Florida breaks record with more than 21,000 new COVID cases:

Cars%20line%20up%20at%20a%20COVID-19%20test%20siteFlorida reported 21,683 new cases of COVID-19, the state’s highest one-day total since the start of the pandemic, according to federal health data released Saturday, as its theme park resorts again started asking visitors to wear masks indoors.

The state has become the new national epicenter for the virus, accounting for around a fifth of all new cases in the U.S.

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has resisted mandatory mask mandates and vaccine requirements, and along with the state Legislature, has limited local officials’ ability to impose restrictions meant to stop the spread of COVID-19. DeSantis on Friday barred school districts from requiring students to wear masks when classes resume next month.

The latest numbers were recorded on Friday and released on Saturday on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website. The figures show how quickly the number of cases is rising in the Sunshine State: only a day earlier, Florida reported 17,093 new daily cases. The previous peak in Florida had been 19,334 cases reported on Jan. 7, before the availability of vaccinations became widespread.

The Florida Hospital Association said Friday that statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations are nearing last year’s peak, and one of the state's largest health care systems, AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division, this week advised it would no longer be conducting nonemergency surgeries in order to free up resources for COVID-19 patients.

Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld on Saturday became the latest theme park resorts in Florida to again ask visitors to wear masks indoors, with Universal also ordering its employees to wear face coverings to protect against COVID-19, which has been surging across the state.

All workers at Universal’s Florida park on Saturday started being required to wear masks while indoors as the employees returned to practicing social distancing. The home to Harry Potter and Despicable Me rides also asked visitors to follow federal and local health guidelines by voluntarily wearing face coverings indoors.

“The health and safety of our guests and team members is always our top priority,” Universal said in a statement.

Health officials on Friday announced that coronavirus cases in Florida had jumped 50 percent over the past week with COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state nearing last year’s peak.

SeaWorld on Saturday posted on its website that it was recommending that visitors follow recently updated federal recommendations and wear face coverings while indoors.

The change in policy this week at the theme park resorts came after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that everyone wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

Crosstown rival Walt Disney World started requiring employees and guests older than 2 to wear masks on Friday, but it also went a step further. The Walt Disney Company said in a statement that it will be requiring all salaried and non-union hourly employees in the U.S. who work on-site to be fully vaccinated.

Disney employees who aren’t already vaccinated will have 60 days to do so and those still working from home will need to show proof of vaccination before returning. Disney said it was discussing the vaccine requirements with the union, and added that all new hires will be required to be fully vaccinated before starting work at the company.

Inside the Insurrection on Congress:

Most of the videos we analyzed were filmed by the rioters. By carefully listening to the unfiltered chatter within the crowd, we found a clear feedback loop between President Trump and his supporters.

As Mr. Trump spoke near the White House, supporters who had already gathered at the Capitol building hoping to disrupt the certification responded. Hearing his message to “walk down to the Capitol,” they interpreted it as the president sending reinforcements. “There’s about a million people on their way now,” we heard a man in the crowd say, as Mr. Trump’s speech played from a loudspeaker.

The Advantages of Political Buffoonery:

1) It leads opponents to underestimate the ability and intelligence of the buffoon.

2) It provides deniability — “it was only a joke.”

3) It appeals to core supporters (many Africans loved Amin’s teasing of the former colonial masters).

4) It serves as a distraction from the more serious, perhaps frightening or incompetent, actions of the leader, what we now call the “dead cat” tactic.

5) It leads to ambiguity (was it a joke or not?), producing confusion and uncertainty about how to respond.

Behind all this is clearly what Freud recognized as the aggressive nature of joking. I suggest that buffoonery is, at root, a quintessentially masculine characteristic.

Sound familiar?

A Reevaluation of Jimmy Carter’s Presidency:

“Here’s what people get wrong about Carter,” Will Pattiz, one of the film’s directors tells me. “He was not in over his head or ineffective, weak or indecisive — he was a visionary leader, decades ahead of his time trying to pull the country toward renewable energy, climate solutions, social justice for women and minorities, equitable treatment for all nations of the world. He faced nearly impossible economic problems — and at the end of the day came so very close to changing the trajectory of this nation.”

What We Still Don’t Know About Emmett Till’s Murder – The Atlantic:

Emmett till was killed early on the morning of August 28, 1955, one month and three days after his 14th birthday. His mother’s decision to show his body in an open casket, to allow Jet magazine to publish photos—“Let the world see what I’ve seen,” she said—became a call to action. Three months after his murder, Rosa Parks kept her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus, and she later told Mamie Till that she’d been thinking of Emmett when she refused to move. Almost 60 years later, after Trayvon Martin was killed, Oprah Winfrey channeled the thoughts of many Americans in evoking the memory and the warning of Emmett Till.

