Google Says It Won’t Build AI Tools for Oil and Gas Drillers

Hurricanes Are Getting Stronger ; Virginia Tech Gives Honorary Doctorate to Dog ; and More Picks

Google, AI, oil, gas
The author writes, “Google says it will no longer build custom artificial intelligence tools for speeding up oil and gas extraction, separating itself from cloud computing rivals Microsoft and Amazon. A statement from the company Tuesday followed a Greenpeace report that documents how the three tech giants are using AI and computing power to help oil companies find and access oil and gas deposits in the US and around the world.” Photo credit: Eric Kounce / Wikimedia
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Long-Term Data Show Hurricanes Are Getting Stronger (Mili)

The author writes, “In almost every region of the world where hurricanes form, their maximum sustained winds are getting stronger. That is according to a new study by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Center for Environmental Information and University of Wisconsin-Madison Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, who analyzed nearly 40 years of hurricane satellite imagery. A warming planet may be fueling the increase.”

Georgia GOP Cancels Supreme Court Election, so Governor Can Appoint a Republican (DonkeyHotey)

From Vox: “The court’s decision in Barrow v. Raffensperger is unusual in many regards — among other things, six of the state’s regular Supreme Court justices recused from the case, and they were replaced by five lower court judges who sat temporarily on the state’s highest court. The court’s decision in Barrow turns upon poorly drafted language in the state constitution.”

How Trump Tax Cuts, Tariffs Make Coronavirus Recession Worse (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Even before the pandemic pushed the U.S. into what is almost certainly a recession, benefits from Trump’s policies on taxes and trade were largely offset by the costs of soaring national debt and damage to U.S. foreign relations — challenges now magnified by the health crisis. ‘The lasting legacy is a bigger deficit and higher debt [as a share of the economy], which means what we’re doing in response to the pandemic is piling on something that was already a pretty big mess,’ said Joel Prakken, chief U.S. economist at IHS Markit.”

100,000 Crew Members Remain in Cruise Ship Limbo for Months (Bethany)

The authors write, “While most passengers were able to get off cruise ships by early April, crew members have largely remained stuck. During the prolonged isolation, the virus continued to spread through the ships. At least 578 crew contracted COVID-19 at sea and seven have diedAt least two crew members have leaped overboard in apparent suicides.”

Animal Source of the Coronavirus Continues to Elude Scientists (Gerry)

From Nature: “As a growing number of countries push for an independent investigation into the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, many scientists around the world are already trying to uncover when, where and how the new coronavirus got into people. Finding the source is important for preventing further reinfection, but scientists’ investigations — which include modelling, cell studies and animal experiments — are revealing how tricky pinpointing the source might be. ‘It is quite possible we won’t find it. In fact, it would be exceptionally lucky if we land on something,’ says Lucy van Dorp, a geneticist from University College London (UCL).”

Virginia Tech Gives Honorary Doctorate to Service Dog (Chris)

The author writes, “The school announced Moose, an 8-year-old therapy dog employed by the school’s Cook Counseling Center, was awarded an honorary doctorate in veterinary medicine Friday as part of the school’s virtual commencement ceremony.”

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