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.

For Tribes, ‘Good Fire’ a Key to Restoring Nature and People (Maria)

The author writes, “Elizabeth Azzuz stood in prayer on a Northern California mountainside, arms outstretched, grasping a handmade torch of dried wormwood branches, the fuel her Native American ancestors used for generations to burn underbrush in thick forest. ‘Guide our hands as we bring fire back to the land,’ she intoned before crouching and igniting dead leaves and needles carpeting the ground. … Over several days in early October, about 80 acres on the Yurok reservation would be set aflame. The burning was monitored by crews wearing protective helmets and clothing — firefighting gear and water trucks ready. They were part of a program that teaches Yurok and other tribes the ancient skills of treating land with fire.”

Did Beverly Hills Police Target Black Shoppers on Rodeo Drive? What Records and Emails Show (Reader Steve)

From the Los Angeles Times: “Last month, two attorneys summoned reporters to the steps of Beverly Hills City Hall to make a disturbing accusation. Police had deliberately targeted Black shoppers along the city’s famous Rodeo Drive. The proof, they said, was in the numbers: A special team of officers assigned last fall to patrol the opulent shopping corridor arrested dozens of people for minor infractions such as jaywalking or riding scooters on a sidewalk and all but one of them were Black, they alleged. They labeled it brazen, illegal racial profiling. A closer examination of the Beverly Hills Police Department’s Rodeo Drive Team offers a more complicated picture of the operation, shedding light on how it started and raising new questions about why the overwhelming majority of the people arrested were Black.”

Glenn Youngkin’s Viral ‘Child’ Ad Is Missing Important Context (Dan)

From The Washington Post: “In the final week of the Virginia gubernatorial election, Youngkin has released an ad that quickly went viral, earning more than 1 million views 24 hours after being released. The ad features a ‘mother’ detailing her concern about a ‘reading assignment’ her ‘child’ was given by his teacher. But this was no ordinary mom, no ordinary book and the child in question was a senior in high school. Let’s take a line-by-line tour through Laura Murphy’s voice-over and provide some missing context.”

The Real Scandal About Ivermectin (Sean)

The author writes, “Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug, and a very good one. If you are infected with the roundworms that cause river blindness or the parasitic mites that cause scabies, it is wonderfully effective. … It has also been widely promoted as a coronavirus prophylactic and treatment. This promotion has been broadly criticized as a fever dream conceived in the memetic bowels of the internet and as a convenient buttress for bad arguments against vaccination. This is not entirely fair. Perhaps 70 to 100 studies have been conducted on the use of ivermectin for treating or preventing COVID-19; several dozen of them support the hypothesis that the drug is a plague mitigant. … So if you’re the sort of person who ‘follows the science,’ it might seem perfectly rational to join the fervent supporters of ivermectin. … The problem is, not all science is worth following.”

Christian Guesthouses Start Hosting Israelis, Then Notice Something Strange (Russ)

From Haaretz: “As pilgrim tourism vanished due to COVID, Christian guesthouses in Israel started wooing local tourists. That is how a church-owned facility in Tabgha, near the Sea of Galilee, wound up hosting its first bar mitzvah.”

The Dirty Dozen: Meet America’s Top Climate Villains (Inez)

The authors write, “For too long, Americans were fed a false narrative that they should feel individually guilty about the climate crisis. The reality is that only a handful of powerful individuals bear the personal responsibility. The nation’s worst polluters managed to evade accountability and scrutiny for decades as they helped the fossil fuel industry destroy our planet. The actions of these climate supervillains have affected millions of people, disproportionately hurting the vulnerable who have done the least to contribute to global emissions. Working- and middle-class people must stop blaming themselves for the climate crisis. Instead, it’s time to band together to seek justice and hold these profiteers accountable. Only in calling out their power and culpability is it possible to reclaim the world that belongs to all of us, together.”

Enormous Rare Owl Makes First Public Appearance in 150 Years (Dana)

The author writes, “The Shelley’s eagle owl (Bubo shelleyi) swooped back into the public eye this week after a 150-year hiatus, making its long-awaited appearance in Ghana. The species, dubbed the ‘holy grail’ of giant owls, has evidently been lurking in the shadows of African rainforests for the last 150 years, having not been formally sighted since the 1870s. While this isn’t to say it hasn’t been spotted by human eyes in that time, this particular sighting is of significance as it gave scientists the opportunity to conduct an impromptu photoshoot with glowing results.”