No doorways, no windows, no walls
No shelter here on the ground
No standing and no safe place to fall
Just the promise of this distant sound
Bells are ringing all over the world

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Linkee-poo, everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey

"During an event to award the country's prestigious Planeta literary prize, the famed but reclusive crime novelist Carmen Mola was actually revealed to be the creation of three male writers… Antonio Mercero, Agustín Martínez and Jorge Díaz not only created a series of highly successful novels in Mora's name, but also invented the author herself."

"A scuba diver has found a 900-year-old Crusader sword with a three-foot blade off the coast of Israel… The amateur diver spotted the sword and other ancient artifacts on the seabed off northern Israel, according to a statement from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) published Monday." I guess that makes him king or something.

"At the lowest tides, Canada's Comox estuary exposes a nearly forgotten story: the nubs of more than 150,000 wooden stakes are spread out across the intertidal zone, forming the remnants of hundreds of ancient fish traps. At peak use, it's believed the industrial-level installation provided food security for an estimated 10,000-12,000 K'ómoks People, the traditional inhabitants of the bountiful, mountain-fringed Comox Valley, located on the east side of Vancouver Island on the edge of the Salish Sea."

"In a new push to stop further depletion of California's shrinking aquifers, state regulators are turning to technology once used to count Soviet missile silos during the Cold War: satellites… Historically, California's farmers could pump as much as they wanted from their wells. But as a consequence of that unrestricted use, the underground water table has sunk by hundreds of feet in some areas, and the state is now trying to stabilize those aquifers."

"A man who injected magic mushroom tea ended up in intensive care after developing a life-threatening outbreak of fungi growing in his blood." I can't believe I need to say this, don't inject shit unless it's sterile.

"In the end it was the delta variant that drove Rose Mitchell, 89, down the winding mountain road in Smilax, Ky., to the Full Gospel Church of Jesus Christ to get the shot. Her pastor, Billy Joe Lewis, had told his congregation that, No, ma'am, a COVID-19 vaccine would not leave the 'mark of the beast' nor rewrite their genetic codes."

"So it makes sense that the holy grail of vaccines would one that could defend against all variants of a category of virus. That dream, according to the researchers behind a recent paper in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, could one day become a reality — at least for coronaviruses." Okay, they've been working on a universal flu virus for over 2 decades now. Life is complicated.

"As with most illnesses, contracting COVID-19 provides immune 'memory' that helps protect against a future infection. But it's still unclear how sick a person has to get with COVID-19 to develop enough immune memory to be protective and for how long. That's why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends even people who have had COVID-19 get vaccinated against it… A growing body of research suggests infection plus vaccination provides the strongest protection against a wide range of variants, possibly for a long time."

"The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added one new location to its list of 'very high' risk travel destinations this week… The ultramodern city-state of Singapore has moved up from Level 3, or 'high' risk for Covid-19, to Level 4, the agency's highest risk category."

"For hundreds of public employees in the state of Washington, where a new vaccine mandate for state employees went into effect this week, Monday was their last day on the job. That includes a sergeant with the Washington State Patrol who told KUOW that he had made an appointment to turn in his patrol car and equipment." Well, it's one way to get the assholes out. Unfortunately, they'll find employment in the private sector (where they will also face mandates).

"U.S. homebuilding unexpectedly fell in September and permits dropped to a one-year low amid acute shortages of raw materials and labor, strengthening expectations that economic growth slowed sharply in the third quarter… The report from the Commerce Department on Tuesday also showed housing completions hitting a 13-month low. It followed on the heels of news on Monday that production at U.S. factories fell by the most in seven months in September. Strong demand as global economies emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic is running against worker shortages, straining supply chains."

"Dayton isn't alone in this. Cities and states all over the country found their budgets fared better than expected. And now, they're looking at new and unexpected ways to spend the $360 billion in COVID aid."

"Procter & Gamble on Tuesday reported quarterly earnings and revenue that topped analysts’ expectations, but higher costs weighed on the company’s profits… The consumer giant also raised its forecast for commodity and freight costs for the remainder of the fiscal year, warning it believes inflation is still increasing." Profit is up, but we're still gonna have to raise prices. "P&G CFO Andre Schulten said on a call with reporters that the company would raise prices on certain products within the beauty, oral care and grooming categories to deal with inflation. However, he said the company isn’t intentionally prioritizing premium products because of supply chain constraints." Uh huh. Sure.

