A mesmerizing look at nature’s eight-legged wonders National Geographic
Animals falling sick, dying near hellish Ohio train derailment site NY Post. This doesn’t look much like “controlled release” to me:
‘It’s bittersweet’: Crucial COVID-19 data tracker shutting down after three years CTV. In other words, the current “high plateau” of infection is the new normal, because the normal doesn’t need to be tracked. Well done, all. Johns Hopkins’ endowment is $9.32 billion.
For Older Americans, the Pandemic Is Not Over NYT. “Three years in, the societal answer seems clear: With mask and vaccination mandates mostly ended, testing centers and vaccination clinics closed and the federal public health emergency scheduled to expire in May, older adults are on their own.” Yes. That’s called eugenics. And it all happened… spontaneously.
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Vaccine hesitancy prospectively predicts nocebo side-effects following COVID-19 vaccination Nature. From the Abstract: “The directionality between vaccine hesitancy and COVID-19 vaccine side-effects has not been hitherto examined. We hypothesized a nocebo effect, whereby vaccine hesitancy towards the second Pfizer vaccination dose predicts subsequent side-effects for a booster dose, beyond other effects. We expected these nocebo effects to be driven by (mis)information in males and prior experience in females…. Results show that a quantifiable and meaningful portion of COVID-19 vaccine side-effects is predicted by vaccine hesitancy, demonstrating that side-effects comprise a psychosomatic nocebo component in vaccinated individuals. The data reveal distinct risk levels for future side-effects, suggesting the need to tailor public health messaging.” Hmm.
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Scientists discover receptor that blocks COVID-19 infection Phys.org. “The authors said they are developing two strategies against COVID-19 using LRRC15 that could work across multiple variants—one which targets the nose as a preventative treatment, and another aimed at the lungs for serious cases.”
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses contributing to mitochondrial dysfunction: Implications for post-COVID complications Mitochrondia. From the Abstract: “This review summarizes how mitochondrial function and dynamics are affected by SARS-CoV and how the mitochondria-SARS-CoV interaction benefits viral survival and growth by evading innate host immunity. We also highlight how the SARS-CoV-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to post-COVID complications. Besides, a discussion on targeting virus-mitochondria interactions as a therapeutic strategy is presented.”
Covid-19 has significant impact on liver, says study at Mumbai hospital Business Standard. “The study at Nair Hospital revealed that as the severity of COVID-19 infection increases, liver function abnormalities worsen, and such patients are more likely to develop a severe disease….. ‘The cause of derangement is multifactorial. It could be due to virus itself, multiple drugs, complimentary and ayurvedic medications, low oxygen levels and any pre-existing liver disease,’ [Dr Sanjay Chandnani, a gastroenterologist and assistant professor at Nair hospital] said.”
China to export Type 052D destroyers, signalling more advanced ships in the pipeline: analyst South China Morning Post. Climbing the value chain.
From the Deep Forests and Seas of Yambaru The Baffler
Chevron agrees to sell Myanmar assets and exit country Channel News Asia
A Cow Ate Our Alphabet Hopscotch Translation
Dear Old Blighty
Fifteen arrested as lit fireworks launched at police outside Suites Hotel Liverpool Echo. Knowsley “anti-migration” protest.
New Not-So-Cold War
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Zelensky is Getting Desperate Newsweek
Russia blocks access routes for Western arms supplies to Ukraine: Moscow defence ministry South China Morning Post
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Out of Alignment Foreign Affairs. The deck: “What the War in Ukraine Has Revealed About Non-Western Powers.”
South of the Border
Peruvian coup: the Australian connection Pearls and Irritations
Trudeau says flying object shot down on his orders over Yukon Montreal Gazette. By a US F-22 (notching up the balloon-poppings, there).
Multiple F-35s shot down in 3-hour dogfight with Chinese balloon Duffel Blog and What we know about the unidentified object shot down over Alaska CNN. “Some [F-35] pilots said the object ‘interfered with their sensors’ on the planes.”
Biden’s Speech Was Trumpian Peggy Noonan, WSJ. “You can say Mr. Biden fibbed, misled and exaggerated, and you wouldn’t be wrong, but in rope-a-doping Republicans on Medicare and Social Security he showed real mastery.”
Jim Clyburn says he sees ‘no reason’ for Biden to step aside in 2024 FT. He wouldn’t.
Our Famously Free Press
Freelancers Wanted: Help Knock Out the Mainstream Propaganda Machine Matt Taibbi, Racket. This caught my eye:
For decades, our government at least loosely complied with legislation like the Smith-Mundt Act, which prohibits aiming at the domestic population any official propaganda “intended for foreign audiences.” However, gloves came off in recent years.
In a remarkably short time since the end of the Obama presidency, the U.S. government has funded an elaborate network of NGOs and think-tanks whose researchers call themselves independent “disinformation experts.” They describe their posture as defensive — merely “tracking” or “countering” foreign disinformation — but in truth they aggressively court both the domestic news media and platforms like Twitter, often becoming both the sources for news stories and/or the referring authorities for censorship requests.
The end result has been relentless censorship of, and mountains of (often deceptive) state-sponsored propaganda about, legitimate American political activity. In the Twitter Files we see correspondence from state agencies and state-sponsored research entities describing everything from support of the Free Palestine movement to opposition to vaccine passports as illicit foreign propaganda. Some of this messaging devolves into outright smear campaigns, with efforts to denounce the organic #WalkAway hashtag as a Russian “psychological operation” serving as a particularly lurid example. The Hamilton 68 story (about which more is coming) hints at this dynamic.
Disinformation “labs” cast themselves as independent, objective, politically neutral resources, but in a shocking number of cases, their funding comes at least in part from government agencies like the Department of Defense. Far from being neutral, they often have clear mandates to play up foreign and domestic threats while arguing for digital censorship, de-platforming, and other forms of information control.
Worse, messages from these institutions are parroted more or less automatically by our corporate press, which has decided that instead of a network of independent/adversarial newspapers and TV stations, what the country needs is one giant Voice of America, bleating endlessly about “threats to democracy.” .
I wish Twitter would at least label the New York Times and the WaPos “state-sponsored media.”
What’s your story? Terry Eagleton, London Review of Books
Google cautions against ‘hallucinating’ chatbots, report says Reuters (Rev Kev).
Kaiser posts $4.5B net loss in 2022 amid staff shortages, economic headwinds Becker’s Hospital Review
The Hospital-at-Home movement Eric Topol, Ground Truths
Imperial Collapse Watch
Oregon attorney general launches criminal investigation into bourbon diversion scandal Oregon Public Broadcasting. Third World stuff.
The Ultimate Resource is Peaking Center for Global Development
The First Family of Human Cannonballing Narratively
Antidote du jour (via):
Thank you beautiful person ..!🐦🦜🕊️🐤❤️🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/Uo6DdDUmBf
— World birds (@worldbirds32) January 20, 2020
Eurasian hoopoe (Upupa epops)🐦🦜🕊️🎵❤️ pic.twitter.com/hRUJ8PsMrr
— World birds (@worldbirds32) April 17, 2020
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.