Weekly Reader: Vol 2 Issue 43

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. The more, the merrier!

PETA’s Super Bowl Ad Claims That Fish Can Take A Knee Like Kap (from Elle): “In the one-minute ad, an unseen chorus hums the national anthem as we pan over a lush forest. In said Ferngully, animals of all sorts—bees, bears, a piglet, a bald eagle—all take a knee alongside a young girl. The ad ends with the hashtag #EndSpeciesism. Fascinating. In the text accompanying the ad on Twitter, PETA explained that it was an “homage” to Colin Kaepernick’s campaign to take the knee during the national anthem. Interesting.

Let me just check my notes real quick before continuing. Hm, weird, it says here that Colin Kaepernick first started taking the knee during NFL games in 2016 as a silent protest of structural oppression and state-sanctioned brutality against people of color. He later donated over $1 million to help communities and people affected by racism and police violence. He has since been essentially blacklisted from the NFL for his refusal to, in his words, “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” Very illuminating. PETA, meanwhile, has released an ad with a young cartoon woman of undefined racial heritage and the cast of Zoobilee Zoo as a way of envisioning “a world where respect is the right of every being.” Ah, yes. Much to think about!”

From the Arms of Angel to the Angel of Death (from Nathan Winograd): “Three years later to the very day Nyla came into her life, Angel entrusted her to the ASPCA to get spayed. Angel met the ASPCA transport van at the agreed upon pick up location in the Bronx so that Nyla could be taken to the ASPCA clinic in Manhattan for sterilization. When it pulled up, however, Angel immediately felt uncomfortable. She was expecting a van that had built-in cages for dogs, a true medical transport vehicle. Instead, she says, the ASPCA was using a low-budget transport van — the type that delivers vegetables to restaurants or newspapers to the bodegas — empty inside except for two loose dog crates. Although the crate was ultimately attached to the van with a cord after Nyla was put inside, Angel’s foreboding grew when the ASPCA staff member removed Nyla’s leash, then collar, and handed them back to her, for how would Nyla be restrained upon arrival? But she said, she saw the ASPCA logo on the van and thought, “It’s the ASPCA. They know what they are doing.”

They didn’t.”

‘I brainwashed myself with the internet’ (from NBC News): “It’s impossible to know whether Judith’s baby would be alive if she had induced at 42 weeks or scheduled a cesarean section or made any choices other than the ones she did. The hospital didn’t perform an autopsy, and doctors couldn’t explain exactly why her baby’s heart stopped beating. Even so, Judith has spent every day since then replaying different scenarios, imagining a better outcome and asking herself just how she got here.

As well as she can figure, it started with the podcasts.”

Richard Dawkins Claims Eugenics Works. He’s Wrong. (from Skepchick): “Hmm, you may think. He has a point! An edgy point! Too edgy for you, snowflake! Eugenics works and that’s just a scientific fact. Were he correct about this, it would be, perhaps, a valid point. Let’s say that some politician were arguing for us to end the AIDS crisis by systematically executing every person with HIV or AIDS, and you fought back by saying “that would be morally wrong, Dawkins would be technically correct to say “Look, it’s one thing to deplore shooting every HIV/AIDS patient in the brain on ideological, political, moral grounds. It’s quite another to conclude that it wouldn’t work to end AIDS. Of course it would.” ”

The Internet Is a Toxic Hellscape—but We Can Fix It (from Wired): “I don’t make this bargain with my own students. For one thing, I wouldn’t want them to think that I was joking. For another, I wouldn’t want to suggest that the kind of anxiety I’m describing is something in need of fixing, something negative, an albatross cursing your ship. The kind of anxiety I’m describing is the north star guiding ships onward. At least it can be, when the worry itself is reframed and harnessed toward the common good. Because what is it, other than an awareness of consequence and connection? What is it, other than the recognition that things should be different? There is no yearning for a better world when there are no guiding stars. They are a necessary precondition for meaningful change. That’s what gets left out of almost every story about anxiety in the Trump era. It’s the shadow side of hope.”

Revealed: quarter of all tweets about climate crisis produced by bots (from The Guardian): “On an average day during the period studied, 25% of all tweets about the climate crisis came from bots. This proportion was higher in certain topics – bots were responsible for 38% of tweets about “fake science” and 28% of all tweets about the petroleum giant Exxon.

Conversely, tweets that could be categorized as online activism to support action on the climate crisis featured very few bots, at about 5% prevalence. The findings “suggest that bots are not just prevalent, but disproportionately so in topics that were supportive of Trump’s announcement or skeptical of climate science and action”, the analysis states.”

Catcher Jonathan Lucroy says he was changing signs every pitch vs. Astros (from ESPN): “According to Lucroy, the Athletics informed Major League Baseball about their experience with the Astros, but no investigation was started until Fiers went on the record with The Athletic in November.

Athletics general manager David Forst confirmed to The Mercury News last week that Oakland complained to the league well before MLB’s investigation commenced.

Word began spreading quickly about the Astros, and Lucroy said he would text others around the league about what he had learned.”

Word Of Faith’s Pattern Of Abuse ‘Got Worse Over Time,’ Says ‘Broken Faith’ Author (from NPR): “You have to realize they believe that Jane Whaley was a prophet, that God spoke to her and everything she said was the gospel. And one of the techniques that she used was that she had everybody inform on each other. And the reason they did that was because that was the godly way of doing things. It was, in a way, she would have them tell her their deepest, darkest secrets. And then she kept a file of those secrets. And if they threatened to leave or did something wrong, she had all the evidence she needed there to keep them in line.”

A farmer from 1810 had more liberal views on homosexuality than 70 countries do today (from CNN): “Responding to reports in the media about a naval surgeon being executed for sodomy — a typical punishment for homosexuality in the 19th century — Tomlinson reasoned that penalizing people for something that had been their “nature from childhood” was unfair.”

Scientists find another threat to Greenland’s glaciers lurking beneath the ice (from CNN): “Scientists have long known that higher air temperatures are contributing to the surface melting on Greenland’s ice sheet.

But a new study has found another threat that has begun attacking the ice from below: Warm ocean water moving underneath the vast glaciers is causing them to melt even more quickly.”

Sand dunes can ‘communicate’ with each other (from Phys.org): “Even though they are inanimate objects, sand dunes can ‘communicate’ with each other. A team from the University of Cambridge has found that as they move, sand dunes interact with and repel their downstream neighbours.”

Robots learn to sweat to stop overheating (from The Verge): “For the roboticist who has everything, here’s something new: a soft robot hand that sweats.

Designed to handle scenarios where long operating hours might lead to a robot overheating and its performance degrading, this three-fingered gripper stays cool by borrowing one of humanity’s greatest attributes: our sweat glands.”

That’s all for today. Stop by again for more links you didn’t know you had to bookmark. Until next week, see you soon and 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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