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Links 7/30/2021

Summary:
Photographer Catches Whale Breaching Next to a Fishing Boat PetaPixel (Furzy Mouse). Sponge fossils suggest animals already existed 890 million years ago New Scientist Trans-Alaska pipeline under threat from thawing permafrost High Country News How to redesign our cities to make them heatwave-proof FT ‘Is this legal?’: Why an obscure data service has been sued nearly 100 times for facilitating anti-competitive behavior Investigate Midwest Cosmic-ray threat to quantum computing greater than previously thought Physics World #COVID19 ‘The war has changed’: Internal CDC document urges new messaging, warns delta infections likely more severe WaPo. Too many emojis for my taste, but this is a useful wrap-up/critique well worth reading in full: ⚠️Holy Mother—the worst CDC #DeltaVariant report

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Jerri-Lynn Scofield writes Links 9/16/2021

Lambert Strether writes Links 9/15/2021

Jerri-Lynn Scofield writes Links 9/14/2021

Lambert Strether writes Links 9/12/2021

Photographer Catches Whale Breaching Next to a Fishing Boat PetaPixel (Furzy Mouse).

Sponge fossils suggest animals already existed 890 million years ago New Scientist

Trans-Alaska pipeline under threat from thawing permafrost High Country News

How to redesign our cities to make them heatwave-proof FT

‘Is this legal?’: Why an obscure data service has been sued nearly 100 times for facilitating anti-competitive behavior Investigate Midwest

Cosmic-ray threat to quantum computing greater than previously thought Physics World

#COVID19

‘The war has changed’: Internal CDC document urges new messaging, warns delta infections likely more severe WaPo. Too many emojis for my taste, but this is a useful wrap-up/critique well worth reading in full:

Note that the smallpox comparison is perhaps not ideal because smallpox is not airborne. So the comparison isn’t helpful in one’s personal practice. Also, and unsurprisingly, CDC butchers masking. Again.

Finally, the sequence of events: (7/27) CDC issues new guidance; (7/29) CDC “privately briefed members of Congress”; (7/30, later today) CDC to release the science behind this document (although it got leaked to WaPo first). The science is, apparently, the reveal, not the guidance. So why Congress first?

Biden rolls out aggressive plan to jump-start vaccination Politico. Federal workers, bribes, paid leave (yet nothing targeting Blacks, the Democrat-loyal yet least vaccinated identity vertical. Nor anything on delivery in the workplace). Biden: “I know people talk about freedom, but I learned growing up … with freedom comes responsibility. The decision to be unvaccinated impacts someone else.” Showing once again that Biden — and I know this is a low bar — is a better politician than his party, which is focused on its own offended amour propre and firing the blame cannons at Bubba in the Red States.

Biden on boosters:

So we’ve bought the boosters? No further development or approvals needed?

CDC Director Alarmed After Googling ‘Covid Cases’ For First Time in Weeks The Onion

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Ivermectin for preventing and treating COVID‐19 Cochrane Library. Selection criteria: “We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing ivermectin to no treatment, standard of care, placebo, or another proven intervention for treatment of people with confirmed COVID‐19 diagnosis, irrespective of disease severity, treated in inpatient or outpatient settings, and for prevention of SARS‐CoV‐2 infection.” Author’s conclusions: “Based on the current very low‐ to low‐certainty evidence, we are uncertain about the efficacy and safety of ivermectin used to treat or prevent COVID‐19. The completed studies are small and few are considered high quality. Several studies are underway that may produce clearer answers in review updates. Overall, the reliable evidence available does not support the use ivermectin for treatment or prevention of COVID‐19 outside of well‐designed randomized trials.”

Why Is the FDA Attacking a Safe, Effective Drug? WSJ (here is an unpaywalled version). Subsequent qualifying letter to the Editor on retracted Elgazzar study.

* * *

Researchers Find Signs of COVID-19 Mutations in NYC Sewage, Pointing to Possible Dog and Rat Infections The City (preprint). Wastewater testing for the win. And so much for the supply chain, as rats board departing shipping containers.

Surveillance Data Shows White-Tailed Deer Exposed to SARS-CoV-2 USDA. Serum samples show antibodies; we don’t know if the deer are shedding virus.

Aerosol hot spot study within healthcare environments (PDF) Victorian Health Building Authority. “4.2 Locations where aerosols are likely to coagulate…. 4.2.1 Around return/exhaust grilles…. 4.2.2 Sharp obstructions jutting out from flat surfaces… 4.2.3 Around and in small gaps… 4.2.4 Window and door frames … 4.2.5 Ensuite walls and side of the toilet pan.”

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AstraZeneca’s having second thoughts about its COVID vaccine business as FDA filing drags on Fierce Pharma. AZ’s had its problems, but in explicltly promising not to make a profit, they are the white crow in Big Pharma.

