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Backseat Driver

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Hometown: Ohio
Member since: Sun May 5, 2019, 04:28 PM
Number of posts: 2,578

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Cliff collapses in Grand Canyon revealing 313 million-year-old footprints, park says


Maddie Capron
Miami Herald•August 20, 2020

A geology professor hiking in the Grand Canyon made a “surprising discovery” — the oldest recorded tracks of their kind.

After a cliff collapsed in Grand Canyon National Park, a boulder with fossilized tracks was revealed, park officials said in a Thursday news release. The fossil footprints are about 313 million years old, according to researchers.

“These are by far the oldest vertebrate tracks in Grand Canyon, which is known for its abundant fossil tracks” Stephen Rowland, a paleontologist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said in the news release. “More significantly, they are among the oldest tracks on Earth of shelled-egg-laying animals, such as reptiles, and the earliest evidence of vertebrate animals walking in sand dunes.”

The tracks were in plain view for many hikers, but weren’t discovered until Allan Krill, a Norwegian geology professor, was hiking with students and saw a boulder containing “conspicuous fossil footprints,” park officials said....snip
Posted by Backseat Driver | Thu Aug 20, 2020, 10:50 PM (8 replies)

Banks start to buy home loans at below-market prices - Bloomberg


The halt on foreclosures of homes financed by government-backed mortgages implemented in March has an unintended consequence.

It's allowing banks and other lenders to buy mortgages out of bonds for less than their current market value, and, in the process, burn investors, Bloomberg reports.

Wells Fargo (WFC -1.6%) and U.S. Bancorp (USB -1.3%) have started buying, leading bond holders to eat the losses.

At the center of the transactions is Ginnie Mae, a government-owned corporation that guarantees the payment of principal and interest on bonds containing mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, and other government agencies.

Under Ginnie rules, banks and other lenders can buy loans out of mortgage...snip

In light of this snip from: https://www.barrons.com/articles/federal-reserve-tells-big-banks-how-much-a-capital-buffer-they-must-have-51597080906:

Big Banks Are Told How Much a Capital Buffer They Must Have. What It Means for Investors.

"The banks have until Oct. 1 to meet the requirement if they have not already done so. The Fed says it supports banks using their capital buffers to lend to businesses and households in a “safe and sound manner.” More at link.

Posted by Backseat Driver | Thu Aug 20, 2020, 01:47 PM (5 replies)

Reading/watching too much sci-fi?

Apparently, another type of over-population is on its way...


The number of digital bits will overtake the number of atoms on Earth within 150 years, according to a new study that warns of an impending 'information catastrophe'.

By 2170, the world will be 'mostly computer simulated and dominated by digital bits and computer code', the study claims.

There will be 133 quindecillion (133 followed by 48 zeroes) bits in existence – the same as the estimated number of atoms on the planet.

However, the power needed to support information transfer will equal all the power currently produced on Earth, leading to ethical and environmental concerns.

Do we need to make plans NOW for a literally "out-of-this-world" expandable/retrievable library/achive/depository?
Posted by Backseat Driver | Mon Aug 17, 2020, 01:22 PM (6 replies)

Well, maybe it's the time of the year, or, maybe, it's the time of man...


Uranus wasn’t discovered until 1781. As one of the outermost planets, it moves rather slowly through the zodiac. The result is that its effect is felt more generationally than individually.


It takes Uranus 84 years to complete its trip around the zodiac. It is an androgynous energy and rules Aquarius and the Eleventh House. Uranus is considered to be the higher octave of Mercury and the first of the transcendental planets.


Uranus will station retrograde on August 15, 2020 at 10°41′ Taurus, and will station direct on January 14, 2021 at 6°43′ Taurus.

Uranus is an electrifying planet in transit that correlates with rapid innovation, unexpected change, and liberation from restrictive circumstances. While its impact by transit is unpredictable, Uranus consistently incites us to live authentically and embrace whatever makes us inspired. Uranus spends five months in retrograde motion, backtracking over the same zodiacal degrees that it activated during the previous seven months and intensifying our desire to deepen more fully into processes of change underway.


Most intense for Taurus
Uranus retrograde will be most intense for Taurus (especially for those with placements in the first 15 degrees of Taurus), as volatile Uranus will reshape the fixed earth of a sign that can stubbornly resist change.

Most challenging for Scorpio, Leo, and Aquarius
Uranus retrograde will be most challenging for Scorpio, since it will form an opposition, and will also be challenging for Leo and Aquarius due to forming a square aspect with them.

Most beneficial for Capricorn and Virgo
Uranus retrograde will be most beneficial for Capricorn and Virgo, as it will form a flowing trine aspect that can aid in making substantial innovations.


snip( Check your sign or the signs of others here)


Any other thoughts or prospectives?

Posted by Backseat Driver | Sun Aug 16, 2020, 01:41 PM (2 replies)

Christian 'Risks-Be-Damned' Hassell: Pushing Dangerous, Taxpayer-Funded Genetic Engineering and Gain

Interesting and pretty decent writing at an unusual site for this type of information including a rehash of the "unsolved" Ameritrax attack.


Any scientific lab work that involves making pathogens more lethal, contagious, infectious, or resistant to disease—even when done, ostensibly, for defensive purposes or medical countermeasures development—is really too risky to do at all.

Especially when you consider that 30 years’ worth of gain-of-function research has produced no vaccine, and no cure for a pandemic.

