Just in Case it Matters to You
- SURVEYS SUGGEST THAT BARELY 8% OF NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS SURVIVE 30 DAYS. The biggest reason is that changing a particular behavior is difficult if the routines that surround it remain the same. Since the pandemic crisis & Lockdowns have, for most people, changed their routines significantly, and research has shown that anything new for as few as for two weeks if done daily, can start to feel automatic – the defining feature of a habit. So, months of eating home-cooked meals or home exercise or new hobbies have a much better chance of positive change than this week’s Resolutions.
- POLLING QUESTIONS ARE ALWAYS BIASED TO SOME DEGREE, but THE WEEK year-end issue reports interesting stats from a multitude of published sources: “38% of Americans believe the Covid death toll has been deliberately and greatly exaggerated; 71% think the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction; 47% that our democratic system no longer works well; 61% that we’re on the verge of civil war; 22% that Trump will go down in history as one of our greatest presidents; 73% disapprove of Congress; 59% oppose the ‘Defund Police’ movement; 38% of parents in both Parties would feel upset if their child married the opposition; 85% gained an average of six pounds in recent months, 55% from upping their pizza intake and 46% their ice cream consumption; and 28% believe that Bill Gates is hiding location-tracking microchips in the vaccine shots.” Just fyi.
- WE ENTER 2021 WITH EVER EXPANDING PRIVACY INTRUSION. Latest research finds that: (1) Amazon Alexa, with up to seven always-on microphones for directional localization, can not only “make & save voice recordings, but is sensitive enough to record typing on nearby smartphones, physical and virtual keyboards, even amid background noise”; (2) ‘Acoustic Snooping’ is only a step away from soon also “allowing Light to manipulate the microphones of digital assistants to turn it into sound, with ability to control other connected devices”; (3) Android mobile phones are even more susceptible to malicious software stealing data or ransomware attacks than desktop or laptop computers, but can be better protected by: only installing apps from known entities and through Google Play Protect/ Avoiding free apps with ads/ Avoiding any titles or descriptions in broken English. Always remember, likelihood of being a victim is “not a matter of if, but when.” [THREATPOST and TECHREPUBLIC – 12/23/20]
- 2021 IS ALSO THE YEAR FOR PUTTING INSECTS & LAB-GROWN MEAT ON OUR PLATES. Ignoring the ‘yuck’ factor, bugs are already consumed by over two billion people around the world, are rich in protein and more sustainable to produce, so “insect powders, ingredients and whole bugs, along with laboratory-grown products including burgers, chicken nuggets, shrimp dumplings & steak” will be increasingly serving global markets; production also “helps reduce reliance on environmentally damaging proteins in animal feed… with conservation of 99% less land and 90% less required water… Across most of the developed world, insects are already allowed in fish feed & pet food, the E.U. allows commercialization this year, and lab-grown meat costs have been reduced by 97%.” Expect to see bugs and cultured meat on American menus soon. [ECONOMIST]
- IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT (ICE) REPORTS OVER THREE MILLION ILLEGAL ALIENS with collectively some 375,000 criminal charges or convictions remain in the country indefinitely after “release from detention with final deportation orders or awaiting final Court … of which 90% involve crimes including 1,800 homicide-related, 1,600 kidnappings, 3,800 robberies, 37,000 assaults and 10,000 sex crimes.” The just-passed Omnibus/Covid bill now also prohibits further deportation for illegals who “sponsor, are a potential sponsor, or any member of a household so sponsoring an Unaccompanied Alien Child.” Reality is that coronavirus has been “used as an excuse to keep tens of thousands of additional illegal aliens in the U.S., many with serious rap sheets… as law enforcement is increasingly deployed to arrest business owners for earning a living and criminalize the lives of everyday Americans.” [RED STATE – 12/28/20]
- THOUGHT FOR THE YEAR END:
A recent U.N. report says that work-at-home usage of email/ text/ Zoom/ computer processing & storage/ etc. utilizes even more energy than commuting traffic, and therefore counteracts any expected environmental benefit from Lockdown proponents. While “air pocket pollution has dropped 7% in emissions this year, it will have an insignificant effect on the overall global warming trend.”