Summer solstice 2023 marks longest day in the Northern Hemisphere as Earth’s seasons change Space.com. A bit late on the solstice, but I like this photo:
Tokyo residents find comfort in fluffy, street-strolling alpacas Channel News Asia
Central banks’ battle with inflation enters a new phase of ‘pain’ FT. It’s gonna be neat trick to re-elect Biden in the midst of a recession. But I’m sure the Censorship Industrial Complex is up to the task — and probably has already secured funding.
A Crypto Side Door: Buying a ‘Digital Residency’ in Palau for $248 WSJ. Mr. Lee’s Greater Hong Kong?
Libertarian Squillionaire Titanic Submersible Implosion Debacle
Fastest sunburn in the country? New Mexico tops ultraviolet index Albuquerque Journal
Pre-admission ambient air pollution and blood soot particles predict hospitalisation outcomes in COVID-19 patients European Respiratory Journal. N = 328. From the Discussion: “Inhalation of elevated concentrations of air pollutants results in inflammation processes of mucus membranes in the pulmonary tract and is a factor that could influence the process of SARS-cov-2-infection. In this context, we investigated whether exposure to air pollutants (both recent and long-term exposure as well as ambient and internal markers of exposure including blood load of black carbon) on disease severity and clinical outcomes in phenotypically well -characterised hospitalised COVID-19 patients…. The public health and clinical significance of our findings should not be understated, as we showed that the effect-magnitude of an [interquartile range (IQR)] increase in long-term air pollution (e.g. contrasting NO2 by 4.16 µg·m−3) on the duration of hospitalisation was roughly equivalent to the effect on hospitalisation of a 10-year increase in age.”
Antidepressant drug prescription and incidence of COVID-19 in mental health outpatients: a retrospective cohort study MBC Medicine. From the Abstract: “Retrospective study of association between [antidepressant (AD) drugs] prescription and COVID-19 diagnosis was performed in a cohort of community-dwelling adult mental health outpatients during the 1st wave of COVID-19 pandemic in the UK… AD mention was associated with approximately 40% lower incidence of positive COVID-19 test results when adjusted for socioeconomic parameters and physical health.”
Aung San Suu Kyi’s son urges army to free her BBC. Suu Kyi’s time has past, no matter that NGOs love her personal brand. The BBC buries the lead, which is putting “a proper arms embargo on the military.”
India’s Russian oil buying scales new highs in May Reuters. Refinery = laundry. Handy chart:
On net, bans and price caps have not stopped Russian oil from powering Western economies. They have just created opportunities for middlemen. But that doesn’t mean they have come without cost to Russia https://t.co/8u7aruNyka
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) June 22, 2023
Congress Redux? New Left Review
Baklava tastes great, but where does it originate from? Anadolu Agency
Dear Old Blighty
New Not-So-Cold War
Ukraine’s counteroffensive is a marathon not a blitzkrieg and The new Ukraine will be a country worthy of its heroes The Atlantic Council. The coping! It b-u-u-u-r-r-r-n-n-n-s-s-s!
For The Ukrainian Army, The Road To Melitopol Is Mile after Mile Of Russian Trenches Forbes. We don’t seem to be hearing about Russian forces “panicking” any more. Odd.
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Ukraine war: Russia planning attack on Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, claims Zelenskyy Euronews. IOW, Ukraine is planning it.
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Rapid development of Ukraine’s military industry expected once war ends Ukrainska Pravda. I doubt that the Free City of Kiev, which is the only form of Ukrainian rump state that Russia should, at this point, permit, could scale the industrial base for munitions manufacture, even if permitted by treaty.
Elon Musk Asks for the Receipts of the Ukraine War TheStreet. Underlines the strategic impact of StarLink.
South of the Border
Belize achieves WHO malaria-free status CIDRAP. Wait. Shouldn’t they be trying to strengthen their children’s immune systems by infecting them?
Errant Telenovelas The Baffler
New Rule: All Railroads Must Alert First Responders Within 10 Miles of Derailed Train Cargo Fire Engineering (LawnDart).
SEC fines JPMorgan subsidiary for deleting 47 million emails, some related to subpoenas CNBC. That’s a lot! Of emails, I mean. The fine was tiny, and I am sure well worth it–
AI ‘kill switch’ will make humanity less safe, could spawn ‘hostile’ superintelligence: AI Foundation FOX. The deck: “The company execs said AGI is a potentially ‘disobedient’ new life form humans will have to share the planet with.” Why? How about we just pull the plug?
Text-to-Image Generators Have Altered the Digital Art Landscape—But Killed Creativity. Here’s Why an Era of A.I. Art Is Over Artnet. And just when they’d figured out fingers and teeth!
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You can’t trust Google David Heinemeier Hansson
Imperial Collapse Watch
Yes. Rome Did Fall Brad DeLong’s Grasping Reality
An Earnest Exploration Of Hublot, The World’s Most Polarizing Watch Brand Hodinkee. “Look on my Works, ye Mighty….”
AI Is a Lot of Work New York Magazine. The deck: “As the technology becomes ubiquitous, a vast tasker underclass is emerging — and not going anywhere.” First gig workers, now taskers. Silicon Valley does seem adept at classification struggle, doesn’t it? At inventing new classification that make workers worse off?
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Update: Spirit shuts down 737 lines after Machinists Union votes to strike Leeham News and Analysis
Apple stomped all over NYC store workers’ union rights, judge rules The Register. The deck: “Staff show up with the receipts – video footage of law-breaking bosses.”
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Learning from David Graeber Red Pepper
Hope in a Bankrupt America The American Conservative
Black Holes Evaporate—Now Physicists Think Everything Else Does, Too Scientific American
Antidote du jour (via):
In honor of World Giraffe Day.
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.