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

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Linkee-poo on a Wednesday

John Scalzi let's us know the Campbell Award is changing it's name to Astounding Award for Best New Writer. Well, that was quick.

"SpaceX’s Starhopper prototype has completed its second and final flight test, lifting off to an apogee of roughly 150m (500 ft) before nailing the bullseye on a landing pad adjacent to the launch mount." And that's it for Starhopper which we be retired to become a test bed.

"The Colonel went plant-based at one Atlanta restaurant on Tuesday, complete with its signature red trim wrapped in bright green, to test out its Beyond Meat fake Fried "Chicken" on real humans… And the real humans lined up literally around the block for the popcorn chicken and 'wings', until supply ran out less than five hours into the promotion." So much for the "It'll never work, Gulliver" crowd.

"And, now, the Arctic isn’t only losing its ice. It is being set ablaze." Peat bog fires are not something that is easily dealt with. They burn underground. And what looks like stable soil will collapse quickly and you'll be lucky if it still isn't on fire (because that easily becomes a flashover situation). Also, the tundra in the Arctic was the carbon sink for one of the last overly warm periods in Earth's history. And what happens when you burn a carbon sink? We're boned. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

"If you see a dead bird or seagull leave it alone, says Fairhaven Health Director Mary Freire-Kellogg." Eastern equine encephalitis makes a comeback.

"The College Board is dropping its plan to give SAT-takers a single score that captures a student's economic hardship. The change comes after blowback from university officials and parents of those taking the college admissions exam." I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this.

"The irony, of course, is that Bret Stephens regularly pens columns decrying the culture of 'safe spaces' on college campuses. He once wrote a column titled “Free Speech and the Necessity of Discomfort.” (Discomfort for thee, but not for me, it would seem…)" The bedbug comment all the cool kids are talking about. Bret Stephens, please meet the Barbra Streisand Effect. (Grokked from Random Michelle K)

How go the Trade Wars? "Nine jobs in one of South Carolina’s poorest counties this week became the latest casualty in a ongoing trade war with China, fueling concerns that stalled negotiations will hamper U.S. economic growth and job gains." Hey Lindsey Graham, go and tell those 9 people to suck it up for the president. Cause you know we all need to accept the pain of these trade wars. "The Martin plant has a strong likelihood that it will not exist in the next 18 months, if this process continues, after 40 years of working in the community and being one of the main industries in Allendale County." (Grokked from Anne Wheaton)

"The rate on the benchmark 30-year Treasury bond sank to a new all-time low on Wednesday while the U.S. yield curve inverted even further as fixed-income traders continue to bet on tepid inflation and slower growth in the United States." Whispers, "the yield curve has been inverted for more than a quarter now."

How goes Brexit? "British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has asked the Queen to suspend Parliament just days after it returns from summer recess next week, and only weeks before the Brexit deadline." Well, that's one way to end any tricky questions from the opposition.

"Within hours of Johnson's request, the queen agreed to prorogue, or suspend, Parliament for several weeks in September and October." Here we go.

"'From the party of fiscal responsibility, a $12K wall so Republican State Senators don't have to share an office suite with Democrats,' tweeted Louisville, Kentucky-based New York Magazine politics writer Adam K. Raymond." Because liberal cooties or something. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

"When Kazeem Oyeneyin's friend accidentally set off his burglar alarm, the North Carolina man went downstairs, turned it off, and went back upstairs to sleep… Minutes later, Raleigh police showed up, handcuffed Oyeneyin and took him outside in his underwear while they started clearing his house." (Grokked from Mur Lafferty)

Conservatives are all about the free market, until they're not. "International trade legal experts broadly agree with Trump. If he wanted to force American companies to cut their China ties, he could make it hard for them to stay, and even harder to invest more."

"As Dorian neared Puerto Rico, President Donald Trump on Tuesday made the false claim that Congress had approved $92 billion for the island after the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017." Sometimes I think he picks fights he knows he'll lose because they're low stakes and give people some sense that he's malleable (that's not the right word, but I don't know what the right word for something you feel better about because you win some against them, but what you win are the inflatable balloon toys and not anything real). And then sometimes I think he's just that stupid.

And then, "As a major storm heads for Puerto Rico, the Department of Homeland Security and its Federal Emergency Management Agency said Tuesday they will move $271 million in funds to support President Trump's border enforcement efforts." Why? Because they know Congress will approve emergency spending for FEMA if it runs out of disaster funds.

"Gripped with anger, some Iowa ethanol leaders say President Donald Trump should no longer count on their support in next year’s election, given his administration's action to cut demand for the U.S. renewable fuel." And while, yes, Democrats should make hay of this (while the sun shines), I don't expect many of these farmers to actually change who they'll vote for. (Grokked from Laura J Mixon)

"President Donald Trump has been mocked after remarking that he has German in his blood while expressing excitement over a proposed future trip to Germany… Trump made the comments during a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, prompting the veteran leader to raise her eyebrows and seemingly laugh at the president's reference to his German ancestry."

The far-right gets even weirder as the grifters who feed on them (and feed them) become more anonymous. "Bronze Age Pervert is active on Twitter in a network of similar, pseudonymous accounts with names like Just Loki and 17thCenturyShytePost that revel in mythic, aristocratic pasts while trafficking in racism and anti-Semitism." As a fool myself, I recognize similar hallmarks in this person's MO (although in the article the actions are clumsy and born of the 4chan and 8chan mindset of cleverness). Just like QAnon, they are both easy to dismiss as whackaloon, but the trickster tactics can both draw and influence a large crowd. So they should never be underestimated.

"President Donald Trump reportedly told officials in his administration that he would pardon them if they had to break any laws to get hundreds of miles of his border wall built before the next presidential election, according to a report Tuesday night in The Washington Post… 'Don’t worry, I’ll pardon you,' the president has allegedly told aides worried about his instructions to seize private land through eminent domain, flout environmental rules or push through billion-dollar contracts." Remember when we had conversations about "what would happen in the president gave an order that was illegal?" and people where all, "that would never happen." Here we are. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

Didn't he say, "it's because I'm under audit?" "The White House counsel to President Richard Nixon said President Donald Trump looks 'extremely nervous' about the release of his tax returns after Deutsche Bank implied that it holds copies of the documents sought by Congress." Surely he's not being audited for every year since 2000.

No comments: