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Butterflies offer beauty and a lot of science

butterflies offer beauty and a lot of science

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Chris Enroth University of Illinois Extension
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4:07 am CDT, Saturday, August 15, 2020

A tiger swallowtail butterfly flutters through a field.
A tiger swallowtail butterfly flutters through a field.

Photo: Penny Moore-Garner

Photo: Penny Moore-Garner

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A tiger swallowtail butterfly flutters through a field.
A tiger swallowtail butterfly flutters through a field.

Photo: Penny Moore-Garner

Butterflies offer beauty and a lot of science

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Like a lot of parents, we have decided to homeschool our children. Right now, I’m trying to remember what in the heck did I do in third grade? Time to brush up on the reading, writing and arithmetic skills.

Sidenote: I should probably start a therapy fund for my kids when they get older.

One subject I have a bit of experience with is science. It was always my favorite subject in school, after recess of course. You might be thinking, how am I going to teach science? I don’t have Bunsen burners and beakers. Fortunately, science is all around us.

Many people, myself included, thought of science as an ivory tower of facts. It wasn’t until I was in the field, I saw that it is far …

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Two Million Californians Go Dark and the Heat Is Just Beginning

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(Bloomberg) — As many as two million Californians were plunged into darkness over the course of four hours late Friday in the first rolling blackouts to hit the state since the 2001 energy crisis.And that was only Day One. A relentless heat wave is expected to blanket California through the middle of next week, sending temperatures soaring past 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius) in some parts. People blasting their air conditioners and fans to keep cool are straining the region’s power system and raising the specter of a repeat of Friday’s sudden and largely unannounced outages.It started at about 6:30 p.m. local time on Friday, when California’s grid operator determined through a complex calculation that the state’s power reserves had fallen below a critical threshold and called a Stage 3 grid emergency, which triggers what it describes as “load interruption.” The last time such a declaration was made during the 2000 and 2001 electricity crisis, hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses took turns being plunged into darkness, power prices surged to a record and the state’s largest utility was forced into bankruptcy.“We had an energy shortfall,” Anne Gonzales, a spokeswoman for grid manager California Independent System …

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Texan authorities issue cease & desist order against cryptocurrency credit card scheme – FinanceFeeds

texan authorities issue cease & desist order against cryptocurrency credit card scheme – financefeeds

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The order targets Lance Angus Jerrard and his companies, Liquidity Gold Trust, Liquidity Gold Solution LLC and Liquidity Global Card Solution (PTY) LTD.

Texas Securities Commissioner Travis J. Iles on Friday entered an emergency cease and desist order to stop South African firms from fraudulently recruiting Austin residents to participate in a cryptocurrency credit card scheme.
The order targets Lance Angus Jerrard and his companies, Liquidity Gold Trust, Liquidity Gold Solution LLC and Liquidity Global Card Solution (PTY) LTD. The order accuses them of running advertisements on 590 AM KLBJ Radio, a radio station that broadcasts in Austin, Texas. They are also allegedly promoting their scheme through internet websites and social media, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Their pitch is built on cutting-edge blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. According to the order, the companies are promoting the Liquidity Card, claiming it is a Mastercard that functions like a traditional debit card. The Liquidity Card, however, works with stablecoins, which are cryptocurrencies pegged to fiat money or other assets to minimize volatility in price. In this case, the Liquidity Card purportedly works with USD Coin (USDC), TrueUSD Coin (TUSD) and PAX Coin (PAX).
According to the order, the companies are touting the …

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What the far-left might learn from Cardinal Bellarmine’s view of science

what the far-left might learn from cardinal bellarmine’s view of science

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(RNS) — If we know anything about the long-running culture war between faith and science, we know that conservative religious types will stifle scientific data if it challenges their ideological orthodoxy. This narrative extends back at least to the Renaissance, when the Catholic Church forced Galileo Galilei to recant his support for the idea that the Earth moves around the Sun.
These days, the positions seem to have flipped. From Bari Weiss’ dramatic resignation from The New York Times in July to recent banter on Twitter about “wokeism,” the accusations of stifling orthodoxy have flowed toward certain kinds progressives, who have chilled and even censored free and open debate of complex topics in the name of a faith whose god is wokeness.
This use of quasi-religious language has been noted in quarters critical of “wokeism” — a lamentable term that nonetheless expresses how much it looks and acts like a religion in the middle of an awakening.
Galileo Galilei, 1636 portrait by Justus Sustermans. Image courtesy of Creative Commons
We are faced with Washington Post headlines that refer to “problematic books” and disturbing images of book-burning at the Portland protests. June saw the #ShutDownSTEM movement to raise awareness of ways in which science …

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INTERNET CENSORSHIP IN CHINA IMPACTS GLOBAL TRADE – Global Trade Magazine

internet censorship in china impacts global trade – global trade magazine

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Andrea Durkin is the Editor-in-Chief of TradeVistas and Founder of Sparkplug, LLC. Ms. Durkin previously served as a U.S. Government trade negotiator and has proudly taught international trade policy and negotiations for the last fifteen years as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service program.

