Fake News, Deepfakes, and now Fake Fish
July 12, 2019
“Places don’t matter to people any more. Places aren’t the point. People are only ever half present where they are these days. They always have at least one foot in the great digital nowhere.” – Matt Haig
“The difference between technology and slavery is that slaves are fully aware that they are not free” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb
The Weed Is Always Greener On The Other Side Of The Stateline
- Colorado was the first state in the nation to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. Five years later the experiment is reshaping health, politics, rural culture and criminal justice.
- More people are visiting emergency rooms for marijuana-related problems, and hospitals are reporting higher rates of mental-health cases tied to marijuana. At the same time, thousands of other people are making uneventful stops at dispensaries every day. State surveys do not show an increase in young people smoking pot, and low-level marijuana charges have plummeted. However African-Americans in the Centennial State are still being arrested on marijuana charges at nearly twice the rate of white pot smokers. (NYT)
- Daily Pnut on raising awareness of cannabis addiction
- Daily Pnut on is capitalism too high on Marijuana
- Daily Pnut on the difference between THC and CBD
Drying Out And Crying Out
- A weak monsoon season and years of draining groundwater have lead to a major drought in Chennai, India. The city has five million residents and resides on the southeastern coast of India.
- With a history of struggling with both droughts and floods in the past few years, this year’s drought has brought anxiety amongst citizens, and unhygienic, exhausting living conditions.
- Despite Chennai requiring every building to catch rainwater from their rooftops and pouring it back into the earth, it has done little to prevent both droughts and flooding – causing the city to spend huge amounts of money scooping water from the sea, churning it through expensive desalination plants and converting it into water that residents can use.
- The temperature in Chennai has also increased drastically, causing faster evaporation and in the humid summers, as well as the slow disappearances of lakes, rivers, and streams.
A River Runs Through It And You Run Through The River
- For Hindus, Varanasi is one of the holiest cities in the world. ‘Salvation homes’ have been set up across this northern Indian city to house the men and women who have come there, for centuries, to live and to die.
- Hindu scriptures say that dying in Varanasi and being cremated along the banks of the holy Ganges river allows the cycle of rebirth to be broken, and the deceased to be liberated and attain salvation.
- Funeral pyres burn incessantly at the steps leading down to the Ganges. Its waters are now grey from industrial and human waste, yet they are still believed to wash away the sins of even the worst transgressors. (BBC)
It Don’t Make A Lick Of Sense
- Beloved Texas ice-cream maker Blue Bell is experiencing another episode of unwanted attention. In 2015 the 112-year old company stopped production and recalled 8 million gallons of ice cream after 10 people fell ill from Listeria.
- It took almost three years for the “Little Creamery in Brenham” to regain its market share. Then a video posted to Instagram showing a young girl licking a carton of Blue Bell ice cream in a store, and putting it back on the freezer shelf, went viral under the hashtag #icecreamchallenge. Copycat videos soon showed up on Twitter. Police found the teenage girl in East Texas and turned her over to the juvenile department, but a man in Louisiana who wanted his 15 seconds of fame wasn’t so lucky.
- Last Saturday he posted a video of himself on Facebook licking a carton of ice cream in a supermarket, and even though he later showed a receipt for a purchase of ice cream, the 36-year-old homeless man is cooling his heels in jail. (NYT)
- The big scoop: what a day with an ice-cream man taught me about modern Britain: Tony Roach has been selling ice-cream in Eastbourne for 40 years – as his father did before him. But can he survive the extraordinary decline of the ice-cream van? (The Guardian)
Additional World News
- Worldwide Smuggling Crackdown Rescues Endangered Wildlife (NPR)
- Italian prosecutors investigate League over alleged Russian oil deal claims: Inquiry to examine corruption claims over alleged plan to channel Russian oil funds to Salvini party (The Guardian)
- China Rebuked by 22 Nations Over Xinjiang Repression Image (NYT, $)
- Threat level raised to ‘critical’ for UK ships in Iranian waters: The UK has raised the threat to British shipping in Iranian waters in the Gulf to the highest level – where the risk of attack is “critical”. (BBC)
Deportation as Deterrent?
- ICE will be commencing raids this Sunday targeting thousands of undocumented immigrants and their families. These immigrants’ deportation orders were quickly pushed through the system by the administration last fall and have since been ordered to leave the country by ICE.
