Links 2/23/2021

Rescue Beaver Instinctively Dams Doorways With Household Objects Core77

Gray whales learn daring feeding strategy in Puget Sound: Digging for ghost shrimp at high tide PhysOrg

Antarctic Stunner: Mysterious Creatures Discovered Under a Half Mile of Ice Mother Jones (furzy)

NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover Provides Front-Row Seat to Landing, First Audio Recording of Red Planet NASA (Kevin W)

Ghost particle that crashed into Antarctica traced back to star shredded by black hole CNET (Kevin W)

The White Dots in This Image Are Not Stars or Galaxies. They’re Black Holes ScienceAlert (David L)

A first-of-its-kind geoengineering experiment is about to take its first step MIT Technology Review

People with extremist views less able to do complex mental tasks, research suggests Guardian (Dr. Kevin)

Before and after: how the 2011 earthquake changed Christchurch Guardian (Kevin W)

How Antidepressants Work, At Last? Science (UserFriendly). Since antidepressants either didn’t work at all or only worked for six weeks to four months on the depressive men on my father’s side of the family, I’m not keen about the headline.



‘Aggressive measures needed’: India discovers 240 new, possibly more infectious Covid-19 strains RT (Kevin W)

Why The Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Has Gotten A Bad Rap — And Why That’s Not Fair NPR (fk)

COVID/Vitamin D: Much More Than You Wanted To Know Astral Codex Ten (vlade)

Scientists say clinical trials for ‘variant-proof’ vaccines could start very soon Guardian (Dr. Kevin)


Johnson unveils lockdown exit plan: schools and social contact first Guardian


President Biden Delivers Remarks on COVID-19 C-SPAN (Kevin C). See the bill here.


The Population of China Compared with the Rest of the World Visual Capitailst Furzy points out: “They left out Russia, India and Africa…..”

Stamp duty holiday leading to homelessness, new figures suggest openDemocracy

Alex Salmond accuses Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP chief husband and party figures of ‘conspiracy’ to ‘ruin his life’ and have him jailed ahead of Holyrood inquiry appearance Daily Mail (Kevin W)


Biden: End U.S. Hypocrisy on Israeli Nukes Foreign Policy. UserFriendly: “File under things that won’t happen.”

They Built Libraries to Honor Loved Ones, Women Felled by Bombings New York Times. From resilc, who worked for the Peace Corps and USAID:

Who writes this shit? I know who funds it. The Taliban will run the whole shithole in 6 mos. It’s China and Pakistan’s problem. not mine. What about the unheated and unwatered libraries in Texas??????????? At least they are guarded by the space force.

Imperial Collapse Watch

An engine shortage is the newest problem to hit the F-35 enterprise DefenseNews. Kevin W: “The problems with the Pratt & Whitney engines here sound like that they may be related with that airliner that had it’s engine get shredded by a broken fan blade.”

Stevie Wonder is moving to Ghana CNN (furzy)


Tanden’s path to confirmation looks increasingly untenable The Hill. Bwahhhaaa!

Garland seeks to draw sharp contrast with Trump-era DOJ The Hill

Normalizing Foreign Trade Relations Angry Bear

Capitol Seizure

Officers set for grilling over mob attack The Hill

FBI Seized Congressional Cellphone Records Related to Capitol Attack The Intercept

Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen team up for new podcast Guardian (Kevin W)

The Vote lawsuit: How GOP donor Fred Eshelman came to want his money back Washington Post (UserFriendly)

MyPillow C.E.O. Sued Over Election Fraud Claims New York Times. As we said, defamation suits are hard to win and you can also win and not get meaningful damages (Harry Shearer won a defamation suit and was awarded $1). The key hurdle is showing “actual malice” or negligence. If MyPillow dude believed the Trump cray cray and can show he did, it’s hard to see this going much of anywhere except costing MuPillow dude a lot in legal fees.

Confirming the thesis above: The MyPillow Guy Is Totally Stoked to Get Sued for $1.3 Billion Vice. MyPillow dude gets to do discover on Dominion.


Texas Froze by Design James K. Galbraith, Project Syndicate (J-LS)

Consumers and Price Volatility: Texas Electricity Prices Adam Levitin, Credit Slip. He sees the parallel, as I did, with pre-crisis adjustable rate mortgages (which BTW Alan Greenspan himself touted). However, what I have yet to understand is why there aren’t risk sharing products. When I bought my first apartment in NYC, it was a co-op, and hence outside the Fannie/Freddie paradigm. It was also 1983, when mortgage rates were still very high. A standard product (which I took) was an adjustable rate mortgage with a ceiling and a floor. The interest rate would vary, but only in a 3% range. Caps and collars were a well-established product back then. Why aren’t they more widely used? Well, yes, I know if the rubes will happily buy a dangerous, defective product, why suffer the small reduction in profit to save them from self destruction?

It Starts: The Cascading Financial Repercussions of the Texas Electricity Crisis Wolf Richter

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Independent probe accuses police and paramedics of wrongdoing in death of Elijah McClain NBC (furzy)

The Most Ambitious Effort Yet to Reform Policing May Be Happening In Ithaca, New York GQ

Our Famously Free Press

Postcard From Peru: Why the Morality Plays Inside The Times Won’t Stop New York Times (UserFriendly)

Guardian Columnist’s Firing Over Israel Joke Highlights Paper’s Rightward Drift FAIR (furzy)

Whistleblowers: Inflexible prison software says inmates due for release should be kept locked up behind bars The Register (Dr. Kevin)

Microsoft throws Google under the bus in European news fight arstechnica (Kevin W)

GameStop fiasco helps build momentum for a stock-trading tax — and Wall Street is furious CNN (furzy)

Andrew Yang Wants Dave Chappelle to Headline a Giant Post-COVID Party for NYC Vanity Fair

Class Warfare

New York Attorney General Backs Whistleblowers In Lawsuit Against Amazon Over Pandemic Workplace Conditions Kevin Gosztola (furzy)

FAIR Act is being revived in Washington, raising hopes for end to forced arbitration MarketWatch (UserFriendly)

Joe Manchin poses a threat to raising the minimum wage, even though 250,000 West Virginians would benefit from the increase Business Insider

America’s Future: Trillionaire Trust Fund Babies? CounterPunch (fk)

Antidote du jour. Jules:

One of my favorite places around here is the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, NY ( In season and when there is no covid, the center gives educational programs and allows people to view their ‘ambassador wolves’ that come close to the fence and watch them feed. The wolves are treated respectfully and not as show animals; the purpose of the center is to prevent extinction by raising and then releasing endangered wolves.

Currently they have several wolves that they are breeding to eventually be released into the wild in the US. They also have wolf cams so you can click on them any time to see what the wolves are doing. I just checked and got a rare closeup of this beautiful gray wolf (I know it looks red but it was in the area for gray wolves Rosa, Alleno and family, and the families do NOT mix).

Please consider donating to the Conservation Center and maybe even ‘adopting’ a wolf

And a bonus (Kevin W). When I looked, it was night and the eagle was sleeping with a wing over its head.

Another bonus (guurst) of a tiger cub, erm, vocalizing. Here he’s quite chatty, maybe because he’s bored and wants attention.

Backstory here. And another video of him with his mum and a sibling.

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