Mesmerizing Metal Sculptures of Figures Coming Undone Right Before the Viewer’s Eyes My Modern Met (David L)
“Burned House” Mystery: Why Did This Ancient Culture Torch Its Own Homes Every 60 Years? JSTOR. Micael T: “Ancient wisdom. If the houses in the Hamptons are mostly wood, let’s try this there?”
An Old Conjecture Falls, Making Spheres a Lot More Complicated Quanta Magazine (Kevin W)
Why the empty atom picture misunderstands quantum theory aeon (Anthony L)
Biden’s alcohol czar warns Americans could soon be told to limit themselves to just two beers per WEEK under strict new booze guidelines Daily Mail. Hard to take this seriously when added sugars are are 13% of the average Americans’ diet and the health police refuse to address beyond an occasional throat-clearing.
The human Y chromosome has been fully sequenced for the first time New Scientist (Dr. Kevin)
The Last Lyme Shot Failed. Can a New One Succeed? Bloomberg (David L)
Lockdowns and face masks ‘unequivocally’ cut spread of Covid, report finds Guardian. However, the article shows a surgical mask, which was pretty effective under wild type but no longer.
Anyone who is saying that Covid is just like the flu now is telling you a blatant lie. Most recent data from the CDC shows that Covid is 20-40x more deadly than the flu. pic.twitter.com/Z7WjG2tGyC
— Denise Dewald, MD 🗽 (@denise_dewald) August 24, 2023
The tropics could get so hot that all leaves on rainforest trees die New Scientist (Dr. Kevin)
Agrivoltaics Is Making Friends Across Partisan Lines, Thanks To Farmers CleanTechnica (Chuck L)
Why China’s economy won’t be fixed Economist (furzy)
Crisis-hit China is right to avoid Japan’s failed example Asia Times (Kevin W)
Has Xi Jinping bankrupted China? Edward Luttwak, Unherd. Do consider the source.
Maps, Geopolitics and Pop Culture: Understanding the controversy in Vietnam involving Blackpink and Barbie Modern Diplomacy (Micael T)
New Not-So-Cold War
The Real History of the War in Ukraine Jeffrey Sachs YouTube
Diplomacy Watch: Washington’s ‘wishful thinking’ on Ukraine Responsible Statecraft
Sunk Cost Fallacy In Ukraine Moon of Alabama (Kevin W)
* * *
Note Ukraine was pushing very hard to take Robotyne, a small village in the grey zone in Zaporzhizhia, but August 24 and failed. Russia made an unexpected pushback even though most experts believed Russia would have to cede the settlement. Note the New York Times (as re-reported by Alexander Mercouris below) stated that the US has basically ordered Ukraine to make a full-bore push to break the Russian land bridge in Crimea before the fall rainy season hits, in four to six weeks.
Fighting at Robotyne has moved to the southern most parts of the settlement
"In Zaporozhye direction, as a result of active and well-coordinated actions by units of the Russian grouping of troops, supported by artillery, 5 enemy attacks have been repelled near Rabotino and… pic.twitter.com/IrtJLeCBn8
— Defense Politics Asia (@DefensePolitics) August 25, 2023
— Big Serge ☦️🇺🇸🇷🇺 (@witte_sergei) August 24, 2023
* * *
Watch: Putin Breaks Silence, Offers Condolences After Death of Prigozhin Wall Street Journal. Not paywalled. Edited but the longest clip I have seen in English so far.
Death of Prigozhin: Causes & Suspects; No Ind Day Victory; US Tells Ukr Give Up Bakhmut; BRICS Grows Alexander Mercouris, YouTube
❗️ There are no traces of an anti-aircraft missile impact on the wreckage of the tail section of Yevgeny Prigozhin's aircraft, which broke away from the fuselage.
All pages who rushed to claim that the plane was shot down are lying: as of now there is no evidence to support it pic.twitter.com/DZrmqU4fBW
— What the media hides. (@narrative_hole) August 23, 2023
I hate to have to discuss Prigozhin but I must point out:
Based on known facts, there is no strong reason for Putin to have had Prigozhin killed, particularly as Alexanader Mercouris points out, during the BRICS summit, and in Russia as opposed to Africa, where his death could be ‘splained away. The last thing he would want to do is risk turning Prighzhin into a martyr. And Putin had the means, and was probably on the way to building a case for the mother of all corruption trials Aside from the time in Syria when Prigozhin was freelancing and then the Russian government refused to cover for his rogue action and his men got whacked, I recall rumors of him running blood diamonds and Russian investigators being killed.
That would have enabled the state to strip Prigozhin of most if not all of his remaining wealth, and of Wagner, and most important, discredit him.
Now there could be dark matter, that in some way Prighozihin posed an imminent threat and the Kremlin concluded they could not contain him soon enough any other way. But that could not be leaking positions even if he had that intel. The US and Ukraine can see that with ISR. Weapons schematics? Weapons samples?
