Do the unvaccinated collect unemployment after being placed on “unpaid leave”?

“Thousands of Unvaccinated New York City School Employees Placed on Unpaid Leave” (Wall Street Journal, 10/4/2021) describes those who #Resist, but not in a good way:

Thousands of New York City school staff were barred from returning to work Monday for failing to comply with a vaccination mandate that took effect Friday afternoon.

Under the terms of the mandate, all school employees needed to show proof by Friday afternoon that they received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine to avoid being placed on unpaid leave.

(It’s a “mandate,” not an “order”)

These employees aren’t fired, but are only on “unpaid leave.” Does that mean they’re unable to collect unemployment insurance? Is this a brilliant Catch-22 strategy by the city government? People can’t collect unemployment unless they’re fired. The infidels #Resisting the Church of Shutdown haven’t been fired. But on the other hand, there is no way for them to get a paycheck unless they accept Saint Fauci as their personal savior.

Have we created a society where a lifetime of government assistance (means-tested public housing, Medicaid, SNAP/EBT, and Obamaphone) is available to folks who say “I need to spend 24/7 drinking, smoking dope, and consuming opioids” but nothing is available to those who say “I’m a healthy 25-year-old, already had COVID-19, and don’t think the risk-reward of a COVID-19 vaccine makes sense for me”?

Separately, given that NYC, if it were its own country, would be right near the top of countries ranked by COVID-19 death rate, shouldn’t we expect that most of the unvaccinated have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and therefore have at least as good immunity as the vaccinated? (Nearly all of my friends in NYC eventually got either a positive COVID test result, some symptoms, or both.)


  • “Won’t Get The Covid Vaccine? If You’re Fired, You May Not Get Unemployment Benefits” (Forbes): … there’s one big, new exception that could block your eligibility to get unemployment benefits: You get fired because you’re not vaccinated for Covid-19. … In short, probably not. If an employer terminates you because you don’t follow its policies, it has “cause” to fire you. And if you’re fired “for cause,” you may be ineligible to claim unemployment benefits. … Some states have made it clear that people terminated for not adhering to vaccination policies are likely precluded from receiving benefits. Oregon is one example of a state that has mandated health care, education, and government workers to get vaccinated. The head of the state Employment Department has said eligibility will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, but those terminated by public or private employers for refusing to get vaccinated probably won’t be eligible.
Full post, including comments

A woman’s love letter to herself and the no-fault divorce system

How did the U.S. end up with double the percentage of children living without two parents compared to a lot of European countries? (link to some data) “Divorce Can Be an Act of Radical Self-Love” (New York Times, 9/30/2021) and similar celebrations of the path to bliss starting at the local family court might be partially explanatory (the cash incentives are very different too!).

Let’s see if the article is convincing:

… I’ve learned that divorce can also be an act of radical self-love that leaves the whole family better off. My divorce nearly seven years ago freed me from a relationship that was crushing my spirit. It freed my children, then 5 and 3, from growing up in a profoundly unhealthy environment.

Profoundly unhealthy environment? Dad was beating the wife and kids while smoking crystal meth and without taking any breaks to inhale “essential” (in Maskachusetts) healing cannabis?

There was no emotional or physical abuse in our home. There was no absence of love. I was in love with my husband when we got divorced. Part of me is in love with him still. I suspect that will always be the case. Even now, after everything, when he walks into the room my stomach drops the same way it does before the roller coaster comes down. I divorced my husband not because I didn’t love him. I divorced him because I loved myself more.

The mom/author says that she wanted more time to work:

I made choice after choice to prioritize my career because I believed fervently in the importance of the work I was doing, providing legal representation to wrongfully convicted men and women.

I have spent much of the pandemic interviewing working women who are diverse across race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, geography, class, age and profession for a book I am writing about ambitious mothers and the benefits to their children when they prioritize their careers.

