Frances Haugen | I Blew the Whistle on Facebook. Europe Just Showed Us the Next Step. – The New York Times

Ms. Haugen is a former Facebook product manager who focused on combating misinformation and espionage.

“Elon Musk’s deal to take Twitter private, which has spurred questions about power, censorship and safety for the future of the platform, happened just days after the European Union reached a landmark agreement to make social media less toxic for users. The new E.U. standards, and the ethic of transparency on which they are based, will for the first time pull back the curtain on the algorithms that choose what we see and when we see it in our feeds.

In Europe’s case, the dryly named Digital Services Act is the most significant piece of social media legislation in history. It goes to the heart of what I’ve tried to do as a whistle-blower who worked inside Facebook: make social media far better without impinging on free speech. Today, Facebook’s poorly implemented content moderation strategies leave those most at risk of real world violence unprotected and only consistently succeed at one thing: angering everyone.

Last October, I came forward a with a simple message: Facebook knew it was cutting corners to make more money, and the public was paying the price. In over 20,000 pages of documents that I disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission and to Congress, the public learned what Facebook already knew — its products were spurring hate and divisionleading teenagers into rabbit holes of self-harm and anorexia, leaving millions of users without basic safety systems for hate speech or violence incitement and, at times, were even used to sell humans across the platform.”

Climate Change Will Accelerate Viral Spillovers, Study Finds – The New York Times

“Over the next 50 years, climate change will drive thousands of viruses to jump from one species of mammal to another, according to a study published in Nature on Thursday. The shuffling of viruses among animals may increase the risk that one will jump into humans and cause a new pandemic, the researchers said.

Scientists have long warned that a warming planet may increase the burden of diseases. Malaria, for example, is expected to spread as the mosquitoes that carry it expand their range into warming regions. But climate change might also usher in entirely new diseases, by allowing pathogens to move into new host species.

“We know that species are moving, and when they do, they’re going to have these chances to share viruses,” said Colin Carlson, a biologist at Georgetown University and a co-author of the new study.”

If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus – Harvard Health

What should I do if I think I or my child may have a COVID-19 infection?

First, call your doctor or pediatrician for advice.

If you do not have a doctor and you are concerned that you or your child may have COVID-19, contact your local board of health. They can direct you to the best place for testing and treatment in your area. Over-the-counter tests may also be available at your local pharmacy or grocery store.

If you do test positive and either have no symptoms or can recover at home, you will still need to

  • isolate at home for five days
  • if you have no symptoms or your symptoms are improving after five days, you can discontinue isolation and leave your home
  • continue to wear a mask around others for five additional days.

If you have a fever, continue to isolate at home until you no longer have a fever.

Source: If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus – Harvard Health

Ezra Klein | Elon Musk Got Twitter Because He Gets Twitter – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

“Can Elon Musk break Twitter? I hope so.

I’m not accusing Musk of being a sleeper agent. The man loves Twitter. He tweets as if he was raised by the blue bird and the fail whale. Three days before locking in his purchase of the platform, Musk blasted out an unflattering photograph of Bill Gates, and next to it, an illustration of a pregnant man. “in case u need to lose a boner fast,” Time’s 2021 Person of the Year told his more than 80 million followers. Musk believed Gates was shorting Tesla’s stock, and this was his response. It got over 165,000 retweets and 1.3 million likes. That’s a man who understands what Twitter truly is.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s co-founder and former chief executive, always wanted it to be something else. Something it wasn’t, and couldn’t be. “The purpose of Twitter is to serve the public conversation,” he said in 2018. Twitter began “measuring conversational health” and trying to tweak the platform to burnish it. Sincere as the effort was, it was like those liquor ads advising moderation. You don’t get people to drink less by selling them whiskey. Similarly, if your intention was to foster healthy conversation, you’d never limit thoughts to 280 characters or add like and retweet buttons or quote-tweet features. Twitter can’t be a home to hold healthy conversation because that’s not what it’s built to do.

So what is Twitter built to do? It’s built to gamify conversation. As C. Thi Nguyen, a philosopher at the University of Utah, has written, it does that “by offering immediate, vivid and quantified evaluations of one’s conversational success. Twitter offers us points for discourse; it scores our communication. And these gamelike features are responsible for much of Twitter’s psychological wallop. Twitter is addictive, in part, because it feels so good to watch those numbers go up and up.” “

Ukrainians Flood Village of Demydiv to Keep Russians at Bay – The New York Times

The waters that poured into Demydiv were one of many instances of Ukraine wreaking havoc on its own territory to slow Russia’s advance. Residents couldn’t be happier. “We saved Kyiv,” one said.

“DEMYDIV, Ukraine — They pull up soggy linoleum from their floors, and fish potatoes and jars of pickles from submerged cellars. They hang out waterlogged rugs to dry in the pale spring sunshine.

All around Demydiv, a village north of Kyiv, residents have been grappling with the aftermath of a severe flood, which under ordinary circumstances would have been yet another misfortune for a people under attack. This time, it was quite the opposite.

In fact, it was a tactical victory in the war against Russia. The Ukrainians flooded the village intentionally, along with a vast expanse of fields and bogs around it, creating a quagmire that thwarted a Russian tank assault on Kyiv and bought the army precious time to prepare defenses.

