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

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Linkee-poo gives you everything I've got for a little piece of mind

Paddy Maloney, and Ruthie Thompson, and so it goes.

"The world has already heated up by around 1.2C, on average, since the preindustrial era, pushing humanity beyond almost all historical boundaries. Cranking up the temperature of the entire globe this much within little more than a century is, in fact, extraordinary, with the oceans alone absorbing the heat equivalent of five Hiroshima atomic bombs dropping into the water every second." We're boned.

"The Korean drama Squid Game is a worldwide sensation. According to Netflix, it's topped their rankings in more than 90 countries. Written and directed by the filmmaker Hwang Dong-Hyuk, it's a violent and artful horror miniseries, a survival drama, and a commentary on debt and capitalism. With a plot that's both simple and ambitious, the series is fast-paced but character-driven, and unbelievably addictive to watch."

"A woman in Canada awoke in shock earlier this week when a rock crashed through the ceiling of her home and landed on her bed, narrowly missing her but spraying grit and other debris on her face, as her dog barked frantically."

"The story of how the demonveggen, or demon wall, came to be is as strange and disturbing as the mural itself. It’s a tale of scandal, fraud, and possible madness that begins with Gerhard Gotaas, one of Norway’s leading conservators of the mid-20th century. His work preserving and restoring medieval church art was wide-ranging and respected. But in 1940, when he entered a small village church in Sauherad to restore centuries-old artwork, he saw demons. Researchers determined earlier this year that, instead of reviving a 17th-century painting, Gotaas actually spent two years creating a monstrous mural from his own imagination. That revelation is just part of the story, however. Scant and contradictory clues only deepen the mystery of what might have possessed him to create the hellish image." (Grokked from Kelly Link)

"At Italy's pavilion, a 3D replica of Michelangelo's David stands tall, his gaze intense and defiant. For most visitors, though, David's head is all they will see as they tour the pavilion. Only VIPs with special access will be able to catch a view of the statue from head to toe while it's on display for the next six months at Dubai's Expo 2020."

"The discovery of a distant Jupiter-like planet orbiting a dead star reveals what may happen in our solar system when the sun dies in about 5 billion years, according to new research… This unusual duo was discovered 6,500 light-years away, near the center of our Milky Way galaxy. The pairing is unexpected because this gas giant exoplanet with a mass similar to Jupiter's is orbiting a white dwarf."

"Health officials on Tuesday authorized the first electronic cigarettes in the U.S., saying the R.J. Reynolds vaping products can benefit adult smokers… The Food and Drug Administration said data submitted by the company showed its Vuse e-cigarettes helped smokers either quit or significantly reduce their use of cigarettes, the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S." Note the limited nature of the endorsement.

How government can help it's citizens, when the government wants to. To whit the No Surprise Billing Act… "It may slightly slow premium growth… The reason, said Katie Keith, a research faculty member at the Center on Health Insurance Reforms at Georgetown University, is that a new rule released Sept. 30 by the Biden administration appears to 'put a thumb on the scale' to discourage settlements at amounts higher than most insurers generally pay for in-network care."

"Approximately 1 out of every 100 people diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. is a man – meaning the risk is small, but far from zero. About 2,300 men will be diagnosed every year, and 500 will die. For comparison, about 255,000 women will face a breast cancer diagnosis in any given year and 42,000 will die." Yes, Virginia, men also get breast cancer.

"In a surprise ruling late Wednesday a federal judge in New York allowed work to continue on implementation of a controversial bankruptcy plan for Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin… The U.S. Justice Department's bankruptcy watchdog agency had urged Judge Colleen McMahon of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan to put the brakes on the deal until it was reviewed on appeal."

While overall numbers are going down, they may not be where you are… "(Minnesota) Health officials on Thursday reported an additional 2,919 virus cases and 25 more deaths due to COVID-19, as the state’s positivity rate continues to climb toward the high risk category."

"COVID-19 was the No. 1 leading cause of death in the U.S. in January, at the peak of last winter's brutal coronavirus surge, but then vaccines became widely available and it dropped to No. 7 by July, the Kaiser Family Foundation says in a new analysis of COVID-19 fatalities. Then the Delta variant hit and found ample unvaccinated Americans to kick COVID-19 back up to the No. 2 killer in August and September, the leading cause of death for Americans age 35 to 54, and even the sixth or seventh leading cause of death for children."

"Conventional wisdom says that if you're vaccinated and you get a breakthrough infection with the coronavirus, you can transmit that infection to someone else and make that person sick… But new evidence suggests that even though that may happen on occasion, breakthrough infections might not represent the threat to others that scientists originally thought."

"Nearly 1 in 5 American households has had to delay care for serious illnesses in the past few months, according to a new poll from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health."

"He didn't know it in that moment, but the then-62-year-old was having a stroke… Boston police did find Copeland slumped in his car and barely conscious in front of the Berklee College of Music. But instead of calling an ambulance, they arrested him. They wrote in their report that they smelled alcohol, even though Al says he hasn’t had a drink since 1995… His wife Valerie suspects she knows the reason Boston police mistakenly thought he was drunk. Al is Black." But you knew that, right?

