Links 10/2/22

Links for you. Science:

Lake Erie’s Failed Algae Strategy Hurts Poor Communities the Most
Can we clean Covid from the air around us?
Effectiveness of a Second COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Dose Against Infection, Hospitalization, or Death Among Nursing Home Residents — 19 States, March 29–July 25, 2022
Children’s winter viruses strike early, filling ICUs
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, UK: 30 September 2022
Our Cancers Are Filled With Fungi. New research shows that many cancers play host to their own unique microbiomes of fungi, which may affect our chances of surviving them. (hopefully, this isn’t due to contamination issues etc.)

Other:

The Pandemic’s Legacy Is Already Clear. All of this will happen again. (must-read)
Thousands were released from prison during covid. The results are shocking.
How “religious freedom” became a right-wing assault on equality and the rule of law
Elon Musk’s Texts Shatter the Myth of the Tech Genius
The joyful and planet-friendly mobility of e-bikes
The Supreme Court May Soon Gut What’s Left Of The Voting Rights Act
After 150 years, Arnold Arboretum has cracked the color code
NPR is Not Your Friend (solutions are kinda not great though)
I finally biked to work. Was it worth it? (having a regular op-ed columnist who uses mass transit and biking to get to the office makes such a difference)
Financial BS Generator
The state can ease its housing problem by building more starter homes
Why You Hate Your Job
Panic, Bribes, Ditched Cars and a Dash on Foot: Portraits of Flight From Russia
JR Majewski, heir to white power, deserves ‘democratic contempt’
MAYBE YOU CAN’T BEAT RON DeSANTIS, BUT YOU COULD AT LEAST ROUGH HIM UP
Bruce Willis Sells Deepfake Likeness Rights So His ‘Twin’ Can Star in Future Movies
Putin’s Male Fragility
Democrats were right to ‘interfere’ in GOP primaries
Medical industry donations pour in for Texas AG Ken Paxton, other abortion ban supporters
What Americans Don’t Understand About Teachers and Professors
Why Would Putin Sabotage Nord Stream?
Putin Is Trying to Outcrazy the West
How San Francisco (?!) Helped Give Birth to Modern American Fascism. Remember Dan White? He was the Kyle Rittenhouse of his day. No wonder Tucker Carlson loves him.
Young and Homeless in Rural America
Pennsylvania Lawmakers Prepare to Impeach Larry Krasner
What’s so scary about a transgender child? Stop worrying about what happens if we let kids transition. Worry about what happens if we don’t.

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Flower Trestle

Observed on Swann Street NW, between 15th and 16th, Dupont Circle, D.C.:

Untitled

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Links10/1/22

Links for you. Science:

Metro Microbes: Microbiomes of Public Transit & Urban Spaces
Early analysis suggests monkeypox vaccine is reducing risk of infection in U.S.
Primate hemorrhagic fever-causing arteriviruses are poised for spillover to humans
The Mysterious, Vexing, and Utterly Engrossing Search for the Origin of Eels
Connecticut schools reporting four times more COVID cases this year
The Most Abundant Chemical in the Universe Could Become a Hot Commodity

Other:

Has anyone seen this Chevron commercial?
For New Yorkers, 6 p.m. Is the New 8 p.m.
Texas schools are being told to teach ‘opposing views’ of the Holocaust. Why?
Trump Judge Keeps her Finger on the Scale, Reversing Special Master Rules
You thought the Supreme Court’s last term was bad? Brace yourself.
Ronald DeSantis, Climate Change Denier and Disaster Relief Refuser, May Finally Face Reality
Republican House Majority Will Try to Melt Down Global Economy: Democrats need to sabotage-proof the government while they still can.
Cannon Fodder: What difference will mobilisation make to the war?
Author of measure to cut Ketchikan library funding over LGBTQ content says he doubts it will pass
Democrats’ strategy to boost MAGA Republicans is vindicated: Whatever sane Republicans remain in office, they remain largely enablers of the party’s anti-democracy majority. (yep)
The Jewish word that no one uses anymore (I use it!)
He Has a 7-Point Plan for a Christian Takeover — and Wants Doug Mastriano to Lead the Charge
Physician Burnout Has Reached Distressing Levels, New Research Finds
Justices shield spouses’ work from potential conflict of interest disclosures
Trump never dropped his fake-voices phone routine, not even as POTUS
D.C. Schools Are Losing Educators. Teachers Have Solutions
CUNY enrollment declines as billions in repairs are delayed
Right-wing smear artists baldly lie about Idaho public schools teaching ‘porn literacy’ to children
Affidavits: More pregnant minors who were raped denied Ohio abortions
MAGA and the “incels”: Latest Jan. 6 arrests show how fascists target insecure young men

