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rotting sea cow

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  1. Pfizer Shot Just 39% Effective Against Delta Infection, But Largely Prevents Severe Illness, Israel Study Suggests https://www.forbes.com/sites/roberthart/2021/07/23/pfizer-shot-just-39-effective-against-delta-infection-but-largely-prevents-severe-illness-israel-study-suggests/ I don't know how reliable is this. There have been critics online because Israel is not sharing its methodology nor raw numbers. (I got the second dose last Tuesday. I was hesitant because I've been feeling not great since the first dose and also because it really seems that spacing doses is overall better in terms of protection and side effects)
  2. I understand you might be angry but calling PEOPLE "plague rats" is dehumanizing and from there is a slippery slope. You should know better.
  3. The biggest and saddest Daenerys and Maester Aemon.
  4. Yep. They knew the war was lost. Also, the Freys took a bunch of hostages from many houses, which make them hard to rebel. See, how Black Walder subdued Seagard. The Blackfish saw that and understood that Edmure was dead no matter what, so the Freys and Lannisters had no leverage and he could hold Riverrun for a very long time. As long as he was there the rebellion was not done. With Stannis in the North and still holding Dragonstone and Storm's End, it might have been even possible to look for an alliance.
  5. No idea really. I was going down the rabbit hole and apparently a large fraction of the humans have antibodies against that particular herpes virus. The thing with those retroviruses (in my poor understanding) is they get (retro)-integrated into your genome, so you are never really out of the woods. They can reactivated again in particular conditions which is seems what it's happening with the long-covid syndrome. And yes, the symptoms, the fatigue, depression and associated BS can last months.
  6. It's not that all clear. First, it might well be that vaccinating adults (and adolescents) might protect the children from infection. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01549-z Second. Any pharmaceutical intervention must weight the risks and benefits on that particular population. Given the low risk that kids face and uncertainty about the safety of the intervention, it isn't clear that it's ethically justifiable. In Germany the vaccine commission (STIKO) is holding against heavy political pressure and not recommending for now the vaccine in adolescents for these reasons. Sure, new variants change the calculation, but the argument go in both ways as herd immunity seem to be out of the reach with high infectious variants with such immune escape (if the numbers we're seen are correct), so why bother?
  7. News has it there were like 26 Colombian mercenaries who previously belonged to the army and two American of Haitian origin. Some were killed during clashes with the policy. Others arrested after seeking refuge in the Taiwanese embassy. This shit is getting weirder. It stinks to CIA.
  8. Typical outrage for the unimportant shit. Probably there are more pressing issues in Ukraine than this. We are talking about the military and they typically have the most outrageous ceremony costumes you can think of. High heel shoes is probably the least of them. If people do some google, there are plenty of servicewomen around the world marching in high heels. Notice, I'm against of high heel shoes (I don't know how/why women wear them willingly) and actually against shoes in general.
  9. You know? We were discussing with @Chataya de Fleury about the similarities of Long-Covid with mononucleosis and it's turning out that there might be a link. https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-covid-symptoms-epstein-barr-virus-reactivation.html it might be not the only retrovirus that get activated during the infection https://www.researchsquare.com/article/rs-514541/v1 and some treatments might also activate the feared Kaposi's sarcoma virus https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.10.02.324228v1 There are also accounts of shingles and Bell's palsy associated to both disease and vaccine. Both are caused by Herpes virus. ETA: This in addition to organ damage caused by the disease or invasive procedures.
  10. There is also the Singapore study that puts the efficacy at 69% https://sg.news.yahoo.com/covid-vaccination-singapore-effective-delta-variant-ong-ye-kung-123900712.html (ETA: according to other sources this is for Moderna and Pfizer vaccines) What is the origin of these differences? Well, assuming that everyone is doing correctly their job, It might well be that the UK scheme of separating doses by a larger span of time (afaik Canada is doing the same) is paying off. We also need to consider that in average the Israeli population was vaccinated earlier than those in Canada and UK. If this is the case, having a high level of circulating antibodies helps a lot against infection. More importantly however. The vaccines are protecting against hospitalization and death still at a high efficacy, which should be the primary goal. The question whether they are able to provide "herd immunity" should be secondary and in my opinion misplaced.
