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Regarding the whole room-temperature superconductor thingie, I am still quite skeptical, in good part due to how badly-structured, written and consistent the original article is - something I am able to say based on my curriculum and experience - however I will leave the final conclusion to the better-equipped and more experienced labs who are now apparently working on the stuff. Because they are experts in the field and I am not.
As a recommendation for those following this, don't get too excited and give it a few weeks or months, this is usually how long it can take for definitive results to come in research.
So, we were in a town in some downtime, and while the paladin was turning in the quest, 2 of the party went to go feed ducks at the duck pond. But, when the time came to continue with the plot, they wanted to continue feeding the ducks. Eventually, the DM just went "OK, a bolt of lightning strikes the pond and kills all the ducks!"
The 2 duck feeders, plus the bard who had joined them at some point, decide that this must have been the act of some malevolent God, and decide to do religion checks to see which God it might have been. The 2 succeed at working out which God it is, but the bard crit-fails, and is utterly convinced that he is correct and the other 2 are wrong. So he then tries a persuasion check to convince them and rolls a nat-20.
Since you're far more educated and knowledgeable than I could reasonably expect to be, how hopeful are you that the world will improve from it's current state by the end of the decade? The last week has made me question the future more often than not.