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.

See a Rare Alignment of All the Planets in the Night Sky (Maria)

The author writes, “A grand celestial reunion is due in Earth’s skies throughout June. Sky-watchers will get a rare chance to see all the major planets in our solar system bunched together — with the moon joining the festivities, too, from June 17 to June 27. This rare alignment includes the five planets easily spotted with the naked eye: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Each is bright enough to be seen even in light-polluted city skies, with brilliant Venus being the brightest and Mercury the faintest.”

Facebook and Anti-Abortion Clinics Are Collecting Highly Sensitive Info on Would-Be Patients (DonkeyHotey)

The authors write, “Facebook is collecting ultra-sensitive personal data about abortion seekers and enabling anti-abortion organizations to use that data as a tool to target and influence people online, in violation of its own policies and promises. In the wake of a leaked Supreme Court opinion signaling the likely end of nationwide abortion protections, privacy experts are sounding alarms about all the ways people’s data trails could be used against them if some states criminalize abortion. A joint investigation by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting and The Markup found that the world’s largest social media platform is already collecting data about people who visit the websites of hundreds of crisis pregnancy centers, which are quasi-health clinics, mostly run by religiously aligned organizations whose mission is to persuade people to choose an option other than abortion.”

Calling B.S. On Trump’s “Team Normal” (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “The Jan. 6 hearings did contain one big surprise. It was revealed that there was a group of people associated with Trump who considered themselves — unironically — to be on ‘Team Normal.’ Led by former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, this group may not have been exactly pro-democracy, but its members were not stumbling around the White House drunkenly telling the former president that the election was stolen from him. It may not have been a high bar, but this group cleared it. And that was enough for ‘Team Normal.’”

Woodward and Bernstein Thought Nixon Defined Corruption. Then Came Trump. (Howard)

The authors write, “President George Washington, in his celebrated 1796 Farewell Address, cautioned that American democracy was fragile. ‘Cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government,’ he warned. Two of his successors — Richard Nixon and Donald Trump — demonstrate the shocking genius of our first president’s foresight. As reporters, we had studied Nixon and written about him for nearly half a century, during which we believed with great conviction that never again would America have a president who would trample the national interest and undermine democracy through the audacious pursuit of personal and political self-interest. And then along came Trump.”

How You Bring Them Home (Emily)

From the CBC: “In the months and years to come, more unmarked burial sites will be found at residential school sites across Canada. As those discoveries continue, Indigenous communities will begin working to bring home the remains of the children who were lost. Few communities in the world know what that process will look like. One of them is the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, in the boundless grasslands of South Dakota, having fought for six years to bring home the remains of nine children from the grounds of a former boarding school half a country away. A team of CBC journalists traveled to Rosebud territory as the community reflects on its journey and offers advice for communities north of the border.”

Alcohol May Be More Risky to the Heart Than Previously Thought (Mili)

The author writes, “Levels of alcohol consumption currently considered safe by some countries are linked with development of heart failure, according to research presented at Heart Failure 2022, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). ‘This study adds to the body of evidence that a more cautious approach to alcohol consumption is needed,’ said study author Dr. Bethany Wong of St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.”

‘End of Life’ Doctor Reveals What Happens When We Die Is ‘Best Kept Secret in Medicine’ (Russ)

From The Mirror: “A retired end of life doctor has revealed what really happens when you die. Dr. Kathryn Mannix, from [the UK] specializes in palliative and end of life care and describes the transition to death as a ‘process’ mirroring birth. … Dr. Mannix is keen to break down the taboo around the subject and encourage people to talk about dying more.”

China Says Its Giant ‘Sky Eye’ Telescope May Have Picked Up Signals From Alien Civilizations (Sean)

The author writes, “Chinese scientists say the country’s giant ‘Sky Eye’ telescope may have picked up signs of an alien civilization. Researchers with Beijing Normal University found ‘several cases of possible technological traces and extraterrestrial civilizations from outside the earth,’ according to a report published Tuesday in Science and Technology Daily, the official newspaper of the Ministry of Science and Technology.”