Daily Digest 9/29 – 2020 Temps Tie For Record Hottest, Are Our Rituals Of “Prosperity” Increasingly Meaningless?


IRS may put cryptocurrency question at the top of 1040 to catch cheaters (tmn)

Ed Zollars, a CPA with Kaplan Financial Education, told The Wall Street Journal that this strategy helped the IRS crack down on the use of offshore bank accounts a decade ago. Adding an explicit question about offshore bank accounts to tax forms increased compliance with reporting rules and has added billions of dollars to the federal treasury.

Eighteen Million Meals: A Look Inside New York City’s Emergency Food Aid Stockpile (Eddie Jay)

On Monday, as part of a revised mission away from an emergency stockpile, those 3,600 cases are scheduled to be delivered to three sites of the Masbia soup kitchen network in Brooklyn and Queens — the first time items are being distributed to New Yorkers under the emergency food initiative announced in April.

“It’s perfect timing,” said Alex Rapaport, director of Masbia. “We’re overrun with need.”

The return of CHAZ: Riots in Seattle lead to looting (TourGuideDC)

It is also important to note that the National Guard was planning on coming into the state and dismantling the CHAZ, but eventually did not need to do so. It remains to be seen whether they will be activate once again in this case.

We will continue following this story as events unfold.

Goodbye To All That: Are Our Rituals Of “Prosperity” Increasingly Meaningless? (Don R.)

The enormous expense of once-affordable rituals such as dining out means many will give up these consumption rituals because they can no longer afford it. Two sandwiches and two drinks, sales tax and a tip is now routinely $50 or more. (Note to wealthy readers: in the real world, it’s pretty difficult to earn $50 net of taxes and the cost of doing business.)

Other consumption rituals were embedded in modes of work that are dissolving because they’re no longer financially viable. The rituals of business travel and attending conferences paid by employers are dying because the luxury of these consumption rituals is no longer affordable to employers whose revenues and profits are in terminal decline.

The World’s Space Agencies Are on a Quest to Deflect a (Harmless) Asteroid (TourGuideDC)

Now, the world’s space agencies are teaming up to take planetary defense beyond theory. This month, the European Space Agency (ESA) approved and funded their part of the Asteroid Impact Deflection Assessment (AIDA), a joint mission with NASA and other space agencies to, for the first time, attempt to alter the orbit of a sizable asteroid in deep space.

O.U.R. Receives $150,000 to $350,000 in PPP Funds (000)

Millions of Americans are still out of work despite the rebound after the unemployment rate skyrocketed to 14.7% back in April. Of course in Washington, when we say “unemployed” they really mean those who filed for benefits and are receiving benefits. Behind the scenes lingo in Washington, is called the U-3- “Unemployment rate”. In reality, nearly a quarter of Americans were unemployed. The U-6. “real unemployment rate” was at 22.8% which is just over 18% in June.

The Students Left Behind By Remote Learning (jdargis)

It soon became clear that, even with the computer, this form of schooling wasn’t going to work for Shemar. He had a wireless connection at his grandmother’s house, but he spent some of his days at a row house, a mile to the southwest, that his mother had moved into, in one of her repeated efforts to establish a home for them. A few weeks earlier, a twenty-one-year-old man had been killed a block away. There was no Internet, and when his mother called Comcast to ask about the free Wi-Fi it was offering to the families of Baltimore schoolchildren, she was told that a previous tenant had applied, so she couldn’t do so herself. It was a familiar situation for her: so often, when she made an effort on her son’s behalf, it foundered quickly in a bureaucratic dead end.

Out There, Nobody Can Hear You Scream (tmn)

Even though it is legal for me to have a gun, I cannot tell if, as a Black woman, I’d be safer with or without it. Back in 2016, I watched the aftermath of Philando Castile’s killing as it was streamed on Facebook Live by his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds. Castile was shot five times at close range by a police officer during a routine traffic stop, when he went to reach for his license, registration, and permit to carry a gun. His four-year-old daughter watched him die from the back seat. In his case, having the proper paperwork didn’t matter.

Dr. Malcom Kendrick: False positive tests (dwatney)

This issue does not seem to have been discussed. If you want to prevent spread of COVID19, you would presumably want very few false negatives in these swab tests. Otherwise people will be told they don’t have the disease – when they do – and happily go off spreading it around. Equally, you would be relaxed about false positives. People would isolate when they don’t need to, but not a great health issue.

Weirdly, however, this does not seem to be the case.

Record fish kill at Lake Norman tops 7,000 (Frances K.)

McRae says that appears to have taken pockets of oxygen out of the lakes lower levels. Fish trapped at those levels were unable to swim to the highest layers of the lake, where oxygen remains plentiful, because the middle layers were already oxygen-starved. The fish died of asphyxiation.

Similar incidents occurred in 2004 and 2009, he says. But last year, the number of deaths were very small, just 300. And in 2004, they totaled just 3,000. Both those kills occurred in August.

May 2020: Global temperatures tie for record hottest (Frances K.)

Before we talk about the few cool anomalies, let’s talk about just how tremendously above normal temperatures were in Asia. Much of northern Asia in Siberia easily saw temperatures over 10°F above average for the month of May. As a continent, Asia was a record 2.09°C (3.6°F) above average for the month, marking the first time Asia’s May temperatures were above average by 2°C. Overall, 7.55% of the globe had record-high May temperatures, including parts of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, along with Western Europe, Central and South America, Africa, and Asia.

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