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www.nytimes.com Governor Vetoes Louisiana’s Ban on Transition Care for Transgender Minors

Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, also vetoed two other recent bills related to gender expression and sexual orientation in schools and among young people.

Governor Vetoes Louisiana’s Ban on Transition Care for Transgender Minors

Archive Link from archive.today

Original link from The New York Times

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Atheism @lemmy.ml dirtmayor @beehaw.org
www.theguardian.com German Catholic church ‘dying painful death’ as 520,000 leave in a year

Speed of departures has been driven by series of child abuse scandals and accusations of a cover-up

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www.theguardian.com ‘It gets worse every day’: why are sea lions and dolphins dying along California’s coast?

The unprecedented outbreak has scientists concerned as record number of animals turn up lifeless on beaches

‘It gets worse every day’: why are sea lions and dolphins dying along California’s coast?
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'Smiling cat' Sh2-284 nebula captured in new image

From phys.org

"This cloud of orange and red, part of the Sh2-284 nebula, is shown here in spectacular detail using data from the VLT Survey Telescope, hosted by the European Southern Observatory (ESO). This nebula is teeming with young stars, as gas and dust within it clumps together to form new suns. If you take a look at the cloud as a whole, you might be able to make out the face of a cat, smiling down from the sky.

The Sh2-284 stellar nursery is a vast region of dust and gas and its brightest part, visible in this image, is about 150 light-years (over 1400 trillion kilometers) across. It's located some 15,000 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Monoceros.

Nestled in the center of the brightest part of the nebula—right under the cat's nose—is a cluster of young stars known as Dolidze 25, which produces large amounts of strong radiation and winds. The radiation is powerful enough to ionize the hydrogen gas in the cloud, thereby producing its bright orange and red colors. It's in clouds like this that the building blocks for new stars reside.

The winds from the central cluster of stars push away the gas and dust in the nebula, hollowing out its center. As the winds encounter denser pockets of material, these offer more resistance, meaning that the areas around them are eroded away first. This creates several pillars that can be seen along the edges of Sh2-284 pointing at the center of the nebula, such as the one on the right-hand side of the frame. While these pillars might look small in the image, they are in fact several light-years wide and contain vast amounts of gas and dust out of which new stars form.

This image was created using data from the VLT Survey Telescope (VST), which is owned by The National Institute for Astrophysics in Italy, INAF, and is hosted at ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile. The VST is dedicated to mapping the southern sky in visible light and makes use of a 256-million-pixel camera specially designed for taking very wide-field images. This image is part of the VST Photometric Hα Survey of the Southern Galactic Plane and Bulge (VPHAS+), which has studied some 500 million objects in our home galaxy, helping us better understand the birth, life, and eventual death of stars within our Milky Way."

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www.theguardian.com Canada’s wildfire carbon emissions hit record high in first six months of 2023

This year’s wildfire season is already worst on record as nearly 600m tonnes of carbon has been released since early May

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Powerful tornado tears through neighborhood in Greenwood, Indiana

www.bbc.co.uk Powerful tornado tears through US city

An eyewitness has captured the moment a large funnel cloud tore through a neighbourhood in the US state of Indiana.

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quotes @lemmy.ml dirtmayor @beehaw.org

Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable. - Sidney J. Harris

Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.

Sidney J. Harris

via The Quotations Page

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www.livescience.com Climate change causes a mountain peak frozen for thousands of years to collapse

Fluchthorn in the Silvretta Alps is now around 60 feet (19 m) shorter than it was before — and more mountains are expected to follow suit as temperatures thaw the permafrost holding them together.

Climate change causes a mountain peak frozen for thousands of years to collapse
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www.theguardian.com About 6m across US at risk of extreme weather as over 700,000 without power

Outages concentrated in south-eastern US, with severe thunderstorms in Ohio valley and suspected tornado in Indiana

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jacobin.com Gamification Is Exploitation

The trend of gamification — applying elements of game play to other areas of life — is the apex of the neoliberal fantasy, rendering both work and our leisure time outside of it into a series of games that we supposedly enjoy playing for their own sake.

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www.nytimes.com A Vast Lake Has Captivated California Where Farms Stood a Year Ago

Tulare Lake re-emerged after intense storms battered the state this winter, and will likely remain in the Central Valley for months — and maybe years — to come.

A Vast Lake Has Captivated California Where Farms Stood a Year Ago

Archive Link from archive.today

Original link from The New York Times

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www.nytimes.com Here’s a Look at the Water Crises That Might Be Coming to You Soon

Bangladesh, a river delta nation, is on the front line of climate change. Its coping strategies could offer lessons for the wider world.

Here’s a Look at the Water Crises That Might Be Coming to You Soon

Archive Link from archive.today

Original link from The New York Times

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phys.org Our galaxy's black hole not as sleepy as thought: astronomers

The supermassive black hole lurking at the center of our Milky Way galaxy is not as dormant as had been thought, a new study shows.

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James Webb Space Telescope view of Quasar J0100+2802, an active supermassive black hole. Article link in description
  • This NASA article explains how you can't really "see" black holes but you can sort of see the force they exert on surrounding objects. It has some cool artist renderings of black holes too:

    Because no light can get out, people can't see black holes. They are invisible. Space telescopes with special tools can help find black holes. The special tools can see how stars that are very close to black holes act differently than other stars.

    And here's another article from University of Arizona about Quasar J0100+2802 that includes a cool depiction of what's going on with black holes too.

