News and Notes, June 8-14, 2020

Here are the most interesting links and notes for the week. Check back for updates. Reading is not agreeing. Headlines and links do not imply fact checking or endorsement of views and ideas.

6/14/2020 Sunday

  • 43K pounds of ground beef produced by N.J. company recalled over bacteria concerns {NJ} #health
  • COVID-19 virus may silently damage the bodies of asymptotic patients. Asymptomatic patients, which account for up to 45% of COVID-19 infections, “can transmit the virus for longer than 14 days.” {HealthSite} #pandemic
  • Record spikes in new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations sweep parts of U.S. {Reuters} #pandemic

  • Hillary Clinton knocks Trump’s liability waiver for Oklahoma rally {Yahoo} #politics #pandemic

  • NASA spacecraft sends back images of stars from 4.3 billion miles away {CNN} #space

6/13/2020 Saturday

  • BLOG ENTRY: Strange times. Whatever comes, I will have lived and “blogged,” as luck would have it, in the richest country in the world, in the most bountiful state, during one of the most peaceful and prosperous times in human history. I have had many amazing experiences; it feels like several lifetimes. For all of the joys, for family and friends, and for all of my teachers of various kinds, I am deeply grateful. Life has very bad times as well. I have felt the deepest remorse, a long sadness, so much loneliness, pain and frustration. I have suffered great and unexpected loss, wept deeply, felt untold anguish, and a few times, terror at unstoppable dark forces on our planet. Yet this gets modulated. Perceptions can be very wrong. Under it all, I have known and have experienced a protective layer of love from the universe. It is an act of deep faith and hope, exploring everything, for it presupposes that what we find will be worth finding. There are some things we can change, and many more things we can not. The past is written. How can we do the greatest good for the future? This is still unclear. Enjoy your own life and be grateful for the lessons, the beauty, the peace that finds you. – Xeno

  • Scientists Can Now Predict When Our Sun Will Wake-Up And Get Angry. It’s Anytime Now {Forbes} #space

  • Seattle coronavirus survivor gets a $1.1 million, 181-page hospital bill “…because he had COVID-19, and not a different disease, he might not have to pay anything…” {SeattleTimes}

  • Media Monopoly. While we are fixing things: “… the purpose of the First Amendment to the US constitution was to encourage a free press as political agitator evidenced by the famous quote from US President Thomas Jefferson, “The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure.” Freedom of the press has long been combated by large media companies….” {Wikipedia} #media #democracy
  • News Mega-Conglomeration. Over time, both the number of media outlets and concentration of ownership have increased, translating to fewer companies owning more media outlets. In 1983, 90% of US media was controlled by 50 companies; in 2012, 90% was controlled by just 6 companies. {Wikipedia} #media #democracy
  • Oligopoly Planet. The oligopoly structure of the traditional media industry came about gradually over the last 40 years—it started in the 1980s, with the trend toward corporate ownership, and concentration of entities via mergers, which continues to this day. {Ptolemy3} #media #democracy
  • Monopolies R US. “Without realizing it, we’ve become a nation of monopolies. A large and growing part of our economy is “owned” by a handful of companies that face little competition. They have no incentive to deliver better products or to get more efficient. They simply rake in cash from people who have no choice but to hand it over. This would be impossible if we had true capitalism. {Forbes} #business #economy #democracy

6/12/2020 Friday

  • Potential beginning of life simulated in lab {PysOrg} #biology

  • Scientists Claim to Have Recreated Earth’s First Life. Summary: Life might have come spontaneously from membrane bubbles that form and incorporate proteins and other parts of the primordial soup, eventually leading to replicating self-organizing systems that evolve in complexity. {Futurism} #technology #biology

  • Earth has closed its eyes, some scientists say: the coronavirus pandemic has forced astronomers in northern Chile to shut down the world’s most powerful telescopes, running the risk of missing out on supernovas and other spectacles in space {PhysOrg} #space
  • Ultra-thin camera lenses of the future could see the light of day {PysOrg} #technology

  • The swirling rocks of Mars are mesmerizing {BGR} #space

  • Gut Microbiome Could Potentially Make Some Medicines Toxic, Study Finds {GeneNGNews} #biology

  • Unexpected mammal provides insight into the lives of ancient hominins. “P. boisei did not eat hard foods like nuts, rather soft or tough food like grasses or strong, fibrous leaves and stems.” {PysOrg} #archaeology

