Links 7/27/19

Dear patient readers,

I hate the Twitter redesign with the burning passion of a thousand suns.

Great White Shark Fever Sweeps Cape Cod Bloomberg (David L). Wish they were worried about pitchforks instead.

Local man accomplishes stand-up paddleboard trip from Duluth to Arctic Ocean Duluth News Tribune (Chuck L)

Star Orbiting Massive Black Hole Lends Support To Einstein’s Theory Reuters

Our lives have been co-opted by the Convenience Industrial Complex TreeHugger (resilc)

Wind Is Outpacing Coal As a Power Source In Texas For the First Time CNN

The USDA Didn’t Publish Its Plan to Help Farmers Adapt to Climate Change. Here’s Where They Need It the Most. Mother Jones (resilc)

Compound in red wine may decrease depression and anxiety New Atlas (David L)

Japan Approves First Human-Animal Embryo Experiments Nature

What If Avoiding the Sun Is Bad for You? Medium (Glenn F). They didn’t control for exercise. Outdoorsy, athletic people are more active: walking, hiking, biking, sports. If there is any connection here, the causality is likely to be the other way: more energetic people are in the sun more. People who use tanning beds almost without exception have a body fetish. When I was very briefly using tanning beds, the salon was full of body builders and other fitness enthusiasts who were exercising to get a body beautiful. In general, people in more temperate parts of the US get more sun. Ditto Europe. If sun exposure were as powerful a factor as this article suggests, you’d see noteworthy variations by region of the US and by profession (like lower rates of heart disease and diabetes among fishermen and ranchers who are in the sun v. office workers).

‘What keeps me going? My patients,’ says France’s oldest doctor at 98 Guardian


Trump Denounces Both China and WTO: President presses trade organization to change China’s ‘developing country’ status Wall Street Journal

China May Delay Trade Deal Until After 2020 Elections, Trump Says Bloomberg


Boris Johnson plans to frighten Europe then charm it. Here’s why he’ll fail Guardian. A key bit at the end, which explains why Labour hasn’t called a general election. But remember how May’s supposedly “fatal blow to Labour” snap election turned out:

The polls will show him [Johnson] that with the progressive vote split, with Labour down to 20% and the Lib Dems at 20%,, he could win a landslide in the first past the post system with an electoral understanding – even an informal one – with Nigel Farage. And he will know that if he waits too long into next year for an election, the recession will have begun to bite.

But we have this again: Boris Johnson ‘absolutely’ rules out pre-Brexit election BBC

Boris Johnson love bombs the North of England (after being mobbed in the Midlands) with £2billion fund for deprived towns as he promises new generation of rail routes to cut journey times Daily Mail

Leo Varadkar’s stern warning over Boris’s no deal Brexit – ‘Undermining the union!’ Express

Fernandez-Villaverde on Spain’s Economic Success Econlib. Reslic: “Brexit winner.”

The consequences of Switzerland’s lost equivalence status Bruegel

New Cold War

Cyber attack hits email users probing Russian intelligence Financial Times (David L)


Iran: The Case Against War New York Review of Books

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The Encryption Debate Is Over – Dead At The Hands Of Facebook Forbes (David L)

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Crisis of Anglo-American Democracy Jeffrey Sachs, Project Syndicate

The Marine’s F-35 Has Afterburner Trouble National Interest (resilc)

Trump Transition

Supreme Court rules Trump can use military funds for border wall construction The Hill

US, Guatemala ink migration deal on Central American asylum-seekers DW

Guatemalan mother begs soldier to let her enter U.S Reuters (resilc)

The Democrats’ Immigration Problem Is Bigger than Trump New Yorker

Pay or Die The New York Times. Resilc: “Latin America is where our Middle East investment$ should really go. The real payback is there.”

Trump’s 3% Growth Feat in 2018 Undone by Annual Data Revisions Bloomberg

We Are All Executioners Now New Republic

Democrats dig in on probes post-Mueller The Hill

Medicare For All Isn’t That Popular — Even Among Democrats FiveThirtyEight (resilc)


MSNBC’s Anti-Sanders Bias Makes It Forget How to Do Math FAIR (UserFriendly)

Bernie Does Impromptu Medicare For All Town Hall In The Street YouTube (JohnnyGL). Important.

Dems Are Repeating GOP’s 2016 Primary-Season Errors Rolling Stone (UserFriendly). A feature, not a bug. As readers have said, the Dems would rather lose to Trump than win with Sanders, and this ridiculous field is all about draining votes from Sanders.

Sanders, Biden and the Electability Scam Black Agenda Report (resilc)

Warren Fellowship Applicants: Campaign Program Was a ‘Great Scam’ Daily Beast

Pro-Trump Republican aiming to unseat Ilhan Omar charged with felony theft Guardian. Resilc: “‘Send me to DC where I can really steal.'”

Airbus A350 software bug forces airlines to turn planes off and on every 149 hours The Register (resilc)

Latest 737 Max Fault That Alarmed Test Pilots Rooted in Software Bloomberg. Muilenburg said on an earnings call that the latest problems (which we discussed at length in a post). The bland description in the Journal:

In late June, Boeing and the FAA disclosed still another flight-control problem on the MAX, involving failure of a microprocessor that meant test pilots couldn’t counteract a potential misfire of MCAS as quickly as required.

And in the Times:

Boeing has been developing a software update for the Max for eight months, [a Boeing spokesman] said. It is unclear whether the new flaw can be resolved by reprogramming the software or requires a hardware fix, which would be costlier and could take much longer.

The post described at length why Boeing may have hit the limit of how much it can ask the chips to do, and there’s no room on chips this old for further optimization. It would be very good news for Boeing if it really can craft a software fix, but if not, Muilenburg made this representation on an earnings call, which meant if it was misleading (and misleading is broadly defined in securities law), he was engaging in securities fraud. Stay tuned!

Banks Sued Over LIBOR Manipulation Rolling Stone (UserFriendly)

As electric vehicle production ramps up worldwide, a supply crunch for battery materials is looming CNBC. You heard this here a long time ago.


IRS Sending Warning Letters to More Than 10,000 Cryptocurrency Holders Wall Street Journal

Class Warfare

Why Corporations Want You to Shut Up and Meditate | The Nation

Legendary Job Killer Steve Mnuchin Complains About Amazon Killing Jobs Vice (resilc)

Privatization of public goods can cause population decline Nature (resilc)

Antidote du jour (furzy):

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. efschumacher

    Not sure if you posted this link yet: Mark Blyth’s “Brief History of How we Got here and Why”. If he’s right then taking back national control with stunts such as Brexit is The Future. Only conundrum being how can Britain make a big difference on Climate Change, which requires mainly the US, China, Canada and Brazil to change their feckless ways.

    1. John k

      China heroically cut pop growth, substantially reducing today’s and future co2 emissions, and is rapidly pushing solar both home and abroad w cheap panels, plus they make the biggest wind mills… granted maybe still expanding coal. Plus now moving faster toward e vehicles than anybody while we complain about Tesla and cut subsidies.

      1. Oh

        Besides adding solar, India is mandating electric scooters and 3 wheelers which looks like a step in the right direction. However, after Indira Gandhi’s forced vasectomies of young males and its backlash, nothing has been done to arrest or even slow down the population explosion.

  2. Clive

    *sighs* — the twerp commenting on Rees-Mogg’s Writing Style Guide (that would be a doozy — do you think Rees-Mogg would let me use the word :doozy? enquiring minds want to know…) was right to point out the implicit snobbery but was completely flat-out wrong in their interpretation of “imperial” in imperial measurements.

    Imperial measurements are nothing to do with empires or imperiousness. They are (or were? no, I suppose they actually are… as they’re still used, hence the problem) a measuring system. The presence of both metric and imperial measuring causes no end of grief. And even within non-metric systems, you get non-standard terms like “gallon” — where there’s the Imperial gallon and the US gallon to contend with.

    As a frequent reader of technical material, quite a lot of US-origin, it drives me nuts that non-metric systems are still in use. Technical material can be difficult at the best of times, having to contend with “inches of water” instead of bars or millibars, feet and inches instead of metres and centimetres, god above and in all that’s holy Fahrenheit instead of Centigrade and most bizarrely of all “tons” of heating or cooling (which is itself a notation of British Thermal Units) — it is crying out for changing to metrification. But it is, of course, what you guys are used to.

    Rees-Moggs point was that you can’t mix systems of measurement willy-nilly. Pick one and stick to it. In the UK, it is predominantly miles rather than kilometres, pounds and ounces rather than kilos or grams and pints rather than litres. Certainly in anyone over about 30-ish.

    This is, of course, a valid subject for debate and discussion. Opinions are many and varied. But it is still nothing to do with sticking one’s flag into a piece of land and saying “ours”.

    1. a different chris

      Pssst- Clive, I do believe that was in a bit of fun…maybe have another cup of your morning beverage and take another run at it? Actually, what time is it there? Sigh, I am such an American.. :)

      1. Clive

        No, he (the Twitter commenter) missed the point. Rees-Mogg sent a memo telling staff to, in brief, buck their ideas up about treating people respectfully in communication (especially written) and banished management buzz words and phrases (see my later comment below for an example of what else Rees-Mogg put in the linguistic sin-bin).

        The Japanese take language –“respect” and honorary vocabulary (‘keigo’) — very seriously. And for good reason. Correct use of titles, appropriate respectful forms of words, brevity and economy of form (I could use some of that myself, now and again…) and addressing convey deliberate and intentional seriousness towards and uplifting of the position of the reader.

        My Japanese teacher gives me her pained-tolerance look reserved for (and in my case richly deserved) unthinking gaikokujin when I mess around in lessons and poke fun at the importance of grammar and thoughtful choice in vocabulary. It’s my sense of humour which is behind such tomfoolery but in doing my (supposedly) amusing jinks, I am (however well-intentioned) disrespecting the Japanese language. If and when I fully master it, then perhaps I will have earned the right to do that. But until then — and as I still keep messing up my passives and causatvies, not to mention getting kanji mixed up on a regular basis — I need to concentrate on studies not on trying to be clever.

        Like our erstwhile Twitter commenter.

        We keep saying “language matters” or “words matter”. Because they do. But that goes for all of us. That’s what Rees-Mogg is saying, too. He’s right to do so. The Twitter commenter is wrong to have chastised him for doing it.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I wouldn’t worry too much about trying to get any one language perfect Clive, simply because they are constantly evolving over time. Here is a video talking about the English language over the past thousand years-

          As another example, I once had a South African visa in my passport that was in Afrikaans. When I met up with Dutch people I would tell them that I had gotten a visa to the Netherlands and show them the visa. It was fun watching them do a double, then a triple take at the writing which was like a very old form of Dutch.

          1. Clive

            Only if you want to show, beyond any doubt whatsoever, that you’re not a serious student of the language and, if you can utter a few travel-guide level phrases at all, you probably picked them up from your boy/girlfriend.

