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Pedal coast-to-coast without using a road? New program helps connect trails across the US

This is completely lovely and the kind of thing America absolutely should be doing.

"O’Neil hopes the trail born from eastern Indiana’s old railroad tracks will eventually become a central cog in the proposed Great American Rail-Trail — a continuous network of walking and biking routes spanning from Washington state to Washington, D.C."

Yes, please!

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The circular Tube map

Transport for London have redesigned the Tube map in concentric circles as part of a promotional partnership with a phone company. Just one of the many, many ways public transit is desperately grasping for funds all over the world.

Here in Philly, SEPTA is working to rename stations based on corporate sponsorships. The Tube actually did this once before already, renaming Bond Street to Burberry Street for London fashion week. That (as well as these new maps, presumably) was temporary; these are permanent.

I don't blame transit authorities for trying to make up for budget shortfalls however they can. But it's also sad. Public transit is an important public good; it's a real shame that we can't seem to fully fund it from the public purse. The point is not for transit to be profitable, it's to provide real infrastructure that lifts everybody up.

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More states propose bills to exclude trans, nonbinary people from public life

"Proposed legislation would prevent trans people from being able to update driver’s licenses, hold public office, use public restrooms, or take shelter from domestic violence unless they do so according to their sex assigned at birth."

I'm grateful, as ever, for The 19th's (and, specifically, Orion Rummler's) reporting here, digging into the details and impact of this proposed legislation.

One ray of light: "The ACLU and other civil rights groups are tracking a lot of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation this year, and expect another record-shattering year. However, advocates want the community to remember that although a record number of anti-trans bills were introduced last year, the majority of anti-trans bills — hundreds of them — never passed into law."

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US to get first dedicated high-speed railway – built by Network Rail

I hadn't caught that the US's first high-speed railway is going to be built by Network Rail, which runs Britain's railway infrastructure.

The San Francisco to Los Angeles route will take under three hours; right now it takes nine hours and thirty minutes. I've done that journey in the past, including a bus connection in Bakersfield. This will be a huge improvement.

I like the idea that the rail expertise of other nations is being deployed to build infrastructure here. That's probably how it should be. Hopefully in the process, a whole new generation of infrastructure experts will be created domestically.

Fascinating all round. Bring on high speed rail nationwide.

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US retail lobbyists retract key claim on 'organized' retail crime

This data was widely cited and used to justify some frankly racist rhetoric. I particularly noticed it in the usual circles who complain about the decline of San Francisco supposedly due to progressive policies.

It speaks to the power of data to tell stories, and to peoples' willingness to trust it as infallible and objective when, like every other storytelling medium, it carries underlying biases and context.

It never rang true, and I'm glad this is coming to light.

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Nick Fuentes: ‘The Window Has Shifted Noticeably’ On ‘White Identity’ Since Elon Musk Acquired Twitter

Some of the worst humans on the planet, crediting a third worst human on the planet for paving the way for their noxious ideology.

"Now everyone’s a white identitarian. Maybe not fully, but certainly it’s far more acceptable in the conversation — even the word white — than it was years ago."

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“Someone Tell Me What to Do”

Nobody should need to prepare for a mass shooting. Nonetheless, across the country, many children do. That the police at Uvalde were less prepared than an eight year old is a travesty.

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Support Indigenous People This Weekend

"Every year I invite people who are celebrating the colonial holiday to do something in support of Native people. Amid an overdose crisis and high rates of poverty, illness, and unemployment, Indigenous organizers are doing incredible work to reduce harm and help our peoples thrive. Through mutual aid, cultural work, protest, advocacy, and the sharing of Indigenous lifeways, these organizers are making a profound difference in the lives of Indigenous people in the U.S. If you can and would like to, please join me in supporting one of the following organizations this weekend."

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I've Been To Over 20 Homeschool Conferences. The Things I've Witnessed At Them Shocked Me.

I read this the other day and haven't stopped thinking about it.

Mostly I worry about the children who have to grow up in this kind of environment. To my mind it's tantamount to child abuse.

What happens to them later? Do they stay inside this restrictive framework, or do they rebel? I'm genuinely curious to know how successful it is. It's not obvious to me that children will respond to it - unless they then go their whole lives never encountering an alternative point of view.

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Is Helicopter Parenting Ruining Kids?

I truly aspire not to be one of these parents.

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US surgeons are killing themselves at an alarming rate. One decided to speak out

"Somewhere between 300 to 400 physicians a year in the US take their own lives, the equivalent of one medical school graduating class annually."

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Oxford University is the world’s top university for a record eighth year

This presumably means that the Turf Tavern is the best student pub in the world.

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Britain’s attitude to refugees shows, once again, that it’s a colonial nation

"Hostile immigration policy stokes racism but the foundation it builds upon itself is racist and maintains a 'colonial present'. Through dealing with migrants like pests, who deserve to be locked away in a prison barge, the British government continues to ignore the fact that, “Borders maintain hoarded concentrations of wealth accrued from colonial domination.""

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19th News/SurveyMonkey poll: The State of Our Nation

Lots of interesting insights in this poll, including on nationwide attitudes to gender-affirming care (only 29% of Republicans think their party should focus on it) and gun control (82% of Americans want to restrict access in domestic abuse cases).

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Victims of forced sterilization in California prisons entitled to reparations

One thing I learned from this story is that forced sterilization of inmates has still been widespread in the 21st century in America. Ghoulish.

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Unconditional cash transfers reduce homelessness

It turns out that if you give homeless people money as assistance, it really helps them. This is something society should do.

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Police departments pull school officers due to Minnesota restraint law

It says a lot that in areas where officers aren’t allowed to put schoolchildren in holds that restrict breathing or their ability to speak, departments take officers out of schools in protest. These laws should be in place everywhere, and police officers should not be in schools.

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She Just Had a Baby. Soon She'll Start 7th Grade.

There are so many stories like this one. There should never be another. And yet, we've rolled back the clock at the behest of religious extremists, so there will be many more. This cannot go on.

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FAU Study: Perils of Not Being Attractive or Athletic in Middle School

Hey, sounds like my middle school experience! This is important for me to understand as a parent, and it's important for schools to adapt to as de facto caregivers. These dynamics should be corrected for, not accepted.

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Right-Wing Writer Richard Hanania's Racist Past Exposed

A prominent writer platformed by the New York Times and Washington Post, and championed by major figures in tech, including by Marc Andreessen and the CEO of Substack, turns out to be an actual white supremacist.

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A beautiful, broken America: what I learned on a 2,800-mile bus ride from Detroit to LA

I've traveled across America four times: three by car and one by train. I've never done it by Greyhound, and I probably never will. This country's infrastructure is falling apart and being eaten by wolves.

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The truth about the women this Florida board says benefited from slavery

The idea that these women - or any enslaved people - benefitted from the degrading atrocity of slavery is disgusting. That a government is peddling this lie perpetuates the deep harm that was committed. The blind cruelty is unfathomable.

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The world’s last internet cafes

A fascinating look into something that, for a little while, was a vital part of the global internet. They remain community hubs, even becoming de facto daycare centers, but smartphones and ubiquitous connectivity have left them struggling.

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Schools Usually Call Moms

Disappointing but unsurprising data around gender inequality in parenting. I find the fact that schools are more likely to call mothers infuriating, to the point that I've experimented with creating a virtual call center number for both parents to share.

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Connecting Europe by train: 10 EU pilot services to boost cross-border rail

Europe knows what's up. I wish we could do this in the US - but there are so many obstacles.

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