Weekly Reader: Vol 2 Issue 39

It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse! It’s another edition of your Weekly Reader! As always, if you’d like to share something with us, feel free to leave a link in the comments! ❤

Oldest known asteroid strike may have ended Snowball Earth (from CNN): “That’s between 87 trillion and 5,000 trillion kilograms of water vapor hurtling into the atmosphere which would have had a warming effect. The researchers believe that the potential effects of this on the global climate warrant more research. The asteroid strike that led to the mass extinction of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago also led to global ocean cooling and widespread acid rain — which we know because it’s been widely studied.”

Goop’s Netflix series: It’s so much worse than I expected and I can’t unsee it (from Ars Technica): “But sadly, she didn’t. And throughout the rest of the series, her ignorance and lack of critical thinking skills are on full display as a parade of questionable “experts” and ridiculous claims about health and science march across the small screen unchallenged.

(To be clear, Dodson was not among the dubious guests I’m referring to here; she is knowledgeable and respectable and was probably the most interesting and informative guest on the show.)”

The Astros stole signs electronically in 2017 — part of a much broader issue for Major League Baseball (from The Athletic): “Electronic sign stealing is not a single-team issue. Major League Baseball rules prohibit clubs from using electronic equipment to steal catchers’ signs and convey information. Still, the commissioner’s office hears complaints about many different organizations — everything from mysterious people in white shirts sending signals from center field to elaborate systems involving television cameras and tablets. But MLB has not punished any club, at least publicly, for violating sign-stealing rules since 2017, when the Red Sox were disciplined.

There was more going on that year.”

I’m Really Tired of Hatred (from John Pavlovitz): “I’m tired of waking every morning and seeing that we’re in an another unnecessary and preventable Constitutional crisis.
I’m tired of having to once again channel the adrenaline to confront a new onslaught of real and manufactured emergencies.
I’m tired of having to desperately appeal to public servants to do the decent and humane thing and seeing them again flatly refuse.
I’m tired of trying to convince professed followers of Jesus that they’re supposed to care about other people.
I’m tired of dancing through minefields at family gatherings; doing verbal gymnastics to sidestep relational explosions and to keep loving people I’ve recently learned unsettling things about.
I’m tired of scrolling through racist, anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic hate speech filling my social media mentions.
I’m tired of being reminded daily of the white supremacy that my former church friends are so terribly afflicted with.
I’m tired of seeing stories of newly-emboldened bigots showing up as neighbors, elementary school teachers, local politicians, and coffee shop patrons—because they feel a kindred embittered spirit in the White House.”

Stress speeds up hair greying process, science confirms (from The Guardian): “Because stress can be considered a form of accelerated ageing, the discovery has raised hopes for treatments that can slow down or even halt normal age-related greying. More importantly, it could shed light on how ageing depletes stem cells throughout the body, and perhaps point the way to general anti-ageing therapies.”

A Michigan woman says a passenger assaulted her as she slept on a Spirit Airlines flight (from CNN): “Jackson said she notified the flight attendant, who offered to move her seat, but she refused because she didn’t want to leave her friend and she felt like she was being punished for what he’d done.

“He touched my bare ass! He needs to be moved!” she said she told the flight attendant.”

One immune cell type appears to attack any type of cancer (from Ars Technica): “Despite these successes, many patients aren’t helped by the newer immune-focused therapies, raising questions of what else we still need to figure out to help cancer patients. A new paper highlights something we may have missed: a class of immune cells that appears to be primed specifically to attack cancer. But the finding raises questions about what it is on cancer cells that the immune cells are recognizing and why they fail to keep cancer in check.”

Death on Mars (from Scientific American): “The bottom line is that the extremely thin atmosphere on Mars, and the absence of a strong global magnetic field, result in a complex and potent particle radiation environment. There are lower energy solar wind particles (like protons and helium nuclei) and much higher energy cosmic ray particles crashing into Mars all the time. The cosmic rays, for example, also generate substantial secondary radiation – crunching into martian regolith to a depth of several meters before hitting an atomic nucleus in the soil and producing gamma-rays and neutron radiation.”

‘Dancing dragon’ feathered dinosaur fossil discovered in China (from CNN): “This dinosaur was a juvenile when it died, according to its bones, but its feathers resembled that of a mature adult. This suggests that the feathers grew quickly, unlike modern birds, which take time to grow their mature feathers.”

Menopause Can Start Younger Than You Think: Here’s What You Need To Know (from NPR): “She told her doctor and her gynecologist about the episodes, along with a few other health concerns she was starting to notice: Her menstrual cycle was becoming irregular, she had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, and she was getting night sweats. Their response: a shrug.

It wasn’t until Edrie went to a fertility clinic at age 39 because she and her partner were having trouble conceiving that she got answers. “They were like, ‘Oh, those are hot flashes. It’s because you’re in perimenopause,’ ” she says.”

Sci-fi magazine pulls story by trans writer after ‘barrage of attacks’ (from The Guardian): “Some readers felt the story was transphobic, with some accusing Fall of being a troll. There was also a raft of positive reactions from writers including Carmen Maria Machado and Phoebe North, who wrote an essay praising the story: “Thank you for making me feel seen and heard. We don’t get a lot of ourselves in fiction. We often only get scraps. This was more than that. A mirror.” However, due to the criticism, Fall asked Clarkesworld to remove the story from the monthly science fiction and fantasy periodical.”

That’s all for today. Drop by again for more information that you didn’t know you needed. Until then, happy reading, everyone!

About Silverwynde

I'm a Transformers fan, Pokémon player, Brewers fan and all-out general nerd. I rescue abandoned Golett, collect as many Bumblebee decoys and figures as I can find and I've attended every BotCon--official and non--since 1999. I'm also happily married to a fellow Transfan named Prime and we were both owned by a very intelligent half-Siamese cat, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge on June 16, 2018. We still miss him. But we're now the acting staff of a Maine Coon kitty named Lulu, who pretty much rules the house. Not that we're complaining about that.
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