Talking to the subset who are divorced, I found a common theme, even a sisterhood: Divorce is painful and heartbreaking. But it can also be liberating, pointing the way toward a different life that leaves everyone better off, including the children.

One 38-year-old newly single mother who works full time and attends graduate school at night told me with pride that for the first time, she is living with her 9-year-old in an apartment she picked out, decorated and paid for on her own.

… for unhappily married women who are able to support themselves and their children, breaking free can also be like plunging into a cold ocean: a shock to the system that is at once brutal and cleansing. They can emerge stronger and clearer-eyed. Their children benefit because happier mothers are better parents.

That last one is my favorite. According to the author and the NYT editors, it is safe to assume that a person who is unhappy in a marriage is guaranteed to find enduring happiness just as soon as the divorce lawsuit is filed. And then the children will bask in the reflected glow of that enduring happiness as they shuttle back and forth between households, watch their college fund being spent on lawyers for both sides, etc. Certainly there is no possibility that the person dissatisfied with Situation A will become dissatisfied with Situation B. (A friend’s wife recently hired a 50ish woman to be her assistant. The woman complained that previous employers had mistreated her, sexually harassed her, etc. After a few weeks… she quit the assistant job.)

The first sentence in the above excerpt is also interesting. Mom says that she didn’t want to invest too much time in her kids because it was important to help the wrongfully convicted and the only way to truly focus on helping out in criminal court was via a trip to the local family court. But, unless the real answer is that she wanted to spend time have sex with new friends from Bumble, wouldn’t the optimum solution have been to dump all child- and household-related tasks onto the husband/father(maybe!) and hired help as necessary? The dad sounds like a total pushover: “He rarely travels and actively engages with nearly every aspect of our children’s lives no matter how mundane.” and “My ex-husband and I make a point of spending time together with our children, having regular dinners, watching sports and going for bike rides as a foursome.”

Overall, if it is this easy to use children’s feelings and words for one’s own benefit, almost any selfish adult decision can be justified. Imagine someone who identified as a “man” writing “I knew that my 5-year-old would be better off if he/she/ze/they could vicariously share the joy that I experience when out on Tinder dates with women 15 years younger than his/her/zir/their mom.” This was a popular perspective in the “do your own thing” era circa 1970 when no-fault (“unilateral”) divorce was being made available. According to the academic psychologists, this perspective is simply wishful thinking on the part of adults who are pursuing selfish goals. See “The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: Report of a 25-Year Study”, in which 131 children of divorce were followed; they did not fare well compared to adults who had grown up in intact families. The PDF is available:

Hardly any of our subjects described a happy childhood; in fact a number of children told us that “the day they divorced was the day my childhood ended.” … By the 25-year mark, the majority had decided not to have children.

No child of divorce in our study was invited by both parents, either separately or together, to discuss college plans. … Only 57% of the divorce group achieved their bachelor’s degree as compared with 90% in the comparison group. … Unhappy, [those who did attend college] settled for fields of study that were not their first choice, at lower ranked institutions than their parents had attended. It was at this time that one young person, echoing the emotions of many others, commented bitterly, “I paid for my parents’ divorce.”

The central finding of this study is that parental divorce impacts detrimentally the capacity to love and be loved within a lasting, committed relationship.

A subgroup of over 20 women from the divorced group sought out multiple lovers. … Their sexual encounters seemed driven by anger at men, which even their close relationships with their fathers did not seem to mute.

(i.e., a mother’s alimony-fueled escape to Tinderhood can result in daughters who are passionate Tinder users as well)

I find this a fascinating cultural artifact, not so much that the law professor would justify reorganizing her own life for her own reasons as something that benefits her children, but that these rationalizations would be of wide enough public interest to merit publication in one of our biggest newspapers. That says something about how passionate New York Times readers are about living their best life, regardless of the consequences to children and others.


