News 10.30.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 10.30.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 10.30.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 10.30.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The coronavirus is spread through the air, especially in indoor spaces. While it is not as infectious as measles, scientists now openly acknowledge the role played by the transmission of aerosols – tiny contagious particles exhaled by an infected person that remain suspended in the air of an indoor environment. How does the transmission work? And, more importantly, how can we stop it?

At present, health authorities recognize three vehicles of coronavirus transmission: the small droplets from speaking or coughing, which can end up in the eyes, mouth or nose of people standing nearby; contaminated surfaces (fomites), although the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that this is the least likely way to catch the virus, a conclusion backed by the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (ECDC) observation that not a single case of fomite-caused Covid-19 has been observed; then finally, there is transmission by aerosols – the inhalation of invisible infectious particles exhaled by an infected person that, once leaving the mouth, behave in a similar way to smoke. Without ventilation, aerosols remain suspended in the air and become increasingly dense as time passes.

Read the rest of this article at: El Pais

News 10.30.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 10.30.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

FOR THOSE SEARCHING for something loftier than traditional self-help, trade books about Stoicism, an ancient philosophy of individual resilience, have become popular in recent years. The titles that belong to this non-fiction genre are explanatory, self-assured, and optimized for the all-seeing eyes of search engines: Stoicism: How to Stop Fearing and Start Living; The Stoic CEO; The Obstacle Is the Way; How to Think Like a Roman Emperor; How to Be a Stoic; A Guide to the Good Life; The Stoic Challenge: A Philosopher’s Guide to Becoming Tougher, Calmer and More Resilient; How to Keep Your Cool (Ancient Wisdom for Modern Readers); Stoicism and the Art of Happiness: Practical Wisdom for Everyday Life. While these books differ in content and style, certain features apply across the board: pithy aphorisms about the power of resilience, rationality and fortitude apply primarily to those with plenty of freedom to make choices already; readers are presumed empty vessels for authors’ edifying wisdom; and emotions are treated as imaginary things that reside only in your head.

Stoicism has been experiencing something of a resurgence in the last decade, its popularity traceable from Reddit forums to Instagram accounts to think pieces and inspirational quotes splashed on Etsy coffee mugs. In fact, the trend dates back longer; using Google’s Ngram feature, you will find a steep incline in uses of the word “Stoicism” in English-language books published between 1980 and 2019. It slowly rises during the premierships of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan before climbing dramatically after the End of History and ascending further up to the present day. The graph is at its lowest point in the post-war decade.

Read the rest of this article at: The Baffler

Flyfly Fly Delilah felt fine to Jimmy Rivera as they strode to the track on the sunny morning of November 25, 2008. It was just past 7:30 at Calder Race Course in South Florida and Rivera had already galloped four horses in two uneventful hours of training. But his assignment for Flyfly Fly Delilah required a faster pace than the others.

The bay filly, aged two, had only arrived at Calder in late September but she was well-regarded around the barn. She had narrowly lost her first race a week and a half earlier, a hard-fought second that pleased Bill White, her trainer and Rivera’s boss. White, then 56, could spot talent. He had saddled more winners than almost any other trainer in Calder history, and had recently earned induction into its Hall of Fame.

Read the rest of this article at: Vice

News 10.30.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 10.30.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Her Republican colleagues had, up until then, been civil. But one day in late July, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stood on the steps of the U.S. Capitol while Representative Ted Yoho lost his shit. The Florida Republican, incensed by the New York congresswoman’s recent comments linking crime and poverty, jabbed his finger in her face, calling her “crazy” and “disgusting.” She froze. The situation felt dangerous, with Yoho towering over Ocasio-Cortez, who calls herself “five-five on a good day.” Congressman Roger Williams, a Texas Republican, bumbled next to him like a wind puppet at a used-car dealership. She told Yoho he was being rude and went into the Capitol to vote. As Yoho descended the steps, he called her a “fucking bitch.” A reporter nearby witnessed the exchange, and soon the whole world had heard the epithet.

This part hasn’t been reported: The next day Ocasio-Cortez approached Yoho and told him, “You do that to me again, I won’t be so nice next time.” She felt his actions had violated a boundary, stepping “into the zone of harassment, discrimination.” His mocking response, straight out of Veep: “Oh, boo-hoo.” Publicly, Yoho doubled down, issuing a non-apology on the House floor, citing his wife and daughters as character witnesses.

Ocasio-Cortez flashed back to one of her first jobs out of school, when a male colleague whom she’d edged out for a promotion called her a bitch in front of the staff. She had been too stunned to reply, and no one came to her defense. She wouldn’t let it happen again.

Read the rest of this article at: Vanity Fair

News 10.30.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

If Joe Biden prevails, his basement will rest alongside William McKinley’s front porch in the annals. In his subterranean retreat, Biden not only sat still while his opponent spectacularly self-destructed, but also underwent a metamorphosis. He entered it a cautious pragmatist, yearning for a reversion to the time before Donald Trump; he left convinced of his chance to become a latter-day Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Over the spring and summer, Biden inverted the historic template of the Democratic nominee. According to time-honored political logic, a candidate poses as a bleeding heart in the primary, only to retrace his or her steps back to the center in the general. During his time in his basement, by contrast, Biden’s ambitions for the presidency began to acquire a grandiosity that his intramural battle with Bernie Sanders hardly anticipated.

Following two consecutive presidents who professed to disdain politics, Biden is a politician to the core—attuned to the limits of the possible, always finding his way to the epicenter of the zeitgeist. As he cocooned in Delaware, the pandemic, the ensuing economic fallout, and the protests against racial inequality reset the context for the next presidency. Biden grasped that.

Biden came to understand that the necessity of public investment presented a singular opportunity to transform American life. In August, he promised $2 trillion to combat climate change, to be spent, in part, on 1 million unionized jobs and 1.5 million affordable-housing units. This wasn’t a pure transposition of the Green New Deal, but it was spiritually aligned. As David Wallace-Wells has noted, Biden’s proposed spending is more than 20 times the size of Barack Obama’s expenditure on green energy. And having endured the primary derided as a collaborator of Strom Thurmond’s, he started describing systemic racism in far blunter language than any previous nominee, and elevating police reform to the center of his plans.

On paper, Biden has proposed the most progressive administration in American history. According to a Columbia University study, if the totality of the Biden agenda were implemented, it would lift 20 million Americans out of poverty.

Many on the left scoff at the notion that Biden is preparing for a transformational presidency. They point to his authorship of the 1994 crime bill, his advisers who moan about the dangers of deficits, and his long-held belief in the possibility of bipartisan compromise. Biden remains blissfully unattuned to the pressures exerted by social media, and he seizes nearly every opportunity to distance himself from the Sanders wing of the party. (“Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters?”) When he rejects Medicare for All or defends the wealthy, he means it.

Read the rest of this article at: The Atlantic

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.

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