China starts a propaganda campaign to rewrite the public's memory of its handling of the pandemic. / The New York Times

A study finds people are less likely to wear masks to prevent Covid if they perceive themselves as good-looking. / NPR

FBI director Christopher Wray endorses the lab-leak theory. / The Guardian

What does science say about the pandemic's start? There is "very convincing" data and "overwhelming evidence" pointing to an animal origin. / Goats & Soda

Umair Irfan: We don't need to know how this pandemic started to stop the next one. / Vox

Bola Tinubu is declared the winner of Nigeria's presidential election with 37% of the votes. / The Associated Press

The amount of Earth covered by primary tropical rainforest has dwindled by 6.7% since 2000. / The Economist

Archaeologists find evidence that ancient civilizations, from South America to Africa, performed brain surgery. / Science Daily

Some researchers suggest aliens may be using black holes as quantum computers. / Sciencealert

See also: "King of despair" Ben Afflect finds himself trapped in a parking spot. / The Cut

"The experience of being hailed by 'inanimate' matter is widespread." A profile of Jane Bennett, philosopher who believes objects have agency. / The New Yorker

A survey of eight artists who belong to a new generation of transcendental painters. / Artsy

Fans have plenty of works they'd like to see adapted for TV or film before more Lord of the Rings. / Winter Is Coming

Harmony Holiday on Nina Simone's belligerence: "She was obstinate and delicate at the same time and seemed to always and never get her way." / Black Music and Black Muses