            I, for one, would be mortified if I didn’t know when — and more importantly when not — to say “cheers mate, you’re a gent” when I should be saying “thank you so much, that really was very kind of you”. I want to know such subtleties in my Japanese speech, too.

          2. Panurge

            Keigo (along with the kenjougo) is not asinine, it is simply a mess! :)

            One of the beautiful charachteristics of the japanese language is what is being conveyed by switching talking registry in terms of what is NOT being said rather than what is explicitly uttered.

          3. Oh

            I don’t know why you say that. The Japanese people have been know for their customs and manners. Several asian languages have similar customs, manners and ways of addressing people.

            1. Plenue

              Yes, and they’re all terrible. I have no respect for any of the Confucian derived hierarchical language systems.

        2. Susan the other`

          just a thought about humor and language – I’ve had trouble finding a sense of humor among the Japanese (just by observation they are so serious and polite) but sometimes they really crack up and they all seem to share the same sense of irony and absurdity. Greek to me I”m sure. But language is so complex. I appreciate another thing about the Japanese – they don’t seem to have legions of BSing politicians like we do. That’s definitely a plus. Knowing your options clearly. So far anyway. And knowing your language might make things smoother.

        3. Procopius

          One of Confucius’s projects was “the reformation of names,” i.e. restoring archaic meaning to written characters that had been adapted to more modern usage. The explanation I remember reading was (approximately), “If the correct words are not used, then what is said is not what is meant, and the people will stand about in helpless confusion.” I think Count Alfred Korzybski had similar ideas. I had an epiphany while reading S.I. Hayakawa’s Language in Thought and Action, and for several years was very conscious of exactly what was actually said, rather than hearing what I wanted to hear.

      1. Clive

        He was merely being accurate and specific. If he’d said “non metric” you could have got people using US measures. Imperial measures are Imperial measures – “imperial” describes what the measures are. To offer criticism in doing so is like saying the host on the TV shopping channel describing an item of clothing as being “an Empire line dress” is using an evocation of imperialism. No, they’re just talking about a style of dress.

        And the commenter was being snarky in the Tweet. Nothing wrong with that and Rees-Mogg is certainly a worthy target. But his snark (that Rees-Mogg was being a harker-back for the days of Empire by correctly describing somthing as “Imperial”) made him look stupid.

        It was even a double-failure because Rees-Mogg was, by implication, picking staff up on sloppiness and a lack of (one assumes) a sense of intellectual elitism. Intellectual snobbery isn’t on but the Twitter commenter then *reinforced* Rees-Mogg’s point about too great a lack of intellectual rigour — by not being sufficiently rigorous, intellectually and at least saying “yeah, I know it’s actually a system of measures, but really…”

        And internal and external communication isn’t a legal or contractual matter. It’s communication. I have my time severely wasted by having to try to figure out so much sloppily-worded and sometimes even meaningless communication, it’s a sore point with me. Official standards (and standards of communication generally) do need to be raised.

        1. Clive

          Also, am just reading the Sun (hey, it’s a chain coffee shop, it’s either that or the local paper which does genuinely have man bites dog stories) and apparently Rees-Mogg has also banned some words and phrases. Examples of what’s earned his displeasure include “no longer fit for purpose”, “I note/understand your concerns”, “invest” (in schools etc.), ongoing, lot, got and even that old warhorse “I am pleased to learn”.

          He should be sent to the Lords for this public service. In so doing, that would solve several different problems at once.

          1. dearieme Esq.

            He’s sound on “very” and very much so, I fancy, on “unacceptable”. I only wish he’d added “inappropriate” and “significant” to his much abbreviated Index Librorum Prohibitorum.

            “Statistically significant” is fine because it’s trade jargon with a specific meaning.

            1. Lord Clive of ‘ampshire

              I think you’ll need to socialise that, maybe run it up the flagpole and see who salutes it. Certainly put it in that space.

              (and also, kindly be aware that I outrank you in the nobility pecking order)

          2. notabanker

            I enjoyed learning British euphemisms when I lived over there, but I could go a couple of lifetimes without ever hearing “no longer fit for purpose” again.

          3. AndrewJ

            I only recently discovered “not fit for purpose” and I *love* it. It’s an excellent fit in our age of Amazon and plastic overseas garbage that looks like it will do the job you want it to, only upon receipt do you find the design and materials are so lacking that the thing in question either fails at its purpose outright or has no longevity whatever. As much as I like “crapified”, snarling “not FIT for PURPOSE” as the offending item is disposed of feels so much more damning.

        2. Parker Dooley

          Did not confusion about the units in use lead to loss of a very expensive Mars probe?

          I do wonder whether the decimalization (decimation?) of British currency may have led to a decline in the ability of the population to perform mental arithmetic. (Perhaps connected to confusion about the economic impact of Brexit?)

          Do I need a “/s” here?

          1. The Rev Kev

            Your comment caused me a horrible flashback when I was a kid learning pounds, shillings and pence in school in Oz. I can still remember trying to add columns of currency with twelve pennies making a shilling and twenty shillings in a pound. We went over to decimal currency in 1966 but I had PTSD for years over that period of my life.

            1. Parker Dooley

              Sorry about the PTSD, Rev. Maybe some microdoses of LSD are in order.

              But really no worse than hours-minutes-seconds, is it? To say nothing of that godawful “30 days hath September… and February doesn’t scan.”

                  1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

                    Can we just go back to the Roman Calendar? I think the Ides are coming up right?

                    1. ambrit

                      Hey there. The first day of the month is coming up. That day was called the Kalends. So, the Kalends of August cometh. That old Roman system is indeed a bit confusing, such as that the Ides, roughly the middle of the month switches around depending on how long the month is!!! The same with the Nones, which is the seventh or fifth day of the month, also depending on the length of the month!
                      Oh boy, this makes Imperial measures look simple by comparison!
                      Let us not even broach the subject of the Pyramid Inch and Foot, cubits, spans, barley corns, et. al.
                      Imagine how a cephalopod would have to figure lengths! “That’ll be two tentacles and three suckers worth of that Pacific kelp please.”

        3. vlade

          TBH, I think it’s a mix (albeit skewed to your side).

          For example, if you say Imperial mile:

          Is it English statute mile (although there are Scotish, Welsh and Irish miles too, all of them longer than English mile) from 1593 WMA? Actually not, it was superseded (am I allowed to use this word?) with WMA 1824 mile, which is called Imperial.

          But it’s not to be confused with (imperial) nautical mile, which most of the over-the-water distances are intended to be mesaured in, and where it need not be specified as “nautical”, leading to confusion amongst the English landlubbers. Except that air industry also use the nautical terminology taking over the post WW1 Czechoslovak “Our Sea is in the Air” Airforce motto.

          Don’t get me started on people who want to measure distance in knots, or nautical speed in miles.

          But, then there’s also an International mile, which is actually equal to the imperial mile lenght-wise, which may be pleasing to JRM as even though it’s “Inernational” (*shudder*) it’s where the English put down their stamp on the rest of the world. So he may want his staff to use “International mile (which is really ours Imperial, nah nah)” instead to press this home?

          I do wonder, how would JRM ask his staff to write tha a meter is not fit for purpose unit anymore once the UK reembarks on its glorious neo-imperial future?

          I also assume he’s going to repeal WMA 1985 pronto, as that implies that all trade negotiations (and any mutual recognition agreements if they use any units) will have to be carried in SI metrics, so his staff would have to be constantly translating to and fro.

          All of that aside, for some reason, I find it easier (in English) to talk miles/inches than km/m, pints (for small amounts) than litres, but not weight. I very much suspect that I have a preference for fewer-syllabes words here. Give me monosylabic any time of the day!

    2. Eduardo

      completely flat-out wrong in their interpretation of “imperial” in imperial measurements.

      Very funny, actually. And obviously humor.

      1. Clive

        No, the first rule of successful snark is not to make yourself look stupid or miss an obvious point in the process.

        Snark aims to show you’re (the snark-er) putting one over on the target (the snark-ee) by virtue of your better sense of self-awareness and spotting the snark-ee’s hubris. So if you’re not sufficiently self-aware that you miss the original point the snark-ee was trying to make and thereby sufficiently suffering from hubris yourself you’ve not seen that, the whole thing falls flat. There’s nothing more grating that misconceived snark.

        It is very difficult to get really right — I’ve certainly fallen flat on my arse trying on several occasions. If you’re in any doubt, pick another form. Taking pot shots at Rees-Mogg is like shooting fish in a barrel; there’s no real excuse for being off target.

        1. Wukchumni

          Maybe 25 years ago I bought a few rolls of copper-plated 1943 steel Lincoln Cents in an auction lot I purchased including other stuff, with the real deal-a 1943 mistakenly made out of all copper being worth upwards of $100k, and then snark’d them into circulation in L.A. over a period of a few years, spending one here, one there, setting the hook for a catch you’ll never witness being landed.

          1. ambrit

            A sublime jape!
            I am partial to the ’42 to ’45 “Silver War Nickels.” Just for fun.
            I could never find out how many of those were retired from circulation and melted down after the war.

              1. Savita

                Wukhumni and Ambrit
                I really don’t understand what you’re talking about!
                Something about coins, and sneaking them into circulation somehow being an amazing joke, and ‘worth a Benjamin’ and…really? It’s not an uncommon experience on this comments page I must admit. It just sems you North American folks have a different concept of english vocabulary. Kind of fitting, here at the end of Imperial Clives Imperial thread..

                1. ambrit

                  I flashed on your last sentence as reading “…Empirical Clive’s Imperial thread…” Now that is sublime.
                  Wukchumni, and do correct me if I am wrong here Wuk, and I function on a mixed series of dialectical versions of the English language. He evidently has an eastern European influenced sensibility in his use of language, and I have a hybrid British English American English sensibility.
                  The “worth a Benjamin” is a reference to the monetary value of a particular counterfeit version of a coin series, the American 35% silver nickels produced during WW-2. Thus, a nickel counterfeited with a mistake is worth “real money.” I’m going to have to keep my eyes open for one of those in my visits to coin shows and estate sales.
                  At bottom, this is a demonstration of just how mutable language is. With North America self identifying as the “melting pot,” it follows logically that language itself should be subject to the same ferment that the human population in it is.
                  Be ye of good cheer!

                  1. The Rev Kev

                    I think that it was Shaw that said that America and Britain are two countries that are divided by a common language. I was once at a camping site sitting at a table with over a dozen people present. All of us spoke English as our native language and yet not one person was from the same country and we mostly understood each other – mostly.

                    1. ambrit

                      Don’t get any of us discoursing on the subject of dialect!
                      My fave is that Appalachian “Hillbilly” English is close to how Shakespeare would have spoken.
                      And, good heavens, Chaucer in the original!

        2. Plenue

          “the first rule of successful snark is not to make yourself look stupid or miss an obvious point in the process.”

          Which is kind of what you’re doing here, to be honest. Yes, we know Imperial is a specific measurement system, and doesn’t inherently have anything to do with empires.

