Daily Bread for 9.20.20

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of sixty-eight.  Sunrise is 6:41 AM and sunset 6:53 PM, for 12h 12m 26s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 13.3% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the one thousand four hundred twelfth day. 

 On this day in 1893, Charles Duryea and his brother road-test the first American-made gasoline-powered automobile.

Recommended for reading in full — 

 Ishaan Tharoor writes Trump looms over a new age of far-right militancy:

That idea of civic breakdown in America looks terrifyingly real. “In the past, groups that have felt disenfranchised have turned to protest, a peaceful attempt to persuade well-meaning elites or beneficent institutions to expand democracy,” wrote Franklin Foer in the Atlantic. “But in the Trumpian worldview, those elites and institutions are conspiring against him. By delegitimizing the American political system, he has given his followers the impression that they have no choice but to assert themselves through nonpolitical means.”

“I don’t think a lot of Americans understand how fragile democracy is,” Raul Torrez, a Democratic district attorney in New Mexico who is seeking to restrict the actions of a far-right militia there, told my colleagues. “One of the early signs of a troubled democracy is when people decide that they’re no longer going to address their political differences at the ballot box — or in elected legislatures or in Congress — but they’re going to do it on the street, and they’re going to do it with guns.”

Adam Rawnsley and Lachlan Markay report Steve Bannon Is Behind Bogus Study That China Created COVID:

A new study purporting to show that the novel coronavirus was manufactured in a Chinese lab was published by a pair of nonprofit groups linked to Steve Bannon, the former top Trump strategist now facing felony fraud charges.

The study, co-authored by a Chinese virologist who fled Hong Kong this year, claims that “laboratory manipulation is part of the history of SARS-CoV-2.” Its findings were quickly picked up by a handful of prominent news organizations such as the New York Post, which hyped the “explosive” allegations that run counter to virtually all existing scientific literature on the source of the virus.

The study is the work of the Rule of Law Society and the Rule of Law Foundation, sister nonprofit organizations that Bannon was instrumental in creating. According to documents posted on the Society’s website last year, he served as that group’s chair. The Bannon connection was first spotted by Kevin Bird, a Ph.D. candidate at Michigan State University, and shared by Carl Bergstrom, a biology professor at the University of Washington, who called the study “bizarre and unfounded.”

A search of Google Scholar and the Rule of Law Society and Rule of Law Foundation websites indicates that the organizations have not previously published scientific or medical research, and it’s unclear whether the paper received any peer review. It was posted on Monday on the website Zenodo, a publicly available repository of scientific and academic research to which anyone can upload their work.

The True Stories Behind Comic Sans and Ctrl-Alt-Del:

Thanks to the brilliance of these four computer programmers we can play Solitaire on our computers, discover Easter eggs in video games, write emails and resumes using the not-so-serious the comic sans font (even though everyone says we really shouldn’t) and shut our computers down with a simple Ctrl-Alt-Del command when they just won’t behave.

Comments are closed.