Tag Archives: ebola

How Russell Wilson escaped the curse of Justin Bieber

When Richard Sherman was named this past year’s Madden cover boy, I imagine a significant fraction of football fans felt schadenfreudic tinglings: Sherman — thug, villain, superstar — would surely fall victim to the vaunted Madden Curse. After all, he had only one direction to fall.

But this past week, Sherman was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week after nearly becoming the San Francisco 49ers’ leading receiver (Colin Kaepernick threw him two passes; the actual leader caught three). That recognition makes him the only player in the NFL to receive the honor in each of the past three seasons (and those 22nd and 23rd interceptions stretched his lead since entering the league to 8).

RS25 has been frustratingly (to his haters) just fine.

But there is another, far more serious, curse the Seahawks have had to contend with in 2014: the Curse of the Bieber. As has been established on this very blog, Russell Wilson does not always make the wisest of wise decisions, and so in early May he failed to extricate himself (or those poor, doomed children) from an obviously dangerous situation:

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Here’s the right way for Ebola Healthcare workers to get undressed

An article recently appeared in WIRED, How Ebola Healthcare Workers Get Dressed, documenting the laborious process by which Ebola healthcare workers must suit up to combat the disease (and avoid contracting it themselves).

All very interesting, but as CNN’s Sanjay Gupta helpfully demonstrated, the danger to doctors and nurses is greatest while they’re taking the protective gear off. Luckily, I’m here with the solution — just run the following in reverse:*

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Who says the media can’t write responsible Ebola headlines?

One oft-maligned symptom of the ongoing Ebola outbreak is the tendency of media organizations to overplay the risk it poses to the general public. News outlets based in this country’s largest city have proven hardly more immune than have its residents: “Ebola in New York fires up the media” reads a recent headline in The USA Today.

Thankfully, none other than the New York Times appears to have developed a hardy resistance to Ebola-related fear-mongering. Just check out this (complete) headline and synopsis a friend recently emailed me via the paper of record’s mobile phone application:

Continue reading Who says the media can’t write responsible Ebola headlines?

My New York Ebola prediction: precisely half right

Four days ago, I wrote a post titled “When ebola comes to New York City, ground zero will be about three miles from Ground Zero“. Unfortunately, I didn’t stop by giving the post a name: I also included a slightly more specific prediction: that the outbreak would begin at a restaurant called Pitopia, located 3.4 miles from Ground Zero:

Continue reading My New York Ebola prediction: precisely half right

When ebola comes to New York City, ground zero will be about three miles from Ground Zero

That’s the distance between Ground Zero and a little modern-styled falafel place (i.e. not a food truck) in midtown called Pitopia.

I picked up dinner there right before watching the Seahawks season opener (only the Ebola portion of this post is timely*) and ordered a falafel sandwich. The process is pretty straightforward: You get a few balls in a pita, and it’s up to you to fill in the rest at the salad bar.

I think you can figure out where this is going.

Continue reading When ebola comes to New York City, ground zero will be about three miles from Ground Zero

Why is Jon Stewart spreading misinformation about tobacco (and Ebola)?

Stephen Colbert has been described as “the Best Thing to Ever Happen to Science on TV” and Slate speculated that his departure to CBS “could be a big loss for television coverage of science.”

Jon Stewart, not so much — and hopefully, you’re about to see why.

Last Thursday’s The Daily Show included a segment on the political scandal that brought down Virginia Governor and potential Presidential hopeful Bob McDonnell (“The Giving Spree“). The scandal revolved around allegations of influence-peddling by a Virginia businessman who enlisted the governor to promote his tobacco-based nutritional supplement. That’s when Stewart went off the rails:

Continue reading Why is Jon Stewart spreading misinformation about tobacco (and Ebola)?

No, 48% of Israelis do not wish Barack Obama would receive ebola for his birthday

When Ezra Klein launched Vox earlier this year, he promised that it would be a different kind of news site:

Today, we are better than ever at telling people what’s happening, but not nearly good enough at giving them the crucial contextual information necessary to understand what’s happened . . . Our mission is to create a site that’s as good at explaining the world as it is at reporting on it.

A lofty promise.

But instead, we got important and newsworthy articles like: “An Israeli web poll asks what Obama should get for his birthday. 48 percent say ‘ebola.’“:

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Sharks prefer men – so why did this one attack a woman?

Judging by the reaction to Sharknado, people on the internet really like sharks. And while I don’t normally write for anyone but myself, I’m going to make an exception for the sake of making a truly tasteless* “joke.” OK, so I guess I am still writing for myself.

*1. Pun intended. 2. You’ve been warned.

A teenager was attacked and killed Monday by a shark off the coast of Brazil near Recife. She was in the process of drowning when the shark decided to lend her a hand… by biting off her leg. Per Newser:

It’s hard to imagine a worse way to die: Bruni Gobbi was drowning, with lifeguards on their way to help the 18-year-old and her cousin on Monday, when a shark attacked. It bit Gobbi’s left leg, and though rescuers were able to get her ashore, she died that night at a hospital, CNN reports. The Daily Mail adds that her leg was amputated before her death, but she had lost too much blood. Gobbi and her cousin were swimming at Boa Viagem beach in Recife, Brazil, at the time.

“The rescuers came in a matter of five minutes, but to us it felt like five years,” the cousin tells a local CNN affiliate. “We knew there were risks of an attack, but I didn’t think that it would happen in the shallow [water], but in the deep.”

I would quibble over the claim that it’s hard to imagine worse ways to die (there’s always ebola), but as things go, this one is pretty horrific. And I recognize that. Which is why I’m also aware that the remainder of this post is way over the fishing line. But the Newser article went on to share a curious statistic I was drawn to like a shark after blood — and quite frankly, I couldn’t help myself:

Such attacks aren’t exactly rare in the area: In the past two decades, about 23 people have been attacked off Boa Viagem beach. Gobbi is the first woman to die from an attack in the state of Pernambuco during that period. Officials believe she was attacked by a bull shark.

Apparently, Brazilian sharks have a preference for men — just like Brazilian piranhas.

I find the existence of sex preferences surprising. Gun to my head, I’d have guessed sharks find women tastier (and I’d have been totally wrong). Indeed, it’s unlikely sharks find people all that tasty to begin with, meaning that the question of Why hangs over just about every shark attack.

So what prompted this shark to gobble up Gobbi? My theory: a case of mistaken identity by a really bad speller:

Continue reading Sharks prefer men – so why did this one attack a woman?