The GOP’s Kiddie Debate, Polluted Cities & Flying Spiders: Aug 19, 2015

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GOP Debates, Kids’ Edition
By Russ Baker
You’ve heard the expression “out of the mouths of babes”? Well, for a proper perspective on the GOP debate participants, it helps to hear their declarations from … the next generation. Funny doesn’t even begin to describe this video.

WHO

The Woman Who Could Stop Climate Change
The New Yorker’s Elizabeth Kolbert profiled the most important woman you’ve never heard of—Christiana Figueres. This fall at the Paris Climate Conference, Ms. Figueres has the unenviable task of trying to convince the world to make a significant effort to stem its carbon-loading of the atmosphere and, in so doing, finally slow the devastating effects of climate change.

Undercover Police Have Regularly Spied On Black Lives Matter Activists in New York
In light of five years of non-stop revelations about the rise of the police state and the ubiquity of the surveillance state, this story from The Intercept may come as little surprise. But, then again, the 300 documents released by the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Metro-North Railroad stands as a chilling reminder of the wide spectrum of surveillance available to authorities–from tracking movements to recording data and even to the collection of a roster of protesters’ pictures.

WHAT

The 10 Most Polluted Cities in America 
An annual report by the American Lung Association found that nearly 44% of Americans live in areas where air pollution spikes to dangerous levels. That’s 138 million people who were exposed to alarmingly bad ozone or particulate pollution at some point during the last year. The Fresno-Madera metro area in Central California was the worst place to breathe. But larger, more recognizable cities like Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Los Angeles also made the list.

WHY

Did Chucking Stones Make Us More Human?
Researchers have found evidence of stone-throwing by Homo erectus. The cobbled stones may be the earliest known projectile. Nearly two million years ago, they would have been used to ward off or kill a saber-toothed tiger. Really, what’s more “human” than using a projectile as a deadly weapon? Just ask LockheedMartin.

Biologists Discover Skydiving Spiders in South American Forests
Imagine a nocturnal spider that can drop from a tree and, like a few other non-flying insects, deftly guide itself to its intended target. Now, open your eyes and look at a “wafer-thin” spider found in Panama and Peru. It glides to its destination with the greatest of ease. It might be a nightmarish idea for arachnophobes, but it is yet another wondrous example of the amazing adaptability of spiders.

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