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Thursday, September 08, 2022

Links - 8th September 2022 (2)

TikTok user reveals ‘dirty’ meaning behind ‘Macarena’ and people’s childhoods are ruined - "user @peakay81 has shared the story behind the song, with it being about “a woman whose boyfriend is about to join the army”. “She, when he’s away, has a threesome with his two best mates."

Meme - "So me and my bros wanted to once and for all test the hypothesis that we are all living in a matrix. We came to the conclusion that a matrix could only run so smoothly because of our predictable behavior. For example, if you eat it is likely that you will swallow your food. Therefore, the matrix would be ready to initiate a digestion program. But if a group of people did something unpredictable, the matrix would have to shut down. So what we did is we randomly started gang banging each other. The matrix could have never predicted that becuase that is like super gay. But nothing happened (matrix-wise). But this is not point why I am writing about this. My friends now want to do the gang-banging shit again and I am not sure how to respond to that."

Lid flipped open
Tipped over
In the neighbor's yard
Down the street
I've lost my trash can"

Meme - "What we should have learned from dogs
love care loyalty
what we actually learned
*doggy style*"

Meme - "DM: It seems your quiver is not noted on your character's sheet, where have you been storing all your arrows?
DM: Nevermind"

Firing Squads Replace Scarce Lethal Injection Drugs In Some State Executions - " South Carolina's Republican governor signed a bill into law last week that sounds like it's from a different century: Death row inmates must choose whether to be executed by the electric chair or a firing squad if lethal injection drugs are unavailable. Lethal injection is the preferred method of execution in states that have the death penalty. But in recent years, they've had difficulty obtaining lethal injection drugs as pharmaceutical companies blocked their drugs from being used in executions... New Hampshire permits hanging, which was once the primary method of execution in the United States. (The state has abolished the death penalty but not retroactively. One prisoner remains on death row there.)... In Utah, it happens this way: A squad of sharpshooters — volunteers solicited from corrections employees or law enforcement – carry out the execution. "The prisoner is strapped into a chair, has a hood put over his or her face and a target placed on his or her chest above the heart. There are sandbags around the chair in case there are either stray bullets or ricochet. Done properly, the sharpshooters should be able to hit the target. And if there are five sharpshooters, four have live ammunition, one has a blank," Dunham says. "The idea is that that provides them with psychological deniability so that they don't have assurance that they actually killed somebody."... The American Civil Liberties Union of South Carolina called the state's execution legislation "modern-day lynching." It notes that Black people make up more than half of those on the state's death row despite being only 27% of its population."

Meme - "So you think it was a smart move insulting a moderator and blocking the admin huh. Arrogance and idiocy gets you no where. Admin sends her regards that you're banned from the group for what you pulled off. I bet when your parents friends ask about you your parents changed the subject and we can see why. An arrogant man child who refuses to admit he's wrong. Good luck champ."
So many Facebook group admins are losers. Like Reddit moderators who claim those are jobs
OP: "I laugh reacted at a moderators post and then an admin messaged me saying I was rude but they didn’t give any context so I didn’t know who they were and blocked them. Now I got this message from a different admin (that I blocked just for the laughs… OH NOOOO IM BLOCKED FROM A SHITTY FACEBOOK GROUP WHAT AM I GOING TO DDOOOOOOOOO"

Meme - "I bought my hubby a new 50" TV last week because his old one broke down. We took the old TV and put it in the box that the new one came in and set it in our entryway. Porch pirate came and picked it up on Tuesday night. I just wish I could see his face when he finds out it's no good. He saved us a trip to the dump and got his just karma."

Wales: Plaque for man who liked to tell seagulls to 'f**k off' removed - "The plaque, in memory of Huw Davies, had been placed on a bench overlooking South Beach in Aberystwyth. It read: ‘In loving memory of Huw Davies. Used to sit here and shout ‘f**k off!’ at the seagulls’... ‘An unauthorised plaque had been placed, by an unknown person, on an existing bench within Aberystwyth Castle grounds. The plaque has been removed.’ Locals do not seem to know who Huw Davies was, but have said they found the plaque funny, especially given seagulls’ reputation for being seaside menaces."

What Caused the Baby Formula Shortage? - WSJ - "By now you’ve heard that some 40% of the nation’s baby formula is out of stock, causing new mothers to hunt from store to store to feed their infants. This should never happen in America. How did it? Here’s the government part of the story you won’t hear from the political class. Abbott Laboratories in February recalled several brands and shut down a plant in Michigan after complaints that four infants fell severely ill with a dangerous bacteria after ingesting its powdered formula. The Food and Drug Administration launched an investigation and onsite inspection, noting earlier findings that had detected the bacteria at the plant. It’s not clear when the FDA was made aware of the problems at the plant and why it didn’t take action sooner. Abbott said this week that “after a thorough review of all available data, there is no evidence to link our formulas to these infant illnesses.” The FDA said Friday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention closed its investigation after finding no more cases of infant illness. Some conservatives blame the FDA for causing a scare, but the agency had no choice but to investigate the complaints and warn consumers. The real culprit is government policies that have limited formula options. Last year Abbott accounted for 42% of the U.S. formula market, about 95% of which is produced domestically. There are only four major manufacturers of formula in the U.S. today: Mead Johnson, Abbott, Nestle, and Perrigo. One reason the market is so concentrated is tariffs up to 17.5% on imports, which protect domestic producers from foreign competition. Non-trade barriers such as FDA labeling and ingredient requirements also limit imports even during shortages. Canada’s strong dairy industry has attracted investment in formula production. But the Trump Administration sought to protect domestic producers by imposing quotas and tariffs on Canadian imports in the USMCA trade deal. The FDA can inspect foreign plants so the U.S. import restrictions aren’t essential for product safety. They merely raise prices for consumers and limit choice. Further limiting competition is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) for low-income mothers. By the Department of Agriculture’s estimate, WIC accounted for between 57% and 68% of all infant formula sold in the U.S. Under the welfare program, each state awards an exclusive formula contract to a manufacturer. Companies compete for the contracts by offering states huge rebates on the formula women can buy. The rebates equal about 85% of the wholesale cost, according to a 2011 USDA study. Women can only use WIC vouchers to purchase formula from the winning manufacturer. These rebates reduce state spending, but there’s no such thing as free baby formula. Why would manufacturers give states an enormous discount? Because the contracts effectively give them a state monopoly. Stores give WIC brands more shelf space. Physicians may also be more likely to recommend WIC brands. After 30 states switched their WIC contracts between 2005 and 2008, the new provider’s market share increased on average by 84 percentage points."
"Capitalism has failed"

Meta COO Sheryl Sandberg under internal review for trying to stop story about ex-boyfriend: WSJ - "Facebook has recently started an internal review of Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Meta Platforms Inc. after she came under fire for pressuring U.K. tabloid the Daily Mail to stop publication of an article about her then-boyfriend Bobby Kotick... One of the concerns of Sandberg’s legal team and public-relations advisors, inside and outside Facebook, was that this story would negatively reflect on her reputation as being an advocate for women"

Secondary school bans students from using slang terms such as ‘like’ and ‘bare’ - "A London secondary school has “banned” its pupils from using slang, with phrases on the prohibited list including “that’s long”, “bare” and “oh my days”. Students at the Ark All Saints Academy in southeast London are also not permitted to use the terms “basically”, “like”, and “you know” at the beginning of sentences... the list of banned words and phrases only applies to formal learning situations and exams, and can still be used among pupils on the playground... Some linguistic experts have warned against policing slang language. "
So much for teaching professionalism and register. When the kids grow up and find themselves disadvantaged, this will be blamed on structural discrimination

a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/in-plain-sight/endless-debt-native-americans-plagued-high-interest-loans-n236706">Endless Debt: Native Americans Plagued by High-Interest Loans - "On Zuni and Navajo land near Gallup, tribal laws prohibit high-interest lending on reservations. But those laws have little effect, experts say, because lenders don’t operate on tribal lands, forcing residents to travel to border towns for loans. “The reservations are credit ghettos,” said Marvin Ginn, the director of Native Community Finance, a U.S. Treasury-chartered Native Community Development Financial Institution, which provides credit and financial services to the underserved. “When we come off the reservation, the easiest and sometimes only way to get a loan is through a predatory lender.”"
This suggests that banning "predatory lending" will not solve the issue

