Weekend Reads 8/27/16

You Have Never Actually Eaten Mexican Food

In other words, the very foods that have come to characterize contemporary Mexican-American fare—cheese, flour tortillas, beef, cane sugar—didn't exist in America before the Europeans. And unfortunately those foods are linked to the obesity, diabetes, and cancer epidemics plaguing Mexican-American communities today.

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Making Humans Irrelevant

The robots are coming to take your job! Between self-service kiosks at fast-food restaurants and driverless Uber cars in Pittsburgh, more jobs are being automated out of the economy.

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Weekend Reads 8/20/16

If Bigfoot Were Real

I’d like to play a game and ponder things pertaining to the Bigfoot evidence, such as it is. It is, after all, great fun to wonder what the existence of Bigfoot would mean for field biology and ecology in North America, for conservation and wildlife management, for our understanding of primate evolution and diversity, and for the relationship we have with the rest of the natural world.

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Climate Change Casualties

The rat-like Bramble Cay melomys appears to have become extinct.

The rodent was known to have lived only on Bramble Cay, a minuscule atoll in the northeast Torres Strait, between the Cape York Peninsula in the Australian state of Queensland and the southern shores of Papua New Guinea. The long-tailed, whiskered creature, called the Bramble Cay melomys, was considered the only mammal endemic to the Great Barrier Reef.

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Assassin Dogs

On Tuesday Donald Trump made the following remarks about his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know.

Clinton supporters immediately denounced Trump, alleging that he was inciting violence.

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Third Party Politics

A Denver Post letter to the editor by Brian Marein outlines a way Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson could win the presidency without winning the popular vote. He only needs to win one state.

If no candidate wins an absolute majority in the Electoral College, the election is decided by the House of Representatives. Thus, if Johnson were to win, say, Colorado while Trump and Clinton split all other electoral votes 50-50, the House would pick the winner.

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Weekend Reads 8/6/16

"Just a Theory": 7 Misused Science Words

Most people tend to use mental shortcuts to make sense of the cacophony of information they're presented with every day. One of those tendencies is to make a "binary distinction between something that is true in an absolute sense and something that's false or a lie," Kruger said. "With science, it's more of a continuum. We're continually building our understanding."

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Walkable Cities

We'd all be healthier if we spent less time in our cars. Here's how to make it happen.

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The Religious...Left?

Ruth Graham, writing for Slate, looks at the demise of the religious right and wonders about the prospects for a different religious and political alignment.

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