Southwest Air (LUV) Is Weighing Ditching Open Seating – Bloomberg

Nooooo. Southwest cannot become just another airline. Prices have gone way up, delays are rampant, and open seating is just about the only thing special about Southwest. Wall Street ruins everything.

Southwest Airlines Co. may ditch open seating, a classic hallmark of its business model, to offer assigned spots and premium seats in a bid to appeal to a younger generation of travelers. The move arguably would be the largest change undertaken by the carrier since it began flying in 1971.

“We are seriously studying customer preference around our seating and our cabin,” Chief Executive Officer Bob Jordan said in an interview Thursday. “We’ve been doing that for awhile — you have to be committed to understanding and meeting customer expectations.”

Source: Southwest Air (LUV) Is Weighing Ditching Open Seating – Bloomberg

How Long Are You Contagious With COVID-19?

If you test positive for COVID-19, the duration of contagiousness can vary. This is because the virus can be shed (meaning released from the body through talking, exhaling, etc.) for anywhere from days to months depending on your age, vaccination status, immune status, severity of infection, and any preexisting conditions you may have.

Even so, the likelihood of transmission decreases as fewer viruses are shed over time. If you become infected with COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you isolate at home until you’ve been fever-free for 24 hours (without the held of medications). It’s also recommended that you take additional precautions for five days following isolation.2Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Respiratory virus guidance.

This article explains how long COVID-19 is contagious and the variables that can increase or decrease the duration. It also offers tips on how to protect others if you or someone know gets COVID-19.

Source: How Long Are You Contagious With COVID-19?

Vaccine breakthrough means no more chasing strains | UCR News | UC Riverside

Scientists at UC Riverside have demonstrated a new, RNA-based vaccine strategy that is effective against any strain of a virus and can be used safely even by babies or the immunocompromised. woman getting a vaccinePeopleimages/iStock/GettyEvery year, researchers try to predict the four influenza strains that are most likely to be prevalent during the upcoming flu season. And every year, people line up to get their updated vaccine, hoping the researchers formulated the shot correctly.

The same is true of COVID vaccines, which have been reformulated to target sub-variants of the most prevalent strains circulating in the U.S.

This new strategy would eliminate the need to create all these different shots, because it targets a part of the viral genome that is common to all strains of a virus. The vaccine, how it works, and a demonstration of its efficacy in mice is described in a paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “What I want to emphasize about this vaccine strategy is that it is broad,” said UCR virologist and paper author Rong Hai. “It is broadly applicable to any number of viruses, broadly effective against any variant of a virus, and safe for a broad spectrum of people. This could be the universal vaccine that we have been looking for.”

Source: Vaccine breakthrough means no more chasing strains | UCR News | UC Riverside

Opinion A rotten week for MAGA Republicans’ feeble stunts

MAGA House Republicans would rather do anything but their jobs. They would rather indulge right-wing media consumers with baseless impeachments, motions to vacate the speaker’s chair (again!), fruitless hearings and parroting Russian propaganda. None of these activities serves the interests of the voters; none improves U.S. national security. For these minions of Donald Trump, chaos and paralysis appear to be the goal. Fortunately for the country, Democrats have figured out how to short-circuit the antics and humiliate Republicans.

Why does Paxlovid make things taste bitter? | Science | AAAS

Apparently, I’m one of the 6% who get “Paxlovid mouth.” Day Two on this medicine and my tongue is constantly telling me something in my mouth is bitter. It’s annoying but bearable – certainly not a reason to stop taking the medicine as some foolish people apparently do.

Paxlovid can prevent severe illness from COVID-19, but it comes with a price: In many users, the antiviral drug leaves a weird, metallic aftertaste that can last for days—a condition nicknamed “Paxlovid mouth.”

Now, researchers say they’ve figured out why. A component of Paxlovid activates one of the tongue’s bitter taste receptors even at low levels, which may draw out the yuck factor, the team reports this month in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. The work could lead to ways to alleviate the unpleasant side effect.

The study is a “good first step” in teasing apart the mechanism behind Paxlovid mouth, says Alissa Nolden, a sensory scientist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who was not involved with the research. But she says more work will be needed to truly understand why the metallic taste lingers for so long.

