Elsewhere For November 23, 2020

You should read this for 11/23/2020:

Biden Begins

decorative leaf bulletBiden Administration: Here’s Who Has Been Named So Far

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletStar Wars author appeals to Disney in fight over royalties

Disney has been accused of failing to pay royalties to the acclaimed author Alan Dean Foster for his bestselling novelisations of films including Star Wars and Alien, in a fight over copyright that is being described as unprecedented and grotesque

. . .

Foster and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), which is assisting him, claim Disney has ignored multiple queries from his agents, legal representatives and the SFWA.

And see also: Disney (Disney!) Accused Of Trying To Lawyer Its Way Out Of Paying Royalties To Alan Dean Foster

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletU.S. Hits 11 Million Coronavirus Cases, Adding 1 Million In A Week

More than 11 million confirmed coronavirus cases have been recorded in the United States, according to a COVID-19 tracker by Johns Hopkins University. The country reported 166,555 new cases on Sunday, with 1,266 new deaths.
The staggering milestone was reached only six days after the U.S. hit 10 million cases. Positive test rates and hospitalization rates are on the rise across the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hospitalizations continue to climb. More than 69,000 people were hospitalized as of Sunday, more than ever before.

decorative leaf bulletTrump coronavirus adviser tells Michigan to ‘rise up’ against new shutdown orders

On Sunday, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) announced a three-week “pause to save lives,” closing colleges, high schools, workplaces and in-person dining as new coronavirus cases have spiked.
After she appealed to the Trump administration to intervene in the pandemic, White House coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas responded with a call to action. But instead of supporting Whitmer’s efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus in Michigan, he urged residents to reject the state’s public health guidelines.

. . .

Atlas, a neuroradiologist and fellow at Stanford’s conservative Hoover Institution, joined the White House as a pandemic adviser in August despite having no background in public health or infectious diseases. He has promoted a controversial approach that would fully reopen the U.S. economy by attempting herd immunity, implementing a strategy used by officials in Sweden that reportedly gained favor with Trump.

H/T Lisa C: decorative leaf bulletPolitics played a role in pandemic shelter-in-place orders, WMU researchers find

Analyzing the length of time between when each state’s COVID-19 incidence reached one case per 100,000 people and when (or if) a SIPO was enacted, a pattern began to emerge. States with both a Democratic governor and legislature enacted SIPOs a week earlier than states with both a Republican governor and legislature. Eight states never issued a SIPO by the time other states began to ease restrictions in May 2020, and all of those states had Republican governors and legislatures.
“It was truly which political parties had control of the state directly that mattered,” Mingus says.
Those decisions had repercussions, Corder adds, pointing to a Columbia University study indicating that 55% of reported deaths as of May 3, 2020, could have been avoided if control measures had been implemented just a week earlier. “Weeks of delay translates into thousands of lives.”

decorative leaf bulletA server filmed a viral video of Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts maskless. Then she was fired.

The video went viral this week, leaving critics slamming Ricketts for refusing to issue a mask mandate in the state as coronavirus cases surge. But Montanez faced her own blowback: She was fired on Tuesday from the bar, for violating the company’s social media and cellphone policy, according to the owner.

decorative leaf bulletRachel Maddow

Watch: Rachel
reports that she’s been off the air for most of the past two weeks because her longtime partner Susan Mikula is sick with Covid-19 – so sick that “at one point we really thought that there was a possibility that it might kill her.” Mikula is recovering now.


decorative leaf bulletThe Legacy Of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

To the president who asked her to run the Department of Education, she was a loyal lieutenant who argued for her department’s irrelevance in a nation where control of schools is a local affair — that is, until she argued the opposite, at the president’s urging, and threatened schools with a loss of federal funding if they refused to reopen mid-pandemic.

. . .

To her critics, including the nation’s teachers unions, she was a stone-cold villain who famously suggested guns belong in some schools (to fend off bears), who needed the vice president’s vote to survive confirmation and who spent four years disparaging American public education.

