Did Floyd Protests Lead to a Virus Surge? Here’s What We Know – The New York Times

Last night Paul McGuire and I taught morris jigs on zoom to the New Haven Morris and Sword Team, for the last time till we resume in September. However, in September, I will argue that we can meet and practice outside. I am now playing tennis regularly outdoors, and as the article below suggests, outdoors is much safer than indoors, may 18.7 times safer.

“. . . .   Outdoor transmission is more rare.

Conditions at the demonstrations may not have been conducive for transmission, mainly because the protests occurred outdoors, epidemiologists said.

The virus spreads far more easily indoors than outdoors, and close contact indoors is believed to be the main driver of transmission, epidemiologists say. One study based on a review of 110 cases in Japan found that the odds of transmission were 18.7 times higher in closed environments — everything from fitness studios to tents — than in open-air environments. Another study involving a review of thousands of cases in China found only a single instance of outdoor transmission.

In Minnesota, where Mr. Floyd was killed, cases among young adults climbed substantially over June. But officials said that gatherings in re-opened bars were partly to blame.”

Opinion | Jason Isbell: John Prine Taught Me to Stay Vulnerable – The New York Times

“. . .  John was in his early 20s when he wrote “Hello in There” from the perspective of an old man sharing an empty nest with his lonely wife. Hearing him sing the song after decades of hard living and surviving numerous illnesses brought new meaning to the lyrics, now delivered by a man who had caught up with the character he created. John always said when he grew up, he wanted to be an old person.

Related
Opinion | Margaret Renkl
John Prine: American Oracle

John Prine, Who Chronicled the Human Condition in Song, Dies at 73

John was known for his ability to tell stories that related universal emotions through the lens of his gigantic imagination. He constructed what Bob Dylan called “Midwestern mind trips” from the tedium of the everyday, and he was a master at concealing the work involved.

His songs sounded like they’d been easy to write, like they’d just fallen out of his mind like magic. He was praised for his dry humor and loved for his kindness and generosity. John had the courage to write plainly about the darkest aspects of the American experience in songs like “Sam Stone,” about a drug-addicted Vietnam veteran; “Paradise,” about the devastating effects of strip mining on a Kentucky town; and “The Great Compromise,” about his disillusionment with his country. Among his peers in the legendary Nashville songwriting community of the 1980s, his songs were the gold standard.

Of all the things I love about John’s songwriting, my favorite is the way he could step so completely into someone else’s life. John had the gift and the curse of great empathy. In songs like “Hello in There” and “Angel From Montgomery,” he wrote from a perspective clearly very different from his own — an old man and a middle-aged woman — but he kept the first-person point of view. He wrote those songs and the rest of his incredible debut album while a young man working as a letter carrier in Chicago. “Angel From Montgomery” opens with the line “I am an old woman/named after my mother.”

I remember hearing his 1971 recording of this song for the first time and thinking, “No, you’re not.” Then a light bulb went on, and I realized that songwriting allows you to be anybody you want to be, so long as you get the details right. John always got the details right. If the artist’s job is to hold a mirror up to society, John had the cleanest mirror of anyone I have ever known. Sometimes it seemed like he had a window, and he would climb right through.”

David Lindsay:  John Prine performing Sam Stone from his debut album John Prine in the 1970’s. #johnprine #samstone #veterans
This is another song, I just met for the first time. I confess, I didn’t pay enough attention to this guy when I was collecting and performing. I heard him at the Mariposa Folk Festival, when I was college age, and fell for him. But when I got home, I decided his work that I knew didn’t work for me. I was truly in love at the time with traditional songs and ballads. I vaguely recall that I worried, his material might not be around in a few hundred years.

John Prine performing Sam Stone from his debut album John Prine in the 1970’s. #johnprine #samstone #veterans Get this single on the album Souvenirs here: ht…
YOUTUBE.COM
John Prine performing Sam Stone from his debut album John Prine in the 1970’s. #johnprine #samstone #veterans Get this single on the album Souvenirs here: ht…

(47) Countercurrent: Tunes in Seattle – YouTube

I’ve been listening to my first cousin once removed Brian Lindsay’s new cd, CounterCurrent Exchange, and wondering who was playing the feet to so well on that cd. Here is the answer.
I want Dan Hedden to listen to this guitar player, Alex Sturbaum. I was trying to learn his right hand strum in the car last night driving to band practice for the New Haven Contra Jammers.

 

(47) Song for McConnell – YouTube

Last Thursday, I drove up to Greenfield MA to the house of Rachel Wyatt Lindsay, for dinner and a house concert by Brian Lindsay and Arthur Davis.
They were surprisingly good, phenomenal, and they sang the song recorded below, though in this rendition here, Brian is with his Seattle partner, Alex Sturbaum.

A Defense of Cursive, From a 10-Year-Old National Champion – By Tracey Tully – The New York Times

By 

“A fifth grader in New Jersey is a master of curlicues and connecting loops. His technique is so good he was named a state and national champion of a dying art: cursive writing, a skill that once seemed destined to go the way of the typewriter.

