/Links 9/11/2020

Links 9/11/2020

In the Animal Kingdom, the Astonishing Power of the Number Instinct MIT Press Reader

Americans are observing nature during the pandemic, helping scientists with research National Geographic. Citizen science [pounds table]. Citizen science!

To survive frigid nights, hummingbirds cool themselves to record-low temperatures Science

Amazon Raised Prices on Essentials Amid Pandemic, Watchdog Says Bloomberg

Dozens of Amazon’s own products have been reported as dangerous — melting, exploding or even bursting into flames. Many are still on the market CNN. Wowsers, it’s hard to understand why Amazon’s leadership principles didn’t prevent this.

The Coming Age of Disorder Will Favor Commodities John Authers, Bloomberg

West Coast Wlldfires

What’s in Wildfire Smoke, and Whxy Is It So Bad for Your Lungs? Scientific American

Oregon governor issues emergency fire order; three prisons evacuated Portland Tribune. This little gem: “The state’s largest firefighting helicopters are unavailable; they were deployed to Afghanistan.”

Oregon Police Beg Public to Stop Calling In False Reports Blaming Antifa for Wildfires The Intercept

Those Orange Western Skies and the Science of Light Wired (Re SIlc).

The Orange Sky (1):

The Orange Sky (2):

As Fires Rage, California Must Stop Building in Burn Zones City Watch

The US National Hurricane Center is tracking seven systems in the Atlantic Yucatan Times (Re Silc).


COVID-19 is, in the end, an endothelial disease European Heart Journal. Endolethial cell: “The main type of cell found in the inside lining of blood vessels, lymph vessels, and the heart.” From the abstract: ” SARS-CoV-2, the aetiological agent of COVID-19, causes the current pandemic. It produces protean manifestations ranging from head to toe, wreaking seemingly indiscriminate havoc on multiple organ systems including the lungs, heart, brain, kidney, and vasculature. This essay explores the hypothesis that COVID-19, particularly in the later complicated stages, represents an endothelial disease…. The concept of COVID-19 as an endothelial disease provides a unifying pathophysiological picture of this raging infection, and also provides a framework for a rational treatment strategy at a time when we possess an indeed modest evidence base to guide our therapeutic attempts to confront this novel pandemic.”

Influenza may facilitate the spread of SARS-CoV-2 (preprint) medRxiv. From the main text: “Respiratory viruses—including SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses, rhinoviruses, influenza viruses, etc.—form a large class of viruses that cause seasonal infections of the respiratory tract in humans. Mounting evidence indicates that their epidemiologies are not independent, as a result of interaction mechanisms that may operate at different scales and that can be classified as either facilitatory or antagonistic.” • A preprint, a model, and heavily qualified. So I think South China Morning Post’s headline overstates.

America’s Coronavirus Endurance Test The New Yorker. “In retrospect, one of the biggest weaknesses in our pandemic planning was that many infectious-disease experts, including me, focussed on the threat posed by a novel strain of influenza. We feared a repeat of 1918—and yet, because we now have the technology to create and mass-produce a new flu vaccine in only a few months’ time, a flu pandemic isn’t necessarily the worst-case scenario. As we are currently discovering, designing and testing an entirely new vaccine against a never-before-seen infectious disease is a far more uncertain and daunting task. The fact that the novel coronavirus is RNA-based, like H.I.V., intensifies the difficulty. It’s possible that a vaccine will arrive this year—but many experts think that it could be two years or even longer before a safe and effective shot has been developed, tested, manufactured, and made widely available.”

Fauci says U.S. needs to ‘hunker down’ for fall and winter NBC

Fauci says US hit hard by coronavirus because it never really shut down The Hill (Re Silc).

America Is Trapped in a Pandemic Spiral Ed Yong, The Atlantic. Sounds like a “doom loop.”


Shift to ‘strategic clarity’ on Taiwan a further risk to US-China relations South China Morning Post

China Plans Strategic Boost to Vast State Commodity Reserves Bloomberg

China’s expanded export ban poses fresh challenge to global tech industry Straits Times

Talking about the seed brushing scam on ABC RN Breakfast Stilgherrian. Chinese seeds in Australia….

Sewage in Nepal serves as affordable COVID-19 warning tool Channel News Asia


India, China foreign ministers agree to quickly disengage border troops Reuters


Doha talks could reshape Afghanistan, but peace not assured Agence France Presse

Israel Headed for Second Nationwide Coronavirus Lockdown Bloomberg

How bitcoin met the real world in Africa Reuters

Kenyans fear ‘ecological disaster’ if two swollen lakes merge Reuters


Tory civil war over rule of six: Furious backbenchers brand new Covid restrictions ‘worse than the disease itself’ as it’s revealed almost EVERY Cabinet minister argued against them – but Matt Hancock got his way Daily Mail

Who is exempt from Boris Johnson’s rule of six Surrey Live

Coronavirus: Concerns over Boris Johnson’s ‘moonshot’ testing plans BBC

Johnson’s folie de grandeur Paul Mason, Social Europe

It’s not credible for the SNP to demand independence without a sovereign currency Tax Research UK

Stonehaven derailment: Report says climate change impact on railways ‘accelerating’ BBC. “Today’s report rightly points out that the infrastructure is 150 years old and rebuilding it to modern standards that are ‘climate resilient’ would be prohibitively expensive.” Oh.

New Cold War

Why America Should Fear a Russia-China Alliance The National Interest

Baltic States at the epicenter of military exercises Baltic Word

The Current Impasse in Belarus and the Peace Alternative Counterpunch

Russia on my mind Grace Kennan Warnecke, Martha’s Vineyard Times. Of course George Kennan’s daughter has a house on the Vineyard….

9 dead in Colombia anti-police brutality demonstrations CBC

Drug cartels in Mexico are now using drones to assassinate people KnowTechie

Trump Transition

OnPolitics: Things don’t look good for coronavirus relief USA Today. Good job, political class.


Majority of voters don’t see either Trump, Biden as mentally fit to be president: poll The Hill. “The poll surveyed voters in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, with 51 percent of respondents saying Trump is mentally unfit for the job and 52 percent saying the same of Biden.”

Bob Woodward on a Nightmare Presidency David Remnick, The New Yorker. I don’t mind David Remnick having nightmares. It’s what he does when he wakes up that I worry about.

Scientists Are Learning to Read—and Change—Your Nightmares Time

Health Care

The Health Care Lobby Is Trying To Buy Corporate Immunity From Both Parties David Sirota, Jacobin

Cambie Surgeries Corporation v. British Columbia (Attorney General), 2020 BCSC 1310 (PDF) In the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Canada protects Medicare against at two-tier, American-style system.

Guillotine Watch

The Emperor’s New Rules The Baffler. On Netflix’s Reed Hastings.

Class Warfare

God Selects Fall Interns The Onion. Not just God. Calling all rich kids:

How To Get Away with Murder History Today

Marion Nestle knows it’s not easy to be a smart consumer of food, or of media. The only solution may be to get political. The Counter

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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