  • the author, Lara Bazelon, was able to take time away from helping the wrongfully convicted to write an editorial for the New York Times complaining that Amy Coney Barrett wouldn’t be enthusiastic about abortion (“the heart of the long, continuing march for gender equality”). This is consistent with her more recent NYT piece (above), since the best way to avoid being bothered by children is to abort them (legal right up to 36 or 37 weeks in Massachusetts if one doctor thinks the child who pops out will irritate the mother and therefore impair her mental health). Thanks to Professor Bazelon, we now know that a judge appointed by a Republican doesn’t love abortion as much as a Democrat-appointed judge would love abortion!
  • “Female Voters’ ‘Marriage Gap’ And The Midterms” (NPR): “Married women tend to have more conservative beliefs and vote more for Republicans, while single women tend to be aligned more with Democrats.” (i.e., one way to boost votes for Democrats is to encourage women to file divorce lawsuits)
  • Facebook uses a Malibu-flying engineering manager to promote careers in engineering… (we celebrate the mid-life gender ID change of a married “man” without considering the effects on the middle-aged wife and on the kids)
Full post, including comments

My dream realized: four hours of government questioning regarding 35mm v. 120 v. 4×5

From the city that has been the heart of America’s camera repair industry, “LaGuardia Scare Sparked by Woman’s Mistake About Flier’s Phone Videos, Camera: Source” (NBC):

A woman traveling with children worried another passenger on a New York City-bound flight was watching “suspicious” videos on his phone and reported him, forcing the emergency landing at LaGuardia Airport over the weekend, a law enforcement source with direct knowledge of the case told News 4 Tuesday.

According to the source, the woman first saw the man watch videos she thought were sketchy. Then the man took out an odd-looking object and began fiddling with it, the source said. The woman feared he was watching suspicious videos and then took out a “suspicious” device — and that’s what was alerted to authorities.

It turns out, though, the man was watching videos on how to set and repair an antique camera, the law enforcement said. And then he took out an antique camera to try to adjust it, the source added.

The man was questioned by authorities for a total of about four hours between FBI and Port Authority investigators after what police and airline officials referred to as a “security incident.” He was later released.

Video captured by a passenger and shared with NBC News showed firefighters attending to one person lying facedown on the taxiway.

Finally classic film cameras get the attention that they deserve. I’m hopeful that the camera that aroused panic was a Fuji G617 (negatives or slides 6x17cm in size from 120 or 220 roll film):

Or perhaps a Linhof Master Technika (4×5 inch sheets):

I had been thinking of using my own Fuji G617 as a bookshelf curio, but now I am worried that neighbors will see it through the window and call the police!

Full post, including comments

Corpus Juris Canonici for academic cancellations (MIT)

From a Johns Hopkins professor, “Why the Latest Campus Cancellation Is Different” (Atlantic):

Following a Twitter outcry, a scientist was stopped from giving a lecture at MIT for reasons that had nothing to do with the lecture itself.

For although most outlets have covered [Dorian] Abbot’s disinvitation as but the latest example of an illiberal culture on campus, it is qualitatively different from other recent instances in which invitations have been rescinded—and suggests that the scope of censorship is continuing to morph and expand.

Is Abbot a climate-change denier? Or has he committed some terrible crime? No, he simply expressed his views about the way universities should admit students and hire faculty in the pages of a national magazine.

In other words, cancellation is often a good idea. Suppose, for example, Professor Dr. Dorian Abbot, Ph.D. (colleague of Professor Dr. Jill Biden, M.D., Ph.D.) had expressed skepticism about the latest 100-year simulations. Perhaps Dr. Professor Dorian Abbot, Ph.D., might have noted that his field is one in which the experts rejected plate tectonics and continental drift until the late 1960s. That would have been tantamount to climate-change denial and, therefore, it would make sense to nail Dr. Dorian, Ph.D. to a cross of #FollowTheScience.

On the other hand, the Corpus Juris Canonici does not provide for cancellation, at least according to this Hopkins professor, for the particular infraction of which Professor Dr. Abbot, Ph.D. was guilty (questioning the skin-color-based university admissions systems that have been implemented across the U.S.).

