Weekly Reader: Vol 2 Issue 40

After an unscheduled but necessary absence, it’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse. It’s time once again for your Weekly Reader! Got some hot links, blog posts, or articles from a local paper you’d like to share? Head over to the comments and let us know. We love to share here!

Want to Feel Loved? Get Cancer. (from Human Parts via Medium): “You see, a few years ago, we didn’t live like this. We took days, and weeks, and even years for granted. We lived our lives like we had an unlimited amount of time left. We don’t do that anymore. We don’t take a single moment for granted. We can’t afford to. And if you get nothing out of reading this, get that. Because you can’t afford to, either. You just don’t know what tomorrow holds. So, love your people and love them hard. Don’t wait for a diagnosis or a tragedy or death to do this. Please. Just trust me on this one.”

A Political Pregnancy (from The Rumpus): “My husband, I know, is genuine. He considers himself responsible. Following through with the pregnancy was never a question for him.

And yet, in his response, something nags at me: the assumption—the honorable assumption, yes, but the assumption, just the same—that he has an equal say. Or more: that his desire to have an equal say, and to take responsibility for our unintended pregnancy, overwhelmed my own ability to make a decision about my body.”

How to delete what Facebook knows about your life outside of Facebook (from Vox): “Facebook users just got a new glimpse into — and a little control over — the myriad ways the social network tracks what they do when they’re not using Facebook. If you didn’t already realize it, by the way, Facebook is tracking an astounding amount of what you do when you’re not using the platform, an activity also known as living life in the real world.”

This Transphobic Argument Need to Go Away Forever (from Medium): “There is often a quiet, gentle calm projected by trans non-binary individuals (sometimes known as “enby”). It’s almost a sort of resignation, but also, a dignified wisdom that far surpasses their age. I’ve seen it in the eyes of my own child, as early as around age three.

In general, non-binary people are patient, and they understand that society isn’t collectively at a place yet where they just “get it.””

Fossil discovery reveals teenage Tyrannosaurus rexes (from CNN): “Researchers sliced into leg bones from the two fossils to understand the age at the time of death for the dinosaurs. Like tree rings, the leg bones of the dinosaurs showed growth rings that put Jane and Petey at 13 and 15 years old, respectively.”

Aliens definitely exist and they could be living among us on Earth, says Britain’s first astronaut (from CNN): “”There are so many billions of stars out there in the universe that there must be all sorts of different forms of life,” she went on. “Will they be like you and me, made up of carbon and nitrogen? Maybe not.”

Then, in a tantalizing theory that should probably make you very suspicious of your colleagues, Sharman added: “It’s possible they’re here right now and we simply can’t see them.””

Too woke? Nope – Doctor Who is more offensive than ever (from The Guardian): “Another episode focused on Kerblam, an Amazon-a-like delivery company. The story reflected real-world mistreatment of workers, but while many viewers expected a satire of exploitative capitalism, the real villain was revealed to be a maintenance man, who was killing in protest at poor working conditions. This led the Doctor to claim that “systems aren’t the problem”, just people who “use and exploit the system” – thus refusing to engage with real-world suffering.”

El Salvador – where women are jailed for 40 years for the ‘crime’ of having a miscarriage (from The Independent–an older article but a dire warning we should heed): “The case of the Ms Rivera, 33, has drawn attention to a reality that activists in El Salvador have described as nothing less than a battle to control women’s bodies.

The Latin American nation, which has a population of around six million, is one of just a handful of countries where abortion is illegal in all circumstances. Yet activists say, no country matches El Salvador for the aggressive manner in which those laws are enforced.”

Ancient African skeletons hint at a “ghost lineage” of humans (from Ars Technica): “Now, researchers are describing a new window into our collective past: DNA from ancient skeletons found in a rock shelter in West Africa. The skeletons come from a location and time that are both near the origin of the Bantu expansion that spread West African peoples across the entirety of Africa but have little in common with Bantu-speaking populations. Yet, at the same time, they provide hints of what might have happened very early in humanity’s history, including the existence of a lineage of archaic humans we’ve not yet identified.”

Hillary Clinton: Mark Zuckerberg Has ‘Authoritarian’ Views on Misinformation (from The Atlantic): “I wrote at the time that Zuckerberg’s interpretation was unsatisfying for one thing, and Trumpian for another. When I asked Clinton today whether she too sees a Trumpian quality in Zuckerberg’s reasoning, she nodded. “It’s Trumpian,” she said. “It’s authoritarian.” (Facebook did not immediately provide a response to my request for comment from Zuckerberg.)”

If this Texas student doesn’t cut his dreadlocks, he won’t get to walk at graduation. It’s another example of hair discrimination, some say (from CNN): “DeAndre Arnold has been growing his dreadlocks for years.

But for the past few days, Arnold — a senior at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, Texas, east of Houston — hasn’t been in school. He might not get to attend his senior prom. And with graduation coming up in a few months, Arnold might not even get to walk across the stage with his friends.

It has everything to do with his hair.”

How to fight racism using science (from The Guardian): “Classifications were based primarily on skin colour, some on a handful of skull measurements, and they also came with some shoddy value judgments: Linnaeus had the people of Africa as lazy and “governed by caprice”; Native Americans were “zealous and stubborn”; East Asians were haughty, greedy, and “ruled by opinions”. Voltaire believed that black people were a different species. All of these taxonomies were inherently hierarchical, with white Europeans always on top.”

Towering dinosaur with radioactive skull identified in Utah (from LiveScience): “But researchers didn’t know any of these details at first; originally, they found only the dinosaur’s skeleton but not the head. Even so, the block of rock that encased the skeleton was so massive — it weighed 6,000 lbs. (2,700 kilograms) — that paleontologists had to use explosives to remove the fossils and a helicopter to transport it.

It wasn’t until six years later, in 1996, that the headless body and its skull were reunited.”

‘Thou shalt not be indifferent’: from Auschwitz’s gate of hell, a last, desperate warning (from The Guardian): “And so they talked of the slaughter they had witnessed, the organised attempt to eradicate the Jewish people, an effort that drenched the soil with blood and choked the air with human ash. Now Auschwitz-Birkenau is a museum, with tour parties and snack bars. But they knew this place when it throbbed with the business of genocide, when it measured 15 sq miles, a city of death roughly the size of Lincoln: a period of intense industry that left 1.3 million men, women and children dead, 90% of them Jews.”

Antarctica melting: Climate change and the journey to the ‘doomsday glacier’ (from the BBC): “Only four people have ever been on the front of the glacier before and they were the advance party for this year’s work.

But understanding what is happening here is essential for scientists to be able to predict future sea level rise accurately.

The ice in Antarctica holds 90% of the world’s fresh water, and 80% of that ice is in the eastern part of the continent.”

With that, we’ll draw this to a close. Drop by again for more information you might want to read. Until then, happy reading!

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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