The boy, Edbert Aquino, who is 10, took home last year’s national trophy, $500 and bragging rights for his Roman Catholic elementary school in Bergen County.”

Image

But competition for the prize might just get stiffer in New Jersey.

Assemblywoman Angela McKnight, a Democrat from Jersey City, has introduced legislation that would require public schools to again teach a skill that had been phased out across the country, but is now enjoying something of a revival.

Tapeworm | Al Duvall

Copyright 2013 Al Duvall BMI

lyrics

The system is just a dirty trick
You work and you work until you’re sick
To hand over all you earn for room and board
You barely survive and what’s it for
To keep you alive to work some more
And struggle and strive for things you can’t afford
I find myself wishing in despair
To live in the kind of system where
The powers above are tending those beneath
No more starving or complaining
Manna from heaven ever raining
Down on my picnic while I pick my teeth
Oh, wouldn’t it take the cake to be a tapeworm
I never would let another meal escape
Taking a share of what comes through
Just like Internal Revenue
Just like the brokers with their ticker tape
And if I had a position on the inside
At the end of the tunnel I would see some light
Taking my cut from soup to nuts
You better believe it takes some guts
Being a tapeworm sure would be alrightOh, wouldn’t it take the cake to be a tapeworm
Having somebody else prepare your food
Go to the market, pay the bill
Cook up the steak and clean the grill
They’ll even send it down already chewed
Taken out to the finest French restaurants
Dining like a Parisian parasite
I’d pick up my glass and raise a toast
Here’s to your health my gracious host
Being a tapeworm sure would be alright

 

David Lindsay: from the fb post of David Coller

How to Be a More Patient Person – The New York Times

Quote

By Anna Goldfarb
Nov. 5, 2018

My jaw clenches when Hulu videos buffer. I huff and puff when stuck in a sluggish line at a coffee shop. Slow cars in the fast lane send me into a curse-filled tizzy. I’m ashamed how quickly I lose my cool over these minor things. I’ve often wished I could be a more patient person, but it’s overwhelming to know where to start.

Patience, the ability to keep calm in the face of disappointment, distress or suffering, is worth cultivating. The virtue is associated with a variety of positive health outcomes, such as reducing depression and other negative emotions. Researchers have also concluded that patient people exhibit more prosocial behaviors like empathy, and were more likely to display generosity and compassion.

A 2012 study in the Journal of Positive Psychology identified three distinct expressions of patience: 1. Interpersonal, which is maintaining calm when dealing with someone who is upset, angry or being a pest. 2. Life hardships, or finding the silver lining after a serious setback. And 3. Daily hassles, which is suppressing annoyance at delays or anything irritating that would inspire a snarky tweet.

The good news is that same study found that patience as a personality trait is modifiable. Even if you’re not a particularly patient person today, there’s still hope you can be a more patient person tomorrow. So if you find yourself getting exasperated more than you’d like, here are ways to keep those testy impulses in check.

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Identify your trigger(s)
Impatience is the “fight” component of the fight-or-flight response, according to M.J. Ryan, executive coach and author of The Power of Patience: How This Old-Fashioned Virtue Can Improve Your Life. “That’s why you’re honking at people or annoyed in the line or whatever it is you’re doing that’s your impatient behavior,” she said.

Amygdalae are the culprit.

via How to Be a More Patient Person – The New York Times

Caring for your Piano – from Steinway South Africa

AMBIENT CONDITIONS
Wood and felt are highly sensitive to extreme changes in temperature and humidity. During the heating period a standard good-quality humidifier should be used to control and regulate humidity. The most favorable environment for your piano is a relative humidity ranging between 45% and 70% and a constant temperature of approximately 20˚C. Sudden fluctuations in temperature must be avoided as the tuning and regulation might be influenced negatively.

via Caring for your Piano

Get Up- Stand Up! – by Gretchen Reynolds – NYT

“The scientists then found strong statistical correlations between sitting and mortality. The men and women who sat for the most hours every day, according to their accelerometer data, had the highest risk for early death, especially if this sitting often continued for longer than 30 minutes at a stretch. The risk was unaffected by age, race, gender or body mass.It also was barely lowered if people exercised regularly.

But interestingly, the risk of early death did drop if sitting time was frequently interrupted. People whose time spent sitting usually lasted for less than 30 minutes at a stretch were less likely to have died than those whose sitting was more prolonged, even if the total hours of sitting time were the same.

In essence, the data showed that “both the total hours spent sitting each day and whether those hours are accrued in short or long bouts” of physical stillness influenced longevity, says Keith Diaz, an assistant professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University, who led the new study.”

David Lindsay

Hamden, CT

What a great article, exceptionally good common sense, and interesting science. As my Dad liked to advise, Don’t let the bastards get you down. I’d write more, but I think I’ve been reading the NYT now for two and a half hours straight, and having just absorbed the main gist of your reporting, I’d better walk about and do some chores.