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In Case You Missed It…

…a week of Mad Biologist links:

What Big Ears You Have

An Incalculable Loss

Literacy and Voting

Synagogue in a Time of COVID (Why We Need Good Prevalence Measures)

Your Abortion Is Slutty, Mine Is Not

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Links 9/30/22

Links for you. Science:

‘Honorary authors’ of scientific papers abound—but they probably shouldn’t
Rates of Monkeypox Cases by Vaccination Status
Should I still be worried about monkeypox?
The CIA Just Invested in Woolly Mammoth Resurrection Technology. While skeptics doubt the prospects for de-extinction, the CIA’s venture capital firm deems powerful genetic manipulation tools worth the money.
High-performance long-read assay enables contiguous data with N50 of 6–7 kb on existing Illumina platforms
SARS-CoV-2 furin cleavage site was not engineered (good rebuttal to Jeffrey Sachs et alia)

Other:

Trump-backed Joe Kent accused of spreading conspiracy theories by calling Covid vaccine ‘experimental gene therapy’
Making a Meltdown: What Role Did Federal Prosecutors Play in Unraveling D.C.’s Crime Lab? (statehood matters for D.C., not just control of Congress)
Dark Brandon Was Put On This Earth To Mint The Trillion Dollar Coin
‘I hate a black f**king Democrat,’ white North Carolina sheriff says before firing Black staff
Lessons
The Claimed 200,000 Pages Trump Stole Include Press Clippings
Fluteghazi Is Dumb Even for These Reactionary Halfwits
Dangerous new threats from Trump loyalists require Democrats to act
Biden is punting on COVID relief for the third time
Ron DeSantis’s Race Problem
The COVID-19 Booster’s Public Relations Problem
Are DC’s encampment engagements effective?
We have a way to end the opioid epidemic, but not the will
Doug Mastriano is holding an event with Jack Posobiec, who has collaborated with neo-Nazis and spread antisemitism
A harsh ad hitting Herschel Walker shows a way forward for Democrats
In West Texas, Fort Stockton’s solution to a teacher shortage is a motel. The rural Fort Stockton school district is paying big money for teachers and sweetening the deal with low-cost housing.
The accusations against Brett Favre are not just another NFL scandal
D.C. To Offer Childhood Vaccinations At Five Free Clinics Starting Monday
“My Brother Is So Far Gone”: How Male Influencers Turned The Men In These People’s Lives Toxic
Natural Disasters
Purple Line study: Without help, light-rail line will bring gentrification
The Republicans Are Coming After Biden’s Student Debt Relief Plan
D.C. Has A Lead Pipe Problem. A New Report Recommends Lawmakers Mandate Their Removal
Stunning Twist

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Your Abortion Is Slutty, Mine Is Not

Well, not mine, since I’m a cishet male. Anyway, there’s an excellent piece by Leah Hampton that gets at the hypocrisy of anti-legal and safe abortion conservatives (boldface mine):

The crux of my newfound doubt about Roe is the “everyone” part. Because that story about my friend’s wedding is just one of many. Jamie, me, every left-leaning Southern woman I know—we have all been put in the same position many times, often while being insulted by the very person asking us for help. What I am wrestling with in the wake of abortion rights being overturned is the fundamental tension between Southerners like me, and conservative white women like my childhood friend, who quietly take advantage of abortion rights while helping abolish them

Ask any honest Southerner, and she’ll confirm these numbers with stories of her own. The majority of the women I know who’ve had abortions have been white and conservative, and I’ve lost count of how many asked me to help hide the details. They ask me specifically because I am pro-choice and believe in their right to privacy. My childhood friend, for example, implored me not to tell her fiancé about her abortions because I was the only one who knew about them in the first place.

In my late twenties, I had a boss who asked me for help scheduling an elective abortion. She had married into her husband’s family business, and apart from the Mexican workers she refused to speak to, I was the only female-identifying employee who didn’t go to her church or share her last name. She was deeply anxious, so I asked as few questions as possible, called a clinic just over the state line, then covered for her at the office. A few weeks later I made a comment about a local political race, and she shot back, “I’m not voting for anybody who’s pro-Muslim or pro-choice.” I gave her a hard look. “That didn’t count,” she said, waving me off. “I’m not a slut.”

…In her famous article “The Only Moral Abortion is My Abortion,” Canadian activist Joyce Arthur documents abortion providers’ experience with anti-choicers seeking abortion care. The abuse these patients heap on healthcare workers is both appalling and illuminating. They believe they are special, an exception to the rule, and more entitled than other pregnant people, whom they believe to be beneath them.

