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  1. Whenever I observe resistance to wearing masks, (admittedly, a PITA, but...), self-isolation and vaccination being expressed as a limit on one's personal freedom, I am puzzled. Facts: It is a scientific fact that the currently-available, western vaccinations work with unexpected efficacy; Long-term, broad data establishes the fact that without vaccination, one is at risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death; The same data establishes that, with rare exceptions, vaccinated people will not require hospitalization and will not die; Both the vaccinated and unvaccinated can carry & transmit covid-19 Delta, through virus-loaded nasal passages. The claim of broad, public "confusion" when the CDC issues advice as reason for complaint and resistance is, in my view, a red-herring and just plain, bad thinking. I say this because eighteen months ago, nothing was known about covid-19. That's why it was/is called a "Novel" Coronavirus. So new information is being discovered all the time, as the Delta variant continues to teach us, harshly, it appears, leading to "new" advice from healthcare leaders and providers. It is puzzling to me that the introduction of new knowledge regarding Delta etc., is greeted with frustration, even anger. That response, while understandable is a real puzzle because it is misplaced. It is as though, having discovered the design-fault with the B737MAX, our frustration & anger is somehow touted as a "solution" when in fact, analyzing the design, determining solutions then fixing the problem is what will keep people alive. I would have thought that such discoveries and facts are being made, very swiftly, would be greeted positively because it would mean that we are closer to defeating this terrible scourge. Our healthcare leaders are telling us there IS a way to stay alive in the face of the Delta variant. How can one reasonably be angry with that? After all, if for example, one's cancer treatment wasn't working out as expected and one became aware of new information and new medicines regarding a "miraculous" treatment that really did work which prevented both hospitalization and one's death, wouldn't one want it? Wouldn't one welcome the news and gladly adapt to the changes that could cure one? It is not the CDC (or other agencies) that have changed; it is the science and the virus that has changed. I think this is a reasonable comparison and approach to hesitancy. Unfortunately, because public and private entities can't survive lockdowns forever nor can they accept the high risks of swift infections for all, from unvaccinated people and they are forced into what is mistakenly labelled "discrimination" which is a pejorative political term, not a healthcare term.* So I'm puzzled by the broad, political response and the unfortunate endurance of conspiracies that masking mandates as somehow a "loss of one's freedom", when the greatest loss of all freedom is one's death, and the way to keep one's freedom in the face of such a certain threat, is vaccination. *added: Seattle area employers rethink the rules on masking, vaccines as pandemic takes a new turn.
    5 points
  2. Hmm, somebody at the NYTimes doesn't understand the science of partial pressure of gasses like oxygen (PO2), how O2 gets into the blood stream, nor do they appear to know the composition of the air we need to breath every few seconds or so! I think that the NYTimes has done a really poor job of writing this story. Initially I thought it had to do with the aircraft emergency oxygen system, "failing" to provide oxygen in a depressurization and wondered where "switches" came into play! I read further, and more slowly. There are no "oxygen switches" and one can't "increase oxygen" by turning the cabin airflow on "High". Oxygen levels don't "drop" because of failed switches on airplanes of course! What drops is the partial pressure of all gasses. So if there is a loss of pressurization, there is less partial pressure for nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon-dioxide, etc., to cross the membranes in the lungs, and hopefully the cabin pressure sensors that warn the crew of a cabin altitude higher than approximately 10,000ft, work. I'm sure those in charge will get it right and find/fix the problem, then have a chuckle at the NYTimes' level of "aviation" knowledge and consquently its writing.
    4 points
  3. I've been retired for over 17 years now and I still check in here pretty much every day. It keeps me in touch with the aviation community. I agree that our numbers are down but that may noy be permanent either. I very much appreciate this site. Cheers Greg
    4 points
  4. When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent. - Isaac Asimov "Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacutring industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowlegeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distingquish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into supersitution and darkeness. The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30-second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudo-science and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-haunted World - Science as a Candle in the Dark, p.25 Carl Sagan, like Tony Fauci today, would be in danger. I believe that view reflects a minority and that it is the media-megaphone that makes ignorance and stupidity appear larger than it is - it sells. Nothing succeeds like failure however, and it remains dangerous as people lose their "center", (ref. to Yeats' poem, The Second Coming) "Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception." - Sagan
    4 points
  5. Ya don't mess with the mesa.... The US’s largest solar farm is canceled because Nevada locals don’t want to look at it Tue Jul 27, 2021. - electrek The Battle Born Solar Project in Nevada – what would have been the largest solar farm in the US – is now canceled because nearby residents said it would be an eyesore. The 850 megawatt, 9,200-acre solar farm, which would have been constructed in southern Nevada’s Moapa Valley, was to sit on 14 square miles on the Mormon Mesa, a flat-topped hill around 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas. California-based Arevia Power and Solar Partners VII LLC withdrew their application with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) last week in the face of opposition from a group called Save Our Mesa. The group, which is made up of residents, environmentalists, and others, feels that the solar farm would hinder hiking, camping, driving off-highway vehicles, and horseback riding and deter tourists from visiting artist Michael Heizer’s environmental sculpture, “Double Negative”. We have been called a whining NIMBY group, well this is mostly true because this project IS literally IN our backyard!
    3 points
  6. In the end, no one makes you look bad. A friendship is honesty between friends. Its a duty and a favour. It isn't easy living beside a crazy friend but we try, not by following that friend around with a self-help book or Mom's advice, but by example. Tuum Est; It's up to you, no one else. The world's patience and tolerance is not unlimited. There are far bigger problems around to solve.
    3 points
  7. From the Seattle Times: Don’t look now but our Canada problem is showing again. Our neighbors to the north are making us look bad one more time, and also shrewdly putting us in a bit of a political pickle. This week the Canadian government announced, unilaterally, that it would open its border to Americans hoping to visit. Not to just any Americans, though. Starting Aug. 9, the crossing at Blaine and the entire 5,500-mile border will be open only to … vaccinated Americans. Meaning: About half of us. Canada’s doors are open halfway. If you haven’t gotten both shots, which about half of Americans have not, then you are barred — even if you have a negative COVID-19 test, or have previously had the respiratory disease. The Canadians are not messing around, either: “A person who submits false information on vaccination status could be liable to a fine of up to $750,000 or six months imprisonment or both, under the Quarantine Act,” the country’s public health agency announced. Meanwhile our borders remain locked to Canadians who want to come south. Eventually we will open them — maybe soon, as the U.S. government’s recurring border closure order technically expires Wednesday. But the fact that the Canadians went first, and then dropped a vaccine passport system on us, is awkward for all sorts of reasons. For starters, the reason they did this now is because they have rocketed past us into first place in the vaccination race. “Canada has gone from a vaccine laggard to a world leader in COVID-19 immunizations in just a few months’ time,” the Canadian public broadcaster CBC trumpeted the other day. Canada is now number one in the world in COVID-19 protection, with 70% of the population having received at least one vaccine shot. The U.S. has slipped to seventh, 14 percentage points behind Canada, according to the Our World in Data vaccine tracker. Despite already being that far ahead, the Canadians’ daily vax rate, adjusted for population, remains six times higher than it is here in the U.S., where the vaccine program has flatlined. This has all led to a flood of new exports from up north — of smack talk. “Why would some people rather risk death than get vaccinated? It’s the American way,” the Toronto Star heckled us on Tuesday. It’s a “tragedy of belligerent self-destruction,” it went on. “The U.S. is among the few countries in the world with the means to quickly extinguish the pandemic within its borders. It lacks only the will.” That’s cold, Canada. Not wrong, but cold. Anyway, Canada put the screws to us politically, too. By requiring vaccination for entry, Canada is saying: We’re now number one in the civilized world. If you want to come here, you have to be civilized, too. As an economics columnist in Canada put it: “When it comes to businesses trying to navigate a high-risk pandemic, Canada looks safer and steadier than most other places — and that’s of great value during a period of so much fear. The extensive precautions and our rising vaccination rates serve us well, as marketing tools as well as in pandemic management.” In the U.S., though, the vaccine has become another flash point in a culture war. On our side of the border, in Bellingham, it was reported on Tuesday that the sheriff had to be notified because the Whatcom County health director started getting threats after a council member posted her cellphone number on social media and said she needed to be “reined in.” Her crime? Running a campaign to encourage vaccination among 18- to 26-year-olds. This earned her a slew of angry calls comparing her to the Nazis during the Holocaust. Safe and steady? That’s so Canadian. Look, I’m against mandatory vaccination. But asking that we do it as a ticket for certain things like travel seems reasonable as part of a global community during an infectious disease pandemic. What Canada is saying is “no shirt, no shoes, no service, America.” Meanwhile we are paralyzed on this issue. Legislators in 40 states, led by Republicans, have now introduced bills to ban vaccine passports or passes like this (the states have no say over border policy; the principle though is clear, which is that they’re against the idea). The Biden administration seems rudderless on it one way or another. So increasingly other countries are going to be following not our lead on this, but Canada’s. That’s only going to hurt our border-town businesses, and will leave Americans behind in the recovery. Being dictated to by Canada? That wasn’t in the cards even a few months ago. Get used to it. Because like Canada, other countries likely will soon pass us in the vaccination race, and then they will be in a strong position to dictate to us, too. Danny Westneat: dwestneat@seattletimes.com;Danny Westneat takes an opinionated look at the Puget Sound region's news, people and politics
    3 points
  8. Interesting comments from a Indigenous writer, after seeing Trudeau’s picture with the teddy bear: Maybe people are starting to figure this guy out ! https://nationalpost.com/opinion/melissa-mbarki-trudeaus-virtue-signalling-to-first-nations-is-meaningless
    3 points
  9. Yes Mr. Loon.... You're one of those guys... you know... like Mav said. I've always appreciated reading your thoughts and input on things. They say you have to keep busy in retirement or you'll just croak.... I'm here to tell you you can sit on your ass and do nothing if you want and still live to smile about it.
