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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,639

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U.S. will extend COVID-19 transport mask mandate through Jan. 18

WASHINGTON, Aug 17 (Reuters) - President Joe Biden's administration confirmed late on Tuesday it plans to extend requirements for travelers to wear masks on airplanes, trains and buses and at airports and train stations through Jan. 18 to address ongoing COVID-19 risks.

A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spokesperson confirmed the extension, first reported by Reuters. "The purpose of TSA’s mask directive is to minimize the spread of COVID-19 on public transportation," the spokesperson said

Major U.S. airlines were informed of the planned extension on a call with TSA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday, four people briefed on the matter said.

The current TSA transportation mask order runs through Sept 13. ...........(more)


Have We Finally Broken the Climate?

Have We Finally Broken the Climate?
Heat domes in Canada, flooding in Germany, droughts in Africa and Central Asia: This summer has seen some worrying weather. How closely is it tied to climate change? Scientists around the world are trying to find out.

By Francesco Collini, Johann Grolle und Thomas Milz
12.08.2021, 17.53 Uhr

(Der Spiegel) The television interview given by Jan Polderman on the Monday before the fire laid bare just how suddenly things changed. A smile on his face, the mayor of Lytton told a reporter that his counterpart from the neighboring town of Lillooet owed him a beer. The two had made a bet over which of the two towns in the Canadian province of British Columbia would experience the hotter temperatures, and Polderman was proud to have won. He had no way of knowing that just 48 hours later, his community would no longer exist.

Lytton is known for high temperatures, with a sign on the Trans-Canada Highway welcoming visitors to "Canada’s hotspot.” The town is located on the floor of Fraser Canyon, where heat tends to collect in the summer months. Still, nobody there was prepared for what happened at the end of June: On Sunday, June 27, the local weather station registered a value that was two degrees warmer than the 80-year-old record, topping out at 46.6 degrees Celsius (115.9 degrees Fahrenheit).

It was even hotter the next day, reaching 47.6 degrees Celsius, and the temperature still wasn’t done climbing. That Tuesday, it was 49.6 degrees Celsius (121.3 degrees Fahrenheit). A canyon in Canada was suddenly experiencing desert-like temperatures and weather experts around the world took notice. "What is going on?" wondered climate researcher Jochem Marotzke of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg.


The extremity of the heat and drought on the West Coast of North America made a mockery of the weather forecasts. Dozens of new heat records were reported in British Columbia and in the U.S. states of Washington and Oregon, with some of the old records being smashed by up to five degrees – a temperature shock not accounted for in any of the prediction models developed by climate researchers. If desert-like temperatures can suddenly appear in the mountains of Canada, what might we be facing next?

Overnight, the town of Lytton, with its 250 residents, became a symbol for climate change. Many people are aware that the Pacific island nation of Kiribati is sinking into the ocean and that Siberian homes are growing unstable because of thawing permafrost. But a mountain town in Canada? If Lytton can be destroyed, then we are all at risk. ..........(more)


Florida man busted with cocaine, gun while riding go-kart

A man riding a go-kart on the streets of a Florida city was busted in his tiny ride with a gun and a big bag of cocaine, deputies said.

Miguel Angel Sanchez, 21, was spotted illegally driving a go-kart in Fort Pierce late Monday by a deputy, setting off a brief chase, according to the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office.

“When the deputies tried to stop Mr. Sanchez, the game was on,” department officials said in a playful statement invoking Nintendo’s classic Mario Kart video game series. “Sanchez threw a backpack from his racer, bent a few corners and then ditched the cart, running away on foot.”

Deputies soon cornered Sanchez and took him into custody. A police K-9 then discovered a handgun near his abandoned ride, as well as a backpack he tossed away that had more than 15 grams of cocaine inside, department officials said. .............(more)


Mike Lindell lashes out as cyber expert demands $5M reward for debunking election data

(Salon) MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell is scrambling to defend his claims of election fraud after a cybersecurity expert demanded his cut of the $5 million reward Lindell had promised to anyone who could disprove the accuracy of his alleged election data.

Bill Alderson is a longtime cybersecurity professional specializing in packet captures — the exact type of data Lindell claimed to be in possession of — and attended the pillow maven's "cyber symposium out of a legitimate desire to "discover the truth." A longtime Republican, Alderson said he supported Donald Trump in 2020 and told Lindell when he was invited to the event, "I'd love to prove you right."

Only, he couldn't.

Lindell has long claimed to be in possession of a large set of network data from the 2020 election, saved as packet captures, or .pcap files. He's even claimed that it contained every vote cast last November.

Not so, says Alderson. It took roughly 45 minutes for him to see that the data given to him and the dozens of other experts in attendance was bunk — not only did it fail to prove anything about the accuracy of the 2020 election, but the files weren't even in the right format. ............(more)


Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s Anti-Vax Group Is Behind Lawsuit Targeting University Mandate

A nonprofit group founded by prominent anti-vaccine advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is suing Rutgers University over its COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Children’s Health Defense filed the lawsuit Monday on behalf of 18 Rutgers students. The plaintiffs argue that the university’s policy, which requires all students to be fully vaccinated for the fall semester, is illegal and “​​an affront to human dignity and personal freedom because it violates our basic right to control our bodies.“

It appears unlikely that the legal challenge will prove successful. Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up a similar challenge that eight students brought against Indiana University’s vaccine mandate.

There is arguably no one who has done more to spread COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and hesitancy than Kennedy Jr., the son of former presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy and an environmental lawyer. He has peddled a number of debunked conspiracies about all sorts of vaccines, including that they cause autism. .........(more)


Perhaps Florida Man should try Amazon Prime next time.....

