News for the week of 2023-12-31

Make a top-level comment for a new story/topic. Discussions about the topic should be in the replies to the top-level comment. That way things stay organized and every main comment as you scroll down is a different piece of news.


  • Comments (7)

    • 2

      This link discusses fears that global warming could lead to further spread of ever more dangerous pathogens with mosquitoes as a vector. Anyone following this?

      • 2

        Yes, I’m keeping an eye on this. My state, Florida, will be one of the first affected. Last year we had around 5-10 cases, a substantial increase compared to the usual 0.

        It’s clearly bad. I don’t think it ranks very high on the scale of emerging threats. Avoiding mosquito-borne diseases like malaria is much easier than avoiding airborne diseases like COVID. Options include bug nets, repellents, eliminating breeding pools, not going out at night…

    • 1

      Prepper Chat Night is this Friday evening, Jan 5, on Discord at 6PM Pacific / 9PM Eastern. Join our Discord now at this link so you’ll be ready when the event starts:


      Prepper Chat Nights are on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of every month. It’s a (video optional) call where we mostly talk about our recent prepping experiences and lessons.


      Note: The Friday chats aren’t the only reason to join Discord. While the website remains the better place for guides, articles, and experience reports, Discord really shines for conversation or helping someone through an immediate situation. The two work well together, and I use both every day.

    • 2

      As Flames Surged, Order Prevailed Inside a Japan Airlines Jet
      In addition to a well-trained crew and an advanced plane, the safe evacuation of 367 passengers came down to a relative absence of panic.

      While a number of factors aided what many have called a miracle at Haneda Airport — a well-trained crew of 12; a veteran pilot with 12,000 hours of flight experience; advanced aircraft design and materials — the relative absence of panic onboard during the emergency procedure perhaps helped the most.

      “Even though I heard screams, mostly people were calm and didn’t stand up from their seats but kept sitting and waiting,” said Aruto Iwama, a passenger who gave a video interview to the newspaper The Guardian. “That’s why I think we were able to escape smoothly.”

      Anton Deibe, a 17-year-old passenger from Stockholm, agreed with that assessment, saying, “The cabin crew were very professional, but one could see even in their eyes that they were scared.” Still, he added, “no one ran ahead to save themselves. Everyone waited for instructions.”

      • 1

        The article mentions the importance of evacuation drills. Our thread on “games that teach survival skills” has relevant simulations for plane evacuation and building evacuation. Copying the relevant game descriptions here.

        Prepare for Impact

        Practice evacuating an airplane. Each scenario has different challenges, such as smoke, fire, blocked exits, water landing…


        Help! The Serious Game

        Practice evacuating a building due to earthquake or fire. Also addresses extra challenges related to disabilities.



    • 1

      Watch out anytime a phone app opens its own browser instead of sending you to the phone’s default browser. Facebook and TikTok have been caught using this trick for key logging, which is a substantial security risk (copying your passwords). While this article focuses on Facebook, be careful of any app that opens its own web browser.

      “When you click on a link in the Facebook or Instagram apps, the website loads in a special browser built into the app, rather than your phone’s default browser. In 2022, privacy researcher Felix Krause found that Meta injects special “keylogging” JavaScript onto the website you’re visiting that allows the company to monitor everything you type and tap on, including passwords. Other apps including TikTok do the same thing.”


    • 2

      Alaska’s snow crab season canceled for second year in a row as population fails to rebound

      The crisis first began in early 2022, after biologists discovered an estimated 10 billion crabs disappeared — a 90% plunge in the population.

      When the season was canceled last year, there was a sense of confusion among the Alaska crab fisher community. Now, a sense of panic is taking hold in the state’s fisheries, which produce 60% of the nation’s seafood.

      According to new research from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a marine heat wave linked to climate change impacted the snow crabs’ food supply and drove them to starvation.

      Biologists hope this second round of suspensions will give the remaining snow crab population time to bulk back up.

      But with the climate threat only growing, there’s concern the snow crabs, along with the industry that depends on them, will continue to shrink.


      Found via GrrlScientist on Mastodon (mstdn.science).