science, nature, spiders, luring prey, webs, traps, tricks
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Web of Deceit: These Spiders Lure Their Prey in Very Crafty Ways (Maria)

The author writes, “While many spiders wait for their web to ensnare prey wandering by, other spiders don’t leave their meals up to chance. These arachnids have subtle techniques to lure prey out of their comfort zone and into a trap. ‘It’s really a sensory world’ for both spiders and their prey, says Pierre-Olivier Montiglio, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Québec at Montréal. ‘Everybody’s constantly eavesdropping and signaling.’ … Spiders take advantage of this by using their looks, scent and touch to trick gullible invertebrates straight into their eight arms.”

Supreme Court Opens New Frontier for Insurrection Claims That Could Target State and Local Officials (Reader Steve)

The authors write, “Two recent U.S. Supreme Court actions have opened the door to a new legal frontier in which local and state officials can be disqualified from office for life for engaging in ‘insurrection’ or providing ‘aid and comfort’ to enemies of the Constitution, based on a post-Civil War era addition to the nation’s foundational legal document and how the courts interpret it.”

Several Probes Target Brazil’s Bolsonaro, but His COVID-19 Decisions Are Catching up to Him First (Sean)

From AP News: “As Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s term wound down in the final days of December 2022, he had decided to skip the ritual of handing over the presidential sash to his successor, and instead made plans to travel abroad. But there was a problem, according to a Federal Police indictment unveiled Tuesday: Bolsonaro didn’t have the necessary vaccination certificate required by U.S. authorities. So Bolsonaro turned to his aide-de-camp, Mauro Cid, and asked him to insert false data into the public health system to make it appear as though he and his 12-year-old daughter had received the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the indictment.”

House Republican Budget Calls for Raising the Retirement Age for Social Security (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “A new budget by a large and influential group of House Republicans calls for raising the Social Security retirement age for future retirees and restructuring Medicare. The proposals, which are unlikely to become law this year, reflect how many Republicans will seek to govern if they win the 2024 elections. And they play into a fight President Joe Biden is seeking to have with former President Donald Trump and the Republican Party as he runs for re-election.”

Nebraska Politics Are Famously Moderate. Abortion Is Changing That (Al)

From Politico: “For decades, Nebraska’s Democratic Party not only accepted, but elevated members who opposed abortion rights. There was former Sen. Bob Kerrey, who considered ‘the unborn to be human life and entitled to all the protections the state can legally offer’ when he first ran for governor, before shifting to the left on the issue. … One of those Democrats was also Mike McDonnell, a former Omaha fire chief, union leader and life-long Roman Catholic who cited his religious beliefs in his opposition to the procedure. But earlier this month, the party’s tolerance for McDonnell and Democrats like him changed when Nebraska’s Democratic Party brought McDonnell up for a censure vote. McDonnell’s support for legislation to curtail abortion access in the state and to restrict gender-affirming care for children and teenagers was unacceptable to other Democrats.”

How COVID-19 Changed Nursing (Dana)

From The Baffler: “As vaccines started trickling out in 2021, and a ladle hit a frying pan for health care heroes one last time, politicians attempted to usher us all back to pre-Covid life. The CEOs of corporate hospitals followed suit. But a huge chunk of the medical workforce, reeling in the aftermath of the relentless death and suffering they were exposed to on the job, either retired or switched careers completely. … But in addition to trauma and exhaustion, the pandemic also catalyzed a historic wave of organizing among nurses directed at improving staffing levels, low pay, and burnout.”

Americans Move to Climate-Risky Areas as Real Estate Booms (Laura)

From Context: “Robert Parr drove his white pickup truck near a set of new buildings near the beachfront in New Hanover County, North Carolina – an area he says is prone to flooding. ‘That’s crazy. That never should have gone in here,’ he told Context, referring to new development blocks away from the U.S. East Coast. … Precisely how to build in floodplains and areas most at risk from climate change amid continued population growth is an issue U.S. officials are grappling with as people and developers move into – not away from – perils like flooding and wildfires.”

Two Artificial Intelligences Talk to Each Other (Mili)

The author writes, “Performing a new task based solely on verbal or written instructions, and then describing it to others so that they can reproduce it, is a cornerstone of human communication that still resists artificial intelligence (AI). A team has succeeded in modeling an artificial neural network capable of this cognitive prowess. After learning and performing a series of basic tasks, this AI was able to provide a linguistic description of them to a ‘sister’ AI, which in turn performed them.”

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