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Recommended reading / viewing / listening

April 20, 2020

This week: Face masks and military uniforms / ProPublica and diversity / Drive-in churches for the faithful / Islamic State sees an opportunity / The myth of free shipping

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism. Learn more about my academic background here.

1. Safeguarding Digitial Democracy: Digital Innovation and Democracy Initiative Roadmap
By Karen Kornbluh, Ellen P. Goodman and Eli Weiner | The German Marshall Fund of the United States | March 2020
“The United States is woefully unprepared for disinformation wars.”

2. ‘No skull and crossbones’: Here’s how the six services are implementing military face mask guidance
By Chad Garland | Stars and Stripes | April 2020
“Balaclavas may be OK, but ski masks may not be, depending on which uniform a service member wears, under service-specific guidance on the Pentagon’s new facial covering requirements.”

3. What ProPublica Is Doing About Diversity in 2020
By Caroline Chen, Liz Sharp and Richard Tofel | ProPublica | April 2020
“Here is our annual report on the breakdown of our staff and how we’re working to create a more diverse news organization and inclusive journalism community.”

4. Drive-in churches an option for faithful who want closeness
By Giovanna Dell’Orto | Associated Press | April 2020
“Physical presence is no gimmick, but rather embodies the strength that communities of worshippers draw from one another, gatherings central to Christianity and other faiths.”

5. Islamic State Aims for Comeback Amid Virus-Expedited U.S. Withdrawal
By Pesha Magid | Foreign Policy | April 2020
“Iraqis fear their country will become a new battleground between ISIS and Iran-backed militias.”

6. The 500-million-year-old reason behind the unique scent of rain
By Rich Haridy | New Atlas | April 2020
“New research from an international team of scientists is suggesting that instantly recognizable earthy smell after rain is released by bacteria trying to attract a particular arthropod as a way to spread its spores. The smell is a 500-million-year-old example of chemical communication, evolved to help a particular type of bacteria spread.”

7. The Poison Squad
American Experience :: PBS | January 2020
“By the close of the Industrial Revolution, the American food supply was tainted with frauds, fakes, and legions of new and untested chemicals, dangerously threatening the health of consumers.”

8. Cooking and healing in my mother’s Vietnamese kitchen
By Kim O’Connell | Al Jazeera | December 2019
“In the midst of misunderstandings and estrangement, one woman and her mother found solace in making spring rolls.”

9. Stop Believing in Free Shipping
By Amanda Mull | The Atlantic | January / February 2020
“How retailers hide the costs of delivery — and why we’re such suckers for their ploys”

10. ‘Is This the Worst Possible Time to Break Up With Someone?’
By Heather Havrilesky | The Cut :: New York Magazine | April 2020
“Does your breakup advice shift, knowing that we might be stuck and unable to access social supports and friends and bars etc. for an indefinite amount of time?”

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