Cool Links

When the SpaceX Starship self-destruct system exploded it over the Gulf of Mexico in April, it's easy to imagine that Center for Biological Diversity and other predatory law groups were giddy - they had a new reason to sue someone and collect a settlement check.

That time has finally arrived, they can start counting yacht payments.

Because environmental groups have mastered 'sue and settle' agreements with prearranged outcomes, and with the Biden administration in a panic about losing the election in 2024, environmental groups know government agencies won't be allowed to alienate anyone in the tribe.
If your child is allergic to milk, flavored plant juice alternatives like rice and soy, when fortified, can fill in some gaps, but outside necessity, they are not nutritionally equal to dairy, no matter what marketing departments claim.

Once upon a time, the US government protected consumers with Standards of Identity, they sued a cheese company for putting how much milk was in a slice of its cheese because of even the inference it had as much calcium as milk. 

No more. Squeeze any plant and add some vanilla flavor and you can call it milk and Washington, DC does not think that is deceptive.
Predatory lawyers love trials by jury because they are almost certain to win. It won't help their clients much. There are some instances where they do get some money. The so-called "Erin Brockovich case" led to a settlement even though the company could easily show that the water was not harmful. Yet nearly three decades later the people who say their stories won the case lament they didn't receive much.

Meanwhile, one of the attorneys from the winning side is in jail for fraud. 
The US FDA has approved Opill (norgestrel) for oral contraception as an OTC product, the first daily oral contraceptive approved for use without a prescription. That means as soon as the company can get it in drug stores, convenience stores, grocery stores, and online, they will.

According to surveys, half of pregnancies each year are unwanted, but in the modern health care system it can be difficult to get an appointment for a prescription, so this will make contraception readily available without waiting months. 

Norgestrel is well-established, it has been available for prescription use since 1973, so the company just had to show consumers would use it without as doctor telling them what was on the label. 
A new paper suggests that Spotify is creating a de facto slave labor market, e.g. how England had residents of cities like Manchester working for basically nothing in the early 1800s so they could ban actual slavery.
Environmental Working Group's annual organic food public relations piece, its 'Dirty Dozen' list, is out, and blueberries are the new target for their clients.

EWG produces the Dirty Dozen list by looking at USDA data on pesticides and suggesting detection of a pesticide will give you cancer.

Forget their non-existent command of science, this annual fraud is egregious because they don't list the pesticides used by their clients. Organic pesticides, which can be up to 600 percent higher than conventional, are not included. If they were, the entire Dirty Dozen list would be organic produce.
If are in the humanities and want to win a case of wine in the future, bet against someone in the information theory space. Neither of you can ever really be correct but the one with at least the pretense of the scientific method will have to admit they have fallen prey to someone like a post-modernist, who can never be wrong. On anything. Ever. Because truth is just a cultural reflex and can't be grounded epidemiologically.

That is what happened to Christof Koch, PhD, when he was young enough to believe he was in a science field and that the Truth Is Out There. Some 25 years he argued in a debate with David Chalmers that by 2023 the 'mechanism' in neurons that produce consciousness would be found.
In 2012's "Science Left Behind", I noted a claim by a politician opposed to natural gas - after environmentalists had previously lobbied for it (see also: ethanol, hydroelectric) - who stated that extracting it was causing earth to deflate.

It wasn't the craziest thing in the book, that more soldiers on Guam would cause the island to flip over or that organic food used no pesticides would also have to be in the running, but people who believe it are going to believe it, just like media outlets touting a claim that we are pumping so much groundwater that we are moving the planet off its axis.
Do you know someone who once got their child an autism diagnosis, mostly so they could do things like skip the line at Disney World? How about a medical exemption so they could go to school without an MMR vaccine?

