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Everything posted by Paxter

  1. Some silver lining in that even with 500-1,000 cases per day over the last month, ON is still keeping fatalities below 10 per day. In the spring, we were regularly between 20 and 50. So either the spring caseload was around 5,000 or we are simply doing a better job now of protecting the vulnerable. I still wish that Ford had never gone to Stage 3 over the summer. Asking for trouble. Hospitalizations across the country are starting to stabilize a bit, which is a positive.
  2. RE: the Bolivian election, Mesa seems to have performed much worse in this election than last year and promptly conceded defeat. Añez conceded via Twitter and no doubt contributed to her faction's own defeat given the way that she governed as interim president.
  3. I'll make a (somewhat rare) semi-optimistic post: Fatalities (so far) remain lower than the April/May peaks by a factor of about 10. That would suggest we were running at many thousands more unreported cases per day in the spring (though there are some counterarguments to this point). Active cases have stabilized significantly in AB and BC after a tricky end to the summer for both provinces. Hopefully QC and ON can repeat this feat with the new restrictions. Hospitalizations remain reasonable outside of QC . I'm guessing that care home outbreaks are still a major problem in French Canada, which is driving up the hospitalized cases.
  4. I don't see how the extreme right could win absent blatant fraud (which I guess, yeah, they are capable of). Mesa is not from the extreme right and he will almost certainly poll second. Looking at the polling, it's going to be a close race. Arce is currently in the 30s...if he can't avoid a second round then it might be difficult for him, particularly as the current government has tried its best to make campaigning difficult for MAS. Anez dropping out seems to have helped Mesa slightly (now polling mid to late 20s).
  5. Finished Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and (finally!) Stone of Farewell. Sapiens was better than I was expecting, particularly the first third of the book. My limited knowledge of history ends at about the time of the Ancient Greeks, so learning more about the 100k+ years before then was actually pretty cool. I didn't love the book so much when it covered (at a very high level) the more modern history of empires and capitalism. Harari didn't really have anything new to say on those topics. But I'd still recommend picking this up just for the pre-historic section. Stone of Farewell...urgh. If anything this was even slower and more grinding than the first instalment (which was no rollercoaster !) I do enjoy the world building and there are some good characters in there (Simon, Binabik, Isgrimnur, Eolair, Josua) and a cool cast of villains, but also some real duds (Deonorth!) The plot of this one was just...bleh: I'm hoping for much better things from the concluding volumes! Expect a review sometime in 2021 though... Now reading The Mirror and the Light (superb so far) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
  6. Hehe. Check who's on top of the table! (You know I'm kidding...Warner and Smith's teams are going pretty ordinarily. That's all I need to be happy!) Some nice news this week with NZ's international cricket schedule for the 20/21 season released. It's a big touring schedule with the Windies, Pakistan, Australia and Bangladesh all set for appearances (the first two for tests). Sadly it looks like the wheels have fallen off in South Africa and it's hard to know what will happen to their usual summer of cricket.
  7. I purchased COVID-specific cover for my recent travels and it wasn't overly expensive. Though I imagine the premium would be pretty high for the 60+ bracket. RE: Returning to Canada for health care - the airlines aren't supposed to let you travel if you are sick or have symptoms, but I guess you could always cover it up...
  8. Interesting. Will Ford follow suit? I know Quebec's cases skyrocketed, but I doubt Ontario's major centres are much better than Quebec's this time around...
  9. Yeah I'm with you. We've had months to prepare for the inevitable Fall surge in symptoms and cases. Testing needs to be absolutely ubiquitous by now. On the US border, I don't think there is much to worry about there, at least for 2020 and the first half of 2021. The polling numbers are absolutely overwhelming to maintain the status quo and the Libs are surely not so foolish as to ignore them.
  10. Anyone betting against Palaszczuk or Ardern in the upcoming elections? The former has sky-high personal approval ratings but the LNP continues to poll pretty well in QLD on a two-party preferred basis. In NZ, I'm expecting Ardern to get home on the back of her own pandemic performance and a truly woeful Nationals build-up (they are burning through leaders). But hung parliaments are always the norm across the Ditch...so who knows. Whatever happens, we will wake up in November with a female leader in both jurisdictions.
  11. Not as close a resemblance as Jonny Bairstow and Rupert Grint. But yes, I can see it. Pretty awesome run chase in Sharjah tonight...Royals were gone for all money until a relatively unknown pinch-hitter (Rahul Tawatia) smashed Cottrell for 30 in an over. Ouch. ETA: What about Nasser and Putin?
