Blocked from TV appearances, Dr. Fauci answers questions live on Facebook

In the early months of the pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, regularly appeared in White House coronavirus briefings and served as a spokesperson for the federal government response in news interviews. The past month or so, however, he's been conspicuously absent from television—an absence that appears to be a deliberate choice on the part of the White House, who has limited the approval of TV appearances for Dr. Fauci.

Dr. Fauci has a theory as to why that's happened. "I have a reputation, as you probably have figured out, of speaking the truth at all times and not sugar-coating things," he told the Financial Times last week. "And that may be one of the reasons why I haven't been on television very much lately." One might think that an administration that claims to pride itself on "telling it like it is" would appreciate such truth-telling, but apparently not so much.

In the middle of a pandemic, we need Dr. Fauci's voice and expertise more than ever. Thankfully, he spent 45 minutes talking with Mark Zuckerberg live on Facebook to answer questions and share his thoughts on what the experts have learned about virus transmission, the effectiveness and safety of masks, considerations for school reopenings, racial disparities among COVID-19 victims, and more.

Watch the interview here:

Thank you, Dr. Fauci, for clearly articulating what we know at any given time, explaining what has changed in what we know, reminding us that the nature of a novel pandemic is that information is constantly evolving, and encouraging us to remain flexible and humble enough to change the way we think as we get new information.

Albert Einstein

One of the strangest things about being human is that people of lesser intelligence tend to overestimate how smart they are and people who are highly intelligent tend to underestimate how smart they are.

This is called the Dunning-Kruger effect and it’s proven every time you log onto Facebook and see someone from high school who thinks they know more about vaccines than a doctor.

The interesting thing is that even though people are poor judges of their own smarts, we’ve evolved to be pretty good at judging the intelligence of others.

“Such findings imply that, in order to be adaptive, first impressions of personality or social characteristics should be accurate,” a study published in the journal Intelligence says. “There is accumulating evidence that this is indeed the case—at least to some extent—for traits such as intelligence extraversion, conscientiousness, openness, and narcissism, and even for characteristics such as sexual orientation, political ideology, or antigay prejudice.”

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'Merry Christmas' on YouTube.

The world must have been—mostly—good this year. Because Elton John and Ed Sheeran have teamed up to gift us all with a brand new Christmas single.

The song, aptly named “Merry Christmas,” is a perfect blend of silly and sweet that’s cheery, bright and just a touch bizarre.

Created with the holiday spirit in every way, it has whimsical snowball fights, snow angels (basically all the snow things), festive sweaters, iconic throwbacks and twinkling lights galore. Plus all profits from the tune are dedicated to two charities: the Ed Sheeran Suffolk Music Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

I personally don’t know which is more of a highlight: Ed Sheeran channeling his inner-Mariah, performing a faux sexy dance in a leg revealing Santa outfit, or him flying through the air with a giant Frosty the Snowman … who seems to be sporting glasses similar to Elton’s. Are we meant to believe that Elton is the Snowman? This music video even has mystery.
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