He-Man fans hate the new series because it has too much Teela in it | Boing Boing:

But the fans hate it anyway, because the opening “Search for He-Man” plot arc features too much Teela and is too “woke”. The show’s been review-bombed online. Smith is reduced to denouncing He Man’s angry fans in Variety magazine.

The best way to fight back against crap like this is to watch it, praise it, and make sure the loudest voices in the room aren’t the childish conservative snowflakes.

A jailed capitol rioter disapproved of other prisoners throwing feces at him | Boing Boing:

According to Schaffer’s lawyer, while Schaffer was being held in an Indiana jail, he was pelted with feces and faced death threats.”

Poor snowflake.

I Had Stopped Masking—Until Delta – The Atlantic:

But the pandemic is once again entering a new phase that feels more dangerous and more in flux, even for the people lucky enough to have received their lifesaving shots. A more transmissible variant—one that can discombobulate vaccine-trained antibodies—has flooded the world. It’s wreaking havoc among the uninoculated, a group that still includes almost half of Americans and most of the global population. After a prolonged lull, the pandemic’s outlook is grimmer than it’s been in months. I am, for the foreseeable future, back to wearing masks in indoor public places, and there are four big reasons why.

I personally haven’t felt like I could stop with masks in public… Despite being vaccinated, one of my two kids can’t be for a while… So when the vacicnation rate among eligible people basically stopped with less than half done, I have felt like we can’t change behaviors as if the threat was resolved…

The YouTubers who blew the whistle on an anti-vax plot – BBC News:

A mysterious marketing agency secretly offered to pay social media stars to spread disinformation about Covid-19 vaccines. Their plan failed when the influencers went public about the attempt to recruit them.

W.T.A.F… This presents one of the core issues with “citizen journalism” and the fuzzy state non-traditional “news” lives in… Because we only know this happened because a few people spoke up… But we don’t have any way of knowing who didn’t, or how many other campaigns there are like this for other topics.

I love some of the games Blizzard has produced. Overwatch’s PVP focus isn’t for me, but the gameplay would be fun with a PVE focus… The Diablo family is the perfect representation of the genre it birthed, where no other entry really matches the chemistry of the originals… Starcraft and Warcraft are some of the most fun RTS gameplay in their genre… And WoW’s siren call is amplified by the fact that it’s one of the first big games to make an M1 native version a priority.

All that being said, no matter how much I love the games, I can’t give a cent to the company that also breeds these stories:

Activision Blizzard sued by California over constant abuse of women employees | Boing Boing:

At one point Activision Blizzard is described as a “frat house”, but that doesn’t begin to capture the scale and gravity of the allegations. Women punished for becoming pregnant. Women kicked out of lactation rooms. Women punished for leaving the office. African American women denied full employment and subjected to unique requirements. A woman committed suicide on a business trip with a male colleague who brought along lube and butt plugs.

In the office, women are subjected to “cube crawls” in which male employees drink copious [amounts] of alcohol as they “crawl” their way through various cubicles in the office and often engage in inappropriate behavior toward female employees. Male employees proudly come into work hungover, play video games for long periods of time during work while delegating their responsibilities to female employees, engage in banter about their sexual encounters, talk openly about female bodies and joke about rape.

Female employees are subjected to constant sexual harassment, including having to continually fend off unwanted sexual comments and advances by their male co-workers and supervisors and being groped at the “cube crawls” and other company events. High-ranking executives and creators engaged in blatant sexual harassment without repercussions.

In a particularly tragic example, a female employee committed suicide during a business trip with a male supervisor who had brought butt plugs and lubricant with him on the trip.

Its response to this lawsuit is libertarian dogma about “irresponsible behavior from unaccountable State bureaucrats that are driving many of the State’s best businesses out of California.”

Activision Blizzard says interviewing diverse candidates for every opening “unworkable”

Activision Blizzard attorney told the SEC in January, “While the Company has implemented a Rooney Rule policy as envisioned [for director and CEO nominees], implementing a policy that would extend such an approach to all hiring decisions amounts to an unworkable encroachment on the Company’s ability to run its business and compete for talent in a highly competitive, fast-moving market.”

Activision Blizzard’s attorney further said the proposal was micromanaging in nature, and “leaves no room for the Company’s management or Board of Directors to exercise discretion in how new hire decisions are structured.”

Costs and poor leadership were why Blizzard’s Warcraft 3 reboot bombed

With Activision focussing on larger titles, such as Overwatch 2, and laying off 800 of its workforce in 2019, Classic Games would never receive the full support required to recapture Warcraft 3. Nevertheless, they plowed on, and even started taking pre-orders for the game. That left the team committed to releasing the title. A Blizzard spokesman told Bloomberg: “In hindsight, we should have taken more time to get it right, even if it meant returning pre-orders.”

Despite getting help from other Blizzard departments during the final development push, it was too late. The game was so poorly received that demands for refunds were upheld. Even now, 18 months on, the game is missing much of the promised content that it was sold on.