  • Scientists Have Found a New Liquid Phase After 100 Years of Searching {SciAlert} #physics
  • Biggest asteroid to pass close (and undetected) this year {EarthSky}

  • Could humans eventually be induced to hibernate to protect them after an injury or preserve them during deep space travel? {MedExpress} #biology
  • Can we cure genetic diseases by rewriting DNA? {YouTube} #biology

  • Standard Model of Universe Wrong? New Precision Distance Measurements Inconsistent With Theory {SciTechDaily} #physics

  • A Surprise Discovery Points to the Source of Fast Radio Bursts {QuantaMag} #space

  • Astronomers Create ‘Fifth State of Matter’ in the International Space Station {InterestingEng} #physics #space

  • Does a black hole really have a heartbeat? Scientists refer to it as a heartbeat because the pulsating around the black hole creates a repetitive signal that can be detected. As black holes feed off of material from the accretion disk, they pull spirals of gas inside that heat up. These high temperatures release X-rays, material in high-powered beams called jets. {Local8} #physics
  • A Recipe for Cooling Atoms to Almost Absolute Zero. Radiation pressure from six lasers can slow down atoms and this cools them down. {YouTube} #physics

  • Scientists Detect Blobs of hot, dense material that curl around Earth’s core, much more widespread than previous research suggests. {SciAlert} #earth
  • Starbucks reverses policy banning baristas from wearing Black Lives Matter symbols {NBCNews} #protests

  • ‘Lamphone’ technique allows spies to target victims using lightbulbs for real-time eavesdropping {FoxNews} #privacy #technology

  • Report: 30,000 college football fans unknowingly captured by facial-recognition test at Rose Bowl {FoxNews} #privacy #technology #crime

  • Zoom Acknowledges It Suspended Activists’ Accounts At China’s Request {NPR} #privacy #technology
  • US Air Force pilot call sign ‘Banzai’ becomes first woman to fly F-35A stealth fighter into combat {FoxNews} #military

  • Chinese military officer arrested while allegedly trying to steal US medical research {FoxNews} #crime #politics

  • David Bowie (“I’m a Blackstar“) had a song on the album “Diamond Dogs” with the lyrics, “Because of all we’ve seen, because of all we’ve said, we are the dead.” {YouTube} #music #philosophy
  • How much time do we have left? If human civilization has until 2050 or the Earth ‘will expire by 2050‘ we need to get busy. As Hawking said, “Earth Is (Likely) Doomed, Humanity Needn’t Be” #survival
  • Earth to become like Mars. Without the Earth’s atmosphere, life as we know it could not exist. If enough Hydrogen and helium escapes our planet the remaining oxygen could cause massive rusting of the surface. An astrophysicist who studies atmospheric escape, Anjali Tripathi, said in a TED Talk that “400 pounds of hydrogen and about 6.6 pounds of helium escape from Earth into space with every single minute that passes.” {TheSun} #earth
  • Too little atmosphere makes a planet uninhabitable, but so does too heavy an atmosphere. Venus is near 900 degrees F due to greenhouse gasses, not due to its proximity to the sun according to Astronomer Aomawa Shields who searches for clues that life might exist elsewhere in the universe. {TEDTalk} #astronomy #survival
  • China Makes “Technological Breakthrough” In Hypersonic Scramjet Ground-Test “China’s drive for hypersonic weapons comes as an internal report presented to Chinese President Xi Jinping last month suggest that global anti-China sentiment could be the precursor for a worst-case scenario of armed conflict with the US. Tensions between both superpowers started to deteriorate after the Trump administration blamed China for the virus pandemic that has left more than 100,000 Americans dead, and its economy crashed with tens of millions of people unemployed, now transforming into widespread social unrest across every major US metro.” {ZeroHedge}
  • Strait Tensions Soar: Taiwan Test Fires Missiles, Beijing Sends Warplane {ZeroHedge} #politics

  • How Humans Could Evolve to Survive In Space {TEDTalk} #survival #space
  • Be Careful About Hoping Mars Can Be a Backup Earth – The more you look for planets like Earth, the more you appreciate our planet. Consider the extent to which we have not utilized our own deserts. Mars is much much more inhospitable. {TEDTalk} #survival #space
  • Ways We Can Avoid Catastrophic Drought {TEDTalk} #water #survival
  • Those in India’s Golden Desert Survive by Harvesting Rain {TEDTalks} #water #survival
  • The unexpected ways that the small Middle Eastern nation of Qatar creates its water supply. Using energy they create a water supply from desalination, yet they have only a 2 day stored supply. {TEDTalk} #water #survival
  • ‘Forever Chemicals’ Are Building Up in the Arctic—and Likely Worldwide {SciAm} #environment #earth #pollution

