medicine fellow at Columbia University Medical Center.

    “The more we look, the more likely it becomes that blood clots are a major player in the disease severity and mortality from COVID-19,” Bikdeli says.

    Infection may also lead to blood vessel constriction. Reports are emerging of ischemia in the fingers and toes—a reduction in blood flow that can lead to swollen, painful digits and tissue death.




    1. Jon Letendre

      Jon Letendre

      Too bad that you couldn't explain one sentence of this fear porn in your own words, Billy. Not one sentence, not if your life depended on it.

    2. william.scherk


      Re-upping and bolding a line from the intro of the article I linked to at Science:


      What follows is a snapshot of the fast-evolving understanding of how the virus attacks cells around the body, especially in the roughly 5% of patients who become critically ill.

      I think everyone struggles at least a bit to comprehend the novel coronavirus and its impacts on the human body. The article at Science is a brief reading for OL readers who want to know how close medical sciences are to answers for the questions posed in the article. The questions are almost all ''How?"

      Understanding the way the virus works is key to disrupting its work, I think. I thought this article would serve as a reasonably a-political piece to share with OLers. We all seek understanding. The more knowledge, the less fear. I am hopeful that the humans will beat this thing into the ground, if not tomorrow.

      I found the most interesting questions were posed on the subject of cytokine storm versus blood system as cause for certain symptoms. Enormous resources are being put in play by the humans to get safe and effective treatments out the door ...


      Some clinicians suspect the driving force in many gravely ill patients’ downhill trajectories is a disastrous overreaction of the immune system known as a “cytokine storm,” which other viral infections are known to trigger. Cytokines are chemical signaling molecules that guide a healthy immune response; but in a cytokine storm, levels of certain cytokines soar far beyond what’s needed, and immune cells start to attack healthy tissues. Blood vessels leak, blood pressure drops, clots form, and catastrophic organ failure can ensue.

      Some studies have shown elevated levels of these inflammation-inducing cytokines in the blood of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. “The real morbidity and mortality of this disease is probably driven by this out of proportion inflammatory response to the virus,” says Jamie Garfield, a pulmonologist who cares for COVID-19 patients at Temple University Hospital.

      But others aren’t convinced. “There seems to have been a quick move to associate COVID-19 with these hyperinflammatory states. I haven’t really seen convincing data that that is the case,” says Joseph Levitt, a pulmonary critical care physician at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

      He’s also worried that efforts to dampen a cytokine response could backfire. Several drugs targeting specific cytokines are in clinical trials in COVID-19 patients. But Levitt fears those drugs may suppress the immune response that the body needs to fight off the virus. “There’s a real risk that we allow more viral replication,” Levitt says.

      Meanwhile, other scientists are zeroing in on an entirely different organ system that they say is driving some patients’ rapid deterioration: the heart and blood vessels.

      One part Science magazine to nine-parts Infowars is a reasonable trade for me ... it's a mean 'flu' that is still in its top killing phase in many of our states and provinces. "Excess deaths" as the actuaries might plot it.

      I hope everyone is financially secure and staying safe. Our household has two essential service workers who head out every day and one eighty-year old who is the focus of our 'do not bring it home' efforts. Our governments up here, like yours, are feeding empty wallets with future billions. Canadians are in general much more pacified-by-authority than Americans, and so are doing what public health authorities tell them to do without significant protest.

      We have our own gruesome gallows humour on the subject of nursing homes, of course, and the debate on how, where, when and under what criteria we relax the strictures on commerce and recreation.  On the other hand, we don't have the ordeal of a presidential election year to get through at the same time.

      The biggest losers are the high-cost energy producers. The "demand shock" to the global energy markets is going to be felt for a good while in the Oil Patch, by my estimation.

      I will head back to the shallows until I find something as neutrally interesting to share.

  3.  Real Fake stakes ...


    1. Peter


      Symphony of Science by Carl Sagan.
      As the ancient mythmakers knew
      We're children equally of the earth and the sky
      In our tenure on this planet, we've accumulated
      Dangerous evolutionary baggage

      We've also acquired compassion for others,
      Love for our children,
      And a great soaring passionate intelligence
      The clear tools for our continued survival

      We've begun at last
      To wonder about our origins
      Star stuff contemplating the stars
      Tracing that long path

      Our obligation to survive and flourish
      Is owed not just to ourselves
      But also to that cosmos
      Ancient and vast, from which we spring.

  4. Updated with a new mix. I will delete this after a couple more instances ...

    I've finally solved the biggest problem I had with a new kick-ass piece of software, StreamYard. Basically, it is a video-conferencing website. You only need a camera and mic (and for advanced users, accepts both a virtual-camera and a virtual microphone). The very best thing about it is that it has privacy built-in. Unlike Hangouts, which is also used extensively in live video streams of guests and host chatting -- it doesn't require you a Google ID or anything intrusive. You get a web-link, choose your name/moniker, accept or deny use of your camera and microphone, and boom, you are the virtual studio.

