I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence
And so the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they're goin' through

Monday, February 6, 2023

Linkee-poo Monday Feb 6 early AM report

"A furry critter in a western Pennsylvania town has predicted six more weeks of winter during an annual Groundhog Day celebration." Fuck Phil.

"U.S. health officials are advising people to stop using over-the-counter eye drops that have been linked to an outbreak of drug-resistant infections."

"Their study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, is based on a rare archaeological find: An embalming workshop with a trove of pottery around 2,500 years old. Many jars from the site were still inscribed with instructions like 'to wash' or 'to put on his head.'… By matching the writing on the outside of the vessels with the chemical traces inside, researchers uncovered new details about the 'recipes' that helped preserve bodies for thousands of years." Like Young Frankenstein finding the "How I did it" book.

"How did the U.S. end up celebrating Groundhog Day in the first place?… It dates back to ancient traditions — first pagan, then Christian — marking the halfway point between the winter solstice and spring equinox, says Troy Harman, a history professor at Penn State University who also works as a ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park."

"The Arctic air that descended on the Northeast on Saturday brought dangerously cold sub-zero temperatures and wind chills to the region, including a record-setting wind chill of minus 108 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 78 C) on the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire."

"The Biden administration released a long-awaited study Wednesday that recommends allowing a major oil development on Alaska’s North Slope that supporters say could boost U.S. energy security but that climate activists decry as a 'carbon bomb.'"

"The heated debate over regulating gas stoves is really about the burners in those appliances. That's where natural gas, a fossil fuel, is combusted and air pollution is released into homes… Four decades ago, the gas industry and appliance manufacturers developed a partial solution for this problem. They created a cleaner and more efficient burner. But you can't buy ranges with those burners because the industry never manufactured those appliances for sale."

EVs are too expensive, cry conservative lawmakers. "Last month, Tesla dropped its prices dramatically — up to 20%… Here's how the announcement is having ripple effects, from the impact on Tesla owners to the changes it could spur across the auto industry." While not stated in this article there are also reports that insuring Teslas has become more expensive because of repairs being so costly, even minor damage can classify a car as being "totaled."

And then… "Tesla has raised prices on its Model Y in the U.S., apparently due to rising demand and changes in U.S. government rules that make more versions of the small SUV eligible for tax credits."

"But a full three weeks after they bought the car and took it home, they got what's called 'yo-yo'd.'" The fuck?

"A whale that washed ashore in Hawaii over the weekend likely died in part because it ate large volumes of fishing traps, fishing nets, plastic bags and other marine debris, scientists said Thursday, highlighting the threat to wildlife from the millions of tons of plastic that ends up in oceans every year."

"Researchers are trying to figure out a mystery: Why are so many humpback whales, right whales, and other large mammals dying along the U.S. East Coast? One possible explanation is a shift in food habits. And while theories are circulating that blame the growing offshore wind industry, scientists say there's no proof to support that idea."

"Nine-year-old Bobbi Wilson may be in the fourth grade, but last month the Yale School of Public Health held a ceremony honoring the budding scientist's recent work… The accolades come just three months after Bobbi, who is Black, made headlines when former Caldwell Borough Council member Gordon Lawshe, who is white, called local police on the girl."

"Maryland officials are preparing for as many as 80,000 residents who could no longer qualify for Medicaid coverage this spring, as the federal government reinstates a requirement that existed before the COVID-19 pandemic for states to verify the eligibility of recipients."

"AstraZeneca said its third phase trial results showed its single-dose treatment was nearly 75% effective at preventing severe infection in babies throughout an RSV season. The data was published in March 2022 in the New England Journal of Medicine."

"As global demand for Covid-19 vaccines dries up, the program responsible for vaccinating the world’s poor has been urgently negotiating to try to get out of its deals with pharmaceutical companies for shots it no longer needs… Drug companies have so far declined to refund $1.4 billion in advance payments for now-canceled doses, according to confidential documents obtained by The New York Times." But remember, they're going to hike the prices from around $20 to $150.

