And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Linkee-poo is gonna make a supersonic man outta you

Whispers, "The Russians are back."

"… (I)n the recent issue of Current Biology, this seemingly unimpressive roundworm seems to have developed a different way of copying its genes — one that leads to just enough mutations to give the worms room to adapt, but not enough to cause crippling defects." Also noted for the inherent biases that pervade the biological sciences.

"In an effort to reduce the 40 trillion kg of carbon dioxide humans produce each year, three companies have been working to build machines that can capture the gas directly from the air. One such machine in Iceland has begun operation." The downside is it only captures a little, and there's no word on scalability or costs. (Grokked from Dan)

"The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) tracked the behaviour of (CO2) in 2015/2016 - a period when the planet experienced a major El Niño event… This climate phenomenon boosts the amount of CO2 in the air."

"Supposedly solitary pumas actually hang out with their fellow big cats quite often, frequently coming together and hissing and snarling before settling down to share a delicious elk carcass." Sounds like Thanksgiving. If mountain lions can learn how to share, so can we.

"The maker of a little red pill intended to treat a rare condition is raking in hundreds of millions of dollars a year as it aggressively targets frail and elderly nursing home residents for whom the drug may be unnecessary or even unsafe, a CNN investigation has found… And much of the money is coming straight from the federal government."

"A doctor in northern Florida is under criminal investigation after he was seen on video shouting at a patient to 'get the hell out' of an urgent-care clinic, then apparently grabbing her daughter's cellphone, which was recording the incident." There's a "he said/she said" component here, but really no cause for that. If the patients are abusive, call the police (if you don't have internal security). Explain to the patients what is happening (why it may be taking so long to see them). Explain the time frames of tests and when the patients could expect an answer.

"'I'm generally not going to make a lot of the appointments that would normally be — because you don't need them,' Trump said in an interview with Forbes Magazine last week. 'I mean, you look at some of these agencies, how massive they are, and it's totally unnecessary. They have hundreds of thousands of people.'" Attempting to claim incompetent acts are actually a part of a design plan. Now, if it were for the head of The Redundant Department of Redundancy Department, that would be one thing. But we're also talking about strategic policy planners and ambassadors. Basically he things he can enforce his will on the agencies easier if he has direct control. And now you know why so much shit has been dropping through the cracks. "And while Trump says he is creating efficiency by leaving positions without nominees, Stier and others say it's not that simple. Those open jobs are being filled on an interim basis by career civil servants and foreign service officers." But see, Trump never really had to delegate in any meaningful way (he just off-loaded the jobs he didn't want to do).

"The only known Leonardo da Vinci painting in private hands is heading to auction."

"Hurricane Ophelia is the 10th consecutive hurricane to form in the Atlantic basin this year. According to University of Miami hurricane expert Brian McNoldy, the last time ten consecutive storms became a hurricane was 1893. While that is very interesting factoid, the 'elephant in the room' is that Ophelia is headed to Ireland." everything is fine. We're all fine here. How are you? (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

"Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore was privately guaranteed a yearly salary of $180,000 from a charity he started, the Washington Post reported Wednesday… Moore became president of the group, Foundation for Moral Law, in 2007…" How very moral of him.

Prison labor is a troublesome thing (although it could be made good, for the creation of job skills and a history of good employment). "The sheriff of a Louisiana parish is under fire for lamenting the scheduled release of prisoners in terms that critics said underscored the exploitation of inmates and, at times, evoked slavery." Yeah, that's why in most states we outlawed chain-gangs and the use of prison labor to reduce the county budget (it's a perverse incentive to keep "the good ones" as this sheriff states). (Grokked from Katheryn Cramer)

"During an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Wednesday, Trump criticized Colin Kaepernick, the player who protested police treatment of minorities in 2016 by kneeling during the national anthem… 'I watched Colin Kaepernick and I thought it was terrible. And then it got bigger and bigger and started mushrooming,' Trump told Hannity." But them white supremacists who shot at counter protesters, beat some, and killed one person, those are some fine people. Think this isn't about racism? "Trump later told Hannity that minorities 'want' and 'need' police protection more than others and lamented that police would be able to do stop crime in cities if 'if they were allowed to do their job.' Trump claimed that police are unable to do their jobs because 'they have to be politically correct.'" You know, their not-politically-correct job. The one where they kill people for no reason except their skin color. The political use of "law and order" in campaigns is a dog-whistle meaning "keep those blacks in their place."

"The president adds: 'We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!'" You know, after telling Texas and Florida he'd stand with them "always." Um, Mr. President, Puerto Rico is the US as well. There are reports that the majority of aid to PR will be as loans, whereas Florida and Texas get grants.

"In a brash move likely to roil insurance markets, President Donald Trump will 'immediately' halt payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law he has been trying to unravel for months." He broke it, he bought it. Unlike his other healthcare initiative which won't affect the markets until 2019, this one will affect the markets this year.

"The key to understanding Trump's motivations here are entirely contained in the ACA's shorthand nickname: Obamacare. It's named after the man… who shepherded it into existence. And that's exactly why Trump wants to get rid of it." I wonder if he'll quote 2 Corinthians again?

"The Kremlin is warning that a U.S. move to slight the Iran nuclear deal would hurt global security." And look, President Trump now seems to be willing to re-certify (instead of saying Iran is out of compliance and punting it to the Congress).

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