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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 75,441

Journal Archives

US vaccinations rise but White House frustrated with media 'alarmism'

(Guardian UK) Even as the White House highlighted what it considers alarmism in reporting of the surge in cases of the Delta coronavirus variant across the US, reports in the same national media suggested vaccinations are increasing in hotspot areas.

On Friday, an unnamed senior Biden administration official told CNN the press was reporting misleadingly on federal data indicating the Delta variant spreads among vaccinated as well as unvaccinated people.

The official said a focus on “breakthrough infections” might lead to people being more hesitant to get vaccinated, and said the White House had asked news organisations to tone down coverage.


One NBC News story on new data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was first headlined “Breakthrough Covid cases: at least 125,000 fully vaccinated Americans have tested positive”.

That figure, however, represents a fraction of a percentage point of vaccinations in the US this year. NBC changed the headline to “Breakthrough Covid cases: data shows how many vaccinated Americans have tested positive”. ...........(more)


A Country Races to Prepare for the Unavoidable

A Country Races to Prepare for the Unavoidable
Floods, storms, forest fires – events that used to be extreme have become the new normal. Now German officials are building dikes, underground storage tanks and green roofs to avert disaster. Will it be enough?

By Markus Dettmer, Jan Friedmann, Annette Großbongardt, Dietmar Hipp, Philipp Kollenbroich, Ann-Katrin Müller, Christopher Piltz, Hilmar Schmundt und Steffen Winter
29.07.2021, 08.38 Uhr

(Der Spiegel) They were prepared. Several years ago, in 2014, the hospital management had an expert report prepared at the request of the City of Leverkusen. The aim was to clarify whether the hospital was protected from flooding. Its buildings are located right next to the Dhünn River, which winds around the clinic grounds, a gentle 40-centimeter (16-inch) deep body of water in normal times.

The hospital’s technical rooms are located 12 meters (around 40 feet) from the edge of the river. They house the control center for the normal power source, as well as the emergency power. The specialist recommended installing sheet pile walls, just in case. That were fitted, and everyone was satisfied.

The expert’s report claimed that the hospital was protected and argued that it would hold up even during a massive flood. In other words, that it would be safe in the event the water reached a level that statistically only occur once every 100 years. Those were the city’s specifications.

Shortly after 7 p.m. on the evening of July 11, the water began spilling over the banks of the Dhünn. At 7:12 p.m., water sloshed over the street. The heavy rain had caused the Dhünn to rise almost 3 meters. The rooms in the hospital’s basement and its underground parking garage filled up. The water flooded corridors as well as the technical rooms. Around 10 p.m., the electricity went out. The emergency supply took over, but the responders were afraid it might go out as well.


They have been warning about increasing extreme weather events for years. Meteorologists recorded 2018 as the warmest year in Germany since weather records began in 1881 – followed closely by 2020, 2014 and 2019. Droughts are on the rise, as is heavy rainfall. Things that used to be considered extreme are now deemed normal. ...........(more)


Florida man is jailed for performing botched CASTRATION on a man he met on eunuch fetish website

A Florida pensioner is expected to spend two years behind bars after he was charged for castrating a man he met on a eunuch fetish website.

Gary Jon Vanryswyk, 76, performed the botched procedure on the 55-year-old male back in August 2019 after they connected on eunuch.com.

The man - who has not been publicly identified - had to be airlifted to Tampa General Hospital's trauma unit after the three-hour-long operation left him bleeding uncontrollably from the groin.

On Thursday, Vanryswyk pleaded no contest to unlicensed practice of a health care profession resulting in serious bodily injury, documents obtained by DailyMail.com show. ..........(more)


Humans are adaptable. But can we handle the climate crisis?

(Grist) With all the extreme weather events that are happening in the world today, it can feel like the environmental changes that climate scientists have long warned us about are suddenly happening so fast. As such, I am sympathetic to a panicked reaction along the lines of: It’s all over, and we need to get in gear for our new Mad Max reality. But before you start recruiting a band of gauzy-gowned, machine gun-toting waifs, I think it’s worth revisiting the difference between climate mitigation and adaptation.

Climate mitigation includes everything we do to try to limit the amount of greenhouse gases that get into the atmosphere, in an attempt to avoid truly catastrophic levels of global warming: replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy, constructing better-insulated buildings to conserve resources, reimagining our entire transportation system, and all that.

These are major changes, of course, and it’s proven deeply difficult so far to get humans to make them. In the stark words of a Brookings Institute analysis of the politics of climate change, “the dire warnings, the scientific consensus, and the death toll from unprecedented climate events have failed to move the public very much.” We have seen carbon taxes die on the ballot, politicians allowing oil and gas drilling to proceed on public lands, and — in quite recent memory — elected a president who openly denies climate change. Even the act of eating a hamburger has been framed as a sacred political right to protect.


As far as a human’s biological capacity to adapt to a warmer world, it is possible that we could evolve to be more heat-tolerant. We might, for example, develop denser sweat glands and longer limbs to better dissipate heat. But those changes would take far longer than 50 years to manifest; as we know, evolution happens over generations through the process of natural selection.

