Weekly Reader: Vol 3 Issue 45

It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse. It’s time once again for your Weekly Reader! As always, if you have something to share, drop by the comments and leave a link or two. The more, the merrier!

A fan of black coffee and dark chocolate? It’s in your genes, a new study says (from CNN): “But here’s a twist. Cornelis and her team don’t think the preference has anything to do with the taste of plain black coffee or tea. Instead, she said, people with this gene prefer black coffee and tea because they associate the bitter flavor with the boost in mental alertness they crave from caffeine.”

HOW ANTI-IMMIGRATION POLICIES ARE LEADING PRISONS TO LEASE CONVICTS AS FIELD LABORERS (from Pacific Standard–article is from 2019, but it needs to be shared): “Since Emancipation, agriculture has moved its focus from one labor source to another in response to shifting currents of populism, nativism, and racism. All three benefit from the exploitation of minority populations, and all three justify policies of exploitation in economic terms.”

Kentucky man barged into Harvey school’s virtual class, hurling racist insults at kids, feds say (from Nola.com): “Fifth-grade students of Laureate Academy Charter School in Harvey were taking a virtual lesson via Zoom on the morning of Oct. 14, 2020, when Brian Adams allegedly accessed the session without permission and told the majority Black classroom, “You all are a bunch of dirty n—-s,” prosecutors wrote in documents filed at New Orleans’ federal courthouse this month. He is also accused of saying, “I am gonna hang you by the tree,” while students covered their eyes and ears or started crying, prosecutors added, citing a recording of the alleged actions.”

A major 2021 Viking find from 1021 illuminates North America’s past — and our present (from NBC News): “In the 1,000 years since, the history of the Vikings’ voyages to North America has been fashioned and refashioned to suit many different agendas. For Rasmus Anderson, the Vikings of the sagas had much to offer 19th-century America. Indeed, the Norsemen were almost proto-Americans. They were independent, freedom-loving explorers whose far-flung exploits foreshadowed the immigration and westward expansion that were shaping America as Anderson was writing. Of course, in the 21st century we are, or should be, more sensitive than Anderson was to the potentially tragic dimensions of the story. According to the sagas, the Vikings encountered, in the place they called Vinland, native peoples whose descendants would be devastated thanks to their contact with Europeans.”

California is suing Walmart over alleged improper disposal of e-waste and other hazardous materials (from The Verge): “State investigators conducted 58 inspections across 13 counties from 2015 to 2021 and said they found classified hazardous and medical waste in each store’s trash compactors, as well as customer information that should have been rendered indecipherable. The California DOJ estimates that Walmart’s unlawfully disposed waste totals 159,600 pounds or more than 1 million items each year.”

Los Angeles police kill girl, 14, when firing at suspect in clothing store (from The Guardian): “Choi said that when police entered the store they thought the suspect was armed. No firearm was found on or near him, though officers retrieved a “very heavy lock” which police believe was involved in the assault that left a woman injured.”

55-foot-long Triassic sea monster discovered in Nevada (from LiveScience): “The discovery suggests that such ichthyosaurs — a group of fish-shaped marine reptiles that inhabited the dinosaur-era seas — grew to enormous sizes in a span of only 2.5 million years, the new study finds. To put that in context, it took whales about 90% of their 55 million-year history to reach the huge sizes that ichthyosaurs evolved to in the first 1% of their 150 million-year history, the researchers said.”

That’s all for today! But don’t fret. I’ll be back next time with more random articles you might find fascinating. So until then, have a great rest of your weekend, stay safe, 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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