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One of World’s Smallest Fish Makes Sound as Loud as a Gunshot (Maria)

The author writes, “One of the world’s smallest fish, measuring about the width of an adult human fingernail, can make a sound as loud as a gunshot, scientists have said. The male Danionella cerebrum, a fish of about 12mm found in the streams of Myanmar, produces sounds that exceed 140 decibels, according to the study published in the PNAS journal – equal to an ambulance siren or jackhammer. The most common mechanism in fishes to produce sound involved vibrations of their swim bladder — a gas-filled organ used to control buoyancy — driven by rhythmic contractions of specialized ‘drumming’ muscles, the paper said.”

‘Reduced to Dust’: An Elegy for Gazan Life (Russ)

The author writes, “Home. Park. Zoo. School. Bakery. Mosque. These are just some of the fundaments of Gazan life that have been blasted, bombarded and bulldozed since the Israeli siege began this past October. As of this writing, more than two-thirds of the buildings in the Gaza Strip have been damaged or destroyed by Israeli strikes. More than 4 out of every 5 Gazans — some 1.9 million people — have been displaced. Architectural historians have come to refer to infrastructural devastation at this scale as ‘urbicide,’ or ‘violence against the city.’ Sometimes, it can be hard to imagine what this place was like before the war. The experience of catastrophic loss is not new. One could say it has been integral to the experience of being Palestinian since 1948, when some 700,000 people were expelled from their homes and rendered refugees during the mass dispossession occasioned by the founding of Israel. Many of them ended up in Gaza.”

Inside the Christian Nationalist Church Where Proud Boys Go To Be Baptized (DonkeyHotey)

From Vice: “Southern California pastor Hansel Orzame leads an ‘unwoke church’ where he prepares his followers to wage ‘spiritual warfare.’”

Poland’s New Government Deprograms Its Once Far-Right Public Media (Laura)

From NPR: “After eight years of government under the far-right nationalist Law and Justice party, Polish voters turned up in record numbers in a historic October election that heralded a new, liberal government under the leadership of Prime Minister Donald Tusk. After being sworn-in in December, Tusk’s new government immediately moved to retake the state-funded TVP [broadcast service]. Under Law and Justice, the broadcaster had been transformed into a far-right propaganda machine, jeopardizing European Union funding to the country for violating the EU’s democracy standards.”

Republicans Appeal Court Order Protecting Top State Election Official (Al)

The author writes, “Republican lawmakers are planning to appeal a ruling that blocked their efforts to oust Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe. In a Monday court filing, an attorney for Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, and Senate President Chris Kapenga said GOP leaders will ask a state appeals court to decide whether state law requires the Wisconsin Elections Commission to ‘appoint a new administrator regardless of whether a vacancy exists.’ Despite recounts, audits, and investigations, Wolfe has become a focus of Republican supporters of former President Donald Trump, who has repeated false claims of extensive voter fraud in Wisconsin’s 2020 election. In response, Republican lawmakers have launched multiple failed attempts to remove Wolfe from office.”

Chatbots’ Inaccurate, Misleading Responses About Us Elections Threaten To Keep Voters From Polls (Gerry)

From AP News: “With presidential primaries underway across the U.S., popular chatbots are generating false and misleading information that threatens to disenfranchise voters, according to a report published Tuesday based on the findings of artificial intelligence experts and a bipartisan group of election officials. Fifteen states and one territory will hold both Democratic and Republican presidential nominating contests next week on Super Tuesday, and millions of people already are turning to artificial intelligence-powered chatbots for basic information, including about how their voting process works.”

The ‘Doomsday Glacier’ Is Rapidly Melting. Scientists Now Have Evidence for When It Started and Why (Mili)

From CNN: “Scientists have looked back in time to reconstruct the past life of Antarctica’s ‘Doomsday Glacier’ — nicknamed because its collapse could cause catastrophic sea level rise. They have discovered it started retreating rapidly in the 1940s, according to a new study that provides an alarming insight into future melting. The Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica is the world’s widest and roughly the size of Florida. Scientists knew it had been losing ice at an accelerating rate since the 1970s, but because satellite data only goes back a few decades, they didn’t know exactly when significant melting began. Now there is an answer to this question.”

From Our Archives

Federal Appeals Court Judges Meet Trump’s ‘Immunity’ Argument with Skepticism

January 9, 2024: “In an effort to dismiss federal charges accusing him of staging coup, Donald Trump is relying on a curious argument: He, and his lawyers, are making the case that he cannot be held to account for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election because, as president at the time, he enjoys immunity for any act committed in office that did not result in an impeachment in Congress and a conviction in the Senate. While that may sound like a brilliant legal strategy to Trump, it is an argument that was met with deep skepticism by three federal appeals court judges.”


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