The subtleties are fascinating!


  • “The Diversity Problem on Campus” (Newsweek), the hate-filled article that generated the Tweetstorm leading up to MIT’s cancellation: The new regime is titled “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” or DEI, and is enforced by a large bureaucracy of administrators. Nearly every decision taken on campus, from admissions, to faculty hiring, to course content, to teaching methods, is made through the lens of DEI. This regime was imposed from the top and has never been adequately debated. In the current climate it cannot be openly debated: … [MIT proved Abbot right on that last point!] … DEI compromises the university’s mission. The core business of the university is the search for truth. [??? Harvard spent all of its time searching for truth and just incidentally acquired $42 billion?] We propose an alternative framework called Merit, Fairness, and Equality (MFE) whereby university applicants are treated as individuals and evaluated through a rigorous and unbiased process based on their merit and qualifications alone. Crucially, this would mean an end to legacy and athletic admission advantages, which significantly favor white applicants, … [an athlete does not have more “merit” than someone who watches TV all day?] Viewed objectively, American universities already are incredibly diverse. [because all possible human ages are represented in the range from 18 to 22?]
Full post, including comments

MIT uses the butterfly effect to heal our planet

Dr. Jill Biden, M.D., Ph.D.’s colleague Dr. Jeff Goldblum, Ph.D. explains the Butterfly Effect, i.e., that a butterfly flapping its wings in China could change the weather weeks later in the U.S.:

MIT is taking advantage of Dr. Goldblum’s theoretical result. Here’s a recent email from president Rafael Reif:

Dear MIT Alumni and Friends,

As we mark the successful finale of the MIT Campaign for a Better World, I find myself thinking back to where we started.

As a community, we began the Campaign with bold aspirations — and a passionate belief that the work of MIT can have broad and lasting value for the world. In the years since, I have been deeply moved to see the global MIT community embrace this Campaign, grounded in our shared mission and values, and I could not be more grateful for your willingness to answer its call to action.

The Campaign’s closing milestone speaks to the breadth of its appeal: 112,703 donors collectively raised $6.2 billion.

MIT transformed

But most impressive and indelible are the ways that the Campaign is transforming MIT and will advance our mission. Because of your gifts and volunteer service, MIT’s magnetic ability to attract the world’s finest talent and to help every member of our community flourish has never been stronger. Hundreds of new scholarships, fellowships, and professorships across the Institute have been complemented by extensive new funding for labs, learning spaces, innovation and entrepreneurship, and discovery research. And unrestricted gifts made during the Campaign were crucial in helping MIT adapt to the unexpected challenges of Covid‑19.

Because of your support of the Campaign, MIT’s physical campus and academic landscape are humming with new potential. Just a few examples: Kresge Auditorium, the Hayden Library, the Chang Building, and the Simons Building have all been renewed. The Samberg Center offers an exhilarating new place for our community to gather. Before long, the members of our School of Architecture and Planning will come together in a first-rate new hub, the Earth and Environment Pavilion will unite our research communities focused on environmental and climate questions, the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing headquarters will rise as a new intellectual center of gravity on campus, and the MIT Museum will have a brand-new roost in Kendall Square to welcome the world in. We’ll soon have a new wind tunnel and, as a wonderful coda, the Institute will have a worthy new home for music, right where it should be, at the center of student life.

And of course — in keeping with the Campaign’s aspirations — your support has helped position the Institute to take on humanity’s great challenges, from climate change, environmental degradation, water and food scarcity, and cancer, to economic, educational, and health inequality around the globe.

In other words, nearly all of the money was spent on gold-plating some buildings in Cambridge. How can that lead to the “better world” that headlines the fund-raising campaign? Maybe it could be a “better campus” for those privileged enough to be on campus, but the whole world? Answer: chaos theory tells us that gold-plating a building in Cambridge could result in the entire Earth being gold-plated/healed.

