US Health Weather Map by Kinsa

(healthweather.us)

The U.S. Health Weather Map is a visualization of seasonal illness linked to fever - specifically influenza-like illness. The aggregate, anonymized data visualized here is a product of Kinsa’s network of Smart Thermometers and the accompanying mobile applications. Kinsa is providing this map and associated charts as a public service.

As of March 22nd Florida is showing a ton of red, indicating 3% more fevers than expected based on Kinsa's models for a typical flu season. Between data like this, minimal social distancing policies up to this point, and the demographics of the state, I think Florida is a ticking Covid-19 timebomb.

Accidental hero Rudy Gobert makes North America sit up and take notice of the coronavirus

(www.thestar.com)

And then Rudy Gobert, who treated the coronavirus as a joke, tested positive, and sports stopped. It resulted in the most significant public acknowledgment in North America that this was an emergency, that the coronavirus outbreak was real. Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, tested positive, sure, in Australia.

But Tom Hanks testing positive doesn’t shut down movies, TV, the theatre and high school plays. Tom Hanks testing positive just shuts down Tom Hanks.

“Honestly,” said one sports executive, sounding drained. “Rudy Gobert saved America. He really did.”

It's amazing what can act as a tipping point. I think visibly ill Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg coaching yesterday with a bad regular flu during the Big 10 tournament may have factored in as well.

Bernie's Whole Campaign Was Based On a Misreading of the 2016 Election

(nymag.com)

The factor that actually explains 2016, as some of us chagrined liberals insisted at the time, was Hillary Clinton’s idiosyncratic personal unpopularity. It turned out large portions of the public, even of the Democratic electorate, simply detested her. Sexism is obviously a very large reason, along with Clinton’s own mistakes and the media’s frequently unfair coverage of her. But the important thing is that Clinton’s toxic standing among wide swaths of the electorate was the gravitational force causing the phenomenon Bernie fans misread. Clinton hatred allowed Sanders to draw more than 40 percent of the primary vote, and Clinton hatred allowed Donald Trump to narrowly win.

This is unfortunate on so many levels, but it's the conclusion I've come to over the last couple weeks as Joe Biden's campaign has surged post Super Tuesday and Bernie Sander's has stalled.

What If Ben Affleck Had Stayed at Kansas in 'The Way Back'?

(www.theringer.com)

Jack Cunningham had a full ride to play for the Jayhawks at the same time Paul Pierce, Raef LaFrentz, and Jacque Vaughn were there. Here’s what would’ve happened if he hadn’t quit.

🏀🍿 I'd seen a brief trailer in passing for a movie featuring Ben Affleck as a high school basketball coach1, but I didn't even know anything about the actual premise of The Way Back or remember its title until I read this piece (which is a pretty awesome what-if). Anyway a fun historical exercise in imagining what kind of impact the Ben Affleck character could have had if he had been a real player that had played at Kansas during the implied era and didn't have his career derailed by alcoholism.


  1. I've kind of got a thing for this particular sports movie sub genre, even if most are ultimately disappointing.

Mead schools delayed after dead person found on Farwell Road Tuesday morning

(www.spokesman.com)

An ambulance crew found a dead person in the road near Northwood Middle School early Tuesday morning, leading to a two-hour delay in the Mead School District.

The AMR Ambulance Crew found the body just after 3:30 a.m. on Farwell Road east of Pittsburg Street, according to a Spokane County Sheriff’s Office statement.

I planned to turn onto Farwell this morning on the way into work to go get some gas at the local Fred Meyers and was surprised to find it completely coned off with a police car overseeing the roadblock. You don't expect someone to drop dead in the middle of a suburban neighborhood during the early morning hours so hopefully more information will be forthcoming soon.

How March Madness is planning to combat the spread of coronavirus

(www.cnn.com)

"Let's say that we discover that COVID-19 is an illness where the public health is really threatened," NCAA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Hainline told CNN. "The only people that are in the building are the players and the referees and the necessary personnel. The fans aren't there and we know that the risk mitigation is superb and that the people there are without risk of transmission… We painted all of those scenarios and so we're prepared for that."

🏀 Not really encouraging when we know that COVID-19 is in fact "an illness where the public health is really threatened." The NCAA has the plans, but they don't have the will to implement them proactively, only reactively when infection has spread to a significant number of people. It's up to government to step up to the plate and be the bad guy in this situation, which means we're screwed for a national tournament like this one.

