presidential election, astronaut vote, Kate Rubins
The author writes, “On Election Day, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins will be more than 200 miles above her nearest polling place. But she’s still planning to vote — from space. ‘It’s critical to participate in our democracy,’ Rubins told the Associated Press. ‘We consider it an honor to be able to vote from space.’ Rubins, who has a doctorate in cancer biology from Stanford and was the first person to sequence DNA in space, is training for her upcoming six-month mission on the International Space Station.” Photo credit: NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

G.I. Joe Trotsky ; CEOs Are Hugely Expensive — Why Not Automate Them? ; and More Picks 4/28

G.I. Joe Trotsky (Reader Steve)

From Project Syndicate: “Leon Trotsky may not claim a mass following nowadays, but the revolutionary tactics that he pioneered remain very much in use, and not only by communists or in today’s Russia, where they are called ‘political technology.’ One such tactic, known as ‘entryism’ — when members of an extremist group join, subvert, and ultimately take over a more powerful organization, which they then use as a political weapon — has gained adherents among far-right groups in the United States. Their target: America’s military.”

CEOs Are Hugely Expensive — Why Not Automate Them? (Dana)

From the New Statesman: “Over the next two weeks, the boards of BAE Systems, AstraZeneca, Glencore, Flutter Entertainment and the London Stock Exchange all face the possibility of shareholder revolts over executive pay at their forthcoming annual general meetings (AGMs). As the AGM season begins, there is a particular focus on pay. Executive pay is often the most contentious item at an AGM, but this year is clearly exceptional. The people running companies that have been severely impacted by Covid-19 can’t be blamed for the devastation of their revenues by the pandemic, but they also can’t take credit for the government stimulus that has kept them afloat.”

Side-Stepping Safeguards, Data Journalists Are Doing Science Now (Bethany)

The author writes, “News stories are increasingly told through data. Witness the Covid-19 time series that decorate the homepages of every major news outlet; the red and blue heat maps of polling predictions that dominate the runup to elections; the splashy, interactive plots that dance across the screen. As a statistician who handles data for a living, I welcome this change. News now speaks my favorite language, and the general public is developing a healthy appetite for data, too. But many major news outlets are no longer just visualizing data, they are analyzing it in ever more sophisticated ways.”

Scores of Tule Elk Died at Point Reyes Seashore in 2020. Are Their Days Numbered? (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Tule elk are treasured creatures in California, and for years, animal rights groups have butted heads with the Point Reyes National Seashore over its practice of keeping elk fenced away from nearby cattle ranches. Amid a dry 2020, the groups tried to bring water to the creatures but were rebuffed by the National Park Service. Now the federal agency has released a report indicating that more than one third of the 445 elk fenced in at Tomales Point died this past winter, bringing the population down to 293.”

Japanese Man Arrested After Dating 35 Women at the Same Time in Bid to ‘Get Birthday Presents’ (Dana)

The author writes, “A Japanese man has been arrested after reportedly dating more than 35 women at the same time. Takashi Miyagawa, a part-time worker, is being investigated for allegedly defrauding dozens of women by pretending he was serious about each of their relationships and receiving hundreds of pounds worth of gifts from them. He was apparently caught out when the women joined forces to create a victims’ association after discovering his extensive infidelity and reported him to the police, according to local media.”


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