News roundup for Tue, Oct 26, 2021

Long Beach is permitting the stacking of shipping containers 4- or even 5-high. This is a dangerous but probably necessary practice employed at this time to decongest economy-ruining backlogs:

We’re already in a fertilizer crunch (prices hit a record high a few weeks ago), and then there’s this:

A ransomware war is being waged right now, and folks may not even know about it. The US government has been fighting back against REvil, but in response similar groups are calling for coordinated, retaliatory cyberattacks on the US public sector.

The cost of food is going to put a dent in some holiday festivities:

US oil reserves are down, and US barrel prices are rising. Crude is likely to hit $100/barrel like it did the last time reserves were this low.

There’s a bomb cyclone off the West Coast of the US dropping precipitation from SoCal to Canada. What’s odd about this event is that it’s paired with an atmospheric river—it’s going to drench huge swathes of land. There’s been some flooding and storm damage in Northern California. The silver lining is that California’s reservoirs are in desperate need of repletion, and atmospheric rivers definitely do the job.

Electrical storms play a role in cleaning the atmosphere. Oxidating radicals produced by these storms help to break down C02 and methane. The studies have been relatively small-scale and may not be globally generalizable, but they give some interesting insight into atmospheric radical formation and composition.

A hiker lost in a mountainous region of Colorado extended his adventure unnecessarily by failing to answer calls from rescuers. The reason? He didn’t recognize the numbers. A take-home lesson here is to answer calls if there’s a chance folks have reported you as missing.

A good Samaritan assisted a first responder in saving a baby girl from choking. He happened to have an anti-choking device.

The world has over 244.8 million COVID cases. The world has gained 3 million cases in the last week. There have been nearly 5 million deaths in total. The US has a cumulative 46.4 million cases. The US gained over 500,000 cases in the last seven days. Over 757,000 Americans have died during the pandemic—12,000 in the last week. The US gained over 34,000 new cases on Sunday, and over 37,000 by late afternoon Monday. 1,500 people are dying per day in the US based on a 7-day average. The US, UK, Russia, and Turkey have had the largest case gains over the last week.

The CDC has given the green light for Moderna and J&J booster doses. 50 million Americans are eligible for these. Combined with the green light for Pfizer boosters, 100 million Americans who meet the criteria can get one. The criteria are: those over 65, those at risk for severe disease, or those who face occupational exposure (which is self-identified and purposely broadly defined).

Yale looked at the data and says there’s about a 50% chance of COVID reinfection every year and a half for the unvaccinated. The longer the time period, the more likely the person is to be re-infected. It’s possible that folks don’t get super durable immunity to this disease.

Gottlieb says he’s not terribly concerned about the Delta subvariant, but the UK Health Security Agency has noted some troubling traits that I think warrant keeping an eye on:


    • Tony B

      Stephanie thanks as always for these summaries.

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      • Sunnuva Gun Tony B

        Indeed!  I appreciate the effort and time that must go into this.  Thank you!

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    • John Grayman

      Stephanie-do you have any medical experience or opinion on those anti-choking devices? Looking around the wise and trusty internet it appears they have a mixed rep. Sounds like there is atleast one example here of them working as intended. Thank you! 

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