          Refusal to adopt the much more sensible metric system is one of the more petty bits of British hypernationalism/nostalgia for the Empire. That he wants to standardize usage to ease communication is fine. That he insists on the Imperial system instead of the much more sensible metric system that is already partly mandated by law is his inner reactionary coming to the surface. In this context equating the Imperial system with love for the Empire is entirely justified.

          1. Clive

            I loath when, for example, the BBC insists on using kilometres. All road signs here are in miles and that’s how I conceptualise distances. Vehicle fuel economy is displayed as “miles per gallon”. You buy a pint of beer in the pub. These are Imperial measurements. In saying that, I’m merely describing what they are. No one reviles the idea and history of empire more than I but that is simply what they are, as Rees-Mogg was stipulating too.

            And as I said above, for engineering and science publications, where SI units make far more sense (but only when that’s how you were taught…) reading US documents without metric equivalents is a pain. But that’s just my view and if the US readership wants Imperial measurements, then that’s what it should get.

            The Tweet commenter did not understand this distinction. That’s why they picked this point (in a wide number of other points Rees-Mogg made) to criticise in Rees-Mogg’s writing style guide. Stupidity is stupidity and should never have excuses made for it. And people who have demonstrated their stupidity should never compound their error by indulging in anti-intellectualism.

            I had to double-check that Tweet wasn’t posted by Dave Spart. It’s stuff like that which earns the progressive left deserved ridicule.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              I am too lazy to look. Do Imperial measures include “stone”? It’s so wonderfully antique and almost always used in literature on characters being depicted as heavy or massive, so the “stone” reinforces the “really hefty”. One of my Australian buddies in the early 2000s used “stone” in conversation to describe how much her weight could change in a short period of time, which was really attention-getting.

              1. Clive

                It does! “stone” as a measure of weight is incredibly old English — back to a 13th century Act of Parliament and almost certainly much older than that. It was adopted into the Imperial standard in the Victorian era, hence Australia “inheriting” it. I’m amazed it’s still in use there, but once something gets into common use, I guess it’s hard to shift, even though “stone” is very clunky, even compared to pounds and ounces.

                1. The Rev Kev

                  The old terminology still sticks around even though we made the switch back in the 70s. The one for stones is weird as the scales have used kilograms for decades now. Even when a baby is born, often you will hear that it is something like 7 pounds and 2 ounces instead of in kilograms. Heard about a builder who went into a timber yard and asked for a length of timber. When asked what dimensions, he said that he wanted it 1600 mill by 4 inches – and they got it for him.

              2. ewmayer

                The one place one can still see a (mostly) stone-based system is in professional boxing weight classes, where the original eight boxing weight divisions or “glamour divisions” were all based on (or at least correlated closely with) multiples and half-multiples of stones:

                Heavyweight 200+ lbs (160+ lbs in 1738 by Broughton’s Rules; 175+ lbs in 1920 by Walker Law; 190+ lbs in 1979 and finally 200+ lbs)
                Light heavyweight 168–175 lbs (12-12.5 st.)
                Middleweight 154–160 lbs (11 st. – 11.5 st.-1 lb)
                Welterweight 140–147 lbs (10-10.5 st.)
                Lightweight 130–135 lbs (135 lb = 9.5 st. – 2 lb)
                Featherweight 122–126 lbs (126 lb = 9 st.)
                Bantamweight 115–118 lbs (118 lb = 8.5 st. – 1 lb)
                Flyweight 108–112 lbs (112 lb = 8 st.)

                1. richard

                  that’s really interesting
                  and I’d never realized the weight divisions weren’t perfectly contiguous
                  but I guess that makes sense, you couldn’t have it so close that if you skip a meal then bang, you’re in another division.

    3. efschumacher

      So if ‘got’ is a vulgarism we have gotten from some low-class usage, will the Moggwump approve of ‘gotten’ to grease the wet-dream Trade Deal with you-know-who? Anachronistic twat.

    4. lambert strether

      The link not optimally filed. Since Rees-Mogg opposes the Oxford Comma, Guillotine Watch would have been more appopriate.

      Commas are a b*tch.

      1. Steve H.

        Please note that ‘apostrophe’ and ‘apostate’ are etymologically related.

        An apostrophe’s sins approach the spiritual, crossing lines of whom and who, subject and object, dominance (God’s good(s)) and omission (God’s good).

        A comma, even without an and, cannot approach such devilry.

      2. dearieme

        The Oxford comma precedes “and”. Thus: Links are provided by Lambert, Yves, and Tom and Jerry.
        Observe how the comma distinguishes the first ‘and’ – which separates two members of a list – from the second, which conjoins the authorial partnership of the aforesaid Thomas and Gerald.

        Experience has taught me that the Oxford comma works well. His banning of the comma following an ‘and’ presumably traces back to some habitual error by a member of his constituency office staff. Or maybe it’s a peculiar Somerset habit.

        1. Clive

          I was always taught (in Yorkshire schools!) to never add a comma of any grammatical purpose either before or after an “and”.

          And (I was also taught to never start a sentence with “and”, but what are rules there for, if not to be broken?) that where names are used in a context of collaborative endeavour, they must be linked with an ampersand rather than a “and” such as “Fred & Ginger”. Individuals, if listed in an associative way, should have the relationship added, as in “Tom, with his frequent adversary, Jerry”.

          But honestly, it all gets a little wearying doesn’t it…

          1. Jeremy Grimm

            I have largely given up on worry about commas, indented versus line paragraphs, semicolons, colons, and when to use ‘that’ and when to use ‘which’ or when to use neither [as shows in my comments]. I view it as similar to the constant fuss over doubling or not doubling consonants in spelling or the extent that English grammar has been made to follow Latin school grammar. I’m afraid that even if I mastered some particular school or style manual’s methods and rules for punctuation the end result would still fall far short of capturing the cadence, rhythm, tone, and emphasis of speech in a written form. The ideal written form would convey information with the beauty, clarity, and care of well-crafted written communications while at the same time doing so with the expressive power of a fine actor’s speech.

          2. Plenue

            Why, it’s almost like none of these ‘rules’ are actually rules at all, merely the haughty opinions of academics. In the absence of the equivalent of the Academie Francaise English has no actual rules.

          3. Yves Smith Post author

            I was also taught never to start a sentence with “and.” I’ve had pieces for publication in high end venues with full time editors where the editor revised the text to have sentences that began with “and,” so I gave up.

        2. Tom Bradford

          I would propose that “Links are provided by Lambert, Yves, and Tom and Jerry.” is anyway incorrect. My version would be “Links are provided by Lambert, Yves, Tom and Jerry.”.

          However if the phrase was intended to indicate that Lambert and Yves’ contributions were as individuals whereas Tom and Jerry collaborated the correct statement would be “Links are provided by Lambert, Yves and Tom with Jerry.”.

    5. RMO

      I just went through the hell of trying to find a single, hardware store grade aluminum pop-rivet that was needed to get an aircraft airworthy again. It had to be 3mmX6mm. Despite Canada having officially gone metric back when I was transitioning from a tricycle to a bicycle finding one was almost impossible. Thanks to US market power everything readily available was inch-fractional and thus either too big or too small.

      I’m not particularly concerned what system of measurements I use but I do wish we could all use the same one for Finagle’s sake!

      1. JCC

        Here is an interesting, and true, anecdote regarding your situation.

        Years ago there was an aircraft company in Upstate NY that acquired the license to manufacture a Saab Trainer jet they tried to flog on the US Dod. One of the requirements of the contract was that nuts, bolts, screws and rivets had to be designated in “english” measures – inches, etc. and the jet trainer had to come in at a certain weight and length/width measurement of attendant components.

        The blueprints were all metric, so the engineers of the firm had to run the conversions from the metric system to the “english” system and they decided to round-up the conversion.

        The results were a disaster as it missed all the requirements of weight/length/width. Going back to the drawing board cost them a small fortune and they ultimately lost the contract (not too long afterwards the company was sold to Sikorsky and eventually shut down).

    1. edmondo

      Can three people be a flank? Seems more appropriate to call them “cannon fodder in no-man’s land” being shot at by both sides.

      1. WheresOurTeddy

        age 18-29 voter turnout, 2014: 20%
        age 18-29 voter turnout, 2018: 36%

        What people think is “popular” or “electable” will be very different in 2021 than it is right now.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “MSNBC’s Anti-Sanders Bias Makes It Forget How to Do Math”

    When MSNBC legal analyst Mimi Rocah said that Bernie Sanders “made her skin crawl,” though she “can’t even identify for you what exactly it is,” it is a pity that someone did not pipe up and say; “Is this a Jewish thing Mimi? We all know that he is Jewish. Don’t you like Jewish people?” just to flummox her. Her day job is a legal analyst which means that she should be able to analyze situations. It is in her job title. I hope that she does not give legal opinions by saying stuff like: “I’ve no proof but I just have a feeling about this case. I just don’t like that defendant – he creeps me out.” New York University School of Law should refund her the money that she spent on her degree there.

    1. richard

      “Your Honor? I don’t have any evidence to convict the defendent. Can we just go ahead and convict him anyway? I mean just look at him!”
      she also has a gig teaching law (or working at a law school anyway)
      speaking of refunds, if she ever simulated teaching a class where i was a student, i’d be sure to ask for one

      1. flora

        John Yoo has a law degree, teaches law at UC Berkeley school of law (Boalt Hall), and authored memos and legal briefs justifying military use of torture at Guantanamo Bay prison during the W. Bush administration. (These legal memos and briefs were later collected by David Cole and published in a book: Torture Memos: Rationalizing the Unthinkable.*)

        Education and credentials are not a substitute for attributes like good character or human decency or even common sense, imo. I’m daily less impressed by credentials meaning anything important about what a candidate will do once in office or on the job.

        *)”showing that the United States government’s top attorneys were instrumental in rationalizing acts of torture and cruelty, employing chillingly twisted logic and Orwellian reasoning to authorize what the law absolutely forbids.”

        1. richard

          To clarify, I wasn’t commenting on her credentials or legal training (which I glanced at and it meant not much to me) but only on her reasoning. Taking just that one statement into consideration and weighing everything in my mind, if I was her law student, I think I’d want my money back.
          I’m absolutely in accord with you on how overvalued credentials are, especially among the credentialed class. War and torture are the areas where they must decide, because of course you need the proper training to do that sort of thing. One of the grimmest jokes ever.

    2. WheresOurTeddy

      she’s rich. his populism makes her skin crawl. not going to accuse her of misandry but I’ve seen that elsewhere online as well. i just assume classism

      1. Jeff W

        not going to accuse her of misandry

        My theory—it would be irresponsible not to speculate, of course—isn’t misandry per se—it’s that Sanders, as a (frequently) grumpy old man, pushes Rocah’s “patriarchy” buttons. If it were (just) classism, I think Rocah might have had a less visceral response and called Sanders “an angry populist” or something. (But my guess is no better than anyone else’s.)

