Shared posts

09 Jul 20:53

How many house plants do you need to clean the air in a small flat?


seal all air and see.....

There are lots of claims that house plants filter the air, but it turns out you need an awful lot of them to beat just opening the window, finds James Wong
30 Jun 22:09

There’s not one reason California’s covid-19 cases are soaring—there are many

by James Temple

them prisons can sell anitibody-plasma for $$

It’s troubling, though not surprising, to see covid-19 cases spiking across the American South and Southwest, where public officials delayed lockdowns, rushed to reopen businesses, or refused to require people to wear masks.

But what’s the matter with California? The nation’s most populous state was the first to enact statewide shelter-in-place rules, took decisive steps to build up the recommended testing and case tracing capacity, and has hammered the public health message on social distancing and masks.

Yet new cases are rising sharply in pockets throughout the sprawling state, even as they’re flat or falling across much of the East Coast. Positive tests over the last seven-day period have risen 45%, regularly topping 5,000 a day, Governor Gavin Newsom said during a press conference on Monday. Hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions are both up around 40% over the past few weeks as well, threatening to overwhelm health-care systems.

In turn, Newsom has pressed Imperial County—the southernmost part of the state, where skyrocketing case loads have forced officials to move hundreds of patients to hospitals in neighboring areas—to fully reinstate stay-at-home orders. He’s also recommended or required that more than a dozen counties shut down their bars or keep them closed, including Los Angeles and Santa Clara, the home of Silicon Valley. Meanwhile, San Francisco’s mayor halted the city’s reopening plan on Friday.

So what’s driving the outbreaks in a state that supposedly did things right? Why weren’t its ambitious testing and contact tracing programs adequate to prevent the recent surge in cases?

“It’s not one thing, but four or five,” says George Rutherford, an epidemiologist at University of California, San Francisco, who is leading the university’s training program for the state’s contact tracing task force. “The state is so big—the population of California is larger than Canada—and there’s a lot of different things going on in different places.”

Health officials believe the state’s efforts to boost testing and rapidly track down infections is helping. California’s number of cases per capita—567 per 100,000—is well below the rates for states like Alabama, Arizona, or Florida. And Rutherford says about 85% of the people known to have interacted with positive patients are returning calls or answering questions from the state’s contact tracers, who are tasked with tracking down possible infections and encouraging people to quarantine or isolate themselves.

But clearly not enough people are strictly following these recommendations, and others, from public health officials—sometimes due to carelessness, and sometimes because of financial strains and other constraints.

Here are some of the main drivers at work:

Ethnic disparities

Throughout the state, Latinos make up by far the largest share of cases (56%) and deaths (42%), according to data from the California Department of Public Health. While Latinos make up 39% of the population, whites are a close second at 37% but represent only 17% of covid-19 cases.

These infections appear to be concentrated within low-income communities, where people are often essential workers who can’t do their jobs from home, can’t afford to call in sick and may live in crowded housing conditions, according to information from contact tracing programs as well as other research and reporting. Language, immigration status and financial issues can complicate efforts to successfully reach infected patients or their close contacts in these communities, and convince them to isolate themselves for extended periods.

Early results from a covid-19 screening project in San Francisco’s heavily Hispanic Mission neighborhood found that 95% of those who tested positive were “Hispanic or Latinx” (the difference is explained here). And 90% of infected patients said they couldn’t work from home.

People are becoming cavalier

Another major factor is that people are ignoring safety practices, according to a state breakdown of counties experiencing rising cases. As regions relax stay-at-home rules, families, friends, and strangers are increasingly gathering in homes, bars, restaurants, and other venues. Too often, they’re not wearing masks or staying far enough away from each other, said Mark Ghaly, secretary of California’s Health and Human Services Agency, during the Monday press conference.

Los Angeles County has become the nation’s largest epicenter of the disease, with nearly 98,000 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracking map.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced on Sunday that it would heed Newsom’s directive to shut down bars, noting that the region’s sharp increase in cases and hospitalizations directly coincides with the reopening of businesses a few weeks earlier. Those include breweries, pubs, wineries, and other venues “where people remove their face covering to drink while they may be socializing with people not in their households,” the statement read.

“I implore that our residents and businesses follow the public health directives that will keep us healthy, safe, and on the pathway to recovery,” said Barbara Ferrer, the county’s director of public health. “Otherwise, we are quickly moving toward overwhelming our health-care system and seeing even more devastating illness and death.”

Explosions in prison cases

More than 2,500 state and federal prison inmates throughout California are infected with the coronavirus. More than 1,000 prisoners and staff members tested positive in San Quentin State Prison alone during the last few weeks, in an outbreak linked to the transfer of inmates from the California Institution for Men in Chino, where there are more than 500 active cases.

The spillover of patients into local hospitals has forced Marin County, where San Quentin is based, to pause its plans to reopen gyms, hotels, and other businesses.

An influx of cases from elsewhere

A variety of other factors are driving higher case counts, including increasingly widespread testing across the state (which totaled nearly 106,000 on Sunday), continuing outbreaks in nursing homes in several counties, and patients from outside California crowding into counties with better testing and treatment.

Part of what’s driving the soaring case loads in Imperial County is the influx of positive patients from Mexico. State officials say they’re primarily US citizens, hundreds of thousands of whom live in neighboring Baja, crossing back in search of superior health care.

The county has by far the state’s highest case numbers on a per capita basis, 3,414 per 100,000, as well as a positivity rate for tests that’s more than four times the state average.

