climate change, Microsoft, emissions pledge, results
The author writes, “One year after pledging to remove all of its historic and future planet-heating emissions within a few decades, Microsoft says it has already slashed its carbon footprint by 6 percent. It’s an incremental change that’s in line with what’s needed globally to address the climate crisis, but there is a whole lot of work left for Microsoft to do. Last January, Microsoft pledged to do something that, at the time, was pretty unheard of: it planned to become carbon negative by 2030.” Photo credit: Julien G. / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

‘Appalling’: Dems Incensed as GOP Appoints Marjorie Taylor Greene — a Sandy Hook Massacre Denier — to Education Committee (Russ)

From Common Dreams: “The Democratic chair of the House Education and Labor Committee on Thursday blasted the Republican leadership’s decision to appoint Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to the key congressional panel, pointing to the freshman GOP lawmaker’s history of peddling vile lies and conspiracy theories about recent school shootings which left dozens of students and teachers dead.”

The Whole Messy, Ridiculous GameStop Saga in One Sentence (Bethany)

The author writes, “If you want it in a sentence, I guess it goes something like this: The GameStop saga is a ludicrous stock mania born of pandemic boredom and FOMO, piggybacking off of a clever Reddit revenge plot, which targeted hedge funds, who made a reckless bet on a struggling retailer—and it’s going to end with lots of people losing incredible amounts of money. Got that? Maybe not.”

Trump-Branded Buildings in Manhattan Have Lost Half Their Value (Dana)

From Curbed: “It appears that people simply don’t want to live in a Trump-branded building anymore: Trump-branded properties in Manhattan have lost half their value since Trump took office, according to NYC real-estate data firm UrbanDigs. Even properties that used to bear Trump’s name are feeling the pinch, losing about 17 percent of their value, compared to a 9 percent drop for Manhattan as a whole. … Since the buildings sell condos, the decline in value is a bigger problem for the individual owners than for Trump himself. But it’s yet another telling sign that the former president’s name has become a toxic asset.”

Medicare Says a Procedure Is Worth $5,869. This Hospital Imposed a 1,200% Markup (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Opponents of ‘Medicare for all’ and other single-payer insurance systems routinely decry what they call ‘socialized medicine,’ insisting that private companies can do a better job of providing affordable treatment than a government entity. If that were true, of course, Americans wouldn’t spend about twice per person what people in other developed countries spend for healthcare yet have less to show for it. … But the real proof of the pudding can be found in the bills we receive from hospitals and insurers, which typically feature jaw-dropping charges and what patients are supposed to believe are significant savings thanks to the shrewd negotiating skills of their coverage providers. What they actually show are a system wildly out of touch with reality.”

Bernie Sanders’ Mittens, Memes Help Raise $1.8M for Charity (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “About those wooly mittens that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders wore to the presidential inauguration, sparking endless quirky memes across social media? They’ve helped to raise $1.8 million in the last five days for charitable organizations in Sanders’ home state of Vermont, the independent senator announced Wednesday. The sum comes from the sale of merchandise with the Jan. 20 image of him sitting with his arms and legs crossed, clad in his brown parka and recycled wool mittens.”

Which Sounds Are Most Annoying to Humans? (Dana)

From Gizmodo: “When we are speaking about sounds, ‘annoying’ is a subjective criteria. But there must be, one figures, some consensus on the subject. For this week’s Giz Asks we reached out to a number of sound-experts to find out what that might be.”