URLs du Jour


  • Slashdot has the important news: Harrison Ford Will Return in a Fifth 'Indiana Jones' Movie.


    Harrison Ford will be grabbing his whip and ramming on his hat for a fifth "Indiana Jones" movie, Disney has confirmed -- a mere 41 years after the first installment, "Raiders of the Lost Ark," was released. Disney said in a tweet on Friday that the movie would be produced by its production arm Lucasfilm and released in July 2022, and that "Indy himself, Harrison Ford, will be back to continue his iconic character's journey." The entertainment giant also confirmed the news in an investor presentation, saying the movie was currently in "pre-production." There had been mounting speculation that a new movie was in the works. In February, Ford told Ellen DeGeneres in an appearance on her talk show that production on a new Indiana Jones movie would begin this year. "It's going to be fun. I am excited," he said on the show. "They're great fun to make." The last film from the franchise was 2008's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," which came almost 20 years after the third movie, "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," which was released in 1989.

    I hope they get Karen Allen back too.

  • Jonah Goldberg is pretty irked at The Galling Hypocrisy of Texas AG Ken Paxton.

    The attorney general of Texas, Ken Paxton, is suing Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Georgia for “unlawful” changes to their election laws in advance of the 2020 presidential election. Paxton didn’t choose these four states at random, though if you didn’t know they’re the four battleground states that delivered Joe Biden his Electoral College victory, you might think he had. Plenty of states changed their procedures to make voting in a pandemic safer and easier.

    Paxton wants the Supreme Court to invalidate election results in these four states and have the state legislatures decide who gets their electoral votes, on the assumption they’d hand the presidency to Trump. President Trump has joined the suit because, duh, he wants to stay president by any means.

    Even in this particularly dumb chapter in American history, to say that this lawsuit stands out as a shining example of willful stupidity would be an understatement. I won’t focus on all the legal reasons it is deservedly doomed to fail, because it would be like trying to list all the reasons 2 plus 2 does not equal a horse. Nor will I dwell on the innumerate statistical hogwash it cites as evidence, even though it’s about as impressive as that equine equation.

    Well, don't fret, Jonah. Because:

  • As Eric Boehm reported last night at Reason: The Supreme Court Just Dismissed Trump’s Hail Mary Effort To Overturn the Election.

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a last-ditch legal effort aimed at overturning the results of the presidential election, effectively ending President Donald Trump's final bid to reverse his defeat.

    In a one-page statement, the Supreme Court said the Texas v. Pennsylvania lawsuit lacked standing.

    The case had been brought directly to the court by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who challenged the constitutionality of election laws in four states—Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—on the grounds that those states had changed election procedures without the consent of their respective state legislatures. Paxton asked the Supreme Court to postpone the scheduled December 14 meeting of the Electoral College to allow for more time to investigate possible voter fraud in those states.

    I am not a lawyer, but the folks who claim the Texas lawsuit was garbage seem to be credible. I'm dismayed by the folks usually on my side who think otherwise.

  • James D. Agresti, "guest blogger" at Watts Up With That lists some Essential Facts About Covid-19. Fortunately, the take-home points are right up front:

    • the average death rate for people who contract Covid-19 is well below 1% and is much closer to that of the seasonal flu than figures that were commonly reported by the press.
    • the average years of life lost from each Covid-19 death are significantly fewer than from common causes of untimely death like accidents and suicides.
    • the virus that causes Covid-19 is “very vulnerable to antibody neutralization” and has very limited ability to mutate, which make it unlikely to take masses of lives year after year like the flu and other recurring scourges.
    • if 500,000 Covid-19 deaths ultimately occur in the United States—or more than twice the level of a prominent projection—the disease will rob about 6.8 million years of life from all Americans who were alive at the outset of 2020. In contrast:
      • the flu will rob them of about 35 million years.
      • suicides will rob them of 132 million years.
      • accidents will rob them of 409 million years.

    There's a lot of misinformation out there, but this seems like level-headed stuff. Unfortunately, nothing that will make my wife let me go to the movies.

  • Also with the facts on his side: Alex Tabarrok at Marginal Revolution: The Simple Math of FDA Delay.

    Two to three thousand people a day are dying from COVID. Thus anything that delays rolling out a vaccine has a very high cost in human lives. People want to deny this, perhaps because it is so horrifying. I get a lot of pushback when I say that FDA delay is deadly. Let’s dispense with a few objections. It is true, of course, that the people who are dying today can’t literally be saved by a vaccine today but they could have been saved had they been vaccinated four or five weeks ago and similarly projecting forward.

    Another response that many smart people tell me is that a vaccine can’t be rolled out immediately so even under the best scenarios you couldn’t save that many people immediately. That’s true but irrelevant. Since a lot of people are getting this wrong, I want to show this in a simple model using pictures. Red is for deaths. Green is for life. Suppose two thousand people are dying from COVID a day as in panel 1. Let’s for the sake of the simple model assume that you could deliver a vaccine to everyone on Day 1. You would then save 2000 lives a day going forward for however long the pandemic would have lasted as shown in panel 2. If you delay by one day then two thousand people die who would have lived without the delay, as shown in panel 3. Pretty obvious so far.

    As we used to say back in the day: if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.