        1. paintedjaguar

          So what you’re saying is, she’s just not comfortable around senior citizens. Good to know.

  4. Samuel Conner

    Perhaps this is a silly thought, but did it never occur to ask the banks “at what rate would you lend to other banks?” In a market with no actual offered rates, one could inquire what the participants would demand.

    That would tend to drive LIBOR higher, I would think.

    1. John Wright

      I find it very interesting that the Federal Reserve pays 2.35% to banks on their reserves and excess reserves.

      This is a voluntary and direct subsidy to banks.

      Why would the Fed need to borrow money from anyone?

      If banks have money to loan to other banks, the borrowing bank would need to pay in excess of 2.35% to supplant the risk-free “lending” to the Federal Reserve the sourcing bank can choose.

      1. Grebo

        Paying interest on reserves is an alternative, simpler way to control the interest rate. The other way being to issue bonds for the banks to buy with their excess reserves.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      You must not use Twitter regularly. I have been resetting it. The reversion holds for only the current session.

      More important, if someone sends you a link from Twitter and you try clicking on it or even pasting the link in the address line, depending on browser, if you’ve set Twitter to the old view, the browser either hangs or you get the redesign view. The only way to see a tweet sent by a third party in the old view is to use the search field to find the account in question, then scroll to find the particular tweet. Monster waste of time.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        The link to the Firefox extension does work (although it initially would not allow you to paste links into a tweet, but that has been fixed). Unless you’re using Chrome, Hutch’s link is good.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Thanks, I don’t use Chrome, but I am reluctant to use extensions since, confirming my priors, it’s now been established that some spy on you and harvest data from your computer.

          1. Late Introvert

            As an non-registered Twitter lurker who only cared about the links on NC, I’m officially locked out now. They require scripts and cookies and I refuse both from them. Before I could at least read the first page of responses. Now I get an endless cookie redirect. Bye now.

            As a former web developer, I can assure you that was not an oversight, but took effort and money.

    2. Acacia

      I looked at fiddling with the settings to get the old Twitter UI back and also tried Tweetdeck. The former takes a lot of time and the latter has skinny, non-adjustable columns, as it’s designed for people with multiple feeds.

      Finally, I just tried a desktop app (Twitterific). It has a clean, customizable, no fuss UI, and with a bonus of no ads. It feels like the upgrade I was waiting for. :)

  5. fdr-fan

    Re those Lime scooters: here in Spokane the city dysgovernment is in charge of renting them. The city drops off scooters all over the place, right in the middle of sidewalks, often at an ADA ramp. If anyone else left a vehicle in those places, they’d be arrested. The scooters are used as getaway vehicles by young criminals who can’t drive a car yet.

    Pure public nuisance, but because it’s COOL, the idiot dysgovernment will keep doing it.

    1. richard

      I hate those things – somebody’s start up business planted right in your way, and if you try to move it the wheels lock and a loud alarm goes off.
      Once or twice people have planted them on the sidewalk leading to our school, and then my stubbornness kicks in, and I have to wrestle this super heavy, non-rolling, alarm going on contraption off public school property.

    2. Oh

      Just like the idiot dysgovernments (city, county and state) provide Facebook, Linkedin and twitter links and use these spying social media.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “The USDA Didn’t Publish Its Plan to Help Farmers Adapt to Climate Change. Here’s Where They Need It the Most”

    What those farmers are having to deal with is catastrophic, especially with the Department of Agriculture being forced by the Trump government to omit climate change information as a factor. I just hope that Trump is not too involved with the revamp of Boeing’s 737 MAX as it tries to return to service. Otherwise pilots may find when they go to seat themselves in the cockpit that the air speed indicator and altimeter have been eliminated as giving pilot’s information that they don’t really need.

    1. JBird4049

      Farmers only grow our food. They don’t really need any future knowledge about their climate do they?

      More seriously, I wonder if even having another Dust Bowl would get our current regime serious about the changing climate. Maybe not as the resultant food shortages would be very profitable for too many and a relatively few bribes donations would stop any relief efforts.

  7. Carolinian

    Re BAR and Biden–what Glen Ford is really saying is that we are trapped in a system where only a candidate who is willing to sell out to the money power is likely to win. That is, African Americans see the Dems as their bulwark against “white supremacy” and are willing to sacrifice their economic interests out of fear. This of course is the whole calculation behind identity politics by both parties.

    But while Trump undoubtedly did represent a racial backlash by those who didn’t like having a black president (including Trump himself), it wasn’t much of a backlash given that he didn’t even win the popular vote and the country is still overwhelmingly white. Both parties are playing a game here to make sure class and economic equality issues stay in the background and that’s because they both represent–basically–the same overclass. So in that sense Sanders really doesn’t fit into the picture for many black voters.

    Perhaps Sanders will break through once the field thins out but one suspects it will take a lot more than him and a squad to change the Dems.

      1. marym

        The birth certificate, sharia law, tan suit, war on Christmas stuff was certainly the latter. As we look back on 2 years of Trump + Republican Congress we’ll see whether, despite mostly unchanged economic factors, there’s some decrease in support related to the doing nothing part. The “whole calculation behind identity politics by both parties” as described in Carolinians’s comment work strongly against supporters on either side putting doing something for all of us at the forefront.

      2. marym

        correction…tried to get too fancy with the formers and latters!

        The birth certificate, sharia law, tan suit, war on Christmas stuff was certainly the former. As we look back on 2 years of Trump + Republican Congress we’ll see whether, despite mostly unchanged economic factors, there’s some decrease in support related to the doing nothing part. The “whole calculation behind identity politics by both parties” as described in Carolinians’s comment works strongly against supporters on either side putting doing something for all of us at the forefront.

    1. John k

      It would help. If he just gets the nom he can change the dnc leadership (I think.). And maybe can’t change again for four years… which means funding progressive candidates.
      If pres… avoid wars. Plus appoint reasonable people head of deep that root out bad apples and policies. Etc.
      And being pres means he can prosecute white collar crime, very popular. And break monopolies. Change how unemployment is calculated while then pushing fed to pay attention to their full employment mandate. Bully pols to vote for pop policies like m4a and. 15… or promise to campaign against them.

  8. Krystyn Walentka

    Re: “What If Avoiding the Sun Is Bad for You?”

    The first thing to realize is that this is a study of women from southern Sweden, who genetic reaction to sun exposure might be specific for their environment and sex. So I feel if you are not a Swedish woman you should not apply this to yourself.

    But I think there is something important here and will provide more for you to ponder. Most people just know the link between Vitamin D and sun exposure, but another effect it has is that it lowers folate.

    There is a link between folate and cancer that varies with the type of cancer and personal genetics. There is a reason they give folate pathway inhibitors to people with cancer. And there is a link between serum folate and cancer, sometimes folate is good, sometimes bad.

    But folate and its’ pathway is not just about cancer, but also heart disease and mood disorders. (I have often thought the reason there were more suicides in the spring might be partially associated with a sudden drop in serum folate).

    Sun exposure also increases superoxides in the skin, and if you have a poor diet low in maganese, zinc and copper (SOD1 and SOD2), or weak catalase (CAT) genetics, this will make health problems more likely to be express when there is sun exposure.

    What we know is that we do not know a lot, and that it is probably more a gene/environment mismatch rather than just genes poor environment that causes health issues. So I do not dismiss imperfect studies like this, because they tell us something, and I think they did a pretty good job negating healthier lifestyles.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I think its pretty clear that the evidence is mounting that so long as you avoid burning and too much exposure of the same body parts during midday, the balance for health is favourable for people living in the northern latitudes for sun exposure – this is especially important for darker skinned people and those who culturally wear lots of clothes (its been known for decades that muslim women in Europe have serious health problems caused by Vitamin D deficiencies).

      1. marieann

        As someone who takes vitamin D summer and winter I have often wondered about how folk that cover up their bodies get their vitamin D
        I am conflicted about the use of sunscreen….I read that Melanoma rates are increasing but as far as I know most folk use sunscreen….or do they really and just report that they do.
        I don’t use it and don’t usually mention that I don’t use it as it is sometimes open season on folk who are that “stupid”
        I stopped using all store bought lotions etc. because of the number of chemicals they contain with links to disease.

        I find the points in the article interesting and worth further study.

        1. Wukchumni

          Long term homeless in California have deep tans that would make George Hamilton envious, and I tend to doubt they ever bother with sunscreen.

          You get the same kind of results backpacking in the sunny Sierra, as you’re out all day and despite applying sunscreen often and wearing a wide-brimmed hat, you’re gonna come out of the back of beyond bronzed, somewhat.

    2. Sutter Cane

      Having worked outside, shirtless, for much of my youth, and as an adult having twice had melanoma cells removed from my skin, I’ve had enough sun for this lifetime, thanks. I’ll take my chances with the other, lesser known health risks rather than chance another bout with skin cancer.

    3. Sick Canuck

      (This ended up being longer than I expected, but think it describes important findings that are not yet widely known)
      I think the most important thing about vitamin D is that the nuclear vitamin D receptor (NVDR) regulates expression of several hundred genes that encode proteins that target uniquely microbial molecules (such as liposaccharides, single stranded DNA, etc) which are collectively known as the TH1 component of the innate immune system (the part of the immune system that mostly targets microbes inside of cells).

      This is important as there is growing evidence that many inflammatory and autoimmune diseases may involve infections of cell wall deficient bacteria. These microbes are largely impossible to culture in any way, usually having a dividing time of between a week and a month, and being obligate parasites (like viruses), requiring a host cell, but being killed off by healthy cells, Having no cell wall, different species are rarely visually distinct, and the large variation in size in bacteria within the same host cell mean that they are often mistaken for vesicles or other host cell structures. Most research involves DNA sequencing but the inability to culture them limits what can be learned and the presence of bacterial DNA in sequencing human DNA is often interpreted as a contamination of the sample.

      Their increased complexity compared to viruses has enabled them to evolve ways to modify their host cell environment, often by altering parts of the endocrine system, or receptors responsible for genetic expression. For example, some bacteria produce capnine, which can block or degrade the NVDR, lowering the rate of creation of antimicrobial proteins by the host cell and improving conditions for the microbes living inside it.

      Once a cell is sufficiently immunosuppressed, other species of microbes can colonize the cell, resulting in a polymicrobial infection. With different microbes having different abilities to alter the host cell, and affinities for different cell types and tissue types, the resulting constellation of infections and host cell changes could possibly be the cause of the constellation of symptoms seen in many chronic illnesses where many symptoms commonly occur together, but no single symptom is present in all cases of the disease.