This article originally appeared on TradeVistas.org. Republished with permission.

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Conservatives self-censor, and it gets worse with more time spent in college

conservatives self-censor, and it gets worse with more time spent in college

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A new public opinion survey conducted by the Cato Institute examines the relationship between political views and self-censorship. The poll of 2,000 Americans ages 18 and older found that most Americans who identify as conservative self-censor, and this self-censoring gets worse with more time spent in higher education.According to the survey, 62% of Americans “say the political climate these days prevents them from saying things they believe because others might find them offensive,” up from 58% in 2017. While 77% of Republicans said they self-censor, only 52% of Democrats said they do.
Even more telling is that staunch liberals were the only political segment of whom a majority, 58%, felt they could share their political views freely. A majority of the other political groups self-censor—52% of liberals, 64% of moderates, and 77% of conservatives and strong conservatives.
This new poll corroborates what most conservatives and Republicans already know—their views and opinions aren’t welcome in certain parts of society where woke liberalism has replaced the tradition of a free exchange of ideas.
Colleges are likely making this problem worse.
The higher an American rises in academia, the more likely she will self-censor her views if she is a conservative.
Among employed Americans, 32% worry that their careers would be …

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Hertz Names New Finance Chief After Jamere Jackson Steps Down

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Hertz Global Holdings sought chapter 11 protection in May as Americans reduced travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Aug. 14, 2020 8:10 pm ET

Hertz Global Holdings Inc.

promoted its chief accounting officer to chief financial officer, succeeding Jamere Jackson, who the company said resigned to pursue a new opportunity.

The bankrupt car-rental company appointed R. Eric Esper, its head of accounting since November 2018, as CFO, effective immediately. Mr. Esper previously served as the company’s controller and before that worked in various finance roles at

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

His annual base salary will increase to $510,000 from $375,000 as part of the move, Hertz said. Mr. Esper will retain responsibility for accounting, according to a spokeswoman.

R. Eric Esper.

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Hertz Global Holdings Inc.

Mr. Jackson, who had been CFO since September 2018, will remain with Hertz until Sept. 11 to assist with the transition and will forfeit his retention bonus, the Estero, Fla.-based company said in a filing with regulators.

Hertz is one of several companies in recent months that have paid bonuses to senior executives shortly before filing for chapter 11, a move …

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Boston Fed Bank explores cryptocurrency with MIT

boston fed bank explores cryptocurrency with mit

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“We’re not building this for tomorrow, we’re building this for future years,” said Jim Cunha, senior vice president at the Boston Fed.Boston Fed Assistant Vice President Robert Bench is working for Cunha to rip apart what makes cryptocurrency — sold as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and more — be so successful.
The idea, both explained, is to “leverage the cutting-edge technology” and determine if government-backed currency can be dollars, cents and Bitcoin.
“We’re really trying to understand what the technology can offer and if it’s a path we’d like to go down,” Cunha told the Herald. “I liken it to the early days of the internet” when opinions varied on the longevity of the medium.
We know how that story played out.
Now cryptocurrency is on the upswing as some questions about the dollar bill spread with fears of the coronavirus. As of Friday evening, one Bitcoin was selling for $11,785 — up 27.51% over the past month, according to the Coinbase app.
But don’t toss your paper money just yet, Bench said.
“When you’re dealing with something as high stakes as the U.S. dollar, you can’t break it,” Bench said. “Part of the great success …

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How will COVID-19 affect the coming flu season? Scientists struggle for clues

how will covid-19 affect the coming flu season? scientists struggle for clues

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Fearing that a combination of seasonal influenza and COVID-19 will overwhelm hospitals, many countries are stepping up campaigns to increase flu vaccination.

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By Kelly ServickAug. 14, 2020 , 4:30 PM

Science’s COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Pulitzer Center and the Heising-Simons Foundation.

In March, as the Southern Hemisphere braced for winter flu season while fighting COVID-19, epidemiologist Cheryl Cohen and colleagues at South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) set up a plan to learn from the double whammy. They hoped to study interactions between seasonal respiratory viruses and SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. Does infection with one change a person’s risk of catching the other? How do people fare when they have both?

But the flu season—and the answers—never came. NICD’s Centre for Respiratory Disease and Meningitis, which Cohen leads, has logged only a single flu case since the end of March. In previous years, the country’s surveillance platforms have documented, on average, about 700 cases during that period, Cohen says. “We’ve been doing flu surveillance since 1984, and it’s unprecedented.” 

Related

Some cases probably got overlooked as clinics temporary closed and people with mild symptoms avoided medical offices and clinics, …

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