Sad links for Today

Doctors Warn of Painful Parasite Hiding in Your Sushi . You don’t eat raw meat for a reason.

Africa’s new slave trade: how migrants flee poverty to get sucked into a world of violent crime. I am no fan of how the west intervened in Libya, but I think people who blame this kind of thing on the fall of Gaddafi are missing the point. A lot of this was always going on but it was harder to see with Gaddafi in power.

How Noncompete Clauses Keep Workers Locked In

Links for today.

How to Accidentally Stop a Global Cyber Attacks. Don’t mind the security scan, they have to be paranoid.

Not to be sniffed at: human sense of smell rivals that of dogs, says study . Not sure about the headline, but yeah, the sense of smell is underused more then it is deficient. Native peoples have been long none to be able to track by smell and other things that human’s “can’t” do.

A watch fights tremors and woman finds ability to write

What Caught My Eye

In Bleak Prognosis, Italy’s Financial Regulator Threatens EU with Return to a “National Currency” The failure of Italy’s Financial System is something that everyone can see coming and nobody believes will actually happen (at least if you pay attention to what the markets are doing).

Roof failure was at a one-of-a-kind Hanford tunnel system . More on that radiation problem on the west coast.

Researchers Find Gut Bacteria Can Trigger Brain Lesions That Lead to Strokes . It is all connected together in case you have not figured that out yet.

Of Interest

Tunnel Collapses at Nuclear Facility Once Called ‘an Underground Chernobyl Waiting to Happen’. Hyperbole, but still of interest.

Greater capacity to detect sound gives autistic people an advantage

No, New York Times, Christianity’s Opposition to Abortion Is Anything But New. There is dubious start to the article, but it has more educational value as it goes on for those who don’t know much early church history.

Small Reminders of the Rest of the World.

A quote from one of the more formative books of my teenage reading….

At the conclusion of the conference, a tribute to Comrade Stalin was called for. Of course, everyone stood up (just as everyone had leaped to his feet during the conference at every mention of his name). … For three minutes, four minutes, five minutes, the stormy applause, rising to an ovation, continued. But palms were getting sore and raised arms were already aching. … However, who would dare to be the first to stop? … After all, NKVD men were standing in the hall applauding and watching to see who would quit first! And in the obscure, small hall, unknown to the leader, the applause went on – six, seven, eight minutes! … They couldn’t stop now till they collapsed with heart attacks! …

The director of the local paper factory, an independent and strong-minded man, stood with the presidium. Aware of all the falsity and all the impossibility of the situation, he still kept on applauding! Nine minutes! Ten! In anguish he watched the secretary of the District Party Committee, but the latter dared not stop. Insanity! To the last man! With make-believe enthusiasm on their faces, looking at each other with faint hope, the district leaders were just going to go on and on applauding till they fell where they stood, till they were carried out of the hall on stretchers! Then, after eleven minutes, the director of the paper factory assumed a businesslike expression and sat down in his seat. And, oh, a miracle took place! Where had the universal, uninhibited, indescribable enthusiasm gone? To a man, everyone else stopped dead and sat down. They had been saved!
… That same night the factory director was arrested. They easily pasted ten years on him on the pretext of something quite different. But after he had signed Form 206, the final document of the interrogation, his interrogator reminded him: “Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding.” — Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

I had to quote that just to provided context for this short clip. Apparently, Stalin was kind enough to solve the problem.

India finding it hard to end love affair with cash

Jakarta’s Christian governor gets two-year sentence for blasphemy

Ecuador’s Alleged ‘Pablo Escobar’ Went From Boatman to Drug Lord

North Korea denounces China, claims it has ‘protected’ Beijing

All North Korea All the Time

China’s Shift on N.Korea Brings Big Risks and Opportunities. If true this is a serious change.

Could North Korea Annihilate Seoul with Its Artillery?. This article is all very true from a factual perspective. But from a modern day political perspective, 20 dead civilians and 100 million dollars of property damage is enough to topple a government. And I don’t think even the optimistic people think the damage/deaths will be that low.

Did Trump-Xi call reveal subtle shift in China’s stance on North Korean nuclear crisis? More reading of the Chinese tea leaves.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un Risk Nuclear War. This article has a lot of bogus statements. For example, the claim that Kim is predictable and Trump is not could only be made by people who don’t remember Kim killing the uncle that everyone thought was his biggest supporter with an anti-aircraft cannon. But buried in the article is the reason even China is getting concerned. If the powers that be really think that North Korea will soon have hundreds of working nukes, they have to be thinking that North Korea will sell them to every one who has money.

The EMP Threat From North Korea Is Real, and Terrifying. A little harder to pull off then the article makes it seem like, but it would not be fun.

Writing love letters, bidding $100,000 extra: Buying a Southern California home is ‘insane’. Link added just for irony.

News for Today (4/25/17)

Japan Made Secret Deals With the NSA That Expanded Global Surveillance. I could not have guessed how this article was going to end. It starts off as a perfectly reasonable if boring story and by the end of it I was groaning in pain.

Mali’s Desert Climate Is the Doom of Armored Vehicles. Everyone seems to have forgotten this place but it is one of many places that the western powers are setting on to try to keep the world from blowing up.

Phoenix Point is now crowdfunding: we spoke to Julian Gollop about standing out in a post-XCOM world. I am skeptical, but it looks more interesting then I would have thought.