Separately, “an exhilarating new place for our community to gather”? How is that responsible in the Age of Corona? MIT says it is “standing with the science”, so maybe “science” is different from “#Science”, followers of which would refrain from gathering, even if equipped with saliva-soaked cloth face rags that the media refers to as “protective”. Open a big new indoor museum to attract visitors during the peak Maskachusetts respiratory virus season (winter)? Doesn’t that give SARS-CoV-2 a chance to spread along paths that would otherwise have been denied to it?

Full post, including comments

North-South 6-month alternating aircraft partnership idea

Google Calendar informs me, via its “Holidays in United States” calendar, that today is both Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples’ Day. So… to all readers who celebrate incompetence and the rejection of #Science (regarding the size of the earth that we’ve used science and science-inspired engineering to nearly destroy), Happy Columbus Day! (And for the rest of us, Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day (enjoy our stolen land for 364/365 days per year; reflect on our theft 1 day per year while… taking the day off (government workers) and enjoying our stolen land that we refuse to return).)

Today would be the perfect exchange date for an aircraft in a 50/50 partnership between a Florida resident and someone in the Northeast or Chicago.

One thing that I’ve figured out after a couple of months living in Florida is that a simple aircraft is kind of useless here in the summer in the same way that a four-seater is useless in the Northeast in the winter. Based in Boston, a four-seater can’t get through icing conditions in the winter. On the days where icing isn’t a concern, the plane doesn’t have enough range to get anywhere that you’d probably enjoy going. Do you want to be at the beach in Provincetown or Martha’s Vineyard in February? Maybe you’d want to go to NYC for a business meeting, but the U.S. seems slated for permanent coronapanic (i.e., the meeting will be on Zoom) and, in any case, it can be complicated getting a piston aircraft properly preheated as a transient (the engine will be damaged if started when temps are below freezing). (Avid skier? Mountainous terrain is suboptimal for building airports. It will probably be just as fast to drive to the ski resort as it would be to drive, preflight, fly, stow plane, and transfer into a rental car (if the U.S. ever has rental cars again).)

None of the above factors apply to Florida, right? Well… there seem to be afternoon thunderstorms here all summer and they can last until 10 pm or even later. Unless the family is extremely flexible and doesn’t mind spending a lot of time waiting out weather in FBOs, it is probably not possible to plan an out-and-back day trip in a simple airplane. So the T-storms are kind of the Florida equivalent of icing in Maskachusetts. What if it isn’t raining, but there’s a layer of cumulus clouds under which the air is bumpy and unpleasantly warm? In the Northeast, you’d be above the clouds and bumps at the simple airplane’s optimum cruising altitudes of 6,500 and 7,500′. In Florida, you might need to go well over 10,000′, where both airplane and humans will be gasping for breath, to get into reasonably smooth air.

Suppose that there is a rare dry day. Now you’re free to go anywhere that is within comfortable reach of a C172, Piper Warrior, or SR20 (i.e., 150-300 miles). Why would you want to? If you want to bake in 90-degree heat and 90-percent humidity you can do that at home. It is the same issue as the rare beautiful February day in New England. The airplane will take you from bitter cold to ever bitterer cold or, sometimes, to slightly less bitter cold.

As folks in the Northeast have to find excuses to fly in the winter and keep the airplane’s engine from corroding, folks in Florida will have to do summer breakfast flights and get back to the hangar by 11.

What about a partnership where the aircraft lives in Chicago, Boston, Maine, New Hampshire (the “semi free state”), Vermont, or wherever starting around April 10, i.e., just after Sun n Fun. Then, in celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, the plane is ferried to Florida through the beautiful lands that were some of the first parcels that white people stole from the Native Americans. (We could also call this “Benefits of Immigration from the Perspective of Natives Day”)

The arrangement could be tweaked with a feature whereby a partner can come visit the plane a few times during his/her/zir/their “off season” and fly it a bit, e.g., a Bahamas trip from Florida in the winter (just need to arrange 8 COVID-19 tests for a family of 4) or a summer trip around Maine and Canada.

