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

Monday, May 3, 2021

Linkee-poo Monday May 3

"A 'large and extremely dangerous tornado' touched ground in northeastern Mississippi late Sunday as severe weather rolled through the region."

"Strange sinuous features on a flat plain known as Arcadia Planitia bear a striking resemblance to ice streams within ice sheets in Antarctica, a new study finds. If these shallowly covered glaciers do, in fact, exist, they could be a reason to direct future crewed missions to Mars toward the region. The spot was already intriguing to SpaceX and NASA because it is a broad, flat plain, which is ideal for landing spacecraft. If there is ice not too deep below the surface of the plain, astronauts could also have a water source easily at hand."

"And fossil fuels actually were doing part of the job — more than the 94.5% figure might suggest. California was producing enough clean power to supply nearly 95% of its in-state needs, but it was also burning a bunch of natural gas and exporting electricity to its Western neighbors. It’s impossible to say exactly how much of the Golden State’s own supply was coming from renewables." And it was only about 4 seconds, but still.

"Early in the pandemic, when vaccines for the coronavirus were still just a glimmer on the horizon, the term “herd immunity” came to signify the endgame: the point when enough Americans would be protected from the virus so we could be rid of the pathogen and reclaim our lives… Now, more than half of adults in the United States have been inoculated with at least one dose of a vaccine. But daily vaccination rates are slipping, and there is widespread consensus among scientists and public health experts that the herd immunity threshold is not attainable — at least not in the foreseeable future, and perhaps not ever." Fuuuck.

"'If you have ongoing transmission, replication of the virus in places like India and Brazil, you will have mutant viruses arise, which threatens our own recovery,' Gounder said."

"Wearing a face mask will continue to be a requirement at airports, aboard commercial flights and on other public transportation across the country through the summer… The federal mask mandate, which was set to expire on May 11, will remain in effect through Sept. 13, according to updated guidance issued by the Transportation Security Administration on Friday."

"For months, members of the Sackler family who own Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin, have portrayed their bid for immunity from future opioid lawsuits as a kind of fait accompli, a take-it-or-leave it fix to a legal morass… But a growing group of public officials and activists are mounting a last-ditch effort to derail the plan, describing it in legal briefs as an unethical, and possibly unlawful, use of the bankruptcy court's power."

"A federal judge has ordered police in Columbus, Ohio, to stop using force including tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets against nonviolent protesters, ruling that officers ran 'amok' during last summer's protests of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis… Judge Algenon Marbley of the Southern District of Ohio described the actions of the Columbus police as 'the sad tale of officers, clothed with the awesome power of the state, run amok.'"

"German police have arrested three men and a fourth is being held in Paraguay for allegedly running one of the world's biggest online networks for sharing images of child sex abuse… The international operation, involving several police forces, targeted a dark net platform called Boystown, which has now been taken down."

"Ford uses technology from a startup called Symbio Robotics that looks at the past few hundred attempts to determine which approaches and motions appeared to work best. A computer sitting just outside the cage shows Symbio’s technology sensing and controlling the arms. Toyota and Nissan are using the same tech to improve the efficiency of their production lines."

"Colombia's President Iv├ín Duque has withdrawn a controversial tax reform bill following four days of huge protests across the country… In a televised statement, he said his government would work to produce new proposals and seek consensus with other parties and organisations."

"North Korea warned on Sunday that the United States will face a grave situation if it continues to pursue its 'hostile policy' toward Pyongyang's nuclear program. The statement, attributed to Kwon Jong Gun, head of the Foreign Ministry's department of U.S. affairs, comes as the Biden administration is set to unveil a new strategy to deal with the isolated Asian nation." Someone is feeling a little ignored.

"The Biden administration will reunite four migrant families separated during the Trump administration this week, while its reunification task force estimates that over 1,000 families remain separated, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Sunday."

"Sen. Joe Manchin on Friday said that he did not support the D.C. statehood bill, a blow to advocates pushing to make it the 51st state after the legislation passed the House last week." The Senator from a state, literally carved out from another state, doesn't believe DC should be a state. That take some serious denialism.

"When Sen. Joe Manchin learned a throng of pro-Trump protestors was threatening to disrupt Congress' count of the Electoral College votes in the Capitol on Jan. 6, the 73-year-old, 6-foot-3 former football standout said he was not ready to back down." Oh shut the fuck up. Take your Yosemite Sam bullshit and peddle it somewhere else.

"A Florida Democrat who released audio of a strange voicemail from Matt Gaetz has called the scandal-hit Republican congressman 'one of the most extreme examples of bro culture', adding: 'We can’t hold back in calling out a hostile and dangerous culture for women and girls.'"

"Last week, Rick Santorum repeated a widely held myth of US exceptionalism. 'We came here and created a blank slate, we birthed a nation from nothing,' the former US senator and CNN commentator told the rightwing Young America’s Foundation’s summit. 'It was born of the people who came here.' His 'we”' doesn’t include Indigenous people who were already here or African people who were brought in chains. And that 'blank slate' required the violent pillaging of two continents – Africa and North America. If the United States was “'birthed from nothing', then the land and enslaved labor that made the wealth of this nation must have fallen from the sky – because it surely didn’t come from Europe." White supremacists gonna beat that white supremacy drum.

"'If a prerequisite for leading our conference is continuing to lie to our voters, then Liz is not the best fit,' Representative Anthony Gonzalez (R., Ohio) told The Hill. Gonzalez was one of ten GOP representatives, including Cheney, who voted to impeach Trump following the Capitol riot on January 6." That's not a prerequisite for leading, that's basic membership level stuff.

"The campaign to oust the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine is part of the federal inquiry into the dealings of Rudy Giuliani, the personal lawyer to former President Donald Trump, who dismissed Marie Yovanovitch from her post two years ago."

"States are months away from getting the census data they need to draw new political maps, but courts are already filling up with lawsuits challenging the redistricting process."

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