Findings, music, and occasional reflections by Paul Woodward







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Recent Posts

How Trump hopes to use party machinery to retain control of the GOP

The New York Times reports: As President Trump brazenly seeks to delay the certification of the election in hopes of overturning his defeat, he is also mounting a less high-profile but similarly audacious bid to keep control of the Republican National Committee even after he leaves office. Ronna McDaniel, Mr. Trump’s handpicked chairwoman, has secured the president’s support for her re-election to another term in January, when the party is

Trump threatens to wreak havoc on GOP from beyond the White House

Politico reports: President Donald Trump has spent the three weeks since he lost the election savaging a pair of GOP governors for not backing his claims he was robbed. Republicans are worried it’s just the start of what’s in store from the soon-to-be-former president. Trump’s attacks on Govs. Brian Kemp of Georgia and Mike DeWine Ohio — both of whom are up for reelection in 2022 — has led to

Brad Raffensperger: Georgia’s election results are sound

Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, writes: Georgia’s elections have received a lot of unfair and unwarranted criticism over the past two years, much of it spurred by disinformation. The successful November election and the smooth hand recount have proved our critics wrong. Since I took office, we have made great strides in improving election security, reliability and efficiency in Georgia. After years of disastrous elections in Fulton County, we

Newsmax, once a right-wing also-ran, is rising, and Trump approves

The New York Times reports: Flanked by aides in the Oval Office on Wednesday, President Trump dialed up a friend in the news media with a message: Keep up the good work. “He said that it’s just incredible, the ratings you’re getting, and everyone’s talking about it,” recalled Christopher Ruddy, the owner of Newsmax, a niche conservative cable network that has yet to declare a winner in the 2020 presidential

Tiny liquid droplets are driving a cell biology rethink

By Alla Katsnelson, Knowable Magazine, November 18, 2020 The fluid inside a living cell bustles with activity. Proteins, RNA, lipids and other molecules wiggle, zip, glide and drift through this broth — catalyzing reactions, activating receptors, relaying messages, marking viruses and other foreign molecules for destruction and performing a gazillion other tiny but crucial tasks. It all adds up to keep cells — and the life forms they’re a part

How European sailors learned celestial navigation

Margaret Schotte writes: During the 16th to 18th centuries, Europeans embarked on thousands of long-distance sea voyages around the world. These expeditions in the name of trade and colonisation had irreversible, often deadly, impacts on peoples around the globe. Heedless of those consequences, Europeans focused primarily on devising new techniques to make their voyages safer and faster. They could no longer sail along the coasts, taking their directional cues from

Music: Stuart McCallum — ‘Corry Strand’


Federal judge throws out Trump’s bid to ‘disenfranchise almost seven million’ Pennsylvania voters

Law & Crime reports: The Trump campaign cannot block certification of Pennsylvania’s election results, which made Joe Biden President-elect of the United States, based on nothing more than “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusation,” a federal judge ruled in a blistering opinion on Saturday night. “In other words, Plaintiffs ask this Court to disenfranchise almost seven million voters,” U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann wrote in a 37-page opinion.

Trump using last days in office to lock in policies and make Biden’s task more difficult

The New York Times reports: Voters have decided that President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. should guide the country through the next four years. But on issues of war, the environment, criminal justice, trade, the economy and more, President Trump and top administration officials are doing what they can to make changing direction more difficult. Mr. Trump has spent the last two weeks hunkered down in the White House, raging about

Trump has revealed the fragility of the electoral system — and shaken it

The New York Times reports: For the next three weeks, the integrity of American democracy is in the hands of people like Norman D. Shinkle, a proud Michigander who has, until recently, served in relative obscurity on the state board that certifies vote results. But now Mr. Shinkle faces a choice born from the national election turmoil created by President Trump, his preferred candidate, for whom he sang the national

Communities of color continue to die from the coronavirus at much higher rates than Whites

The Washington Post reports: Dennis Bannister’s daughter, Demi, was the first to die. She was only 28, a beloved third-grade teacher who likely caught the virus during a training at her Columbia, S.C., school district. Doctors diagnosed her with a bladder infection, and by the time they realized their mistake, it was too late. Not long after, the family’s matriarch, Shirley, 57, complained of difficulty breathing. She was twice sent

World leaders discuss help for poorest nations in post-Covid world, while Trump golfs

Reuters reports: Leaders of the 20 biggest economies are debating this weekend how to distribute Covid-19 vaccines, drugs and tests around the world so that poorer countries are not left out as nations look for ways to manage a post-coronavirus recovery. The leaders are holding a two-day virtual meeting via video-conference due to the pandemic, under the chairmanship of Saudi Arabia, which holds the rotating presidency of the G20 until

As CDC warns against Thanksgiving travel, here are a dozen more things you can do to help stop COVID-19

While it may be deflating, events like the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade are best watched from home this year. Here, the Harold the Fireman balloon lies face down as he readied for the parade on Nov. 27, 2019. Gary Hershorn via Getty Images By Pamela M. Aaltonen, Purdue University As Americans prepare for the first Thanksgiving in the time of the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

As winters warm, fields left fallow are becoming a major source of greenhouse gas emissions

National Observer reports: Each September, Ashala Daniel sows her fields with winter rye, hoping the seed takes root before the first snows fall. It’s a ritual that could help save the planet. Fields are among Canada’s largest emitters of agricultural greenhouse gases (GHGs), emissions that are at their highest levels in winter. During the freeze-thaw cycle, increased levels of nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane, both potent GHGs, are pumped from

Music: Moska & Zélia Duncan — ‘Carne e Osso’


At America’s best Covid-prepared hospital: ‘We are on an absolutely catastrophic path’

Ed Yong writes: Perhaps no hospital in the United States was better prepared for a pandemic than the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. After the SARS outbreak of 2003, its staff began specifically preparing for emerging infections. The center has the nation’s only federal quarantine facility and its largest biocontainment unit, which cared for airlifted Ebola patients in 2014. The people on staff had detailed pandemic plans. They