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Links 7/27/21

Summary:
Dear patient readers, Big big thanks to Lambert and Jerri for doing extra duty, between my hip surgery, post surgery PT (a continuing time sink!) and my mother being hospitalized for 3 weeks (the original hospital and then her rehab facility, which was also an actual hospital). By virtue of getting her into a decent facility, she’s now functioning a tad better than when she pneumonia. I still am digging myself out from under administrativa backlog but it’s less overwhelming than it was. There’s also some catch-up in Links today….items that still seem germane that were published a few days back. Florida man washes ashore after trying to ‘walk’ to New York in bubble device Guardian (furzy) 37 Comparisons Of The Sizes Of Prehistoric Animal Ancestors And Their Modern Relatives By Roman

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Lambert Strether writes Links 9/26/2021

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Dear patient readers,

Big big thanks to Lambert and Jerri for doing extra duty, between my hip surgery, post surgery PT (a continuing time sink!) and my mother being hospitalized for 3 weeks (the original hospital and then her rehab facility, which was also an actual hospital). By virtue of getting her into a decent facility, she’s now functioning a tad better than when she pneumonia. I still am digging myself out from under administrativa backlog but it’s less overwhelming than it was.

There’s also some catch-up in Links today….items that still seem germane that were published a few days back.

Florida man washes ashore after trying to ‘walk’ to New York in bubble device Guardian (furzy)

37 Comparisons Of The Sizes Of Prehistoric Animal Ancestors And Their Modern Relatives By Roman Uchytel Bored Panda

Qld tradie to walk free after cutting off men’s testicles Mercury (Anthony L)

Hubble Finds First Evidence of Water Vapour at Jupiter’s Moon Ganymede ESA/Hubble (furzy)

The philosophy of porn Prospect Magazine (Anthony L)

The Unmaking of Biblical Womanhood New Yorker (furzy). More interesting than you might assume.

And a Biblical mini-musical interlude. It was a special project of songs of women in the Bible by Lanny Meyers and Simone Wells (who I know under her non-performance name). I have the CD with all the songs.

Seaweed Farming: Could This Carbon-Negative Crop Help Restore Our Oceans? TreeHugger (David L). I love hijiki….

Tomorrow’s Hydropower Begins With Retrofitting Today’s Dams IEEE Spectrum (Chuck L)

At least 85 wildfires torch 1.5m acres across drought-hit US west Guardian (Kevin W)

Drought pushes Great Salt Lake to historic low NBC (furzy)

EU sends help to Italy as hundreds are evacuated from island of Sardinia amid wildfires raging for days (VIDEOS) RT (Kevin W)

The end of open source? Tech Crunch (Chuck L)

Stirring the Embers of Faith Commonweal Magazine. Anthony L: “I like Graham Greene (He is great paired with Gore Vidal).”

Forget morality aeno. Aargh. I have two simple reasons for disagreeing. One is the notion of revulsion, that some acts are so horrid (like eating your children) that everyone recoils from them. Second is that every social animal species exhibits cheating behavior, which in turn often leads to altruistic punishment. I personally waste more time and energy than I should on altruistic punishment and applaud others who do too.

#COVID-19

Science/Medicine

Mixed AstraZeneca-Pfizer Vaccine Boosts Covid Antibody Levels, Korea Study Finds Forbes. Also towards the end of the piece:

Pfizer said it will be creating a booster shot to target the Delta variant. Trials for the booster shot began in Nashville on Monday. Moderna also announced it will be developing a booster shot, with trial results expected by September.

Huh? FDA has to do at least a statistical review. Implies no approved boosters until late Sept when models say Delta infections will hit a nasty high level by mid Oct. The call need for boosters and the rapid spread of Delta were known a while back. The claimed advantage of mRNA technology was that you could whip up a new vaccine in a week. So what happened?

Plus preliminary work suggests single-shot boosters achieve only about half the level of antibody response as the original shots. See this report from GM via e-mail:

The data from 3 booster studies — Moderna, AZ, and probably Novavax too (though they presented it in a weird way) showed that the B.1.351 booster only upped neutralization against B.1.351 to less than half of what it is against WT [wild type].

One would have to assume something similar for B.1.617.2 as the null hypothesis.

So the default expectation should be for the booster to fade even faster

Were the companies looking at two shots (v. the one they appear to have decided upon? The Sept timetable sure suggests a one shot regime)? Trying to come up with a more potent single jab booster?

