Weekend Reads 11/18/17

When will the Earth try to kill us again?

Working in the 19th century, paleontology pioneer Georges Cuvier saw dramatic turnovers of life in the fossil record and likened them to the French Revolution, then still fresh in his memory.

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Nine Life Lessons

Tim Minchin's 2013 address at the University of Western Australia. It's a little long compared to most videos I post here, but well worth hearing.

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Weekend Reads 11/4/17

Rick Perry made a jaw-dropping attempt to get in on the sexual assault debate

Basically: Expanding fossil fuels in Africa could help prevent sexual assault, presumably because fossil fuels produce light.

Jell-O salads and Catholic hospitals

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John Kelly and Misplaced Loyalty

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is in hot water over his controversial claims Monday about the Civil War. The specific phrase that upset most people was his assertion that the Civil War was caused by a "lack of an ability to compromise."

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Weekend Reads 10/21/17

The Supreme Court Is Allergic To Math

Four of the eight justices who regularly speak during oral arguments1 voiced anxiety about using calculations to answer questions about bias and partisanship. Some said the math was unwieldy, complicated, and newfangled. One justice called it “baloney” and argued that the difficulty the public would have in understanding the test would ultimately erode the legitimacy of the court.

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Weekend Reads 10/14/17

What Happens If the Honeybees Disappear?

Most honeybees in the U.S. today are of Italian heritage and vulnerable to a pest called the varroa mite. But Russian bees are more resistant to it, and backyard beekeepers have had success with them. The problem, says Tarpy, is that Russian honeybees don’t make as much honey as their Italian counterparts and “aren’t as amenable” to the migratory nature of pollinating large-scale farms.

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How Deer Got His Horns

A retelling of a Cherokee myth

When the world was young, the animals would often amuse themselves by having contests, awarding special prizes to the winners.

Now Deer was the best runner, and Rabbit the best jumper. The animals would argue among themselves about which of the two was faster.

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Weekend Reads 10/7/17

A New History of the First Peoples in the Americas

Today, the emerging theory is that the people up in the Bluefish Caves some 24,000 years ago were the founders, and that they represent a culture that was isolated for thousands of years up in the cold north, incubating a population that would eventually seed everywhere else.

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