Listen To This Story
Voiced by Amazon Polly

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.

NTSB Wants All New Vehicles to Check Drivers for Alcohol Use (Maria)

The author writes, “The National Transportation Safety Board is recommending that all new vehicles in the US be equipped with blood alcohol monitoring systems that can stop an intoxicated person from driving. The recommendation, if enacted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, could reduce the number of alcohol-related crashes, one of the biggest causes of highway deaths in the US. The new push to make roads safer was included in a report released Tuesday about a horrific crash last year in which a drunk driver collided head-on with another vehicle near Fresno, California, killing both adult drivers and seven children.”

‘Texas Doesn’t Own Your Body.’ Newsom Billboards Push California Abortion Rights in 7 States (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Residents in seven of the ‘most restrictive anti-abortion states’ will soon see billboards advertising California reproductive health care services, courtesy of Gov. Gavin Newsom. Newsom [last] Thursday announced that his reelection campaign paid for billboards in Texas, Indiana, Mississippi, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota and Oklahoma to advertise California’s new abortion services website, abortion.CA.gov. The state launched the site [last] Tuesday. It provides resources for those seeking abortions, to help them understand the procedure, find providers and obtain financial aid.”

Tracked: How Colleges Use AI to Monitor Student Protests (Bethany)

From The Dallas Morning News: “The pitch was attractive and simple. For a few thousand dollars a year, Social Sentinel offered schools across the country sophisticated technology to scan social media posts from students at risk of harming themselves or others. Used correctly, the tool could help save lives, the company said. For some colleges that bought the service, it also served a different purpose — allowing campus police to surveil student protests.”

Mechanic-Turned-Doctor: It’s Never Too Late to Follow Your Dreams (Mili)

The author writes, “When Carl Allamby, MD, was growing up in East Cleveland, he thought his dream of becoming a doctor was unrealistic. His family didn’t have the money for the extensive education it would require, so after high school, Allamby focused on something he was good at — fixing cars. At only 19 years old, he opened his own auto body shop, and dedicated his life to that work for some 25 years. But around the 20-year mark, he realized he wanted a change. … Earlier this month, at age 51, Allamby started his first big job in medicine, as an attending physician in emergency medicine at Cleveland Clinic’s Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights.”

The Largest Commercial Communications Array Ever Has Just Launched. Expect to See It — It’s Huge and Bright (Sean)

From Cosmos: “This month SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launched a giant satellite into space. Called BlueWalker 3, it’s a prototype by American company AST SpaceMobile, which is to create a space-based mobile broadband network. … ‘The reason why our satellite is large is because in order to communicate with a low-power, low internal strength phone, you just need a large antenna on one side with a lot of power, and so that’s a critical part of our infrastructure,’ AST SpaceMobile Chief Strategy Officer Scott Wisniewski told Space.com. … Although this is potentially exciting for those who need that connectivity, astronomers are concerned about just how big and bright this satellite will be.”

Dutch Students Devise Carbon-Eating Electric Vehicle (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “The sporty all-electric car from the Netherlands resembles a BMW coupe, but is unique: It captures more carbon than it emits. ‘Our end goal is to create a more sustainable future,’ said Jens Lahaije, finance manager for TU/ecomotive, the Eindhoven University of Technology student team that created the car. Called ZEM, for zero emission mobility, the two-seater houses a Cleantron lithium-ion battery pack, and most of its parts are 3D-printed from recycled plastics, Lahaije said. The target is to minimize carbon dioxide emitted during the car’s full lifespan, from manufacturing to recycling, he added.”

World’s Longest Hopscotch Course Created at Colorado Park (Dana)

From UPI: “A campaign encouraging kids to play outdoors broke a Guinness World Record by creating a 4.37-mile-long hopscotch course. Generation Wild Colorado, a campaign created by Great Outdoors Colorado to encourage outdoor play, created the hopscotch course near the swim beach at Chatfield State Park in Littleton.”