The Invention of Whiteness: The Long History of a Dangerous Idea (Dana)
The author writes, “In 2008, a satirical blog called Stuff White People Like became a brief but boisterous sensation. The conceit was straightforward, coupling a list, eventually 136 items long, of stuff that white people liked to do or own, with faux-ethnographic descriptions that explained each item’s purported racial appeal. … In the years since … the public significance of whiteness has undergone an almost wholesale re-evaluation. Far from being a punchline for an anxious, cathartic joke, whiteness is now earnestly invoked, like neoliberalism or populism, as a central driver of cultural and political affairs.”
The Blue States That Make It Hardest to Vote (Reader Steve)
The author writes, “If President Joe Biden wants to vote by mail next year in Delaware, he’ll have to provide a valid reason for why he can’t make the two-hour drive from the White House back to his polling place in Wilmington. Luckily for him, Biden’s line of work allows him to cast an absentee ballot: Being president counts as ‘public service’ under state law. Most Delaware residents, however, won’t have such a convenient excuse. Few states have more limited voting options than Delaware, a Democratic bastion that allowed little mail balloting before the pandemic hit. … Delaware isn’t an anomaly among Democratic strongholds, and its example presents the president’s party with an uncomfortable reminder: Although Democrats like to call out Republicans for trying to suppress voting, the states they control in the Northeast make casting a ballot more difficult than anywhere else.”
Leaked Ukraine Memo Reveals Scope of Russia’s Aggression (DonkeyHotey)
From Axios: “Russia has been holding last-minute military exercises near commercial shipping lanes in the Black Sea that threaten to strangle Ukraine’s economy, according to an internal document from Ukraine’s ministry of defense reviewed by Axios. Why it matters: With the eyes of the world on the massive buildup of troops in eastern Ukraine, the leaked memo shows Russian forces escalating their presence on all sides of the Ukrainian border.”
The Dead Sea Is Dying. Drinking Water Is Scarce. Jordan Faces a Climate Crisis (Reader Steve)
The author writes, “The first time people here saw a sinkhole, they thought a small asteroid had slammed into the Dead Sea’s salt-encrusted shore. Then others appeared. … The residents of Ghor Haditha realized the problem was literally beneath their feet, a symptom of the Dead Sea’s death and a disturbing measure of the parched land Jordan has become. This small kingdom has long ranked high on the list of water-poor countries. But a mix of a ballooning population, regional conflicts, chronic industrial and agricultural mismanagement and now climate change may soon bring it another distinction: the first nation to possibly lose viable sources of freshwater.”
Cracking the Case: New Study Sheds More Light on the ‘Brazil Nut Effect’ (Dana)
The author writes, “Open a can of mixed nuts, and chances are you’ll find a bunch of Brazil nuts topping the heap — whether that’s a good or bad thing depends on how you feel about Brazil nuts. It’s such a common phenomenon that it’s known as the ‘Brazil nut effect’ (though muesli mix also gives rise to the same dynamics of granular convection). Now, on video for the first time, a team of scientists from the University of Manchester in England has captured the complicated dynamics that cause the Brazil nut effect, according to a new paper published in the journal Scientific Reports.”
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