Michael Pollan's Vegan-in-a-Hummer Quip Lacks Facts

You may have heard about this eminently quotable nugget that passed from Michael Pollan's lips at this year's Pop!Tech conference: "A vegan in a Hummer has a lighter carbon footprint than a beef eater in a Prius."Hell of a soundbite but, unfortunately, not actually true (both the fact itself, and the idea that there's a vegan out there driving a Hummer). Despite making its way across the web with blinding speed, it came to a screeching halt on the threshold of Adam Pasick's blog, who took it upon himself to check the numbers. Ethan Zuckerman summarizes the analysis thusly:Pithy as it is, you'd have to be eating a whole lot of beef for the statement to be accurate. [Pasick's] numbers come from a 2005 paper that finds that the carbon impact of a meat versus vegan diet is about two tons of CO2 equivalent a year, while the difference between a Prius and a Suburban (comparable to a Hummer) is 4.76 tons, given average driving habits.So, pretty far off in the end. But you have to wonder how many more people are only going to hear Pollan's soundbite, and not the facts behind it. And then further wonder: given how polished and packaged this particular quote was, was it his intention to spread misinformation, knowing that it would further his agenda (an agenda I happen to support)? Pollan has responded, apologizing for the inaccuracy and requesting that the video of his presentation not be distributed, which he hopes will "stop this meme before it hurts somebody." I fear the damage is already done.Via @sarahrich. Photo (CC) by Flickr user poptech.

Some beauty pageants, like the Miss America competition, have done away with the swimsuit portions of the competitions, thus dipping their toes in the 21st century. Other aspects of beauty pageants remain stuck in the 1950s, and we're not even talking about the whole "judging women mostly on their looks" thing. One beauty pageant winner was disqualified for being a mom, as if you can't be beautiful after you've had a kid. Now she's trying to get the Miss World competition to update their rules.

Veronika Didusenko won the Miss Ukraine pageant in 2018. After four days, she was disqualified because pageant officials found out she was a mom to 5-year-old son Alex, and had been married. Didusenko said she had been aware of Miss World's rule barring mother from competing, but was encouraged to compete anyways by pageant organizers.

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One mystery in our universe is a step closer to being solved. NASA's Parker Solar Probe launched last year to help scientists understand the sun. Now, it has returned its first findings. Four papers were published in the journal Nature detailing the findings of Parker's first two flybys. It's one small step for a solar probe, one giant leap for mankind.

It is astounding that we've advanced to the point where we've managed to build a probe capable of flying within 15 million miles from the surface of the sun, but here we are. Parker can withstand temperatures of up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit and travels at 430,000 miles per hour. It's the fastest human-made vehicle, and no other human-made object has been so close to the sun.

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via Sportstreambest / Flickr

Since the mid '90s the phrase "God Forgives, Brothers Don't" has been part of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point's football team's lexicon.

Over the past few years, the team has taken the field flying a black skull-and-crossbones flag with an acronym for the phrase, "GFBD" on the skull's upper lip. Supporters of the team also use it on social media as #GFBD.

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