"Despite its illegal status, ayahuasca has become increasingly popular in the U.S., and interest has intensified as celebrities like NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Hollywood star Will Smith talked about attending ceremonies. Supporters have formed churches to hold their ceremonies, which are largely held underground in homes, at rented facilities or in remote locations like deserts."

"Stocks have surged since the start of the year. The Nasdaq is up nearly 15% this year after posting its best January since 2001. And it's not just stocks: bonds have risen and even bitcoin has made a roaring comeback, though all markets fell a tad on Friday." Recession? What recession?

"After a long run of surging profits from pandemic-era shopping sprees, Amazon is feeling the hangover. The retail and tech giant is reporting its first unprofitable year since 2014… By far, the biggest culprit for Amazon's losses over the year was the company's hefty investment in the electric automaker Rivian whose value plummeted last year and ate into Amazon's bottom line."

"An intense winter storm finally passed through Texas on Thursday, but residents will feel the impact of the storm for more time. The storm led to power outages in hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses."

"Energy giant Shell has reported its highest annual profits in the company's 115-year history, after energy prices soared due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine… London-based Shell's profits for 2022 were almost $40 billion, twice those reported for 2021, at a time of continued political debate about more targeted taxation on energy companies."

"Up to half a million British teachers, civil servants, and train drivers walked out over pay in the largest coordinated strike action for a decade on Wednesday, with unions threatening more disruption as the government digs its heels in over pay demands."

"For the last six years, tourists at London's Tate Modern who wandered up to the 10th story could catch a glimpse of one of the gallery's more unusual attractions: the luxury apartments across the way… Now that unofficial exhibit may be soon closing." What a load of crap.

"The U.K. government said Thursday it was responding to 'deeply shocking' revelations that debt-collectors working for British Gas broke into customers’ homes to install prepay gas meters that left vulnerable people at risk of having their heating cut off… British Gas’ parent company, Centrica PLC, said it had halted the 'unacceptable' practice. The country’s energy regulator launched an investigation." YEs yes, totally unacceptable to have our legal representatives violate our policies by :: checks notes :: getting warrants to enter homes accompanied by police, breaking in with the help of locksmiths. I mean, who could have seen them doing this using corporate assets, working on billable time, invoicing their expenses. Why, we're totally shocked.

"Truss on Sunday blamed a 'powerful economic establishment' and internal Conservative Party opposition for the rapid collapse of her government, and said she still believes her tax-cutting policies were the right ones… Britain’s shortest-serving prime minister resigned in October, six weeks into the job, after her inaugural budget plan sparked market mayhem." Nope. Liz, I'm pretty sure it was you and your wackaloon economy theory. Just a reminder that not all thoughts are good thoughts.

"Despite overwhelming domestic protest and concerns from the U.S., Israel's most far-right government in history is doubling down on its plan to fundamentally remake Israel's system of government by weakening the powers of the judiciary."

"Iran's supreme leader on Sunday reportedly ordered an amnesty or reduction in prison sentences for 'tens of thousands' of people detained amid nationwide anti-government protests shaking the country, acknowledging for the first time the scale of the crackdown." It's amazing at what happens when you run out of jail space.

"Undergraduate college enrollment is continuing its years-long decline, though at a much less drastic rate than during the pandemic. According to data released Thursday, Feb. 2, U.S. colleges and universities saw a drop of just 94,000 undergraduate students, or 0.6%, between the fall of 2021 and 2022. This follows a historic decline that began in the fall of 2020; over two years, more than 1 million fewer students enrolled in college." Even though they upgrade this year's numbers, the demographic cliff is still coming in 3 years.

In case you ever heard the argument about how restricting legal guns sales wouldn't stop criminals from getting guns… "The most expansive federal report in over two decades on guns and crime shows a shrinking turnaround between the time a gun was purchased and when it was recovered from a crime scene, indicating firearms bought legally are more quickly being used in crimes around the country." Just where do you think criminals get their guns?