  • Colorado Bill Requires “Re-Education” For Parents Who Refuse The COVID-19 Vaccine. “This plandemic was never about health, it was about forcing everyone to get a vaccine: an injection of whatever the hell the ruling class decided to put in the vaccine. … Wake up, or be enslaved.” {ZeroHedge} #pandemic #conspiracy

  • Yes, there’s ice on the moon. But it’s not the 1st lunar resource we’ll use. “The first and easiest resource that we have there is solar energy,” Jake Bleacher, a geologist and chief exploration scientist at NASA headquarters in Washington” {Space} #space #altenergy
  • Poll: Most Americans, including Republicans, support sweeping Democratic police reform proposals. “91% support allowing independent investigations of police departments that show patterns of misconduct.” {Reuters} #politics #police
  • Facebook’s ‘Deepfake Detection Challenge’ yields promising early results. “The digitally face-swapped videos known as deepfakes aren’t going anywhere, but if platforms want to be able to keep an eye on them, they need to find them first.” {TechCrunch} #technology

  • 22 states are seeing jumps in new coronavirus cases {CNN} #pandemic
  • Asymptomatic transmission of coronavirus appears to be worse than SARS or influenza — 5 reasons you should care {MarketWatch}

  • Seattle protesters struggle to determine what’s next for ‘autonomous zone’ as Trump lobs threats {WashPost} #protests

  • Cuomo, de Blasio don’t want to see Christopher Columbus statue removed or NYC’s Columbus Circle renamed “Betty Lyons, the executive director for the American Indian Law Alliance, pinned Columbus as the center point for “centuries of racism and dehumanizing of indigenous peoples” in the United States.” {CNN} #protests #poltics

  • The night of May 30th: Hundreds of looters storm a Florida Walmart and make off with $100,000 worth of merchandise while it was closed during the George Floyd protests {StationGossip} #crime #protests

  • 75-year-old man shoved to ground by Buffalo police suffered brain injury, lawyer says. “Martin Gugino is a devout Catholic and retired computer programmer who has long worked to advocate for the poor, disenfranchised and on behalf of Black Lives Matter, his friends said.” {NBCNews} #politics #protests
  • The US government is spending millions to prevent a shortage of glass vaccine vials {QZ} #pandemic

6/11/2020 Thursday

  • Population-wide face mask use could prevent further COVID-19 outbreaks, according to a British study. {Reuters} #pandemic
  • Coronavirus deaths in the U.S. could reach 200,000 by early fall. {Today} #pandemic
  • Dow plunges nearly 7 percent on concerns of COVID-19 resurgence {NBCNews} #pandemic #economy

  • World faces worst food crisis for at least 50 years, UN warns {TheGuardian} #survival

  • Seattle protesters take over city blocks to create police-free ‘autonomous zone’ {Guardian} #protests

  • Trump threatened to intervene and “take back” Seattle, tweeting that the protesters who have taken over several city blocks were “domestic terrorists” while blaming the city’s “radical left” Democratic leadership for the situation. {KomoNews} #protests #politics
  • Hundreds of protesters marched into Seattle’s City Hall late Tuesday, calling for Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan to step down after police continued to use chemical irritants to disperse crowds — despite the mayor’s 30-day ban on tear gas that she announced Friday. {CNN} #protests #politics
  • “What we will not allow,” Inslee continued, “are threats of military violence against Washingtonians coming from the White House. The U.S. military serves to protect Americans, not the fragility of an insecure president.” Durkan said Thursday it would be “unconstitutional and illegal to send military to Seattle.” “There is no imminent threat of an invasion in Seattle,” Durkan said. {SeattleTimes} #protests #politics
  • Trump administration will not disclose the amounts or recipients of $511 billion in taxpayer-backed coronavirus loans {WashPost} #money
  • Minneapolis Police Chief says he can’t release George Floyd bodycam footage and that it has to be shared by the FBI – after one of the indicted cops’ lawyers says it will prove ‘there was a struggle’ {YourDestNow}