Rick Potts, a paleoanthropologist and director of the Smithsonian Institute’s Human Origins Program, emphasizes that climate adaptation is about a lot more than biology, and evolution is not synonymous with progress. “The long course of human evolution shows that climate disruption, which is what we’re going through right now and in the foreseeable future, is associated with the demise of ways of life,” he said. When we see “the extinction of species, of certain kinds of technologies, out of the ashes of those ways of life can come new behaviors and ways of appearing.” ...........(more)


University of Michigan mandates COVID-19 vaccination for students, faculty and staff

( Detroit Free Press). The University of Michigan is mandating all its students, faculty and staff get the COVID-19 vaccine.

"Ultimately, non-compliant students, faculty and staff will be subject to appropriate campus disciplinary procedures," the school wrote in a news release Friday. It didn't detail what that discipline may be.

The announcement was made in an email to the campus community signed by President Mark Schlissel; Susan Collins, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs; Marschall Runge, executive vice president for medical affairs, and Brian Smith, interim executive vice president and chief financial officer. UM-Dearborn Chancellor Domenico Grasso and UM-Flint Chancellor Debasish Dutta also signed the message. ........(more)


Pontiac woman sets car on fire after finding bed bugs, burns self

Pontiac — A woman accidentally burned herself when she set her car ablaze on Tuesday after finding bed bugs inside, police said.

The unidentified 31-year-old told police she had a panic attack when she saw the bugs inside her vehicle. She decided to handle the bugs by pouring rubbing alcohol inside the vehicle and lit it to kill them.

While doing that, she caught herself on fire, the Oakland County Sheriff's Office said in a release. ............(more)


Bay Area teen dragged into ocean by crocodile while vacationing in Mexico

Swimming in the ocean at night probably isn't the wisest thing to do.

A Bay Area teenager is recovering in hospital after a dream vacation to Mexico turned into a nightmare when she was dragged into the ocean by a crocodile.

The 12-foot reptile attacked 18-year-old Kiana Hummel of Novato when she was swimming around midnight at the Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa.

"I felt heaviness on my leg, I looked down, and I feel myself getting pulled," Hummel told ABC7 News. "I was just hitting him wherever I could."

The crocodile's teeth sunk into Hummel's shin, before letting go and then grabbing her other ankle. A nearby group of tourists heard her screams and came to her aid, eventually pulling her free from the massive reptile. The Novato High graduate, who was on a vacation before starting college in the fall, is currently at Marin General Hospital awaiting a second surgery on her leg. Doctors expect her to make a full recovery. .........(more)


Bus lanes are working in Toronto

The city of Toronto, Ontario, and the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) released the first dashboard report regarding its RapidTO priority bus lane implementation program. In short, the bus lanes are working and delivering faster trip times and more reliable service.

The RapidTO program is part of TTC’s 5-Year Service Plan & 10-Year Outlook and includes six heavily used corridors with proposals to implement priority bus-only lanes. The first of these was completed in November 2020 from Brimley Road to the University of Toronto for the Eglinton Avenue East routes.

The C$4 million (US$3.21 million) project converted 8.5 kilometers (5.3 miles) to High Occupancy Vehicle lanes – with a red surface treatment – that are reserved for TTC buses, Wheel-Trans buses and bicycles 24 hours a day.

When compared to October 2019 baseline data:

* Transit travel times have decreased up to six minutes during peak morning periods and up to five minutes during afternoon peak periods;

* Reliability of all four routes improved on average by 12 percent with the 116 Morningside route improving by 19 percent.

“The data shows that RapidTO bus lanes are working. It is encouraging to see increased reliability and faster transit travel times on the routes that benefit from our RapidTO bus lanes. I look forward to seeing the results of future dashboards as the reopening continues and transit ridership increases along with traffic volumes,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory. ......................(more)


'There will never be another Carl Levin': Michigan's longest-serving U.S. senator dies at 87

(Detroit Metro Times) Carl Levin, former Detroit City Council member and U.S. senator, died Thursday at 87. The cause of death is not known.

The Levin Center at Wayne State University issued a statement, saying, “With great sadness and heavy hearts, the [center and family] announce the passing of Senator Carl Levin.”

Levin, a Democrat, served on Capitol Hill between 1979 and 2015 and chaired the powerful U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee. He announced that he would not seek another term in 2013 and retired the next year.

The Detroit native earned a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College and a law degree from Harvard Law School. Prior to being elected to the Detroit City Council in 1969, Levin worked as general counsel for the Michigan Civil Rights Commission. Levin, along with his brother, former U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, have been fixtures in Democratic politics for more than 50 years. ..............(more)


Caught on camera: 5 men arrested after disturbance over mask mandate at Fort Lauderdale airport

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Five people were told to leave a Spirit Airlines flight out of Fort Lauderdale Friday night after they refused to wear masks inside the plane, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office. After they left the plane, the disruption continued to spill over inside Terminal 4 when BSO deputies arrived.

That’s when two of the men were arrested after reportedly shoving deputies and the other three also taken into custody.

Spirit Airlines personnel had reportedly asked the men identified as William J. Lloyd, 53, Drake William Loyd, 24, Michael A. Lloyd, 23, John Anthony Bruce, 24, and Matthew L. Novak, 24, to leave the plane over what the airline described as a “mask violation” inside the aircraft. All were from New Jersey.

When BSO deputies arrived at Terminal 4 around 9:30 p.m. to escort the group out of airport, they started yelling profanities. One of the men, Drake William Lloyd, reportedly pushed a deputy, then his father, William Lloyd, pushed another deputy to get to his son. Both were charged with battery on a law enforcement officer and disorderly conduct. The three others were arrested for disorderly conduct. ...........(more)


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