    3 points
  10. The American Surgeon-General’s Advisory Report on Confronting Health Misinformation: I am urging all Americans to help slow the spread of health misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Health misinformation is a serious threat to public health. It can cause confusion, sow mistrust, harm people’s health, and undermine public health efforts. Limiting the spread of health misinformation is a moral and civic imperative that will require a whole-of-society effort. Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A. Vice Admiral, U.S. Public Health Service Surgeon General of the United State https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/surgeon-general-misinformation-advisory.pdf
    3 points
  11. Socialism jokes are only funny if everyone gets them.
    3 points
  12. I just had a look and it seems there's a shipload of us "lurkers" out there. I get it, I've been only an occasional peekster every month or so, (or less) for a long time... I got the notion a while back, that this forum seemed dominated by radical, r/w zealots, ...and one particular ... how shall I say it?... Never mind. Suffice it to say, it felt very unfriendly to a non-radical r/w tunnel-visioned dope, such as myself... But I'm quite surprised, and pleased, to see so many familiar names still in the online list. Cheers Y'all! Mitch
    3 points
  13. Like the teddy bear in the photo, he has us by the nuts!
    3 points
  14. I believe that at the time the intentions were good. The planners didn’t think far enough ahead for possible problems with that approach though. This seems to be a common occurrence with certain groups now.
    3 points
  15. Courtesy of....Live from the Flight Deck.
    3 points
  16. Good Morning All: Just received this long list of aircraft nicknames please add your favourites. Cue the scroll button haters A10: Warthog A318: Nanobus, Baby Bus A319: Microbus, Shorty, Short Bus (Derogatory American phrase) A320: MiniBus, NintendoJet, ScareBus, Chainsaw, Deathjet, Freddie Kruegers wet dream, Toulouse Grasscutter, The Strimmer, Fifi, Die-by-Wire, the French Bitch, Sully's Ark, Plastic Fantastic A320 is known as 'The John Wayne' Because they 'Chop down trees, move mountains and kill Indians!' A330: Slippy, The Aircraft in Plastic, The Bus, HalfPastThree A340: Four-person Hair Dryer, LowRider (takes so long to get off the ground) A340-400: the Noodle (as it's so long that it flexes like a noodle on takeoff) A350: The Racoon A380: Double Decker Bus, Megabus, Whalejet, the Wannabe Queen, Flying Forehead A400M Atlas: Fatlass Alouette: Chicken chaser Antonov 2: Bumblebee, Annochka Archer Maker: WidowMaker AT6 Harvard: Halfard, Yellow Peril. ATR: All Those Relays. Avro Shackleton: Shacklecaster, flying Cow, Old Grey Lady, 10 Thousand rivets flying in loose formation Avro Vulcan: Tin-triangle, Flat-iron, Mechanical Hang Glider AW62 Argosy: Whistling Wheelbarrow (two tails makes it look like a wheelbarrow), Whistling/Flying Tit (because of the front nose profile), The Agony ( painful & noisy), The 40 ton converter (turns kerosene into noise) BAC 111:Pocket rocket, Bone Vibrator. BAe146: Viscount 900, Smurfjet with 5 APU's, The Gas Chamber, Bumble-et, Baby Jumbo, Bring Another Engine, 1-4-Sick, submarine- low slow and out of sight, Airborne Auschwitz, Barbie Jet, Tonka Toy/Jet, 4 oil leaks connected by an electrical fault, The Quadra-Puff, Lead Sled, Mini Galaxy, Sky Dozer, Fisher Price Starlifter, "1 aeroplane, 4 engines, needs 6", The Slug, Toxic Terror, Muffler (Because all the noise is on the inside), Fruit Bat, Flying cockroach, Dungbeetle, Jump Jet, The SUV of RJs, Jumbolino, Aluminum Buffalo, four hairdryers in close formation. BAe ATP: Advanced/Another Technical Problem, The Parrot (cos it's just a big Budgie), Ancient Technology Perpetuated, Bat Pee, Skoda, 80p, Wigwam (A TeePee). BAe Harrier: Leaping Heap BAe Jetstream: Junkstream, Wetdream, Soda-stream, Sweatstream, Jetscream, J-Ball, Jizzstream BAe Nimrod: Never Intended for Maritime Reconnaissance Or Development. Beta: the MeatBeater Bristol Beaufighter: Whispering Death Bristol Freighter: Whispering Death, 10,000 rivets in close formation Beech 18: Flying snag, Bugsmasher Beech 76 Duchess: Dutch Ass, the Dutchy Beech 99: 99-Liner Beech Baron: Ball tearer Beech Bonanza: Doctor killer (its reputation as such is ubiquitous) Beech 200: Super K Beech 1900: Flipper, Dolphin, Stonefish, Mini Guppy, Stretch King Air, Bitch 1900 Beech T-34: Radial Interceptor Bell 206: Deathranger, Hydraulic palmtree Bell UH-1: Huey, Hog, Dustoff Beverly: Flying Longhouse Bristol 188: The Mayfly Bristol Britannia: The Whispering Giant (Was this the original WG?), Freighter version: The Whispering Warehouse Bristol Freighter: Freightener Boeing Stratocruiser: Stratoboozer (a reference to the bar these aircraft had on board), "The Best Three Engined Plane Crossing the Atlantic" Boeing E4B: Doomsday Plane, The Ark, Double Humper Boeing T43: Gator (for Navigator) Boeing 707: Slush bucket, Water wagon Boeing 727: 3 holer, Tri-jet, Trisaurus, Triple chrome-plated stovepipe, Jurassic Jet, Ear Blaster, The Scooter Boeing 737: Tin mouse, Maggot, Pocket Rocket Socket, FLUF (Fat Little Ugly F**cker), Light Twin, Baby Boeing, Fat Freddy, Guppy, Thunder Guppy (series 1/200), Yuppy Guppy, Super Guppy (series 3/4/500), Pig, Bobby (BOeing BaBY), Rudder Rotor, Fat Albert, Dung Beatle. Boeing 737NG: Super FLUF (Fat Little Ugly F**cker). Boeing 747: Jumbo Jet, Whale, The Valiant, Upstairs and Downstairs, Lump, Humpback, Queen of the Skies (used for many aircraft but probably mostly the 747), the Aluminum Overcast. Boeing 747SP: Short Plane, Stupid Purchase. Boeing 757: Stick Insect, AtariFerrari, Slippery Snake, Flying Pencil, Long Tall Sally (long legs and two great big…engines.), Greased Bullet Boeing 757-300: Long misery, Subway Train. Boeing 767: Dumpster, Slug, Stumpy Boeing 777: B737 on steroids, Cripple Seven (I.F.E. Problems??), Bigfoot (from the tripple bogey landing gear), Sasquatch, T7, Seventh Wonder, Trouble Seven, Grouper (the front end does look like one of those fish) Boeing 787 Dreamliner: Tupperjet (plastic tupperware), Firebird (since several early on-board fires), Seven-Late-Seven, Bad Dream Liner, Flatliner, Sparky the Game Changer, Binliner, The microwave (cooks batteries). Boeing C-17 Globemaster: The Moose. Barney (Fred’s fat little friend). B24: The Crystal Shithouse B52: BUMF (Big Ugly Mother f***er) or BUFF. (Big Ugly Fat F****er), BFiftyTwoManyWheels BN 2 Islander: 225 - 2 wings, 2 engines(?) 5 Wheels, Slander, Bongo, Noise inducting sound machine, with a slow flying by-product BN 2A Trislander: Try Harder, Bloody Nice Aircraft (!), Clockwork TriStar, Poor Man's 727 Bombardier Q400: Mega-Whacker Bombardier CRJ: BarbieJet, Canuckjet, Canuckiejet, Ken&Barbie Dreamjet, Reset Jet, Replacement Jet, Climb Restricted Jet Buccaneer: Buccanana (due to its banana like shape) CA-15 Winjeel: The Ginwheel CAC Wirraway: The "Flying Chaff-cutter" (due to its clattering engine noise) Canberra T17: Warthog (due to its warty nose) Casa: Christ A Sh***y Aeroplane Cessna 150: One Filthy, the buck and a half, Cesspit. Cessna A150 Aerobat: Aerosplat Cessna 172 Cutlass: Strutless, Gutless, Flying Chevette (due to its lack of performance and Cessna’s efforts to make their aircraft similar to the cars of the era - that 1970’s upholstery!). Cessna 177 Cardinal: The Pontif Cessna 185: Buck eighty-five Cessna 207: Crowdkiller, Slug, Moneymaker Cessna 210 Centurian: Coffin, 2-Ton Cessna 337 Sky Master: Sky Disaster, Sky Maggot, Push-me-Pull-you, Mix Master, Bug Smasher, Push-me-Pull-me, Blow-me-Suck-me, suck & blow job, two-toed tanglefoot. Cessna 402 Utiliner: Undyliner. Cessna Citation: Levitation, Crustacean, Mutation, Slowtation, Nearjet, Bugjet, Twin Hoover Cessna T-37: Tweet, Tweety or Tweety Bird (because of its high, shrill engine sound) CF100: The Lead Sled, Clunk CH-47 Chinook: Two palm trees ******* a dumpster, Hooker, Shithook, RPG Magnet, Death Banana Concorde: Great White, The Rocket, Rockership, Pocket Rocket, Paraffin Pencil Convair B36: Aluminium overcast Convair F102 Delta Dagger: The Deuce Convair 580: Mountain Master, Vomit Comet Convair 990: Coronado, Smoky Joe CRJ: Canadair Rookie Jet CRJ200: Shortdart, Lawndart, barbiejet