In Latest Assault on Dissent, Egypt Convicts a Human Rights Activist – The New York Times

In June, Ahmed Samir Santawy, an Egyptian researcher and graduate student of anthropology in Vienna, who was detained during a visit to Egypt and questioned about anti-government posts he had made on social media, was sentenced to four years in prison on charges of spreading false news.

And this month, five activists and politicians, including a former member of Parliament, were sentenced from three to five years in prison, also on charges of spreading false news and using their social media accounts to undermine national security.
More trials of other researchers, activists and bloggers are expected in coming weeks.
— Read on www.nytimes.com/2021/11/29/world/middleeast/egypt-hossam-bahgat-verdict.html

In Latest Assault on Dissent, Egypt Convicts a Human Rights Activist – The New York Times

— an outcome that experts said appeared calculated to serve two purposes: a guilty verdict that would intimidate government opponents into silence while simultaneously presenting a more reasonable face to the audience abroad by not imprisoning him.
— Read on www.nytimes.com/2021/11/29/world/middleeast/egypt-hossam-bahgat-verdict.html

NFTs, Explained | a16z Podcast

with @jessewldn @ljxie @smc90

Everything you need or want to know about NFTs (or to help others understand NFTs.) Cuts through the noise to share the signal:
covering what NFTs are, the underlying crypto big picture, and then specifically what forms they take; addressing common myths and misconceptions from “just a JPG” to the question of energy use; sharing briefly how NFTs work; providing a quick overview of the players/ ecosystem; and throughout, discussing various applications too.

This episode was originally released in March 2021.
— Read on a16z.simplecast.com/episodes/nfts-explained-CesNt_e1

Prehistoric Moms May Have Cared for Kids Better Than We Thought | Lab Manager

A new study from The Australian National University (ANU) has revealed the death rate of babies in ancient societies is not a reflection of poor health care, disease, and other factors, but instead is an indication of the number of babies born in that era.

The findings shed new light on the history of our ancestors and debunk old assumptions that infant mortality rates were consistently high in ancient populations.

The study also opens up the possibility mothers from early human societies may have been much more capable of caring for their children than previously thought.

“It has long been assumed that if there are a lot of deceased babies in a burial sample, then infant mortality must have been high,” lead author Dr. Clare McFadden, from the ANU School of Archaeology and Anthropology, said.

“Many have assumed that infant mortality was very high in the past in the absence of modern health care,” McFadden said. “When we look at these burial samples, it actually tells us more about the number of babies that were born and tells us very little about the number of babies that were dying, which is counterintuitive to past perceptions.”
— Read on www.labmanager.com/news/prehistoric-moms-may-have-cared-for-kids-better-than-we-thought-27121

Disappointing test figures show students are still struggling to get back into school-mode | NL Times

Poor results of the first “normal” test week of this academic year show that kids are still having a hard time getting back into the swing of things at school. Only one school reported that the results were comparable with other years, Trouw reports after surveying secondary schools. 

The reactions from other schools included “dramatic,” “not what we are used to,” and “less than we normally score.” 
— Read on nltimes.nl/2021/11/24/disappointing-test-figures-show-students-still-struggling-get-back-school-mode

Maybe the struggles with online learning weren’t the “faults of teaching online”, but rather the reactions students were having to a global crisis.

Opinion | Republicans’ anti-CRT fight is not about parental control – The Washington Post

GOP activists are gunning for critical race theory, LGBTQ books and now … mental health?
— Read on www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/11/18/parental-choice-critical-race-theory-schools-gop-control/

Emad Atiq, Legal Positivism and the Moral Origins of Legal Systems – PhilArchive

Legal positivists maintain that the legality of a rule is fundamentally determined by social facts. Yet for much of legal history, ordinary officials used legal terminology in ways that seem inconsistent …
— Read on philarchive.org/rec/ATILPA

Chip Shortage Has Manufacturers Turning to Lower-Tech Models – WSJ

Makers of appliances and other products are adapting designs, shipping uncompleted units and focusing on older, lower-tech models because of the global shortage of semiconductors.
— Read on www.wsj.com/articles/chip-shortage-has-manufacturers-turning-to-lower-tech-models-11636885801

Why do we commemorate wars but not pandemics? | CBC Radio

One stark example of what one could call pandemic amnesia is that, while there are over 3,000 monuments to the First World War in the United Kingdom alone, there isn’t a single public memorial to the 228,000 Britons who died of the Spanish Flu.

If you ask Americans about the most important events of the 20th century, the Spanish Flu is very rarely mentioned — despite the fact that more Americans died of it than perished in the First World War, Second World War — and the Korean and Vietnam Wars combined.

“As societies, we tend to remember wars, and we tend to remember great political struggles,” said Bill Hirst, who teaches psychology at The New School for Social Research in New York.

“Natural disasters are much lower down the list — they don’t figure very much at all actually.”

A nurse and patient in the influenza ward of the Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., November 1918. (Harris & Ewing/Library of Congress/The Associated Press)
Why? One reason, Hirst argues, is that for an event to be remembered by a society in the longer term, it needs to serve a purpose, to be part of the story which that society wants to tell about itself — a function pandemics rarely fulfil.

It is not usually in the interest of the powerful to have people remember a pandemic, or think too much about it: unlike war, pandemics don’t feature heroic deaths; instead, they reveal the flaws in our societies starkly and painfully, and expose all sorts of uncomfortable truths about social inequality — as well as the arbitrary ways just whose work is seen as truly essential, and whose isn’t.
— Read on www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/why-do-we-commemorate-wars-but-not-pandemics-1.6246133

Chocolate contains cadmium that can increase cancer risk

But behind its delicious taste, cacao contains cadmium, a chemical substance harmful to kidneys. It also increases the risk of cancer.

If we compare it to other harmful heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium may not seem to be that bad. But, exposure to cadmium for a long time, even in small amounts, can be dangerous as it accumulates in the body. Our body needs ten to thirty years to digest cadmium.

This is why the European Commission last year decreased the safety threshold of the amount of cadmium in processed chocolate in the region. The cadmium threshold is between 0.1 and 0.8 milligrams per kilogram of chocolate, depending on the type of chocolate.

Dark chocolate, for instance, has a lower ceiling than milk chocolate. All chocolate imported to Europe have to comply with the limit.

Europe’s decision was based on research that showed even though cadmium exposure in adult non-smokers in the region is still below WHO’s upper limit, exposure through food in children reaches twice the safe limit.
— Read on theconversation.com/amp/chocolate-contains-cadmium-that-can-increase-cancer-risk-131155