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bullet9 Tips for Perfect Mashed Potatoes The thing that I most often want to tell cooks making mashed potatoes is to salt the water before you cook the potatoes, and let them sit a minute in the warm pot after you drain the water. They’ll be savory and less watery that way.

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletTranscript: NPR’s Full Interview With Former President Barack Obama Regarding 🤥🤥👖🔥’s refusal to acknowledge the realiity that he lost, definitively, to President Elect Joe Biden:

I take it seriously. I don’t think he’ll be successful in denying reality. And you’re starting to see a few Republican elected officials go ahead and say, “Look, Joe Biden has been elected and we need to move on in the transition.” I’m distressed that you haven’t seen more Republican leadership make this clear because the amount of time that’s being lost of in this transition process has real-world effects. Look, we’re in the middle of a pandemic. We’re in the middle of an economic crisis. We have serious national security issues.
And as I describe when I was elected for all the differences that I had with George W. Bush, he and his administration could not have been more gracious and effective in working with us to facilitate a smooth transition. And since we were in the middle of a big financial crisis, at that point, my ability to get fully briefed from a Hank Paulson, my abilities — since we were in the middle of two wars — to get immediately briefed on what was happening in Afghanistan and Iraq, what terrorist threats were out there that meant we hit the ground running and allowed us to be more effective in our responses. And so, it is yet one more example of how Donald Trump’s breach of basic democratic norms is hurting the American people.

H/T Lane: decorative leaf bulletWorld’s first 100% complete T-rex skeleton found locked in battle with a Triceratops<

The pair – nicknamed the ‘Dueling Dinosaurs’ – are preserved together in what is thought to be a predator-prey encounter, where both fought to the death. Entombed in sediment in Montana, they were discovered by professional fossil hunters – a cattle rancher cowboy and two pals.


Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletBlue whale sightings off South Georgia raise hopes of recovery

Blue whales were abundant off South Georgia before industrial whaling – established on the island in 1904 – killed 42,698 of the animals there. Most of these whales were slaughtered before the mid-1930s but despite the legal protection in the 1960s, illegal hunting continued until the early 1970s.

decorative leaf bulletThe secret world of pygmy seahorses, where males give birth – photo essay


decorative leaf bullet‘Sound walks’ offer a new way to travel in lockdown

decorative leaf bulletHow The U.S. Fended Off Serious Foreign Election Day Cyberattack

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Women’s Work

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decorative leaf bullet‘My mother was like a steel fist in a velvet glove’: the real Audrey Hepburn

Hepburn spent the second world war with her mother in the Netherlands under Nazi occupation. Her uncle was among the Dutchmen rounded up and shot. She saw Jewish women and children loaded into wagons. “It haunted her for the rest of her life,” says Ferrer. Van Heemstra had by this time renounced fascism and worked with the resistance in the Netherlands. Like many Dutch children, Hepburn did her bit, too, carrying messages hidden in her shoes, says Ferrer, who has written a biography of his mother

decorative leaf bulletHow Two French Introverts Quietly Fought the Nazis

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

decorative leaf bulletTrump Fires CISA Director Chris Krebs, Who Corrected Voter Fraud Disinformation

Christopher Krebs, the Department of Homeland Security director who had spearheaded a campaign to counter rumors about voter fraud, has been fired, President Trump tweeted on Tuesday.
Trump, in two misleading tweets about the security of the U.S. election, said Krebs’ termination was “effective immediately.”

decorative leaf bulletHow Dolly Parton Answers the ‘Why Don’t You Have Kids?’ Question And see also: Dolly Parton helped fund Moderna’s vaccine. It began with a car crash and an unlikely friendship.

decorative leaf bulletTrump election party draws scrutiny as guests test positive And then there were 5 and still more.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

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Something Wonderful

decorative leaf bulletThis dog is both a good dog and a bad dog at the same time.

decorative leaf bulletTiny owl rescued from New York Rockefeller Center Christmas tree

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