PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to picks@whowhatwhy.org.


Face-Recognition Privacy Talks Blasted As ‘Orwellian Farce’ (Trevin)

Privacy groups have accused the tech industry of hijacking the process of how best to handle the collection and storage of “faceprints.”


Hundreds of Guatemalans Deliberately Infected with STDs Seek Justice (Klaus)

In the 1940s and 50s, hundreds of Guatemalans, including children, were intentionally infected with STDs as part of a US government program. Now, survivors of this “study” as well as descendants of other victims filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Johns Hopkins University and the Rockefeller Foundation, claiming that the two institutions were complicit in carrying out the program.


Obama Administration Makes it Easier for People with Criminal Records to Find Housing (Trevin)

Landlords must now demonstrate threat to safety or property if they want to reject potential tenants with criminal histories.


Tipped Minimum Wage Hasn’t Risen in a Quarter Century (Russ)

That’s quite an anniversary! Minimum is still $2.13 an hour for those who also get tips — but they don’t exactly make out like bandits, which is why Bernie Sanders’ $15/hour minimum proposal is growing in popularity.


Coal Energy Plant Transformed Into Solar (Russ)

What was once one of North America’s largest coal-fired power plants is becoming a solar farm. It’s one of the biggest victories for sustainable energy.


Hilarious Campaign Commercial Spoofs All Campaign Commercials (Klaus)

A company selling stock footage put together a generic campaign commercial. Not only is it hilarious but it might just help you survive the barrage of commercials you will likely get to see in the Fall — if you live in a swing state.