If so, you probably live in a place like California or New York City. Rich people often stay rich by exploiting loopholes so they don't have to spend money. They are even happy to lose weight as long as the rest of us pay higher health insurance premiums - much the way they have gotten poor people to pay for their solar power subsidies.
Since 1950, life expectancy has increased from an average of 46 to 73 years. Much of that is due to science, though you might not know it from accounts by activists and their political allies in corporate journalism. Medicine is better, food is more affordable, energy is more available at least, and the wealthy under solar panel schemes even get it free.
With increased legalization of marijuana across the United States came increased cases of addiction, and even greater negative outcomes because more of it is smoked.

In a phase 2a clinical study in volunteers with cannabis addiction, a compound named AEF0117, a type 1 cannabinoid receptor signaling-specific inhibitors (CB1-SSi) candidate, produced statistically significant reductions in the positive subjective and reinforcing effects of smoked cannabis.

AEF0117 is discovered and developed by Aelis Farma and based on a natural brain mechanism that combats CB1 receptor hyperactivity. 
In humans, females are generally regarded as nicer - though not necessarily to each other. In many mosquitoes there is no pretense at all, males wander around pollinating and eating nectar while female bite you.
Were dinosaurs capable of parthenogenesis - a virgin birth? Perhaps, because it happened in birds and now a crocodile, and both archosaurs are descendants of dinosaurs. 

The anomaly in a lone female crocodile occurred in 2018. She laid eggs and despite being in captivity for 16 years, had one with a female fetus. The eggs did not hatch but analysis showed the fetus occurred without input from a male

China is a communist dictatorship and known to be notoriously lax when officials are not around. Lab employees have been jailed for selling experimental animals in wet markets.

Wet markets like the one in Wuhan, where COVID-19 erupted and devastated the world, where two labs working on coronavirus exist. Where a database of coronavirus has been taken down so no outside scientists can compare pathogens.
We hear a lot about German atrocities during World War II but in some ways Japan was just as bad. The Nanjing massacre in December 1937 is well-known but the Japanese army's organized use of typhoid, cholera, and plague gets less press. They didn't get as much attention because during the Japanese occupation, China was also fighting a civil war between communists and nationalists.
During the Obama administration, government decided the way to reduce climate emissions was not to build nuclear plants or something sure to work, it was to mandate and subsidize...CFL bulbs.

That's right, the fluorescent lights that everyone had hated for decades were now going to be given to everyone at reduced cost - while everyone also paid higher utility bills to pay for the bulbs they didn't want but were told they needed to get because incandescent bulbs were being banned.

It was an idea only government could come up with and think it was smart science or economics.
For the third time, expansions of the poorly named Waters of the United States regulations have been struck down, this time in SACKETT ET UX. v. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ET AL., the Environmental Protection Agency cited the Clean Water Act and said a family could not build a home on land they owned - because the house was near a ditch and that ditch led to a creek and that creek led to Prairie Lake. Which is a 'navigable' water.
Four years ago California voters passed Proposition 12, which goes around the often do-nothing legislature in Sacramento, which banned any sales of pork in the stare if the processor did not use California standards.

California also does this to companies in things like light bulbs and cars and even gasoline, which leads to higher costs. The state imports nearly all of its pork so the the National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation sued on Constitutional grounds, saying that under the Commerce Clause one state could not dictate to all the others how it would occur. 
Results of a small BioNTech pancreatic cancer vaccine with 16 patients showed that half remained free of the cancer after 18 months. It's an intriguing milestone because it is a deadly cancer due to many being asymptomatic until it has spread - and 88% mortality.

The patients had a vaccine tailored to them individually, which shows the promise of using messenger RNA (mRNA) to get the patient's immune system to destroy cancer cells. If this holds up in larger trial it would mean true personalized medicine.
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) Committee for Risk Assessment is unsurprisingly more literate than a San Francisco jury, so they have joined every major scientific body in recognizing that the common weedkiller glyphosate does not cause cancer, or any other ailment, unless you fall into a vat of it and drown.

Like anyone literate, they know plants are not tiny people. The biological pathway that would kill Groot does not exist in humans at all.