COVID fix, professors, writing fiction

DNA/RNA

Diamonds and RustDan, the albanyweblog man, decided to confound me:

A Pharma Corporation called Inovid is trying to speed up production of COVID-19 vaccine. They take virus DNA, convert it to RNA, pick out the right bits of the RNA according to a computer program, then inject it into bacteria, which makes lots of virus DNA that can be used to stimulate antibodies in the human, thus making an effective vaccine. What I want to know is how do they convert the virus DNA to RNA on cue? They talk about this like it’s NBD.

As I understand it – and I REALLY DON’T –

So what’s COVID-19’s story? Is a hint in what normally binds the receptor?

Perhaps sometime in the past, a virus formed, or came to include, human DNA or RNA instructions for making an integrin, which is a protein that binds to ACE2. Integrins glue our cells to surrounding connective tissue. The viral spike masquerades as the integrin, grabbing our cells.
In other words, a viral epidemic may arise as an accident, of sorts, of biochemistry and evolution.

Vaccine!

One of the things I learned as a librarian is that sometimes I don’t understand what I’m passing along. It’s just beyond my comprehension. Check out this article, which may, or may not be useful.

Fiction

Carla, an old colleague of my wife’s, wants to know:

Roger, Have you ever thought of writing fiction; or do you write fiction?

I’ve thought to do it. But a long piece seems too hard. You have to have a consistent universe. See, e.g., this post by Jaquandor. And I haven’t loved the short pieces I’ve written.

But if I live long enough, I’ll probably write a roman a clef. Or two.

Kevin, from my home county and the Wind Sun News, wants to know:

Who was your favorite Professor at New Paltz?

Of the ones I had class with, probably Glenn McNitt in the political science department. He was very smart but easy going. I remember listening to Stevie Wonder at his house more than once. I also recall specifically hearing Simple Twist of Fate by Joan Baez from her Diamonds and Rust album. She did a wicked Dylan impression and I cracked up.

Of the ones I did not have, probably Pam Tate, the head of Innovative Studies. I knew her in part because I was on the Financial Council and some of our budget went to her program. I was the Education chair so her program was in my jurisdiction.

Whither? Zither! I still don’t care

It’s my general disdain for having to deal with the political process this early.

zitherAnother Ask Roger Anything reply! Bill, who I know because he’s a friend of my sister Leslie: OK, here’s my question: Whither?

There’s obviously a lot going on in my subconscious.

To which, Dan, who I know IRL, replied: Wither? Zither!

In a recent dream, I’m at some sort of conference, where the participants are sitting in a large circle. The instructor is riding me constantly for being so backwards. I’m using a tablet when everyone else is using their smartwatches.

I’m becoming increasingly irritated. After repeated snark, I storm out of the room.

For some reason, rioting ensues on the campus. I am sitting on a toilet, with people pounding on the door to get in; it is NOT the only stall.

Bernie Sanders walks into my stall. I get up and throw him down a flight of stairs.

This is obviously a dream about my technophobia. Plus it’s my general disdain for having to deal with the political process this early. It’s not so much antagonism towards Bernie, who I voted for in the 2016 Democratic primary.

To wit, Kevin, who I’ve known since college, asked: Who do you favor for the Dem. nomination for Pres at this point in the campaign?

As I noted here and especially here, I don’t care all that much, yet.

I AM grumpy about people saying that Joe or Bernie or Elizabeth – who appear to be the front runners, so far – should not run because they’re over 70, or will be soon.

This piece about Mayor Pete pleased me.

I don’t think my senator Kirsten Gillibrand has a shot. She was perceived as too “corporatist” early, and she got Al Franken booted out of the Senate. (The actual facts re: the latter are irrelevant to the narrative.)

Re: Beto, I’m still trying to figure out if there’s a there there.

I get more email from Jay Inslee, governor of Washington state, than any other candidate, almost entirely on environmental issues. It IS a way to differentiate himself.

March rambling: as good as Jacinda Ardern

John Oliver’s Monica Lewinsky Interview Should Be Required for Internet Use. The Secret Life of Muslims: An education.

I helped convict two men of murder. I’ve regretted it ever since.

The Secret Life of Muslims: An education.

Jacinda Ardern Has Rewritten the Script for How a Nation Grieves After a Terrorist Attack and Why The World Looks To New Zealand — And Not US and NY Times Editorial Board: U.S. Deserves Leader ‘As Good As Jacinda Ardern’.

These Are the World’s Healthiest Nations. The US is #35 on the list.

Early responses to the Mueller report from Weekly Sift and AmeriNZ.

Public Shaming: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; this Monica Lewinsky Interview Should Be Required for Internet Use.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah: The Reparations Debate: Should America Compensate the Descendants of Slaves?

Why You Should Stop Saying ‘Committed Suicide’.

The Trump–Rosie Feud That Ensnared Barbara Walters and Blew Up The View.

paranoia

Top 10 Most Populous City Ranking History (1950-2035).

Confronting Season-Change Denial.

Vlogbrothers: Writing and Marriage Advice from Michelle Obama and How to Get a Colonoscopy.

The ‘Men’s Liberation’ Movement Time Forgot.

The only metric of success that really matters is the one we ignore.

When Hoarding Is a Disorder.

Mispronouncing Students’ Names: A Slight That Can Cut Deep.

