Randomness

Mike Bulgakov

G.O.A.T.
Vladimir Putin to receive Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday
Russian president makes announcement as authorities push to encourage vaccination
Mon 22 Mar 2021

The Russian presidenthas said he will get vaccinated against Covid-19 on Tuesday, amid a push by the authorities to encourage Russians to get the shot.
Vladimir Putin did not specify which vaccine he would take. The main vaccine publicly available in Russia is the Sputnik V, which it is promoting for export. Moscow has also given emergency approval to two other domestic vaccines, EpiVacCorona and CoviVac.

“Vaccination, of course, is a voluntary decision for every person. It is every person’s personal decision,” Putin said during a televised government meeting on Monday about Russian vaccines against Covid-19. “By the way, I plan to do this tomorrow.”

Putin said it was vital to ramp up production of vaccines for domestic use in Russia, where 4.3 million people have so far received both doses of a two-shot vaccine.

He said Russia had signed international deals to supply doses of Sputnik V to 700 million people.

“Today we can say confidently – and practice indisputably confirms – that Russian vaccines are absolutely reliable and safe,” he said. Scientists said last month Sputnik V had almost 92% efficacy in fighting Covid-19, based on peer-reviewed late-stage trial results published in the Lancet medical journal.

According to the Russian statistics agency, Rosstat, more than 200,000 Russians had died of Covid-19 by the end of January, the world’s third highest death toll behind the US and Brazil. A separate tally, updated daily by the government’s coronavirus taskforce, uses a much lower figure.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/mar/22/vladimir-putin-to-receive-covid-19-vaccine-on-tuesday
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Been watching Hercules lately, have only seen a few eps, was always a Xena fan instead. Catching up on the crossover episodes where Xena or Callisto etc were on Hercules and it's been epic :D

 

Mike Bulgakov

G.O.A.T.
Putin decides to receive coronavirus vaccine - Kremlin
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s president Vladimir Putin will receive the Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a Russian state TV channel on Sunday.

“He said he will be vaccinated, he made this decision and was waiting until all formalities are completed,” the spokesman was quoted as saying to Rossiya 1 TV Channel on its website.

68-year-old Putin said earlier that the Russian vaccine was effective and safe and he saw no reason not to be vaccinated addeing that he was waiting until it became available.

Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak in Russia, Putin has mainly worked remotely, held meetings via videolink and limited travel.
He said in August that one of his daughters had taken part in the clinical trial of the vaccine and felt well afterwards.
https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-russia-putin/putin-decides-to-receive-coronavirus-vaccine-kremlin-idUSKBN2910EM
 

Mike Bulgakov

G.O.A.T.
Donald Trump, Melania Trump secretly received COVID-19 vaccine in January
Matthew BrownDavid Jackson
USA TODAY

Former President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump received coronavirus vaccines in early January on the advice of doctors, according to a Trump adviser speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the ex-president's medical history.

Trump aides declined to say what type of vaccine he received. At the time, vaccines manufactured by both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech had emergency use approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Aides did not disclose why Trump was vaccinated in secret. Polls have frequently found vaccine skepticism to be disproportionately common among Republican voters, a partisan divide that threatens to hamper vaccine rollout.

Other top officials, including then-President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and then-Vice President Mike Pence received shots in front of television cameras.

Trump discussed vaccinations during his Sunday speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, urging delegates to get their shots while mocking Biden for receiving one.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/03/02/donald-trump-melania-trump-got-covid-19-vaccines-january/6885130002/
 

Mike Bulgakov

G.O.A.T.
Political sectarianism in America
Science 30 Oct 2020:
Vol. 370, Issue 6516, pp. 533-536

Summary
Political polarization, a concern in many countries, is especially acrimonious in the United States (see the first box). For decades, scholars have studied polarization as an ideological matter—how strongly Democrats and Republicans diverge vis-à-vis political ideals and policy goals. Such competition among groups in the marketplace of ideas is a hallmark of a healthy democracy. But more recently, researchers have identified a second type of polarization, one focusing less on triumphs of ideas than on dominating the abhorrent supporters of the opposing party (1). This literature has produced a proliferation of insights and constructs but few interdisciplinary efforts to integrate them. We offer such an integration, pinpointing the superordinate construct of political sectarianism and identifying its three core ingredients: othering, aversion, and moralization. We then consider the causes of political sectarianism and its consequences for U.S. society—especially the threat it poses to democracy. Finally, we propose interventions for minimizing its most corrosive aspects.
http://www.sciencemag.org/about/science-licenses-journal-article-reuse
https://science.sciencemag.org/content/370/6516/533
 

Mike Bulgakov

G.O.A.T.
Science explains how politics got so awful
By KAREN KAPLANSCIENCE AND MEDICINE EDITOR
OCT. 29, 2020

One year ago, a report from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security assessed the readiness of 195 countries around the world to confront a deadly disease outbreak. Topping the list of most-prepared nations was the United States of America.