The different drivers demand different interventions, health experts say. Officials need to make extra efforts to communicate with low-income Latino patients and provide money, food, housing, or other services to help them isolate while they’re infectious. (San Francisco has some programs like this in place, but clearly more are needed throughout the state.) Prison systems need to keep infected inmates isolated, and ensure that they’re no longer spreading the disease across facilities. And nursing homes should test patients and workers more often, and step in more rapidly at the earliest signs of an outbreak.

But pretty much all of this has been known from the start. Californians need to recognize that the dangers haven’t passed, even as regions relax certain rules. Everyone still has to maintain their distance from others, vigorously wash their hands, and abide by the one public health decree that may help the most.

“Wear masks,” UCSF’s Rutherford says.

30 Jun 05:10

Five Word Jargon

My other (much harder) hobby is trying to engineer situations where I have an excuse to use more than one of them in short succession.
25 Jun 14:31

What is an immunity passport and could it work?

by Charlotte Edmond

no one trusts this info. I don't. Why isn't anyone talking about separating kids and old people temporarily? It could be done at separate hotels, or opening kid events like swimming pools.

Weeks into lockdown and with economic indicators signalling a deep global recession, governments around the world are searching for ways to get their countries back up and running.

But emerging from a cocooned state could risk a second spike of coronavirus infections as people start mixing once more. Among the measures being considered by governments including Chile, Germany, Italy, Britain and the US are immunity passports – a form of documentation given to those who have recovered from COVID-19.

In Chile, which looks set to become the first country to put such a scheme into action, the so-called "release certificate" would free holders from all types of quarantine or restriction, Chilean Health Minister Jaime Mañalich said in April.

Coronavirus lives saved in Europe

Premature release?

But the idea has proved contentious, with the World Health Organization (WHO) among those voicing criticism. The root of the concern for many is the unknown degree to which past infection confers future immunity. Until it is understood whether or not people can be reinfected with the disease, and how long any immunity lasts for, the move may be premature.

In Chile's case, the certificate will expire three months after a confirmed infected person has recovered. After this point, they will be considered to have the same risk of infection as anyone else. The government hopes the certificates will encourage diagnosed individuals to report results to the health ministry.

The WHO also raises questions about the validity of results from some of the tests on the market, which it says are not sufficiently sensitive or accurate.

False positives could lead people to think that they are safe from future infection, despite never having had the disease. False negatives would also mean infected people might fail to self-isolate. Advice from the WHO is that immunity certificates may in fact risk continued transmission of the virus, and lead to people ignoring public health advice.

How far are we away from herd immunity.

This could be a particular cause for concern given a number of recent studies have demonstrated that a comparatively small population has been infected so far, leaving the vast majority still vulnerable. Many countries are also bowing under the weight of the amount of testing required.

Placing a value on recovery

Some experts think enforcing two-tier restrictions on who can and cannot socialize or go to work also raises legal and practical concerns, and that it could have the adverse effect of incentivizing people to seek out infection to avoid being excluded.

And as such existing inequalities could worsen. Not least the economic divide, potentially exaggerated by some being excluded from work when others aren't.

"By replicating existing inequities, use of immunity passports would exacerbate the harm inflicted by COVID-19 on already vulnerable populations," Alexandra Phelan, a member of the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University, writes in The Lancet. Because of this, she says, they would be ripe for corruption.

Phelan also says immunity passports could risk providing some governments with an "apparent quick fix" that could result in them failing to adopt economic policies to protect health and welfare.

Alongside advances in vaccines and creating the infrastructure to deliver them, investment in testing and tracing is seen by many as key to limiting further spread of the virus. The International Labour Organization is among the bodies that say this could play an effective role in getting people back to work.

Reprinted with permission of the World Economic Forum. Read the original article.

25 Jun 04:29

Steep NYC traffic toll would reduce gridlock, pollution


a duh

(Cornell University) Cornell University and the City College of New York research shows that by creating steep tolls for cars to enter Manhattan, traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced.
24 Jun 13:54


by Jovimc

this was written by a guest student writer on my charity website

ROAD RAGE is aggressive or rash behavior shown by motorists through means of verbal abuse, gestures, threats, etc. These means are ways of releasing frustration.

If we or anyone we know have a problem with road rage, several steps can be taken such as:

-Calm and relaxing music can help avoid anger, by keeping you stress free.

-Leaving earlier to reach destinations:

Often one of the major triggers of road rage is the thought of being late for an event. The frustration builds up and causes the rage. Leaving earlier can help you remain calm, as the signals and waits won’t annoy you.

-Drinking alcohol can impair your driving and contribute to the frustration you show on the road

-Take rest, Get enough sleep: The lack of sleep often drives people insane.

-Be aware of the way you drive.

Sometimes people aren’t aware that they themselves are making the mistakes and often indulge in the blame game. Be aware of the rules as follow them accordingly.

-Put pictures of people you love on the dashboard. This way you remember you have to come home safe and sound. This will help you relax and remain stress free.

-Think about the end result. Your actions can have several consequences; remember the problematic consequences as a result of your anger. Think twice. This way you can ensure to not get into trouble.

Following the above steps can ensure a reduction in your rage while driving, and thus be safe.

The post MEASURES TO TAKE WHEN YOU ARE PRONE TO ROAD RAGE appeared first on The only road rage fixer site..

