Chernobyl wolves appear to be immune to radiation

Chernobyl wolves appear to be immune to radiation

From Sky News: "Dr Cara Love, an evolutionary biologist and ecotoxicologist at Princeton University, has been studying how the Chernobyl wolves survive despite generations of exposure to radioactive particles. Dr Love and a team of researchers visited the CEZ in 2014 and put radio collars on the wolves so that their movements could be monitored. They also took blood samples to understand how the wolves' bodies respond to cancer-causing radiation. The researchers discovered that Chernobyl wolves are exposed to upwards of 11.28 millirem of radiation every day for their entire lives - which is more than six times the legal safety limit for a human."

A Liverpool man who inherited $125,000 let 12 strangers decide what to do with it

From The Guardian: "A man who has been sitting on a £100,000 inheritance from his mother for more than 10 years has given the large sum to four charities in Liverpool, and that decision was down to 12 strangers. David Clarke, 34, said he wanted to tackle inequality as he felt he had enough money to live on. He wanted to give power to his neighbours and residents to decide what to do with his lump sum of money. So he sent letters randomly to 600 addresses in the L8 postcode, and then picked 12 to take part in the project. "During the first session, everyone thought it was a scam," Clarke said, "but when the facilitator and I explained the cause and backstory, it was fine.” The only condition he gave to the group was not to spend the money on themselves."

His best friend was a 250-pound warthog and one day, it decided to kill him

From Texas Monthly: "As he slumped against a fence and his mangled body began to shut down, Austin thought about the animal that had just used its razor-sharp, seven-inch tusks to stab him at least fifteen times. The attack had shredded his lower body and filled his boots with blood, and then left gaping holes in his torso and neck. This was a pet he’d trusted more than any other: his lovable, five-year-old warthog, Waylon. It wasn’t just an attack, but a murderous act of betrayal, one that shattered everything he thought he knew about the deep bond between man and pig. “For years, that animal trusted me everyday and I trusted him,” Austin said. “And then he decided to kill me.”

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A husband and wife team of scientists has rewritten the history of kissing

From the NYT: "One night over dinner in 2022, the couple discussed a new genetic study that linked modern herpes variants to mouth-to-mouth kissing in the Bronze Age, roughly 3300 B.C. to 1200 B.C. In the paper’s supplementary materials, a brief history of kissing pinpointed South Asia as the place of origin and traced the first literary buss to 1500 B.C., when Vedic Sanskrit manuscripts were being transcribed from oral history. So they consulted cuneiform texts on clay tablets from Mesopotamia and Egypt for clear examples of intimate kissing. Their investigation resulted in a commentary recently published in the journal Science that pushed back the earliest documentation of kissing by 1,000 years."

The secret behind Jack Daniel's came from an enslaved man named Nearest Green

From Gastropod: "Back in 1866, Jack Daniel's became the first registered distillery in the United States; today, it's the top-selling American whiskey in the world. For much of the brand's 150-plus years, the story went that the young Jack Daniel learned his trade from a pastor named Dan Call. In reality, he was taught to distill by an enslaved African, Nathan "Nearest" Green, whose contributions had been written out of history. As two historians eventually discovered, Nearest Green wasn't just someone who helped Jasper "Jack" Daniel learn how to make whiskey – he was the first Master Distiller at the Daniel's distillery, the first African-American to hold such a title, and helped develop the process that led to the whiskey's unique flavor."

The island in the Potomac that stands as a living memorial to Teddy Roosevelt

From JSTOR Daily: "Each year, more than 25 million visitors descend on the National Mall and encounter a circuit of imposing monuments dedicated to former presidents: Abraham Lincoln to the west, Thomas Jefferson to the south, and George Washington at the center of this grassy axis. But few know about the island in the middle of the Potomac River that lionizes a president of its own. Theodore Roosevelt Island, which the NPS calls a “living memorial” to the 26th president, is accessible only by a stately footbridge from a nearby Virginia riverbank. A brief tramp leads to a statue of Roosevelt, flanked by four stone slabs and anchoring a moat-encased memorial plaza. Other than this iconographic scene, the island is blanketed in woodland and swamp marsh."

Director of finance at Lyft fired for adding a zero to the company's earnings release

Acknowledgements: I find a lot of these links myself, but I also get some from other newsletters that I rely on as "serendipty engines," such as The Morning News from Rosecrans Baldwin and Andrew Womack, Jodi Ettenberg's Curious About Everything, Dan Lewis's Now I Know, Robert Cottrell and Caroline Crampton's The Browser, Clive Thompson's Linkfest, Noah Brier and Colin Nagy's Why Is This Interesting, Maria Popova's The Marginalian, Sheehan Quirke AKA The Cultural Tutor, the Smithsonian magazine, and JSTOR Daily. If you come across something interesting that you think should be included here, please feel free to email me.