Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Short Takes – 10-11-22

Third-largest rail union rejects deal, renewing possibility of strike. TheHill.com article. No immediate effect. Pull quote: ““The rejection of the tentative agreement results in a ‘status quo’ period where the BMWED will reengage bargaining with the Class I freight carriers,” Cardwell added. “That status quo period will extend to 5 days after Congress reconvenes, which is currently set for Nov. 14. Assuming Congress returns to session on the 14th there could be no “self help” until after the 19th.””

Danish Power Outage Raises Concern About Infrastructure Security. WSJ.com article. Physical not cyber. Pull quote: “Crucial cables were cut in two separate locations, disabling communication with trains and stranding thousands of passengers at the start of the weekend in the states of Lower Saxony, Bremen, Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein.”

This Deadly COVID Twist Is Like Nothing We’ve Seen Before. TheDailyBeast.com article. New variant. Pull quote: “That means BQ.1.1 is very contagious. But that’s not the subvariant’s most alarming quality. What’s most worrying is that it also evades certain antibodies. In fact, BQ.1.1 seems to be the first form of COVID against which antibody therapies—evusheld and bebtelovimab, for instance—don’t work at all.”

'Humble' worm saliva can break down tough plastic. BBC.com article. New way to dispose of polyethylene. Pull quote: “They've discovered two enzymes in the liquid [wax worm saliva] that can degrade polyethylene at room temperatures and believe it's the first time that such an effective agent has been found in nature.”

NASA Confirms DART Mission Impact Changed Asteroid’s Motion in Space. NASA.gov press release. Pull quote: “Focus now is shifting toward measuring the efficiency of momentum transfer from DART’s roughly 14,000-mile (22,530-kilometer) per hour collision with its target. This includes further analysis of the "ejecta” – the many tons of asteroidal rock displaced and launched into space by the impact. The recoil from this blast of debris substantially enhanced DART’s push against Dimorphos – a little like a jet of air streaming out of a balloon sends the balloon in the opposite direction.”

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