CRJ900: Longdart CT-4A: (which was painted bright yellow and green in RAAF service) - the Plastic Parrot Curtis SB2C Helldiver: the Beast, SonofaBitch2ndClass, Big-Tailed Beast and the 'Two-Cee' DC 2: Deuce. DC 3: Dak, Dakotasaurus Rex, Gooney Bird, Draggin' Wagon, Douglas Racer (compliments of late BC/A columnist Torch Lewis and the airplane's leisurely 140 KIAS cruise speed), Dakleton (South African built Daks as replacement for AVRO Shackletons), Dizzy Three, Dowager Dutchess, Duck DC 6: Douglasaurus Rex DC 7: Douglas Seven Seas (From DC-7C) DC 8: DC Late, Old Smokey, Greasy8, Death Cruiser, Whiney Bird, Cigarette Jets (Long skinny fuselages and long thin engines that smoked), Santa Monica Anteater (for Douglas' HQ city and the airplane's loooong nose), The Long Beach Cable Car (If you look at the fuel panel, all those levers were connected to their respective valves by long cable runs. Same with the trim, flight controls and outflow valves) DC 9-10/15: Pocket Rocket, Mini-Me, Baby Nine DC 9: Greasy 9, Diesel 9, DC3-GT, Douglas Death Ship-(heard from a PSA pilot in the 1980s due the difficulties during FAA certification) DC 10: Diesel 10, Death Contraption 10, Death Cruiser 10, Daily Crash 10, Donald's Disaster, Crowd Killer MD 11: The Diva, More Death 2, I also like 'Scud' for the MD-11, once you launched it, you were not sure were it was going to land. DH 82 Tiger Moth: Terror Moth. DH Comet: Vomit DH Vampire: The whistling pisscan. DHC 1 Chipmonk: Chippie, Chukmonk. DHC 3 Otter: Swine, Steam Otter. DHC 4 Caribou: The Gravel Truck ("The only aircraft known to man that could suffer a birdstrike from behind".) DHC 5 Buffalo: Barfalo DHC 6 Twin Otter: Tin Otter, Twin Rotter, Twotter, Stoneboat, Twottercopter, noise powered aeroplane, Double Udder DHC 7 Dash Seven: Quad Otter, Pogo Stick DHC 8 Dash Eight: Dash Late, Crashbait, DashTrash, Trash8, Crash8, Trauma Tube, Dashidy Trashidy Boom, The Sausage DO 17: Flying Pencil DO 228: Doorknob, Gonzo (everything forward of the wing leading edge looks like a certain Muppet's head) DO 328: Dork DO 328J: Dorkjet Douglas Maurader: Flying Prostitute Douglas A1D Skyraider: The Spad Douglas A4 Skyhawk: Bantam Bomber, Scooter Douglas AC47 (DC3 Gunship): Spooky, Puff the Magic Dragon, Fantasma, Dragon Dak Douglas C54 Skymaster: Biscuit Bomber (from Berlin Airlift days) Douglas C124 Globemaster: Shakey Bird, "Old Shaky" due to its tendency to do a lot of that in flight, and "the Aluminium Cloud" because it was, with four props and a double high fuselage basically built on DC-6 / C-118 wings, the hugest return on anyone's radar Douglas Skywarrior: 'All Three Dead' a mixture of its awful early safety record, three crew, and its US Navy designation of A-3D eHang: eWang, Macerator EMB110 Bandierante: Bandit, Randy Banty EMB120 Brasillia: Garbage Can, Brakillya, Mexican King Air, The Bro, The Braz EMB135: Scopebuster EMB145: Jungle Jet, Barbie Jet, The Windows 98 Plane (seems like you spend more time rebooting the aircraft than actually flying it), Bendy Jet, Emb180 (taxi to the runway, then 180 for taxi back to ramp), WiSCOD (Whistling Shitcan of Death) EMB ERJ: Brazillian Tube of Death, Jungle Jet, Brasilia Jet (Really p***es off the pilots...) Ercoupe: Scarecoupe, Air Scoop Fokker 27: The Dutch Dog Whistle, The Egg Beater, Whistle Pig, The Converter - (ie, it converted fuel into noise). Fokker 28: WhisperJet, She Who's Afraid of Snow Fokker 50: F**kin' Fifty, Little Fokker, Pinocchio Fokker 100: The Scud Because they point them at Europe and they don't come back!, Dutch Oven (lousy air conditioning), Runway Hog, The Mother Fokker (as it is the largest Fokker) FA 18: Bug, Rhino Fairey Gannet: Converter of Kerosene to Noise Fairey Swordfish: Stringbag F-4 Phantom: Grey Geese, Double Ugly, Rhino F-15A Eagle Steam Driven Eagle (for the old avionics compared to new C-models) F-15E Eagle Mud Hen (self-explanatory) F-86 Sabre Sword F-100 Hun F-102 Deuce F-104 Starfighter Flying coffin, Widowmaker, Manned missile, Zipper, The Pregnant Hatpin, Erdnagel (literally "earth nail"), from the military term for "tent peg" F-105 The Thud F-106 Cadillac (smooth flyer, lots of power, fast, huge cockpit) F-111: Aardvark, The Pig F-117: Cockroach (because they only came out at night). NightHawk Flutr Model 1: Daydream, the 4-Ring Fouga: Dog-whistle, Converter, Whistling Turtle HS121 Trident: Rodent, Ground Gripper HS125: Pocket rocket HS748: Paraffin Budgie, the Draggie, The Twenty Ton Dog Whistle. GAF Nomad: Go-mad, Gonad Gazelle: Chicken leg Gloster Javellin: Flying Trowel, Harmonious drag master, Flat Iron Gloster Meteor: Meatbox Gulfstream I: G-String, G-Once Gulfstream IV: Fourskin Handley Page Hampden: Flying Suitcase Hawker Hunter: Haunter HP Halifax: Halibag IAI Westwind: Lead Sled, Jew Canoe, Heebjet, Bagel Bomber, Yom Kippur Clipper Jaguar: Septic Cat Jet Provost: JP, The variable noise machine Joby: Blowme Katana DA20: Flying sperm KittyHawk: PityHawk Lake Amphibian: Doctor Killer LearJet: FearJet, Noisemaker Lilium: TheRanos Lockheed Constellation: Connie, Cancellation, “the best tri-motor ever” so good that sometimes the 4th engine works! Lockheed C-5 Galaxy: Cumulus Aluminus, FRED (F*cking Ridiculous Economic Disaster) Lockheed C130 Hercules: Fat Albert, Trash hauler, Herkybird, Cessna 130 Lockheed F117: BatMobile Lockheed Jetstar: Lawn Dart Lockheed 1011 TriStar: Bistar (Had so many RB211-22B failures), El-10-Elemon, FrightStar, Tritanic, Swamp Eater, Swamp Buggy, DeathStar Lockheed P38 Lightning: The Fork-Tailed Devil, Two planes one pilot Lockheed SR71: Blackbird, was also often called "Habu" because of its frequent deployment to Okinawa (where the habu is a nasty pit viper). Lockheed T-33: T Bird, Lockheed Racer (because it was anything but fast) Lockheed YF12: The Thing MD 11: Mad Dog, Mega Dog, Mechanical Disaster 11, More Death 11, MD-911, She Who Won't Land, She Who Won't Sell MD 80: Mad Dog 80, Stupid 80 (They call them Super 80's), Minimum Delay 80 (Minutes), Super Tube, Super Slug, Douglas Death Tube, Long Beach Sewer Pipe, Lead sled (because it was underpowered) MD 95: John Holmes condom MD Demon: Screamin Demon Mitsubishi Zero: type one lighter ( due to its ability to readily catch fire when attacked!) Mitsubishi MU-2: Widow Maker, Hiroshima Screamer, Rice Rocket, Kill You - 2, Ice Magnet Mohawk 298/Nord 262: Pteradactyl Northrop T38: White Rocket OH-58D Kiowa: Remote-Controlled Upside-Down Lawnmower, Kenny (the sight system looks like the South Park character) Partenavia: Part-of-Mafia, Partial Aviator, Part Banana PA-20 Pacer: The sled PA-22 Tri Pacer: Pie Chaser, Fly Paper, Milk stool PA-23 Aztec: Az-Truck, Azwreck, Flying Potato PA-28 Arrow: Sparrow PA-28 Cherokee: Cherry Tree, Chickopee PA-28 Warrior: Worrier PA-30 Twin Comanche: Twinkle PA-31 Navajo: Never-go, Have-a-go, The Ho PA-34 Seneca: Senekiller PA-38 Tomahawk: Traumahawk, Terrahawk, SpinMaster, Ratshit Hatchet PA-44 Seminole: Semenhole PA-60: ScareOstar, Death Star. PC12: Platypus. PBY 5 Catalina: Pigboat, Dumbo. Puma: Plastic pig, Percy. Republic Thunderchief: Thud RJ70/100: Real Jet Robinson R22: The Happy Hopping Easter Egg (they're cute and colorful...and look like toys.) SA 227 Metroliner: San-Antonio sewerpipe, Texas Sewer Pipe, Death pencil, The Screamin Weenie, Texas Lawn Dart, Swetro (It got very hot in the summer), Baltimore Whore (no visible means of support, skinny lil 'ol wings), Terror Tube, "That noisy ******* thing", Widow maker, Kerosene Crowbar, Fear tube, Necroliner, Buzzbomb, Metrowhiner, Death Tube, Turbo Dildo, San Antonio Sewer Rocket.... With Garrett Grenades, The Drainpipe SAAB: Slaab, Swedes Aren't Airplane Builders, S.O.B SAAB 35 Draken: Flying Trowel SAAB J29: Flying Barrel S3 Viking: Hoover Shorts Belfast: Belslug, Belslow (because it was so slow), in the early days they were called 'Dragmasters' because they were so slow and after Shorts fixed them with the strakes either side of the rear ramp they were called 'Fastbacks' Shorts Sandringham: The Triple Decker Bus Shorts Skyvan: The Whispering Nissan Hut Shorts 330: The Two Tailed Shed, Horse Float, Milk Carton, Winnebago, Box Car, Short Van, The Shed Shorts 360: Box, Shoe Box, Barn, Shed, Long Short, The box that the Skyvan came in, Winnabego with Wings, The Irish Concorde Sikorsky S61N: "Miss Piggy", (fat and ugly) Socata Rallye: "tin parachute" for its near vertical descent into short fields, "tin parasol"-- for their reluctance to stall (with leading edge slats)--they just descend almost vertically Sopwith Triplane: Tripehound Strikemaster: Constant speed - variable noise machine. Supermarine Scimitar: The Beast. Supermarine Stranraer: Whistling Shithouse Supermarine Walrus: Shagbat T-21 Sedburgh: The Barge TB-10 Tobago: Toboggan - because they only perform downhill! Tornado: Tonka TSR-2: Throw Some Rocks Two, Teararse Tu144: Concordski UH-60 Black Hawk: Lawn Dart, Crash Hawk VC-9 Vanguard: Vickers Vibrator VC-9 Vanguard Merchantman: The Guards Van, Whispering Warehouse, Shuddering Shithouse (because the crude crew toilet was in the entrance which was the forward service door on the original Vanguard. When the entrance door was open on the ground the whole world could see you having a pee!) VC-10: Iron Duck, Vickers Knickers, The flying chandelier Vickers Varsity: Flying pig Vickers Wellington: Wimpey Volocopter: DecapaCopter Vultee BT13: Vultee Vibrator (due to shaking in a spin) Westland Wessex: Walter Wessex or Wobbly Wessex
