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

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Linkee-poo Tuesday Dec 15

Well, that was fun. Let's not do that again.

"Winter Storm Gail will intensify into a high-impact nor'easter for parts of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Wednesday, where it will bring heavy snow, strong winds and some coastal flooding."

"Even disaster experts are stunned by the devastation this fall in Honduras."

"Japanese scientists have gotten their first look inside the sample capsule of the Hayabusa2 spacecraft, and even the first glance is promising."

"The baseball club, known since 1915 as the Cleveland Indians, announced in a statement Monday that it will 'begin the process of changing the name,' according to a letter to fans from owner Paul Dolan." Let the gnashing of teeth and the garment rending begin.

"A conservation technician recently discovered that the zoo's Tasmanian Devils are biofluorescent… That's when animals absorb high-energy light and re-emit it. It's believed to be the first documented case of the evolutionary phenomenon in Tasmanian Devils."

"Shipments that began over the weekend are enough to vaccinate 2.9 million people, Azar said. Officials are withholding an additional 2.9 million doses, which will be administered in 21 days as a required second dose of the vaccine." While the title states that "millions more COVID-19 vaccine doses are on the way," that's not really discussed in the article. And if they were, there would be no reason to hold back half of the distribution for the second jab. So what do you think the people involved in the final stage (poking people with needles) think of the prospects of getting more Pfizer vaccine in 21 days?

"With the COVID-19 vaccine arriving in Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine said the state will begin tracking how many people have received the shot and sharing that data with the public."

"The U.K.’s capital city is about to move into the country’s highest level of coronavirus restrictions as cases continue to surge ahead of the holiday period… On Monday, the government announced that London, a city of around 9 million, and its surrounding areas would move into the 'very high' alert level of Tier 3."

"U.S. Food and Drug Administration staff recommends monitoring people who get Pfizer or Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine shots for possible cases of Bell’s palsy, saying it’s not necessarily a side effect but worth watching out for after a handful of trial participants got the condition, which causes half of your face to droop… A 54-page staff report released Tuesday said there were four reported cases of Bell’s palsy among Moderna’s more than 30,000 clinical trial participants. Three of the participants who got Bell’s palsy also received the vaccine instead of a placebo shot. Pfizer’s trial similarly had four reported cases of Bell’s palsy out of some 43,000 participants. All four Bell’s palsy cases in Pfizer’s trial got the vaccine and not the placebo." The funny part about this is if this drug was intended to induce Bell's palsy, it would be rated as 75% effective. But because this is considered a "side-effect", then we can run the numbers more realistically and say it's not really a concern.

"Facing strong pressure from Germany and other European Union nations, the bloc’s medicines agency on Tuesday moved up a meeting to assess the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to Dec. 21, likely bringing vaccinations a step closer for millions of EU citizens."

"A new variant of coronavirus has been found which is growing faster in some parts of England, MPs have been told… Health Secretary Matt Hancock said at least 60 different local authorities had recorded Covid infections caused by the new variant." The virus mutates. All viruses do. The questions aren't if it will, the questions are what will it do to its ability to infect, the course of the disease, and if it would render previously acquired immunity useless.

"Congressional Democrats and Republicans revealed their two COVID-19 relief bills Monday that equal $908 billion if both pass. The larger, $748 billion package sets aside 16 weeks of unemployment assistance and $300 weekly bonus checks. The second bill contains $160 billion for state and local government aid and a liability shield for businesses, which, respectively, represent contentious dealbreakers to each party." Oh, and Senator Collins, doing your actual jobs, in theory, shouldn't be a "Christmas Miracle."

"An FBI agent was involved in a shooting on board a Metro train early Tuesday and an investigation is underway, Metro officials and the FBI said." Um, not a lot of info there.

"Ghislaine Maxwell has asked a US judge to release her under a proposed $28.5m (£21.4m) bail package as she awaits trial on sex crime charges… The British socialite is accused of helping the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein groom young girls." No.

"A Japanese court on Tuesday sentenced a man to death for killing and dismembering nine people, most of whom had posted suicidal thoughts on social media, in a case that shocked the country. The Tachikawa branch of the Tokyo District Court found Takahiro Shiraishi, known as the 'Twitter killer,' guilty of killing, dismembering and storing the bodies of the victims in his apartment in Zama, near Tokyo."

"Russian hackers working for the Kremlin are believed to be behind breaches of U.S. government computer systems at the departments of Treasury, Commerce and Homeland Security that may have lasted months before they were discovered, according to U.S. officials and media reports." Waves to my Russian friends.

A ribbon cutting for the memory-hole… "In an exclusive interview, Rep. Paul Mitchell, Republican of Michigan, told CNN that his disgust and disappointment with President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the results of the election have led him to request that the Clerk of the House change his party affiliation to 'independent,' and to notify GOP leaders in a letter that he is withdrawing his 'engagement and association with the Republican Party at both the national and state level.'"

"A Democratic official in Georgia is warning Democrats that it will be hard to replicate President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the state in the Senate runoff elections. Democrats are hoping to defeat both Republican senators to flip control of the Senate."

"An opinion column in The Wall Street Journal came under fire over the weekend for asking educator and incoming first lady Jill Biden — who holds two master's degrees and a doctorate in education — to stop using the title 'Dr.'" Joseph Epstein can fuck right off. Besides being misogynistic and condescending, it also demonstrates Joey's lack of education. Surprisingly since this dick-whittler was in high-ed himself. I'm sure he allowed his students to address him as Joey or boy.

"Attorney General William Barr, an outspoken proponent of conservative values and an expansive view of presidential power, will leave office before Christmas, President Trump announced in a tweet Monday afternoon."

Ma href="https://www.npr.org/2020/12/15/946657248/will-jeffrey-rosen-interim-doj-leader-withstand-white-house-pressure">"With the departure of Attorney General William Barr on Dec. 23, Rosen will serve as the acting leader at Justice until at least Jan. 20, when President-elect Joe Biden is set to be inaugurated… It's not unusual for the deputy attorney general to fill that role during a government transition, but Trump's efforts to meddle in enforcement matters and his disrespect for norms of Justice Department independence promise to make the job unusually tricky."

"President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris received the needed majority of votes in the Electoral College on Monday in another step putting them closer toward taking the White House in January." Biden wins again. You know, Trump was right. I am tired of the continual winning.

"Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday explicitly acknowledged Joe Biden as president-elect for the first time after weeks of Republican delays in recognizing the 2020 election result." He can spin it however he wants, McConnell is still a dick for waiting this long.

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