In This Week’s Show, episode 275, we dwell on all the fun options nature has to deal with its human infestation problem.
Now, grab a beer and help us test the god hypothesis — because, while Covid-19 (Coronavirus) hasn’t struck us down yet, we are trying its patience!
Shea’s Life Lesson
This week I learned that you can turn your ordinary sofa into a sofa bed by simply forgetting Valentine’s day…
Jenn’s Actual Lesson
(cough, cough, cough)
But before we get to all that, let’s have a beer!
This Week’s Beer
Red Sunshine by Lucky Bucket Brewing Co. LaVista, NE
Donated By: Brendon
- BA Link: https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/19241/350137/
- BA Rating: 3.63
- Style: American India Pale Ale
- ABV: 6%
- Aaron: 6
- Shea: 9
- Steve: 2
This Week’s Show
Jenn is still fighting off the wee beasties in her system which are trying to sap her of her precious bodily fluids.
I visited her this week and I have to say, “Girl, you take care of yourself. You ain’t well, Coughy McCougherson.”
Dustin Williams wrote to us this week regarding the Even More Jesus beer which Aaron and Steve had nothing good to say about.
What was that again?
Find out at http://patreon.com/w4w right now!
Remember the old brain on drugs commercial where the father figure cracks an egg into an overhot skillet which ruined it for eating? He also said some bullshit, but all I really remember is him destroying that perfectly good egg. You’ve got to be careful about the amount of heat you use or you completely scorch the bottom making it rubbery and/or crunchy. Gross… What were we talking about again?
Oh right, I was going to talk about how being high on the devil’s lettuce can make you overly susceptible to “false memories”. According to the study author Johannes Ramaekers, professor of psychopharmacology at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, as little as one hit of weed doubled study participants number of false memories from a VR scenario. Defining our terms, a false memory a recollection of something that didn’t occur or different that what did occur.
Study co-author, Elizabeth Loftus, said that it’s actually quite easy to distort memories for the details of an event. In many studies over the decades it’s been shown that when witnesses are given misinformation about something they saw, they will remember things that were only suggested not witnessed. She also studied implanting false memories in the 1990s such as making people believe that they had been lost in a mall when they were young and had to be rescued and reunited with family. She said also, that it takes much more effort to plant this type of memory vs distorting details of an actual event.
The current study also found evidence that smoking the good shit can increase the number of false memories of several different types (recalling false details of a scene, being in a VR scenario where they become a poor student who steals a purse, and being asked to recall words they had never been given). Not sure why this happens, the researchers suspect that cannabis activates receptors in the hippocampus (memory center of brain) which produce “fragmentation of thought, loosening of associations and heightened distractibility. (side note: no shit. It’s like these researchers never actually got high on their own supply to learn the normal effects of consuming the green).
The takeaway for now is that it’s probably a good idea for investigative interviewers (ie the fuzz) to minimize questioning of high witnesses and wait for them to come down. Loftus said, “This new work is suggesting authorities need to be extra careful when interviewing somebody,” Loftus said. They should consider removing “them from a situation where they might be exposed to suggestive information that could contaminate their memory.”
- Citation: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/10/health/weed-false-memories-wellness/index.html
Imagine the hell of being trapped on a ship without a port. I’m not talking about some crappy industrial-type ship at least, but a cruise ship. Your week vacation was supposed to be over a week ago, and you’re still there, trapped, because no countries will allow you and your fellow passengers to disembark. Well, that is the plight of the 3700 passengers who are aboard (or were if they’ve been released subsequent to my mention here) the Diamond Princess. Another ship, the World Dream was quarantined in Hong Kong for four days, but all who had reported symptoms tested clean, and everybody was allowed to leave.
On Feb 1st, an 80 year old passenger of the Diamond Princess tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) after disembarking in Hong Kong. This led to the remaining 3700 passengers and crew to be stuck on the ship where it’s currently docked in Yokohama, Japan. As of recording, the number of infected on the ship has risen to 175, and ironically, only those who test positive are allowed to leave the ship for treatment, everyone else has to stay put until at least February 19th.
