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

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Linkee-poo Wednesday June 29

"The skies over a scattering of Western U.S. cities will stay dark for the third consecutive Fourth of July as some major fireworks displays are canceled again this year — some over wildfire concerns amid dry weather and others because of enduring pandemic-related staffing and supply chain issues." But I'll bet this year's backyard displays will still increase.

"Japan is sweltering under the hottest day yet of its worst heatwave since records began in 1875… The blistering heat has drawn official warnings of a looming power shortage, and led to calls for people to conserve energy where possible… But the government is still advising people to use air conditioning to avoid heatstroke as cases of hospitalisation rise with the heat."

"Martian rock samples collected by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover show signs of key ingredients for life as we know it on Earth… The venerable Curiosity Rover drilled samples from Gale crater, the site of an ancient lake on Mars. Using these samples, scientists were able, for the first time, to measure the total amount of organic carbon in Martian rocks, according to a statement from NASA(opens in new tab)."

"Watch Mercury roll by as BepiColombo probe makes superclose flyby (video)."

"'Our results suggest that amino acids are destroyed by cosmic rays in the Martian surface rocks and regolith at much faster rates than previously thought,' said Alexander Pavlov of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. 'Current Mars rover missions drill down to about two inches (around five centimeters). At those depths, it would take only 20 million years to destroy amino acids completely. The addition of perchlorates and water increases the rate of amino acid destruction even further.' 20 million years is a relatively brief amount of time because scientists are looking for evidence of ancient life on the surface which would have been present billions of years ago when Mars was more like Earth." We're going to need a deeper hole.

"A Colorado man required medical treatment at a hospital after he was gored by a bull bison at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, officials said… The 34-year-old man was walking with his family on a boardwalk near the Giant Geyser at Old Faithful on Monday when the bull bison charged at the group, according to a news release from the park." Leave. The wildlife. Alone.

"Eating a larger proportion of protein while dieting leads to better food choices and helps avoid the loss of lean body mass, according to a Rutgers study… An analysis of pooled data from multiple weight-loss trials conducted at Rutgers shows that increasing the amount of protein even slightly, from 18 percent of a person’s food intake to 20 percent, has a substantial impact on the quality of the food choices made by the person." Unleash the Keto hounds of war! But if you read carefully, it's mostly because of people eating healthier (fewer processed foods and simple sugars).

"Reacting to a surprising and growing monkeypox outbreak, U.S. health officials on Tuesday expanded the group of people recommended to get vaccinated against the monkeypox virus… They also said they are providing more monkeypox vaccine, working to expand testing, and taking other steps to try to get ahead of the outbreak."

"The monkeypox virus (MPXV) has recently mutated at a far faster rate than scientists would typically expect, which could potentially explain the ongoing explosion of cases in the parts of the world where the virus doesn’t usually thrive… New research, published in the journal Nature Medicine, suggests that the MPXV has recently embarked on an 'accelerated evolution' at a rate that's surprised some scientists." There are two trains of though in evolution. There's the "gradual change over a great period of time" and then there are the "swift change within a few generations" camps. The truth is somewhere in-between. But for a virus, every cell infected is a new generation and a chance for dramatic evolutionary changes.

"China cut the quarantine period for international travelers on Tuesday, a big step toward loosening Covid controls that have persisted for more than two years… Overseas travelers will only need to quarantine at a centralized facility, such as a hotel, for seven days upon arrival in mainland China, the National Health Commission announced Tuesday. Travelers will need to spend three additional days at home before they can venture out, the commission said."

"A little over a month after the more transmissible BA.2.12.1 Omicron subvariant became officially dominant in the U.S. on May 24, two sister subvariants of Omicron have quickly eclipsed BA.2.12.1 across the country… BA.5 and BA.4 are, like BA.2.12.1, more transmissible, but have the added advantage of reportedly being more able to reinfect those who’ve already had Covid."

"Some U.S. adults are a step closer to getting updated COVID-19 boosters this fall, as government advisers voted Tuesday that it's time to tweak shots to better match the most recent virus variants."

