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

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Linkee-poo Tuesday

"However, the dusty pink layer atop the Presena Glacier in the Italian Alps is more sinister than it looks. Algae has dyed the snow a bizarre color. The otherworldly look could end up speeding up the melt of snow and glaciers in the fragile mountain region." We're boned.

"A Brazilian man infected with the AIDS virus has shown no sign of it for more than a year since he stopped HIV medicines after an intense experimental drug therapy aimed at purging hidden, dormant virus from his body, doctors reported Tuesday… 'These are exciting findings but they’re very preliminary,' said Dr. Monica Gandhi, an AIDS specialist at the University of California, San Francisco. 'This has happened to one person, and one person only,' and it didn’t succeed in four others given the same treatment, she said."

Trigger warning for alarmist content. "While China appears to have reduced coronavirus cases to near zero, other infectious threats remain, with local health authorities announcing a suspected bubonic plague case in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region." Oh noes! We're doomed! Yeah yeah yeah. This happens every year. And, surprise, about a handful of people in the US die of bubonic plague every year (mostly in the Southwest where it travels on the rodent population). This is click bait material. The same with the other warning about the new swine flu. This is the same phenomenon that when there is a major bus crash, you tend to hear about other bush crashes at the same time. Those crashes happen even when you don't hear reporting about it (in fact, lots of things happen you don't hear about). It's because the public's attention is focused on an issue and the news will feed your interest for it.

"The medical examiner's report notes that Davis attended a 100-person church event, where people were not required to wear face masks, roughly two weeks before she died in a Miami-Dade County hospital. During the nine days that followed, she was given antibiotics, hydroxychloroquine and oxygen via her grandfather's portable machine by her parents while at home. Her mother, Carole Brunton Davis, is a nurse. The hospital recommended intubation when Davis was admitted to its pediatric unit on June 19, but her parents declined the procedure, according to the county medical examiner. She received plasma therapy and was eventually intubated on June 22, but died one day later."

"Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Monday that the United States' handle on the coronavirus outbreak is 'really not good' and that action is needed to curb the spread." You let me know when that happens.

"The border between Australian states Victoria and New South Wales will close because of a spike in coronavirus cases, officials announced on Monday."

"India has now surpassed Russia to become the third-worst country affected by the coronavirus, in terms of total infections. Only the United States and Brazil have more."

"Under current U.S. law, employers have too much leeway to install surveillance software on devices they own. In addition, little prevents them from coercing workers to install software on their own devices (as long as the surveillance can be disabled outside of work hours). Different states have different rules about what employers can and can’t do. But workers often have limited legal recourse against intrusive monitoring software." I've never allowed a company to install their software on my personally owned devices, although a few have tried.

"The point of this conversation is not that the internet is bad, nor that it is good. It’s that it is changing us, just as every medium before it has. We need to see those changes clearly in order to take control of them ourselves."

"On may 29, two federal security officers guarding a courthouse in Oakland, California, were ambushed by machine-gun fire as elsewhere in the city demonstrators marched peacefully to protest the killing of George Floyd… For days, conservative news broadcasters pinned the blame on 'antifa,' the loosely affiliated group of anti-fascist anarchists known to attack property and far-right demonstrators at protests. But the alleged culprit, apprehended a week later, turned out to be a 32-year-old Air Force sergeant named Steven Carrillo, the head of a squadron called the Phoenix Ravens, which guards military installations from terrorist attacks… According to prosecutors, Carrillo and an accomplice, 30-year-old Robert A. Justus Jr., were part of the 'boogaloo' movement, a patchwork of right-leaning anti-government libertarians, Second Amendment advocates, and gun enthusiasts all preparing for another American civil war."

"Despite having the third-largest installed base of wind and solar power after China and the U.S., Germany still relied on coal for 45% of its needs as recently as 2015. While the U.K. has been going without the fuel for months at a time, Germany’s legislation on retiring its coal fleets, which passed Friday, will keep plants switched on as late as 2038… That 'as late as' is key, though." It already is more costly to produce electricity with coal, but they have long-term contracts with set prices in place, and the energy sector loaded up with carbon credits back when they were cheap. "With a price on carbon, renewables are simply out-competing coal on the open market." Yes, when the generators have to (finally) pay the full cost of their product, fossil fuels can't compete. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

"The Supreme Court on Monday cleared the way for several pipeline projects to proceed under a fast-track permitting process but excluded the controversial Keystone XL expansion from their ruling, forcing major delays… Though the case is a partial win for the Trump administration, the exclusion of Keystone XL is a major defeat for a President who made good on a campaign promise to move forward with the project through executive order."

"To his dismay, Cross learned that many of the people in the white mob were regular churchgoers. In the years that followed, he made it part of his ministry to educate his fellow Christians about the attack and prompt them to reflect on its meaning." White supremacy's deep roots in Christianity.

"Neighborhoods in some of the largest US cities erupted in gun violence over the Fourth of July weekend, killing an estimated 160 people and leaving more than 500 wounded from Friday night to Sunday." Amurica!

"The eurozone economy will sink deeper into recession than previously thought due to the effects of the pandemic, the European Commission (EC) has said… The bloc will contract a record 8.7% this year before growing 6.1% in 2021. It compares with the EC's May forecast of a 7.7% slump and 6.3% growth."

"Foreign students attending U.S. colleges that will operate entirely online this fall semester cannot remain in the country to do so, according to new regulations released Monday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement." Cruelty (and stupidity) is the point.

"The U.S. is 'looking at' banning TikTok and other Chinese social media apps, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News on Monday… His comments come amid rising tensions between the U.S. and China and as scrutiny on TikTok and Chinese technology firms continues to grow." Good luck with that. Have you ever noticed that this administration is always "looking at" things "strongly", and have been "considering them a long time"? It's like their knee-jerk rhetorical action. And I'm sure it totally has nothing to do with the president's poor showing in Oklahoma at all.

"Ng, Leung and Cheong are three of the 4,500 or so small businesses in Hong Kong’s “yellow economy,” which supports pro-democracy protesters and vice versa. That circle of support is showing signs of weakening in the face of the new law."

"A fire last week at the Natanz nuclear site, Iran’s main uranium enrichment facility, caused 'significant' damage, the country's nuclear agency said, lifting part of the mystery surrounding the event… It still remains unclear, however, exactly what happened at the site in central Isfahan province. Iranian authorities at first appeared to downplay it, saying only that a fire had broken out early Thursday at an 'industrial shed.'"

"Fox News said on Monday that it "mistakenly" cropped President Trump out of a photograph that featured the accused sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein and his alleged accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell." Uh huh, sure.

"Out of nine Senate GOP women serving, four face highly competitive races this year in Arizona, Maine, Georgia and Iowa. It's a dynamic that exists in part because Republicans have had some success in chipping away at the gender gap in Congress: the Senate GOP currently has an all-time high of women after nearly doubling the number of women in its conference since 2016." Wouldn't be a problem if you had started recruiting much earlier and maybe promote women in more solidly red states.

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