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How to Keep Electric Vehicles Charged in Extreme Cold (Maria)

The author writes, “The Arctic blast of frigid air putting much of the nation in a deep freeze this week is reportedly icing out some battery electric cars from charging or holding a charge, leaving a number of EV owners fuming and frustrated. In Chicago, where temperatures dropped below zero, Tesla drivers reported long lines at Supercharger stations, complaining they were either slow or not working. … To combat the cold weather effect, EV owners are advised to conduct what’s known as preconditioning their vehicle’s battery. This means heating or cooling the battery depending on the temperature.”

Delays in State Contracts Leave Montana Health Providers Strapped (Reader Steve)

From KFF Health News: “Montana health organizations say a state government backlog in paying its contractors has hindered their ability to provide care, and they worry the bottleneck’s ripple effects will be felt long after the money comes through. Several organizations waiting for contracts to be approved and funding to arrive said that more than 200 private and public contractors across the state government were affected at one point.”

Emissions From Israel’s War in Gaza Have ‘Immense’ Effect on Climate Catastrophe (Laura)

The author writes, “The planet-warming emissions generated during the first two months of the war in Gaza were greater than the annual carbon footprint of more than 20 of the world’s most climate-vulnerable nations, new research reveals. The vast majority (over 99%) of the 281,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2 equivalent) estimated to have been generated in the first 60 days following the 7 October Hamas attack can be attributed to Israel’s aerial bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis by researchers in the UK and US.”

The US Is No Country for Old Men (Reader Jim)

The author writes, “Elderly Americans struggle to survive in a country that seeks to extract profit from them till the very end.”

Church Without God: How Secular Congregations Fill a Need for Some Nonreligious Americans (Laura)

From The Conversation: “Shared testimonies, collective singing, silent meditation and baptism rituals — these are all activities you might find at a Christian church service on a Sunday morning in the United States. But what would it look like if atheists were gathering to do these rituals instead? Today, almost 30% of adults in the United States say they have no religious affiliation, and only half attend worship services regularly. But not all forms of church are on the decline — including ‘secular congregations,’” or what many call ‘atheist churches.’”

Brain Organoids Self-Organize From Fetal Tissue (Sean)

From Neuroscience News: “Scientists have created 3D brain organoids from human fetal tissue that self-organize, offering a new way to study brain development and diseases. These mini-brains contain various brain cell types and extracellular matrices, closely resembling the human brain. They also show potential for cancer research and drug testing.”

‘Unsolvable’ Code Hidden in Antique Dress Pocket Is Finally Cracked (Dana)

The author writes, “Mysterious messages found in the pocket of an antique dress have finally been decoded, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Ten years ago, archaeologist and antique dress collector Sara Rivers Cofield found two crumpled pieces of paper tucked into a hidden pocket of a dress dating to the mid-1880s. Scrawled on the pages were nonsensical strings of text: One line, for example, read ‘Bismark, omit, leafage, buck, bank,” while another read “Calgary, Cuba, unguard, confute, duck, fagan.’”


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