Irish Prime Minister to work one shift a week as a doctor

Leo Varadkar qualified as a general practitioner before entering politics. Now the taoiseach (prime minister) of Ireland, he'll be going back to his old job one day a week.

The Irish Times, which first reported the story, said the taoiseach was understood to be doing phone assessments, in keeping with the protocol to advise people who could be infected over the phone rather than in person. Varadkar’s father Ashok, an Indian immigrant, was a GP and his mother Miriam was a nurse. His partner Matthew Barrett is a cardiologist.

He has won plaudits from across the political spectrum for his handling of the coronavirus crisis. Ireland adopted early restrictions and appears to have avoided an unmitigated pandemic, though cases are expected to surge this week.

Photo: EPP (CC BY 2.0) Read the rest

Galaxy Chromebook reviews

Samsung's Galaxy Chromebook is unusually fancy and handsome for a platform usually associated with cheap, low-end machines, at least outside of Google's own flag-carrier devices. How does it stack up?

The Verge says its no good because despite the pretty case, high-end hardware and 4k screen, it's unreliable and has poor battery life. Engadget thinks it's likeable enough, but also complains of the poor power management. Wired, however, gives it 8/10, describing it as "everything you could ever want in a laptop based on the Chrome browser."

This is unquestionably a nice laptop. You are paying for what you get though. At $999 the Galaxy Chromebook is an expensive piece of kit, and one that's never going to run, for instance, Adobe Photoshop, videogames like Overwatch, or other popular desktop applications.

If that's not a requirement for you, there's much here to love. An example of the refinement and integration in this laptop is when you press in on the spring-release pen to pull it out; the Galaxy Chromebook will automatically open Google Keep, and be ready for your handwritten notes or sketches (which are easier to make when you take advantage of the 360-degree convertible design). It's a small thing, but a lot of these great, small things are what add up to make this the smoothest, nicest ChromeOS experience I've ever had.

I can't imagine using something this fancy without wiping out the toy OS and installing Ubuntu Linux instead.

One thing that struck me is that The Verge's full-column warning (partially embedded below) about the clickwrap contracts the user must agree to just to start the machine. Read the rest

Boris Johnson "in good spirits" in hospital

British Prime minister Boris Johnson, hospitalized with "persistent symptoms" of coronavirus infection, is reportedly "in good spirits" but has to stay there for more tests.

The prime minister's official spokesman said he remained in hospital "under observation", and described Russian reports that Mr Johnson had been placed on a ventilator as "disinformation".

He is continuing to receive updates and briefings in hospital, the spokesman added.

As an exercise in media studies, what might "in good spirits" be a Britishy euphemism for?

ANSWER: Drunk or otherwise intoxicated. Jesus, what did you think it meant? Read the rest

Whistling walrus

Nice to see Jamie Hyneman still getting TV gigs. Read the rest

Fox steals phone

This fox is an impossibly good director—the intro, the call to action, the flight, the cheeky laughter, the changes in perspective that show both the culprit and the victim in hot pursuit, the denoument— but I can't see how this could have been faked. Good fox!

Read the rest

Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister, hospitalized with "persistent" coronavirus symptoms

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who tested positive for coronavirus 10 days ago and has remained in isolation since, was today hospitalized for treatment of "persistent symptoms." He is still formally in charge of the government, but the BBC reports that Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will be chairing Monday's cabinet meeting. Read the rest

Beef toe, sexy kitten, reverse the worm

Joe Trancini is the dance instructor the world needs right now: "if you were one of the 2 million people across the internet that chose to watch this in a day, thank you from the bottom of my leotard. " Read the rest

Special camera shows cloud of micro droplets spewing out of people when they "talk loudly"

Watching these videos got me thinking about the hazmat suits and heavy-duty disinfections you see in footage of victim transports. It makes me suspect that the 6ft/2m social distancing benchmark and "masks do nothing" policies are forms of epidemiology theater that we will soon come to regret. A single cough generates thousands of microdroplets that remain suspended in air for hours, reports Esquire. It "doesn't meant we're doomed," writes Sharon Begley. Read the rest

Cop arrested on felony warrant has uniform cut off with scissors

According to studies in the early 1990s, up to 40% of police officer families experienced domestic violence, a figure that includes officers themselves. Recent studies focusing on officers' behavior suggest a far higher rate of abuse than the general population, exacerbated by underrporting and favorable treatment by colleagues in law enforcement.