The residents of Demydiv paid the price in the rivers of dank green floodwater that engulfed many of their homes. And they couldn’t be more pleased.”

Thomas L. Friedman | Shameless McCarthy, Soulless Putin and Nameless Ukrainian Soldiers – The New York Times

   Opinion Columnist

“I am thinking about three people today whose behavior could have a significant impact on the world in the coming months and possibly years: a soldier with no name, a politician with no shame and a leader with no soul.

The first I admire, the second we should have nothing but contempt for and the third must forever be known as a war criminal.

The unnamed soldier is the thousands of Ukrainians — those in uniform and those civilian men and women — who are defending their country’s nascent democracy against Vladimir Putin’s barbaric attempt to wipe Ukraine off the map.

Whether they are professionally trained soldiers or “babushkas” using their smartphones to call in coordinates of Russian tanks hiding in the forest behind their farms, their willingness to anonymously fight and die to preserve Ukraine’s freedom and culture is the ultimate refutation of Putin’s claim that Ukraine is not a “real” country but rather an integral part of Russia’s “own history, culture and spiritual space.” We don’t know their names — I can’t name a single Ukrainian general, despite all their success so far — but their deeds have shown Putin that the country they are fighting for is very real, very distinct and willing to ferociously defend itself.”

How Much Sugar Is in a Glass of Wine? – The New York Times

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a five-ounce glass of red table wine typically contains about 0.9 grams of total sugar, while a glass of chardonnay contains about 1.4 grams. A sweet dessert wine, typically served in a smaller two- to three-ounce glass, contains as much as 7 grams of sugar. Depending on where the wine was made, the total may include added sugar or sugar from unfermented grape juice, along with the sugar that occurs naturally in the grapes.

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting added sugar intake to no more than 10 percent of daily calories, which is about 12 teaspoons, or 50 grams. The American Heart Association recommends limiting intake even further: no more than six teaspoons (about 25 grams, or 100 calories) per day for women, and no more than nine teaspoons (36 grams, 150 calories) per day for men.

Pros and Cons of Metal Roof vs Asphalt Shingles – Roof Crafters

“Pros of Metal Roofing

A metal roof has many benefits over traditional shingles and tiles. Because it is made from an actual metal instead of a material such as wood, tile, or metal that has been painted, it’s durable and won’t warp or crack over time.  

Metal roofing is available in a variety of styles and colors to complement any home. While there are products available to imitate non-metal materials, such as tile, panels — even wood and asphalt — genuine metal roofing provides a unique appearance that can’t be duplicated. 

Metal roofing has become the most preferred option for homeowners seeking a long-lasting, low-maintenance roof. Built from metal, metal roofing is lightweight and easy to work with, especially since it’s available in a variety of materials. A metal roof will last anywhere from 40 to 70 years and require very little maintenance. Investing in this type of roofing also helps the environment because metal roofing is made from recycled materials and has a lower carbon footprint than some other materials used for roofs.

Cons of Metal Roofing

Metal roofing tends to come at a much higher price point than asphalt shingles. They are often perceived as being stronger and more efficient than shingle roofs, but they do come with some extra costs. First, metal roofs require an underlying support frame so that they won’t buckle in high winds. Second, if installed by a non-professional, they won’t last as long and might not be as effective in keeping water out.

Some metal roofing is heavier to work with and can result in cuts to the skin when handled improperly or without the right set of gloves.”

Source: Pros and Cons of Metal Roof vs Asphalt Shingles – Roof Crafters

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Source: Metal Roof Nation

Anand Giridharadas | Elon Musk Is a Problem Masquerading as a Solution – The New York Times

Anand Giridharadas is the author, most recently, of “Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World.”

“It is a perfect marriage for an age of plutocracy: Twitter with its serious problems and Elon Musk, the embodiment of those problems. What happens when the incarnation of a problem buys the right to decide what the problem is and how to fix it?

Twitter has a disinformation problem — fake news about Covid vaccinesclimate and more running buck wild across the platform. Mr. Musk has shown himself to be a highly capable peddler of dubious claims, whether putting out misleading financial information or calling the British diver who helped rescue trapped schoolboys in Thailand a “pedo guy.”

Twitter has a racism problem. Time and again, it has failed to consequentially answer the pleas of users of color to address the bigotry and harassment that are endemic for them. Tesla, the carmaker that Mr. Musk runs, has its own racism problem, with many workers complaining to the press and California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing suing the company over an allegedly pervasive problem of racialized degradation. The agency recently described one of Tesla’s plants as “a racially segregated workplace” rife with slurs as well as discrimination “in job assignments, discipline, pay and promotion.”

Twitter has a bullying and harassment problem, and the subtler but related challenge of bringing out the worst, not the best, in all of us. Mr. Musk is the incarnation of these problems, too. Though you might think that having more than $250 billion, according to Forbes, and wanting to solve the problems of Earth and space would fully occupy someone, he seems to have a compulsive need to belittle people and burp out his least-considered impulses and stoke bullying by his legions of admirers in a way that both reflects and shapes how Twitter is.”