science, nature, birds, urban adaptation, crows, magpies, nests, anti-bird spikes
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Take That: Crows, Magpies Build Nests Using Anti-Bird Spikes (Maria)

The author writes, “Birds have never shied away from turning human rubbish into nesting materials, but even experts in the field have raised an eyebrow at the latest handiwork to emerge from urban crows and magpies. Nests recovered from trees in Rotterdam in the Netherlands and Antwerp in Belgium were found to be constructed almost entirely from strips of long metal spikes that are often attached to buildings to deter birds from setting up home on the structures. … ‘I really thought I’d seen it all,’ said Kees Moeliker, the director of the Natural History Museum Rotterdam.”

Here’s What a New Supreme Court Case Could Mean for Federal Wealth Tax Proposals (DonkeyHotey)

From CNBC: “The Supreme Court will soon hear a case that could affect broad swaths of the U.S. tax code, corporate revenue and federal wealth tax proposals. The case, Moore v. United States, is slated for the next court term and challenges a levy enacted through President Donald Trump’s 2017 signature tax overhaul. Originally designed as a transition tax, the levy aimed to collect a one-time tax from U.S. corporations that deferred income by keeping profits in foreign subsidiaries. The plaintiffs are fighting taxes incurred via their investment in an India-based company by arguing about the definition of income. But experts say the Supreme Court decision may have broader implications.”

Can You Change a Polluting Industry From the Inside? Ex Aviation, Mining and Gas Employees Speak Out (Russ)

From Euronews: “There could be 300 million green collar jobs by 2050. Meet the people leaving their carbon-intensive roles behind. The world will need an army of green collar workers, from solar panel engineers to public transport drivers, if net zero ambitions are to be met. This emerging workforce is growing; by 2050, it’s estimated that there will be 300 million such jobs worldwide. And many of those roles will be filled by people making a green transition in their own careers. … Here we chat to others leaving their carbon-intensive jobs behind in favor of a greener uniform.”

Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon Drops 34% in First Half 2023 (Laura)

The authors write, “Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon fell 34% in the first half of 2023, preliminary government data showed on Thursday, hitting its lowest level in four years as President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva institutes tougher environmental policies. Data produced by Brazil’s national space research agency Inpe indicated that 2,649 square km (1,023 square miles) of rainforest were cleared in the region in the half year, the lowest for the period since 2019.”

How an AI-Written Star Wars Story Created Chaos at Gizmodo (Dana)

From The Washington Post: “A few hours after James Whitbrook clocked into work at Gizmodo on Wednesday, he received a note from his editor in chief: Within 12 hours, the company would roll out articles written by artificial intelligence. Roughly 10 minutes later, a story by ‘Gizmodo Bot’ posted on the site about the chronological order of Star Wars movies and television shows. Whitbrook — a deputy editor at Gizmodo who writes and edits articles about science fiction — quickly read the story, which he said he had not asked for or seen before it was published. He catalogued 18 ‘concerns, corrections and comments’ about the story in an email to Gizmodo’s editor in chief.”

BOOK REVIEW: Cobalt Red: How the Blood of the Congo Powers Our Lives (Gerry)

From Vox Populi: “One of the curiosities of the techno-consumer world is how little we know about where anything comes from or what goes into it. Various shows of concern are made about the integrity of supply chains and ethical sourcing but much of what we take for granted, particularly in the electronic world is simply taken on eager faith. Apple wouldn’t do anything bad. Nor would Tesla. Alas, as Cobalt Red, a book about mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by Siddarth Kara (a professor of human trafficking and modern slavery at Nottingham University who went to the Congo a number of times to observe first-hand and to talk with people) shows in terrible detail, they do bad routinely.”

Harvard Professor Avi Loeb Believes He’s Found Fragments of Alien Technology (Reader Jim)

The author writes, “Harvard professor Avi Loeb believes he may have found fragments of alien technology from a meteor that landed in the waters off of Papua New Guinea in 2014. Loeb and his team just brought the materials back to Harvard for analysis. The U.S. Space Command can confirm with almost near certainty, 99.999%, that it came from another solar system. The government gave Loeb a 10 km (6.2 mile) radius of where it may have landed.”

Nevada License Plate That’s Short for ‘Go Back to California’ Is Revoked by DMV (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “A revoked Nevada license plate that was meant to ‘drive away’ Californians is getting one last chance to go back on the streets. The plate — which reads ‘GOBK2CA,’ short for ‘Go back to California’ — was recalled by the state Department of Motor Vehicles in May after it received a complaint, KOLO-TV first reported. Now the vehicle owner is appealing the recall and will have a hearing on Wednesday, according to the Reno-area news station.”


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