The popular game has a backstory rife with segregation, inequality, intellectual theft, and outlandish political theories.
- The streets on a classic Monopoly board were lifted from Atlantic City.
- Here's what it looks like if we transport those places back onto a map.
- Monopoly started out as its opposite: a game explaining the evil of monopolies.
Millions of doses of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine could be distributed as early as this week.
- The FDA and CDC recently authorized the distribution of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine.
- It will soon be the third vaccine available in the U.S., the other two being vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
- The new vaccine has a lower efficacy rate, but clinical data suggest its highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death.
Credit: Mediteraneo via Adobe Stock<p>What makes Johnson & Johnson's vaccine unique is that it's effective after just one dose, while the vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna require two doses administered over several weeks.</p><p>And unlike the other two vaccines, Johnson & Johnson's vaccine doesn't need to be frozen during shipping and storage, it just needs to be refrigerated. That's because the vaccine protects against COVID-19 by delivering coronavirus proteins to the body through a common cold virus known as adenovirus type 26. In contrast, the other two vaccines perform a similar function, but they do it through mRNA, which is more delicate and requires freezing.</p><p>Not having to freeze the single-shot vaccine will make it cheaper and easier to distribute across the country, and it could result in many more people getting vaccinated.</p><p>But it's worth noting that Johnson & Johnson's vaccine doesn't seem to be as effective as the other two vaccines. According to the FDA analysis, the vaccine is about 66 percent effective at preventing moderate to severe cases of COVID-19, "when considering cases occurring at least 28 days after vaccination." Meanwhile, clinical data show that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are about 95 percent effective at preventing severe cases of the disease.</p>
Credit: peterschreiber.media via Adobe Stock<p>Still, that doesn't necessarily mean Johnson & Johnson's vaccine is inferior. The FDA analysis found that nobody who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was hospitalized or died due to COVID-19 (at least among cases that occurred 28 days after getting the shot).</p><p>So, while some people who receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may still contract coronavirus, the vaccine does seem to significantly reduce the severity of COVID-19. The same holds true for the other two vaccines: Getting the shot (or shots) won't completely protect you from the virus, but it does protect you from the disease, reducing the chances of becoming hospitalized or dying to almost zero.</p>
COVID-19 vaccines and transmission<p>But what's less clear is the extent to which the vaccines prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Because the vaccines don't completely protect against infection, it might be possible for a vaccinated person to spread the virus. But COVID-19 vaccines might make transmission less likely.</p><p>After all, even if a person who gets vaccinated contracts the coronavirus, the virus would have a harder time replicating in their body, because the vaccine bolsters the immune response. So, one would expect that person to "shed" less of the virus out of their mouth and nose. In short: fewer infections means less replication, less shedding, and less transmission. </p><p>That's the theory, anyway.</p><p><span></span>Scientists are still working to understand how exactly these vaccines affect transmission. But early data is promising. In a <a href="https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.02.06.21251283v1.full-text" target="_blank">preprint paper published on medRxiv</a>, Israeli researchers measured the amount of coronavirus within about 2,900 people who had received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Analyzing positive SARS-CoV-2 test results following inoculation with the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine [the Pfizer vaccine], we find that the viral load is reduced four-fold for infections occurring 12-28 days after the first dose of vaccine," the paper said. "These reduced viral loads hint to lower infectiousness, further contributing to vaccine impact on virus spread."</p><p>But until the data on vaccines and transmission become clear, the CDC recommends that vaccinated people still wear masks and practice social distancing.<br><br><strong>UPDATE:</strong> The CDC voted on Sunday to recommend the vaccine for the United States. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on the recommendation.</p>
Surprising as it may seem, we are all very good at denial. Negation, however, is a different phenomena.
- What makes a person espouse an ideology so intensely as to negate the reality of well-established facts? Perhaps the differences between negation and denial can help us understand.
- Negation looks to the past, while denial looks to the present and future. We negate a historical fact and we deny the reality in front of us. Negation involves a conscious choice to lie, even if it involves the suffering of millions. Denial is subtler and, surprisingly, we all do it.