This will have all of the financial benefits of aircraft partnership. Most fixed costs (capital, depreciation, insurance) will be cut in half. Hangar has become super expensive almost everywhere in the inflation-free United States, but perhaps the vacant months wouldn’t be too punishing due to the potential for subletting. (Or, for an older plane, just do tie-down at both ends.) It has the added benefit that the plane gets repositioned to a great place for the partner to fly in his/her/zir/their off season..

(Note that the above arrangement does not make sense for pressurized turboprop or turbine-powered aircraft, which can airlift a family in mask-free comfort from Hartford, CT to the golf course in Pinehurst, NC (KSOP). This proposal is about airplanes that cost $1.2 million (Cirrus!) new and that depreciate down to $40,000 used (older Cessna 172 or Piper Warrior prior to the recent price doubling that cannot be described as “inflation”). And it’s not a proposal for those rich/flexible enough to spend 6 months in the north and 6 months (plus 1 day for all of my friends who are Democrats and say that they support higher taxes and bigger government) in Florida. The 183-dayers can take their airplanes back and forth themselves. The above proposal is more for families that have kids in school and/or adults at work and are mostly stuck in their respective home locations.)

The plane can visit Disney World and Key West in the winter:

And Bar Harbor, Maine and Quebec City in the summer:

Readers: Modified Passover question… Why is this idea stupid like all of my other ideas?


  • (currently designed to help people based at the same airport all year share)
Full post, including comments

Uber has given up on the Afghan refugees?

Last month, Uber was 100 percent devoted to helping Afghan refugees (using $2 million from shareholders and customers rather than executive personal contributions, of course!). See Relative importance of getting a ride from Uber versus helping the Afghan refugees for example.

How about this month? An email from Uber today:

The rest of the page:

Uber is committed to supporting the LGBTQIA+ community and helping create safe spaces where you can be you. Every moment and every interaction matters. Everyone has the right to move.

(Why only LGBTQIA+ and not 2SLGBTQQIA+? (“Two Spirit, Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer Questioning Intersex Asexual Plus”))

This email comes from UberEats rather than Uber in general. The whole point of UberEats is that you don’t leave the house. Is the message from Uber that the only safe space for a 2SLGBTQQIA+ person is at home eating out of a plastic container?

Perhaps the rationale for shifting from Afghan refugee awareness is that the 86 cents/refugee that Uber’s highly paid executives previously arranged to generously scoop out of shareholders’ and customers’ pockets was sufficient and now nobody need worry about Afghans anymore? My Uber app now opens with an exhortation to “Rent a car with Uber” rather than anything about either refugees or the 2SLGBTQQIA+. The only sign of virtue in the app is a “vaccine” icon. There is nothing about National Coming Out Day.

Full post, including comments

The only way to win is not to play

A group chat in which a friend with a 12,000-square-foot house describes his efforts at updating the home theater with built-in ceiling speakers:

  • friend: My house has built in 5.1 speakers in the ceiling, but I assume off-axis sound is crap?
  • friend: I really want Dolby Atmos now. It has real 360 degree placement and sky effects.
  • friend (1.5 hours later): Bought a Pioneer Elite 11.1 channel Dolby ATMOS receiver. 12 speakers and full virtual sound placement including above you. It’s going to be incredible.
  • me: we don’t have a TV

Separately, one of the advantages of living in an apartment complex/small town environment as we do is that kids can do some contemporary anthropology while out on dog walks. The 6-year-old, as part of a not-so-subtle lobbying campaign against domestic tyranny that is preventing him from watching beloved shows and movies, noted that everyone single apartment or house in the neighborhood has a TV and “they even have it on in the morning.” (we had a TV when we lived in Maskachusetts, but also a rule that we couldn’t watch anything until after dark)

Assuming that the kids can prevail over Senior Management, what size TV would make sense in our apartment? We have almost unlimited wall space for the TV. Viewing distance is 8-9′. There is no obvious place for rear channel speakers, so the sound would have to come from the TV itself or maybe some speakers on the furniture that holds up the TV.

