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

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Linkee-poo Sunday Aug 1

"A new generation of soil studies powered by modern microscopes and imaging technologies has revealed that whatever humus is, it is not the long-lasting substance scientists believed it to be. Soil researchers have concluded that even the largest, most complex molecules can be quickly devoured by soil’s abundant and voracious microbes. The magic molecule you can just stick in the soil and expect to stay there may not exist." Soil is not dead, no doth it sleep. (Grokked from Sheila)

"For my book The Authority Gap, which looks at why women are still taken less seriously than men, I commissioned Nielsen Book Research to find out exactly who was reading what. I wanted to know whether female authors were not just deemed less authoritative than men, but whether they were being read by men in the first place. And the results confirmed my suspicion that men were disproportionately unlikely even to open a book by a woman." The arguments that center around, "I read what I like" are perfectly fine until you hit the wall of experience and reinforcement of gendered norms. But the good news for authors who are women is that more women read books than men.

"A big part of the problem results from places like IFPI and RIAA using bots to automate the DMCA takedown process and, as Adam stated, hosting services assuming these requests are always correct. And it appears there are more and more bots in recent months making more and more requests." Jason Sanford's Grapevine column is full of chunky goodness.

"Johannsson is the film's star and also its executive producer. She says in her lawsuit — which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal — that her agreement with Disney's Marvel Entertainment guaranteed an exclusive theatrical release and based her salary in part on the film's box office performance."

"Yesterday's unexpected tilting of the International Space Station was caused by a software glitch, according to Russian space agency Roscosmos."

"The head of Russia's Roscosmos space agency said on Saturday that pressure in a Russian service module on the International Space Station had dropped as a result of an air leak." Just a reminder, Russia has already said they plan to withdraw from the ISS (which is nearing the end of it's life anyway) and launch their own space station.

"Astronomers recently saw something they'd never seen before while peering at a black hole some 800 million light-years away: X-ray light emissions coming from directly behind the black hole at the center of a distant galaxy."

"Recently discovered fossils belonging to ancient sponges might be the earliest known remnants of an animal body and pre-date other sponge fossils by 350 million years."

"Stability in Earth's climate hinges on a delicate balance between the amount of energy the planet absorbs from the sun and the amount of energy Earth emits back into space. But that equilibrium has been thrown off in recent years — and the imbalance is growing, according to a paper published Wednesday in the journal Nature Communications."

"Surveys done by UCLA researchers reported that around one-third of unvaccinated individuals said they would get a vaccine for cash… But in states such as Arkansas, vaccination rates remain low despite incentive programs. And while incentives in other states have had better luck, their success has been short-lived in many cases, including Ohio's."

Why the changed on masking protocols? "An internal slide presentation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dated Thursday gives new details on how dangerous the delta variant really is… One chart shows that it could be as contagious as chickenpox, which is one of the more transmissible viruses out there. It spreads more easily than the common cold, the 1918 flu and smallpox… It also says that in addition to being more contagious, the delta variant likely increases the risk of severe disease and hospitalization, compared with the original strain."

"And here's the part that really could change your day-to-day life: It seems vaccinated people who get breakthrough infections may be able to transmit the virus, according to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention." Whoopsie.

"Even as the White House highlighted what it considers alarmism in reporting of the surge in cases of the Delta coronavirus variant across the US, reports in the same national media suggested vaccinations are increasing in hotspot areas." Here's the thing, the vaccine still works against the Delta variant, even with breakthrough infections, etc, these are not reasons to not get the vaccine. Because, again, Delta won't be the last variant, and the virus now has a large pool in which to grow.

"Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Friday issued an executive order that bars local school districts from requiring students to wear masks when they return to the classroom next month." Florida just had its highest reported new cases the other day.

"Thousands of people protested France’s special virus pass with marches through Paris and other French cities on Saturday. Most demonstrations were peaceful, but sporadic clashes with riot police marked protests in the French capital."

"As the clock runs out on a nationwide eviction ban for what’s expected to be the final time, millions of tenants are staring at the prospect of losing their homes as they wait for emergency rental aid that the government has failed to deliver… The federal eviction moratorium in place since September is set to expire (yesterday), after the Biden administration refused to extend it and Democrats in Congress couldn't muster the votes to intervene. Now lawmakers and activists fear an unprecedented surge in evictions in the coming months just as the highly transmissible Delta variant causes a spike in coronavirus cases."

"The U.S. economy rose at a disappointing rate in the second quarter, the Commerce Department reported Thursday in a sign that the U.S. has escaped the shackles of the Covid-19 pandemic but still has more work to do… Gross domestic product, a measure of all goods and services produced during the April-to-June period, accelerated 6.5% on an annualized basis. That was slightly better than the 6.3% gain in the first quarter, which was revised down narrowly."

