Notes for the week of July 12, 2021

Chrome extension for Excalidraw

Luke Murray is making a chrome extension that lets you draw on any page using Excalidraw. It will persist your changes locally.

In AI news, GitHub Copilot made a big, and controversial, splash in recent days. Here is a collection of interesting initial links about it:

ArchiveBox: save the internet for your own information

ArchiveBox is a self-hosted open source tool (can even be run from the command line or desktop) which will download pages that you’re interested in saving into a format of your choice. Links go away often, so this seems like a potentially useful tool.

The latest on masks

COVID-19 is not gone and the delta variant is striking people who are vaccinated, albeit with little in the way of hospitalization or death. Trisha Greenhalgh has written a massive Twitter thread about the problems with finding evidence for mask efficacy and how to wear masks to protect yourself. Double masking (cloth mask over surgical mask) and knotting the ear loops of a surgical mask help.

On the term “breakthrough”

Katherine J. Wu writes in the Atlantic about how the term breakthrough infection is leading to a bit of confusion around how well the COVID-19 vaccines work. She suggestions that specifying “symptomatic” and “asymptomatic” is helpful in clarifying that many vaccinated people may become infected with SARS-CoV-2 but never contract the symptomatic illness.

Detroit-style pizza

A Recipes entry found via Robin Sloan on Twitter: Detroit-style pizza, but Robin’s twist was baking muffin-sized pizzas for 12 minutes at 500º.

Reality Check recap of the Big Lie

Politics: CNN’s John Avlon has a concise recap of the evidence that there was no significant voter fraud in the 2020 election, a lie that Trump persists with today.

ProjectiFi: financial independence planning

ProjectiFi is a nice looking tool that lets you do financial independence planning, starting off for free without even logging in. $40/year lets you save your data and gain access to other features.

Vaccine efficacy in England, Scotland, and Canada still look good

Monica Gandhi notes on Twitter that Pfizer and AZ vaccines provide good efficacy against COVID-19 disease in England, Scotland, and Singapore with more data than the Israeli data that came up previously.

Study on long COVID effects

“The most frequent symptoms after month 6 were fatigue, post-exertional malaise, and cognitive dysfunction … 85.9% of participants experienced relapses, primarily triggered by exercise, physical or mental activity, and stress”


Government has policed truthfulness of medical claims since 1906.

David Frum has a Politics twitter thread about how the government has required medical claims to be truthful since 1906, amidst a bruhaha over the Biden administration wanting to take steps to make sure people aren’t spreading misinformation about the life-saving vaccines.

Food waste due to labeling in the US

Alissa Wilkinson writes in Vox that “expired food” is very often still edible, due to the way food labeling is done in the US, leading to a lot of food waste. Legislation can help, but it’s going to be hard to get the right sort of legislation.