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Weekend Reads 8/1/20

The real science behind SETI’s hunt for intelligent aliens

The first earnest call to search for technosignatures—and SETI’s formal beginning—came in 1959. That was the year that Cornell University physicists Giuseppe Cocconi and Philip Morrison published a landmark paper in Nature outlining the most likely characteristics of alien communication. It would make the most sense, they postulated, for aliens to communicate across interstellar distances using electromagnetic waves since they are the only media known to travel fast enough to conceivably reach us across vast distances of space.

Behind closed doors during one of John Roberts' most surprising years on the Supreme Court

As he closed out his 15th term in the center chair, Roberts demonstrated a new ability to calibrate his views and build coalitions. He sided with liberals in some major disputes, yet reinforced his conservatism on religion, voting rights and executive authority over independent agencies.

He also finished the session with a health scare -- one he initially tried to keep hidden from the public. Just as the session was ending, he fell while at a country club near his home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, hit his head and had to be taken by ambulance to a hospital.

The Republican National Convention will exclude the press and renominate Trump in private for the first time in modern history

Coronavirus fears have plagued the GOP's efforts to hold the convention, which normally boasts thousands of attendees. Trump has already called off plans to hold a convention speech in Jacksonville, Florida, after the city became a COVID-19 hotspot.

Ammon Bundy Comes Out in Support of BLM, Calls to Defund the Police

Bundy went on to blame Conservative talk show hosts for adding a negative connotation to certain key phrases like “defund the police,” which he called “the right thing to do” as police have become “a huge authoritarian bureaucracy” that will “take way our liberty.”

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