Tiny Worms Get the Munchies, Too Smithsonian
SpaceX giant rocket explodes minutes after launch from Texas AP. “Everything after clearing the tower was icing on the cake.” Oh.
Defending Earth’s terrestrial microbiome (PDF) Nature Microbiology. Very important. From the Abstract:
[T]here is an emerging realization that Earth’s microbial biodiversity is under threat. Here we advocate for the conservation and restoration of soil microbial life, as well as active incorporation of microbial biodiversity into managed food and forest landscapes, with an emphasis on soil fungi. We analyse 80 experiments to show that native soil microbiome restoration can accelerate plant biomass production by 64% on average, across ecosystems. Enormous potential also exists within managed landscapes, as agriculture and forestry are the dominant uses of land on Earth. Along with improving and stabilizing yields, enhancing microbial biodiversity in managed landscapes is a critical and underappreciated opportunity to build reservoirs, rather than deserts, of microbial life across our planet. . Harnessing the planet’s breadth of microbial life has the potential to transform ecosystem management, but it requires that we understand how to monitor and conserve the Earth’s microbiome.
The market is the mistake!
Why Earth’s giant kelp forests are worth $500 billion a year Nature. They’re not. They can’t be priced.
US inventory: old forests cover area larger than California AP. Not enough!
Tight junction protein occludin is an internalization factor for SARS-CoV-2 infection and mediates virus cell-to-cell transmission PNAS. From the Abstract: “Although initial infection by Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) occurs via a cell surface entry pathway through its spike protein binding to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, and , processes in which host factors required remain largely unknown.” Syncytium: “An epithelium or tissue characterized by cytoplasmic continuity, or a large mass of cytoplasm not separated into individual cells and containing many nuclei. Syncytium may be formed by the fusion of two or more cells, forming a giant cell. An example of syncytium can be found in skeletal muscles, which is essential since it allows rapid coordinated contraction of muscles along the entire length.” Sounds ominous, but above my paygrade MR SUBLIMINAL It’s the tentacles. I’m tellin’ ya! Readers?
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Sex-Specific Neurodevelopmental Outcomes Among Offspring of Mothers With SARS-CoV-2 Infection During Pregnancy JAMA. From March, still germane. N = 18,355. Finding: ” This cohort study of 18,355 infants delivered after February 2020 found that male but not female offspring born to mothers with a positive SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction test result during pregnancy were more likely to receive a neurodevelopmental diagnosis in the first 12 months after delivery, even after accounting for preterm delivery.” Yes, but can a little neurological damage really outweigh the beauty of a mother’s smile?
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WHO Warns Covid Pandemic Still Volatile Agence France Presse
Coachella festival-goers suffering from ‘festival flu’ CBS. “Festival flu.” O-k-a-a-y.
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China building cyber weapons to hijack enemy satellites, says US leak FT. Love the way the Teixeira material is being dribbled out. In a totally non-tendentious, news-driven fashion, I have no doubt!
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What’s Wrong With The G7 Statement On Myanmar? Democratic Voice of Burma
New Not-So-Cold War
Kyiv Seeks U.S. Technical Support at ‘Maximum Proximity to the Battlefield’ Newsweek. Boots on the ground? That is, overtly?
Washington Post: Leaked documents show Ukraine planned attacks on Russian forces in Syria Kyiv Independent. Another stunt.
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There can be no lasting peace with Russia until Ukraine liberates Crimea The Atlantic Council
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Report: Russia is Studying Europe’s Subsea Cables With Covert Fleet Maritime Executive
Putin’s Russia is headed for a military dictatorship – and total collapse Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, The Telegraph
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GOP lawmakers urge Biden to stop sending ‘unrestrained’ aid, weapons to Ukraine The Hill. What does “unrestrained” even mean?
Dear Old Blighty
UK police arrests French publisher from work trip in London over anti-Macron protests in Paris FirstPost (zagonostra).
How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations The Intercept. From 2014, still highly germane.
