Why the U.N.’s Biodiversity Conference Is So Important – The New York Times

Countries are gathering in an effort to stop a biodiversity collapse that scientists say could equal climate change as an existential crisis.
— Read on www.nytimes.com/2021/10/14/climate/un-biodiversity-conference-climate-change.html

Outrage as Texas school District Considers Holocaust Denial Books in Response to Anti-Racism Crackdown

Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill into law earlier this year that is intended to combat the teaching of critical race theory. A recording obtained by NBC News captures an administrator from Carroll Independent School District—which serves the wealthy, predominantly white Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Southlake—last week instructing teachers to comply with the new law by offering alternate opinions on topics like the Holocaust, despite mainstream views on the Holocaust not being opposed in any substantial or credible manner.

Gina Peddy, the school district’s executive director of curriculum and instruction, can be heard in the recording telling teachers to “try to remember the concepts of” the new law while planning their lessons. She then tells teachers that if they “have a book on the Holocaust” they should also include a book that has “opposing” views or “other perspectives.” The exchange prompted strong reactions on Twitter, with many prominent figures outrage that Abbott’s law could promote Holocaust denial.
— Read on www.newsweek.com/outrage-texas-school-district-considers-holocaust-denial-books-response-anti-racism-crackdown-1639213

Running Machine Learning Projects: Things to know | by Prashant Mudgal | Oct, 2021 | Towards Data Science

In my experience, ML projects come in all shapes and sizes and vary greatly in their complexity. In the initial 2000/10s, the emphasis was on the model-centric approach which I always found a little bizarre as I heard umpteen times about the fancier models than the results(well, it was a different time and folks used to get awestruck when they would hear ML, AI, DS etc); slowly and steadily the focus has shifted to the result centric approach i.e. use whatever model you can but make use of the data and produce results that are directional, applicable, and coherent.
— Read on towardsdatascience.com/running-machine-learning-projects-things-to-know-316775338eab

Protected Too Late: U.S. Officials Report More Than 20 Extinctions – The New York Times

The animals and one plant had been listed as endangered species. Their stories hold lessons about a growing global biodiversity crisis.
— Read on www.nytimes.com/2021/09/28/climate/endangered-animals-extinct.html

The shape of things to come.

Epik hack by Anonymous reveals hidden far-right data – The Washington Post

The colossal hack of Epik, an Internet-services company popular with the far right, has been called the “mother of all data lodes” for extremism researchers. Some of those named in the data have already lost their jobs.
— Read on www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/09/25/epik-hack-fallout/

EXCLUSIVE Guinea rail builders blast in chimp habitat, no plan to protect apes | Reuters

A Chinese-backed consortium building infrastructure for a massive iron ore mine in Guinea started blasting a railway tunnel in a habitat for a critically endangered chimpanzee species with no plan in place to manage the impact on the animals, company and government statements and satellite imagery show.
— Read on www.reuters.com/world/africa/exclusive-guinea-rail-builders-blast-chimp-habitat-no-plan-protect-apes-2021-08-17/

Gray whale deaths: How humans and climate change hurt oceans – Los Angeles Times

Gray whales are dying at alarming rates. A Times investigation of their migrations from Mexico to Alaska offers clues to what is causing this marine mystery.
— Read on www.latimes.com/projects/gray-whale-deaths-how-humans-climate-change-hurt-oceans/

Taliban Take Over Kabul as Afghan President Flees Country – WSJ

Demoralized Afghan security forces offered no resistance as the insurgents, who seized most of the country in just over a week, appeared Sunday morning on the capital’s outskirts.
— Read on www.wsj.com/articles/afghanistans-taliban-seize-jalalabad-as-panic-grips-kabul-11629005282

Charles Loeb: The Black Reporter Who Exposed an Atomic Bomb Lie – The New York Times

Charles H. Loeb defied the American military’s denials and propaganda to show how deadly radiation from the strike on Hiroshima sickened and killed.
— Read on www.nytimes.com/2021/08/09/science/charles-loeb-atomic-bomb.html

Opinion | What Does It Mean for a Whole Nation to Become Uninhabitable? – The New York Times

“It’s changing quite rapidly,” says a hunter in Canada. “And I’m not old at all. I’m 31.”
— Read on www.nytimes.com/2021/08/13/opinion/climate-change.html