Day: November 9, 2019

Melting Arctic ice may be causing a deadly virus to spread in marine mammals

Gettyimages 508144575’Phocine distemper virus (PDV) has been a known pathogen in certain seal populations for decades, resulting in several mass mortality events involving tens of thousands of animals since 1988. Similarities in the outbreaks lead scientists to question how the virus was circulating in seal species all over the globe.…

In a new study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, scientists have found a link between the disease and melting sea ice due to climate change…’

Via CBS News

‘Anonymous’ Trump book: most explosive claims, according to reports

80c3f778 f3ce 4abb a3fc d9983aa89ca5 AP TrumpThe ‘Anonymous’ author purporting to be at the top of the Trump administration is soon releasing a book titled “A Warning,” a behind the scenes look into the president of Donald Trump.

The author, identified as “a senior official in the Trump administration,” according to news reports, first came to prominence with an anonymous op-ed published in September 2018 in The New York Times that described efforts by the author and other senior officials to protect the country from Trump….

Here are some of the most explosive claims so far from the book:

…The author’s September 2018 op-ed in the Times claimed there were White House officials standing between Trump and his worst impulses, and that they could keep the president in check. The Post reports the author admitted to being wrong on this point. 

“Many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office,” the author wrote last year. 

“I was wrong about the ‘quiet resistance’ inside the Trump administration,” the author writes now. “Unelected bureaucrats and cabinet appointees were never going to steer Donald Trump the right direction in the long run, or refine his malignant management style. He is who he is.”

…According to the Post, the author also plans to criticize Trump’s character and whether he’s fit for office.

The author describes Trump as “like a twelve-year-old in an air traffic control tower, pushing the buttons of government indiscriminately, indifferent to the planes skidding across the runway and the flights frantically diverting away from the airport” in an excerpt provided to the outlet.   

In another excerpt, the author writes, “I am not qualified to diagnose the president’s mental acuity” but adds:

“All I can tell you is that normal people who spend any time with Donald Trump are uncomfortable by what they witness. He stumbles, slurs, gets confused, is easily irritated, and has trouble synthesizing information, not occasionally but with regularity. Those who would claim otherwise are lying to themselves or to the country.”…’

Via USAToday

Why Donald Trump Hates Your Dog

05bruni2 superJumboFrank Bruni:

’Reaching for verbs to describe Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s final moments, President Trump grabbed hold of “crying,” “screaming” and “whimpering.”

Reaching for nouns, he said that al-Baghdadi died “like a dog.”

I wasn’t aware that canines expired in a signature fashion, but Trump knows best, even if he doesn’t know so very many words. About a week later, when he took characteristically nasty note of Beto O’Rourke’s decision to abandon the presidential race, he said that O’Rourke quit “like a dog.”

Some similes demand repetition.

This wasn’t one of them.

But a lack of verbal ingenuity never stopped Trump. And an animus toward a certain animal has long, well, hounded him.
In his boundless unoriginality, he has likened women he dislikes to dogs. In his infinite incoherence, he has repeatedly tweeted of people being fired like dogs. I personally haven’t met all that many gainfully employed pooches, unless digging holes in the backyard is a profession, and when those excavators received orders to desist, none of them got a pink slip and a referral to career counseling.…’

Via New York Times

Is Empathy Tearing Us Apart?

Image result for Empathy Is Tearing Us Apart
’There are people who believe that the political polarization now afflicting the United States might finally start to subside if Americans of both parties could somehow become more empathetic. If you’re one of these people, the American Political Science Review has sobering news for you.

Last week APSR—one of the alpha journals in political science—published a study which found that “empathic concern does not reduce partisan animosity in the electorate and in some respects even exacerbates it.”

The study had two parts. In the first part, Americans who scored high on an empathy scale showed higher levels of “affective polarization”—defined as the difference between the favorability rating they gave their political party and the rating they gave the opposing party. In the second part, undergraduates were shown a news story about a controversial speaker from the opposing party visiting a college campus. Students who had scored higher on the empathy scale were more likely to applaud efforts to deny the speaker a platform.

It gets worse. These high-empathy students were also more likely to be amused by reports that students protesting the speech had injured a bystander sympathetic to the speaker. That’s right: according to this study, people prone to empathy are prone to schadenfreude.…’

Via WIRED