Officer Jeffrey Wharton, however, is out of uniform--literally removed from him with scissors. He arrived at work to find there was a felony warrant issued out for his arrest after his girlfriend was hospitalized earlier that day.

When Officer Wharton arrived for his shift at an area substation Rio Rancho Police officers were waiting for him armed with a felony warrant. At one point you'll see they removed his duty belt and searched him. After the search they are seen on lapel video cutting off his fully marked uniform shirt. Wharton was lead out of the substation to a waiting cruiser.

He was booked into the Sandoval County Detention Center on charges of Kidnapping (First Degree) (NO Intent to Commit Sex Offense), Aggravated Battery (great bodily harm) (household member), Aggravated Battery Against a Household Member (Strangulation or Suffocation), Aggravated Battery (great bodily harm) (household member), Tampering with Evidence (Highest Crime a Capital, First or Second Degree and Negligent Use of a Deadly Weapon (Unsafe Handling).

In the video, the deshirting commences 3 minutes in.

Wharton didn't get bailed and awaits his trial in the slammer.

Read the rest

Police remove "close to a million" N95 masks from Brooklyn house

After a tipoff, police raided a house in Brooklyn and carted off boxes said to contain close to a million N95 masks. CBS News:

"Authorities remove close to one million N95 respirator masks, gloves, gowns and other medical supplies after a Brooklyn man was caught allegedly hoarding the equipment."

I've seen a few articles saying he was arrested for the hoarding, but the report says he was arrested for lying to the FBI and coughing on them. Read the rest

6.6m Americans filed for unemployment last week

More than 6.6m Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, breaking the record for the second week running.

"That brings the total number of Americans who filed for unemployment over the past two weeks to nearly 10 million," writes Fox Business's Megan Henney, "a stunning sign of the colossal economic damage inflicted by the outbreak."

Official figures date back to 1967, with the jobless peaks at 695,000 in 1982 and 665,000 in 2009. About 15m were unemployed in the early 1930s, however, then about 25% of the 60m-strong workforce. There are now 165m in the U.S. workforce. Read the rest

Man licks window

I just read this article about conservatives who still think coronavirus is a hoax and are gathering, shaking hands, etc., to stick it to the libs. Then I saw this video of an angry man licking a window because he was annoyed "that hours had changed at TD Bank due to COVID virus."

"Fuck you, cunt!"

Word and image, complementing one another perfectly. Read the rest

Corgi realizes rock is alive

Turbo the corgi had no idea the rock could move. Just so everyone knows the turtle in the video is not a tortoise but in fact an eastern box turtle! Which is actually part of the Terrapene family.

Read the rest

"I am Covid" man jailed after coughing on cop

A man who coughed on a police officer in the UK after declaring "I am Covid" is off to jail for six months, convicted of assaulting an emergency worker.

Adam Lewis, 55, told the officer: "I am Covid and I am going to cough in your face and you will get it." ...

The officer was told that a man had been seen trying the handles of car doors in the area, magistrates heard. Lewis resisted the officer's attempt to search him and smashed a bottle of wine he was holding on the floor, police said. As well as coughing on the officer, Lewis also tried to cough up phlegm and threatened to bite him

Read the rest

Record week at the box office, and not in a good way

$5,179 was earned last week at the United States box office. Not $5.179m, not $51.79k, but just over five thousand dollars. It's the worst week in history for the American theater industry, due to coronavirus restrictions and company policies that all but ended public movie attendance.

A silver lining, perhaps: most movies on general release were shunted immediately to television-on-demand, and gave home movie services their best week ever. Read the rest

Every movie, starring Godzilla

Sean Kaen, @oddnmacabre on Twitter, posed the challenge 'let’s make some Godzilla movies!" and the results are unusually amusing due to the one rule: replace 1 word in any movie title with "Godzilla".

Heather offers "Extremely Loud And Incredibly Godzilla."

I know I'll never get to watch "Remains of the Godzilla", but there'll always be the whale on Florence beach. And then I can found the Dead Godzillas Society. Read the rest

Car crash footage with one of the vehicles digitally removed

This is a compilation of security- and dash-cam footage of auto accidents with one of the vehicles digitally removed, thereby becoming "invisible". It is remarkably creepy and unsettling, like one of those science fiction blockbusters that starts with an ingenious and terrifying disaster/invasion/escape scene but then becomes normal and boring for the rest of the movie. Read the rest

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