California, already short of electricity, is faced with more shortages as they shut power plants

The State is short of the power demanded during some summer periods. Under state de-carboning rules, they are shutting gas power plants – plus their only nuclear plant. This puts the state in a bind as it also sees demand increases from increasing population and EVs.

The state is contending with the coming loss of gas-fired power plants and its last remaining nuclear facility in a planned transition to renewable energy.

Source: California Scrambles to Find Electricity to Offset Plant Closures – WSJ

If you’ve got the cash (i.e. the elite), probably best to install solar PV and a large battery bank to keep the lights on.

Sadly, there are people who think the U.S. should do this too

There are people who think we should be doing this in the U.S. too..

China is setting up isolation/quarantine facilities where persons will be cut off from human contact. Everyone arriving from outside the country , vaccinated or not, will be detained in these facilities for 2 weeks.

There are people who still think ZeroCovid, forever, is a viable solution.

No it isn’t: Missouri governor says viewing HTML source code containing private data the state published on every page, is a crime 

Republican Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday condemned one of Missouri’s largest newspapers for exposing a flaw in a state database that allowed public access to thousands of teachers’ Social Security numbers, even though the paper held off from reporting about the flaw until after the state could fix it.

Source: Missouri governor slams newspaper for uncovering state data security flaw | NewsNation Now

The state’s education department online database public interface posted private information within the HTML page layout code, easily visible by (in many browsers) right clicking on the page and selecting View Page Source.

The Governor thinks it is a crime to right click in your browser and view the HTML source that the state’s web site delivered directly to every user of the web site, and has asked the state and a prosecutor to conduct an investigation.

The Missouri Governor, when it comes to information security laws, is an idiot. Lots more here.

Gallup poll: “Americans Revert to Favoring Reduced Government Role”

Likely an effect of authoritarian rule the past 19 months:

Americans once again say the government is doing too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses.

Source: Americans Revert to Favoring Reduced Government Role

Suggests the Democrats are out of step with their constituents, as Democrats push for a massive expansion of government and eventually, taxes too. Regardless, there is not overwhelming support for massive government expansion envisioned by Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda now stalled in Congress.

California’s port shipping container problem may be self inflicted wound

California passed it’s AB5 law that changed the classification of many workers from independent contractors to being required to be hired as full time employees.

Many in the trucking industry had operated as “owner-operators” who operate their own trucks under contract to others.

The effect, according to many, is that many industries were no longer able to hire independent contractors. There is a summary of some of the issues in this Reuters article: No SCOTUS review of California law’s impact on trucking industry | Reuters

It is quite possible – and perhaps likely – that the shipping capacity problem was directly created by the California legislature – a problem that many warned of before the Act became law.

There have been many court cases on AB5 and I do not know where, collectively, the effect of those cases ends up in terms of impacts on the trucking industry.

U.S. Covid status by the numbers

Peak day of new positive test “cases” as August 30th.

Peak day of hospitalization was almost the same day.

Peak day of deaths was September 23d, 3 weeks ago.

No one can explain any of this. My state attributes its curve to its strong leadership and requiring fully vaccinated people to wear face masks outdoors.

But 36 states have no mask mandates for anyone, indoors or out, and their curves are the same.

There is no consistent explanation for any of this except most of what we do (NPIs) are a pretend game that we are doing something and we are in control.

Here is the Kinsa forecast for one week out:

Note that Oregon, the only state in the country to require fully vaccinated to wear masks indoors and outdoors, is still among the “spreading” category while Florida, and Texas, which have basically no rules, are in the “falling” category. Everything makes sense, of course.

September 23, 2021: CDC finally says its okay to wear N95 masks

They still tell people to wear cloth masks but now says its okay for non-essential worthless members of the public to wear masks that actually work:

Updates as of September 23, 2021

Added considerations for use of NIOSH-approved respirators because the availability of NIOSH-approved N95 respirators has increased significantly over the last several months

Source: Types of Masks and Respirators | CDC

They also now suggest wearing masks meeting ASTM F3502 standard. Face plant.

They now suggest wearing “respirator” masks (N95, KN95, FFP2, etc), but note that 60% of KN95 masks sold in the U.S. do not meat NIOSH requirements.

They also acknowledge that “certain types of facial hair” (e.g. beards) harm the effectiveness of masks.

Remember that this mostly agrees with pre-pandemic research which found cloth masks useless, surgical masks somewhat effective, and N95-type masks mostly effective. In April 2020, the CDC told us to wear bandanas and cloth facial masks made of pillow cases and t-shirts.

It’s taken them one and a half years to recognize their masks advice has been largely bull shit since April of 2020. Idiots.

Here is a chart illustrating the effectiveness in controlling Covid-19. The gray line is the daily number of new cases in Victoria, Australia, which has had among the strictest restrictions in the world, enforce by the police, on horseback, in helicopters, with police dogs, and the Australian military. As you can clearly see, the mask mandate crushed the curve – if you turn the chart upside down, apparently.

How many workers on the job at a typical fast food restaurant?

While waiting for an order to be fulfilled, I count the number of staff working at fast food restaurants, espresso cafes, and so on.

In the past, there were usually 6 to 9 workers at typical fast food restaurants.

Currently, there is a staff shortage – yet no coherent and consistent explanation as to why.

During this, I’ve see as few as 3 workers in a fast food restaurant – which means long wait times for customers.

How will this get solved? With a lot more tech.

Wendy’s Just Struck a Deal That Will Drastically Change the Way It Operates

Fast-food chains are gearing up their tech capabilities and soon, the landscape of the industry will be changed forever.

Source: Wendy’s Just Struck a Deal That Will Drastically Change the Way It Operates

You’ve likely already seen self-order kiosks at McDonalds. There are also tablet ordering systems at some restaurants, and mobile apps for self orders are ubiquitous now. These reduce the staff needed for taking orders.

A few restaurants are using automatic burger frying systems, reducing  kitchen staff. Some restaurants have automated as many processes as they can and customers may have no human interaction with staff at all!

These changes were going to occur pre-pandemic – eventually. But a combination of issues – labor demands, then labor shortages, and rapidly falling prices for tech – mean automation and customer self service is here to stay.

A lot fewer workers will be needed in future fast food outlets.

What is Long Covid?

The WHO estimated that 10% to 20% of Covid-19 patients experienced lingering symptoms for months following infection.These prolonged symptoms can include persistent fatigue, breathlessness, brain fog and depression.

Source: Long Covid: What you need to know as WHO publishes formal definition

Other definitions, before this, were someone that experiences 1 or more symptoms (often fatigue or brain fog) 3 to 4 weeks after getting sick.

Earlier today I saw people on social media thinking that most cases of Covid will result in Long Covid (not true), and that Long Covid will last for life (also not true, in general).

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