February 2021

This newsletter is a collection of things I have found in the last month that I enjoyed, found interesting, or simply wanted to share.

You can follow me more closely at my personal website or if you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell a home, you can point them to my real estate website.


Washington’s Secret to the Perfect Zoom Bookshelf? Buy It Wholesale.

Another force at work, however, was the rise of the well-stocked shelf as a coveted home-office prop. When workplaces went remote and suddenly Zoom allowed co-workers new glimpses into one another’s homes, what New York Times writer Amanda Hess dubbed the “credibility bookcase” became the hot-ticket item. (“For a certain class of people, the home must function not only as a pandemic hunkering nest but also be optimized for presentation to the outside world,” she wrote.) And while Roberts makes an effort not to infer too much about his clients or ask too many questions about their intent, he did notice a very telling micro-trend in orders he was getting from all across the United States.

Grab Your Cauldron

Exploring the Supply Chain of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines

I’ll start with the bad news: Nobody will be making an mRNA vaccine in their garage any time soon.

And from The Washington Post:

Step one is to generate lots of genetic material.

Scientists use a buzz of electricity to create holes in the cellular skin of E. coli bacteria to let a ring of DNA slip in, carrying the blueprint for the coronavirus spike protein. Those cells grow in large stainless steel vats, allowing the bacteria — and the DNA blueprint of the spike protein inside — to multiply over about four days. At the end of the process, scientists kill and break open the cells, using a purification process that takes about a week and a half to strain out a ring of DNA, called a plasmid, that codes for the spike protein.

Le Sigh

Why We Sigh

Research from the University of Oslo found that most people associated sighs with negative emotions like disappointment, defeat, frustration, boredom, and longing. But the primary physical function of a sigh is for the benefit of your lungs. Sighs keep the tiny air sacs in the lungs, the alveoli, from collapsing, and maintain the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, said Silvia Pagliardini, an associate professor in the Department of Physiology at the University of Alberta.

Healthy adults sigh about once every five minutes. If you don’t sigh and re-open the alveoli, you could become hypoxic and die. People died when using the earliest iron lungs because designers didn’t account for sighing, which modern ventilators now do. When mice are genetically engineered to not be able to sigh, they eventually die of major lung problems.

Historically, the sigh was considered to be like a reflex, Pagliardini said. “The lungs collapse, they send some input to the brain, and the brain makes a sigh," she said. In the past few decades, we’ve learned that sighs are programmed by the brain to occur no matter what signalling is coming from the lungs.


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A bit about me: I can be interested in anything, for better or worse. I love photography, travel, golf, and baseball. My latest pursuit is learning the guitar. I write a rad newsletter that I publish monthly.

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