While it’s not uncommon for these scientific journals to take a stance on policy issues, it’s absolutely remarkable for them to take an active stance against a presidential candidate, and even moreso to actively endorse that candidate’s opponent. It is quite literally the first time that The Lancet, NEJM, Science, and even SciAm have ever taken an explicit stance against a candidate, or endorsed one. That’s a large part of why we made this megathread. The act of these journals rebuking a candidate is itself large news, before you get to the rebukes themselves./r/science

Journal Statements

Press Coverage:

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Drink your pumpkin spice, put your Christmas tree up. This year has been hard. Do whatever brings you a little bit of joy.

@sarahcpr: New plan: we set up a fake university and tell Trump we’re giving him an honorary medical degree, when he shows up we trap him in a Truman Show style world where we can watch him pretend to be president but he can’t actually hurt anyone.

@executivegoth: VOTE. The car crashed and were trapped in the car and the car is on fire. VOTE to get out of the car so we can put the fire out, vomit up the smoke and go into the years of traction it’ll take to heal. You can’t vote to be fine yet. First you have to VOTE TO GET OUT OF THE CAR.

@CyrusMMcQueen: I keep tellin’ folks, “Biden just may have to be your rebound. And that’s okay… You’ve been in an abusive relationship and, Biden’s the decent guy who could be the bridge between your nightmare and your dream love.”

Robert Reich: Wouldn’t it be nice if pro-lifers focused on suicide prevention? Or ending the death penalty? Or fighting poverty? Or curbing hunger? Or stopping gun violence and police killings? Or combating the opioid epidemic? Or ending wars? You know, things that would actually save lives?

I assumed [the Captain] was looking for a wife of taste and sophistication, who was a dead ringer for Tippi Hedren; instead he wanted to marry a curtain-wearing religious fanatic who shouts every word she says.

Roald Dahl’s Widow Says Charlie From ‘The Chocolate Factory’ Was Originally Black.

The defunct Trump Plaza in Atlantic City is currently wrapped in black netting to keep people nearby from getting hurt by random pieces of its eroding facade. It will be imploded altogether in January.

Percy Long Prong’s business card.

Do you want to stay with Donald Trump?

What a year.

One that doesn’t make guns and bombs. One that’s not at war with itself constantly. One that doesn’t poison the air, doesn’t poison the land, doesn’t poison the sea. One that has enough respect for each other and the planet we live on and all the other life forms that share this planet that we live on. One that has enough respect for all of that, to live in a way that’s completely sustainable, that is beneficial to all of life, so that mankind becomes a symbiotic life form that’s supporting the life of its host planet instead of being a parasitic life form that’s devoiding its host planet of its ability to support life.

Animaniacs trailer for their 11/20 return – man, does this inspire some really warm fuzzy feelings.

The striped cuckoo actually has some freakin’ groovy mating dance moves. *chirp chirp* boogie-woogie-woogie

“I’m really exhausted, and I’m feeling just sort of existentially insane, but I’m trying to hold it together.” – John Mulaney, 11/28/17

Emotional support symbiotes (Elodie and Calyx).

The children have gone feral and I love it.

Elder Bunny, Small God of Fluffiness.

Yippie-ki-yay, yippie-ki-yoah, ghost riders in the sky …

Jabba the Cupcake.

Give me compliments.”

I had a woman tell me I would burn in hell as I held her hand during her abortion […t]hey just lack the empathy to understand that everyone seeking abortions has the same need that they do.

[T]here’s a mysterious foreign debt lender on Trump’s records, whom he owes half a billion dollars, and we don’t currently know who the fuck that is. But that debt is personally guaranteed to come due in the next few years, and he doesn’t have the money to even dent it.

The Samuel L. Jackson Garden Gnome.

*very disappointed sigh* Kind of wish they hadn’t gotten “The Watch” all entirely wrong. Really poor casting for Vimes and Sybil, for example. “We need to make Terry Pratchett hip! You’ve heard the expression, ‘let’s get busy’? Well, this is a dog who Watch which gets ‘biz-zay!’ Consistently and thoroughly. We’re talking about a totally outrageous paradigm.”

