Subscribe

ancient tech, India, heatwave, ancient technique, coolant clay, evaporation
Photo credit: Meena Kadri / Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to picks@whowhatwhy.org.

Listen To This Story
Voiced by Amazon Polly

This Ancient Technology Is Helping Millions Stay Cool in India (Maria)

The author writes, “This summer, India has endured possibly its worst ever heatwave. The capital, Delhi, logged a record high of 127 degrees Fahrenheit on May 29. … For many, respite from the relentless heat has come from an improbable source: the earth. Special pots made from clay, when combined with water, can be used to chill drinking water and the surrounding air. They are helping millions of households that don’t have air conditioning and refrigerators stay cool.”

Why Is the Pundit Class So Desperate To Push Biden Out of the Race? (DonkeyHotey)

From The Guardian: “I am not usually one to offer diagnoses of people I’ve never met, but it does seem like the pundit class of the American media is suffering from severe memory loss. Because they’re doing exactly what they did in the 2016 presidential race — providing wildly asymmetrical and inflammatory coverage of the one candidate running against Donald J Trump. … They do this while ignoring something every scholar and critic of journalism knows well and every journalist should. As Nikole Hannah-Jones put it: ‘As media we consistently proclaim that we are just reporting the news when in fact we are driving it. What we cover, how we cover it, determines often what Americans think is important and how they perceive these issues yet we keep pretending it’s not so.’ They are not reporting that he is a loser; they are making him one.”

What Would Happen if Russia Detonated a Nuclear Bomb in Space? (Russ)

The author writes, “In February 2022, Russia launched a satellite known as Cosmos 2553, its purpose the subject of anxious speculation amid a period of intensifying global tension. Just weeks after it settled into orbit, Russian troops invaded Ukraine — blasting Kyiv and other cities with missiles and bombs. As NATO rushed to back the overmatched Ukrainians, the world worried that the conflict could spiral into nuclear war. In February of this year, a cryptic statement by an American congressman about a ‘serious national security threat’ ignited a media firestorm. U.S. officials pointed to Cosmos 2553, revealing their concern that the satellite is conducting tests that could lead to a nuclear weapon orbiting in space. To be clear, officials said no such weapon has been deployed — but it’s not science fiction anymore. And no one, besides Moscow, knows what Cosmos 2553 is up to.”

Groups Readying Mass Voter Challenges in Georgia’s 2024 Elections. There’s an App for That (Reader Steve)

From the Georgia Recorder: “Georgians are logging into hot new apps intended to help find people in your area, but they’re not going to help you spark romance, hitch a ride, or order dinner. The age of technologically assisted mass voter challenges is well upon us, and these tools could have a major impact on the 2024 elections. Fans of the apps say they will help prevent cheating by removing invalid voters from the rolls, making it harder for bad actors to cast fake votes. Opponents say all they will do is insert chaos into the process.”

As Idaho’s New Library Law Goes Into Effect, Questions Remain (Dana)

From the Coeur d’Alene Press: “According to the Children’s School and Library Protection Act … school and library staff members who provide youths with materials deemed harmful to minors can be fined $250. Patrons may now request relocation of materials to adults-only areas, and libraries will have 30 days to fulfill the request. If they fail to comply, they will incur fines and may face ‘any other relief available by law,’ which could include ‘injunctive relief sufficient to prevent the defendant school or public library from violating the requirements.’”

Seine Water Pollution Levels Well Above Limits One Month Before Games (Laura)

The author writes, “Water pollution levels in Paris’ River Seine remain much higher than allowed for bathing, data showed [on June 28], one month before the Olympics in which the capital’s landmark waterway is meant to be one of the swimming venues. Data published on the city’s website showed concentrations of enterococci and E.coli bacteria remained well above legal thresholds as of Sunday at all four testing points along the river.”

To Defend America From Faulty Scientific Speculation, Thomas Jefferson Turned to the Moose (Al)

From the Anchorage Daily News: “To win an argument against a Frenchman, produce a moose. That might sound like the worst attempt to create an aphorism, but it is how Thomas Jefferson once defended American honor and handled an academic dispute.”

Author

Comments are closed.