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

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Linkee-poo Saturday May 1

"International Workers' Day is celebrated with rallies and protests all over the world on May 1, but it's not a big deal in the United States. Back in 2018 , Brooke spoke with Donna Haverty-Stacke of Hunter College, CUNY about the American origin of May Day — and about how it has come to be forgotten. The first national turnout for worker's rights in the U.S. was on May 1, 1886; contrary to what you may have heard elsewhere, it wasn't the same thing as the Haymarket Affair. Haverty-Stacke is also author of America’s Forgotten Holiday: May Day and Nationalism, 1867–1960, and she explains that the fight over May 1, or May Day, is also about the fight for American identity and what it means to be radical and patriotic at the same time."

"An ancient tomb thought to date back more than 3,000 years has been discovered in southwest Ireland by workmen carrying out land improvements on a farm… Archaeologists say the tomb on the Dingle Peninsula of County Kerry is 'untouched' and that some of its unusual features, including a mysterious oval-shaped stone inside, indicate that it could be an early example of an ancient burial."

"Polish researchers examining an ancient Egyptian mummy that they expected to be a male priest were surprised when X-rays and computer tests revealed instead that it was a mummy of a woman who had been seven months pregnant."

"German officials say they have reached an agreement with Nigeria to return a share of plundered artifacts known as Benin Bronzes… Thousands of plaques and sculptures were looted from the ancient Kingdom of Benin — now southern Nigeria, not the modern nation of Benin — by British soldiers in an 1897 raid, and were ultimately acquired by museums largely in Europe and the United States."

"Scientists first spotted the asteroid using the University of Arizona's Catalina Sky Survey, which tracks asteroids as part of NASA's Planetary Defense program. It marked just the second time scientists have been able to study an asteroid in space before it reaches Earth — typically, they don't know about them until after it's happened."

"Now, Zoƫ is a 21-year-old senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who works at an Italian restaurant. Earlier this month came a big payoff for all this fame: A "nonfungible token," or NFT, of the original copy of the iconic photo sold at auction for nearly $500,000. The buyer is 3fmusic, a Dubai-based music studio, which has collected several other NFTs." These tulip bulbs are very rare and valuable.

Failure to launch… "Data received from the Mars Ingenuity helicopter on Thursday morning shows the helicopter did not execute its planned fourth flight as scheduled. The helicopter is safe and in good health. Data returned during a downlink at 1:21 p.m. EDT (10:21 a.m. PDT) indicates the helicopter did not transition to flight mode, which is required for the flight to take place."

"As May arrives, the US is taking a major step toward resuming normal life, with cities, businesses and entertainment venues announcing plans to begin reopening after the deadly winter surge of Covid-19 infections." Too soon, and if it becomes necessary to close or slow down, nobody will follow the directions.

"After spending much of the past year tending to elderly patients, doctors are seeing a clear demographic shift: young and middle-aged adults make up a growing share of the patients in COVID-19 hospital wards… It's both a sign of the country's success in protecting the elderly through vaccination and an urgent reminder that younger generations will pay a heavy price if the outbreak is allowed to simmer in communities across the country." Ta-da!

"The number of deaths related to Covid-19 has passed 400,000 in Brazil, the second-highest in the world, as the country continues to struggle with its vaccination programme… There were 3,001 deaths in 24 hours, after a peak of more than 4,000 was reached at the start of April."

"Uganda has detected the Indian variant of the novel coronavirus, igniting fears the East African nation could suffer a resurgence of cases just when its outbreak has waned, a senior health official said on Friday."

"As a professor whose major field of research is the application of psychology and game theory to ethics, I believe that Frazier’s regret about not physically intervening illuminates two major points: First, a witness to a troubling situation who is in a group may feel a lesser sense of personal responsibility than a single individual. Second, someone in a group of people who can see one another may nonetheless feel responsible to act." A somewhat insightful look into "bystander effect", but it misses a major problem. The question isn't so much why other civilians didn't physically intervene with Chauvin, but why his fellow officers who are trained to act failed to intervene.

"After a public outcry, a robotic dog once hailed by the New York Police Department a high-tech crime-fighting sidekick is getting sent back to its owner… The police canceled a $94,000 contract with the robot's maker Boston Dynamics following a backlash tied to calls to cut the police budget and concerns of police militarization and abuses of force."

"From iPads to dresses, Americans flush with cash are stepping up their spending, helping turbo-charge the U.S. economy… The Commerce Department reported Friday that personal income jumped 21.1% in March — the largest increase on record as the government sent out $1,400 relief payments as part of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue effort."

"The eurozone's economy has fallen back into recession as the impact of the pandemic continues to hit activity… Europe's economies have been set back by a renewed surge in infections this year and Covid-related restrictions."

"There's a $200 million abandoned village of Disney-like castles in Turkey. Take a look inside." McMansions gone bad. (Grokked from John)

"In an exclusive interview with CNN conducted through intermediaries, two al Qaeda operatives tell CNN that 'war against the US will be continuing on all other fronts unless they are expelled from the rest of the Islamic world.'… In the past al Qaeda has rarely responded to questions, choosing instead to hide behind its own self-serving propaganda, dodging even the most distant scrutiny. It's unclear why the group has chosen to do so now." So, same thing next week, fellas?

"At least 45 people were killed and some 150 more injured in a crush at a religious festival of ultra-Orthodox Jews in northern Israel, where tens of thousands of faithful had convened in one of the country's largest events since the pandemic began."

"President Biden's first address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday and the official Republican response that followed offered two contrasting perspectives on race in America."

"For months, Republicans like Chase have cast doubt on the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. The upcoming vote in Virginia presented the state party with the opportunity to run an election of its own… It hasn't gone smoothly."

"Both chambers of Florida's state Legislature approved new election legislation Thursday that would place restrictions on ballot drop boxes and residents' ability to vote by mail… It's the latest Republican-led effort to alter state voting rules following record-breaking turnout during the 2020 election."

"Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger (R-Lewiston) has resigned following a scathing two-day hearing by the House ethics committee over allegations he raped a 19-year-old intern… 'I have determined that I will not be able to effectively represent my constituents in the Idaho House of Representatives,' von Ehlinger wrote in his resignation letter… He called the committee’s recommendation 'expulsion in all but name.' The committee Thursday unanimously recommended suspending von Ehlinger through 2022 without pay."

"The family of Ashli Babbitt, who was fatally shot while participating in the pro-Trump invasion of the U.S. Capitol, plans to sue the police department and the officer who fired the gun for at least $10 million." So far papers have not been filed, and this is probably a play to receive some compensation. My guess is they would have a difficult time in court.

"The far-right media outlet Newsmax, which amplified former President Donald Trump's false allegations of election rigging and widespread voter fraud, said on Friday there is no evidence that Dominion Voting Systems and one of its top employees, Eric Coomer, manipulated election results in 2020." Yeah, make it sound like you did an actual investigation.

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