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Posts posted by top-shelf-1

  1. On 5/1/2020 at 12:07 PM, remkin said:

    since we've been testing the sickest people at nearly 100% for a long time now

    This assumes that you've tested all the sickest people, but based on the percentage of confirmed cases to tests done--the metric which, I can't help noticing, you seem to have dismissed, Rem, though it's the one epidemiologists consider the gold standard for really knowing the extent of this disease--we lag far, far, behind the countries which are farthest in front on flattening the curve.


    I can't make a better argument for prudent caution than this one. This 'graph in particular points to facts which too many of those pushing so hard to reopen seem to be either forgetting or ignoring: 


    The discussion around reopening often draws a distinction between “the vulnerable” and everybody else, as if our strength were not defined by our willingness to stand together. Reading Texas’s reopening plan, one would think that only the elderly are vulnerable. Yet one of the risk factors for death from Covid-19 is obesity, which affects a third of the adults in the South and the Midwest. And diabetes is a major factor in the many deaths of people who are relatively young. There is a misperception, too, that only cities are susceptible, in spite of the fact that some rural areas have been devastated. The most dangerous illusion one can have in a pandemic is that it is only happening to other people, someplace else.


  2. On 4/27/2020 at 5:06 PM, remkin said:

    If you think anyone who's making these play or no play, open up the society or not decisions is reading my opinions to make those decisions on here you can feel safe in knowing that they're certainly not.

    Rem, I understand why you'd feel that way, because back in the day it was true. But today, thanks to social media, anyone who says they have some credential is being held out by at least some people as "an expert," and fueling what are often those peoples' extremely bad decisions. With credentials come responsibility, and despite this disclaimer...

    On 4/28/2020 at 2:01 PM, remkin said:

    No one is going to live or die based on anything any of us write on here. 

    ...others are listening to you. I know you think your scribblings here are only an opinion, but what matters is not how you see them, but how others do. And when your comments are couched in "the experience" of your day job, they can absolutely persuade some people that this thing is not as serious as the experts say.


    Less than a week ago you wrote, "The patients never showed up." Well, yesterday saw NC's highest reported number of new laboratory-confirmed infections, and the number is still climbing--exactly as the experts said it would. And we are still not testing enough people to get a full picture of the spread: Of the total tests performed in NC, 8 percent have been positive, a number far higher than is being reported in regions with higher tests-performed-to-confirmed-cases ratios.


    The known facts around this pandemic are scary, but what we still don't know is scarier still. Anyone who believes we already know enough to resume business as usual is not only fooling him or herself, but is advocating for something that has an even-money chance of putting themselves and those they love at grave risk.

  3. 12 hours ago, Red_Storm said:

    Our ancestors dealt with the potential for catching the plague, small pox, dysentery, consumption, yellow fever, leprosy and all manner of pestilence.

    With all due respect Red, no, they didn't. They merely died from those things until they ran their course, and only because they did. There is no indication whatever that this virus has a fixed course to run--all indications are that it will be become endemic: an ongoing threat, until a vaccine is in place.

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  4. 7 hours ago, remkin said:

    For people under 35 this is the flu. In fact, if the number of asymptomatic carriers in this age group is right, it will turn out to be less impactful than flu for them. If you are under 35, you're probably better off with this than the typical flu.

    But those people under 35, particularly the asymptomatic (who we are nowhere near testing--yet) can spread it to the rest of the population. Or are you suggesting isolating based on age?Because if you seriously think elders are going to remain inside once "the kids" are sprung, particularly in view of the ongoing blasé attitude of many tons of them, I've got a flash for ya. Ain't gonna happen.


    Here in the East, they are still going out, and congregating in grocery store aisles, and playing pickleball, and hugging, and catching up with each other--without masks--like everything's hunky dory. In my little town, which sees a large influx of itinerant sailors spanning all ages at this time of year, and where many from the Triangle come to their second homes to infect us escape the threat, the places which remain open are simply mind-boggling.


    Hockey with players from all the over the (infected) world? I don't think so. The DOD just extended limits on military personnel movements through June. Tells me all I need to know.


    14 hours ago, remkin said:

    I think that we might have parallel debates going on here.

    I agree that we seem to be talking on the two tracks you mention, and I'll own my part in that, because I very early in the discussion pointed to the failure of leadership which I believe led to this crisis on these shores. I still believe that, but am content to let others debate it. If they sincerely think 40,000 Americans dying is just what happens sometimes and can't be helped, nothing I can say is going to change their minds. I have long since moved on to "how the heck do we fix it?"


    I think where you and I are talking past each other in relation to tests is embodied in this statement from your latest post:


    The ratio of tests to confirmed positives depends on how much disease is in the area you are testing and how big of an area you have to test (population). If you are testing people during the peak of the pandemic in a hot spot, you will have far more positives (confirmed cases) per 100 tests.


