What We’re Reading

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This week, The Atlantic featured a stunning video of a group of friends who made a proportional model of the solar system with complete planetary orbits. Usually, depictions of the solar system are incorrect and display the planets too closely together. In order to amend this error, the team took over a dry lake in Nevada and constructed a model by drawing huge circles scattered across the desert. Even for those of us not studying STEM or are not interested in space (despite the buzz around the new Star Wars trailer), this video is an absolute treat.

On Friday, America witnessed another tragic mass shooting. In Colorado Springs, an armed man killed three people and wounded nine others at a Planned Parenthood clinic. Vox  explains why certain pro-choice groups are petitioning President Obama to call these acts against abortion providers domestic terrorism. “The technical term really reflects the use of violence against limited targets to scare a lot of people into doing their bidding,” explained Sasha Bruce, a leading strategist for a large pro-life lobbying group. “These actions are intended to scare women away from seeking an abortion. It fit the bill even before the awful, awful incident Friday in Colorado.”

The Paris climate talks are underway this week. Because the issue of climate change is so complicated, The New York Times  decided to answer readers’ questions in direct, understandable language. The questions range from “How much is the planet heating up?” (1.7 degrees) to “Is crazy weather tied to climate change?” (in some cases, yes) and “Why do people continue to deny climate change?” (ideology).

There were also two op-eds on our radar this week. First, The New York Times featured an opinion  written by Haider Javed Warraich, a fellow in cardiovascular medicine at Duke University. In the article, he unpacks the ethics of force feeding. Warraich draws compelling comparisons between the torture techniques used at prisons and the treatment of senior citizens suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Second, check out this opinion piece on British online magazine, Aeon. Written by professor and researcher Ian Lekus, this article explores the proper way to teach the history of HIV/AIDS. In the piece, Lekus reminisces how there is a “conflation of being gay with dying early.” He then explains that “HIV is far more than Africa, and that Africa is much, much more than HIV.”

If you need something a bit fluffier to distract from all these heavy duty issues, let yourself enjoy some delicious click bait and check out this article from Elite Daily. Apparently, Arnold from Hey Arnold! is super hot now. I’ll let you be the judge.

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