Physical activity and the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, severe COVID-19 illness and COVID-19 related mortality in South Korea: a nationwide cohort study BMJ

The tweet above explains why getting Covid is not a hot idea. Nevertheless:

Meet the people who warn the world about new covid variants MIT Technology Review (ma)

Quebec offers 3rd dose of mRNA COVID vaccine to AstraZeneca recipients who need to travel CBC (ma)

US

COVID-19 surge explodes Biden’s claim of “independence” from pandemic WSWS

‘We are now in crisis mode’: Mayor of Florida county home to Disney World sounds alarm on surging Covid cases CNN

UAB expert: COVID now ‘a wildfire’ in Alabama, urges everyone to wear masks Al.com

De Blasio to mandate COVID vaccine or weekly tests for all 300,000 NYC municipal workers — including cops Daily News. Ditto California, per the pink paper. But note it’s limited to state employees, meaning yes prison guards, no local cops.

Finance/Economy

The Pandemic Cliff Is a Manufactured Crisis New Republic

The pandemic ended the daily commute Business Insider (Kevin W)

China?

China, US draw lines in sand at top-level meeting but agree to keep talking South China Morning Post

China’s hammer blow to private education shows it will do whatever it takes to meet its goals RT (Kevin W)

International journalists face intense harassment, threats of violence while covering flooding in China Committee to Protect Journalists (furzy)

Myanmar

Myanmar Poll Results Annulled as Election Body Claims Fraud Bloomberg

Desperate Myanmar migrant workers struggle to survive in Thailand Aljazeera

Brexit

New Cold War

On the Failings of Political Philosophy Irrusianality (Anthony L)

Syraqistan

US combat forces to leave Iraq by end of year BBC

BRI vs New Quad for Afghanistan’s coming boom Asia Times (Kevin W)

Iran: Drought, water shortages spark protests DW

MBS treats any domestic opposition ruthlessly PressTV (Anthony L). Not exactly news…

Imperial Collapse Watch

‘It Failed Miserably’: After Wargaming Loss, Joint Chiefs Are Overhauling How the US Military Will Fight Defense One (RH)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The Insecurity Industry Edward Snowden (Richard Smith)

This is no ordinary spying. Our most intimate selves are now exposed Guardian. Whoa, look at what Pegasus cost!

Pegasus, Pandemics, and the Normalization of Surveillance Plebity (Mark W)

Biden

Senators scramble to save infrastructure deal The Hill

‘You’re such a pain in the neck’: Biden snaps at NBC News reporter Kelly O’Donnell for asking about the VA’s vaccine mandate during his meeting with Iraqi PM in the Oval Office Daily Mail

Aon, Willis Towers Scrap $30 Billion Merger Amid Antitrust Impasse Wall Street Journal

‘We’re f—ed’: Dems fear turnout catastrophe from GOP voting laws Politico

‘Shadow State’: Embracing corporate governance to escape constitutional limits Jonathan Turley, The Hill

Police State Watch

Police Are Telling ShotSpotter to Alter Evidence From Gunshot-Detecting AI Vice (dk)

Cop Appears To Plant Evidence During Totally Worth-It Traffic Stop Jalopnik

Citizen Wants to Pay You $25 an Hour to Be a Nightcrawler Gizmodo (Kevin W)

Detailed Discussion of the Proposed CalPERS LTC Class Action Settlement California State University Emeritus & Retired Faculty & Staff Association. Bloodless. Obscures key fact that any long-term care policy bought now with the CalPERS monies already paid in will ofter very skimpy coverage compared to what CalPERS promised.

MIT and Harvard Have Sold Higher Education’s Future The Chronicle of Higher Education

Road warriors: American trucks and SUVs are now longer than the tanks that fought in World War II Daily Mail (BC)

Jeff Bezos offers Nasa $2bn in exchange for moon mission contract Guardian. Kevin W: “NASA should tell Bezos to go sit on his penis rocket.”

Private cryptocurrencies make lousy national currencies: International Monetary Fund The Register

Tether Executives Said to Face Criminal Probe Into Bank Fraud Bloomberg (furzy)

Monetary Faith Philip Pilkington, Inference (Anthony L)

Class Warfare

We Need Radical Economic Change—Not Biden’s Corporate Capitalism In These Times

Antidote du jour. Jim D: “Old couple adopted a Russian girl.” Moi: My first cat was a regular old cat (his mother was a tabby) who looked just like a Russian Blue. And no subtle markings like this cutie (whose eye color is remarkably close to her coat color):

Links 7/27/21

And a bonus (guurst)

Another bonus (Chuck L):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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