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Rare, Pristine Coral Reef Found Off Tahiti Coast (Maria)

The author writes, “Deep in the South Pacific, scientists have explored a rare stretch of pristine corals shaped like roses off the coast of Tahiti. The reef is thought to be one of the largest found at such depths and seems untouched by climate change or human activities. Laetitia Hédouin said she first saw the corals during a recreational dive with a local diving club months earlier. ‘When I went there for the first time, I thought, “Wow — we need to study that reef. There’s something special about that reef,”’ said Hédouin, a researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research in Moorea, French Polynesia.”

Florida Could Shield Whites From ‘Discomfort’ of Racist Past (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “A bill pushed by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that would prohibit public schools and private businesses from making white people feel ‘discomfort’ when they teach students or train employees about discrimination in the nation’s past received its first approval Tuesday. The Senate Education Committee approved the bill that takes aim at critical race theory — though it doesn’t mention it explicitly — on party lines, with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed.”

VIDEO: Mike Lindell Backed Teacher Spreading Debunked Election Claims (Russ)

From CNN: “CNN’s Sara Murray looks at a math teacher, Douglas Frank, who is supported by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell and has been going across the US spreading debunked election fraud claims.”

Religious Exemptions and the Family (Dana)

From The Yale Law Journal: “This essay highlights the threat claims for religious exemptions to antidiscrimination laws pose to the diverse family arrangements that now populate society. It argues we should not abide efforts to thwart, undermine, and ultimately overturn advances in equality norms in the family based on religious belief. The promise of nondiscrimination laws for our families and our ability to move freely in the public sphere is undercut if LGBTQ+ people and women must confront actual or metaphorical, embraced by the courts, ‘Your kind of family is not welcome here.’”

Coal Powered the Industrial Revolution. It Left Behind an ‘Absolutely Massive’ Environmental Catastrophe (Laura)

The author writes, “Across Appalachia, mountaintop removal and other forms of surface mining have scarred an area of more than 2,300 square miles in Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee. Nationwide, over a million acres of land used by still operating, idle or abandoned mines need to be cleaned up and reclaimed — a job President Biden’s new $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill can only begin to address. … Coal is the dirtiest fossil fuel and has contributed more to global warming than either oil or gas. By one estimate, 46 percent of all man-made greenhouse gases spewed into the atmosphere since 1750 have come from coal, raising seas that threaten major cities and supercharging hurricanes.”

Regrowing Knee Cartilage With an Electric Kick (Mili)

The author writes, “UConn bioengineers successfully regrew cartilage in a rabbit’s knee, a promising hop toward healing joints in humans, they report in the 12 January issue of Science Translational Medicine. Arthritis is a common and painful disease caused by damage to our joints. Normally pads of cartilage cushion those spots. But injuries or age can wear it away. As cartilage deteriorates, bone begins to hit bone, and everyday activities like walking become terribly painful.”

Face Masks Make People Look More Attractive, Study Finds (Sean)

The author writes, “There have been precious few positives during the Covid pandemic but British academics may have unearthed one: people look more attractive in protective masks. Researchers at Cardiff University were surprised to find that both men and women were judged to look better with a face covering obscuring the lower half of their faces. In what may be a blow for producers of fashionable coverings — and the environment — they also discovered that a face covered with a disposable-type surgical mask was likely to be deemed the most appealing.”

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