/Links 7/21/2020

Links 7/21/2020

Hand axe made 1.4 million years ago shows unexpected Haaretz (Chuck L)

Are UFOs a threat? We need to investigate, says former head of secret US program Live Science

New Map of the Universe Fills in Some ‘Troublesome’ Gaps Gizmodo (Kevin W)

What Buddhism and science can teach each other – and us – about the universe The Conversation (Chuck L)

Tulane scientists build high-performing hybrid solar energy converter Eurekalert (Chuck L)

A Nixon Deepfake, a ‘Moon Disaster’ Speech and an Information Ecosystem at Risk Scientifc American (Kevin W)

Patients Aren’t Being Told About the AI Systems Advising Their Care STAT

New psychedelic research sheds light on why psilocybin-containing mushrooms have been consumed for centuries PsyPost (Chuck L)



Safety and immunogenicity of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine against SARS-CoV-2: a preliminary report of a phase 1/2, single-blind, randomised controlled trial Lancet. Lambert featured this in Water Cooler yesterday. Due to time constraints, I only read the abstract but am confused by the n. 1077 enrolled. 543 received the vaccine. So why are the efficacy %s based on 35?:

Neutralising antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 were detected in 32 (91%) of 35 participants after a single dose when measured in MNA80 and in 35 (100%) participants when measured in PRNT

Regardless, undercut by: The people with hidden immunity against Covid-19 BBC. Focus on T-cells instead of antibodies. Confirms our sighting of the significance of reinfections in Israel after 3 months: Longitudinal evaluation and decline of antibody responses in SARS-CoV-2 infection MedRxiv. Preprint, but the decline in antibodies over time strikes the authors as awfully common-cold like.

Trump said Covid-19 testing ‘creates more cases.’ We did the math STAT

Uber offers COVID-19 contact tracing help amid chaotic U.S. response Reuters (resilc). Without user consent….

Coronavirus may cause 3,500 deaths in England from four main cancers Guardian

White House, Senate GOP clash over testing funds The Hill


To battle Covid-19, India needs to be transparent about its mortality data Scroll (J-LS)


Florida teachers union files lawsuit against state over school reopening order WINK. Includes link to filing.

Kentucky couple fit with ankle monitors, placed on house arrest for refusing to sign quarantine documents Fox5NY

Political Responses

Following, not leading. Quelle surprise:

GOP signals Trump’s payroll-tax cut in Republican coronavirus bill — for now The Hill. UserFriendly: “LOL. How did Trump go from defier of Gop orthodoxy to being mocked by prominent Senate Republicans for being its most stringent adherent?”


U.S. Airlines Face End of Business Travel as They Knew It Bloomberg (resilc). As Hubert Horan and we have been saying…

‘A very dark feeling’: Hundreds camp out in Oklahoma unemployment lines Washington Post (UserFriendly)


US Accuses Supplier for Amazon, Apple, Dell, GM, Microsoft of Human Rights Abuses CNET

China’s BRI makes entry in post-Covid-19 era Indian Punchline

EU leaders reach deal on recovery package DW

From Politico’s morning European newsletter:

FRUGALS OVER THE MOON: The Frugal Four became the Frugal Five over the course of the weekend, a senior diplomat said late on Monday, and that may have been because “we started off on this discussion already months ago together with some other member states.” This group, the diplomat said, “increased in size by 25 percent. And I think the group of countries, who had a similar interest in this combination of issues and decided in the meetings of the European Council to really stick together and not be allowed to be tackled individually by the presidency, really gave the results we can now see in the nego box.” The frugals’ rebates are also there to stay.

DUTCH EVEN HAPPIER: Michel’s proposal includes several key concessions to Dutch PM Mark Rutte. Chief among them: The Netherlands gets to keep a bigger portion of the customs revenue that comes through Europe’s largest seaport, Rotterdam, meaning a reduced amount will flow into the EU’s coffers. The rule of law? Not enough of a reason to disagree, in the end.

CRYING VICTORY? Grants are at €390 billion. That’s a fair bit lower than the €500 billion originally proposed, and … err … quite a bit higher than the €0.00 the frugals said they wanted in grants. Most potential recipients took it as a silent victory.


What is causing all the damage in Iran? Sic Semper Tyrannis

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Google Promises Privacy With Virus App But Can Still Collection Location Data New York Times

New challenges to transfers of personal data from the EU to the United States Bruegel

An Ickier Outbreak: Trench Fever Spread by Lice Is Found in Denver KHN. Third world. Hep A in LA due to feces in public and now this.

Ex-New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver gets prison Syracuse (bob)

The Left is Now the Right Matt Taibbi (Chuck L)


Hillary Clinton’s Resistance Group Has Resisted Spending Big on Candidates Daily Beast (UserFriendly)

22% of Mail-In Votes Never Get Counted Greg Palast

Black Lives Matter

St Louis couple charged for pointing guns at protesters BBC

Majority of Voters Say U.S. Society Is Racist as Support Grows for Black Lives Matter Wall Street Journal

Police State Watch

Constitutional law experts see federal officers’ actions in Portland as a ‘red flag’ PBS (David L)

Portland: What does it mean for the rule of law? YouTube

Trump threatens to send officers to more US cities BBC

Trump’s ISIL Reelection Scheme: Send Federal Agents to Provoke Protesters in Dem Cities, Scare Suburbs Juan Cole (furzy)

Homeland Security Planning To Deploy 150 Agents To Chicago This Week Forbes (David L)

Supreme Court Learns That If You Give John Yoo An Inch, He’ll Take Unchecked Martial Law Above the Law

Albuquerque Police Use White Supremacist Militias Instead of Feds to Harass Protesters HCN. Glenn F:

This is an unusual situation as the statue being targeted by Native Americans is a Spanish Conquistador. And it appears some of the white supremacist militia were Latino, judging by the name of one mentioned. The main story is that the police let the militia do the police work while the police sat back until it got too violent. And there is much more in the article.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf tweeted unauthorized photographs of the federal courthouse in Oregon OregonLive (David L)

Portland protester and Navy veteran Christopher David was beaten and pepper-sprayed by federal troops in standoff at federal courthouse Washington Post

Our Famously Free Press

Facebook Overrides Fact-Checks When Climate Science Is ‘Opinion’ ars technica

Uber’s Algorithms Are Being Taken To Court Gizmodo (Kevin W)

America’s Innovation Engine Is Slowing Atlantic (Dr. Kevin)

Senator Josh Hawley’s Bill to End Slave Labor American Conservative (resilc)

Self-driving industry takes to the highway after robotaxi failure Financial Times

The Analogy Trap in Economic Policy Barry Eichengreen, The Economic Historian (johnny f)

Class Warfare

The Whiners Who Earn $200,000 and Complain They’re Broke Bruce Bartlett New Republic

SEIU Leads #StrikesforBlackLives in 25 Cities – Oregon Natural Gas Workers Strike – Kansas Sheetmetal Workers Mike Elk

Antidote du jour. Leroy R: “A real permabear; female grizzly in Banff, Alberta”:

And a bonus from Chuck L. Aces the mirror test!

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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