environment, sustainability, deforestation, 1,000-year-old trees, viscose
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Cutting Down 1,000-Year-Old Trees to Make T-Shirts: The Rise of Viscose (Maria)

The author writes, “You might think that wearing a top made from wood pulp would give instant eco-credentials — it is renewable, biodegradable, and, having once been a tree, it has soaked up some carbon along the way. What’s more, it’s not plastic. … Except that the chances are that your wood-pulp top may not be so green. ‘Deforestation continues to be a problem,’ says Nicole Rycroft, who founded Canopy, a Vancouver-based NGO, 10 years ago to help protect ancient and endangered forests.”

A Private Call of Top Democrats Fuels More Insider Anger About Biden’s Debate Performance (Reader Jim)

The author writes, “A sense of concern is growing inside the top ranks of the Democratic Party that leaders of Joe Biden’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee are not taking seriously enough the impact of the president’s troubling debate performance. … DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison and Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez held a Saturday afternoon call with dozens of committee members across the country, a group of some of the most influential members of the party. They largely ignored Biden’s weak showing Thursday night or the avalanche of criticism that followed.”

Getting Right With the Declaration of Independence (Al)

The author writes, “Most culturally literate Americans would agree that the Declaration of Independence is a basic expression of American ideals and that high school graduates should understand, in a general way, the circumstances in which it was written, the principles it articulates, and the influence it has had in the nearly 250 years since it was adopted. The education standards of nearly every state require teachers to teach and pupils to learn about the Declaration of Independence. The problem with most of these standards is that they don’t say, with sufficient clarity, what teachers are expected to teach about the Declaration.”

AI Companies Train Language Models on YouTube’s Archive — Making Family-and-Friends Videos a Privacy Risk (Sean)

From The Conversation: “The promised artificial intelligence revolution requires data. Lots and lots of data. OpenAI and Google have begun using YouTube videos to train their text-based AI models. But what does the YouTube archive actually include? Our team of digital media researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst collected and analyzed random samples of YouTube videos to learn more about that archive. We published an 85-page paper about that dataset and set up a website called TubeStats for researchers and journalists who need basic information about YouTube.”

Life in Taiwan Is Rowdy and Proud, Never Mind China’s Threats (Russ)

The author writes, “The Chinese Communist Party in Beijing claims Taiwan as its own territory, even though it’s never ruled the island, and says it will take Taiwan by military force if necessary. … But beyond the geopolitical tensions, a vibrant democratic society of 23 million people has blossomed — a development that irks Beijing beyond measure because it clearly shows that democracy and Chinese culture are in fact highly compatible.”

Why You’re Paying Your Veterinarian So Much (Dana)

From The New York Times: “People have grown more attached to their pets — and more willing to spend money on them — turning animal medicine into a high-tech industry worth billions.”

How to Hit the Trail With Nothing but Amtrak and a Bicycle (Laura)

From Sierra: “From Idaho to Alabama to Maine, adventure outdoors without taking a single car ride or plane trip.”


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