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You can see all 5 naked-eye planets align in the night sky this month, a rare treat Space.com. Starts tonight!
The world’s largest plant is a 112-mile-long seagrass in Australia Interesting Engineerintg. Original.
Confronting a Perfect Long Storm International Monetary Fund. “We must embark on public-private collaboration on a scale never before adopted. Public sector finances will not be able to meet these needs on their own. As it is, debt-servicing costs will take an increasing share of government revenues.”
Davos ignores the pandemic Felix Salmon, Axios. From last week, still germane.
Seen from space, the snow-capped Alps are going green Channel News Asia. Original.
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Early introduction and rise of the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant in highly vaccinated university populations (accepted manuscript) Journal of Infectious Diseases. From the Abstract: “The dynamics governing [Omicron’s] establishment and propensity towards fixation (reaching 100% frequency in the SARS-CoV-2 population) in communities remain unknown. In this work, we describe the dynamics of Omicron at three institutions of higher education (IHEs) in the greater Boston area…. We show that the establishment of Omicron at IHEs precedes that of the state and region, and that the time to fixation is shorter at IHEs (9.5-12.5 days) than in the state (14.8 days) or region. We show that the trajectory of Omicron fixation among university employees resembles that of students, with a 2-3 day delay….. We document the rapid takeover of the Omicron variant at IHEs, reaching near-fixation within the span of 9.5-12.5 days despite lower viral loads, on average, than the previously dominant Delta variant. These findings highlight the transmissibility of Omicron, its propensity to rapidly dominate small populations, and the ability of robust asymptomatic surveillance programs to offer early insights into the dynamics of pathogen arrival and spread.”
Multistate Outbreak of Infection with SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant after Event in Chicago, Illinois, USA, 2021 Emerging Infectious Diseases, CDC. The Abstract: “Bars and restaurants are high-risk settings for SARS-CoV-2 transmission. A multistate outbreak after a bar gathering in Chicago, Illinois, USA, highlights Omicron variant transmissibility, the value of local genomic surveillance and interstate coordination, vaccination value, and the potential for rapid transmission of a novel variant across multiple states after 1 event.”
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Association Between COVID-19 Booster Vaccination and Omicron Infection in a Highly Vaccinated Cohort of Players and Staff in the National Basketball Association (research letter) JAMA. From the Discussion: “This study found that in a young, healthy, highly vaccinated cohort frequently monitored for SARS-CoV-2, booster vaccination was associated with a significant reduction in incident infections during the Omicron wave. Study limitations include generalizability to older populations and the possibility that some infections may have been undetected in the absence of daily surveillance testing.”
Monkeypox is a new global threat. African scientists know what the world is up against Science. Presumably we’ve learned our lesson, and we’ll move to “Let ‘er rip” immediately?
Zeroing out on zero-COVID Science. “There is no such thing as ‘zero-COVID.’ As the Omicron variant spreads to China’s capital city, Beijing, the question is not if, but when and how, China will begin to ‘live with COVID-19’ rather than continue to impose endless lockdowns. The problem is that under China’s stifling political climate, this notion cannot be uttered, let alone debated.” “Stifling political climate,” eh? Apparently, even the editors of Science are not immune to projection. From a Beijing resident and observer:
massive economic cost and widespread discontent.
But how long will this hiatus last? Will mass daily testing in all big cities be able to nip outbreaks in the bud? Can they really manage to make this work? Only time will tell. End/
— Gabriel Corsetti (@GabrielCorsetti) June 2, 2022
I mean, it’s not as if the lives of a million Chinese elders are at stake. Oh, wait….
Beijing and Shanghai ease COVID restrictions as outbreaks fade Los Angeles Times
Upgraded trade talks with EU on semiconductors signal an advance in Taiwan’s standing South China Morning Post
The mystery of Scott Morrison The Monthly
Non-inclusive ceasefires do not bring peace: findings from Myanmar Small Wars & Insurgencies. Leaving open the question of why the International Crisis Group is promoting one.
Mekong River in jeopardy: Sand-pumping operations ravage ecosystem France24 (Furzy Mouse).
BDS victory: General Mills says it will divest from Israel Mondoweiss (Re Silc).
New Not-So-Cold Cold War
Ukrainian Parliament Fires Ombudswoman Denisova Citing Lax Efforts In Response To Russian Invasion Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
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West must brace for ‘long haul’ in Ukraine: NATO chief France24. Well, now that we’ve safeguarded the Atlanticists’ rice bowl, maybe we can pivot to Asia?
2022.06.03 Those Lying Americans, lol (video) Gonzalo Lira. Many interesting speculations.
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OSHA requires JBS to implement disease preparedness measures at seven plants Investigate Midwest
Drug shortages: FDA to require risk management plans Benefits Pro
Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Reliability and Effects on Drug Shortages Computers & Industrial Engineering. “With a lean supply chain configuration, we observe that expected shortages at status quo conditions are 10%…. The most influential single change would be to add a back-up supplier to a lean configuration, leading to expected shortages of 4%.”
CFTC sues Gemini Trust over statements ahead of bitcoin futures launch FT. “Crypto winter.” Why not a “crypto Ice Age”?
Black Injustice Tipping Point
‘Was Emancipation Constitutional?’: An Exchange NYRB. Polemics!
Imperial Collapse Watch
Bound to Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Liberal International Order (PDF)) John Mearshimer. From 2019, still worth a read.
The Conglomerate Problem Matt Stoller, BIG
Meet A Corrupt Company Town Boondoggle. Anaheim.
Antidote du jour (via):
Bonus antidote, or maybe an anti-antidote. A thread on seagulls:
Arrived at our Airbnb. Woman who owns it pointed out the usual – keys here, wifi password – then said ‘and I must tell you about… The seagull’
Turns out one is nesting outside our bedroom and we mustn’t look at it because otherwise it gets agitated and will attack the windows
— Ian Ford (@ij_ford) June 1, 2022
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.