But perhaps an even better reason to stop experiments that could be used to create biological weapons, or the next pandemic, is the large number of high-profile—some accidental, some nefarious—releases of deadly pathogens from U.S. labs.

One U.S. government scientist who’s been linked, at least indirectly, with at least one gain-of-function research lab failure is Dr. Christian Hassell. (snip)

Posted by Backseat Driver | Fri Aug 7, 2020, 03:03 AM (1 replies)

Our complex's lawn maintenance was here today.

The guy using the weedwhacker whacked my whole row of herbs inside our patio fence! I'm now in mourning my fresh herbs. Guess he did know what a tomato was on the other side of the fence. Just damn! the last of my lush mint, rosemary, basil, sage, dill, cilantro, and stevia - all gone!
Posted by Backseat Driver | Tue Aug 4, 2020, 06:13 PM (13 replies)

Christine Daley, Lehman's Star Distressed Debt Analyst, Dies


(Bloomberg) -- Christine Daley, a veteran analyst who headed Lehman Brothers’ distressed debt team before the firm’s collapse in 2008, has died.

The New York-based investment bank Seaport Global Securities LLC., Daley’s most recent employer, confirmed her death on Sunday. “The firm extends our deepest condolences to Christine’s family,” a spokesperson told Bloomberg News. No cause of death was given. Daley was born in July 1958, according to public records. [snip]

A graduate of the College of New Rochelle and NYU Stern School of Business, Daley joined Bear Stearns in the high yield and bankruptcy department and worked there until 1993. She later became a managing director at Lehman Brothers, where she led the distressed debt and special situations proprietary desk, and oversaw distressed debt and high yield research.

After the collapse of Lehman Brothers during the global financial crisis, Daley joined Oak Hill Advisors in 2009 as managing director of the firm’s investment team. In 2011, she joined River Birch Capital, a hedge fund co-founded by ex-Lehman President and COO Bart McDade that shuttered in late 2018, before switching to Seaport Global.

Read more...[snip]
Posted by Backseat Driver | Mon Jul 27, 2020, 12:37 PM (0 replies)

Amid virus, Nicaragua drops celebration, readies monument


President Daniel Ortega's government is being deterred by the coronavirus from holding the usual mass celebration to mark the July 19 victory of Nicaragua's revolution. Instead, it will unveil a new addition to its collection of monuments in the old city center of Managua. The 3½-ton Peace Bell will toll atop a 55-foot (17 meters) concrete tower not far from a grove of "Trees of Life," the huge abstract steel trees painted in garish colors that were sowed about the capital by Vice President Rosario Murillo, wife of the former revolutionary leader Ortega. Flower gardens and benches will surround the tower.

While the government had announced the bell tower would be inaugurated Friday afternoon, work continued at the site late into the day and there was no ceremony. There was no official announcement of a new time. In one of the few signs that Ortega's government is beginning to take the pandemic more seriously, this will be the first time in 41 years that throngs of people won't gather for the July 19 anniversary of the downfall of dictator Anastasio Somoza. Instead, a virtual concert is to be broadcast Saturday night and the bell will be formally dedicated at some point.

For months the government downplayed the coronavirus, keeping schools open and encouraging mass events while the rest of the world called for social distancing. International health organizations have repeatedly urged the government to take action while the public witnessed "express burials" and spreading illness. Some have criticized the bell project as a whim by Murillo at a time that Nicaragua's already struggling economy has been paralyzed by the pandemic. [snip]

The world has gone crazy! One thing for sure: You can't trust statistics anywhere in the world the admin doesn't want them known. Meanwhile, somewhere along the line, one of the poorest nations with plenty of their own to mourn, raises an expensive bell tower in a bit of landscaped green space.

Posted by Backseat Driver | Sat Jul 18, 2020, 02:08 AM (0 replies)

US sanctions son of Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega


MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- The United States Treasury sanctioned a son of Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo Friday, as well as his communications company,for alleged ties to drug trafficking.

The U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control added Juan Carlos Ortega to its list of “Specially Designated Nationals.” The designation means his assets in the U.S. are blocked and “U.S. persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them.”

Juan Carlos Ortega is the third son of the ruling couple to be sanctioned by the United States. Some 22 people close to Ortega and Murillo have been sanctioned, including Murillo herself, since late 2017. A known Nicaragua political operator, José Mojica, was also added to the list.

There was no immediate reaction from the Nicaraguan government. [snip]

So Munchies came across this, did he?
Posted by Backseat Driver | Sat Jul 18, 2020, 01:51 AM (0 replies)

Has anyone had any success in eliminating magnolia scale

from their flowering magnolia trees/bushes? Mine are about 15-20 ft and those bugs are dripping that honeydew all over the lower leaves that attract bees and wasps at around my front door. Sooty black mold will then feast on it and kill the leaves as well since they won't be able to perform photosynthesis.

I don't want to kill pollinators or other plantings: yew, vinca ground cover, holly, sand cherries or red cane varigated-leaf dogwoods, but hate the thought of those pests sucking all the juice out of my magnolias all summer long thus weakening the whole tree during summer droughts and killing the young branches that flower next spring. Are any systemic pesticides very effective?

I've also heard one could use horticultural oils, possibly Neem oil sprays, to smother the critters if it's sprayed at a very specific time, when "crawlers" emerge, mate, and lay eggs, or dormant oils later, late fall, but these magnolias are very tall.

I can't afford the services of an arborist - HELP!
Posted by Backseat Driver | Mon Jun 29, 2020, 06:38 AM (3 replies)
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