"Initial jobless claims fell below 300,000 for the first time since the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Labor Department said Thursday… In another sign the jobs market is getting closer to its old self, first-time claims for unemployment insurance totaled 293,000, the best level since March 14, 2020, which saw 256,000 claims just as the Covid-19 spread intensified."

"Jordan and her fellow workers are not alone in experiencing reduced circumstances after their company is taken over by a private-equity firm. The new titans of finance, these firms use large pools of debt — typically raised in what's called the leveraged loan market — to acquire companies they hope to resell in a few years at a profit… But the heavy debt loads they take on, combined with pressure to flip acquired companies quickly, increases the likelihood that private-equity firms will have to cut costs in the operations that they buy. Often, the first to the chopping block is the company’s workforce." Anyone who has worked under one knows this.

"President Biden on Wednesday addressed ongoing supply chain problems as major retailers warn of shortages and price hikes during the upcoming holiday season… The White House says plans are in place to increase capacity at major California ports and with large goods carriers, including Walmart, FedEx and UPS… Biden announced that the Port of Los Angeles has agreed to essentially double its hours and go to 24/7 operations. In doing so, it's joining the Port of Long Beach, which launched similar nighttime and weekend shifts a few weeks ago."

"It's a huge change for a father with one child in college and four at home who are on the autism spectrum, and Copeland credits the expanded child tax credit created via the American Rescue Plan as making the difference… Despite concerns that these (child tax credit) payments could cause taxpayer dollars to go to waste or discourage people from seeking or returning to work, early data returns appear to show that the extra monthly income has gone to support the immediate needs of American family budgets, like Copeland’s, and has had little effect on the labor market thus far." Conservative talking points are full of shit? Knock me over with a feather.

"More than 10,000 Deere & Co. workers went on strike Thursday at midnight after 'the company failed to present an agreement that met our members’ demands and needs,' The United Auto Workers union said in statement."

"U.S. households can expect to spend more money to heat their homes this winter compared with last year, federal officials announced… A report released Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration predicts that home heating costs will go up because fuel prices are rising and fuel demand has increased over the previous winter."

"Facebook on Thursday announced a research project in which it collected 2,200 hours of first-person footage from around the world to train next-generation artificial intelligence models." Training Skynet using your data.

"An extreme-right party’s violent exploitation of anger over Italy’s coronavirus restrictions is forcing authorities to wrestle with the country’s fascist legacy and fueling fears there could be a replay of last week’s mobs trying to force their way to Parliament." Neo-fascists are exploiting and using the anger of COVID mandates to sew chaos and mask their real agenda? You don't say.

"Leaders in the EU say Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko's government is organizing the illegal passage of migrants from war-torn and impoverished countries into Poland and other EU neighbors. They suspect this comes in retaliation for EU economic sanctions placed on Belarus after the bloc accused the authoritarian leader of stealing last year's election and ordering human rights violations. Now humanitarian groups are criticizing Poland for pushing some migrants back to Belarus rather than reviewing their asylum applications."

"Norway's domestic security agency says an attack by a man using bow and arrow that killed five people and wounded two others currently appears to be 'an act of terrorism.'"

"A 26-foot-high sculpture commemorating the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre is set to be removed from the campus of the University of Hong Kong in what activists see as the latest sign of Beijing's suppression of freedom in the territory… The university set a deadline of Wednesday for the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China — an activist group that was forced to disband last month — to take the memorial down."

"Police in central Florida have arrested the father of a toddler who found a loaded handgun in his “Paw Patrol” backpack and fatally shot his mother while she was on a Zoom call for work… Veondre Avery, 22, was arrested Tuesday and charged with negligent manslaughter and unsafe storage of a firearm, Altamonte Springs police said." Okay, but now arrest the white people who do this as well.

"Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is calling on Democrats to work together to pass a major spending package before the end of this month as part of a broader push to advance major elements of President Biden's domestic agenda… In a letter sent Thursday to Senate Democrats, Schumer says he plans to bring up a critical voting rights bill next week and move forward with a social spending bill by the end of the month."

"Former President Trump is urging Republicans not to vote in upcoming elections unless the “fraud” of the 2020 elections is uncovered… 'If we don’t solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020 (which we have thoroughly and conclusively documented), Republicans will not be voting in ’22 and ’24,' Trump (editorial note, he lied). 'It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do.'" Um, please?

"Trump ally Steve Bannon's game of chicken with the House committee investigating the January 6 Capitol Hill riot is on the cusp of entering a new and critical phase Thursday as he faces his last chance to reverse course and comply with the panel's subpoena before lawmakers likely move to seek criminal charges."

"The Democratic-led House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol issued a subpoena Wednesday for an ex-Justice Department official who had promised to pursue former President Donald Trump's false election fraud claims… The official, Jeffrey Clark, was a key figure in a recent Senate report detailing Trump's attempts to enlist the department in his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Trump had considered replacing his acting attorney general at the time, Jeffrey Rosen, with Clark, who was in a lower-ranking position."

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