Friday, July 14, 2023

Musical interlude

Jamie Woon - Night Air

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Qiulu Ding and HanJun Zhao study the long-term effects of COVID-19 on the brain, including lasting effects on function and memory. Ida Mogensen et al. find that the younger people who were so frequently declared to be "low-risk" are entirely vulnerable to long COVID. And Thomas Graham, Amrit Dhillon and Caroline Kimeu discuss the devastating effects of COVID-19 on the global South which have been almost entirely neglected by wealthier countries. 

- Aarhus University studies the accumulation of "forever chemicals" even in some of the most remote populations in Europe. 

- Tony Keller points out that Canada is one of the worst climate offenders in the world in terms of both inefficient personal vehicles, and a transportation system designed to require their use. And Markham Hislop highlights how the demand of fossil fuel tycoons and their puppet governments to the public on the hook for site remediation reflects an attempt to break a decades-old deal to have the oil industry clean up at least one aspect of its own mess. 

- Linda McQuaig contrasts Doug Ford's endless supply of free money for developers and donors against his brutal austerity when it comes to social needs. 

- Finally, Cory Doctorow points out the selective security in the U.S.' welfare system which makes strict demands of recipients, while providing no security against fraud and abuse aimed at them.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Sabina Vohra-Miller discusses the ample body of research showing how COVID-19 vaccinations produce superior health outcomes in the course of a pregnancy. And Nature examines the limited effectiveness of rapid tests in identifying asymptomatic cases (which are responsible for half of COVID transmission). 

- Katharine Sanderson comments on a new study showing how plastic debris is reaching the most remote depths of the ocean. And Guy Standing writes about the extractivists planning to shift from polluting the depths to mining them with no regard for the resulting harms. 

- Meanwhile, Harrison Tasoff discusses how forests can't adapt quickly enough to keep up with the current pace of climate breakdown. 

- Carly Weeks reports on the push from health care advocacy organizations to get premiers to follow through on their rhetoric about health care - as to date not a single one has been willing to commit to evidence-based improvements in order to access federal funding. 

- Finally, Brian Fung reports on the widespread and illegal sharing of data from U.S. tax preparation providers, who disclosed sensitive personal information to social media giants for their advertising purposes. And Darryl Greer reports that the federal government's reflexive distrust of CERB recipients has given rise to a flurry of court proceedings where people have proven their entitlement to benefits. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Heidi Ledford discusses new research which is helping to identify genetic risk factors for long COVID - though the fact that new COVID-19 variants are being allowed to run wild while that work is in its infancy means that people will be exposed to readily-avoidable suffering. Jennifer La Grassa and Lauren Pelley reports on the National Advisory Committee on Immunization's recommendation that Canadians continue to be vaccinated. But the announcement that university-based wastewater monitoring is being abandoned - leaving any continued reporting to politically-controlled bodies which have shown they're more interested in normalizing transmission than protecting public health - makes it all too likely that Saskatchewan residents will fail to do what they can and should to protect their communities. 

- Patrick Rail interviews Armine Yalnizyan about the grim reality that the Bank of Canada is looking to raise interest rates for the sole purpose of causing pain to the general public. 

- Arielle Samuelson and Emily Atkin write about the oil companies laughing all the way to the bank while the world burns due to the use of their products. Melissa Rossi discusses the eminently-desirable principle underlying 15-minute cities which has been subjected to ritual denunciation as a fossil fuel propaganda point. And Rosa Saba reports on the work being done to turn the availability of outdoor patio space into a normal expectation rather than a perceived aberration. 

- Finally, Cory Doctorow discusses how U.S. Democrats shut off their greatest grassroots operation in modern history in favour of governance by triangulating establishmentarians - and how the result has been predictably disastrous both in terms of electoral outcomes and policy effects. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Cats with friends.

Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Joseph Puthussery et al. study the feasibility of real-time, location-based air sampling to identify the presence of COVID-19, while Jennifer La Grassa reports on the efforts of scientists to ensure the powers that be don't scrap what few remaining monitoring efforts are still in progress. And The Japan News' editorial implores that country's government not to stop preventative measures after a ninth wave - which is striking particularly due to our abandonment of any pretense of identifying waves as they keep happening. 

- Meanwhile, Patrick Heuveline discusses how the COVID pandemic has only exacerbated the U.S.' disproportionate number of excess deaths compared to other similarly wealthy countries. And Harold Meyerson writes about the recent increase in lower-income earnings which the corporate sector is determined to squelch.

- Hayatullah Amanat reports on a new survey showing the large number of Canadians losing sleep and suffering adverse health effects from financial worries. And Vanessa Balintec highlights why more needs to be done to ensure that people aren't trapped in precarious work without rights or recourse against abusive corporations. 

- Finally, Bill McKibben argues that a wave of unprecedented heat should confirm that we can't afford to put off urgent climate policy. But while Natasha Bulowski reports on research showing that the same oil industry which is determined to keep spewing carbon pollution could afford to clean up its messes, Markham Hislop calls out its unconscionable refusal to do anything but force the public to pick up the tab. 

Sunday, July 09, 2023

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Claire Pomeroy writes that the establishment's refusal to stop the transmission of COVID-19 has created a desperate need to account for the widespread disability it's causing. But Brody Langager reports that in Saskatchewan, a non-profit's website is instead serving as the closest patients have to a central source of information as the Moe government continues not to care about public health.

- Carol Hughes makes the case for a windfall tax on grocery profits which have been extracted by self-serving oligarchs under the false cover of claimed inflation. And D.T. Cochrane notes that the Competition Bureau's recent report only strengthens the argument.

- Sheila Block and Grace-Edward Galabuzi highlight how shifts in Ontario's workforce have exacerbated racial inequalities.

- Erika Shaker calls out the dog-whistle of "parental choice" as an excuse to reinforce inequalities of privilege and power. And Noah Fry warns that Blaine Higgs is using a bland public image to divert attention from an anti-social agenda no less extreme than that of Danielle Smith.

- Finally, Luke Savage discusses how Toronto's election of Olivia Chow as mayor provided a needed rebuke to the austerian corporate forces which had previously dominated the city.