    3 points
  17. This is turning into a circus of the absurd, Talk about crap in motion......
    2 points
  18. Note the date on the following story re a fatigue problem at WestJet. So is this old news being given a 2nd life or>>>> ????? Concern over sleepy pilots Nicholas Johansen - Mar 8, 2016 / 10:21 am | Story: 160246 Photo: The Canadian Press Most travellers hold a well-rested pilot high on their list of wants when it comes to choosing an airline. But, pilots at WestJet suggest that's not always the reality. An internal report shows a high level of frustration among many of the company’s pilots over the heavy scheduling they face. A former WestJet pilot, Rob Scratch Mitchell, told CTV fatigue was one of the reasons he quit. He even said he has fallen asleep in the air. “There have been a few times I’ve woken up and I’ve seen the other pilot nodding off as well. That’s probably something people aren’t comfortable to hear,” Mitchell said. “We’re stretching our crews to the edge of safety.” Some in the report blame the issue on WestJet looking to cut costs and increase efficiency. “Fatigue is not a free fix,” said one unnamed participant in the report. “They know how to fix it, but it’s all about cost. And they don’t want to spend the money.” A total of 94 participants, from nine pilot groups in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, were involved in the report. All the groups had concerns about fatigue. “Participants were passionate and overwhelmingly negative with regards to increasingly difficult schedules and related fatigue issues,” the report reads. “Many pilots believe that the increased focus on delivering value to the shareholder has been made at a significant cost to morale, culture, and trust.” A WestJet spokesperson told CTV the airline is trying to address the issues. “A significant amount of work had already been done prior to these focus groups, and several changes have been implemented since, with more to come,” the spokesperson said in an email. “It is also important to note that all of our pilots are scheduled not only within regulatory requirements laid out by Transport Canada, but in accordance with our pilot agreements and, most importantly, through changes implemented in accordance with our fatigue risk management system.” Transport Canada currently allows pilots to work 14-hour shifts. Last year, the agency announced it was looking to update its rules, and reduce the limit to between nine and 13 hours, but it postponed the change. “Countries such as Morocco, Bangladesh, India all have flight and duty time regulations that are a lot more strict,” said Capt. Dan Adamus of the Airline Pilots' Association.
    2 points
  19. Meanwhile... BREAKING: Canada is officially the world leader in fully vaccinated. major kudos to all the community/frontline workers who made this happen at a rate that’s peerless.
    2 points
  20. Good Afternoon All: As if we didn't have enough on the Delta VoC cue the potential Lambda VoC. Explainer: What is the Lambda coronavirus variant? | Coronavirus pandemic News | Al Jazeera Explainer: What is the Lambda coronavirus variant? The Lambda variant has spread to 28 countries but it is not considered a variant of concern. Here’s what we know so far. By Elizabeth Melimopoulos 27 Jul 2021 Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the virus that causes the disease, SARS-CoV-2, has mutated multiple times, with some strains being more infectious and deadlier than others. Currently, the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified four of those mutations as variants of concern: Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta. Four others – Eta, Iota, Kappa and Lambda – have been designated as variants of interest, and in recent weeks the rapid spread of the Lambda strain, first detected in Peru, has caught the attention of various experts. Lambda is currently the dominant variant in the Andean nation, which has the highest per capita coronavirus death rate in the world, while it has also spread to at least 28 other countries including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and the United Kingdom. Here is what we know so far: Where and when was it first detected? The Lambda variant was first detected in Peru last December. It is a variation of the novel coronavirus that was first recorded in the country in August 2020. The exact origins of the Lambda variant, which was previously known as the Andean strain, remain unclear, but scientists say it first emerged in South America. Over the last three months, Lambda has grown to represent 80 percent of all cases in Peru, according to the country’s National Institute of Health. “When we found it, it did not attract much attention,” said Pablo Tsukayama, a doctor in molecular microbiology at Cayetano Heredia University in Lima and one of the people who documented Lambda’s emergence. “But we continued processing samples, and by March, it was in 50 percent of the samples in Lima. By April, it was in 80 percent of the samples in Peru,” Tsukayama told Al Jazeera. “That jump from one to 50 percent is an early indicator of a more transmissible variant,” he added. According to Tsukayama, the Lambda strain did not initially cause alarm because new strains are common in places with high infection rates. Latin America and the Caribbean, while home to eight percent of the global population, account for 20 percent of the world’s COVID cases, according to a June 24 report by the US-based Congressional Research Service. Where has it spread? According to data from the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID), a platform onto which countries upload their COVID-19 viral sequences, the Lambda strain has already reached 28 countries. That includes Brazil, Spain, the Netherlands, Aruba, Belgium, France, Portugal and the United States. What are the strain’s characteristics? Recent research on the Lambda strain has registered several mutations in its spike protein, the part of the virus that makes contact with human cells, binds to them, and then infects them. The mutation observed in the spike protein might be the reason for its “increased transmissibility… and it could provide a reduction of protection by current vaccines”, according to a study released in July by a team from New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine and released on the medical website bioRxiv ahead of peer review. According to virologist Ricardo Soto-Rifo of the University of Chile’s Institute of Biomedical Sciences, one of the mutations labelled as L452Q was similar to a mutation also shown in the Delta variant that is believed to have contributed to that strain’s high rate of infection. But Soto-Rifo cautioned that the real effect of the mutations remains unclear. “However we cannot tell yet what the real impact of these mutations are, since it’s a strain that has shown primarily in South America, and that puts us at a disadvantage, as we don’t have all the resources to execute the needed research,” he said. Are vaccines effective against Lambda? With a team of scientists, Soto-Rifo carried out preliminary