Yet Lessler says this kind of analysis is the only thing you can do given the data available, because there’s no way to see a version of reality in which people don’t go to Sturgis. And testing every rally-goer and contact tracing everyone they might have exposed would be too massive an undertaking for the US’s patchwork of contact tracing operations. Perhaps it could have been handled by more intrusive government programs, like those operated in Singapore, South Korea, and China that track more personal information in the name of disease surveillance. But certainly not in the don’t-tread-on-me United States where digital contact tracing apps have floundered and manual tracing teams have had trouble keeping up with even moderate surges in Covid-19 cases. “If you had infinite resources you could do it. But, practically, it probably goes beyond anybody’s resources,” says Lessler. … [Read more...] about How does a Sturgis-sized crowd affect COVID-19? It’s complicated
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Provo-Orem in Utah came in first, with a score of 71.4 on the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index; while Huntington-Ashland (which spans parts of West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio) came in last, with a score of 59.5, according to the survey results. [Read the full story on the well-being survey results] … [Read more...] about Where Does Your City Rank for Well-Being? (List)
The more public transportation systems rely on government subsidies, the likelier these projects are to stall, Powell said. In Japan, where there are plans to extend existing Maglev train service eventually to carry passengers between Tokyo and Osaka — two cities located about 310 miles (500 km) apart — in one hour, officials are grappling with whether passenger-only trains can generate enough revenue to recoup the cost to build and maintain the project. … [Read more...] about Can Elon Musk’s Superfast ‘Hyperloop’ Transit System Really Be Built?
PANOSETI’s design includes lightning-fast photon counters sensitive to pulses less than one-billionth of 1 second long. “It’s hard for nature to make that,” Shelley Wright says. It relies on a Fresnel lens, a type used in lighthouses to focus light into a narrow beam. Flipped over, a Fresnel can gather light from a 10°-wide patch of sky onto the photon counters. The team is building two observatories, each an array of 80 telescopes with lenses 50 centimeters across, bunched together in a fly’s eye arrangement. The plan is to site the pair 1 kilometer apart—to help root out false positives—at the Palomar Observatory in California. Funded by Qualcomm cofounder Franklin Antonio, the project has built five telescopes but has been stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic. … [Read more...] about How big money is powering a massive hunt for alien intelligence
Lawmakers in Portland, Oregon on Wednesday passed the nation's most far-reaching facial recognition ban, prohibiting not only public agencies but also private enterprises from using the technology in public spaces. Portland's four city council members voted unanimously in support of two separate ordinances -- one barring city agencies from using facial recognition and one barring private entities from using it in public spaces. … [Read more...] about Portland, Ore. passes first-of-its-kind facial recognition ban