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

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Linkee-poo Wednesday

Happy 100 to Lawrence Ferlinghetti, one of my favorite poets.

"This week on Hidden Brain, we look at the invisible qualities that all celebrities have in common, and how our interest in them builds because of cues we get from one another. Later in the episode, we look at another elite group: the yoga-loving, Whole Foods-shopping, highly-educated group that Elizabeth Currid-Halkett calls The Aspirational Class." The social marker of status, including the "inconspicuous consumption."

"Weed use is taking off as more states move to legalize it. And with all the buzz over medical marijuana, it's starting to gain an aura of healthfulness. But there are some serious health risks associated with frequent use. One of the more troubling ones is the risk of having a psychotic episode." Refer madness redux. Note the study only shows that some people diagnosed with psychosis used marijuana regularly, and then a "control" group. "Use of high potency weed almost doubled the odds of having psychosis compared to someone who had never smoked weed, explains Di Forti… And for those who used high potency pot on a daily basis, the risk of psychosis was even greater — four times greater than those who had never used." While that could be worrying, correlation does not imply causation. But yes, any drug use can have consequences and it may be that marijuana can trigger other changes that enhance the probability of psychosis.

"A San Francisco federal jury unanimously agreed on Tuesday that Roundup caused a man's cancer — a potentially massive blow to the company that produces the glyphosate-based herbicide currently facing hundreds of similar lawsuits." Good thing for them that RoundUp is nearing the end of it's effective life (especially for commercial crops). Bad thing is it's been around for decades.

"Now some states –including Montana, North Carolina and Oregon — are moving to control costs of state employee health plans. Their strategy: Use Medicare reimbursement rates to recalibrate how they pay hospitals. If the gamble pays off, more private-sector employers could start doing the same thing." Note that they're not using the Medicare reimbursements as the final payment, but as a starting point.

"Interviews with mothers who've lost children and with those who spy on anti-vaccination groups, reveal a tactic employed by anti-vaxers: When a child dies, members of the group sometimes encourage each other to go on that parent's Facebook page. The anti-vaxers then post messages telling the parents they're lying and their child never existed, or that the parent murdered them, or that vaccines killed the child, or some combination of all of those." Such nice people. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"The chemical tank fires that burned for nearly four days at the Intercontinental Terminals Co. plant in Deer Park were extinguished overnight, the company and firefighters say."

"One year after Disney announced the $71.3 billion merger (with Fox Studios), it's finally official." The Mouse grows.

"Former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is joining the board of the newly slimmed-down Fox Corporation, the parent company of Fox News." That's all the stuff the Mouse isn't taking.

"Pranksters included some whimsical credits buried in the fine print of an annual White House economic report, making it seem that Peter Parker and Aunt May had joined the staff of the president's Council of Economic Advisers."

When one of us is not free, none of us are free. "The Supreme Court held on Tuesday that the government can detain -- without a bond hearing -- immigrants with past criminal records, even if years have passed since they were released from criminal custody." So much for due process. Say goodbye to that right. Because if the court can determine whom the Constitution applies to, they can put that bar anywhere they want for any reason they want. Goodbye Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, we hardly knew ye. (Grokked from Kelly Link)

"As once marginalized voices amp up calls for change, the council continues to wrestle with the question of just what public discourse should look like after the tragedy." Charlottesville is still struggling.

How goes Brexit? "With just over a week to go until the deadline for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, the son of President Donald Trump says that everything would be on track had British Prime Minister Theresa May taken his father's advice on Brexit… Trump Jr. did not go into detail on what his father had advised. Asked last year for details by the BBC, May said, with an amused expression: 'He told me I should sue the EU.'" Well, to be fair, that's the president's go to answer for everything. But then Jr also linked Bexit to his Dad's election because of the nationalistic/populist aspects of both. Funny, there's another connection as well (looks at my Russian friends meaningfully).

"Prime Minister Theresa May is writing to the EU to formally ask for Brexit to be postponed." And they punt the ball.

"One of the arguments Bernie Sanders' fans made during the 2016 Democratic primary was… (h)is favorable ratings with the general electorate were far higher than Hillary Clinton's. Indeed, Sanders maintained fairly high favorable ratings with all voters as late as 2018… Sanders' popularity among all voters seems to be declining considerably in the last few months, however."

"The local iteration of Trump TV (aka KOMO) recently aired an hour-long News Special attempting to offer an examination of Seattle's homeless crisis that's as sober as possible… That the manufactured hatred of the poor justifies a perverted world that criminalizes the condition of poverty. Please, give this a moment of thought. It's not as obvious as it seems." (Grokked from Cat Rambo)

When you cultivate hate, it's like an invasive weed and it will outgrow everything and spread everywhere. "Cindy McCain, the widow of Sen. John McCain, posted a hateful message she received from a stranger the same day President Donald Trump disparaged her late husband."

"A journalist and four immigration lawyers were stopped and questioned at the border in recent months, and at least one was asked about their political beliefs, NBC News reported Monday." This is not normal. This is how tyrants acts. This is what happens when you have no controls or checks during hiring, on boarding, and training. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

"Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office asked a court for an 11-day extension on a filing deadline Tuesday — claiming that, for the time being, key attorneys on their team were too busy with 'the press of other work.'" The plot thickens.

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