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Headlines edition

Thursday headlines: I, Sculptor

One week before the Olympics, Tokyo reports its highest number of new Covid cases in almost six months. / ABC News

A record number of French people sign up for vaccinations after being told they'll need them to return to cafés. Restaurant workers aren't thrilled about doing the policing. / NPR, The Associated Press

"Planetary quarantine," preventing the importation of Earth life to Mars, dates back to the 1950s, when rocket tech emerged. / The Guardian

Reasons to believe that the 21st century may be the most important century ever for humanity. / Cold Takes

A pair of 14-year-olds grill an author about their future. / NPR

Related: Parts of the Amazon rainforest now emit more carbon dioxide than they are able to absorb. Also, a new study predicts a surge of coastal flooding beginning in the 2030s. / Axios, NASA

Itally announces a permanent ban on cruise ships in Venice. / designboom

The European Union plans to end sales of new gas- and diesel-powered cars in just 14 years. / The New York Times

Laura Miller has a good conversation about conservative book publishing with Eric Nelson from Broadside Books. / Slate

See also: A review of the memoir that sparked Japan's MeToo movement. / Tasteful Rude

Your weekly white paper: Significant discrimination found against Muslim women during everyday interactions with native Germans. /

Britney Spears receives court approval to hire her chosen attorney in the battle to end her conservatorship. / The Hollywood Reporter

An essay from 2018 by Laura Fridman about "pain language"—how to indicate to other people that you are still alive. / The Millions

Luscious pictures in "Liminal State" by photographer and multimedia artist Mengwen Cao. / It's Nice That

In case you've noticed a lot of recent love in the media for octopi, here's a great article from 2017 about the books that (we think) started it all. / The London Review of Books

Robots are sculpting marble in Italy. "If Michelangelo saw the robots, he would tear out his hair." / The New York Times