studies – not yet peer-reviewed – assessing the effect of the Chinese-developed CoronaVac vaccine on the Lambda strain. The results showed that Lambda was able to neutralise the antibodies generated by the vaccine. Soto-Rifo said part of the vaccine efficacy can be measured by the immunisation response, but also by the responses of T-cells, which stimulate antibody production and help combat the virus-infected cells. “These results were expected,” Soto-Rifo said. “The virus has changed and that can make the vaccine not as efficient as it was with the original virus, but that doesn’t mean the vaccine doesn’t work any more. “As a matter of fact, we also know that CoronaVac still has a good percentage of protection against the virus.”Play Video Should we be concerned? Not yet, said Dr Roselyn Lemus-Martin, who holds a PhD in molecular and cell biology from the University of Oxford and is based in the US. “At the beginning, we were really concerned… We thought that due to its characteristics, Lambda could become more transmissible than Delta,” Lemus-Martin told Al Jazeera. “But right now, in the US, for example, we’ve seen that Delta keeps being the dominant strain, and what we’ve noticed is that Lambda is not spreading as quickly [in other areas].” But Tsukayama at Cayetano Heredia University in Lima remains cautious. He said Peru’s research capacity to measure the effect of Lambda is limited, which makes it harder to evaluate the variant’s spread. “Gamma showed up in Brazil and expanded throughout the region, and it’s already considered a variant of concern,” he said. “Lambda shares many of the characteristics of Gamma, and it has also spread in other countries. What we don’t have yet is the same amount of evidence Brazilians did. In the region, Brazil leads in their research capacity.” Where has it spread? According to data from the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID), a platform onto which countries upload their COVID-19 viral sequences, the Lambda strain has already reached 28 countries. That includes Brazil, Spain, the Netherlands, Aruba, Belgium, France, Portugal and the United States. What are the strain’s characteristics? Recent research on the Lambda strain has registered several mutations in its spike protein, the part of the virus that makes contact with human cells, binds to them, and then infects them. The mutation observed in the spike protein might be the reason for its “increased transmissibility… and it could provide a reduction of protection by current vaccines”, according to a study released in July by a team from New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine and released on the medical website bioRxiv ahead of peer review. According to virologist Ricardo Soto-Rifo of the University of Chile’s Institute of Biomedical Sciences, one of the mutations labelled as L452Q was similar to a mutation also shown in the Delta variant that is believed to have contributed to that strain’s high rate of infection. But Soto-Rifo cautioned that the real effect of the mutations remains unclear. “However we cannot tell yet what the real impact of these mutations are, since it’s a strain that has shown primarily in South America, and that puts us at a disadvantage, as we don’t have all the resources to execute the needed research,” he said. Are vaccines effective against Lambda? With a team of scientists, Soto-Rifo carried out preliminary studies – not yet peer-reviewed – assessing the effect of the Chinese-developed CoronaVac vaccine on the Lambda strain. The results showed that Lambda was able to neutralise the antibodies generated by the vaccine. Soto-Rifo said part of the vaccine efficacy can be measured by the immunisation response, but also by the responses of T-cells, which stimulate antibody production and help combat the virus-infected cells. “These results were expected,” Soto-Rifo said. “The virus has changed and that can make the vaccine not as efficient as it was with the original virus, but that doesn’t mean the vaccine doesn’t work any more. “As a matter of fact, we also know that CoronaVac still has a good percentage of protection against the virus.”Play Video Should we be concerned? Not yet, said Dr Roselyn Lemus-Martin, who holds a PhD in molecular and cell biology from the University of Oxford and is based in the US. “At the beginning, we were really concerned… We thought that due to its characteristics, Lambda could become more transmissible than Delta,” Lemus-Martin told Al Jazeera. “But right now, in the US, for example, we’ve seen that Delta keeps being the dominant strain, and what we’ve noticed is that Lambda is not spreading as quickly [in other areas].” But Tsukayama at Cayetano Heredia University in Lima remains cautious. He said Peru’s research capacity to measure the effect of Lambda is limited, which makes it harder to evaluate the variant’s spread. “Gamma showed up in Brazil and expanded throughout the region, and it’s already considered a variant of concern,” he said. “Lambda shares many of the characteristics of Gamma, and it has also spread in other countries. What we don’t have yet is the same amount of evidence Brazilians did. In the region, Brazil leads in their research capacity.” What are the strain’s characteristics? Recent research on the Lambda strain has registered several mutations in its spike protein, the part of the virus that makes contact with human cells, binds to them, and then infects them. The mutation observed in the spike protein might be the reason for its “increased transmissibility… and it could provide a reduction of protection by current vaccines”, according to a study released in July by a team from New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine and released on the medical website bioRxiv ahead of peer review. According to virologist Ricardo Soto-Rifo of the University of Chile’s Institute of Biomedical Sciences, one of the mutations labelled as L452Q was similar to a mutation also shown in the Delta variant that is believed to have contributed to that strain’s high rate of infection. But Soto-Rifo cautioned that the real effect of the mutations remains unclear. “However we cannot tell yet what the real impact of these mutations are, since it’s a strain that has shown primarily in South America, and that puts us at a disadvantage, as we don’t have all the resources to execute the needed research,” he said. Are vaccines effective against Lambda? With a team of scientists, Soto-Rifo carried out preliminary studies – not yet peer-reviewed – assessing the effect of the Chinese-developed CoronaVac vaccine on the Lambda strain. The results showed that Lambda was able to neutralise the antibodies generated by the vaccine. Soto-Rifo said part of the vaccine efficacy can be measured by the immunisation response, but also by the responses of T-cells, which stimulate antibody production and help combat the virus-infected cells. “These results were expected,” Soto-Rifo said. “The virus has changed and that can make the vaccine not as efficient as it was with the original virus, but that doesn’t mean the vaccine doesn’t work any more. “As a matter of fact, we also know that CoronaVac still has a good percentage of protection against the virus.” Should we be concerned? Not yet, said Dr Roselyn Lemus-Martin, who holds a PhD in molecular and cell biology from the University of Oxford and is based in the US. “At the beginning, we were really concerned… We thought that due to its characteristics, Lambda could become more transmissible than Delta,” Lemus-Martin told Al Jazeera. “But right now, in the US, for example, we’ve seen that Delta keeps being the dominant strain, and what we’ve noticed is that Lambda is not spreading as quickly [in other areas].” But Tsukayama at Cayetano Heredia University in Lima remains cautious. He said Peru’s research capacity to measure the effect of Lambda is limited, which makes it harder to evaluate the variant’s spread. “Gamma showed up in Brazil and expanded throughout the region, and it’s already considered a variant of concern,” he said. “Lambda shares many of the characteristics of Gamma, and it has also spread in other countries. What we don’t have yet is the same amount of evidence Brazilians did. In the region, Brazil leads in their research capacity.”
