Drought Map for Feb. 14th 2019

Drought Map for Feb. 7th 2019

automatic and undetectable price-fixing

Antitrust agencies are concerned that the autonomous pricing algorithms increasingly used by online vendors may learn to collude. This column uses experiments with pricing algorithms powered by AI in a controlled environment to demonstrate that even relatively simple algorithms systematically learn to play sophisticated collusive strategies. Most worrying is that they learn to collude by trial and error, with no prior knowledge of the environment in which they operate, without communicating with one another, and without being specifically designed or instructed to collude.

https://voxeu.org/article/artificial-intelligence-algorithmic-pricing-and-collusion

Death-Cap Mushrooms – Another Invader

The poison from these mushrooms can be absorbed through the skin. Some have made the fatal mistake of trying to wash it off with alcohol; unfortunately, the poison dissolves in alcohol and the solution only enters the blood stream faster.
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Death-Cap Mushrooms Are Spreading Across North America

“There’s nothing in the taste that tells you what you are eating is about to kill you.”
Glenn Harvey

Craig Childs Feb 1, 2019 Science THE ATLANIC

Between a sidewalk and a cinder-block wall grew seven mushrooms, each half the size of a doorknob. Their silver-green caps were barely coming up, only a few proud of the ground. Most lay slightly underground, bulging up like land mines. Magnolia bushes provided cover. An abandoned syringe lay on the ground nearby, along with a light assortment of suburban litter.

Paul Kroeger, a wizard of a man with a long, copious, well-combed beard, knelt and dug under one of the sickly colored caps. With a short, curved knife, he pried up the mushroom and pulled it out whole. It was a mushroom known as the death cap, Amanita phalloides. If ingested, severe illness can start as soon as six hours later, but tends to take longer, 36 hours or more. Severe liver damage is usually apparent after 72 hours. Fatality can occur after a week or longer. “Long and slow is a frightening aspect of this type of poisoning,” Kroeger said.
more…

Fentanyl…

A pound of fentanyl contains about 15 Million anesthetic doses – e.g., enough knock-out for a surgery lasting 20-30 minutes. I suppose you might want a little more if you were having a leg amputated.

The latest bust nabbed about 250 pounds – about a 1/10th of a week’s supply needs for the U.S. market, if the rule of thumb applies here that only about 10% of the stuff being smuggled is confiscated.

In other words, the U.S. market needs a long tonne plus 300 pounds per week. Every week, year-in, year-out.

Add to that the amount of opium, heroin, oxy, hydrocodone and so on. How many tons per week of that shit comes into the U.S. in a week? Go ahead, supply your own Wild Ass Guess (TM). And this has nothing – zero, zilch – to say about how much is needed in hospitals, nursing homes, etc etc.

The primary purpose of these meds is to reduce or eliminate pain.

Maybe we don’t have an opioid crisis. Maybe we’ve got a pain crisis.

Tons on tons of this stuff is consumed in America every fk’n week.

That’s a LOT of pain.