Only 7 shopping days until Boxing Day! So, what's going on in the world?
And I will leave you with my alma mater's Canine Cognition Lab's kindergarten:
We're in the home stretch. We have 14 days until 2021 starts, and 32 days until the Biden Administration takes office. As Andrew Sullivan said in his column today, 2021 is going to be epic. Meanwhile:
And watch this blog for information about the Apollo Chorus of Chicago's final performance of 2020.
I'm looking out my office window at the light dusting of snow on my neighbors' cars, wondering how (or whether) I'll get my 10,000 steps today. My commute to work got me 3,000 each way, making the job tons easier before lockdown. Easier psychologically, anyway; nothing prevents me from going for a 45-minute walk except that I really don't want to.
Instead of a lunchtime hike, I'll probably just read these articles:
And just as a side note for posterity, we should remember that the President of Russia congratulated Joe Biden on his win before the Majority Leader of the US Senate did. The Republican Party must really not like democracy.
The city's plan would vaccinate every adult who lives or works in Chicago in 2021:
Initial vaccine doses will be sent to all 34 hospitals in Chicago, city officials said. Health care workers who treat COVID-19 patients or are at high risk for coronavirus spread will be first to receive it, city officials said.
After health care workers, vaccines will be prioritized for a broad group of people including residents and staff at long-term care facilities, individuals at high risk due to underlying medical conditions, people who are 65 and older, and workers in “essential and critical industries.”
Much of the situation remains in flux, officials said, but the city is working through its plans while awaiting federal guidance and vaccines. As the vaccine becomes more widely available, the city will rely on providers including doctors’ offices, pharmacies, federally qualified health centers and hospitals to help distribute doses.
To help ensure equitable access for Chicago residents, the city also will be using centralized sites such as some City Colleges as mass vaccination sites aimed at health care workers who aren’t based in hospitals, [public health Commissioner Dr. Allison] Arwady said.
Vaccines won’t be mandatory for residents, Arwady said, but as the vaccine rolls out further, she anticipates that some industries such as airlines might begin requiring customers to get vaccinated. She said the city will also be encouraging residents to get vaccinated.
“My goal is to really have done the work to build some of that trust so that this is something that people are feeling excited about as opposed to being a major point of discussion,” she said.
We're finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. But if people keep behaving like spoiled children, we'll all have trouble getting to it.
Today's news stories comprise a mixed bag:
Finally, a little sweetness for a cold December day: Whisky Advocate has a recipe for bourbon balls that I hope someone will try and share with me. I'll even supply the bourbon.
December 7th is usually the day when the sun sets earliest in the Northern Hemisphere. In Chicago this evening, that meant 16:20, a few minutes ago. We get back to 16:30 on New Year's Eve and 17:00 not until January 27th. We didn't see the sun today at all, though.
So in the dark gloaming, I will (a) try to get my 10,000 steps for the day, and (b) try to find some fresh-ish basil for dinner.
If you're interested in funky architecture, a modernist house in Galewood that actor Kim Novak won in a church raffle is up for landmark status—and that's not even the strangest part of this story:
So many things to read at lunchtime today:
- Philip Bump calls a video the soon-to-be-ex-president posted yesterday "the most petulant 46 minutes in American history."
- But whatever, because as David Graham points out, the STBXPOTUS is becoming irrelevant.
- As for voter fraud, and for accusing opponents of what you're actually the one doing, Georgia authorities have begun an investigation of a (Republican) Florida attorney who recommended to people that they illegally register to vote in Georgia ahead of the US Senate runoffs on January 5th, and even provided instructions.
- And speaking of lying about your opponents for political gain, the BBC calls bullshit on UK government claims that the EU would not have allowed the UK to approve the Pfizer vaccine as quickly as it did.
- If you live near Chicago, check out the Tribune's interactive map showing how every precinct in the six counties voted for president, US Senate, and the Fair Tax Amendment. As one of my friends pointed out, the line demarcating the Fair Tax vote between Evanston and Wilmette and the absence of such a demarcation on the Biden vote suggests that rich liberals say they're for fair taxes but don't actually vote for fair taxes.
- The National Science Foundation has released video from the Aricebo Observatory control tower showing its final collapse yesterday.
- Speaking of collapses, when you really think about it, Mount Rainier is actually the most dangerous volcano in the US. (Think: billions of liters of water locked up in its glaciers.)
- A shop in Kyoto has been selling mochi (grilled rice flour cakes) for over 1,000 years. And it's not even the oldest business in Kyoto.
- Google has made it easier for anyone, anywhere, to contribute to their Street View feature.
Finally, a year ago today I made some predictions about what could happen in the 2020 election. Turns out, "Option C" is true, and we're still waiting to see on a few others.
Winter began in the northern hemisphere this morning, which explains the gray cold enveloping Chicago. Nah, I kid: Chicago usually has a gray, cold envelope around it, just today it's official.
And while I ponder, weak and weary, why the weather is so dreary, I've got these to read:
Finally, if you haven't already heard our first virtual concert, go listen to it. We worked hard, and we gave an excellent performance.
We've got a day and a half of autumn left in Chicago. Here's what I'm reading on a lazy Sunday:
And finally, new research shows that the pyroclastic flows from Vesuvius in 79 CE turned people's brains to glass. Yummy.