Categories
pandemic

COVID-19 Cases in Alberta and the Rest of Canada

I’ll try to keep this interactive graph up to date with the number of COVID-19 cases in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and the rest of Canada. My spreadsheet can be found here.
I’ve started breaking the charts down by month, here’s one for April:
Data from Coronavirus Info For Albertans and 2019 Novel Coronavirus Infection.

Categories
pandemic

COVID-19

The Atlantic is providing free ongoing access to its Corona Virus information.

This recent article from Kaitlyn Tiffany’s conversations with a number of public health experts about The Dos and Don’ts of ‘Social Distancing’ is enlightening. From the article:

If you’re confused about what to do right now, you’re not alone—even these experts occasionally disagreed on the answers to my questions. Where there were discrepancies, I’ve included all the different answers as fully as possible. This guide is aimed toward those who are symptom-free and not part of an at-risk group, with an addendum at the end for those in quarantine. If you are symptom-free but are over 60 years old; have asthma, heart disease, or diabetes; or are otherwise at risk, experts recommend defaulting to the most conservative response to each of these questions.

I created this graph of the number of cases in Alberta compared with the rest of Canada. This is just the beginning. I, for one, am skeptical that Alberta is going to have much success flattening the curve until they cancel school. Hopefully that happens before it’s too late.

Data collected from https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx

Update: School in Alberta is cancelled.

Categories
pandemic

How Should We Respond to Coronavirus

The Making Sense podcast episode on “How Should We Respond to Coronavirus,” is required listening. In this episode, Sam Harris speaks with Nicholas Christakis about the coronavirus pandemic.

From the episode:

“Even if we’re all destined to get this thing, or even if 75% of us are destined to get it, getting it later is absolutely better when you consider the implications for our health care system. Here are just the numbers, we have something like a million hospital beds (speaking now about the United States) there are something like 2.[8] beds for every 1000 people. […] So just imagine a situation where everyone gets this at once. It’s just a tsunami of illness. You have a break-down of the health care system.

Listen to the entire episode.

Categories
pandemic

The Many Times Donald Trump has Downplayed COVID19

This must be tough watching for any Trump apologists and at the same time crazy-making for anyone in North America directly affected by the outbreak here. Trump has continued his repeated, months-long “it’ll just go away” denialism but now with the unprecedented actions of provinces, states, cities and private companies in North America it’s obvious that acknowledgement of the crisis had to happen at some point.

Updated from the Washington Post:

(via DaringFireball)

Categories
technology

NetNewsWire 5.0

The first stand-alone RSS news feedreader I ever used was NetNewsWire. Soon the name changed to NewsGator and not long after that the original creators were no longer working on the product. Still, it worked like a charm but pretty soon the world moved on to web based readers. After Google Reader came and went I found it difficult to settle on another reader that satisfied me. At least, that was until just a couple of months ago when the original creator of NetNewsWire, Brent Simmons, was able to acquire the rights to the name and released a new open source Mac version of the software. I’ve been loving it but what I’m truly excited for is today’s news that the iOS version of NetNewsWire is about to drop!

It’s free and open source. Even though it’s labeled as 5.0, it’s a brand-new app, a fresh start for an app that originally appeared on the App Store on day one.

The big difference is not the price tag — there have been free versions of NetNewsWire before — and it’s not just that it’s open source. It’s that there’s a great team of volunteers behind it now.

I highly recommend you get your copy of NetNewsWire 5.0 from the App Store — Canadians can get it here.

Categories
Disney

Bob Chapek Named Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company

It’s the end of an era as Bob Iger steps down from his main role as CEO of The Walt Disney Company to move into his new role as Executive Chairman and focus on the company’s creative endeavours.

From the news release:

BURBANK, Calif., February 25, 2020—The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) Board of Directors announced today that Bob Chapek has been named Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company, effective immediately. Mr. Chapek most recently served as Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.

Robert A. Iger assumes the role of Executive Chairman and will direct the Company’s creative endeavors, while leading the Board and providing the full benefit of his experience, leadership and guidance to ensure a smooth and successful transition through the end of his contract on Dec. 31, 2021.