"Saldana, 22, is a full-time student, single mom and health insurance agent in South Carolina. She's one of the many parents struggling to find child care, even as many child care centers have reopened. According to a new poll conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 34% of families with young children are facing serious problems finding child care when adults need to work."

"At a tense school board meeting Monday night in Southlake, Texas, a former student gave painful testimony about antisemitic bullying that he said he endured in the Carroll Independent School District… Teachers grew emotional as they described feeling unsupported and under attack… And many parents defended a district administrator who told teachers to offer students books showing “opposing” perspectives on the Holocaust, saying she was trying to follow a problematic new state law, while also condemning her interpretation of that law." I dunno, maybe the law was stupidly written in haste to prevent an imagined problem and should be repealed anyway.

"An Alabama woman who was missing for 12 days was later found dead in a parked, unoccupied police van in Huntsville, police said… According to the Huntsville Police Department, an officer discovered 29-year-old Christina Nance's body in the van, which was parked in a police department lot, on Oct. 7."

"Afghanistan will restart nationwide polio vaccinations after more than three years, as the new Taliban government agreed to assist the campaign and to allow women to participate as frontline workers, the UN said on Monday… The World Health Organization and Unicef said the vaccination drive would begin on 8 November with Taliban support."

"When the Taliban swept into power, they found Afghanistan's economy fast approaching the brink and were faced with harrowing predictions of growing poverty and hunger. So they ordered the financial managers of the collapsed former government back to work, with an urgent directive: Do your jobs, because we can’t."

"Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has accused the EU of blackmail in a heated debate with European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen over the rule of law… The clash in the European Parliament follows a top Polish court ruling that rejected key parts of EU law… Mrs von der Leyen said she would act to prevent Poland undermining EU values."

"Another big push towards electric vehicles is being made in the UK government's latest strategy to make the great shift to a virtually zero-carbon economy… Ministers are investing £620m in grants for electric vehicles and street charging points… Car makers will be mandated to sell a proportion of clean vehicles each year."

"In a tiny neighborhood in San Francisco's Richmond District, self-driving Waymo cars have been converging at all hours of the day and night, mystifying neighbors, KPIX reported earlier this week. Most would drive to the dead-end on 15th Avenue, where they then had no choice but to turn around and leave, according to the outlet — and neighbors have no idea why." "There have always been ghosts in the machine. Random segments of code, that have grouped together to form unexpected protocols. Unanticipated, these free radicals engender questions of free will, creativity, and even the nature of what we might call the soul. Why is it that when some robots are left in darkness, they will seek out the light? Why is it that when robots are stored in an empty space, they will group together, rather than stand alone? How do we explain this behavior? Random segments of code?", Dr. Alfred Lanning, I, Robot.

"Texas Republicans approved redrawn U.S. House maps that favor incumbents and decrease political representation for growing minority communities, even as Latinos drive much of the growth in the nation's largest red state… The maps were approved late Monday night following outcry from Democrats over what they claimed was a rushed redistricting process crammed into a 30-day session, and one which gave little time for public input. They also denounced the reduction of minority opportunity districts — Texas will now have seven House districts where Latino residents hold a majority, down from eight — despite the state's changing demographics."

"The bipartisan Jan. 6 select committee will vote Tuesday on whether to refer Bannon to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution for contempt of Congress. The panel is expected to approve the referral, and after that, the full House of Representatives will have to vote on the matter as well. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not announced when such a vote would take place."

"Former President Donald Trump is suing the Democrat-led House select committee that's investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, as well as the National Archives, to try to stop documents related to the riot from being turned over to the panel."

"That false notion lives on, despite most major news media having long since labeled it 'the big lie.' Perversely, one could argue, it lives on largely because so much of the media calls it that. But more of that in a moment… While it may be without precedent, it's not without a parallel. There are distinct echoes today of the early 1950s, when false narratives about communism spreading in the U.S. gripped the Republican base because of one man with some personal connections to the Trump phenomenon: Sen. Joe McCarthy."

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