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Daily Archives: June 6, 2023

How do you read the EPA’s Air Quality Index?

MarketWatch: “The EPA says to think of the AQI as a yardstick that runs from 0 to 500. The higher the AQI value, the greater the level of air pollution and the greater the health concern. For example, an AQI value of 50 or below represents good air quality for essentially all the population. A reading above 100 typically means that the outdoor air remains safe for most, but seniors, pregnant people and children are at increased risk. Those with heart and lung disease may also be at greater risk. And an AQI value over 300 represents hazardous air quality that will impact to some degree nearly everyone exposed to the air, even healthy people. Because remembering the severity of number ranges may be challenging, EPA has assigned a color to each range, with green and yellow representing the most favorable conditions, and orange, red, purple and maroon reflective of levels that are progressively worse, topping out at maroon or readings between 301 to 500.For comparison, the record-setting wildfire years of 2020 and 2021 meant that outdoor air near Portland, Ore., on select days produced an AQI above 400…”

Pesticide use data

Jeremy Singer-Vine, Data is Plural: “As part of its National Water-Quality Assessment Project, the US Geological Survey publishes maps and datasets that estimate local pesticide usage, based on “proprietary surveys of farm operations.” The datasets provide high/low estimates (measured in kilograms) by county, chemical, and year, as well as by crop group for each state.… Continue Reading

How to Leave a Platform When the Party’s Over

Wired, Jameson Rich: “…Elon Musk’s degradation of Twitter may seem like a loss, but social platforms aren’t built to last forever. My time on a 2000s illness blog taught me that…Veteran posters of any site, but especially Twitter, will recognize this pattern: While flailing to keep your audience interested, you transgress a boundary casually enforced… Continue Reading

NYT launches a free, geo-targeted extreme weather newsletter

NiemanLab: “As the warming climate causes extreme weather events to become more frequent and severe, your everyday concern about weather risks may be growing. And you might not only be preoccupied with the chances of extreme weather where you live, but also in places you’re traveling, or where your friends and loved ones reside. What… Continue Reading

How AI could take over elections and undermine democracy

Archon Fung, Professor of Citizenship and Self-Government, Harvard Kennedy School and Lawrence Lessig, Professor of Law and Leadership, Harvard University – The Conversation: “…Imagine that soon, political technologists develop a machine called Clogger – a political campaign in a black box. Clogger relentlessly pursues just one objective: to maximize the chances that its candidate –… Continue Reading

Teachers’ Views on School Safety

Rand Corporation – Consensus on Many Security Measures, But Stark Division About Arming Teachers: “Shooting incidents at kindergarten through grade 12 (K–12) schools in the United States, including mass attacks like the one that killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, have sparked calls to increase security or adopt… Continue Reading

Library strategy and Artificial Intelligence

“On April 20th 2023 the Information School, University of Sheffield invited five guest speakers from across the library sectors to debate “Artificial Intelligence: Where does it fit into your library strategy?” The speakers were: Nick Poole, CEO of CILIP Neil Fitzgerald, Head of Digital Research, British Library Sue Lacey-Bryant, Chief Knowledge Officer; Workforce, Training and… Continue Reading

Struggles With Air Quality in Federal Offices Put Occupants At Risk of COVID Exposure

Office of Audits, Office of Inspector General, U.S. General Services Administration A201018/P/4/R2308. Audit of GSA’s Response to COVID-19: PBS Faces Challenges to Meet the Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality Standard in GSA-Owned Buildings. GovExec: “The federal government’s landlord has struggled to maintain air quality standards in its buildings thus putting occupants at risk for… Continue Reading