Regulations Target Western Sky and Native American Predatory Lending - "Western Sky has interest rates upward of 300 percent. It is able to skirt the law because it is Native American-owned and it operates completely on a Native American reservation, distributing loans online. While Native American tribes must abide by federal U.S. laws, tribal sovereignty allows them to ignore state-specific laws. Working with Native American tribes has become a common way for predatory lenders – especially payday lenders – to avoid state consumer protection laws. Tribes that own lending businesses argue that they are simply supporting themselves. “The fact is our tribe – and tribes nationwide – benefit from the positive economic impact from these and other businesses activities, with revenues directed towards such critical needs as medical care, education and many other basic necessities,” wrote Charles Moncooyea, vice chairman of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe. The 10 tribes with lending businesses accounted for 35 percent of payday loans in 2010, generating $11.2 billion in loans. Thanks to high interest rates, their profits add up to much more."

How a Payday Lender Used Tribal Immunity to Get Rich Quick - "American Web Loan claimed it could charge sky-high rates because it was owned by a Native tribe, the Otoe-Missouria. The tribe’s sovereign status meant that the business would have immunity against state usury laws and civil suits... “Tribes have to make money, but doing it at the expense of the public gives tribal sovereignty a bad name,” said Nathalie Martin, a University of New Mexico law professor who has written about alliances between payday lenders and Native tribes. “When you use your sovereignty for these types of things, it could be seen as weakening and cheapening that sovereignty.”"

Octopus Arms Have Minds of Their Own
Octopuses on ecstasy just want a cuddle - "After absorbing the drug, the animals ignored toys, such as Star Wars figurines, that would normally have intrigued them. Instead, the octopuses socialized and spent more time touching one another with their arms than these creatures usually do."
Watch: The scientific reason why baby octopuses ride jellyfish - "The octopus seemed to be in control of its living vehicle, the researchers write. It actually steered the jellyfish, using it for protection by turning the jelly's tentacles toward the divers photographing the phenomenon. "The interaction between the octopod and divers, namely by rotating the jelly towards what we presume to be a perceived threat, supports a potential defensive use of the hijacked jelly," the scientists explain. "Thus, we argue that the octopod seems to be using the jelly to protect itself." Using jellyfish stingers as an attack shield isn't the only way seven-armed octopuses benefit from jellyfish; they also eat jellies. But that doesn't seem to be what's happening here, the researchers explain. If it were only looking for a snack, the octopus would have taken a bite and moved on... The blanket octopus, Tremoctopus violaceus, gets a bit more creative — and decidedly less adorable — with its use of jellyfish for protection. It uses jellyfish tentacles as weapons, researchers reported in a 1963 paper published in Science. Male and small female blanket octopuses carry around fragments of tentacles from Physalia physalis, aka the dreaded Portuguese Man-of-War, Bennice says. The stinging tentacles don't bother the octopus, which holds fragments with its first two pairs of arms. In addition to defense, the tentacle-wielding habit may help the octopus capture, food, too"
Octopuses sometimes punch fish out of spite

Spider-Man vs the Real Deal: Spider Powers - "Spider-Man is able to sense danger lurking near, the warning signal coming as a pain in his head that varies with the intensity of the threat. Spiders can detect danger coming their way with an early-warning system called eyes. You probably expected that. But that’s not all: their most important source of information about the world and its hazards comes from highly sensitive hairs that cover the bodies of most spiders. These hairs perceive even low-level vibrations coming through whatever surface a spider is standing on. Many species also bear hairs that sense vibrations in the air, including sound."

Meme - "Ordered balloons for my mummy finishing chemo on Tuesday saying "fuck cancer" and got this this morning"
"Hi Shannon Thank you for shopping with us. Amazon seller Eighty80 LTD has encountered an unexpected problem with completing your order.
Message from seller Eighty80 LTD:
Hi Shannon We have refunded your order because we agree with your balloons! Do not worry, the balloons are still on the way for you, use the refunded money to get some cake? All the love from Noelle at Eighty80 Ltd"

Tattooed Italian mobster nabbed in Caribbean thanks to YouTube cooking videos | Toronto Sun - "A mafia fugitive hiding in the Dominican Republic has been tracked down thanks to his tattoos visible in cooking videos he posted on YouTube... Marc Feren Claude Biart, 53, was arrested on March 24 in the town of Boca Chica, close to the capital Santo Domingo, where he had arrived more than five years ago from Costa Rica... He and his wife posted on YouTube several videos of Biart cooking Italian dishes. Although they were careful not to show his face, police recognized him from the tattoos."

Provocative new study finds bullies have highest self esteem, social status, lowest rates of depression - "A just-published Canadian study has added heft to a provocative new theory about bullying: that the behaviour is literally in the genes, an inherited trait that actually helps build social rank and sex appeal. If accepted, the hypothesis rooted in evolutionary psychology could transform how schools confront the persistent and often-shattering problem. Conventional wisdom has long suggested that bullies are “maladapted,” troubled people, lashing out because they had been abused or harassed themselves or at least had dysfunctional home lives... Most anti-bullying programs try to change the behaviour of bullies — and they usually don’t work, says Wong, who reviewed the literature on program outcomes for her PhD thesis. That’s probably because the behaviour is biologically hard-wired, not learned... Wong recommends that, instead of trying to change how bullies think, schools expand the range of competitive, supervised activities they can participate in — giving them a less harmful channel for their dominating tendencies... A pilot project at an Arizona school sought to steer students identified as bullies into high-status “jobs” — like being the school’s front-door greeters — to focus their aggression on something less harmful. Bullying fell “dramatically” in its wake, says Tony Volk, a Brock University psychologist who helped pioneer the genetic theory of bullying and took part in an upcoming study of the Arizona project. Meanwhile, separate research Volk is working on offers more evidence bolstering the concept: the bullies among 178 teenagers surveyed by the professor and his colleagues got more sex than everyone else. “The average bully isn’t particularly sadistic or even deeply argumentative,” he says. “What they really are is people driven for status.” The hypothesis may be a hard sell in the anti-bullying world, however, where the notion that many people bully because it is in their nature — and can’t be easily changed — is troublesome. Rob Frenette, co-founder of the advocacy and support group Bullying Canada, says he has yet to encounter a bully who did not have some underlying issue — such as violence at home — that was a likely environmental trigger for the bullying...
' Society tends to be focusing a lot on youth bullying, but you see the same things among adults. This is a societal issue, not just youth. Kid bullies turn into teen bullies and evolve to adult bullies. Adult bullies tend to rise to management, receive status and recognition in the workplace and community for ability to “tackle tough issues and people”, and are often celebrated as strong and capable leaders. Hard wired or not, people, of all ages and stages, in our society are rewarded for bully-type behaviour all the time'...
'the increase in bullying, like autism, may also be due to the vast broadening of the definition of the word'...
the type of bullies Frenette cites, and that often are the public face of the problem, form a separate category, well-defined by psychologists, called bully-victims, says Volk, the St. Catharines, Ont., professor. They are the ones who are troubled themselves and strike out in visible, blatant ways that quickly come to the attention of authorities, he said. Evidence indicates it is the “pure” bullies, however, who account for 80-90% of bullying, yet are more socially adept, more popular and fly more under the radar"

How Being Bullied Affects Your Adulthood - "Sometimes, having been bullied seems to have positive outcomes. About 47 percent of deLara’s interviewees said they had mined something beneficial, like a sense of inner strength or self-reliance, from the experience. Others cultivated empathy or consciously decided to treat others well or make something of their lives."