  • Opinion | If the Supreme Court Abolishes Affirmative Action, Here’s What Women Need to Do | The New York Times
  • Guest Essay If the Supreme Court Abolishes Affirmative Action, Here’s What Women Need to Do June 11, 2023 A protester, seen from behind, holds a cardboard sign reading “Protect Affirmative Action.” Credit...Christopher Lee for The New York Times A protester, seen from behind, holds a cardboard sign reading “Protect Affirmative Action.”

    By Shira A. Scheindlin

    Judge Scheindlin served on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York from 1994 to 2016.

    Any day now the Supreme Court will decide two cases that will determine the future of affirmative action — one involving race-conscious admissions at the University of North Carolina and a companion case involving Harvard.

    Although debates around affirmative action have typically focused on people of color, the policy has also applied to gender, and women have been among affirmative action’s greatest beneficiaries. Now, after decades of allowing these programs in college admissions, the Supreme Court appears poised to weaken or dismantle efforts to make higher education more available to members of historically underrepresented minority groups. Listen to ‘Matter of Opinion’ Four Opinion writers on the scandal-prone justice and the Supreme Court. Opinion | Michelle Cottle, Ross Douthat, Carlos Lozada, Lydia Polgreen and Phoebe Lett ‘Matter of Opinion’: What if We Just Paid Clarence Thomas $1 Million? May 11, 2023

    As a successful white woman who served for many years as a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, I feel it is incumbent upon me and other white women in my generation to reaffirm the policies that helped us secure our positions in political institutions, academia, business, medicine and law. If the Supreme Court overturns or neuters this well-settled law, every one of us who proudly bore the title “the first woman” must work to ensure underrepresented communities maintain access to elite educational institutions.

    Opponents of affirmative action suggest that it is no longer needed because the United States has reached the stage where everyone is treated equally. This is simply, and unfortunately, not the case. People of color are woefully underrepresented in many classrooms and careers. As only one example, Black lawyers make up only 2.2 percent of law firm partners, according to a 2021 National Association of Law Placement report, with Black and Latino women at less than 1 percent.

    Opponents also falsely claim that students of color are being admitted to fill racial quotas, depriving white students of the chance to obtain a coveted spot. But affirmative action, as practiced today, does not discriminate against one group in favor of another.

    Rather it considers race as one factor among many to put the applicant’s experiences in context. Courts have repeatedly held that a holistic admissions process — which includes letters of recommendation, guidance counselor reviews, extracurricular activities, alumni interviewer impressions, essays and academic performance — ensures that all of an applicant’s experiences and characteristics are considered.

    Affirmative action policies, whether legally mandated or voluntary, have proven overwhelmingly effective in helping historically marginalized groups gain a higher education, and thus achieve the success that flowed from that education. For example, because colleges and universities (including those that were formerly all-male) made a concerted effort to recruit women, today women are now much more likely than men to graduate from college. By 2019, women outnumbered men in the college-educated labor force. People of color are entitled to these same opportunities, based at least in part on their historical exclusion.

    Last August, more than 60 major American companies, including Apple, Google, Starbucks and United Airlines, filed a legal brief with the Supreme Court urging it to protect affirmative action. Those companies said the policy was a critical tool for creating a pipeline to diverse workforces and boardrooms. Similarly, an alliance of over 300 law firms filed a brief underscoring the importance of developing diverse leaders equipped with the skills to thrive in the global marketplace. Thirty-five retired military leaders, including four former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, submitted a brief stating that eliminating affirmative action programs would “impede our military’s ability to acquire essential entry-level leadership attributes and training essential to cohesion.”

    When filling judicial law clerkships, a highly sought-after post, I made a concerted effort to find diverse applicants, but an overwhelming number of clerks chosen by federal judges are white. For the Supreme Court term that began last October, of the 38 clerks, 25 were men and 13 were women, the least balanced in terms of gender in the last five years, according to the newsletter Original Jurisdiction. The court doesn’t release data on race, but the newsletter’s author, David Lat, said that, based on his research, two were Black, two were Hispanic and two were Asian.

    It takes substantial, deliberate efforts to ensure that well-qualified people of color have the same opportunities in education and the work force that once were the exclusive preserve of white men. This is imperative for our democracy to thrive. As Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s majority opinion upholding affirmative action in Grutter v. Bollinger recognized in 2003, paths to leadership must be “visibly open to talented and qualified individuals” of all backgrounds so that these leaders will have “legitimacy in the eyes of the citizenry.”

    Moreover, exposing future leaders to diverse perspectives and experiences produces benefits that are fundamental to a functioning democracy, ranging from better problem-solving to reduced prejudice and increased empathy.

    We rightly celebrate the achievements of women and people of color on the bench. The federal judiciary, for example, now has the first Black female Supreme Court justice, the first Black female judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, and the first Latino judge on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. And the nomination of the first Latina judge to sit on the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is pending in the Senate.

    But there is still more progress to be made, in the courts and beyond, especially for women of color who face unique barriers because of sexism and racism. White women must leverage the privilege and positions they have achieved and stand alongside communities of color.

    We have an obligation to recommend, hire, promote, nominate and honor not only those who look like us but those who do not. If we all do that only twice in our careers we will have gone beyond merely talking about diversity to achieving the goal of creating a country in which opportunity and advancement are open to all.

    The social fabric of universities, and consequently our greater society and our democracy, depends on it.

    Shira A. Scheindlin is a former federal judge in the Southern District of New York and was a co-chair of the board of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

    The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: [email protected].

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