Dear patient readers,
Big big thanks to Lambert and Jerri for doing extra duty, between my hip surgery, post surgery PT (a continuing time sink!) and my mother being hospitalized for 3 weeks (the original hospital and then her rehab facility, which was also an actual hospital). By virtue of getting her into a decent facility, she’s now functioning a tad better than when she pneumonia. I still am digging myself out from under administrativa backlog but it’s less overwhelming than it was.
There’s also some catch-up in Links today….items that still seem germane that were published a few days back.
Qld tradie to walk free after cutting off men’s testicles Mercury (Anthony L)
Hubble Finds First Evidence of Water Vapour at Jupiter’s Moon Ganymede ESA/Hubble (furzy)
The philosophy of porn Prospect Magazine (Anthony L)
The Unmaking of Biblical Womanhood New Yorker (furzy). More interesting than you might assume.
And a Biblical mini-musical interlude. It was a special project of songs of women in the Bible by Lanny Meyers and Simone Wells (who I know under her non-performance name). I have the CD with all the songs.
Seaweed Farming: Could This Carbon-Negative Crop Help Restore Our Oceans? TreeHugger (David L). I love hijiki….
Tomorrow’s Hydropower Begins With Retrofitting Today’s Dams IEEE Spectrum (Chuck L)
At least 85 wildfires torch 1.5m acres across drought-hit US west Guardian (Kevin W)
Drought pushes Great Salt Lake to historic low NBC (furzy)
The end of open source? Tech Crunch (Chuck L)
Stirring the Embers of Faith Commonweal Magazine. Anthony L: “I like Graham Greene (He is great paired with Gore Vidal).”
Forget morality aeno. Aargh. I have two simple reasons for disagreeing. One is the notion of revulsion, that some acts are so horrid (like eating your children) that everyone recoils from them. Second is that every social animal species exhibits cheating behavior, which in turn often leads to altruistic punishment. I personally waste more time and energy than I should on altruistic punishment and applaud others who do too.
Mixed AstraZeneca-Pfizer Vaccine Boosts Covid Antibody Levels, Korea Study Finds Forbes. Also towards the end of the piece:
Pfizer said it will be creating a booster shot to target the Delta variant. Trials for the booster shot began in Nashville on Monday. Moderna also announced it will be developing a booster shot, with trial results expected by September.
Huh? FDA has to do at least a statistical review. Implies no approved boosters until late Sept when models say Delta infections will hit a nasty high level by mid Oct. The call need for boosters and the rapid spread of Delta were known a while back. The claimed advantage of mRNA technology was that you could whip up a new vaccine in a week. So what happened?
Plus preliminary work suggests single-shot boosters achieve only about half the level of antibody response as the original shots. See this report from GM via e-mail:
The data from 3 booster studies — Moderna, AZ, and probably Novavax too (though they presented it in a weird way) showed that the B.1.351 booster only upped neutralization against B.1.351 to less than half of what it is against WT [wild type].
One would have to assume something similar for B.1.617.2 as the null hypothesis.
So the default expectation should be for the booster to fade even faster
Were the companies looking at two shots (v. the one they appear to have decided upon? The Sept timetable sure suggests a one shot regime)? Trying to come up with a more potent single jab booster?
Been emphasizing the emerging picture of brain injury from COVID19 + longCovid. Antivaccine forces keep pointing to low death rates in young people and adolescents, while ignoring the rapidly accelerating hospitalizations and now neurological complications https://t.co/oqaWRbyw2E
— Prof Peter Hotez MD PhD (@PeterHotez) July 24, 2021
The tweet above explains why getting Covid is not a hot idea. Nevertheless:
New large study of mRNA vaccine effectiveness for people with prior Covid
"Among those vaccinated with BNT162b2, protection against infection was further enhanced and infection incidence was further reduced by prior infection"https://t.co/P3c18iASrq pic.twitter.com/jyUqu8eTKK
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) July 26, 2021
— Frontline (@frontline_india) July 26, 2021
Meet the people who warn the world about new covid variants MIT Technology Review (ma)
De Blasio to mandate COVID vaccine or weekly tests for all 300,000 NYC municipal workers — including cops Daily News. Ditto California, per the pink paper. But note it’s limited to state employees, meaning yes prison guards, no local cops.
The Pandemic Cliff Is a Manufactured Crisis New Republic
The pandemic ended the daily commute Business Insider (Kevin W)
China, US draw lines in sand at top-level meeting but agree to keep talking South China Morning Post
International journalists face intense harassment, threats of violence while covering flooding in China Committee to Protect Journalists (furzy)
A summary of the legal mechanisms available for changing the content or operation of the Northern Ireland Protocol
Short version: EU & UK have to work together and Consent doesn't solve the situation
— Simon Usherwood (@Usherwood) July 26, 2021
There is one hypothesis that is not considered in Fintan's article. That a section of the Tory Party/DUP wants to collapse the Good Friday Agreement, crash the devolved administration, and see the return of a hard border. Never underestimate Tory stupidity https://t.co/VGxW2gIqUS
— Tom Hayes (@BEERG) July 23, 2021
New Cold War
On the Failings of Political Philosophy Irrusianality (Anthony L)
BRI vs New Quad for Afghanistan’s coming boom Asia Times (Kevin W)
MBS treats any domestic opposition ruthlessly PressTV (Anthony L). Not exactly news…
Imperial Collapse Watch
Big Brother is Watching You Watch
The Insecurity Industry Edward Snowden (Richard Smith)
This is no ordinary spying. Our most intimate selves are now exposed Guardian. Whoa, look at what Pegasus cost!
Pegasus, Pandemics, and the Normalization of Surveillance Plebity (Mark W)
Aon, Willis Towers Scrap $30 Billion Merger Amid Antitrust Impasse Wall Street Journal
‘Shadow State’: Embracing corporate governance to escape constitutional limits Jonathan Turley, The Hill
Police State Watch
Citizen Wants to Pay You $25 an Hour to Be a Nightcrawler Gizmodo (Kevin W)
Detailed Discussion of the Proposed CalPERS LTC Class Action Settlement California State University Emeritus & Retired Faculty & Staff Association. Bloodless. Obscures key fact that any long-term care policy bought now with the CalPERS monies already paid in will ofter very skimpy coverage compared to what CalPERS promised.
MIT and Harvard Have Sold Higher Education’s Future The Chronicle of Higher Education
Jeff Bezos offers Nasa $2bn in exchange for moon mission contract Guardian. Kevin W: “NASA should tell Bezos to go sit on his penis rocket.”
Tether Executives Said to Face Criminal Probe Into Bank Fraud Bloomberg (furzy)
Monetary Faith Philip Pilkington, Inference (Anthony L)
Antidote du jour. Jim D: “Old couple adopted a Russian girl.” Moi: My first cat was a regular old cat (his mother was a tabby) who looked just like a Russian Blue. And no subtle markings like this cutie (whose eye color is remarkably close to her coat color):
And a bonus (guurst)
I am going to watch this video of a happy koala mommy yawning and her baby for the rest of my life. pic.twitter.com/jwZioX4ZwM
— Danny Deraney (@DannyDeraney) July 13, 2021
Another bonus (Chuck L):
In France, a beautiful 15-year-old stallion named Peyo often comes to comfort and soothe terminal patients at the Techer Hospital in Calais. The horse chooses which patient he wants to see, kicking his hoof outside the door pic.twitter.com/e81GG7Ly8w
— All Things Interesting (@mrstrangefact) July 25, 2021
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.