Rumor is the coronavirus started in a Chinese lab. Here’s how we know it didn’t. Read more on Vox.com.
The Elephant in the Sukkah
Yes, someone has finally made a children’s book out of that fabulous mishnah in Tractate Sukkah. About time! It looks gorgeous and I can’t wait to read it.
“Henry, once a happy circus elephant, feels lonely and sad at the farm for old elephants, where nobody wants to hear him sing. One evening, he follows the sound of music and singing to the Broner family’s sukkah. At last, a place where he might sing. But Henry cannot fit inside the sukkah! Ori knows it’s a mitzvah to invite guests, and he gets a big idea about how to include Henry in the Sukkot fun.”
‘Alexa, play zimiros’
In which I pretend I’m Isaac Asimov and interview Multivac. I mean Alexa.
Bimbo backs down
How four decades of bad anti-trust policy sowed the seeds of last month’s kosher bread crisis.
Rabbit & Robot
Leave out the first T in the title and I would totally buy this book. Heck, I’d even publish it.
The iPhone’s New Parental Controls Block Searches for Sex Ed, Allow Violence and Racism
Don’t worry, kids: You may not be able to learn about consent, but you’ll still have access to Stormfront. Read more
Opening the ark
In which I discuss the drowning of kittens and family-friendly synagogue programs:
“This Shabbat we read the Torah portion of Noah, where God drowned 99 percent of land animals and people, saving only a small remnant in a wooden ark. Kid stuff, right? But Jewish tradi…”
Day schools at the table
In which I look at the OU’s lobbying goals in Trenton — and how they fit into the broader picture of yeshiva and public school funding. Tl;Dr: They’re no longer allying themselves with the school choice movement. And they can succeed in year-over-year budget victories for decades before making an impact on the state budget or the cost of tuition.
Day schools at the table
OU’s Maury Litwack serves on governor’s transition committee (Jewish Standard)
Establishment of a repeated social defeat stress model in female mice
Mice genetically engineered to be mean fighting machines help beat back sexism in science.
That’s the gist of this exciting new paper co-authored by my favorite lab scientist, Dr. Yael G..
She has long been studying why some mice who are bullied seem to get depressed, while others are resilient. (Seem because these are mice, not people, but most of the signs are there.) All the studies have used male mice. Which is a problem, since depression in humans is not gender neutral.
The thing is, the technique used to bully mice into depression doesn’t work on female rats, because male mice don’t naturally bully female mice. Enter genetic engineering, which produces mice who can be programmed to beat up on female mice (as well as inanimate objects).
Full details, including sex-based differences in what sort of living arrangements will best depress bullied mice, here