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BC-The Conversation for October 19, 10am, ADVISORY

October 19, 2021 GMT

Here’s a look at what The Conversation, a non-profit source of explanatory journalism from experts in academia, is offering today.

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TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS:

-Colin Powell

-Trick-or-treating

-Ireland’s churches

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STORIES:

Viruses are both the villains and heroes of life as we know it

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SCIENCE OR TECHNOLOGY Viruses have gotten a bad rap for the many illnesses and pandemics they’ve caused. But viruses are also genetic innovators – and possibly the pioneers of using DNA as the genetic blueprint of life. 868 words. By Ivan Erill, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Biden calls for a big expansion of offshore wind – here’s how officials decide where the turbines may go

COMMENTARY The Biden administration is proposing a big increase in offshore wind power. A former state official explains how regulators find the best sites and balance competing interests. 961 words. By David Cash, University of Massachusetts Boston

Yes, we should be keeping the healthier hand-washing habits we developed at the start of the pandemic

COMMENTARY The risk of getting the coronavirus from a surface is low. But the frequent hand-washing from early in the pandemic is a good thing since most people weren’t washing their hands enough to begin with. 818 words. By Melissa Hawkins, American University

What’s behind the magic of live music?

COMMENTARY Some concertgoers reported being so moved by their first concerts in nearly two years that they wept with joy – a testament to the power of this unique form of human communion and connection. 930 words. By Mariusz Kozak, Columbia University

Simple safety tips for trick-or-treating after Fauci greenlighted Halloween 2021

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COMMENTARY There’s no need to pull out the candy catapult this year, but a few reasonable precautions can keep COVID-19 transmissions in check. 519 words. By Meg Sorg, Purdue University

A century after partition, Ireland’s churches are cooperating more closely than ever

RELIGION A church service marking Northern Ireland’s centenary has stirred up debate. But amid the past few years’ tensions, the island’s Christian leaders have coordinated closely. 1191 words. By Ger FitzGerald, George Mason University

Having COVID-19 or being close to others who get it may make you more charitable

COMMENTARY Experiments in the US and Italy that observed people’s charitable choices found similar results: People tend to prefer to help local communities. 610 words. By Nancy R. Buchan, University of South Carolina; Gianluca Grimalda, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, and Orgul Demet Ozturk, University of South Carolina

As a patriot and Black man, Colin Powell embodied the ‘two-ness’ of the African American experience

COMMENTARY A scholar of African American studies explores how the former secretary of state, who died at 84, dealt with what WEB DuBois described as the ‘double-consciousness’ of being Black and American. 1069 words. By Chad Williams, Brandeis University

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