Quick hits

Lots of time spent watching World Cup means less time blogging and more quick hits.  Here goes:

1) Speaking of the World Cup, I enjoyed this interactive feature on the club teams of players.   What happened with the Uruguayan player who lost consciousness and was allowed back on the field was unconscionable.  Led me to an interesting story of Tyler Twellman, an American who had his career ended by concussions.   On a light note, enjoyed this Telegraph critique/ranking of World Cup uniforms.

2) Enjoyed this piece in the Nation telling liberals to stop looking for intellectually honest conservatives.

3) Scientific ideas that people get wrong.

4) Every time I drive on the 6-lane (3 in each direction) interstate 95 between Richmond, VA and Springfield, VA, I think, this is insane.  There’s 8 lanes between Durham and Burlington, NC.  I’m quite convinced they need to add more lanes and it would be a good thing.  This Wired article says I’m wrong.  Build more lanes and more traffic just fills them up before you know it.  I don’t doubt that is generally true, but I think traffic in NoVa is already pretty maxed out and that this would really help.

5) Derek Thomspon on why audiences hate hard news.

6) My wife asked me why China, with all its people, is not good at soccer.  Fortunately, I had read this Economist article on the very topic just a few hours before.

7) Why we call soccer “soccer” here in the US (and Australia– love the Socceroos).

8) Andrew Sullivan lets loose on the crazy fever swamp of nonsense that is Fox News.

9) Bill Ayers on the “hard choices” college administrators make.

10) Six things Michael Mann (hockey stick graph) wants you to know about scientists and climate change.

11) Among the best short pieces I’ve read on teaching critical and creative thinking.  I’m going to be using a bunch of these ideas in the future and sharing with the teaching grad students I supervise.

12) Okay, don’t expect you to read beyond the abstract (couldn’t find a nice blog summary), but maybe swing voters who change their minds during an election are basically a myth.

13) It seems are legal system is ever more about sticking it to poor people.  Another sorry example (though, wear your seat belt, damn it).

14) How Led Zeppelin invented modern rock.

15) Oh my, this satirical ad about throwing a “first moon” party is just brilliant and hilarious.

16) Advice on sex to sons before heading off to college.

17) Regardless of what one things of the name Redskins, Jonathan Turley makes a compelling case that the patent office well overstepped its bounds.

18) Don’t know that I agree with everything in this education reform rant, but it’s a helluva rant:

We did this by swallowing the obscene notion that schools and colleges are businesses and children are consumers.

We did this by believing in the infallibility of free enterprise, by pretending America is a meritocracy, and by ignoring the pernicious effects of unrelenting racism…

We did this by demeaning the teaching profession.

We did this by allowing poverty and despair to shatter families.

We did this by blaming these families for the poverty and despair we inflicted on them…

We did this by failing to properly fund schools, making them dependent on shrinking property taxes and by shifting the costs of federal mandates to resource-strapped states and local communities.


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

2 Responses to Quick hits

  1. itchy says:

    Regarding 11, speaking of critical and creative thinking, my wife is now director of QEP, and she told me to implore you to get involved!


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