Blog Rolls

Our Final Warning: Six Degrees of Climate Emergency

New York Review of Books: “As we drive and heat and light and build, we put about 35 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere annually. At the moment oceans and forests soak up slightly more than half of that, but as we shall see, that grace is not to be depended on into the future, and in any event it means we still add about 18 billion tons annually to the air. That is by far the most important bottom line for the planet’s future. A survey of the damage done at one degree is impressive and unsettling, especially since in almost every case it exceeds what scientists would have predicted thirty years ago. (Scientists, it turns out, are by nature cautious.) Lynas offers a planetary tour of the current carnage, ranging from Greenland (where melt rates are already at the level once predicted for 2070); to the world’s forests (across the planet, fire season has increased in duration by a fifth); to urban areas in Asia and the Middle East, which in the last few summers have seen the highest reliably recorded temperatures on Earth, approaching 54 degrees Celsius, or 130 degrees Fahrenheit. It is a one-degree world that has seen a girdle of bleached coral across the tropics—a 90 percent collapse in reproductive success along the Great Barrier Reef, the planet’s largest living structure—and the appalling scenes from Australia in December, as thousands of people waded into the ocean at resort towns to escape the firestorms barreling down from the hills…”

Categories: Law and Legal

A State-by-State Look at Coronavirus in Prisons

“Since March, The Marshall Project has been tracking how many people are being sickened and killed by COVID-19 in prisons and how widely it has spread across the country and within each state. Here, we will regularly update these figures counting the number of people infected and killed nationwide and in each prison system until the crisis abates. This reporting was undertaken in partnership with The Associated Press…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Tips to Mitigate Threats to Our Votes and Voter Registrations Before November

Jennifer Cohn – Medium: 20 actionable tips for voting in0-person, by mail, down ballot voting, voting machine errors, voter protection hotline, volunteering to be a poll watcher, ballot auditing and transparency Be prepared with as many resources as are available to you to help ensure that your vote, and the votes of every member of your family, community, county, state – is counted.

See alsoMaryland State Board of Elections – Vote Centers & Ballot Drop Off Locations – 2020 Presidential Primary Election. Note – Please check your state board of elections site to find drop off locations in your state. See also https://www.vote.org/

Categories: Law and Legal

At Virtual Summit, World Leaders Pledge $298 Million In Aid To Lebanon

World leaders, including President Trump, attended a virtual donor summit Sunday for recovery efforts after last week's blast. The event was co-hosted by the U.N. and French President Emmanuel Macron.

(Image credit: Christophe Simon/AP)

Categories: Just News

Face Shields Versus Masks for Protection From COVID-19

Categories: Law and Legal

A National Lockdown Could Be The Economy's Best Hope, Says Minneapolis Fed President

Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, is calling for a six-week lockdown to save lives and the economy.

(Image credit: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Democrats Slam Trump's Executive Actions, Critiquing Both Substance And Legality

One expert told NPR that the unemployment measure is particularly controversial because it is "using appropriated funds by Congress in ways that Congress might not have intended."

(Image credit: Jim Watson /AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

How Did I Catch the Coronavirus?

The New Yorker – “For the majority of the nearly five million COVID-19 cases across the United States, the point of infection is unknown. “We don’t know how their exposure occurred or what kind of environment they were in when it happened,” Crystal Watson, an expert on contact tracing at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told me. When an outbreak is under control, this would not be the case. Test-and-trace teams would track the percentage of cases that can be linked to another person—or, more specifically, the percentage of cases that were already on the health agency’s radar, as potentially exposed contacts. “If your contact-tracing program is doing well, the number is going to be high,” Emily Gurley, an epidemiologist who teaches a popular online course on contact tracing, told me. With cases surging across the U.S., that number isn’t high in any of the existing state and city contact-tracing teams. “One type of data that we’re not doing a good job collecting and making public,” Watson said, “is the contribution of different modes of transmission to virus spread.”…

Categories: Law and Legal

VoteByMail simplifies the state absentee-ballot signup process

“COVID-19 has catalyzed interest in absentee voting. VoteByMail.io streamlines government absentee-ballot applications by digitizing the voter’s signup process. VoteByMail is a Civex Inc project. We are a non-partisan Organization that empowers voters, letting them decide when, how and where they vote.”