A Florida man chose a bad time to receive cocaine in the mail, deputies said Tuesday.

Zachary David Houle, 26, of Key West was expecting his cocaine shipment via the U.S. Postal Service just as the local sheriff’s office was conducting some package interdiction training with postal inspectors, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said.

A K9 sniffed out the cocaine during the postal training in Fort Lauderdale in early August.

The package, addressed to Houle, contained an ounce of the drug, deputies said. .........(more)


Florida teacher caught 'terrorizing' neighborhood with racist rant against 'half-breed' kids

A white schoolteacher in Florida has allegedly been terrorizing her neighborhood with racist rants targeting children who try to use a walking path near her house.

The woman driving a Mercedes Benz was caught on video Sunday in the Kings Lake neighborhood of Naples calling a woman "white trash," and referring to her children as "mulattos" and "half-breeds."

"Neighbors said over the past several years, the woman has made it her mission to guard her property and a walking path, which has a sign indicating it's for Kings Lake residents only," according to the local NBC affiliate, which did not identify the woman but reported that she works as a teacher in the Collier County School District.

A mother told the station she was walking the path, which leads to a pond, with her children on Sunday when the woman stopped her Mercedes in the middle of the street, rolled down her window and began yelling at them. ..........(more)


Biden asks Americans to act like grown-ups -- but Republicans are too addicted to being brats

Biden asks Americans to act like grown-ups — but Republicans are too addicted to being brats
From Afghanistan to vaccines to the 2020 election, Republicans petulantly pick childish fantasies over reality


(Salon) The most striking thing about President Joe Biden's Tuesday speech about the sudden fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban was the underlying message to his Republican critics and their handmaidens in the Beltway press corp: Jesus Christ, start acting your age already.

"I want to remind everyone how we got here, and what America's interests are in Afghanistan," Biden said before he went on to level with viewers about how he "came to understand firsthand what was and was not possible in Afghanistan."

"Staying and fighting indefinitely in a conflict that is not in the national interest of the United States" is no longer acceptable, Biden made clear.

It was sober-minded, realistic and frank. It's time now for the so-called adults to put away their G.I. Joes. Action movies are fun, but this is real life, and in real life, there are some problems that can't be fixed by rallying around the flag and punching the bad guys. It is time, in other words, to grow up.


And now the press is having a tantrum of their own in the face of Biden's tough words about how Afghanistan was always going to fail. But Biden's speech was a cold reminder that now, more than ever, is the time for Americans to set aside childish things and act like adults. It's not just about finally putting those cartoon fantasies about benevolent American imperialism in the past. It's about having a clear-eyed view of what a mess our country has become — from the pandemic to our crumbling infrastructure to our threatened democracy — and being able to roll up our sleeves, take responsibility, and get done what needs to be done.

Unfortunately, we have a serious obstacle to acting like a grown ass country: A loud-mouthed Republican minority who, like toddlers who refuse to put their pants on, insist on having a full-blown whiny baby tantrum. ...........(more)


Ann Arbor retailers banned from selling new fur, a first for Michigan

(Detroit Free Press) Ann Arbor has banned the sale of new furs, a twist for the city in a state in which the fur trade was once vital.

The city council unanimously voted Monday evening to become what the Humane Society said is the first city in the Midwest to prohibit the sale of new fur products. The new rule allows retailers a year to phase out sales and offers some exemptions.

Used fur sales are OK. And the ban doesn't apply to tribal communities or cow, sheep, and deer pelts.

The ordinance also doesn't prohibit residents from going elsewhere to buy new furs, but it does follow a trend that the Humane Society and other animal protection groups are advocating for: ending the use of fur for fashion. ...........(more)


The Elusive Dream of the 15-Minute City

The Elusive Dream of the 15-Minute City
The concept that everything should be within a short walk or bike ride keeps coming up, but making it a reality raises challenging questions.

July 20, 2021 • Alan Ehrenhalt

I grew up in a 15-minute city. Or really, to be more precise, I grew up in a 15-minute neighborhood in a city that was packed with them. The New York essayist A. J. Liebling dismissed Chicago in the 1950s as an endless and tedious stretch of “factory-town main streets.” He didn’t realize it, but he was paying the city a compliment. Every one of those streets was the capital of a small world in which a few thousand residents could meet all of their regular needs — physical, social and spiritual — within the space of 15 minutes.

I can’t help finding it ironic that in the 21st century some of the best minds in urban planning are striving to design the sort of communities that used to exist without anybody inside having to give them the slightest thought. But they are hard at work at the task, and they are winning converts.

The 15-minute-city movement was born, or I should say reborn, in Paris, where Mayor Anne Hidalgo, with the guidance of urbanist guru Carlos Moreno, has made it a focus of her seven years in office. Hidalgo built her successful 2020 reelection campaign on the 15-minute goal, and she has done quite a bit to foster it. Hidalgo is creating 900 miles of bike lanes in the city, some of them on the Champs-Élysées. She has banned car traffic from some of the pathways along the river Seine. She is converting schoolyards throughout the city into round-the-clock public playgrounds.

Whether these moves will make Paris a 15-minute city remains to be seen. What is clear is that a significant number of cities around the world are making or at least exploring similar moves. London has removed automobiles from some of its commercial shopping streets. Melbourne has a blueprint for a 20-minute city that will include substantial reworking of its suburban geography. In this country, Portland, Ore., has been working on a 15-minute plan for several years. Detroit, seemingly an unusual candidate, has a 20-minute plan that has increased its network of bicycle lanes from 13 miles to 240. ..........(more)


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