Almost 11 months since Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd for trying to pass a counterfeit bill, Chauvin was found guilty on all charges, including second degree murder. Here are just a few of the early reactions that were posted on Twitter.
"Herd immunity" is the magic phrase – the finish line we've all been running toward – that will get us to the other side of the devastating Covid pandemic. Once we get there, masks will be mostly a thing of the past (or so we hope). Handshakes and hugs might even come back. And now it seems to reason that, with more than half of Americans having been vaccinated for Covid-19 with at least one shot, we're getting much closer to at least seeing the trophy, even if it's from a distance.
But, according to USA Today, as we get closer to population immunity widespread enough to keep everyone safe – even those who haven't been vaccinated – medical experts are suddenly doubting we'll ever actually reach herd immunity. For instance, one Mayo Clinic expert said, "There is no eradication at this point, it's off the table." The problem? It's not that herd immunity wouldn't work, but rather that around 25% of Americans just don't want to get vaccinated.
From USA Today:
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease doctor, doesn't want to talk about herd immunity anymore.
"Rather than concentrating on an elusive number, let's get as many people vaccinated as quickly as we possibly can," he said at a White House briefing last week, a sentiment he's since repeated.
What Fauci doesn't explicitly state, but others do, is that with about a quarter of Americans saying they might not want to be immunized, herd immunity is simply not an attainable goal.
"It's theoretically possible but we as a society have rejected that," said Dr. Gregory Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group. "There is no eradication at this point, it's off the table. The only thing we can talk about is control."
So rather than focus on herd immunity, the focus is now on just getting as many people vaccinated as possible.
"We need to pivot the conversation away from thinking of herd immunity as a target we get to or we don't," says Lauren Ancel Meyers, a professor of statistical science the University of Texas at Austin. "It's simple – the more immunity, the better off we'll all be."
Image by Cavernia – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
With a macro lens, photographer Jens makes ordinary water, coffee, milk and oil droplets look majestic. Every frame of this video is worthy of a frame and a spot over the mantlepiece.
Even if you already know Marco Rubio is a hypocritical Trump-sycophant, it's still a shocking reminder to see just how much the sleazy politician knew about Trump in 2016 and just how much he never really cared.
"Donald Trump is going to shatter the Republican party," Rubio said in 2016.
"Donald Trump is a con artist who's being sued for defrauding people!" Rubio said in 2016.
"And we settle our differences in this country at the ballot box, not with guns or bayonets or violence," Rubio said in 2016, "and you wonder whether we're headed in a different direction today by the fact that we have a frontrunner in my party who has fed into language that basically justifies physically assaulting people who disagree with him."
Cut to Rubio today, asking for Donald Trump's endorsement and asking for his vote. This spot, created by conservative group The Republican Accountability Project, will "air on Fox News during Hannity, in the West Palm Beach market," according to HuffPost.
Here's a hilarious moment that highlights how Trump "thinkers" don't think. An angry man wearing an "Impeach Biden" t-shirt shouts into a megaphone, "The people do not control anything under socialism!" and then calls a pro-socialist standing near him a "fucking moron." Then when told by comedy duo The Good Liars that the "moron" is right, and that socialism is actually "when the workers control the means of production," the man surprisingly is good with that definition too. "Alright," he says. "Then I'm wrong. But still I don't want socialism." In other words, it doesn't matter what the hell socialism means. He's just against it, dagnabbit.
MyPillow guy Mike Lindell tried to launch his new-fangled social media platform, Frank, this morning. But in the end, all he got was a Frank, er, prank phone call.
"It's going to be the greatest place, we won't be censored. Everyone is going to be able to get on there," he said. Instead, Lindell launched a "502 error" page, followed by a "500 internal server error" message, which he blamed on a "massive attack." He then made a desperate promise to livestream for 48 hours, or as long as it took to get his new platform in working order, according to Vice, and that's when he got trolled by a caller.
Someone was able to dupe Lindell's screeners into thinking they were Donald Trump. The screeners put the prankster through to Lindell on a speakerphone. "Hello everyone," the fake Trump said.
