Quick hits

Lots of interesting stuff I just don’t have the time to get to: 1) Belief in the “Second Coming” of Jesus significantly reduces support for government action to tackle climate change (necessary controls, of course). 2) My hometown of Cary, NC switched over to blinking yellow from solid green for a yield left turn in the past few years.  I don’t feel any safer, but supposedly I am.  Apparently, though, pedestrians are now more at risk. 3) A disproportionate number of the world’s best students are Americans.  Are averages are always getting pulled down due to our inequality and poverty, but at the top, we still rock. 4) Being told that a CFL light bulb is good for the planet makes conservatives less likely to buy it.  How depressing.  Kevin Drum with a nice take on how actually caring about the environment has become an extension of the culture wars. 5) Really enjoyed this piece on how to talk to your child about sexual assault, sexting, etc.  This part especially:

I understand that reluctance: I haven’t talked to my 13-year-old son about Steubenville or the other cases because parties and alcohol aren’t on his radar yet. I don’t want to rob him of his innocence. “I understand that feeling,” Wiseman said. “But that always means the moment of losing their innocence doesn’t happen with you, and they have to deal with it in the moment, and they’re completely unprepared for what to do.” She said I could wait until my son is 14, but probably not much beyond that.

Got it.  David’s 13.  I’m going to get on this. 6) Mother and daughter both injured in Boston marathon bombing.  Good story. 7) Great take on the morons in Congress trying to eliminate NSF social science funding.  Great conclusion:

I have no doubt that Messrs Duncan and Webster’s motivations in offering this bill are not venial or self-serving. I have every faith that they are motivated by a sincere devotion to ignorance, a value they both preach and practice.

8) Cool analysis of age and gender effects on the nature of status updates.  Handy graphical summary from Andrew Sullivan. 9) I think it is great that Bill Gates is funding efforts to make a more pleasurable condom and I agree with this author that the backlash is ridiculous.  It is a simple biological fact that condoms reduce sensation and a socio-cultural fact that many men refuse to use them as a result.  You may not like that last fact, but it’s a reality.  If there can be real progress on the first fact, it might make a real impact on the second.  And that would be great for public health in many places. 10) NPR series of stories on Buried in Grain from back in March.  I got most of these on the radio– they were great.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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