Elsewhere for October 11, 2020

You should read this for 10/11/2020:

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletTwo more beloved L.A. indie bookstores reach an existential crossroads
decorative leaf bulletListen to Shakespeare in a Whole New Way

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletWhite House overruled FDA to shorten testing period for Covid-19 vaccine

A senior administration official confirmed the move to block the guidelines to the Associated Press on Monday evening, saying the White House believed there was “no clinical or medical reason” for the additional requirement. The White House action was first reported by the New York Times.
It is the latest example of the administration undercutting its own experts working to combat Covid-19. The FDA commissioner, Stephen Hahn, has been attempting to shore up public confidence in the FDA vaccine review, vowing career scientists, not politicians, would decide if the shots are safe and effective for mass vaccination.

decorative leaf bullet‘Brain fog’: the people struggling to think clearly months after Covid

“Brain fog seems like such an inferior description of what is actually going on. It’s completely crippling. I am unable to think clearly enough to [do] anything,” says Nicholson-McKellar, adding that the experience would be better described as cognitive impairment.


decorative leaf bulletEven In COVID-19 Hot Spots, Many Colleges Aren’t Aggressively Testing Students

The data from more than 1,400 colleges were compiled by the College Crisis Initiative at Davidson College and analyzed by NPR. They show that more than 2 out of 3 colleges with in-person classes either have no clear testing plan or are testing only students who are at risk — mostly when they feel sick or have had contact with someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus.

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Experts say that because up to 40% of people with the coronavirus do not show symptoms, frequent and rapid testing of large numbers of students is the best way to fend off major outbreaks on campuses. Research from this summer shows that most cases are spread by people without symptoms, often called silent spreaders.

decorative leaf bullethttps://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/10/09/what-we-know-about-timeline-white-house-coronavirus-cluster-and-what-we-dont

There are two factors that make it particularly hard to track the spread of new coronavirus infections. The first is that symptoms can appear up to two weeks after a person first contracts the virus, making it much harder to establish the point of infection. The second is that some people don’t show symptoms at all, making it harder to find new cases in the first place.
Given that, tracing the outbreak of coronavirus cases apparently linked to the White House — an outbreak that has now spread to nearly three dozen people — would have been difficult under the best conditions. That the White House doesn’t appear to be particularly eager to aid in that effort simply introduces another layer of difficulty, obscuring the public’s ability to understand how President Trump and his team contracted the virus and where it may have spread.

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletSugar adds more than sweetness to baked goods. Here’s what to know before you cut it.

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletPrevious incident may have led Orcas to target boats, say experts

Since 10 August, crews sailing off the Spanish region of Galicia have reported 22 interactions with orcas – also known as killer whales – a third of which have resulted in varying degrees of damage to their boats. In a handful of cases, boats have been left with damaged steering systems.
After studying photos and video footage of the encounters, a working group of Spanish and Portuguese experts, including marine biologists and government officials, has identified three orcas present in 61% of the incidents.

decorative leaf bulletTrees Are Time Machines “Arborists are planting trees today that must survive decades of global warming. The health, comfort, and happiness of city dwellers hang in the balance.”


decorative leaf bulletRevealed: Amy Coney Barrett lived in home of secretive Christian group’s co-founder

Amy Barrett, who graduated from Notre Dame Law in 1997 at the top of her class, has said she met Jesse while she was in law school but has not offered other details. Records show that other individuals who appear to be members of the People of Praise have also gotten married following periods of living in the Ranaghan household.
Insider accounts by former members who are now critical of the organization suggest that the group has “well-developed courtship and marriage traditions” which are closely followed. One critic, former member Adrian Reimers, has said in writings about his experience that people who are in the community do not usually date until the matter has been prayed upon by an individual’s “head” – or spiritual leader – who helps make decisions about whether a couple ought to get married.

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here are only a few details about Barrett’s history with the People of Praise. While Barrett has identified herself as a Catholic, and belongs to a conservative church in Indiana, People of Praise is an ecumenical group that – some literature shows – sees itself as distinct from other Christian groups in that its members have entered a covenant – or a vow – to support each other “financially and materially and spiritually”.

decorative leaf bulletWhy Americans Have Turned to Nesting

I couldn’t control much in the pandemic, but I could control what happened in my own 450 square feet. As summer began to creep toward fall, my ambitions expanded: Install a new showerhead? Paint my cabinets? Put up a peel-and-stick tile backsplash? What couldn’t I do with Google, a Home Depot credit card, and a total willingness to lose my security deposit?