    Here's the thing: Because we have had and continue to have insufficient testing available, the tests that are available are being rationed. I haven't checked lately, and I'm sure it's gone up somewhat, but as of two weeks ago, Craven County (where New Bern is located) was limited to 12 tests per day, and those tested had to be showing multiple symptoms.


    That limit was in place long after community spread had been confirmed, and given what we already know about this virus's ability to be spread by asymptomatic people, it is sheer fantasy to think that the current count of confirmed cases in Craven (36) is a true picture of its prevalence in that county, which is home to Cherry Point MCAS. (And isn't it interesting that the total confirmed cases is a multiple of 12, the number of tests being performed? The same is true in Carteret County, right across the county line from Cherry Point, where the current count is 24.)


    And it is no stretch to to say that county health officials all over the state have been dodgy, at best, about the total number of people tested.


    So looking again at your statement: "The ratio of tests to confirmed positives depends on how much disease is in the area you are testing," well of course--but you can't know how much disease is in the area when you're not testing enough, and as we both agree, we are not.


    Way upthread, someone tried to compare the chances of spreading the virus in a stairwell in North Raleigh to New York, and said the two can't be compared as even remotely the same. That is only true if no one with Covid 19 was in that stairwell within the time adjacency required for the disease to transmit to whomever was in that stairwell after them. If someone with the disease was in that stairwell and coughed as they entered, and the whoosh of the stairwell's door carried their cough's droplets throughout the stairwell, and someone else entered the stairwell within the next hour, that person might just as well have been in Manhattan.


    The problem is that, because of the lack of testing, we still don't know how widespread this is. Two months into this crisis, there is exactly one thing we are absolutely certain of, relative to the virus's spread: Social distancing and the other precautions that public health officials have recommended slow it. That is all.


    And that is why talk of playing hockey, let alone actually opening businesses like tattoo parlors and hair salons and dine-in restaurants, like Georgia's bonehead governor is doing on Friday, is much, much, much too premature. 


    Until we are testing at least on a par with South Korea, and by that I mean the number of tests performed per confirmed case, not merely total tests, we will not have anything close to a clear picture of the virus's prevalence in this country. But having 40,000 dead should be more than enough proof that this is not the flu.

    So if, as the "open it up again" crowd is urging, we begin acting like it is the flu, we are foolish beyond words.


  6. 11 hours ago, KJUNKANE said:

    The 2nd thing I'll weigh in is regarding "testing".it appears to me that some posting here are enamored with the thought of what is it now, 30+ companies turning out scads of EUA relaxed tests. Much like the saying in statistics (cleaned up for our GP audience), "junk in, junk out", I suggest before we start patting ourselves on the back for testing more than any other country, take a look at accuracy now being seen with these tests? 20-30% in some cases. How good of a test is that about which to study the epidemiology of this disease in this country?  

    This is a huge point.

  7. 33 minutes ago, remkin said:

    We need more tests. But we have done 3X more than anywhere else on Earth and our capacity is growing exponentially. We already have tests for IGM, we have a saliva test, we have a 15 minute test. Could have been better, but my statements were not patently false.

    I await your reply to my later post, Remkin, because it explains, when you read further down the exact same reference that Red Storm posted and that you reference above, WHY the number of tests alone does not matter, and cannot provide an accurate picture of the virus's spread.


    Comparing total tests in one country to total tests in another is meaningless, because it includes no control; it is just a raw number. The control is the thing you are testing for: confirmed cases. Getting that accurate picture of the virus's spread requires comparing the number tested to the number of confirmed cases in your country, THEN comparing your country's number to the same number in countries that have succeeded in suppressing the virus. Right now, today, the U.S. is testing 10 times less people per confirmed case (about 5) than the countries that have been most successful at suppressing the virus (over 50).

  8. 12 hours ago, Red_Storm said:

    Interesting look at the data, hitting play on the the graph for “Total Tests for COVID-19” is pretty dramatic in showing the late start for the US, but forging way, way ahead in total tests worldwide as of today and gaining on the per 100k basis in line with Remkin’s post:  https://ourworldindata.org/covid-testing


    The problem is that total tests, and even tests per x amount of population, are of little value. The valuable metric, as stated further down the same page, is the number of tests per confirmed case, where the U.S. remains near the bottom. See the graph at the heading, "The number of tests per confirmed case" about a fifth of the way down the page. Here's the reason that is the key number, as explained in the next section, "What can we learn from these measures about the pandemic?":


    A country that performs very few tests for each case it confirms is not testing widely enough for the number of confirmed cases to paint a reliable picture of the true spread of the virus. Whilst those people with the most severe symptoms may have been tested in such countries, there are likely to be many times more people with mild or no symptoms that were never tested.


  9. 3 hours ago, cc said:

    this is my opinion but others experts are of the same,

    News for ya: Sean Hannity, not an expert.


