Second Woman in a Week to Dive to Ocean’s Deepest Point

‘The second of two women is poised to make history by diving to the ocean’s deepest spot: the Challenger Deep, the lowest point of the Mariana Trench, the greatest of the sea’s many recesses.

The long fissure of the western Pacific lies 200 miles southwest of Guam. The deep’s muddy bottom lies nearly seven miles down in inky darkness under crushing pressure.

If waves, technology and weather permit, Vanessa O’Brien, 55, a star of adventure tourism, is to dive into the icy abyss on Thursday or Friday. Her moment comes after the plunge on Sunday of Kathy Sullivan, 68, an oceanographer, astronaut and the first American woman to walk in space….’

— Via The New York Times

Uncategorized

George Floyd and Derek Chauvin Had History of Tension According to Their Former Co-Worker

 

‘George Floyd and his murderer, Derek Chauvin had prior history while working together at a nightclub in Minneapolis, MN. According to a former co-worker of the two, they often “bumped heads,” years before Chauvin’s brutal assault against Floyd. …According to Penny, the tension had “a lot to do with Derek being extremely aggressive within the club with some of the patrons, which was an issue.”…’

— Via The Source

Uncategorized

Confessions of a Former Bastard Cop

A devastating expose from someone who knows:

‘I was a police officer for nearly ten years and I was a bastard. We all were.
This essay has been kicking around in my head for years now and I’ve never felt confident enough to write it. It’s a time in my life I’m ashamed of. It’s a time that I hurt people and, through inaction, allowed others to be hurt. It’s a time that I acted as a violent agent of capitalism and white supremacy. Under the guise of public safety, I personally ruined people’s lives but in so doing, made the public no safer… so did the family members and close friends of mine who also bore the badge alongside me.
But enough is enough….’

— Via Medium

Far-Right Boogaloo Movement Is Trying to Hijack Anti-Racist Protests for a Race War

‘DONALD TRUMP IS right. The anti-racism protests that have convulsed cities across the United States are also being used as cover, to quote the president, for “acts of domestic terror.”

In late May, for example, three Nevada men were “arrested on terrorism-related charges in what authorities say was a conspiracy to spark violence during recent protests in Las Vegas,” reported the Associated Press. Federal prosecutors say the men had molotov cocktails in glass bottles and were headed downtown, according to a copy of the criminal complaint obtained by AP.

“People have a right to peacefully protest,” said Nicholas Trutanich, the U.S. attorney in Nevada. “These men are agitators and instigators. Their point was to hijack the protests into violence.”

But here’s the thing: None of these three men were members of antifa, the left-wing, anti-fascist protest movement that has been blamed both by the president and his attorney-general Bill Barr for recent violence. They were all self-identified members of the so-called boogaloo movement, aka “boogaloo bois” aka “boojahideen” — perhaps the most dangerous group that, until the past week or so, most Americans had never heard of….’

— Via The Intercept

Uncategorized

8 states that experts worry are the new Covid-19 hot spots

Arizona

Relaxed/ended stay-at-home order: May 16

Hospitalizations on May 16: 791

Hospitalizations on June 8: 1,252

Test positivity rate: 12.7 percent (increased from 7.7 percent two weeks ago)

 

North Carolina

Relaxed/ended stay-at-home order: May 22

Hospitalizations on May 22: 568

Hospitalizations on June 9: 774

Test positivity rate: 7.2 percent (increased from 5.2 percent two weeks ago)

 

South Carolina

Relaxed/ended stay-at-home order: May 4

Hospitalizations on June 9: 541 (up from 482 on June 7)

Test positivity rate: 9.6 percent (increased from 3.9 percent two weeks ago)

 

Utah

Relaxed social distancing policies: May 1

Hospitalizations on May 4: 102

Hospitalizations on June 9: 126

Test positivity rate: 9.4 percent (increased from 4.8 percent two weeks ago)

 

Arkansas

Relaxed social distancing policies: May 4

Hospitalizations on May 4: 91

Hospitalizations on June 8: 171

Test positivity rate: 8.1 percent (increased from 6.6 percent two weeks ago)

 

Texas

Relaxed social distancing policies: May 1

Hospitalizations on May 1: 1,778

Hospitalizations on June 8: 1,935

Test positivity rate: 6.6 percent (increased from 4.9 percent two weeks ago)