Vaccinated people are getting sick — but some counterintuitive math puts it in context Boston Globe

China?

City of Nanjing isolated as China fights worst Covid outbreak in month Guardian. Air travel again:

Nine cases were first detected on 20 July, all among airport staff in Nanjing. Another 24 local cases on Wednesday brought the total number believed connected to the cluster to 171.

Among the recently confirmed cases are people who joined a crowd of 2,000 at a show in Zhangjiajie, Hunan on 22 July. All attendees, who are now spread across China, have been designated “high risk”. People who have since been diagnosed in Dalian and Chengdu reportedly attended the show, with some having travelled there through Nanjing’s Lukou international airport.

Much of the focus is on the airport, where cleaners – who were cleaning planes that had arrived from overseas and domestic flights – contracted the virus and passed it on to colleagues and family.

The central commission for discipline inspection has publicly criticised the airport management, accusing it of negligence. In a statement on Thursday, the most senior enforcement body of the Chinese Communist party, said the airport lacked supervision and had unprofessional management, and that epidemic prevention and control measures had not been properly implemented. It was highly critical of management for not separating staff and operations for international and domestic flights, and called for “deep reflection and rectification”.

But how did the cleaners catch the disease? Aerosols or fomites? NOTE: The South China Morning Post says: “[T]he outbreak [is] thought to be connected to an international cargo flight more than two weeks ago.” Hmm.

Delta outbreaks; Damage control over tutoring industry destruction; Taliban in Tianjin Sinocism

Next move up to US as China delivers ‘to do’ lists on relations South China Morning Post

U.S. warns China is building more nuclear missile silos AP

What is China’s ‘battle for data’ and who will be targeted next? FT

How to strengthen China’s ecological redlines? China Dialog

Hong Kong man sentenced to 9 years in prison in first national security case Channel News Asia

Myanmar

David and Goliath: Myanmar’s Armed Resistance at the Crossroads The Diplomat. Meanwhile:

‘It was like hell’ – multiple Covid-19 patients reported dead at Yangon hospital after oxygen supply fails Myanmar Now

Isolated Myanmar calls for international help as COVID cases surge Reuters. More precisely, the Myanmar junta.

Rivals struggle to take advantage of military beer boycott Frontier Myanmar

Philippines’ Duterte fully restores key troop pact with United States Channel News Asia

India

Kolkata: Pandemic Hits India’s Only Bank For and By Sex Workers As Depositors Withdraw Savings The Wire

The Koreas

Breaking News: the Two Koreas Reconnect the Inter-Korean Hotline, Signaling the Resumption of Dialogue The Blue House

Syraqistan

In a World First, Bennett Announces Third COVID Jab Campaign for Israelis Over 60 Haaretz

UK/EU

Growth returns to eurozone with healthy rebound in second quarter FT

New Cold War

Why Everyone’s a Winner in the Nord Stream 2 Deal Carnegie Moscow Center

Crimea ‘water war’ opens new front in Russia-Ukraine conflict FT

Biden Administration

Infrastructure cap will force fuzzy math Axios

Pandemic Aid Programs Spur a Record Drop in Poverty NYT. It works, so naturally we’re getting rid of it.

Pedro Castillo Appoints Socialist As Prime Minister Kawsachun News

Assange

Julian Assange stripped of Ecuadorian citizenship AP

MMT

Why MMT rejects the loanable funds theory Lars P. Syll. The topic is a hardy perennial, but worth a read.

Health Care

Millions of Medicare Part D Enrollees Have Had Out-of-Pocket Drug Spending Above the Catastrophic Threshold Over Time KFF

Groves of Academe

American Education Is Founded on White Race Theory The New Republic (Re Silc). “The ongoing [1619] project ‘aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.’ Its necessity is proven by the conservative backlash to it.”

Our Famously Free Press

Media Promotes Fake “Vaccine Hesitancy” Narrative To Justify Coercion And Scolding Michael Tracey. I’m not sure this is an example to emulate:

Snappy comeback, but does winning the day make a difference?

Sports Desk

That was fast:

Class Warfare

Bankruptcy and elite impunity Cory Doctorow, Pluralistic. Brutal. A must-read.

Who holds the welding rod? LRB

Finnish “Tiira 1”, home built from farm equipment and flown without aviation experience in 1973 Reddit. From 2019, still germane.

Chronic Illness Cost This Former Dallas Museum Director Her Career. Embracing Novelty Gave Her New Life. Texas Monthly. “On July 8, 2011, she resolved to do something new each day.”

Antidote du jour (via):

Links 7/30/2021

Bonus antidote (JB):

Good kitty!

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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