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

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Linkee-poo remembers every little thing as if it happened only yesterday

Life finds a way. "An experimental trial to reduce the number of mosquitoes in a Brazilian town by releasing genetically modified mosquitoes has not gone as planned. Traces of the mutated insects have been detected in the natural population of mosquitoes, which was never supposed to happen." Oopsie.

"The climate model of the Early Eocene—which took place between 48 to 54 million years ago—has provided researchers with the most detailed picture yet of how temperatures rose to 14 degrees Celsius above what they are today." We're boned.

"The Washington Monument will again welcome visitors up to its observation deck… But first, you have to go through security."

"Diabetes activists and legislators have started to focus attention on the surging price of insulin, leading to legislative pushes, lawsuits and congressional hearings. But insulin isn't the only thing people with Type 1 diabetes are struggling to get. Managing the condition requires other essential, often life-saving medical supplies. And patients frequently face hurdles in getting access to those supplies — hurdles put in place by insurance companies." This is why I'd laugh when conservatives talk about bureaucrats getting between you and your doctor. They're already there, but they're just for profit bureaucrats, not public servants. We often get calls about patients coming in on a weekend to get a CT or MRI scan and we have to explain pre-clearance for these tests. If you absolutely need it now, we suggest coming into the ER to get the order (which is way more expensive both to the insurer and the patient). But we don't have the staff to pre-clear scans on the weekend. If the patient is "self-pay" (ie. cash), they can definitely get the scan. If they're willing to take the chance that it might not be paid by the insurance, and they will be on the hook for the full cost, then they can also get the scan.

"Two days before his wedding this past April, Cameron Fischer had one heck of a bachelor party, hitting a few bars in the Old Town section of Fort Collins, Colo., with his friends into the wee hours. The next morning, the 30-year-old IT professional from nearby Loveland woke up with a killer hangover… He was in such bad shape that, with their wedding day fast approaching, Fischer's fiancĂ©e urged him to leave their rehearsal dinner in Denver and head to an emergency room to be rehydrated." If you're suffering symptoms like this (headache, vomiting, cramping) more than 8 hours after your last drink, that is not "just a hang-over." And while the bill is astronomical, especially compared to non-emergency services (and yes, stand-alone ERs are just money machines and should be heavily regulated), there are a number of errors in the article. One thing is consent, he says he never consented to a drug screen, but my guess is he did consent to having his blood drawn for "tests" (and the provider didn't specify what tests, or were intentionally vague, if we suspect drug use, yes, we will be vague). But there are many levels of consent, and the majority of them don't require full disclosure or obtaining a signature. Most likely he signed a general consent form which allowed the ER to run all the tests they needed to accurately diagnose and treat him. I am not a doctor, and I don't know all the particulars of this case, but I can tell you when people come in like this with significant symptoms more than a few hours after their last drink our first thoughts are ETOH detox, which is a serious condition (and can leave you with lifelong affects). So yes, it sucks for this patient, and stand-alone ERs are money sucking institutions, but this isn't as light as the report makes it seem.

"Speaker Nancy Pelosi… has won initial praise from key moderate factions in her drive to push the legislation through by Thanksgiving. But the ambitious plan, and its closed-door drafting process, has left progressives worried that the bill will fall well short of their expectations and that they remain cut out of the talks."

From last year, but significant in light of the recent attempts to rollback emissions standards. "Asbestos is now legally allowed back into U.S. manufacturing under a serious of loopholes by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As Fast Company reported, on June 1, the EPA authorized a “SNUR” (Significant New Use Rule) that allowed the distribution of products containing asbestos on a case-by-case basis." (Grokked from Dan)

And… "President Trump on Wednesday said he expects the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to slap San Francisco with a violation notice in the coming days related to pollution associated with the city’s homeless population." The weaponization of the federal government.

"Three former Japanese utility executives responsible for the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant when it was smashed by a tsunami in 2011 were acquitted Thursday of negligence in connection with multiple reactor meltdowns at the station."

