The Stench of Virus. There’s a research project at Penn trying to train dogs to smell people who are infected with the virus. Doesn’t being sniffed by a dog sound a lot better than having a swab pushed up your nose? They’re using Labs, too, which are nice, friendly dogs, the kind you always want to give a biscuit to. I checked and found out that Labs are one of the 15 best-sniffing dog breeds out there.
Dogs are used to sniff out a lot of things: drugs, explosives, escaped convicts. But all of these things have a volatile component, something that wafts out onto the wind. How could the virus produce such a thing (and why)? It has only 16 genes.
It may not be the smell of the virus they detect, however. It may be something emitted by the human host in response to the infection, viral perspiration or something. Dogs can detect malaria carriers in a similar manner.
The potential for screening people at airports is obvious. They have drug dogs there already. Could the same dogs be used to screen for both, and should a two-sniff dog be paid more than a one-sniffer? These are questions we may ponder in the future.
The Government We Deserve. Twelve years ago, when W got elected, one of my ersties told me, “That’s okay. People get the government they deserve.” I wasn’t really sure what he meant at the time, and I am still not. Was he saying we were all responsible for putting an idiot in the White House? Did that make it okay? It seemed like a kind of collective punishment, especially since that clown hadn’t polled a majority either.
I wonder if my friend still mouths the same thing today. We have elected someone who makes W seem like a compassionate scholar in comparison. What, exactly, have we done to deserve this? Moscow Mitch may deserve this asshole, but I don’t see how I do.
Rentals. There’s an outfit offering short-term apartment rentals to halves of married couples who need a break from one another. How do they decide whether it’s the husband or the wife who moves out? I’ll bet it’s usually the husband.
I never did understand how some married couples could work together in the same office, or lab, or band, or whatever. Don’t they need a little breather? Makes your spouse seem that much better when you come back after being exposed to others,