    Neither you nor anyone else has any idea of suicide mortality as a result of a prolonged down economy, let alone that the decline would be prolonged. So as long as we're into sheer speculation, how about the chance that the development of a vaccine and the excitement generated by the ability to SAFELY get the economy humming again would reduce suicide? 

  10. Further remkin, your whole projection theory is questionable because it tries to compare the assumptions/fears we have now to one that you've constructed and that we might make six weeks from now, rather than all the possibilities. 


    No one knows what will happen in six weeks, but a strong argument can be made that this country knows even less than others, thanks to how it botched testing. You can't cite Germany and Korea in the same breath as Italy, Spain, and NYC, because of all those, only Germany and Korea had ample testing... accurate mass testing in fact, because they accepted and used the WHO test right out of the gate. Meanwhile we still don't have adequate testing, which by definition is the ability to test anyone, regardless of their condition. Add to that the fact that the best available information right now suggests a 50-50 chance that as countries reopen, there will be new waves of infections. 


    I get wanting to hope for the best, and I do, every day: An effective vaccine. That would be best. That would remove all need for speculation. The year of severely reduced economic activity it will take to get it, while painful, would be seen as more than worth it (speaking of looking back on and questioning past beliefs) by every single person gleefully marching to their hospital for inoculation--when compared to the idea of rolling the dice on the chance that there may have been, at some point during that year, sufficient immunity, in a country that never got its testing where it needed to be in order to positively confirm that.

  11. 27 minutes ago, remkin said:

    When I say "we're not there yet, but getting close" I'm saying that we are close to the top and will start going down.

    Thanks for clarifying. Because on my first read it sounded like you think we are getting close to the point where (you believe) the cure is worse than the disease.


    That point will never come, because it rests on a false equivalency: Specifically, that a strong economy and x number of people dying is "better" (or even acceptable) to a recession (or a depression) in which far more people live.


    The funniest thing I've heard since this all began is that whole "cure is worse than the disease" claim. That is true for exactly one group: the very rich, who are able to run their companies from the safety of their home offices, and are talking about effects of severely reduced economic activity being worse--on their own balance sheets.


    For the rest of us--most notably those that these self-important captains of industry want to order back to work, and thereby expose to a much higher risk of infection and death than they are willing to take themselves--the "cure" of staying home and alive and worrying about rebuilding the economy our bosses stock portfolios when the threat has passed is exponentially better.

  12. 13 hours ago, beboplar said:

     Is there a not to exceed weight limit for users?

    ha! There probably should be! 


    I think the issue with these is their design, which pains me to say, given that Frid was arguably the singular initial influence on the craft woodworking movement that really gathered steam in the early 60s. He is famous for his durable, practical, yet beautiful work. These only tick the last box, IMO.


    I think the problem is their height. Frid's chair-height versions of this are very stable, but once the center of gravity is higher and "balanced" on three splayed legs... not so good. It's too bad, b/c they were one of his last designs, and I think he allowed his desire to have three different sizes cloud his judgment of their real-world durability/practicality.


    Sanding doesn't bother me, probably because I keep it to a minimum. I use cabinet scrapers as much as possible, and then go straight to 220 grit pre-finish.  

  13. 6 hours ago, beboplar said:

    I owe my passion for woodworking to two parties:


    1) Working as a VISTA Volunteer doing business consulting to Native American artisans for a year, observing the joy they got from working with their hands.


    2) Two books I read by James Krenov, inspiring prospective woodworkers with his soulful outlook.  


    I've made two lamp tables that are Nakashima knockoffs.  The swiss army knife base is also a Nakashima knockoff.  Probably everything else I have designed is original.  OK for today's offering I give you a bentwood globe stand that has survived since building it in a 1 car garage shop in Santa Monica in 1982.

    Mine was my brother, who is 14 years older than me. I served an indentured servitude as a sander one summer in his north Jersey shop and when the job was done and delivered gave me a beer. If this was woodworking, I was down. I grew up 20 miles form Nakashima's shop but have never thought of him as an influence, though he clearly was on my bro. So was Frid, who was my other influence, thanks to one of his three-book series, which my brother gave me for a birthday in my early 20s, after I'd begun my (informal) internship for that mfg I mentioned way back upthread.


    I've knocked off Frid. My biggest handcut dovetails are at the back/seat joint of these stools, where the stock is over an inch thick:



    I've always found stools challenging because when they are sturdy-looking enough (to my eye) they also look clunky, and I hate clunky. These are not clunky, but (inevitably) they are also not up to my standard of sturdiness. Which is surprising, b/c Frid was a man of generous proportion. He conceived these after sitting on a split-rail fence all day at a horse show and noticing he was never uncomfortable. Maybe he incorporated the bounce one gets riding a fence into these subconsciously, I don't know, but it's there.

