Interesting little point

The descendants of slaves in the Americas are the richest group of Bantus extant.

OK, this isn’t quite right but it’s damn close. One reason it’s not right is that not all sub-Saharan Africans are Bantus, significant portions of West Africa are not. OK, meaning that the ancestry of significant numbers of African Americans is not Bantu. But, you know.

Per capita income of African Americans is around the $23,000 mark.

Per capita income and GDP per capita are not the same thing. But per capita income cannot be higher than GDP per capita (OK, GNI per capita but that doesn’t matter here). So, treat them as usefully equal for this point.

We need to use PPP incomes and GDP because we are trying to compare lifestyles. The US number for income is already at PPP of course.

Top African country is Equatorial Guinea at $24k and change. Anyone who thinks that flows through to the general population is an idiot. Next is Gabon, an oil rich enclave of 2 million people at $18,000 GDP per capita at PPP. Then Botswana at $17k is probably the first place we can say is actually earning it from actual economic development – however much diamonds have aided them in getting there.

South Africa at $13k, Tunisia at $12 k, that’s Arab, or Maghreb at least, not sub-Saharan or Bantu. And so on and most of sub-Saharan Africa is at the real shitty end of this list in the couple of $k levels.

Lots of the Caribbean, Bahamas, Kitts Nevis, Antigua, mid 20s to low 30s – arguably that top end is about the same as that Black American income number.

It is actually true. The descendants of those African slaves are the richest group of people of recent sub-Saharan African descent on the planet.

Remind me, we’re to pay reparations to this currently richest recent sub-Saharan descent group of folks for what?

We could skip that Bantu and Hausa and Igobo and all that descriptive difficulty and just use what US Census does – Blacks.

It is actually possible to say that current US Blacks are the richest group of Blacks either now on the planet or even ever.

Run that reparations argument by me again?


and reprocessing of rare earth elements required by the conference report (H.Rept.
112-329) to accompany the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, states
that each SSN-774 Virginia-class submarine would require approximately 9,200 pounds of
rare earth materials, each DDG-51 Aegis destroyer would require approximately 5,200
pounds of these materials, and each F-35 Lightning II aircraft would require approximately
920 pounds of these materials.

H.Rept. 113-102, to accompany H.R. 1960, the proposed National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014.

So that’s the Congressional Research report everyone quotes. But where’s that doc which is being quoted therein? 113-192 is here:

And 112 329 is here:

Will we find our answer?

Hmm, apparently this gets pushed back a year:

Specifically, the report on the feasibility and desirability of recycling, recovery, and reprocessing
of rare earth elements required by the conference report (H. Rept. 112-329) to accompany the
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, states that each SSN-774 Virginiaclass submarine would require approximately 9,200 pounds of rare earth materials, each DDG51 Aegis destroyer would require approximately 5,200 pounds of these materials, and each F-35 Lightning II aircraft would require approximately 920 pounds of these materials.

Hmm, the source report might well be this one: ““Report on Feasibility and Desirability of Recycling, Recovery, and
Reprocessing Rare Earth Elements,” September 2012” and that little bugger I can’t find at all.

Goddammit I hate fucking computers

So, massive excitement, got the mesh network up and running. Can get phone to talk to it. Can get SWMBO’s tablet to talk to it. But I cannot get the laptop nor desktop (operating through a wifi connector) to connect to it.

The desktops connected through actual cables work fine. So does the desktop using a cable instead of the wifi connector. And so does the laptop when using a cable.

The reason we can’t just all use cables is because there aren’t that many cable slots on the router.

So, buggery fuck fuck. There’s some shit here which is just being shitty. Typical fucking computers.

Just a little thought

It’s a standard point to make about the Chinese rare earths trade that it pollutes the area around Bayan Obo with radioactive wastes. Which is does, there’s near always thorium around.

Except, except. Bayan Obo is also where China got the uranium for its bomb. So, how much of that radioactivity in that lake that The Guardian likes photographing is from the bomb program and how much from the rare earths?

Just a little observation

So, Unilever etc. Gaspingly large consumer products company.

One of the brands is Persil. Which has been on sale in my local supermarket for 3 years now. It is always – and I do mean always – 40 to 60% off.

That could be the supermarket running it as a loss leader but even then brands don’t like to be made to “look cheap” in that manner.

It’s also true that it’s just one brand in a portfolio and this is just one supermarket in a minor European market.

The thing is, based on this extremely limited evidence, I’d not be all that sure that Unilver is preserving the premium nature of its brands. Which isn’t good at all for a company which is based on the very idea of being able to charge a premium for premium brands.