But that forecast didn’t account for one crucial factor: the toxic degree of partisanship that would turn something as simple as wearing a face mask into a political statement.

How did things get so bad that Americans couldn’t come together to confront a universal threat like COVID-19, which has killed more than 227,000 of us so far?
A report in this week’s issue of Science offers an explanation — political sectarianism.

The authors of the new report explain that political sectarianism goes beyond mere disagreements about the nation’s goals and how they should be achieved. Nor is it a case of people being trapped in partisan echo chambers, or sorting themselves into Democratic and Republican ecospheres where they’re unlikely to encounter a contrary point of view.

What pushes mere enmity into the realm of political sectarianism is a “poisonous cocktail” of beliefs that turns opponents into mortal enemies regardless of the issue, according to the 15 experts in political science, social psychology, sociology and cognitive science who co-wrote the report.

This cocktail has three key ingredients, they explain.

The first is “othering,” which they describe as a “tendency to view opposing partisans as essentially different or alien to oneself.”

The second ingredient is aversion, a reflex to “dislike and distrust” one’s political opponents.

The final ingredient is moralization, which causes us to see our opponents as not merely wrongheaded, but downright evil.

“It is the confluence of these ingredients that makes sectarianism so corrosive,” they write. “When all three converge, political losses can feel like existential threats that must be averted — whatever the cost.”

It may seem hard to believe, but a voter’s party affiliation wasn’t always determined by his or her ideology. As recently as the 1970s, the Democratic and Republican parties each had a conservative and a liberal wing.

Now, not only are liberals concentrated in the Democratic Party and conservatives in the GOP, but Americans have largely segregated themselves also according to their race, religion, education and geography. The result is that party affiliation has become a “mega-identity” that exaggerates our perception of how little we have in common with those on the other side.

Your own party’s candidate may leave much to be desired, but those shortcomings can be overlooked if you believe that “the consequences of having the vile opposition win the election are catastrophic,” the authors write.

“Issues that are not inherently partisan become politicized,” the authors write. A case in point: the decision about whether to wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Masks have come to be associated with Democrats, making Republicans less inclined to wear them. “The result has been lethal and expensive for Americans across the political spectrum,” according to the report.

For starters, it would help to correct the misperceptions people have about those on the other side. The more we get to know each other as individuals, rather than as members of a hated group, the easier it will be to find common ground.

That extends to elected officials. The report’s authors suggest changing campaign finance laws to limit the influence of deep-pocketed “ideological extremists.” In addition, getting rid of partisan gerrymandering would deprive extremists of safe seats in Congress, they say.

They’ve also got ideas for tweaking social media, but it’s not as simple as you might think. Eliminating echo chambers could backfire if seeing the other side’s messages gets one’s partisan juices flowing. Instead, they recommend interventions that prompt people to “deliberate about the accuracy of claims on social media,” because that would make them less likely to pass along information that’s either false or hyperpartisan (or both).

“Political sectarianism is neither inevitable nor irreversible,” they write, though reversing it won’t be easy.
https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-10-29/fed-up-with-election-politics-science-explains-how-things-got-so-awful
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Science explains how politics got so awful
By KAREN KAPLANSCIENCE AND MEDICINE EDITOR
OCT. 29, 2020


One year ago, a report from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security assessed the readiness of 195 countries around the world to confront a deadly disease outbreak. Topping the list of most-prepared nations was the United States of America.

But that forecast didn’t account for one crucial factor: the toxic degree of partisanship that would turn something as simple as wearing a face mask into a political statement.

How did things get so bad that Americans couldn’t come together to confront a universal threat like COVID-19, which has killed more than 227,000 of us so far?
A report in this week’s issue of Science offers an explanation — political sectarianism.

The authors of the new report explain that political sectarianism goes beyond mere disagreements about the nation’s goals and how they should be achieved. Nor is it a case of people being trapped in partisan echo chambers, or sorting themselves into Democratic and Republican ecospheres where they’re unlikely to encounter a contrary point of view.

What pushes mere enmity into the realm of political sectarianism is a “poisonous cocktail” of beliefs that turns opponents into mortal enemies regardless of the issue, according to the 15 experts in political science, social psychology, sociology and cognitive science who co-wrote the report.

This cocktail has three key ingredients, they explain.

