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It can’t be easy to be Charles Darwin right now. (I mean, for reasons beyond the obvious.) A meticulous researcher and a serious and deeply respectful man, Mr. Darwin spent years carefully documenting and refining his seminal* theory of evolution through natural selection, delaying its presentation until similar discoveries by fellow British naturalist Alfred Russel […]

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What That Houston Tesla Couldn’t Possibly Do

 

Last month, a Tesla was involved in a fatal single-car collision near Houston in which both the owner of the vehicle and one passenger died. The incident has raised some controversy because of preliminary reports suggesting that there was no one in the driver’s seat at the time of the collision and that the car was traveling at high speed. The car’s battery was damaged in the crash, resulting in a fire that burned for several hours and destroyed both the car and its event data recorder (black box).

It now seems likely that the car was not in self-driving mode, that there was a driver behind the wheel, and that the accident was not a case of a self-driving Tesla accelerating wildly and running off the road. (Glenn Reynolds links a Car and Driver story on the incident.)

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Answer: Yes.  Right here on Ricochet, we have dozens of productive arguments going on all day and night long. A couple of University of Washington researchers are doing a study of that very question.  The article on MyNorthwest.com describes the study and the researchers.  I expect it will take some time for them to generate and […]

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On today’s Ricochet podcast, Peter and James interview guests Niall Ferguson and Stephen Meyer. I’d like to spend a few minutes discussing Mr. Meyer and the idea he puts forth in his latest book, Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries that Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe. I recently wrote about an Uncommon […]

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Joe “Crow” Biden is suspending the patents on COVID19 vaccines. This is disaster! It will cause havoc with licensing foreign producers, reduce reliability, pirating will skyrocket. That’s just the short term. Long term, American companies will start filing patents in foreign countries first, or not create new products at all.  Pfizer , Johnson & Johnson […]

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Paul Kengor (“Biden’s Brave New World of Aborted-Fetus Research”, The American Spectator, May 2, 2021) helpfully informs us that the Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board, established by the Trump administration to oversee federal tax dollar funding of Fetal Tissue research, has been disbanded by the Biden administration. The notice to that effect was […]

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Overcoming a decades-long antipathy to molecular biology, I have been reading yet another inherited textbook, Genes III by Benjamin Lewin (1987). On the subject of packing DNA into a cell nucleus, which is no trivial matter – in any one such nucleus, the DNA could be a couple yards long – I learned that the […]

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Conspiracy Theory No More? Classified Report Says Coronavirus May Have Originated in Chinese Lab

 

Well, well, well, a Mainstream Media outlet (KOMO in Seattle/Sinclair Broadcasting) may just have engaged in some actual Journalism for a change. This morning, at the top of their Web site, there is a story titled Classified Study finds that Covid-19 could have originated in Chinese Lab.

Now, this is a very intriguing story, as the Powers That Be in DC and around the world (including the WHO) have been telling us for a year that it was just a crazy conspiracy theory that the Coronavirus might have originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. There have been dozens of news reports in various places that have posited this theory, and either been removed by Big Social Media, or simply ignored. Over on Ricochet, more than one scientifically-inclined member has posted on this issue, citing trustworthy references. Here are some stories about the possible origin of the deadly virus that originated somewhere in Communist China.

Science in Crisis

 

I have an uneasy feeling about how things are going.

Years ago I was involved in clinical studies that examined the effectiveness of treatments for acute stroke. I participated in four of these. Each one took years and enrolled thousands of patients. We were one of hundreds of centers worldwide that did this work. All in all dozens of different medications for the treatment of acute stroke were tested. The idea was that people who had a stroke would receive one of these medications, and this would reduce the disability the stroke caused. They were supposed to work in various ways — reducing toxicity, reducing inflammation, inhibiting oxidation, etc. — all of them having been tested in labs and found to work in tissue cultures and animals prior to being tried in patients. At the end of it, not a single one of these medications worked when they were tried on human beings.

Hubwonk Host Joe Selvaggi talks with Emergency Preparedness expert Dr. Paul Biddinger about how experts plan for disasters, and what went right and wrong in this pandemic.

Guest:

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No decent man aspires to a monopoly on mentions of ornithopters, on this or any website. I prefer to imagine that I am misunderstanding how Ricochet’s search function works: that, if operated correctly, it reviews not just posts but comments as well. And the PIT, whatever that is. I like to think that dozens of […]

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https://www.statnews.com/2021/04/13/researchers-search-for-answers-in-puzzle-of-blood-clots-and-covid-vaccines-and-see-some-clues/?utm_source=STAT+Newsletters&utm_campaign=a8273e6cbd-RO_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8cab1d7961-a8273e6cbd-153186682My comment: I hesitate posting this as people will read this article and feel if they avoid the AstraZeneca/Johnson&Johnson vaccine for COVID, they will not be among those who suffer side effects. But it is necessary to point out this: All the vaccines are causing people to die within 55 minutes to a month after […]

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This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Sandro Catanzaro, who started several businesses in his native Peru but had no idea he’d end up helping NASA go to Mars, or that he’d use that same technology to plan and buy video ad campaigns. Now Head of Publisher Services Strategy for Roku, which acquired the company he founded, dataxu, in 2019, Mr. Catanzaro is an emblem of ingenuity and inventiveness. His demand-side platform, device graph technology and analytics platform help accelerate Roku’s ad tech roadmap and ability to serve a wide array of advertisers. But he’s not done yet!

Guest:

The Reality of the Need for More Nuclear Energy Is Hard to Ignore

 

Shutting down nuclear power plants is a lot easier than generating reliable, carbon-free energy. As The New York Times reports on the tenth anniversary of the meltdown of three nuclear reactors in Fukushima, Japan, following a massive earthquake-tsunami: “As the share of nuclear energy in Japan has plummeted from about a third of total power to the single digits, the void has been filled in part by coal and natural gas, complicating a promise that the country made late last year to be carbon-neutral by 2050.”

Indeed, a member of the government’s advisory committee on energy policy said the nation’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 would be hard with nuclear — but, he was quoted by the Financial Times, “In my view, without nuclear it is close to impossible.” (So far just a fifth of the 50 shut-down reactors have been restarted.) In that same NYT piece, reporters Ben Dooley and Hisako Ueno tell the story of what’s been happening in Suttsu, an “ailing fishing town” on Japan’s northernmost major island of Hokkaido. There’s been a big pushback by residents — a firebomb was tossed at the mayor’s home — upset that the mayor agreed to volunteer the town for a government study on potential locations for spent nuclear fuel rods. No commitment, just a study.

Before Fukushima, the piece continues, resource-poor Japan had come to accept its need for nuclear power. That, despite its World War II history. Perhaps reality will be accepted once again given (a) no fatalities have ever been found to be directly attributable to radiation exposure from the Fukushima meltdown and (b) the reactor shut-downs have caused fatalities due to the national switch to dirtier and more expensive power generated by imported coal and oil. More of the rest of the world will also accept the need for a nuclear solution. More on that reality in a recent essay from the Breakthrough Institute’s Ted Nordhaus:

Ahead One-Half Impulse

 

Happy Birthday to Captain Kirk, the original and the best captain of the Enterprise. I thought of Star Trek today as I watched this video, linked on Instapundit, of Tesla’s “FSD 8.2 Beta” self-driving software.

I’m not familiar with self-driving technology, so I don’t know how to fairly evaluate the vehicle’s performance. Were it piloted by a human driver, I’d encourage license revocation. But the car is driving itself, and I’m impressed by the situational awareness the vehicle demonstrates.