Instead, Jope has served up several nasties too messy for the cleansing power of Persil or Surf. First came a sales warning in December 2019, then a margin miss in February last year. These were topped off with more bad news on margins in July caused by inflation in ingredient and packaging prices. Shares in the consumer goods giant fell by a cumulative 20 per cent on these days.

Bad news on margins, eh?

You don’t say?

Covid pill could also treat future variants and other viruses, scientists claim
Creators of molnupiravir say data suggests pill could be ‘multi-virus weapon’ and suppress transmission

Penicillin didn’t just cure the clap you know….

I’ll make a prediction here

Tyre pollution’s unseen impact – and what we can do about it
Whether it’s making them, using them or disposing of them, tyres are an environmental issue. But manufacturers are rising to the challenge

Tyres will be the next level of attack upon private transport. Once climate change CO2, smog and local pollution from tailpipes are dealt with, the battle against the proles having their own motorised transport will continue. It’ll be tyre particularates that are the claimed danger.

So, the proles may not have their own motorised transport. QED.

Amazingly, exactly the same paricularates from cycle and public transport tyres will not be a problem.

He might even be right

But it’s also pathetic:

The Duke of Sussex has said he does not feel safe in the UK, as he challenges a Home Office decision not to allow him to personally pay for police protection for him and his family.

The Duke wants to bring his son Archie and baby daughter Lilibet to visit from the US, but he and his family are “unable to return to his home” because it is too dangerous, a legal representative said.

He’s offering to pay and they won’t let him? Eh?

From the Lancet

They’re calling for papers about race and health:

We seek evidence examining race and ethnicity as a construct existing within complex societal and environmental contexts, with clear implications for practice and policy, and not misrepresented as a biological variable.

Hmm, what happens when it is a biological variable?

Stalin allowed the proles to see The Grapes of Wrath

See, see how terrible capitalism is?

The proles noted that poor folk had cars, how rich Americans must be:

It’s still more than an hour before the Saint Luke’s Food Pantry in Tupelo opens, but already more than a dozen cars are lined up in this corner of northeast Mississippi, the state with the highest poverty rate in the country.

By the time volunteers start handing out food in this December morning, six rows of cars will have filled the small lot — with dozens more parked on the road waiting to get in. By noon, the pantry will have served 559 cars.

Volunteer Lee Stratton says it’s been like this virtually every day through the pandemic.

“Lot of people coming,” Stratton says. “People need help, you know?”

They’re actually measuring poverty by how many cars turn up.

That’s a bit odd

Wiretaps, eavesdropping on internet traffic, arrests in the dead of night: over a five-year period as the head of Denmark’s version of MI5, and another four at the helm of its MI6, Lars Findsen mastered the tools of the intelligence trade like few other people in his country.

Taking the head of the spies and putting him in charge of the counterspies sounds like a bad breach of the necessary security walls really.

As BiS says, the supply is there

After four years and slim pickings she started a modelling agency with a view to financing her recording career. The agency quickly evolved into an escort business when some of her models began asking her if she knew any “sugar daddies”.
Jody “Babydol” Gibson, Hollywood madam, was born in 1957. She died of undisclosed causes on January 2, 2022, aged 64

That’s not good

Since 2016, when it started publishing accounts in full, Farmdrop made total cumulative sales of £23.3m and operating losses of £33.9m.


The company raised about $41m (£30m) in capital over almost 10 years,

How could this be? The Sage of Ely has just assured us that near all investment is made via bank loans!


It’s entirely true that the Covid situation in Texas isn’t as anyone would like it to be. But to just blame it all on Republicans isn’t worthy of a news outlet. We’d also pass on a little bit of advice to Vox. When your reporting makes the New York Times look like a paragon of objectivity and political party even-handedness then it really is the right time to have a sit-down and a real good think about how you’re “explaining the news”.

At least I didn’t have to read Teen Vogue to do that one.

An F-35 does not contain 417 kg of rare earths

This is one of those numbers that is widely bandied about:

One F-35 stealth fighter jet, dubbed by defence wonks as the “flying computer”, for instance, contains around 417kg of rare earths, according to a US congressional report.

It’s bollocks. At least, I am insistent that it’s bollocks.

An F-35 weighs, unladen, 13,300 kg. There’s no way that 4 or 5% of that is rare earths. Nonsense.

I have tried tracking it down. I can find the Congressional report that states this. But not the DoD report which the congressional is quoting from. So I cannot in fact check.