“With the successful launch of Disney’s direct-to-consumer businesses and the integration of Twenty-First Century Fox well underway, I believe this is the optimal time to transition to a new CEO,” Mr. Iger said. “I have the utmost confidence in Bob and look forward to working closely with him over the next 22 months as he assumes this new role and delves deeper into Disney’s multifaceted global businesses and operations, while I continue to focus on the Company’s creative endeavors.”

Mr. Iger added: “Bob will be the seventh CEO in Disney’s nearly 100-year history, and he has proven himself exceptionally qualified to lead the Company into its next century. Throughout his career, Bob has led with integrity and conviction, always respecting Disney’s rich legacy while at the same time taking smart, innovative risks for the future. His success over the past 27 years reflects his visionary leadership and the strong business growth and stellar results he has consistently achieved in his roles at Parks, Consumer Products and the Studio. Under Bob’s leadership as CEO, our portfolio of great businesses and our amazing and talented people will continue to serve the Company and its shareholders well for years to come.”

[…]

[Chapek] also served as President of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, where he spearheaded the successful “vault strategy” for the Company’s iconic films and transformed the primary format of home entertainment from DVD to Blu-ray.

The vault strategy was huge for Disney. I always admired (though didn’t really fall for) their bold supply and demand trick where Disney implied that the classic movies were soon headed for the vault so you’d better act now but knowing that they pull that trick every time a new technology comes out (DVD then Blu-Ray) made me realize the “vault strategy” wasn’t so scary. Still, I’m sure it made them a lot of money.

Categories
Hockey

Zamboni Driver Wins Hockey Game

This is like something out of a Disney movie. The main goalie gets injured. The back-up goalie gets injured. Who’s going to go in net? Hey, 42 year old Zamboni driver, get over here we need you to play in the NHL.

Ok, so he is their back-up, back-up emergency goalie but still worth checking out the video:

(via Miss Celenia)

Categories
humor

What It’s Like to go Viral in 2020

Alexis Pereira documents going viral in his essay: My 72 Hours in a Viral Tweet Vortex. I had my viral moment back in 2006, before “going viral” was even a thing, and overall, I liked it. Then again nobody tried to have me fired — even if in his case he wasn’t actually a professor.

Here’s the tweet in question:

Categories
Politics work

Peter Mansbridge at SWATCA

After a wonderful, although extremely busy, parental leave I’m back at work teaching and just in time for the 2020 SWATCA Teacher’s Convention. This morning’s keynote speaker was none other than newscaster and Canadian icon Peter Mansbridge.1

Mansbridge opened his talk by speaking about the important role teacher’s have in Canadian society, and I caught the few minutes on my iPhone’s camera for posterity:

He went on to speak about his experiences with notable Canadian politicians from John Deifenbaker to Justin Trudeau. My favorite though, was his summary in three stories about what it means to be a Canadian.

Here’s the Soundcloud of his speech (I missed about 10 seconds between the end of the YouTube clip above and when I started the audio recording):

Later that day, I happened to stop into the operations room for the event and mentioned that I was looking for a substitute teacher when a guy dressed in a hoodie sitting next to me asked if it was true I had to find my own subs. I said yeah—I used to have an admin at my old school that did it but now I had to find them myself. I glanced over at the man and did a double-take. To my surprise, it was Peter Mansbridge! So we chatted a little more and then I got up the courage to ask if he would pose for a photo with me. He kindly obliged.

Jeff Milner and Peter Mansbridge
Jeff Milner meeting Peter Mansbridge at SWATCA 2020.

It made my day.

1. Mansbridge is also known for his role presenting the news in the North American version of Disney’s Zootopia as Peter Moosebridge.

Categories
entertainment

Amazing Stories Premieres March 6

I got a huge rush of nostalgia when the music for Amazing Stories kicked in during this trailer for the upcoming revival of the series which premieres on March 6th on Apple TV+.

(via macrumors)