Yep; various friends have, like me, been trying to maximize space and minimize stuff.
decorative leaf bullet‘Mail voting doesn’t work for Navajo Nation’: Native Americans face steep election hurdles

Tribal advocates estimate that some voters have to drive anywhere from 40 to 150 miles roundtrip to pick up their mail. But the Arizona lawsuit Yazzie v Hobbs also pointed out that the reservation’s 27,425 square miles are covered by just 24 post offices and 15 postal service providers. The slightly smaller state of West Virginia has roughly 10 times the population, but it’s covered by 725 post offices and postal service provider sites.

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Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletExtraordinary women: courage and defiance through war and hardship – in pictures

A selection of photographs by photojournalist Tom Stoddart shot over several decades all over the world showcase the will, endurance, and perseverance of women in war and extreme situations. The book and exhibition Extraordinary Women aims to gives a voice to women around the world whose perspectives are often left unheard.

decorative leaf bulletKamala Harris reminding Mike Pence ‘I’m speaking’ is every woman in a meeting

While Mike Pence didn’t quite reach Trump levels of shouting over his opponent and moderator, the VP refused during almost every single one of his answers to acknowledge moderator Susan Page’s polite requests that he stop talking when his time was up, and interrupted Harris when her time was not.

decorative leaf bulletHillary Clinton Says She Was Right All Along

Hillary Clinton has been in lockdown like everyone else. It feels like Groundhog Day, she told me Wednesday afternoon. But existential exhaustion looks different for a woman who has spent the past four years thinking about the final month of the 2016 election—and who worries that Vladimir Putin, disinformation, and our deep political divides will still threaten American democracy even if Biden wins. In many ways, Clinton feels vindicated by how the Trump presidency has played out, and by what Americans have learned about him over the past four years—including the recent revelation that he paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2017.

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

decorative leaf bulletPanic and confusion permeate White House after 🤥🤥👖🔥’s Covid diagnosis

decorative leaf bullet5 big questions about the White House’s botched handling of 🤥🤥👖🔥’s coronavirus diagnosis
decorative leaf bulletAfter Donald Trump’s deranged balcony address, we’re all gasping together

Once he’d wheezed through the unpleasantries, all that remained was to remove his mask and set about infecting any remaining staff yet to be exposed to his droplets. Think of Trump as the 83rd Airborne, parachuting his deadly particles deep into butlers’ respiratory systems. He won’t give you a Purple Heart, but he might give you purple lungs.
Alas, it’s disappointing to find potential victims failing to feel grateful for the opportunity. One current secret service agent assigned to the first family’s detail expressed frustration, telling CNN: “We’re not disposable.” Two housekeeping staff have already tested positive for the virus. As the events of the past week show, the president’s respect for human life is so low that he is willing to send an entire army of servants into 14-day isolation or worse in order to keep up a steady stream of trans-fats being fed to him. Dying in the line of duty used to mean taking a bullet for the president; it could now involve taking him a Diet Coke. Thank you for your drinks service.

NPR: decorative leaf bulletRetired General Backs Biden, Says A 2nd Trump Term Would Put Democracy ‘At Risk’

Retired four-star Air Force Gen. Chuck Boyd is one of hundreds of military voices speaking out against President Trump this election. Late last month, Boyd, who fought in Vietnam and spent seven years there as a prisoner of war, joined nearly 500 national security leaders who endorsed Democrat Joe Biden.
In a video endorsement, Boyd says that ever since he returned from Vietnam, he has been a Republican, “but quietly.” He goes on: “I fervently believe that military officers should not get involved in presidential politics, even when retired. But this year is different.”
That’s because, Boyd tells NPR, he thinks Trump is a danger to democracy.

decorative leaf bulletHow removal under the 25th Amendment works: A beginner’s guide

Something Wonderful

The Proud Boys were emboldened by Trump’s words. Then, LGBTQ couples reclaimed the group’s hashtag.

The president’s comment telling the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” provided a boost to the group on social media, emboldening its members to use Trump’s words as a rallying cry. Two days later, amid rising outrage, Trump denounced the group.
But then actor and activist George Takei suggested a clever comeback — a way to drown out the hate on social media and replace it with something, well, gay.
“What if gay guys took pictures of themselves making out with each other or doing very gay things, then tagged themselves with #ProudBoys. I bet it would mess them up real bad. #ReclaimingMyShine,” Takei, who is gay, tweeted on Thursday. See also decorative leaf bulletGay men have taken over the Proud Boys Twitter hashtag See also The Proud Boys Are Furious That Gay Men Have Taken Over #ProudBoys On Twitter
and Twitter users flood #ProudBoys hashtag with gay pride images and

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