Source: Why does Paxlovid make things taste bitter? | Science | AAAS

COVID finally caught me

COVID positive

Well, my remarkable streak of avoiding COVID came to an end this week as I finally tested positive Tuesday morning. It seems I brought it home as a souvenir from this weekend’s EncounterQuest event. Four years of successfully avoiding it came to an end.

The biggest clue was the fatigue I got Monday afternoon, that and the stomach cramps that hit me all day. I finished my work day and fell asleep on the couch, conking out by 6 PM just wiped. I went to bed early Monday night (by 8:30) and felt better in the morning. Kelly noticed my cough and suggested I test for COVID. I laughed at this suggestion but tested anyway and was flabbergasted to see it come back positive. At that point we both masked up and the COVID routine began in earnest. I wrote my VA doc and by 2 PM I had a dose of Paxlovid waiting for me at the Durham VA.

There were some earlier, subtle clues that I had caught something. Monday night as I was trying to sleep I had quite the runny nose. I chalked this up to having mowed the yard Sunday without a face mask, inhaling a bunch of dust and grass. I also had aching joints Monday, making it a little challenging to go up and down stairs. And there was a bit of dizziness Monday, too, as I stumbled around the kitchen making breakfast.
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Why To Stay Alive Until 2045 For The ‘Greatest American Eclipse’ Of The Century

The “Great North American Eclipse” is over—now prepare for the “Greatest American Eclipse.”

The 4 minutes 26 seconds of totality that was experienced during April 8’s total solar eclipse was the longest on land since 2010 anywhere in the world. Most totalities last about two minutes or so.

That makes the next coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in the U.S. special.

On August 12, 2045, a whopping 6 minutes and 4 seconds of totality will be possible from Florida—the nation’s “Greatest American Eclipse.”

It’s why you need to stay alive until 2045—and it’s the “best” eclipse on the celestial schedule for America’s “Generation Eclipse.”

Source: Why To Stay Alive Until 2045 For The ‘Greatest American Eclipse’ Of The Century

Democracy Dies Behind Paywalls – The Atlantic

How many times has it happened? You’re on your computer, searching for a particular article, a hard-to-find fact, or a story you vaguely remember, and just when you seem to have discovered the exact right thing, a paywall descends. “$1 for Six Months.” “Save 40% on Year 1.” “Here’s Your Premium Digital Offer.” “Already a subscriber?” Hmm, no.

Now you’re faced with that old dilemma: to pay or not to pay. (Yes, you may face this very dilemma reading this story in The Atlantic.) And it’s not even that simple. It’s a monthly or yearly subscription—”Cancel at any time.” Is this article or story or fact important enough for you to pay?

Or do you tell yourself—as the overwhelming number of people do—that you’ll just keep searching and see if you can find it somewhere else for free?

Source: Democracy Dies Behind Paywalls – The Atlantic

Teens learn defensive driving techniques at free training session

I was glad to see WRAL do a story on the B.R.A.K.E.S. teen defensive driving program which took place again last weekend. Both of our kids went through it and learned a lot. Plus, the parents got a chance to drive on the track and do some tricks, too. Looking back, I was too chickenshit to really push the car to its limits but had I really appreciated it at the start I would’ve ragged that thing.

According to the CDC, teen drivers between 16 years old and 19 years old are three times more likely to be involved in a car crash, as compared drivers 20 years and older. One group in Raleigh set out to change those numbers.

Source: Teens learn defensive driving techniques at free training session

Russian soldiers who quit Putin’s war get no hero’s welcome abroad as asylum claims surge

ASTANA, Kazakhstan (AP) — If the choice was death or a bullet to the leg, Yevgeny would take the bullet. A decorated hero of Russia’s war in Ukraine, Yevgeny told his friend and fellow soldier to please aim carefully and avoid bone. The tourniquets were ready.

The pain that followed was the price Yevgeny paid for a new chance at life. Like thousands of other Russian soldiers, he deserted the army.

“I joke that I gave birth to myself,” he said. “When a woman gives birth to a child, she experiences very intense pain and gives new life. I gave myself life after going through very intense pain.”

Yevgeny made it out of the trenches. But the new life he found is not what he had hoped for.