Harvard expert in honesty accused of plagiarism

Harvard expert in honesty accused of plagiarism

From Science.org: "Harvard University honesty researcher Francesca Gino, whose work has come under fire for suspected data falsification, may also have plagiarized passages in some of her high-profile publications. A book chapter co-authored by Gino, who was found by a 2023 Harvard Business School (HBS) investigation to have committed research misconduct, contains numerous passages of text with striking similarities to 10 earlier sources. The sources include published papers and student theses, according to an analysis shared with Science by University of Montreal psychologist Erinn Acland. Science has confirmed Acland’s findings and identified at least 15 additional passages of borrowed text in Gino’s two books."

The Brazilian special-forces unit that is fighting to save the Amazon

A G.E.F. member wearing fatigues and walking away from a burning mining camp.

From The New Yorker: "The men—fighters with combat gear and assault rifles—belonged to a tiny special-forces unit known as the Specialized Inspection Group, or G.E.F. Their leader and co-founder was Felipe Finger, a wiry man in his forties with a salt-and-pepper beard. Finger trained in forestry engineering, and his unit works under the Brazilian ministry for the environment. But he has spent much of his adult life in armed operations to protect the wilderness, and he talks like a soldier, with frequent references to operations and objectives and neutralizing threats. The current mission was known to national authorities as Operation Freedom. Finger and his men called it Operation Xapirí, from a Yanomami word for nature spirits."

Inside the hidden network of crime families that control the city of Naples

Image may contain Downtown Urban Town Building City Metropolis Landscape Outdoors Nature Scenery and Architecture

From Vanity Fair: "Silence is a Neapolitan birthright. The city has such a culture of it that some years ago, when an innocent girl was killed in a Camorra crossfire, many of the witnesses who had initially identified the shooters to the police recanted their statements during the trial that ensued. In frustration, the investigating judge lost his calm and began berating the witnesses, as if here in the courtroom he had come face-to-face with the Camorra itself. The Camorra is not an organization like the Mafia that can be separated from society, it is an amorphous grouping in Naples and its hinterlands of more than 100 autonomous clans and perhaps 10,000 immediate associates, along with a larger population of dependents, clients, and friends. It is an understanding."

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One of the biggest mysteries of cosmology may have finally been solved

From New Scientist: "A cosmic mystery that is one of the most significant open questions in physics may finally have been solved. The two main methods of measuring the universe’s rate of expansion have long been in disagreement with one another – but they seem to be coming together. The rate of the universe’s expansion is measured by a parameter called the Hubble constant. For years, the two ways we have worked it out have been in tension, which led some cosmologists to believe that we didn’t understand something fundamental about the universe – perhaps the nature of dark energy or an unknown field. But not all cosmologists agree that the problem is on its way to being resolved."

Thieves smuggled $10 million in gold disguised as machine parts

From the BBC: "Hong Kong authorities made the city's largest ever gold smuggling bust, seizing 146kg of the precious metal disguised as machine parts. The haul is estimated to be worth more than $10m and was intercepted last month on route to Japan. Customs officials say they made the discovery while examining two air compressors - departing in a cargo shipment to Japan on 27 March - which drew suspicions due to their unusual texture and weight. An examination ultimately found both were riddled with gold that had been "moulded and camouflaged" into parts such as gears, screws, and motor cores."

A Proclaimers' song and the International Space Station have this in common

From XKCD: "The ISS moves so quickly that if you fired a rifle bullet from one end of a football field, the International Space Station could cross the length of the field before the bullet traveled 10 yards. To get a better sense of the pace at which you're traveling, let's use the beat of a song to mark the passage of time. Suppose you started playing the 1988 song by The Proclaimers, I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles). The song's length leads to an odd coincidence. The interval between the start and the end of I'm Gonna Be is 3 minutes and 30 seconds, and the ISS is moving at 7.66 km/s. This means that if an astronaut on the ISS listens to I'm Gonna Be, in the time between the first beat of the song and the final lines, they will have traveled exactly 1,000 miles."

What a peregrine falcon attack looks like in slow motion

Acknowledgements: I find a lot of these links myself, but I also get some from other newsletters that I rely on as "serendipity 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.