science, animals, parrots, video chat, mental health
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Scientists Taught Pet Parrots to Video Call Each Other — and They Love It (Maria)

The author writes, “When humans are feeling lonely, we can call or video chat with friends and family who live far away. But, scientists asked, what about pet parrots? New research suggests that these chatty creatures may also benefit from virtually connecting with their peers. Domesticated parrots that learned to initiate video chats with other pet parrots had a variety of positive experiences, such as learning new skills, researchers from Northeastern University, the University of Glasgow and MIT report this month in Proceedings of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.”

GOP Lawmakers, Biden Come Together on Cats (Reader Steve)

From The Bulwark: “Republicans in Congress, acting on what appears to be genuine concern for other living things, are praising President Joe Biden for helping bring about an end to U.S. government funding for the alleged torture of cats in Russian biomedical research facilities. This is not a spoof. Every statement in that sentence is true.”

Gun Violence Is Actually Worse in Red States. It’s Not Even Close. (Dana)

From Politico: “Listen to the southern right talk about violence in America and you’d think New York City was as dangerous as Bakhmut on Ukraine’s eastern front. … In reality, the region the Big Apple comprises most of is far and away the safest part of the U.S. mainland when it comes to gun violence, while the regions Florida and Texas belong to have per capita firearm death rates (homicides and suicides) three to four times higher than New York’s. On a regional basis it’s the southern swath of the country — in cities and rural areas alike — where the rate of deadly gun violence is most acute, regions where Republicans have dominated state governments for decades.”

Sudan: US Prepares Plans for Possible Embassy Evacuation (Mili)

From Al-Monitor: “As the fighting intensifies in Sudan, the US military is readying forces in Djibouti as it prepares contingency plans to potentially evacuate US Embassy personnel from Khartoum, Al-Monitor has learned. American diplomats are sheltering in place as the death toll mounts from six days of fighting between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).” 

When Did Mass Layoffs Become So Normal? A Brief History of Engineered Job Insecurity in America. (Sean)

The author writes, “In general, I think that we’ve gotten away from this idea that people deserve not to be afraid, full stop. I think that’s not just a question of work, it’s a question of politics and democracy.”

Their Voices Are Their Livelihood. Now AI Could Take It Away. (Russ)

From The Washington Post: “Companies clamor to use Remie Michelle Clarke’s voice. An award-winning vocal artist, her smooth, Irish accent backs ads for Mazda and Mastercard and is the sound of Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, in Ireland. But in January, her sound engineer told Michelle Clarke he’d found a voice that sounded uncannily like hers someplace unexpected: on, credited to a woman named ‘Olivia.’”

Snail Mail From 1916: Letter Written Over 100 Years Ago Finally Arrives at Destination (Al)

The author writes, “Talk about snail speed! A letter, which was written in February 1916, was finally delivered to its destination address after getting lost for over 100 years. The letter was posted in 1916 and was meant to arrive at an address in Hamlet Road, South London. But … the time and date of arrival was pushed by over 100 years, much to the shock of the current occupants of the address.”

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