Categories: Law and Legal

The Coronavirus Is Never Going Away

The Atlantic – No matter what happens now, the virus will continue to circulate around the world. “The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has sickened more than 16.5 million people across six continents. It is raging in countries that never contained the virus. It is resurging in many of the ones that did. If there was ever a time when this coronavirus could be contained, it has probably passed. One outcome is now looking almost certain: This virus is never going away. The coronavirus is simply too widespread and too transmissible. The most likely scenario, experts say, is that the pandemic ends at some point—because enough people have been either infected or vaccinated—but the virus continues to circulate in lower levels around the globe. Cases will wax and wane over time. Outbreaks will pop up here and there. Even when a much-anticipated vaccine arrives, it is likely to only suppress but never completely eradicate the virus. (For context, consider that vaccines exist for more than a dozen human viruses but only one, smallpox, has ever been eradicated from the planet, and that took 15 years of immense global coordination.) We will probably be living with this virus for the rest of our lives…”

Categories: Law and Legal

YouTube Audio

“Enjoy royalty-free Sound Effects from the YouTube Audio Library. The YouTube Audio Library is a collection of music tracks that are freely available for YouTube creators to download and feature as background music in their videos. These high-quality 320kbps tracks are available royalty-free. Using them will not result in a claim on your video.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Unmasking Misinformation

Chris Coward, EDxSnoIsleLibraries: “To make sense of the information streaming to and at us through media and social-media, we need to be able to detect and identify misinformation, misleading information, and disinformation. This talk shares key tools and practices we can learn that can help us navigate what can seem like a minefield of misinformation, so we can better sift valuable information from what could be harmful. Chris Coward studies information at the University of Washington Information School. As director of the UW’s Technology & Social Change Group and co-founder of the Center for an Informed Public, Chris focuses on issues of access, digital inclusion, digital literacy, civic engagement, and most recently, misinformation. Fake news, disinformation, misinformation, hype, rumor and distortion can create mine field and labyrinths. He shares clues on how to strengthen constructive interactions and free yourself from the escape room of popular misinformation. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

Categories: Law and Legal

Researchers created a test to determine which masks are the least effective

CNN – “…a group of researchers at Duke University created a simple technique to analyze the effectiveness of various types of masks which have become a critical component in stopping the spread of the virus. The quest began when a professor at Duke’s School of Medicine was assisting a local group buy masks in bulk to distribute to community members in need. The professor wanted to make sure the group purchased masks that were actually effective. In the study published Friday, researchers with Duke’s physics department demonstrated the use of a simple method that uses a laser beam and cell phone to evaluate the efficiency of masks by studying the transmission of respiratory droplets during regular speech…Researchers tested 14 commonly available masks including a professionally fitted N95 mask, usually reserved for health care workers. First the test was performed with a speaker talking without wearing a mask. Then they did it again while a speaker was wearing a mask. Each mask was tested 10 times. The most effective mask was the fitted N95. Three-layer surgical masks and cotton masks, which many people have been making at home, also performed well…”

Categories: Law and Legal

U.S. Hits 5 Million Coronavirus Cases As Debate Lingers Over The Path Forward

The U.S. continues to lead the world in both cases and deaths, as states across the Midwest and South battle a surge in new cases.

(Image credit: Wilfredo Lee/AP)

Categories: Just News

15 Best Bluetooth Speakers (2020): Ultimate Ears, JBL, Sonos

Wired Top Stories - Sun, 08/09/2020 - 09:00
WIRED Tested. These are our favorite portable Bluetooth speakers of all shapes and sizes, from waterproof clip-ons to a massive boombox.
Categories: Just News

A British AI Tool to Predict Violent Crime Is Too Flawed to Use

Wired Top Stories - Sun, 08/09/2020 - 09:00
A government-funded system known as Most Serious Violence was built to predict first offenses but turned out to be wildly inaccurate.
Categories: Just News

Roads Become Rivers: Nearly 4 Million Chinese Evacuated Or Displaced From Flooding

With at least 158 dead and thousands of homes collapsed after heavy rains, experts say it's time for China to rethink its water management.

(Image credit: Tang Yang/Xinhua via AP)

Categories: Just News

How to Stay Cool Without Air Conditioning & Prevent Heat Exhaustion

Wired Top Stories - Sun, 08/09/2020 - 08:00
If you don't have AC at home, or are stuck in the heat outdoors, we have tips and gear for you.
Categories: Just News

What If the Big Bang Was Actually a Big Bounce?

Wired Top Stories - Sun, 08/09/2020 - 08:00
New computer simulations model an alternate way of thinking about the cosmos: as a cyclic universe that has no beginning or end.
Categories: Just News

An Atomic Bomb Survivor On Her Journey From Revenge To Peace

It's been 75 years since the U.S. dropped two atomic bombs on Japan. NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro speaks to Koko Kondo, who was an infant when one of those bombs was dropped on Hiroshima.

(Image credit: Eugene Hoshiko/AP)

Categories: Just News

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