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

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Linkee-poo Tuesday May 11

Mercury has a sodium tail. And it's brightening lately.

"China's space agency said a core segment of its biggest rocket reentered Earth's atmosphere above the Maldives in the Indian Ocean and most of it burned up early Sunday."

"After nearly five years in space, NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft is on its way back to Earth with an abundance of rocks and dust from the near-Earth asteroid Bennu… On Monday, May 10, at 4:23 p.m. EDT the spacecraft fired its main engines full throttle for seven minutes – its most significant maneuver since it arrived at Bennu in 2018. This burn thrust the spacecraft away from the asteroid at 600 miles per hour (nearly 1,000 kilometers per hour), setting it on a 2.5-year cruise towards Earth."

"(Voyager 1) has long since zipped past the edge of the solar system through the heliopause—the solar system's border with interstellar space—into the interstellar medium. Now, its instruments have detected the constant drone of interstellar gas (plasma waves), according to Cornell University-led research published in Nature Astronomy."

"It's not just a crisis destroying communities and plunging countless people into addiction, but is also a crime, says documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney. His new documentary on HBO is called The Crime of the Century… It's a crime, he says, that was committed by pharmaceutical companies, distributors, pharmacists and doctors, all looking to profit."

"Daily COVID-19 vaccination rates are falling nationwide, and gaps in vaccine uptake are starting to show, especially in rural America. That leaves many communities grappling with an imperfect pandemic endgame."

"The Indian government has told doctors to look out for signs of mucormycosis or 'black fungus' in COVID-19 patients as hospitals report a rise in cases of the rare but potentially fatal infection… The state-run Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said at the weekend that doctors treating COVID-19 patients, diabetics and those with compromised immune systems should watch for early symptoms including sinus pain or nasal blockage on one side of the face, one-sided headache, swelling or numbness, toothache and loosening of teeth."

"Dozens of bodies believed to be Covid-19 victims have washed up on the banks of the Ganges River in northern India as the pandemic spreads into India’s vast rural hinterland, overwhelming local health facilities as well as crematoriums and cemeteries."

"China will set up a 'line of separation' on one side of Mount Everest's peak, saying the measure is needed to keep Nepal's COVID-19 outbreak from crossing the border, according to state media." Sure, that'll work. (strong side-eye)

On the "nobody wants to work anymore" myth… "The implication is that the federal government’s expanded unemployment benefits of $300 each week are keeping people at home instead of behind cash registers and in fast-food kitchens."

"'We're going to make it clear that anyone collecting unemployment, who was offered a suitable job, must take the job or lose their unemployment benefits,' Biden said before adding: 'We don't see much evidence of that.'" Because it already happens. Several states have tip lines to report people who refuse work.

In normal times, chef Michael Beltran would have a straightforward plan: Take the seasoned staff from his existing restaurants and have them launch the new ones. These are not normal times." (Grokked from Steve)

"The Biden administration is preparing to release $5 billion in new housing vouchers, approved in the latest COVID relief bill. The goal is to help 70,000 low-income families at risk of homelessness due to the pandemic… But, even in the best of times, it can be hard to use such vouchers, which allow recipients to pay one-third of their income on rent, with the government covering the rest. Many landlords won't accept them and the vouchers are often hard to come by. Some families have to wait years to get one."

"JPMorgan Asset Management is bullish on Chinese technology stocks even though regulators are cracking down on internet giants in the mainland."<./a> Hey, remember 2007-2009 when we saved these idiots? (and the counter argument is, yes, but we also made them buy troubled companies.)

"Several children and a teacher were among the dead following a shooting at a Russian school on Tuesday, which left many others wounded… Russia’s Interior Ministry tweeted a statement earlier in the day in which it said: 'This morning Tatarstan police received a message that in School 175 in Kazan the sound of shots were heard. According to preliminary information, there are dead and wounded.'"

"A new round of Israeli-Palestinian violence continued to escalate Monday as Palestinian militants fired rockets from Gaza toward Jerusalem and Israel responded with airstrikes." Isn't amazing how these conflicts always seem to escalate just as there's an election, or some major political movement in Israel (such as Netanyahu being sidelined after failing to form a government for, what, the fifth time now?).

"A Texas man free on bond from a murder charge was returned to custody Monday after neighbors found a pet tiger wandering around a Houston neighborhood." The tiger, however, is still on the lamb.

"(NBC) announced that it would not carry the show in 2022 after controversy surrounding the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's lack of diversity and ethical questions related to financial benefits given to some members, such as a hotel stay in connection with an 'Emily in Paris' junket."

"California's Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, facing a Republican-led recall, said Monday he wants to return the state's enormous $75.7 billion budget surplus to the pockets of taxpayers via an expanded stimulus check program he says would benefit two out of every three residents." I'm sure those two things are not related. Not.

"Five young undocumented migrants, including a 2-year-old and an infant, were by themselves when they were apprehended in South Texas at the U.S.-Mexico border, authorities said Monday."

Why some in Trump country love refugees… "About 70% of Amador's caregivers are refugees. He says his business would not be what it is today without them. First of all, locals don't usually apply for these jobs. As a Medicaid provider, he can only offer around $11 an hour to start. For refugees though, it's usually their first employment in the U.S. They work hard and want to move up, he says." Most employment models are based on exploitation of their workers.

"It's a tough time to be a young person. COVID-19 has robbed many of them of experiences and plans. Their unemployment rate remains high. College enrollment is down… To address those concerns and bolster the country's preparedness for a warming world, President Biden wants to retool and relaunch one of the country's most celebrated government programs: the Civilian Conservation Corps."

"The U.S. Capitol Police identified about 200 members of the Proud Boys assembling on the morning of Jan. 6, but officials sent the department’s intelligence resources elsewhere, a key lawmaker said on Monday… Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), chair of the House Administration Committee, said at a hearing that the department’s timeline made no further reference about the Proud Boys, many of whom breached the Capitol later that day. Less than half an hour later, the timeline said, the department opted to monitor three to four counterdemonstrators who had been 'setting up props,' she said."

"A U.S. Capitol Police watchdog told a congressional committee on Monday that the agency was not equipped to handle the flow of intelligence ahead of the Jan. 6 attack on the complex, and he focused his testimony on a suggestion that the force create a dedicated counterintelligence unit."

"House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told House Republicans on Monday that there would be a vote to recall Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney as chairwoman of the GOP conference on Wednesday, saying it's 'clear' there needs to be a change in the ranks of House Republican leadership." Ah, the big tent, party of ideas on full display here.

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