“Proud Boys” better at finger pointing than standing tall – as arrests began

A Proud Boy commander dines with Lindsey Graham before the insurrection gets rolling on Jan 6th

A private Proud Boys audio chat that was made public…shows how the right-wing group fell into dysfunction and finger-pointing as its members got arrested after the US Capitol riot…

“We are f–ked…they are coming for us,” one member said, according to court filings, which say the chat happened on February 1 as the national manhunt for Capitol rioters ramped up.

Another member said that the situation “completely f–king crashes and burns on us.” The same person went on to criticize other Proud Boys who handled communications and security on January 6, saying, “I mean, f–k, ‘tifa looks like professionals compared to us,” referring to Antifa.

Sometimes, you get what you deserve.

Going back to the office? People are quitting instead!

More U.S. workers are quitting their jobs than at any time in at least two decades, signaling optimism among many professionals while also adding to the struggle companies face trying to keep up with the economic recovery…

The wave of resignations marks a sharp turn from the darkest days of the pandemic, when workers craved job security while weathering a national health and economic crisis. In April, the share of U.S. workers leaving jobs was 2.7%, according to the Labor Department, a jump from 1.6% a year earlier to the highest level since at least 2000.

The shift by workers into new jobs and careers is prompting employers to raise wages and offer promotions to keep hold of talent. The appetite for change by employees indicates many professionals are feeling confident about jumping ship for better prospects, despite elevated unemployment rates.

Several factors are driving the job turnover. Many people are spurning a return to business as usual, preferring the flexibility of remote work or reluctant to be in an office before the virus is vanquished. Others are burned out from extra pandemic workloads and stress, while some are looking for higher pay to make up for a spouse’s job loss or used the past year to reconsider their career path and shift gears.

Altogether, human-resource executives and labor experts see a wave of resignations. In a March survey of 2,000 workers by Prudential Financial Inc., one-quarter said they plan to soon look for a role with a different employer.

Been there, done that. That individual act ain’t exactly what’s happening, though. Not when this is described as a wave. Folks have known for a long time how to go about quitting a job, getting something better. Do they just feel better able to do it, right now, having made it past the pandemic?

Apache Plume

This is the top of a small copse of Apache Plume growing along the back fence of lot 4 just at the northwest corner.  I pass it every lap of my exercise walks along the periphery of the lot.  Truly at peak flowering a week ago –  when I snapped this with my iPhone.  Last laps of the day just before sunset.  Background shadowed by the sun almost setting.  A spot of brightness caught this particular bush and I had to stop and grab the image.


A reminder of picturesque Mississippi

Photograph: Emmett Till Interpretive Center

A sign riddled with bullet holes marks the spot where, in 1955, 14-year-old Emmett Till’s mutilated body was pulled from Mississippi’s Tallahatchie River. Two white men lynched Till for allegedly flirting with a white woman. Site markers such as this one were defaced and replaced repeatedly until 2019, when a 500-pound steel sign—bulletproof and indestructible— was installed.

Emmett Till was lynched a few months after I graduated from high school. I remember the news stories – in most of the North – as clearly as anything else about that summer. The so-called trial of the men who murdered that 14-year-old Black youth found them Not Guilty.

Bacteria-sized robots crush microplastic particles

Metallic microrobots (dark blue dots) colonize a jagged piece of microplastic under visible light, breaking down the plastic

Small pieces of plastic are everywhere, stretching from urban environments to pristine wilderness. Left to their own devices, it can take hundreds of years for them to degrade completely…In a proof-of-concept study, researchers reporting in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces developed self-propelled microrobots that can swim, attach to plastics and break them down.

…Previous researchers proposed a low-energy way to get rid of plastics in the environment by using catalysts that use sunlight to produce highly reactive compounds that break down these types of polymers. However, getting the catalysts and tiny plastic pieces in contact with each other is challenging and usually requires pretreatments or bulky mechanical stirrers, which aren’t easily scaled-up. Martin Pumera and colleagues wanted to create a sunlight-propelled catalyst that moves toward and latches onto microparticles and dismantles them.

To transform a catalytic material into light-driven microrobots, the researchers made star-shaped particles of bismuth vanadate and then evenly coated the 4-8 μm-wide structures with magnetic iron oxide. The microrobots could swim down a maze of channels and interact with microplastic pieces along their entire lengths. The researchers found that under visible light, microrobots strongly glommed on to four common types of plastics. The team then illuminated pieces of the four plastics covered with the microrobot catalyst for seven days in a dilute hydrogen peroxide solution. They observed that the plastic lost 3% of its weight and that the surface texture for all types changed from smooth to pitted, and small molecules and components of the plastics were found in the left-over solution. The researchers say the self-propelled microrobot catalysts pave the way toward systems that can capture and degrade microplastics in hard-to-reach-locations.

And in a parallel development, Columbia University scientists have built prototype microrobots – called “motes” – that are only 1 cubic millimeter in size. Who knows? Maybe we can yet succeed in magnetizing conspiracy theory antivax nutballs?