PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to picks@whowhatwhy.org.

Exxon Sets New Emissions Goals for 2030 (Maria)

The author writes, “Exxon on Wednesday unveiled 2030 greenhouse gas targets as it faces investor and activist pressure to do more on climate. They include a 20%-30% cut in corporate emissions intensity — that is, emissions per unit of output — and a 40%-50% intensity cut in oil-and-gas exploration and production. It is targeting a 70%-80% intensity cut for the highly potent greenhouse gas methane and efforts to curtail flaring. Exxon says it’s on pace to meet its 2025 targets by the end of this year.”

How the Theft of 44 Firearms From an L.A. Gun Store Exploded Into an LAPD Scandal (Russ)

From the Los Angeles Times: “Before it all came crashing down, Archi Duenas’ gun-stealing scheme was relatively simple, county prosecutors wrote in a memo. He just couldn’t go on vacation. Duenas, manager of the gun store at the Los Angeles Police Academy, had been reprimanded over the years for tardiness and sloppy record keeping, but he never took time off, according to the memo. As the store’s closing supervisor, he was there each night to lock up — and hand count the inventory. If someone else had been assigned that count, they might have discovered that dozens of guns were missing and that Duenas was stealing them and selling them for cash, prosecutors wrote in the memo. But since he was always there, the Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club was apparently none the wiser.”

Conservative Media Makes Up a Fake Florida Mansion for Nancy Pelosi (Dana)

From The Bulwark: “Over the weekend, Conservatism Inc. found a new scandal to promote: A false report that Nancy Pelosi had purchased a $25 million mansion in Florida, home to 2024 hopeful, Gov. Ron DeSantis and former President Trump. To underscore: This story is false. Nancy Pelosi has not bought a $25 million mansion in Florida. But watching how the fake news blew through the conservative ecosystem is illuminating.

Nationwide Shortage of Quarters Hits Hard at Coin-Operated Businesses (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Seattle may style itself the capital of the information economy, but the ‘bits’ that matter most to locals like Heidi Thorsen are the quarters she and her customers have had to scrounge for since the pandemic struck. In the Before Times, Thorsen’s coin-only Lunar Laundry was what’s known as ‘quarter positive’: Customers brought in so many of their own coins that Thorsen made twice monthly coin deposits at her bank. But soon after pandemic restrictions hit last year, Thorsen noticed customers relying more often on her change machine. Then noncustomers — apartment tenants and even some small-business owners — began coming in and surreptitiously draining her change machine. As Lunar went quarter negative, Thorsen went to her bank to replenish her coin supply. But the bank was so short on change, she could only buy a few $10, 40-quarter rolls, and most often there were none at all. ‘Where the heck are they going?’ says Thorsen, who now spends considerable time moving her shrinking supply of quarters from her washers and dryers back to her change machine.”

We Live By a Unit of Time That Doesn’t Make Sense (Sean)

The author writes, “Days, months, and years all make sense as units of time — they match up, at least roughly, with the revolutions of Earth, the moon, and the sun. Weeks, however, are much weirder and clunkier. A duration of seven days doesn’t align with any natural cycles or fit cleanly into months or years. And though the week has been deeply significant to Jews, Christians, and Muslims for centuries, people in many parts of the world happily made do without it, or any other cycles of a similar length, until roughly 150 years ago. Now the seven-day week is a global standard — and has come to dominate our sense of where we stand in the flow of time, according to David Henkin, a historian at UC Berkeley. His new book, The Week: A History of the Unnatural Rhythms That Made Us Who We Are, traces the evolution — and analyzes the curious staying power — of what he lovingly refers to as ‘a recalcitrant calendar unit.’”

Spiders’ Web Secrets Unraveled (Mili)

The author writes, “Researchers discovered precisely how spiders build webs by using night vision and artificial intelligence to track and record every movement of all eight legs as spiders worked in the dark. Their creation of a web-building playbook or algorithm brings new understanding of how creatures with brains a fraction of the size of a human’s are able to create structures of such elegance, complexity and geometric precision.”

Bob Dylan’s ‘Retrospectrum’ Surveys the Musician’s Visual Art in His Most Expansive Museum Show (Dan)

From ARTnews: “Focusing on a seldom-seen side of one of the most indelible American artists of any kind, ‘Bob Dylan: Retrospectrum’ will be the biggest and widest-eyed survey of Dylan’s visual artwork ever presented in the U.S. when it opens in Miami this week. After an earlier run two years ago at the Modern Art Museum (MAM) Shanghai, the exhibition at the Frost Art Museum at Florida International University will feature close to 200 paintings, drawings, and iron sculptures by a familiar figure better-known for the way he wields words. The show spans some 60 years of Dylan’s career and includes what an exhibition description calls ‘immersive and interactive displays’ that ‘simultaneously illuminate the context of his artistic evolution, in tandem with Dylan’s musical and literary canon.’”