Microbes in oceans and soils are evolving to eat PLASTIC 

Any molecule that has stored energy is going to represent a niche that bacteria can take advantage of.

Microbes in oceans and soils are evolving to eat PLASTIC Researchers in Sweden measured samples of DNA at hundreds of locations around the world, taken from both soil and water. They found 30,000 enzymes in these DNA samples that have the potential to degrade 10 different types of commonly used plastic, including the widely-used polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

Microbes in oceans and soils are evolving to eat plastic, a new study reveals in a breakthrough that could help boost recycling of commercial packaging waste.

Researchers in Sweden measured samples of DNA at hundreds of locations around the world, taken from both soil and water.

They found 30,000 enzymes in these DNA samples that have the potential to degrade 10 different types of commonly used plastic, including the widely-used polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

What’s more, there appears to be a higher concentration of plastic-eating microbes where there is more plastic waste for them to break down.

It’s thought the soaring use of plastic for packaging over the last 70 years has given ‘sufficient evolutionary time’ for various microbes present in the environment to respond to these compounds.

Source: Microbes in oceans and soils are evolving to eat PLASTIC Researchers in Sweden measured samples of DNA at hundreds of l…

The Doc Savage Formula

Lester Dent was the staff writer who, the house name Kenneth Robeson, penned all but 20 of these 181 novel-length tales of the science adventurer and globetrotting detective Clark Savage, Jr. Dent created a workmanlike product, on tight deadline, to his wordcount.

 

Lester Dent Master Plot Formula

This is a formula, a master plot, for any 6000 word pulp story. It has worked on adventure, detective, western and war-air. It tells exactly where to put everything. It shows definitely just what must happen in each successive thousand words. No yarn of mine written to the formula has yet failed to sell. The business of building stories seems not much different from the business of building anything else.

Here’s how it starts:

  1. A DIFFERENT MURDER METHOD FOR VILLAIN TO USE
  2. A DIFFERENT THING FOR VILLAIN TO BE SEEKING
  3. A DIFFERENT LOCALE
  4. A MENACE WHICH IS TO HANG LIKE A CLOUD OVER HERO

One of these DIFFERENT things would be nice, two better, three swell. It may help if they are fully in mind before tackling the rest.

A different murder method could be — different. Thinking of shooting, knifing, hydrocyanic, garroting, poison needles, scorpions, a few others, and writing them on paper gets them where they may suggest something. Scorpions and their poison bite? Maybe mosquitos or flies treated with deadly germs?

If the victims are killed by ordinary methods, but found under strange and identical circumstances each time, it might serve, the reader of course not knowing until the end, that the method of murder is ordinary.

Scribes who have their villain’s victims found with butterflies, spiders or bats stamped on them could conceivably be flirting with this gag.

Probably it won’t do a lot of good to be too odd, fanciful or grotesque with murder methods.

The different thing for the villain to be after might be something other than jewels, the stolen bank loot, the pearls, or some other old ones.

….

Here’s the second installment of the master plot.

Divide the 6000 word yarn into four 1500 word parts. In each 1500 word part, put the following:

FIRST 1500 WORDS

  1. First line, or as near thereto as possible, introduce the hero and swat him with a fistful of trouble. Hint at a mystery, a menace or a problem to be solved — something the hero has to cope with.
  2. The hero pitches in to cope with his fistful of trouble. (He tries to fathom the mystery, defeat the menace, or solve the problem.)
  3. Introduce ALL the other characters as soon as possible. Bring them on in action.
  4. Hero’s endevours land him in an actual physical conflict near the end of the first 1500 words.
  5. Near the end of first 1500 words, there is a complete surprise twist in the plot development.

….

SECOND 1500 WORDS

  1. Shovel more grief onto the hero.
  2. Hero, being heroic, struggles, and his struggles lead up to:
  3. Another physical conflict.
  4. A surprising plot twist to end the 1500 words.

….