Bullied Teenagers Who Exercise Regularly Are 23% Less Likely to Attempt Suicide
Maybe if they exercise they get bullied less

Zambian student is arrested in Russia for 'Nazism' after TWERKING in front of a war memorial - "The woman, identified by local media as Rebecca Ziba, 21, posted a clip of herself 'shaking a**' next to the Memorial of Glory in the city of Khanty-Mansiysk."
Does the left hate "Nazis" more or love black women more?

France’s big bet on hydrogen is doomed to fail - "Emmanuel Macron’s ambitions to make the country a leader in green hydrogen technology have likely put Renault on the wrong track"

Meme - "Teacher: Human sperm contains sugar
Sarah: Then why is it not sweet?
The entire class:"

McEwen on Twitter - "People who think Americans won't take trains if they are a couple of hours slower than planes need to meet the Midwesterners who are like "why bother flying it's only a ten hour drive""

Cashier not invited to work drinks given £74,000 compensation - "Failing to invite a colleague to work drinks is victimisation, a tribunal has ruled as a casino worker is handed £75,000 in compensation. Cashier Rita Leher, 51, claimed she felt "shunned" by colleagues at Aspers casino in Stratford, east London, and was the only one not invited to cocktail bar Las Iguanas for drinks. Fellow cashiers also '"insensitively" discussed the social event in front of her... Her exclusion from the drinks event was because colleagues "did not wish to socialise with someone who had complained of discrimination""
Alternatively, she might have been an unpleasant person, which is why she got shunned

Pro-Pedo Prof Gets Clown-Slapped and Placed on Leave - "Allyn Walker, a trans assistant professor at Old Dominion University (ODU) and author of the book A Long, Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity, was put on administrative leave by the college he/she/they/zhim-zhim works for... “I’ve definitely heard the idea that you brought up though that the use of the term minor-attracted person suggests that it’s okay to be attracted to children,” Walked told Prostasia. “But using a term that communicates who someone is attracted to doesn’t indicate anything about the morality of that attraction.”"
With anti "pedo" virtue signalling, anything that deviates from the party line means you are pro "pedo"

Professor who researched ‘minor-attracted persons’ steps down - "An Old Dominion University professor researching “minor-attracted people” (MAPs) agreed to step down from their position Wednesday after their work sparked threats and protests. In a joint statement on Wednesday, Allyn Walker and the university announced their resignation from their position as assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice after the expiration of their contract in 2022... Walker, who is transgender, explained that their research was meant to prevent child sex abuse, attributing the backlash to their trans identity and misrepresentation online... The backlash came after Walker gave an interview about their book, “A Long, Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity” earlier this month. “I think we have a tendency to want to categorize people with these attractions as evil or morally corrupt,” Walker said in the interview. “But when we’re talking about non-offending MAPS, these are people who have an attraction that they didn’t ask for. And one that frequently they would do anything to change. But they find that they’re unable to change those attractions. And most importantly, the people in my study did not act on them,” they added."
Apparently this person is actually non-binary instead
It is more important to virtue signal about "pedos" than to take steps to prevent children from being abused

Virginia professor resigns amid uproar over comments about adults attracted to children - "They said potential sex-offenders can be prevented from committing crimes by developing coping strategies."

Snickers Responds To Claims It Removed The 'D**K Vein' From Its Chocolate Bar - "This may have been the result of chocolate melting and then reforming, a manufacturing error, or some other cause."

For Centuries, Massive Meals Amazed Visitors to Korea - "Yi Geuk-don, a 15th-century Confucian scholar, complained to the king that the people were not saving food in good harvests, but ate in one meal the amount of food that the Chinese would eat in a day. In Swaemirok, a book chronicling life during the Joseon Dynasty in the late 16th century, author Oh Hui-mun wrote that an “ordinary grown man of Joseon eats about seven hob of rice per meal”: more than two pounds. Europeans who visited Korea in the 19th century also noted that Koreans typically ate double to triple the amount of food that the Japanese or the Chinese ate... Perhaps because of the better eating, Hesse-Wartegg also noticed Korea’s soldiers were “muscular, stocky and well-nourished” and “in a much better condition” than Chinese and Japanese soldiers. There is even a photographic evidence of how much Koreans ate in the 19th century. A photo postcard sold in France in the late 19th century shows a Korean man in front of his table, with the caption “Bon appetit!” In his book, Korean History on the Table, food writer Ju Yeong-ha noted the rice bowl in the photo was 3.5 inches tall with a diameter of over 6 inches, holding nearly a liter of rice to be eaten with soup that came in an even larger bowl, with an assortment of side dishes. For one person. In one meal... Fertile lands and superior farming techniques certainly played a role, as Korea is one of the earliest locations in the world to adopt paddy-style rice farming. Farmers grew rice seedlings, then transplanted them into flooded fields, allowing for more intensive planting and easier management. Ju Yeong-ha also notes the importance of Daedong-beob, the taxation system that the Joseon Dynasty introduced in the early 17th century. Prior to Daedong-beob, Koreans paid taxes to the king in the various forms of goods that the royal court required, such as lumber, horses, and silk. Daedong-beob unified the various forms of taxes to a single kind: rice. This, in effect, made growing rice equivalent to growing money, encouraging even more production than strictly necessary. With so much more rice, Koreans simply had access to more food... in areas of Korea with strong food traditions, the practice of serving an inordinate amount of food is alive and well. A good example is the southwestern city of Jeonju, the birthplace for many world-famous Korean dishes, such as bibimbap. Jeonju is notorious for both the quality and the quantity of its food—at its renowned Makgeolli Alley, a $15 kettle of makgeolli (rice wine) comes with dozens of delicious little dishes covering up the entire table. According to a survey conducted in 2002, one of the few complaints of international visitors to Jeonju was that the local restaurants served too much food."

Neil deGrasse Tyson calls lunar eclipses ‘un-spectacular,’ angers Twitter - "“Lunar eclipses are so un-spectacular that if nobody told you what was happening to the Moon you’d probably not notice at all,” reads Tyson’s tweet. “Just sayin’.”... as posted by none other than Wendy’s themselves: “Sir, this is a Wendy’s.”"

The Surprising Reason that There Are So Many Thai Restaurants in America - "according to a representative from the Royal Thai Embassy in DC, there are just 300,000 Thai-Americans—less than 1 percent the size of the the Mexican-American population. Yet there are an estimated 5,342 Thai restaurants in the United States, compared to around 54,000 Mexican restaurants; that’s ten times the population-to-restaurant ratio. So, why are there so many Thai restaurants in the US?... The Thai government paid for it. Using a tactic now known as gastrodiplomacy or culinary diplomacy, the government of Thailand has intentionally bolstered the presence of Thai cuisine outside of Thailand to increase its export and tourism revenues, as well as its prominence on the cultural and diplomatic stages. In 2001, the Thai government established the Global Thai Restaurant Company, Ltd., in an effort to establish at least 3,000 Thai restaurants worldwide. At the time, Thai deputy commerce minister Goanpot Asvinvichit told the Wall Street Journal that the government hoped the chain would be “like the McDonald’s of Thai food.” Apparently, the government had been training chefs at its culinary training facilities to send abroad for the previous decade, but this project formalized and enhanced these efforts significantly... The Ministry of Commerce’s Department of Export Promotion, most likely run by bureaucrats rather than restaurateurs, drew up prototypes for three different “master restaurants,” which investors could choose as a sort of prefabricated restaurant plan, from aesthetic to menu offerings. Elephant Jump would be the fast casual option, at $5 to $15 per person; Cool Basil would be the mid-priced option at $15 to $25 a head; and the Golden Leaf prototype would cost diners $25 to $30, with décor featuring “authentic Thai fabrics and objets d’art.” (Does your favorite Thai spot have objets d’art? The restaurant may have been built from a government prototype.) The Department of Export Promotion also matched and set up meetings between Thai and foreign business people, conducted market research on local tastes around the world, and sent representatives from Thai cooking institutes abroad to train chefs at foreign restaurants. Meanwhile, the Export-Import Bank of Thailand offered loans to Thai nationals hoping to open restaurants abroad, and the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand set up an infrastructure for loans of up to $3 million for enterprise in the food industry, including foreign Thai restaurants. The Public Health Ministry published a book in 2002 called A Manual for Thai Chefs Going Abroad, which provided information about recruitment, training, and even the tastes of foreigners. The Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Industry, the Thailand National Food Institute, the public Kasetsart University, and the Ministry of Agriculture were all involved in the push to bolster Thai food abroad, from training chefs to inspecting exports to researching new recipes to appeal to foreign tastes. A special visa was even established in New Zealand specifically for Thai chefs. It worked. At the time of the Global Thai program’s launch, there were about 5,500 Thai restaurants beyond Thailand’s borders; today there are over 15,000. The number in the US increased from around 2,000 to over 5,000. Now that the restaurants are opened, the government is concerned with maintaining their quality and their value as export channels. As of August 2017, 413 Thai restaurants in the US have been awarded “Thai Select” certificates by the Thai Ministry of Commerce to denote quality and authenticity. Thai restaurants in locales as far as Mexico and Nigeria have been recognized... Inspired by Thailand’s success, South Korea, for example, has earmarked tens of millions of dollars beginning in 2009 for its Korean Cuisine to the World campaign. Taiwan has followed suit, as has Peru with its Cocina Peruana Para el Mundo (“Peruvian Cuisine for the World;” quite creative) initiative, as well as Malaysia (“Malaysia Kitchen for the World 2010”—clearly there’s a pattern here). Even the North Korean government has recognized food’s diplomatic power, and has maintained an international chain of over 100 restaurants called Pyongyang, featuring North Korean staples as well as musical performances by a purportedly captive North Korean staff. The phenomenon of escaping and defecting waitresses may have put a damper on the North Koreans’ enthusiasm for this project."
Too bad this won't work for China despite the number of Chinese restaurants, since they are doing even more to undermine their image
Libertarians are going to be very upset that the Thai government successfully promoted Thai restaurants abroad, since their religion is that everything governments do fails