Boy, this cover of Dolores O’Riordan’s “Dreams” is absolutely, transcendently beautiful.

I use Backblaze and I’ve been trying to figure out their (IMO poorly designed) backup system, but the relevant help desk article made me think of Cher. I am now imagining “If I Could Roll Back Time.”

Evidently if you show footage of wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tubemen in reverse, they actually dance pretty well.

Goodfellas: “Put it in front of the window. Shh, shh, just be quiet.

Trump 2020! Now with endorsements from the KKK and Taliban, and funding from neo-Nazis!

BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA! Good kitty!

Modern works of art + stomach zerberts = gold.

“I heard my mother asking our neighbour for some salt. I asked her why she was asking them as we have salt at home. She replied: ‘It’s because they are always asking us for things; they’re poor. So, I thought I’d ask something small from them so as not burden them, but at the same time make them feel as if we need them too. That way it’ll be easier for them to ask us for anything they need from us.'” – Ali al-‘Afifi

The inner border reads ‘God Save the King,’ and the outer border, repeated over and over in Morse code, is ‘Fuck Hitler.’

Get DOWN with your bad self.

Trump, by Siegfried Woldhek.

African children who have never seen white skin with arm hair before. (Turn sound on.) Really kinda cool. 🙂

The more things change. *sigh*

New York: Trump Won’t Debate Unless There’s a Risk of Infecting Biden.

‘Hallelujah’ melody + ‘Taken’ monologue = …

New York Times: White House Blocked C.D.C. From Requiring Masks on Public Transportation. “[A] sweeping order last month requiring all passengers and employees to wear masks on all forms of public and commercial transportation in the United States, but it was blocked by the White House, according to two federal health officials.”

Trump on Barr: “Where are all the arrests?” Reminds me of: “Where’s the kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom!

Some of the images OCR’d and put together into one piece.

Libby Jones (via Twitter):

Most people who know the name Sophie Scholl know she was a 21 year old German student activist who was executed by the Nazis for distributing anti-Nazi pamphlets on her college campus. But people don’t talk about what happened leading up to her execution, or what happened after.

Sophie and her brother Hans were caught by a university janitor named Jakob Schmid as they distributed pamphlets in a courtyard. He grabbed them, declared them “under arrest,” and turned them over to the Gestapo. Four days of interrogations later, they were in front of Nazi judge Roland Freisler (one of Hitler’s favorites, his “hanging judge” flown in from Berlin) for a show trial that Hans and Sophie’s parents weren’t allowed in the courtroom for.

Hans, Sophie, and their friend Christoph Probst were all found guilty of treason, sentenced to death, and beheaded a few hours later.

No one talks about this janitor, Jakob Schmid. He got a cash reward and a promotion for turning in Sophie and Hans. The University of Munich threw him a celebration. Hundreds of students attended and cheered for him. He thanked them with a Nazi salute.

After the war, Jakob Schmid was arrested and put on a trial of his own. He said he only turned the Scholls in because distributing pamphlets was against university policy – it wasn’t because of the content of the pamphlets.

When you think of Nazis, you probably think of uniformed officers. But the Nazis were a political party of everyday people. So also think of a janitor tsk-tsking that someone wasn’t protesting “the right way.” A student at a rally applauding him. A judge towing the party line.

We like to tell ourselves Nazi Germany was so horrific it could never be repeated. Maybe you don’t personally know someone who would have flipped the switch on the gas chambers. But I can almost guarantee you know a Jakob Schmid.

Tumblr user sentientcitizen:

Here’s the opposite story, though. With apologies because I don’t have the book in front of me, so I may get some details wrong, but I read this [in] “Irena’s Children” by Tilar J. Mazzeo.

Irena lived in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation, and dedicated her life to rescuing Jewish children from the Ghetto, and her story is complicated in a lot of ways but – well, this story isn’t actually about Irena, per se.

It’s about a bus driver.

It’s about a day when she’s traveling across town by bus with a very young Jewish child, and partway to their destination the child looks up and asks a question – in Yiddish. and the whole bus goes quiet, because everyone knows what that means. And Irena thinks, okay, we’re going to die here today.