"The dominos are starting to fall in the U.S. economy… A host of companies have announced job cuts or hiring freezes in just the last two weeks. They range from Tesla and JPMorgan Chase to Redfin and Coinbase."

"Ernst & Young, one of the world’s largest auditing firms, has agreed to pay a $100 million fine after U.S. securities regulators found that some of its auditors had cheated on ethics exams — and that the firm did not do enough to stop the practice… 'It’s simply outrageous that the very professionals responsible for catching cheating by clients cheated on ethics exams of all things,' said Gurbir S. Grewal, the commission’s director of enforcement, in announcing the settlement on Tuesday." Oh, Uncle Earnie. Full disclosure, I worked for E&Y in their Management Consulting practice (which no longer exists).

"Spanish Prime Minister Pedro S├ínchez said the NATO summit in Madrid this week aims to showcase the Western allies’ united front in defense of democratic values in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while increasing the bloc’s deterrence capabilities."

"Monroy's son died in one of the darkest chapters of Colombia's 50-year guerrilla war. To run up body counts, Colombian soldiers kidnapped and executed more than 6,400 civilians from 2002 to 2008 and falsely reported them as Marxist guerrillas killed in combat, a special tribunal found… The killings, known in Colombia as 'false positives,' were never fully investigated by Colombian courts. But now the tribunal, set up under a 2016 peace deal, is trying to get to the bottom of what happened. And it could result in a former high-ranking officer in the country's U.S.-backed military being convicted of war crimes."

How do you treat Nazis? "A 101-year-old man believed to be a former concentration camp guard was convicted by a German court of being an accessory to 3,518 counts of murder… The man, identified only as Josef S. due to Germany’s strict privacy laws, was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison by The Neuruppin Regional Court, according to The New York Times. He's believed to be the oldest living person to be tried on charges from the Holocaust era."

"The death toll has climbed to 18 people in a deadly Russian strike on a crowded shopping mall in the central Ukrainian region of Poltava… Authorities say up to 1,000 people were inside the mall late afternoon on Monday when two missiles struck the Amstor shopping center in the city of Kremenchuk. 36 people are still missing."

"Russia's ruble is so strong it could hurt the country's businesses that rely on exports, the country's minister of economic development warned Wednesday… After hitting all-time lows in the first weeks after Russia sent troops into Ukraine in late February, the ruble has mounted a stunning recovery, this month reaching its highest exchange rate since May 2015." Pull the other one, it's got bells on it. Although it is true that the ruble has recovers to almost $0.02 per, which is a significant boost from less than $0.01, and such a move can cause problems. Still, the ruble is in the basement.

"NATO on Wednesday branded Russia the most "direct threat" to allied security after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine and vowed to modernise Kyiv's beleaguered armed forces, saying it stood four-square behind Ukrainians' 'heroic defence of their country'."

"Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was staunch in his demands of Sweden and Finland, which centered on their relationships with groups that Turkey’s government deems a terrorist threat… What is a big win for NATO is also a victory for Erdogan, analysts say, and one that the president needed in order to shore up domestic support as his economy flounders and Turks struggle with inflation that’s exceeded 70%."

"President Biden announced on Tuesday that the U.S. would enhance its military presence in Europe, including more naval destroyers stationed in Spain, two F-35 fighter jet squadrons positioned in the United Kingdom and a permanent headquarters in Poland for the U.S. 5th Army Corps."

"At least 50 migrants were found dead in the back of a tractor trailer in San Antonio on Monday, federal law enforcement officials confirmed to CBS News on Tuesday. Sixteen others — 12 adults and four children — were taken to local hospitals with heat-related injuries."

"Three people are dead and at least 50 injured after an Amtrak train derailed Monday in Missouri, authorities said Monday evening… Cpl. Justin Dunn, a spokesperson for Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop B, told reporters that two of the people who were killed were aboard the train while the third was in a dump truck that the train struck."

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday said the chamber’s Democrats are exploring legislation to protect personal data stored on reproductive health apps, ensure the right to free travel between states and codify the right to an abortion after the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade case."

