Wieja van der Kamp made this video.
This 1w9 March 2019 video from the USA says about itself:
From the BBC today:
Brazil justice minister Moro quits in Bolsonaro clash
Brazil’s Justice Minister Sergio Moro has resigned amid tension with President Jair Bolsonaro.
Mr Moro, a former judge, had threatened to quit after the president fired one of his allies – federal police chief Mauricio Valeixo – on Thursday.
Speaking on TV, Mr Moro said angrily there was no reason to sack Mr Valeixo, and called it political interference.
Mr Moro is one of the president’s most popular ministers. …
Mr Valeixo’s dismissal was announced, with no further details, in the official gazette.
Mr Moro had threatened to resign if Mr Valeixo were dismissed, but then said he would stay if he were allowed to choose a replacement.
Brazil’s currency – the real – sank to a record low of 5.50 per dollar on Thursday, amid the political uncertainty.
In mid-April, the right-wing president sacked his health minister, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, for his response to the coronavirus pandemic. The minister had advocated social distancing, which Mr Bolsonaro has scorned.
Fighting corruption was a central issue for Jair Bolsonaro in his 2018 presidential campaign.
The BBC’s South America correspondent Katy Watson says Mr Moro made a damning speech, accusing President Bolsonaro of meddling in federal police efforts to fight corruption.
After announcing his resignation the sound of pot-banging protests rang out in cities across Brazil.
Seen as an anti-corruption crusader, he was a star pick when Mr Bolsonaro asked him to join the government. …
BBC Americas editor Candace Piette says Mr Moro’s accusations against President Bolsonaro have thrown Brazil into an institutional crisis.
He accused the president of trying to remove the federal police chief for no other reason than to secure intelligence on police investigations.
Mr Moro also said President Bolsonaro had expressed concerns about supreme court investigations, without specifying which had caused concern.
The court is currently investigating the activities of the president’s sons. It has also opened an inquiry into the possible financing of last week’s anti-democracy protests by supporters of the president. Both charges could further damage an already unpopular president, Candace Piette reports.
Mr Moro once said he “would never enter politics”, but later agreed to serve in Mr Bolsonaro’s cabinet, in order to fight corruption and organised crime.
He was promised full autonomy for his department, which united the justice and public security portfolio in a so-called “super ministry”
Moro – a hero for much of the Brazilian right and a hate figure for many on the left – announced his decision on Friday after clashing with the president over Bolsonaro’s sacking of the head of Brazil’s federal police: here.
From the Bruce Museum in the USA:
How birds evolved big brains
April 23, 2020
An international team of evolutionary biologists and paleontologists have reconstructed the evolution of the avian brain using a massive dataset of brain volumes from dinosaurs, extinct birds like Archaeopteryx and the Great Auk, and modern birds.
The study, published online today in the journal Current Biology, reveals that prior to the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous Period, birds and non-avian dinosaurs had similar relative brain sizes. After the extinction, the brain-body scaling relationship shifted dramatically as some types of birds underwent an explosive radiation to re-occupy ecological space vacated by extinct groups.
“One of the big surprises was that selection for small body size turns out to be a major factor in the evolution of large-brained birds,” says Dr. Daniel Ksepka, Curator of Science at the Bruce Museum and lead author of the study. “Many successful bird families evolved proportionally large brains by shrinking down to smaller body sizes while their brain sizes stayed close to those of their larger-bodied ancestors.”
In order to understand how bird brains changed, a team of 37 scientists used CT scan data to create endocasts (models of the brain based on the shape of the skull cavity) of hundreds of birds and dinosaurs, which they combined with a large existing database of brain measurements from modern birds. They then analyzed brain-body allometry: the way brain size scales with body size.
“There is no clear line between the brains of advanced dinosaurs and primitive birds,” notes co-author Dr. Amy Balanoff of Johns Hopkins University. “Birds like emus and pigeons have the same brains sizes you would expect for a theropod dinosaur of the same body size, and in fact some species like moa have smaller-than-expected brains.”
