The new ‘arms’ race

It appears that French president Emmanuel Macron’s domination of Donald Trump in the handshake wars was carefully planned by him.

As handshakes go, it was unusually intense: a fierce and protracted mano a mano of white knuckles, crunched bones, tightened jaws and fixed smiles that sent the internet and the world’s media into a spin.

It was also, Emmanuel Macron has revealed, entirely intentional. At his first major appearance on the world stage, the 39-year-old French president displayed a relaxed confidence and steely purpose that altogether belied his youth and inexperience.
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Why are people so afraid?

The first time I heard about what later became known as the case of the elderly man who was randomly selected and shot dead on the street and whose killer posted it on Facebook was when my wife got a telephone alert from the university where she teaches telling people that a shooter was on the loose and asking people not on campus to stay away and those on campus to get into lockdown mode. The puzzling thing was that the message mentioned the location of the shooting and it was several miles away from the university and there was no indication that it had anything to do with the university nor that the shooter was heading towards it. So why the warning?
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The paperfuge alternative to the centrifuge

The centrifuge is a vital tool in medical diagnostics because it enables laboratories to separate different components that are mixed in a sample. It works by spinning the sample around at very high rotational frequencies and the differential centrifugal forces on the different masses results in the separation. But centrifuges are bulky and expensive and require electricity to operate and that makes them not easily available to medical personnel in remote areas.
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Sporadic blogging for the next week

I will be visiting with my grandson for the coming week and am finding him so fascinating that it is hard to find the time to blog. It turns out that being a new grandfather is all that it is cracked up to be. So blogging will be sporadic for the next week.

But what I can report is that even though he is just one month old, he acts more rationally than the current president of the USA.

Calling all grammar pedants!

Are you, like me, somewhat of a grammar pedant and struggling to find gifts to give certain friends and relatives of yours who consistently say things that annoy you? Mark Frauenfelder has found just the thing. If the recipients spot the typo on the mug, they get a pardon. That error, he tells me, is an example of something called Skitt’s Law that says that “any post correcting an error in another post will contain at least one error itself.”
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When getting even leads to disaster

We know that people can act irrationally out of anger, reacting completely out of proportion to some real or imagined slight and doing dangerous and threatening things as a result. The most obvious examples are of road rage, but we also have cases of people harming and even killing others in domestic or neighborhood disputes. But in most of those cases, people are acting out of anger.
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