THX says (scroll down), “we recommend you measure the distance between your couch and where your TV will be located (in inches). Then multiply that number by .835, and that should help you determine what screen size you should get.” But then they also say “or 4K or UHD TV sets, the process is a little different since the nearer you sit to these models, the more detail you’ll be able to pick up.” (and then they fail to disclose any process!)

The 0.835 factor works out to at least an 80″ TV and it would be at least 4K resolution so actually they are recommending something bigger than 80″ in our 1,950 square foot apartment! Maybe this 77″ LG OLED? Everyone who came over would say “Wow. You guys must really love watching TV!”

SMPTE uses a smaller factor. This calculator shows the alternatives. One could be nearly 11′ back from an 80-inch TV according to SMPTE (i.e., the people who make the movies), but to see every pixel with young eyes you’d want to get up to within 5′ of a 4K TV.

What about a 65″ TV that a more normal family might purchase? The above-cited calculator says that THX recommends sitting no more than 7.2′ away and SMPTE recommends no more than 8.8′ away.

What did my friend buy for his home theater? Sony 77-inch OLED for $3,000. (Runs the Google OS, so in the long run it will protect you from viewing harmful content, e.g., anything that suggests that weekly COVID-19 vaccines are not in an average 8-year-old’s best interest.) He also has an 86-inch LG “nanocell” TV that cost $1,800:

It is great in normal room light. It is tolerable in a dark room for most content. It was horrible for watching Jack Ryan Without Remorse on Netflix, as the entire movie was dark. Once you see the uneven lighting in the blacks, you can’t unsee them.

So, there are two solutions. One is the Samsung Neo QLED, which has enough local dimming to do a good job of helping black areas, but it is so close to the price of an OLED that I don’t think it makes sense, except again for daylight viewing.

For OLED, there are two to consider. Sony and LG. For 77 inch, Sony is $3000, and LG is $2900. For 83 inch, Sony is $8000 and LG is $5300. They are both great, but the Sony has a better processor and comes pre-calibrated. The LG comes set up for sports and needs a bunch of work to make it work as well as the Sony for movies. I ran a poll on a Facebook group for DolbyVision, and people there voted on the Sony by 2:1.


  • Wikipedia article on organic LEDs shows that the earliest producers of practical OLED panels are now irrelevant and/or actually bankrupt (e.g., Kodak (out of bankruptcy with a market cap comparable to a day of sales for the iPhone with its included camera), Pioneer (stopped making TVs in 2010; delisted in 2018), Sanyo (acquired by Panasonic))
Full post, including comments

The one-month anniversary of Dr. Joe Biden, M.D.’s vaccination order for Head Start workers

From the US Department of HHS:

Vaccination of Head Start staff is essential as we work together to build back out of the COVID-19 pandemic and move toward fully in-person services. On September 9, 2021, President Biden announced a plan requiring all Head Start program staff and certain contractors to be vaccinated. This action will help more programs and early childhood centers safely remain open and provide comfort to the many parents and guardians that rely on them every day to keep their children safe.

Beginning January 2022, all Head Start teachers and program staff will be required to be vaccinated to help ensure the health and safety of children, families, and their communities.

COVID-19 is an emergency requiring unprecedented suspensions of what had been considered Americans’ rights. At the same time, it is not such a serious emergency that people need to be vaccinated sooner than four months after the President/Physician-in-Chief’s order.


