Interstellar object ‘Oumuamua still puzzling scientists 5 years after discovery Space
Finally, Scientists Have Figured Out A Key Molecular Mechanism Behind Human Hearing Science Alert (Rev Kev). Now do listening.
Battery Tech Breakthrough: 10-Minute Charge Time Paves Way for Mass Adoption of Affordable Electric Car SciTech Daily. Original.
The big sovereign carbon trade Carbon Risk
To Herd is Human The Elephant
Farm floods will hit food supplies and drive up prices. Farmers need help to adapt as weather extremes worsen The Conversation. Perhaps Australia’s autochthones had some good ideas about how to manage the continent….
We Advised Biden on the Pandemic. Much Work Remains to Face the Next Crisis. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, David Michaels, Rick Bright and Michael T. Osterholm, NYT. No. Much work remains to face this crisis. “Perhaps the most important missed opportunity was the failure to prioritize systematic improvement of indoor air quality. All sorts of respiratory infections, including flu and common colds, as well as asthma and other medical conditions, arise because of airborne pathogens and particulate matter.” Not a word on masks, which are the obvious first line of defense against a respiratory virus.
As Covid Hit, Washington Officials Traded Stocks With Exquisite Timing WSJ. And the story isn’t about the former guy’s political appointees, either. The rot is pervasive.
It’s Gotten Awkward to Wear a Mask The Atlantic
Aparna Nair, a historian and disability scholar at the University of Oklahoma who has epilepsy, told me that she thinks masks are becoming somewhat analogous to wheelchairs, prosthetics, hearing aids, and her own seizure-alert dog, Charlie: visible tools and technologies that invite compassion, but also skepticism, condescension, and invasive questions. During a recent rideshare, she told me, her driver started ranting that her mask was unnecessary and ineffective—just part of a “conspiracy.” His tone was so angry, Nair said, that she began to be afraid. She tried to make him understand her situation: I’ve been chronically ill for three decades; I’d rather not fall sick; better to be safe than sorry. But she said that her driver seemed unswayed and continued to mutter furiously under his breath for the duration of the ride. Situations of that kind—where she has to litigate her right to wear a mask—have been getting more common, Nair told me.
Is the phrase “death cult” too strong?
Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses: systematic review BMJ. Metastudy from 2008 (!), still germane. From the Discussion: “In this systematic review we found that physical barriers such as handwashing, wearing a mask, and isolation of potentially infected patients were effective in preventing the spread of respiratory virus infections. It is not surprising that methods of the included studies were at risk of bias as these types of interventions are difficult to blind, are often set up hurriedly in emergency situations, and funding is less secure than for profit making interventions.” Note profit-making as a confounder (?).
The Ebola Gamble The New Atlantis. From 2015, still highly germane. And speaking of airborne transmission:
The answer is that it can’t. It makes no sense. Superspreading and overdispersion at funerals where the bodies were properly handled by burial teams in full PPE seems suggestive of airborne transmission among the living attendees. My 3 cents.
— Dr. Lisa Iannattone (@lisa_iannattone) October 18, 2022
They mock questions of aerosol transmission, accuse folks of “fearmongering” and “spreading misinformation”
They make definitive claims without supporting evidence
In fact there’s real uncertainty here and an area of ongoing study
— Thomas Finch, MD, MBA (@FinchTH) October 18, 2022
Covid: Number of weekly deaths in England and Wales jumps by nearly 40% Evening Standard. Coming soon to a city near you!
Global cholera vaccine shortage worsens amid rising cases, WHO says UPI
Nail Salon Workers Say Proper Ventilation Can Protect Their Reproductive Health Documented
China’s Xi Jinping sends ‘warning signal’ to the wealthy as he opens new front in ‘common prosperity’ push South China Morning Post. The deck: “Analysts expect a wider array of taxes to support poor families and bolster the social safety net, while wealthy Chinese could face a rocky road ahead.” Horrid to see our phrase “social safety net” appear without question in a Chinese newspaper, even an English-language one. Life should not be a high-wire act, let alone in a putatively communist society.
Corporate China shut out of Xi Jinping’s party congress FT (Furzy Mouse). That’s a damn shame.
China’s decade under Xi Jinping explained in seven charts Guardian
China GDP Is MIA. So Much for Economic Resilience Bloomberg
Sanctioned Myanmar Tycoons Find Shelter in Singapore Bloomberg
NGOs…. Airdrop a few crates of rifles into NUG territory if you want to be helpful.
On borders in Southeast Asia, a thread:
Two centuries ago, fifty years ago, perhaps especially now—the southern frontier must be tamed. This is not described in imperial or revolutionary terms anymore, but framed in more familiar and conventional national security terms. Secure the border. Build the wall. pic.twitter.com/u3UtnPnKhi
]— Dylan Levi King (@dylanleviking) October 16, 2022
Good news from Tonle Sap:
Weekly Update Oct 10-16:
Our map shows a healthy Tonle Sap expansion for the 1st time in 4 years. The inundated area is ~21,000 sq km, just above normal for this time of year. Robust seasonal flooding will support higher fish catches & agricultural yields in coming months. 1/6 pic.twitter.com/0r3vFJ5AlV
— Mekong Dam Monitor (@MekongMonitor) October 18, 2022
For more on Tonle Sap, see NC here.
Kakao disruption hits Covid-19 response system, too Korea Biomedical Review. Kakao is a chat app public health doctors use to allocate beds. One more item to add to your personal risk assessment checklist, I suppose.