The two groups of birds with truly exceptional brain sizes evolved relatively recently: parrots and corvids (crows, ravens, and kin). These birds show tremendous cognitive capacity, including the ability to use tools and language, and to remember human faces. The new study finds that parrots and crows exhibited very high rates of brain evolution that may have helped them achieve such high proportional brain sizes.
“Several groups of birds show above average rates of brain and body size evolution,” remarks co-author Dr. N. Adam Smith of the Campbell Geology Museum at Clemson University. “But crows are really off the charts — they outpaced all other birds. Our results suggest that calling someone ‘bird-brained’ is actually quite a compliment!”
“Crows are the hominins of the bird kingdom,” says co-author Dr. Jeroen Smaers of Stony Brook University. “Like our own ancestors, they evolved proportionally massive brains by increasing both their body size and brain size at the same time, with the brain size increase happening even more rapidly.”
This 24 April 2020 video says about itself:
Digital Swiss 5: Race 3 Highlights
Highlights from Race 3 of the #DigitalSwiss5 as the riders tackled the Nufenen Pass in its virtual format!
The Nufenen Pass is the highest road mountain pass in Switzerland.
Nicolas Roche from Ireland won today.
1. Nicolas Roche (Ireland-Sunweb) in 1u12’11”
2. Ilnur Zakarin (Russia-CCC) op 1’10”
3. Larry Warbasse (USA-AG2R) 1’17”
4. Chris Hamilton (Australia-Sunweb) 1’40”
5. James Whelan (Australia-Education First) 1’51”
6. Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland-Ineos) 2’05”
7. Hermann Pernsteiner (Australia-Bahrain) 2’31”
8. Louis Meintjes (South Africa-NTT) 2’54”
9. Rein Taaramae (Estonia-Total) 3’08”
10. Gavin Mannion (USA-Rally) 3’25”
This 24 April 2020 video is about a jay bathing in the pond in the backyard in the Netherlands of Henk Ruseler, who made this video.
This 23 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself:
A coronavirus outbreak in Wisconsin is directly linked to the 2020 election. John Iadarola and Michael Shure break it down on The Damage Report.
“Voting rights advocates demanded state and federal lawmakers expand voting-by-mail immediately on Wednesday as Wisconsin health officials announced that nearly 20 new cases of the coronavirus were linked to the in-person voting that took place in the state on April 7.
Two weeks after Sen. Bernie Sanders warned that moving ahead with in-person voting for the state elections could “prove deadly” and dozens of civil rights groups and public health experts urged the election be postponed, 19 people who voted in person or worked at polling locations have since tested positive for the virus.
Critics of the decision to go ahead with the vote were unsurprised by the new cases, and said they offered more proof that other state, local, and federal elections this year must be completed with widespread vote-by-mail systems in place.
“Expand vote by mail,” tweeted Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.”
Read more here.
PRESIDENT SUGGESTS INJECTING DISINFECTANT President Donald Trump suggested injecting people with disinfectant — an idea quickly condemned by experts as potentially fatal. He also wondered about exposing those sick with coronavirus to strong light — an idea with no scientific validity. “Suppose that we hit the body with tremendous, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light,” Trump said. “Then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in one minute. Is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning? … It would be interesting to check that.” [HuffPost]
More evidence hints that hydroxychloroquine doesn’t help treat COVID-19. A malaria drug showed no benefit over standard care in two preliminary studies examining how well hydroxychloroquine works against the coronavirus. By Tina Hesman Saey, April 21, 2020.
