The Biggest Psychological Experiment in History ; The International Space Station Is Getting a New Toilet ; and More Picks 6/17

A Decade of Inaction on Climate Is Putting Lives at Risk

The Biggest Psychological Experiment in History ; The International Space Station Is Getting a New Toilet ; and More Picks

The Biggest Psychological Experiment in History ; The International Space Station Is Getting a New Toilet ; and More Picks 6/17

Intense Investigations Into Hanging Deaths of Two Black Men Begin After Initial Dismissals (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “When Malcolm Harsch, a 38-year-old Black man, was found hanging from a tree in Victorville two weeks ago, authorities said they saw no evidence of foul play. A week later, when Robert Fuller, another Black man, was discovered hanging from a tree in Palmdale, the initial cause of death was listed as suicide. But after protests and questions in the two deaths, the FBI announced Monday that it was examining both cases.”

Suspects in Killing of Santa Cruz and Oakland Officers Linked to Right-Wing Group (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “On the morning of May 29, federal authorities say, as protests erupted nationwide over the police killing of George Floyd, a Travis Air Force Base staff sergeant and purported follower of the anti-government extremist Boogaloo movement sat at his computer at the Fairfield base plotting how to target law enforcement during the civil unrest. ‘Go to the riots and support our own cause,’ Steven Carrillo typed into a Facebook post, according to an FBI affidavit unsealed Tuesday. … Later that night, federal investigators say, as angry protesters marched through downtown Oakland streets in the city’s most chaotic night of police clashes, Carrillo took advantage of the distraction, spraying a guard shack outside the Oakland federal building with bullets from the open door of his van with his handmade assault rifle.” 

Cassandra Fairbanks Claims Antifa Attacked Her. Police Reports and Neighbors Say Otherwise. (Chris C.)

The author writes, “Cassandra Fairbanks and her right-wing media colleagues solicited nearly $25,000 ​in a fundraiser ​benefiting​ Fairbanks after she claimed she was targeted by anti-fascists who​, she said, shot fireworks and guns at her home in Washington​, D.C. A Right Wing Watch investigation found little evidence to support Fairbanks’ ​telling​ of events.”

Why Has COVID-19 Not Led to More Humanitarian Releases? (Chris C.)

From the Boston Review: “While a number of municipalities shrunk their jail admissions in the early months of the pandemic, no state has meaningfully reduced its prison population. Jails generally house people who are awaiting trial but who are too poor to make bail or who are serving short sentences, whereas prisons house people who have been found guilty and sentenced to a year or more. In the restrictive purview of elite empathy, then, jails have been an easier sell for massive reduction. According to an analysis by the Prison Policy Initiative, local municipalities have reduced their jail populations by an average of 31 percent. State governments and the federal Bureau of Prisons, meanwhile, have reduced their incarcerated population by an average of just 5 percent.”

The Biggest Psychological Experiment in History Is Running Now (Dana)

The author writes, “The pandemic’s effect on mental health could be even more far-reaching [than its effect on physical health]. At one point roughly one third of the planet’s population was under orders to stay home. That means 2.6 billion people … were experiencing the emotional and financial reverberations of this new coronavirus. … As many as two thirds of individuals recover from difficult experiences without prolonged psychological effects, even when they have lived through events such as violent crime or being a prisoner of war. … But the other third suffers real psychological distress — some people for a few months, others for years. Even if most individuals prove resilient, the toll of the ­COVID-19 disruptions and the sheer numbers involved have experts warning of a mental illness ‘tsunami.’”

My Abortion War Story (Lisa P.)

From the New York Review of Books: “Seventy years ago, when it was officially believed that abortion was a crime rarely resorted to by American women, one out of four were having them, according to Dr. Alfred Kinsey, since love and sex had not been outlawed as well. There were also far more deaths from perforated uteruses and peritonitis and conditions euphemistically called urinary infections than were ever reported in the papers, but each appalling story that came to light weighed upon the minds of young women of my generation.”

The International Space Station Is Getting a New Toilet This Year (Dana)

The author writes, “Officially, the commode is NASA’s Universal Waste Management System (UWMS). The system is designed to bridge the gap between current lavatorial space technology and what humans will need to make extended visits to, say, Mars, in comfort.”


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