This afternoon.

The Department of the Taoiseach, Merrion Street, Dublin 2.

Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD provided an update on the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme, and announced details of the taxation of amounts received by employees under the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme and Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

Meanwhile

Anyone?

PUP/TWSS recipients to discover tax liabilities in January – Revenue (RTÉ)

Sam Boal/RollingNews

Taoiseach Michael Martin this morning announcing 100 new jobs at Workvivo software company  in Cork

This afternoon.

Exham House, The Fingerpost, Cork.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) ‘may advise’ Government on localised restrictions in cities such as Cork, Waterford, Limerick and Galway, where the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise.

Via RTÉ:

Speaking this afternoon in Cork, Micheál Martin said NPHET is “very concerned” about the spread of the virus in these cities.

He said he had been told by the Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn that the number of cases in Cork was “rising in a straight line“.

He said he was flagging with people now that these cities are danger areas, and steps need to be taken to control the spread of the virus there.

Mr Martin said curbing the spread of the virus remained in people’s own hands….

Micheál Martin said NPHET is “very concerned” about the spread of the virus in some cities (RTÉ)

Pic via Taoiseach

Behold: five hemispheric views of the icy Saturnian moon Endceladus (the sixth largest of 82) captured by the Cassini spacecraft. To wit:

In false colour, the five panels present 13 years of infrared image data from Cassini’s Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer and Imaging Science Subsystem. Fresh ice is coloured red, and the most dramatic features look like long gashes in the 500 kilometre diameter moon’s south polar region. They correspond to the location of tiger stripes, surface fractures that likely connect to an ocean beneath the Enceladus ice shell. The fractures are the source of the moon’s icy plumes that continuously spew into space. The plumes were discovered by by Cassini in 2005. Now, reddish hues in the northern half of the leading hemisphere view also indicate a recent resurfacing of other regions of the geologically active moon, a world that may hold conditions suitable for life.

(Image: VIMS Team, SSI, U. Arizona, U. Nantes, CNRS, ESA, NASA)

apod

JAPE – We Threw A Dead Thing Overboard

The lord of the ring.

Jape aka Richie Egan commissioned eight different filmmakers to create a video for each song on his Sentinel album. The final promo (above) was shot by Gar O’Rourke and tells the tale of a young boxer with the eye of the tiger.

Nick says: It’s a knock-out.

Jape

Anyone?

This morning’s The Guardian

Luke Brennan writes:

If you click on the headline above that says “US scientists believe virus is mutating, becoming more contagious“….

…you click through to a page with the subhead that states “Experts believe virus is probably more contagious“…

Then in the article body it states:

“The study did not find that mutations of the virus have made it more lethal or changed its effects, even as it may be becoming easier to catch”…

The article it links through to on The Washington Post is a good one, giving an intelligent balanced perspective on the immunologist perspective on the evolution of the virus.

The lowdown is this, viruses always mutate, the first half of the Guardian headline “US scientists believe virus is mutating” is like saying “US scientists believe rain is falling”. It is a characteristic part of its being.

It saddens me, as someone who studied science, to see this sort of headline. At the heart of science is a search for truth and the honest appraisal of relationships between things to help us learn and progress.

The Washington Port article is an excellent example of this. It starts with a simple premise, there are two strains of the virus that were prevalent in a test study, a “D” and a “G” version.They found that the virus was 71% G in the first wave, 99.9% G in the second wave. So G is more prevalent. The study states simply that.

Then there are interpretations of this data, by two scientists…

… one David Morens, had this (above) to say.

The article is then balanced by another perspective, that of Kristian Andersen (above):

You can see here that no-one is looking for a “Gotcha” moment here, the facts of the study is detailed, views are expressed, accepting that there are multiple interpretations. The article finishes up by a lament that more studies of these types are not carried out, that more data is available.

The key point of the article is this, if a record is kept of the sequencing, we can anticipate what the virus will do next. As Musser said in the last quote in the article “I think it is shameful that we are not doing that“.

Does that study, and the interpretation of it in the WP deserve to be summed up with a B – movie plotline? “US scientists believe virus is mutating, becoming more contagious”.

I’m sure it gets the clicks, but the first part is self-evident and connecting it to the second is to live on very thin moral gravy.

Previously: Luke Brennan on Broadsheet

Ah here.

This morning.

Meanwhile…

Orla writes:

Too busy to appear before the Oireachtas Special Covid-19 Committe. Not too busy to peddle more bouncy castle bullpoo on Newstalk

Previously: What They Don’t Teach You At Harvard Business School

Rollingnews