Texas and its recent cold weather problems are a long way from Bedford, but we’re not immune from the possibility-or even the probability-of similar outages here.
“The Texas blackouts showed how climate extremes threaten energy systems across the United States.”
This article from The Conversation shows how tightly our water, electricity, and power supplies are linked. The author, Roshanak (Roshi) Nateghi, Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering at Purdue University, says “Water, electricity and natural gas are connected… and because of these tight connections, outages in one system are bound to ripple through the others and create a cascade of service disruptions.”
Today’s article from The Conversation says Congressional members who espouse extreme positions get a lot of airtime and exposure but their actual impact on Congress isn’t all that great. The authors write:
“In recent work, we showed that extremely conservative and extremely liberal legislators receive far more airtime on cable and broadcast news than their moderate counterparts.
For today I’m not calling your attention to a specific article but to an online source that I think is worth following.
It’s The Conversation and it is a compendium of research papers from authors at various universities. In the posting on Jan. 16, the subjects range from Covid-19, to white supremacists, to the rollout of the polio vaccine.
Briefly, The Conversation is a nonprofit, independent news organization dedicated to unlocking the knowledge of experts for the public good. “We publish trustworthy and informative articles written by academic experts for the general public and edited by our team of journalists.”
What kinds of news stories would you expect to find in a publication called Maine Business Daily? Most likely you’d think there would be articles about local enterprises and other business coverage of interest to Downeasters.
But no! In a disturbing news story from the New York Times it appears that publications from such innocuously titled sources are really a coverup for paid political coverage. Here’s the headline: As Local News Dies, a Pay-for-Play Network Rises in Its Place
It’s October 1 and time for a “good read” recommendation. This article by Andrew Latham is worth your attention.
“How three prior pandemics triggered massive societal shifts,” by Andrew Latham, Professor of Political Science at Macalester College.
Professor Latham’s article appears in The Conversation, a compendium of interesting articles gathered from around the world. He writes, “Societies and cultures that seem ossified and entrenched can be completely upended by pandemics, which create openings for conquest, innovation and social change.”
If you’re interested in looking ahead to what the next months will bring during “life in the time of pandemic,” you may find this report from the editors of STAT revealing. (STAT is a media company focused on finding and telling compelling stories about health, medicine, and scientific discovery.)
“The Road Ahead: Charting the Coronavirus Pandemic over the next 12 Months — and Beyond” By Andrew Joseph -September 22, 2020. Here’s a quick summary:
Is the Postal Service Being Manipulated to Help Trump Get Reëlected? By Steve Coll in The New Yorker, July 29, 2020. Read Coll’s New Yorker article here: https://tinyurl.com/y3wtz2za
The headline may be alarmist but many of us have genuine concerns about mail-in ballots in the coming election. As Steve Coll (Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University) points out in this article, different states have different dates for accepting and counting mail-in ballots.
Here is a challenging article from The Atlantic’s national correspondent James Fallows, who asks Is This the Worst Year in Modern American History? Comparing 2020 to 1968 offers some disquieting lessons for the present.
If you are old enough to remember the events of 1968-assassination of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, to name two-you may or may not agree with Fallows. If 1968 is ancient history to you, this is a sobering review of that historic year in comparison to 2020.
“In a crisis, what was once unthinkable can suddenly become inevitable. We’re in the middle of the biggest societal shakeup since the second world war. And neoliberalism is gasping its last breath. So from higher taxes for the wealthy to more robust government, the time has come for ideas that seemed impossible just months ago.”
This quotation is the lead in an opinion piece well worth reading by writer Rutger Bregman which appeared in The Correspondent (A Dutch publication now available in English translation.)
Please note: the articles selected for The Reading Room are Dot Bergin’s choice and do not reflect the views of The Bedford Citizen.
If you’ve ever thought to yourself ….”maybe Amazon is entirely TOO powerful,” here’s a story to cheer you. A startup called Bookshop is challenging the 900-pound gorilla at its own game. Read the story as reported by Harvard’s Nieman Lab:
Here is a strongly worded and probably controversial “take” on the use of Federal stimulus money to support print newspapers during the pandemic.
While I would in no way wish to see print newspapers disappear (I am a dedicated newspaper reader from childhood, when we still had “the funnies”) I acknowledge the reality that print is rapidly going away. The author of the Politico piece talks about the tactile joy in opening up a freshly-printed paper, a delight I experienced as a journalism student in Philadelphia many years ago. I loved reading papers from other cities and towns; in fact, when traveling the first thing I would do in a new city was to buy the local paper. But nostalgia for the past won’t cut it today.
Senior copy editor and board member emerita Dot Bergin is a unique resource for The Bedford Citizen.
Not only does she cover meetings (regularly the Library Trustees and Housing Trust, along with others on an occasional basis) and edit other reporter’s work, she scans the Internet for interesting publications and useful information to share with The Citizen‘s board.