News roundup for Tue, Aug 24, 2021

The Civilian Reserve Air Fleet has been activated to help evacuate refugees, US staff, and assets from Afghanistan. Multiple airlines are responding to the call. The fleet will not be used in Kabul, but in safer, interim transit locations:

We know fentanyl is a problem, and we know it’s tainting opiates on the street. It’s also tainting non-opiate street drugs, like meth and cocaine. Overdoses are exploding because of fentanyl-laced drugs. The pandemic may have contributed to deaths by overdose because social distancing created an environment where fewer people were around to administer Narcan to those who had overdosed.

The price of wood seems to have waned—time to get back to construction and wood-working.

Remember the old man who was living off grid for decades but wound up arrested and homeless in New Hampshire? The CEO of Palantir has donated $180,000 to help house him.

Tens of thousands are without power as Henri hits the Northeast. Henri has now weakened to a tropical depression. New York saw record rainfall.

There was massive flooding in Tennessee after heavy rain—22 are dead. 20 of the 22 deaths happened in Waverly. 40 people are still missing.

The Middle East is running out of water, and some places have already been made uninhabitable. Jordan is under significant water stress. Groundwater in Jordan is becoming increasingly scarce.

In order to keep the grid running, California may have to revert to fossil fuels this summer. This is also happening in the context of the shuttering of multiple nuclear power and even non-nuclear power plants.

There’s a large recall for Chevy Bolts. Correcting the battery defects on every Bolt ever made will cost nearly $2 billion:

Wildfires spew particulate matter in the air, and this causes moisture to coalesce around the particles. What does this mean? It spurs fluffy, extra-white clouds that don’t want to let go of their moisture. When the clouds do eventually give rain, it pours.

Trump’s border wall has been devastated by flooding. When climate-change-induced natural disasters are not modeled and used in drafting massive infrastructure plans, those plans don’t tend to work out.

There’s more shelf scarcity now than spring of 2020, and hoarding is not the cause this time. Labor shortages and lingering logistics problems are the current drivers.

Rents are skyrocketing across the country as everyone struggles with housing. New buyers are losing out to investors paying cash for properties, forcing people to keep renting when they’d prefer to buy. Renters are struggling to make rent during the pandemic, and landowners can’t get rent in on time. It’s a viscous price-gouging circle, and nobody wins but the folks laundering wealth into property.

The world has over 213.2 million COVID cases. The world has gained 4.7 million cases in the last week. There have been nearly 4.5 million deaths in total. The US has a cumulative 38.7 million cases. Over 645,000 Americans have died. The US gained over 84,000 new cases on Sunday, and over 69,000 by late afternoon Monday. Over 830 people are dying per day (on average based on 7-day data) in the US, up from a daily average of 500 last week. The US, India, Brazil, and Russia currently have the highest daily case gain in the world. Delta remains the dominant global variant.

So many hospitals are filled to capacity in the US that some patients are being air-lifted multiple states away just for a bed:

The need for oxygen is actually impacting the safety of water supplies in this country—residents of Orlando may need to be put on a boil water notice:

Veterinary Ivermectin use is causing a spike in calls to the Poison Control Center. The FDA has issued a statement reminding people that they are not livestock.

Schools have started, and Delta is burning its way through campuses, just like we knew it would:

The FDA has given full approval to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine:


    • EzlyAmuzzed

      I am getting calls and texts to buy one of my two houses about 3 times a day. It used to be from individual investors but now they are coming from call centers. We are being set up for a huge housing crisis that is going to be worse than it is now and by the time we decide to take action I’m afraid it will be too late. Now is a horrible time to buy but an even worse time to rent.

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      • Stephanie ArnoldContributor EzlyAmuzzed

        I think of kids now and what they are going to be up against when they hit adulthood when it comes to securing housing. There are going to be a lot of sandwich generation homes, with multiple generations living together in one household. That’s not necessarily a bad thing–it is normal in most of the world–but the American Dream will be dead and buried without question. Kids will be closer to their grandparents, and there can be benefit there. 

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    • Colorado Jones

      Any possibility that the supply chain shortage is responsible for my inability to get passport photos right now?  All NINE of the places I’ve visited within reasonable driving distance of my home and work have temporarily suspended passport photo services due to “computer problems” or lack of photo printer ink.  I’m thinking the odds of that just being an inconvenient coincidence are pretty slim.

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      • You know, the instructions and requirements for passport photos are online if you want to do it yourself. It took a bit extra work, but I was able to make my own and fit 6 passport pictures on a 13 cent 4X6 print at Walmart. Much cheaper than the $12 they normally charge for passport pictures.

        Here’s a guide

        So maybe that can help you get your pictures if you aren’t limited to places with special passport printers. Walmart, Walgreens, Costco, Sams Club, Target, those all should have a photo center that you can call and ask if you can just print a 4X6 picture.

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      • Thanks for the DIY tip, Robert!  An important reminder that part of preparedness involves the willingness and ingenuity to develop and expand one’s DIY skills, especially in these strange times of labor shortages and supply chain glitches.

        In the meantime, I’ve located a Walgreens on the other side of town, where I happen to be going tomorrow anyway, so I’ll try them.  I called ahead this afternoon and they said that they can do the photos but that many Walgreens stores in the area (including, evidently, the three near my home/work) have been having difficulty stocking photo paper.

        If that doesn’t work, then I’ll probably pursue the DIY route.

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      • Stephanie ArnoldContributor Colorado Jones

        Very strange!

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