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News 20.12.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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News 20.12.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@miacarolina_r
News 20.12.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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News 20.12.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@fakerstrom

“It just doesn’t sit right with me,” begins a TikTok by a user named Evelyn Juarez. It’s a breakdown of the tragedy at Astroworld, the Travis Scott concert in early November where eight people died and more than 300 were injured. But the video isn’t about what actually happened there. It’s about the supposed satanic symbolism of the set: “They tryna tell us something, we just keep ignoring all the signs,” reads its caption, followed by the hashtags #wakeup, #witchcraft, and #illuminati.

Juarez, a 25-year-old in Dallas, is a typical TikToker, albeit a quite popular one, with 1.4 million followers. Many of her videos reveal an interest in true crime and conspiracy theories — the Gabby Petito case, for instance, or Lil Nas X’s “devil shoes,” or the theory that multiple world governments are hiding information about Antarctica. One of her videos from November suggests that a survey sent to Texas residents about the use of electricity for critical health care could signify that “something is coming and [the state government] knows it.”

Her beliefs are reminiscent of many others on the internet, people who speak of “bad vibes,” demonic spirits, or a cosmic calamity looming just over the horizon, one that the government may be trying to keep secret. Juarez tells me she was raised Christian, although at age 19 she began to have a more personal relationship with God outside of organized religion.

Read the rest of this article at: Vox

News 20.12.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 20.12.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

When, in the nineteen-nineties, the grand and strange rock band known as Radiohead rose to fame, word began spreading excitedly among younger classical-music nerds: we now had someone on the inside. If an arena-filling band was inserting multi-octave octatonic scales into guitar anthems or derailing string arrangements with cluster string chords, the likelihood was strong that a modern-classical mole had penetrated the inner sanctum of pop power. The agent was soon unmasked as Jonny Greenwood, the band’s lead guitarist, who, in the past two decades, has established himself as a concert composer and as a creator of film scores. Once a lanky youth barely visible behind a mop of black hair, Greenwood is now a seasoned fifty-year-old who, in recent weeks, has cemented his status as a leading film composer with the release of three projects: Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Licorice Pizza,” Pablo Larraín’s “Spencer,” and—Oscar voters, this is your cue—Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog.”

Radiohead formed in 1985, under the name On a Friday, when its members were teen-agers attending Abingdon School, near Oxford, England. Greenwood was the youngest one in the band and, at the same time, the most musically versatile; he played guitar, viola, recorder, and keyboards, and had developed a love for twentieth-century classical composers, particularly Olivier Messiaen and Krzysztof Penderecki. In 1991, just as Greenwood was embarking on music studies at Oxford Polytechnic, Radiohead took off. For the next decade, he concentrated his energies on an astonishing sequence of albums: “The Bends,” “OK Computer,” “Kid A,” “Amnesiac.” When, in 2001, I wrote about Radiohead for this magazine, I spoke to Greenwood about his solo compositional ambitions, which were reawakening. I wasn’t surprised when, two years later, Greenwood wrote his first film score, for “Bodysong,” and followed it with two arresting concert pieces, “Smear” and “Popcorn Superhet Receiver.”

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

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News 20.12.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

America was not prepared for COVID-19 when it arrived. It was not prepared for last winter’s surge. It was not prepared for Delta’s arrival in the summer or its current winter assault. More than 1,000 Americans are still dying of COVID every day, and more have died this year than last. Hospitalizations are rising in 42 states. The University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, which entered the pandemic as arguably the best-prepared hospital in the country, recently went from 70 COVID patients to 110 in four days, leaving its staff “grasping for resolve,” the virologist John Lowe told me. And now comes Omicron.

America was not prepared for COVID-19 when it arrived. It was not prepared for last winter’s surge. It was not prepared for Delta’s arrival in the summer or its current winter assault. More than 1,000 Americans are still dying of COVID every day, and more have died this year than last. Hospitalizations are rising in 42 states. The University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, which entered the pandemic as arguably the best-prepared hospital in the country, recently went from 70 COVID patients to 110 in four days, leaving its staff “grasping for resolve,” the virologist John Lowe told me. And now comes Omicron.

Will the new and rapidly spreading variant overwhelm the U.S. health-care system? The question is moot because the system is already overwhelmed, in a way that is affecting all patients, COVID or otherwise. “The level of care that we’ve come to expect in our hospitals no longer exists,” Lowe said.

The real unknown is what an Omicron cross will do when it follows a Delta hook. Given what scientists have learned in the three weeks since Omicron’s discovery, “some of the absolute worst-case scenarios that were possible when we saw its genome are off the table, but so are some of the most hopeful scenarios,” Dylan Morris, an evolutionary biologist at UCLA, told me. In any case, America is not prepared for Omicron. The variant’s threat is far greater at the societal level than at the personal one, and policy makers have already cut themselves off from the tools needed to protect the populations they serve. Like the variants that preceded it, Omicron requires individuals to think and act for the collective good—which is to say, it poses a heightened version of the same challenge that the U.S. has failed for two straight years, in bipartisan fashion.

Read the rest of this article at: The Atlantic

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News 20.12.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

In June 2020, I attended a Black Lives Matter demonstration in north London, not far from my house. My wife had found out about it from friends who’d found out about it on Facebook. We took the kids. Well over 1,000 people went; beyond my immediate circle, I only recognised a few there. The soundsystem was poor and I couldn’t hear what was being said from the stage. We took a knee like Colin Kaepernick while raising a fist like the Black Panthers and held the pose for eight minutes – the length of time Derek Chauvin kept his knee on George Floyd’s neck. Then we clapped, chatted and made our way back to our locked-down homes. I have no idea who called the demonstration. It just happened and then it was gone.

In the weeks before and after, institutions made statements; reviews were announced; social media avatars changed; museums reconsidered their inventory; Labour-led town halls went purple; curricula were revised; statues came down. Overnight, bestseller booklists were filled with anti-racist manuals and explorations of whiteness. This was the virus within the virus: a strain of anti-racist consciousness that spread through the globe with great speed, prompted by a video that had gone viral. Not everybody caught it, but everybody was aware of it, and most were, in some way, affected by it.

All of this happened spontaneously. Like oil waiting for a spark, a dormant constituency of like-minded people were ignited. Whether they were people who had thought a great deal about racism but had found no meaningful way to intervene on the issue, or whether they had been converted from ambivalence to passion by the single event of George Floyd’s death is not known. They were roused and found each other, just like we had that day in London.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

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