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

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Linkee-poo Thursday July 29

Sorry, mostly NPR stories, I haven't been able to read all the sources I normally do.

Dusty Hill and Ron Popeil, and so it goes.

"So I mean it as high praise when I say that I've never seen an Arthurian sword-and-sorcery epic quite like The Green Knight. With this boldly inventive adaptation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, an anonymously written but enduring 14th-century poem, the writer-director David Lowery has taken a young man's journey of self-discovery and fashioned it into a gorgeous and moving work of art." Please don't suck. The major changes outlined in this article make me a little upset – Gawain is now the son of Morgan le Fey, sorry, that's Mordred, and that Morgan le Fey gives Gawain the green sash instead of the Green Knight's wife, which is a pivotal plot point as Gawain fesses up to where he got it. While I understand there are some differences between the story in a book and on the screen, but these two points are integral to the overall story. It's sort of like how Jackson changed the Ford of Bruinen from Frodo resisting the Nazgul (the Black Riders at the time) to Arwen doing the resisting, which makes sense from the "we have to give Arwen more of a story", but then defeats the original purpose of showing that Frodo just might be able to do this quest.

"Cutting greenhouse gas emissions quickly would save tens of millions of lives worldwide, a new study finds. It's the latest indication that climate change is deadly to humans, and that the benefits of transitioning to a cleaner economy could be profound."

"He'd just assumed that those bins were already open and overflowing — nothing clever about that. But Major later began observing several of the birds actually opening the bins themselves, and now he was intrigued. If this behavior spreads, he thought, 'There'll be cockatoos opening bins all over the place and they'll have this endless supply of rubbish.' A cockatoo smorgasbord."

"The new proposed law would eliminate the birthday rule. That rule dictates how insurance companies pick the primary insurer for a child when both parents have coverage: The parent whose birthday comes first in the calendar year covers the new baby with their plan first. For the Kjelshuses of Olathe, Kan., that meant the insurance held by Mikkel, whose birthday is two weeks before his wife's, was primary, even though his policy was much less generous and based in a different state."

"There's more potentially worrisome news for vaccinated people: In very rare cases, people experiencing breakthrough infections may be at risk for long-COVID symptoms… That's according to a small new study of fully vaccinated health care workers in Israel, published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine." You know, like they do with some of the unvaccinated as well.

"The U.S. economy grew at a strong pace in the spring as the country emerged from the darkest days of the coronavirus pandemic. The question now is what happens next, especially as the delta variant continues to spread."

"President Biden on Wednesday will roll out a new proposed rule that would change the way the federal government assesses products made in America… Right now, the federal government has to spend tax dollars on products made in the United States, but purchases qualify for that label with 55% of their materials coming from the U.S. Biden is proposing raising the threshold to 75% by the end of the decade."

"Minneapolis voters will decide this November whether to end their city's police department, replacing it with a new 'Department of Public Safety.'… The city council last week signed off on language for a ballot question to change the city charter to create a new agency."

"Now Texas lawmakers are considering a measure to limit charitable bail funds by restricting who they're allowed to help. That means, in the future, the Bail Project may not be able to help someone in Galvan's shoes. Or someone like Hervis Rogers, the Houston voter accused of voting illegally." Cruelty is the point.

"After a years-long legal battle with the maker of the rifle used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, some of the victims' families are deliberating over a $33 million settlement offer from Remington Arms… The offer, presented by the now-bankrupt gun-makers in court documents on Tuesday, comes just a day after a judge denied the company's request to dismiss the lawsuit." Remember, Remington entered bankruptcy specifically to deny a large settlement in this case.

"But the FBI had gotten wind of the murder plot. A confidential informant had infiltrated the group, and his recordings provide a rare, detailed look at the inner workings of a modern klan cell and a domestic terrorism probe… That investigation would unearth another secret: An unknown number of klansmen were working inside the Florida Department of Corrections, with significant power over inmates, Black and white."

"The Justice Department rejected a request by Alabama Republican Rep. Mo Brooks for legal protection in court against a lawsuit linking him to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol… (they say) Brooks was engaged in campaign activity when he participated in the rally. That is not within the scope of his duties as a member of Congress, so he doesn't qualify for legal immunity for his actions, the department said." He can still get a judge to force the DoJ to defend him.

"In the weeks afterward, there was a general sense that the Jan. 6 cases would be of the slam-dunk variety. After all, the events took place not just before our eyes but also at a time when the endless selfies, livestreamed video and GPS locations were easily vacuumed up for use in court later. But attorneys working for the defense describe prosecutors as overwhelmed by the evidence and struggling to build cases." The preponderance of evidence, the cycling of lawyers, change of administration, and changing priorities have slowed down the processing of the cases.

"The panel's first hearing on Tuesday was emotional, as four law enforcement officers who defended the Capitol that day gave firsthand accounts of being overrun, assaulted and harangued by rioters as 'traitors.' All described lingering physical and emotional trauma. Some rioters hurled racial epithets at African American officers."

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