The Sunday Post for April 28, 2019

Each week, the Sunday Post highlights a few articles we enjoyed this week, good for consumption over a cup of coffee (or tea, if that's your pleasure). Settle in for a while; we saved you a seat. You can also look through the archives.

This Was Supposed to Be a Story About a Bizarre Anti-Vaccine Rally and a Sedated Bear. Then It Got Weird.

Anna Merlan's coverage of one woman's (not hers) fake news breakdown is pure joy. Merlan's tone is dead-on — deadpan and delighted. The story is nutballs. And at the heart of it all, a nonexistent bear who is not named Ron.

A couple of weeks ago, I thought I was working on a quick, weird story about an anti-vaccine activist in Florida who was attempting to hold a rally in her hometown featuring a drugged bear. As it turns out, that’s not the story at all. Here, instead, is a story about someone who worked extremely hard to generate a news cycle involving a rally that they clearly have no intention of ever holding and a real activist who had no idea her name was being used. The bear also seems to be fake, and — despite my initial, hopeful understanding of the situation — is not named Ron.
‘Partly Alive’: Scientists Revive Cells in Brains From Dead Pigs

We don't often go straight scientific discovery on this list, but holy cats! The ability to restore even minimal function to a dead (pig) brain has, well, ramifications, both exhilarating and horrifying. Science is a thousand times more startling than anything fiction can offer.

“We had clear lines between ‘this is alive’ and ‘this is dead,’” said Nita A. Farahany, a bioethicist and law professor at Duke University. “How do we now think about this middle category of ‘partly alive’? We didn’t think it could exist.”
The Moral Order of Panera

One day the executive chairman of Panera Bread woke up and thought: "I could solve food insecurity!" And thus, Panera Cares: a few links in the fast food chain with a pay-what-you-can menu, placed in mixed-income neighborhoods where, presumably, economic boundaries would dissolve and everyone would eat together in dignity and harmony.

It worked just as well as you might suppose. Robin Kaiser-Schatzlein details what happened, and asks an apt but sobering question about our continued faith that entrepreneurial America will save the rest of us.

Is the market a place where we go to solve major social problems? Or is it a place to go while on break from our seasonal job at Target to spend an hour’s pay on a big, floppy sandwich?
The Curious Tale of the Salish Sea Feet

Just one more this week — Kea Krause on the forlorn feet that continue to float to the shore of the Salish Sea, still knotted inside flotation-friendly sneakers, and a "new" way to think about ecology.

Believing we know everything there is to know can cause blind spots in Western science. It may be difficult, for example, when you live in downtown Seattle and work for a tech company, to appreciate that gentle supervision of the land around us is essential to survival. “Because we don’t rely on the land, we are slow to react to what we see as threats,” Nancy Turner, a professor of ethnoecology at the University of Victoria explained about the disconnect between the science of climate change and the governance of our society. But this cognitive dissonance is a construct of colonial thinking and relatively new to a region that’s been inhabited by the Coast Salish people for thousands of years.