Kenny Rogers has died.
The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Alabama has, as of two hours ago, risen to 131. Of those, 61 are here in Jefferson County and another 16 are in the adjacent county of Shelby.
I got some stuff together today for Ellen Datlow, who's reprinting a story (TBA). Kathryn's gonna scan the signed contract, and I'll email it. It just seems safer that way.
Yesterday, on Twitter, Neil deGrasse Tyson explained the scientific method as, ""Do whatever it takes ensure you do not fool yourself into thinking something is true that is actually false, or that something is false which is actually true."
And I have this quote from Peter Straub, "He clung to this notion with the dogged stubbornness of the stupid." ~ Ghost Story (1979)
There's a good article in the New York Times, "Coronavirus Could Overwhelm U.S. Without Urgent Action, Estimates Say," looking at a new study from Columbia University. This paragraph is especially poignant:
“We’re looking at something that’s catastrophic on a level that we have not seen for an infectious disease since 1918,” said Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia and the leader of the research team, referring to the Spanish flu. “And it’s requiring sacrifices we haven’t seen since World War II. There are going to be enormous disruptions. There’s no easy way out.”
It's not all end-of-the-world news, though. Consider two new dinosaur discoveries, Asteriornis maastrichtensis and Oculudentavis khaungraae. The former is now the oldest-known "modern" bird, closely related to "the superorder Galloanserae such as chickens and duck" and dated to 66.8-66.7 mybp, from just before the K-Pg extinction event. The latter is an astounding creature, a skull preserved in amber that seems to indicate an animal about the size of a bumblebee hummingbird. So, imagine a hummingbird with fangs. If it is truly an avialan dinosaur, as originally suspected, it would be, by far, the smallest-known dinosaur (excluding the smallest modern birds). However, there is some healthy skepticism about the proposed dinosaurian identity. It's possible that the specimen may actually be a lizard.
Today, Kathryn and I played Guild Wars 2. Tonight, we watched the new episode of RuPaul's Drag Race and then more Vikings.
4:27 p.m. (Wednesday)