And she’s running through her options – all of them bad – and suddenly the bus stops, and the bus driver announces that there’s been a mechanical failure and the bus needs to return to the depot immediately. Everyone off, please.

And she stands and goes to get off the bus and the driver says – not you two. Sit down. So she sits down as everyone else leaves, because, well, what else is she going to do? the options are all still bad, at this point.

And when the bus is empty the bus driver says, “Where do you need to go?”

And then he drives them as close to their destination as he can, and lets them off, and drives away. And Irena lives, and the kid lives, and they never cross paths again.

So a janitor got three people killed, and a bus driver saved two lives – not to mention all the other lives indirectly saved because Irena was able to continue her work.

I think about that almost every day now, to be honest.

We can’t all be Irena. I couldn’t be Irena. She was in a unique place with very specific skills and connections that let her do what she did. I am just one mentally ill librarian. I can’t be her. But – I can be the bus driver. Or I could be the janitor. Because it doesn’t matter what your job is. It doesn’t matter who you are. In a world like this, every single one of us has the opportunity to do massive harm or massive good. We can save lives or end them.

And that’s scary. but it’s also very comforting? at least for me. Because at the end of the day it means this: no matter of how small and helpless and unimportant you feel, you’re never powerless in the face of great evil.

You can choose to be the bus driver.

Tumblr user athingofvikings:

I have another story from the Holocaust.

Two, actually.

One is long, and one is brief.

The first story is about my grandfather.

He was a slave in a Krups munitions factory in a Nazi concentration camp in Czestochowa, Poland.

He was also a smuggler. If I did not have multiple corroborating witnesses to the sheer ludicrous balls that he had, I would dismiss the stories as exaggeration. But he was a food smuggler-he would buy some kind of sugar from the Polish day workers coming into the factory, make candy out of them, sell the candy back to the workers at a profit, and buy food with the proceeds-which he then proceeded to share with the other slaves, free of charge. Without him, they would have starved to death, but an extra hundred calories a day made a difference enough to keep them alive.

But that’s not the story.

The story is what happened in Spring of 1945.

My grandfather could hear the guns of the Russian Army off in the distance, and he and the other captives in the camp figured that they would be liberated any day now.

And then a truck packed full with preteen Jewish children who had just been captured comes into the work camp instead of the extermination camp up the road. Because the Nazis were so fixated on their hatred of Jews that they diverted war resources to hunting us down even as they were losing.

So it’s pandemonium. They’re unloading the truck of the kids, the guards are yelling at the driver, the kids are milling about not knowing what’s going on…

And my grandfather sees one boy who looked a little older, a little more mature, and figured that this one he can save. It’s just a few days until the Russians arrive, after all.

So he tells the boy to come with him.

And the rest… got loaded back onto the truck and off they went to the gas chambers.

But it wasn’t a couple of days.

It was six weeks.

Stalin personally ordered the Army to slow their advance and told the Polish Resistance to rise up, and that the Russians would support them with food and weapons.

So they rose up… and were slaughtered. Because they got nothing from the Russians. Stalin knew that anyone who would be resisting the Nazis would be resisting him next, and it was an elegant way to weaken Poland before he took it.

Meanwhile, my grandfather is hiding a fourteen year old boy in a NAZI CONCENTRATION CAMP.

The risks they took to hide him… they would hold him up over empty shoes sewn to long pants at the evening roll call so that he would look taller. They smuggled food to him… If they had been caught… I have nightmares of what would have been done to them.

Finally, one night, they are all locked in their barracks as the Nazis evacuated the camp and the Russians were coming in, with the Nazis using the camp for cover for their escape.

And in the chaos…

My grandfather lost track of the boy.

Twenty-two years later, he tells this story to my father when my father is 12, and has demanded to know something, be told something concrete.

So he doesn’t know what happened to the boy. Did he live? Did he die? Did he find his mother and sisters?

He doesn’t know.

Six months later, my grandmother is planning my father’s bar mitzvah. Not as a religious obligation, but as a 200 foot tall flaming middle finger to the Third Reich. You are gone, and WE ARE STILL HERE.