THIRD 1500 WORDS

  1. Shovel the grief onto the hero.
  2. Hero makes some headway, and corners the villain or somebody in:
  3. A physical conflict.
  4. A surprising plot twist, in which the hero preferably gets it in the neck bad, to end the 1500 words.

….

FOURTH 1500 WORDS

  1. Shovel the difficulties more thickly upon the hero.

  2. Get the hero almost buried in his troubles. (Figuratively, the villain has him prisoner and has him framed for a murder rap; the girl is presumably dead, everything is lost, and the DIFFERENT murder method is about to dispose of the suffering protagonist.)

  3. The hero extricates himself using HIS OWN SKILL, training or brawn.

  4. The mysteries remaining — one big one held over to this point will help grip interest — are cleared up in course of final conflict as hero takes the situation in hand.

  5. Final twist, a big surprise, (This can be the villain turning out to be the unexpected person, having the “Treasure” be a dud, etc.)

  6. The snapper, the punch line to end it.

Source: The Doc Savage Formula

L. Ron Hubbard wrote a large amount of pulp stories, and quickly settled on a “practical joke” format. The plot twist, by which the hero wins, would take on the form of a practical joke played upon the adversaries. They would think they had victory in the bag, and the hero would be three or four steps ahead by the end of the story.

Prosecution and Prejudice

We have prosecutors who won’t prosecute the ‘wrong’ people for their crimes and prosecutors hell-bent on prosecuting the ‘right’ people for what they symbolize.

There is a flip side to the way progressives have perverted the concept of prosecuting crime. It is, in its way, just as insidious as the now-familiar delirium that non-prosecution is the best prosecution.

The flip side is equally the fallout of politicizing state police power. It flows naturally from the conceit that the point of prosecution is to run interference for the Left’s favored groups while penalizing those who oppose progressives. It has only disdain for the quaint idea that we prosecute for the purpose of upholding the rule of law, so society as a whole can flourish.

The flip side is this: When today’s cutting-edge prosecutors do deign to prosecute, the target is ideas, not acts. The objective is not to neutralize those who prey on society, but to frame their acts as part of a morality play: the progressives cast as the guardians of “our values,” and the criminals drawing out contempt more for what motivates them — or, at least, what progressives say motivates them — than for any evil they have done.

This is exemplified by the Kyle Rittenhouse prosecution.

The fact that Rittenhouse, then 17 years old, shot and killed people was not decisive in making his prosecution a national story. More people are routinely shot in Chicago than were shot in Kenosha on that fateful night. And, though not as sedulously suppressed as news of black-on-black violence is, white-on-white violence is usually far too humdrum for the media-Democrat complex to take much notice.

Source: Prosecution and Prejudice

Two highly recommended Barnes videos on the Rittenhouse case

For quite a while I’ve been featuring videos with attorney Robert Barnes, and especially the ones about the Rittenhouse case. He’s not only thorough, he’s also lively and interesting. In addition, it turns out that he’s been about 97% correct in describing the case and in making predictions.

….

The second is a post-verdict wrap-up. It sheds a lot of light on the jury deliberations and why they took so long:

Source: Two highly recommended Barnes videos on the Rittenhouse case

Kyle Rittenhouse Not Guilty via Rule-of-Law, Guilty; Guilty via Critical Race Theory

This correspondent has reported extensively on the Kyle Rittenhouse incident and trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin, for AmmoLand, with over two dozen articles in the last 14 months.

Very early on, this correspondent explained there was no murder case, no criminal reckless endangerment, no firearms charge which was consistent with the law.

Repeatedly, the prosecutor, ADA Binger, informed the court the firearms charge was based on what the prosecution believed the law had to be, rather than on what the law was.  It is a microcosm of the left. Decisions are made on what the left believes reality *should be* rather than what reality *is*.

The firearms charge was important to lend the air of illegality to what was obviously legal and ethical self defense.

The case should never have been brought. The performance of the prosecutors during the trial confirmed the prosecution was done for political purposes rather than to bring justice.

The job of a prosecutor is to pursue justice. It is not to obtain successful prosecutions.