I don’t expect politicians to talk about this: this is a political minefield, and that’s an understatement. But this hypocrisy, and many people who have volunteered to work at reproductive health clinics are very aware of this, needs to be discussed far more often. It probably won’t change very many anti-abortionist minds (especially those who are very committed to the issue), but it makes the case for the rest of us that they lack the moral authority they claim.

They are not better than other, pro-legal and safe abortion women, regardless of what they might believe.

Posted in Blastocyst Liberation, Conservatives | 1 Comment

Links 9/29/22

Links for you. Science:

Evaluation of individual and ensemble probabilisticforecasts of COVID-19 mortality in the United States
Duration of viral infectiousness and correlation with symptoms and diagnostic testing in non-hospitalized adults during acute SARS-CoV-2 infection: A longitudinal cohort study
COVID-19: Things everyone should know (Part 1: Immune System)
COVID-19: Things everyone should know (Part 2: Transmission & Protection)
COVID booster adds substantial protection against Omicron hospitalization
Understanding the government requirement for open access studies

Other:

‘Trans Rights Are Human Rights’: NoVa Students Join Statewide Walkout Over Youngkin’s School Policy
Looks like Arizona voters will be denied a chance to reject school voucher expansion lie
Forced Birth is Torture. An American Traumedy
The American Welfare State Is Designed Horribly
The “little Eichmann”
University of Idaho releases memo warning employees that promoting abortion is against state law
No The Solution To Ending Mandatory Masking Isn’t “Well YOU can still mask”
Well, If It Isn’t Roger Stone’s Time to Shine Before the Jan. 6 Committee
Judge Cuts to the Quick of ‘Stop the Steal’ Riots, Sentencing Iowa Man to 7 Years: “You were trying to stop the singular thing that makes America America, the peaceful transfer of power.”
Idaho universities disallow abortion, contraception referral
The Long and Gruesome History of the Battle Over American Textbooks
Just how racist is the MAGA movement? This survey measures it.
‘Afraid of losing their power’: Judge decries GOP leaders who back Trump election claims
Now that the CDC has dropped masking, a plea to doctors and hospitals
Congress to Vote on New Antitrust Laws This Week
Woke is now a dog whistle for Black. What’s next?
The Gaslighter’s Psychiatrist: My Response to Dan Drezner
MARC wants to spend $1.6 billion to replace its trains. It should replace them with the fastest option.
How Peter Thiel’s pet candidate may doom the GOP’s Senate hopes
The Real Problem Revealed By The Brett Favre Welfare Scandal
‘Afraid of losing their power’: Judge decries GOP leaders who back Trump election claims
As Trump goes full QAnon, Dixon delights in sowing Whitmer kidnapping conspiracies

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Synagogue in a Time of COVID (Why We Need Good Prevalence Measures)

So Monday and Tuesday were Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. It’s the first time my family and I attended in person since the pandemic. We got there very early, under the (correct) assumption that it wouldn’t be crowded then*, but by 11am or so, I would estimate we were in a very large room with many hundreds of unmasked people, so we left at around noon (we were wearing masks). With that many people, combined with a lack of COVID prevalence estimates, the odds of someone who isn’t wearing a mask and is infectious seem high (i.e, if we assume 1/200 people are infected and able to transmit, and 700 unmasked people, it’s virtually guaranteed there are one or more infectious people there).

My point isn’t really to argue about risks and protections, or the particulars of how one should decide when or if to attend services. At this point, most people won’t change their behavior anyway. But if we had good estimates of COVID prevalence–something like the percentage of asymptomatic patients who test positive upon hospital intake–we wouldn’t have to assume the worst. If we ‘knew’ that the asymptomatic infected rate is 0.1%, that leads to a very different calculation, even with many hundreds of unmasked people. But in the absence of those data, we have to make conservative assumptions, and, so, hundreds of unmasked people in an auditorium is a concern.

Despite the Biden’s administration’s claims to the contrary, we are not being ‘given the tools’ to make the best decisions, and this is becoming tiresome.

*For people who aren’t Jewish, the full ‘morning’ services (shacharit through musaf) at our synagogue start at around 8:15am and run to about 1:30pm. This is not a brief exposure.

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Links 9/28/22

Links for you. Science:

Viruses to Fight Superbugs? Scientists Are Working on It
Five things about covid we still don’t understand at our peril
An ACE2-dependent Sarbecovirus in Russian bats is resistant to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines
The roles of history, chance, and natural selection in the evolution of antibiotic resistance
The Fungus That Killed Frogs—and Led to a Surge in Malaria
Shy Raccoons Are Better Learners Than Bold Ones, Study Finds. Wildlife management strategies focused on aggressive raccoons may be inadvertently boosting the proportion of more clever ones in cities.

