#5SmartReads - January 31, 2023
Hitha on blood donation changes, phosphorous, and the women behind the Eagles' hottest merch
Police Keep Failing To Report How Often They Use Force Against Citizens (Capital B News)
We have a heartbreakingly massive public safety problem in the United States. And that’s just based on the data we have.
Another major issue is that we don’t know just how massive this problem is.
“…only 6,775 law enforcement agencies provided information to the federal database about their use of force against civilians during the first three months of this year — a fraction of the more than 18,500 agencies that make up the nation’s law enforcement structure.
It’s an ongoing frustration for advocates and lawmakers who support police reform and holding law enforcement accountable for racial inequities and brutality.”
This is an incredibly hard article to read, but a vitally important one. It takes care to unpack the many factors of public safety - especially the racial disparities and how unsafe it is to be Black in America. It is too important to dismiss or skip.
Please take the time to read this piece, and to support Capital B (a nonprofit newsroom that is publishing deeply researched and reported pieces, from a perspective that is lacking in mainstream news).
Eagles victories have ‘hot girl’ merch sellers swimming in green (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
I think I’ve bought no fewer than 4 new Eagles shirts in the past two weeks.
And I’m about to buy more from 215upcycled, Devine Sportswear, and One Thread because this is my whole personality every football season.
That these women are filling the gap of unique, stylish sports merch (with 215 and Devine having a sustainable approach, and One Thread with a minimalistic vibe) makes me really happy.
And will fill out my 2023 fall season wardrobe nicely - once they’re available. I’m happy to wait.
“On a recent night, she was up until 3 a.m. finishing two custom jackets for a collaboration with a Philly content creator before driving into the city at 5 a.m. to drop them off and prep for a photoshoot.
Her normal days are still jam-packed, with commuting, classes, a marketing internship, and late nights in the studio merchandising and sewing. “
I did experience burnout last year,” Dahrouch said. “But my business is based on slow fashion, so I’m trying not to turn myself into a one-woman sweatshop trying to churn things out quickly.””
FDA eases blood donor restrictions on gay, bisexual men (Axios)
If you follow Spivey, you very well may have been influenced to donate blood and plasma (and if you are eligible, I hope you do!).
1/5 community blood centers in this country only possess a day (or less) of blood supply, putting life saving care at risk in these areas if there’s a mass trauma event.
Previously, the FDA had issued a rule that restricted blood donations from gay and bisexual men. The new guidelines are consistent for all people (regardless of their sexual identity) and based on their sexual activity from the past 3 months.
It’s a very necessary - and inclusive - change. And one that’s long overdue.
How Successful Women Sustain Career Momentum (Harvard Business Review)
I usually roll my eyes when I come across articles like these, expecting the redundant, tired advice we’ve been force-fed.
And while the sub-headings definitely fall in cliché territory, the tactical advice shared in this piece is detailed and actionable.
What I appreciate is how the writers of this piece brought attention to the responses of the Black women they surveyed (because not addressing race is choosing to ignore a critical part of someone’s life experience and to reduce them to a fraction of their whole selves):
“Tellingly, all of the Black women we spoke with shared all three behaviors. They also described feeling alone in their respective professional worlds and having to rely on friends, family, and community outside of their professional circles to help them keep their momentum going. The Black interviewees also mentioned patience, double binds, pressures to do well to help others in their community, and the perceived pressure that their failure would reflect on their families, as well as their personal and professional Black communities.”
The World’s Farms Are Hooked on Phosphorus. It’s a Problem (WIRED)
Carbon emissions get the most press when it comes to alarming climate news. And now, phosphorus has entered the chat (and is testing my memory of the periodic table).
“We have liberated Earth’s caches of phosphorus so rapidly that the element now pollutes freshwater ecosystems, where excesses cause harmful algal blooms, infiltrates the snowpack, and decreases levels of dissolved oxygen in lakes and rivers. Studies suggest that humanity has grown too dependent on it for feeding the planet—and we are running out of this nonrenewable resource, which comes from geologic deposits that take millenia to form. When it washes from soil into waterways, it essentially disappears forever.”
This might be news to you (it certainly was for me). But scientists have been ringing the alarm bells for 10+ years, with minimal attention from the wider press.
And while this may sound like more doom and gloom, I promise that there is hope. Urine diverting toilets can recapture phosphorus, and the addition of magnesium to wastewater can create an alternative fertilizer. Bioengineered crops have the potential to more efficiently extract phosphorus.
And if there’s one thing you can do personally, it’s eat less meat:
The less meat we have to grow in the form of cows or pigs, the less feed we have to grow to feed them [thus reducing our fertilizer needs, which extracts phosphorus from the soil],” Elser says.