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Exotic Green Comet Not Seen Since Stone Age Returns to Skies Above Earth (Maria)

The author writes, “An exotic green comet that has not passed Earth since the time of the Neanderthals has reappeared in the sky ready for its closest approach to the planet next week. Discovered last March by astronomers at the Zwicky Transient Facility at the Palomar Observatory in California, comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) was calculated to orbit the sun every 50,000 years, meaning it last tore past our home planet in the stone age. The comet, which comes from the Oort cloud at the edge of the solar system, will come closest to Earth on Wednesday and Thursday next week when it shoots past the planet at a distance of 2.5 light minutes — a mere 27M miles.” 

Arizona’s New Attorney General to Use Election Fraud Unit to Boost Voting Rights (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “A unit created under the former Republican attorney general of Arizona to investigate claims of election fraud will now focus on voting rights and ballot access under the newly elected Democratic attorney general. The Democratic attorney general, Kris Mayes, told the Guardian that instead of prosecuting claims of voter fraud, she will ‘reprioritize the mission and resources’ of the unit to focus on ‘protecting voting access and combating voter suppression.’”

A 3M Plant in Illinois Was the Country’s Worst Emitter of a Climate-Killing ‘Immortal’ Chemical in 2021 (Laura)

From Inside Climate News: “At a sprawling 3M chemical manufacturing complex [in Cordova, IL], where the company makes adhesives for Post-it notes, golf clubs and LCD displays, several hundred pounds of a potent climate killer are vented into the atmosphere each day. The 566-acre facility on the east bank of the Mississippi River, which also makes resins and fluorochemicals, released 73 tons of perfluoromethane (CF4) into the air in 2021, more than any other facility in the country.”

Discovery of Anti-Cancer Chemistry Makes Skullcap Fit for Modern Medicine (Mili)

The author writes, “The evolutionary secrets that enable the medicinal herb known as barbed skullcap to produce cancer fighting compounds have been unlocked by a collaboration of UK and Chinese researchers. The CEPAMS collaboration used DNA sequencing technology to assemble the genomic sequence of skullcap (Scutellaria barbata) known in China as banzhilian. This gave researchers the genetic information — a microevolutionary history — required to identify how the plant produces the compound scutebarbatine A, which acts against a range of cancer cells.”

Their Children Are Their Retirement Plans (Russ)

The author writes, “U.S.-born children of East Asian immigrants often straddle two worlds: carrying the torch of filial piety from their parents’ motherland while learning to assimilate to the American system, in which workers are largely responsible for their own retirements. Our retirement number — the amount of savings and investments we aim for — is a calculation that includes what our parents need to live comfortably in addition to what we’ll need for ourselves when we stop working.”

Thomas Jefferson: A Biography of Spirit and Flesh (Al)

From the Journal of the American Revolution: “There seems to be a reliable annual tradition of biographies about George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson being published. What else can we learn about these American icons? Baylor University professor Thomas S. Kidd is the latest Jefferson biographer on the scene, with his Thomas Jefferson: A Biography of Spirit and Flesh. … What makes Kidd’s new book stand out is its focus on the religious beliefs and sentiments of the Sage of Monticello. Sometimes attacked as an atheist by his enemies, Jefferson’s religious convictions will surprise many readers, for he did in fact have some.”

What the Longest Study on Human Happiness Found Is the Key to a Good Life (Sean)

From The Atlantic: “The Harvard Study of Adult Development has established a strong correlation between deep relationships and well-being. The question is, how does a person nurture those deep relationships?”

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