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

Friday, November 10, 2017

Linkee-poo, okay, who ordered the snow platter?

Hope you didn't blink, because that was Fall. And also I've seen the true signs of Xmas. The groceries are selling Hillshire Farms Summer Sausage and egg nog.

Just a general note. I do try to find links that don't have autoplay video, but that is becoming harder and harder to do (this is also why a lot of NPR links have been showing up, but also NPR was been doing very well lately). So I apologize for all the links that start blasting at you. For the record, these days I surf with the sound set to mute. I only un-mute when I want to play something directly and usually I'm surprised to find my computer already making noise from some buried tab deep in the stack.

Edited to add some links that went hiding and I finally found.

"Stephen Hawking warns about dangers of AI as motorized wheelchair drives toward lake." (Grokked from Dan)

"The appearance of a years-long supernova explosion challenges scientist's current understanding of star formation and death, and work is underway to explain the bizarre phenomenon."

"Las Vegas' self-driving shuttle service marked its return by getting into a minor collision… just an hour into its year-long trial… the shuttle was hit by a delivery truck that was backing up." So it was human error, but still not a good start (although it's initial test in January went well).

"The Boston researcher who examined the brain of former football star Aaron Hernandez says it showed the most damage (Stage 3 chronic traumatic encephalopathy) her team had seen in an athlete so young… and that they had never seen such severe damage in a brain younger than 46 years old." He was 27 when he hanged himself in prison for the murder of a friend.

China's coal industry is dealing with the same issues the US coal industry has been dealing with. And they're having a similar reaction. Waiting for coal to "come back."

"A cloud of radioactive pollution over Europe in recent weeks indicates that an accident happened in a nuclear facility in Russia or Kazakhstan in the last week of September, the French nuclear safety institute IRSN has said." Ah, it's just a cloud. Nothing to worry about (severe side eye here). Just nobody knows where it came from (most likely Russia or Kazakhstan). The isotope detected is only produced during nuclear fission, but could be from reprocessing fuel rods or generated for medical use. Um, yeah, Bob. No reason to be concerned here?!

"Republican leaders seeking to overhaul the federal tax code faced new challenges Wednesday, including a new $74 billion hole in the House’s plan and a drubbing in Tuesday’s state and local elections that will be on members’ minds as they prepare for difficult tax votes." The only reason why Tuesday's elections should change the tax bill is if Republicans never thought you'd go out to vote or be able to vote. And an election shouldn't change the economics (which is their main selling point). You know, unless their reasoning is complete bullshit. Right now they're trying figure our which Peters are going to get robbed to pay which Pauls.

"Senate Republicans released their own version of a tax plan Thursday, and it varies just enough from the House's bill to set the two chambers up for a dramatic showdown over tax policy in upcoming weeks." This is my shocked face. It'll come to showdown of whom is going to screw over whom the mostest.

"The United States and Russia are nearing an agreement on Syria for how they hope to resolve the Arab country’s civil war once the Islamic State group is defeated, officials said Thursday." Ah, nothing like two parties who don't actually own or govern the land coming to an agreement about how best to settle a conflict there. Not like the Middle-East doesn't have a long history of that.

"Republican officials in Alabama and across the country have had mixed responses to a Washington Post report alleging that Roy Moore, the Republican candidate in Alabama's special U.S. Senate race, initiated sexual contact with a 14-year-old when he was 32 and pursued relationships with three other teenagers while he was in his 30s… Some politicians are casting doubt on the women's stories, while others are expressing dismay — and, in some cases, Republican officials are defending Moore's alleged actions as not problematic at all." The party of family values, everyone.

"A federal judge has issued a gag order in the federal government's case against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates, preventing them and their legal teams from speaking to the press."

"Federal investigators are examining whether former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn met with senior Turkish officials just weeks before President Donald Trump's inauguration about a potential quid pro quo in which Flynn would be paid to carry out directives from Ankara secretly while in the White House, according to multiple people familiar with the investigation." If proved true, that's in the "Holy Fuck" category. IANAL but I believe that's also hard time in Federal Prison. Rumors are that Mueller's team already has enough evidence to bring charges and now they're keeping their cards close to their chest to work their way through all contacts to see who else falls into that net (like Flynn Jr.).

"After a business meeting before the Miss Universe Pageant in 2013, a Russian participant offered to 'send five women' to Donald Trump's hotel room in Moscow, his longtime bodyguard told Congress this week, according to three sources who were present for the interview… Two of the sources said the bodyguard, Keith Schiller, viewed the offer as a joke, and immediately responded, 'We don't do that type of stuff.'" And then, of course, the Trump lawyers decried the leak (probably not the best choice of words here) and said that what was leaked was false and a partisan hack. So, uh, are we then supposed to believe the opposite happened? Or is the "the cat is on the roof" part of the plan?

"A year later, the shock of Trump's win hasn't totally worn off in either party." Oh honey, that's not shock, that's PTSD. While the Democrats dither over whether Bernie would have won (hint, he wouldn't have, and I'm suspecting part of this fervent flogging is being driven by our friends in that other place, the Republicans are coming to grips with their new found popularity and the ramifications of exactly why they're popular (hint, it's not about the fiscal conservatism). One can be mended and build a stronger bond, the other is pulling the wheels off the bus. In the article there's a little confusion between rhetoric and action. "In a shake up that took even the Republican establishment by surprise, Trump has challenged the image of the Republican Party as the party of corporate America, into a party that fights for working America." But you know what, he isn't governing that way.

Hey, remember that Carrier plant that Trump saved all those jobs because he was winning for America. Yeah. More layoffs. How's those tax abatements working out for ya? (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

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