Welcome to The Highlighter #84 — and if you’re not on the East coast, welcome to Spring! (My apologies for daylight saving last weekend, which loyal subscriber L. calls “the worst day of the year.”) This week, as our country figures out health care, false claims of wiretapping, and the President’s t
Welcome to The Highlighter #84 — and if you’re not on the East coast, welcome to Spring! (My apologies for daylight saving last weekend, which loyal subscriber L. calls “the worst day of the year.”) This week, as our country figures out health care, false claims of wiretapping, and the President’s tax returns, I bring you woolly mammoths, segregation, virtual reality, and Justice Sotomayor on the loose. Please enjoy!
Here is another irresistible science article that explains how Russian scientists in Siberia hope to stave off global warming by re-introducing an Ice Age biome, complete with grasslands that will protect the permafrost from melting — and, by de-extincting woolly mammoths, too, while they’re at it, using the genome-editing tool CRISPR. (From the article: The first lab-created mammoth will be extremely lonely.) Be ready for a wild ride!
I learned about the history of contract selling in Chicago by reading A Raisin in the Sun in high school, then got a refresher via “The Case for Reparations,” by Ta-Nehisi Coates (also: #48, #71). Prominent in the 1950s as a result of redlining, the practice mostly waned after the 1968 Fair Housing Act. Fifty years later, and a decade after predatory lending and subprime mortgages, contract selling is back, benefiting out-of-state companies and hurting poor African Americans.
Charter schools are more vilified now than ever with the ascension of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. One problem is that there are very different kinds of charter schools. In Michigan, where Ms. DeVos is from, many charters are for-profit and help white parents flee from schools where their children are a minority.
Second Life, an online virtual world where people can interact in real time, began in 2002 and plateaued in 2006, with 1.1 million users. Now mostly a relic, this precursor to virtual reality is very popular among people with disabilities, including Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and PTSD. Where the physical world is limiting, Second Life offers another chance. Thank you to loyal subscriber Peter for submitting this article.
Pull up a chair or sofa, grab some popcorn, and watch this 70-minute interview with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor at UC Berkeley. After an introduction and about 20 minutes of poor audio up on stage (the result of big earrings), Justice Sotomayor goes rogue, abandons her interviewer, and decides to walk the aisles of Zellerbach Hall, shaking hands and hugging students as she answers questions. Her message (similar to what she wrote about in My Beloved World): Have energy, break through obstacles, and live, live, live.
That’s it for this week! Thank you very much for reading this issue. Please welcome new subscribers HeyKite and Revoice! Care to respond to an article or two? Press R and write me something! This week’s get-the-word-out challenge: If you have Twitter, share this issue and a few kind words! Have a great week, and I’ll see you next Thursday at 9:10 am.