23 Jun 19:08

Amazon creates a $2 billion climate fund, as it struggles to cut its own emissions

by James Temple

good for them! Seriously. They create tons of needless waste. I have renamed my recycling bin as a "packaging-bin"

Amazon launched a $2 billion venture fund to invest in companies developing ways to cut greenhouse-gas emissions, marking the latest corporate effort to allocate major resources to combating climate change.

Investment areas: In a press release, Amazon said the new fund would focus on startups that could help it and other businesses achieve “net zero” emissions by 2040. It will invest across a wide array of industries, including transportation, energy generation, energy storage, manufacturing, materials, and agriculture.

What’s behind the move? The Seattle retail giant has come under growing pressure from the public and its own employees to shrink its environmental footprint as the dangers of global warming grow. Hundreds of workers walked out of the company’s offices last September to join the global climate strike ahead of the UN Climate Summit that month, part of an effort to push Amazon to take more aggressive steps.

Earlier Amazon efforts: Several days later, Amazon committed to achieve “net zero” emissions by 2040, which means it would need to offset any remaining emissions from its operations through investments in carbon removal projects, such as forest restoration or carbon capture machines. In February, chief executive Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, announced he would donate $10 billion of his personal fortune to scientists, activists, and NGOs working to address climate change.

Other corporate initiatives: Amazon is following in the footsteps of another Seattle-area tech behemoth. Earlier this year, Microsoft announced it would spend $1 billion on “carbon reduction, capture, and removal technologies,” as part of an effort to offset the software company’s emissions across its entire history. And back in 2016, cofounder Bill Gates established Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a $1 billion fund dedicated to backing green energy startups.

Bottom line: More money for clean technology is always welcome news. But Amazon still has plenty of work to do on reducing its own emissions, which rose 15% last year to more than 50 million metric tons. And relying on carbon removal projects to offset corporate emissions creates serious challenges, given uncertainties about the permanence and effectiveness of various offset practices like planting trees.

Critics will also note that Amazon—which posted nearly $12 billion in profit last year and has nearly $30 billion in cash on hand—could easily afford to invest far more than $2 billion on these problems. And they will be right.

23 Jun 19:04

Why New Zealand decided to go for full elimination of the coronavirus


soo, they will all get it last....

Michael Baker, the doctor who devised New Zealand’s aggressive coronavirus response, explains what inspired his successful strategy.
23 Jun 19:03

Minority scientists still face many forms of institutional racism


so? We all have troubles. Move to France.

People from minority backgrounds are underrepresented in science, and face funding disparities and outright racism. Tying funding to institutions being more inclusive could help
22 Jun 05:08

Freedom fighting, writing, and microdosing LSD

by Michael Chabon

just jog or swim...

Add event to calendar

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Step inside the minds of two of the most exciting and dynamic writers of our times. In this special Big Think Live session, psychologist, New York Times best-selling author, and poker pro Maria Konnikova will lead a conversation with married writers Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon. Waldman and Chabon will discuss how they coach one another to new strengths, 100 years of landmark ACLU cases (the subject of their latest book project), Ayelet's experiences with LSD microdosing therapy, plus anything you'd like to know—just ask your questions during the audience Q&A!

Join at 1pm ET on Thursday June 18! Streaming via YouTube and Facebook, and via Big Think Edge (for subscribers only).


Ayelet Waldman is the author of A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life, the novels Love and Treasure, Red Hook Road, Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, and Daughter's Keeper, as well as of the essay collection Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace and the Mommy-Track Mystery series. She is the editor of Inside This Place, Not of It: Narratives from Women's Prisons, Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation, and recently of Fight of the Century: Writers Reflect on 100 Years of Landmark ACLU Cases. Waldman was a federal public defender and an adjunct professor at the UC Berkeley Law where she developed and taught a course on the legal implications of the war on drugs.

Michael Chabon is a Pulitzer-winning writer whose career has made for unforgettable and original works in not only literature, but also in stage, film, television, graphic novels, young adult and children's publishing, and musical lyrics. Most recently, Chabon and his wife, Ayelet Waldman, edited an anthology in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the American Civil Liberties Union titled Fight of the Century: Writers Reflect on 100 Years of Landmark ACLU Cases. In 2019, Chabon co-wrote (with Ayelet Waldman and Susannah Grant) Unbelievable, a critically lauded limited series on Netflix. Chabon also scripted Star Trek Discovery: Calypso, and is executive producer, writer, and showrunner for the Star Trek series titled Star Trek: Picard starring Patrick Stewart. Chabon and Waldman are currently adapting his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay for a limited series on Showtime.

Maria Konnikova is the author of two New York Times bestsellers: The Confidence Game, winner of the 2016 Robert P. Balles Prize in Critical Thinking, and Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes, an Anthony and Agatha Award finalist. Her new book, The Biggest Bluff, will be out from Penguin Press on June 23, 2020. While researching The Biggest Bluff, Konnikova became an international poker champion and the winner of over $300,000 in tournament earnings—and inadvertently turned into a professional poker player. She is a regular contributing writer for The New Yorker, and her writing has been featured in Best American Science and Nature Writing and has been translated into over twenty languages. Maria also hosts the podcast The Grift from Panoply Media, a show that explores con artists and the lives they ruin, and is currently a visiting fellow at NYU's School of Journalism. She graduated from Harvard University and received her PhD in psychology from Columbia University.

19 Jun 15:01

NIFTY: ‘Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over’ shortcut makes it easy to record police. Police …

by Stephen Green

guys like me dream up apps like that all day long. Camera will never point right. How about this. Have an Uber-esque type light in your back window that tells the world you are being stopped. It will create other videoographers for you...