    Anyhow, blah.  This below is a kind of sound-mix check. I finally figured out the virtual mixer VoiceMeeter and was able to mix desktop browser sound output as well as media played within the OBS server.  Premiering in 15 minutes ...


  5. According to OL favourite Styxhexenhammer666, it is past time for creators to migrate away from Youtube. 

    Here I tried to embed a Bitchute video into a tweet.  Depending on your browser, you should be able to play the item without having to visit Bitchute and click away from OL.  This may come in handy in the future (you do need your own website that uses encryption [https://etc] to do it yourself).  The ease with which Youtube can be embedded in a comment on this site -- with a single URL -- may eventually be extended in a future software update ... 

    The final finnicks for embedding Bitchute videos in tweets concern width and height ... the above player cuts off a bit of the hosted video at Bitchute's servers.

    I'll add in some extra links to the Brouhaha ...


  6. The folks at Brighteon.com have been busy tweaking and updating code for their video offerings (I was advised today by my subscription to their email updates list).

    Although OLers do not have access to HTML code in order to facilitate an "embed," you can now embed any Brighteon video within a tweet. For those OLers who have Twitter accounts, this means you can easily feature videos from your favourite channels.

    Here is my test of the Brighteon 'share via Twitter' button on the site.

    -- the meat of today's message from Brighteon's Mike Adams:


    Brighteon Update:

    We've rolled out the new Brighteon update that includes a new home page with video channels, video channel subscribes video likes and more. But there are several big glitches you need to know about.

    The R&D team is currently fixing many glitches, including channel subscribe problems. One big known issue is that the video embed code is wrong. It is lacking the "/embed/" subdirectory in the code itself. You can manually edit video embed code to add "/embed" after Brighteon.com in the URL, if you wish. This glitch should be fixed in a day or less, after which the programmer who caused this problem will be pelted with genetically modified rotten corn cobs and required to write "/embed" on a chalk board one thousand times.

    The new home page shows the 2 most recent videos in each category, plus the 2 most popular (in a given time window). We are changing that time window to 3 days, so it will soon show the most popular video in that category from the last 3 days. The channels shown in the home page are selected according to which videos are shown in that category.

    To change your video category, simply change your video title and keywords. Videos are recalculated in terms of their matching category every day, so once you change your title and keywords, you should expect the video category to be updated within a day. The best way to make sure your video goes into the right category is to use the best keywords when you submit the video. Using keyword tags like "health," for example, will ensure the video goes into the health category.

    Videos that don't seem to match any category are put into the "other" category automatically.

    Many videos don't currently show a category, as the category matches are being calculated for the entire catalog of videos we have. This will take a couple of days.

    Channel subscribes and follows:

    New users can now follow your channel by clicking the "subscribe" button under your videos. However, this video feature currently subscribes users to the wrong channel because someone on the R&D team is smoking crack. As a result, don't promote this feature yet. It should be working as soon as that programmer runs out of crack.

    Despite my best efforts, we still have far more errors than we wanted to experience. As a result -- and since we aren't funded by globalist money -- it's going to take us a few days to get all these glitches smoothed out.

    Thank you for your patience. We're working hard to get all the new features fixed and functioning as intended. Frustratingly, this is how R&D goes when you're running on your own funding instead of globalist money.

    The good news is that we are determined to make this platform awesome, even if it means going through some growing pains to get there.

    - Mike Adams, Founder, Brighteon.com


  7. For folks who wish to make excerpts of longer Youtube videos, I can recommend the website https://ytcropper.com/.  Although the resulting excerpt is hosted with ytCropper, the service allows you to embed the short 'cut' in HTML5 pages on your own server, and also works in four out of five browsers as a Twitter Card player option.  Chrome is the outlier.

    Example:  https://ytcropper.com/cropped/Pi5da8a11733d7b

  8. Twitter does a good job most of the time in featuring content from this forum.  Here I tested the embedded tweet function in the OL software. I don't know if topics in the main section of the community forum feature an image, but I will test it.


    1. william.scherk


      This is what the embedded Twitter software does for the main forum topics.




  9. Take that iFastnet.com!  Twitter cards work at the new server!


  10. As the man says ... 


    1. Peter


      you could knock down castle walls with that bowling machine.

  11. Quite a cool demonstration ...


    1. Peter


      Did they steal our Coke recipe?

  12. Orcas in the city! This is a rare happening. False Creek is a shallow inlet separating the main downtown peninsula from the rest of the city. 


    1. Jon Letendre

      Jon Letendre

      He’s there to beg people to stop doing climate change.

  13. Our eighty-year old took himself off to the lake, where he feels his best on the water, in solitude.

    Men of the water, ladies of the sea, a nice triple-species moment waterside. From near Kodiak ...


