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science, solar system, sun, summer solstice, earliest in centuries
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Summer Officially Arrives With Earliest Solstice in Two Centuries (Maria)

The author writes, “Summer officially [arrived] in the Northern Hemisphere on Thursday, the earliest start to the season in over two centuries. The summer solstice — the exact moment when Earth’s north pole is most tilted towards the sun — happened at 4:51 p.m. ET, according to the National Weather Service. The phenomenon marks the longest day of the year (though the exact number of daylight hours varies by location) and the beginning of astronomical summer. … The timing of the summer solstice naturally fluctuates between June 20 and 22. But it’s an especially big deal this year, as it hasn’t happened this early since 1796.”

The Gun Lobby’s Hidden Hand in the 2nd Amendment Battle (Russ)

From The New York Times: “A little-known political economist at Georgetown University, Dr. English conducted a largest-of-its-kind national survey that found gun owners frequently used their weapons for self-defense. That finding has been deployed by gun rights activists to notch legal victories with far-reaching consequences. But Dr. English’s interest in firearms is more than academic: He has received tens of thousands of dollars as a paid expert for gun rights advocates, and his survey work, which he says was part of a book project, originated as research for a National Rifle Association-backed lawsuit, The New York Times has found.”

‘Virtually No Public Information’: Trump Campaign Pays Over $3 Million to Mystery Company (Sean)

The author writes, “Former President Donald Trump’s campaign has given over $3 million to a mysterious company that appears to have been first incorporated in November of last year. The owners of the limited liability company, called Launchpad Strategies LLC, are not publicly disclosed on campaign finance records, fitting with a strategy Trump’s campaign has used in the past to hide exactly whom the campaign is paying, NBC News reported.”

The Christian Right Is Coming for Divorce Next (Laryn)

From Vox: “Today, however, a counter-revolution is brewing: Conservative commentators and lawmakers are calling for an end to no-fault divorce, arguing that it has harmed men and even destroyed the fabric of society. Oklahoma state Sen. Dusty Deevers, for example, introduced a bill in January to ban his state’s version of no-fault divorce. The Texas Republican Party added a call to end the practice to its 2022 platform (the plank is preserved in the 2024 version). Federal lawmakers like Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) and House Speaker Mike Johnson, as well as former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, have spoken out in favor of tightening divorce laws. If this sounds outlandish or like easily dismissed political posturing — surely Republicans don’t want to turn back the clock on marital law more than 50 years — it’s worth looking back at, say, how rhetorical attacks on abortion, birth control, and IVF have become reality.”

Plant-Heavy ‘Flexitarian’ Diets Could Help Limit Global Heating, Study Finds (Laura)

The author writes, “A global shift to a mostly plant-based ‘flexitarian’ diet could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help restrict global heating to 1.5C, a new study shows. Previous research has warned how emissions from food alone at current rates will propel the world past this key international target. But the new research, published in the Science Advances journal, shows how that could be prevented by widespread adoption of a flexitarian diet based around reducing meat consumption and adding more plant-based food.”

The Mystery of the Hekatompedon: An Ancient Shepherd’s Graffiti Sheds New Light on the Mystery of the Acropolis’ Lost Temple (Dana)

The author writes, “The newly discovered work is a rough rock-cut drawing of a building. Though the details of the drawing are not fully understood, it can be identified as a temple due to the columns and steps. Snaking around the building there is a Greek inscription reading To Hekatompedon … Mikonos (The 100-foot building … of Mikon). Mikon is not otherwise known, but he was most likely a shepherd who made the graffito while grazing his flocks. The version of the Greek alphabet used is very ancient, making it clear that the drawing was made as early as the 6th century BCE.”

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