There’s yet another ship, the MS Westerdam is currently just aimlessly moving about the southern pacific unable to find a place that will let them dock and unload their passengers. Even though they have no coronavirus cases among those aboard, they have been turned away by Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Guam, and now Thailand. The passengers were told they would be allowed to disembark in Bangkok, only to have the rug pulled out from under them. Their scheduled 14-day cruise may end up being a lot longer if cooler heads can’t prevail.
This leads me to the final point of this story. Speaking of cooler heads (or warmer as the case may be), CamSoda, a sex web cam site, is offering 1000 free tokens for web cam sessions to the passengers stuck in their cabins aboard the Diamond Princess. The quarantined passengers can email a copy of their travel documents then livestream with porn stars, provided they can actually use the Princess Cruise wifi (VPN anyone), though their own cell plans or some other arrangement.
So, while getting stuck aboard a cruise ship sounds fucking awful, at least they shouldn’t be stuck watching whatever watered-down bullshit is available on the ship. Now, let’s just hope they don’t run out of booze.
Speaking of running out of booze, an Australian couple had two bottles of Pinot Noir delivered directly to their cabin on the Diamond Princess by the Naked Wine Club via … wait for it… drone.
“Thank God for drones, the Japanese Coast Guard did not know what the fu– was going on.”
- Citations: https://nypost.com/2020/02/11/thailand-turns-away-stranded-ms-westerdam-cruise-ship-amid-coronavirus-fears/
‘Infect me daddy’
Is the weirdest sex thing I’ve read, or… now… said. Thankfully… ish, it’s a quote.
One typically expects a degree of foresight from Trustees, especially those at a University. I mean, not the University of Wyoming, we’ve got a proud and long standing tradition of not that, but at Queen’s, yes, that. The student Trustee, Tyler Macintyre, has stepped down from the Queen’s Board of Trustees following a party last week. A Coronavirus party. Because when has a group of college kids ever really needed a reason to get smashed.
Covid-19, or as it’s known to Corona Extras shagrin, Coronavirus has been fueling beer jokes basically since it first gave someone a runny nose. The natural extension of that being a frat party with plenty of Coronas, limes, face masks, and less than subtle racism. Don’t worry though, there’s an asian dude in the Insta pics, so it’s all good.
“I acknowledge the stigma facing Chinese students at Queen’s at this time. I vehemently oppose any marginalization of the Chinese community on campus, and I deeply regret any legitimization my attendance provided.”
“I am aware that my participation implicitly made light of a serious issue that affects many people, both inside and outside of the Queen’s university community, it was in bad taste and with great insensitivity that some students chose (sic) to hold a party that made light of the very serious coronavirus threat. At a time when our community is struggling with fear, misinformation and ignorance about this public health crisis, this party was justly met with outrage.”
Macintyre said on Facebook.
So yeah. That was dumb. I mean, it’s happening literally everywhere Corona is sold, but still, keep that shit off social media.
When You Say “Fighting Off A Cold”…
The Coronavirus is causing incredible stresses all over the world. I mean, it still rides the dead-people shortbus when you compare it to say, the flu, which has killed scores more people just this month than Corvid-19 has since it was discovered.
Now, thanks to fears of beer-bug’s wrath, people have begun proactively fighting off the illness… by fighting people they think are infected. Because Robitusin doesn’t have shit on a fist in your face. Which is what happened in New York’s Grand Street subway station in Chinatown. Video has surfaced on twitter of a man yelling “infected bitch” at a Chinese woman with a facemask just before punching her in the mask, then kicking the hell out of her.
The New York City Police Department’s hate crimes unit is seeking the public’s help in identifying the man who can be seen kicking and punching the woman in a video posted on Twitter.
“The NYPD and the Hate Crimes Task Force encourages the victim to report this incident to the police for a full investigation,” the task force said in its retweet of a post with the video, captioned, “Chinese woman gets attacked for wearing a mask in NYC.”
Another Twitter user, with the handle @x_ginko, responded to the original tweet by @TonyySays, claiming to have seen the incident.
“She was telling people to move to the right and letting them know she was there. I walked away from her because I wasn’t bothered by it,” @x-ginko wrote.
“When I exited the turnstiles, I saw that a man was talking to her. At [this] point, I was still wearing my headphones, so I couldn’t hear what he was saying. However, when I took off my headphones, I clearly heard the words ‘diseased b—-.’ I also heard her asking him to go away.”