  11. I'm a bit out of the loop. I got pfizered for first time two weeks ago and I've been kind of down since. I just want to sleep. Otherwise I hardly had any side effect except for a headache the same night and some arm pain. This is what I think re Delta variant. The news are bad, to the point that B. Johnson speech sounds like conceding defeat. I'm quite certain the advisers knew about the Israel breakthrough study. Seven hells! 30 points in efficacy reduction for the Pfizer vaccine. How many for the others? Something as contagious and with such immune escape cannot be contained unless we go full Wuhan lockdown and who wants that now? Nobody! It has certainly thrown the whole EU "safety concept" to the trash bin. You can put only vaccinated and tested people in a room and you are going to have an outbreak. Vaccines will do their work (hopefully!) and keep the people out of the hospitals. And the rest of the world? They are fucked. Delta means the end of the pandemic. It will run like wildfire until 90% of the world population get infected. There is no way we can vaccinate faster. A few more waves and this will end. The best we can expect is no new variants appear that escape immunity from Delta. And pray to the Seven or R'hllor that no ADE or something similar will appear. For me, it shows how rotten are our geo-political, social and economics systems. A few days ago, for example, was reading that you could do as good with a quarter of the Moderna dose as with the full one, meaning that you could have vaccinated four times as many people. Plainly more scientific, political and economic cooperation would have led us to a better outcome and faster.
  12. A short chat that hardly influence Dany's actions.
  13. To talk through glass candles both should have one. Dany has none. Otherwise you can give only dreams or illusions. Between Quaithe, Euron and Marwyn trying to influence Dany at the same time, she can get easily crazy. It might well be that it requires a lot of effort to find the target. Much like the palantirs.
  14. This. Other things. Fulfilling his family commitments and marrying to Catelyn. Maybe the incident with Ashara played a role in his reputation (and why I don't believe that Ned "dishonored" her) and bringing his "bastard" back to Winterfell is something that only an honorable man would do.
  15. I don't think that a time jump is necessary after TWOW if everything in that list is accomplished. Otherwise I agree. I actually think the cliffhanger should be the Wall falling down (I always imagined it as a funny but somber Dolorous Edd epilogue). However, it is extremely hard to achieve and the main difficulty is wrapping up Dany's Essos' story. She needs to arrive to Westeros before the 2/3 of the book to make the conflict with Aegon meaningful, before the Wall falls.
  16. I'm somewhat split regarding Euron gaining a dragon using the horn. If we go to the HotU prophecies, we see: “From a smoking tower, a great stone beast took wing, breathing shadow fire. This is Euron and the tower is likely the Hightower and the beast is flies like a dragon and breath fire like a dragon, so it's likely a dragon. But there are weird elements in there too. What does it mean by being made of "stone" and breath "shadow fire". It doesn't feel like Rhaegal. Instead I tend to believe that Euron will either literally wake a dragon from the stone (a prettified/hibernating dragon) or will create a dragon out of glamour (a lie!). On the other hand, that horn must do something.
  17. Some news on the Chinese lunar program. First, it seems they have concrete plans to land there before 2030 Second, news on rockets. They have two rockets in development. For first time they acknowledge their Falcon Heavy look-alike, that's a three core rocket with a LEO capability on 70 tons and 27tons LTO. It's a kerolox based rocket. The name of the rocket is CZ-5DY https://twitter.com/Cosmic_Penguin/status/1407961331991388161/photo/1 The second and more surprising development is the complete change in the design of the CZ-9 rocket, which was strongly influenced by the SLS and probably faced a number of similar issues. It was hydrolox rocket with solid fuel boosters. Well, now it's a kerolox rocket with 16 engines and no boosters. Capability is 150 tons to LEO, 53 tons to LTO. https://twitter.com/Cosmic_Penguin/status/1407961341441175556/photo/1 there is no mention about reusability for any of these rockets, but plainly their design will allow that at some point. SpaceX influence in those designs decisions is evident.
  18. I also believe that Victarion won't make it alive. My take is when the horn is blown (either by himself or by his tralls) Rhaegal will burn him alive. But there is a problem. The Iron Fleet is there to spearhead Dany's fleet which will be composed mainly of Volantene ships crewed by freedmen. Other people might also join like Salladhor Saan and Aurane Waters. The question is who will command that fleet and who the remaining ironborn might follow. A possibility is that Theon and Asha escape and make their way to Slaver's Bay but as the events stands it's highly unlikely, but on the other hand I cannot see how their stories will continue in TWOW Beyond that, it is hard to imagine the ironborn will be so important in the war against the Others. What I could see is Theon sailing the Sunset Sea, blowing the kraken horn and taking the monsters that his uncle awoke with him. Regarding the ironborn who followed Euron, I think they will conquer a good piece of Westeros but many will die in the sacrifice that Euron is planning that most likely will awake the krakens. It's very possible that the seas will turn wild and impassable until the monsters are herded out of the known world. Few of these ironborn will return to the islands. Most likely Asha will govern a population mostly made of women and children.
  19. The main objective of a siege is to break your enemy inside the castle as they run out of food and sickness spread within. The problem with the Twins is that it has a bridge connecting the two castles, with a river in between that cannot be crossed. So, unless you besiege the two of them, a siege is pointless. But even if you are able to cross somewhere and put half of your army at the other side, the other half cannot help them if they run into trouble other than storming the castle. See the Battle of Riverrun.
