The ‘Talking’ Dog of TikTok New York Times
Designers Create Spiky “Pet Body Armor” to Protect Tiny Dogs From Animal Attacks MyModernMet (David L)
‘Forever chemicals’ found in home fertilizer made from sewage sludge Guardian (resilc)
World’s First Invisible Sculpture Sells for a Whopping $18,000 Oddity Central (David L). So people are now loud and proud about being a mark?
Sunlight-activated spray could protect crops and mitigate food shortages Academic Times (Chuck L)
Radioactivity May Fuel Life Deep Underground and Inside Other Worlds Quanta (Dr. Kevin). Godzilla!
The guitar industry’s hidden environmental problem — and the people trying to fix it Cosmos Magazine (David L)
Scientific image sleuth faces legal action for criticizing research papers Nature (Dr. Kevin)
How peculiar it is London Review of Books (Anthony L). Edward Gorey.
Vietnam detects hybrid of Indian and UK Covid-19 variant Business Times (vlade)
We said in comments that the “OMG furin cleavage smoking gun” thesis had been in retreat. Lambert found an example as to why. Please read the entire thread:
The SARS-CoV-2 furin cleavage site is yet again in the news – this time because of a quote by Nobel laureate David Baltimore.
The site is not a “smoking gun”, nor does it “make a powerful challenge to the idea of a natural origin”.
Quite the opposite, so a little science 🧵👇 pic.twitter.com/Txc3sQYZSe
— Kristian G. Andersen (@K_G_Andersen) May 9, 2021
Notice the date on the linked doc below. Notice the lack of follow-on from back then despite it offering an extremely parsimonious and plausible argument (bat bodily fluids are hazmat-suit-requiring level nasty, lab collected those, its waste disposal very near wet market. This means no need to impute gain of function or other manipulation). But the negatives are that there are cases that predate the live market outbreak, both in China and even in Italy. So the live market isn’t where SARS-Cov-2 first got out and about. And no one else has asserted that the lab was dumping biohazards in central Wuhan, which seems cray cray even by China’s lax hygiene standards.
In case you are interested in the evidence for a SARS-CoV-2 lab leak, here it is clearly presented in a February, 2020 paper.
To this day, the evidence for a lab leak remains the same.
— Kristian G. Andersen (@K_G_Andersen) May 28, 2021
Could a distaste for broccoli indicate greater resistance to COVID-19? National Geographic (Dr. Kevin) Dunno. I recall reading research that if you eat any food 10x, you will develop a taste for it.
Average age of newly infected Britons drops to just 29 boosting hopes vaccines ARE protecting most vulnerable from surging Indian variant and 20% jump in daily cases won’t derail Freedom Day Daily Mail
Boris Johnson under pressure to delay lockdown exit – follow live https://t.co/WNluWd1CPt
— The Independent (@Independent) May 29, 2021
Unvaccinated people made to pay $999.99 for Florida concert, while vaccinated pay $18 RT (Kevin W). All this will do is encourage more forgeries of the vaccination cards, which were never designed to be evidence but is the only sort-of official record.
High in the Himalayas, China is planning to build the mother of all mega dams ABC Australia (Chuck L)
Can China finally solve its military jet engine problems? A new material might just do the trick https://t.co/HrsXtHYxTO
— SCMP News (@SCMPNews) May 29, 2021
No great surprise the EU doesn’t see the UK government showing any flexibility over NI protocol implementation. UK government is stuck between hardline rhetoric and a US trade deal, hoping the EU somehow improve things despite insults. https://t.co/W8WbsD0FMT
— David Henig (@DavidHenigUK) May 29, 2021
Top Swiss MP tells EU ‘We’re not your milk cow’ as Bern ditches framework agreement talks with Brussels after seven long years RT. Kevin W: “Lousy title but some interesting details on this failed deal.”
How France is testing free public transport BBC (Dr. Kevin)
Swiss reject framework agreement deal with EU SwissInfo (Micael T)
New Cold War
Biden actually wants to engage Russia and China Asia Times. Wanting and acting accordingly are two different things.
AP Interview: NATO Chief Says Afghan Forces Can Cope Alone Associated Press. Resilc: “Trump is no longer the king of all liars.”
