Of the millions of Americans breathing a sigh of relief with the ushering in of a new president, one man has a particularly personal and professional reason to exhale.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has spent a good portion of his long, respected career preparing for a pandemic, and unfortunately, the worst one in 100 years hit under the worst possible administration. As part of Trump's Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Fauci did what he could to advise the president and share information with the public, but it's been clear for months that the job was made infinitely more difficult than it should have been by anti-science forces within the administration.

To his credit, Dr. Fauci remained politically neutral through it all this past year, totally in keeping with his consistently non-partisan, apolitical approach to his job. Even when the president badmouthed him, blocked him from testifying before the House, and kept him away from press briefings, Fauci took the high road, always keeping his commentary focused on the virus and refusing to step into the political fray.

But that doesn't mean working under those conditions wasn't occasionally insulting, frequently embarrassing, and endlessly frustrating.

Keep Reading Show less

Have you ever been part of a group project and had the overwhelming urge to punch one of your partners?

Of course you have. We all have. Even those of us who aren't prone to violence can understand the urge. In fact, we're all engaged a big group project right now called The Coronavirus Pandemic, and there are whole lot of people in the U.S. group who are just begging for a smackdown. Still think the virus is a "hoax"? Thwap. Wearing your mask as a chin diaper instead of covering your mouth and nose? Whpsh. Toting your AR-15 to the state capitol to threaten public officials because they insist on trying to protect public health? TKO time.

Apparently, those of us who are feeling a bit punchy these days are in good company. A new study has found that octopuses occasionally punch fish that they cooperatively hunt with, seemingly just because they feel like it. Though it's not clear exactly why they do it, scientists say it doesn't appear to be an act of aggression. Some think that they might do it out of "spite" or to influence better hunting behavior.

In other words, Mr. Octopus is hunting along with some annoying group of fish until he's finally like, "Dude, you're bugging the crap out of me. Stop it." Thwack. Or "Dude, you're fudging everything up. Knock it off." Thwack.

Keep Reading Show less

It's been nine months since we found ourselves thrust into a global pandemic the likes of which the world hasn't seen in a century. Now here we are on the precipice of administering vaccines that will hopefully put an end to it, many months ahead of the expected schedule.

The speed with which scientists and pharmaceutical companies have raced to figure out how to make a novel virus vaccine both safe and effective has been impressive to say the least. It's a testament to modern medicine, innovation, and dedication on the part of the scientists who have worked tirelessly to bring it to fruition.

As of today, Moderna is asking for FDA approval of its mRNA vaccine, which trials show to be 94.1% effective in preventing coronavirus infection and 100% effective at preventing severe cases. Pfizer's vaccine has shown similar effectiveness.

Keep Reading Show less

We probably wouldn't have The Beatles without Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley. And we wouldn't have rock and roll as we know it without The Beatles. If you agree with the school of thought that we build off the accomplishments of our predecessors, then Cecelia Payne is as rock and roll as they come.

In a Facebook post making the rounds again after the original went viral two years ago, Cecelia Payne is once again having a light shined on her accomplishments. And yet, it still doesn't seem close to what she deserves.


Keep Reading Show less