Friday, December 30, 2022

Short Takes – 12-30-22

Santos reportedly used ‘Anthony Zabrovsky’ alias on charity GoFundMe page. article. Pull quote: “Santos claimed earlier this year that his maternal grandparents changed their last name from Zabrovsky to conceal their Jewish heritage. Records show that the newly elected representative used the alias “Anthony Zabrovsky” for a pet charity on GoFundMe, the web page for which no longer exists.”

Exotic clasts in Chang'e-5 samples indicate unexplored terrane on moon. article. Whoda Thunk? Geology not seen in Apollo missions? Pull quote: “This study was the first to obtain exotic igneous lithologies from the 2 Gyr-aged basalt unit of the Moon. This information will provide ground truth for modeling the provenance of regolith at the young mare unit of the Moon. Moreover, the identification of unusual lunar rocks in the Chang'e-5 sample provides evidence that the lithological components and magmatic activities of the lunar crust are more diverse than previously thought.”

Conservatives' latest McCarthy ask: A broad Biden admin investigation. article. Pull quote: “While the Republican leader and soon-to-be committee chairs have already lined up a laundry list of investigations that will largely command the House GOP’s agenda next year, it’s not enough for some McCarthy critics. Some of those opposing and on the fence about the Californian’s speakership bid want him to start a new panel, one that could direct probes against the entities they’ve castigated for years, including the FBI, the Justice Department, the IRS and Anthony Fauci.”

COVID Spreading Much Faster in China Than Health Officials Feared. article. Pull quote: “Zeng Guang, former chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has admitted that “we didn’t expect the first wave to be this vehement,” The Times reported Friday. After the Chinese government dropped key restrictions of its “zero-COVID” approach to managing the pandemic earlier this month, COVID infections rapidly spread to engulf over half of the population in many urban areas, Zeng said, before continuing to spread further. He added that around 17 million people in Beijing—or 80 percent of the capital’s population—might have been infected.”

Weaponized Aerial Drones and the Homeland: Increasing Domestic Terrorism Concerns. article. Pull quote: “While some drones may utilize only one capability during an attack and may work in tandem with another drone, these capabilities are not always mutually exclusive. A single weaponized drone could engage in ISR [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] and locate a target, engage that target with an IED, and also capture the attack on video, which is subsequently released on social media for terrorist propaganda purposes.”

Europe Could Ban Filipino Crews From Cargo Ships, Rocking an Already Messed-Up Industry. article. Pull quote: “Deutsche Welle reports the ban is being considered after an audit by the European Maritime Safety Agency. European regulators found that maritime education institutions in the Philippines didn’t meet standards set by the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers. If the European Commission decides to take action, the European Union will no longer recognize competency certifications issued in the Philippines. Current certificates would be recognized until they expire, which could be at most five years from now.”

How Bad Is China’s Covid Outbreak? It’s a Scientific Guessing Game. article. More nuanced look at the data problem. Pull quote: “As scientists sift through varied sources of shaky information, they are bracing for potentially catastrophic outcomes. Barring new precautionary steps, some worst-case estimates suggest that Covid could kill as many people in China in the next four months as it has Americans during the entire three-year pandemic.”

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