PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to picks@whowhatwhy.org.

Animals ‘Shapeshifting’ in Response to Climate Crisis, Research Finds (Maria)

The author writes, “Animals are increasingly ‘shapeshifting’ because of the climate crisis, researchers said. Warm-blooded animals are changing their physiology to adapt to a hotter climate, the scientists found. This includes growing larger beaks, legs and ears to better regulate their body temperature. These differences are becoming more pronounced as the climate warms.”

Trump’s Long Campaign to Steal the Presidency: A Timeline (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “The House select committee’s investigation into the Capitol Riot and the various media ticktocks explaining what Donald Trump and his allies were doing in the days immediately leading up to it are casting new light on an important threat to American democracy. But the intense focus on a few wild days in Washington can be misleading as well. Trump’s campaign to steal the 2020 presidential election began shortly after the 2016 election, and arguably the moment of peak peril for Joe Biden’s inauguration had already passed by the time Trump addressed the Stop the Steal rally on January 6. A full timeline of the attempted insurrection is helpful in putting Trump’s frantic, last-minute schemes into the proper context and countering the false impression that January 6 was an improvised, impossible-to-replicate event, rather than one part of an ongoing campaign.”

Police Say Demoralized Officers Are Quitting in Droves. Labor Data Says No. (Dan)

From The Marshall Project: “Since last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests, there’s a popular refrain echoing through urban police precincts, rural sheriff’s offices and city halls everywhere in between: Officers are fleeing America’s police forces in big numbers, officials say. And the timing couldn’t be worse, amid a rise in murders and shootings. Many argue cities must hire more police, but against the backdrop of nationwide scrutiny of police killings, morale has dropped to the point that few people want to be officers. According to federal data, those worries are unfounded.” 

In a First, Randomized Study Shows That Masks Reduce COVID-19 Infections (Reader Steve)

From Yale Insights: “In the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, health authorities advised against the use of masks by the public, concerned about diverting supplies from healthcare workers and creating a false sense of security that would reduce compliance with public health recommendations like social distancing and hand washing. By April 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control had reversed itself; in June, the World Health Organization followed suit. Masks were eventually adopted in much of the world. But evidence of the effectiveness of masks in preventing infection has been limited to lab experiments and healthcare settings. Now, for the first time, a randomized trial has demonstrated the effectiveness of masks in preventing infection in a real-world community setting. A large study in Bangladesh, co-authored by Yale SOM’s Jason Abaluck and Mushfiq Mobarak, found that a campaign to promote mask-wearing reduced symptomatic infections significantly, particularly among older people and those using surgical masks.”

This Is the Moment the Anti-Vaccine Movement Has Been Waiting For (Russ)

The author writes, “As the coronavirus began pushing the nation into lockdown in March 2020, Joshua Coleman, an anti-vaccine campaigner who organizes anti-vaccine rallies, went on Facebook Live to give his followers a rallying speech. He laid out what he thought the pandemic really was: an opportunity. ‘This is the one time in human history where every single human being across this country, possibly across the planet, but especially in this country, are all going to have an interest in vaccination and vaccines,’ he said. ‘So it’s time for us to educate.’ By ‘educate,’ he meant to spread misinformation about vaccines.”

The Taliban Are Showing Us the Dangers of Personal Data Falling Into the Wrong Hands (Mili)

The author writes, “The Taliban have openly talked about using US-made digital identity technology to hunt down Afghans who have worked with the international coalition – posing a huge threat to everyone recorded in the system. In addition, the extremists now also have access to — and control over — the digital identification systems and technologies built through international aid support. These include the e-Tazkira, a biometric identity card used by Afghanistan’s National Statistics and Information Authority, which includes fingerprints, iris scans and a photograph, as well as voter registration databases. It also includes the Afghan personnel and pay system, used by the interior and defence ministries to pay the army and police.”

‘New York State of Mind’ Video: Who Made It and How (Gerry)

From All Arts: “A walk down any street in New York City can re-affirm in an instant why you love being here: a generous slant of sunlight between buildings, a free outdoor performance and one of a million quirky human interactions. Those unexpected moments have been fewer since the pandemic started, which makes the beautifully filmed ‘New York State of Mind’ music video one of the best highlight reels of the year. The sight of Broadway stars and New York musicians performing Billy Joel’s ‘New York State of Mind’ all around New York City sends me over the moon and concretely back to the sidewalks outside our THIRTEEN headquarters, one theater-lined avenue from Times Square. … Here are some stories of these New York entertainers, whose remarkable accomplishments in New York City make being here the envy of performers and audiences around the world.”

print

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to the Daily WhoWhatWhy

Relevant, in-depth journalism delivered to you.
Name(Required)
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.