All You Gotta Do Is Say Yes

Happy Safe Harbor Day!!!!!

As crazy as 2020 is, the idea that I now know the name of “safe harbor day” says it all. Today is the day states are to certify their elections results. While the deadline is not mandatory, it is supposed to provide assurance that a state’s results will not be second-guessed by Congress. Nobody mentioned the President. Unfortunately, Trump can still continue with his many and varied lawsuits. 

Safe Harbor Day, which is always 6 days before the electoral college meets, was implemented as part of the Electoral College Act in 1887, a year with several contested state’s results. It was meant to stop a state from returning two different election results. As of Monday, 47 states have certified results, with only Colorado, Hawaii, and New Jersey left. They will certify by December 14, before the electoral college gatherers in their prospective states. Congress will then officially count the electoral votes during a special joint session on Jan. 6. Then maybe this nightmare will be over, or do we have to wait for inauguration day? I am sick of hearing about failed lawsuits, crazy conspiracy theories, and aggressive phone calls. 

Making Moves

Rashida Jones has been named MSNBC’s new President. She is currently the Senior VP for the company and is taking the place of President Phil Griffin. She is making history as the first Black female executive to run a major cable news network. She officially starts the job in February. Congratulations!

Vaccine Corner

UK: Today, the UK has started vaccinating their population. It started with a 90 year old grandmother. Everyone, however, needs to know – and I know how people feel about science these days- the vaccine is not some instant cure. It takes multiple doses and transmission of the virus does NOT stop between doses. So, that means during the three weeks while you wait to take the second dose, you can pass along COVID.  

FDA: The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) will meet Thursday to review Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use authorization. An initial look at the briefing document confirms the safety and efficacy of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine. So, it’s very likely the vaccine will be approved this week.

Vaccine Summit: Operation Warp Speed is hosting a Vaccine Summit, today. Yes, that is a real factual sentence. This summit/ publicity stunt/look I’m doing something meeting is at the White House with vaccine makers. The Summit is said to be for explaining plans for vaccine distribution. Pfizer and Moderna RSVP’d no.  In a likely unnecessary move, Trump is expected to sign an executive order today to make sure America is first in line for the vaccines produced by America. Of course this show of “America First” comes after the New York Times revealed that Trump turned down/ failed to order more doses from Pfizer last summer. US and Pfizer were in an options agreement to purchase 100M doses from Pfizer, but declined to purchase more when Pfizer offered. So, now he feels silly, thus the executive order, at a vaccine summit, for the world to see. Essentially, the executive order is supposed to ensure that all Americans have access to the vaccine before any manufactured in the US are sent to other countries. However, it won’t be needed until Q2 next year, when he won’t be President.

Two Wrongs?

This past spring, the White House said the Florida COVID-19 dashboard was top notch and contained “the kind of knowledge and power we need to put into the hands of the American people.” Rebekah Jones created that dashboard, but in May she was fired by the Florida Dept. of Health. She said it was for not manipulating data to justify “reopening” the state. Recently, she posted on Twitter with video the police raiding her home and taking her computer equipment. She was running an independent COVID tracker. 

She is accused of illegally accessing the Dept. of Health’s messaging center. Last month, an unauthorized message was sent to the state’s emergency public health team that said “speak up before another 17,000 people are dead. You know this is wrong. You don’t have to be a part of this. Be a hero. Speak out before it’s too late.” It is not definite that she did this because apparently, the health department has crappy cyber security. But, if she did, what did she expect? The government, any part of it, does not like, even wrongly fired former employees, using their systems to send messages. 

Bust A Move

In an effort to attract a younger audience, the International Olympic committee approved breakdancing as an official Olympic Sport this week. There will now be street dance battles at the 2024 Paris Games. They also approved skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing, which can be seen next year in Tokyo. This should be interesting. I’m all in.

Man to “Cow”, “Cow” to Man,Impossible To Say Which Was Which

Last week, I wrote about chicken, grown from chicken cells, but what about a steak grown of human cells. Yes, an artist, Orkan Telhan, made a nauseating statement to criticize the meat industry by displaying a steak grown from human cells at the Design Museum in London. Telhan is also an associate professor of fine arts at the Stuart Weitzman School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania. He worked with scientists on the project, that included 3-D printed pancakes, bioengineered bread, and genetically-modified salmon. The steak of course was the most talked about. He called it the “Ouroboros Steak,” which was made from human cells and expired blood. Just gross. An Ouroboros is a symbol of a snake eating its own tail and often denotes wholeness and infinity. The artist said that the “ouroboros steak examines, but does not promote, auto-cannibalism as a satirical take on the increasing demand for meat products around the world.” His goal was to start a conversation about meat consumption but, of course everyone is distracted by the grossness of this entire thing. Eww, just eww.