Quick hits

Here’s a weekend’s worth of interesting reading for you:

1) So, those crack babies you remember from years ago.  Not really a thing.

2) Fascinating piece by the New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik on Abraham Lincoln, America’s history of violence, and stand your ground laws.  Great stuff.

3) Why caffeine should make you more creative

4) The family that tweets together, stays together

5) It really is pretty amazing how obsessed Americans used to be with preventing their pre-pubescent children from masturbating.

6) I love instagram because I love photos.  Perhaps, though, it’s making you depressed.

7) James Surowiecki.  Long live paper books!

For many people, as a number of studies show, reading is a genuinely tactile experience—how a book feels and looks has a material impact on how we feel about reading. This isn’t necessarily Luddism or nostalgia. The truth is that the book is an exceptionally good piece of technology—easy to read, portable, durable, and inexpensive. Unlike the phase-change move toward digital that we saw in music, the transition to e-books is going to be slow; coexistence is more likely than conquest. The book isn’t obsolete.

8) Love this Atlantic piece on why cocaine was finally removed from soda.   Who would’ve guessed– racism!

Hale explains:

Anyone with a nickel, black or white, could now drink the cocaine-infused beverage. Middle-class whites worried that soft drinks were contributing to what they saw as exploding cocaine use among African-Americans. Southern newspapers reported that “negro cocaine fiends” were raping white women, the police powerless to stop them. By 1903, [then-manager of Coca-Cola Asa Griggs] Candler had bowed to white fears (and a wave of anti-narcotics legislation), removing the cocaine and adding more sugar and caffeine.

Hale’s account of the role of racism and social injustice in Coca-Cola’s removal of coca is corroborated by the attitudes that the shaped subsequent U.S. cocaine regulation movement.

9) I’ve none about facebook’s “other” messages folder for a while, though I rarely remember to check it.  It’s truly a horrible idea.  Here, David Pogue shares readers’ responses of all the important things they’ve missed due to this horrible design.

10) With all the craziness in NC, it’s easy to miss the little things.  Like the legislator who argues that raccoon and bird poop are a greater threat to Jordan Lake (my drinking water supply) than development.  Ugh.

But Rep. Pat McElraft , R-Carteret, countered that it wasn’t development that posed the greatest risk to the lake. Rather, she said, buffer rules were creating natural areas that were attracting “critters” like raccoons and birds to roost – and defecate – near the waters.

11) A self-proclaimed hippie defends GMO’s.  You know I’m on board with that.

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

One Response to Quick hits

  1. Mike from Canada says:

    “The goal, apparently, was to have a child retire on his or her wedding night, disrobe — and find that his body had somehow sprouted genitals.”

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