Quick hits (part I)

Lots this week.  More tomorrow. Here we go…

1) This security system tested at the World Cup seems pretty great.  Would love to see it in airports soon.

2) Krugman’s nice column on the failure of Obamacare to fail.

3) This NYT piece on the utter mis-handling of a rape and a college is truly a must-read.

4) Heck, not just marijuana, the case for decriminalizing all legal drugs.  This Vox piece presents a very even-handed analysis.

5) As if I could somehow ignore an article entitled “We are our Bacteria.”

6) NC Republicans have argued that cutting unemployment benefits has helped get more people working.  The evidence (and Dean Baker) suggest otherwise.

7) Former Obama Budget Director Peter Orzag with a nice column on political polarization.

8) I’ve actually said some nice things about Politico here.  Charles Pierce takes on an article that shows all that is wrong with them.  Remind me never to get on Pierce’s bad side.

9) Fascinating NYT column on just how hard it is to learn a foreign language as an older adult.  And how good it may be for your brain.

10) Sweden has totally embraced vouchers and school choice.  The result?  Declining student performance.

11) Loved this Mark Bittman column on the true cost of a hamburger.  If there’s one concept from public policy, I wish more people understood, it’s externalities.  And hamburgers are all about externalities.

12) I had the same thought as the person Sam McDougle upon seeing the trailer for Lucy.  As if humans only use 10% of their brain.  Sadly, aparently a lot of people still belief this total malarkey.

13) Apparently nitrous oxide, yes, laughing gas, is quite an effective anesthestic for child birth.  It is widely used in Europe, yet hardly in America.  In part, because of a turf battle between anestheloiogists and nurses.

14) Loved this Guardian column on Manuel Neuer’s goalkeeping, especially this part:

 On a football pitch you are looking to gain any advantage you can. Like the opposition, you only have access to 11 players so you must use these players as efficiently as possible. If one of them has no role other than babysitting the net, then you’re already at a disadvantage.

Football is a lot like chess. You have the same number of pieces as your opponent, you face-off on the same playing surface and you both have the same aim. The great chess players know they need to get the most out of each of their pieces to win. This gives rise to the maxim: “The King is a fighting piece – use it.” …

By using your goalkeeper not just to protect your own goals but to actually participate in defending, building attacks and keeping the ball, you are utilising your 11th man. If your opposition are not doing this, you immediately have a man advantage.

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

2 Responses to Quick hits (part I)

  1. Mike from Canada says:

    #3 I find myself wondering why colleges and universities are handling rape cases at all. Wouldn’t it be most appropriate to let the police handle it and then should someone be found guilty, they should be dealt with appropriately?

    The criminal justice system has myriad methods of getting to the truth, including dragging someone in and sticking them in an interrogation room, subpoenas of evidence, witnesses and people who are not students, ability to get DNA tests ordered, jailing people who lie under oath.

    The school can expel a student. And the problem is still there, a rapist free. Perhaps not attending that school anymore, but likely still in the city. Perhaps very close.

    I think it’s crazy for schools to be judging guilt, they don’t have the tools, the training or the mandate to do so. Perhaps instead, they should keep the accused and accuser apart, rearranging classes if need be until a decision is determined by the justice system.

    Of course a school has an obligation to provide a safe environment. But this doesn’t seem to be about school safety, it seems to be about a student trying to get justice from a school. If a school doesn’t have the tools, the training, the people, or the resources for getting to the truth or providing justice, then they probably shouldn’t be in the business of trying to provide justice.
    I don’t know why anyone would think a school could give them justice. It isn’t what they do.

    Justice is what the justice system is for.

  2. itchy says:

    14. I love watching Neuer. But I think the article is right, he’s not just aggressive, he also has skills. I think very few goalkeepers ever develop their ball skills, especially if they’ve been marked as a keeper from early on.

    Devil’s advocate: Maybe it’s not all a grand plan, and Neuer just has ADHD and can’t stand still.

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