LAWYERS FOR OUSTED VACCINE OFFICIAL PLAN WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT Lawyers for Dr. Rick Bright announced that their client will file a whistleblower complaint based on the top vaccine official’s allegations he was ousted from his post for pushing back against Trump’s promotion of hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment. The complaint will detail Bright’s allegation that he was ousted as director of the agency responsible for developing the drugs to fight the coronavirus pandemic in retaliation for raising science-based concerns about White House pressure on treatment and vaccines. [HuffPost]
TRUMP ‘APPROVED’ OF GEORGIA’S REOPEN PLAN BEFORE BASHING IT Trump and Vice President Mike Pence repeatedly told Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp that they approved of his aggressive plan to allow businesses to reopen, just a day before Trump pulled an about-face and publicly bashed the plan. The green light from Pence and Trump came in separate private conversations with the Republican governor before Kemp announced his plan to ease coronavirus restrictions. Trump’s sudden shift came only after top health advisers reviewed the plan more closely. [HuffPost]
YOUR SURVIVAL MAY DEPEND ON HOW MUCH YOUR GOVERNOR FEARS TRUMP Whether you live or die because of this pandemic could very well depend on how afraid your governor is of Trump. Across the country, how readily the coronavirus is spreading in your state roughly correlates with how early your governor issued a stay-at-home order – which in turn tracks how willing your governor was to buck Trump’s attempts to downplay the outbreak. And that correlation is showing a strong partisan break, with Democratic governors typically taking action days or weeks before their Republican counterparts. [HuffPost]
NEW HHS SPOKESPERSON DELETED RACIST TWEETS Michael Caputo, the former 2016 campaign adviser to President Donald Trump who was recently appointed the top spokesperson for the Health and Human Services Department, has deleted a number of racist and offensive tweets he published as the coronavirus pandemic spread across the U.S. Caputo deleted all of the tweets on his personal account prior to April 12 and, on Thursday, he directed his followers to the official Twitter account of the HHS assistant secretary for public affairs, the job he now has. [HuffPost]
TRUMP SPENT YEARS UNDERMINING CHARITIES NOW CRUCIAL TO CORONAVIRUS FIGHT Millions of the world’s most vulnerable people are facing the coronavirus pandemic with worse health care than they had just a few years ago because of the choices of one man: Trump. Trump’s changes to U.S. foreign aid ― a tiny portion of the American government’s budget but traditionally the largest source of funding for many international charities ― forced some clinics to close and reduced supplies for others. [HuffPost]
PAT ROBERTSON SUGGESTS ABORTION, GAY MARRIAGE AMONG REASONS FOR CORONAVIRUS Televangelist Pat Robertson claimed abortion and same-sex marriage are partly to blame for the coronavirus. The 90-year-old Christian Broadcasting Network founder suggested that God won’t end the coronavirus pandemic until people “turn from their wicked ways.” “You confess your sins and forsake them. Then he heals the land. It’s not before,” he said on an episode of his show, “The 700 Club.” [HuffPost]
MAXINE WATERS REVEALS HER SISTER IS DYING OF COVID-19 Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) revealed on the House floor that her sister is dying of the coronavirus. The lawmaker, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, discussed her sister’s condition while speaking in support of the latest coronavirus relief bill, which passed in the Senate earlier this week and passed in the House Thursday. “I’m going to take a moment to dedicate this legislation to my dear sister who is dying in a hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, right now, infected by the coronavirus,” Waters said. [HuffPost]
Coronavirus patients admitted to Queens nursing home — with body bags.
This video says about itself:
Hummingbirds buzzing in sanctuary at Panama Rainforest Discovery Center
Extensive 22-minute compilation of stock footage in 4K of hummingbirds flying, feeding and perched at Panama Rainforest Discovery Center located at the end of Camino Del Oleoducto near the town of Gamboa about 20 kilometers north of Panama City filmed in November 2016. The hummingbird feeders at the Discovery Center are placed to attract a large variety of wild hummingbirds present in the jungles of the Soberania National park in a natural and unrestrained environment with no nets or cage.
Species seen in this compilation are Violet-bellied Hummingbird (Damophila julie), White-necked Jacobin (Florisuga mellivora), Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl), Long-billed Hermit (Phaethornis longirostris) and Semiplumbeous Hawk (Leucopternis semiplumbeus).
Hummingbirds show up when tropical trees fall down
April 23, 2020
When the tree fell that October in 2015, the tropical giant didn’t go down alone. Hundreds of neighboring trees went with it, opening a massive 2.5-acre gap in the Panamanian rainforest.
Treefalls happen all the time, but this one just happened to occur in the exact spot where a decades-long ecological study was in progress, giving University of Illinois researchers a rare look into tropical forest dynamics.
“I’ve been walking around that tree for 30 years now. It was just humongous,” says Jeff Brawn, Professor and Stuart L. and Nancy J. Levenick Chair in Sustainability in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at Illinois. “Here we are, running around on this plot for years and all of a sudden I couldn’t even find my way around. We just lucked into it.”
