Spokane man continues hiking Pacific Crest Trail despite pleas to stop


His decision to keep trekking flies in the face of public health experts and the pleas of trail organizers and communities along the way.

Johnston is neither apologetic nor alone in his decision to hike. On March 15, he started a Facebook page “Still Hiking PCT.” As of Friday, it had 1,200 members.

“I’m finally unplugging from the mainstream,” he said in a phone interview Wednesday near Idyllwild, California. “I’m going to live my life for me. And then coronavirus popped out. Well, sorry, I am going to be a little bit selfish.”

The question I have in all this is why he chose to publicize his choice and make an issue out of it by creating a Facebook Page. I think if all he wanted to do was complete through hiking the PCT, he could have kept to himself and done it relatively safely in obscurity. If he masks up every time he resupplies in one of the towns along the way so he's minimizing his potential to spread disease, that's not much different than staying at home and getting groceries once a week. One person doing this unobtrusively is fine, one person doing it and actively promoting it to others- not okay.

Bill Gates is funding new factories for 7 potential coronavirus vaccines, even though it will waste billions of dollars


Gates said he was picking the top seven from the available vaccine candidates and building manufacturing capacity for them. "Even though we'll end up picking at most two of them, we're going to fund factories for all seven just so we don't waste time in serially saying 'ok which vaccine works' and then building the factory," he said.

Twenty five years ago I thought of Bill Gates as a villainous figure because of the whole Windows vs Mac/Open Source angle, but I haven't felt that way for a long time. At this point I'm just really glad to have someone with his resources and intellect doing everything he can to help the world.

United States COVID-19 Tracking Dashboard


Probably the most elegant state by state tracking dashboard and numerically efficient view of COVID-19 for the United States I've seen yet. I continue to be impressed by the visualization capabilities of the modern web even though this kind of thing is pretty ubiquitous. Source is available on Github as well.

Coronavirus Deaths by U.S. State and Country Over Time: Daily Tracker


Deaths are not a perfect proxy for total infections, since the fatality rate from the disease depends on the underlying age and health of populations; the availability of various treatments; and the capacity of different health systems themselves. But they remain one of the best available measurements to compare places right now.

This is one of the more useful graph/data combos I've seen yet for figuring out the current Covid-19 situation in a given state1 because it shows deaths to date and current doubling rate. Projecting out a week from today (3/31/20) based on starting point and doubling rate I'm most concerned about New York (17,536), Michigan (2274), and Illinois (950) because they're all looking at an order of magnitude jump in deaths based on current trends. I'm really encouraged to see Washington has a doubling rate of 7 days currently- hopefully we're going to see clear signs in the next week of the doubling rates slowing down further throughout the country.

  1. Or country, although I'm just focusing on the U.S. in this post.

Pixel Vision 8


Out of the box, Pixel Vision 8 is ready to play games, but why stop there? You can use the built-in tools to create 8-bit games with custom resolutions, sprites, sounds, and more. There is nothing quite like PV8 because it can be anything you want.

Pixel Vision 8, a fully customizable fantasy console that allows you to create, play, and share 8-bit games, is now free for the next few months thanks to the generosity of its creator. I've had my eye on this project for a while and I'm happy to get a chance to play with it further.

Sword of Kings (The Saxon Stories, #12)


📚 Finished Sword of Kings today and really enjoyed it. It's the 12th book in the series though so I'm heavily invested. The pacing on this one was particularly good and the payoffs and callbacks to things setup in the earlier books were pretty satisfying.

Pastor brings 1,000 people to Sunday service, defying state's coronavirus order


On Sunday, Pastor Tony Spell said his Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge bussed people from five parishes in for the service, assembling the 1,000-person gathering despite orders to not hold gatherings of more than 50 people.

He says he plans to hold another one on Tuesday.

As of right now Louisiana is third behind New York and Washington State in total COVID-19 deaths with 83, and seems likely to move up the the total case rankings if they have enough testing capacity. What a terrible confluence of unnecessary peril and willful ignorance.

Firefighter Farrar: From one dream job to another


Farrar moved back to the US in the fall of 2017, bringing down the curtain on a career that spanned more than a decade and in which he won stages in all three Grand Tours. The then 32-year-old could have conceivably carried on for another year – at least – but by the time he finished his final race in Canada he had known for some time that he was ready to move on.

Joining the fire service had always been at the back of his mind, even when he was a young kid kicking ass on the track back home in his early teens, but when the wins started to flood in he understandably chose to follow one dream while the other was put on hold.

Tyler Farrar grew up in Wenatchee, WA so I always enjoyed following his pro cycling career from afar over the last decade or so. My interest in the sport has waned a bit in recent years though and I hadn't realized he had completely retired 3 years ago. Really cool to see that he knew exactly what he wanted to do next after wrapping up his cycling career, and that he's now working as a firefighter in Kirkland.

US Health Weather Map by Kinsa


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


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.