Hamas Wins by Losing in Gaza Scott Ritter (Chuck L)
Support for Israel among young US evangelical Christians drops sharply — survey Times of Israel (resilc). Wow. I had always assumed that Israel’s increased aggressiveness was due to the recognition that it is destined to see support in the US fall, and thus it needs to secure its position as much as possible now. Younger Jews on the whole re far less committed to Israel than older Jews. But the fall in loyalty among young evangelicals has to be a very unpleasant surprise.
CalPERS, CalSTRS Turkish Divestment Bill Passes Senate 36-0 California Globe (Jospeh R)
Big Brother is Watching You Watch
We long said this had to be true:
Most damning in newly unsealed evidence (1) Google’s employees admitting there’s almost no way NOT to provide your location to Google (2) Google designs its ecosystem for location data collection.
“This doesn’t sound like something we would want on the front page of the NYT.” /4 pic.twitter.com/Ke7d8IDDoQ
— Jason Kint (@jason_kint) May 28, 2021
Imperial Collapse Watch
Australia Is A Giant US Military Base With Kangaroos: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix Caitlin Johnstone (Kevin W). Not fair! It also has phenomenal beaches, great and inexpensive theater (which is why it punches above its weight in producing actors), nice weather save the 2-4 weeks when it is stinking hot (in Sydney, Melbourne is cooler and Brisbane hotter), lovely wine and many many nice restaurants. But many good snippets on Israel-Palestine.
A People’s Guide to the War Industry -2: Profits & Deception Consortiumnews (furzy)
Report: Prosecutors May Use a Mafia Law Against Donald Trump that Comes With Up To 25 Years in Prison Vanity Fair. Resilc: “Show me a charge and conviction first.”
White House Budget Shows Focus on Wealth Redistribution, Not Growth Bloomberg. Wowsers, blatant propaganda. Lots of evidence in the many studies on secular stagnation that high levels of inequality hurt growth.
In a paradox worthy of Kafka … Biden’s Fossil Fuel Moves Clash With Pledges on Climate Change New York Times (Dr. Kevin)
NRA Wins Permitless Carry for Handguns in Texas Rolling Stone (furzy)
Dianne Morales and the Implosion of the Left in NYC’s Mayoral Race New York Magazine
Black Injustice Tipping Point
Deep-Rooted Racism, Discrimination Permeate U.S. Military Bloomberg (Robert M)
The truth is Larry Summers has not been cancelled, but should be. Same applies to Ken Rogoff. In economic terms, if people don’t get punished for catastrophically wrong analysis, then you create a moral hazard. https://t.co/FXPo2q6jqc
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) May 28, 2021
What is sovereignty? A conversation about American colonialism Guardian (resilc)
Canada: remains of 215 children found at Indigenous residential school site Guardian (Kevin W)
‘Black Wednesday’ for big oil as courtrooms and boardrooms turn on industry Guardian (David L)
If You’re Reading This, You’re Not Welcome on the Elizabeth Holmes Jury Gizmodo (Kevin W)
Rebel AI group raises record cash after machine learning schism Financial Times (David L). Title not obvious. Subhead: “Researchers split from Musk-funded outfit aiming to stop superintelligent computers from running amok.”
Why Apple and Google’s Virus Alert Apps Had Limited Success New York Times
Cops Raid ‘Cannabis Farm,’ Find Bitcoin Mine Instead Vice (resilc)
In a Post-Covid World, Let’s Pay Teachers Six Figures New York Times (David L). We have long advocated for higher teacher compensation. Studies have found that the relative pay of teachers is strongly correlated with academic performance of students, as measured in international tests. But this is going to be an impossible sell if unions continue to defend really sub-par teachers. At a minimum, they would need to go on a much lower pay track. The general problem with unions today (this is glaringly true of cops) is that the member solidarity is taken so far that it is impossible to remove members who are so unsuited for the job that they discredit their fellow members.
Amazon Wants to Eat Health Care Next New Republic
Obama Labor Secretary Joins Anti-Union Law Firm Daily Poster. Wonderfully clarifying, as Lambert is wont to say.
Antidote du jour. Bob H maintains this dog is herding the chickens, rather than planning his next lunch.
And a bonus. mgl: “Our friends’ Maine Coon, Millicent (Mills).” Moi: Um, that cat knows it’s big enough to intimidate.
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.