  20. I was reading about it now. Derek Lowe has a good write-up about the issue and he seems inclined to believe that the problem lays on an unmodified RNA bases they use, wherever that mean. But reading the comments, apparently this is patented process. but Curevac has other patents that might be useful according to another comment I also want to remind that many of the highly effective vaccines use a "prefusion stabilized spike protein" that it's apparently more immunogenic. That also sounds like a patented process. So, indeed. Patents might be hurting the development of vaccines and it's quite an irony that an European product might have been affected when the EU are the most staunch opposing party to the waiving of patents related to vaccines and medicines.
  21. I think Sinovac is having around 50% efficacy against the gamma variant according the studies done in Brazil. It was around 70% for the wild type of last year. On the other hand there weren't many choices. Only Pfizer has shipped in significant numbers but it wouldn't have made a difference. And there are breakthrough cases with Pfizer too. So variants are really changing the game. A thing I forgot to mention is that many PCRs are coming back negative despite people having all symptoms. It's unclear if these are faulty tests, sloppy work by the labs (which are under heavy pressure nevertheless) or variants are slipping under the radar. Or maybe even other viruses. Yes, it was known but the problem is the government acted criminally confident. Once the health care workers were vaccinated (with Pfizer) and the older population (70+ years olds) with Sinovac, they thought they could reopen and disaster unfolded. Every time that an age group is fully vaccinated the next level begins to fill the hospitals. Now there are a lot of 30+ years olds in ICUs too and they are just starting to vaccinate that group. It's quite maddening. It is difficult to compare the breakthrough cases between Pfizer and Sinovac. The former has been given to people like health care workers, teachers, fireworkers and people with some chronic diseases, cancer therapy, transplants and disabilities. Overall younger people, more health conscious but at higher risk of infection or to develop severe illness. Sinovac has been given to the general population. I think it was Pfizer. There is also an outbreak at the US embassy in Kabul. Delta really seems to be the one that may need a booster shot. Look. A colleague of mine was a week flat at home due to the vaccine and is doing now a bunch of medical examinations. I'd heard other stories too. I'd really wish that we wouldn't need to make this decision and understand that people are reluctant to make it. I truly blame the governments who have failed miserably in the handling of this crisis. Unfortunately, we don't have truly options unless you want and can effectively isolate at home for a large period of time. If you won't or can't chances are you are going to meet the virus sooner or later. It's highly probable that you won't get severe disease, but will you throw that dice?
  22. I had a depressing talk last night with a friend in Chile. He's in charge of a COVID testing unit and I've been passing him useful info (some provided by members in this forum) since last year. Well, he was infected last week as well as some people in his team. Despite having the two shots of Pfizer and wearing protective equipment during their duties. They suspect they got infected in their own quarters by another team member. To be fair, he was like two days sick with headaches, nausea and light respiratory problems. He still feels fatigued a week after. What he tells me is frightening. The situation is chaotic. Chile has been vaccinating a lot (almost 20 millions doses given already) mostly with Sinovac (about 90%) and Pfizer (10%) and smaller batches of other vaccines. In both cases they are seeing lots of breakthrough cases. He doesn't have stats obviously, so it's unclear how frequent is for each of the vaccines. There is supposed to be a report at some point. It seems however that vaccines are preventing hospitalizations as ICUs are overwhelmingly used by unvaccinated. They have lots of reinfections too. They blame the Brazilian gamma variant but now they learned there is that Andean lambda variant. Even the very contagious British alpha variant seems to be unable to gain hold. He says the virus is changing. Before they could "smell" the virus and reconstruct transmission chains, now it seems to be everywhere and popping out of nowhere. Lots of asymptomatic people and lots of 40 years olds as sick as the 60 year olds of yesteryear. They are also seeing kids very sick. He is depressed and angry. Angry at the people who wear masks everywhere but then they meet at home to watch football. Angry at the government for being criminally inept. Angry at the World for letting this scourge loose over the world. He is exhausted too. They are at the breaking point. So, why I'm telling you this? We are far from done with it. Get you vaccine ASAP (I should look myself what it's going on with my appointments) but do not believe that you are bulletproof against the new circulating variants. Be careful and watchful and avoid unnecessary risks. Expect a chaotic Autumn but maybe even a chaotic summer.
  23. I'm sorry. I will never believe in the good intentions of people at the top.
  24. Well, there is the theory that Mance has used glamour to pose as Ramsay and has him caged. In that capacity he was able to send the letter to Jon (which I personally believe was tampered at the Wall). In Theon chapters there is mention how a capable swordman can hold against a hundred in the serpentine stairs of Winterfell. There is that. In the end, it might be Theon who will let the dogs loose on Ramsay when Stannis takes Winterfell.
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