I wore both my old Fitbit Ionic and new Garmin Venu for about 42 hours straight. Yesterday they overlapped for the entire day. And they came in with similar, but not quite the same, numbers.
I thought that my Fitbit would record fewer steps overall, because it recorded about 450 (about 7%) fewer on my walk yesterday. For the whole day, though, the Fitbit counted 14,190 to the Garmin's 13,250—7% more. But I wore the Fitbit on my right (dominant) wrist, so it may have just had more activity in general.
In other basic measures:
- The Fitbit recorded 13.3 km to the Garmin's 10.6 km;
- The Fitbit estimated my resting heart rate as 64 to the Garmin's 65;
- Fitbit counted 82 "active" minutes to the Garmin's 359 "moderate" and 369 "vigorous";
- Fitbit estimated my calorie burn at 3,100 to Garmin's 2,862.
I have no way to know which tracker was more accurate, but I might bet a dollar on the Garmin. I think the Garmin used actual distance to the Fitbit's estimate based on my usual stride length, which doesn't account for all the difference.
The Garmin's app presentation is so far beyond Fitbit's I wonder whether Fitbit even has software developers. Here's Fitbit:
And that's not even all of the Garmin data.
I walked halfway home after work today, and once again, the Garmin tracked my workout better than the Fitbit has done in months.
I'm glad I switched.
Philip Bump puts in black-and-white terms why the president should perhaps shut up about his cognitive test results:
“And they were very surprised,” Trump said of the doctors. “They said that’s an unbelievable thing. Rarely does anybody do what you just did.”
No. That did not happen. Or, at least, it didn’t happen without a qualifier like, “rarely does anybody your age not demonstrate any of the impairments this test is meant to measure,” which is possible. But the doctors did not call this “an unbelievable thing.” It would be like my fawning over your alphabet recitation: “Wow, you even nailed the L-M-N-O-P.”
Getting a perfect score [on the cognitive test Trump took] is literally the baseline for being normal, not for being exceptional.
[P]eople were quick to point out the flip side of his boast about the doctors: Having medical professionals be amazed that you performed normally on an evaluation of your cognitive abilities is not exactly the endorsement it might have seemed like as the words were coming out of Trump’s mouth.
I would enjoy seeing the president take an IQ test, though. I would enjoy that very much.
Writing in the Independent UK, Chicago-based Noah Berlatsky argues that state leadership has made Illinois a lot better off than, say, Florida:
Illinois' achievement is both a model and an accusation. It points a way forward for other states. It also shows that the disaster facing the country now was thoroughly preventable.
State officials in Illinois have managed to contain the virus by acting early, aggressively, and imaginatively. In mid-March, with only about 100 cases in the state, Chicago's Mayor Lori Lightfoot cancelled the annual St Patrick's Day Parade, and Governor J B Pritzker closed schools. He delivered a shelter-in-place order on March 20.
At the same time, before the the caseload had reached crisis levels, Pritzker brought in proactive measures to increase healthcare capacity. He called retired doctors and nurses to return to work. He also ordered McCormick Place convention center to be converted into a 3,000-bed field hospital — a step that proved unnecessary, but which shows how seriously he took the crisis. The state worked ceaselessly to increase testing, and by early June had enough capacity that anyone in the state concerned about their Covid status could get a test. From less than 10,000 tests a day in April, the state now tests almost 40,000 people daily.
Pritzker's aggressive, multi-pronged efforts to promote masking, social isolation, testing, and healthcare capacity stands in sharp contrast to the actions of governors like Florida's Ron DeSantis. In March, while Pritzker was closing schools and businesses, DeSantis left stay-at-home orders to local authorities, despite a rapidly rising caseload. Since then he's consistently downplayed dangers from the virus, even as cases have spiked over the last week. Disney World is reopening, just as many hospital report they have already run out of ICU beds. And deaths are slowly but ominously creeping up. Florida hit a one-day record high of 120 deaths from Covid on July 9.
Still, Pritzker has shown how much can be done statewide despite Trump's malevolent incompetence. Illinois has not done everything perfectly. But there's no doubt Pritzker has saved hundreds and perhaps thousands of lives. He's largely done the right thing for his constituents. In the coming weeks, I fear we'll see how badly DeSantis and other governors have failed theirs.
We're not perfect, though. Yesterday, while walking the 10 blocks down Clark Street from Addison to Surf, I counted 37 total zeros not wearing masks, 3 half-wits whose masks covered their mouths but not their noses, and 34 good citizens with full mouth and nose coverings. So we have some work to do.
