The Swiss cheese model of accident causation is a framework for thinking about how to layer security measures to minimize risk and prevent failure. The idea is that when several layers of interventions, despite their weaknesses, are properly stacked up between a hazard and a potentially bad outcome, they are able to cumulatively prevent that outcome because there’s no single point of failure. During the pandemic, health care workers and public health officials have been using the Swiss cheese model to visualize how various measures can work together to help keep people safe.
Virologist Dr. Ian Mackay has visualized the Swiss cheese Covid-19 defense in a wonderful way (pictured above). Each layer of cheese represents a personal or shared intervention — like mask wearing, limiting your time indoors w/ crowds, proper ventilation, quarantine, vaccines — and the holes are imperfections. Applied together, these imperfect measures work like a filter and can vastly improve chances of success.1 He even added a “misinformation mouse” chewing through one of the cheese slices to represent how deceptive information can weaken these defenses.
Oh god, I needed this video in my life this morning. Watch as Uncle Roger (a character created by comedian Nigel Ng) hilariously critiques a BBC Food video about how to cook fried rice. Spoiler alert: the cook drains the rice in a colander and then rinses it with water. Oh, and no MSG.
If you sad in life, use MSG. If you happy in life, use MSG. Put MSG in everything, it’ll turn it better. You just get a baby? Put MSG on baby, it’ll be better baby, smarter.
My friends John J. King and Ramona Rose King have spent their quarantine creating a new weekly web series called Home Office. Riffing on the confessional style of the original Office, each 5-ish-minute episode details the trials and tribulations of a newly married couple trying to learn how to turn their tiny apartment into a shared office space (While John and Ramona are both playing caricatures of themselves, I personally feel it’s a little too-close to my own life). Even the Boston Globe has celebrated its delightfulness.
In the episode above, the Kings tackle the very important topic of workplace diversity. Maybe their experience can help you bring some new perspectives to your own home office.
Journalist and novelist Sally Quinn’s bestselling 1991 novel of romance and intrigue, Happy Endings, is about fictional presidential widow Sadie Grey who falls for a sexy medical researcher working for the National Institutes of Health on a new AIDS treatment. Yes, the alluring government scientist with the “low, melodious, sexy, almost hypnotic” voice, as Quinn described the character, is none other than Dr. Anthony Fauci. From Benjamin Wofford’s article in Washingtonian:
Part searing romance, part roman à clef, “Happy Endings” made the bestseller list during a year when HIV-related deaths were then the highest ever recorded in the United States. By then, Fauci was the government scientist best known for combatting the virus’s spread as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
It was around this time that Quinn first encountered the real-life Fauci, at a Washington function where the two were paired as dinner partners. With his tie askew and from behind enormous glasses, Fauci left an impression of earnest brilliance, enough to inspire the main character of Quinn’s upcoming novel.
“I just fell in love with him,” Quinn told me recently, recalling their evening together. “Usually those dinners, you make polite conversation, and that’s it. But we had this intense conversation, personal conversation. I though, ‘Wow, this guy is amazing.’”
“He was so different from most Washington people, because he’s so self-effacing. He’s not in it for the glory or the name recognition,” Quinn recalled. She decided to have Grey “fall in love with this doctor who does this amazing work, and doesn’t get a lot of publicity.”
We are about to take you on an audio odyssey unlike any other. It’s kind of like ASMR for people who find the sounds of squealing pigs, angry squirrels and raging dinosaurs soothing. And it’s all from the mouth of Dee Bradley Baker, one of Hollywood’s top voice actors. Baker specializes in creatures and animals, and you know his voice. You’ve heard him as Perry the Platypus on “Phineas and Ferb,” Klaus the Fish on “American Dad” and Daffy Duck in “Space Jam.” A vocal genius, Baker invites us into his recording studio, where he improvises a series of sounds.
I’m not usually a fan of furniture that converts from one thing into another, because it’s usually better to just use the two different things you need rather than have to deal with one crappy transformer. But this wall shelf that converts into a desk looks pretty good!