environment, pollution, Vanuatu, single-use plastics ban, impressive results
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How the Small Pacific Island Nation of Vanuatu Drastically Cut Plastic Pollution (Maria)

The author writes, “For generations, the people of Erakor village in the Pacific nation of Vanuatu would pass their time swimming in the local lagoon. Ken Andrew, a local chief, remembers diving in its depths when he was a child, chasing the fish that spawned in its turquoise waters. That was decades ago. Now 52, Andrew has noticed a more pernicious entity invading the lagoon: plastic. … In an attempt to drastically limit the amount of waste generated in Vanuatu, in 2018 the government became one of the first in the world to outlaw the sale and distribution of certain single-use plastics — including a world-first ban on plastic straws.In the six years since, the results have been impressive.”

New Louisiana Law Requires the Ten Commandments To Be Displayed in Every Public School Classroom (Sean)

The author writes, “Louisiana has become the first state to require that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every public school classroom under a bill signed into law by Republican Gov. Jeff Landry on Wednesday. The GOP-drafted legislation mandates that a poster-sized display of the Ten Commandments in ‘large, easily readable font’ be required in all public classrooms, from kindergarten to state-funded universities. Although the bill did not receive final approval from Landry, the time for gubernatorial action — to sign or veto the bill — has lapsed.”

Alex Jones Lost Everything — And Still Won (Dana)

From The Atlantic: “The reality is that it doesn’t matter much if Infowars is shut down. Over the past three decades of his broadcast career, Jones helped pioneer an entire mode of conspiratorial thinking that is now dominant in pockets of the right. It will live on even if Infowars doesn’t.”

The Politics of Memes: How Biden and Trump Are Fighting Each Other on the Internet (Reader Steve)

The authors write, “Whether it’s a grinning Joe Biden as ‘Dark Brandon’ or Donald Trump’s face superimposed onto a scene from HBO’s Game of Thrones, both presidential campaigns this year have embraced digital memes, the lingua franca of social media. The campaigns of the Democratic president and Republican former president enthusiastically create and share content trying to shape the narratives around both men. Biden’s campaign even recently posted a job seeking a manager of meme pages. With tens of millions of people using social media as a primary information source, the battle of memes could affect who wins in November.” 

Adobe Sued by US Government for Allegedly Making Canceling Online Subscriptions ‘an Obstacle Course’ (Russ)

The author writes, “Steps that Adobe allegedly took to make it hard to cancel online subscriptions weren’t just annoying — they were illegal, according to the U.S. government. The U.S. Justice Department and the FTC filed a lawsuit Monday against Adobe and two of its execs, alleging that they imposed a hidden early termination fee on millions of online subscribers and that Adobe forced subscribers to navigate ‘a complex and challenging cancellation process designed to deter them from canceling subscriptions they no longer wanted.’”

Can You Inherit Memories From Your Ancestors? (Reader Jim)

From The Guardian: “Scientists working in the emerging field of epigenetics have discovered the mechanism that allows lived experience and acquired knowledge to be passed on within one generation, by altering the shape of a particular gene. This means that an individual’s life experience doesn’t die with them but endures in genetic form. The impact of the starvation your Dutch grandmother suffered during the second world war, for example, or the trauma inflicted on your grandfather when he fled his home as a refugee, might go on to shape your parents’ brains, their behaviors and eventually yours.”

Writing History: This Time It’s Personal (Al)

From Miller’s Book Review: “‘When did historians stop relating facts and start all this revising of interpretations of the past?’ The question was posed to Columbia University historian Eric Foner by ‘an eager young reporter’ several years back. Foner’s answer? ‘Around the time of Thucydides.’ Interpretation and revision have occupied historiography since the start. Indeed, a 2009 study uncovered blatant biases in Thucydides, inadvertently validating Foner’s gibe. The ancient historian ‘was a passionate man trying to write soberly, torn between what he wanted to believe and what he knew had taken place,’ says Richard Cohen in Making History, ‘yet his respect for the evidence means that one can see where his judgments go astray, by using the very accounts that he himself provides.’”


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