NIFTY: ‘Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over’ shortcut makes it easy to record police.

Police body cams are great. Having your own copy is even better.

19 Jun 14:45

Elon Musk DENIES having a threesome affair with Amber Heard and Cara Delevingne


thats why i wouldn't fly in his rockets. Too cavalier. Nice guy, but not cardiac-doctor type trustworthy...

Elon Musk has denied having a threesome affair with Amber Heard and Cara Delevingne. 'Cara and I are friends, but we've never been intimate. She would confirm this,' the Tesla CEO, 48, said.
19 Jun 14:33

Two-thirds of Americans support banning police chokeholds


i have changed my mind on this. It is nearly impossible to subdue a person. They perhaps should just shoot them with ink-dye as they flee and offer a reward.

A new poll has found that most Americans support banning police use of chokeholds, while a majority are opposed to renaming military bases that are named for Confederate generals.
17 Jun 05:33

CMU method makes more data available for training self-driving cars


click bait

(Carnegie Mellon University) For safety's sake, a self-driving car must accurately track the movement of pedestrians, bicycles and other vehicles around it. Training those tracking systems may now be more effective thanks to a new method developed at Carnegie Mellon University. Generally speaking, the more road and traffic data available for training tracking systems, the better the results, and the CMU researchers have found a way to unlock a mountain of data.
17 Jun 05:32

Amazon installing cameras in some warehouses to ensure social distancing among workers


amazon like equal opportunity to prevent unionizing. This is probably just to prevent theft. They should unionize.

Amazon is seeking to use artificial intelligence cameras to monitor whether warehouse employees are complying with social distancing guidelines to stand 6 feet apart during shifts.
17 Jun 03:57

Jim Carrey Floats Conspiracy Theory That Trump May Defect To Russia

by Joseph Curl

Jim Carrey may be a few fries short of a Happy Meal.

Now the former funnyman, who mostly dropped out of acting to become a painter and fulltime political commentator on Twitter, has a new theory about President Trump.

“Be wary of diplomatic missions to Moscow prior to the Nov elections,” Carrey wrote Monday on Twitter, posting a painting of Russian President Vladimir Putin holding a tiny Air Force One in his hands. “Given the list of possible indictments he faces, Traitor Trump may be the first American President to defect.”

That’s right, Carrey is saying that if Trump takes a trip to Russia, he might just stay there. Yup, Carrey might just be the “Dumber” guy from his famed movie, “Dumb and Dumber.” The actor, 58, is suggesting that Trump could well be indicted after the November election, especially if he loses to Democrat Joe Biden in the presidential election.

Like many other celebrities who claimed they’d be leaving the U.S. if Trump got elected — and then didn’t — Carrey, too, has gone back on his word. In January, he publicly declared that he would not be sharing his political paintings anymore.

“To me, that was like a time, and it’s been a time, where I just wanted to be the lighthouse that was saying, ‘Hey, stay off the rocks, you’re headed for the rocks,'” he told Yahoo Entertainment in January. “We’re still headed for the rocks, but I’ve decided, ‘You understand my message, I don’t need to be steeped in it anymore.’ I think after a while … you get stuck in that kind of stuff.”

Carrey has been getting weirder and weirder over the years. He believes the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine causes autism, and he’s into a whole new-age Zen thing (“There is no me. There is just things happening.”). He’s vehemently against guns — even though he’s starred in several movies with lots of gun violence — and has repeatedly blasted the National Rifle Association.

Meanwhile, his political leanings have become increasingly overt. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in August 2018, Carrey explained that his political cartoons were his response to “the uncomfortable things that I see in this world.” While he said that he had generally tried to stay out of political activism in the past, he was looking into ways he could get more involved, at least on the local level.

“I try to avoid Hillary’s fundraising parties up in the hills around me,” he said. “Every once in a while, I’d hear one of them. She pretty much covered the clock. It was like, ‘Oh, Hillary’s over there now? Yeah, standing by the pool, making the pitch?’ That kind of world doesn’t appeal to me.”

“But I’m gonna be supporting the local guys here and making sure that [House Majority Leader] Kevin McCarthy doesn’t get back in,” he added. “I’d like to get [Congressman] Devin Nunes out of there forever. Trey Gowdy and Jim Jordan? I mean, what a f***ing collection of ne’er-do-wells, man. It’s just the worst of us encouraging the worst in us.”

As for his frequent lampooning of Trump, Carrey described it as his attempt to warn people on the Trump “train” about his rapidly approaching destruction at the hands of Robert Mueller, who ultimately let Carrey down.

“When it’s all said and done and the Feds finally close in and he hands over the keys to Trump Tower and Mar-a-Lago and whatever else he has, there’s going to be a celebration in this country such as has never been seen before,” Carrey predicted. “I guarantee it.”

The Daily Wire, headed by bestselling author and popular podcast host Ben Shapiro, is a leading provider of conservative news, cutting through the mainstream media’s rhetoric to provide readers the most important, relevant, and engaging stories of the day. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.

17 Jun 03:57

LETTER: Boy Scouts Introduce Black Lives Matter Inspired ‘Diversity And Inclusion’ Badge, Will Be Required To Become Eagle Scout

by Amanda Prestigiacomo

scouts is dissapointing at best these days. My 14 yr old has been in scouts for 2 years and he isnt tenderfoot yet. Troop 56 is Collierville TN is total bullshit....

