There is trouble in the forest
And the creatures all have fled
As the maples scream 'oppression!'
And the oaks, just shake their heads

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Linkee-poo Tuesday

"And from the discovery of a curious spiky growth on the back of many people’s skulls to the realisation that our jaws are getting smaller, to the enigmatic finding that German youths currently have narrower elbows than ever before, it’s clear that modern life is having an impact on our bones." Bones are living parts of us and they respond to different stresses.

"The planet Mars does not bruise easily, but when it does, the result is practically a work of art. A fresh impact crater, spotted in April by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), is unlike anything astronomers have seen before… The dramatic, enhanced-colour scene… was captured using NASA's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, orbiting 255 kilometres away (158 miles)."

"Climate change may lead to unlikely illnesses in unexpected places, new research suggests: In the past two years, five cases of Vibrio vulnificus, a flesh-eating bacterial infection spread by handling or eating contaminated seafood, have been tied to Delaware Bay, where water temperatures have been on the rise in recent years, according to a study." We're boned.

"Facebook has unveiled an ambitious plan for its own digital currency similar to bitcoin, called Libra." Actually this isn't like bitcoin at all. This is a token currency, like buying tokens in a video arcade (if you're old enough to remember), but is technically (as I understand these things) a script. Facebook will peg the Libra to other stable currencies, which won't work (as those currencies vary in relationship to each other). While I think it may solve some issues in the modern world (lack of banking access, conversion fees, money transferring fees, etc), this is ripe for fraud and speculation and could spark rampant inflation. I think it also fundamentally misunderstands currencies, which are based on scarcity. They try to fix that by saying they would hold in reserve enough other currencies to cover the face value (or relative value) of Libra. And then there's the not so well acknowledge fact that block-chain ain't all it's hyped up to be.

"A Pakistani politician's live-streamed press conference descended into farce when a cat filter was switched on by mistake." Oopsie. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"Dallas police on Monday shot and killed a masked gunman carrying a military-style rifle and 150 rounds of ammunition. Authorities later identified the man as 22-year-old Army veteran Brian Issack Clyde of Fort Worth."

Our neighbors to the North, "Four people were shot and wounded at a rally Monday for the NBA champion Toronto Raptors, and three people were arrested, police said."

"A lot of us don't pay much attention to money in politics. But Mitch McConnell does. And unlike most politicians, he speaks bluntly in favor of more political spending, not less. That stance led to a long battle with one Senator, who fought McConnell harder than just about anyone else." The Embedded podcast series focusing on Mitch McConnell. (Grokked from Laura J. Mixon)

"McConnell told Fox News that he didn't know why Stewart was 'all bent out of shape' when it comes to the reauthorization of the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, and said it would be fully funded." Narrator's voice, "But it wasn't." "The current law was renewed in 2015 and is set to expire in 2020, but the fund's administrator announced in February that there was insufficient funding to pay all claims." Mitch brings a knife to a nuclear war.

"President Trump tweeted out Monday night that his administration plans on a sweeping immigration enforcement crackdown on individuals who have already arrived in the country that could see U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement stage coordinated raids in multiple cities. 'Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States,' Trump wrote. 'They will be removed as fast as they come in.'" Wasn't he already doing that? Ah, oh, this is the mass arrest strategy of Gollum stand-in Stephen Miller. The one that got "then-acting ICE director Ronald Vitiello and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen" fired for bringing in reality.

"Paul J. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman who is serving a federal prison sentence, had been expected to be transferred to the notorious Rikers Island jail complex this month… But last week, Manhattan prosecutors were surprised to receive a letter from the second-highest law enforcement official in the country inquiring about Mr. Manafort’s case. The letter, from Jeffrey A. Rosen, Attorney General William P. Barr’s new top deputy, indicated that he was monitoring where Mr. Manafort would be held in New York… And then, on Monday, federal prison officials weighed in, telling the Manhattan district attorney’s office that Mr. Manafort, 70, would not be going to Rikers." Not exactly a pardon, but the administration is still influencing the incarceration and continued prosecution in this case. Also, the president can't pardon Manafort from any convictions he may face in NY State Court.

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