      Further complicating efforts to understand how cell wall deficient bacteria contribute to many forms of chronic illness is the herxheimer effect, where increasing the rate of bacterial die off results in an increase in inflammation and related symptoms and commonly tested biomarkers (such as kidney function, or indicators of liver health). This means that treatments that effectively kill the cell wall deficient bacteria and their opportunistic coinfections seem to make the disease worse in the short to medium term, while things that strengthen bacteria, or negatively impact some part of the immune system or metabolism that results in less killing of microbes is seen to initially improve the disease, though it speeds the rate at which the infection grows and the disease progresses in the long term. A severe example would be the use of corticosteroids for treating ME/CFS and other autoimmune diseases. This dynamic could also lead individuals to chose behaviors that are palliative, improving symptoms in the short to medium term, but which harm them by worsening the disease in the long term (such as taking supplements that provide nutrients that are important to the growth of the species of bacteria infecting the individual).

      There are many common factors that ultimately effect the killing off of these infections that limit the effectiveness of reductionist research methods, and which have long been observed to have a beneficial effect, but how and why they do may be best explained by the CWD bactera/ Th1 immune system theory. These include diet (the bacteria metabolize sugar most effectively, low carb diets increase microbe kill rates), chronic stress (elevated cortisol levels broadly suppress the immune system), exercise (to lower blood sugar and boost immune function), sleep (important for the immune system), and getting a tan/sun exposure (increased TH1 expression, supplemental Vit D is an inactive form, and an insufficient dosage compared to what humans historically received from sun exposure. All in all, nearly everything can impact our metabolisms and immune systems to some extent, including genetic and environmental factors, the most important being exposure to these infections, possibly either in the form of an altered metabiome which then leads to intracellular infections, or an infection while the individual is susceptible due to some factor or factors causing reduced immune function, possibly in only part of their body or in some cells that are exposed.

      There is evidence that the NVDR can be activated by some angiotensin receptor blocking medications, as the angiotensin receptor is structurally similar the the NVDR due to being a copy of it that evolved different functionality. Some treatments have been tried that involve the drug Olmetec combined with pulsed, ramped, bacterial-static dosages of ribosome binding antibiotics that gradually halt bacterial production of capnine resulting in the restoration of the NVDR function and with Olmetec, increase the expression of the Th1 component of the innate immune system which can begin killing off the infection while providing some “clean up” of the inflammation causing molecules. The use of antibiotics alone appear to either be ineffective (as many don’t work well on slow growing bacteria without cell walls that live inside cells), or trigger acute, intolerable inflammation. While the Th1 component helps break down the molecules that trigger infection, reducing inflammation, it is still a difficult balance, often causing an intolerable Herxheimer effect that limits the effectiveness of the treatment, particularly for individuals with the most severe cases of disease, and thus the most advanced infections.

      If these microbes play an important part in causing disease, than this dynamic could explain why effective treatments have been so hard to find. As the infection and the disease progress, killing off the infection at a higher rate causes an increasing worsening of symptoms that may be intolerable or dangerous and be interpreted as an ineffective treatment. And any cure for a disease that is ultimately discovered to be caused by these microbes would require such a kill off. So there may be no silver bullets on the horizon, and little progress until the paradigm of these ideas is used to understand and interpret the biological systems we seek to heal.

      A few of the other things this theory could help explain:
      Why risk of disease is significantly inherited without having a clear (human) genetic component: children receive most of their microbiome from their parents in their first few months of life, some infections could be transmitted during pregnancy to the fetus similar to the dynamic of toxoplasmosis and schizophrenia. And the slow growing nature of these infections mean it could take decades to spread enough to become symptomatic, or a healthy person could mostly keep them in check, with the microbes only reproducing significantly if the immune system is weakened, possibly just as the individual ages.

      Why some diseases exhibit photo-sensitivity (lupus), occurrence with latitude/sun exposure (MS), increased occurrence in populations with darker skin: increases in sun derived Vit D and the resulting change in immune activity and microbe kill off can either prevent the occurrence of disease, or increase the Herxheimer effect for existing infections. Lack of Vit D decreases Th1 immune activity, which increases microbe growth and risk of disease.

      Why women have a much higher risk for many inflammatory and autoimmune diseases: estrogen and other hormones have a strong immunomodulatory effect, partially to protect the placenta and fetus from an immune response during pregnancy. This could be illustrated by diseases such as gestational diabetes, which could be the strengthening of bacteria and their ability to alter their host cell due to reduced Th1 expression due to changes in immunomodulatory hormones during pregnancy ; while post partum depression could be interpreted as a rebound/increase in Th1 expression after birth which results in an increase Herxheimer effect causing neurological symptoms in individuals with brain tissue infection of CWD bacteria. As women have a higher life time exposure to these hormones than men, with the resulting impact on their immune systems, that could explain part of the higher risk women face for some diseases.

      Why having some diseases increases your risk for other diseases (eg diabetus and heart disease): once you have an infection of CWD bacteria contributing to one disease and suppressing part of the immune system in some cells, you are more susceptible to other infections which contribute to other diseases.

        1. Susan the other`

          I looked up my BP med, irbesartan, and found no problems with D3. So, if I understand this above correctly angiotensin meds are mildly beneficial to the NVDR process. Or not? If I ask my doctor this he will be totally clueless. At any rate, I’m enjoying the sun. Thanks

          1. Sick Canuck

            Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARBs) vary widely in their ability to activate the Nuclear Vitamin D Receptor (NVDR), Olmetec is the strongest, but while the maximum dosage for reducing blood pressure (40mg) only needs to be taken once a day to saturate the receptor and maximize the blood pressure lowering effect, the pharmacokinetics of Olmetec on the NVDR are that it binds to it and activates it at a lower rate, requiring a higher dosage to have a therapeutic effect, 40mg every 6 hours, or possibly every 4 hours if there are intolerable symptoms.

            Valsartan is another ARB, it has a longer half life in the body, and is frequently prescribed for blood pressure at a dosage that causes some activation of the NVDR, though it activates it less effectively than Olmetec. and could be the reason for research finding that cohorts taking Valsartan show a significant reduction in the incidence and progression of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

            Other ARBs have been tried as therapeutic treatments, but appear to not activate the NVDR as effectively as Olmetec. I wouldn’t worry about it, and enjoy the sun!

      1. marieann

        Thank you for this, very interesting and very complex. I think it’s a case of the more we know the more we realise there is much we don’t know.

      2. Old Jake

        I’ve only read half of this, but I’m taking the opportunity to recognize this as a fascinating, very informative, and well constructed comment, possibly deserving to be a post in itself (though it’s not exactly aligned closely with the financial industry which is the nominal scope of Naked Capitalism). Thank you for taking the time and lending your knowledge to write this.

      3. ambrit

        This is “news we can use” since my wife has melanoma. Thank you for taking the time to compose this.

      4. Yves Smith Post author

        This is great but let me offer another simple-minded theory re the “people with tans seem healthier” thesis.

        People who can spend enough time outdoors to have tans are outdoors! The effects may be largely due to being outside/being in nature, which other studies indicate is a big stress reducer. Even lying on a tanning bed is stress reducing (they are warm and you space out). Would be useful to identify a population that is outdoors but for some reason does not get much sun when doing so and see how it compares to the sun bunnies.

        1. Sick Canuck

          True, that could be the cause of the observed health effects, but it still leaves unanswered the question of “by what means does stress increase the risk of contracting so many different diseases?”. Any effective treatments or cures will depend on understanding the material chain of cause and effect between stress and the diseases it increases the risk of, especially for diseases that persists after chronic stress has abated. The Th1 germ theory of disease offers an explanation for that.

          The article linked below (“Is Sunscreen the New Margarine?”) presents evidence showing the difference between the “sun avoiders” and “sun worshipers” is an impact on health similar to smoking in terms of life expectancy. I’m not aware of any studies on stress that show that strong of an effect for a sizeable population (Smokers lose on average 13-14 years according to the CDC). Sun bathing might be relaxing, but I doubt it’s that relaxing, and it says nothing about peoples other activities and how stressed they are when not sunbathing.

          Also, you could look at people who get exposed to a lot of sun but don’t spend much time in nature or on a tanning bed. Roofers get a lot of sun, and their job is anything but relaxing. If the health benefits observed from sun exposure actually were the result of stress reduction and not sun exposure and synthesized vitamin D, they should show no health benefits compared to workers with similar forms of exertion who work indoors.

    4. Medbh

      Here’s another article that reviews possible advantages to sun exposure: “Is Sunscreen the New Margarine?”

      ” Lindqvist tracked the sunbathing habits of nearly 30,000 women in Sweden over 20 years. Originally, he was studying blood clots, which he found occurred less frequently in women who spent more time in the sun—and less frequently during the summer. Lindqvist looked at diabetes next. Sure enough, the sun worshippers had much lower rates. Melanoma? True, the sun worshippers had a higher incidence of it—but they were eight times less likely to die from it.

      So Lindqvist decided to look at overall mortality rates, and the results were shocking. Over the 20 years of the study, sun avoiders were twice as likely to die as sun worshippers.

      There are not many daily lifestyle choices that double your risk of dying. In a 2016 study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, Lindqvist’s team put it in perspective: “Avoidance of sun exposure is a risk factor of a similar magnitude as smoking, in terms of life expectancy.” …

      Meanwhile, that big picture just keeps getting more interesting. Vitamin D now looks like the tip of the solar iceberg. Sunlight triggers the release of a number of other important compounds in the body, not only nitric oxide but also serotonin and endorphins. It reduces the risk of prostate, breast, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers. It improves circadian rhythms. It reduces inflammation and dampens autoimmune responses. It improves virtually every mental condition you can think of. And it’s free.

      1. dearieme

        If the naked ape evolved principally in equatorial East Africa should we be surprised if sunshine can be a Good Thing?

        If the pale-skinned races further evolved in northerly latitudes, should we be surprised that sunshine can be too much of a good thing?

        By the by, is there any general agreement on why we became naked?

        1. Old Jake

          Improved cooling while pursuing game over long distances has been postulated. The San and wolves both use similar hunting tactics, pursuing a target until it succumbs to exhaustion. The San are sometimes a good model of methods used by paleolithic hunting/gathering cultures, and the assumption is these have carried over from earlier hominids.

        2. Acacia

          By the by, is there any general agreement on why we became naked?

          Check out the Aquatic ape hypothesis.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Airbus A350 software bug forces airlines to turn planes off and on every 149 hours’

    Kinda strange this story. You read the article and find that there has been a software patch out for years to fix this issue but some airlines have not installed it yet. It’s like an article on a fault with Windows computers but not mentioning that the solution has been out for years but some users just can’t be bothered. As for those airlines that have not installed this patch, a commentator in that article had the bright idea that the insurance company for that airline should tell them that their insurance on those planes will be cancelled until that patch is installed. Genius that.

    1. rowlf

      “The remedy for the A350-941 problem is straightforward according to the AD: install Airbus software updates for a permanent cure, or switch the aeroplane off and on again.”

      Ever since Airbus alerted operators of this problem operators have been scheduling powering down and restarting the airplanes during maintenance periods, which usually occur every three to five days. As I mentioned a few days ago this has been a common practice since the 757/767 and digital computers trying to run in an analog world. On the A350 this is a time scheduled maintenance task.