  • “Head Start: A Tragic Waste of Money” (CATO, 2010): Created in 1965, the comprehensive preschool program for 3- and 4‐​year olds and their parents is meant to narrow the education gap between low‐​income students and their middle‐ and upper‐​income peers. Forty‐​five years and $166 billion later, it has been proven a failure. The bad news came in the [Obama administration] study released this month: It found that, by the end of the first grade, children who attended Head Start are essentially indistinguishable from a control group of students who didn’t. … In fact, not a single one of the 114 tests administered to first graders — of academics, socio‐​emotional development, health care/​health status and parenting practice — showed a reliable, statistically significant effect from participating in Head Start.
  • “The Head Start CARES Demonstration: Another Failed Federal Early Childhood Education Program” (Heritage, 2015): The two small-scale studies—of the High/Scope Perry Preschool Project begun in 1962 and the Carolina Abecedarian Project begun in 1972—that were used to demonstrate the effectiveness of such interventions are now outdated. Their results have never been replicated.
  • coming to the opposite conclusion (i.e., give them more money) … “The Never-Ending Struggle to Improve Head Start” (Atlantic, 2016): The federal government has invested billions in preschool, but there’s still lots of room to grow. No rigorous research project followed the children Johnson was talking about to determine whether now, in their mid-50s, the 1965 Head Start graduates are living the productive and rewarding lives predicted for them. Critics charge that Head Start is a big federal program spending billions of tax dollars on a pipe dream: that the effects of being born into poverty can be averted for a lifetime with a few hours a day spent in a classroom at age 4. On the other hand, its champions argue that everything Johnson predicted is still possible, if only the country gives the program the resources it needs to succeed. … Despite its evidently strong program, there is scant empirical evidence supporting Portland’s success at improving the academic futures of its graduates beyond that first year of kindergarten entry. The same is true of Head Start as a whole.
Full post, including comments

How will the Afghan refugees get washing machines? (WSJ)

“Why It’s Easier to Find Expensive Appliances Than Cheaper Ones” (WSJ):

Whirlpool, GM and other companies are prioritizing higher-price products as they try to offset supply-chain snarls

“There was a day when a customer could walk in the door and buy a secondary piece or a landlord special and have 100 options to choose from,” said Mr. Coughlin, a co-owner of All Shore Appliance in Port Washington, N.Y. “Now it’s more along the lines of, we explain to the customer what we have.”

As the global supply-chain crisis snarls production and bloats manufacturing and shipping costs, companies that make products from lawn mowers to barbecue grills are prioritizing higher-priced models, in some cases making cheaper alternatives harder or impossible to find, company executives, retailers and analysts say.

Some are pushing upscale products in an effort to make up for added labor, shipping and manufacturing costs. Whirlpool Corp., maker of washing machines, KitchenAid mixers and other home appliances, said in July it would shift toward higher-price products as part of a plan to help cover rising costs.

General Motors … stopped making the Chevrolet Malibu midsize sedan for more than six months, but has kept all shifts running at a factory that makes its most expensive SUVs. The average new vehicle in September sold for a record $42,800, up nearly 19% from a year earlier, according to research firm J.D. Power.

Televisions are among items for which cheaper models are becoming scarcer, said Mike Abt, co-president of Chicago appliance seller Abt Electronics. He said the price he pays for appliances is rising and he expects that to continue next year. For the first time he can remember, the price of televisions has actually increased—they typically get cheaper every year.

A tough time to be setting up a new household as a refugee, but perhaps the U.S. Treasury has enough cash to buy the high-end LG front-loaders?


  • for those of us already sick with envy, some additional motivation to support President Biden’s Tax the Rich proposals… “Gulfstream Adds Two Models To Its Large-Cabin Line of Business Jets” (AVweb): The $71.5 million G800 adds 500 nautical miles of range (8,000 NM) to that of its 10-foot-longer, larger-cabin G700 sibling, the in-development $75 million flagship of the Gulfstream fleet scheduled to enter service next year. … At the other end of the scale, the $34.5 million G400 updates the “entry level” of the large-cabin line (the smaller-cabin G280 is classed as super-midsize). The 4,200-NM-range G400 is slated to make its first flight in early 2023.
Full post, including comments