climate change. environment, biodiversity, Korea, dmz.wildlife
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Wildlife Finds Sanctuary in DMZ Between North and South Korea (Maria)

The author writes, “Laden with landmines and surrounded by fences, the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea is not at all welcoming for humans. On the other hand, wildlife appears to be thriving. Golden eagles, goats and wild cats are among the 6,168 wildlife species that were found in new street view images released by Google this week which offer a rare glimpses into life behind the civilian control line.”

Railroads Crushed Rules That Biden Aims to Revive After Ohio Derailment (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Long before this month’s fiery derailment, railroad industry leaders battled regulations meant to boost freight train safety, including plans to bolster some of the very same tank cars that ruptured and released chemicals in eastern Ohio. Norfolk Southern joined in fighting proposed speed limits and brake system requirements spawned by a series of high-profile accidents, including a lethal 2005 collision involving one of the operator’s own trains. The intense lobbying campaign — which unfolded over years of direct appeals to lawmakers, regulators and White House officials — underscores the industry’s political sway in Washington and illustrates the challenge now facing Congress and the Biden administration as they vow a new crackdown.”

Why the West Is Resisting Russia in Ukraine (Gerry)

The author writes, “‘One year and one week ago — on February 17th, 2022 — I warned this council that Russia was planning to invade Ukraine,’ Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the United Nations Security Council Ministerial Meeting on Ukraine Sovereignty and Russian Accountability [last week]. … ‘Seven days later, on February 24th, 2022, Russia launched its full-scale invasion.’ … Blinken’s remarkable speech told the history of Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, then highlighted that the world community has come together to stand behind Ukraine and the principles of the United Nations Charter that make all countries safer and more secure.” 

Consultants Gone Wild (DonkeyHotey)

From Slate: “For the past decade, as the cost of building American mass transit has soared to world records, advocates have found themselves in a bind. Should they draw attention to the problem, fighting for top-to-bottom reform now so that future investments don’t make the mistakes of the past? Or should they stay quiet, because such an effort would be politically ugly and further cement the American double standard by which transit spending is endlessly scrutinized but highway widening rolls on, no matter how many times state transportation departments fudge their numbers?”

Kids Buying Weed From Bodegas Wasn’t in the ‘Legal Weed’ Plan (Russ)

From The New York Times: “In New York City, Mayor Eric Adams has recently sharpened his focus on combating the proliferation of unlicensed cannabis vendors, which now number between 1,400 and 1,500, many of them targeting the young and impressionable. While marijuana is technically no longer against the law in New York, the slow pace of the state licensing process has brought just three legal recreational dispensaries to the city so far, leaving the sale of weed largely to an economy we might describe as underground were it not happening so explicitly at street level.”

The US Copyright Office Says You Can’t Copyright Midjourney AI-Generated Images (Al)

The author writes, “The US Copyright Office has reconsidered the copyright protection it granted last fall to Kristina Kashtanova for her comic book Zarya of the Dawn, reports Reuters. It featured pictures created by feeding text prompts to Midjourney, an artificial intelligence image generator. According to this letter sent to her lawyer by Robert Kasunic, the associate Register of Copyrights, the US Copyright Office has decided that Kashtanova ‘is the author of the Work’s text as well as the selection, coordination, and arrangement of the Work’s written and visual elements.’ The images themselves, however, ‘are not the product of human authorship,’ and the registration originally granted for them has been canceled.”

Duke Professor Welcomes the ‘Promising’ Future of Employers Reading Your Brain (Sean)

From Futurism: “Are you ready for ‘brain transparency?’ That’s the question posed in a lecture given by Duke University professor Nita Farahany at this year’s annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. And she doesn’t mean your head looking like one of those see-through fish at the bottom of the ocean. Instead, Farahany, a high-profile scholar and legal ethicist focused on emerging tech, rather glibly predicts a future in which corporations and governments will be able to read your mind. In fact, that technology — the ‘ability to decode brainwave activity’ — is already here, she claims.”


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