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

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Linkee-poo Thursday April 8

"It's called a muon. And on Wednesday, researchers at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory sent shock waves through the world of particle physics when they found this unassuming speck of quantum-curious existence could illuminate the very fabric of the universe in a way we haven't seen since the discovery of the Higgs boson nearly a decade ago." Higgs was almost a decade ago? And they're wobbling weirdly? I blame cats.

"A NASA spacecraft will bid farewell to its asteroid companion of the last few years… The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is conducting a final flyby of the asteroid Bennu on Wednesday."

"A more easily spread coronavirus variant first identified in England last year has now become the dominant strain in the U.S., the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday."

"Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky anticipates that all schools will be fully in person and no longer remote in September 2021." Sure, and I've got this swampland over here for a steep discount.

"In the past year, the housing market has laid bare the harms of these rules. As mortgage rates bottomed out, would-be homeowners flooded the market only to find they were fighting over scraps. Tales abound of these people desperately shoving all-cash offers well over the asking price to sellers and increasingly making offers on homes sight unseen. Middle- and low-income renters watched from the sidelines, their hopes of homeownership dashed as they shell out dangerously high proportions of their income to rent. This frenzy leads many to a simple question: Where are all the homes?" The carrot only strategy won't work. And yes, more "affordable" housing needs to be in the pipeline.

"President Biden's infrastructure train is leaving the station… In remarks Wednesday pushing for his sweeping $2.3 trillion plan, Biden said he wants to meet with Republicans about it and hopes to negotiate in 'good faith' — a political tenet that hasn't been practiced much in Washington, D.C., in recent years… But Biden is not waiting around."

"First-time claims for unemployment insurance rose more than expected last week despite other signs of healing in the jobs market, the Labor Department reported Thursday… First-time claims for the week ended April 3 totaled 744,000, well above the expectation for 694,000 from economists surveyed by Dow Jones. The total represented an increase of 16,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised 728,000. The four-week moving average edged higher to 723,750."

How goes Brexit? "Young people set a hijacked bus on fire and hurled gasoline bombs at police in Belfast in at least the fourth night of serious violence in a week in Northern Ireland, where Britain's exit from the European Union has unsettled an uneasy political balance… People also lobbed bricks, fireworks and gasoline bombs Wednesday night in both directions over a concrete "peace wall" that separates Protestant, British loyalist and Catholic, Irish nationalist neighborhoods."

"Parts of Northern Ireland saw their sixth consecutive night of violence Wednesday as unionists and nationalists clashed with police and each other."

"In a new lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, three Black CBP officers are suing the Department of Homeland Security, alleging CBP routinely targets and harasses Black travelers at the Blue Water Bridge between Port Huron and Sarnia, Ontario. Of the 275 CBP officers who work at that location, four are Black."

"Malls that buckled due to e-commerce or suffered during the pandemic are being given new life by the very entity that precipitated their decline — Amazon… Over the last several months, the retail giant has gone on a shopping spree of its own, buying up disused malls across the country and turning them into distribution centers."

"No, the (Amazon Union) vote count isn’t in yet. The NLRB expects the public portion of the count, viewable to reporters and certain observers via video call, to begin this afternoon. We do not know how long this will take, but it’s safe to assume that the count will span several hours. Each of the over 3,000 ballots will be counted by hand, one at a time."

"Five years after Prince's death, the artist's estate is releasing songs from his previously unreleased album, 'Welcome 2 America.' The new music will debut Sunday night on 60 Minutes." Prince, dead for half a decade, is now safe. Yes the artist who released DMSR, Raspberry Beret, Little Red Corvette, I Wanna Be Your Lover, and Darling Nikki is now safe enough to debut a new release on 60 Minutes.

"Paite is not a lone crusader. She’s part of a vast but little-known network of Catholic nuns dedicated to fighting human trafficking across the globe. The organization, Talitha Kum, was formed in Rome in 2009 and now operates quietly in 92 countries… The group is made up of roughly 60,000 religious sisters. The work they do is often dangerous and daring — confronting pimps on darkened streets, patrolling dusty alleys that host brothels. The sisters also operate safe houses in several countries, providing refuge for women and girls fleeing their captors." Considering the history of some orders, that's quite a welcomed turnaround.

"The United States is prepared to remove sanctions on Iran to resume compliance with the Iran nuclear deal, including those that are inconsistent with the 2015 pact, the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday, without providing details."

"The Biden administration is defending its response to the historic number of migrant children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border alone, touting efforts to open more than 20,000 beds for the minors, as well as assistance to Central American communities suffering from poverty, violence and natural disasters."

"What began as an attempt to repair tense EU-Turkey relations has turned into a diplomatic spat that has been dubbed 'sofagate'… When European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was left standing because of a lack of chairs in Ankara, she reacted with an audible 'Ahem'… But Turkey has now laid the blame on the EU for 'unjust accusations'."

"Virginia became the first Southern state to legalize marijuana Wednesday, as lawmakers voted to approve Gov. Ralph Northam’s proposed changes to a bill that will allow adults to possess and cultivate small amounts of the drug starting in July."

"Sen. Joe Manchin said he will not vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster under any circumstances, likely bringing to a close efforts to lower the barriers to passing parts of President Joe Biden’s agenda in Congress with only Democratic votes." If the GOP were smart, they'd allow 2 Senators to vote for eliminating the filibuster (they certainly could find 2 who would agree, considering they themselves threatened to end the filibuster in 2014 and 2016 (and significantly modified the rules under Mitch McConnell).

"Republicans, under fire from Democrats and major corporations for their nationwide push for new limits on voting, are defending their proposals as similar to or better for ballot access than the election laws some blue states already have on the books… In statements and news conferences, Republican leaders have pointed to what they say is a double standard from Democrats and activists who say the bills — and Georgia's newly enacted restrictions, in particular — are attempts to suppress the votes of the multiracial coalition that powered President Joe Biden's victory last year." By cherry picking you can prove almost anything is the same. I mean, apples and oranges both grow on trees don't they?

"Tucker Carlson is admired by white nationalists, elected officials, and maybe some of your relatives or coworkers. Given that he has the ear of so many Americans, John Oliver explains where Tucker came from, what his rhetorical tactics are, and what he represents."

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