Kickoff For September 10, 2018

Welcome to this week's edition of the Monday Kickoff, a collection of what I've found interesting, informative, and insightful on the web over the last seven days.

Let's get this Monday started with these links:

Science

What Caused the Dinosaur Extinction?, wherein we wade into a sea of scientific viciousness, learn that the debate about what wiped out the dinosaurs is still raging, and get introduced to a theory competing with the asteroid strike hypothesis.

The road to bipedalism wasn't straight and narrow, wherein we read about research that looked at the development of foot bones in early homonins, which concludes that our evolution as a species was less linear and more piecemeal than you might assume at first glance.

Why can’t all plastic waste be recycled?, wherein we learn that even if a plastic is recyclable does not guarantee that it will be recycled, and that's because of the cost and difficulty in separating various types of plastics.

Politics

A Global Guide to State-Sponsored Trolling, wherein we discover how governments around the world have co-opted social media to promote their agendas, intimidate and divide opponents, and to stifle dissent.

Is Atheism the Last Unforgivable Sin of American Politics?, wherein we discover that while they number in the tens of millions, non believers in the U.S. are marginalized, even stigmatized and that admitting you're one is the death knell of a political career.

The Death of an Entire System of Political Rule, wherein Tony Wood analyzes the 2018 Mexican elections and ponders if Lopez Obrador's victory can change the face of politics in Mexico.

Odds and Ends

Postcards from the Edge, wherein we're exposed to the dubious charms of a toxic mining pit in Butte, Montana which attracts tens of thousands of tourists each year, but which also poses some major problems for Butte.

Dying Alone in Japan: The Industry Devoted to What’s Left Behind, wherein we peek into the world of Japanese firms that specialize in disposing of the belongings of the deceased, a growing industry in a country with a declining birthrate and an industry that has regional reach.

Turkey's currency crisis has roots in the global financial crisis of 1825, wherein we're reminded that history can indeed repeat itself, and that people who know bettter naively (or maybe arrogantly) believe they won't make the same mistakes that were made in the past.

And that's it for this Monday. Come back in seven days for another set of links to start off your week.

Scott Nesbitt


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