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Beware the toilet plume (The Cut)
by Claire Lampen
One easy way to reduce your chances of spreading coronavirus: close the toilet lid before you flush it. As a bonus, this also helps us live slightly less disgusting lives overall.

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The history, and promise, of the Black commons (The Conversation)
by Julian Agyeman and Kofi Boone
During slavery, common land was crucial to the survival of Black cultural traditions. Co-ops and common ownership systems remained part of Black politics and empowerment through the twentieth century and still have a powerful place today.

The Romanian orphans are grown up now (The Atlantic)
by Melissa Fay Greene
For 30 years, the Romanian orphanages of the twentieth century have been a symbol of the emotional neglect of children. Now, the orphanages’ surviving children are adults, and scientists have kept watching them to see how they’re adapting to life outside.

How scents play in your brain (Scientific American)
by Bret Stetka
We recognize scents when chemicals trigger particular clusters of neurons in our brains. As with the notes in a song, the order in which clusters are signaled allows us to recognize what we’re smelling.

The vast scale of Reconstruction-era terrorism (The Guardian)
by Ed Pilkington
It’s hard to comprehend how lynchings shaped U.S. history in the years after the Civil War, terrorizing black people and preventing their communities from gaining political and economic power. But a new report quantifies the murders.

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