Wednesday, October 26th, 2022


Burden of Beast

Barton Gellman covers a unique beat at The Atlantic. It's called being right. And he's making sense (and making my stomach turn) with his latest piece. The Impeachment of Joe Biden, and possibly Kamala Harris, and Merrick Garland, and Alejandro Mayorkas, and Antony Blinken. The GOP has created a monster with The Big Lie. I don't mean Trump. I mean the base. "Already, there is enormous demand for impeachment. A University of Massachusetts Amherst poll in May found that 68 percent of Republican voters think the House should impeach Biden. A majority expect that it will impeach him. Thwarting those expectations would be dangerous for any House Republican. The poll numbers for impeachment correspond closely to the belief among Republicans that Biden is an illegitimate president. This is no coincidence: Impeachment is the corollary of election denial—the invincible certainty that Biden cheated in 2020 and Donald Trump won. If you truly believe that and haven't joined a militia, impeachment is the least of the remedies you will accept." (Election denial is now at the core of the party's message, and if you don't feed the beast, the beast feeds on you.)



James Somers in The New Yorker with an interesting look at your metabolism which may be nature's most electrifying invention. How Food Powers Your Body. "Food is complicated and full of different molecules, many of which contain raw materials that we recycle into the physical structures of our cells. Finding the atoms that are especially dense with energy inside our food is like sifting through a heap of wrecked cars to find the still-charged batteries. A surprising amount of this sifting happens before we even swallow our food, as the saliva in our mouths breaks down its starches. (Try spitting in a cup of Jell-O pudding and see what happens.) We start to feel sated well before we digest, because our mouths tell our brains that energy is coming and that it's safe to release some short-term stores. In the meantime, acids in the stomach and enzymes in the small intestine start processing what has arrived." Oddly, this is one of the few recent news stories that didn't give me an upset stomach.


Dam Fools

"It's a cruel irony that's forcing utilities to reconsider the traditional role of hydropower as a reliable and instant source of green energy. Dams are the world's largest source of clean energy, yet extreme weather is making them less effective in the battle against climate change." In other words, we need water power to deal with climate change but climate change is removing water power options. The World's Biggest Source of Clean Energy Is Evaporating Fast.

+ Maybe we should get hydropower from Antarctica. The water there is flowing fast. Antarctica's Collapse Could Begin Even Sooner Than Anticipated.


Bedding the Over

"By the start of the Fall Classic on Friday, McIngvale says he'll have around $10 million (at an average 7.5-to-1 odds) riding on the Astros. In other words, the exact kind of nerve-frying, death-defying stakes Mattress Mack, 71, has been drawing aces his whole life." Houston Astros superfan Mattress Mack can't lose, no matter who wins the World Series. At this point, the World Series is taking so long to start that pitchers and catchers might report before it's over.


Extra, Extra

Your Wish is My Commando: "The United States spent almost $90 billion building the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. Although the force as a whole was incompetent and handed the country over to the Taliban in a matter of weeks, the commandos were always held in high regard, having been schooled by U.S. Navy SEALs and the British Special Air Service." And now, Russia's Recruiting Afghan Commandos.

+ Protest of Wills: "Iranian security forces have opened fire on protesters who had gathered in their thousands in Mahsa Amini's hometown to mark 40 days since her death." That's the lede, but the photo in this article tells the story.

+ Grease Trap: "Lawmakers who had been told about the trip's benefits in classified briefings and other conversations that included details of the oil deal — which has not been previously disclosed and was supposed to lead to a surge in production between September and December — have been left fuming that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman duped the administration." U.S. Officials Had a Secret Oil Deal With the Saudis. Or So They Thought. More BS from MBS.

+ Quaker Notes: "When a 5.1 magnitude earthquake hit the Bay Area on Tuesday morning, some residents got up to an 18-second warning that the region was about to get shaky." MyShake app can alert users before the next earthquake happens. (When I got yesterday's earthquake alert, I was like, "Phew, I thought this was another unsolicited text from a politician raising money.")

+ Beast Mode: "In addition to his own YouTube channel, MrBeast runs Beast Reacts (19.8 million followers), MrBeast Gaming (29.1 million followers), and MrBeast Shorts (16.2 million followers). In 2020, MrBeast launched a food delivery business called MrBeast Burger, which delivers in more than 1,000 locations across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. Last month, he opened his first physical restaurant for MrBeast Burger, in New Jersey, drawing thousands of visitors to the location on opening day." YouTube mega-star MrBeast seeks 10-figure valuation.

+ Orbit By Bit: "The station fired its thrusters for 5 minutes and 5 seconds in what NASA called a 'Pre-Determined Debris Avoidance Maneuver.'" The International Space Station had to move to dodge space junk. We can make a mess out of anything.

+ Extreme Winger: "And now Phil Kessel stands alone. Kessel became the NHL's new 'iron man' on Tuesday -- and did so in style, scoring his 400th career goal ... The 35-year-old winger has now appeared in 990 consecutive games, a streak that started Nov. 3, 2009."


Bottom of the News

I see dead people. Oh wait, it's just that I'm seeing the same dead person over and over. A Kentucky man posed as a dead body on TikTok for 321 days. Now he's going to be on CSI.

+ And if you're having a bad day, this will help put things into perspective. Indonesian woman's body found inside python.