Happy tax day! And now, we're off to the races:
Finally, Bloomberg takes a backward glance at the rise and fall of the Segway.
Today's interesting and notable news stories:
Finally, Lawrence Wright explores how historical plagues, particularly the European one in 1347, can sometimes spark radical social change.
For the first time since reporting its first Covid-19 death on March 11th, New York City yesterday reported zero confirmed or probable deaths from the virus:
The milestone came Sunday in initial data from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
New York State reported five deaths statewide on Sunday but didn’t specify where those fatalities occured. The highest number of deaths statewide was reported on April 9, at 799.
New York City has reported a total of 18,670 confirmed Covid-19 deaths and 4,613 probable ones.
State and local data often conflict, and numbers can change due to delays in lab results, as some deaths initially reported as probable may be later changed to confirmed.
This comes on a day when we hit all kinds of records, none of them good. I'll take it.
Yesterday, Florida reported 15,300 new cases of Covid-19, handily breaking the one-day record for new cases we set waaaay back in early April. We've now passed 70,000 new cases nationally in one day (another record), and 230,370 new cases worldwide (another record). We could lose control of this situation completely any day now--as Florida already has.
And yet, " 'There was no justification to not move forward' with the state's reopening in May, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday, according to NBC Miami."
Yes, folks, Ron DeSantis is that stupid. In fact, new research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demonstrates that lower cognitive ability correlates with lower compliance with social-distancing and other mitigation strategies.
Meanwhile, even as Illinois set a record for the number of tests administered in a day, while our new cases per day hovers around 1,000, other parts of the country continue to experience testing shortages and delays getting results.
And why is this happening? President Donald J. Trump takes the lead in his stupid, craven, and psychopathic failure to do anything remotely useful to stop the spread of this virus. This graph circulating around social media illustrates the problem:
We were close. We had stopped the spread, and even reversed it. Then our idiot president and a few sycophantic Republican governors reversed our progress.
Just look at that graph. Look at it. If that doesn't enrage you, then please get your head out of your rectum.
November 3rd is 113 days away.
I was in meetings almost without break from 10am until just a few minutes ago, so a few things have piled up in my inbox:
And no matter where you are in the world, you can attend Apollo After Hours next Friday at 19:00 CDT / midnight UTC. It's going to be a ton of fun.
Stuff to read:
Finally, last June, Jennifer Giesbrecht wrote that "Babylon 5 is the greatest, most terrible SF series." She's mostly right.
Josh Marshall sums up the criminal negligence of the president and his enablers:
The US is not experiencing a surge. We are back to exponential growth in the virus just as most of the rest of the wealthy, industrialized world is moving on. COVID is not done for them of course. There are masks and mitigation and distancing and people are still falling ill. Some are dying. But most of these countries have beaten Covid down into low enough numbers that they can get about the business of a new form of social and economic life.
More than 57,000 new cases were reported [July 3rd]. I was dumbfounded by that number even though the trend pointed to it. This is almost triple the number of cases of three weeks ago. This is a national catastrophe and one due almost all to ourselves, to a litany of horrible decisions and even more simple abdications of responsibility.
The White House tonight it’s shifting to a new message: “We need to live with it.” It is this brazen effrontery to point us to their failure and tell us, “deal. That’s just how it is.”
We are often helpless before nature and fate but the different outcomes in so many life parts of the world that it is neither nature or fate which have brought us to this pass.
Being President is a hard job and this was an historic challenge. That’s the job. It’s on you. You may not be at fault but you’re responsible. You can imagine good presidents of the past and bad struggling under the weight of this crisis. He’s done none of that. It’s all been a matter of blaming states for not having enough ventilators or tests, making covid denial a centerpiece of his movement. His whole record in the crisis has been denial and then finding nonsensical arguments that a crisis befalling the country to which he was elected head of state somehow has nothing to do with him.
None of this had to happen. It is a failure of cataclysmic proportions. It has many roots. It has revealed many insufficiencies and failures in our society. But the scale of it, the unifying force is a man who never should have been president, who has abandoned his responsibility to lead and protect the country, making it every state for itself, a chaos only organized by a shiftless and shambling effort to help himself at all costs at every point.
This morning, as is my habit on July 4th, I posted a portion of the Declaration of Independence on Facebook. I chose this section this year:
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
As one of my friends said, "Everything old is new again."