      Updating the software usually involves a lot of engineering support from the operators’ engineering department to be sure all the software and components on the aircraft is compatible with the new software. Some other systems or components may need updating or replacement to operate with the new software. Software installation on aircraft is treated the same as if a structural part is being modified as far as engineering substantiation required. (I’ve harassed some engineers by asking if they are getting hung up on the weight and balance section of the modification analysis)

      A subject that gets overlooked on A350 and 787 aircraft is the ground monitoring of each aircraft on every flight. The aircraft transmit a ton of data like a moon launch and systems on the ground allow the operators that subscribe to this service the ability to monitor systems and plan for maintenance actions before the aircraft arrives at the stations. Airbus using this system to look over the shoulder of operators and will frequently contact the operator’s control department to advise of conditions on the aircraft and recommend courses of action. Airbus has gone all in on the customer support side of its products.

      Usually the first system to go offline after 149 hours is the CPIOM for the chemtrail system…

      1. a different chris

        There’s a ginourmous difference between a “patch” and an “update”. They don’t mean the same thing at all. So, which is it?

        1. rowlf

          On Airbus aircraft the software is treated as a part like all the other components on the aircraft. It will be listed in the parts catalog with an applicability range and can have a conditional note for compatibility. Typically new aircraft are not compatible with old parts due to modification level at the time of production.

          I’ve never seen the term “patch” on aircraft software I have installed or tracked modification status on. It is always updates with a new part number and presented as a Service Bulletin or an Airworthiness Directive to apply a Service Bulletin. The EASA AD calls for updating the software through a Service Bulletin and provides a maintenance action until that is accomplished.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Thanks for those comments rowlf. Stuff like that really needed to be in the original article to put the whole thing into context. Interesting that software is treated as a part which I suppose it should be.

    2. WJ

      The point of the headline is: Boeing is not so bad! Airbus has problems too!

      I would be interested in knowing the history of this article’s genesis….

    3. ewmayer

      So this is like when after a week of continuous usage you have a bunch of tabs open in your browser and a whole bunch of pages loaded in each and deep in the codebase some mis-implemented C++ Standard Template Library container-class function written by an underpaid outsourcer in Bangalore goes ‘bonk’ … but at 7 miles up. That’s the kind of “Crash Reporter” pop-up that can really ruin your day: “Would you like to share data about this crash with Airbus?”

      1. rowlf

        Sure… except there is no need to report this as Airbus would already know about it and had been calling, emailing and telexing you to take care of it before you went flying. The aircraft transmits warnings, fault messages and system reports all through each flight for monitoring and trend analysis. Plus Airbus can request more detailed reports directly from the aircraft during flight.

        Then there is the issue of violating an Airworthiness Directive which causes officials to come and look around on how you are managing your affairs. You would want to self-disclose and offer a plan to prevent re-occurrences, or you could try to hide it and face a fine or certificate suspension.

        Same-same as a home computer

      2. Lambert Strether

        > “Would you like to share data about this crash with Airbus?”

        From what I read, Airbus’s software development process is much, much better than Boeing’s. The pop-up is more a Boeing thing…

        1. Rowlf

          I would not be comfortable saying that. The A350 software described in the article would be similar to 777 or 787 systems software, where the entire aircraft is a computer network. Updating the system software is a several hour task. The 737 problems are centered around a Line Replaceable Unit (LRU) such as an Flight Control Computer, which is a rack mounted box than can have firmware, can be loaded with software with a portable data loader or the aircraft can have a loading system that directs a file from a hard drive to the FCC. Loading an LRU is a two to twenty minute task. The LRU software would likely be created by the manufacturer of the LRU.

          So several different methods and teams making different types of software at each company. If I were to generalize, Airbus has been conservative in development practices where Boeing tries to be innovative. The Boeing 787 was a big leap forward in design concepts, where the A350 has some very clever evolution of systems taking advantage of the available technology when it transitioned from paper airplane to metal.

  10. PlutoniumKun

    Boris Johnson plans to frighten Europe then charm it. Here’s why he’ll fail Guardian. A key bit at the end, which explains why Labour hasn’t called a general election. But remember how May’s supposedly “fatal blow to Labour” snap election turned out:

    The only way Labour has a strong chance to win if there is a snap election is to do a pre-election deal with the other three main parties – i.e. for a mutual policy of dropping candidates where splitting the vote will let a Tory in. But for all sorts of historical reasons that have never made sense to me there is zero chance of Corbyn (and most likely any other Labour leader) doing that. So if Johnson can do a deal with the Brexit party (i.e. bribe Farage), then I think he would have every chance of winning a clear majority.

    1. a different chris

      Uh, as usual confused here. I didn’t think Labor could “call a snap election”??? I thought they could bang the table so much that the public would want one, but I thought only Boris could actually call it.

      But admittedly if even this morning’s cup of coffee, let alone my life, depended on my understanding a Parliamentary system I’d be screwed.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Well, they can’t call one, but they could move a motion of no confidence, and if the anti-Boris faction in the Tories voted for it, then an election would be inevitable.

    1. JEHR


      Horses are so wonderful. I love to watch them in the fields just eating away at the grass. Sometimes they will hear your “clik-clik” and turn to see what the noise is about. Two years ago I noticed an older horse get slowly more thin and frail. I was sad when it died. Horses are so wonderful!

      1. Wukchumni

        There really isn’t a lot of stock use on the west side of the Sierra compared to the east side, and most of it is NPS mule trains delivering food resupplies to trail crew camps scattered throughout Sequoia NP, and this year the passes have had bountiful snow on them, rendering them not passable by stock, so said supplies have to come from Jerky Meadow down by the Kern River and about 40-60 miles from there. If they could get over the passes, the distance would be halved.

        You almost never see somebody on horseback in the backcountry these days, although it was the other way around in the 1930’s, where you’d rarely see somebody on foot.

        One time we ran into a fire chief from San Diego and his wife, and they brought city horses into the mountains, where sheer drop-offs a few feet from the trail can be hundreds of feet, and they told us, they had to get off and walk their steeds about 35x in 11 miles.

  11. dcrane

    Local man accomplishes stand-up paddleboard trip from Duluth to Arctic Ocean Duluth News Tribune (Chuck L)

    One learns something every day…hadn’t realized that the Arctic Ocean was considered to extend as far south as 51 degrees north latitude. I would have assumed James Bay to be more related to the Atlantic than the Arctic.

      1. Parker Dooley

        I was there last year, and it was so cold the spray was freezing instantly when it hit the rocks. My grand-daughter was baby sitting for 2 of the surfers. Glad they made it back alive.

  12. Jeff W

    Medicare For All Isn’t That Popular — Even Among Democrats FiveThirtyEight

    The poll cited by FiveThirtyEight uses the phrase “Medicare for all that want it,” which, as Benjamin Studebaker and Nathan Robinson, quoting Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, point out in a recent Current Affairs piece, is

    a “rebranding” of the concept [of the “public option”], an attempt to present Bernie Sanders’ single payer proposal and Barack Obama’s old abandoned “public option” idea as roughly the same.

    That, in itself, makes the poll fatally flawed because the two are not the same in fundamental ways. With “Medicare for all that want it,” you’d still have to go and opt in to make that choice and pay for it with premiums—and, presumably, if you failed to do that, either intentionally or otherwise (e.g., you didn’t update the expiration date on your credit card), you would not be covered. A Medicare-for-All system is entirely different—you simply get healthcare, without opting in or paying any kind of premium. It’s an apples-to-oranges comparison, with the oranges rebranded as apples.

    Studebaker and Robinson say

    In an ideal world, your healthcare would not be something you have to think about very much. If you got sick, you would choose a doctor’s office and make an appointment. You would go to that appointment and see the doctor. Then you would leave. You would not have to apply for insurance, not have to pay bills.…Leftists dream of making healthcare as easy as possible to receive and universally accessible to all regardless of how much money they have.

    [Link in original.]

    I think that a good portion of those who preferred “Medicare for all that want it” over Medicare-for-All in that poll have been so conditioned by decades of our byzantine, premium-based system that they simply can’t imagine that healthcare could actually work any other way—that you could just go to your doctor, get care and leave, without the issue of payment coming up. (That’s separate and apart from the supposed scary tradeoffs—long waits, substandard care—rolled out by opponents.) You’re way more likely, it seems to me, to favor that option of “if you want it, choose it (and pay for it), and if not, don’t,” especially in a place like the US where consumer choice (and paying for stuff) is the norm, if you can’t even imagine that something might be universally offered as a public good and you can get it without having to do much of anything.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      “been so conditioned by decades of our byzantine, premium-based system”

      One of the ways they’ve been conditioned is to feel pride and a sense of accomplishment if they have health care insurance through work. It’s not that easy to find work with health insurance benefits, and it’s even tougher to land a job with fairly decent health insurance. Naturally, folks who have played the game well and received the reward of health insurance are going to feel like something is being taken away from them if M4A is branded as “lose your private health insurance.” And yes, unless they’ve had occasion to encounter alternative systems in Canada or Europe, they cannot imagine what M4A coverage will really mean to them.

      1. Susan the other`

        I loved Bernie’s sarcastic remark in one of his speeches where he lampooned the reasoning that single payer is so expensive and we’ll all pay for it in various dreaded taxes. He said yes, he was aware that people would rather be skinned alive by their insurance premiums and surprise bills and fudged deductible obligations than be given full disclosure and itemized costs all handled by the government.

      2. Jeff W

        “…to feel pride and a sense of accomplishment if they have health care insurance through work.”

        It’s a great point, I think.

        There’s a kind of goal displacement, encouraged by those against Medicare-for-All, where success in the system is measured by getting at least decent health insurance, rather than getting, well, health care. If you have that, you’ve “won”—and Sanders, with his loony Medicare-for-All plan, wants to take that away from you. It’s almost aside the point—it’s outside the assumptions, actually—that it’s a game no one should be playing anyway.

    2. 3.14e-9

      MFA “not all that popular?” FFS, 64 percent of registered Dem voters surveyed in the poll cited by FiveThirtyEight responded that it was a “good idea.” Granted, 90 percent liked “Medicare for all that (sic) want it,” but the headline is misleading. Shocking, I know…

      Jeff W., while I agree that the poll’s questions are problematic, if there’s a fatal flaw here, it’s in Nate Silver’s spinning the results into “what people want” – and dang, wouldn’t you know, it’s not Bernie but Biden who’s got the goods. FYI, the poll doesn’t actually use the term “public option, and the Medicare-related questions are among some 20 questions on issues including climate change, gun control, and other healthcare topics. There’s also a first section dealing entirely with Trump’s job performance. Here are the two questions on Medicare:

      — Do you think Medicare for all, that is a national health insurance program for all Americans that replaces private health insurance, is a good idea or a bad idea?
      — Do you think Medicare for all that want it, that is allow all Americans to choose between a national health insurance program or their own private health insurance, is a good idea or a bad idea?