  14. 11 hours ago, beboplar said:

    It's been 40 years since I took that class, and I can't recall anything about the instructor, EXCEPT he took us on a field trip to the home and shop of Sam Maloof in Alta Loma and we were given a tour by the master himself.  I can still visualize stacks of rocker parts laying all over his Unisaw, and his two trusted apprentices working away on rockers.  Even then, he had a 4 year waiting list.  


    Let me offer another piece.  Back in 1962 I collected the complete Topps baseball set.  It sat in a cardboard box for close to 40 years, until I built this custom display case for it.  Enjoy.


    Kewl. I have a prospective project right now for a lady who collects fountain pens. We're talking about a shallow rectangle top with stylized pens as the front legs.


    Maloof, Krenov, Frid, Nakashima... there are aren't guys left like them. Wharton Esherick was another, whose home near Valley Forge was made into a museum after his passing.   

  15. 39 minutes ago, remkin said:

    It would be weird as heck, but what hasn't been lately? And it would be better than nothing. 

    I still think the union nixes it, and as a fan, it would have my complete support in doing so. 


    If you are Sebastian Aho, do you really risk your life (let alone career) to skate in playoffs which, at best, will be remembered for being played at all than for who won?

  16. 2 hours ago, beboplar said:

    I like the design of the legs, very Art Deco.  I am curious about the top;  with the type of joinery and it being all solids, will it end up cracking from expansion and contraction?  Does it get humid in your neck of the woods?  I can appreciate it took some work, so I applaud.


    If you liked the camera, you may like this Swiss Army knife.


    Looks like somebody took their instructor's "blow it up" challenge to the limit! That is super cool!


    It is humid here, but I'm not worried about cracking. Each strip of the top is glued to the last, with the flat-sawn faces vertical. It's basically a horizontal stack lam with each "course" glued on edge from the inside out, working around the table one course at a time. I glue and clamp each piece in place for flushness, then staple and keep going, allowing the work to continue until complete (typically 2-3 hours). 


    First I mill everything up, cut each strip to rough length, stage them so I'll be sure to grab them in the proper sequence, and trim them for an exact fit as I go. My starter is a piece of plywood, where the glass will go, cut just smidge bigger than the glass in both width and length so the glass will drop right onto small supports glued to the innermost course once the main piece is assembled.


    The (oak) dining table I did this way originally is now more than 30 years old, also in a humid environment, and no issues. Of course, it's got much more wood--it's 45 x 78 with a central opening of 15 x 48. Gluing edge-up the key; as you know, flat-sliced lumber expands a lot more across the face grain than within its thickness (and on an inch-and-a-quarter face, like these strips, even face movement is negligible). By laminating edge-up, I negate seasonal movement almost completely, and there's a nice bonus: that tight edge grain makes for a super-durable top.  

  17. 29 minutes ago, gocanes0506 said:

    I feel all those plans are fairly dumb.  As expected, the greed that comes with being the only thing on and having an exponentially larger audience will eventually win over logic. 

    im not a NBA fan but I read a bunch about the MLB plan.  Mountain time games on the east coast?  There goes 2/3 of your big markets. Then sitting 6 feet away from other players in the stands? Locking them down in Phoenix? Possibly playing 7 inning double headers just to get to 162?  Regular testing and a positive test doesn’t shut it down?


    the logic is gone in all of that.

    And we can assume no stealing bases, otherwise the runner and first baseman will be less than six feet apart, and stealing home will become the easiest play in baseball.

  18. Meanwhile, back on topic, there's this from The New Yorker. Here's the last 'graph:


    Many major sports are exploring different scenarios for coming back as soon as possible. There have been reports that Major League Baseball is looking into moving all teams to Arizona; the N.B.A. is considering Las Vegas. All the plans require readily available rapid-response testing, something that does not currently exist, and so all the proposals have a quality of fantasy. And all of them involve risk. Leagues and events may say that health and safety come first, but, until there is a vaccine, and until most people are vaccinated, the virus will spread. Sports have always involved tricky negotiations between business and the public good. That has never been more clear, and the stakes have rarely been this high.



  19. 2 hours ago, beboplar said:

    These were always night classes, and well before the age of cellular phones.  I am most proud of the fact that none of the students got injured over the course of those 3 years.

    Exactly. I enjoyed the same good fortune in the same era, but the school eventually abandoned the class when its insurer raised their rates so high that the course fee would have been ridiculous.


    I love the camera! Very cool. 


    Here's my latest. Cherry and maple. The ends of the legs are exposed within the top, and the shelf lifts out for easy vacuuming. It's based on an oak dining table I made over thirty years ago, for a guy who (little did I know) would later become my cardiologist. (It was a minor heart attack, but I became symptomatic [how's this for bringing the conversation full circle?] on my way to play floor hockey!)


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