What are we reading? March 4, 2021

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Each week, BIV staff will share with you some of the interesting stories we have found from around the web.


Kirk LaPointe, publisher and editor-in-chief:

It may be far away on the other side of the country, but scientists believe that the Atlantic gulf stream is weakening due to atmospheric warming. The consequences are pretty wild. This beautifully illustrated story is a great example of the visual journalism. – The New York Times



My child-raising (but not parenting) years are done, and this interview with an National Public Radio journalist/author of a new book examining parenthood suggests they should praise less and yell less, even toss out toys, in part from inspiration she found in Nunavut. – The Atlantic



Darryl Pinckney is one of America’s strongest political essayists, and his review of A Promised Land, Barack Obama’s first memoir of his presidency, is likely enough to make it unnecessary to read the book while making you want to buy it immediately. – The New York Review of Books



Jeremy Hainsworth, reporter:

Writer Tom Nichols contends the U.S. Republican Party has become in form and perhaps content, the Soviet Union’s Communist Party of the late 1970s. Nichols describes Republicans as “members of a party that is now exhausted by its failures, cynical about its own ideology, authoritarian by reflex, controlled as a personality cult by a failing old man, and looking for new adventures to rejuvenate its fortunes.” – The Atlantic



Glen Korstrom, reporter:

One of the many parts of the world where people are suffering is Lebanon. It may be one of the more under-reported stories, but their currency, still officially pegged at 1,520 pounds to the U.S. dollar, is on the black market running at a record 10,000 pounds to the U.S. dollar. And it’s U.S. dollars that retailers want, much as it is in other countries where the currency is pegged to the U.S. dollar, such as Cambodia.

As countries around the world print money with abandon to help residents deal with COVID-19 restrictions, currency values have been on my mind.

While Canada, last week, saw a three-year high in the value of the Canadian dollar, versus its U.S. counterpart, people in Lebanon have seen their currency plunge against the U.S. dollar for more than a year, and it’s showing up in soaring consumer prices and fiery protests. – Al Jazeera



Timothy Renshaw, managing editor:


Yet more global pandemic upsides: it's proving to be a once-in-a-generation savings plan for locked-down consumers - The Balance



Insights on technology trends in the year ahead. Looks like Canadian business bosses are embracing the idea of tech democratization as critical to tapping innovation. – Accenture



In case you are ever going to fly again, here is an updated Airport Council International list of the world's most hygienic airports. – Airport Council International https://aci.aero/news/2021/03/01/worlds-best-airports-for-customer-experience-revealed/


Mark Falkenberg, deputy managing editor

The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines around the world has been “the biggest security challenge in a generation,” as authorities confront the threat of armed robberies of vaccine shipments by black marketeers and vandalism by anti-vaccine extremists. – Bloomberg Businessweek



There were lots of eyes on Mars in the past week, with the debut of the Perseverance rover, but a startling photo of Venus also caught a lot of attention. During a flyby of the second-closest planet to the sun, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe snapped a photo that, to the surprise of scientists guiding the mission, plainly showed surface features through Venus’ dense, permanently cloud-shrouded atmosphere. They’re now testing to see whether the probe’s camera is a lot more sensitive to infrared light than they thought. Or, the photo “may have revealed a previously unknown ‘window’ through the Venusian atmosphere.” – Thrillist