In a letter posted Monday, the National Executive Committee for the Boy Scouts of America announced a new badge related to “diversity and inclusion” in conjunction with the far-left, anti-cop Black Lives Matter movement.

The new badge will be a prerequisite to becoming an Eagle Scout, according to the committee.

Though Black Lives Matter is clearly political, calling for the national defunding of police departments and the disruption of the nuclear family, the Scouts claim the move is apolitical and about mere anti-racism.

“We condemn the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and all those who are not named but are equally important,” the letter to scout families reads. “We hear the anguish, feel the heartbreak, and join the country’s resolve to do better.”

“The Boy Scouts of America stands with Black families and the Black community because we believe that Black Lives Matter,” the executive committee emphasized. “This is not a political issue; it is a human rights issue and one we all have a duty to address.”

“That is why, as an organization, we commit to [i]ntroducing a specific diversity and inclusion merit badge that will be required for the rank of Eagle Scout,” the letter continues. “It will build on components within existing merit badges, including the American Cultures and Citizenship in the Community merit badges, which require Scouts to learn about and engage with other groups and cultures to increase understanding and spur positive action.”

The Scouts will also be “[r]equiring diversity and inclusion training for all BSA employees starting July 1,” and “[c]onducting a review of property names, events, and insignia, in partnership with local councils, to build on and enhance the organization’s nearly 30-year ban on use of the Confederate flag and to ensure that symbols of oppression are not in use today or in the future.”

The organization noted that these moves are only their “next steps but certainly not our last.”

Read the full letter, below (via CBS 11 News):

Dear Scouting family,

As our country reckons with racial injustice, we all must consider our role and our failures and commit to meaningful action.

The twelve points of the Scout Law that define a Scout are all important, but at this moment, we are called on to be brave. Brave means taking action because it is the right thing to do and being an upstander even when it may prompt criticism from some. We realize we have not been as brave as we should have been because, as Scouts, we must always stand for what is right and take action when the situation demands it.

There is no place for racism – not in Scouting and not in our communities. Racism will not be tolerated.

We condemn the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and all those who are not named but are equally important. We hear the anguish, feel the heartbreak, and join the country’s resolve to do better.

The Boy Scouts of America stands with Black families and the Black community because we believe that Black Lives Matter. This is not a political issue; it is a human rights issue and one we all have a duty to address.

That is why, as an organization, we commit to:

Introducing a specific diversity and inclusion merit badge that will be required for the rank of Eagle Scout. It will build on components within existing merit badges, including the American Cultures and Citizenship in the Community merit badges, which require Scouts to learn about and engage with other groups and cultures to increase understanding and spur positive action.

Reviewing every element of our programs to ensure diversity and inclusion are engrained at every level for participants and volunteers by applying a standard that promotes racial equality and denounces racism, discrimination, inequality and injustice.

Requiring diversity and inclusion training for all BSA employees starting July 1 and taking immediate action toward introducing a version for volunteers in the coming months.

Conducting a review of property names, events and insignia, in partnership with local councils, to build on and enhance the organization’s nearly 30-year ban on use of the Confederate flag and to ensure that symbols of oppression are not in use today or in the future.

These are our next steps but certainly not our last.

We will also continue to listen more, learn more and do more to promote a culture in which every person feels that they belong, are respected, and are valued in Scouting, in their community, and across America.

As a movement, we are committed to working together with our employees, volunteers, youth members, and communities so we can all become a better version of ourselves and continue to prepare young people to become the leaders of character our communities and our country need to heal and grow.

Yours in Scouting,

The Boy Scouts of America, National Executive Committee

Dan Ownby – National Chair

Roger Mosby – President and CEO

Scott Sorrels – National Commissioner

Devang Desai

Jack Furst

Skip Oppenheimer

Nathan Rosenberg

Alison Schuler

Michael Sears

Thear Suzuki

Brad Tilden

Jim Turley

The Daily Wire, headed by bestselling author and popular podcast host Ben Shapiro, is a leading provider of conservative news, cutting through the mainstream media’s rhetoric to provide readers the most important, relevant, and engaging stories of the day. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.

17 Jun 03:52

Contact tracing without Big Brother

by Tate Ryan-Mosley

i got a better idea. All kids under 18 go to free summer camp, and get it and get over it. Then come home and not infect me (higher risk)

Contact tracing—notifying people who might have been exposed to disease—will be key to controlling the covid-19 pandemic until a vaccine is available, but the tactic raises obvious privacy concerns. Now a team led by MIT researchers and including experts from many institutions is developing a system called Private Automatic Contact Tracing (PACT) that augments the efforts of public health officials without compromising privacy. 

The system relies on short-range Bluetooth signals emitted by people’s smartphones. These signals represent random strings of numbers, likened to “chirps” that other nearby phones can remember hearing. Institute Professor Ron Rivest and Daniel Weitzner, a principal research scientist in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), are principal investigators on the project.

People who test positive for covid-19 can upload the list of chirps their phone has put out in the past 14 days to a database. Other people can then scan the database to see if any of those chirps match the ones picked up by their phones. If there’s a match, a notification will inform those who may have been exposed to the virus, giving them advice from public health authorities on next steps to take. But none of the chirps will be traceable to a specific person. “We’re not tracking location, not using GPS, not attaching your personal ID or phone number to any of these random numbers your phone is emitting,” Weitzner says.

This approach to contact tracing benefited from the early work of Safe Paths, a citizen-centric, open-source set of digital tools and platforms being developed in a cross-MIT effort led by Media Lab associate professor Ramesh Raskar with input from many other organizations and companies.  

