Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Short Takes – 9-19-23

Here’s the scary way Trump could win without the electoral or popular vote. TheGuardian.com article. Pull quote: “A contingent election is the process put in place to deal with the eventuality in which no presidential candidate reaches the threshold of 270 votes in the electoral college. In the early days of the American republic, when the duopoly of the two-party system was neither desired nor expected, this process was essential.” An argument against 3rd party candidates.

White House grapples with harmonizing thicket of cybersecurity rules. CyberScoop.com article. Pull quote: “While the harmonization efforts span all 16 critical infrastructure sectors, the White House is not currently planning on including operational technology — which is hardware and software that can monitor or control physical environments — in the mix, Leiserson said. Operational technology is considered too “bespoke” and dependent on the goal or service of each facility or utility.”

2024 GPS Equipment Testing for Critical Infrastructure (GET-CI). Sam.gov RFP. Summary: “The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate is hosting the 2024 GET-CI) event. The intent of this event is to host a series of evaluation opportunities for stakeholders to evaluate equipment in unique live-sky signal environments that are only legally possible to create under controlled conditions authorized by the U.S. Government. DHS S&T invites critical infrastructure GPS equipment manufacturers and Critical Infrastructure Owners and Operators (CI O&O) to submit applications for participation in the 2024 GET-CI event. This event will take place during the second half of calendar year 2024. S&T's GET-CI events are a series of annual evaluation events intended for manufacturers of commercial GPS equipment used in critical infrastructure as well as CI O&O.” Response Date: October 20th, 2023.

Railroad Safety Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting, Federal Register FRA meeting notice. Summary: “FRA announces the sixty-fifth meeting of the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC), a Federal advisory committee that provides advice and recommendations to FRA on railroad safety matters through a consensus process. This meeting of the RSAC will focus on efforts made regarding potential safety improvements related to the February 3, 2023, Norfolk Southern freight train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.” Meeting date: October 26th, 2023.

Pipeline Safety: Meeting of the Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee. Federal Register PHMSA meeting notice. Summary: “This notice announces a public meeting of the Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee (GPAC) to discuss the notices of proposed rulemaking (NPRMs) titled “Gas Pipeline Leak Detection and Repair” and “Class Location Change Requirements.” Meeting date: November 27th, 2023, to December 1st, 2023.

Democrats face big decision on McCarthy. TheHill.com article. Pull quote: ““The Gaetz’s of the world were always going to hate each other. Instead of figuring out how to protect his right flank, he should have been thinking about Dem votes that would have saved him, and by opening an inquiry he’s screwed himself,” the aide continued. “To me, it’s not longer an if, but a when.””

Ron Johnson offers to end blockade in Senate spending package. TheHill.com article. Pull quote: “The bill Johnson wants a vote on is being proposed by Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.). “If they get me that, I’ll consent,” Johnson said. “I need to make sure I get a vote. … That’s my ask. I didn’t ask for anything initially, but I appreciate the work the appropriators are doing.”” Actually, Johnson was apparently talking about amendment SA 1232, proposed yesterday.

Work on why scientists seem to enjoy licking rocks scoops chemistry Ig Nobel. ChemistryWorld.com article. Pull quote: “The mechanical engineering prize was awarded to a team of Indian, Chinese, Malaysian and US researchers for work on re-animating dead spiders for use as mechanical gripping tools. When presenting the award, Sharpless commented on his own fear of spiders, noting that he had read the team’s paper ‘with trepidation’.”

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