Weekend reads: Pet graduation, high school playlists, the best place to look for aliens

Kathleen Escarcha's reads

IMHO set the internet abuzz when Buzzfeed employees couldn’t agree on whether the initials stood for “in my honest opinion” or “in my humble opinion.” Writers at The Atlantic and NPR weighed in. Even Merriam-Webster’s editor-at-large spoke his piece. Polls were sent, linguists were consulted—but the debate continues. I am firmly in the “humble” camp—where do you stand?

NPR asked listeners: What songs got you through school? And the responses poured in. Robin Hilton and Bob Boilen curated the suggestions into a 53-song Spotify playlist. The lineup flooded me with teenage nostalgia and sent me down a rabbit hole of sappy indie ballads. There’s a sentimental high school song for everyone on this playlist—whether you grew up jamming out to Joni Mitchell or SZA.

Emily Arnim's reads

The recovery of the ozone layer could see a 10-year delay after scientists detected “a sharp and mysterious rise in emissions of a key ozone-destroying chemical.” The emissions come from CFC chemicals, which have been banned since the 1980s after scientists discovered a hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica. “I have been doing this for 27 years and this is the most surprising thing I’ve ever seen,” one scientist exclaims. “I was just shocked by it.” Scientists tracked the emissions to east Asia, though they don’t know who is producing the CFC chemicals or why.

Scientists are also keeping a close eye on Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons that has long been considered “one of the best spots in the solar system to look for alien beings.” According to a new study citing data from NASA’s 1989 Galileo Probe, Europa is spewing water from its surface. Scientists now think if they can fly a spacecraft through the spray, they can test the water vapor’s contents for biological activity.

Kristin Tyndall's read

Two words: Pet graduation. It's an annual tradition at Eckerd College, and it's the best news you'll see all week. This year's ceremony featured an impressive variety of pets—I spotted chinchillas, guinea pigs, rabbits, hedgehogs, and, of course, cats and dogs in every shape and size. Many are decked out in tiny graduation caps. Yes, it's adorable, but it's also a way to honor the critters we lean on to get through the day—and through our degrees.


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