"Ah, we have the president here," Lindell responded, "Our real president everyone! Hello Mr. President." He then gets an earful of curse-filled gibberish. But instead of laughing it off, he does what Trump would do and opts for the fear-sowing conspiratorial routine: "You see what they're doing? They're attacking us. They're attacking us… They're hacking into our phones…"
An upstate New York couple, Edward and Cheryl Patton, found used cups in their front yard for three years but couldn't catch the mysterious litterbug, even after installing a camera in their tree. Then their neighbors got on the case, suspecting an elderly gentleman driving a minivan. They followed him and took down his license plate, and it turned out the man was someone Cheryl had worked with years earlier. Apparently she had disagreed with him on union issues and he'd never gotten over it. That's some grudge!
Pope was charged with harassment and ticketed for throwing refuse onto a roadway.
"I found it very hard to believe that someone I knew would do something like that, especially at his age," Cheryl Patton told The News.
The Pattons said the littering has stopped since Pope was pulled over.
Image by pxhere / CC0 Public Domain
Jumping into a swimming pool is easy for ducks of all ages, but getting out is a different story. Watch the many ways this mama duck – along with a human helper – tries to get her babies out of a swimming pool. When simply hopping out from the side of the pool doesn't work – the rim of the pool is too high for the small ducklings – the mother leads them to a step, and later to an even higher step, but they still can't make the jump. A human with a net then offers his assistance by creating a ramp out of a raft, but they don't catch on, swimming under it instead. How about scooping them out with the net? Nope – as soon as they are scooped out they jump back in! Finally, the human assistant sets some turtle statuettes on the pool's top step, as a makeshift stepping stool, and although it's touch and go for a few moments, this last tactic saves the day.
Otters at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta had signs of a cold – sneezing, coughing, runny noses – and it turns out it was Covid-19.
Apparently the Asian small-clawed otters caught the coronavirus from an employee at the Aquarium. "Despite following all recommended health and safety protocols," the Aquarium posted on Facebook, "it is suspected the otters may have acquired the infection from an asymptomatic staff member."
According to the CDC, all kinds of animals around the world have caught Covid–19, most likely from humans, including cats, dogs, at least one ferret, mink, big cats (like lions and tigers), and gorillas. (And now otters.) "It is suspected that these animals became sick after being exposed to an animal caretaker with COVID-19," says the CDC. "In many situations, this happened despite the staff wearing personal protective equipment and following COVID-19 precautions."
Fortunately the otters "are doing well," according to NBC, and are being kept away from visitors until they recover. Currently there are no Covid vaccines available for animals.
Image by Laura Wolf / Flickr
You often hear of long-married, inseparable couples dying on the same day – or at least a few days apart. But a retired Ohio sheriff passed away not on the same day as his human partner, but as his loyal K-9 partner. On Wednesday, while Sheriff Dan McClelland, 67, died at a hospital after battling cancer, his 16-year-old chihuahua, Midge, died at home. Apparently they had been inseparable.
He and Midge — but especially Midge — were rock stars in Geauga County. Wherever McClelland went, Midge was by his side. At the office, she would nap on a dog bed beside his desk. Schoolchildren were enthralled during their visits.
McClelland's successor, Sheriff Scott Hildenbrand, recalls driving a golf cart with McClelland and Midge in the passenger seat at the Great Geauga County Fair. He said it was a slow ride as people flocked to them, petting and fussing over Midge.
Unlike large and more aggressive police dogs, the mild-mannered Midge would search vehicles without tearing up upholstery or leaving muddy footprints. Searching underneath vehicles was never a problem.
Their partnership led to appearances on daytime television talk shows and mentions in national magazines, including Playboy. She maintained her K-9 certifications until their joint retirement.
The sheriff and Midge will be buried together, according to AP.
Caught on a the Nest camera of a man sitting on his porch, a courageous kid on a bike rides up to said man and says, "Can I ask you a question?" He then points to the man's flag – an American flag that has been desecrated with part of a confederate flag (which we see at the end of the video) – and says it should be removed. An argument begins, and the boy never misses a beat.
It starts with the man stating that his offensive piece of cloth hanging in front of his house is an American flag. "No it's not," the boy says confidently. "It's a racist flag."
