Who is that masked woman?

Masked woman
Who is that masked woman? It is the author's wife wearing a home-made mask with Cottonwood Marsh in the background. We did not wear masks during our 1-hour or so walk around Walden Ponds in Boulder, but people were extremely careful to stay 2 or more meters apart.

The White House has scooped me: White House to urge Americans to wear face coverings in public to slow spread of coronavirus, but at least they have relieved me of the responsibility to think of a good lead. At any rate, I think I will post what I was about to post anyway. So: I have been doing a little research on the value of wearing a mask, particularly a cloth mask, using reputable technical journals such as The Washington Post and The New York Times, not to mention Science and Nature.

What, then, is the value of wearing a mask?

• It may protect me.

• It may protect you.

• It may keep me from touching my face with my hands.

What is the value of wearing a home-made cloth mask?

• All of the above, as well as

• It will not deprive health-care workers of N95 masks.

Canis latrans clepticus


Photograph by James Rice.

Photography contest, Honorable Mention.

Canis latrans clepticusSan Pedro Martir coyote. Mr. Rice writes, "This subspecies of coyote is found in southwestern California and northwestern Mexico. Coyotes are extremely adaptable animals, whose range is currently expanding due to reduced competition from wolves and other large predators. I photographed this one in Joshua Tree National Park."

Another genealogy for SARS-CoV2 genomes


Over at Peaceful Science, Josh Swamidass has called attention to two studies that inferred genealogical trees for the SARS-CoV2 virus using molecular phylogeny methods. Here is an image of one of them, inferred 3 weeks ago by Andrew Rambaut, a major researcher in molecular evolution of viruses:

(This is a screenshot – the Rambaut article with its interactive figures can be found here).

Ark Park creator complains of bias and propaganda. He is a master of both

 Dan Phelps and Ken Ham
The author, right, with Ken Ham, in less fractious times.

Reprinted from the Lexington Herald-Leader with permission of the author. Matt Young will be the principal moderator of the comment thread.

I read Ken Ham’s February 28 op-ed “Don’t believe ‘agenda-driven propaganda’ film about Ark Park” with much amusement and more than a bit of disgust. Mr. Ham’s complaints about the film “We Believe in Dinosaurs” are projections of his own behavior onto the film makers. He complains of bias and propaganda, which he is a master at, and misrepresentations and errors, without being able to provide a specific example of anything factually wrong. In fact, the makers of the film were careful to let everyone speak for themselves with very little commentary. This is clear to anyone who has actually seen the film.

Ham also complains about the use of dinosaurs in the film yet has ample space in his so-called museum depicting dinosaurs and promoting the insane ideas that they lived with people and that some of them breathed fire. Amusingly, the fire-breathing part isn’t mentioned in the wooden Ark-shaped building at his amusement park. Noah must not have had access to asbestos. Moreover, Ham has been referring to dinosaurs as “missionary lizards” during his preaching and fund raising for at least three decades.

Although the rank pseudoscience, pseudohistory and absolute nonsense promoted by Ham and his fake-science organizations are what motivate me to complain, I’m astounded by the brazen hustles that have been used to milk city, county, and state government out of money. This money whether it be rebates of sales tax, or the gratis things received by the Ark and mentioned below, ultimately are taken away from taxpayers.