In Norway, which has no racial diversity to speak of and famously uncontentious politics, the children of poor families lag far behind in school, and despits decades of well-funded government efforts the problem is getting worse.
Scott Siskind on different kinds of conspiracy theories.
Major deposit of rare earth oxides found in Sweden; the government plans to mine them, which would be the only rare earth mine in Europe. Right now Europe imports most of its rare earth metals from Russia and China, and this mine might help them achieve some independence.
Mass grave containing 38 skeletons, 37 of them without heads, found in the ditch that had surrounded the Neolithic village site of Vráble in Slovakia. This likely dates to around 4950 BC, at the end of the early Neolithic, the same period as the cannibal/massacre site at Herxheim. More evidence that this was a violent and troubled time.
Why have Trump, Biden, and Hillary all been caught with documents marked "secret" in their homes? Because, says Matthew Connelly in the NY Times, our leaders use imagined threats to our National Security to keep their political doings from the public by classifying everything they do as "secret," and since the material is not really important or sensitive they treat it casually. It is typical of the whole business that when these cases break we are not even told what those documents were or whether they contained any actual sensitive information.
Demography and politics in Northern Ireland.
Lawsuit in DC over the smell of marijuana smoke; the article says some cities are considering bans on smoking in residential buildings.
China's government says its population shrank last year, with 9.6 million births and 10.4 million deaths. Since many people emigrate from China, the population actually shrank by more than that difference. (NY Times, PBS) And note that outside experts think China's official statistics understate the problem.
Facing a lawsuit from the adjunct they fired, Hamline University changes their tone and says they were wrong to call showing a 14th-century Persian painting of Muhammad "Islamaphobia." Sometimes Americans' love of suing each other drives me crazy, but the threat can rein in appalling institutional behavior. (NY Times, Star Tribune)
Study finds that pandemic preparedness did no good: "aside from vaccines, pretty much nothing has much effect on the spread of COVID-19."
AI chatbots can write papers better than most undergraduates; what will this do to college education? (NY Times) And, really, why bother learning to write when AI can do it better than most college graduates ever will? I don't think the enormity of this has set in yet.
During the drought, Los Angeles built a system of diversions and cisterns to trap rainwater, and during this month's storms they have captured enough water to supply 800,000 people through the year. In California there is no shortage of water, just bad water management.
New Zealand's PM Jacinda Arden resigns, citing burnout. Not surprising, considering she was also raising the child she gave birth to while in office. The basic problem with trying to lead a small country like New Zealand is that the state of the economy is almost entirely governed by outside forces, but people still blame their government when things go wrong. New Zealand has been caught up in world events in other ways as well, for example a violent riot against vaccine mandates and a mass shooting by a right-wing crank. The one promise Arden made that she might have had the power to keep was to build 100,000 homes to ease the islands' housing crisis, but she never came close, so she leaves that problem to her successors. (NY Times, BBC)
Using a drone to steal a radio from enemy troops, short video.
Animated map showing recent Russian advances around Bakhmut.
Some new data suggests that Ukraine is firing artillery shells twice as fast as the NATO nations can manufacture them.
How Russian logistics have adapted to Ukrainian attacks and kept their army fighting.
Rumors of a Russian attack toward Zaporizhia.