The Safe Paths platform, currently in beta, comprises both a smartphone application, PrivateKit, and a web application, Safe Places. The PrivateKit app will enable users to match the personal diary of location data on their smartphone with the anonymized, redacted, and blurred location history of infected patients. The PACT Bluetooth protocol will also be available through Safe Paths. 

Maintaining privacy has been a guiding principle for the project. “User location and contact history should never leave a user’s phone without direct consent,” Raskar says. “We strongly believe that all users should be in control of their own data, and that we should never need to sacrifice consent for covid-19 safety.”  

16 Jun 16:40

#ShutDownSTEM strike was a start, but real action on racism is needed



After various scientific institutions pledged support during the strike against racism in science, many Black academics want to see real action
16 Jun 16:33


by Glenn Reynolds

Norway quit tracing. Not worth it.

15 Jun 19:37

How President Trump Just Won Re-Election


blacks would have to STOP rioting somehow to dent Trump. Good luck with that.

Leftists want the George Floyd riots to be Trump's Hurricane Katrina. This will backfire on them.
15 Jun 04:26

Major Police Reform Passes In Colorado; Headed To Governor To Sign

by Frank Camp

how can we trust laws passed in 30 days....

On Saturday, the Colorado state legislature passed a massive police reform package, which will go to Democratic Governor Jared Polis to sign.

The legislation, SB20-217 “Enhance Law Enforcement Integrity,” proposes several key reforms, according to the bill summary.

Beginning in mid-2023, “all local law enforcement agencies and the Colorado state patrol to issue body-worn cameras to their officers and requires all recordings of an incident be released to the public within 21 days after the local law enforcement agency or Colorado state patrol receives a complaint of misconduct,” states the summary.

Exceptions to body-cam usage include undercover work, as well as “to avoid recording personal information that is not case related,” among others. Additionally, there will be penalties for “failing to activate” a body-cam.

In protest situations, officers cannot shoot “kinetic impact projectiles” at a civilian’s “head, pelvis, or back,” or send them “indiscriminately into a crowd.” Additionally, they cannot employ chemical irritants unless a warning has been made clear and time has been provided for the protesters to leave.

The bill “allows a person who has a constitutional right secured by the bill of rights of the Colorado constitution that is infringed upon by a peace officer to bring a civil action for the violation.” The summary notes that “qualified immunity is not a defense to the civil action.”

If an “officer is convicted of or pleads guilty or nolo contendere to a crime involving the unlawful use or threatened use of physical force, the P.O.S.T. board shall permanently revoke the peace officer’s certification.” The P.O.S.T. (Peace Officer Standards and Training) board cannot reverse the decertification unless the officer is “exonerated by a court.”

Chokeholds will be prohibited. Officers will also need a “legal basis for making a contact,” and the rules surrounding the “use of deadly force” will be altered, according to the summary.

Perhaps the most inventive part of the legislation “requires a peace officer to intervene when another officer is using unlawful physical force and requires the intervening officer to file a report regarding the incident.”

A punishment for failing to intervene when necessary is a decertification from P.O.S.T.

In a series of tweets on Saturday, Governor Polis said of the passage of the bill:

I commend the sponsors and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for their efforts to pass this landmark reform bill. This is about a pattern of injustice and unfair treatment that Black Americans and communities of color have endured, not only in our criminal justice system but also in aspects of every day life.

Coloradans should be proud our state is leading the way to make policing more accountable, restore trust in law enforcement, uphold an individual’s civil liberties, and lay the groundwork for future discussions of criminal and juvenile justice reform.

“I am honored to be here at this moment of time, alongside so many passionate Coloradans on the journey towards a more equal, more just, and more peaceful society as I sign SB20-217 when it reaches my desk,” Polis concluded.

The issue of police reform has gained traction across the country in the aftermath of the killing of 46-year-old African American man George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer used his knee to pin Floyd’s neck to the ground for nearly nine minutes.

Following Floyd’s killing, protests broke out in major American cities, including Los Angeles, New York, and Minneapolis. Unfortunately, the protests also led to rioting and looting, which has destroyed numerous small businesses and other stores.

The Daily Wire, headed by bestselling author and popular podcast host Ben Shapiro, is a leading provider of conservative news, cutting through the mainstream media’s rhetoric to provide readers the most important, relevant, and engaging stories of the day. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.

13 Jun 04:29

Physicists still lost in math

by Sabine Hossenfelder

Hey Remlaps, et al.
Q: Anyone got any good books to read?
I like
"Dark Matter",
"The Devil in the White City",
"The Emperor of All Maladies"

My book Lost in Math was published two years ago, and this week the paperback edition will appear. I want to use the occasion to tell you why I wrote the book and what has happened since. In Lost in Math, I explain why I have become very worried about what is happening in the foundations of physics. What is happening, you ask? Well, nothing. We have not made progress for 40 years. The
13 Jun 03:36

Zoom Facing Questions From Lawmakers After China Makes Successful Censorship Request

by Eric Quintanar

bullshit from webx and other non-microsoft holdings.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers including Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Sasse (R-NE) have written a letter to Zoom CEO Eric Yuan asking for answers after the teleconferencing company disabled accounts of two U.S.-based activists who were commemorating the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. The disabling of the accounts came at the request of China’s communist government.