 

Florida

Relaxed/ended stay-at-home order: May 18

Test positivity rate: 4.1 percent (increased from 3.2 percent two weeks ago)…’

 

— Via Vox

Uncategorized

That Trump Tweet? Republicans Prefer Not to See It

Senator Kevin Cramer, Republican of North Dakota, said on Tuesday that he did not know what President Trump was talking about when handed a printout of a tweet.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

‘After thousands of tweets carrying falsehoods, racist language and demeaning barbs against their own colleagues — not to mention the news reports, book excerpts or speeches that have roiled this administration — lawmakers in his party have largely settled on blissful ignorance as a way of avoiding defending the indefensible….’

— Via The New York Times

Uncategorized

Here’s What We Know About ‘Asymptomatic Spread’ After Confusing WHO Statements

The recent WHO statement that it is ‘rare’ for asymptomatic coronavirus-infected individuals to transmit the disease to other individuals has raised concern among researchers and public health experts. Here’s a deeper dive into the question of asymptomatic transmission.

  1. The proportion of infected individuals who remain asymptomatic is not known. One reason is that people don’t generally seek testing unless they feel unwell. The only indications come from outbreaks in closed settings — such as prisons, meatpacking plants, nursing homes and cruise ships — where mass testing has been possible. People may also not always be the best judge of their condition — having “no symptoms is in the eye of the beholder. And, without adequate followup (which does not exist), “asymptomatic” people might merely be “presymptomatic”.
  2. Cases of onward transmission from asymptomatic individuals may be rare but it does happen, and researchers are divided on whether such cases indicate a broader trend or is an anomalies. Studies have shown that asymptomatic infected people have similar numbers of virus particles in their throats as people who feel unwell, although they are not spewing them as readily because they are not coughing or sneezing. Speaking and breathing forcefully in proximity to others — e.g. singing in a choir, panting from exertion at a gym, or shouting to be heard in a setting like a nightclub — have all been implicated in transmission.
  3. So we are really talking about an “undetected positive” category comprising the asymptomatic infected, the presymptomatic, and the people who do not realize they feel unwell. It is likely that the virus is being transmitted in undetected cases before the individual can be identified and contained. Despite the misleading WHO statements, we must continue to employ the effective tools we have at our disposal — hand washing, facial coverings, and social distancing.

— Via NPR

“A giant wheezing orange kazoo”

 

After a retrofit to the roadway guardrails to make it more aerodynamic, the Golden Gate Bridge has started to sing (The Guardian). The whistling drone can be heard as far as three miles away and has been described as deafening in the immediate environs. I’ve been reading as much as I could find about this development because I’ve always been fascinated by — no pun intended — wind instruments, such as the Aeolian harp. I can’t find anything suggesting that the guardians of the Gate are planning further repairs to mute the bridge. The singing seems to be restricted to times of high winds through the Golden Gate from the west.

Bryce Dallas Howard, star of The Help, shares things to watch that are not The Help

If you’ve taken a gander at Netflix over the past few days (lol of course you have), you may have noticed that The Help has made its way into the platform’s top 10 most popular titles. Yes, the movie in which Octavia Spencer feeds Bryce Dallas Howard a pie filled with actual shit (coincidentally the only scene in the movie that’s worth a shit), has become one of the most-viewed titles on Netflix in the wake of ongoing nationwide protests in support of Black Lives Matter—which unfortunately makes sense, given that The Help is one of those movies about racial injustice created by and for white people, not unlike Green Book or Driving Miss Daisy. It’s incredibly important for white people to educate ourselves about systemic racism, but a fictional narrative film made by white people and told from the perspective of a white character is neither enlightening nor particularly instructive.

Via AVClub

Will the Banks Collapse?

Imagine if, in addition to all the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, you woke up one morning to find that the financial sector had collapsed. To hear more feature stories, get the Audm iPhone app. You may think that such a crisis is unlikely, with memories of the 2008 crash still so fresh. But banks learned few lessons from that calamity, and new laws intended to keep them from taking on too much risk have failed to do so. As a result, we could be on the precipice of another crash, one different from 2008 less in kind than in degree. This one could be worse.

— UCBerkeley law professor Frank Partnoy writing in The Atlantic