Swine flu threat or fizzle?

There may be a problem with "availability bias", that is, putting too much emphasis on the available information without first considering what information is not available and the significance that information might have. 
 
Most of the cases are in Mexico.  We know how many Mexicans sought treatment.  What we don’t know is how many Mexicans didn’t seek treatment.
 
The cases in the US and Canada have been generally mild, little different from an ordinary flu. 
 
So is the Mexican version different? 
 
Probably not.  It could be that the greater heat, for example, causes more fatalities in combination with fever, or there could be different strains, or some other issue.  In the absence of evidence of some issue like that it may be that the reason most of the US cases are mild is that the infection is generally mild.
 
The critical missing evidence here has to be assessed in some way, such as by taking samples from populations with mild symptoms in Mexico that have not previously been seeking treatment.   If the virus kills 5% of those infected it could cause more deaths than the second world war.  If it kills 100 out of every million infected then it’s just another flu bug and we should go about our business.

Somali pirates- why is there a problem??

The Somali pirates don’t have oil, they don’t have religious sanction even from flakes and they don’t have any other cards dealt to them.  They prosper in the presence of gutlessness. 
 
I’ve heard that the reason that nobody does anything about them is that under international law nothing can be done until they attack, in which case it is too late.  In that case, the international law is an ass and should be ignored.  Changing it should be easy too- if a motion is brought at the UN to take effective measures, is anybody going to oppose it?
 
A directive allowing all small vessels to be boarded for inspection in the appropriate area, and if there are weapons and no lawful business for the inhabitants to be executed on the spot, would deal with the business quickly. 
 
If they adapt to that, have bait ships with navy seals on board.   Have the "seals" sneak in and put location devices on suspect boats so that suspicious movements can be tracked.  Declare war on Somalia and sink each and every boat on the coastline.  Send in raiding parties to rescue hostages, then burn every Somali village within 25 miles of the ocean to the ground and destroy any docking facilities.  There are lots of useful things to be done. 
 
It isn’t a complex situation like with the Palestinians and the Isrealis.  The Somalis are not avenging historical or any grievances at all, they are just a bunch of thieves.   Showing any restraint or following the Geneva or any other conventions in such a situation is a serious mistake.  Negotiating and other encouraging tactics when the other parties are driven by criminal greed rather than differing principles is a mistake.   Negotiations can soften militancy but paying criminals to continue criminal acts ensures a growing problem.   Different situations have to be approached differently.   Why the kid gloves?  The UN or US or some other military needs to kill them all and let god sort them out.  End of problem. 

bugs in plate tectonics vs. earthquake theory

In large earthquakes the earth’s plates move sometimes large distances in a short period.  For example, around 1700 the Juan de Fuca plate moved around 60 feet under the North American plate.  That has been projected to happen every 300-500 years depending on who you read. 
 
Meanwhile, plate tectonics theorists claim that plates move slowly and average around half a centimeter to a centimeter per year.
 
60 feet = 1828.8 centimeters. 
 
The Indonesian quake that did so much damage in 2004 moved a plate around 50 feet laterally, several meters vertically, etc.
 
I have to wonder if the present plate tectonics theory understates the rate at which the world changes by not adequately accounting for large movement events.

partial solution to GM’s problems

I took a brief look at GM’s website and one obvious problem with saleability hit me in a couple of minutes.  I was looking at the colors that Trailblazers come in and all of them were depressing.  That will also be a safety hazard as drab cars are less visible. 
 
Did they lay off the marketing division first? 
 
Who let Edvard Munch run the design department?
 
Could they survive even without an economic depression?