When Coronavirus Struck Seattle, This Lab Was Ready To Start Testing

(www.npr.org)

"We've already gone to three shifts," says Dr. Keith Jerome, a professor in the department of laboratory medicine who runs the lab. "People are going to be here basically all the time."

The lab is processing about 100 coronavirus tests a day. But it's prepared to do more than 1,000 a day immediately and could quickly increase that to 4,000, Jerome says.

I'm so glad these UW scientists had the foresight to start preparing when they did. Hopefully similar efforts have already been underway at labs throughout the rest of the country.

Exclusive: The Strongest Evidence Yet That America Is Botching Coronavirus Testing

(www.theatlantic.com)

Through interviews with dozens of public-health officials and a survey of local data from across the country, The Atlantic could only verify that 1,895 people have been tested for the coronavirus in the United States, about 10 percent of whom have tested positive. And while the American capacity to test for the coronavirus has ramped up significantly over the past few days, local officials can still test only several thousand people a day, not the tens or hundreds of thousands indicated by the White House’s promises.

The time it took to test the two cases in Eastern Washington that I know of (fortunately both negative I believe) was in excess of three days. Now that the UW Virology lab is approved I think it's going to help a lot, but we clearly need even greater capacity across the country to increase testing to an adequate level.

From Tot to Drafts 5

Over the years I've used a variety of different note taking apps on Mac and iOS. On the Mac side NVAlt was probably the first application that I really got on board with. The simplicity and ease of search made it a great environment for collecting my thoughts, gathering information and URLs, and writing down solutions to various tasks that required a few steps on the command line that I could never fully remember.

For notes capture on the iOS side I've mainly used Drafts 4 since it came out and it has served me well. When Drafts 5 came out it looked promising, but I wasn't terribly excited about another iOS software subscription and Drafts 4 continued to work fine for me. I've used 4's text action features at times over the years, but not enough that I needed additional power and functionality.

There was also a real disconnect between my Mac note taking tools and my iOS tools. On the Mac side everything I tried over the years worked via plain text or markdown files (which is great). But that made syncing between macs and iOS challenging and usually involved Dropbox, or a similar third party service. That also increased the chance of file modification conflicts if I was working in my notes app on a couple different macs at the same time. And there was no direct connection between Drafts and my notes archive folder on Dropbox.

Last week John Gruber plugged a very simple and elegant mac text capture app from the Icon Factory called Tot. It's free on the Mac so I downloaded it and gave it a try at work on my work iMac and PowerBook Pro. It synced seamlessly between the two machines and worked well enough that I actively considered whether I would be willing to spend the $20 for the iOS app to finally have a nice integrated solution between platforms.

Thinking about Tot's $20 one time price tag reminded me that Drafts 5 has the same price for a year's worth of Pro functionality. If I was going to spend that amount of money for an app that was kind of similar to Drafts, but with a lot less functionality, maybe I should finally take a look at the latest version. I had never actually tried Drafts 5 on the Mac or iOS so I started investigating and discovered a couple very promising facts:

  1. Basic functionality and syncing is free thanks to iCloud sync!
  2. The Drafts Mac application only requires High Sierra.

So there was really no reason not to try Drafts 5 out this week, and furthermore, that last fact offered a ray of hope for my primary home desktop, a 2009 MacPro desktop which had been running El Capitan until yesterday. Having full notes app integration between all the Apple devices I work on would be a big leap forward.

Dave Nichols: Stars come out from across metro area and region for showcase

(www.spokesman.com)

The event, featuring the Denny Humphrey Memorial Boys All-Star Game and the Jack Blair Memorial Girls All-Star Game, is March 17 at Lewis and Clark High School. The girls’ game is at 5:30 p.m. and the boys tip at 7:30.

The games will feature all-stars from the Greater Spokane League (“Metro”) against the best from the region’s smaller schools, North Idaho, the Mid-Columbia Conference and the Columbia Basin Big 9.

Each of the GSL and Great Northern League schools are represented between the four teams, and MVPs from more than a dozen leagues east of the Cascades dot the rosters.

The Boys Metro team with all the Greater Spokane League players is going to be really solid, but the Region team has some outstanding players as well (a bunch of Eastern Washington league MVPs in fact). Happy to hear that Ferris senior Zach Fleming will be taking part and looking forward to seeing how this one turns out.