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The ‘Barcodes’ Powering These Tiny Songbirds’ Memories May Also Help Human Memory (Maria)

The authors write, “Tiny, black-capped chickadees have big memories. They stash food in hundreds to thousands of different locations in the wild — and then come back to these stashes when other food sources are low. Now researchers at Columbia University’s Zuckerman Institute think unique patterns of neural activity that work like barcodes may be to thank for this impressive feat. Their work was recently published in the journal Cell.”

China’s ‘MAGAflage’ Election Interference Is About More Than 2024 (Dana)

From The Hill: “The recent unmasking of a Chinese disinformation campaign designed to influence the 2024 U.S. presidential election has brought renewed attention to foreign meddling in our democratic process — specifically Russian and Chinese efforts — as well as our failure to safeguard against such interference. It also demands swift, resolute action by the Biden administration, making it clear to China, Russia and others that this sort of malign activity will not be tolerated.”

Here’s Why Manhattan Has Seen a Major Drop in Crime Over the Past Two Years (Gerry)

From amNewYork: “Police and prosecutors in Manhattan are working hard to change the crime narrative in the borough, and their efforts seem to be bearing fruit, according to crime data provided to amNewYork Metro. Data provided by the NYPD and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office reveals a 5% year-to-date decrease in major index crime during the first three months of 2024, as compared to last year. Those index crimes — murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, grand larceny, burglary, grand larceny auto — are also down 8% from two years ago. Those numbers outpaced the rest of the city; on Wednesday, the NYPD reported a 5% year-over-year drop in major index crime during the first quarter.”

What To Do During an Earthquake, for People Who Rarely Experience Them (Laryn)

The author writes, “Californians and other West Coasters may scoff at the alarm expressed by their East Coast counterparts from a seemingly small quake. But this tremor struck the most densely populated region of the US, rocking some of the oldest buildings in the country, and alarming people who often take it for granted that the earth doesn’t move very much. So it’s worth taking seriously.”

From Michigan to Nebraska, Midwest States Face an Early Wildfire Season (Laura)

From Inside Climate News: “The blazes come after a record dry winter in the region. ‘Year to date, we’ve had close to 300 wildfires statewide,’ a Wisconsin official said. ‘The normal year-to-date 10-year average is about 40 fires.’”

How Tech Giants Cut Corners to Harvest Data for AI (Russ)

The authors write, “OpenAI, Google and Meta ignored corporate policies, altered their own rules and discussed skirting copyright law as they sought online information to train their newest artificial intelligence systems.”

One Extremely Human Quality May Help Explain Why Neanderthals Went Extinct (Reader Jim)

The author writes, “Anthropologists once saw Neanderthals as dull-witted brutes. But recent archaeological finds show they rivaled us in intelligence.”


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