8-year-old homeless refugee takes chess world by storm.

The Power Of Doing Only One Thing.

Chuck Miller spoiler: My big problem with the new Shazam! movie.

Jim Carrey and Michel Gondry on Making Eternal Sunshine.

Green Book: History vs. Hollywood.

Jim Meskimen doing some impressionist “warm-up” exercises.

Happy retirement to Joe Sinnott.

Historian finds first grand slam in MLB history — in Rensselaer County, NY.

Maple Sugaring Time In The South End of Albany.

Now I Know: The Trail Ink Left Behind and How a Silly Social Media Thing Helped Break the Ice and When You’re Glad The Bank Isn’t Trustworthy.

MUSIC

Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind – MonaLisa Twins featuring John Sebastian.

Postmodern Jukebox: Video Killed The Radio Star in the style of Queen ft. Cunio and Pinky And The Brain Theme.

King of Anything – Sara Bareilles.

Workshop versions of songs from Hamilton.

Unforgettable Covers of Aretha Franklin songs.

The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore – Walker Brothers.

In Ireland -Sir Herbert Hamilton Harty.

The Irish Suite – Leroy Anderson.

K-Chick Radio: Harry Nilsson.

Coverville: 1256: Tributes for Keith Flint, Dick Dale and Cover Stories for Ric Ocasek and Nick Lowe.

Light Calvary overture – Franz von Suppe.

George Winston’s Linus and Lucy: The Music of Vince Guaraldi.

Dick Dale, Surf Guitar Legend, Dead At 81.

Aubrey Logan and her band talk about her new album Where the Sunshine Is Expensive, including a couple clips of the niece/backup singer Rebecca Jade.

January rambling: quotidian stupidity

How Much of the Internet Is Fake? Turns Out, a Lot of It, Actually

The Impact of Climate Change on Language Loss

NBC’s Meet the Press devotes the entire show to climate change with no time for deniers

Saving American Democracy

Are powerful women likable?

A double diagnosis — cancer while poor

NOW I AM

Chronic lying and self-contempt

Why He Reigns as King Cyrus

He Is the Damn Emergency; Post-Speech

The wall speech v. the prediction; it is not about the wall

He Was Never Vetted

Celibacy isn’t the cause of the church sex-abuse crisis; the priesthood is

Comic book artist Batton Lash, October 29, 1953 – January 12, 2019

Former Yankees Starter, Pitching Coach Mel Stottlemyre Dies at 77 – I was there at the Stadium when they retired his number

Broadway legend Carol Channing dies at 97

Bob Einstein, R.I.P.

Arthur answers my questions about blogging stuff and gay conversion therapy and current gay issues and his parents

The Crimson Permanent Assurance (Monty Python’s)

Everyday smartness is definitely no match for quotidian stupidity

On books, and joy, and hoarding, and having too many books…

I Used to Write for Sports Illustrated. Now I Deliver Packages for Amazon

After 30 years, Elisa Streeter has retired from WTEN-TV 10 in Albany

Every The Dick Van Dyke Show Episode, Ranked

Review time! with ‘Planet of the Apes Visionaries’

Lady Cop: A 70s Comic that Tried (and Failed)

Disgusting Food Museum opens

What is Glitter?

Cookie Monster in the UK, interview by Melissa Nathoo and Cookie Monster visits the Ellen show

Now I Know: The Dog With Strings Attached and Meet Kelly, The Really Smart Dolphin and The Avengers Burial Ground and Why You Can’t Make a Phone Call with a Calculator and How to Beat Traffic in Moscow

11 foot 8 bridge

When teens discover jazz
Archie Comics

2018/2019

In review

The Story that Really Mattered

Bringing out the dead

fillyjonk’s year

The Worst Political Predictions

35 years ago, Isaac Asimov was asked to predict the world of 2019

Dave Barry: What made 2018 so awful? A month-by-month look at the most outrageous highlights

MUSIC

Hope Is A Dangerous Thing For A Woman Like Me To Have – But I Have It – Lana Del Rey, and other songs

K-Chuck Radio: Sail on, Captain… (Daryl Dragon)

Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Fanfare For The Common Man (complete)

Winter Melody – Donna Summer

Getting Better – MonaLisa Twins

All Along The Watchtower – Playing For Change

Loving You Today – Amy Barlow

Downtown – Saw Doctors with Petula Clark

Lawyers, Guns and Money – Warren Zevon

Don’t Turn Away – Hollie Sue

Some People, from the Broadway show Gypsy, performed by several big stars

Safety Dance – Men Without Hats

Overture to Johann Strauss’s operetta The Gypsy Baron – Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

22 Musicals In 12 Minutes w/ Lin Manuel Miranda, Emily Blunt, and James Corden

Year Of The Cat – Al Stewart

Nature Boy: Eden Ahbez and Annie Haslam and Sun Ra

Coverville: 1246: Cover Stories for Marilyn Manson and Foo Fighters and 1247: Cover Stories for Susanna Hoffs and Sade

Dawn over the Land – Night Breeze

I Just Want to Be a Star – Nunsense

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – Sonny Vande Putte

Meow Mix – cats at a rave

Baby Shark went viral and hit the Billboard Hot 100

How one designer created the “look” of jazz

The End of Owning Music: How CDs and Downloads Died

Review time! with ‘Crossroad Blues’