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The Monday 6 – November 15, 2021

The Monday 6
Hi there, friend.
Onto the 6 for this week:

1. What Should We Do With Daylight Savings?
A week and a day past Daylight Savings Time ending, I don’t think my body has fully adjusted yet. Getting old sucks.
The vast majority of Americans support stopping changing the clock twice a year. Even if we theoretically agreed never to change the clock again, there remains the question: should we keep Daylight Savings forever or keep “standard” time forever?
This isn’t a straightforward answer. Depending on your location, you’re likely to have an opinion one way or another.
The Daylight Saving Time Gripe Assistant Tool helps you determine the most optimal time for where you live.
For what it’s worth, I’m in the “make Daylight Savings Time permanent” camp.
Daylight Saving Time Gripe Assistant Tool
2. Will We Soon Talk With Whales?
There’s a group of scientists leveraging advanced machine-learning models to interpret whale sounds, with the potential of being able to communicate back to them.
If Project CETI (for Cetacean Translation Initiative) succeeds, it would be the first time that we actually understand what animals are chatting about—and maybe we could even have a conversation with them.
What should the first words to whales be?
Have they considered just asking Dory?
Have they considered just asking Dory?
Are We on the Verge of Chatting with Whales?
3. We're Still Blowing It With COVID Testing
With two new therapeutics against COVID-19 hopefully coming online soon (the Merck and Pfizer pills, specifically), an effective, fast-acting COVID-19 testing regime will be more critical than ever. Both medications (assuming approval) show remarkable efficacy against hospitalization and death from COVID, but they require starting the drug very close to symptom onset.
Unfortunately, although trillions of dollars in funds were passed & spent to fight COVID-19, our testing infrastructure barely improved since Summer 2020. Specifically, the United States has favored accuracy over immediacy by relying upon PCR tests over rapid (antigen) tests. The result is that only 3 FDA-approved over-the-counter rapid tests are available to the public. The US’s approach to testing stands in stark contrast to other Western nations. From the New York Times:
In Britain, France and Germany, rapid testing is widely available and inexpensive, thanks to government subsidies. People can visit testing sites, like tents outside pharmacies in France or abandoned nightclubs in Germany, and get tested at no charge. Many people also keep tests in their homes and self-administer them.
In the U.S., by contrast, people usually take a different kind of test — known as a P.C.R. test — which must be processed by a laboratory and sometimes does not return results for more than 24 hours. During that time, a person with Covid can spread it to others.
PCR tests have their use, but given a virus so prone to spread, speed trumps accuracy almost every time. There’s still a chance to change our current path. Get it together, FDA!
Check out the full article below and let me know what you think.
Here’s Why Rapid COVID Tests Are So Expensive and Hard to Find
4. Best Video Explainer Of The mRNA Vaccines
For those still hesitant about the COVID vaccines, watch this video for the best explainer of how the mRNA vaccines work.
The goal of the vaccine is simple: stimulate your body to create a protein. That’s it. I hope there is clarity in that simplicity.
How COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines Work - Vaccine Makers Project on Vimeo
How COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines Work - Vaccine Makers Project on Vimeo
5. A Look Back At The Tsar Bomba
The Cold War must have been terrifying.
Hydrogen bomb number AN602 (aka ‘Tsar Bomba’) was the largest bomb detonated in history. Originally designed to be 100 megatons, the Soviet blast was scaled back to just 50 megatons at the last minute. Despite the size reduction, it’s still the largest explosion ever created: twice the size of the next largest nuke, and “over 1,570 times more powerful…than the combined two bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The flash alone lasted more than a minute. The fireball expanded to nearly six miles in diameter—large enough to include the entire urban core of Washington or San Francisco, or all of midtown and downtown Manhattan. Over several minutes it rose and mushroomed into a massive cloud. Within ten minutes, it had reached a height of 42 miles and a diameter of some 60 miles. One civilian witness remarked that it was “as if the Earth was killed.”
If you’re interested in Cold War history, read the full piece below.
The untold story of the world’s biggest nuclear bomb - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
6. That Must Have Fixed It Fast
Finally, a somewhat funny story out of Turkey. From the BBC:
Beyhan Mutlu had been drinking with friends on Tuesday when he wandered into a forest in Bursa province.
When he failed to return, his wife and friends alerted local authorities and a search party was sent out.
Mr Mutlu, 50, then stumbled across the search party and decided to join them, NTV reported.
But when members of the search party began calling out his name, he replied: “I am here.”
I feel like this could have been a subplot in The Hangover.
Turkey: 'Missing' man joins search party looking for himself
That’s it for this week. If you found anything useful or fun, let me know! And if you have any suggestions, shoot them my way. 😊 See you next week!
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Kyle Petzinger
Kyle Petzinger @kylepetz

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