Saturday, December 5, 2020

The Book Page: The New York Review Of Books -- December 5, 2020

Wow, wow, wow! The current issue of The New York Review of Books, December 3, 2020, has not less than seven essays that look really, really interesting/promising:

  • "Suffering, Unfaltering Manet," Manet and Modern Beauty: The Artist's Last Years, art exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago and the J. Paul Getty Museum, 384 pp, $65. I assume it's one of those coffee-table art catalogues.
  • "Cartographers of Stone and Air," Listening to the Wind: The Connemara Trilogy: Part One; and, Heaven's Breath: A Natural History of the Wind, Lyall Watson, each about 400 pages long; each paper back; each about $19.
  • "In The Soup," The Genesis Quest: The Geniuses and Eccentrics on a Journey to Uncover the Origin of Life on Earth, Michael Marshall, 360 pp, $26.
  • "The Power Brokers," Lakota America: A New History of Indigenous Power, Pekka Hämäläinen, 530 pp, paperback; $22.
  • "The Devil Had Nothing To Do With It," several books on Robert Johnson reviewed.
  • "Life, Death, and the Levys," Family Papers: A Sephardic Journey Through the Twentieth Century, Sarah Abrevaya Stein, 317 pp, paperback, $28.
  • "Dudes Without Heirs," Beowulf, translated from the Old English by Maria Dahvana Headley, 138 pp, softcover, $15.00 Yes, yet another translation of Beowulf. One wonders how many of these translations started out as / were theses for PhD candidates? Essay by Irina Dumitrescu, professor English Medieval Studiss at the University of Bonn.

I was most curious about Pekka Hämäläinen. His abbreviated wiki bio:

Pekka Johannes Hämäläinen is a Finnish professor of history. His prize-winning book, The Comanche Empire, was published in 2008. Since 2012, he has been the Rhodes Professor of American History at the University of Oxford. He was formerly in the History Department at University of California, Santa Barbara.

Notes On The Above After Reading The Essays

"In The Soup." It appears there is nothing new in the book that I have not read in the books in my library on the origin of life. It appears the only new advancement is the movement from alkaline vents in the depths of oceans to pools on land that moved back and forth between wetting and drying. It was not mentioned in the article, but this would take us to tidal pools dependent on the moon but more likely researchers are talking about pools that become much drier than tidal pools become. This is important because many scientists argue that life on earth would not have been possible without the earth's moon. I won't be buying this book simply because it seems that 90% of the book is a re-hash of what has gone before.

Amazon Announces New Fulfillment Center: OKC

Link here, press release. Data points:

  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • anticipated to launch in 2021
  • will create 500 new full-time jobs

Notes From All Over -- Saturday Night, December 5, 2020

Science: In my thirty-four years in medicine, I can count the number of really big disappointments on one hand:

  • Type 1 diabetes and the failure of researchers to solve this problem;
  • a cure for sickle cell disease; and,
  • "a cure for cancer."

Of the three, the first two seemed solvable but so far, not much advancement. But now, in The WSJ, reports that there my be "real" cures for sickle cell disease. I'm going to have to go back and review Crisper gene editing. 


Birds: I can hardly wait. I ordered a brand new copy of a 2013 biography of Alexander Wilson, the father of American ornithology. It should arrive Monday. I treasure my hardcover of an earlier biography of Alexander Wilson but looked forward to a new study.

A Christmas Story

Sophia: Perhaps my favorite Christmas movie -- no surprise -- is A Christmas Story. Somehow Sophia found it on cable television on "her" iPad tonight. I have no idea how she found it and I can't find it on the big 27-inch iMac. So, I'm watching The Maltese Falcon on TCM followed by The Thin Man. Wow, what a great country. 

By the way, if you have cable television, and good wi-fi, you absolutely have to have the largest, newest Apple iPad available. It's impossible to articulate how incredible the experience is.