  12. Haha so true. Cricket is not the same without India v Pakistan. I was looking this up the other day: their last test match was in December 2007. Kumble was captaining India and Younis was in charge of Pakistan. Ishant is I think the only current player to ever experience the test rivalry. For the record...Pakistan has more test wins overall (11-9), with 38 (!) test draws between the nations.
  13. You’re right - the anti-Christ would probably have more patience. Constantly shuffling around the crease; an exaggerated back lift; never really looking in good form, but nevertheless able to survive. Occasionally getting away a nicely timed shot to the boundary (all along the carpet of course). A real motherfucker to get out. So yeah, Steve Smith is the anti-Christ.
  14. Fixed that for you! Putting Warner's struggles against Broady to one side, the guy is pretty useless outside of home conditions. The current gap between his Away/Home test average is -33 runs... ETA: He's still the anti-Christ.
  15. Nope. I'm Australian. (Living in Canada). Warner is just a pain in the butt. ETA: Vale Dean Jones. I never watched him play live, but I did enjoy his commentary over the years.
  16. I was only needling RE: CSK. They have made it to the final so many times you couldn't argue that any other team has been better. We aren't accustomed to much IPL passion here! I only watch it to see Warner lose.
  17. Speaking of CSK...they just conceded 27 runs of two legal deliveries: 2 6s, 2 6s off no balls, 1 wide. Now I've seen everything!
  18. Nonsense. There's really no benefit to smelling the freshly mown grass, queuing excitedly for a meat pie amongst colourful, one-eyed fans, hearing the excited hubbub of the packed crowd and tasting that ice-cold lager, just as Nasser wins the toss and fields first. The TV broadcast is perfectly adequate. *Paxter dies inside*
  19. This was a welcome development. Áñez was never going to win it, but just on principle she didn't deserve to be in the race. Now it's all down to whether Arce can win in the first round, or whether Mesa can round up enough votes to force a run-off. Obviously everyone is going to be watching the numbers closely to try to identify irregularities in the count...
  20. It will happen. Australia has had a knack for making life completely impossible for its citizens since the beginning of the pandemic, but really quite easy for its professional sporting codes. Depends on your metric. Arguably MI are the most successful team in the IPL (having won four of the last six tournaments and most overall). The Super Kings won two championships in the early 2010s, then again in 2018. They've also lost the final a ridiculous five times. As long as Smith and Warner's teams suck (the latter lost today), I am happy. Probably rooting for Kings XI and RCB. ETA: I do wish that Rising Pune Supergiant was still in the IPL. Best franchise name ever. They didn't even bother going for "Supergiants". One Supergiant and that's all folks.
  21. Fair enough. I guess if testing is about 3-4 times more expansive, then it could be that Ford is willing to go over 1,000 cases per day (or more) before pulling the trigger on Stage 2 restrictions. I don't really like the "wave" terminology. But yeah, this is the next phase for sure. ETA: Out of interest, what kind of symptoms is your friend still experiencing? I had the impression that ongoing symptoms were likelier in more severe cases, but that doesn't seem to be the case.
  22. It's May all over again in Quebec and Ontario. For ON, I don't really understand why Stage 3 was a no-no back then, but fine now. Have we got to the point now where cases data is irrelevant and the politicians are just watching the hospital system? Day 8 of quarantine for me...
  23. It was part of a study paid for by Air Canada. But it wasn't the most reliable testing procedure...just a self-test mouth and nose swab. I wish I had been able to go home! The Australian border is pretty much closed shut unless you are willing to pay for hotel quarantine. I was in Greece and Germany visiting friends/family. Hope all goes well @kairparavel. My understanding is that regional/rural Ontario is in pretty good shape.
  24. The testing bottlenecks are disappointing. I feel like we hit a ceiling in the summer and just haven't been ambitious enough. To this point of the pandemic, Australia has tested around 100,000 more people per million than Canada... I got tested for the first time at Pearson yesterday. Wasn't the full nasal swab but I did get my results within 24 hrs (and have two more tests to do while in quarantine).
  25. Lots of speculation that we will be having an election soon...but what are the incentives here? I feel like O'Toole is better off hammering the Libs over the pandemic and then having a tilt in a year or so time. As for the NDP, surely they need to keep licking their wounds after last year's disappointment?
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