6/10/2020 Wednesday

  • New SpaceX spacesuits get five-star rating from NASA astronauts {SpaceX} #space
  • This Black Hole Is So Close You Can “See” It… A visible star system only 1000 light years from Earth appears to have a black hole. (Video) {Seeker} #space

  • Could Dark Matter Be Black Holes? Scientists think not. “if all of the dark matter was in the form of black holes, then most of the space would be empty” {Astronomy} #space
  • Scientists have designed the first-ever super-light carbon nanostructure that’s stronger than diamond. (Video_ {Seeker}
  • Mosquitoes With West Nile Virus Found In Milpitas {CBS} #health

  • Coronavirus hospitalizations rise sharply in several states following Memorial Day {WashPost} #pandemic
  • The coronavirus has now killed more Americans than the Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War, Afghanistan War, and Iraq War combined {Fortune} #pandemic

  • Potential COVID-19 vaccine from China shows promise in animal tests {Reuters} #pandemic

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci says WHO’s remark on asymptomatic coronavirus spread being very rare ‘was not correct’ {CNBC} #pandemic

  • Amazon won’t say if its facial recognition moratorium applies to the feds {TechCrunch} #technology #privacy

  • Starbucks to close up to 400 stores after taking $3 billion hit during coronavirus closures {KTLA} #pandemic #economy

  • Astronomers Identify 157-Day Cycle in Ultra-Powerful Radio Bursts from Space {ExtremeTech} #space
  • Second mysterious, repeating radio burst from space keeps scientists guessing {CNet} #space

  • 13,300-year-old Chinese bird figurine found in a rubbish heap {Arstech} #archaeology
  • Former astronaut becomes first person to visit both space and the deepest place in the ocean {CNN}

6/9/2020 Tuesday

  • Amid confusion, WHO clarifies that COVID-19 can be spread without symptoms {NBCNews} #pandemic

  • Police Officers Slashed Car Tires During Minneapolis Protests, Police Agencies Say “While not a typical tactic, vehicles were being used as dangerous weapons and inhibited our ability to clear areas and keep areas safe where violent protests were occurring,” he said. {NPR} #protests #crime
  • Russian Arctic oil spill pollutes big lake near Norilsk {BBC} #environment

  • Does Vitamin D Protect Against COVID-19? Summary: It might, we don’t know for certain. {Factcheck} #pandemic

  • 14 states and Puerto Rico hit highest seven-day average of new coronavirus infections {WashPost} #pandemic

  • Barr contradicts Trump: ‘The Secret Service recommended that the President go down to the bunker’ for safety {CNN} #protests

  • Barr says active-duty troops should only be deployed within U.S. “as a last resort” {CBSNews} #protests

  • Trump Wanted to Fire Esper Over Troops Dispute {WSJ} #protests

  • Senate panel approves legislation requiring campaigns to report foreign election help {CNN} #politics

  • World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee unveils radical plan for the fabled ‘New Internet’ that will decentralize the global system and allow users to take back control of their data from sites like Google and Facebook {DailyMail} #technology #politics #money
  • George Floyd’s Family Petitions United Nations to Help Disarm Police in the United States {Breitbart} #politics #protests
  • Georgia State Trooper Responds to Black Lives Matter Protesters Asking Him to Take a Knee, ‘I Only Kneel For God’ {StationGossip} #politics #religion

  • WATCH: Minneapolis City Council President Asked Who To Call If Someone Breaks Into Your House After ‘Dismantling’ Police; Says ‘Step Back,’ Check Your ‘Privilege’ {Cuzzblue} #crime #politics

  • US Military Could Lose Space Force Trademark to Netflix {StationGossip} #space #military

  • Police went on strike in 1919 and mass violence and looting took over Boston for 9 days. Governor Calvin Coolidge’s response propelled him to the White House. “There is no right to strike against the public safety, anywhere, anytime,” {InvestWatchBlog} #crime #politics #history