Saudi Arabia and de-dollarization: today’s interview on Press TV, Iran Gilbert Doctorow
Why it is crucial to understand why financial markets move, rather than worry about the role of markets in aiding the downfall of a Chancellor and perhaps a Prime Minister Mainly Macro
Dear OId Blighty
Morning Bid: Truss drama deepens Reuters
Markets Calling: Forget It, Tories, You Can Go It Alone Bloomberg
Police Guard LNG Ports as Germany Fast-tracks Critical Infrastructure Law Maritime Logistics Professional
New Not-So-Cold War
Russian commander says Kherson situation “difficult” as Ukraine advances Axios. Surovikin. On Kherson, Yves writes:
Russia’s first principle in waging war with Ukraine: Destroy the Ukraine army. Acquiring and holding territory is secondary. However, Russia assumed that its public understood this principle, and failed to explain the military rationale for pulling out of Kharkiv and Izyum. That led to a firestorm of criticism and looks to have forced the timing of the referenda in the “liberated” areas and the partial mobilization.
In the ensuing uproar, I lost sight of this first principle. Hence, I initially missed the significance of General Surovikin’s remarks in his press conference yesterday about the possibility of Ukraine flooding Kherson city by blowing up the dam at the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power station and causing as many as 50,000 deaths. Kherson had a population of less than 300,000 before the fighting started and it has to be markedly lower now.
I don’t take seriously the idea that Ukraine military could take the city by force. They failed in their last Kherson offensive, over the same terrain, and took massive losses. They are in no better shape now when by contrast Russia has been able to resupply and has started moving more men in too.
However. Ukraine may finally get those 300km range HIMARS missiles. And it likely can shell the outskirts of Kherson now, and could do more with only incremental advances. Surovikin depicted the city as in borderline crisis now, with food and water supplies erratic.
I had deemed abandoning Kherson to be politically unacceptable. Surovikin appears to have persuaded the Russian public that the destruction of the Ukraine army and preserving Russian lives as top priority.
And in particular, if Ukraine does flood the city, the military will want maximum flexibility in how to respond. Taking Nickolaev and Odessa, for example.
Ukraine Faces Rolling Blackouts After Attacks on Power Stations Bloomberg
Ukraine Is the World’s Foreign-Policy Rorschach Test Stephen Walt, Foreign Policy
Will America end Zelenskyy’s dream? Unherd
Addressing Putin’s Nuclear Threat: Thinking Like the Cold War KGB Officer That He Was Just Security
More to Ukraine’s recent grain export success than meets the eye Hellenic Shipping News
ICYMI. Europe’s latest sanctions on Russia have a WILD provision. If ANY tanker moves a Russian cargo outside of the price cap (assuming Europe adopts it), that ship will be barred from ALL future access to EU services (including insurance). https://t.co/dynLf2qXSu via @markets
— Oil Trading Europe (@AlaricN) October 19, 2022
Yves notes: “The Treasury’s detailed rules didn’t sanction tankers if they got representations from the buyers as in the traders. US version of sanctions decided to pin the liability/pricing tail firmly on the buyer donkey. I had assumed they’d be the model for the EU and I suspect that was Treasury’s intent.”
Underwater images show damage to over 50 m (165 feet) of Nord Stream 1 pipeline The Watchers. Videos.
Is there a U.S. intelligence agency link to the assassination of Haiti’s president? Univision
Bolsonaro Pedophilia Crisis Engulfs Re-election Bid And Allies BrasilWire. Big if true.
U.S. says seven board directors resigned under antitrust pressure Reuters
CFPB Funding Method Found Unconstitutional by Federal Appeals Court WSJ. Commentary:
Today, the Fifth Circuit declared the CFPB’s funding mechanism unconstitutional. The logic is formalistic to the Nth degree, saying that Congress cannot fund agencies outside of the trad. appropriations process. Could have consequences for the FBAs, too.https://t.co/VBLnomxxtA
— Todd Phillips (@tphillips) October 19, 2022
The Conservative Stalwart Challenging the Far-Right Legal Theory That Could Subvert American Democracy Jane Meyer, The New Yorker (Furzy Mouse). Luttig.
The great semiconductor drought may be about to break The Register
Sentience and Sensibility The Baffler. The Google and AI.
Police State Watch
Award-winning journalist missing since FBI ‘seized classified docs’ in home raid: report NY Post and FBI Raids Star ABC News Producer’s Home Rolling Stone
Goodbye, Louisiana. I Tried Rod Dreher, The American Conservative
Have Smart People Stopped Writing Books? The Honest Broker. No. I highly recommend the “New Books Network” family of podcasts, where authors are interviewed about their books (for example, on Clausewitz). There is still a lot of good books being written out there, and despite academia’s deep dysfunction, real scholarship.
The Gig Law Causing Chaos in California Strip Clubs Wired
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette journalists go on strike but some refuse to join the picket line The Inquirer and Dozens of Post-Gazette workers cross picket line as newsroom strike enters Day 2 Trib Live
Inside Wealth-Conference Con Man Anthony Ritossa’s Wild Web of Lies Vanity Fair (Furzy Mouse). Fun stuff!
Officials: Hadley woman uses bees to attack deputies during eviction Western Mass Live. On behalf of someone else, interestingly.
New Study Explains Why Some People Attract Mosquitoes More Than Others NDTV
Why wasn’t the Steam Engine Invented Earlier? Part III Age of Invention
Antidote du jour (via):
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.