Monday, March 20, 2023

Short Takes – 3-20-23

McConnell’s absence leaves colleagues wondering about GOP’s article.  Pull quote: “Some Republicans, however, think McConnell has performed a major service for the Senate GOP conference by absorbing so much of Trump’s wrath and taking the heat of other senators who have their own complaints and disagreements with the former president.”

Flaming Space Debris Re-entering Atmosphere Lights Up California Sky. article. Pull quote: “Privateer, a company co-founded by Dr. Jah, tracks about 48,000 human-made objects, ranging in size from a cellphone to the International Space Station itself. But only about 10 percent of those are functional, he said.”

The Problem With Your Dying AirPods and Other Bluetooth Earbuds. article. Pull quote: “The Swap Club doesn’t offer AirPod Pros or third-generation AirPods yet. Ms. Alpert said the newer earbuds’ water resistance is hard to maintain after a battery swap. That’s the trade-off of these tiny gadgets. To be durable, they need to be water-resistant. To live in our ears, they need small batteries. Both make replacing batteries difficult.”

Rural America Grows Weary of Waiting for Its Mail. article. Pull quote: “The Postal Service declined to answer any questions this week but has previously cited trouble hiring staff as its primary problem across the country. Others familiar with the issue say a boom in e-commerce since the pandemic has also strained its staff. In many rural areas, USPS has agreements with Inc. and other carriers to provide the final phase of package delivery.”

PCAST Initiating Working Group on Cyber-Physical Resilience. notice. Pull quote: “The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) has created a working group on cyber-physical resilience with the intent of consulting experts from across the public and private sectors, and academia. We will seek to amplify or rapidly advance existing ideas and efforts as well as to develop new approaches to this problem.” Seeking public input.

Oil refinery public hearing postponed, company considering alternative OK site. A new oil refinery? Pull quote: ““This a win-win partnership, as the facility would be an economic game-changer for the community,” said Ward, who cited an estimate that local taxing entities will altogether receive over $312 million in taxes from Prairie Energy in a 30-year span.”

Highway-Rail Grade Crossing and Shove Movement Accident. safety bulletin. Pull quote: “FRA requests that railroads review this Safety Bulletin with employees to increase awareness of the dangers of pushing and shoving movements at highway-rail grade crossings. FRA also reminds railroads of the need to ensure all individuals involved in pushing or shoving movements are: (1) properly trained and qualified on how to conduct those operations safely; and (2) understand what “track is clear” means related to a highway-rail grade crossing. Additionally, FRA reminds railroads and train crew members of the work of the Switching Operations Fatality Analysis (SOFA) Working Group, a voluntary, non-regulatory, workplacesafety partnership formed to identify commonalities among fatalities that occur during switching operations. SOFA findings are available on FRA’s website at programs/switching-operations-fatalities-analysis-sofa.” 

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