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

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Linkee-poo can't get ahead on Tuesdays

Own your stigma pin series kickstarter. Pins for the real you. (Grokked from Julie from Seanan McGuire)

"When I went to the Viable Paradise writer’s workshop back in the distant dim year of 2013, the inestimable Elizabeth Bear, along with various other people who are cleverer than me, explained to me about the tricks a writer gets for free in their box. The writing-skill cards you drew in your first poker hand." Play to your strengths.

"At the start of the rainy season in late spring, families in Oaxaca venture outside with pails and plastic containers. As storms roll in, flying ants known as chicatanas will flee their nests, filling the sky with swarms. Making for the ultimate foraging experience, the bugs are plentiful, free, and a short-lived seasonal delicacy." (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

"Images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope document the formation of a Great Dark Spot on Neptune for the first time, report researchers in a new study." Hubble, still making science.

"NASA's Curiosity rover has been up to its wheel treads with Mars pebbles lately. The rover is rolling to a potential drill site, but it's doing some sightseeing along the way. The views include a fascinating collection of rounded pebbles."

"These immature neurons, described online March 25 in Nature Medicine, mark the latest data points in the decades-old debate over whether people’s brains churn out new nerve cells into adulthood. The process, called neurogenesis, happens in the brains of some animals, but scientists have been divided over whether adult human brains are capable of such renewal (SN Online: 12/20/18)." Whispers that astrocytes can convert to neurons. What's next, that we continue to make new nephrons in our kidneys?

"Duke University will pay $112 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit after federal prosecutors said a research technician's fake data landed millions of dollars in federal grants, the school and the government said Monday." Oopsie.

"The fastest-shrinking glacier in Greenland has made an unexpected turn… Although it's been melting for 20 years, the Jakobshavn Glacier in West Greenland - famous for producing the iceberg that sank the Titanic - has now started growing again." Before you start celebrating, it's a temporary situation and they don't expect the glacier to come close to re-establishing as much ice as it's already lost.

"According to NASA, last week when Hague performed the first operation with astronaut Anne McClain, there was an issue with the fit of McClain's spacesuit. In what is essentially the 't-shirt' area of the Enhanced EMU suit astronauts wear on spacewalks, the Hard Upper Torso (H.U.T.) comes in three sizes: Medium, Large and XL. McClain had trained in both the medium and large sized units, but discovered that the medium size worked better for her. According to a spokesperson, there are two medium-sized units onboard, however only one can be ready in time, so Koch will go with Hague instead and history will have to be made another day."

How goes Brexit? "British lawmakers called on Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday to heed whatever alternative Brexit strategy they can settle on after they attempted to break the impasse by grabbing control of the process in parliament." The problem is that there is no clear strategy and goals for the Leave side. They just want out.

"The Pentagon has authorised the transfer of $1bn (£758m) to army engineers for new wall construction along the US-Mexico border."

"Janet Yellen, the former chair of the Federal Reserve, said Monday the recent triggering of a recession indicator in the U.S. bond markets could signal the need for an interest rate cut and not a prolonged economic downturn." Always the optimist. Also note the "rules have changed" language which always precedes recessions. Post recession everybody agrees the rules have not changed.

Remember when conservatives were all about the "will of the people"? "Florida’s Amendment 4 restored voting rights to more than 1 million people with felony records. But GOP-sponsored proposals could limit who actually gets to vote."

"The Green New Deal, liberal Democrats' sweeping proposal to address climate change, could get its first vote on Capitol Hill Tuesday… The irony? It's Republican opponents, led by GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who are eager to bring the non-binding resolution to a vote because they believe the plan they continually lambaste will turn off voters heading to the polls next year."

"The Trump administration on Monday said the entire Affordable Care Act should be struck down, in a dramatic reversal… In a filing with a federal appeals court, the Justice Department said it agreed with the ruling of a federal judge in Texas that invalidated the Obama-era health care law." So much for his pledge to protect pre-existing condition coverage.

"Donald Trump signed a proclamation today (March 25) recognizing the Golan Heights as part of Israel, overturning 50 years of US precedent and defying international law on sovereign borders." Yeah, that won't repeatedly bite us in the ass in the next 30 years.

Don't get cocky. "President Trump suggested on Monday that he wants new investigations into the workings of the FBI and Justice Department and his political opponents… Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he wants to know more about 'the other side of the story,' including former President Bill Clinton's infamous meeting on the airport tarmac with then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch in 2016… And House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif, said the chairman of the House intelligence committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., has lost his credibility and should step down from that post."

"Even as the specter of Robert Mueller's probe has vanished, Trump plans to turn the investigation, Democrats' constant accusations of wrongdoing and the media's coverage of it all into a new foil, half a dozen advisers and aides said. He has already signaled he'll weaponize the results, targeting those who ordered the investigation and Democrats he says waged political warfare." I don't see how that plan can possibly go wrong.

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