“We write with deep concern regarding reports that Zoom, a U.S.-based company, deactivated the accounts of two U.S.-based, pro-democracy Chinese activists after they held a Zoom meeting on the June 4th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre,” said the Friday letter. “Your company has admitted that it did so at the request of the Chinese government to comply with the laws of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), because some of the participants resided inside the PRC.”

Zhou Fengsuo, one of the two U.S-based activists, participated in the original Tiananmen Square protests as a student and has accused Zoom of collaborating with the Chinese regime, reports CNBC News.

“It seems possible ZOOM acted on pressure from the CCP (Communist Party of China) to shut down our account. If so, ZOOM is complicit in erasing the memories of the Tiananmen Massacre in collaboration with an authoritarian government,” said Zhou.

The death toll from the massacre is not known, but on the day of the crackdown, The New York Times reported student protesters as believing that “at least 500 people” were killed after Chinese troops rolled into the area.

In a blog post the previous day, Zoom revealed that it had taken “adverse actions” against three activists, two in the United States and one based in Hong Kong. Zoom made the decision after China informed them the Tiananmen Square meetings were “illegal in China” and demanded the company ban the meetings and terminate the accounts.

“Our response should not have impacted users outside of mainland China,” said the company, which explained that three accounts were terminated or suspended, but they have all since been reinstated.

The company also suggested that instead of shutting down the accounts, they should have blocked access to the meetings by country, a feature Zoom does not currently have at their disposal. The teleconferencing company plans to develop this technology in the coming days, and said that they won’t let requests from the Chinese government “impact anyone outside of mainland China” in the future.

Toward the end of the Senate’s letter to Zoom, the lawmakers requested the company answer questions about its relationship with China and the recent incident banning activists, including a request that Zoom identify the laws China cited and whether Zoom pushed back against them.

Lee Cheuk Yan, the Hong Kong-based activist, told NPR on Friday that his meeting was the third in a series of talks about authoritarianism in China.

The Daily Wire, headed by bestselling author and popular podcast host Ben Shapiro, is a leading provider of conservative news, cutting through the mainstream media’s rhetoric to provide readers the most important, relevant, and engaging stories of the day. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.

12 Jun 20:52

What Leaders Can Learn from Amazon’s 14 Leadership Principles

by Dr. Luis C. Almeida

blah blah. They were in the right place at the right time.

If you're a leader, you've likely heard of Amazon's 14 leadership principles. If you haven't, now's the time to the look into it. What exactly can you learn from those leadership principles? A lot.  It’s difficult to go wrong with being a leader who is obsessed over customers, thinking long-term, and embracing new challenges even if the task isn’t “their job,” finding ways to simplify, recognizing talent and developing them, along with thinking big. What if I told you these qualities are only a handful of principles implemented by Amazon. Clearly, Amazon isn’t your average organization, especially in what they do best: lead. No wonder the Wall Street Journal has labeled Amazon America’s CEO factory((Wall Street Journal: Amazon Is America’s CEO factory)) Forbes contributor Peter Cohan believes that Amazon is the world’s best business((Forbes: 3 Reasons Amazon Is The World’s Best Business)). He goes further and states that “Amazon has a sustainable competitive advantage." Amazon has an efficient supply chain able to handle and fulfill orders with ease yet maintains a stellar level of customer support, he adds. Remarkable, isn’t it? Associate Editor for the Leader To Leader magazine, Peter Economy, goes further to say that Amazon’s 14 leadership principles can help a business to achieve remarkable success((Inc magazine: The 14 Amazon Leadership Principles That Can Lead Your Business To Tremendous Success)) because Amazon’s DNA has a desire to innovate and deliver results and earn customer trust in the process. In this article, you will learn how leaders can leverage Amazon’s 14 leadership principles((Amazon: Amazon Leadership Principles)) to become better leaders themselves and act as a catalyst in their organization.

What Are Amazon’s 14 Leadership Principles?

According to Amazon’s website, they are:

1. Customer Obsession

Amazon pays attention to other retailers, but they obsess over their customers. Customer trust is important to Amazon’s leadership.

2. Ownership

Amazon encourages its employees to act like leaders. The team needs come second to the needs of the organization at large.

3. Invent and Simplify

It’s an expectation for Amazon employees to invent and simplify. Being misunderstood is part of the process of greatness for them.

4. Are Right a Lot

Amazon looks to hire leaders with diverse perspectives, with good judgement and instincts.

5. Learn and Be Curious

Improvement and exploration is encouraged.

6. Hire and Develop the Best

In short, Amazon recognizes exceptional talent and creates mechanisms to discover the very best.

7. Insist on the Highest Standards

Amazon insists on continuously raising the bar in order to achieve a sustainable degree of excellence. Problems are solved ahead of time and are rarely repeated.

8. Think Big

Leaders are encouraged to create and think outside the box.

9. Bias for Action

Risk-taking and speed is encouraged by leaders at Amazon.

10. Frugality

Accomplishing more with less is Amazon’s way of constantly reinventing their operation and increasing their rates of self-sufficiency.

11. Earn Trust

Treating others with respect, speaking their minds, and listening are three ways in which Amazon builds trust in their organization.

12. Dive Deep

Amazon’s leaders are detail oriented and pay close attention to the reaction between the actual numbers and anecdotal data.

13. Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit

Disagreement is welcomed. Social cohesion isn’t a practice that Amazon leaders adopt.

14. Deliver Results

Amazon leaders are expected to always rise to the occasion.

How to Put the Leadership Principles into Practice

In order to develop your leadership skills, experiment with the following combination of Amazon principles and pay attention to which one works best for you in your organization.

