Numlock News: June 27, 2018
Actual Bona Fide Good News
In 2015, San Francisco introduced a first-of-its-kind Navigation Center to work with longtime homeless people who weren't helped by traditional aid designed to get them off the streets. Running the shelters costs twice as much as a normal emergency shelter to the tune of $100 per bed. Still, initial results suggest the bet has paid off. Nearly 3,000 people have come through the Navigation Center system, and 57 percent of them got housed, which is frankly tremendous. S.F. has added three more centers and the model has been adapted in even more cities.
Kevin Fagan, San Francisco Chronicle
There are about four possible situations where it's a good thing to unexpectedly discover a bobcat, but a New Jersey tree trimming crew found itself in one of them. The team stumbled upon a den of three-day-old bobcat kittens during the course of their work, and that's a really good sign for the species' comeback in the Garden State. There are only an estimated 200 to 400 bobcats in Jersey today, and that's an achievement in itself. In the 1970s, the species was believed to have left the state entirely. From 1978 to 1982, 24 bobcats that had been caught in Maine were released in Jersey. The animals hunt rabbits, mice, Russians that Paulie and Christopher failed to kill, and sometimes deer.
Michael Sol Warren, NJ Advance Media
When it comes to bugs we hate because they are lousy with disease, we often turn to the mosquito. But don't worry, there is so much more to be creeped out by. In 2016, there were 2,149 Americans who were infected by the mosquito-borne West Nile virus, while every year at least 300,000 Americans are estimated to contract the tick-borne Lyme disease.
Melinda Wenner Moyer, Scientific American
Money For Human Rights
Russia and China are lobbying for steep cuts to the United Nations human rights programs. Russia wants a 50 percent funding cut for the missions in Democratic Republic of Congo, Cyprus, Haiti, Sudan, South Sudan and Abyei. Russia also wants to halve the budget of a program to prevent the sexual exploitation of women and girls. China wants more targeted cuts, specifically 35 human rights officers, investigators and experts on gender. The United States, which has traditionally pushed back on these efforts, now wants to cut $129 million from U.N. peacekeeping missions. Perhaps the great powers of the world will finally come together and say, in one resounding voice, "We do not give a damn about human rights."
Colum Lynch, Foreign Policy
Gosh I Wonder Why
Only 40 percent of Americans say that the U.S. sets a good moral example for the rest of the world, down only slightly from the 43 percent who said as much in 2015. Today, 67 percent of Republicans and 20 percent of Democrats said the U.S. set a good moral example, which is a shift from the Obama era, when there was more agreement: in 2015, 49 percent of Democrats and 44 percent of Republicans said the U.S. was a good moral example.
Daniel Cox, Public Religion Research Institute
The Grammy Awards, traditionally considered the low-hanging fruit for E.G.O.T. contenders, will expand the number of nominees for its top four prizes from 5 to 8 nominees. Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist will all see the shift. The 80 other awards that are handed out like candy on Halloween to literally anybody who makes a decent stab at them will remain with five nominees. The move is intended to recognize more rock and country musicians and also women, but will immediately have the effect of churning out far more artists who can brag about a Grammy nomination.
Neil Shah, The Wall Street Journal
People Who Definitely Dined At The Restaurant
Red Hen, a restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, that asked a White House official to leave, has been the target of a dedicated campaign to trash its Yelp page. Logistically speaking, I have some doubts about 10,000 people frequenting the restaurant and developing an opinion about the cuisine on Sunday, yet here we stand with its Yelp reviews tripling from 5,000 to 15,000 in 24 hours and dropping from five stars to two stars. A larger story here is that tech platforms increasingly have no clear strategy to deal with this kind of dedicated, organized ire in any consistent fashion. They're forced to make fundamentally political content decisions when all they ever wanted was, you know, to assign a permanent quantitative value to the life's work of every business owner based on the passing thoughts of anonymous and fickle customers.
Charlie Warzel, BuzzFeed