Playing the Role of New York? Toronto. That View of Paris? It’s Montreal. - The New York Times - "The exhibition explores how Canadian cities frequently double as other metropolises in movies and television shows, and what that means about (among other things) film, architecture, cities, national identity and how our perception of the built world is often based on artifice... Toronto plays Tokyo in “Pacific Rim,” Chicago in the movie “Chicago,” Baltimore in “Hairspray” and Boston in much of “Good Will Hunting.” Vancouver plays New York in the Jackie Chan movie “Rumble in the Bronx” (leading to an infamous oversight, in which the city has mountains lurking behind it), and it plays Seattle, Budapest and Mumbai in “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.” Montreal has played Marseille and Montrichard, France, in “Catch Me if You Can” and Paris in “X-Men: Days of Future Past”; Washington, D.C., in “White House Down”; and Brooklyn in the movie “Brooklyn.” Particularly popular filming locations include the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant, a beloved Art Deco complex in Toronto that has played sinister locations in movies like “Undercover Brother” (portraying The Man’s headquarters) and “In the Mouth of Madness” (a mental hospital). The University of Toronto has played Harvard, M.I.T. and Princeton, among many other schools. The reasons for Canada’s prime status as a film “impostor” are many, Mr. Theodore said: tax breaks, lower costs, diverse landscapes, high-quality shooting and editing facilities, friendliness and a general unfamiliarity with Canada among international movie audiences, allowing it to easily stand in without being recognized. Another factor, according to the exhibition’s designer, Thomas Balaban, an architect and professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Montreal, is that Canada’s cities are more generic than those in many countries, particularly those in the United States, which Canada plays most often... In a recent article for Architect magazine, the critic Witold Rybczynski wrote that despite a few radical midcentury exceptions from architects like Erickson, Andrews and Moshe Safdie, “Canadian architects have generally toed the Modernist line, preferring to leave radical experimentation to others.”"

Canada’s top court says voluntary extreme intoxication a defence in violent crimes - "The Supreme Court of Canada issued a major decision on Friday allowing criminal defendants in cases involving assault — including sexual assault — to use a defence known as self-induced extreme intoxication. Effectively, it means defendants who voluntarily consume intoxicating substances and then assault or interfere with the bodily integrity of another person can avoid conviction if they can prove they were too intoxicated to control their actions."

The Peculiar Origins Mail-Order Brides In Colonial America - "Back in England, marriage required enormous financial commitment. Women who didn't come from wealthy families would often have to do years of domestic work to amass enough money to wed. Emigration provided a healthy alternative. The Virginia Company offered yet more incentives. These included a dowry of clothing, furniture, and transportation to the colony as well as a plot of land. An unattached woman would also receive her pick of a range of wealthy bachelors... any settler who financed their own journey to Jamestown would receive a 50-acre plot of land. The same deal was offered to those who sponsored another settler. Eager to take advantage of these offers, wealthy citizens would snatch up others and bring them to the colony as servants to grab as much land as possible"

Silly Entry Questions: Jennifer Walters: She-Hulk Posting

Jennifer Walters: She-Hulk Posting: "Complete the sentence: _ Lives Matter Write
Yes or no: Sex work is real work.
How many genders are there?"

Then again, given the nature of the show, perhaps these questions are appropriate after all.


"Just so everyone knows, the admin works for a real estate company.
It converts buildings into apartments

In wokism, she's a parasite landlord and gentrifire of poc neighborhoods"

Links - 8th September 2022 (1 - Climate Change: Extinction Rebellion etc)

Why Extinction Rebellion seems so nuts - "One of my favourite political events this year was the Battle of Canning Town. This was the moment when Extinction Rebellion decided to send its painfully middle-class agitators to a working-class part of East London early in the morning to lecture and inconvenience people who just wanted to get to work. What could go wrong? Quite a lot, it turned out. There were many wonderful moments. The two posh greens who climbed on top of a Tube train at Canning Town were mocked and eventually dragged down. A commuter can be heard branding one of the protesters a ‘ponytail weirdo’. Elsewhere on the Tube system that day, commuters pointed out that the London Underground is run on electricity and is therefore pretty eco-friendly. ‘Are you that fucking stupid?’, one asked a smug-looking couple of XR agitators. ‘No wonder you can’t get jobs…’ But the best moment came during the Battle of Canning Town, during that clash between working people and eco-elitists, when one of the commuters shouted at the protesters: ‘The world is not coming to an end!’ I thought that was brilliant. This woman was just trying to get to her job and yet she found herself having to act as the voice of reason against the new hysteria. And she rose to the occasion wonderfully. She said what many of us know to be true: humankind does not face extinction. The reason I admire the Battle of Canning Town is that it represented a potential turning point in modern green politics. It was really the first time in a long time that eco-hysteria was subjected to public judgement, to democratic rebuke, to the rational scepticism of the people. For far too long green ideology has been insulated from public challenge and public debate and this has allowed it to become increasingly eccentric and even unhinged. The Battle of Canning Town represented a reasoned, bottom-up pushback against the protected hysteria of modern environmentalism.  This is the thing I find most fascinating about Extinction Rebellion: its very name is a lie. Those two words themselves are untrue. Humankind does not face extinction, and all reasonable people know this. We know that there is nothing in the IPCC reports – which themselves are often over-the-top – to justify XR’s harebrained claims that we have 12 years to save the planet, and if we fail billions of people will die. They’ve just made this up. As for the second word – ‘rebellion’ – this is a lie, too. Extinction Rebellion is not a rebellion. Rather, its ideology and misanthropy are entirely in keeping with the outlook of mainstream politics and popular culture...   Extinction Rebellion is not an edgy, radical movement. It is the militant wing of capitalist society’s loss of faith in itself... it expresses the same old incorrect, disproven claims of conservationism and environmentalism that have been doing the rounds for decades... it does this in an increasingly intemperate, morally unanchored and even apocalyptic fashion... XR makes the same fundamental mistake as every naturalist misanthrope in history. It views population growth and humanity’s use of resources as variable and everything else, most notably human ingenuity, as fixed. This means its basic maths, not to mention its morality, is wrong. It means XR makes the same mistake as Thomas Malthus did, and as the early 20th-century eugenicists did, and as 1970s eco-extremists did. It sees humankind as merely a consuming force, never as a producing or imaginative one... Its language is, to be frank, deranged. It says Africa is on fire, which is a lie. It says billions of humans will die in the next few years, which is not true. It says we are running out of resources – another myth. The linguistic shifts are remarkable. Greens have gone from talking about climate change to climate emergency to climate breakdown to climate catastrophe. These are not scientific terms; they are moralistic terms that express a fearful and often quite unstable view of humanity’s impact on the planet. Why is XR like this? Because for too long green thinking has been insulated from debate and confrontation. Censorship has been deployed to deflect criticism from the green ideology. Anyone who raises questions about eco-misanthropy is branded a climate-change denier and efforts will be made to expel him or her from public life... Censorship is the midwife of stupidity, and more importantly of dogmatism. When religious or political or moral ideologies are insulated from critique, they become dogmas."

