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Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected
Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Linkee-poo, there's a man with a gun over there tellin' me I ought to beware

Yeah, it's looking like the latest "ransomware" attack may actually have been a state-sponsored cyberwar tactic. Gee, who would ever want to disable/distract the Ukraine?

"Early Thursday morning, the Terrier-Improved Malemute rocket launched from Wallops Island, Va., with a payload of colorful chemicals." Because SCIENCE!

"Less than a day after a monument of the Ten Commandments was installed outside the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock, it was destroyed when a man smashed a car into the stone."

"A team of researchers with the German Archaeological Institute has found long, deliberate marks carved into ancient skulls found at the Göbekli Tepe dig site."

"The rate of new Clostridium difficile… infections climbed year after year from 2000 to 2010, researchers found. But an early look at 2011-2014 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Emerging Infections Program suggests infection rates are improving." Don't worry, there are more infections you can get in the hospital (nosocomial is the word) other than just C. diff.

As they say on Mythbusters, don't try this at home. See link yesterday where I discuss how there is a level of proficiency you reach only after hard work. Part of the "story we tell ourselves" about the "discovered star" wraps into how easy things look in front of the camera on TV/screen and in the movies. What you don't see are the hours, days, and sometimes weeks that go into preparing a shot or stunt (not to mention the years of experience of those directing the actions). The teams of people standing just outside the field of view of the camera lens that in some cases make what appears to be dangerous not all that risky. There's the myth of "getting it in one shot", when the reality is most scenes have 3-10 takes, and that's after the read-throughs, rehearsals and walk-throughs. And then there's the myth of the "one big thing" that will get you noticed. All of those stories came to a head here and the consequences are one person dead, another who has to live with what was done, a child who won't know their parent, and a family that lost someone way too soon. This is the danger of the low-information society.

Hey look, somebody did rig the lottery. And now they're going to jail.

The other climate change problem of coal and natural gas, "The air Americans breathe has been getting cleaner for decades… But air pollution is still killing thousands in the U.S. every year, even at the levels allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a study out Wednesday." Of course it affects poorer and minority communities the most (as they're often downwind of pollution sources). And it's more than just energy production, but they're a major contributor. Oh, and "Scott Segal, a Washington lawyer who works for the energy industry and has advised the Trump administration", you're a liar and sycophant. I hope the money you're earning by spreading lies and misinformation protects you from the worst of the problems your causing, but please feel free to fuck off and die.

The return of Boaty McBoatface. No, really. The Attenborough just returned from her maiden voyage, and Boaty (the long-range submersible) gathered some great data.

Without protections for pre-existing conditions, the screening tests/DNA-testing initiatives and industries will be dead. Some don't remember, but there is a database held by the health-insurance industry where all your information goes. The insurance companies used to check that database when deciding if they would pay your claim, or even if they would cover you at all. If conservatives get their way, expect that behavior to return. Whoopie!

"But when it came to one mysterious piece of evidence in the case, the two sides were bothered by the same question: Where did the bullet hole in the roof of Finicum’s truck come from?" And now an FBI agent is going to trial.

Paul Manafort registers as a foreign agent… like six years after he was supposed to. You know, like Flynn did as well. (Waits for more shoes to drop)

So, how's that 3 percent GDP growth coming along? "The Commerce Department said Thursday that gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic health, grew at an annual rate of 1.4 percent in the first quarter — better than a previous estimate of 1.2 percent and double the initial estimate of 0.7 percent. The upgrade reflects new-found strength in consumer spending and exports." Well, at least it's "better."

"A new leader is set to temporarily take over the U.S. Census Bureau after Director John Thompson retires from the post on Friday." He'll oversee the preparation for the 2020 Census, which is already in deep planning stage. If you want to undercount the population, this is one way to do it. You could also completely underfund the Commerce Department which (wait for it) is also on the cutting block. I worked for the 2010 Census. It is an amazingly complex organizational problem. See, the Census isn't just one tally, it's a combination of about 10 initiatives. And then there are the hundreds of other studies the Census undertakes which help government agencies understand how the country is changing. Also in 2010 we had a record non-response (which means someone needs to go knocking on the door). (Grokked from John Scalzi)

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