The US Food and Drug Administration on Thursday halted the emergency use authorization of Evusheld because it does not appear to protect against Covid-19 from viral variants currently circulating in the United States.

Evusheld is a monoclonal antibody therapy used to prevent Covid-19 in immunocompromised people, who are less likely to generate an immune response from Covid-19 vaccination.

With rise of new coronavirus variants, FDA halts authorization of Evusheld

Memphis, Tennessee, had the biggest savings to homebuyers over renters, with the monthly cost of homeownership 32.7% less than renting. It was followed by Pittsburgh; Birmingham, Alabama; St. Louis and Baltimore. Monthly buying costs assume a 7% down payment with a mortgage rate of 6.36%, and include taxes, insurance and homeowners association fees.

Buying a home is now more affordable than renting in these five cities

Jan 26 2023
09:27 am
By: bizgrrl

"Last year, M&M’s unveiled a new look for the red, green, brown, orange, blue and yellow M&M. The intention was to give candies a “fresh, modern take.” Among the changes? The Green M&M’s go-go boots were swapped out with “cool, laid-back sneakers to reflect her effortless confidence. People had opinions on the change, igniting a series of memes and even controversy. (The brand also introduced a purple M&M in September.)"

“In the last year, we’ve made some changes to our beloved spokescandies. We weren’t sure if anyone would notice. And we definitely didn’t think it would break the internet. But now we get it — even a candy’s shoes can be polarizing. Which was the last thing M&M’S wanted since we’re all about bringing people together.”

Sheesh. The new Republican party are a bunch of Donnie/Debbie downers. They need to be exiled.

As of Tuesday, at least 39 mass shootings had unfolded across the country since the year began, according to the Gun Violence archive, a nonprofit that tracks the spread of what has been called an American disease and which defines a mass shooting as a single incident in which at least four people — other than the shooter — are shot.

The U.S. has had at least 39 mass shootings in just 24 days so far this year, data shows

Jan 23 2023
11:38 am

All six New England states were among the 13 states where births increased between 2019 and 2021
. New Hampshire (highest in nation at 7%) and Tennessee were the only states with more births last year than in 2014, the last time births rose nationally.
"Births nationwide remain well below the “replacement rate” of 2.1 births per woman needed to prevent population decline, a level they haven’t reached since 2007, according to the CDC. The rate ticked up slightly last year from 2020, but only to about 1.7."

South Korea recently broke its own record for the world’s lowest fertility rate (0.79).
"South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol admitted that more than $200 billion has been spent trying to boost the population over the past 16 years."

In the U.S., it is said women are waiting longer to start a family. In South Korea they are saying the cost of living is too high.

Either way, low birth rates could lead to problems supporting our way of life, e.g. infrastructure, health care, retirement, etc.

What would encourage women in the U.S. to birth more babies? Provide free college, free childcare, or help becoming an influencer or TikTok star?

Jan 22 2023
04:55 pm

Abandoned shopping carts are a scourge to neighborhoods, as wayward carts block intersections, sidewalks and bus stops. They occupy handicap spots in parking lots and wind up in creeks, ditches and parks. And they clog municipal drainage and waste systems and cause accidents.

There is no national data on shopping cart losses, but US retailers lose an estimated tens of millions of dollars every year replacing lost and damaged carts, say shopping cart experts.

Shopping carts keep disappearing from stores

Jan 21 2023
06:50 am

Greenhouse gas emissions have been steadily going down since about 2008. There have been bounces where emissions go down then up then down again with the end result being lower towards the 2030 goal. During the pandemic emissions dropped significantly because a lot of activities ceased, e.g. flying and driving to work. After the pandemic emissions have risen again but they are still below pre-pandemic levels.

[Greenhouse gas] "Emissions ticked up 1.3 percent even as renewable energy surpassed coal power nationwide for the first time in over six decades, with wind, solar and hydropower generating 22 percent of the country’s electricity compared with 20 percent from coal."

"A recent report from the International Energy Agency estimated that renewables are on track to overtake coal as the largest source of electricity generation worldwide by early 2025..."
The "highest-emitting sectors, transportation and industry, together account for roughly two-thirds of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions."

"Industrial emissions rose by 1.5 percent and
transportation emissions rose by 1.3 percent, the latter driven mainly by demand for jet fuel as air travel continued to recover from pandemic-era declines."
"The most significant increase in emissions last year came from homes and buildings, which burn fossil fuels like natural gas in furnaces, hot water heaters and other appliances. Those emissions rose 6 percent, and reached prepandemic levels. Colder-than-average temperatures early in the year led many Americans to increase their home energy use by turning up the heat."
"Agriculture is a major contributor to climate change, with farming activities accounting for 11.2 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States in 2020..."
"some good news: Last year, the country’s economic growth, measured in G.D.P., outpaced emissions growth, indicating that the economy was less carbon intensive..."

Slowly we are going to reach the target emissions. However, with transportation and industry accounting for two-thirds of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions it is hard for us as individuals to do more. That's when joint efforts from our government and business/industry are so important.

On Jan. 17, the Tennessee Department of Health sent a letter to programs and organizations that receive grants from the state telling them that the state would stop taking federal funding to help pay for HIV surveillance, testing and prevention

TN Dept. of Health tells medical providers it will stop taking federal money for HIV prevention

Tennessee says it's cutting federal HIV funding. Will other states follow?

Jan 19 2023
10:51 pm

Jan 19 2023
08:43 pm
By: R. Neal

Everywhere! Any place you can legally park inside the Smoky Mountains National Park will require a parking pass if you park longer than 15 minutes. That includes pull offs along the roadways, the visitor center, Cades Cove mill area, everywhere.