An establishment rebellion - "London’s Victoria and Albert Museum has acquired a number of artefacts associated with Extinction Rebellion (XR), the protest group campaigning to reduce Britain’s carbon emissions to ‘net zero’ by 2025. Apparently, just nine months since Extinction Rebellion’s first public stunt, its paraphernalia deserves to be housed alongside some of the world’s best art and design works of the past 5,000 years. It is hard to think of any supposedly radical protest movement in history that has been so readily embraced by the establishment as Extinction Rebellion. And the love-bombing isn’t just coming from the usual luvvies like Dame Emma Thompson and activist celebs like Lily Cole and Charlotte Church. Recently, XR attracted the attention of wealthy philanthropists. Last month, three wealthy Americans (one of whose family wealth comes from the oil industry) donated nearly £500,000 to XR and vowed to raise millions more. Other wealthy backers include a hedge-fund manager, who remains anonymous.  Then, there is the literary establishment – from heavyweight authors like Margaret Atwood and Phillip Pullman to big-name publishers like Penguin, it has thrown its weight behind Extinction Rebellion, too... The reason for this establishment love-in is that Extinction Rebellion represents no rebellion at all. It has the appearance of a rebellion, certainly – protesters glue their hands to buildings, block roads and get themselves arrested. But the message is one that affirms and flatters establishment opinion rather than challenging it.    Parliament, for instance, was quick to heed XR’s demand to declare a ‘climate emergency’. More significantly, the group’s main aim of reducing UK emissions to ‘net zero’ is one that is shared not only by the Conservative government, but also by MPs of all stripes. The ‘net zero’ target for 2050 was nodded through parliament with just an hour and a half of debate and without a single vote needing to be cast. XR is only more impatient in its demand, calling for a 2025 deadline.   Many have tried to compare Extinction Rebellion’s climate crusade with past movements for progressive change. Justifying the V&A’s decision to acquire Extinction Rebellion artefacts, senior curator Corinna Gardner compared their punchy colour palette to that of the Suffragettes. Similarly, XR leader Roger Hallam claims his protesting is in the ‘tradition of Gandhi and Martin Luther King’.  These comparisons are delusional, pretentious and insulting. But they unwittingly highlight something important. Whether it was the Chartists, the Suffragettes, the civil-rights movement, or the gay-rights movement, these genuinely progressive campaigns were all despised by the elite at the time. These were campaigns that sought to expand human freedom, to wrest rights and resources from the establishment. By contrast, environmentalist campaigns like Extinction Rebellion are, by their very nature, against freedom. They seek to place new limits on human activity: on industry, on economic growth, on our travel, on our diets, and on childbirth. For many years, the great and the good have been in broad agreement that something must be done about climate change. But they also seem to agree that the bulk of the costs should not be shouldered by them. Only last week, celebrities, business leaders and politicians descended on Sicily for the 7th annual Google Camp, which this year was dedicated to tackling climate change. After arriving in their private jets, mega yachts and sports cars, delegates were treated to a lecture on climate change by Prince Harry, who delivered it in his bare feet. Earlier this year, 1,500 individual private jets flew to Davos. The highlight of the summit was a conversation between Prince William and Sir David Attenborough… on climate change.  The establishment only seems to care about ‘pollution’ when it is ordinary people doing the polluting. It is always cheap flights, cheap food and cheap fashion which cause the most consternation among environmentalists. In turn, climate change presents the establishment with an opportunity to manage the little people’s habits, tastes and aspirations."

Extinction Rebellion's Sir David Attenborough stunt is a monumental own-goal - "Robert Conquest, the 20th century British historian, set down three laws of politics. The first was that everyone is conservative about what he (or she) knows best. The second was that any organisation not explicitly Right-wing sooner or later becomes Left-wing. The law that rings truest of all today, however, is the third, which is that the simplest way to explain the behaviour of any bureaucratic organisation is to assume that it’s controlled by a cabal of its enemies... The history of the Labour Party, for example, makes much more sense if you assume that, in 2015, the party was hijacked not by Marxists, but by undercover Tories in fake beards. The plot required extraordinary dedication and stamina, but in December last year it ended in triumphant success.  Equally, the current row over free school meals makes more sense if you assume that many Tory MPs are actually undercover Marxists. By deliberately making the most ridiculous possible objections to extending free school meals, these infiltrators aim to make the Right look as clueless about poverty as the Left always claims.  On Sky News the other morning, for instance, a supposed Tory minister going by the name of Nadhim Zahawi claimed that what the poorest children really wanted wasn’t food, it was “activities”... The most self-defeating organisation of our times, however, must be Extinction Rebellion. Its stunts are so counter-productive, they might have been devised by people hellbent on tarnishing the environmentalist cause. Take its latest masterclass in public relations. On Sunday, a gang of Extinction Rebellion activists strode round, uninvited, to Sir David Attenborough’s house – to tell him he was undermining their fight against climate change.  In an interview a few weeks earlier, Sir David had politely ventured to suggest that, while he shared Extinction Rebellion’s anxiety about climate change, breaking the law wasn’t necessarily the optimal way to win public support. The group criticised his comments at the time.  But now activists had decided to go further, by confronting him in person. Unfortunately for them, however, Sir David wasn’t able to come to the door – because, as his daughter explained to them, he’s 94 years old, and is a little bit concerned about a bug that’s going round.  So the activists left Sir David a letter, pompously informing him that he risked “contributing to the erasure of the voices and sacrifices of front-line Earth protectors”. They also left him a delightful gift: a little olive tree, decorated with photographs of murdered environmentalists... "How about we pointlessly harass the best-loved man in the country in the middle of a pandemic?”... It’s not as if the Attenborough incident is some one-off misjudgment. The evidence shows a consistent pattern of foot-in-mouth imbecility. Remember the time last autumn when Extinction Rebellion attempted to halt the London Underground? Seriously – an environmental group, discouraging people from using public transport. Imagine the brainstorming meeting for that one: “Today: wreck the Tube. Tomorrow: smash up a wind farm and set light to a recycling plant.” Then there was the stunt from earlier this year, when they blockaded the printing presses that produce several national newspapers, including this one. Curiously enough, this action did not earn Extinction Rebellion many glowing reviews in the press. It was also roundly condemned in Parliament – although it did at least win the endorsement of the SNP’s Kenny MacAskill. These activists, he told the Commons, weren’t enemies of free speech. They were simply “a group of young people” who “care about the environment”. Fair enough, I suppose. Maybe during next year’s Holyrood elections a group of unionists could block the printing of SNP leaflets. Purely to help the environment, of course. Think of all the trees it would save.  Of course, you might argue that Extinction Rebellion activists wouldn’t consider any of their stunts to be own goals, because they have no interest in being popular. They aren’t trying to win over their critics through charm and sweet reason. They’re radicals, who believe that the only way to make the world do their bidding is to cause as much disruption as possible. This may well be their thinking."

