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2:05AM

Toronto's Gleaming Skyline

Toronto's skyline began its rise in the 1960s. Gleaming glass towers rose on the northwest shore of Lake Ontario. This shining beacon of civilization has at least one blind spot: it kills more birds than any other city on Earth.

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3:51PM

Sloths

Sloths live an unhurried life, letting them act as lodging for select species. It is a modest achievement for a modest underachiever.

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2:16AM

Extinction via Ecology

Extinction around the globe is accelerating. Local populations of different species are increasingly being wiped out. Humans have long facilitated the process with pollution and habitat loss. Now it's not just high temperatures and drought, though those help the kill rate. The root problem is that the web of life is being torn apart.

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12:48AM

How Rude

The culmination of urban and computerized civilization is a level of rudeness unsurpassed in human history, short of armed conflict. Nowadays, human capacity for empathy is snuffed between strangers when the nature of contact is a request, no matter how politely put, to be respectful of others.

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9:55PM

Homeless Criminals

At bedtime on any given night in the United States, 650,000 people have no place indoors to sleep. The U.S. military-industrial complex consumes at $700 billion per year, 19% of the federal budget, and 5% of gross domestic product, but the country cannot afford to take care of its own people. Instead, homelessness is increasingly being criminalized.

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1:22AM

On Purpose

Teleology posits that natural phenomena exist for a purpose; that is, nature has goals. Ancient Greek philosopher Plato (423 – 347 BCE) was a dyed-in-the-wool teleologist. But since the time of British natural philosopher Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626), empiricism supposedly trumped teleology in scientific circles. Scientific canon is that existential facts do not support purpose as intrinsic to the natural world. To that scientists agree, at least in concept. What they intuitively believe is something else.

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11:51PM

Order From Chaos

Plasmas are turbulent ionized gases. Being chock-full of charge carriers makes plasma electrically conductive, and so responsive to electromagnetic fields. Within the turbulence can be found stable electromagnetic field structures.

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3:51PM

Face to Face

Social animals need to recognize one another. Individuals are important where relationships exist for any duration, and in any community with a social hierarchy. Yet zoologists seemed surprised to learn that all social species innately possess skills that meet the need. (Aren't humans supposed to be superior at this sort of thing?!)

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3:47PM

Booming Spongers

The birth rate boomed across the industrialized countries that fought in the second world war: Germany, Japan, Britain and the United States, though the birthing take-off took off at different times. The war's only tangible victor, the U.S., had particularly fervent fertility. The boomer generation was not as prosperous as they were proliferant. But they made themselves so by readily robbing the next generation.

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1:29PM

Financial Fiction

$800 trillion of financial contracts worldwide are based upon a fiddled fiction: LIBOR (the London Interbank Offered Rate). For decades, rates were set by colluding bankers under the auspices of the British Banker's Association, essentially without supervision. All scams are revealed in time, and LIBOR proved no exception.

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