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

Monday, December 7, 2020

Linkee-poo Monday Dec 7

"Before 2020 comes to a close, Jupiter and Saturn will be so close that they will appear to form a 'double planet.' The great conjunction, as the planetary alignment has come to be known, hasn't occurred in nearly 800 years." Great conjunctions have been believed to be portents of great things, or of endings. You can read into it whatever you want.

Meanwhile, on Bullshit Mountain… "This year has been a year unlike any other in recent memory and it will conclude with the return of a celestial event not seen for almost 800 years… The two largest planets in the solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, will do something later this month not seen since the Middle Ages: forming what looks like a double planet. This celestial event has been dubbed the 'Christmas star.'" There aren't enough eye rolls.

"A 'mystery' illness linked to one death put more than 300 people in the hospital over the weekend in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Dozens of residents in Eluru city started falling ill on Saturday night, with some losing consciousness… The patients reported symptoms similar to those associated with epilepsy, including headaches, nausea, vomiting and seizures. The number of patients rose sharply throughout Sunday. By Monday morning 315 people were in a local hospital. More than 150 patients were released after treatment, but that left about half of those who were admitted with the unexplained illness still in Eluru's hospital." Sounds like an environmental poisoning event.

"He designed a smartwatch app to help stop his Dad's nightmares."

"Coming up with a miracle vaccine in record time was hard. Making it in quantities never seen before will be harder. But the logistics.... There are so many things that have to happen before the shot that protects you from coronavirus gets into your arm." Planet Money podcast with some reality. Also note, shippers are already warning us about delayed shipping times for the holidays.

"Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco this week vowed not to enforce the state’s new coronavirus restrictions, calling Gov. Gavin Newsom’s efforts to contain the pandemic with business closures and stay-at-home orders 'flat out ridiculous.'"

So how's that "voluntary compliance" working out so far? "With more 10,500 infections reported Sunday alone, Los Angeles County shattered its coronavirus one-day case record just as the region’s residents prepared to hunker down with new restrictions meant to slow the rapid spread of the virus."

"President Donald Trump said Sunday his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani has tested positive for the coronavirus, making him the latest in Trump's inner circle to contract the disease that is now surging across the U.S."

"Britain begins its vaccine programme this week and others are likely to follow soon, so governments are seeking to reassure people of vaccines’ safety and efficacy in order to get a critical mass to take them."

"FDNY employees are among the first groups that will be offered the coronavirus vaccine after hospital workers, and nursing home patients and staff… About a quarter of firefighters took the survey and 55% said they do not want to take the vaccine right now, while 45% do." This article also points out some of the things I also see at the hospital. Of those who say they won't take it, they are a mix of those who distrust the vaccine, those who want it to go to others, and those who have (or believe they have) been already infected and feel they have "immunity" already.

"Even as college and university enrollment overall has dropped this fall, Smith is part of a wave of what officials say is a record number of applicants to medical school… The number of applicants is up 18% this year over last year, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, or AAMC, driven by the example of medical workers and public health figures such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases." Dr Fauci, the ThirtySomething of the next generation.

"When the idea — not slogan (Defund the Police)— first became audible to the mainstream this summer, some politicians immediately sought to water it down, reinterpreting abolition as just another go at reform. Proponents, though, say that they mean exactly what they say. They also emphasize that the demand to remove money from police departments and redistribute it to improve the social conditions that drive criminality isn't new. In June, Bob spoke with Amna Akbar, law professor at The Ohio State University, about where the demand comes from, and what 'abolition' really means."

"It is one of the most contentious aspects of video game playing – a debate where opposing sides literally cannot see each other’s perspective. When the Guardian ran an article asking why a large minority of game players invert the Y axis on their controls – meaning that they push their joypad’s thumb stick down to move upwards on the screen – the response was huge. Hundreds of comments vociferously arguing why axis inversion was the only way to navigate a game world, and hundreds more incredulously arguing the opposite." Oh noes, peoples not conforming to bad Human User Interface design? What'll we ever do? How about this thought, the mind is plastic and can adjust.

How goes Brexit? "The U.K. government believes “significant differences” still remain with the EU, as the two sides make a final push to clinch a post-Brexit trade deal… Talks are ongoing in Brussels on Monday afternoon, but both sides remain divided over three issues: fisheries, competition rules and governance of their potential deal. They have been stuck on these three areas since early on in the summer."

"A bipartisan group of senators on Sunday appeared optimistic that lawmakers would put forward a proposal for another coronavirus stimulus package, saying details about the piece of legislation would likely come early this week." You let me know when you have something.

"A new report from One Fair Wage finds that more than 80% of workers are seeing a decline in tips and over 40% say they're facing an increase in sexual harassment from customers."

"President Donald Trump expanded his extraordinary efforts to overturn the election Saturday, attempting to pressure Georgia's governor to force a special session of the legislature to change the result, while using an evening rally for two GOP Senate candidates to rant about his own grievances and thrash Republican leaders who have not done his bidding."

"Republican Sen. Mike Braun on Sunday said claims of voter fraud in the presidential election should continue to be pursued… The Indiana GOP senator argued in an interview with ABC's 'This Week' in favor of continuing to examine those claims — despite states certifying their results and legal challenges to the results largely falling flat — to avoid doubts about the election outcome." And in case you're wondering what this is all about at this point… "'I just don't think that if you say — if you don't pursue it, overturn every stone, this is going to linger into the future,' Braun said of claims of election impropriety. 'And it's going to be to the disadvantage of whoever is there trying to run the country.'" For however many election cycles the GOP has been saying, "elections have consequences." Well, now they don't want there to be actual consequences.

And here I'll just point out that it's the Russian playbook to sow doubt and distrust of institutions, like "experts" and free elections.

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