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

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Linkee-poo just had to get a prescription from the vet to order cat food

"A new test of cephalopod smarts has reinforced how important it is for us humans to not underestimate animal intelligence… Cuttlefish have been put to a new version of the marshmallow test, and the results appear to demonstrate that there's more going on in their strange little brains than we knew." (Grokked from Dan)

"Henrik Fisker has abandoned his electric vehicle startup’s effort to create a solid-state battery, the Fisker Inc. founder told The Verge in a recent interview." A little insight on the corporate wars to develop better battery technology and the "startup" culture.

"On Tuesday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that state Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud had signed a revised health order, expanding capacity for mass gatherings within the state… According to the governor's office, the first order--which originally prohibited mass gatherings--will now allow for events to go forward, so long as COVID-19 protocols are still followed. This includes wedding receptions, funeral repasts, proms, and other major gatherings." What's the worst that could happen? (Don't answer that).

"Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday he's lifting the mask mandate in Texas, even as health officials warn not to ease safety restrictions… Abbott made the announcement during a Lubbock Chamber of Commerce event where he issued an executive order rescinding most of his earlier executive orders like the mask mandate… Abbott said businesses of any type will be allowed to open 100% beginning March 10." Texas, what doesn't kill you probably won't win a majority in the legislature.

"Less than a year ago, Dolly Parton donated $1 million to help her friend, Dr. Naji Abumrad, develop the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Vanderbuilt University. On Tuesday, the country music legend told the world she 'got a shot of her own medicine,' as Abumrad gave Parton her first dose of the vaccine." When I was a young person had you told me Dolly Parton would emerge as a cultural hero and power mover I probably would have laughed at you.

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is finalizing guidance aimed at clarifying what Americans who have received COVID-19 vaccines should and shouldn't do, according to two sources at the agency familiar with its drafting… The upcoming guidance, first reported by Politico, is expected to include that fully vaccinated individuals should be able to gather in small groups with other people who have also been vaccinated. The CDC currently does not recommend in-person gatherings with the general public, saying 'gathering virtually or with the people you live with is the safest choice.'" I am not a virologist, but here's how I understand it; vaccines don't really prevent you from contracting the virus or bacteria in the way a wall prevents you from moving about, but they kickstart your immune system to defeat the virus/bacteria before it can cause the disease associated with the infectious agent. So, you can still get inoculated with SARS-CoV2, and can possibly give it to others (in the short term, such as the virus gets on your skin from someone else, and then another person touches you and then rubs their eyes), but you won't develop COVID-19 symptoms or be a long term reservoir for the virus or danger to others. So wear the damn mask.

"Billionaire Leon Cooperman told CNBC on Wednesday he believes rich people would find ways to avoid paying Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax if it were to become law. He also argued there are better mechanisms to raise federal government revenue." Note to rich person, they already do.

"Google is clarifying its plans for targeted advertising as it phases out the use of browser cookies, saying in a new blog post Wednesday that it won’t use other ways to 'track' users around the internet after it ends support for cookies in Chrome."Bette Sure. I believe that. (Serious side-eye)

How goes Brexit? "British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak announced Wednesday that U.K. corporation tax will increase to 25% in April 2023 as the government looks to restore public finances in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic… In his Budget statement Wednesday, Sunak said the changes would take effect after the Office for Budget Responsibility, a public body that provides independent forecasts, expects the economy to have returned to its pre-Covid level."

"France has admitted that a prominent Algerian nationalist was tortured and murdered by its army more than 60 years ago… Ali Boumendjel was arrested during the Algerian War of Independence in 1957, and his death shortly after was covered-up as a suicide."

"At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts about 2,000 U.S. troops on Wednesday, American and Iraqi military officials said. A U.S. defense official told CBS News national security correspondent David Martin there were no reported casualties among U.S. or coalition troops, but a civilian contractor of died of a heart attack during the rocket strike. The contractor's nationality was not immediately clear."

"Pope Francis and Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani are to meet on Saturday for at most 40 minutes, part of the time alone except for interpreters, in the Shiite cleric’s modest home in the city of Najaf. Every detail was scrutinized ahead of time in painstaking, behind-the-scenes preparations that touched on everything from shoes to seating arrangements."

"Barely a mile from where an SUV packed with 25 people struck a tractor-trailer — killing 13 inside — a cemetery with unmarked bricks is a burial ground for migrants who died crossing the border from Mexico to remote California desert." Uh, I think you got that mixed up on who struck whom. The SUV may have been at fault, but I'm pretty sure the truck struck the SUV.

"President Joe Biden is waking up to a haunting new reality that will test his determination to pass his legislative agenda, as progressives in the Democratic Party say prospects for bipartisanship are bleak and instead agitate to end Republicans' power to block bills." It's time to end the filibuster (or, in reality, the rule that allows a Senator to declare they'll filibuster, and then the Senate needs 60 votes for cloture, they can still stand and control the floor for as long as they can hold it).

"Eleven Senate Democrats are pushing President Joe Biden to put recurring direct payments and enhanced jobless benefits in the economic recovery and infrastructure plan he will try to pass this year." It has no chance.

"As a House panel is set to meet on new spending to ramp up Capitol security, military and federal officials will testify in a Senate hearing that is part of several congressional probes into what fueled the deadly Jan. 6 riot."

"A screaming man with his fist raised, a Byzantine cross emblazoned in red on his T-shirt. A white flag with a lone green pine tree and the words 'An Appeal to Heaven' fluttering over the angry crowd. The Christian flag whipping in the wind from a parked pickup… Those images on display at the Jan. 5-6 rally and riot in Washington, D.C., have raised concerns that some of former President Donald Trump's most ardent and dangerous supporters, including groups such as the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, QAnon, 3 Percenters and America Firsters, are cloaking themselves in biblical language to justify their actions." A "concern"? Seriously, do you need to have that flag be used as a spear against you before you get it that they've been doing this all along.

"A prosecutor declined to file charges Tuesday against a suburban Detroit man who displayed a Ku Klux Klan flag in his window next to the home of a Black family, saying the 'horrible conduct' doesn’t violate Michigan law… An ethnic intimidation charge would require physical contact, property damage or threats of such activity, said Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy." They didn't have the money for curtains, but they had a KKK flag handy.

"Today's Republican Party did not slip and accidentally fall into neofascism and racial authoritarianism. Rather, it willingly leapt into that cesspool. CPAC has devolved into a "safe space" where such vile ideas are cultivated and normalized."

"Republicans are determined to blame Black Lives Matter and antifa for the Capitol Hill riot. But after Tuesday’s Senate hearing on the insurrection, there’s no doubt that white supremacy was the real culprit… FBI Director Christopher Wray confirmed what many of us already knew — that white supremacy is thriving in America. The sentiment that has been brewing for several years reached a pinnacle when an angry mob stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6."

"South Carolinian William Robert Norwood III is facing federal charges after allegedly telling a family member he assaulted and stole gear from police officers during the Capitol riot… 'I'm dressing in all black,' Norwood wrote under the name 'Robbie' on January 5, the day before the riot and insurrection, according to text messages cited in an FBI affidavit. 'I'll look just like ANTIFA. I'll get away with anything.'" Apparently he isn't getting away with it.

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