1. Think Big, Create, and Simplify

Albert Einstein once said, “Creativity is more important than knowledge.” When I served as an Interim Department Chair at Jackson State University, we were able to create a document arguing for why the department needed to be a school of journalism and media studies in the state through a “think big” mentality and simplification of delivery. We made it simple for the Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) of Mississippi, which is the governing body that approves and rejects proposals for turning departments into schools and more, to understand our petition by taking out language complexity yet showing a bold proposal for the creation of the third school of journalism. Six months after our petition was submitted to IHL, the department was approved to start operations as a “school” by the organization. By thinking big and creating a simple yet persuasive document with hard data proved to be effective in the creation of a new school of journalism in the south. By applying the same tactics in your organization, you can leverage these principles to achieve your own success and create something new.

2. Invent, Earn Trust, Deliver Results

Great leaders invent, earn trust, and deliver results. Ford invented the assembly line in 1913 and changed the way we produce cars today. Percy Spencer revolutionized our society by introducing the microwave oven in 1946. Jonas Salk invented a vaccine that reduced the number of polio cases in the world from a bit over 28 thousand a year in 1955 to 22 in 2017. More recently, Apple invented a tech gadget that can make phone calls, surf the internet, take photos… they called this device ”the iPhone” in 2007. We can now print in three dimensions with 3D printing, thanks to invention! It’s no accident that many of us drive Ford cars, have a microwave in our homes, don’t have polio, have an iPhone, and perhaps own a 3D printer. Leaders who invent eventually earn trust if they deliver the results promised. As a leader, you must do the former religiously. In 2010, my wife and I decided to invent a company called “I Do Therapy.” It is still a company that offers massage therapy services in a post industrial northern town in Pennsylvania. Our actual invention wasn’t the techniques that my wife used to treat clients with head and body aches but a completely new system of customer service that allowed everyone to get a massage for a reasonable price in a luxury spa environment — “I Do Therapy: For EVERYbody.” Our innovation was our strategy. We invented our way of doing business that was foreign in that town. We ended up earning the trust of a large number of townspeople because we delivered what we promised. Three years after I Do Therapy’s inception and almost 300 clients in our books, we sold the business for a profit in 2015. The business lives by its name and is still operational to this day.

3. Frugality, Ownership, and Curiosity

Jeff Bezos once said, “Frugality drives innovation just like other constraints do.” I want to start this section with this quote because I’ve seen the former working wonders in a recent organization that I lead here in Tennessee. Although my presidency at the Cleveland Media Association (CMA) has been cut short due to a recent job offer, CMA is now in much better shape financially because of my insistency on frugality. At the beginning of this year, I inherited an organization with a very low cash position. Under my leadership, the board immediately took a look at our fixed expenses, membership, and resources, and in a semi-crisis mode, we decided to reinvent our operation and cut non-essential expenses in order to bring the organization to a better monetary position. In a period of a few months, new members joined our organization and old members renewed their yearly memberships. The organization now has a healthy cash position and is growing again. The thought process I used to bring back organizational stability was literally based on Amazon’s 14 leadership principles. By encouraging an enthusiastic VP and other members of the executive leadership team to be curious about operating to capacity and by looking at CMA as something bigger than ourselves, we found a solution to our financial challenges and helped the organization to get on its feet gain. Through an exploration of possible ideas and curiosity, CMA is a better organization now than yesterday. We were able to accomplish more with less with our diversity of perspectives.

Final Thoughts

Amazon didn’t become a Fortune 5 company by accident. The leadership principles introduced by Jeff Bezos has made what it is((Wharton Magazine: Learn From Amazon’s Leadership Principles)).
“You can’t solve today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions,” said Einstein((Business News Daily: Albert Einstein Business Tips)).
Leaders have much to learn from Amazon. Focusing on the customers' needs, encouraging invention, creativity and simplification, along with the need to be frugal and develop trust are a must in the current landscape of our modern economy. Thinking big, developing curiosity, and allowing a team member to disagree freely are principles that should be incorporated into every organization. Higher standards emerge from such principles, and success follows the results. Amazon's 14 leadership principles will make you into a stronger leader if you take the time to implement them.

More Leadership Tips

12 Jun 20:50

Effort Underway to Get Legal Insurrection’s William Jacobson Fired From Cornell After Criticizing BLM

by Jeremy Frankel

is Jordan Peterson all over again.

12 Jun 18:41

Gov. Cuomo signs major police reform bills as Rev. Sharpton praises him for 'standing with us' 


Cumo is running for President. Thats how you win.

Gov. Cuomo signed the new bills into law in a press conference Friday, making disciplinary records public, banning chokeholds and banning false race-based 911 calls.
11 Jun 16:08

NASCAR officially BANS the Confederate flag from its stadium


defund nascar until they allow free speech

Bubba Wallace wore his 'I Can't Breathe' t-shirt as he got behind the wheel of his Black Lives Matter-themed Chevrolet for a race Wednesday night after NASCAR banned the Confederate flag.
10 Jun 20:02

IBM gives up on face-recognition business – will other firms follow?


they need new species based meta-algo....

IBM has said that it will withdraw certain face-recognition systems from the market, a move that acknowledges the well-documented racial biases in this kind of technology
10 Jun 02:49

Russia's space chief complains about American jokes


i have great respect for russian space program. They beat the US fair and square.

Americans should show more respect for Russia's space program after relying on it for nine years as the only way to send U.S. astronauts into orbit, the head of Russia's space agency said.