tech, social media, X, audio and video calls, global address book
Photo credit: Matthew Hurst / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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

Listen To This Story
Voiced by Amazon Polly

Audio and Video Calls Are Coming to Twitter/X: Musk (Maria)

The author writes, “Ever wanted to call someone on Twitter (sorry, X)? Soon, you’ll get your chance. According to Twitter/X owner Elon Musk, the company is about to launch video and audio calls. In a tweet Thursday, Musk also listed some of the feature’s traits: It will work on iOS, Android, Mac, and PC, he wrote, and no phone number will be needed. …  Musk calls video and audio calls on Twitter/X ‘unique’ as he deems X the ‘effective global address book.’” 

State Supreme Court Emails Show Chaotic First Week of Liberal Control (Al)

The authors write, “On Friday, Aug. 4, within hours of the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s new liberal majority voting to update rules cementing its control over court business, liberal Justice Rebecca Dallet shared the changes with all of the justices, but they included a typo. Conservative Chief Justice Annette Ziegler asked twice for a copy of the correct version. Dallet’s law clerk wrote to the justices that the changes would not be released that day. ‘So you refuse to give me what you passed today?’ Ziegler replied by email. Fifteen minutes later, Dallet’s clerk sent Ziegler the document she requested. A half hour later, Ziegler, through a court spokesperson, emailed to the press.”

Pope Says Some ‘Backward’ Conservatives in US Catholic Church Have Replaced Faith With Ideology (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Pope Francis has blasted the ‘backwardness’ of some conservatives in the U.S. Catholic Church, saying they have replaced faith with ideology and that a correct understanding of Catholic doctrine allows for change over time. Francis’ comments were an acknowledgment of the divisions in the U.S. Catholic Church, which has been split between progressives and conservatives who long found support in the doctrinaire papacies of St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI, particularly on issues of abortion and same-sex marriage.”

Elon Musk’s Shadow Rule (Reader Jim)

From The New Yorker: “The U.S. government came to rely on the tech billionaire — and is now struggling to rein him in.”

Syria Protests Spurred by Economic Misery Stir Memories of the 2011 Uprising (Sean)

From Haaretz: “The ongoing protests highlight Assad’s vulnerability as a result of the failing economy, even in areas that tried to withstand the situation and not hold large-scale protests against his rule.”

Due to Sea-Ice Retreat, Zooplankton Could Remain in the Deep Longer (Mili)

The author writes, “Due to intensifying sea-ice melting in the Arctic, sunlight is now penetrating deeper and deeper into the ocean. Since marine zooplankton respond to the available light, this is also changing their behavior — especially how the tiny organisms rise and fall within the water column. As an international team of researchers has now shown, in the future this could lead to more frequent food shortages for the zooplankton, and to negative effects for larger species including seals and whales.”

Take the High Road: The Man Who Visited Every Country in the World — Without Boarding a Plane (Laura)

From The Guardian: “At 34, Torbjørn Pedersen embarked on a seemingly impossible journey that would take 10 years — and involve cerebral malaria and being held up at gunpoint. He reflects on the highs, the lows and the joy of getting married en route.”


Comments are closed.