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What’s so bad about noise? (The Atlantic)
by Bianca Bosker
Noise pollution stresses our bodies, hurts kids’ focus in school, and occasionally leads to murder or suicide. And it’s getting worse.

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Just how insular are humans? (Aeon)
by Christian Jarrett
Xenophobia and “tribalism” are frightening forces in global politics. But the behavior of many human tribes—and of some of our primate cousins—suggests that we have an impressive ability to shift from hostility to cooperation with “outsider” groups, given the right conditions.

Myths and realities of tough Viking women (The Week)
by Erika Harlitz-Kern
In 2017, media reports on the skeleton of a “Viking woman warrior” evoked a distinctly modern story about women succeeding in aggressive, traditionally male pursuits. The trouble is, we don’t know if the person the skeleton belonged to was really a warrior, a woman, or a Viking.

A radical democratic experiment faces extinction (The Conversation)
by James L. Gelvin
The withdrawal of U.S. troops from northern Syria has allowed a Turkish attack on Kurdish-held territory. That is likely to spell the end for the small autonomous region of Rojava, an experiment in far-left, feminist, democratic rule that’s unusual not just for the Middle East but for the world.

Who benefits from flood relief? (Wired)
by Eric Niiler
As climate change increases the risk of flooding and storms, FEMA is trying to help homeowners with a “managed retreat” from disaster-prone areas. But a new study finds the communities that take advantage of FEMA’s buyout programs are mostly the ones that are already relatively wealthy.

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