If crafty tank escapes, high intelligence, and coconut shell armor aren’t enough to make you love octopuses: scientists have identified a second octopus community off the coast of Australia.
I had the pleasure of seeing one of my favorite bands, Fleet Foxes, perform last week at The Paramount in Seattle. Riding the post-concert-high of experiencing truly amazing live music, I went on a googling spree of the band, which led me to Song Exploder, a podcast where musicians take apart one of their songs piece by piece. If you’re interested in music, I cannot recommend this podcast enough. Each episode is edited with the interviewer’s voice removed, so the audio becomes a fun monologue where the artist tells the story of how their song was made. I’ve only listened to a few episodes, but thus far each one has been gorgeously produced and surprisingly intimate. The Fleet Foxes episode is here, but there are over a hundred more to choose from.
It’s so lonely being . . . an American. Or Japanese. Almost one-quarter of Japanese men over 60 say there is not a single person they could rely on in difficult times. Things look similarly lonely here in the states.
In case you were wondering, yes, there are still very few women in politics in the United States. Not only are numbers not improving quickly, they may even be backsliding, for example in the New York City Council where they went from 18 seats (out of 51) a decade ago to 13 today, to maybe even fewer next year. Some researchers have found women are less likely to run for office than men. Maybe because of the reality that many women run head-on into in their 30s, that maybe they won’t achieve the lofty goals that seemed so attainable in their 20s.
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Why do we Americans get health insurance through our employer? Its crazy in almost every way imaginable: it puts the employer in charge of decisions that individuals or health care providers want to make, it is regressive, it puts freelancers and employees of small companies at a huge disadvantage compared to employees of large companies, and it is bad for the economy both because of the ridiculous amount we spend on health care because it is a tax-protected benefit, and because it gums up the employment market by locking people into jobs because they are scared to lose their health insurance, of all reasons to stay at a job. Here’s a little history of how we got to this stupid place.
In good climate news this week, a conservative-leaning court issued a surprise ruling in favor of a group of environmental organizations who sued the Bureau of Land Management over its measurement of greenhouse gas emissions form new coal mining leases. The 10th Circuit federal court, from whence Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch was plucked, ruled that the BLM will have to redo its assessment of the climate change impacts of coal mining before the new leases can be approved. Although the ruling does not vacate the current leases, it does frustrate the Trump administration’s efforts to reinvigorate the coal industry and ignore climate change as a government issue. According to Sam Kalen, a law professor at the University of Wyoming, “[i]t’s reaffirming what a lot of people already knew: Government has to take a hard look at what their environmental impacts are. Cases like this are sending signal that regardless of what the administration wants to do, the law says you have to take a look at these issues.”
A big factor in US wealth disparity is the major black-white gap in home ownership created by racially restrictive covenants and redlining, which also helped segregate our cities. Exactly how big is this wealth gap? Take this test to find out.
To celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, Bitch Media put together a rad playlist of Latinx artists that will keep you grooving all day.
I just finished Morgan Parker’s There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce and highly recommend it. It’s a fearless and brilliant book of poetry that explores black womanhood in contemporary America. Her sparkling stanzas tie together pop culture, politics, history, and identity—an antidote to white supremacy. Next on my list of poetry: Eve Ewing’s Electric Arches (thanks for the rec, DKH!).