Weekly Reader: Vol 3 Issue 38

It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse. It’s another edition of Weekly Reader! As always, if you have something to share, drop a link over in the comments!

Peter Thiel’s Origin Story (from The Intelligencer): “In 2019, while on a trip to Washington to answer questions from Congress about his digital currency, Thiel joined Zuckerberg, Jared Kushner, Trump, and their spouses at the White House. The specifics of the discussion were secret — but, as I report in my book, Thiel later told a confidant that Zuckerberg came to an understanding with Kushner during the meal. Facebook, he promised, would continue to avoid fact-checking po­litical speech — thus allowing the Trump campaign to claim whatever it wanted. If the company followed through on that promise, the Trump administra­tion would lay off on any heavy-handed regulations.”

Facebook forced troll farm content on over 40% of all Americans each month (from Ars Technica): “What’s more, the troll farms were able to slip their content into Instant Articles and Ad Breaks, two Facebook programs that give partners a cut from sales of advertisements that run alongside page content. “In Instant Articles, there was a period when perhaps as much as 60% of Instant article reads were taking place on scraped content, which is the Troll Farms article writing method of choice,” Allen said. Facebook had been inadvertently paying the troll farms.”

Misophonia: When Life’s Noises Drive You Mad (from NPR): “Misophonia got its name just a few years ago, and it is not officially listed as a diagnosis in any medical manuals. Many doctors have never heard of it, and if patients do mention their symptoms, they are sometimes dismissed or diagnosed with a mood disorder.”

‘I regret having children’ (from Maclean’s): “Unsurprisingly, women who express regret are called selfish, unnatural, abusive “bad moms” or believed to “exemplify the ‘whining’ culture we allegedly live in,” as Donath puts it. One commenter called Dutton “an utterly miserable, cold-hearted and selfish woman.” Even Donath has been savaged for her research: one critic suggested she be burned alive.”

Sir Walter Raleigh’s Colony Vanished Over 400 Years Ago. Scientists Are Still Looking (from NPR): “It’s one of the nation’s great mysteries: The first permanent colony of English settlers in what would become the U.S., founded in North Carolina in 1587 by Sir Walter Raleigh, disappeared three years later with virtually no trace.

Now, archaeologists hope a new search for the Lost Colony will unearth clues about what happened to 117 men, women and children who vanished and were never seen again.”

‘I need help’: Michigan health official troubled after almost being run off the road by anti-maskers (from Raw Story): “In his Aug. 22 email to commissioners, in which the health officer provides extensive data supporting the county’s school mask requirement, London paints a dark picture of the abuse he has faced, from people “accusing me of being a deep state agent of liberal-progressive socialist powers that are working to undo the America they love (paraphrased minus expletives)” to others calling him a “child-abusing monster.””

Dog collar or slave collar? A Dutch museum interrogates a brutal past. (from National Geographic): “From the 17th to the 19th centuries, Dutch traders sold more than 600,000 Africans to buyers in North and South America and enslaved and sold between 660,000 and 1.1 million people from Asian territories.”

Here’s Why Firefighters Are Wrapping Sequoia Trees In Aluminum Blankets (from NPR): “General Sherman looms over the north end of Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park. Firefighters and park officials have been on alert in recent days, as the KNP Complex Fire has neared the area.

Intent on saving General Sherman and other high-priority trees, firefighters wrapped sequoias in aluminum-based blankets, sheathing the trees’ foot-thick bark with a synthetic material to help them survive.”

That’s all for today. But don’t fret. I’ll be back again, same bot time, same bot channel, with other tidbits and factoids you’ll want to digest. Until then, have a great rest of your week, stay safe and I’ll see you soon!

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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