Our Famously Free Press
House Democrats Have Lost Their Minds Matt Taibbi, Racket News. Today’s must-read. Here is the nub, or rather the nubbin, of the matter:
I did in a tweet conflate the Center for Internet Security (CIS) with the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), saying that CISA was so close to Stanford’s Election Integrity Project (EIP) that Twitter staffers didn’t really distinguish between them.
In other words, Taibbi conflated — he is far too nice — an organ of state security (CISA) with an NGO within civil society (CIS). However, as Gramsci writes somewhere, state and civil society are separable only as (academic) objects of study. In reality, there is a single ruling class, of which state and civil society are different aspects (granted, with some institutions having more relative autonomy than others). In the state of exception declared by Democrats after Trump’s victory in 2016, Gramsci’s claim has become more and more self-evidently true: Wedel’s Flexians — there are countless examples in The Twitter Files — are increasingly running the show, “dissolv[ing] the particularities of office” (“Old Man Yells at Mush-Mouth Verbiage“). Hence, Taibbi’s “conflation” is not merely a blooper, but the sort of blooper that illuminates, like a flash of lightning, an essential, but shadowy structural reality. In my view, Taibbi should have given consideration to responding by asking a question: “CISA, CIS. What’s the difference?” Gramsci’s answer would be “none.” As a confirmed institutionalist, that would not, once, have been my answer (I would have thought Gramsci reductionist). Now, post-RussiaGate’s state of exception, my answer is “none” as well. “Don’t take any guff from these swine.” –Hunter Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Here is Taibbi’s follow up:
Dear @mehdirhasan: here’s the EIP website saying it partnered with CISA, the CIS site saying the same thing, and the award showing CIS is a DHS contractor. You’re wrong on this and you convinced a politician to threaten me with jail as a result. This has gone too far. pic.twitter.com/FwJSu2FNPR
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) April 21, 2023
Clearly, Hasan and the Democrat goons backing him think things haven’t gone nearly far enough. Maybe Taibbi should lawyer up?
Twitter starts removing blue check marks from users who don’t pay CBS. Symbolic capital…. Poof! Hence the outrage:
Bye, Twitter. 🥺 The tipping point was having to pay for verification, when we feel we add a lot of value. We also feel solidarity with NPR, and share concerns about Twitter’s direction. You can find us on the blog and TikTok. If we join another platform, we’ll send word here.
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) April 20, 2023
SCOTUSblog is essential. That said, here’s why NPR got its knickers in a twist: “NPR quits Twitter after being falsely labeled as ‘state-affiliated media.” Apparently, making no distinction between “receives some government-funding” (17%) and being “state-affiliated” is very triggering for liberals. Sadly, Twitter caved to the yammering and dogpiling, and removed the “state-affiliated” label from NPR, BBC, and CBC, as well as Chinese and Russian sources. In my view, Twitter should have retained “state-affiliated” for all those sources, and applied it to the Washington Post and the New York Times as well, the concept of “solidarity” with all all of them being self-evidently absurd to anyone not in the club. (See also discussion of the distinction between state and civil society on Taibbi’s post, above).
Biden DOJ Indicts Four Americans For “Weaponized” Free Speech Caitlin Johnstone (flora). A central conceit of Liberal Thought being that their speech is the only speech that remains unweaponized.
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Fed governor says blockchain technology shows ‘considerable promise’ Anadolu Agency. Foreign exchange.
Alleged Crypto Scammers Used AI And Actors As Faux CEOs Forbes. AI seeks its own level.
Government spend precedes tax in the real world, but not for the reasons some supporters of modern monetary theory suggest Richard Murphy, Funding the Future. Hmm.
Wife of Former Prominent TN Pastor Charged with Child Abuse, 2nd Degree Strangulation The Roys Report. I can’t help but speculate that the Nashville shooter’s manifesto, when released, will reveal something similar.
Realignment and Legitmacy
A State-Level Look at U.S. Labor Market Supply and Demand Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis
When Will I Retire? How About Never WSJ. Shuffleboard is a death warrant.
Antidote du jour (via):
Yawning hippo, reacting to the meagre quality of the news flow.
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.