On another note, if I've said it once, I've said it a dozen times: Spectrum cable television is very expensive and I've tried ways to cut the cord and/or cut the cost, but it's impossible. But, if one takes advantage of what Spectrum has to offer, it's really worth the monthly subscription.

More Proof That The Pandemic Will Widen The Gap
Between The Haves and the Have-Nots

Link here.

In August, I reported here on how Montgomery County, Maryland, was seeking to shut down private schools as part of their Covid-19 strategy of abolishing all risk by abolishing all freedom. 
As more individuals have recently tested positive for Covid, the county government is responding with a new array of iron-fisted decrees. Some of the latest edicts make little or no sense, confirming the county’s nickname of LoCo Moco.

Gov. Larry Hogan blocked the county government’s effort to criminalize private teaching; Catholic, Jewish, and other schools have operated safely with no significant Covid outbreaks. But county schools remain shut down in large part due to the clout of the teachers union, a bulwark of political support for County Executive Marc Elrich. 
Since the county padlocked public schools earlier this year and shifted to unreliable “distance learning,” there has been a 500%+ increase in the number of black junior high students failing mathematics and a 600%+ increase in Hispanic students failing. 
The percentage of black elementary school students failing English increased more than 350% and the percentage of Hispanic students failing increased more than 500%. 
These numbers were revealed during a County Board of Education meeting on December 3; a local activist captured screenshots of the disastrous test results. Some of the data was also reported in yesterday’s Washington Post. Shutting down public schools has done more harm to black students than anything since the end of local school segregation in 1961.

Black lives matter. 

I don't even know how one quantifies a 500% increase and a 600% increase. 

A 100% increase is a doubling. 

200% would be another doubling, I suppose.

I give up. From wiki:

An increase of 100% in a quantity means that the final amount is 200% of the initial amount (100% of initial + 100% of increase = 200% of initial). In other words, the quantity has doubled. An increase of 800% means the final amount is 9 times the original (100% + 800% = 900% = 9 times as large).

So, I guess, a 600% increase means the number of students failing mathematics in this study is 7x as large.

If 5 students out of a 1,000 students fail, then only 35 students are failing. That put things in perspective. From 5/1000 = 0.5% to 35/1000 or 3.5%.

Working backwards, 35 students, now divided by 5 = 7. So, subtract one from seven, get 6, add two zeros and put a "%" sign behind that. 

Check: if ten students are failing now and originally there were five students failing, then 10/5 = 2. Subtracting 1 from 2 gets you 1. Add two zeros, and voila -- a 100% increase. And that checks.

What A Wonderful World, San Cooke

WPX Reporting Some Huge Omaha Woman Wells

Wow, wow, wow, I can't recall if I have posted this one before. I don't think so.

The Bakken never ceases to amaze me. 

I track record IPs at this link

The well:

  • 36820, drl/A, WPX, Omaha Woman 24-13-12HC, Squaw Creek, t--; cum 82K over 28 days extrapolates to 88,198 bbls over 30 days; fracked 8/1/20 - 8/22/20; 8.9 million gallons of water; 84.5% water by mass; five wells on this pad; and look at that, no natural gas vented or flared; good for them:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

The Nokota wells running in the opposite direction to the west of the Omaha Woman wells are similarly incredible wells.

An Old CLR Vardon Well In Siverston May Be Returning To Production? Still Listed As "Flowing" -- December 5, 2020

A large number of wells have been recently fracked.

The well:

  • 20354, 1,200, CLR, Vardon 1-14H, Siverston, t7/11; cum 370K 10/20; recent production:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Whiting Reports Results Of A New Sanish Well -- December 5, 2020

The well:

  • 37078, conf-->drl/A, Whiting, Oddie 44-7HU, Sanish, t--; cum 40K over 51 days; fracked, 2/21/20 - 2/26/20 (less than a week?); 8.7 million gallons of water; water 89% by mass;
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

