Africa inspires pandemic masks

Millimeters-thick sheets of delicately etched bronze. Pleated, laser-cut coral collars. This isn’t haute couture, though it could be. These are face masks.

Nigeria-based architectural designer Tosin Oshinowo and U.K.-based textile designer Chrissa Amuah have created three gorgeous face masks, called Freedom to Move, commissioned by Lexus, which is an official automotive partner of the annual Design Miami show. The brief asked them to create a “design object of our times,” and what’s more fitting than a mask for 2020?

I get it. The photo up top is one of the images of my favorite. Please look through them all.

Wearing a mask, breathing in less coronavirus, means you get less sick


Greg Baker/AFP

Masks slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2 by reducing how much infected people spray the virus into the environment around them when they cough or talk. Evidence from laboratory experiments, hospitals and whole countries show that masks work, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends face coverings for the U.S. public. With all this evidence, mask wearing has become the norm in many places…

When you wear a mask – even a cloth mask – you typically are exposed to a lower dose of the coronavirus than if you didn’t. Both recent experiments in animal models using coronavirus and nearly a hundred years of viral research show that lower viral doses usually means less severe disease…

No mask is perfect, and wearing one might not prevent you from getting infected. But it might be the difference between a case of COVID-19 that sends you to the hospital and a case so mild you don’t even realize you’re infected.

Being less likely to die isn’t just a discussion for medical records, examination of procedures in hindsight. Let’s work at better odds of staying alive, folks. We are always more likely to get useful information from science – than gossip.

Favorite new photos: Rendezvous

Demonstrators stand outside a branch of Starbucks near St Paul’s Cathedral before the start of an anti-austerity protest march.

You may as well rendezvous for your favorite morning beverage before confronting the corrupt bastards in charge of your country. If you know anything about Howard Schultz, the founder and CEO of STARBUCKS, he might be behind one of those masks marching along in anonymity.

Arcane law challenged by three protestors arrested for wearing masks in a demonstration

The crowd had gathered outside the Russian Consulate in New York, awaiting the sentencing in Moscow of members of the punk protest band Pussy Riot.

Some held aloft placards proclaiming their solidarity with the band members; others strummed guitars. Many in the crowd that day in August wore the same sort of brightly colored balaclavas worn by the women in the band.

The choice of apparel led to the arrest of some demonstrators, who were charged with disorderly conduct and with violating an arcane provision in the loitering law that makes it unlawful for three or more people to wear masks in public.

Now, a lawyer for three women arrested that day says he is preparing to challenge the constitutionality of the law, which he argues should not apply to peaceful protesters

Mr. Siegel said his arguments would differ from those used in previous challenges. Instead of stating that his clients needed to hide their identities with masks because the ideas they were spreading are controversial, he said, he will assert that the masks themselves were integral to the message the three women were communicating.

The ban on masks in New York State dates to 1845, when it was adopted in response to events in the Hudson Valley, where local tenant farmers disguised as American Indians had attacked and killed landlords. The law includes exceptions for masquerade parties and similar events…

The law has been litigated several times over the past decade or so, with state courts, federal courts and appeals panels seesawing back and forth over whether it can be fairly applied.

It’s nice to sit back and say the law can be applied in a couple different directions. Over time that established no useful precedent and that’s what Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence is all about. So, it comes down to First Amendment rights. If a mask of any sort is demonstrably part of your protest, you should be able to wear it.

I’ve been in some gigantic anti-war demonstrations where the Bread-and-Puppet Theatre folks supported individual puppets a dozen feet high and completely encasing their upper body and heads. Sure as hell some ambitious DA who wants to be mayor will go ahead and prosecute a puppeteer – if the law is left standing.

Dumb Crooks of the Week!

Meet Matthew McNelly and Joey Miller. The Iowa men were arrested Friday night on attempted burglary charges after a 911 caller told cops that two hoodie-wearing males were trying to enter his apartment.

During a subsequent traffic stop (McNelly, 23, and Miller, 20, were traveling in a 1994 Buick Roadmaster), Carroll Police Department officers collared the men, both of whom had their faces painted. Police Chief Jeff Cayler is unsure why McNelly and Miller, pictured in the mug shots, opted for the Sharpie marker look, but surmised that they may have been trying to intimidate the apartment’s occupant.

Or perhaps ski masks are a bit pricey.

I think each is just dumber’n a hoe handle!