Science Students, Teachers Get Times Square New Year’s Stage

The End of a Decade Without a Name ; 'Disinformation' Is the Word of the Year ; and More Picks

climate crisis, Times Square ball drop, students
The author writes, “This year's New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square will spotlight efforts to combat climate change when high school science teachers and students press the button that begins the famous 60-second ball drop and countdown to next year. ‘On New Year's Eve, we look back and reflect on the dominant themes of the past year, and seek hope and inspiration as we look forward,’ Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins said in a statement. ... The honorees, he said, ‘are working to solve this global problem through science.’” Photo credit: Quentin Yang / Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Waters Off California Are Acidifying Twice as Fast as the Global Ocean (Mili) 

The author writes, “California coastal waters contain some of our nation’s more economically valuable fisheries, including salmon, crabs and shellfish. Yet, these fisheries are also some of the most vulnerable to the potential harmful effects of ocean acidification on marine life. That increase in acidity is caused by the ocean absorbing excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.”

‘Sad and Disgusted’: Before It Was Jeffrey Epstein’s Mansion, It Was My School Campus (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Until the arrest, I had no idea this predator lived, at least part of the time, inside the former home of our alma mater…”

The End of a Decade Without a Name: Right-Wing Populism, Digital Darkness, Self-Harm (Chris)

From the Byline Times: “The UK has embarked on a lengthy and painful act of self-defenestration. The nation has given in to the forces of irrationality and intolerance, as nebulous politicians have busied themselves drilling holes in the hull of the HMS Britannia.” 

Here’s How the NYT Misled Readers With Its Headlines and Tweets in 2019 (Chris)

The author writes, “The New York Times, long referred to as the ‘newspaper of record,’ has failed multiple times in 2019 in the way it covered President Donald Trump, the 2020 presidential race, and other issue areas in its headlines and tweets. Media critics, experienced journalists, and other experts called out some of the Times’ headlines and tweets for pushing misinformation, framing the story in line with right-wing talking points, or using euphemisms in place of accurate descriptions.”

‘Disinformation’ Is the Word of the Year (Reader Jim)

From NPR: “As always, this year’s word of the year candidates came from all over. There were the viral memes like OK Boomer and weird flex but OK. But they won’t endure any longer than earlier years’ candidates like FOMO and man bun. Quid pro quo had a moment, but the jury’s still out on that one. And a surge in dictionary lookups led Merriam Webster to pick nonbinary they. My choice of disinformation needs some explaining. It isn’t a new word, just one of the family of names we give to the malignancies that contaminate the public discourse.”

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