What if Kurzweil doesn't make it?
What if all the switches get stuck on destroy?
When the shuttle goes, we won't take it
When the final counter-measures are deployed
All we'll have is all this time

Monday, September 20, 2021

Linkee-poo Monday Sept 20

"A volcano on Spain’s Atlantic Ocean island of La Palma erupted Sunday after a weeklong buildup of seismic activity, prompting authorities to speed up evacuations for 1,000 people as lava flows crept toward isolated homes on the mountain."

"Apollo’s sanctuary at Delphi is the stuff of legends… For over a thousand years, the famous oracle foretold the futures and fortunes of the city-states and heroes of ancient Greece… This thread explores whether she was stoned on geological vapors". A twitter thread.

Inspiration4 has returned to Earth.

"Surges in coronavirus cases in several U.S. states this week, along with staffing and equipment shortages, are exacting a mounting toll on hospitals and their workers even as the number of new admissions nationwide ebbs, leading to warnings at some facilities that care would be rationed." I can tell you a lot of the talk at the hospital is about finding a way out, cause we're all tired of this shit. And on top of the COVID spike hitting hospitalizations, we're also in the middle of a general healthcare spike (normal injuries, diseases).

"Data shows health care workers have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine at a higher rate than the general population: 73% versus 64% of non-health care workers. And many may assume that people who work in health care industry are more enthusiastic about the vaccine and less apprehensive." Yeah, nah. Also, they say the problem with nurses (who are stand ins for a host of medical workers) is education. No, it's misinformation. It's not that they can't tell a good study from a bad one, it's that they believe sources who are lying to them. Healthcare workers are humans as well, and just as susceptible to misinformation campaigns (and also political beliefs and alignment) as the rest of the population. Doctors included. Compound that with the fact that healthcare workers have been feeling like we've been thrown into the fire with little support from management/administration and there is a boiling cauldron of feelings that can be channeled into the thought, "You can't tell me what to do with my body."

"The challenge for researchers has been to figure out whether a safe dose could be effective, says Bristow. Numerous studies have been published and a few large trials are still underway… Ivermectin research on COVID-19 published to date does not look promising, according to researchers who have closely considered the evidence… 'You have a large number of trials that have been done. Many of them are poorly done. They're too small, they're too short, they don't measure the right things,; says Dr. Peter Lurie, president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest and a former associate commissioner at the FDA… And at least two influential preprints that supported the use of ivermectin were later retracted when they were found to contain flawed or fabricated data." You know, dog shit was once used to cure "blindness." And people believed in it's efficacy just as much (and for the same reasons) people believe Ivermectin helps with COVID-19.

"Dr. Anthony Fauci defended the Food and Drug Administration panel’s decision to reject offering a third booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to the general U.S. population… Fauci added that he would support a third dose if future data shows it’s effective. As the FDA continues to gather new information on boosters, convincing unvaccinated Americans to get vaccinated remains the priority."

"Homebuilders in the single-family construction market are feeling better, as lumber prices are way down from sky-high levels and buyer demand is growing… Builder sentiment rose 1point in September to 76, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. It was the first increase in three months… Sentiment stood at 83 in September of last year and then set a record high of 90 last November. It then dropped off dramatically when lumber prices spiked and supply chain issues hampered construction."

"At its peak, the women in this collective (No Sex for Fish), living in Nduru Beach and neighboring communities, had obtained some 30 boats with their initial grant from PEPFAR… But when we visited in 2019, a number of the wooden boats had been damaged by time and use. The women were preparing a new grant application… Then came two unforeseen blows that struck simultaneously in early 2020: catastrophic flooding and the global pandemic."

"The Queen's Gambit on Netflix won over tens of millions of viewers last year, triggering a national run on chess sets and making an instant icon out of its fictional protagonist… And that's not all it did, according to one real-life champion. Georgian chess legend Nona Gaprindashvili — who made history as the world's first female grandmaster — alleges the show belittled her career and damaged her reputation with a single sentence."

"Emal Ahmadi, whose 3-year-old daughter Malika was killed on Aug. 29, when the U.S. hellfire missile struck his elder brother's car, told The Associated Press on Saturday that the family demands Washington investigate who fired the drone and punish the military personnel responsible for the strike… Ahmadi said the family is also seeking financial compensation for their losses and demanded that several members of the family be relocated to a third country, without specifying which country."