When the man argues that "it's not a racist flag," the boy immediately counters with, "Yeah it is. I'm not stupid."
After more back and forth, the man says, "Why don't you actually YouTube what the flag actually represents… do your research before you come to me and sound like a fucking retard."
"Oh, I'm the fucking retard?" the boy responds.
"You're the one coming to me, telling me to remove a flag…. It's a flag, and it's not racist. Do your research!" the man shouts. "Maybe you should!" the boys says, before pedaling away on his bike.
The weird thing is, it's the man who posted this video on TikTok. And as an added bonus, as if to prove that he's not in the wrong, he tacks on a shot of his grotesque hybrid flag to the end of the Nest footage and says, "This is the flag the kid wanted me to remove – I see no problem with it."
Scientists in Switzerland are sending thousands of pairs of white underwear to volunteers, who will bury them in their backyards. Researchers will later dig up and examine the soiled undies to determine the health of the soil that covered them – the holier the healthier, according to Science Focus.
From Science Focus:
"Apart from the waistband and the seams, our test pants are made from 100 per cent biodegradable organic cotton," reads the project's public website. "This substance can serve as a food source for various microorganisms in the soil. They eat the underpants with ravenous hunger. The more active microorganisms live in the soil, the faster and the more holistically the underpants will be eaten up."
Each volunteer will receive two pairs of pants. One will be dug up after a month, the other after two months. They'll be analysed for holes to determine the health of what the researchers call "the jungle beneath our feet". Volunteers and scientists will also analyse teabags buried at the same time as a control, as well as DNA from the surrounding soil to determine what kinds of organisms live there.
Soils are home to billions of bacteria, fungi, insects, worms and other creatures, but little is known about their ecosystem and how it affects things like crop yields or flood protection.
Image by mtr79 / Flickr
When a Florida girl got caught in a riptide in the Panama City Beach ocean on Wednesday, a woman went out to save her. The girl made it back to safety, but not the woman, according to weather.com, who became caught in the riptide herself. That's when dozens of beachgoers noticed and came to the rescue. They quickly clasped each others hands to assemble a human chain and, fortunately, were able to save her. Although this story has a happy ending, and shows that humanity still exists, creating a human chain as a rescue tactic can be dangerous.
"They're dangerous because the chain can break if you have a weak link in it," Francis Smith, a coastal oceanographer at the University of California, Berkeley, tells Inverse. If more people are swept out by the current, you suddenly have a much bigger rescue on your hands. Many drownings result from people going in after someone else, untrained and unprepared, only to find themselves suddenly out of their depth. A rip current is a lot more dangerous than a shark.
And human chains can rarely reach all the way to a drowning person safely. "Human chains are not normally going to be effective for various reasons," Chris Brewster of the United States Lifesaving Association tells Inverse by e-mail. "First, they only work if the water is shallow enough that everyone's head is above water. That's unusual in most areas. Second, if there's any meaningful surf action, people won't be able to stay put, as they will be battered by the surf."
Dr. Fauci and company, take note: here's a template for a vaccine ad made just for conservatives. "You storm the Capitol, let MyVaccine storm your capillaries!" Mike Lindell's doppelganger says as he peddles his new merch, which he guarantees "does not contain a Bill Gates tracking device." He also guarantees that for every MyVaccine his customers get is one less that a Rachel Maddow fan gets. But the best part for conservatives is that he's not going to bore them with the science. "Let's be honest, you don't like the science, I don't like the science. Whatever. just stick it in your arm." This MyPillow parody ad might be just another funny sketch from The Daily Show, but air it on Fox News and let's see what happens.
Ah, the all-too-common mishap of online meetings! Canadian Parliament member William Amos, who had just come back from jogging, somehow appeared at a virtual meeting stark naked. He later apologized.
"This was an unfortunate error,″ Amos said in a statement sent by email. "`My video was accidentally turned on as I was changing into my work clothes after going for a jog. I sincerely apologize to my colleagues in the House of Commons for this unintentional distraction. Obviously, it was an honest mistake and it won't happen again."
Amos, the parliamentary secretary to Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, was visible only to Parliament members and staffers on an internal video conference feed. Because he was not speaking, his image did not show up on the public feed.