But what I am sure has happened is this. That there are 417 kg of things which contain rare earths has been transformed into 417 kg of rare earths.

As an example, and not to be taken seriously as an actual detail. A “rare earth magnet” is likely to be NdFedB (it can also be SmCo, or NdDyFeB, even NdDyTbFeB). But it’s Nd2Fe14B. Forget atomic weights because that’s being boringly detailed and just run with this idea that it’s 2/17ths Nd, or 12% Nd.

So, there’s a rare earth magnet in there. We counting the 12% toward that 417 kg, or 100%? Or, we’ve an electric motor, using a rare earth magnet. We talking the 12% of the magnet, 100% of the magnet, or 100% of the ‘leccie motor? In the absence of being able to see that DoD report I insist that it’s 100% of the motor being counted.

An F-35 contains 417 kg of rare earths is one of those errors which has multiplied through the information space. I insist it’s an error. If anyone wants to prove me wrong then I’d be delighted to read that DoD report…..

You readers know, don’t you?

Rare earth metals are among the most sought-after substances on the planet, powering everything from smartphones to electric cars and wind turbines. Yet few people can name them, let alone explain what they are used for.

Although even I struggle sometimes. Holmium, for example, used in the supercollider or whatever it is that’s at Cern. Other than that I once sold a kg to someone who makes calibration lenses for electrophotometers or summat like that. Other than that, no clue what it is used for. Ytterbium? Ummm…..

At the vanguard of efforts to break our dependence on Beijing for supplies of rare earths is a British company that will start building a £125m rare earth minerals processing plant at the Port of Hull in Yorkshire this summer. It aims to have it up and running by next year.

London-listed Pensana, which raised £10m in late December in a share placing in which fund giant M&G took a 5pc stake, is one of only three major producers outside of China and the only in Europe.

Its minerals separation facility, to be built in Saltend Chemicals Plant, aims to produce enough refined metals to meet 5pc of global demand – it has the potential to be one of the world’s largest hubs of rare earths processing.

And now we all know more than the Telegraph. The Saltend plant is to make oxides, not metals. Sigh.

I think this is glorious

However, the Winter Olympics has a lower barrier to entry for nations that don’t usually qualify. That allowed Mr Alexander, who has a Jamaican father, to “nerd out” over the International Ski Federations’ database and target the races he competed in.

On Wednesday, he secured qualification for Beijing 2022 by coming seventh in the Cape Verde National Ski Championships in Liechtenstein.

The idea that Cabo Verde – a few hundred thousand people on some volcanic origin islands off Africa – around and about the Equator – has a national ski championship is lovely, That it’s held in Leichtenstein is even better.

It’s the sort of thing that could be a plot point in a follow up to The Mouse that Roared….

Oh, how weird

Ms Cadwalladr is running a public interest defence and is not alleging that her statement was true.

I had thought that this really didn’t exist in English law. But it does:

Publication on matter of public interest
(1)It is a defence to an action for defamation for the defendant to show that—
(a)the statement complained of was, or formed part of, a statement on a matter of public interest; and
(b)the defendant reasonably believed that publishing the statement complained of was in the public interest.
(2)Subject to subsections (3) and (4), in determining whether the defendant has shown the matters mentioned in subsection (1), the court must have regard to all the circumstances of the case.
(3)If the statement complained of was, or formed part of, an accurate and impartial account of a dispute to which the claimant was a party, the court must in determining whether it was reasonable for the defendant to believe that publishing the statement was in the public interest disregard any omission of the defendant to take steps to verify the truth of the imputation conveyed by it.
(4)In determining whether it was reasonable for the defendant to believe that publishing the statement complained of was in the public interest, the court must make such allowance for editorial judgement as it considers appropriate.
(5)For the avoidance of doubt, the defence under this section may be relied upon irrespective of whether the statement complained of is a statement of fact or a statement of opinion.
(6)The common law defence known as the Reynolds defence is abolished.

2013 apparently.

That’s seems to give coach and horses room for journos to libel but then IANAL and it might all be more subtle than I thought.

Can’t bring myself to be surprised about this

Perhaps the medically knowledgeable would care to comment on this:

People who have previously had Covid or been vaccinated have T-cells in their system that work well against omicron, a new study suggests.

T-cells are a form of immunity that are longer-lasting than antibodies, and although they do not stop infection, they prevent the virus from causing severe disease and death.

This seems so obvious to me as to not be worth wasting the pixels upon. True, this is probably because once we get to the nitty gritty I know nothing about biology. So, those who actually do know. This is so obvious? Or, actually, no, it’s really new news?