    2 points
  21. Good Morning All: From the Washington Post about a phone call between the former President Trump and Assistant Attorney General Rosen. I am most certain the arbitrators of history will have the final story of this but from one reader the following personal perspective " Virtually everything that can be said about tRump has been said. Not that it will ever happen, but he needs to step back and take stock of his life. You don't live your life by promoting fear, having no morality, empathy, compassion, etc. His inflated ego has made him a shell of a human being with nothing to offer but vitriol and raging tantrums. He makes accusations that others are nasty to him - perhaps a good long look in a mirror would be appropriate to reflect his shortcomings. He should have used some of his "executive" time for self assessment in addition to learning about the US government. No wonder some have turned on him as he has no loyalty whatsoever to anyone other than himself and the almighty dollar. We are tired of his tantrums, lies, grifting, and attempts to regain power through any means available. We are so tired of him. He needs to fade into the abyss of ignominy". Donoghue notes show Trump pressing Rosen, Justice on election-fraud claims - The Washington Post Trump to acting AG, according to aide’s notes: ‘Just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me’ By Devlin Barrett and Josh Dawsey Yesterday at 6:12 p.m. EDT 6.2k President Donald Trump pressed senior Justice Department officials in late 2020 to “just say the election was corrupt [and] leave the rest to me” and Republican lawmakers, according to stunning handwritten notes that illustrate how far the president was willing to go to prevent Joe Biden from taking office. The notes, taken by Justice Department official Richard Donoghue, were released to Congress this week and made public Friday — further evidence of the personal pressure campaign Trump waged as he sought to stay in the White House. In one Dec. 27 conversation, according to the written account, acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen told Trump that the Justice Department “can’t + won’t snap its fingers + change the outcome of the election.” The president replied that he understood but wanted the agency to “just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen,” according to the notes written by Donoghue, a participant in the discussion. The Washington Post first revealed the existence of the notes and the phone calls Wednesday. How Ashli Babbitt went from Capitol rioter to Trump-embraced ‘martyr’ The documents show the extent to which senior Justice Department officials “were on a knife’s edge” in late 2020 as Trump sought to prevent Biden from becoming president, said David Laufman, a former senior Justice Department official. “These notes reveal that a sitting president, defeated in a free and fair election, personally and repeatedly pressured Justice Department leaders to help him foment a coup in a last-ditch attempt to cling to power,” Laufman said. “And that should shock the conscience of every American, regardless of political persuasion.” He credited Rosen and Donoghue with devising “a mechanism to allow Trump to vent and spew his desired schemes to enlist their help to overturn the election without undertaking any course of action that would have facilitated that scheme.” The notes were made public by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on the same day the Justice Department announced that it would support the release of Trump’s personal and business tax returns to a different Democratic-controlled House committee — another legal setback for the former president, who could continue to fight the issue in court. Donoghue also took notes on a meeting he participated in with White House officials two days after the Dec. 27 phone call. In that meeting, Trump officials repeatedly pressed the Justice Department to pursue various unfounded theories of election manipulation. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), chairwoman of the Oversight Committee, said the notes “show that President Trump directly instructed our nation’s top law enforcement agency to take steps to overturn a free and fair election in the final days of his presidency.” A lawyer for Rosen declined to comment. A lawyer for Donoghue did not respond to a request for comment, nor did a Trump spokeswoman. See Richard Donoghue’s handwritten notes of the Dec. 27 phone call Some of the notes taken by Justice Department official Richard Donoghue during a phone call with President Donald Trump. (House Committee on Oversight and Reform) The president and Rosen discussed Trump’s claims of voter fraud at other times as well, according to people familiar with the discussions. In the calls, Rosen was generally noncommittal, hearing the president out while not promising to take any specific action in response, these people said. His attempts to change the subject were mostly unsuccessful. “Trump was absolutely obsessed about it,” one person with knowledge of the calls said. Others close to Trump were also pressing the Justice Department to consider dubious claims of vote tampering. Mark Meadows, then the White House chief of staff, at times forwarded public claims of potential voter fraud to Justice Department officials, which some officials found exasperating, according to previously released emails. Meadows’s defenders have said he was just letting the department know about possible instances of illegality. Some of the notes taken by Justice Department official Richard Donoghue during a phone call with President Donald Trump. (House Committee on Oversight and Reform) The president and Rosen discussed Trump’s claims of voter fraud at other times as well, according to people familiar with the discussions. In the calls, Rosen was generally noncommittal, hearing the president out while not promising to take any specific action in response, these people said. His attempts to change the subject were mostly unsuccessful. “Trump was absolutely obsessed about it,” one person with knowledge of the calls said. Others close to Trump were also pressing the Justice Department to consider dubious claims of vote tampering. Mark Meadows, then the White House chief of staff, at times forwarded public claims of potential voter fraud to Justice Department officials, which some officials found exasperating, according to previously released emails. Meadows’s defenders have said he was just letting the department know about possible instances of illegality. Donoghue’s notes show the degree to which the president was personally involved in such efforts, however, and the ways in which Justice Department officials walked a tightrope of listening to him while not taking any concrete actions they considered unethical or partisan. The notes also say that Trump suggested to Rosen that he might be replaced at the helm of the Justice Department and even dropped the name of his possible successor. “We have an obligation to tell people that this was an illegal, corrupt election,” Trump said, according to the notes. “People tell me Jeff Clark is great, I should put him in. People want me to replace DOJ leadership.” As Trump pushed to overturn election, he called his acting AG almost daily Within a week, Trump was contemplating a plan to replace Rosen with Clark, already a senior official at Justice, who was more amenable to pursuing Trump’s unfounded claims of voter fraud. That possibility nearly touched off a crisis at the highest levels of federal law enforcement, people familiar with the matter have previously said. The president was ultimately dissuaded from firing Rosen after a high-stakes meeting with those involved, those people said. Clark, whom Trump had appointed to lead the environment and natural resources division and who later led the civil division, has denied that he devised a plan to oust Rosen or that he formed “recommendations for action based on factual inaccuracies gleaned from the Internet.” Donoghue’s notes show that Trump repeatedly brought up unsubstantiated tales of voter fraud in various states, which the Justice Department officials told him were not true. “You guys may not be following the Internet the way I do,” Trump responded, according to the notes. He also said people are angry and “blaming DOJ + for inaction.” The president urged the nation’s top law enforcement official to aggressively investigate Biden’s son Hunter, according to the notes, which recount the president saying: “You figure out what to do w/ H. Biden — people will criticize the DOJ if he’s not investigated for real.” Justice Department officials have been conducting a long-running investigation into Hunter Biden’s finances, but no charges have been filed. Trump and his lawyers could have sought to block the release of Donoghue’s notes to Congress. There were days of discussion among Trump advisers about whether to do so, one adviser said, but the former president did not believe that the notes showed anything problematic, even though some of his advisers feared that the disclosures would be damaging. “If it gets more attention on the election, he welcomes it,” this adviser said. At least some of the former Justice Department officials with knowledge of the phone conversations had privately hoped that Trump would seek to block the sharing of the notes, to prevent those former officials from having to testify on Capitol Hill about the exchanges, said people familiar with their thinking. Those people spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions. But Trump did not attempt to stop the release. And the Justice Department informed Rosen and others this week that their conversations with the president about the election were not protected by executive privilege. In a statement revealing the content of the notes Friday, Maloney said that her committee “has begun scheduling interviews with key witnesses to investigate the full extent of the former President’s corruption, and I will exercise every tool at my disposal to ensure all witness testimony is secured without delay.”
    2 points
  22. You're way to kind Mitch, but the thought is mutual - & reciprocal! I think that lawyers have thick skin - and have behind me decades of dependence upon the goodwill of 'friendly' AME's Cheers - IFG
    2 points
  23. Lol... I'm sorry, but I have to throw this out there... Mr. IFG... I don't think I've ever told you how much I love your writing.. You make me smile every time you write, somehow. I can see your grins. I can hear your chuckles. ...and I feel like I can grok your point of view perfectly. ...at least until you frazzle me, that is. Then I'm lost.
    2 points
  24. Regarding the federal “green investment” in the Muskrat Falls project, the Globe and Mail makes some interesting points:
    2 points
  25. I bet if this involved a Non Christian Religion icon, it would be classified as a "Hate Crime"......
    2 points
  26. Stephen Harper blasts woke culture in latest podcast appearance By Caitlin Rose Morgante - July 28, 2021Linkedin Former Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper’s latest podcast appearance was filled with hard truths for Canadians. Harper tackled questions on the woke left, pandemic response, fiscal policy, China and globalization during his American Optimist interview with Joe Lonsdale. “What’s so threatening about…the far woke left,” according to Harper, is that “its goal is authoritarianism.” Harper connected the behaviour of the modern left to the totalitarianism at the root of Marx and Engels. Marx’s view was that his “opinions were not opinions, they were science… Therefore, since you’re arguing against facts, you get to the Soviet mentality that all dissent is essentially a mental illness or something that needs to be reeducated and corrected.” This is a startling trend in today’s COVID-era, as activists and politicians have dismissed serious concerns about government-mandated lockdowns and questionable public health orders. The Trudeau government has often dismissed its critics by accusing them of spreading “misinformation” and “conspiracy theories.” Regarding Canada’s COVID-19 response, Harper said, “this is bad macroeconomic policy on an enormous scale” and that the government reaction has “been overkill.” Harper expressed concern over consumer inflation, asset inflation, bubbles and the inevitable interest rate hikes which will impact investment. Sooner or later, he said, Canadians will come to realize that all of this supposed “affordable government spending is not so affordable.” Canada’s federal debt surpassed $1 trillion dollars this year following a frenzy of pandemic spending by the ruling Liberal government. Further, in its latest budget, the government revealed a whopping deficit of $354 billion with no plan to pay down the debt and balance the books. Harper is hardly the first to criticize the Liberal spending throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Economists from the Fraser Institute released a study in June 2020 saying that “stimulus spending will likely harm Canadian economy—not help it.” Harper struck at the root of the issue, saying that “what’s happening right now… [is that these] bastardized Keynesian fiscal policy guys or modern monetary theorists [are] trying to convince the population that the fundamental principle of economic science is untrue.” Harper goes on to discuss the problems of globalization: “At the end of the cold war, all common sense on economic interaction related to national security went out the window, and we just assumed everybody … is going to be a friend … so we can trust them with anything. That has to change.” One of the most criticized aspects of Canada’s COVID-19 pandemic response has been the Liberal government’s trust in China. While multiple countries were developing vaccines, the Canadian government chose to only pre-order doses from CanSino Biologics. The government even sent the company a cash advance for vaccines that were never delivered to Canada. According to Harper, we must ensure our supply chains do not depend on unreliable countries and that “we have redundancy in terms of sources of supply.” Despite his concerns, Harper believes that Canada has a “great future.” Still, Canadians must realize that “the adolescent ego of the woke university crowd is not an alternative governing philosophy for any society.”
    2 points
  27. Has it ever stopped ?? This is the Liberal go to phrase, "not our fault, Harper did it, even though he hasn't been around for 2 terms.
    2 points
  28. More like Bozo, but I'm glad I moved out here when I did as much as I hated the commute from the island to YVR.
    2 points
  29. Thanks Mav - deeply appreciated.
    2 points
  30. Thanks for all the kind words everyone. I guess I overstated "gone". I'll still watch this site at least once a day and rest assured, if something needs to be said, I'll be here!
