Vaccines currently are the primary mitigation strategy to combat COVID-19 around the world. For instance, the narrative related to the ongoing surge of new cases in the United States (US) is argued to be driven by areas with low vaccination rates [1]. A similar narrative also has been observed in countries, such as Germany and the United Kingdom [2]. At the same time, Israel that was hailed for its swift and high rates of vaccination has also seen a substantial resurgence in COVID-19 cases [3]. We investigate the relationship between the percentage of population  fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases across 68 countries and across 2947 counties in the US.

Source: Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, Cambridge, MA, USA, S. V. Subramanian
Download PDF: here

Told you so. *sigh*

The outrage about the several hours of failure of Facebook was much greater than the outrage about almost two years of deprivation of basic rights, and that’s basically all you need to know about this society.

The Portuguese capital Lisbon has been in a state of emergency since Friday. Nobody is allowed to enter the city without a valid reason, the residents are only allowed to leave it with special permission. The official goal of this measure is to prevent the spread of the delta variant of the Sars-Cov-2 virus.

Let us remember what happened in China 18 months ago: At the beginning of 2020, entire cities began to be cordoned off under the same pretext and the freedom of movement of their residents was drastically restricted. The measures did not help, because within a few weeks the virus could be detected on all five continents.

So what we are seeing in Lisbon is the repetition of a measure that we already know will not achieve the goal set by those responsible.

So why is such a thing ordered?

To answer this question, one should first remember that a pandemic situation would never have been declared if the World Health Organization had not changed its definition of a pandemic in April 2009. Until then, one of the basic requirements for a pandemic was an “enormous number of deaths”.

In addition, in the course of the first cases of illness, the term “died of and with an illness” was introduced – a formulation that has never been used before and is just as scientifically untenable as the ban on performing autopsies on the deceased. Both of these measures have helped to drive up official death statistics.

However, the actual number of victims and the average age of those who died from the virus reveal something completely different: at no point did we have to deal with a global health emergency.

On the other hand, the measures ordered have had devastating consequences, and not only in the health sector: Parliaments have been sidelined, fundamental rights have been restricted in unprecedented ways and dictatorial structures have been set up worldwide, as we know them only from the darkest times of fascism.

Why?

In order to understand the motives behind the measures, one has to direct one’s gaze to a process that has assumed monumental proportions in recent years and has now completely dominated our lives: the concentration of ever more wealth and thus more and more power in the hands of the digital-financial complex, i.e. the alliance of the largest IT groups and the most important financial institutions in the world.

In contrast to the generally accepted view that our lives are largely determined by politics, it is this digital-financial complex that makes the trend-setting economic and political decisions in our time – single-handedly and worldwide.

Despite its power, this complex is currently facing a historical problem: the existing monetary system on which its rule is based threatens to collapse after being artificially kept alive by the central banks for over a decade and must therefore be replaced by a new one.

There is already a plan for this: the introduction of semi-private digital central bank currencies. These, however, will deliver people up to complete surveillance and total control by the state and the digital-financial complex. Its introduction would therefore, under normal circumstances, meet with tremendous social opposition.

For this reason, the leading forces in the digital-financial complex have obviously opted for the strategy of the Great Reset: They are using the end phase of the existing financial system to plunder it according to all the rules of the art and thus deliberately bring it to its complete collapse.

As soon as this collapse, which will be accompanied by severe social upheaval, comes up with the new money – not as a coercive measure, but as a humanitarian action, by using it as a saving straw for the millions of people threatened by unemployment and homelessness present in the form of the universal basic income.

The whole thing is a risky maneuver, because its successful completion requires that the majority of people do not oppose this path into digital imprisonment. Because of this, the digital financial complex is being forced to do everything possible to keep people at bay, to break their resistance and to ensure the highest levels of control, surveillance and intimidation until reaching its goal.

It is precisely for this purpose that arbitrary measures such as the cordoning off of the Portuguese capital are likely to serve, which incidentally is not due to a fatal epidemic, but because of an illness whose symptoms consist of headaches, runny nose and sore throat.

Source: Ernst Wolff on KenFM

Today I present a very special treat. Conservative groups in Alabama uphold a ban on yoga in school citing fears of the practice spreading Hinduism.

Legislation that would have allowed yoga to be taught in Alabama public schools died in committee Wednesday, stalling a years-long battle by one state legislator to bring the practice back.

