environment, biodiversity, eastern bumblebee, hibernation, submersion, survival
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Surprise Superpower: Bumblebee Species Able To Survive Underwater for Up to a Week (Maria)

The author writes, “Bumblebees might be at home in town and country but now researchers have found at least one species that is even more adaptable: it can survive underwater. Scientists have revealed queens of the common eastern bumblebee, a species widespread in eastern North America, can withstand submersion for up to a week when hibernating. With bumblebee queens known to burrow into soil to hibernate, the researchers say the phenomenon could help them survive flooding in the wild. The team said its next priority was to explore whether the results hold for other species of bumblebee.”

Republicans Are Suing for the Right To Harass Election Workers (DonkeyHotey)

From Democracy Docket: “You might think that even in today’s highly polarized election environment there would be a bipartisan consensus to protect election workers from intimidation and harassment. If you thought so, you would be wrong. In recent weeks, there have been a series of lawsuits aimed at undoing protections for election workers.”

‘Water Is More Valuable Than Oil’: The Corporation Cashing in on America’s Drought (Gerry, Reader Jim, and Sean)

The authors write, “One of the biggest battles over Colorado River water is being staged in one of the west’s smallest rural enclaves. Tucked into the bends of the lower Colorado River, Cibola, Arizona, is a community of about 200 people. Maybe 300, if you count the weekenders who come to boat and hunt. Dusty shrublands run into sleepy residential streets, which run into neat fields of cotton and alfalfa. Nearly a decade ago, Greenstone Resource Partners LLC, a private company backed by global investors, bought almost 500 acres of agricultural land here in Cibola. In a first-of-its-kind deal, the company recently sold the water rights tied to the land to the town of Queen Creek, a suburb of Phoenix, for a $14m gross profit.”

Kari Lake Claims She Shouldn’t Have To Pay for Defaming Election Official (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Kari Lake is advancing a new legal theory why she doesn’t owe anything to Stephen Richer for making defamatory statements about his handling of elections: His 2024 bid for a new term as Maricopa County recorder is doing just fine financially despite all that. Attorney Tim La Sota, who is representing Lake in Richer’s defamation lawsuit against her, cited the county recorder’s claim that he already raised $250,000 in his reelection bid. By contrast, La Sota said, Richer raised less than $310,000 in his entire effort to first get elected in 2020. That’s important, La Sota said, because Richer, in filing the defamation suit, claimed Lake’s comments ‘cut (him) off from Republican networks and donors who once supported his career and future ambitions in public office.’”

The Cloud Under the Sea (Reader Jim)

From The Verge: “The internet is carried around the world by hundreds of thousands of miles of slender cables that sit at the bottom of the ocean. These fragile wires are constantly breaking — a precarious system on which everything from banks to governments to TikTok depends. But thanks to a secretive global network of ships on standby, every broken cable is quickly fixed. This is the story of the people who repair the world’s most important infrastructure.”

The EPA Has Done Nearly Everything It Can to Clean Up This Town. It Hasn’t Worked. (Laura)

From ProPublica: “Despite years of air monitoring, inspections, and millions in penalties for petrochemical plants, the air in Calvert City, Kentucky, remains polluted. The EPA’s inability to fix it is an indictment of the laws governing clean air, experts say.”

Rare 100-Year-Old Train Carriage Found Buried in Belgium (Dana)

The author writes, “Archaeologists in Belgium have unearthed a century-old train carriage marked with the logo of the London North Eastern Railway (LNER). Nobody knows how the rare model ended up underground in the metropolis of Antwerp, 500 miles from the rail company’s English headquarters. The old train car was found during excavations of a 19th-century fortress known as the Northern Citadel, according to a statement from LNER. Made of wood and painted dark red with yellow lettering, the wagon is a ‘removals’ car, used for moving people’s belongings from residence to residence.”


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