The graphic, a great example of a section line well; due to setback rules, the existing wells leave "orphaned" oil along the section lines; section line wells resolve this problem but 2560-acre spacing (four sections instead of the normal two) to accomplish this); this section line well is oriented in such a fashion to prevent much interference with existing wells; nonetheless, they are taken off line while the newer section line well is fracked:

The WPX Mandaree Wells In Squaw Creek

The wells:

  • 36261, drl/A, WPX, Mandaree Warrior 14-11HA, Squaw Creek, t--; cum 21K in 40 days; see this post; cum 251K 10/20; a 52K month;
  • 36260, drl/A, WPX, Mandaree Warrior 14-11HX, Squaw Creek, t--; cum 271K 10/20; see this post; a 59K month;
  • 36463, drl/A, WPX, Mandaree Warrior 14-11HUL, Mandaree, t--; cum 258K 10/20; see this post; a 55K month;
  • 36259, drl/A, WPX, Mandaree Warrior 14-11HS, Squaw Creek, t--; cum 242K 10/20;
  • 20320, 375, WPX, Mandaree Warrior 14-11H, Squaw Creek, t5/12; cum 386K 10/20; 

Miscellaneous Production Data

Note production profile; quite unusual for a Bakken well. So much for that dreaded Bakken decline:

  • 36259:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Note production jump. The well:

  • 20320:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

And It Begins -- December 5, 2020

Apparently Joe Biden, after breaking his ankle playing with his dog at home (wink, wink) is already joking about faking an illness (injury?), and resigning. I can't make this stuff up.

By the way, some people (I won't name names) are suggesting that the "walking boot" is a cover for an ankle bracelet commonly used by/for elderly Alzheimer patients at risk of getting lost in a big new house. LOL. Just saying.

2021 is going to be a hoot.

Runaway, Del Shannon

Kelly The Krab's Powerhouse Deal Collapses -- December 5, 2020

I saw this coming. Link here. Sanford Health deal to create regional hospital powerhouse collapses after CEO's exit. InterMountain HealthCare and Sanford in joint statement announce talks have stopped.

Walk Away Renee, The Left Banke

Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Leaving Silicon Valley, Headed For Texas -- Texas Has A Lot Going For It -- December 5, 2020

Link here.

Meanwhile, it's being widely reported that Elon Musk plans to move to Texas. One of many links.  I've never understood why the rich and famous with several homes don't simply call a no-income-tax state their state of residence. Yes, I know the six-month rule.

In Houston,
They're Dancing In The Street 

Okay, folks. This should be a lot of fun.

Click on this video

Then drag your "desktop arrow" over the video -- anywhere over the video. You will see a little gear-like icon in the lower right corner. Click on that gear-like icon. A pop-up menu will appear. On "Playback speed" click on "normal" and scroll down and play the video at 2x normal speed

Not only does the song sound a bit better but the dancing is .... well .... awesome. 

Note: you need to change this back to "normal" speed before moving on. It will remain at whatever playback speed you have selected for future YouTube videos.

Chinese Flu Watch -- Indiana Joins The Top 5; Minnesota Surges To #1 -- December 5, 2020

Los Angeles: mayor bans "travel by foot," also know as walking. Unless you are a nurse. Then you can walk to work. I can't make this stuff up. Link here. Folks must remain in their homes through January 4, 2021. That begs the question: where are the homeless supposed to stay?

Link here. Wow, Johns Hopkins data ....

  • Minnesota surges, now #1
  • Rhode Island moves to #2
  • Indiana joins the top 5, at #5

North Dakota: trending toward herd immunity, at 10.7%, link here:

Weekly influenza report from the CDC: no "seasonal flu" -- link here. Data points:

  • number of specimens tested for seasonal flu in past week: 17,104
  • number of positive specimens: 17
  • yes, of 17,000 specimens tested, 17 came back positive
  • get that flu shot

Ask your physician this question -- I can guarantee you she won't know the answer. Link here. Unless labs have changed their policies, Chinese flu testing labs are not reporting this data.

Saudi Arabia Foreign Exchange Reserves -- October, 2020 -- Posted Overnight

Link here.