Extinction Rebellion’s attack on the City is lazy and misguided - "What the tone-deaf protesters fail to understand is that much of the population has great sympathy with climate change, racial injustice, and other progressive causes. What most people won’t tolerate however, is vandalism, violence or other mindless acts of criminal behaviour being carried out in the name of said causes...   There’s never a good time to be punching someone’s windows in but these latest virtue-signalling stunts are all the more bizarre in the current environment.   It may not fit well with the narrow, one-sided agenda of the eco-fascists but it’s a fact that the City, and big business more broadly, are already taking great strides to change the way they operate in an attempt to address climate change.   So much so that it’s not completely crazy to imagine that someone senior at Barclays might even be prepared to engage in a civilised discussion about the future of the planet with the very people that have been vandalising their premises.   They might even be willing to listen to suggestions as to how they could tackle the issue more effectively. After all, they’re used to hearing it from shareholders by now. Anecdotally, chairman say that environmental, social, and governance issues now take up most of their time.   And the results are already there for everyone to see, including in the banking industry where HSBC has announced it will have severed all ties with coal producers by 2040 precisely because of pressure from investors. Or how about Unilever? Under green-evangelist boss Alan Jope it has promised zero carbon emissions from its own operations and to halve the emissions from its supply chain by 2030.   Even Exxon Mobil, a company that Greenpeace and others accuse of undermining efforts to combat climate change, has bowed to pressure. The oil giant has appointed Jeffrey Ubben, a Wall Street hedge fund tycoon with a green agenda to its board to lead the company’s sustainability efforts."

Andrew Neil shuts down Extinction Rebellion founder in fiery clash - "Andrew Neil has clashed with the co-founder of Extinction Rebellion Roger Hallam over the protest groups' position towards China. The veteran broadcaster challenged the activist over the disruptive tactics the climate group has used in the UK over recent years. Mr Neil accused Extinction Rebellion of looking to "disrupt life in Britain" while never mentioning the role of China in polluting the planet with fossil fuels."
If you're not actually primarily concerned about the climate, ignoring non-Western countries is what you'd do - and that is what most environmentalists do

Extinction Rebellion's clueless doom-mongering is finally getting the scrutiny it deserves - "Extinction Rebellion is a doomsday cult, devoid of any association with reality  In normal circumstances, when someone tells you that billions of people are about to die you laugh in their face.   Not only have Extinction Rebellion been allowed to shut down our streets and waste police resources, they've received an overwhelmingly sympathetic hearing from the luvvie media establishment.  Yet could the tide, finally, be turning as the public tires of the relentless disruption? A YouGov poll released earlier this week found over half of the public oppose Extinction Rebellion’s aim to “shut down London”. Only around a third were in support.   Most importantly, their dangerous ideas are finally being challenged. Yesterday the BBC’s most talented interviewer Andrew Neil took an Extinction Rebellion spokesperson called Zion Lights to task. Lights said Extinction Rebellion “listen(s) to the experts” but “we think it’s a lot worse”. With characteristic precision, Neil exposed her ignorance and lack of willingness to engage on any solutions.   Yet this kind of creative licence about the impacts of climate change is far too common, and often goes unchallenged. Extinction Rebellion co-founder Roger Hallam has claimed: “we’re facing mass starvation in the next ten years, social collapse, the possible extinction of the human race.”  These assertions, which went unchallenged when voiced on the BBC’s HARDTalk, are totally nonsensical and unsupported by scientific evidence. They make children unnecessarily anxious about their future.  Even the most extreme, worst-case scenarios pained by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) go nowhere near these claims... This is the work of thousands of the world’s top scientists in the field. Climate activists used to accuse sceptics of ignoring the science. How the tables have turned.  Yet Extinction Rebellion activists must paint an absurd scenario to justify their equally absurd goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2025.   Extinction Rebellion activists decline to explain how they would achieve this, because it would take a range of extreme policies. It would require the immediate abandonment of non-renewable technologies, prompting higher energy prices and, inevitably, pensioners dying because they cannot afford to heat their homes during winter. It would mean severely limiting or even outright banning overseas family holidays and far fewer flights to transport essential life-saving medicines. It would mean rationing or probably outlawing meat and banning non-electric cars. It would prevent the developing world from industrialising, leaving millions in abject, extreme poverty. Importantly and most inconveniently for Extinction Rebellion, their plans would make us much poorer. Unlike their beliefs, we have evidence to support what being poorer actually means: less ability to adapt to climate changes and extreme weather events in the future. The richer we are, the more capable we are of adapting, which is why deaths from extreme weather events have plummeted by 90 per cent over the last century at a time of rising emissions.   What is most revealing and disturbing about the likes of Extinction Rebellion is their explicit willingness to use climate change to justify eco-socialism. Hallam has said that we’re heading for a “catastrophe” if there is not “fundamental change in the structure of the global economy”.   It’s perhaps no surprise that old-style socialists like Jeremy Corbyn — who used to complain about Thatcher shutting down coal mines—are happy to jump on the eco-socialist bandwagon. They see it as a neat excuse for seizing control of the economy."

Why are the cops so soft on eco-protesters? - "‘If you’ve got any questions at all, just ask. And if any of you are in any discomfort or need anything just let me know and we’ll try and sort you out in a nice way.’   You might assume that this lovely message was delivered by a particularly attentive cabin-crew member in the lengthy preamble before a flight. Or perhaps it came from a kindly nurse as she started a shift on a new ward.  No, this caring little speech was delivered by a police officer on the M25 yesterday. She had been tasked with dealing with a bunch of eco-psychos who had blockaded the motorway, causing huge disruption to thousands of drivers. Supposedly, she was giving them their ‘final warning’, as if they were just a bunch of unruly schoolchildren.   The group, made up of supporters of Insulate Britain, which is an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, sat across the motorway. They made countless people late for work. One stalled driver complained that he would lose his job. Another, whose daughter was in labour, was on her way to pick up her grandchild.  But the police were unmoved by the plight of these people. Instead, they engaged politely with the protesters, offering to care for their needs and to make them feel comfortable. After seeing that copper give her spiel, I almost expected her to fetch a tray of tea and biscuits, or some cushions. Sure, there are laws that make it difficult for the police to arrest eco-crazies like this. Police often have to send in specialist officers to bring down people who are hiding ‘at height’ on scaffolding, for example. But many of us would rather that the police behaved like the commuters at the Battle of Canning Town in 2019, who took the job of clearing Extinction Rebellion protesters into their own hands. Red tape also dictates that officers must verbally warn protesters that they are facing arrest before they actually arrest them. So to get around this, experienced climate protesters just play extremely loud music or put in ear plugs. ‘Sorry officer, I didn’t hear you.’ But police cannot hide behind the statutes and edicts that make their work difficult. All too often, they are simply too deferential towards disruptors of a green bent. They forget about the people being harmed by these ridiculous stunts. Officers give eco-protesters plenty of time to cause huge disruption, when what’s needed is immediate arrest. Even more embarrassingly, some of the protesters who were eventually arrested yesterday had also been nicked on Monday, when Insulate Britain last blocked the M25. They were released, even though they said they would do the same thing again – which they then did, less than 48 hours later.  Maybe it’s not surprising that the police were so generous to those losers on the M25. Last year, a judge reportedly lauded the actions of some Extinction Rebellion protesters at the very moment he was supposed to be sentencing them... when Extinction Rebellion protesters returned to London’s streets last month, the Metropolitan Police issued a statement saying the activists were championing an ‘important cause’. The whole establishment is in on the act, so we can’t be too surprised when the rank-and-file follow suit. As always, it’s ordinary people who suffer."

