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Wicked Blue

Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Maryland
Home country: United States
Member since: Tue Aug 11, 2020, 08:58 PM
Number of posts: 3,141

Journal Archives

Girl Scouts Have Millions of Unsold Cookies as Pandemic Takes a Bite Out of Sales

By Dee-ann Durbin
NBC News

The Girl Scouts have an unusual problem this year: 15 million boxes of unsold cookies.

The 109-year-old organization says the coronavirus — not thinner demand for Thin Mints — is the main culprit. As the pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons.

“This is unfortunate, but given this is a girl-driven program and the majority of cookies are sold in-person, it was to be expected,” said Kelly Parisi, a spokeswoman for Girl Scouts of the USA.

The impact will be felt by local councils and troops, who depend on the cookie sales to fund programming, travel, camps and other activities. The Girl Scouts normally sell around 200 million boxes of cookies per year, or around $800 million worth.


BuzzFeed News Has Won Its First Pulitzer Prize

Source: Buzzfeed News

BuzzFeed News won a Pulitzer Prize on Friday for a series of innovative articles that used satellite images, 3D architectural models, and daring in-person interviews to expose China’s vast infrastructure for detaining hundreds of thousands of Muslims in its Xinjiang region. The Pulitzer Prize is the highest honor in journalism, and this is the digital outlet’s first win since it was founded in 2012.

And the FinCEN Files series from BuzzFeed News and the International Consortium of Journalists, the largest-ever investigative reporting project, which exposed corruption in the global banking industry, was honored as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. A former US Treasury Official was sentenced to prison just last week for leaking the thousands of secret government documents that served as its genesis.

The Xinjiang series won in the International Reporting category and was recognized as a finalist in the Explanatory Reporting category, and the FinCEN Files was recognized as a finalist in the International Reporting category. BuzzFeed News has been a Pulitzer finalist twice before.

Pulitzer Prizes were also awarded to the Minneapolis Star Tribune for their coverage of George Floyd’s killing by police and its aftermath. Darnella Frazier, the teen who recorded the viral video of Floyd’s death, received a special citation from the Pulitzer Prizes. The Boston Globe won for investigative reporting that uncovered systemic failures by state governments to share information about dangerous truck drivers. Ed Yong of the Atlantic won the Explanatory Reporting prize for his pieces on the COVID-19 pandemic. He shared the prize with a team of Reuters reporters for their examination of how “qualified immunity” shields police who use excessive force from prosecution.

Read more: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/davidmack/pulitzer-prize-buzzfeed-news-won-china-detention-camps?origin=web-hf

Cicada flipping!

Flipping over 17-year cicadas that are struggling helplessly on their backs has become a thing in my part of Maryland.

Someone posted on NextDoor that she was helping the little critters right themselves, and in almost no time dozens of others admitted to doing the same. And like me, almost everyone thought they were the only ones doing it.

I was surprised and pleased to learn that so many folks are being kind to our temporary visitors.

New York City is sending vaccination buses to beaches and parks this Memorial Day weekend

By Mirna Alsharif, CNN
Updated 8:56 PM ET, Thu May 27, 2021

(CNN) New York City is posting buses at beaches and parks over the Memorial Day weekend offering free Covid-19 vaccinations, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday.

"We're going to go the extra mile, whatever it takes," said de Blasio. "You're going to see our vaccine buses out all over New York City the next few days."

He added, "Go, get vaccinated, hit the beach. Real simple."

New Yorkers can expect to see buses at spots including Brighton Beach, the Rockaways, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Central Park and Governors Island, he said.


Microsoft says SolarWinds hackers have struck again at the US and other countries

By Jill Disis and Zahid Mahmood, CNN Business
Updated 11:27 AM ET, Fri May 28, 2021

Hong Kong/London (CNN Business) -- The hackers behind one of the worst data breaches ever to hit the US government have launched a new global cyberattack on more than 150 government agencies, think tanks and other organizations, according to Microsoft.

The group, which Microsoft calls "Nobelium," targeted 3,000 email accounts at various organizations this week — most of which were in the United States, the company said in a blog post Thursday.

It believes the hackers are part of the same Russian group behind last year's devastating attack on SolarWinds — a software vendor — that targeted at least nine US federal agencies and 100 companies.

Cybersecurity has been a major focus for the US government following the revelations that hackers had put malicious code into a tool published by SolarWinds. A ransomware attack that shut down one of America's most important pieces of energy infrastructure — the Colonial Pipeline — earlier this month has only heightened the sense of alarm. That attack was carried out by a criminal group originating in Russia, according to the FBI.


Bread Stapled To Trees - from Bored Panda

I want one that feeds me tomatoes while I'm online

Partly cloudy with a chance of cicada pee

Washington Post
Capital Weather Gang
By Kevin Ambrose
May 25, 2021 at 12:33 p.m. EDT

Cicadas pee a lot, particularly during warm days. And when thousands of cicadas are perched overhead on tree branches, their pee falls to the ground like a gentle rain shower.

Their pee is like watery tree sap, so it’s wise to wear a hat when walking in the woods this month. But it’s harmless, just like the cicadas that squirt it out.

“It feels like when a rain just starts, and you get a small drop or two and say, ‘Is it starting to rain?’” Paula Shrewsbury, a professor of entomology at the University of Maryland, wrote in an email. "Instead, now you say, ‘Is that cicada pee?’ So little specks of wet, and it never gets any stronger than that.”


"As adults, cicadas are active on the hottest days because they can tap into the dilute, watery xylem fluid of deciduous trees,” wrote Daniel Gruner, who also teaches in U-Md.’s entomology department. “Evaporation of moisture cools their bodies by as much as five to 10 degrees, just as humans sweat and dogs pant, but an excess of fluids forces them to pee liberally.”


At least they pee liberally, not conservatively.

Jeff Bezos will step down as Amazon CEO on July 5

Source: CNN

New York -- Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will officially step down from his role as chief executive on July 5, he announced during the company's annual shareholder meeting Wednesday.

Bezos will hand the reins to Andy Jassy, who currently runs Amazon Web Services, after a nearly three-decade run leading the internet giant that made him one of the richest people in the world. Bezos will become Amazon's executive chair.

The company first announced the leadership change as part of its February earnings report, saying Jassy would take over during the fiscal third quarter. Amazon (AMZN) had not previously shared the precise date of the transition.

The timing is "sentimental," Bezos said — July 5 is the date Amazon was incorporated in 1994.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/26/tech/jeff-bezos-andy-jassy-amazon-ceo/index.html

Court orders Shell to slash CO2 emissions in landmark climate ruling

Source: CNN

London -- A Dutch court has ruled that Royal Dutch Shell must dramatically reduce its carbon emissions in a landmark climate decision that could have far reaching consequences for oil companies.

The company must slash its CO2 emissions by 45% by 2030 from 2019 levels, according to a judgment from a district court in The Hague on Wednesday. That includes emissions from its own operations and from the energy products it sells.

This is the first time that a court has ruled a company needs to reduce its emissions in line with global climate goals, according to Friends of the Earth Netherlands, an environmental campaigning group that brought the case against Shell (RDSA).

The verdict could pave the way for similar cases to be brought in other countries, holding oil companies liable for greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/26/business/shell-court-case-climate-change/index.html
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