Yves says she has to get up very today for estate duties, and so must sleep when she would otherwise be posting. So wish her luck, and she’ll make it up to you later. –lambert
When you adopt a desert tortoise, prepare for a surprisingly social and zippy pet AP
Borealis Mud Volcano – Unique new volcano discovered in the Barents Sea The Watchers
Private-Equity Fundraising Blues Weigh Heavily on Newer Managers WSJ
Downtown LA’s Office Distress Shows the Pain Coming for Cities Bloomberg. Why, it’s almost as if, official propaganda notwithstanding, people are voting with their feet against 3Cs spaces, like offices (with elevators).
Foul Mood? Barry Ritholz, The Big Picture
Tina Turner, ‘Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ whose triumphant career made her world-famous, dies at 83 AP
Ozone Treaty Delayed Arctic Melting by 15 Years Scientific American
What Is Permitting Reform? Here’s a Cheat Sheet. Heat Map. If you want to fight any infrastructural project, understand permitting.
The Perfect “Pathogen” Storm – Deadly Bacteria Is Adapting to Plastic Scitech Daily
Despite deal, Colorado River’s long-term water crisis remains unsolved Los Angeles Times. Handy chart:
Incredible how long it’s taken major newsrooms to identify the industry killing the Colorado River (ranching), but it’s finally happening.
The data visualization is both beautiful and horrifying. https://t.co/X6HCusgdm0 pic.twitter.com/9EyEjvUKqX
— spencer 🐡 (@Unpop_Science) May 22, 2023
Estimation of Excess Mortality in Germany During 2020-2022 Cureus. From the Conclusion: “These findings indicate that something must have happened in spring 2021 that led to a sudden and sustained increase in mortality, although no such effects on mortality had been observed during the early COVID-19 pandemic so far.” Brain Trust member GM’s main observations:
1) Germany stopped counting in mid-2022 and as a result excess deaths in December 2022 were 6-7x the official COVID deaths. 2) It was actually the worst winter of the pandemic for them but it was almost completely ignored by the media and official statistics suppressed it 3) As I have pointed out many times, there is no temporal correlation between vaccination drives and excess deaths.
(#1 would be a triumph of German (social) engineering….) GM: “Lots of useful data, Figures 7 and 9 are the most relevant.” Here they are:
Study finds significant amount of clotting in the arteries of patients with STEMI and COVID-19 News Medical Life Sciences
COVID-19 vaccines may undergo major overhaul this fall Science
US State Department’s top China official Rick Waters is stepping down South China Morning Post
New Chinese ambassador to US acknowledges ‘serious difficulties’ in relations Channel News Asia
The walls are closing in:
As Caixin notes, “The main holders of LGFV bonds include banks and insurance companies, and banks are also major lenders to the vehicles. The government is concerned that any large-scale defaults could destabilize the banking sector and the financial system.”
— Michael Pettis (@michaelxpettis) May 25, 2023
LGVF = Local Government Financing Vehicle. “They call it a ‘vehicle’ because it’s designed to drive off with your money.”
China’s 2023 iron ore imports seen unchanged as demand falters – industry sources Hellenic Shipping News
UN urges Myanmar junta to open up to Cyclone Mocha relief Channel News Asia. Myanmar’s mlitary rulers failed to cope with a cyclone in 2008: “[T]he Burmese regime was caught between the undeniable need for help and an acute sense that its survival depends on keeping the truth from its people and from the world.” History rhymes….
Massive Stock Pump-and-Dump Scheme Alleged, Featuring Energy Companies and K-pop Stars The Blue Roof
China said to be negotiating arms deals with Saudi Arabia and Egypt South China Morning Post
Spanish voters face ‘strange crisis’ of high employment and rising prices FT
Will Romania Become The 3rd Submarine Operator In The Black Sea? Naval News
Dear Old Blighty
Food prices are falling dramatically on world markets. Why then is UK food price inflation running at 19%? Richard Murphy, Funding the Future (was Ta Research UK).
SNP support down as Yes voters eye Labour, poll finds Holyrood
Ely riot: Everything we know after death of two boys and unanswered questions that remain Wales Online
New Not-So-Cold War
Ukraine’s membership amid war ‘not on agenda,’ says NATO chief and NATO chief says delivery of F-16s to Ukraine ‘remains to be decided’ Anadolu Agency. Ouch and ouch!
I was just in Kyiv under fire. I saw why Ukraine can win. Max Boot, WaPo. “The Ukrainians tried negotiating an end to the war in the Minsk process.” Angela Merkel (!!) disagrees, so one can only wonder what else Boot is delusional about.
Ukraine Lost in Bakhmut. But It Has Much Bigger Plans (transcript) NYT. Doubling down.
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Ukraine Armed Forces’ Commander-in-Chief Receives Head Injury in Missile Strike: Source to Sputnik Sputnik but Russia has data on Zaluzhny’s condition, but will not disclose it — foreign intel chief TASS. Is it really a coincidence that Zaluzhny disappears and Ukraine ratchets up the cray cray in Belgorod, after losing the biggest battle on the great European plain since World War II?