Apparently this has become a problem for China towns all over America as the Coronavirus is famously from Wuhan province in China. Likewise, it’s not uncommon for Asian-American’s, or Asians in America, to wear facemasks out and about. It’s a common thing in China where the air quality is best measured in pounds of shit per breath, or in subways where globally, seriously, from London Metro to NYC and back to Japan, air quality is commonly 40 times more polluted than the local open air.
For the record, as of time of recording, no one in New York City has yet tested positive for the virus.
The world is doomed. And I don’t mean that as some obscure, existential, thought exercise way. I mean we’re properly doomed and you can see the doom if you know where to look.
We’ve talked some about Coronavirus, but let’s be honest, its virility score is a third that of mumps and its kill count is so far behind influenza it’s almost laughable that the world is so preoccupied with it. Like SARS it’s the hot dish at the moment for any news outlet lacking clicks. Meanwhile, the small country of Tuvalu is dying…
And no, its people aren’t especially hard hit by corona-pig-bird-flu-magedon.
The country itself – the landmass – is literally dying.
Leitu Frank, a local housewife and mother of five who grew up on the biggest of the Tuvalu’s tiny islands in the Acapellago describes the problem as “the sea is eating all the sand.” She used to live next to a fairly large – if only in comparison to the island – white sand beach. A paradise by any description. Today, the water nearly touches the walls of her home.
“Before, the sand used to stretch out far, and when we swam we could see the sea floor, and the coral. Now, it is cloudy all the time, and the coral is dead. Tuvalu is sinking.”
Her final comment, “Tuvalu is sinking” has become a local catchphrase. An uncomfortable reminder of the rate of the country’s decline and the effects on the inhabitants.
One could be forgiven for not knowing about Tuvalu, it’s a small country. The fourth smallest in the world actually. Though, you may have heard it’s older colonial name, the Ellice Islands. Like Vanuatu – another tiny nation that I, at least, only knew about because of the Sex Lives of Canibals – the country is really only known to its immediate neighbors, a dispraportionate number of missoinaries, cartographers, and desperate climate scientists.
Think of Key West as its own nation, nesselled in the Pacific ocean between Hawaii and Australia. Except without the literary sights, distilleries, or economy to back it all up.
Part of Polynesia (a subset of Oceania) Tuvalu is northeast of Santa Cruz, northwest of Samoa, and north of Fiji. It’s comprised primarily of three rief islands and 6 smaller “islands” (rocks), Home to just under 12,000 people, has a total landmass of about 26 square kilometers or about 10 square miles, and will soon be uninhabitable.
The “big island” is, at its narrowest point, 20 meters across. Most of the island is barely 3 meters above sea level. It’s basically the set of Pirates of the Caribbean… or Jack of All Trades. The entire island is shaped like a boomerang, it’s hypotenuse a once beautiful lagoon-like shore. One of its shorter sides is taken up almost entirely by the small plane runway that provides imports, the other narrow arm all residential.
Because of Climate Change fueled rising seawater levels and coastal erosion, most estimates say the country has about 50 years left. Those who live there, say fewer.
When people scoff at the idea of 1.5 degrees C changing the global landscape by raising water levels my meer feet, Tuvalu is the country they’re fluffing off. By almost all estimations, Tuvalu will become the first entire country to die because of the Climate Crisis.
Nausaleta Setani, Frank’s aunt, initially didn’t believe in Climate Change. No one needed to “Ok Boomer” her though, in just the last decade she’s watched as the sea has steadily encroached on her home. In just the last few years she too went from having an in-land hut to sleeping at the water’s edge – literally using a buoy as a pillow.
“The weather is changing very quickly, day to day, hour to hour,”
Says Setani, 54, who admits to being paradoxically soothed and disturbed by the ocean lapping near her hut.
“I have been learning the things that are happening are the result of man, especially [from] other countries. It makes me sad. But I understand other countries do what is best for their people. I am from a small country. All I want is for the bigger countries to respect us, and think of our lives.”
The United Nations Development Programme classifies Tuvalu as a resource poor, “least-developed country”, that is “extremely vulnerable” to the effects of climate change.
Unfortunately, perhaps, Climate Change won’t simply drown Tuvalu or its people. The country currently stands as a shambling example of the way Climate Change kills. It’s slow and, without the help of the larger global community, there is no cure or even palliative treatment.