- Climate change conflates both negation and denial. Hopefully, understanding why will spur more into action, as we choose to become heroes of a new anti-denialist narrative.
Trump supporters lined the street on President's Day to show support for him after his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden.
Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images<p>We can thus begin to see why so many people in the US have chosen to deny the reality of the Biden-Harris election, or that masks and social distancing are essential tools to beat the pandemic. When ex-president Trump claimed that there was a plot to steal the election from him, he positioned himself as the hero-martyr, the victim of a destructive plot that was after him and, by proxy, also after everyone who supported him. He used the old trick of galvanizing a visceral group response by creating a fake reality that bundles people together in a single cause: he made his followers into heroes fighting for freedom. The no-mask using is a clear illustration of how far this identification of "fighting for freedom" can go, even to the denial of the obvious danger of dying from COVID. This shows that our symbolic allegiance is more powerful than the physical. No wonder so many people are ready to "die for a cause," often with tragic consequences.</p><p>Deniers find force in their cohort, energizing each other and relying on group dynamics to find companionship and strength. Tragically, by forcing our physical separation in lockdowns, the pandemic worked as a catalyst to the deniers, their perceived "loss of freedom" bringing them closer together to the point of making them all believe in the heroic dream of a power takeover. The attack on the Capitol on January 6th is the epitome of denialism in modern America, from both sides of the aisle: the perpetrators who marched and pillaged and those who failed to read the obvious signs of mounting danger, denying the reality in front of them.</p>
Science denial — or is it science negation? A protest banner set up in front of the Republican National Convention Headquarters on August 24, 2020, in Washington, DC.
Legendary cartoonist John Groth's pictorial map captures LA's film factories in their Golden Age.
- Maps are the safest way to travel during the pandemic - old maps even allow for time travel.
- This 1930s view of Hollywood captures the film factories of Los Angeles in their Golden Age.
- But it's not all glitz and glamour: look to the margins for the hard work done by immigrants.
Maps as time machines<img class="rm-lazyloadable-image rm-shortcode" type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTY3MzA4NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MjgzNTAwMX0.et69OqWRgfcPBUgk89xFnCc6xqYaMZPU2em2PXqoK10/img.jpg?width=980" id="c2a50" width="441" height="594" data-rm-shortcode-id="da5a29d8901a8dc232efe9b4d5c1d609" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Portrait of dancer and actress Ginger Rogers on horseback, Hollywood, CA, December 20th 1937. (Photo by Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)" />
Dancer and actress Ginger Rogers on horseback in Hollywood, 1937. Perhaps her galloping around town is why there are so many horses on this map.
Credit: Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images<p>If maps allow our imagination to travel without care or trouble, then maps of the past do one better: they are time machines into a different era. And pictorial maps, which offer the perspective and subjective detail that mere road maps or city plans don't, add a bit of couleur locale as extra seasoning. Like this one, of Hollywood in its Golden Age.</p><p><span></span>The humming of 1930s Hollywood street life almost bursts off the page – this is the age of the talkies, after all.</p><p>A vignette straddling Beverly and Vine sets the scene: <em>A slightly cockeyed map of that slightly cockeyed community, Hollywood, executed by that slightly cockeyed topographer ... John Groth.</em><br></p>
Brilliant career<img class="rm-lazyloadable-image rm-shortcode" type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTY3MzA5MS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0OTQzNzg5MX0.Np7qZiUU32AnsFaXKzIUp6pO9OB5JzeBAH67t1bTFHg/img.jpg?width=980" id="8b41f" width="1600" height="1143" data-rm-shortcode-id="3bec885ad6e5717c394d2cb550370d16" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
A 'cockeyed' view of Golden-Age Hollywood.