But they could presumably just arrest him on corruption now even if the charges were not perfected.
* * *
U.S. says it will train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16s in Arizona Washington Post. Kevin Wc:”All 8 of them?”
Getting Israeli-Saudi Rapprochement Right Foreign Affairs (Kevin C)
Liberal Zionists hit rock bottom on faith that Israel will redeem itself Mondoweiss (Chuck L)
Big Brother is Watching You Watch
YouTube may face billions in fines if FTC confirms child privacy violations ars technica (Kevin W)
Imperial Collapse Watch
New composition of BRICS will control 80% of world oil production
With the addition of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Iran to the BRICS, the Union will be able to control the lion's share of the world's oil production.
The same goes for the sharp GDP growth of the… pic.twitter.com/gqVkGbZ7Ic
— Sprinter (@Sprinter99800) August 24, 2023
US will not abandon the Middle East: Top general Anadolu Agency
Setser is the man on this topic. Since before the crisis, he has been meticulously tracking dollar holdings and flows:
Probably more than one chart crime here (from an unusual source — the FT) pic.twitter.com/KlIPsihk7s
— Brad Setser (@Brad_Setser) August 24, 2023
Apart from the use of two wildly different axes for the same concept (share of reserves), the story also uses the rather bizarre Stephen Jen concept of valuation adjusted reserves to argue that the dollar's reserve share is falling …
— Brad Setser (@Brad_Setser) August 24, 2023
and the dollar's share is up v the 1990s (pre Euro) even as total reserve holdings skied between 2000 and 2015. There is also good evidence that when reserve portfolios get to be big, countries end up diversifying away from the most liquid and reserve like currencies and assets
— Brad Setser (@Brad_Setser) August 24, 2023
This tweet has been up 6 hours and as of just after 4 AM EDT had nearly 80 million views:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2023
As of when I posted this, the video had 250 million views. There is no way the Fox debate was anywhere close to that. Note there are 170 million registered voters in the US (forgive me for featuring it after Lambert posted it yesterday in Water Cooler).
Ep. 19 Debate Night with Donald J Trump pic.twitter.com/ayPfII48CO
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) August 24, 2023
Having said that, Trump seemed, depending on your point of view, very relaxed or low energy. Headlines like Trump lashes out at Fox News, Bill Barr, Chris Christie in Tucker Carlson interview The Hill are an extreme mischaracterization, even before getting to the fact that Trump’s biggest target was, predictably, Biden. Maybe Trump thinks he’s a horse in a long distance race keeping a comfortable pace in the back stretch.
Give the People What They Want Joe Costello
GOP Clown Car
🔥🔥 @GGreenwald slams out-of-touch establishment candidates at last night's GOP Debate:
"You saw these politicians—Nikki Haley, Chris Christie, Tim Scott, Mike Pence—who really sound like they're from the Republican Party of 2004-2012… I don't think they have any conception… pic.twitter.com/zevq8opgKc
— System Update (@SystemUpdate_) August 24, 2023
Vivek won the GOP debate by exploiting the ever-growing gulf between the party base and the Republican elite on Ukraine and January 6. Which means Trump won, because Vivek is acting as a proxy for the former president, whose popularity stabilizes with each weekly indictment.…
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) August 24, 2023
SUICIDE LOSER PARADE gets mowed down one by one – “Mr. Rogers” next on deck Jacob Dreizin. Dreizin hates Trump but is very good at channeling Trump voters. Trust me and click through.
"Utter twats" like Ramaswamy (I agree with the characterisation) unfortunately tend to become the norm in a "democracy" under economic hardship, a dynamic already widely recognized in ancient Greece.
Here's what Thucydides wrote about this:
"[As conditions deteriorated]… https://t.co/OQwHpaGNDq
— Arnaud Bertrand (@RnaudBertrand) August 24, 2023
Our No Longer Free Press
Time is running out
TikTok has suspended MintPress News' account without any explanation.
With under 48 hours left, we are making an urgent appeal to all of our supporters to help us raise $50,000.
We are concerned this may be part of a wider attempt to cancel our platform,… pic.twitter.com/BJnnwv4Yyv
— MintPress News (@MintPressNews) August 24, 2023
Government Stupidity Is By Design Matt Stoller. Companies and their lawyers howl over having to make more pre-merger disclosures. Individually they do not sound hard, which means the issue is not the alleged burden but having to provide more information.
CVS launches biosimilar manufacturing subsidiary Becker Hospital News
Why we must replace the American nuclear family with a “postgenerational” society. Big Think. Micael T: “Yeah, this is great if you want an atomized neoliberal hell where only the rich procreate.”
The clear and present danger of the transactional gift Financial Times (Dr. Kevin). Obfuscatory headline. About gifts for elite college admission.
Antidote du jour (Chet G):
And a bonus (Dr. Kevin):
Armadillo catching a ball pic.twitter.com/WNHuBNpUut
— why you should have an animal (@shouldhaveanima) August 22, 2023
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.