The first is “othering,” which they describe as a “tendency to view opposing partisans as essentially different or alien to oneself.”

The second ingredient is aversion, a reflex to “dislike and distrust” one’s political opponents.

The final ingredient is moralization, which causes us to see our opponents as not merely wrongheaded, but downright evil.

“It is the confluence of these ingredients that makes sectarianism so corrosive,” they write. “When all three converge, political losses can feel like existential threats that must be averted — whatever the cost.”

It may seem hard to believe, but a voter’s party affiliation wasn’t always determined by his or her ideology. As recently as the 1970s, the Democratic and Republican parties each had a conservative and a liberal wing.

Now, not only are liberals concentrated in the Democratic Party and conservatives in the GOP, but Americans have largely segregated themselves also according to their race, religion, education and geography. The result is that party affiliation has become a “mega-identity” that exaggerates our perception of how little we have in common with those on the other side.

Your own party’s candidate may leave much to be desired, but those shortcomings can be overlooked if you believe that “the consequences of having the vile opposition win the election are catastrophic,” the authors write.

“Issues that are not inherently partisan become politicized,” the authors write. A case in point: the decision about whether to wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Masks have come to be associated with Democrats, making Republicans less inclined to wear them. “The result has been lethal and expensive for Americans across the political spectrum,” according to the report.

For starters, it would help to correct the misperceptions people have about those on the other side. The more we get to know each other as individuals, rather than as members of a hated group, the easier it will be to find common ground.

That extends to elected officials. The report’s authors suggest changing campaign finance laws to limit the influence of deep-pocketed “ideological extremists.” In addition, getting rid of partisan gerrymandering would deprive extremists of safe seats in Congress, they say.

They’ve also got ideas for tweaking social media, but it’s not as simple as you might think. Eliminating echo chambers could backfire if seeing the other side’s messages gets one’s partisan juices flowing. Instead, they recommend interventions that prompt people to “deliberate about the accuracy of claims on social media,” because that would make them less likely to pass along information that’s either false or hyperpartisan (or both).

“Political sectarianism is neither inevitable nor irreversible,” they write, though reversing it won’t be easy.
https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-10-29/fed-up-with-election-politics-science-explains-how-things-got-so-awful
So much truth here. Sad how divided we are, being played like fiddles by the government and the media.
 

Mike Bulgakov

G.O.A.T.
Facts About Hemingway's Cats
BY ERIN MCCARTHY
JULY 10, 2019



When the eminently quotable Ernest Hemingway wrote that “one cat just leads to another,” the lifelong ailurophile was talking about the veritable clowder of cats at Finca, his home in Cuba—but he could easily have been referencing his home in Key West, Florida. The grounds of 907 Whitehead Street, now the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, house between 40 and 50 felines. (“Cats in every room so don’t go if you are allergic to them,” one reviewer on TripAdvisor notes.) Here are a few things you should know about them.

ABOUT HALF OF HEMINGWAY'S CATS ARE POLYDACTYL.

That means that they have extra toes. Cats normally have five toes in the front and four in the back; according to the Hemingway House and Museum website, “about half of the cats at the museum have the physical polydactyl trait but they all carry the polydactyl gene in their DNA, which means that the ones that have four and five toes can still mother or father six-toed kittens. Most cats have extra toes on their front feet and sometimes on their back feet as well. Sometimes it looks as if they are wearing mittens because they appear to have a thumb on their paw.”

THE GENE THAT GIVES HEMINGWAY'S CATS EXTRA TOES IS NAMED AFTER A VIDEO GAME CHARACTER.
The reason the cats have extra toes, according to Kat Arney in the book Herding Hemingway’s Cats, is “a mistake in the control switch for a gene called Sonic Hedgehog. And yes, it was named after the video-game character.”

HEMINGWAY’S CATS HAVE CREATIVE NAMES.
The Hemingway House and Museum website notes that Hemingway named all of his cats after famous people, a tradition the curators continue today. Over the years, cats have been named after everyone from Zane Grey and Marilyn Monroe to president “Hairy” Truman, Fats Waller, Kermit “Shine” Forbes, Truman Capote, Bugsy Siegel, Billie Holiday, and Cary Grant. Tour guide Jessica Pita told radio host Arden Moore that employees vote on the names.
https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/587504/hemingways-cats-facts
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
No boxing game since 2011. I agree with this video. I wasn't really impressed with the footage I watched from the upcoming game. Made a comment about it and got ravaged. lol Glad to see I'm not alone. Yeah, it's the first footage released so it is not like the game is finished. The career mode and all sound good.

 
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