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

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Linkee-poo, set my alarm, turn on my charm, that's because I'm a good old-fashioned lover boy

In one day we lose Carl Kasell and Barbara Bush (the least objectionable member of the Bush family). And so it goes.

"In 2008, pieces of diamond encased in rock descended from space and landed in the Nubian Desert of Sudan. And, according to a new study, these meteorite crystals provide the first physical evidence of an ancient lost building block from the dawn of the solar system… In the study, a research team found that the Almahata Sitta meteorite once belonged to a protoplanet, one of tens of early worlds that experienced impacts and buildups to ultimately create the rocky planets in our solar system."

"Sky burial isn't a burial at all, of anything. It’s the act of leaving a corpse exposed to the elements, often in an elevated location, and only a few different cultures do it, for different reasons and in different ways." (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"'We have a part of the aircraft missing.'" Southwest flight 1380's emergency landing in Philadelphia after one of the engines suffered damage from what at first appears to be metal fatigue. While a lot has been made of the plane "plunging" 20,000 feet, that's standard procedure in the event of loss of cabin pressurization. You have to get the plane to an altitude where there is sufficient atmospheric air pressure.

Just because the politicians deny climate change doesn't mean the effects of climate change are not a golden business opportunity.

"More than 95% of the world’s population breathe unsafe air and the burden is falling hardest on the poorest communities, with the gap between the most polluted and least polluted countries rising rapidly, a comprehensive study of global air pollution has found." Great time for the president to roll back regulations designed to protect on our air quality.

"There are many different types of costs associated with the opioid epidemic: including emergency response, health care, criminal justice, rehabilitation and lost productivity. It's no wonder the total estimated burden from the epidemic is enormous. Health care research firm Altarum put the figure at $1 trillion since 2001… The biggest share of that burden is borne by families — who measure the damage not only in financial terms, but in terms of anxiety and heartache." Remember when the president declared a health emergency? Good times.

"Police say a 3-year-old girl accidentally shot and wounded her pregnant mother in a car parked outside a northwestern Indiana thrift store." So if only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun, who's going to stop all these kids?

Going out with a bang. "Last summer, on August 12, photographer Ryan Kelly arrived at a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Va., to take pictures for the city's newspaper, The Daily Progress… It was his last day on the job — and it was a memorable one. A photo he took of a car plowing through a crowd of counterprotesters became the defining image of the chaos that day… On Monday, Kelly was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography for the photo he took."

"Parents of two children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School attacks filed defamation lawsuits on Monday against right-wing conspiracy theorist and radio show host Alex Jones, who has questioned the authenticity of the 2012 shooting that left 26 dead, including 20 children." Goes and makes more popcorn.

Remember when anti-abortionists were plugging the line about abortion providers being racists and born in the eugenics movement? "Kristen Walker Hatten, former vice president of the anti-abortion group New Wave Feminists and a contributor to The Dallas Morning News, has spoken at universities and events around the country about the need for mainstream feminism to embrace women who oppose abortion rights… Hatten wrote in late 2016 that she found Trump to be so 'creepy, gross and tacky'… But after he won, something changed. Hatten began sharing white supremacist content on social media. She self-identified on Twitter as alt-right and 'ethnonationalist' ― the same term used by white nationalist icon Richard Spencer. She mused on Facebook that immigrant 'invaders” are replacing white Europeans in their own countries…" This is my shocked face. They're characterizing this as a "sudden turn", but except for brain injuries, just like "being racist when they drink" isn't a thing, these sudden turns aren't either. (Grokked from Cherie Priest)

"After publicly flirting last week with having the United States rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership, President Trump appeared to rebuff the idea once and for all late Tuesday… Mr. Trump said that although Japan and South Korea would like the United States to join the 11 other nations in the multilateral trade agreement, he had no intention of doing so… 'Too many contingencies and no way to get out if it doesn’t work,' Mr. Trump wrote from his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida… The comments confounded some trade experts on Tuesday night because South Korea is not in the Trans-Pacific Partnership." So basically, the agreement is too long for the president to grasp. The word you're looking for is "erratic."

"A broadband adviser selected by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to run a federal advisory committee was arrested last week on claims she tricked investors into pouring money into a multimillion-dollar investment fraud scheme… The adviser, Elizabeth Pierce, is the former chief executive of Quintillion, an Alaska-based fiber optic cable provider operating out of Anchorage… Pierce allegedly raised more than $250 million from two New York-based investment companies using forged contracts with other companies guaranteeing hundreds of millions of dollars in future revenue. Pierce resigned from Quintillion in August of last year, and she stepped down from her role in Pai’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC) the following month." Only the best people. (Grokked from Dan)

"The city of Memphis could lose a quarter-million dollars as punishment for removing statues of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and Confederate President Jefferson Davis last year… The Tennessee House of Representatives voted Tuesday to strip the money from next year's state budget. The sum had been earmarked to go toward planning for Memphis' bicentennial celebrations next year."

"(Sean Hannity) denies that Michael Cohen was ever his lawyer—but Hannity was represented by a pair of legal advisers who also have close links to the president." Damnit, I didn't bring enough bread crumbs.

"Russia said Wednesday that it has received word that the U.S. has no plans for further sanctions after confusion over the issue involving U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who announced fresh sanctions only to be contradicted by the White House." I'm sure just the threat was enough to get the Russians to change their ways. No, I can't say that with a straight face. (Waves to my Russian friends)

"CIA Director Mike Pompeo made a secret visit to North Korea earlier this month and met with leader Kim Jong Un — a meeting that 'went very smoothly,' President Trump said on Wednesday." I'm not saying he's a good guy, but if we could come to a peace deal for the Korean Peninsula and maybe walk Kim Jong Un back from his nuclear arsenal, that wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. And before you raise the objection, while Kim is on the far end of the spectrum, it's not like the US hasn't negotiated with or supported rulers who have worse records on human rights (El Salvadore Death Squads anyone?). However I will point out that while we continually focus on N. Korea's relationship with China, that is based on their shared border and economic ties. Kim Jung Un's biggest economic and political supporter, the person that probably helped most with development of their nuclear weapons program and influx of hard currency it required is (wait for it) Putin. I'll also point out that N. Korea is no slouch when it comes to negotiations and they have the long-term vision to advance their interests.

"Pledging to impeach President Trump would backfire on Democrats hoping to take back the House of Representatives this fall, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll." It's early, and we (as progressives and liberals) have a definite bias against impeachment. But the same was true with Nixon and Watergate until there was a moment of crystallization during the Saturday Nite Massacre and the publication of stories by Woodward and Bernstein. That's one of the reasons behind the intense campaign by conservative to discredit the news media.

"Filling out this picture of how Cohen fell into this milieu we’ve always been focused on the fact that Cohen’s uncle, Morton Levine, owned and ran a Brooklyn social club, El Caribe, which was a well-known meeting spot for members of Italian and Russian organized crime families in the 1970s and 1980s." Russians by the bushel. (Grokked from Fred Clark)

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