Credit: Public domain, via David Rumsey Map Collection.<p>Chicago native Groth (1908-1988) was a cartoonist who became art director of Esquire in his twenties. He would go on to have a brilliant career as a war artist for the Chicago Sun. In 1944, he rode the first Allied jeep into newly liberated Paris. If he'd be any closer to the front, "he would have had to have sat in the Kraut's lap," joked Ernest Hemingway.</p><p>After WWII, he reported from Korea, the Belgian Congo, and Vietnam, among other places. But back in 1937, when he produced this map of Hollywood for Stage magazine, that was all still in the future.<br></p>
Familiar names<img class="rm-lazyloadable-image rm-shortcode" type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTY3MzEyMy9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY3Nzc5NTMxMn0.FuCZ5Njo7rg9_PjBhfexyvI1xaKq6_UtH4k95VdF4Xk/img.png?width=980" id="6ea31" width="1773" height="1222" data-rm-shortcode-id="df755d4442a95f350b0c49d84f9a103b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Credit: Public domain, via David Rumsey Map Collection.<p>The 1930s was a time when Hollywood was dominated by the old studio system. Old? That's relative. To be fair, many of their names still sound familiar today. </p><ul><li>There's<strong> 20th Century Fox</strong>, on Pico Boulevard, right next to the West Side Tennis Club.</li><li>Just to the south is <strong>MGM</strong>, near Venice Boulevard. In between: a fair bit of golfing. And, inexplicably, a Bedouin leading a camel down the boulevard.</li><li><strong>Paramount</strong> can be found on the corner of Western Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard. Right next door are <strong>RKO</strong> and <strong>NBC</strong>. And right across Santa Monica Boulevard is <strong>Columbia</strong>.</li><li>Further down Santa Monica, there's <strong>United Artists,</strong> a more elaborate operation than <strong>Chaplin Studio</strong>, right across the street.</li><li>To the north, on the other side of the Beverly Hills, there's the gigantic <strong>Universal Studios</strong> on Cahuenga Boulevard. It's big enough to contain an entire village – and attract a herd of elephants, coming down the Santa Monica Mountains.</li><li><strong>Warner Brothers</strong> is also on the other side of the mountains – Mount Hollywood, as it so happens; no mention of the HOLLYWOODLAND sign (the LAND was dropped in 1949). It's also gigantic: they're filming a sea battle in the back lot. Astride the roof is a Warner Brothers 'g-man': a reference to movie detectives, or to the studio's real-life enforcers?</li></ul>
Fine dining<img class="rm-lazyloadable-image rm-shortcode" type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTY3MzEyOS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY3MzUzNTg4OX0.RC4THQq5cwZ6x-qjseMulxyaYyI6SThSns94tVfFhu8/img.png?width=980" id="a6f95" width="1975" height="1225" data-rm-shortcode-id="d69cd8f95e64936c748a1fc2a3649897" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Fine dining options available, but perhaps not if you're a Mexican immigrant.
Credit: Public domain, via David Rumsey Map Collection.<p>If you liked fine dining, there were worse places to be than Golden-Age Hollywood. </p><ul><li>Halfway between 20th Century Fox and United Artists, there's the chefs of the <strong>Victor Hugo</strong> and the <strong>Beverly Wilshire</strong>, competing for your attention.</li><li>In the 1930s, <strong>Lamaze</strong> was a fancy Hollywood restaurant, not a child-birthing technique; right next door were the Trocadero and the Clover Club – all pretty close to the Hollywood Bowl. By the look on his face, the chef at the Lamaze may be going over to the Clover when his shift is over.</li><li>Other restaurants of note: <strong>Perinos</strong>, at Wilshire and Western; <strong>Levy's</strong>, at Santa Monica and Vine; and <strong>Lucey's</strong>, on Melrose. </li><li>Sprinkled across town were <strong>Brown Derby</strong> restaurants. Named after the first of the chain, which opened on Wilshire Boulevard in 1926 and was shaped like a semicircular derby hat, the restaurants were a fixture of Golden-Age Hollywood.</li></ul>
Leisure and entertainment<img class="rm-lazyloadable-image rm-shortcode" type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTY3MzEzNS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMzYwNTY1M30.KH2RHgi6t0mt0htdruurQRo8K-vb3GW-MBs82dUIamI/img.png?width=980" id="02cda" width="1813" height="1258" data-rm-shortcode-id="db132d8d7feeedb19fba3c2efed84a39" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Warner Brothers is organising a sea battle in the back lot.