What’s lucky is that Brawn and his colleagues had amassed decades of data on the bird community in that exact spot, meaning they had a clear before-and-after view of what a treefall could mean for tropical birds.
This particular gap meant hummingbirds. Lots and lots of hummingbirds.
“After the treefall, we saw a very large spike in the total number of hummingbird species,” says Henry Pollock, a postdoctoral scholar working with Brawn and lead author on a study published in the Journal of Field Ornithology. “Within the previous 25 years of the study, we had only documented three or four hummingbird species, and they were usually present in low numbers. There was one species, the snowy-bellied hummingbird, which we had never captured on either of our two plots in 25 years of sampling. The year after the treefall happened, we got 16 unique individuals of this one species, and total diversity of hummingbirds more than doubled.”
The gap also attracted fruit-eating birds. The researchers documented a doubling of this group compared to pre-treefall numbers, with certain species being more than three times as abundant. Other species, including the thick-billed seed-finch, which typically inhabits grasslands, appeared as if out of thin air.
“They just swooped in,” Brawn says. “It’s analogous to a backyard bird feeder. As soon as you put one in, you’ll see species you’ve never seen before.”
And then, almost as quickly, the birds disappeared.
Within one to four years, depending on the species, the birds returned to pre-treefall numbers or were not detected again.
“What that suggests is these birds are incredibly mobile and opportunistic,” Pollock says. “They are probably just cruising around the landscape prospecting for their preferred food sources and habitats. Given the sheer size of this gap, it acted as a sort of magnet, pulling in species from potentially kilometers away. I mean, 16 snowy-bellied hummingbirds and we’ve never caught one before? It’s pretty astounding.”
Treefalls are a common and necessary occurrence in forests all over the world. As sunshine streams in from above, trees hunkered down in the understory finally get their chance to rise. Basking in the suddenly resource-rich environment, tropical trees and other plants produce nectar-filled flowers and fruit, important food sources for birds and other animals.
Previous research has hinted at how important these food sources are for tropical birds, but no one had documented before-and-after differences until now. Instead, researchers typically compared treefall gaps with intact forest areas at a single time point. That approach has its uses, but it can’t capture what Brawn and Pollock found: just how quickly the birds arrived on the scene, and how quickly they left.
“I was just really just astonished at how quickly and how efficiently these birds seem to be able to find and exploit a new source of food,” Brawn says.
Gaps don’t stay open long in the tropics. Understory trees shoot up, elbowing each other out of the way to take the top spot. Soon, there’s no evidence a gap — or its riotous array of feathered occupants — was there at all.
As short-lived as they may be, treefall gaps represent critical opportunities for species turnover, especially in the tropics where forest fires are comparatively rare.
“This kind of periodic disturbance is probably necessary for these birds to persist in the landscape matrix,” Pollock says. “That’s true for many organisms and ecosystems; our study provides evidence to back that up in these birds.”
This 21 April 2020 video says about itself:
How does a country mobilize to fight COVID-19 when its own president says the virus isn’t a serious matter? Brazil is in the process of finding out, as President Jair Bolsonaro prioritizes Latin America’s largest economy in the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Nick Schifrin reports.
From the World Socialist Web Site, 24 April 2023:
Workers at the Port Elizabeth Zwide Township Dora Nginza Hospital, South Africa, walked out to protest the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), demanding a compensation allowance to cover the threat from the coronavirus. …
There were 3,635 confirmed coronavirus cases as of this writing in South Africa and 65 fatalities. …
Malawian health workers strike and demonstrate to demand PPE
Hospital workers at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi are out on strike to demand PPE.
In response, Malawi’s health minister said the staff are making unrealistic demands. This was countered by a nurses’ sit-in with placards saying, “If our demands are unrealistic come and work [at the hospital].”
On April 24, nurses walked out at the Chikwawa district hospital and a contingent of staff the following day marched to the District Commissioners office—one of their slogans saying, “Don’t send us to war without weapons.”