So she plugs into what my father called the “Camp Network”-the trombonist in the band was on a death march with an uncle, the florist was in a work camp with a friend, etc. And she’s asking, “I need a photographer, who is good?”

“You want Joe Brown, up in Queens,” she’s told.

So she invites him down to talk terms at their house in Brooklyn, which is quite a haul in NYC.

And the first question one Holocaust survivor asks another is, “Where were you?” Because maybe you know someone, maybe you can tell what happened.

“I was in Czestochowa,” he says.

“You were in Czestochowa? My husband Teddy was in Czestochowa!”

“I didn’t know a Teddy Baum.”

“Oh, everyone knew Teddy.”

“I didn’t know a Teddy Baum!”

“When he gets home, you’ll see. Everyone there knew Teddy.” Because he was smuggling in the food that kept them all alive.

So the thing is, you live in the US for 20 years, you forget that your name was not “Teddy Baum” but “Tuvyas Bumps.”

And when my grandfather got home from work…

…sitting there at his kitchen table…

…was the boy he had saved.

(I’m not crying…)

That’s the first story.

The second story is that of my grandfather’s brother.

It is short.

He collaborated with the Nazis to save his own skin. He let my grandfather’s first wife and son starve to death in the ghetto and informed on people who tried to escape or resist. My grandfather said that “Good people went up the chimney and he stayed behind.”

Two brothers.

One saved over a hundred lives.

The other betrayed his own flesh and blood to save his own skin.

Your choices define you.

Whoever destroys a single life is considered by Scripture to have destroyed the whole world, and whoever saves a single life is considered by Scripture to have saved the whole world. – Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5


Spotify playlist of overly dramatic covers of normal songs for movie trailers, of which I am reminded by the super-dramatic orchestral “I’ll Be There” in the new The Witches trailer. Along the same lines: “How to Make a Blockbuster Movie Trailer“.

How that straight-rod-through-curved-hole thing works.

On the death of a best-friend soulmate to COVID19: “[M]y husband said to me, ‘Grief is the price of love.’ […] stoic New England pragmatism, the opposite of what I wanted to hear, the last thing Alison would have said. […T]hat love was expensive, a jumbo-size mortgage on my heart that I fear I won’t ever be able to repay.”

Father, I am ready for the hunt.

Man, the latest episode of Lower Decks was epic. Animation really frees up the scope of what you can do. And that guest appearance complete with the musical theme … 🙂

I’m also re-watching Counterpart, which at the time I thought was just a beautiful bit of contrast between a “normal” world and a world recovering from … ready for this … a pandemic. A few seconds ago a PSA plays to an empty theater (aside from one of the protagonists) about the importance of inoculations; a child begins coughing, and all the children immediately pull out masks and put them on. Yeesh.

Yes, of course there’s been a ‘virtual’ Presidential debate. Third one between Nixon and Kennedy.


The Moon is only the size of Africa. Interesting how I know that the Moon’s smaller than Earth by volume, but never mentally made the connection with its land area being smaller.

This was the first time the [Supreme C]ourt ruled that something was unconstitutional. But that’s not a power listed in the Constitution. The Supreme Court, in doing so, gave themselves the power.

To yourself: “What does it matter to me?

The emergency antibody that Trump received last week was developed with the use of a cell line originally derived from abortion tissue.

New Yorker: When are we gonna get back to something that closely resembles, or is in fact, normal as we knew it?

Fauci: We’re already making doses, tens and hundreds of millions of doses to be ready, first at least, in graded numbers at the end of the year in November/December. By the time we get to April, we likely will have doses to be able to vaccinate anybody who needs to be vaccinated. But logistically by the time you get everybody vaccinated, it likely will not be until the third or even the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2021.

So let’s say we get a 70% effective vaccine, which I hope we will get, but only 60% of the people get vaccinated. There are going to be a lot of vulnerable people out there, which means that the vaccine will greatly help us to pull back a bit on the restrictions that we have now to maintain good public health, but it’s not going to eliminate things like mask wearing and avoiding crowds and things like that.

So I think we can approach normality, but I don’t think we’re going to be back to normal until the end of 2021. We may do better than that; I hope so but I don’t think so.

This laptop is kind of my earliest mental proto-image of a laptop.