From Pine View Farm

Horrors of the Night category archive

From an Epidemic of Epidemiology . . . 0

At Psychology Today Blogs, Dr. Eva Ritvo notes the dissonance:

We are halfway through one of the deadliest flu seasons in the last decade, and yet few of us missed a beat. We paid very little attention to the risks and took almost no special precautions. In fact, less than half of us even got the flu shot. Just now with 15 cases of Coronavirus in the U.S. and a fatality rate around the same as the flu, we are all running out and buying overpriced masks and hand sanitizers, and feeling anxious much of the day. Some are having nightmares and others are waking up in the middle of the night. The stock market was down five days in a row at a rate similar to the crash in 2008, and events around the world are being canceled in anticipation of the spread.

She goes on to offer some hints for remaining sane as the coronavirus goes, you will pardon the expression, viral.

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The Disinformation Superhighway 0

At Science 2.0, Hank Campbell explores the role of “social” media in fomenting untruth and the sometime complicity of journalism in perpetuating the disinformation.

Methinks that “distrust but verify” is a good guideline as regards “social” media.

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Epidemiology, One More Time 0

William Haseltine digs into the question if why, when the flu by the numbers is clearly much more dangerous, so many persons are wigging out over the coronavirus. Here’s part of what he has to say; follow the link for the rest.

Plenty of health challenges lurk at our doorstep that do more damage and take more lives than the coronavirus. Take seasonal influenza or the flu. So far, there have been no less than 19 million cases of flu-related illnesses recorded this flu season, as well as 10,000 deaths. The new coronavirus, on the other hand, has sickened upwards of 64,000 and killed almost 1,400. . . .

Why does the 2019-nCoV outbreak rile our fears so? The discrepancy has to do with how humans perceive risks. Novel threats provoke anxiety in a way that everyday threats do not, triggering a fear response that begins with the part of the brain known as the amygdala and travels via activation of “fight or flight” motor functions throughout the body.

While this evolutionarily honed instinct for the unfamiliar and foreboding can sharpen the senses—a sort of physiological priming for confrontation with a predator—it can also confuse the mind.

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Dis Coarse Discourse 0

Pig and Rat watching television.  Announcer says,

Click for the original image.

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Fly the Fiendly Skies 0

The International Air Transport Association reports that the skies are getting fiendlier. A nugget:

What worries IATA officials is that the severity of the situations is increasing, Tim Colehan, IATA’s assistant director of external affairs, told USA TODAY.

“We saw an increase in incidents where all other forms of de-escalation had been exhausted and the cabin crew had no other option but to restrain the unruly passenger for the safety of everyone onboard,” he said.

The numbers break down to approximately 30 serious “unruly passenger” incidents on U.S. flights every day, Forbes reported.

That’s 30 a day out of over 40,000 flights in the US, so it’s an inconsequential percentage, but still too high. The story goes on to point out that alcohol is often a factor. Few things ruin a air trip more than being trapped on a plane with an obstreperous drunk–not even a crying baby, because, remember, the baby can’t help it.

Read more »

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Go with the Flow(chart) 0

Flowchart:  A bunch of innocent people bet murdered.  What should we do:  1)  Was the murderer Muslim? (Yes=Travel bans, No=next question).  2)  Was the murderer Hispanic?  (Yes=Build a wall, No=next question).  3)  Was the murder black?  (Yes=More cops and prisons, No=Next question). 4)  Was the murder white? (Yes=thoughts and prayers).

Via PoliticalProf.

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Twits on Twitter 0

Pig wakes up saying,


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Nefarious Plots 0

Two NSA staffers are monitoring sigint.  One asks,

Via Job’s Anger.

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Unfit for Human Consumption 0

Title:  Too Hideous for Human Eyes.  Frame One:  Medusa, with her snake hair waving.  Frame Two:  Indiana Jones's Lost Ark, with the SS guy gasping in horror.  Frame Three:  Senate Trumpcare Bill, with Mitch McConnell blocking to door to the meeting room.

Via Job’s Anger.

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How Stuff Works, Customer Service Dept. Dept. 0

Man holding cell phone to wife:  Why does every rate increase begin with


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Things that Can’t Be Unseen 2

Below the fold, if you dare.

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Party Hearty 0

Penn State PR Department discussing stories about


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(If you are unclear as to what this cartoon refers to, just read this.)

Afterthought:

When I went to college, I briefly–oh so very briefly–considered rushing a frat.

Then I realized I could get drunk quite nicely on my own without having to waste my drinking money on dues.

Because, frankly, getting drunk is what college fraternities do. All the rest is window dressing.

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Facebook Frolics 0

Man says to wife,


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The Watchers 0

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All Hallows’ Eve Approacheth . . . 0

. . . and there be monsters.

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Don’t Go There 2

The innerwebs tell me that panicked pols are touting banning travel to west Africa, even though portions of west Africa have struggled with ebola for years, and the rest of the world, for all practical purposes, has done little or nothing to help, because (to be blunt) it was Africa and nobody outside of Africa cared much if at all.

Methinks, as regards the US right now, a ban on travel to Texas would be more to the point.

After all, Texas is the US epi(demic)center for the disease and, unlike, say, for example, just to mention one, Nigeria, has proven itself incapable of dealing with the contagion.

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Scaredy Cats 0

What Noz said.

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A Picture Is Worth 0

Cartoon of bumper sticker:  Elect another BUSH:  Third Time's a Charm


Click for a larger image.

Why does this make me think of an H. P. Lovecraft story?

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“Wound Collector” 0

At Psychology Today Blogs, Katherine Ramsland tries to find some explanations for the spate of mass shootings ending in the suicide of the shooter. The article does not purport to explain why they happen, but does find similarities among them that seldom get noted in the news coverage.

A nugget (emphasis in the original):

We often don’t think much about the suicide angle in the aftermath of mass shootings, but a high percentage of these offenders had been depressed, angry, unstable, and unhappy with their lives. Yet instead of just taking themselves out, they decide to take others with them. What used to be an inward act has increasingly become outward.

I call this coercive suicide. We don’t yet know Aguilar’s motive, but typically suicidal mass murderers have the added need to punish someone, to make a public show of their death as a “lesson,” and/or to add their own notch on the infamy scale.

Follow the link to find out what a “wound collector” is.

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Into the Valley of Death . . . . 0

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