Why is Extinction Rebellion protesting against gender-critical feminists? - "Following the activities of groups trying to ‘save the planet’ is not an easy task these days. Since the summer of 2018, we have been introduced to Extinction Rebellion (XR), Animal Rebellion, Ocean Rebellion, Money Rebellion, Roads Rebellion, Youth Rebellion (there’s a bit of a theme here), Insulate Britain and the newest kid on the block, Just Stop Oil... Step forward Extinction Rebellion Bristol, which this week found its USP – shutting down meetings of women’s rights activists... Why would XR want to step into this minefield? The group started out with three core demands: to ‘tell the truth’ about what its activists see as a ‘climate emergency’, to ‘act now’ to remedy the situation, and to create citizens’ assemblies to decide how their demands should be implemented. Political movements traditionally find success by appealing to the widest number of people in the broadest manner possible. A generation ago, the anti-Poll Tax campaign flourished precisely because it opposed a tax that was seen as unfair. It tended not to get bogged down in detailed discussions about how to finance local-authority spending. Anti-fascist groups like the Anti-Nazi League in the 1970s or Anti-Fascist Action in the 1980s and 1990s succeeded by physically disrupting the activities of fascist organisations, without necessarily developing a detailed programme to defeat such groups politically. For some time now, there have been indications that certain XR groups have wider political ambitions and interests than those three initial demands suggest. XR Tower Hamlets... ‘The government must implement a just transition to an ecologically balanced society, prioritising the needs and voices of the most vulnerable and redressing the past and present global inequalities caused by centuries of colonial, gender and class exploitation, while upholding all species’ rights to life.’
XR Leeds goes further, keeping the three existing demands, but inserting above them a ‘demand zero’:
'We demand a just transition to an ecologically balanced, zero-carbon economy that prioritises the needs of the most vulnerable and redresses the inequalities in our society caused by centuries of colonial, gender and class exploitation.’"
How to know that the moral panic over the environment isn't really motivated by the environment

Topless XR protester announces she's taking break after 'trolling' and 'misogyny' - "Laura Amherst, the Extinction Rebellion activist who hit headlines around the world with her nearly-nude protests, has announced that she is taking a break from social media to focus on what’s really important to her – her family and her activism. In a tearful Instagram video, she said that she had "pushed herself to the limit of what she can do" and was experiencing a lot of trolling and misogynistic comments from other Instagram users, as well as "harsh" penalties from the social media platform itself... She said that the most important thing was to focus on environmental concerns, saying that if there wasn’t a habitable planet for her daughter to live in 10 or 20 years from now then there was "no real point going on"."
Ironic, given that the "trolling" is a response to her trolling
Weird, leftists tell us that if you use social media you have no right to complain about the platform rules
How odd that she doesn't remember that 10-20 years ago we were told that in 10-20 years time the planet wouldn't be habitable

XR is not a protest group, but a vanity project for a liberal middle class that soon won’t exist at all - "The generally tired and narcissistic aspect of this protest, which harkens back to the larger yet equally ineffectual Occupy movement, speaks to XR being more of a kind of performance art – a media spectacle or late-stage ritual to keep a certain cultural subset of the society in a state of placated nostalgia. The activists in this movement do not emanate any sense of genuine rebellion, many of them resembling a gang of JK Rowling enthusiasts protesting during their corporate-cubicle lunch break. They have a desire to feel like effective ‘activists’, but they will ultimately affect nothing, being generally 50 years too late. The older demographic in XT – ageing 90s pseudo-hippies – seem to be enthusiastically reliving a final chance to act superior. By ignoring a changed world in which they are ever-more obsolete, a nostalgic and public ‘giving out’ can make them feel that they are still doing good and ‘fighting the man’. However, the apparent system tolerance for XR is itself a likely indicator that the group is, in fact, working for ‘the man’. Genuine rebels are almost never treated as media darlings.  While environmentalism is a crucial issue and very dear to my heart, the game XR is playing – permitted public protest – sidesteps the various wider issues which is making its supporters a redundant identity, a vanishing class: the liberal middle-class.  Or maybe they aren’t oblivious? Perhaps even as the shadow of the final curtain looms over them, their only true desire is to perform one last ‘awareness-raising flash mob’ for a pet cause?... Real protest movements in the UK today are not about environmental issues, which along with other genuine concerns have taken a backseat to corporate-backed BLM riots or LGBTQ+ causes, including monument removal and vandalism. There is no meaningful protest of consumerism, or Wall Street, or globalism, or the system of industrial mass-production. Soon we shall not just see the vanishing of middle-class Harry Potterites – there will be no middle-class at all.  There will be billionaires, and there will be pod-people (techno-serfs). This strange alliance of the megacorps and high-finance world with social justice street protests is virtually the polar opposite of 1960s-2000s era anti-consumerist environmental activism. It is confusing for anyone who takes a close look at it, until they realize that it is merely system power pushing from both ends. Any activism from the middle class that fails or refuses to see the walls closing in from either side is ultimately performing a futile dance."

Facebook - "Economic policy matters 17 times as much as climate policy for malnutrition WHO research shows climate change makes malnutrition worse. Even entirely getting rid of global warming saves 100,000/yr in 2050 But moving from low to high growth economy saves 1,700,000"
One cope I got from a climate change hystericist was that economics was just like astrology. Of course, upon seeing my recounting of part of the long history of failed predictions of environmental doom, he just doubled down

Study finds cleaner air leads to more Atlantic hurricanes
Damn climate change!
In an Engineering group on Facebook people were very upset about this

Shifts to renewable energy can drive up energy poverty, study finds - "Their findings, published recently in the journal Energy Research & Social Science, support previous claims by researchers who argue that renewable energy consumption may be indirectly driving energy poverty. Energy poverty is when a household has no or inadequate access to energy services such as heating, cooling, lighting, and use of appliances due to a combination of factors: low income, increasing utility rates, and inefficient buildings and appliances...   "People who are just making ends meet and can barely afford their energy bills will make a choice between food and their energy," McGee said. "We don't think of energy as a human right when it actually is. The things that consume the most energy in your household -- heating, cooling, refrigeration -- are the things you absolutely need.""

Renewable Energy is Not Cheaper After All - "if wind is as affordable as they claim, removing targeted subsidies and mandates should cause them no distress... Clark closes out her letter by referring to Lazard Investment Bank’s analysis of energy markets, and its preferred metric for measuring the relative costs of energy options, the LCOE (levelized cost of electricity). Of course, she claims that “the lowest-cost energy” just happens to be the sources she wants built – wind and solar. While Lazard’s metric has some uses, it is also widely recognized as a confusing, or incomplete, method of comparing renewable energy, an intermittent energy resource, with more predictable and reliable generation sources.  For example, a November 2017 Berkeley Labs study on the “Impacts of Variable Renewable Energy (VRE) on Bulk Power System Assets, Pricing, and Costs,” says that “comparing the LCOE of different technologies that provide varying services is misleading.” For example, you can’t use the same measure to weigh the value of a small natural gas turbine to a large nuclear facility, or renewable energy – a variable resource – to more reliable coal plants. Doing so gives the perception that they are able to provide the same service. The study goes on to explain that the more renewable generation facilities you build, the more it costs the system to make up for their variability, and the less value they provide to electricity markets.  To determine the real price of renewable energy, or its ability to replace nuclear or fossil fuels, you must account for the high costs imposed by its variable nature. One example is the cost of many new transmission lines that link distant renewable generation installations to the electrical grid. You also need to include the construction of “fast ramping” natural gas plants, battery storage units or pumped hydroelectric facilities that can come online quickly to supply electricity when variable renewables suddenly cut out, as when the wind stops blowing or the sun stops shining."
The environmentalists are going to be very upset since the OECD is not the only organisation which points out that more renewable energy means more expensive energy

Where Do Wind Turbines Go To Die? - "when the giant turbines come down, they can leave a lot of waste behind. The steel towers can be recycled, but the fiberglass blades typically end up in landfills."