Other:

What Was And What Could Be (excellent)
‘Other Places in the Country Didn’t Do This’: How One California Town Survived Covid Better Than the Rest
How Justice Scalia created chaos: “Originalism” is just right-wing ideology in disguise. Berkeley law school dean Erwin Chemerinsky on the incoherent, dishonest ideology that has warped the Supreme Court
‘It is sinking us even further’: STI clinics, already stretched thin, strain under weight of monkeypox response
Why It’ll Be Tough for Republicans to Cancel Student Debt Cancellation
D.C. strives to increase Black homeownership with low interest loans, deferred repayment
“Slouching Towards Utopia”: The actual review itself
Buckle up, America: The Fed plans to sharply boost unemployment (the headline and tone of the article are surprising for legacy media)
When a shitbird mangles an opponent’s language into his own rhetoric, you can be assured of one thing, he’s stuffing a strawman weak enough so he can wrestle with it.
Why Progressive Groups Struggled With the Biden Agenda
The right loves to say “politics is downstream from culture,” but on the right the opposite is true
Those GOP ‘tough on crime’ ads? They’re based on a very big lie.
Glenn Youngkin Knows Exactly What He’s Doing
Liz Cheney’s harsh takedown of Trump’s 2022 candidates draws blood
Santa Cruz is A Housing Nightmare
In rare intervention, state chief justices warn SCOTUS away from blowing up federalism
Community-based N95 Distribution During the COVID-19 Omicron BA.1 Surge: 1-month Utilization and Price Implications
Texas Attorney General Fled His Home to Avoid Subpoena in Abortion Rights Case
The Second Amendment Gives No Comfort to Insurrectionists
Kari Lake Is Straight-up Lying, and There’s No Second Option
The Key Ingredients Of Christian Nationalism: Christian nationalism isn’t new. But its core components are dominating Republican politics.
Conservatives Building New Efficiencies in the ‘Virtual Martyrdom’ Pipeline
Why Russia rewrote Lord of the Rings
US Troops Are Volunteering to Fly Abortion Seekers Across State Lines

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Links 9/27/22

Links for you. Science:

Gene Updater: a web tool that autocorrects and updates for Excel misidentified gene names
Infants are being hospitalized with Covid at higher rates than most adults and seniors.
Adversarial Collaboration: An EDGE Lecture by Daniel Kahneman
Association of SARS-CoV-2 Infection With New-Onset Type 1 Diabetes Among Pediatric Patients From 2020 to 2021
COVID-19 infection may increase risk of type 1 diabetes, suggests nationwide study of 1.2 million children
Long COVID Has Forced a Reckoning for One of Medicine’s Most Neglected Diseases. Only a couple dozen doctors specialize in chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). Now their knowledge could be crucial to treating millions more patients.

Other:

Biden Declared the Pandemic Over. I Immediately Got COVID. (excellent)
The Antitrust Shooting War Has Started
We’re in a one-way masking world now. Therefore, it’s time to upgrade your respirators. Cloth and surgical masks (and even some KN95s and N95) simply won’t suffice.
Whatever Happened to the Starter Home?
Misinforming patients is a bad idea
Yes, DC Misspelled “Virginia Avenue”
How Ashish Jha and Rochelle Walensky of Newton, MA Protect Their Children from Covid (But not Yours)
Eric Foner, interviewed by Nawal Arjini
Trump reportedly rips DeSantis as ‘fat’ and ‘phony’ and ‘whiny’
I don’t want your god in charge of my health care
Sounds Good
How the Democrats’ Economics Changed
NYT Defense Force, Assemble
Is there really a shortage of home health care workers?
House GOP leaders vow to undo $80B to rebuild IRS if party regains majority
Roger Stone Admits He’s Been Advising The Proud Boys For Years
Girls Who Code book series banned in some US classrooms (cancel culture tho)
Whatever Happened to the Starter Home?
Libs of Tiktok is fueling a pogrom against trans youth
The Return of Fascism in Italy. With Giorgia Meloni’s party leading in polls ahead of Sunday’s election, the Italian far right is edging closer to power.
‘We Were Already Stretched Thin:’ A Nursing Shortage Is Straining D.C.-Area Hospitals
Bill To Give D.C. Residents $100 A Month For Metro Clears Council Committee
Racine Bashes McDuffie for Raising Cash from a Developer ‘At the Center of Displacement’
Far right preparing army of ‘poll watchers’ eager to find proof of conspiracy theories in ’22 vote

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