June 1: UF in the News 5/27/21-6/1/21

The return of Cuba’s security state — The New York Times, 5/27/21
Lillian Guerra, a historian who specializes in Cuban and Caribbean history at UF, wrote a guest column in the New York Times making the case for Cuban performance artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara’s freedom of expression.  

Mass transit would get $85 billion in Biden stimulus plan – a down payment on reviving American cities — The Patriot News, 5/27/21
Ruth Steiner, UF professor and director of the Center for Health and the Built Environment, weighs in President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan and the impact it can have on the commute workers returning to offices in the U.S. will have.

Some coastal areas are more prone to devastating hurricanes – a meteorologist explains why — The Conversation, 5/27/21
Every coastline in the North Atlantic is vulnerable to tropical storms, but some areas are more susceptible to hurricane destruction than others.

Athena Masson, a multimedia meteorologist at the College of Journalism and Communications, dives into the why, as the region heads into what’s forecast to be another busy hurricane season.

Hurricane season begins next week. Experts urge Manatee County residents to prepare — The Herald-Tribune, 5/28/21
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently issued its 2021 Atlantic hurricane season outlook. The agency said it expects an active year, with a 60% chance that this season will be "above normal."

Jeff Huffman, director and chief meteorologist at the College of Journalism and Communications, discusses what that means for Florida. 

Instagram post misleads on vaccine efficacy by conflating two different measures — Politifact, 5/28/21
A widespread Instagram post argues, wrongly, that new information has shown the COVID-19 vaccines to be far less effective than advertised.

Natalie Dean, assistant professor of biostatistics at UF, explains what some of the language used in the study means. 

14 excerpts from commencement speeches without the word  C*vid — The New York Times, 5/29/21

The pandemic did not derail commencement plans this year. Instead of one commencement speaker, some schools invited several to offer advice to graduates.

A few staggered ceremonies to make room for social distancing, prompting some college presidents to go ahead and do the deed themselves — which was the case of UF President Kent Fuchs. 

Manatees are dying in droves this year. The die-offs could spell trouble for Florida — CNN, 5/30/21
Michael Walsh, a clinical associate professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine who specializes in aquatic animal health, discusses the stressors contributing to one of the worst manatee die-offs in recent history. 

Bouncy castles and grenades: Gangs erode Maduro’s grip on Caracas — The New York Times, 5/30/21
The Venezuelan state is disintegrating under the weight of President Nicolás Maduro’s corrupt leadership and American sanctions. His government is losing control of segments of the country, even within his stronghold: the capital, Caracas.

Rebecca Hanson, a sociologist at UF who studies violence in Venezuela, weighs on how the state has become “very fragmented, very chaotic and in many areas very weak.”

How breast cancer campaigns fail transgender people — Forbes, 5/31/21 
Laken Brooks, a UF doctoral student, argues in a column how current breast cancer awareness campaigns ostracize transgender patients who may not know if they should check their chests for lumps or irregularities, how to perform these checks on their body, or how often to get mammograms. Brooks presents several gender-inclusive ways to discuss breast cancer. 

Want to ride out a hurricane on the 40th floor? Probably not. — The Sun-Sentinel, 5/31/21
Since South Florida’s last direct hurricane hit in 2005, the number of high-rise buildings has multiplied, altering the area’s skylines. 

Kurtis Gurley, professor of civil and coastal engineering at UF, shares where to ride out a storm in a highrise.