      I have a couple of basic problems with those questions: 1) There are only two answers, good or bad, with “unsure” as the only out. No room for nuanced thinking. 2) The way the questions are framed and the order in which they’re asked almost guarantees a more favorable outcome for the second. After all, how many people want the government telling them what to do (and TAKING something away from them), versus GIVING them CHOICES? I don’t think we even have to attribute it to being conditioned to accept crappy, overly complicated health insurance. It’s more likely that the vast majority are mindlessly repeating what they’re hearing from the media – in the case of Democrats, CNN, MSNBC, WaPo, NYT, etc. How many of the survey respondents, would you wager, actually had any in-depth knowledge of what they were judging as “good” or “bad?”

      I highly recommend reading the polls themselves. This one is particularly interesting, with lots of details that could be spun to order. One of my favorites: Do you think repealing Obamacare is a good idea or a bad idea? Of registered Dem voters who identified as moderates – i.e., those most likely to support Biden – 21 percent thought it was a good idea. If you roll all the centrists together, Rs and Ds, that number goes up to 32 percent.

      1. Jeff W

        …if there’s a fatal flaw here, it’s in Nate Silver’s spinning the results into “what people want” – and dang, wouldn’t you know, it’s not Bernie but Biden who’s got the goods.

        I agree absolutely.

        I agree also that the framing and ordering of those two questions virtually guarantees a more favorable outcome for the “Medicare-for-All for all that [sic—yeah] want it” option would poll than for the “Medicare-for-All replacing private health insurance” option. And I would definitely bet that “the vast majority are mindlessly repeating what they’re hearing from the media,” that they don’t have “any in-depth knowledge of what they were judging as ‘good’ or ‘bad.'”

        I guess I was trying to get at the underlying resistance to something that, to me (and to most of the advanced world), seems like a no-brainer—you go to the doctor, you get care, you’re done—and, incidentally, it costs way less than what you pay now. Even assuming people know that that’s the way it’s supposed to work—and you’re absolutely right to imply that most people probably don’t—I think, against the frame of our crappy, overly complicated health insurance system, they would have a hard time believing that it actually works that way. It just seems too good to be true. (But it is true.)

    3. Oh

      538 has learned to mislead people with these rigged polls. I think “wandering hands” Biden is blowing this kind of smoke with his public option just like O’Grifter did.

  13. tongorad

    Media Just Can’t Stop Presenting Horrifying Stories as ‘Uplifting’ Perseverance Porn

    What these articles highlight so clearly is not only the grim, inhuman and unnecessary conditions so many Americans are forced to live under, but the degree to which mainstream corporate journalists have completely internalized them as unremarkable, inevitable facts of life, rather than the consequences of decades of neoliberal policies that have robbed Americans of dignity and basic human rights.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Great White Shark Fever Sweeps Cape Cod”

    I heard that those same Great White Sharks refused to swim off the Hamptons as it was too dangerous for them. No professional courtesy there.

    1. sleepy

      That 2 1/2 hour shark tour mentioned in the article costs a whopping $2500 per person. No wonder Yves mentioned pitchforks. Maybe the sharks will carry them.

      1. roadrider

        Its actually for up to 5 persons (says so in the article) so $500/person if you have a group that size. Still pretty pricey.

        1. sleepy

          Sorry, as you say I must have misread it.

          The article also says that they are followed occasionally by other boats. Won’t be long before they’re followed by other tour boats charging $200 a person.

      2. Wukchumni

        Wow, that’s spendy.

        We were @ Two Harbors on Catalina island and watched around 60 Leopard sharks gamboling along the shore, for free.

    2. Ignim Brites

      Yeah. You can see a “Hamptons” t – Where Great Whites Fear to Swim. Maybe not. Might be interpreted as racist.

      1. Ignim Brites

        A solution to the aforementioned interpretive ambiguity. Front “Hamptons”. Back – “Where Carcharodon carcharias fears to swim.” – on a Jaws background.

    3. Swamp Yankee

      It’s not just rich summer people, though, I must point out, who are alarmed by these sharks. The year-round population here in Southeastern Mass., which is overwhelmingly working class, also is feeling this.

      I for one know I’ve switched my swimming from the ocean to the bay, and actually now (two teenage girls encountered a shark after stupidly trying to go “where the seals are” off White Horse Beach on Plymouth Bay, and, lo and behold, got a bite taken out of one of their kayaks) I swim mostly in kettle ponds, which are clean, much safer, and beautiful in their own right.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Iran: The Case Against War”

    From this article-
    …the Iranian government is guilty of genuine transgressions against American interests and values. It backs Syria’s brutal dictator, Bashar al-Assad. It undermines the security of Israel by organizing and sustaining Shia militias in Syria, supporting the Palestinian extremist group Hamas, and arming the Lebanese Shia militia Hezbollah. By serving as Iran’s proxy on Israel’s border, Hezbollah exposes Lebanon…to the risk of Israeli retaliation…Iran backs the Houthis, an insurrectionist movement in Yemen that has ousted the elected government and attacked the territory of its Saudi patrons.

    This can be a matter of viewpoint. Let’s try those passages again-

    …the Iranian government is guilty of genuine transgressions against American interests and values. It stopped Syria being over-run by fanatical Jihadists. It undermines Israel supporting Salafist militias in Syria, supporting the Palestinian resistance group Hamas, and arming the Lebanese Shia militia Hezbollah. By serving as Iran’s proxy on Israel’s border, Hezbollah stops Israel occupying southern Lebanon again…Iran backs the Houthis, a rebel movement in Yemen that has ousted an illegitimate government and attacked the territory of its Saudi patrons in revenge for the slaughter conducted by the Saudis in Yemen.

    See. It’s just a matter of viewpoint.

    1. Plenue

      I was going to mention exactly this. Those two paragraphs are a wonderful distillation of pure bs. Hard to say which part is my favorite, but I lean towards: “By serving as Iran’s proxy on Israel’s border, Hezbollah exposes Lebanon—long a fragile state—to the risk of Israeli retaliation.” I love how the onus is put on Iran for ‘exposing’ Lebanon to Israel, and not on Israel to, you know, not invade its neighbors.

    2. witters

      The NYRB has been trending down for decades (once it refused to publish Gore Vidal and Sheldon Wolin it became obvious, and then Timothy Snyder on Boogie Men and Michael Tomasky on politics and it was all over.) I think it and the Guardian could merge seamlessly, and certainly absolutely no-one would be any wiser.

  16. Dan

    “Pay or Die”

    O.K, let’s stop fighting all the fake enemies and fighting wars for Israel, the weapons buyers in Saudi Arabia and the oil companies, and then move our troops from the Middle East to Honduras.

    Occupy Honduras. Use drones, hellfire missiles, tanks and other things to fight the corruption.
    Think that would make the NYT happy? I thought one motive for the losing war in Afghanistan was to “save the girls”?

    One thing’s for sure, don’t allow the transmigration of whatever corruption there is in Central America into the U.S.

    I’ll bet they are rooting for Kamala to become president, based on her allowing them to get away with murder when she was the alleged district attorney in San Francisco.

    1. edmondo

      “…and then move our troops from the Middle East to Honduras.”

      We’d probably lose that one too. After all, a trillion dollar a year military only goes so far.

      1. Monty

        I thought Honduras had been optimized by the US to be in it’s current form. It’s basically a CIA airstrip/staging post for bringing massive quantities of drugs into the country.

  17. anon in so cal

    Discussion of Obama’s role in Russiagate:

    “Understanding the Roots of the Obama Coup Against Trump

    by Larry C Johnson

    There are only two possibilities: 1) Obama was being briefed by Susan Rice and DNI James Clapper and CIA Director about the project to take out Trump, or 2) Obama was kept in the dark.”

    1. Lambert Strether

      I’ve never trusted Larry Johnson since the 2008 when he repeatedly claimed to have Michelle Obama on tape saying “whitey” and then never delivered (and no, it’s not like I have a long memory or harbor grudges).

      That said, as Johnson urges, it’s extremely hard to believe that Obama wasn’t briefed on the FBI counter-intelligence efforts against the Trump campaign. If that’s what they were.

  18. Ignim Brites

    “We Are All Executioners Now”. Got to wonder whether the re-instituition of the death penalty now is related to sweating potential targets in the investigations of the origins of Russiagate.

  19. Wukchumni

    Our lives have been co-opted by the Convenience Industrial Complex TreeHugger
    A few years back I was soaking @ Saline hot springs with a 92 year old Battle of the Bulge vet, and asked him the biggest change he’d seen in all his time, and he thought about for a minute and said “easy, everything is so easy now”.

    The soft underbelly of the country is the populace.

      1. WheresOurTeddy

        comment you were responding to is half a notch above “I have no empathy for millenials…none!”

  20. Wukchumni

    I hadn’t watched 1977’s Soldier of Orange in probably 20 years, and Rutger Hauer is magnetic in one of the best WW2 films that’s seldom seen. It deserves more attention.

    A cat & mouse tale of the Dutch resistance, directed by Paul Vorhoeven.

    1. martell

      Yes, that’s a great film. Several of the Verhoeven and Hauer films are worth checking out, including Turks Fruit and Flesh and Blood. Both are, in some respects, obscene, and the latter is quite flawed, though it does seem to get something right about the Renaissance: it was important to live fast, because you probably wouldn’t live long. Now that I think it, this attitude is manifest in all of these films, even Soldier of Orange.

  21. Louis Fyne

    re. Texas wind,

    despite the headlines, it’s two steps forward, 1.5 steps back. just saying—as much as i want to snap my fingers and make things green.

    this morning wind generated ~20% of Texas electricity. sounds great…but this afternoon it’s only ~7% due to changing winds.

    Point is don’t be deceived by the headlines. Wind is not yet a viable alternative to natural gas given the high initial costs, the necessity to overbuild capacity (aka lose money) to have enough generation capacity for when the winds go slack, and demand.

    the solution is either nationalizing power generation (non-starter), or moon-shot levels of subsidizing/building out wind, solar and fission (as battery tech is nowhere near what you need on a national scale…and yes, i know fission is a non-starter w/many people here)

    just being realistic w/the tech available. don’t flame the messenger.

    1. John k

      Recent wholesale solar plus battery long term bid accepted by Tx utility was .022/kwhr.
      New gas plants clearly not competitive even with $2.50/1000 btu, and this price not sustainable, frackers losing their shirts at that price.
      And today’s cost of gas maybe too high for latest solar given free (sunk) cap cost.