* * *
A look at the Free Russia Legion, the pro-Ukrainian group that attacked Belgorod France24
Russian raiders of Belgorod side with Ukraine but struggle to stick to Kyiv’s official line CNN. Oh, my sweet summer child!
Fresh From Attack on Russian Soil, Raiders Taunt the Kremlin NYT. Because the world is like high school.
White House says it is looking into reports about Ukraine’s use of US vehicles in Russia Anadolu Agency
* * *
Head of Russian private army Wagner says more than 20,000 of his troops died in Bakhmut battle AP
Wondering About Prigozhin Weapons and Strategy. The deck: “Will he run for President in Russia?”
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After Ukraine: Arming down for lasting Eurasian security Responsible Statecraft. Articles like these assume that the United States is agreement-capable, but we’re not. Why would Russia sign on to a second Minsk, so that the Azovs can rebuild and give it another go? Massive triers, those boys.
The Outcome of the War in Ukraine Depends on China and India The Nation. The deck: “Whether Americans like it or not, this country will have little choice but to begin planning for an emerging world order.” Or others will do the planning for us. Oh, wait, that’s already happening….
* * *
Tech-Mythologies New Left Review. “Ukraine claims to be the first state in the world with a digital ID that’s valid throughout the country.” Commentary:
At this event on the Diaa digital ID app, I asked Ukraine’s ambassador to the US Oksana Markarova about her govt promoting itself as a laboratory for predatory surveillance tech & its maintenance of a kill list that includes my colleagues Anya and @aaronjmate
She walked away https://t.co/PmH2zuALk6 pic.twitter.com/eBdd5lyYf1
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) May 23, 2023
South of the Border
Argentina in talks to expand China currency swap line, source says Reuters
LAC becomes second-largest destination for China’s outbound investment Xinhua. LAC = Latin American and Caribbean.
Here are some possible debt ceiling escape hatches for McCarthy, Biden The Hill
JPMorgan’s US debt default Q&A FT. The deck: “Sellside research as a public service.”
Urgent measures are needed to shore up NIST’s crumbling facilities Physics Today
Central NY hotel management sent long-term residents scrambling to make room for migrant contracts Syracuse.com (bob). On the bright side, who said real estate was dead?
DeSantis, Musk bash the media – after embarrassment of Twitter chat crashing FOX
Solving the explainable AI conundrum by bridging clinicians’ needs and developers’ goals Nature. “[Clinicians] were looking for the clinical plausibility of model results. They did this by connecting model outputs with patient-specific context information gathered from EHR systems* and by observing the manifestations of clinical symptoms in their patients…. they were looking for the clinical plausibility of model results. They did this by connecting model outputs with patient-specific context information gathered from EHR systems and by observing the manifestations of clinical symptoms in their patients.” Certainly AI, being a bullshit generator, is well positioned to deliver “plausibility.” But will reifying conventional wisdom in software mean that paradigmatic shifts will be harder than they already are? I’m guessing yes. NOTE * EHR is optimized for billing, let us remember. So the models would, presumably, also optimize for upcoding.
How doctors buy their way out of trouble Reuters. A must-read.
How Will We Know When Self-Driving Cars Are Safe? When They Can Handle the World’s Worst Drivers WSJ. Which explains why they’re being tested in Phoenix, with its broad streets, rectangular streetmap, and wuss-level snow.
Empowered or Traumatized? A Call for Evidence-Informed Armed-Assailant Drills in U.S. Schools NEJM. “Have we applied the rigor of evidence-informed decision making to these armed-assailant preparedness drills that have profoundly changed the school experience?” Rigor is not, in itself, a positive, if the premises for it are wrong.
Why Are Economists Still Uncertain About the Effects of Monetary Policy? Federal Reserve Bank of Policy. Because they haven’t added enough epicycles?
Billionaires Contribute to Climate Change the Most — and Determine Climate Policy Teen Vogue
Air pollution exposure linked to severe COVID-19 outcomes Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. Stochastic eugenics.
LiDAR analyses in the contiguous Mirador-Calakmul Karst Basin, Guatemala: an introduction to new perspectives on regional early Maya socioeconomic and political organization Ancient Mesoamerica. WaPo story. Commentary:
Archaeologists discover a lost world of 417 ancient Mayans cities buried in remote jungle, connected by miles of ‘superhighways,’ WaPo reports
Scientists in Guatemala have discovered “the first freeway system in the world.”https://t.co/RlciJRs1Gu pic.twitter.com/GevkzcL8CH
— Mayascribe (@Mayascribe) May 21, 2023
“The first freeway system.” Fancy that!
Antidote du jour (via):
The way this family of elephants forms a circle to protect the children pic.twitter.com/I4MXwh2119
— Science girl (@gunsnrosesgirl3) May 18, 2023
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.