Meanwhile, on Bullshit Mountain… "US GDP falls short as supply-chain disruptions, labor shortages stunt comeback… US economy grows at a 6.5% annual pace in second quarter." Leave it to Fox to find a way to find the black lining in the silver cloud of a 6.5% GDP growth.

"At the beginning of next year, California will begin enforcing an animal welfare proposition approved overwhelmingly by voters in 2018 that requires more space for breeding pigs, egg-laying chickens and veal calves… Unless the courts intervene or the state temporarily allows non-compliant meat to be sold in the state, California will lose almost all of its pork supply, much of which comes from Iowa, and pork producers will face higher costs to regain a key market." Now, before you lose your shit over the prospect of not being able to get your bacon fix in California, note this is the real reason you're hearing about it… "The National Pork Producers Council has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture for federal aid to help pay for retrofitting hog facilities around the nation to fill the gap. Hog farmers said they haven't complied because of the cost and because California hasn't yet issued formal regulations on how the new standards will be administered and enforced." Corporate welfare. Most other industries facing a loss of 15% of business would do the right thing.

"'Ladies and gentlemen, rock 'n' roll.'… Those were the words spoken by Warner Cable executive John Lack on Aug. 1, 1981, at 12:01 am when MTV — Music Television — went on air for the very first time." Remember when MTV played music?

"Maritime tensions are escalating in the Middle East following the deadly attack on a tanker connected to an Israeli billionaire in the Arabian Sea… Two crewmembers, a Briton and a Romanian, died on Thursday when the Mercer Street tanker was attacked by an armed drone believed to be operated by Iran off the coast of Oman."

"The Russian hackers behind the massive SolarWinds cyberespionage campaign broke into the email accounts some of the most prominent federal prosecutors' offices around the country last year, the Justice Department said."

"The White House is unveiling a strategy to address root causes of migration, a long-term effort that includes increased cooperation with the private sector and with other foreign governments to try to accelerate change in Central America… The proposal comes as thousands of migrants arrived at the U.S. southern border every day last month."

"The Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure deal finally moved forward on Wednesday night after weeks of grueling negotiations, handing a group of centrists and President Joe Biden a major win."

"McCarthy also tweeted: 'Make no mistake—The threat of bringing masks back is not a decision based on science, but a decision conjured up by liberal government officials who want to continue to live in a perpetual pandemic state.'… Responding to McCarthy's comments in his speech in the House on Wednesday, Ryan said that his remarks were 'immature' and "'beneath' a leader of Congress."

"Ken Bennett, the state senate liaison in charge of overseeing the audit of the Maricopa County 2020 presidential election results, will no longer be resigning from his position despite telling a radio station that he intended to resign earlier Wednesday."

"Lawmakers on the Jan. 6 select committee describe their probe’s reach as still undefined, saying in interviews that they have yet to formalize the confines of an already closely watched and fast-moving investigation. Minutes before the panel’s first hearing on Tuesday, however, its members scored a key win thanks to a legal opinion from President Joe Biden's Justice Department that allowed them to freely seek witness statements from former Trump administration officials."

"The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said the plaintiffs' agreements to arbitrate claims against the multi-level marketing company American Communications Network did not extend to the Trumps, who had not signed those agreements."

"Then, to prove his point about preparation, (Mo Brooks) revealed a new detail to me: that because of a tip he’d received about potential violence, he’d been wearing body armor at the very same Ellipse speech in which he encouraged rally attendees to 'start taking down names and kicking ass.'" "The truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand."

"It was previously known that Trump publicly and privately pushed the Justice Department to investigate his baseless claims that the election was stolen, but the new documents — nine pages of contemporaneous notes from a Dec. 27 phone call between Trump, then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and then-acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue — provide new insights into those efforts."

"A new report by The Daily Beast claims that, privately, the 75-year-old former president has described some of the police officers on duty during the Capitol riots as 'p-------,' who he deems to be weak." How's that for your Back the Blue conservative.

Thin blue line… "Michael Fanone, a D.C. Metropolitan Police officer, received a vulgar, threatening voicemail while testifying Tuesday before the House select committee investigating the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, with an unidentified caller saying he wished the mob of rioters who breached the Capitol would have 'killed all you scumbags.'"

"House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy joked at a Saturday night event that it 'will be hard not to hit' House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with the speaker's gavel if Republicans take control of the chamber in the 2022 midterms and he becomes speaker." Another schoolhouse bully raised to power within the conservative sphere.

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