6/8/2020 Monday

  • Don’t get drawn in. Avoid arguments created for the sake of creating conflict. If you waste energy arguing, or worse, fighting, you lose. Stay out of these setups if you can. Example: Flat-Earther Trolling. {FactsSWT} #mind #peace
  • Vitamin K found in some cheeses could help fight Covid-19, study suggests {Guardian} #pandemic #health
  • Can a city survive without a police force? Minneapolis is about to find out: Council votes to dismantle ‘toxic’ police force over mayor’s objections {ScoopyWeb} #protests #crime
  • NASA awards aerospace company Northrop Grumman $187 MILLION to design and develop an orbiting lunar ‘hotel’ for astronauts on the way to the Moon and beyond {ScoopyWeb} #space
  • Philadelphia Inquirer Editor Resigns Days After Apologizing For ‘Buildings Matter’ Headline {PhilInquirer} #protests #politics
  • Black Lives Matter Plans Armed ‘Peace Officers’ In War On Police {StationGossip} #politics #protests
  • ‘Bat-like’ sensor that uses echoes to measure the distance between objects could help social distancing as lockdown measures are eased {ScoopyWeb} #technology #pandemic
  • Piers Morgan rages at lawyer for one of four Minneapolis cops charged with George Floyd’s murder and tells him: ‘I would have said this guy is dying and I’m not going to be part of this’ {YourDest} #crime #protests
  • Man Shows Up to Protest with Contingency Plan for Riots – A Trailer Full of Bees {StationGossip} #protests #strange
  • Videos Show Cops Slashing Car Tires at Protests in Minneapolis {MotherJones} #protests #military
  • Professor claims only 10% of coronavirus patients develop antibodies meaning it may never be possible to measure true scale of pandemic {YourDest} #pandemic
  • Dr. Fauci says crowded protests are the ‘perfect setup’ for a resurgence of coronavirus and he’s ‘very worried’ they could cause setbacks – as he warns demonstrators to keep masks on {YourDest} #pandemic #protests
  • President Trump Bashes Biden, ‘Radical Left Democrats’ Over Calls To Defund, Disband Police {CuzzBlue} #protests #politics
  • J.K Rowling Defends Biological Sex Again, Gets Hate Again. ““The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women – ie, to male violence – ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences – is a nonsense,” she continued.” {DoMiGood} #politics #popculture
  • Bill Barr defends police force and THAT attack on peaceful protesters to make way for Trump’s DC photo-op – saying only pepper balls were used not ‘chemical irritants’ {StationGossip} #protests #politics
  • “The Man Mentally Can’t Function – You Wouldn’t Hire Him to Run Your Store” – Rudy Giuliani Unloads on Joe Biden and His Handlers (VIDEO) {StationGossip} #politics
  • Safe alternative to pesticides? Scientists develop a polymer coating for plants that controls harmful fungi without making them toxic {ScoopyWeb} #food #science
  • Police Chief Steven Bukala was forced to resign on Thursday after 25 years with the force, … Responding to phone calls that 2nd Amendment demonstrators were open carrying down Main Street, Bukala wrote on the Lowell Police Deparment’s Facebook page on Tuesday: “We are aware and no need to call us,” adding “We at the Lowell Police Department support the legally armed citizen and the Second Amendment,” according to WZZM13. Sample Comment: “Sounds like that town needs its old police chief back and a new city manager.” {ZeroHedge} #rights #protests #politics
  • Founded By Ex-Google Engineers, Meet The Drone Startup Scoring Millions In Government Surveillance Contracts {Forbes} #technology #protests
  • A Quarter Of Americans Skipped Meals Or Relied On Food Banks During Virus Lockdowns {ZeroHedge} #money
  • Powerful Petrochemical Lobbying Group Advanced Anti-Protest Legislation in the Midst of the Pandemic. New laws to discourage trespassing and vandalism. {TheIntercept} #politics #protest

  • Genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in Florida and Texas beginning this summer – silver bullet or jumping the gun? “Continual, large-scale releases of these OX5034 GM males should eventually cause the temporary collapse of a wild population.” {TheConversation} #health #biotech
  • CHINA:The flexing of muscles has started….China Deploys Several Thousand Troops amid China-India border Tensions…VIDEO {InvestWatch} #politics #war
  • Kim Jong Un’s feeling all white! (PHOTO) North Korean leader ditches his usual dull attire as he observes social distancing during meeting, weeks after he was rumoured to be seriously ill {ScoopyWeb} #politics
  • Liberty University Finishes Semester with Zero COVID-19 Cases Despite Reopening. ” Christian university in Virginia says it finished its semester without any coronavirus cases despite receiving sharp criticism over its president’s decision to keep the campus open for students.” {HideOutNow} #pandemic #religion

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