Over 52,000 United States prisoners have COVID-19


This 27 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

‘We’re sitting ducks waiting to die’ – US prisoner on coronavirus crisis

The US has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the world and also incarcerates the most people.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

The number of inmates in the United States infected with the coronavirus has risen to over 50,000. This is reported by news agency AP.

The counter stood at 52,649 infections at the end of June, 8 percent more than a week earlier. More than 35,000 people have recovered and at least 600 detainees have died from the effects of the coronavirus. Employees in U.S. prisons are known to have infected 11,180 people. The virus killed 43 prison officers.

There are concerns worldwide about the spread of corona in prisons. For this reason, prisoners were released temporarily in some countries.

RTV Oost Dutch Overijssel province broadcasting reported earlier today that the relaxation of the coronavirus measures is causing unrest among detainees. Detainees do not understand why they are only allowed to speak to their partners or family members with a plexiglass screen in between, as dozens of employees walk in and out of the building every day.

Pro-Big Business ‘centrism’ isn’t real centrism


This 19 September 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Journalist Krystal Ball joins the show to talk about why centrism sucks, responding to Bill Maher’s Klobuchar for president suggestion, her time at MSNBC, and more.

From Our Revolution, the organisation of Senator Bernie Sanders in the USA, today:

Tell the media to stop using the word “centrist” to make pro-corporate policies seem more popular than they are!

One of the most toxic elements of our current media culture is the persistent misuse of the word “centrist” to refer to candidates who support unpopular pro-corporate policies.

Last year, New York Magazine published an article that used public opinion data to prove that what the media calls “centrism” is actually extreme, unpopular, and far from the “center” of public opinion.

But the media continues to actively misleading voters by referring to pro-corporate candidates and policies as “centrist.” With hatred and authoritarianism on the rise, voters deserve accurate information from the media.

Add your name here to demand that the media stop referring to pro-corporate candidates and positions as centrist!

The media needs to do better.

Their job is to inform voters so that we can make informed decisions about which candidate represents us.

Their misuse of the word centrist to refer to pro-corporate candidates like Joe Biden is intentionally misleading, and is designed to trick the audience into thinking that Biden‘s policies are more popular than they actually are.

Tell the media to focus on informing voters and stop intentionally misusing the word “centrist” to trick voters into accepting unpopular pro-corporate policies.

Onward,

The whole team at Our Revolution

Colourful dinosaur age insects discovered


Diverse structural-colored insects in mid-Cretaceous amber from northern Myanmar. Credit: NIGPAS

From the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 30 June 2020:

Amber fossils unlock true color of 99-million-year-old insects

Nature is full of colors, from the radiant shine of a peacock‘s feathers or the bright warning coloration of toxic frogs to the pearl-white camouflage of polar bears.

Usually, fine structural detail necessary for the conservation of color is rarely preserved in the , making most reconstructions of the dependent upon an artist’s imagination.

A research team from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NIGPAS) has now unlocked the secrets of true coloration in 99-million-year-old insects.

Colors offer many clues about the behavior and ecology of animals. They function to keep organisms safe from predators, at the right temperature, or attractive to potential mates. Understanding the coloration of long-extinct animals can help us shed light on ecosystems in the deep geological past.

The study, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B on July 1, offers a new perspective on the often overlooked, but by no means dull, lives of insects that co-existed alongside dinosaurs in Cretaceous rainforests.

Researchers gathered a treasure trove of 35 amber pieces with exquisitely preserved insects from an amber mine in northern Myanmar.

“The amber is mid-Cretaceous, approximately 99 million years old, dating back to the golden age of dinosaurs. It is essentially resin produced by ancient coniferous trees that grew in a tropical rainforest environment. Animals and plants trapped in the thick resin got preserved, some with life-like fidelity,” said Dr. Cai Chenyang, associate professor at NIGPAS who lead the study.

The rare set of amber fossils includes cuckoo wasps with metallic bluish-green, yellowish-green, purplish-blue or green on the head, thorax, abdomen, and legs. In terms of color, they are almost the same as cuckoo wasps that live today, said Dr. Cai.

The researchers also discovered blue and purple beetle specimens and a metallic dark-green soldier fly. “We have seen thousands of amber fossils but the preservation of color in these specimens is extraordinary,” said Prof. Huang Diying from NIGPAS, a co-author of the study.

“The type of color preserved in the amber fossils is called structural color. It is caused by microscopic structure of the animal’s surface. The surface nanostructure scatters light of specific wavelengths and produces very intense colors. This mechanism is responsible for many of the colors we know from our everyday lives,” explained Prof. Pan Yanhong from NIGPAS, a specialist on palaeocolor reconstruction.

To understand how and why color is preserved in some amber fossils but not in others, and whether the colors seen in fossils are the same as the ones insects paraded more than 99 million years ago, the researchers used diamond knife blades to cut through the exoskeleton of two of the colorful amber wasps and a sample of normal dull cuticle.

Using , they were able to show that colorful amber fossils have a well-preserved exoskeleton nanostructure that scatters light. The unaltered nanostructure of colored insects suggested that the colors preserved in amber may be the same as the ones displayed by them in the Cretaceous. But in fossils that do not preserve color, the cuticular structures are badly damaged, explaining their brown-black appearance.

What kind of information can we learn about the lives of ancient insects from their color?

