science, biodiversity, marine life, clownfish, new study, social order, simple math ability
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Counting Nemo: Clownfish May Be Capable of Simple Math (Maria)

The author writes, “A new study finds that the swimmers notice when other clownfish sport the same number of white lines as they do, suggesting they may be capable of using rudimentary counting to recognize fellow fish. So far in the animal kingdom, counting skills are known to help grab bigger meals or find safety in group sizes, says Brian Butterworth, a cognitive neuroscientist at University College London. But clownfish may have uncovered yet another ‘value’ in numbers: identification. The new study, published [yesterday] in the Journal of Experimental Biology, suggests clownfish can count up to three stripes on other fish … [enabling them to] identify the ones most likely to threaten their homes and social order.”

New Book Finds Trump’s Plot to Overturn 2020 Election ‘Crazier Than Anybody Imagined’ (Reader Jim)

From NPR: “When writers decide to take on a book project about someone in the news, about developments still unfolding, they take on a risk that, by the time their book gets through edits and onto our bookstore shelves, it may have been overtaken by events. Exhibit A is the new book Find Me the Votes. It is about Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election and about the Georgia prosecutor who decided to indict him over those efforts. That prosecutor is Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, and her personal life is currently making as many headlines as the case she’s bringing.”

China Is Buying Up US Farmland, But How Much Isn’t Clear (Sean)

The author writes, “America is seeing more and more of its most fertile land snapped up by China and other foreign buyers, yet problems with how the US tracks such data means it’s difficult to know just how much, according to a report. Foreign ownership and investment in property such as farmland, pastures and forests jumped to about 40 million acres in 2021, up 40% from 2016, according to the US Department of Agriculture data. But an analysis conducted by the US Government Accountability Office — a non-partisan watchdog that reports to Congress — found mistakes in the data, including the largest land holding linked with China being counted twice. Other issues include the challenge of enforcing a US law that requires foreigners to self-report such purchases, the report said, citing USDA.”

German Ex-Spy Chief Investigated for Right-Wing Extremism (Mili)

The author writes, “Hans-Georg Maassen was once in charge of hunting down neo-Nazis in Germany. Now he is being investigated for suspected right-wing extremism by the intelligence agency he headed until 2018. Mr Maassen has published a letter from the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) confirming that he is under investigation. The agency says it can’t comment on individual cases because of strict personal data protection rules.”

Where Groundwater Levels Are Falling, and Rising, Worldwide (Laura)

The authors write, “Data from more than 1,000 aquifers reveal widespread decline, but improvement in some places shows the trend can be reversed.”

Why Are So Many Indigenous Women Being Wrongly Convicted? (Dana)

From Rolling Stone: “Steps must be taken to prevent vulnerable women from becoming the target of racist prosecution, writes Maggie Freleng, the Pulitzer Prize-winning host of the Wrongful Conviction podcast.”

Rebecca Solnit: How to Comment on Social Media (Al)

From Literary Hub: “1) Do not read the whole original post or what it links to, which will dilute the purity of your response and reduce your chances of rebuking the poster for not mentioning anything they might’ve mentioned/written a book on/devoted their life to. Listening/reading delays your reaction time, and as with other sports, speed is of the essence.”


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