Three tag durations will be available for purchase for all vehicle sizes and types:
Daily - $5
Weekly - $15
Annual - $40

Parking passes can be purchased online, in person, and at ATMs, when available.

In person sales locations include the Gatlinburg Visitor Center, Sugarlands Visitor Center, Townsend Visitor Center, Cades Cove Visitor Center, Cades Cove Orientation Shelter, and more.

Jan 17 2023
02:41 pm

Remember the Orange route?
A Knoxville beltway considered by TDOT in 2010. Also, the Green route in 2008.

Knox County Commissioner Larsen Jay and Sen. Becky Duncan Massey, R-Knoxville, are once again proposing a bypass as if the idea has never been discussed.

One of the previous routes was turned down because it was proposed as a toll road. But, now Gov. Lee is considering toll roads.

Jan 17 2023
06:52 am

"Car manufacturers began installing seat belts in passenger cars sold in the United States in the late 1950s. In 1968, the federal government began to require lap and shoulder seat belts in the front outboard seats of all new passenger cars sold in the United States if the lap belt alone could not prevent occupant contact with the windshield. Modern integrated three-point lap and shoulder seat belts, which lock during rapid deceleration, became standard in 1973."
"All states have seat belt laws, except New Hampshire* [the Live Free or Die state]. Laws requiring seat belt use are either “primary” or “secondary” enforcement laws. Primary enforcement laws allow police officers to pull over drivers and issue tickets just because the drivers or their passengers aren’t wearing seat belts. Secondary enforcement laws only allow police officers to issue tickets for seat belt violations if drivers have been pulled over for some other offense."

Tennessee initiated a seat belt law in April, 1986. Tennessee enhanced the seat belt law in July, 2004, to primary enforcement.

* New Hampshire does have a law requiring any person under the age of 18 riding as a passenger in a car to be secured by either a seat belt or a child safety seat.


"It means sitting down the night before D-Day and writing a letter praising the troops and taking all the blame for the next day’s failure upon yourself, in case things went wrong, as General Dwight D. Eisenhower did."

[Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr.] knew he was in danger as he worked for a racially and economically just America. “I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter…because I’ve been to the mountaintop…. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life…. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!”

People are wrong to say that we have no heroes left.



It’s the first time that extreme wealth and extreme poverty have increased simultaneously in 25 years, said Oxfam.

The top 1% captured nearly twice as much new wealth as the rest of the world over last two years

Jan 15 2023
06:59 am

What's with the misogynistic attitude that keeps arising around the country?

The U.S. House of Representatives newly reelected buffoon recently said, "And he told Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who was managing whose turn it was to speak, that if he wanted to be disrespected by a woman, he’d go home to his wife and daughter."

A newly elected Idaho state legislator said, " "I'm a lifelong dairy farmer who retired, still own part of the dairy; grew up on the farm. I've milked a few cows, spent most of my time walking behind lines of cows, so if you want some ideas on repro and the women's health thing, I have some definite opinions."

Then there are all of those men unable to give birth working so hard to control the process. Just the other day the Tennessee Attorney General along with the attorney generals from 20 other states wrote a letter to the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration requesting the restriction of mifepristone availability in order to protect women's health. Protect our health?!?! Hah. They could better protect our health by restricting guns.

Every day we encounter these statements/actions and wonder why we work so hard to be respected.


The CDC said one of its vaccine safety monitoring systems – a “near real-time surveillance system” called the Vaccine Safety Datalink – detected a possible increase in a certain kind of stroke in people 65 and older who recently got one of Pfizer’s updated booster shots.

The same safety signal has not been detected with the bivalent Moderna booster, the CDC said.

CDC identifies possible safety issue with Pfizer’s updated Covid-19 vaccine but says no changes to vaccination practices recommended

Jan 12 2023
09:53 am


This Yellow-bellied sapsucker has been feeding off of our white pine for at least three weeks. Sometimes it will just sit there for a while. Don't know if it is resting or sleeping. She started just below the limbs on this side of the tree and has drilled holes all the way down to the ground and is now working on the other sides of the tree.

Jan 12 2023
09:34 am

From a Tennessee Advisory Committee on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) report summary dated Dec. 15, 2022.

"Because the practical effect of the state’s EV registration fee is to serve as a substitute for the gas tax by collecting revenue for road funding from vehicle owners who don’t purchase gasoline—and therefore don’t contribute to road funding through the gas tax—

the Commission recommends the state

* increase the EV registration fee to better offset the revenue lost from state fuel taxes that those vehicle owners do not pay,
* share EV registration fees with local governments in the same proportion as the gas tax, and
** apply a reduced EV registration fee to plug-in-hybrid vehicles and share this revenue with local governments in the same proportion as the gas tax."

There is a 68 page detailed report on "Electric Vehicles and Other Issues Affecting Roads and Highway Funding".

From a June 6, 2021, Memorandum on "Electric Vehicles and Other Issues Affecting Road and Highway Funding",

"Commission staff calculated that a vehicle in Tennessee getting 24 mpg over 12,000 miles per year provides $135 in state fuel tax; at
30 mpg the amount falls to $108 (–20%). Improving to 40 mpg would further reduce revenue to $81. Even if there were no new electric vehicles at all, Atlas projects a 15% decline in fuel tax revenue by 2030 (not adjusted for inflation), as overall fuel economy increases by 25%."

I had no idea Tennessee charged buyers an electric vehicle fee. Of course, I've never purchased an EV. A $100 fee does not seem so bad nor does an increased fee of $300.

The info might be in the documents I've linked to, but I'll ask since I haven't seen the answer. Do EV users get charged a state fee when charging their cars at charging stations not at their homes?

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To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)

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