Why are professional athletes forced to speak after matches?

It is common after sporting events to have the press interview various players after each match. I had assumed that participating was voluntary but that professional athletes would welcome the chance to increase their profile by doing so. But apparently, at least in professional tennis, they are forced to subject themselves to post-game interviews and this odd aspect has come into sharp focus in the case of tennis player Naomi Osaka.
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Return to hugging

Even though the CDC has said that it is now fine for vaccinated people to gather together without masks, it does feel a little strange for those us who closely followed the guidelines during the height of the pandemic (avoiding indoor settings outside out homes, wearing masks, keeping physical distancing, washing hands frequently, and even using hand sanitizer) to feel completely comfortable relaxing all or even some of those habits.
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National Academy of Sciences expels scientist

The National Academy of Sciences is the most prestigious body of scientists in the US and being elected to membership is highly prized. So it becomes news when for the first time in its history a member was expelled for misconduct violations, as was the case a few days ago with astronomer Geoffrey Marcy for a pattern of sexual harassment.

The action is the first since the 158-year-old NAS revised its bylaws 2 years ago to allow members to be expelled for documented misconduct violations. No actions were taken on the policy until fall 2020, when, after reading news accounts, a French scientist filed a complaint against Marcy and three other NAS members who had been investigated for sexual harassment.
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The forcible cultural subjugation of indigenous peoples

One of the shameful features of US history is its attempted genocide of the indigenous people here. Apart from the outright massacres, other attempts involved the erasure of their identities by destroying their language and culture. One means of doing so was a governmental policy involving the forcible abduction of Native American children from their parents and sending them to boarding schools where they were forbidden to practice any aspects of their culture and were forced to adopt those of white people.
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Why would anyone need 22,000 rounds of ammunition?

We have yet another mass shooting in the US, this time of nine people in California. These mass shooting are becoming so frequent that they hardly raise much of a ripple in the media unless the numbers of the dead are large (as in this case) or the shooter had some sort of ideological grudge that can form the basis of media speculation tying it to larger national political issues. In this case, the victims were co-workers of the alleged shooter so it seems like it was workplace motivated.
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Satanic panic and other dangerous beliefs

While I am an atheist, I can understand the appeal that the idea of a god has for some people, since I was a believer myself at one time. But even during my most religious phase, I never gave much thought to the devil or Satan, as he was sometimes called. It just seemed such a silly idea and the various depictions one saw of a red-faced guy with wings and horns seemed ridiculous. He also seemed superfluous. Since god was omnipotent and it was he who consigned you to hell to suffer interminable torments for one’s transgressions, what was the point of Satan, other than to serve as some kind of doorman to the gates of hell?
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The next fight: Vaccine passports

As vaccination numbers grow, it is increasingly likely that at least some places are going to ask for proof of covid-19 vaccination to enter their spaces and that some businesses may require their employees to be vaccinated if they are to return to offices. Given how some people became absolutely freaked out by the minimal requirement to weak masks, losing their minds to the extent of comparing it to Jews being forced by to wear the Star of David during the period of the Holocaust, one can only imagine how apoplectic they are going to get over this issue.

The most likely place where this requirement will begin to be imposed is in international travel, where the idea of people having digital vaccination certificates is gaining ground.
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The flap over critical race theory

Once again we see efforts to avoid discussing seriously the issue of race in the US. This time it consists of attacks on teaching critical race theory in schools. What is this theory?

Critical race theory is an academic concept that is more than 40 years old. The core idea is that racism is a social construct, and that it is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.

The basic tenets of critical race theory, or CRT, emerged out of a framework for legal analysis in the late 1970s and early 1980s created by legal scholars Derrick Bell, Kimberlé Crenshaw, and Richard Delgado, among others.
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Anti-vaccine myths keep growing

We are reaching the stage in the US where people who have been vaccinated are being told that they pose little or no risk to themselves or others and can thus go about their daily activities without wearing masks. But it appears that the anti-vaxxers have also upped their game. Not being content with posing a health risk to others, they are now claiming that vaccinated people are a danger to them.

As reported by NBC News, the owner of a butcher shop in Ontario, Canada, banned all people who were vaccinated from COVID-19 to protect unvaccinated female customers.

“We have decided that since the majority of our customers are women and since women are most at risk for these side effects, we ask that if you’ve been vaccinated to please order for curbside pickup or delivery for 28 days after being vaccinated,” the post read on Instagram.

A separate store in Canada banned vaccinated customers for a fear of vaccinated people “shedding” the coronavirus to its unvaccinated customers. In the U.S., a private school in Miami barred vaccinated teachers from coming into contact with students. The same school threatened the employment of its vaccinated teachers.

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