Credit: Public domain, via David Rumsey Map Collection.<p>Even outside the glamour of the studios and the high life of fine dining, Hollywood is portrayed as a city of leisure and entertainment.</p><ul><li>People in bathing suits are diving into the Pacific along the coast-hugging Speedway, from <strong>Malibu</strong> via the <strong>Bel Air Beach Club</strong> and <strong>Santa Monica</strong> all the way down to <strong>Santa Catalina</strong> island. </li><li>Masses of <strong>cyclists</strong>–yes, cyclists–are cruising down the city's boulevards and avenues. Could Thirties LA have been a cycling paradise?</li><li>But then what's with all the <strong>horses</strong>, not just polo-playing outside of town, but also racing through the center – their riders showing off with their hats in one hand? Surely, this can't have been a common sight.</li><li><strong>Buses</strong> overflowing with tourists are driving around town, perhaps already then being shown the homes of the stars.</li><li>Perhaps a star has been spotted near the <strong>Carthay</strong>; that would explain the rush of onlookers.</li></ul>
Marginal figures<img class="rm-lazyloadable-image rm-shortcode" type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTY3MzE0OS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNjM1MDI4NH0.vjnbRZmBt2Kw0Xecq_xsIhgWL9RGFjXm2YN1QW9Cvhs/img.png?width=980" id="99062" width="1851" height="1215" data-rm-shortcode-id="6d2736ca34c8aec7f0bbf04104087ae5" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Chinese laborers digging away behind the back of a movie director.
Credit: Public domain, via David Rumsey Map Collection.<p>In the northeast corner, the <strong>Santa Anita racetrack</strong> is giving punters a run for their money – literally. Closer by, <strong>Mickey Mouse </strong>waves to passers-by from his home on Riverside Drive, not far from a well spouting oil. Huge crowds gather at the <strong>American Legion stadium</strong> in the center. Elegant ladies and gentlemen striding around town complete the picture of a city as elegant and attractive as any in the world.</p><p>Yet Groth wouldn't be a perceptive–or 'cockeyed'–observer if he didn't also look beyond the glamour. Check the bottom right for a Native American couple and their child making their way into Hollywood, looking for opportunity. Two streets down, a Mexican immigrant is doing the same, his donkey laden with wares he will be hoping to sell. And on the corner of La Brea and Venice, Chinese laborers are moving earth right behind the back of a movie director, seated in the classic folding chair, loudspeaker in hand.</p><p>All these figures are placed near the edge of the map, a textbook demonstration of what it means to be 'marginal'. <br></p><p><em><br></em></p><p><em>Map in the public domain; found </em><a href="https://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/s/0tq57m" target="_blank">here</a><em> at the </em><a href="https://www.davidrumsey.com" target="_blank">David Rumsey Map Collection</a><em>.</em> </p><p><strong>Strange Maps #1070</strong></p><p><strong></strong><em>Got a strange map? Let me know at </em><a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>.<br></p>
The opening lines of Smartmatic's $2.7 billion lawsuit against Fox News lay bare the culture of denial in the US.
- Smartmatic, an election technology company, has filed a $2.7-billion-dollar defamation suit against Fox News for making false claims about its voting machines during Fox's dishonest campaign against the 2020 US presidential election results.
- The lawsuit opens with three powerful statements of fact: A scientific truth, a mathematical proof, and an objective political fact: More people voted for Joe Biden than for Donald Trump.
- We owe the Smartmatic lawyers a debt of gratitude for so cleanly demonstrating what this ongoing election battle is all about. What is at stake is not a political ideology. It's a fight to acknowledge the shared reality we all live in.
