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There is a long, more or less continuous scale from the pure elements to intelligent life such as (some) humans. A block of pure iron certainly is not life. Nor is a simple compound such as salt (NaCl). Then you can start walking the line: At what level of chemical complexity do you cross the line separating "life" from "non-life"?
The decision is more or less arbitrary, so scientists have been arguing back and forth for at least a couple of generations. Virus certainly is not far away from the dividing line, but for quite some time now, there has been a common understanding among scientists that virus is not on the "life" side of the line. If the line were to be moved, to include virus, it would be very difficult to define the criteria that puts virus on one side and certain other complex compounds on the other side.
Scientists have (more or less) agreed on a set of criteria that all must be fulfilled to call it "life", and virus fails at least one of these criteria. I am not a biologist, so I don't dare to list the criteria from memory, and I do not off hand know where they are found.
I believe that virus fails I some criterion that they are capable of performing other life functions in isolation - they are fundamentally dependent on a host for a number of things that life should be able to handle on its own. If there is a biologist around, feel free to correct me on this! (And then also point to the requirements where virus fails.)
The wet market in Wuhan that gifted us with the current plauge sold known corona virus carriers like bats.
Did you ever see history portrayed as an old man with a wise brow and pulseless heart, weighing all things in the balance of reason?
Is not rather the genius of history like an eternal, imploring maiden, full of fire, with a burning heart and flaming soul, humanly warm and humanly beautiful?
Training a telescope on one’s own belly button will only reveal lint. You like that? You go right on staring at it. I prefer looking at galaxies.
-- Sarah Hoyt
At the time, noone knew. It has been a very difficult task identifying the source.
And that work has been performed than others who spend an hour or two every day to tell his followers that they must honor him for being so great that he has solved the problem for the world - actually, he is so proud that he demands that others must kneel down and praise him, otherwise he won't talk to them. The crazy thing is that people do!
But ... read on: his Health Minister (who definitely should have known better) has gone down with it as well, and quite likely gave it to Boris (that's him beside Boris, ignoring Social Distancing[^]) and the Chief Medical Officer who recommended Social Distancing and lockdown to the government has also got it.
Petards! Petards! Get yer petards 'ere!
If you wrote this into a soap opera, no-one would believe it.
"I have no idea what I did, but I'm taking full credit for it." - ThisOldTony
AntiTwitter: @DalekDave is now a follower!
pita? Why? They've been great humour for a hundred years! Maybe the average quality has declined, but still you see some really great ones.
Do you remember the BBC TV report about the spaghetti harvest? (Spaghetti-tree hoax - Wikipedia[^]) In 1957, pasta was far less known outside Italy, so lots of people honestly believed in the joke (and it was very well made).
Some of the April joke RFCs are great. RFC 1149 A Standard for the Transmission of IP Datagrams on Avian Carriers was actually implemented a few years later. ofr RFC 3514 The Security Flag in the IPv4 Header. There are several others that could deserve mentioning.
Jokes can have nice side effects, too. A number of years ago we still paid check. For Christmas, lots of people here in Norway bought for themselves, or as gifts, new furniture or whatever else you buy at IKEA. Then there was a mail robbery: The sack of mail contained all the check from IKEAs bigges warehouse in Norway for the busiest day of the year. If a check never reaches the bank, it is not charged to the issuer's account. Lots of people got their gifts and furniture for free that year. Of course the honest ones answered to the request to report to IKEA to repeat the payment, but many did not. Then, on April 1st the following year, Norway's biggest newspaper Aftenposten reported that the sack of mail was found, all the checks recovered. Those who had not reported their buys to IKEA would be reported for fraud. However, police was at the moment very busy with a few big investigations, and would be unable to handle it for another week. As there were still people reporting late to IKEA, those who have made up for their buys within the current week would suffer no consequences. IKEA had not been consulted about the joke, so when there suddenly was a great rush of people who admitted that they had not been charged for their buys, only those who had read Aftenposten that morning understood why.
I love April fool's jokes, but certainly prefer the more sophisticated ones. I love it when it takes days before people understand that they have been fooled. (And consequently I hate the modern trend that electronic media are rushing to be the first one to present a survey of "this year's jokes", often before you go to work on April 1st, so that there is no more use trying to fool you for the entire day.)
Have you been reading posts of facebook and twitter again? Everyone who watched that episode of Panorama knew it was a joke, and had a bloody good laugh, watching it. Hell, by 1957, we even knew what bananas, cabbages, and trees were.
Member 7989122 wrote:
I love April fool's jokes, but certainly prefer the more sophisticated ones.
Sorry, but one good gag per 200,000,000 pathetic childish pranks isn't enough to sell the idea to me.
I wanna be a eunuchs developer! Pass me a bread knife!