    2 points
  31. When you are retired, nothing is extracurricular.
    2 points
  32. You're going to hate this but.....many times, I have bemoaned the changes I perceived in this forum and yearned for days and discussions gone. However, I convinced myself that surrender was not an option. You are in control; you mold the content; you contribute and change the tenor. Let your voice-your opinions- be heard. Regardless of your extracurricular activities....enjoy your retirement.
    2 points
  33. I don't think you have, UD. Allow me to pinch-hit for Mitch. Mitch: "radical, r/w zealots", juxtaposed with "non-radical r/w tunnel-visioned dope" UD's transcription: "non-radical, tunnel-visioned, right-wing dope" For want of a comma! I think that Mitch omitted an important one - I suspect not where you supply another, but rather after and not before the lattermost "r/w" (i.e. as in 'non-radical-r/w, tunnel-visioned dope' - well, maybe a hyphen as well ). IAC, re: "synonymous" - "tunnel-visioned" modifies only the dope, & not the r/w zealots, no? & who only knows how much peripheral vision is needed to scope out radicality Cheers - IFG & p.s. .... Indeed, life is grand!
    2 points
  34. Good old Florida just can't help but be ... Florida. SMH
    2 points
  35. Good Evening All: The following hyperlinks show some very well put together R/C models in Germany.
    2 points
  36. Oh… and by the way…here is the counter narrative to Deicer’s link Yes, that is from an industry feed….. as for the Natioanl Observer…...pay attention to the last sentence…
    2 points
  37. Canada’s global reputation has been badly damaged by Trudeau’s inappropriate kid-glove treatment of China. And so has Canada’s democracy Diane Francis: Trudeau's inability to stand against China is a stain on Canada | Financial Post
    2 points
  38. Fantastic video of the latest SpaceX landing! Best watched in full screen. What makes it even more amazing is the fact it is the 8th successful landing for this booster! https://www.space.com/spacex-transporter-2-rocket-landing-tracking-camera-video
    2 points
  39. Hi Specs - re "we're doomed"...hopefully C3PO's predictions are temporary and we'll muddle through. The Economist published this article this morning: The last half of this article, (after "acey deucy"), is very technical and way beyond me but I'll leave it for others to read or skip. Coats of many colours The unvaccinated are at risk as evolution accelerates the covid-19 pandemic Research is unravelling the virus’s deep secrets Jul 3rd 2021 FOR MUCH of 2020 the covid-19 virus was, in genetic terms, a little dull. Early in the pandemic a version of SARS-CoV-2 that was slightly different from the one originally sequenced in Wuhan, and spread a bit better, came to dominate the picture outside China. But after that it was just a case of a letter or two of genetic code changing here and there. Sometimes such mutations proved useful for working out where infections were coming from. But none of them seemed biologically relevant. By September Salim Abdool Karim, a South African epidemiologist, was beginning to find his monthly updates on new mutations “quite boring”. He considered dispensing with them altogether. He was soon glad that he hadn’t. In the last months of 2020 researchers around the world began to see variants of the virus with not just one or two mutations but ten or 20. What was more, some of these new variants turned out to have new properties—to spread faster, to shrug off antibodies, or to do both. The first of them, now called Alpha, appeared in Britain in September. By November scientists sequencing virus samples were becoming alarmed at the rate of its spread. Each infection with the original virus, as sequenced in Wuhan in January 2020, had been estimated to lead to roughly 2.5 subsequent infections in the absence of countermeasures like masks, social distancing and lockdowns. Under the same conditions the “reproductive number” for Alpha was reckoned to be almost twice as large: four or five. By November Dr Karim was sitting in his office gobsmacked by evidence of a variant similarly studded with mutations, now called Beta, in South Africa. The Gamma variant, formally identified only in 2021, was beginning to make itself felt in Brazil and would go on to ravage South America. Delta, a key factor in the catastrophic Indian epidemic a few months later, raised the transmissibility bar yet further. British scientists estimate that in unvaccinated populations not taking precautions its reproductive number may be as high as eight. In mid-June, only two months after it first appeared there, Delta had almost fully displaced Alpha in England (see chart 1). It now threatens the rest of the world (see map). All the variants are more transmissible to some extent. Laboratory tests on human airway cells in Petri dishes have shown that Delta replicates more avidly in them than do earlier variants. That would seem to suggest that a smaller initial dose is needed for an infection to take hold. It also means that the amount of virus lurking in people’s airways is probably higher. Swabs taken from people’s nostrils and throats during testing back this notion up. The amount of virus found in samples from people infected with Delta is higher than for other variants. That probably means that people are exhaling more virus than those infected by an older variant and thus that every encounter between an infected and uninfected person poses a greater risk of transmission. Vaccination slows this spread down, but it does not stop it. The current vaccines do not stop all infections by any version of the virus. Nor do they stop infected people from passing the virus on, though they do make it significantly more difficult. People vaccinated with Pfizer or AstraZeneca jabs who are subsequently infected with Alpha are about half as likely to pass it on as the unvaccinated are. British studies have found Delta to be around 60% more transmissible than Alpha. They put roughly three-quarters of that effect down to the fact that it is easier to catch if you are not vaccinated and about a quarter to the increased ease with which Delta infects people who have been vaccinated. Around half of the adults infected in a recent Delta outbreak in Israel were fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine. Happily, studies of vaccines made by Western companies show them to reduce deaths and severe cases of the disease in people infected with every sort of SARS-CoV-2. This protection means none of the new variants is anything like as potent a public-health threat to a largely vaccinated population as the original version was to an unvaccinated one. Delta’s increased transmissibility, along with relaxed restrictions on travel and socialising, has seen the number of infections and cases in Britain beginning to climb again. But thanks to widespread vaccination, deaths have barely moved. Deaths are, by their nature, a lagging indicator of infection; but widespread vaccination of the most vulnerable is working as hoped. The dangers posed to the unvaccinated and partially vaccinated mean that there is still a public-health case for keeping infections from spreading. Here, unfortunately, the degree to which variants can evade vaccine-produced immunity makes things a lot harder than once they seemed. “If there is a certain degree of immune escape, even if you were to vaccinate 100% of the population, it’s going to keep coming at you for some period of time,” says Adam Kucharski of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In a population where 60% are immune, either through vaccination or from a past bout of covid-19, the introduction of a variant with a reproductive number of eight would cause a sharp surge in infections unless lockdowns and similar interventions were established right away (see chart 2). For unvaccinated populations the situation is much worse. If no precautions are taken, a reproductive number of eight produces a far more dramatic crisis in an unvaccinated population than one of two or three does. And last year provided ample evidence of how bad things get even with a lower R. Other things being equal, a highly transmissible virus means more deaths and a more acute stress on the health-care system. Spikes for speedy spread Other things may not be equal; the danger posed to the unvaccinated by a new variant may not be exactly the same as that posed by older versions. In Britain those infected with the Alpha variant saw a higher level of severe disease than those infected with the original version, but no corresponding increase in deaths. Whether Delta does the same is unclear. Comparisons with other variants in countries that can measure such things well are made hard to assess by the large numbers of vaccinated people in those populations. The picture emerging from a British symptom-tracking app called Zoe suggests that Delta is presenting with symptoms closer to those for the common cold than those seen with other variants. They rarely have shortness of breath, the hallmark symptom of covid-19 with the variants that dominated the first year of the pandemic. Oddly, vaccinated people who then get infected tend to sneeze more—which is good for the virus not just because sneezes spread diseases but also because it allows covid-19 to be mistaken for hayfever. So far, though, differences in the severity of disease caused by the different variants have been eclipsed by the simple, deadly fact of their high-speed spread. There is ample room for that to continue. Less than 1% of people in low-income countries have had even one dose of vaccine. In sub-Saharan Africa Delta is fuelling outbreaks that are crushing hospitals and killing health-care workers. Rich countries, including Australia, Japan and South Korea, where the first wave was largely avoided and vaccination has not been a high priority now look highly vulnerable. By the end of June the risk of Delta had seen almost half of Australia put under lockdown orders. Delta is the dominant strain in Russia, where a vaccination rate of 12% and misinformation-driven vaccine scepticism seem set to make its spread easy. The variants make vaccination programmes more urgent than ever. But though they may march on through the alphabet for some time to come, there is some reason to hope that they will not get all that much worse as they do so. They may be running out of evolutionary room to manoeuvre. For a clearer understanding of what is going on, focus on the spike protein that adorns the outer envelope of SARS-CoV-2 particles. You can think of it, as you can of any protein, as being like a paper chain in which every link can have one of 20 colours. The gene for spike specifies the sequence in which those colours appear in the protein’s 1,273-link long chain. Mutations in the gene can change the colour of one specific link, add a few new links, or cut some links out. In the Alpha variant six of those links have different colours from those in the Wuhan sequence, and in a couple of places a link or two are missing altogether. The Delta spike has five distinctive mutations. In reality the links in the chain are 20 different types of amino acid. Each type has subtly different chemical and physical properties. At the time that the chain is created the laws of physics require it to fold up into something more compact. The specific shape into which it folds is determined by its unique sequence of amino acids, as laid out in the gene. And that shape underlies all the protein’s future capabilities. Shape is almost everything in the world of proteins. It is through their shapes that proteins recognise each other. It is through changes of shape that they act. Each of the now-familiar protuberances on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 