Listen To This Story
Voiced by Amazon Polly

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.

Beloved Monarch Butterflies Land on Endangered List (Maria)

The author writes, “North America’s monarch butterfly, whose showy looks and extraordinary migration have made it one of the continent’s most beloved insects, has been classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the world’s most comprehensive scientific authority on the status of species. … ‘It’s been so sad to watch their numbers decline so much, so anything that might help them makes me happy, and I think that this designation might help them,’ said Karen Oberhauser, a conservation biologist at the University of Wisconsin. … Monarch experts are eager to enlist the public’s help in saving the species. Their message: Plant milkweed that’s native to your region.”

Survey Looks at Acceptance of Political Violence in US (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “One in five adults in the United States would be willing to condone acts of political violence, a new national survey commissioned by public health experts found, revelations that they say capture the escalation in extremism that was on display during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.”

Pregnant Women Can’t Get Divorced in Missouri (Dana)

From the Riverfront Times: “Missouri law states that a petition for divorce must provide eight pieces of information, things like the residence of each party, the date of separation, and, notably, ‘whether the wife is pregnant.’ If the answer is yes, [Danielle] Drake says, ‘What that practically does is put your case on hold.’ There is a lot of disagreement online about whether pregnant Missouri women can get divorced. The RFT spoke to multiple lawyers who handle divorce proceedings and they all agreed that in Missouri a divorce can’t be finalized if either the petitioner (the person who files for divorce) or the respondent (the other party in the divorce) is pregnant.”

Why BeReal Is Breaking Out (Russ)

From The Verge: “Let’s talk about a social network that is starting to break through after two years of slow climbing. It’s called BeReal, and it combines nostalgia for social apps that came before with an anxiety about the world those apps created. While it’s impossible to say how big it could grow — or how long it will last — for the moment, BeReal is generating legitimate enthusiasm among TikTokers, Twitter addicts, and college students.”

Chinese Investors Buy $6.1 Billion Worth of US Homes in Past 12 Months (Sean)

The author writes, “For the first time in three years, activity from overseas real estate buyers has increased. During a time when the housing market is under incredible scrutiny and seeing astonishing prices, investors from China are gobbling up available homes. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that international buyers combined to purchase $59 billion worth of U.S. residential properties between April 2021 and March 2022, up 8.5% from the same period one year earlier. Chinese investors accounted for $6.1 billion dollars in home purchases, totaling over 10% of the market.”

Those Lights Aren’t Just Messing With Your Sleep. They’re Bothering the Trees. (Mili)

From Anthropocene: “Like humans trees have circadian clocks. A new study finds urban light pollution changes those clocks, causing trees to leaf out earlier and change color later.”

Pentagon Renames UFO Office, Expands Mission to Include ‘Transmedium’ Objects (Sean)

From Defense News: “After only eight months of existence, the Pentagon’s office tasked with investigating and tracking UFOs — or unidentified aerial phenomena — will look beyond the stars for objects of interest. On Wednesday, the Pentagon announced that it renamed and expanded the authority of the government’s chief UFO office. Formerly known as the Airborne Object Identification and Management Group, the office will now be known as the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office, or AARO.”