The decision not to charge is every bit as important as the decision to charge a suspect.

Six charges were brought against Kyle Rittenhouse less than 48 hours after the self defense shootings occurred. Wisconsin does not require indictments by a grand jury. Charges are commonly brought exclusively by prosecutors.

Kyle Rittenhouse  tried to turn himself in to the police within minutes of the events. He had successfully turned himself in to police about an hour after the events. This was characterized in the media as “being arrested” or “being taken into custody” rather than the factual “turning himself in to police”.

A seventh charge, of violating curfew, was added to the first six charges, in late December, 2020, months after the events in August. The prosecutors botched this late, attempted pile-on. It was later determined no lawful order about the curfew had been entered on August 25.

The next strategy was to hold Kyle in jail with exorbitantly high bail, in order to prevent a good defense, to push him to accept a plea bargain. It is a common, and despicable, prosecution tactic.

In a self defense case where the defendant turned himself in quickly, where voluminous evidence of self defense existed, Kyle should have been released on signature bond, or, at most a few thousand dollars bail.  Kyle’s bail was set at $2 million. This is more evidence of a political persecution, instead of a criminal prosecution.

Source: Kyle Rittenhouse Not Guilty via Rule-of-Law, Guilty; Guilty via Critical Race Theory

Quotation of the Day…

(Don Boudreaux) Tweet … is from page 225 of the 5th edition (2015) of Thomas Sowell’s excellent volume, Basic Economics (footnote deleted):

Even though most studies show that unemployment tends to increase as minimum wages are imposed or increased, those few studies that seem to indicate otherwise have been hailed in some quarters as having “refuted” this “myth.” However, one common problem with some research on the employment effects of minimum wage laws is that surveys of employers before and after a minimum wage increase can survey only those particular businesses which survived in both periods. Given the high rates of business failures in many industries, the results for the surviving businesses may be completely different from the results for the industry as a whole. Using such research methods, you could survey people who have played Russian roulette and “prove” from their experiences that it is a harmless activity, since those for whom it was not harmless are unlikely to be around to be surveyed. Thus you would have “refuted” the “myth” that Russian roulette is dangerous.

Source: Quotation of the Day…

Russia hoax whitewash era begins (2)

(Scott Johnson) The Clinton presidential campaign’s fabrication of the Russia hoax is the dirtiest trick in American political history. Beginning with Glenn Simpson/Fusion GPS and the Perkins Coie law firm, it enlisted co-conspirators in the Obama Department of Justice, the FBI, and the mainstream media.

Matt Taibbi took up the complicity of the mainstream media at his TK News site in “The Russiagate Whitewash Era Begins.” The column is mostly behind his subscription paywall, but Taibbi has now made the column available in the form of a YouTube video and podcast read by Jared Moore. I have posted the video below.

By my lights, however, what we have in the hugely influential stories Maté focuses on is complicity with perpetrators rather than lapses in professional standards. That is the case that Lee Smith argues in his Tablet column “Here Comes the Limited Hangout.” Subhead: “America’s Nixonian press corps takes a page from the Watergate playbook to try and cover up its active role in the criminal Russiagate hoax.”
Why won’t the prestige press come clean on its role in the Russia hoax? Crisis management consultant sketches out the deterrents in his Wall Street Journal column “The media stonewalls on the Steele dossier.” Dezenhall frames the basic problem this way, in terms of incentives…
J. Peder Zane’s RealClearPolitics column makes the case “Why the Russiagate Scandal Outranks the Rest.” This I believe:

Michaael Isikoff and David Corn were key media conduits for the Russia hoax fabrications wrought and disseminated by Christopher Steele, Fusion GPS, the Perkins Coie law firm, and the Clinton campaign in the run-up to the 2016 election. Isikoff and Corn expanded their reporting into the 2018 bestseller Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump.

