this week i

updated our estimate of the medicaid coverage gap.

found a new old tune.


(1) fauna of europe

the entelodonts, or "hell pigs," ...would run down entire herds of their prey in an orgy of carnivory, slashing and saving the extra meat for later

european civilization..was built on the back of a heifer..europe was named after europa, the "cow-faced" one, who mated with zeus in his guise as a white bull

(2) solving everything for whom

'type a' brute force programs would investigate every possible line as thoroughly as they could, given the limits of time and computing power, and evaluate each move in order to select the best at any point.  'type b' programs would play more like humans, concentrating on the most plausible lines and dedicating their resources to those..for artificial intelligence, this was disastrous.  researchers abandoned type b approaches altogether

by the time ibm's deep blue beat kasparov in the famous 1997 match, joe hoane, the principal software engineer on the team, said: 'it is not an artificial intelligence project in any way...we play chess through sheer speed of calculation and we just shift through the possibilities and we just pick one line

computers programmed to play weakly tend to alternative between world-champion-level moves and ridiculous blunders, as if finding themselves utterly at a loss as to how to let you win

(3) the repetition wears you down

"these sneaking and cowardly sicilians, the descendents of bandits and assassins, who have transported to this country the lawless passions, the cut-throat practices, and the oath-bound societies of their native country, are to us a pest without mitigation," the new york times editorialized.  "lynch law was the only course open to the people of new orleans."

(4) osteomylitis

if you're going to lose a finger, it's the best one to lose!  did you know that half your grip strength is in the little finger?  that's why the japanese used to cut off the little fingers of their enemies

(5) public health mistakes

ebola's reproductive value (r0) is 2 - on average one person infects two others (for comparison, the r0 for measles is 12-18, for sars and hiv, 4).  most transmission occurs during the provision of care

the body bags for ebola fatalities were black, making them seem no different from garbage bags

(6) african refugees

abdel fattah el-sisi hardly needed to audition for the role of europe's latest highly paid bouncer

between now and the end of the century, three out of every four babies in the world will be born in sub-saharan africa

some 'youngsters' in tambacounda in senegal: 'barsa walla barsac,' they say - wolof for 'barcelona or death.'

while european liberals try to parse the difference between asylum worthies, economic migrants and climate refugees, and all the while enrich and compound the authoritarian regimes that produce them, the better approach is probably to embrace a different paradox: reduce the incentive for africans to want to come to europe, while simultaneously making their journey easier and safer

(7) the limits of the bering ecosystem

bowhead jaws served as rafters in houses

neither system conceived of a moment at which economic growth was no longer possible or desirable

(8) peace elephants

evolution has selected for similar capacities of intelligence, compassion, and sociality in both humans and elephants

during world war ii..several dozen elephants and mahouts were killed, and as the surviving mahouts regrouped to discuss what to do, the elephants that had lost their mahouts picked them up and carried them sixty miles back to chowkham, where they delivered the bodies to the men's families

in air command had a policy of deliberately targeting elephants