  14. Cute cartoon-ized Rand quotes from the Mike Wallace interview. Not everyone may have seen it.


  15. My first live interview coming up later today. The sound and vision check was instructive.  I admire the folks that make this seem effortless. 


  16. Monday night promo ...


  17. Sound test #7 has worked out, finally.  


  18. This is weird and wonderful. "A robot inspired by vines can grow 25,000 times its original size." Seeing this brief year-old video made me think of fracking  -- a quasi-organic proboscis sniffing out lucre.


    1. Peter


      What was its energy source? In Scifi lit they have had apparatuses that could build housing units like that, on other planets. 

    2. william.scherk


      [Peter, check here for even more details: http://robotics.sciencemag.org/lookup/doi/10.1126/scirobotics.aan3028

      JULY 19, 2017

      Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

      A newly developed vine-like robot can grow across long distances without moving its whole body. It could prove useful in search and rescue operations and medical applications.


      Imagine rescuers searching for people in the rubble of a collapsed building. Instead of digging through the debris by hand or having dogs sniff for signs of life, they bring out a small, air-tight cylinder. They place the device at the entrance of the debris and flip a switch. From one end of the cylinder, a tendril extends into the mass of stones and dirt, like a fast-climbing vine. A camera at the tip of the tendril gives rescuers a view of the otherwise unreachable places beneath the rubble.

      Robot prototype is soft and flexible and could serve a wide range of purposes.

      This is just one possible application of a new type of robot created by mechanical engineers at Stanford University, detailed in a June 19 Science Robotics paper. Inspired by natural organisms that cover distance by growing – such as vines, fungi and nerve cells – the researchers have made a proof of concept of their soft, growing robot and have run it through some challenging tests.

      “Essentially, we’re trying to understand the fundamentals of this new approach to getting mobility or movement out of a mechanism,” explained Allison Okamura, professor of mechanical engineering and senior author of the paper. “It’s very, very different from the way that animals or people get around the world.”

      To investigate what their robot can do, the group created prototypes that move through various obstacles, travel toward a designated goal, and grow into a free-standing structure. This robot could serve a wide range of purposes, particularly in the realms of search and rescue and medical devices, the researchers said. [...]

  19. You can use the forum tools to add content in the form of a 'status update.' It's kind of a snapshot in time. It appears in the "All Activity" listing page for a day or so and then recedes lower and lower on the currently sampled spreadsheet.

    Your status update has a unique address -- four clicks deep in the reference frame for all of your OL public messages. Since a status appears neither as topic thread header nor comment nor blog entry, it is somewhat like a sticky-note on a very small noticeboard or somewhat like a layer of sediment. To find it again in the future you will have to frack.

    That wind-up out of the way, my status is: I continue to experiment with different social-media and indie-platform integrations.

    Below is a tweet. Inside that tweet is media material drafted  in a 'developers' side of Twitter, specifically Twitter Ads . In a nutshell, you yes you Any Joe get a set of tools -- a 'compositor's desk' with dynamic data structure access (pigeonholes with editable labels and come-ons and blurbs) .

    The tools help any Twitter Joe tailor communications integration --  across platforms and devices. Yes, any Joe can use the 'business' of Twitter Ads for his own nefarious-if-not-slithery purposes. Freewheeling.

    ♒ So ... an experiment. One jigger Twitter, one jigger Youtube, a splash of zany  -- and shake.

    If these 'experimental' status updates are unwelcome or annoying, please let me know. I could easily just delete a status update after a certain number of hours or minutes. In this case,  the integrated 'communiqué would refer to and promote a point in discussion -- the status then gives a tempting/provoking and provides quick access to a point of entry.

    Potential respondents may scroll, avoid, skip, ignore-list your status updates, yet maybe once in a while go freewheeling like Jonathan -- taking a transient mini-topic to the trash ... 

    On the Twitter platform itself, there is added material that you may not see above, depending on your browser. I will test this in all my browsers. Zzzzzzz ...



    1. william.scherk


      The lady is Uriel aka Ruth Norman. There is a great story about her here:  

      Uriel, the Universe’s Best-Dressed Spiritual Leader
      In the 1970s, Ruth Norman became an author, UFO expert, and archangel

      See also her weird 1970s video:  



    2. Peter


      Kooky scam artist. A little funny. Would you trust her to watch your pet when you were on vacation? 

    3. william.scherk


      She daid, Ruth Norman.  I will get to her tonight by way of a woman called Unicole Unicron -- a latter-day Ruth Norman -- a "Starseed."  She also offers Cult Porn, whatever the heck that is. She was featured in an awful, fawning VICE video ...



  21. I did an excerpt from the David Horowitz gathering last month; this is Katie Hopkins, discussing her visit to a Dewsbury suburb called Savile Town.


  22. Just a drive-by with some amazing 'pretty pictures.' Data visualization is a burgeoning field.