Concerns Over Printing-Press Closures; Al Franken Comes to PS: Coachella Valley Independent’s Indy Digest: March 30, 2023

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• So, history was made today. The New York Times explains what happens next following the first-ever indictment of a former president: “He will be fingerprinted. He will also be photographed. He might even be handcuffed. Donald J. Trump will likely go through the normal steps of New York’s felony arrest processing within the next few days.A grand jury has voted in his favor to indict him for his involvement in a hush payment to porn stars. However, the unusual arrest of a former commander and chief will not be a routine event. Trump may receive accommodations. While it is standard for defendants arrested on felony charges to be handcuffed, it is unclear whether an exception will be made for the former president because of his status.”

• Example No. NPR has 397.883,208 details about how our medical system is so broken. The story began when Dr. Sara McLin’s 4-year-old son, who had burned his hand on a stove, went to the ER. There are a lot of twists and turns, but this is the REALLY insane part: “McLin also received a bill from HCA Florida Trinity Hospital for its stand-alone ER at Lutz and decided to dispute the charges. But after calling the hospital to appeal, McLin said the billing department would not discuss the debt with her because the statement was in her young son’s name.”

• NPR takes a look at “spillover” flu cases—in other words, an animal flu strain that infects a human or humans. Are we to be concerned? The answer to that question is yes. A little more: “For decades scientists believed that animal viruses rarely jump on humans. They believed that these spillovers were rare. However, over the last few years, studies have shown that this belief is incorrect.. ‘I don’t think (spillover) is extremely rare,’ says evolutionary virologist Stephen Goldstein at the University of Utah. ‘I mean, we know this because when people start looking, people find it.’ In fact, there’s likely a whole group of animal viruses making people sick all over the world that doctors know nothing about. They’ve been hidden. They masquerade as a regular cold, flu or even pneumonia.”

• ChatGPT is changing the way things are “written” in so many ways. Here’s just one example, via CNBC: “Chad Rubin was looking for a way to spice up his Amazon listing for a vacuum hose. He was struggling to come up with a catchy title that would make shoppers want to click on his hose instead of the countless others in Amazon’s vast marketplace. For assistance, Rubin turned to ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence chatbot that’s gone viral since its launch late last year. The tool was easy to use and he quickly began to play with it. Rubin asked ChatGPT to ‘generate 5 insanely clever and catchy headlines’ for an infographic promoting his vacuum cleaner hose. ‘Dirt destroying air flow,’ he said, reading off one of ChatGPT’s responses. ‘I would have never in a million years thought of that for a vacuum hose.’”

• Another big music festival is coming to the Polo Grounds later this year. Music publication Pitchfork explains: “Metallica, AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Tool, Iron Maiden, and Ozzy Osbourne have announced a three-day mega-concert at the Empire Polo Field in Indio, California, from October 6-8. The event is called Power Trip, which is ostensibly a reference to the 2016 mega-concert Desert Trip and not an homage to the late Riley Gale’s beloved Texas thrash metal band. … The artists all teased the festival’s announcement on social media earlier in the week. Desert Trip 2016, which took place in 2016, featured Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney and Neil Young. Roger Waters was also there. Like Desert Trip, Power Trip is being put on by Goldenvoice.”

• Tickets remain for Al Franken’s Palm Springs Speaks! Tomorrow (Friday). These are the details for Saturday Night Live. scribe, ex-U.S. senator and recent guest host of The Daily Show: “The talk will take places at the Richards Center for the Arts (the Palm Springs High School Auditorium), located at 2248 Ramon Road. It is scheduled for March 31. At 6 p.m., a VIP reception is held where attendees can take a photo with Senator Franken. The talk will start at 7:15 p.m. LULU California Bistro will provide the catering for the VIP reception. No alcohol will be served as the reception is held on school grounds. The talk is expected to run for an hour and will be followed by a short Q&A session. Tickets are $35 rear reserved, $65 general admission, $95 premium reserved, and $175 VIP.” Palm Springs Speaks will be joined by Dave Barry on Tuesday May 9.

• And finally … let’s end with some good news about the future: An expert, writing for The Conversation, explains how 3-D printing technology could revolutionize the construction of housing: “Not since the adoption of the steel frame has there been a development with as much potential to transform the way buildings are conceived and constructed. Desktop 3D printing is a large-scale method of additive manufacturing that builds objects layer by layer. Whether it’s clay, concrete or plastic, the print material is extruded in a fluid state and hardens into its final form. As director of the Institute for Smart Structures at the University of Tennessee, I’ve been fortunate to work on a series of projects that deploy this new technology. Although there are still some obstacles to widespread adoption of this technology, I see a future where buildings will be built entirely out of recycled materials or materials sourced on site, using forms inspired by nature’s geometries..”

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