Diesel Driven: World’s First “Net-Zero” Wind Power/Pumped Hydro System A Dismal Failure - "The climate/RE cult’s latest mantra “net-zero”, apparently means wind and solar connected to batteries or pumped hydro. The notion has it that wind and solar’s hopeless intermittency can be overcome by a few TWh’s worth of giant lithium-ion batteries or, where geography and hydrology permit, pumped hydro systems.  The latter model involves using wind and solar to pump water uphill into turkey’s nest dams so that, when the sun sets and/or calm weather sets in, hydro power will merrily fill the inevitable daily gaps in wind/solar power production and keep the grid up and running.  Well, that’s the story, anyway... a large-scale wind and pumped hydro experiment has been playing out on an island in the Atlantic, El Hierro (one of the Canary Islands, controlled by Spain) over the last 7 years.  Turns out that, rather than being able to rely exclusively on wind power – backed up with pumped hydro to smooth out the rougher patches – the island remains heavily dependent on ‘dirty’ diesel generators to keep the lights on."

Maine voters reject Hydro-Quebec power transmission line - "Mainers voted on Tuesday to reject a US$1 billion project to bring hydropower from Quebec into New England, after a years-long battle that pitted clean energy advocates against locals seeking to preserve the state’s pristine woodlands. The fight over the so-called New England Clean Energy Connect project reflects the difficulty that developers face nationwide in siting new transmission lines. Many more of these must be built in the coming decades to modernize the nation’s creaking grid systems and connect far-flung renewable energy sources to population centres."

North America needs an energy revolution now more than ever - "Quebec’s proposal to build a $1-billion transmission line to carry additional hydro-electric power to markets in New England was rejected. Ironically, many of the anti-development organizations that opposed the transmission line also opposed the XL oil pipeline from Alberta to southern refineries and others through British Columbia... “In one of the great ironies of modern Canadian life, a country with plentiful oil reserves has imported $488 billion in foreign oil since 1988. This is so, despite the presence of one of the world’s largest oil reserves from Newfoundland to British Columbia (their offshore reserves) to onshore deposits on the Prairies. Quebec has imported over $228 billion in foreign oil since 1988 — far more than any other province.""
Ironically, if the delusion of "renewable" solar and wind energy replacing fossil fuels is ever to become remotely feasible, power transmission over a wide area to mitigate intermittency is needed. Good luck with natural disasters severing power lines though

What If We Had Subsidized Nuclear Power Like Renewables? - "the data is clear: despite nuclear's damaged reputation, clouded by a few high-profile accidents, nuclear power kills fewer people per electricity produced than any other energy source. It is also the most reliable. Nuclear's capacity factor, a measure of how often a power plant is producing energy at full capacity over a certain period of time, is the highest by far – almost double that of coal and more than triple that of solar. And nuclear is clean, producing no carbon emissions. Though its radioactive waste often attracts negative press, coal plants actually create more. Moreover, all of the waste that America's nuclear power plants have collectively produced in a half-century could fit on one football field. This is because nuclear is incredibly efficient. In the U.S., just 55 nuclear power plants produce 20% of the country's electricity! It takes nearly 2,000 natural gas plants to produce 40 percent.   What's holding back nuclear power in the U.S. and Europe are regulations, political will, and cost. The latest data suggests that nuclear is now the most expensive form of electricity apart from gas peaking plants used to provide power at times of high demand. Calculating the cost of nuclear energy is complex, but the vast majority of it is wrapped up in initial construction. Operating costs, including uranium fuel, maintenance, decommissioning, and waste disposal, are actually quite low. This suggests that relaxing regulations, investing in nuclear research, and instituting a meager carbon tax could quickly make nuclear power more attractive to stakeholders, easing the significant up-front costs to realize monetary, health, and environmental benefits in the long run... lately, renewable energy has been the main beneficiary of the government's benevolence, receiving more than three times as federal incentives as oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear combined, and 27 times as much as nuclear energy, between 2011 and 2016. These investments have quickly driven down the costs of wind and solar to the point where these sources of energy are now the cheapest in most locations. Imagine if nuclear power had received the governmental largesse of renewables? It would almost certainly be cheaper and safer than it is now, and the world might be in a much better situation in regards to energy stability and climate change.  A little over six years ago, a study in PLoS ONE reported that the world could replace fossil fuel electricity with nuclear power in just 25 years simply by building nuclear power plants as fast as Sweden did in the 1960s and 70s, cutting worldwide human carbon emissions by half in the process. The world has predictably dithered. Now we are left in an untenable position: intermittent renewables aren't ready to power the world without a smarter grid or significant energy storage, electricity prices are volatile, demand is rising as more of humanity escapes from poverty, and the climate is rapidly warming"
Weird. Environmentalists claim that fossil fuels receive more subsidies than "renewables"

Led by France, 10 EU countries call on Brussels to label nuclear energy as green source - "A group of ten EU countries, led by France, have asked the European Commission to recognise nuclear power as a low-carbon energy source that should be part of the bloc's decades-long transition towards climate neutrality.  Tapping into Europe's ongoing energy crunch, the countries make the case for nuclear energy as a "key affordable, stable and independent energy source" that could protect EU consumers from being "exposed to the volatility of prices"... A report from the Commission's research unit released earlier this year indicates Brussels could eventually side with the pro-nuclear team. The paper says greenhouse gas emissions from nuclear plants are "comparable" to those released by hydropower and wind, an assessment shared by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the United States Department of Energy."
Of course, environmentalists make the ludicrous claim that because of storage and mining, nuclear carbon emissions are very high

Nuclear Waste: Ideas vs Reality - "My friend’s insight reflects the actual data of radiation leak scenarios quite well. The risks associated with nuclear waste have been studied thoroughly. However, that data is rarely brought up – even by the fiercely anti-nuclear organisations like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. One might ask oneself why. Why won’t the large activist organisations use the data to highlight what actually could happen with nuclear waste?... the new reactors could run on existing nuclear waste. Phenomenal news! The new process could extract vastly much more energy from the existing waste, leaving only a fraction of the amount of radioactive waste left – which, to top it off, would only be radioactive for a few hundred years. Factoring in what I already knew about the safety of long-term storage, the weight of the emotionally uncomfortable waste-conundrum began to lift from my shoulders. It was clear to me that if we could get rid of nuclear waste, then we definitely should. So, the ultimate solution to nuclear waste was this: we should build new nuclear power plants!...   I had considered nuclear waste in a vacuum. I had not thought we’d need to compare nuclear waste to any other type of waste resulting from other energy forms. Why should we? Those wastes were not as dangerous! The convenient idea of a ‘near zero risk’ scenario as an alternative to nuclear power, had been creeping somewhere in the back of my mind. But that zero-risk scenario does not exist.      We can only put risks in proper context if we compare them to the risks of avoiding those risks.  Our brains are wired to notice big, red, unusual, and alarming signals, while ignoring more mundane, unclear, gradual and constant risks. Air pollution? We breathe all the time and we’re still here. It doesn’t end up on the brain’s ‘red list’ the same way. Wind and solar tech with rare earth minerals, mining waste, future landfills sites stuffed with problematic elements? These wastes are also toxic, but they just don’t ring our bells. Mining of rare earth minerals and the toxic waste left over from that process (which is also radioactive, by the way) is an actual dystopian wasteland -level disaster in Baotou, China, at this very moment, but this does not really get on our radar. Mining operations, in fact, all result in harmful consequences to the environment, and the volumes of materials needed are a major factor in that impact. Nuclear’s material requirements per energy produced, and thus its mining waste, are considerably much lower than most other energy forms. If we talk about how we might safely handle these other types of wastes, our brain does not shut down and say ‘But what if? We just can’t take the risk!’... radiation is not exclusive to nuclear waste...   We tend to think that if radioactive waste exists somewhere, its mere existence carries with it an immeasurable risk. But it is actually much harder for radioactive material to cause problems than we would imagine. For the radiation to cause any significant health problems, it needs to reach us in considerable dosage. It would have to get transported, somehow, while remaining in a highly enough concentrated form... our ideas about nuclear waste generally have very little to do with reality... Nuclear power is the only energy form which does collect and take permanent responsibility for all its waste products... even completely natural, near-ground stores of nuclear waste from natural fission reactors in West Africa, freely in contact with groundwater, have passively remained in perfect containment for soon two billion years."
There is a chart from Ecofys showing that nuclear is safer than biomass & solar energy

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