Extant cuckoo wasps are, as their name suggests, parasites that lay their eggs into the nests of unrelated bees and wasps. Structural coloration has been shown to serve as camouflage in insects, and so it is probable that the color of Cretaceous cuckoo wasps represented an adaptation to avoid detection. “At the moment we also cannot rule out the possibility that the colors played other roles besides camouflage, such as thermoregulation,” adds Dr. Cai.

Post-coup Bolivia, COVID-19 dead bodies overload


This 13 June 2020 video says about itself:

Death toll from coronavirus mounts in Bolivia, families struggle to bury their dead

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Bolivia crematorium runs day and night, local residents concerned

In the Bolivian city of La Paz, the crematorium in the municipal cemetery is working overtime. According to Reuters news agency, the incinerators have been on day and night for months due to the higher number of coronavirus deaths. But the crematorium is in the middle of an inhabited area, and local residents are worried. “The smell is nauseating,” said one man to a Reuters journalist. “And the ashes blow into our houses.”

Residents have urged the municipality to move the crematorium …

In Bolivia, the number of coronavirus cases has been increasing rapidly recently, as in other countries in South America. More than 1,300 new cases were reported yesterday, the highest number to date in any one day. The total number of infections is now over 35,000; more than 1,200 people have died from the virus.

Rose-breasted grosbeak in New York, USA


This video from New York state in the USA says about itself:

Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak Visits Cornell Feeders On Sunny Day – July 2, 2020

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks often visit bird feeders, like the ones on the Cornell Lab FeederWatch cam, where they eat sunflower seeds as well as safflower seeds and raw peanuts. Even if you live outside their summer range you may still catch one visiting during spring or fall migration if you keep your feeders stocked.

Macron jealous of prime minister, sacks him


This 3 July 2020 video says about itself:

France: Jean Castex named new prime minister after Philippe resigns

Jean Castex was appointed as the new French Prime Minister in Paris on Friday. Earlier today, Edouard Philippe handed in his resignation.

Footage shows the official residence of the Prime Minister of France Hotel Matignon.

A cabinet reshuffle has was widely expected after French President Emmanuel Macron promised to chart a “new path” for the last remaining two years of his term. Macron’s party En Marche had experienced a major setback in the municipal elections last Sunday.

Mr Castex was a right-hand man of disgraced right-wing ex-President Sarkozy. In the Macron administration, his job was recently ‘reopening the economy‘ in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic in France.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

French Prime Minister Philippe and his cabinet have stepped down. This was announced by the Elysée, President Macron‘s palace. The president had already said he wanted to reshuffle the cabinet. Macron’s party, La République en Marche (LREM), suffered a large loss in the municipal elections on Sunday.

In recent months, Édouard Philippe had become prefered to Macron for many French people.

COVID-19 in the USA, update


This 2 July 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Trump actively ignores record-breaking COVID-US cases across the US. John Iadarola and Jason Carter break it down on The Damage Report.

50,000: THE BIGGEST ONE-DAY SPIKE YET New U.S. COVID-19 cases rose by nearly 50,000 on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally, marking the biggest one-day spike since the start of the pandemic. The record follows a warning by the government’s top infectious diseases expert that the number could soon double to 100,000 cases a day if Americans do not take steps such as wearing masks. In the first week of June, the United States added about 22,000 new cases each day. Brazil is the only other country to report more than 50,000 new cases in one day. The United States reported at least 49,286 cases on Tuesday. [Reuters]

President Donald Trump did not appear overly concerned Wednesday about the resurging coronavirus pandemic. “I think we’re going to be very good with the coronavirus. I think that at some point that’s going to sort of just disappear, I hope,” he told Fox Business. The White House claims the president is the “most informed person on the planet,” but Trump’s comments conflict with increasingly urgent warnings from health experts — including those in Trump’s administration — that the virus is spreading at alarming rates and that, without immediate intervention, Americans will continue to get sick and die. [HuffPost]

SAN QUENTIN INMATES ON HUNGER STRIKE Several men incarcerated in California’s San Quentin State Prison who have tested positive for COVID-19 have gone on a hunger strike to protest what they call “dismal” living conditions, according to KNTV in San Jose. More than 1,100 active coronavirus cases have been reported at San Quentin, California’s oldest prison and home to the state’s only death row. At least one person, a 71-year-old death row inmate, has died of complications from the coronavirus. The hunger strike at San Quentin, north of San Francisco, began Monday. [HuffPost]

HOUSTON ICUS PASS 100% CAPACITY Intensive care units in one of the world’s largest medical centers are operating at 102% capacity as coronavirus cases surge in Texas, according to a report from Texas Medical Center in Houston. An estimated 36% of the center’s 1,330 ICU beds were occupied by COVID-19 patients. The sprawling medical campus reported that there were 480 current patients with the virus in total. The medical center has enacted Phase 2 of a plan to address the surge by making 373 more beds available by reallocating hospital staff and equipment to ICUs. [HuffPost]

Here’s what recovery from COVID-19 looks like for many survivors.

Salmon flies in the USA, video


This 24 June 2020 video from Yellowstone Park in the USA says about itself:

A Bug Undergoes One of Nature’s More Startling Transformations

The salmon fly nymph is in a race against time: in order to breathe, it will need to break out of its hardened exoskeleton and complete a fascinating metamorphosis.