The infections in Malawi on Monday were 17 and two deaths. …
Walkout by postal workers in Eastern England over COVID-19 fears
UK postal workers at the Bury St. Edmunds delivery office in Suffolk held a 90-minute unofficial walkout on April 17. They were protesting management’s introduction of an additional workstation to cope with the rising volume of parcels from online shopping. This has made safe social distancing impossible.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) members returned to work after a meeting between CWU officials and management.
Last month saw walkouts in Southwark, London and Bridgewater in the south-west. This month, postal workers at several other Royal Mail sites have taken unofficial action over their safety concerns, including Chatham, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington, Didcot, Edinburgh, Alloa and Fife.
Protest by hospital security staff at UK London hospital over PPE
UK security staff employed by outsourcing company, Bidvest Noonan, at St. Georges medical school in south London, are protesting lack of COVID-19 PPE. Some United Voices of the World union members walked off-site on one occasion.
The workers have been involved in an ongoing dispute over zero-hour contracts and want to be employed on terms and conditions in line with directly employed National Health Service staff—including six months sick pay and 28 days holiday leave. …
Dutch teachers express concern over schools reopening
Primary schools in the Netherlands are to open after the May holidays and secondary schools possibly in June. LIA, the teachers’ action group and union, have expressed concern at the decision. Teachers feel the decision is premature and not based on scientific evidence. They say they should decide themselves if it is safe to return to school.
COVID-19 deaths in Scotland 79 percent higher than official figures. By Stephen Alexander, 24 April 2020. The impact of this deadly policy has fallen overwhelmingly on the poor, densely populated areas in deindustrialised centres of the working class.
Japan’s medical system collapsing as COVID-19 cases surge. By Ben McGrath, 24 April 2020. As many as 400,000 people could die in Japan without serious preventative measures as many lack access to tests and treatment.
Tens of thousands of Nepali workers stranded abroad by COVID-19 disaster. By Rohantha De Silva, 24 April 2020. Nepal has a population of 28 million but so far only 8,763 people have been tested for the virus.
New Zealand teachers and nurses oppose easing of lockdown, even as new COVID-19 cases are reported each day. By Tom Peters, 24 April 2020.
This 2017 video says about itself:
In Cretaceous times (around 100 million years ago), North Africa was home to a huge river system and a bizarre menagerie of giant prehistoric predators — including the Spinosaurus, a dinosaur even more fearsome than the Tyrannosaurus rex. Nizar Ibrahim uses paleontological and geological data to reconstruct this “River of Giants” in surprising detail.
Lesson by Nizar Ibrahim, animation by Silvia Prietov.
‘Jurassic Park‘ in Eastern Morocco: Paleontology of the Kem Kem Group
April 23, 2020
Now, in a new geology and paleontology monograph, that reveals much more about the famous Kem Kem beds in Morocco, Dr. Nizar Ibrahim from the University of Detroit Mercy, Prof. Paul Sereno from the University of Chicago, and a team of international scholars from the United States, Europe and Morocco, have put together a comprehensive story that is published in the open-access journal ZooKeys.
The aim of the new research is to provide the international community with an in-depth review of the rocks and fossils of the region. It reviews the geology and paleontology of this famous but surprisingly understudied area, describing and formally naming the strata and summarizing all of the preserved life forms, from fragile plants and insects to massive dinosaurs. The monograph also paints a picture of life as it once was some 95 million years ago by describing the paleoenvironments of the region, and the unusual predator-dominated fauna.
In 1996 Prof. Sereno and colleagues introduced the informal term “Kem Kem beds” for this fossil-rich escarpment. In this monograph, the authors review the original tri-level proposal for the region by French geologist Choubert (his informal “trilogie mésocretacée”) and propose the Kem Kem Group for the entire package of rock with two new names for the dinosaur-bearing layers based on the richest fossil sites, the Gara Sbaa and Douira formations.
The region is famous for the prodigious fossils found in all of these units, many derived from commercial fossil collecting, which obscures the precise location and level of the specimens. The monograph is the first work to pinpoint where many of the most important finds were made. Over the last 25 years in particular, paleontologists have brought to light a diverse array of new vertebrate fossils including at least four large-bodied non-avian theropods, several large-bodied pterosaurs, crocodilians, turtles and an array of sharks and bony fish.
To put a comprehensive story together on the Kem Kem, the authors of the monograph visited collections of Kem Kem fossils around the world and led many expeditions to the region. Fossil and geological data reviewed in the monograph is derived from a number of different sources. A University of Chicago-led major expedition in 1995 generated a wealth of geological and paleontological data, as did later expeditions involving teams from the University College Dublin, the University of Portsmouth, the Faculté des Sciences Aïn Chock, the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, the University Cadi Ayyad, the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale (Milan), and the University of Detroit Mercy.
One of the key features of the Kem Kem assemblage is the presence of several large-bodied theropods, a group of dinosaurs that includes all of the meat-eaters. Most famous among these from the Kem Kem include the sail-backed Spinosaurus and the sabre-toothed Carcharodontosaurus.
Most fossils in the Kem Kem region are discovered as isolated fragmentary pieces weathered from sandstones. Only four partial dinosaur skeletons or skulls have been recovered, which include the long-necked sauropod Rebbachisaurus garasbae and the theropods Deltadromeus agilis, Carcharodontosaurus saharicus and Spinosaurus aegyptiacus. These Kem Kem theropods are among the largest known dinosaurian predators on record reaching adult body lengths in excess of 12 meters.
“Given the continued input of new specimens and the continuing expansion of paleontological research, we predict that diversity in the Kem Kem Group will increase substantially in the coming decades. Based on our review of existing collections, this increase will include scores of taxa from the pond locality Oum Tkout including nonvertebrates, such as plants, insects, and ostracods, as well as an array of actinopterygian fish. We also anticipate a continuing trickle of new terrestrial vertebrates that will be named on better-preserved specimens that are diagnostic at present only at the familial level, including turtles and various kinds of archosaurs. As nearly half of the reptilian families listed are indeterminate, better-preserved specimens will offer future opportunities to recognize new reptilian genera,” share the authors.
“In summary, the Kem Kem assemblage of non-vertebrates and vertebrates is likely to continue to show dramatic increase in diversity in the coming decades. Nonetheless, the array of taxa currently known, which extends from plants across a range of aquatic and terrestrial vertebrates, is sufficiently mature to allow a summary of the vertebrate assemblage and a discussion of its paleoecological context,” conclude the researchers.
In his earlier research, a famous paleontologist from the University of Chicago Prof. Paul Sereno has described many outstanding dinosaur discoveries, including new Cretaceous crocodilians from the Sahara and two new fanged vegetarian dinosaur dwarfs (called heterodontosaurids).
This 22 April 2020 United States TV video says about itself:
Report: Federal agencies backed W.H.O. before Trump pulled funding
A report published by ProPublica says U.S. federal agencies backed the actions of the World Health Organization before President Trump criticized it and pulled funding last week. ProPublica reporter Yeganeh Torbati joins CBSN to discuss important details revealed in the internal documents.
“Back to work” campaign in the US will lead to surge in coronavirus deaths. 24 April 2020. The American ruling class is attempting to rapidly resume production and send workers back to work. If this policy is carried out, countless thousands more people will get gravely sick or die: here.
“Trump is more interested in getting the economy going than he is in our lives”. US autoworkers oppose rush to reopen plants. By Jerry White, 24 April 2020. The automakers are moving rapidly to reopen the auto industry even though it would accelerate the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
Meatpacking plants at center of many North America COVID-19 outbreaks. By Shannon Jones, 24 April 2020. Many communities where meatpacking plants are located are suffering much higher infection rates than the national average.
Tyson poultry workers in Tennessee speak out on terrible health and safety conditions. By Zac Thornton, 24 April 2020. Workers describe a regime in the plant in Shelbyville, Tennessee where they are intimidated into silence over lax enforcement of health and safety even as COVID-19 is spreading widely.
North Dakota General Electric wind turbine plant closes as 128 people test positive for COVID-19. By Anthony Bertolt, 24 April 2020. An outbreak at a wind turbine plant in Grand Forks has led to a sharp spike in infections in the sparsely populated state.
US coronavirus deaths approach 50,000. By Benjamin Mateus, 24 April 2020. The pandemic continues its onslaught at a steady but disconcerting pace.