Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

The Prince of Providence

The Prince of Providence was Vincent “Buddy” Cianci. Cianci grew up in Rhode Island. His father was a physician (a proctologist), so he grew up in privilege. He went to the right schools, although being of Italian descent, he came in for some ridicule in this ethnically Balkanized community. He got a law degree from […]

Whatever happened to MOOCs?

10-15 years ago, Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) were a higher education fad. Universities could dispense with physical (lecture halls, heating, cooling, cleaning, security) and administrative (room scheduling) costs and just teach students online. During this period, I was associate dean for research and the Dean of our medical school brought up the suggestion that […]

How do you solve a problem like George Santos?

Can he be recalled? NoCan he be charged with a crime for lying about his bio? NoCan the House of Representatives refuse to seat him? No However: He can face criminal and civil fraud charges for lying on documents submitted to government entities and investors.He could be extradited to Brazil to face criminal charges there.He […]

Saving Ryan

I just finished reading “Saving Ryan” by Emil Kakkis. Kakkis is a physician who pioneered enzyme replacement therapy for Mucopolysaccharidosis I (MPS I), a progressive and fatal disease. The story is about the patients and their families who struggle with the disease and Emil’s struggle to deliver life-enhancing therapy against terribly long odds. The Ryan […]

Not One Inch

Just finished “Not One Inch: America, Russia, and the making of a postwar stalemate” by Mary Sarotte. The book was recommended to me by Bruce Cochrane. It is an excellent insight into current events in Ukraine today. The title comes from the assurance given by then-Secretary of State James Baker to Mikhail Gorbachev that German […]

From the frontiers of viral immunology

Ever since the COVID mRNA vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer) proved themselves, I became convinced they are the future of viral vaccines. Looks like a polyvalent flu vaccine is in the works that may obviate annual strain-specific vaccines. “In this work, we developed a nucleoside-modified messenger RNA (mRNA)–lipid nanoparticle vaccine encoding hemagglutinin antigens from all 20 […]

Africa, a biography

Just finished “Africa, A Biography of a Continent”” by John Reader. I don’t recall how this book came into my possession. It may have been on my mom’s bookshelf when we stopped by after they moved to take whatever we wanted. Whatever its provenance, I had only read a little African history: “King Leopold’s Ghost” […]