"Take, for example, levonorgestrel, a form of emergency contraception better known under the brand name Plan B, although it's also available in generic versions with names including My Way, Take Action and My Choice, to name a few. Borrero says Plan B is supposed to be available over the counter, on the shelf, stocked for all ages… But when Borrero sent a team of medical students to pharmacies across western Pennsylvania to see what these stores actually had on hand, they found a third of pharmacies didn't stock Plan B at all. And when they did have it, most of the time it wasn't really on the shelf."

"Amazon and some large drug store chains began this week limiting purchases of emergency contraception to three pills per customer, company representatives confirmed to CNN."

"Facebook and Instagram have begun promptly removing posts that offer abortion pills to women who may not be able to access them following a Supreme Court decision that stripped away constitutional protections for the procedure… Such social media posts ostensibly aimed to help women living in states where preexisting laws banning abortion suddenly snapped into effect on Friday. That's when the high court overruled Roe v. Wade, its 1973 decision that declared access to abortion a constitutional right." And yet they say they still can't do anything about the damn Nazis or trading guns. Despite what the whackaloon right says, social media companies tend to the right and punish the left disproportionately. This is just another example.

"As soon as the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, some states' trigger laws banning abortion began to take effect. In others, including Michigan, bans from before Roe had never been taken off the books, and may take effect again."

"The U.S. Supreme Court has put a temporary hold on a lower court's order for the creation of a second majority Black congressional district in Louisiana… The order by the high court, released Tuesday with dissents from the three liberal justices, comes after the lower court found that a newly drawn map of voting districts for Louisiana's six seats in the U.S. House of Representatives would likely violate the Voting Rights Act by diluting the votes of Black voters."

"'We're not going back to the days of the Aryan Nations,' said Coeur d'Alene Mayor Jim Hammond, two days after the Patriot Front arrests on June 11. Hammond was referring to a neo-Nazi group headquartered in that region between 1974 and 2000… But many Coeur d'Alene residents said the events that day, and the hostilities that built up to them, felt eerily similar to that earlier chapter in the region's history." It's the same people and the same ideology.

"Charges against the man accused of slapping Rudy Giuliani on the back were downgraded Monday, the same day the former New York City mayor called for him to be fired and prosecuted."

"The centrist side of Colorado’s Republican Party easily won all three statewide primaries on Tuesday night, sweeping away right-wing challengers who had focused on election denial and culture wars… At victory parties in Denver and Douglas County, the party’s nominees said they were putting aside intra-party fighting and moving on from the 2020 election. Instead, the victors set their sights on President Joe Biden and the economy." So Colorado is the outlier here.

"John Eastman, the former Trump lawyer who wrote memos arguing then-Vice President Mike Pence could overturn the 2020 election, has dropped his lawsuit that tried to block the House Jan. 6 committee from getting his call logs."

"Explosive firsthand testimony was delivered Tuesday before the Jan. 6 committee from a former Trump White House aide about the former president's conduct on the day of the insurrection and those leading up to it… Cassidy Hutchinson, who was a principal aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testified under oath about a volatile and angry president. Trump, she said, was prone to throwing dishes and once even grabbed the wheel of the presidential limousine because that's how badly he wanted to go to the Capitol with the rioters." Just a note, it wasn't the limousine, called The Beast, but The Suburban.

"President Trump didn't want to do anything to stop the rioters attacking the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Cassidy Hutchinson, a former White House aide, testified before the House committee investigating the attack Tuesday as she recounted conversations between White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows."

"Trump talked about walking to the Capitol, where he might give a speech or enter the House chamber. And when staff stopped those plans, Trump attempted to grab the steering wheel of the vehicle to direct it that way, she said."

Meanwhile, on Bullshit Mountain… "Two Secret Service agents are prepared to testify before Congress that then-President Donald Trump did not lunge at a steering wheel or assault them in an attempt to go to the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot, a source close to the Secret Service tells Fox News." If one of them isn't Bobby Engel, who the fuck cares? Also, great, let's get them swear in and testify under oath.

No comments: