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“In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act. If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
George Orwell

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November 30, 2022

Holdout Humans

A Chilling Glimpse Into Our Future

By Anders Sandberg, The Conversation — Science Alert

Most species are transitory. They go extinct, branch into new species or change over time due to random mutations and environmental shifts. A typical mammalian species can be expected to exist for a million years.

Modern humans, Homo sapiens, have been around for roughly 300,000 years. So what will happen if we make it to a million years?

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November 21, 2022

Climate Change from A to Z

stories we tell ourselves about the future

By Elizabeth Kolbert — The New Yorker

Read (or listen to audio) right here, right now. Don’t wait.

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2014

Turning Out the Lights Just Isn’t Going to Do It

an interview with environmental journalist Elizabeth Kolbert 

By Donna Seaman — Creative Nonfiction

The challenges of writing about climate change — the biggest story of our time.

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1970

Future Shock

By Alvin Toffler

The classic work that predicted the anxieties of a world upended by rapidly emerging technologies—and now provides a road map to solving many of our most pressing crises. 

And now it’s in eBook format released January 11, 2022!

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November 18, 2022

NASA Moon Base Camp 

By Justin Stabley — PBS News Hour

Less than 40 miles from the Grand Canyon, NASA has been testing what daily life on the moon might feel like, including the commute.

Along the barren, volcanic landscape of northern Arizona, NASA’s Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) tried out a prototype last month for a pressurized lunar rover that will travel with the Artemis mission when astronauts eventually return to the lunar surface.

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November 8, 2022

A Beginner’s Guide to Mastodon

the open source twitter alternative

By Amanda Silberling — TechCrunch

As Twitter users fret over the direction that new owner Elon Musk is taking the company, masses of users have hopped over to Mastodon, an open source Twitter alternative. Since October 27, when the SpaceX and Tesla CEO formalized his Twitter takeover, Mastodon has gained nearly 500,000 new users, effectively doubling its user base. But what is Mastodon, and should we all be getting our accounts set up?

If you’re a Twitter purist who likes to use basic functionality like private DMing, quote-tweeting and user-friendly onboarding, Mastodon might not be for you. But if you’re looking to try something new on the social internet, then why not give Mastodon a whirl? Elon Musk isn’t there!

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November 2, 2022

Time to Change Your Clocks Again

but why?

By Leda Gore — AI

A bill passed to end daylight saving time. Here’s why you still have to change your clocks.

The ritual of “falling back” – setting clocks back one hour to mark the end of daylight saving time – officially takes place at 2 a.m. Saturday. The hour clock change doesn’t alter time itself, of course, but shifts more daylight into the morning instead of the evening.

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October 20, 2022

Real Zombies and Body Snatchers

they live among us

By Gemma Tarlach — Atlas Obscura

A creepy form of parasitism is one of evolution’s favorite strategies, and scientists are starting to figure out how it works.

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June 9, 2022

Does a Full Moon Affect Sleep?

By Kelly Burch — VerywellHealth

You toss and turn, unable to fall asleep and wondering why. Then you peek behind your curtain and see a full moon shining bright. It’s a common experience that might leave you wondering if a full moon actually does affect sleep.

Although it seems like an old wives’ tale, research shows that the moon phases can impact a person’s sleep.

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The Fight of Our Lives

My Time with Zelenskyy,
Ukraine’s Battle for Democracy,
and What It Means for the World

By Iuliia Mendel

When Ukrainian journalist Iuliia Mendel got the call she had been hired to work for President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, she had no idea what was to come.

In this frank and moving inside account, Zelenskyy’s former press secretary tells the story of his improbable rise from popular comedian to the president of Ukraine. Mendel had a front row seat to many of the key events preceding the 2022 Russian invasion. From attending meetings between Zelenskyy and Putin and other European leaders, visiting the front lines in Donbas, to fielding press inquiries after the infamous phone calls between Donald Trump and Zelenskyy that led to Trump’s first impeachment.

Mendel saw firsthand Zelenskyy’s efforts to transform his country from a poor, backward Soviet state into a vibrant, prosperous European democracy. Mendel sheds light on the massive economic problems facing Ukraine and the entrenched corrupt oligarchs in league with Russia. She witnessed the Kremlin’s repeated attacks to discredit Zelenskyy through disinformation and an army of bots and trolls.

Woven into her account are details about her own life as a member of Zelenskyy’s new Ukraine. Written with the sound of Russian bombs and exploding shells in the background, Mendel details life lived under Russian siege in 2022. She says goodbye to her fiancé who joins the front lines, like so many other Ukrainian men. Throughout this story of Zelenskyy, Ukraine, and its extraordinary people, Iuliia Mendel reminds us of the paramount importance of truth and human values, especially in these darkest of times.

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The Russia Conundrum

How the West Fell for Putin’s
Power Gambit and How to Fix It

By Mikhail Khodorkovsky 

An urgent analysis of the battle between Russia and the West and an exposé of Putin’s Russia, by a former Kremlin insider.

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The Pacific Northwest’s Nuclear Past

the untold story

By Marianne Dhenin — High Country News

About three hours west of the Idaho border, on an unassuming patch of gray-green hills and scrubland near the confluence of the Columbia and Yakima rivers, dozens of tanks sit, packed to the gills with bubbling radioactive sludge. Welcome to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, home to an estimated 53 million gallons of radioactive waste, 200 square miles of contaminated groundwater, and 25 million cubic feet of spent nuclear fuel and leftover plutonium. 

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Our Homo Sapiens Ancestors Shared the World

with Neanderthals, Denisovans and other types of humans

By Joshua Akey — Phys.Org

When the first modern humans arose in East Africa sometime between 200,000 and 300,000 years ago, the world was very different compared to today. Perhaps the biggest difference was that we—meaning people of our species, Homo sapiens—were only one of several types of humans (or hominins) that simultaneously existed on Earth.

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Power Transmitted Over 98 Feet of Thin Air

By DAVID NIELD — Science Alert

We could one day charge our phones and tablets wirelessly through the air, thanks to newly developed technology.

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Astronomer Working with Webb Telescope

the new images “almost brought him to tears.” We’ll see them on july 12th

By Universe Today

These images will include the deepest views of the Universe ever taken and spectra obtained from an exoplanet atmosphere.

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Unlimited, Clean Nuclear Fusion Energy Within Reach

Major Breakthrough!

By Gareth Willmer, Horizon — SciTechDaily

The old joke is that nuclear fusion is always 30 years away. However, the dream of plentiful clean energy is no laughing matter as we meet an ITER researcher to catch up on progress at the reactor facility.

By creating light and heat through nuclear fusion, the Sun has fueled life on Earth for billions of years. Given that incredible power and longevity, it seems there can hardly be a better way to generate energy than by harnessing the same nuclear processes that occur in stars, including our own sun.

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