Weekly Round Up! Chemical Disasters, Moons, and Boots

In the wake of the announcement that Tokyo, not Istanbul, will host the 2020 Olympics, Arsalan Iftikhar over at Time outlines historically unfair patterns of selection and makes a compelling case for the International Olympic Committee to select a Muslim-majority country to host Olympic games.


We’ve known how to cure it for centuries, so why does malaria still kill thousands of people every year?  Based on her book The Fever, science historian Sonia Shah brings her knowledge, passion, and intensity to this new TED talk.


Daisy Hernández takes us on an etymological journey of the phrase “boots on the ground” while weighing in on Syria, expounding, “we can’t indulge ourselves in thinking that it’s possible to bomb men and women and children and not dirty America’s shoes.”


Stacy Malkan hails Walmart’s announcement that it will reduce or eliminate certain chemicals from its products as “a huge victory for the millions of people who are demanding safer products,” but adds that “there’s still a long way to go to clean up the beauty aisle.”  Read more on her blog about how consumer pressure brought about this change, and the changes consumer groups continue to demand.


The “father of environmental justice,” Robert Bullard warns over at the American Statesman that, despite the high profile nature of the West chemical disaster which killed fifteen people and injured over 200, “thanks to industry pressure, congressional gridlock and lack of oversight, we are still at risk of another disaster.”  Drawing attention to ten other incidents at chemical facilities since then which have also resulted in death and injury, Bullard demands safeguards.


Deep sea explorer, biologist Dr. Edith Widder, has “said for a long time now that I think we have been exploring the oceans wrong, that we are scaring the animals away using camera platforms with bright white lights and noisy thrusters.”  She tells GMA News about her technological innovations using bioluminescence to bring us the first ever glimpses of the giant squid alive and active in its natural habitat.


Why does Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson think we should explore Jupiter’s moon Europa?  “any place we find liquid water, we find life,” he told Business Insider in a video, “follow the water; maybe you’ll find life.”


In case you didn’t get enough Kathleen Hanna last week, there’s more!