How to watch tonight’s ‘great conjunction’ of Jupiter and Saturn LiveScience. Several webcasts.
Light Pollution Is Causing Birds to Nest Earlier, Mitigating Some Effects of Climate Change Smithsonian (Re Silc).
Giant black vultures besiege a small Pa. town. Killing them is illegal. Now what? Philadelphia Inquirer
Google, Facebook Agreed to Team Up Against Possible Antitrust Action, Draft Lawsuit Says WSJ. “Team up.” Points for the self-own by two mutuals?
Lael Brainard: Strengthening the financial system to meet the challenge of climate change (speech) Bank of International Settlements. Good to see Neera’s shop hosting events like this.
The Stimulus/Relief Bill
Six things you may have missed in the US stimulus bill FT. Means-testing and complex eligibility requirements, for one thing:
One of the reasons the $600 check matters is people just get the money without the humiliating bureaucracy. And the bureaucracy is meant as a humiliation. https://t.co/2WfzZEMuvf
— Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) December 21, 2020
That’s hardly fair. Such bureaucracies are also Jobs Guarantees for those with the credentials to run them.
GOP Senator’s Last-Minute Fed Language Helps His Biggest Donors David Sirota and Matthew Cunningham-Cook, Newsweek
Pirating Streamed Content to Become Felony TV Technology. “The bill targets large-scale, criminal, for-profit streaming services, not good faith business disputes or noncommercial activities. Nor does it target individuals who access the pirated streams, knowingly or unknowingly.”
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Possible Aerosol Transmission of COVID-19 Associated with an Outbreak in an Apartment in Seoul, South Korea, 2020 International Journal of Infectious Diseases. From the Abstract: “We investigated the epidemiological relationship among infected cases on a recent cluster infection of COVID-19 in an apartment building in Seoul, South Korea. All infected cases were found along two vertical lines of the building, and each line was connected through a single air duct in the bathroom for natural ventilation. Our investigation found no other possible contact between the cases than the airborne infection through a single air duct in the bathroom. The virus from the first infected case can be spread to upstairs and downstairs through the air duct by the (reverse) stack effect, explaining the air movement in a vertical shaft…. This study suggests aerosol transmission, especially indoors with insufficient ventilation, which is underappreciated.” Handy diagram:
Flow-Mediated Susceptibility and Molecular Response of Cerebral Endothelia to SARSCoV-2 Infection (PDF) Stroke (nvl) (press release). From the Abstract: “Brain endothelial cells are susceptible to direct SARS-CoV-2 infection through flow-dependent expression of ACE2.” Caveat: Study is in vitro.
Vaccinating Pregnant and Lactating Patients Against COVID-19 (practice advisory) American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
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How Science Beat the Virus The Atlantic
An 18th Procrastination: Season finale A Procrastination. Deck: “In which Hong Kong reaches the end of a long year.”
‘This winter, our hearts are burning embers’ People’s Archive of Rural India
Nagorno-Karabakh and the Fresh Scars of War The National Interest
How the Army Out-Innovated the Islamic State’s Drones War on the Rocks
U.K. Gets Preview of Brexit Chaos With France’s Truck Blockade Bloomberg. Bad timing:
Supply chain disruption is the last thing the UK needs right now. Look how low retailers' inventories are! pic.twitter.com/QFA7JUWsBp
— Dom White (@DomWh1te) December 21, 2020
It would be great if Trump pardoned Assange, because Biden certainly won’t:
Not only does Sarah Palin apologize for public mobbing against Julian Assange—in 2010, she said hunt him down like an al Qaeda terrorist—but she also offers more clear position on one of most alarming cases against global press freedom than virtually all progressives in Congress https://t.co/B1Vw4GCv08
— Kevin Gosztola (@kgosztola) December 20, 2020
Barr: No special counsel needed on election fraud or Hunter Biden NBC. So I guess that entitles Barr to a Resistance party card?
Democrats en Deshabille
Congress to approve $1.375 billion for border wall in 2021 The Hill. I just don’t understand why liberal Democrats keep giving Hitler new toys.
Sister Insider Katha Pollitt, Democracy Now. Book review of Molly Ball’s Pelosi. Deck: “Nancy Pelosi has broken more glass ceilings than most women will ever see. But does America wants [sic] badass women?”
Our Famously Free Press
Maybe Freedom is Having No Followers to Lose Zeynep Tufecki, Insight. On the dynamics of social media:
[O]n social media, the dynamic for in-group status assertions and status competition is strong—and getting stronger for this topic as the pandemic rages on. I’m no stranger to this dynamic, as it is something that’s very common among social movements (something I’ve studied at length) and, well, pretty much any human group….
One really interesting pattern in all this status-justling as well as substantive and important gatekeeping has been that sometimes, the people with the highest status—leaders in a scientific field—can be less caring of the status aspect of all this. In fact, that is one of the advantages of the academy and the process of tenure. The same dynamics that produces the occasional curmudgeon Nobel laureate in chemistry who makes ridiculously wrong claims about epidemiology produces, in my impression, an often larger number of people on top of their fields who are beyond status competition and can be bold.
How The New Yorker Fell Into the “Weird Japan” Trap The New Republic. Add, to the New Yorker and The Atlantic debacles mentioned in the article, Rukmini Callimachi’s recent fabrications at the New York Times. Happily for Callimachi, she landed on her feet, being simply moved to another beat, rather in the manner of a well-networked cleric being moved from one parish to another parish in the Catholic church.
Boeing should build 757 replacement in Washington Leeham News and Analysis. Persuasive, although Boeing management might not find it so, given that their main priority is busting the unions, as opposed to building planes that don’t fall out of the sky or catch fire.
Black Injustice Tipping Point
Robert E. Lee’s Statue Was Finally Taken Out of Congress Vice (Re Silc). Of the photo accompanying the article, Re Silc comments: “I like the chains.” Lambert here: One of the many pleasures of the Civil War podcast is listening to Rich and Tracy politely and methodically explain how Lee lost the Battle of Gettysburg through inferior generalship. We are now on Episode #347 (!). That said, we’ve now had two enormous Black uprisings that culminated in episodes of statue removal, fundamentally a form of symbol manipulation without effect on material conditions. Something to think about?
Imperial Collapse Watch
The Man I Saw Them Kill Elizabeth Bruenig, NYT. Capital punishment.
Antidote du jour (via):
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here