Saturday News: Slip-sliding away

DELTA FLIGHT SLIDES OFF RDU RUNWAY DUE TO SNOW: The airfield at Raleigh-Durham International Airport reopened after being closed for a little more than an hour Friday night when a plane landed safely but rolled into mud while taxiing, the airport announced on Twitter. Delta Flight 5501 from Washington, D.C., landed safely and rolled off runway 5L/23R, an RDU spokesperson told The News & Observer. A total of 19 passengers were onboard, the spokesperson said, and no injuries were reported. All passengers were safely transported to Terminal 2, the spokesperson added. Airport crews removed snow from alternate runway 5R/23L, the spokesperson said. Runway 5L/23R remains closed while the aircraft is safely towed off the tarmac, the airport said. A total of 10 incoming flights had been diverted to other airports, and four were delayed, according to the airport’s website. I hate when that happens...

GOVERNOR SEEKS FEMA HELP FOR NURSING SHORTAGES IN CHARLOTTE: With Atrium Health, the state’s largest health provider, Health and Human Services and Emergency Management officials are asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency and assistant secretary for preparedness and response for staffing support, according to a news release. The state is asking FEMA for resources, including additional nurses, Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement. North Carolina has set daily hospitalization records all month, reaching another high Thursday with 4,867 people hospitalized, but health officials said since hospitalizations lag case increases, this number could go higher. To stretch capacity, Atrium Health said it has redeployed staff from urgent care and outpatient centers, limited non-urgent procedures, closed specialty centers and used state-provided flexibilities, but it's above 95% capacity. Unvaccinated people make up 72% of hospitalizations and 83% of COVID-19-related intensive care admissions statewide, officials said. Bolding mine, because irresponsibility and selfishness have reached new heights.

DATA LEAK EXPOSES WHITE SUPREMACIST "PATRIOT FRONT" ACTIVITIES: Terrified of being held accountable for their racist acts and affiliations, Patriot Front members go to great lengths to hide their identities. Leaked chats show members discussing installing license plate flippers or plate covers on vehicles used to attend white nationalist rallies. Terrified of being held accountable for their racist acts and affiliations, Patriot Front members go to great lengths to hide their identities. Leaked chats show members discussing installing license plate flippers or plate covers on vehicles used to attend white nationalist rallies. Another leaked video from inside Patriot Front shows members scouting the ‘Harriet Tubman – Journey to Freedom’ statue in Jackson County, NC. They discuss sabotaging the park’s electrical system in order to possibly shut off security cameras while defacing the statue. (“Have we considered [cameras] across the street? Think they would reach that far…can we disarm them?” “If everyone’s wearing what we’re supposed to be wearing, then it wouldn’t matter.”) One of the men the video shows casing the Tubman memorial wore a shirt reading ‘Legalize Arson.’ Patriot Front has aimed to terrorize non-white and pro-racial justice communities around the U.S. by trying to damage and deface murals and Black Lives Matter art by placing racist messages and other actions at the direction of its national leadership and regional Network Directors. The pattern of activity mainly centers around an aggressive propaganda strategy distributing ‘promat’ (‘promotional materials’) pushing the group’s name, website, and white nationalist views. Members are required to submit proof of weekly ‘activism’ tasks and are criticized, scolded and punished when they fail to meet their expected quotas. These weasels don't have a fraction of the courage Harriet Tubman did. But that doesn't mean they're not dangerous.

RUDY GIULIANI'S ILLICIT ACTIVITIES ARE ABOUT TO COME TO LIGHT: The retired federal judge assigned to review the contents of 18 electronic devices seized from Rudolph W. Giuliani’s home and offices in Manhattan last spring has withheld about half of what former president Donald Trump’s personal lawyer argued should be kept out of the hands of investigators because it was privileged. More than 3,000 communications were released to prosecutors on Wednesday, an action reflected in a four-page report submitted to a judge overseeing litigation on the FBI’s April 28 seizure of Giuliani’s phones and computers. The contents of the devices were not disclosed. The Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office has been investigating Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine while he was representing Trump. Prosecutors have said Giuliani might have acted as an unregistered foreign agent, which was the basis for the agents’ search. Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine played heavily in Trump’s first impeachment trial. He was alleged to have tried to pressure Ukraine’s president into announcing an investigation into President Biden and his son Hunter in the lead-up to the 2020 campaign. In October 2019, two of Giuliani’s associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were arrested at Dulles International Airport on campaign finance violations, including for using foreign funds to support U.S. political candidates. Parnas and Fruman also were said to have assisted Giuliani in his efforts to pressure Ukrainian officials to make an announcement that would be detrimental to Biden. And considering the current situation between Russia and the Ukraine, Trump's fondness for Putin and the threat of withholding defense funding for Ukraine takes on a much more sinister tone. Threatening another country's freedom and autonomy for personal political gain is beyond shameful, but it was business as usual for Trump.

IF SOMEONE ASKS YOU WHAT ARE LAGRANGE POINTS, ANSWER WITH GRAVITAS: In the 18th century, Italian French mathematician Joseph-Louis Lagrange determined that celestial bodies’ overlapping gravity wells would produce areas where the pull of gravity and the push of centrifugal force would offset. A small object at such a point would not fall toward the sun or Earth, but would remain more or less stable. These are the Lagrange points. Ordinarily, an object orbiting closer to the sun’s gravity well would have a faster orbit. An object orbiting farther away from the sun would have a slower orbit. In addition to the sun’s gravity, though, Earth’s gravity also pulls on objects at these points, slowing the orbit of objects at L1 and speeding up objects at L2. Objects at these points orbit the sun at “Earth speed” as they balance between the gravity wells. The James Webb Space Telescope will orbit L2. It won’t be the first space observatory to come here: Several have set up shop around L2, including the European Space Agency’s Herschel and Planck space observatories in 2009, NASA’s own Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, which operated here from 2001 to 2010 and China’s Queqiao satellite that allows communication with the Chang’e 4 probe on the moon’s far side. This particular Lagrange point is not completely stable: The interweaving pulls of gravity between Earth, the moon, the sun and other forces will require the James Webb Space Telescope to make occasional, minor adjustments to maintain its orbit around L2. The spacecraft is designed to carry enough propellant to make these adjustments for at least 10 years. However, NASA reports that a smoother-than-anticipated journey to the Lagrange point will leave the James Webb telescope with additional fuel, extending its useful life span. LaGrange basically taught himself math, and was teaching calculus to others while he was still a teenager.



That is my front yard...

and the "yet-to-be-scraped" road I live on. Looks like it will be there for a few days, at least. *sigh*

Enforced shutdown

Republicans won't let Biden force shutting down in the pandemic. I guess god decided we need a break.

Snow days are for thinking.