Voting is a democratic mechanism that helps us "get along." Here, former vice president Mike Pence and house speaker Nancy Pelosi preside over a joint session of Congress to certify the 2020 electoral college results.
Credit: Erin Schaff / POOL / AFP via Getty Images<p>This "how to get along" question is an old, old problem for humans, and we have tried many approaches including kings, dictators, and tyrants. Voting was a pretty radical idea when it was first tried out in ancient Greece. But by the time it was proposed in places like the nascent United States, it had taken on an entirely new character. Proposals for democracy in the 18th century emerged from the constellation of ideas we now call the Enlightenment. More than anything else, Enlightenment-era thinkers believed they had found a path toward a better world. It was a path laid down by reason and by science.</p> <p>For <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/feb/11/reason-is-non-negotioable-steven-pinker-enlightenment-now-extract" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Enlightenment</a> thinkers, "knowledge, innovation, freedom, and social advancement go together," <a href="https://www.foreignaffairs.com/reviews/capsule-review/2010-03-01/science-liberty-democracy-reason-and-laws-nature" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">writes Timothy Ferris</a> Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin saw their new nation as an "experiment" in self-rule. John Adams thought that the data gained from the experiment could be combined with reason to produce a <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/42294-the-science-of-government-it-is-my-duty-to-study" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">"science of government."</a> Science as both metaphor and reality were so important to the framers of the US Constitution that they put the patent system into the document's very first <a href="https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/intellectual_property_clause" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">article</a>. </p> <p>The framers of American democracy wanted a political system that would reflect the order and transparency they found in the natural world through science. And in science, such order and transparency occur because there are clear mechanisms for establishing facts. Even more important there are, indeed, facts to be found. There is a shared reality we all inhabit regardless of religion or disposition or party affiliation. In this way, the number of votes cast in an election is an objective fact. By establishing the system for self-governance and agreeing to its rules, a tally of votes cast for a candidate is a reality of our shared civic space. </p> <p>What denial, in all its modern forms, wants is to destroy that civic space. It hopes to break the agreement about shared reality. But, in doing so, it also destroys the capacity for science, our most powerful tool for understanding the world.</p>
American teacher John Thomas Scopes (second from left) standing in the courtroom during his trial for teaching Darwin's Theory of Evolution in his high school science class. Dayton, Tennessee, 1925.
Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images<p>I've been writing about science denial for <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/22/opinion/welcome-to-the-age-of-denial.html" target="_blank">some time now</a>. It began a century ago in arguments over evolution. After <a href="https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/monkey-trial-begins" target="_blank">the famous</a> <a href="https://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2011/07/13/137792164/inheriting-the-wind-film-science-and-religion" target="_blank">Scopes Monkey trial</a>, it seemed that battle was over. It was climate change, however, that mainstreamed denial in the modern era. Through <a href="https://www.merchantsofdoubt.org/" target="_blank">climate denial</a> we first began to see people in positions of power make blatantly false claims about the shared reality revealed by science. It was, more than anything, a rejection of the possibility of knowing anything, of having <a href="http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-19-046941-2" target="_blank">expertise</a>. Then, over the last five years, denial exploded beyond claims of science to touch all domains of public life including the most basic facts about the world (i.e., which inauguration was attended by more people). The "Big Lie" about the 2020 elections was the most egregious attempt to deny that there are shared facts about a shared world.</p> <p>By explicitly linking facts about the physical, mathematical, and civic worlds, the Smartmatic suit explicitly rejects that denial. While it's impossible to know what will happen to their legal case, we owe the Smartmatic lawyers a debt of gratitude for so cleanly demonstrating what this ongoing battle is all about. What is at stake is not a political ideology. It's not about Democrats or Republicans. Instead, what lies before us is an effort to reestablish the core beliefs that underpin the continuing global experiment in democracy and science.</p>There <em>is</em> a world we share, and we <em>can</em> know something about it. We can agree on what we know and, most importantly, we can use that knowledge to make things better for everyone.