All in all, given the active participation of officials in the upper reaches of the Obama administration, including the FBI, the hoax must be counted the dirtiest trick in American political history. With the perspective afforded by the indictment of Igor Danchenko, Paul Sperry looks back in the RCP column “Journalist-Authors Isikoff, Corn Also Fell For Danchenko’s Mythical Dossier Source.” What did Corn and Isikoff have to say when Sperry came calling? “Neither Corn nor Isikoff responded to requests for comment….Their publisher, Twelve, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, did not reply to emails seeking comment.” Highly recommended.

NOTE: The column follows up on Sperry’s November 10 column “Danchenko Indictment: How Dossier Non-Source Sergei Millian Was Framed.”

Mindless and Mortifying Covid Theater

There seems to be a deeply felt need to feel superior to someone. The coronapocalypse gives people someone to feel superior to — the great un-vaxxed.

(Don Boudreaux) I was prompted to write the note below – which I’ll send to managers of theaters, museums, concert halls, and other public venues – after attending an event at Strathmore, which requires proof of vaccination and the wearing of masks. To open the event, Strathmore’s (unmasked!) director, smiling broadly on stage, declared that “It’s wonderful to be here among the vaccinated!” I wanted to retch, for to my ears it’s as if he’d said “It’s wonderful to be here among the clean and away from the filthy untouchables.”

December 12, 2021

Manager of [Name of venue]

Sir or Madam:

To enter your premises, each of your patrons is required by you both to show proof of vaccination against Covid-19 and at all times to wear a mask.

What’s the point of these requirements?

Vaccination is effective at preventing the vaccinated from suffering serious consequences from Covid. (And children naturally are at virtually no risk from Covid.) Therefore, those of your patrons who choose not to be vaccinated personally bear the costs of their choice without imposing any costs on those of your patrons who choose to be vaccinated. So your requirement of vaccination is pointless.

This conclusion would stand even if we were sure that vaccination appreciably lowers, or even eliminates, the likelihood of vaccinated persons spreading the SARS-CoV-2 virus to other persons. But in fact we have no such assurance. Many prominent public-health researchers read the evidence as showing that being vaccinated against Covid does not prevent the vaccinated – at least not for any significant length of time – from becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 and spreading this virus to others. Even CDC Director Rochelle Walensky admits about the vaccines, after the emergence of the Delta variant, that “what they can’t do anymore is prevent transmission.”

Requiring proof of vaccination would thus be pointless even if it were the case that recovery from Covid provided no natural immunity. But in fact the evidence is powerful that recovery from Covid provides significant natural immunity. Because nearly 50 million Americans have tested positive for Covid and recovered – and even apart from the considerations mentioned above – requiring all patrons to show proof of vaccination is, to put it mildly, excessive.

Similar questions apply to masks. Because vaccination is effective at protecting the vaccinated, why do you require each of your patrons to wear a mask? Again, those of your patrons who choose not to wear a mask – just like your patrons who choose not to be vaccinated – impose costs only on themselves and not on those of your patrons who choose differently.

I urge you, in the name of liberal civilization and the open society, to stop mindlessly giving credence to pronouncements from the likes of Anthony Fauci and other government officials who have a personal stake in stoking Covid hysteria for as long as they can. Please let your patrons enjoy what you have to offer without being accosted by pointless Covid restrictions or required to participate in dystopian hygiene theater.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics

 

Source: Mindless and Mortifying Covid Theater

The New York Times does the Rittenhouse aftermath

(Paul Mirengoff) My friend who reads the New York Times calls attention to this article about how, allegedly, the left and the right are reacting to the Rittenhouse verdicts. Here is my friend’s take:

While the piece wants to appear even-handed, it is anything but. The liberals quoted are all politicians or heads of organizations. For conservative responses, the Times goes fishing for memes and social media comments from QAnon and the Proud Boys.

Readers of the Times may think they know how conservatives are reacting after reading this. In fact, they will have little sense of what conservatives consider the real issues: for example, false claims by the media and candidate Biden that Rittenhouse was a white supremacist, false or misleading claims that he had “crossed state lines,” and the failure of Gov. Evers to keep order.

Source: The New York Times does the Rittenhouse aftermath