"Protesting a Texas law which outlaws abortion after six weeks of pregnancy and empowers citizens to sue providers and anyone who helps them, a San Antonio doctor said he had provided an abortion beyond the new legal limit."

As always, the story is a little more complicated that first reported. About the fight outside a NYC restaurant… "Security camera footage reviewed by The New York Times shows three women, who were with several other people, being ushered into the restaurant after showing documentation near the entrance. Several minutes later, three men arrive to join the group, but only one of the three shows a vaccination card, lawyers for both sides said. A short time later, after the three women, who are Black, have joined the men outside, the fight breaks out."

More guns make us safer, except… "Three people were shot and wounded at a baby shower in Pennsylvania Saturday evening after an argument over gifts, Lower Burrell Police Chief John Marhefka said in a press briefing."

"Hundreds of people turned up for a far-right rally at the U.S. Capitol on Saturday, amid a heightened security presence by the U.S. Capitol Police and other law enforcement agencies."

"In the same brief, which calls for Roe to be overturned, (Former Texas solicitor general Jonathan Mitchell, who played a pivotal role in designing the legal framework of the state’s near-total abortion ban) and co-counsel Adam Mortara, an anti-abortion activist and lawyer who clerked for the supreme court justice Clarence Thomas, said such a decision could open the door for other 'lawless' rights and protections to be reversed, including the right to have gay sex and the right to same-sex marriage… The lawyers argued that while it was not necessary for the high court to immediately overrule the legal cases that enshrine those rights, 'neither should the court hesitate to write an opinion that leaves those decisions hanging by a thread'… Those cases… were 'far less hazardous to human life', they said, but just 'as lawless as Roe'." It was never really about abortion, it was about rolling back the sexual revolution and social progress.

"The Hillsborough County Republican Party alerted federal election regulators Tuesday that it may file its monthly campaign finance reports late because a key member of the organization died Saturday from COVID-19." It's like a rotten onion, you keep peeling back layers saying, "Yeah, no, not clear yet." Seriously, nobody was able to audit this guy's work? That's malfeasance. Also, totally self-inflicted harm here. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

"This slimy story… reveals how a crew of lobbyists, political consultants, and big-money donors seemingly masqueraded as grassroots tea-party populists in a bid to bolster McCarthy’s credibility with Trump supporters. The point of this scheme was to help McCarthy defeat a far-right challenger in an important intra-party election, elevating him to become the House GOP leader and ensuring that a corporate ally remained at the head of the party. For all of Trump’s bluster about draining the swamp, the dark-money campaign to elevate McCarthy shows how the GOP’s corporate enablers not only endured but also adapted their tactics to be murkier than ever — all while ensuring that the future of the Republican Party remained in friendly hands." (Grokked From Xeni Jardin)

"When voters in some states created new commissions to handle the politically thorny process of redistricting, the hope was that the bipartisan panelists could work together to draw new voting districts free of partisan gerrymandering… Instead, cooperation has proved elusive." Gerrymandering again.

"What we didn't know is that Pence really didn't want to fulfill his legal obligations… A new book from The Washington Post's Bob Woodward and Robert Costa includes details that haven't previously been reported about just how eager the then-vice president was to do the wrong thing… To be sure, the earlier cheers for Pence were already dubious. He chose not to participate in a coup. I'm glad, but that's a low bar for any elected official to clear." (Grokked from Laura J Mixon)

"With denial of President Joe Biden's victory at the core of the pro-Trump movement, demands for partisan election investigations styled after the one authorized by Republicans in Arizona — focused in a county Biden won — have proliferated. Now, a push to revisit November's results is underway or being called for in at least nine counties Trump won by more than 24 points." Remember in 2017 when Trump supports said, "He won, get over it"?

"A lawyer for Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg told a judge Monday that more indictments are expected in the criminal tax-fraud case against former President Donald Trump’s company and its longtime executive… That judge said he anticipates a trial taking place in late August or early September of 2022." Ooo, just in time for the mid-terms. And all at the request of the Trump Organization lawyers.

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