/Links 11/29/2020

Links 11/29/2020

Danish Mayfly chosen as 2021’s Insect of the Year Euronews

Moths draped in stealth acoustic cloak evade bat sonar Chemistry World

McKinsey advised Purdue to offer rebates for opioid overdoses Axios

Summary of the Amazon Kinesis Event in the Northern Virginia (US-EAST-1) Region AWS


Why Is the Risk of Coronavirus Transmission so High Indoors? Zeit Online. This article has an interactive calculator for room-size, duration, amount of people, applied to various indoor settings (church, classroom, restaurant), with additional settings for masking, ventilation, ceiling height, time speaking, and volume (the last two covering, for example, choir practice but also karoake). This is the approach Cuomo should have used in drafting his law, because it would not have raised strict scrutiny questions.

Transmission heterogeneities, kinetics, and controllability of SARS-CoV-2 Science. From the Abstract: “Based on detailed patient and contact tracing data in Hunan, China we find 80% of secondary infections traced back to 15% of SARS-CoV-2 primary infections, indicating substantial transmission heterogeneities. Transmission risk scales positively with the duration of exposure and the closeness of social interactions and is modulated by demographic and clinical factors. The lockdown period increases transmission risk in the family and households, while isolation and quarantine reduce risks across all types of contacts. ”

Mask defiance remains strong in Big Sky Country, even as the pandemic rages STAT

Public apathy frustrates COVID-19 contact tracers: ‘We know people are lying to us’ Des Moines Register.

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UK set to approve Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine within days FT

Russia says its COVID vaccine is 95% effective. So why is there still Western resistance to it? CBC

World’s vaccine testing ground deems Chinese COVID candidate ‘the safest, most promising’ Fortune. Brazil, Sinovac’s CoronaVac.

Use of adenovirus type-5 vectored vaccines: a cautionary tale (letter) The Lancet. “Roll-out of an effective SARS-CoV-2 vaccine globally could be given to populations at risk of HIV infection, which could potentially increase their risk of HIV-1 acquisition. This important safety consideration should be thoroughly evaluated before further development of Ad5 vaccines for SARS-CoV-2, and informed consent documents of these potential risks should reflect the considerable literature on HIV-1 acquisition with Ad5 vectors (English translation). From the Times vaccine tracker, CanSinoBio (not SinoVac), Gamaleya (Sputnik V), ImmunityBio, and Vaxart use Ad5.

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Why There Are Suddenly Not Enough COVID Tests Slate

America Just Can’t Get Enough Lysol Bloomberg

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The Covid data spies paid to know ALL your secrets: Town halls harvest millions of highly personal details including if you’re being unfaithful or having unsafe sex Daily Mail

Some prominent exposure apps are slowly rolling back freedoms MIT Technology Review

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Coronavirus risk to consumers from cold chain products ‘very low’, says Chinese official Reuters

Uh oh:


China makes final effort to court Japan and South Korea as Donald Trump heads for the exit South China Morning Post

With global push for COVID-19 vaccines, China aims to win friends and cut deals Science

In Sabah, students fall from suspension bridge they climbed to get internet access Malay Mail

Fukushima’s Radioactive Wastewater Dilemma Ha Kai Magazine


Labour Unions’ Nationwide Strike: Near Total Shutdown in Bengal, Kerala; Rallies in Other States The Wire

Kashmir people vote in local polls amid cold and security AP

Why I’m Losing Hope in India Bloomberg

Ethiopia declares victory as military takes Tigray capital AP

Nonviolent guerrilla cartographers Africa is a Country


U.S. aircraft carrier deploys to Gulf, Navy says unrelated to ‘specific threats’ Reuters. The URL tells another story: uk-iran-nuclear-scientist-usa-navy.

Overview: nuclear scientists as assassination targets Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (Re Silc).

Saudi Arabia: The Ally From Hell The American Conservative

Drones Rain Contraband on Panama Prison Insight Crime

Center-right mayor faces socialist in Brazilian metropolis AP

Air Runs Thin for World’s Populists Bloomberg


Europe signs $102M deal to bring space trash home Phys.org (press release).


EU’s Michel Barnier says ‘we are not far from take it or leave it moment’ as he resumes make-or-break Brexit trade deal talks with Lord Frost in London Daily Mail

Brexit: New ferry freight route opens between France and Ireland Independent

COVID Second Wave in Siberia: “Who By Fire” Sarah Lindemann-Komarova, Medium


Ex-Trump campaign aide Carter Page sues FBI for $75 million over Russia probe surveillance Independent

Trump Transition

Pentagon Purges Leading Advisors From Defense Policy Board Foreign Policy. Finally somebody fired Henry Kissinger. Pardon my schadenfreude.

New IRS rule will push many US small businesses to the brink WSWS

E.P.A.’s Final Deregulatory Rush Runs Into Open Staff Resistance NYT

Trump administration denies permit for Pebble mine in Southwest Alaska Anchorage Daily News

Deep Sea Rush The Baffler


Pennsylvania high court rejects lawsuit challenging election AP (this case).

The Supreme Court, faithless electors, and Trump’s final, futile fight SCOTUSBlog. As futile for Trump in 2020 as it was for Democrats in 2016.

Biden Transition

Potential Biden Officials’ Firm Is Promising Big Profits Off Those Connections David Sirota, The Daily Poster. The deck: “Former government officials Tony Blinken, Michele Flournoy & Lloyd Austin may run Biden’s national security agencies — their firm is telling investors it expects to profit off ties to those officials.” Democrats always add a layer of indirection (a firm, a foundation) instead of looting directly. Never let it be said the two parties are the same!

The grown-ups are back in charge in Washington FT. So we’re doomed, then?

All Out Of Ideas Eschaton

Democrats in Disarray

Who’s in Charge of the Democratic Party? The Nation. This assumes that we even know what the Democrat Party’s boundaries are; surely many NGOs should be included. If you follow the money, Nomiki Konst at the long-forgotten DNC Unity Reform Meeting mentions (“this smells”) that $700-$800 million dollars to five (5) consultants. Yet these consultants are never named. This article does the same thing: “[T]he handful of consultants who dominate Democratic politics.” Why not name the handful? Then, of course, there’s the question of who’s operating these consultants. Layers of indirection, as I keep saying.

How three conspiracy theorists took ‘Q’ and sparked Qanon NBC

Our Famously Free Press

How to Save Democracy From Technology Francis Fukuyama, Barak Richman, and Ashish Goel Foreign Policy. “Fewer still have considered a practical way forward: taking away the platforms’ role as gatekeepers of content. This approach would entail inviting a new group of competitive “middleware” companies to enable users to choose how information is presented to them. And it would likely be more effective than a quixotic effort to break these companies up.” Note the source, and the authors.

Why Twitter is (Epistemically) Better Than Facebook Logically

Guillotine Watch

Kardashians host lavish Thanksgiving gathering, appearing to ignore Covid guidelines Independent. This keeps happening.

Class Warfare

The Battle of Blair Mountain Was the Largest Labor Uprising in U.S. History Teen Vogue

What Is Land Inequality and How Does It Threaten Women? Euronews

Failing grades spike in Virginia’s largest school system as online learning gap emerges nationwide WaPo

Utah monolith: Internet sleuths got there, but its origins are still a mystery BBC. Conceptual art purchased by an unknown squillionaire for their private collection?

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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