particles is composed of three copies of the spike protein slotted together into a “trimer” shaped a bit like a golf tee (see chart 3). In the cup of these tees are the virus’s receptor-binding domains (RBDs). Each of the trimer’s constituent proteins can be open or closed at any given time. When they are open ACE2, a protein found on the surface of some human cells, fits quite nicely into the RBD’s carefully contrived nobbliness. Acey deucey The ACE2 receptor is the virus’s main target; it normally attacks only those cells that display it. The act of glomming on to an ACE2 molecule changes the spike protein’s shape, revealing a “cleavage site” which is suited to attack by another protein on the cell’s surface. As a result the spike gets cut in two—which sounds bad for the virus, but is in fact the necessary next step in infection. It is only after the spike is sliced asunder that the membranes of the virus and the cell can merge. Tyler Starr, a researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle, describes the RBD as a “big, squishy interface” that mutations can reshape quite easily. In 2020 he, Jesse Bloom and their colleagues sought to examine this mutability by making versions of the SARS-CoV-2 RBD in which individual amino acids in the protein paper-chain were replaced by alternatives with different properties. These mutant proteins were then tested to see how well they stuck to ACE2; those that did best, the researchers reasoned, might be mutations that evolution would favour. They were right. In the original Wuhan genome the 501st position in the spike chain is occupied by an amino acid called asparagine. When the scientists in Seattle put an amino acid called tyrosine there instead, the RBD bound to ACE2 more tightly; it turns out that the change twists a key part of the RBD round by about 20 degrees, making the fit a bit more snug. Mutations which cause just that substitution, known as N501Y (or sometimes “Nelly”) subsequently turned up in the Alpha, Beta and Gamma variants. Another change they spotted, now called E484K (or “Eek”), was found in both Beta and Gamma. Changes to the RBD can also reduce its susceptibility to antibodies. Antibodies also work by recognising shapes, and though they recognise various other bits of the spike protein, notably another region in the trimer’s head called the N-terminal domain (NTD), the most effective of them are specific to particular aspects of the RBD. Some changes to the RBD, such as N501Y, do not make it less recognisable to antibodies. Others, such as E484K, do. Being a lot less susceptible to some antibodies seems to help E484K’s possessors to infect people who have been vaccinated. The RBD is not the only part of the spike protein where mutations matter. In a preprint published on June 22nd Ravindra Gupta, a molecular virologist at Cambridge University, and his colleagues put forward an argument as to why Delta is both more infectious and better at evading immunity than other variants. It is based on a substitution at site 681, which is at the point where, after the RBD meets ACE2, the protein is cleft in two. Not ai, therefore em Dr Gupta says P681R, helped by two shape-modifying mutations elsewhere, makes it easier for the protein to be cut up and thus get into cells. Its presence also means that, once a cell starts producing particles, their spike proteins can get on to the cell’s surface pre-cut. That can lead to virus particles which are shorn of the RBDs which antibodies recognise and ready to fuse with any nearby cell. It can also encourage infected cells to clump together with others. Dr Gupta’s lab has found evidence of these cell clumps in a living model of the human respiratory system. A full validation of this work will require a detailed picture of the Delta variant’s structure—something which is not yet available. In theory, it should be possible to predict the shape of a protein using nothing but the sequence of amino acids described by its gene and the laws of physics. Doing so from first principles, though, is impossible. DeepMind, an AI company which is part of Google, has shown that machine learning can help a lot. But as yet its capabilities are best demonstrated on small single proteins. This approach is not much good if the protein is large, anchored in a membrane, and naturally found in a dimer or trimer, as spike is. DeepMind has not made any predictions of spike’s structure public. The best tool for seeing spike’s structure in detail is cryo-electron microscopy. Copies of the protein in question are flash frozen using liquid nitrogen (hence cryo); once they are immobilised beams of electrons are bounced off them and used to build up pictures (hence microscopy). Bing Chen, who has run a series of cryo-EM experiments on the spike protein at Harvard, is at pains to stress the time, effort and computer power required to turn thousands of pictures of the protein taken from every conceivable angle into a three-dimensional image which comes close to resolving the positions of every single atom. But there is no better way to appreciate the changes in the fine details of the protein’s structure brought about by the variants’ different mutations. On June 24th Dr Chen’s group published long-awaited structures for the Alpha and Beta spike variants. They show the way in which the protein’s complex folding allows mutations that are at some distance from each other in paper-chain terms to have effects on the overall shape that it would be near impossible to predict from the sequence alone. A pair of mutations found called A570D and S982A, for example, act to slightly loosen up the protein’s structure in Alpha. That makes the RBD open up more. The group is now working on a structure for Delta which might confirm Dr Gupta’s insights. Studies of this sort help reveal how the mutations in the variant spikes work together. But how did these variants come to have so many mutations in the first place? Mutations are normally expected to crop up one at a time; but the named variants each emerged with a whole set of them. That is what has given them sudden and surprising effects. One way in which they could have emerged fully formed is by evolving in people with compromised immune systems who had very long drawn out SARS-CoV-2 infections. In such cases the virus would be able to continue replicating itself in their bodies again and again, accumulating a number of mutations as it did so. The time required for such a process would help explain why the variants only started to appear towards the end of last year. Studies of five such people have shown that they developed a number of the mutations now seen in variants. Not all the mutations in the variants are in the spike gene, and some of those affecting other proteins will doubtless also prove to have importance. One of Alpha’s mutations appears to give it an advantage when dealing with a non-antibody-using arm of the immune system. Non-spike mutations probably explain why Delta’s symptoms appear different. But spike still dominates the discussion. Its structure is crucial to the vaccines. And it also seems unusually mutable. Dr Starr thinks this mutability may be a consequence of the virus’s origin in bats. He points out that most viruses have binding domains that cannot tolerate much mutation, and so they evolve ways of hiding them away from pesky antibodies. The SARS-CoV-2 RBDs are too large for such protection. That would seem like a problem for the virus. But it may be a price worth paying if a larger, more open RBD is easier for evolution to reshape. The reason that Dr Starr thinks evolvability might be a benefit worth paying for is that, in bats, ACE2 is much more diverse than it is in humans. That means viruses which use the receptors as a target need to be able to adapt the mechanisms by which they do so. The tolerance for mutations that has made new variants of RBD possible in humans may be the “by-product of this arms race...between virus and bats”. Avoiding Omega If mutation is comparatively easy, though, it also has its limits. In their experiments last year Dr Starr and his colleagues identified changes to the RBD that seemed advantageous but which do not turn up in the real world—presumably because real spike proteins cannot contort themselves enough to accommodate them. Seeing similar mutations crop up in different variants also suggests that evolution is sampling a somewhat limited number of possibilities. “The fact is that you’re starting to see recurring mutations,” says Dr Chen. “That would be an indication that there are probably not that many places that the virus can mutate.” Strains with radically different ways of becoming more transmissible or evasive may be beyond evolution’s reach. Another cause for optimism is that spike is not the only part of the process that is complex and mutable. The immune system is, too. The initial infection is the first stage of a protracted struggle in which the immune system has various strategies at its disposal. A study by Jackson Turner of the Washington University School of Medicine and his colleagues which was published in Nature on June 28th showed that the immune response produced by infection with SARS-CoV-2 is long lasting, robust and multifaceted. Among other things, some of the B-cells which produce antibodies produce more effective ones later in the course of infection than earlier on. This may be part of the reason why they provide better protection against severe disease than they do against infection. It is quite possible, though, that not all vaccines will do so equally well. Hundreds of millions of doses of two vaccines made by Chinese companies, Sinopharm and Sinovac, have been sold to low and middle-income countries; they look like being a large part of the world’s vaccine supply for the rest of the year. But there are some doubts about their efficacy, especially against new variants. The original clinical trial of the Sinovac vaccine found a lower efficacy than in any other covid-19 vaccine trial, just 51%. Studies of the vaccine’s use in Uruguay and Indonesia have been a great deal more encouraging. But there is rising concern in Bahrain, Chile, the Seychelles, Turkey and the UAE, all of which have relied on Chinese jabs. The UAE and Bahrain are worried enough to have started offering a third shot of Pfizer’s vaccine to people who have already been given two shots of Sinopharm’s. Third shots are being looked at by some other governments, too, including Britain’s. The fact that current vaccines protect people against severe disease and death even when infected by the new variants makes the idea that variant-specific vaccines analogous to seasonal flu jabs will be necessary look less likely. The easier alternative of offering people who have been vaccinated twice a third shot, though, perhaps using one of the other vaccines, has advocates. But there is as yet no evidence that it is necessary. And third shots pale as a priority compared with first and second shots for those who have had neither, and now need them more than ever. ■ Clarification (July 2nd 2021): This story originally said DeepMind had not attempted to predict the spike structure; in fact it has, but it has not shared the predictions. Dig deeper All our stories relating to the pandemic and the vaccines can be found on our coronavirus hub. You can also find trackers showing the global roll-out of vaccines, excess deaths by country and the virus’s spread across Europe and America. This article appeared in the Briefing section of the print edition under the headline "Coats of many colours" Reuse this contentThe Trust Project Simply Science The best of our journalism and analysis on science Delivered to you every Wednesday
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