"A federal judge in Wisconsin ruled Wednesday that a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the father of a man shot and killed by Kyle Rittenhouse during a protest in 2020 can proceed against Rittenhouse, police officers and others." Good.

"Police converged in force on the tiny, unincorporated community of Wolf Creek in southwest Oregon the night of Jan. 26 as they hunted for a suspect who was wanted for kidnapping and torturing a woman nearly to death — and who had previously been convicted of a similar crime in Nevada."

"The people who live in this other Jacksonville are mostly Black, and many of them lay blame for their neighborhoods’ lack of services on the city’s politics. They point to a lack of representation resulting in part from the way the districts have been drawn for the city council, the decision-making body for Jacksonville’s 950,000 residents."

"In the announcement, College Board CEO David Coleman called the newly revised course, which high schoolers can take for college credit, 'an unflinching encounter with the facts and evidence of African American history and culture.'… But critics point out that the newest iteration of the course is now missing several themes and voices from Black scholars that were originally presented in a pilot program already being taught at dozens of schools this year across the country. Others are saying that changes to the curriculum were made to appease Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis after his administration rejected the original iteration of the course last month."

"Brazil's former president Jair Bolsonaro has applied for a six-month visa to remain in the U.S. as his home country continues to investigate whether he's partially responsible for an attack on Brasilia's capital buildings last month." Where are the conservative cries of "illegal immigration" here?

"On its face, the National Prayer Breakfast is a serene, bipartisan event full of spiritual reflection… But over the years, the breakfast has also been a source of controversy — full of shadowy fundraising, behind-the-scenes lobbying and even infiltration by a Russian spy." Upset at the controversies around it, and lack of control, Congress is taking it back in-house so they can avoid future embarrassments. The people involved will be the same, their goals will be the same, The Family still has its tentacles in the highest offices of government, it's just you won't see it anymore.

"A case before a federal judge in Texas could dramatically alter abortion access in the United States – at least as much, some experts say, as the U.S. Supreme Court's Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision last year, which overturned decades of abortion-rights precedent… A decision is expected soon in the case challenging the Food and Drug Administration's approval more than 20 years ago of the abortion drug mifepristone, which a growing number of patients use to terminate pregnancies."

"Eyes were locked on the Carolina skies Saturday as a suspected Chinese spy balloon ended its weeklong traverse over the U.S. when it drifted over the Atlantic Ocean and was shot down by a fighter jet." Much ado over very little.

The Pentagon's response. Including this gem, "The balloon did not pose a military or physical threat. Still its intrusion into American airspace over several days was an unacceptable violation of U.S. sovereignty. The official said Chinese balloons briefly transited the continental United States at least three times during the prior administration." Considering the chest beating over, "this would never had happened in Trump was president.

"Prisoners in Massachusetts may soon have the option to get their sentences reduced in exchange for donating their organs or bone marrow if a proposed law is passed in the US state." JFC.

"A lawyer for President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, asked the Justice Department in a letter Wednesday to investigate close allies of former President Donald Trump and others who accessed and disseminated personal data from a laptop that a computer repair shop owner says was dropped off at his Delaware store in 2019."

"But speaking to reporters later on Capitol Hill, McCarthy offered more specifics, saying he would not agree to a 'clean' bill that would only raise the debt ceiling without spending cuts attached." McCarthy's disappearing/reappearing spine trick is growing tiresome. But of course he's not going to toss away his only have negotiation point.

The US parallel to Liz Truss saying, "It wasn't me, I wasn't at fault"… "Evans joins a series of Jan. 6 defendants who — when up against possible prison time in court — have expressed regret for joining the pro-Trump mob that rattled the foundations of American democracy only to strike a different tone or downplay the riot after receiving their punishment." Funny how that happens.

No comments: