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

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Linkee-poo, they're trying to wash us away

"Hurricane Michael will make landfall along the Gulf Coast Wednesday as a Category 3 storm, according to the National Hurricane Center. It's forecast to be the most destructive storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in decades, and it will send life-threatening surges of ocean water into coastal areas along the gulf."

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Fan Vote is live.

"Six years ago, the Voyager 1 spacecraft informed scientists that it had become the first man-made object to enter interstellar space. Now, Voyager 2 has begun to return signs that its own exit from the Solar System could be coming soon."

"The NASA Hubble Twitter account announced that on Friday, the Hubble Space Telescope went into safe mode after a gyroscope, used to point and stabilize the observatory, failed." The hamster fell off the wheel, which is hard to do in space. So we're down to 2 gyroscopes, although they'll see if they can restart one of the gyros they had turned off before. Technically you can point Hubble with one gyro, it just won't stabilize or hold that position for long (some of Hubble's exposures are measured in hours). First Oppy doesn't phone home, and now this.

"In a study released Monday, scientists say they've found evidence of huge, jagged 'ice spikes,' some 50 feet tall, on (Europa's) surface. They spikes would 'pose a hazard to any future space mission landing on the moon,' according to the study." Attempt no landings there. Apparently Europa is future-punk as fuck.

"Alphabet Inc’s Google will shut down the consumer version of its failed social network Google+ and tighten its data sharing policies after announcing on Monday that private profile data of at least 500,000 users may have been exposed to hundreds of external developers." Wait, Google+ still had half-a-million users? That's cruel. Google+ had some good features (I remember a lot of writer friends having writing "hang outs" there).

"(H)e popped out the lenses in a pair of cheap sunglasses and replaced them with the film. Amazingly, it worked: Blew could look through the lenses and see everything—except for screens, which turned black." Sunglasses that blank most monitors. Now, if they could pair that with noise-cancelling headphones that cancel out the blaring audio and maybe knock back the loudest sounds and/or help me focus on conversations and I'd buy it. (Grokked from Ken McConnell)

"President Donald Trump has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to expand sales of corn ethanol, a senior White House official said on Monday, delivering a gift to farm state Republicans a month before the midterm elections." You'd think it would be because of environmental concerns, but mostly it's about politics. And Big Oil is not pleased.

Is it just in your head that there are more "crazy" people these days? "A rise in average monthly temperatures is tied to a small increase in mental health issues, according to a study published Monday in the journal PNAS. And over five years, a 1 degree Celsius increase in average temperature results in an even greater prevalence of mental difficulties." Some like it hot. Also, you might remember that in the late 2000's the pentagon published their report on climate change which included "human mass migrations" as a part of the symptoms :: squints at notes :: sort of like what is happening right now.

That same pentagon report also indicated that there would be increased "rare" disease outbreaks. "An outbreak of a mysterious disease in Minnesota that doctors say resembles polio has left children partially paralyzed and health experts baffled… Quinton Hill, 7, spent two weeks in a hospital undergoing a range of tests, according to his parents, before he was finally diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis, also known as AFM, a rare and serious condition that typically strikes children and affects the nervous system resulting in muscle and nerve weakness."

"Life on Tangier Island has always been defined by water. Now it is menacing its very existence. Battered by Chesapeake Bay's relentless waves, scientists say the land’s shrinking is accelerating, as man-made climate change makes the waves from rising seawater worse. John Yang talks with Earl Swift, author of 'Chesapeake Requiem,' and examines how life in the singular community is threatened." But they still love their Trump.

The Planet Money podcast on Moneyland. "But Oliver Bullough says it doesn't make sense to look at the world that way. He's a British journalist and he has written a new book: Moneyland. That's what he calls a hidden economy where shell companies and offshore accounts shelter wealth from taxation and scrutiny." About 8% of the world's cash is dark.

How go the Trade Wars? "The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday cut its growth forecasts for the United States and China, citing the recent waves of tariffs the world's top two economies have imposed on each other."

"Chinese firms now hold stakes in over a dozen European ports." And they have been doing this across the world. Once these governments can no longer service their debt, China helps them out by "leasing" the port. Like they did in Sri Lanka. So, if you were going to float a blue water, global navy you'd need strategic ports like we have. If you want to "control" the Indian Ocean and shipping routes to Asia, Sri Lanka would be the perfect place to have such a port. And deep water ports aren't the only thing China is looking at controlling.

Who needs building codes and regulations? "Four people have died after they were swallowed up by a massive sinkhole in a Chinese city, despite desperate rescue efforts to save them."

We don't need regulations. If companies are deceitful and harming consumers, the marketplace would correct that. "Unlabeled stimulants in soft drinks. Formaldehyde in meat and milk. Borax — the stuff used to kill ants! — used as a common food preservative. The American food industry was once a wild and dangerous place for the consumer… Deborah Blum's new book, The Poison Squad, is a true story about how Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley, named chief chemist of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1883, conducted a rather grisly experiment on human volunteers to help make food safer for consumers — and his work still echoes on today." Not so much.

"Oil prices rose on Tuesday on growing evidence of falling crude exports from Iran, OPEC's third-largest producer, before the imposition of new U.S. sanctions and a partial shutdown in the Gulf of Mexico due to Hurricane Michael." Well that's good news for Kansas and North Dakota/Wyoming (except for the Michael thing).

The president tells us things are going great. "Like Cantrell and her grandsons, many low-income families in Boise struggle to find housing they can afford. Cantrell gets a small disability stipend from the government, but that's nowhere near enough to cover rent and other expenses." Yeah, not really (although they finally did find a house to rent).

"Despite witnessing the shooting of the 17-year-old McDonald in October 2014, the two had been shooed away from the scene by a police officer who hadn’t bothered to ask them what they saw… Both took the witness stand last month at Van Dyke’s trial, playing subtle but significant roles as the only civilian eyewitnesses to testify about the shooting. Indeed, prosecutors picked the elder Torres to be their final witness, said special prosecutor Joseph McMahon, because 'I wanted the jury to hear from a real person.'" Note that they weren't the only civilian witnesses to the shooting, but they were the only ones to come forward (that we know about).

"Turkey has concluded that Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent journalist from Saudi Arabia, was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last week by a Saudi team sent 'specifically for the murder,' two people with knowledge of the probe said Saturday." Jamal Khashoggi was a permanent resident of the US. (Grokked from Xopher Halftongue)

"'Christopher Columbus’s spirit of determination & adventure has provided inspiration to generations of Americans,' Trump tweeted. 'On #ColumbusDay, we honor his remarkable accomplishments as a navigator, & celebrate his voyage into the unknown expanse of the Atlantic Ocean.'" Also Columbus lied to his crew (by keeping 2 sets of books, so they wouldn't realize when the passed the point of no return), destroyed native culture, awarded his most loyal compatriots with child sex slaves, massacred villages, and initiated the trans-Atlantic slave trade (because his native slaves died off to the point he couldn't replace them with the local population) and never realized exactly what he "found." He was such a gigantic ass, Spain recalled him as governor. The same government that was in the middle of prosecuting the most extreme Inquisition thought Columbus might be a little too much. For any Italian readers, I'll remind you that the Italian governments tossed Columbus out of Italy. Spain, the country who eventually funded his voyages, was his 6th choice.

"One of the men suspected of poisoning a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain with a nerve agent is a military doctor who works for Russia's intelligence agency GRU, the Bellingcat investigative website claimed in a new report." So one is a GRU agent and the other is a military doctor. Who just happen to "holiday" together. In Salisbury. For only a few days. Just when Skripal and his daughter were poisoned.

"But before Ford came forward publicly last month, (Mark) Judge was happy to reminisce about his high school excesses in two memoirs — one of which details how he co-founded the Unknown Hoya, which he said reported on his school group’s numerous keg parties. The underground paper, which no longer exists, was designed as a satirical counter to the official school paper, the Little Hoya, for which Kavanaugh worked, Judge wrote." Ahh, what fine young boys. And now one of them is on SCOTUS (and another is also a graduate of Georgetown Prep). And the 80s teen in me is saying, "They're all fucking preps!" (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

"Attorneys for Immigration and Customs Enforcement were restricted from granting reprieves for certain immigrants facing deportation, ordered to review and potentially reopen previously closed cases, and told that nearly all undocumented immigrants were priorities for deportation, according to a previously unreleased memo obtained by BuzzFeed News." (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

"Pop star Taylor Swift endorsed two Democrats this week in a surprise Instagram post that upset many Trump supporters who assumed she was a secret Republican. And Swift’s endorsements are having a real impact. According to, the number of voter registrations has gone through the roof." To be fair conservatives think everyone is a secret Republican (that's the whole "Silent Majority" thing).

"Nikki Haley has resigned as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations… It is not immediately clear what has prompted the move. She informed her staff Tuesday of the news, NPR's Michele Kelemen reports. Haley is scheduled to appear with President Trump at the Oval Office this morning." Did not see that one coming.

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