News roundup for Tue, Apr 19, 2022

Ukraine war

Russia has begun the campaign for Donbas, marking a significant shift in the war. Here the battlefield moved from mostly urban to open-field, and it will require different weapons and strategies. Latest updates and maps.

The Ukrainian resistance has appeared to have adopted the ‘Wolverines’ monicker from Red Dawn and is spray painting the name on destroyed Russian tanks:


Natural gas prices futures are highest since 2008, just while Americans face unseasonably cool temperatures and below-average natural gas inventories. But analysts think this spike will be relatively short-lived.

The World Bank cut its forecast for growth in 2022 to 3.2% from 4.1% and is preparing a new crisis-response package of about $170 billion.

High inflation could mean a higher tax bill next year as wage increases could tip some taxpayers into higher brackets.

Germans are told to “save energy and annoy Putin”:

This will be the first time in ten years that EV battery prices will increase (but they should drop again in 2023 or 2024).


A 6,000-acres wildfire in New Mexico killed two people and destroyed 200 homes. 4,500 people were asked to evacuate and have just started returning back home.

In Colorado and Wyoming, drought continues to weaken trees’ defenses against beetle infestations. This is worrying because beetle kill can effectively turn trees into tinder, further aggravating wildfires. This is the 10th year in a row that spruce beetle is Colorado’s deadliest forest pest.

Los Angeles could save approximately 1 out of 4 lives lost to extreme heat if it planted more trees and used more reflective surfaces.

Vancouver proposes a $10,000-dollar fee for gas stations without electric vehicle charging. Businesses need to make charging stations available in 2025 to avoid the increased license fee.


A federal judge overturned the federal mask mandate for public transport.

California is delaying the schoolchildren vaccine mandate to July 2023 while it waits for the FDA’s full authorization of the vaccines for all schoolchildren.

If you’re feeling crafty, here are instructions on how to build a 4WD robot with Arduino that uses UVC light to go around and disinfect spaces.

Covid resources:

The rest

The WHO is closely monitoring an unusually high rise in cases of acute hepatitis in children under 10. Hepatitis is unusual in children, and the high rise in cases could be problematic if it keeps spreading without control. Scientists are still not sure about the exact cause of the disease yet. Cases have been found so far in the UK, Spain, Ireland, and Alabama. There’s nothing you need to prepare for at this time, as far as we know.

North Korea launched two short-range missiles just as South Korea and the US were preparing for joint military exercises. This is North Korea’s 12th missile test of the year.

Google, Apple, and Samsung have announced programs that allow consumers to buy official parts and easily repair their devices.

DuckDuckGo, the popular browser that values privacy, has released a beta version of its browser for Mac and plans to release one on Windows soon. In addition to blocking cookie pop-ups, the browser app includes an email forwarding function that removes tracking cookies from emails, and it allows users to view tracking attempts and delete data saved on different websites.

There’s now a tote bag that converts into a kevlar vest. It sells for $250, and can be found here:

This is what it’s like to live next door to a bomb stronger than 20 Hiroshimas in a time of rising worldwide tensions.


    • brownfox-ffContributor

      What you can do about it:

      Good luck this week.

      10 |
    • Hines

      This will be the first time in ten years that EV battery prices will increase (but they should drop again in 2013 or 2014).

      I think that should be 2023 or 2024

      6 |
    • Karl Winterling

      There are complications with domestic fertilizer delivery that might reduce spring yields. A drop in yields would increase food prices and reduce the amount of food reserves in storage. The industry will probably ask federal regulators to order railroads to prioritize fertilizer delivery.

      In lighter (or perhaps not lighter) news, Dianna (AKA Physics Girl) made a video about space weather. Newsworthy (I think) because she isn’t running a “prepper” or “disaster” channel and she has over 2 million subscribers.

      2 |
      • Bed Karl Winterling

        That’s… definitely not lighter news. I think space weather that extreme is worse than the pandemic, the Ukraine War, and Climate Change combined. I mean, we’re talking about a multi-year grid-down scenario where almost everything related to electricity is useless.
        And the worst part is that it’s physically impossible to prepare for. That alone keeps me up at night.

        3 |
    • rebecca

      Nobody is mentioning the awesome Peep picture at the very top?

      Fine, I will.

      It’s awesome!

      13 |
    • ReadyPlayer

      Also, no one is mentioning the fact that the Ukrainians are calling themselves Wolverines? I hope it’s true because that’s awesome ✌️

      4 |