267 thoughts on “Open Thread For August”

  1. It is not a matter of whether it is better or worse, it is a matter of whether it is Flamenco or it is not Flamenco. This is Flamenco. The compas, the rhythm, the techniques are all unmistakably Flamenco.

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  2. The stock market keeps rising, the big dip in early 2020 is long repaired and it just keeps rising despite all kinds of misery for ordinary people. Bizarre.

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    1. Of course, ordinary people can invest in the stock market. If you find one without too many fees, ETFs make sense. IIRC since WWII or whatever over any 8-year period they have always increased more than inflation. Of course there is no guarantee, but then again investing is not really work. After debts were finally paid off I got one in March 2020, just at the start of the COVID lockdowns. I paid some in, and lost 25% within a few days. But then it was back up after a week or two. I now have 25% more than I have paid in. Since I pay in monthly, that corresponds to about 40% interest per year.

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  3. Jacob Rees-Mogg puts forward ‘a modest proposal’ to end food shortages
    .
    Boris Johnson’s government to establish Ministries of Plenty, Peace, Truth and Love.

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  4. Revisiting the Christian propaganda film ‘Trump 2024’.
    Trump will win in 2020 and delay the Apocalypse by four years.
    Then the Apocalypse sets in. We ignore the horse/scorpion/locust hybrids and go straight to tge amniote animals mentioned in the bible.
    The eagle is of course the symbol of USA, the lion Britain. Germany is the… leopard?
    “Are Germans real fast? Are they spotted?”
    One of the characters in the film goes on about how “walls work” and adds there is even a wall in Heaven.
    Comment: “Do you realise Hell is like posthumous Mexico? Sheriff Arpaio sits next to St. Peter with a gun!”

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  5. Out of Africa again and again.

    A brilliant new paper, and it is all coming together very nicely now. The timing of the ‘exit windows’ helps to explain a lot, and particularly the two: 130-75kya and 55kya for anatomically modern humans.

    Multiple hominin dispersals into Southwest Asia over the past 400,000 years.
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03863-y

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  6. The Greek singer and composer Mikis Theodorakis has died, at 96.
    He made more than 1000 songs, and when he opposed the military junta he was imprisoned and tortured.
    Many of his songs have been translated to Swedish, and performed by artists like Sven-Bertil Taube and Arja Sajonmaa.

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  7. (Yawn) no drastic changes in the covid situation in Sweden. Behind the improving numbers are heroic efforts by health care workers everywhere, but when you boil it down to statistics you overlook the enormity of the achievement and may fall asleep (as I nearly did today).
    70.8 are now fully vaccinated.
    82.1% have received at least one shot.
    .
    Total number of covid patients/ patients in intensive care.
    Nationwide: 310 / 43
    Stockholm : 99 / 12
    Gothenburg: 68 / 16
    .
    Autumn has brought ordinary colds but the symptoms cannot be distinguished from covid and testing has been ramped up.
    4% of those tested had covid.
    The last weeks the regions have been catching up with the second shots as it is no longer such a hurry to give the first jab to as many as possible, current mortality being low.
    .
    Things are looking manageable. I noticed the municipal buses in Umeå have ramped up capacity, no longer sealing off the part near the driver.
    The new students have arrived in town, trying to make sense of the grid of student housing (there is no system, you just have to memorize the layout).

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  8. Leaded gasoline has finally been phased out everywhere in the world.
    The last holdout was Algeria, and they banned the practice in July.
    🌳

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  9. Two news items.
    ABBA is releasing a new album 40 years after they split. It will be released in November.
    .
    The problem with bombs is that they tend to go “boom”.
    A member of an outlaw biker gang died when the bomb he was transporting blew up too soon.

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    1. Here is a recording of the live stream of the event announcing it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJBGk9Hed8o

      If the four were actually singing and playing live, I would go, but with the avatars (why not Abbatars?), it’s too much like those shows with a film of Elvis and a live band, or some Dio musicians playing with an avatar of Ronnie James, which sounds like something out of Spinal Tap. Sure, due to technology it will be impressive, but still not the same.

      Concerts will take place in a purpose-built arena in London.

      Several years ago, they were offered a billion dollars for an album and a tour, but turned it down, saying that they couldn’t live up to people’s memories.

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  10. Robin Bullock, some kind of mega-church dude, claims to have visited Heaven and says God sits inside a gelatinous cube
    (That is not gelatine, that is excretions by the nest-building biomechanoids serving the Cenobites. And the creature inside the cube has more tentacles than Jehowa is supposed to have).

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  11. We’re currently getting a live TV broadcast of the Chinese astronauts aboard the Tiangong space station. They are chatting to some HK school kids, which is pretty cool.

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    1. Nice! Sad though that the Chinese space programme mostly shows so little interest in sharing its results in real time. Space fans and scientists abroad are largely kept guessing.

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