UCI News

The New York Times Magazine, May 5, 2020
Will Americans Lose Their Right to Vote in the Pandemic?
Absentee-ballot fraud, the recent focus of Republicans, has occasionally taken place in isolated instances in states where low numbers of people typically vote by mail. “There’s a history of tampering with absentee ballots, mostly in pockets in Appalachia (including Kentucky), South Texas and sometimes in cities with party machines,” says Richard Hasen, author of the recent book “Election Meltdown” and a law and political-science professor at the University of California, Irvine. … States that have adopted universal vote-by-mail have shown it can be done securely. “They have very strong track records,” Hasen says. [Subscription required, campus-wide access provided by UCI Libraries. Sign-up here: AccessNYT.com]

WHYY, May 6, 2020
N.J. sees ‘catastrophic’ surge in deaths, thousands more than official COVID tally
“This is just not something we have seen in American mortality data in a long time. It’s astonishing,” said Andrew Noymer, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Irvine. “This is unlike anything I have ever seen in the United States, short of the 1918 influenza pandemic.” … “In New Jersey, the vast majority of deaths are directly related to COVID, in my opinion,” he said. “It’s a huge increase. It’s more than we’ve seen in any regular flu season, even the swine flu pandemic. It’s very significant.”

Vox, May 6, 2020
The near-certainty of a black depression
Black-owned businesses’ difficulties accessing the government funds echo inequities in previous bailout programs. In The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap, University of California Irvine law professor Mehrsa Baradaran explains how financial institutions serving black neighborhoods like Chicago’s ShoreBank and Harlem’s Carver Bank received inadequate assistance during the 2008 recession and were forced to sell most of their assets to “a consortium of top Wall Street banks and investors.”

COSMOS Magazine, May 5, 2020
Survival in the Atacama Desert
The cyanobacteria “didn’t need water from the rock, they got it from their surroundings”, says David Kisailus, from UC Irvine. “But when they were put under stressed conditions, the microbes had no alternative but to extract water from the gypsum, inducing this phase transformation in the material.”

Curbed, May 6, 2020
The radical possibilities of a box
Now, a fresh account of Brigham’s life and work comes courtesy of Antoinette LaFarge, a professor of art at the University of California, Irvine. In her new book, Louise Brigham and the Early History of Sustainable Furniture Design, LaFarge writes of how “several prominent areas of contemporary design trace back to, or through, Brigham’s project: especially recycled-materials design, low-impact design, do-it-yourself design, multifunctional design, and modular design. Indeed,” LaFarge adds, “it would not be too much to call her a progenitor of the sustainable design movement.”

Previously “In the News”