climate change, Google, science, ad ban, misinformation
Photo credit: Daniel Cuvier / Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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

There Will Soon Be No More Ads Denying Climate Change on Google (Maria)

The author writes, “Late [last week], Google announced that it is demonetizing content that makes misleading or false claims about climate change. As a result, content that calls into question or denies the scientific consensus around anthropogenic climate change will not have Google advertising alongside it. In addition, Google will no longer run any advertising that ‘contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change.’”

Navy Nuclear Engineer Charged With Trying to Pass Secrets (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “A Navy nuclear engineer with access to military secrets has been charged with trying to pass information about the design of American nuclear-powered submarines to someone he thought was a representative of a foreign government but who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent, the Justice Department said Sunday. In a criminal complaint detailing espionage-related charges against Jonathan Toebbe, the government said he sold information for nearly the past year to a contact he believed represented a foreign power. That country was not named in the court documents.”

Maryland Man Allegedly Fatally Shot His Pharmacist Brother for ‘Killing People’ With the COVID Vaccine, Court Records Show (DonkeyHotey)

From The Baltimore Sun: “A Cumberland man allegedly killed his brother and sister-in-law in their Ellicott City home last week because his brother, a pharmacist, administered COVID-19 vaccines, according to charging documents filed Wednesday in a Howard County court. Jeffrey Burnham told his mother he had to confront his older brother, Brian Robinette, because he was poisoning people by administering the COVID-19 vaccine, telling his mother, ‘Brian knows something,’ according to the new charging documents filed against Burnham.”

Rural Alaskan Villages Turn to Desperate Means to Keep Out COVID-19, Find Hospital Beds (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “One Alaska Native village knew what to do to keep out COVID-19. They put up a gate on the only road into town and guarded it round the clock. It was the same idea used a century ago in some isolated Indigenous villages to protect people from outsiders during another deadly pandemic — the Spanish flu. It largely worked. Only one person died of COVID-19 and 20 people got sick in Tanacross, an Athabascan village of 140 whose rustic wood cabins and other homes are nestled between the Alaska Highway and Tanana River. But the battle against the coronavirus isn’t over. The highly contagious delta variant is spreading across Alaska, driving one of the nation’s sharpest upticks in infections and posing risks for remote outposts like Tanacross where the closest hospital is hours away.”

Tens of Thousands of Black Women Vanish Each Year. This Website Tells Their Stories (Dan)

The author writes, “Tens of thousands of Black girls and women go missing every year. Last year, that figure was nearly 100,000. Yet their cases hardly ever grab national headlines. A journalist in California is doing what she can to try to change that, by telling as many of their stories as she can — and hopefully helping them get the justice they deserve. Our Black Girls centers on the often-untold stories of Black girls and women who have gone missing or, in some cases, were found dead under mysterious circumstances.”

Who Scams the Scammers? Meet the Scambaiters (Sean)

The author writes, “Three to four days a week, for one or two hours at a time, Rosie Okumura, 35, telephones thieves and messes with their minds. For the past two years, the LA-based voice actor has run a sort of reverse call centre, deliberately ringing the people most of us hang up on — scammers who pose as tax agencies or tech-support companies or inform you that you’ve recently been in a car accident you somehow don’t recall. When Okumura gets a scammer on the line, she will pretend to be an old lady, or a six-year-old girl, or do an uncanny impression of Apple’s virtual assistant Siri.”

Public Urination at Music Festival Threatens Wildlife With Traces of Drugs (Dana)

The author writes, “Urine from zonked-out concertgoers at an English music festival was so loaded with illegal drugs that it may be harming aquatic life in the area, a new study said. ‘Environmentally damaging’ levels of the drug MDMA, known by the street name molly, were discovered in a river that runs through the grounds of the popular Glastonbury Music Festival in England in 2019, according to the study. … MDMA levels peaked the weekend after the festival, researchers said, enough that it was deemed harmful for aquatic life in the river, including a rare European Eel population.”


Comments are closed.