Like many of the islands in the region Tuvalu’s soil was rich and growing pulaka (a local staple) and other fruits and vegetables was easy. As ocean levels have risen the porous soil has become saturated with ocean saltwater. Taro, cassava, and most other staples are now only available via import – at great expense. The salt water intrusion also means that local groundwater supplies have become salinated. Tuvalu is now entirely dependent on rain water, which has been in drastically short supply. One doesn’t typically think of tropical islands lacking rain, but as Climate Change alters local weather cycles, the country has been experiencing longer, more severe, and more regular droughts.
Today, even if Tuvalu had enough salt free soil to plant a garden on, there isn’t enough extra water to keep even a kitchen window garden alive.
With the agricultural areas of the island all but unusable the locals turned to finishing – a stampe food source of most of the islands in the region.
Because the waters have eroded the coast line, pulling sand and pollutants out with them, the make up minerals in the coastal water has drastically changed. The resulting mass-death of Tuvalu’s once beautiful and abundant coral reefs have caused microalgae toxins to be released, which are ingested by the local fish, giving them Ciguatera poisoning. If those fish, now the majority, are consumed by humans the resulting severe flu and food poisoning symptoms can be fatal.
Illness caused by eating infected fish now makes up 10% of the island nations medical caseload. The accompanying increase in average temperature has also enabled significantly greater growth of influenza, fungal diseases, conjunctivitis, dengue fever, and other once easily mitigated illnesses. Never mind heatstroke and dehydration.
Tuvalu’s GDP is largely based on support from neighboring countries and the UN, which is unlikely to change as the country is also facing a brain drain with most of its young people leaving for school in Australia or Fiji.
There are plans of course. Some graduates return home to help care for elders or push back against nature itself. But those plans require resources that just aren’t available. There was a plan to reclaim land at the south of the island by raising land up 10 meters along with barricades but the plan would cost an estimated $300m USD, of which, they’ve raised none.
Australia has joined Tuvalu in looking at floating islands. But even if that nearly science fiction plan came to fruition, the reefs would still die.
The older population holds out hope. The younger generations have begun moving to neighboring countries for the sake of their own children.
The nation’s governing bodies hope that with global climate action from larger nations, they could extend the death neels of their island out to 100 years. Time enough, some hope, to find a solution.
In the meantime Fiji, Australia, and other neighboring countries have offered to let Tuvalu create a new nation-state inside their own borders a la New Asgard. Australia has offered to accept all 12,000 people as new citizens in exchange for the island’s maritime and fishing rights – their only remaining bargaining chip of any real value.
The proposal has been rejected by Prime Minister Sopoaga as “imperial thinking”. He’s still hoping to find a way to stay. He and his government are pushing a new slogan “come what may,” a rallying cry to inspire people to stay in Tuvalu no matter the cost, nore bleek the future.
Still, with most models predicting a meer 12 years remaining to turn the tide, so to speak, of the Global Climate Crises’s forward momentum there seems little hope for Tuvalu.
By all current accounts, those who watch Climate Change and its effects expect the population of Tuvalu to become the world’s first, but certainly not last, mass Climate Change refugee relocation. Some 2000 Tuvaluans have already taken up in a community in Australia hoping to preserve their culture as best they can.
“Many people intend to migrate in response to climate change,”
Says Iona, minister of meteorology who, from the floor of his concrete office has the unenviable task of charting, mapping, and predicting Climate Change’s effect on his country.
“However, most of the older generation do not want to move as they believe the will lose their identity, culture, lifestyle and traditions. But I believe that younger generations intend to migrate for the sake of the future generations.”
As the world’s larger countries continue to do stupid ass shit like drop out of the Paris Climate Accord, the kindest estimates predict 150 to 200 million more Climate refugees in the coming decades.
And with that, Jenn, go breath into a bag for a bit and we’ll be right back with Faith In Humanity Restored.
Next Week’s Beer
Extra Special Red by O’Dell’s Brewing Ft. Collins, CO
- BA Link: https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/267/33503/
- BA Rating: 88
- Style: Imperial Red Ale
- ABV: 8.7%
From Sir Harry Palms the Blind!
A trans student’s class surprised him with the money he needed to legally change his name because they’re great.
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