Friday Five (gender reveal wildfire edition)

Welcome to the second Friday in September. September, the month when superior people are born.

We’ve had a rare September heat wave this week, coupled with unhealthy air quality thanks to smoke from wildfires each of us and south of us.

It’s time for me to roll out this week’s Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top five stories of the week, five stories about wild fires, five stories about science and sci fi, five stories of interest to queers and our allies, five stories about the pandemic, and five videos (plus notable obituaries and some things that I wrote).

Stories of the Week:

Toppled Confederate monument in Capitol Hill’s Lake View Cemetery won’t be restored. This is one I’ve written about a fe times before, erected in a cemetery where the only Civil War veterans (a very small number) are Union soldiers and sailors. Not single Confederate grave in the place. Good riddance.

In a first, a person’s immune system fought HIV — and won – Analysis of 1.5 billion cells from this rare case found no trace of the virus.

How a Massive Bomb Came Together in Beirut’s Port.

Portland approves strictest ban on facial recognition technology in the U.S..

At Least 37 Million People Have Been Displaced by America’s War on Terror.

This Week in Wild Fires:

West Coast fires: Hundreds of homes burned to ground, Oregon governor says.

Scores of wildfires scorch U.S. West Coast, killing at least eight.

California fire that killed 3 threatens thousands of homes.

‘The entire town is gone’; Malden devastated by wildfires, most homes destroyed.

California wildfires: Gender reveal party blamed for fire.

This Week in Science Fact and Science Fiction:

A weirdly warped planet-forming disk circles a distant trio of stars – The bizarre geometry of this system is the first known of its kind.

This hummingbird survives cold nights by nearly freezing itself solid – The black metaltail goes into a state of suspended animation, becoming ‘cold as a rock’.

Retro Review: “Black God’s Kiss” by C.L. Moore or How to Suppress Women’s Sword and Sorcery Writing.

‘Mighty mice’ stay musclebound in space, boon for astronauts.

Lovecraft Country: making the best of the horror icon – An interview with author Matt Ruff.

This Week in News for Queers and Allies:

Georgia church splits from United Methodists over UM refusal to support gay rights – More than a third of the congregation at Asbury Memorial Church in Savannah are LGBTQ, according to its minister.

For His Birthday, a Gay Atheist Is Raising Money for an LGBTQ-Inclusive Church.

Donald Trump unveils new Supreme Court shortlist packed with deplorable homophobes and it’s bad, bad news for LGBT+ rights.

Texas Assistant AG Fired for Anti-LGBTQ+ and Other Outrageous Tweets.

Feds capture man who detonated bomb in front of a gay gym – He had “substantial quantities of bomb-making materials, numerous weapons,” and body armor in his home.

This Week in the Pandemic:

Emails show HHS official trying to muzzle Fauci – Emails obtained by POLITICO show a top aide at the department dictating what the nation’s top infections disease expert should say during media interviews.

It’s not a scam: Snohomish County contract tracers searching for people who tested positive for COVID – As the county monitors case counts after Labor Day weekend, the health district had to shut down some testing sites due to poor air quality.

‘This is deadly stuff’: Tapes show Trump acknowledging virus threat in February – In a series of on-the-record interviews with Bob Woodward, the president struck a very different tone about the disease.

America Is Trapped in a Pandemic Spiral – As the U.S. heads toward the winter, the country is going round in circles, making the same conceptual errors that have plagued it since spring.

As students return, the deaths of at least six teachers from covid-19 renew pandemic fears.

In Memoriam:

Dame Diana Rigg: Avengers, Bond and Game of Thrones actress dies at 82.

Diana Rigg, Star of ‘The Avengers’ and ‘Game of Thrones,’ Dies at 82.

Joe Ruby, TV writer and producer who co-created Scooby-Doo, dies at 87.

Things I wrote:

Weekend Meme-date 9/5/2020: Just some quickies.

And just what is a “weekend,” three-day or otherwise?

Tuesday Tidbits 9/8/2020: News cycle continues to be disheartening.


Trump Lashes Out Over Report that He Insulted Fallen Soldiers: A Closer Look:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Reformed Neo-Nazi Explains How People Fall Prey to QAnon Online | MSNBC:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Gender Reveal Wildfires, Daniel Prude Protests & Jessica Krug | The Daily Social Distancing Show:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Bruce Springsteen – Letter To You (Official Video):

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Cameron Hawthorn – To Break Hers:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

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