"Officials also left the door open for another rate cut this year if the economy weakens further, reinforcing the message by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell that policymakers will do whatever is necessary to prevent a recession… The Fed injected liquidity into the overnight lending market two days in a row after rates spiked." Oh shit. There's some talk about how this is slightly seasonal, but IIRC it was this time of year in 2007 when everything went kablooie.

"Intensifying trade conflicts have sent global growth momentum tumbling toward lows last seen during the financial crisis, and governments are not doing enough to prevent long-term damage, the OECD said in its latest outlook." Looks like that "the old rules don't apply anymore" bent of the news was a lie. Again.

"The lawsuit, filed Wednesday by 'Jane Doe,' seeks to hold the estate liable for Epstein's actions, including sexual battery and sexual assault. Attorneys Darren K. Indyke and Richard D. Kahn are identified in the lawsuit as executors of Epstein's estate. The lawsuit also names Sarah Kellen and Lesley Groff as two Epstein employees who allegedly facilitated Epstein's sexual abuse of Jane Doe in a three-year period from 2002 to 2005."

"With over 90 percent of the vote now counted, the centrist Blue and White party looks to have won the largest number of seats in Israel’s parliament, called the Knesset — 32 out of a total of 120. Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud came in a close second, with 31 seats." There's a lot of news outlets stating that the election solves nothing and doesn't show a clear path. That's only because of the US's focus on "left or right", what Israelis voted for was compromise.

"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called on his centrist rival Benny Gantz to form a unity government, after the country's second election in a year ended in deadlock." Whispers, uh, Benny, you didn't win.

"Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is apologizing for having worn brownface makeup at a 2001 costume party… 'I should have known better then, but I didn't and I did it and I'm deeply sorry,' he said to reporters in his campaign plane in Halifax, Nova Scotia." And that's how you should respond, US politicians.

"U.S. surveillance satellites detected Iran readying drones and missiles at launch sites in Iran before Saudi oil facilities were attacked on Saturday, according to two Defense Department officials… The imagery has not been publicly released." If true, this becomes a little more convincing. But also note, while there's a lot of space to cover, we have a lot of technology in place and are watching the coast lines. I think we'd have more evidence than "there was increased activity as some Iranian sites."

"On Sept. 14, a major Saudi oil processing plant was rocked by a series of explosions. The facility, and another oil field to the south, had been attacked from the air. Here's what we know — at this time — about the attacks based on physical evidence."

People are looking at your LinkedIn profile… They might be Chinese spies. Well that explains the recent activity (my LinkedIn page is the least visited of my social media presence).

"Emergency sirens wailed on Hawaii's Oahu and Maui islands Wednesday evening, warning of a tsunami, but the alert turned out to be a mistake, sparking anger from residents who recalled a similar false warning last year of an imminent ballistic missile attack." Guys, guys, I think you need to look at your C3 operations. Because stupid shit like this is how you get citizens ignoring actual warnings.

"A U.S. intelligence official alarmed by President Trump’s communications with a foreign leader filed an official whistleblower complaint last month with the inspector general for the intelligence community, the Washington Post reports. Trump’s interactions with the leader, whose identity has not been disclosed, included what the Post described as 'a promise' the official 'regarded as so troubling' that the official came forward. It’s not clear what form the interaction took place, though one intelligence official told the Post that it was a phone call." This story continues to get weirder. I'm not placing my bets yet, but wouldn't it be a hoot if the whistleblower was Bolton? I don't think it is, but my brain keeps coming back to that possibility.

"Los Angeles prosecutors say they have charged Democratic fundraiser and LGBTQ activist Ed Buck with running a drug house and other crimes after a man overdosed on methamphetamine at Buck's apartment last week. The man survived, but two other men have died from overdoses at Buck's apartment in the past two years." If the DNC hasn't already, it's way past time to cut ties to this man.

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