science, climate crisis, agrivoltaics, Italy, plants, solar farming, citron trees
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The Italian Farmers Saving an Ancient Fruit With Solar Power (Maria)

The author writes, “On a warm late winter morning, Antonio Lancellotta, a 35-year-old farmer, shows me around one of his family’s unorthodox 1.8-acre greenhouse in Scalea, southern Italy. Rows of lush citron trees (Citrus medica), heavy with white flowers, fill the space. Yet, above the trees, at about 12.5 feet  above the ground, alternating lines of transparent plastic sheets and photovoltaic panels roofed the field. The Lancellotta family was one of the first in Italy to experiment with ‘agrivoltaics,’ where crops are grown underneath solar panels.”

OAN Might Pay Tucker Carlson $25M to Join San Diego-Based Outlet, CEO Says (Reader Jim) 

The author writes, “Hours after Fox News announced that it had parted ways with its top-rated primetime host, Carlson was receiving job pitches from OAN CEO and founder Robert Herring Sr. and even Russia Today.”

How Rich Is the US Supreme Court? (Reader Steve) 

From Bloomberg: “The nine Supreme Court justices in total are worth at least $24 million. Or it might be closer to $68 million. It’s impossible to get more specific than that. That’s because federal ethics laws require justices to disclose only those assets that might pose a conflict of interest. As a result, the public can only assess part of each justice’s holdings, valued in a broad range.” 

Historic Investment in Urban Trees Underway Across the US (Laura)

The author writes, “An inequity of tree cover is behind the historic $1.5 billion in President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act that’s set aside for the federal Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program to fund tree-planting projects over the next decade. With a focus on underserved communities, the initiative marks a massive increase from the roughly $36 million distributed annually to the program. Millions more for tree projects have also been available from Biden’s infrastructure law and COVID-19 relief funds. … Urban forestry advocates, who’ve argued for years about the benefits of trees in cities, see this moment as an opportunity to transform underserved neighborhoods that have grappled with dirtier air, dangerously high temperatures and other challenges because they don’t have a leafy canopy overhead.”

70 Years Ago, Roald Dahl Predicted the Rise of ChatGPT (Al)

The author writes, “Roald Dahl’s 1953 short story, ‘The Great Automatic Grammatizator,’ sees two characters, Adolph Knipe and John Bohlen, ‘disrupt’ the publishing industry with a similar device. … After a fruitless writing session, Knipe is suddenly overcome with inspiration, and decides to create a machine that can write for him, better than he ever could. Knipe understands that ‘a machine, however ingenious, is incapable of original thought.’ This truth is still just as relevant today, as it was back in Dahl’s time; ChatGPT and Midjourney are simply remixing and regurgitating a gargantuan volume of original work created by artists.”

When the Culture Wars Come for the Public Library (Michaela)

From The New Yorker: “A Montana county’s battle shows how faith in public learning and public space is fraying.”

Microplastics Detected Entering the Brain Just 2 Hours after Ingestion (Sean)

The author writes, “A breakthrough animal study discovered tiny plastics can cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain.”

Too Many Americans Are Missing Out on the Best Kitchen Gadget (Roshni) 

From The Atlantic: “The rice cooker, after all, is a perfect appliance in basically every way: a tabletop device that tells you what it does (cooks rice) and does what it says it will (cooks rice) with ease and without fail. You measure grains and water in a ratio provided by the cooker, pour everything into its inner pot, close the lid, and press a button. Within 30 minutes or so, you will have the ideal bowl of rice — pleasantly chewy, with grains that are not clumpy or dry.”


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