    2. sammie

      Not clear how one gets to two steps back, 1.5 forward. Yes, wind has a tendency to vary, and so wind power facilities’ output varies (it’s that intermittency bit). Solar power varies too, although to a lesser extent intra-day. Is that a reason not to build renewables? Hardly… since we do have a way to mitigate this phenomenon. Today, purchased power contracts for solar plus storage come in cheaper than either for gas or coal. And that is even before one accounts for all the pollution and environmental degradation that comes with the utilisation of fossil fuels.
      Just like with any transition, however, switching to renewables will take time. And investment. So to advocate against renewables because they are somehow not viable – when the one thing that would make them more viable is volume – is an argument set on its head.
      Plus, we’ll likely use a combination of fuels to power electric generation for quite some time. Nothing wrong with that, as long as the trend points to fewer fossil fuels.
      (And if one wants to talk about high initial costs, try building a natural gas plant! To set up a wind farm requires much lower investment – typically, recovered over a 20yr period. For gas, it is 30, or more commonly, 40 years.)
      Renewables will be added to the country’s generation capacity – the faster, the better. Both FERC and EIA have recently acknowledged their growth. What should be subsidised, however, is research into battery improvements. While battery installations are being built, there is still a lot of room for perfecting them.
      As for Texas, this is what an industry report stated: “ERCOT’s Demand and Energy Report shows wind energy contributed 21.78% of the grid’s generation through June, compared with 21.37% for coal. Gas-fired resources generated more than 40% of Texas’ electricity, with nuclear adding about 10%.”
      What it looks at are numbers for the last six months, not intra-day fluctuations. (Yes, those are now backed by fossil-fuel gen., but in the future, it will be energy storage.)

  22. Craig H.

    The article is well done.

    A recent study by the US Green Building Council found that most people believe that recycling is the greenest and most important thing they can do.

    Every single time I have been moved to look into a recycle bin I see obvious non-recyclables that people have trashed it up with. I wonder what the economics are for recycling:

    Case (A.) 99% of the first users sort rigorously;

    Case (B.) all of the recycle material has to go through careful secondary sorting.

    In my zip-code we have definitely got Case B and I lean to the opinion that my city’s recycling process is not economic and for me it is a complete waste of time to participate.

    The best thing we could do for the environment might be to shrink the Department of War. They are the source for a large fraction of Environmental Protection Agency Superfund Sites. Maybe a majority if you examine who the primary customers were for the corporations who did the damage.

    has a long list.

    The linked article on the National Industrial Dispersion Policy is also good. The momentum towards sprawling seems unabated.

    1. Jason Boxman

      The whole recycle thing is a lie, which I was fed in middle school as part of reduce, reuse, recycle. I’ve always taken it at face value; the more of the official line you question, the more you find there is to question. Lied to an entire generation of children.

      1. Anon

        The reduce and reuse part is essential to limiting pollution/CO2. Recycling plastics had its moment during your middle school daze. But today not so much.

  23. bruce

    I didn’t know you get from Duluth to the Arctic Ocean without going down the Mississippi, etc.

    Facebook cannot kill encryption. We’ll just do our encryption on separate, dedicated, open-source hardware and software little cryptoboxes (you could do it on a Raspberry Pi) and enter the ciphertext onto the main box we use for talking to people. Easy peasy.

    1. sleepy

      There’s actually a continental divide in northern Minnesota where on one side all water flows into the Arctic and on the other, into the Atlantic.

  24. ewmayer

    Watching a bit of penultimate day of World Swimming Championships from Gwangju, South Korea … yah, NBC, we *know* what the US national anthem sounds like. I guess NBC figures if we don’t hear it at least every 15 minutes, our patriotic fervor begins to lose its edge. I admit that during the last ad break I started secretedly harboring wicked thoughts of defecting to Roosland … I’m so ashamed of myself! Time to pop in a DVD of one of those Chuck Norris movies where Chuck singlehandledly refights the Vietnam war and defeats the evil commies, by way of a quick re-education session.

  25. Summer

    Re: ScootScoop

    That’s just the beginning of the problems the scooter companies are going to have. The street people are sizing them up and it’s only a matter of time before they find out what parts are valuable.

    There is a reason why bicycle companies (more responsible type of human beings?) haven’t done this not so bright idea. t

    1. drexciya

      In The Netherlands we have something called OV-fiets (public transport), which is the option to get a bike at a train station, to continue to your destination. This is pretty popular and is a way better way to go about this. You pick up the bike at the train station (typically a location used to store bikes), and drop them off there again.

      What I really don’t get is why you would even want to use the drop off anywhere, pick up anywhere option. That is just asking for problems. You should embed this type of transportation with regular options, to make it an integral part of a solution.

  26. Jason Boxman

    That story about ScootScoop made my day, thanks! Maybe they should franchise that business idea!

  27. Susan the other`

    Science News. Star orbiting massive black hole (Sagittarius A in the center of our galaxy) confirms Einsteins theory. That light has a hard time escaping. This was interesting because it separated out the wave from the particle. They analyzed the radiation (light) from the star by its “gravitational redshift”. The electromagnetic radiation, including light, lengthens as it escapes the massive pull of the black hole… but “particles of light expend energy to escape but always travel at the speed flight – so the energy loss occurs through a change of electromagnetic frequency rather than a slowing of velocity, causing the shift to the red end of the EM spectrum, a “gravitational redshift”. So, a question: could this mean that the red shift we see as our rapidly accelerating expanding universe could really mean that that expansion is slowing down, having a harder time?

    1. ewmayer

      “could this mean that the red shift we see as our rapidly accelerating expanding universe could really mean that that expansion is slowing down, having a harder time?”

      No – a slowing expansion would mean that the slope of redshift vs distance/time would deviate from linear in the downward (sublinear) direction. In mathematical terms, you need to look at the second derivative of the redshift, not the first.

  28. tegnost

    Is it me or is this article pointing the finger at the FAA? At least at the beginning, (it has all the coherence of any article written by three people) NYT linked from seattle times

    “While the agency’s flawed oversight of the Boeing 737 MAX has attracted much scrutiny since the first crash in October and a second one in March, a Times investigation revealed previously unreported details about weaknesses in the regulatory process that compromised the safety of the plane.”

    1. VietnamVet

      The powers that be will put the blame as far down the pyramid as they can. But the guilt is at the top. The elite and the credentialed class bought completely into the ideology that money is the sole means of measure. The more money one has the higher one’s merit. Safety costs money. The FAA was privatized to increase the wealth of Boeing stockholders. Both political parties were paid to do this. Barrack Obama and Eric Holder also decided that too big to fail Corporate Executives like Boeing’s aren’t subject to the rule of law. All the strange things happening right now (fracking, piracy of oil tankers, or tariff wars) are exploitation scams with no thought to the long term consequences; such as, two airplanes full of passengers diving out of the sky.

  29. ewmayer

    “Star Orbiting Massive Black Hole Lends Support To Einstein’s Theory | Reuters” — Title makes it sounds as if general relativity were somehow still controversial and ‘unproven’ … and a really inane quote from one of the scientists involved:

    While Einstein’s theory held up in the observations of this star, astronomer Andrea Ghez of the University of California, Los Angeles said it may not be able to fully account for what happens in the most exotic possible gravitational environments like those of black holes. These extraordinarily dense celestial entities exert gravitational fields so strong that no matter or light can escape.

    The study detected a co-mingling of space and time near the black hole as predicted by Einstein’s theory. Isaac Newton’s 17th century law of universal gravitation could not account for these observations, Ghez said.

    “Newton had the best description of gravity for a long time but it started to fray around the edges. And Einstein provided a more complete theory. Today we are seeing Einstein’s theories starting to fray around the edges,” said Ghez, who led the study published in the journal Science.

    Uh, no, that’s not what your observations show at all … your actual data served as beautiful confirmation of GR, and that stuff about “may not be able to fully account” is strictly speculation. Sure, there’s good reason to believe GR must inevitably break down deep inside black holes and at quantum scales, but if it only happens “where no observation can ever go”, it’s gonna be kinda hard to measure that, yes? So first find a clear deviation somewhere *measurable*, i.e. within the realm of observable spacetime, then you can talk big about the need for a better theory, OK? After all, that’s how every genuine advance in science has historically come about. You go off theorizing in absence of any data you get pseudoscientific “mathsturbation”-fests like string theory.

    1. flora

      “mathsturbation” fests. Love it. You correctly challenged me once for overstating the meaning of ideas presented in Dava Sobel’s book “Longitude”. I knew then, more than at any other time (since I am science focused and not financed focused), that I could not get away with making overly stretched arguments at NC.

  30. Wukchumni

    F-Edsel 35, now with skyhook!

    Since the incident, the Marines have instituted a policy requiring F-35B pilots not to engage afterburners for more than eighty seconds cumulatively at Mach 1.3, or forty seconds at Mach 1.4. Navy F-35C pilots have fifty seconds at Mach 1.3 to ration.

    To “reset” the afterburner allowance, they must then allow three minutes non-afterburning flight for the tail area to cool down to avert damage.

  31. Wukchumni

    Did a drive-by of the ‘grand tetons’ last week, and I sure wouldn’t want to live anywhere in the vicinity…

    Earlier this month, Southern California Edison — the operators of the now-shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant — resumed transferring heavy canisters filled with spent fuel assemblies from wet storage pools to a newly constructed dry storage facility on the plant’s premises.

    Putting aside the criticism from some advocacy groups about restarting transfers at all, the move brings up a larger question: Where will the waste at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, known as SONGS for short, eventually go?

    SONGS is located right above the beach at San Onofre and although the plant has not generated electricity since 2012, it is home to 3.55 million pounds of radioactive waste that dates from the time when the plant was active.

  32. show_me

    737 Max:

    This is not a software problem. It is a hardware problem. Boeing is willing to do almost anything to avoid making hardware changes which would necessitate testing as a new aircraft. It is my considerable (40 year) experience programming hardware (though nothing like on an aircraft) that when you’re asked to fix shoddy hardware with software it never goes well. Luckily in my world it has merely inconvenienced consumers, the general public or broadcast television companies. No one’s dropped out of the sky because of it. Except in the simplest of contexts, you can’t fix bad hardware with software. It cannot be done. Stop trying. Fix the hardware.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > Fix the hardware

      In this case, the hardware is a 2019 – 1967 = 52-year-old airframe at the limits of its capacity. Hardware fixes might not be possible.

  33. The Rev Kev

    “The Marine’s F-35 Has Afterburner Trouble”

    With Turkey buying the S-400 system and being denied the F-35 as a consequence, it sounds like the Turks dodged a very messy bullet here. When I think on it, it is pretty lucky that the F-35 is built by Lockheed and not Boeing. If going to afterburner damages that plane then Boeing would have opted for a software fix. I can see it now. The F-35 is in a combat situation when a tone warns the pilot that he has a missile locked onto him. Going to afterburner to perform a series of maneuvers to shake that missile, he may have found power cut back by that plane in order to not have that plane damaged – and not knowing that that plane could ever do that. Surprise!

  34. Marcus
    It would be interesting to have NC taking on this topic in-depth. Basically the very same banks that have already been convicted multiple times to have rigged interest rate benchmarks to their profit, have been put in charge of defining the mechanism to transition to new, supposedly more « robust », rate benchmarks. And apparently are doing their best to make one last killing out of it.

    Assuming the judicial system is not entirely disfunctional, this should make for legal action that will dwarf prior « LIBOR rigging » scandals. But then maybe we just got used to large banks blatantly stealing massive money on a regular basis, and mostly getting away with it in the end.

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