science, biodiversity, Chile, underwater mountain range, 100 new species
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Scientists Discover More Than 100 New Species in Chile Underwater Mountain Range (Maria)

The author writes, “Some 3000 meters underwater off the coast of Chile, striking purple, green and orange sponges burst from the rocks. Sea urchins with maroon spines gather in colonies, while poppy-colored crustaceans pick their way among them. Transparent, ghostly creatures undulate in the dark. A team of researchers captured these and dozens of other never-before-seen species — more than 100 in total — with a camera mounted to a deep-sea robot traversing largely explored underwater mountains, known as seamounts, with steep cliffs that rise from the seafloor. … Along with the variety of new organisms — including sponges, amphipods, urchins, crustaceans and corals — the [Schmidt Ocean Institute] team mapped four seamounts in Chilean waters that were previously unknown to scientists, they [reported yesterday].”

Georgia Senate Considers Controls on School Libraries and Criminal Charges for Librarians (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “A proposal that would require school libraries to notify parents of every book their child checks out was advanced by Georgia senators Tuesday, while a proposal to subject school librarians to criminal charges for distributing material containing obscenity waits in the wings. The measures are part of a broad and continuing push by Republicans in many states to root out what they see as inappropriate material from schools and libraries, saying books and electronic materials are corrupting children.”

Rural Voters Lean Red, Young Voters Lean Blue. So What’s a Young, Rural Voter To Do? (Al)

The authors write, “Young and rural voters are two voting blocs that can help swing elections in battleground states. And both these groups are on the radar of Democrats and Republicans in North Carolina ahead of the 2024 election. President Biden’s campaign is … investing in the state, three years after he lost it by just under 75,000 votes. Local and national Democrats are also unveiling plans for swinging voters back over. ‘My own people are the ones that I’ve got to figure out a way to motivate and mobilize and get energized around building this thing up from the bottom,’ said Anderson Clayton, who is the new chairwoman of the state’s Democratic Party and the youngest party chair in the nation at 25.”

A Mysterious Construction Project Takes Shape in Egypt, Near Gaza (DonkeyHotey)

From The New York Times: “A wall is going up in the desert of Egypt near the border of the war-torn Gaza Strip, but no one is talking much about it. Satellite imagery, photographs and video analyzed by The New York Times show a large patch of land being bulldozed and the wall being built in the buffer zone between Egypt and Rafah, the southern Gaza city overflowing with over a million displaced Palestinians that Israeli forces are poised to invade.”

When a Climate Denier Becomes Governor: Landry’s First Month in Office (Laura)

From Floodlight: “In his first four weeks in office, Louisiana Republican Gov. Jeff Landry has filled the ranks of state environmental posts with fossil fuel industry executives. Landry has taken aim at the state’s climate task force for possible elimination as part of a sweeping reorganization of Louisiana’s environmental bureaucracy. The goal, according to Landry’s executive order, is to ‘create a better prospective business climate.’”

The US Military Already Has a Decades-Old Countermeasure for Russian Space Nukes (Sean)

From “The national security of the United States is currently imperiled by a new threat from Russia, according to the White House: a ‘troubling’ emerging, anti-satellite weapon that, while ostensibly incapable of ‘physical destruction’ on the ground, could severely disrupt U.S. military and civilian operations in outer space. Some U.S. government officials suspect the system may be nuclear, a prospect that raises concerns that the Russian government could not only disable strategic satellites in orbit, but, in turn, deal a major blow to the U.S. economy by degrading both government and civilian space-based operations. … Luckily, the U.S. military has a relatively simple countermeasure in place to deal with space-based weapons: just send up a fighter jet to blow the damn thing out of the sky. After all, the Air Force had done it before — once.”

The Brightest Object in the Universe Is a Black Hole That Eats a Star a Day (Dana)

The author writes, “Scientists have no reported evidence of the true conditions in Hell, perhaps because no one has ever returned to tell the tale. Hell has been imagined as a supremely uncomfortable place, hot and hostile to bodily forms of human life. Thanks to a huge astronomical survey of the entire sky, we have now found what may be the most hellish place in the universe. In a new paper in Nature Astronomy, we describe a black hole surrounded by the largest and brightest disc of captive matter ever discovered. The object, called J0529-4351, is therefore also the brightest object found so far in the universe.”


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