Bill AL HB246 was put forth by Alabama State Rep. Jeremy Gray, who wrote that bringing yoga back to school would be voluntary. It sought to overturn a ban on the practice in Alabama schools in place since 1993.

Source: Insider

Just as in the Middle Ages: “Witches are made of wood. That’s why they swim.”

So, yes, we know the mRNA sequence of the Moderna, BioNTech/Pfizer and CureVac vaccines. Moderna did not publish this sequence themselves, but because RNA can be read (‘sequenced’) in the lab, it is now also available.

As yet however, there is no technology that lets you “just print” this code as mRNA. There barely are DNA printers, and even these are not really desktop things, and from what I hear, still need you to send off your results for post-processing.

Source: Berthub

More than 700 thousand human deaths from mosquito bites are observed annually in the world. It is more than 2 times the number of annual murders in the world. In this regard, the invention of new more effective methods of protection against mosquitoes is necessary. In this article for the first time, comprehensive studies of mosquito neutralization using machine vision and a 1 W power laser are considered. Developed laser installation with Raspberry Pi that changing the direction of the laser with a galvanometer. We developed a program for mosquito tracking in real. The possibility of using deep neural networks, Haar cascades, machine learning for mosquito recognition was considered. We considered in detail the classification problems of mosquitoes in images. A recommendation is given for the implementation of this device based on a microcontroller for subsequent use as part of an unmanned aerial vehicle. Any harmful insects in the fields can be used as objects for control.

Source: Rakhmatulin, I. Raspberry PI for Kill Mosquitoes by Laser. Preprints 2021, 2021010412 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202101.0412.v1).

A team of researchers looked to see whether the success of a startup company can be predicted after it is trending on Twitter.

As a result, the mood on Twitter turned out to be of little significance for long-term success.

Source: Heise

With that being said, Twitter is and remains completely irrelevant.

Paywalls are justified, even though they are annoying. It costs money to produce good writing, to run a website, to license photographs. A lot of money, if you want quality. Asking people for a fee to access content is therefore very reasonable. You don’t expect to get a print subscription  to the newspaper gratis, why would a website be different? I try not to grumble about having to pay for online content, because I run a magazine and I know how difficult it is to pay writers what they deserve. 

Source: Current Affairs

I’d rather say “Proper news are paywalled while opinions are free”. News require analysis and research. Both is expensive, so since opinions are free and everyone has one, it’s quite easy to spread that opinion and claim it’s news.

Two studies investigated how people react to research describing a sex difference, depending on whether that difference favours males or females, and how accurately people can predict how the average man and woman will react. In Study 1, Western participants viewed a fictional popular‐science article describing either a male‐favouring or a female‐favouring sex difference (i.e., men/women draw better; women/men lie more). Both sexes reacted less positively to the male‐favouring differences, judging the findings to be less important, less credible, and more offensive, harmful, and upsetting. Participants predicted that the average man and woman would react more positively to sex differences favouring their own sex. This was true of the average woman, although the level of own‐sex favouritism was lower than participants predicted. It was not true, however, of the average man, who – like the average woman – reacted more positively to the female‐favouring differences. Study 2 replicated these findings in a Southeast Asian sample. Our results are consistent with the idea that both sexes are more protective of women than men, but that both exaggerate the level of same‐sex favouritism within each sex – a misconception that could potentially harm relations between the sexes.

Source: British Journal of Psychology

It’s not the cliché of the bad buy, but that of the good woman.

The country has the highest penetration of any automated contact tracing app in the world, but one senior figure says it “wasn’t a game changer.”

But despite this early deployment and widespread use, one senior figure in the country’s covid-19 response says the real impact of Rakning C-19 has been small, compared with manual tracing techniques like phone calls.

“The technology is more or less … I wouldn’t say useless,” says Gestur Pálmason, a detective inspector with the Icelandic Police Service who is overseeing contact tracing efforts. “But it’s the integration of the two that gives you results. I would say it [Rakning] has proven useful in a few cases, but it wasn’t a game changer for us.”

Source: MIT Technology Review


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    Destabilizing cishetero amatonormativity. Providing disruption as a service. Once you know the way, you see it in all things. Unless you puke, faint or die, keep going. Also I never asked for this. I̸͝t̸̑ ̵̽i̷͗s̶͐ ̵͝a̶͒l̷ ͍r̷ ̗͕e̵͑a̶͌d̸̄y̷̚ ̶̀ ͓͑t̷̚ô̶o̸ ̥ ̶́ ̡l̷͝a̶̽t̵͒ė̶.̸ ̋͑

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