Cool Links

It's great for alternative energy groups to tout how much more solar and wind there is than 10 years ago, and how if some cosmic curve of installations continues indefinitely, fossil fuels and nuclear power will go extinct - but in the real world, where California has to jettison emissions standards and Germany has to go under the control of Russia to prevent blackouts, a world where everyone pays a fortune to get rationed energy is bleak.
Katie Couric recently revealed that she cut some comments by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who said in an interview that she thought kneeling during the national anthem was wrong, because she ‘wanted to protect’ her. Couric said she felt racial justice was a ‘blind spot’ for RBG so she was doing her a favor.
In 1864, Charles Darwin gave a microscope (designed by Charles Gould for the firm Cary) to his 14-year-old son Leonard. Leonard died in 1943 but it stayed in the family - and now it is going up for auction; the only one ever offered to the public.

Other microscopes he owned are still at Charles Darwin’s family home, Down House, and the Whipple Museum.

Of this one, Darwin once wrote in a letter to his eldest son, ‘Lenny was dissecting under my microscope and he turned round very gravely and said “don’t you think, papa, that I shall be very glad of this all my future life”.’

Like organic food, alternative energy such as solar and wind are fine placebos for wealthy people - as long as things are good. When there is a shortage, we find out how poorly such alternatives work, the same way that during the early stages of the pandemic the cleaning supply aisles in stores had plenty of green alternatives while the public bought up all the Clorox, Purell, and Lysol.
For a candidate who insisted his opponent was colluding with Russians, it looks odd for President Biden to undo an environmental check Trump had placed on Russia - and will lead to unchecked CO2 emissions. 
Imagine I created a bill called Keep American Clean, and to do it, I intended to create pollution. A giant chunk of people would go along with it based on the name, especially if I am in their political party.

That is the claim made about the intent of California’s Keep Groceries Affordable Act of 2018. In a state that already has a stigma of social authoritarianism wrapped in quasi-benevolent racism, the bill prevents local governments from throwing any tax they want on foods they choose to ban. Foods that people of color happen to like. If they do that outside state laws, they will lose revenue.
Sometimes the perfect is the enemy of the good. The Spanish Flu of 1918 and the Asian Flu of 1957 eventually ended, without shutdowns of the economy. China never shut down, they have barely counted any COVID-19 deaths as coronavirus-related since last spring, and the rest of Asia is abandoning the Zero COVID goal. Should the US do the same?
Organic food is a $120 billion industry, and while that's a tiny fraction of regular food it is large enough that companies like Chipotle and General Mills have tried to gain traction.

But a large seed company? That is new. Bayer, secretly now Monsanto (as anti-science activists love to claim in their conspiracy tales), is rolling out organic-certified seeds. 
Clark v. Monsanto Co., 20STCV46616, filed by personal injury lawyers for Destiny Clark, was based on Clark's claim that the weedkiller Roundup was used outside their home and her belief it caused her son Ezra Clark's Burkitt's lymphoma. The company knew it caused cancer and refused to warn people, she alleged.

The case failed in court and trial lawyer advocates like US Right To Know will now be scrambling to do damage control for their clients.
Alexandra Souverneva, 30, a self-proclaimed shaman, but in the real world once a PhD student in SUNY's New York College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry, said she had decided to hike to Canada from her home in Palo Alto - 1,500 miles - when she became thirsty and then decided to boil what she claimed was bear urine. 

Thus began the Fawn fire, one name in California's annual litany of wildfires caused by everything from utilities not being allowed to clear brush near power lines without an environmental impact statement to environmentalists not understanding California is a desert 9 months out of the year to, apparently, letting self-proclaimed shamen boil bear urine.
South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh tried to hire someone to shoot him to get $10 million in insurance for his son.

Now his attorney is falling back on the modern day version of 'insanity' or 'repressed memory' pleas - opiod addiction made him do it.
I can understand why New York Times journalists sometimes buy into the claims of Organic Consumers Association: They sound like a legitimate group because they have been quoted in the New York Times, they claim to be progressives, and they claim Food Is A Corporate Conspiracy, and you are only getting paid by the New York Times if you share those values, or are at least a nationally renowned token alternative to them.

But editors should know better by now.
Paul Thacker, once an up-and-coming journalist whose early zealotry became so worrisome even his former mentor disavowed him, has made key connections in his career due to sharing the right politics and the right anti-science positions.  Which is to say left.
A San Francisco social justice warrior has very little in common with a New York City cop. Yet they are both voting Democrat. They both wrap themselves in the flag of 'liberalism' but the social authoritarians who dominate the fringe arm of liberalism - progressives - are actually ruining it, argues The Economist.
Prior to 2020, if you didn't trust vaccines, there was an alarming likelihood you also bought organic food and supplements and lived in a large US coastal area. During much of the 2010s, California had more kids whose parents refused to vaccinate them than the rest of the entire US combined.

Writing in Daily Beast, Louis Anslow lays the blame for concern about the COVID-19 vaccine squarely at their feet, even if corporate journalists have scrambled to sweep their undermining of science under the rug and claim it's all Republicans.
Statistical significance is valid, in the right hands, but in the wrong hands it does nothing but undermine trust in science. And it is almost always in the wrong hands. 
The epidemiologist and hand-picked team leader for the World Health Organization investigation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that erupted in Wuhan says the Chinese made him dismiss any link to the two coronavirus labs in Wuhan.

The problem with that narrative; China wanted Peter Ben Embarek leading the investigation. He had lived in Beijing for years and was considered an ally of the communist government inside WHO. WHO had already done everything China said to do, including claiming it did not transmit from human to human. They were certainly going to send in the person the Chinese wanted, for no other reason than that if they weren't allowed in at all, countries funding the UN might start to wonder about their lack of utility.
The First Appellate District court has found that in the glyphosate $2 billion jury award already lopped down to $82 million, while “counsel’s conduct was clearly improper” it wasn’t heinous enough to prejudice the trial results and did not violate federal law. Their lawyer told jurors not to touch a spray bottle without gloves, which is certainly prejudicial to anyone with a clue about science, but the lawsuit was not about science, it was about emotion - and the attorney trying to get rich suing Monsanto simply manufactured emotion.

The bottle contained water.
When researchers from the CDC and the National Cancer Institute wrote a JAMA paper noting that while obesity was linked to excess deaths, it turned out that people who were merely overweight were at less risk of early death than those of so-called normal weight.