environment, bottled water, plastic pollution, public resource private, commodity
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The Ugly Story of How Corporate America Convinced Us to Spend So Much on Water (Maria)

The author writes, “If you live in the United States, chances are that the water coming from your faucet is perfectly fine to drink (though there are, of course, some exceptions). The same goes for the glass that’s sitting in your kitchen cabinet to drink it from. So why have we spent decades buying it packaged up? … ‘We’ve gotten here, step by step, down a dangerous road of converting a public resource into a private commodity,’ said Peter Gleick, a scientist and expert on global water and climate and co-founder of the Pacific Institute, a research institution focused on water. ‘Water utilities don’t have advertising budgets; private companies do.’”

Mail-In Pennsylvania Ballots With Incorrect Dates Will Be Saved But Not Counted Court (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “Pennsylvania’s highest court on Tuesday ordered officials to disallow mail-in ballots with the wrong date marked on the envelope, potentially throwing out numerous votes in close races that could determine control of the U.S. Congress in elections next week. The ruling is a win for Republicans, who filed the case and who have been fighting to eliminate ballots with incorrect information on them in an effort they say is meant to ensure election security. Democrats say the lawsuits are really efforts to disallow votes and could sway tight races.”

Antifa on the Train? How the GOP Is Making New Rules for Political Speech (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Political candidates used to come out of primary elections and then pivot toward the broader middle. Sometimes this involved just a shift to a softer tone; other times candidates might pick a local issue that isn’t at the top of the campaign list — something like light rail — and use it to throw a bone to more moderate voters. But there is no pivot anymore, especially on the right.”

Food Prices Soar, and So Do Companies’ Profits (Dana)

From The New York Times: “A year ago, a bag of potato chips at the grocery store cost an average of $5.05. These days, that bag costs $6.05. A dozen eggs that could have been picked up for $1.83 now average $2.90. A two-liter bottle of soda that cost $1.78 will now set you back $2.17. Something else is also much higher: corporate profits. In mid-October, PepsiCo, whose prices for its drinks and chips were up 17 percent in the latest quarter from year-earlier levels, reported that its third-quarter profit grew more than 20 percent. Likewise, Coca-Cola reported profit up 14 percent from a year earlier, thanks in large part to price increases.”

Hashtags, a Viral Song and Memes Empower Iran’s Protesters (Sean)

From the BBC: “Anti-government protests have swept across Iran over the past six weeks, with women and schoolgirls at the forefront — burning their headscarves or swinging them in the air while shouting ‘Woman, Life, Freedom.’ The demonstrations were sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman who was detained by the morality police for allegedly wearing her hijab (headscarf) ‘inappropriately.’ While thousands of people have been taking to the streets to show their anger at the clerical establishment, many more both inside and outside Iran have been amplifying their calls on social media and spreading awareness.”

A Unified Field Theory of Bob Dylan (Sean)

From The New Yorker: “He’s in his eighties. How does he keep it fresh?”

Scientists Tricked Mosquitoes Into Delivering Vaccines to Humans (Mili)

The author writes, “Scientists have managed to turn one of the deadliest insects into a vaccine delivery system. According to new reports from NPR, a clinical trial for a system meant to use mosquitoes to deliver vaccines has been underway in the United Kingdom. The findings of the trial have been published in Science Translational Medicine. According to the paper, scientists were able to genetically modify parasites to deliver malaria vaccines through mosquito bites. It’s an intriguing proposition to use mosquitos to deliver vaccines. It sounds horrific on paper and even more horrific when you see the photos.”

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