Thursday 22 September 2022

emc/2012 (10. 156)

On this day a decade ago, public health authorities in the United Kingdom alerted the WHO about a novel coronavirus discovered in Saudi Arabia. Known either by its Erasmus Medical Centre designation above or more broadly as Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV), it was a strain of virus infecting bats, camels and humans, it first presented as isolated outbreaks of flu-like illnesses before being recorded in Europe, North America and Asia by 2015, despite low person-to-person transmission rates. The virus is still endemic and is a potential source for a future pandemic, should it mutate into a variant more compatible with human anatomy and social-structures, and diagnostic and preventative strategies continue to be explored for this species.

Friday 15 July 2022

psy and the family stone

Released on this day in 2012 as the lead single off South Korea rapper eponymous sixth studio album, “Gangnam Style” (๊ฐ•๋‚จ์Šคํƒ€์ผ, previously) refers to the class and sophistication associated with the posh district of the city of Seoul—flag pictured. The K-Pop song and video started going viral by the following month, charting in more than thirty countries and the most “liked” video on the internet, reaching a billion views by year’s end. Holding the title of most viewed Youtube clip, it was overtaken in July 2017 by Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again.” The refrain “Oppan Gangnam style” (in a lyrical eggcorn admission, I always heard it as Rope ’Em) means Big Brother is tragically hip, insinuating that the genuinely fashionable would never need to proclaim it and is poking fun at posers. During the worst days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the song was temporarily restricted from being play in a gymnasium setting due to its beats per minute exceeding the one-twenty BPM ceiling health authorities introduced to discourage people from becoming too energzed by the music and breath and more intensely. Once it surpassed two billion one hundred forty seven million four hundred eighty three thousand six hundred forty-seven (231-1, a Mersenne prime number whereas Mn = 2n-1) views, Youtube realised it needed to upgrade to sixty-four bit integers to store those counts.