- While details are still being set, the raids will lead to ‘collateral’ deportations, meaning any other undocumented immigrants found at the scene of the raids will also be deported, even if they’re not targets of the raid. ICE will attempt to keep families together, but may not be able to due to lack of space in detention centers.
- According to the Trump administration, the deportations will act as an example, deterring more undocumented immigrants from trying to live in the US.
I Kept The Podium Warm For You
- The Democratic field of presidential hopefuls has diminished by one, but that may not last for long. 38-year-old Rep. Eric Swalwell announced his departure Monday at his headquarters in Dublin, California just as another Californian, billionaire Tom Steyer, was telling multiple people he planned to enter the contest.
- For Swalwell, ending his candidacy early will allow him to focus on running for a fifth term in the House. On the other hand, Steyer has no other clear electoral prospects, and there’s considerable skepticism about his seriousness.
- Steyer backed several high-profile statewide initiatives since breaking onto the political scene in 2010; he’s contemplated running for office at other times but never filed. Steyer is best known recently for spending tens of millions of dollars to promote a campaign demanding President Trump’s impeachment. (NYT)
Additional USA News
- Mother Is Not Going to Like This’: The 48 Hours That Almost Brought Down Trump: The exclusive story of how Trump survived the Access Hollywood tape. (Politico)
- One day encapsulated everything that’s wrong with Fox News: From revelations about spreading Russian propaganda to making racist attacks, July 9 had it all. (Vox)
- What the Measles Epidemic Really Says About America: The return of a vanquished disease reflects historical amnesia, declining faith in institutions, and a troubling lack of concern for the public good. (The Atlantic)
- Millions in US taxpayers’ money invested in private prison firms: At least 20 public worker pension funds have invested in firms profiting from Trump’s immigration policy, including California and New York (The Guardian)
- Tropical Storm Barry: Flooded New Orleans braces for likely hurricane (BBC)
- Amazon’s Latest Experiment: Retraining Its Work Force (NYT, $)
Impossible FIsh Food
- If you’re a regretful pescatarian, well we have some (potentially) good news for you! Impossible Foods (the California based company behind the ultra successful Impossible Burger) is experimenting with fishless fish.
- Though it is still in early development, Impossible Foods’ research and development team of 124 people is hard at work creating an alternative to fish that is just as convincing as their faux-beef. So far they have been able to create an anchovy flavored broth that can be used to create vegetarian Caesar salad dressing. Baby steps.
- Vegetarians won’t be the only ones celebrating if Impossible Foods is successful. Currently the world’s fish stocks are 90 percent depleted due to overfishing. Ocean ecosystems are being destroyed due to overfishing. The invention of a fish substitute could very easily reinvigorate the general fish population (provided the substitute is affordable and accessible).
- Impossible Foods plans to have a replacement for every animal-based food by 2035. (NYT $)
- At The T-Rex Races: On Your Mark, Get Set, Rawwrr! (NPR)
- After a brilliant World Cup victory, US stars return to their day jobs: It’s been a non-stop party since Megan Rapinoe and Co won the World Cup. But now the task is to see if they can grow the domestic league (The Guardian)
- Fossil of 99m-year-old bird with unusually long toes found: Ancient bird’s foot is so distinctive palaeontologists declare it a new species (The Guardian)
- Would humans evolve again if we rewound time?: Our species emerged as a result of a mind-bending number of random events and mutations, but it may also have been inevitable that humans, or something like us, would walk the Earth. (BBC)
- Social media could make it impossible to grow up (Wired)
- New Coke Didn’t Fail. It Was Murdered. The “Stranger Things” kid is right—it tasted fine. It died because of a Southern rebellion. (Mother Jones)
- The all-too-understandable urge to buy a better brain: Another wave of nootropic supplements is hitting the market, promising to make us smarter, more focused, more relaxed, more in control. (Vox)
- The Fight for the Future of YouTube: The video giant’s recent travails underscore a basic question: How “neutral” should social-media platforms try to be? (New Yorker, $)
- The Messy Reality of Personalized Learning: Untangling the mixed record of the latest big-fix educational trend promoted by Silicon Valley. (New Yorker, $)
- Apple Cofounder Steve Wozniak Says Most People Should Get Off Facebook Permanently (Gizmodo)
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity” – John Muir
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