Quick hits (part I)

1) It really is pretty ridiculous what the state of NY lets ultra-orthodox jews get away with not teaching in their schools (and as I learned on TAL, it’s all political).  Here’s a really interesting story of one young man who rebelled against a system that left him devoid of all sorts of basic knowledge.  Of course, he’s been ostracized for this.

2) SNL version of I’m Just a Bill

3) After this Radiolab episode on Translation, I became really interested in where ribosomes come from.  As a result, I now know about the RNA World Hypothesis.  I’m going to have to use this in my daily conversations to sound more intelligent.

4) Just another all-too-typical American story of a man who spent decades in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.  Ricky Jackson was convicted based on the coerced and manipulated testimony of a 12-year old.   What’s not typical is Jackson’s 39(!) years behind bars.

5) I’m not at all surprised that college students who manage to be disciplined enough to take and attend morning classes tend to be more successful than their peers.  I suspect it’s not much at all about being a “morning person” but about being a “self-disciplined” person.

6) We’ve been learning all the cool ways in which bacteria are so important to our overall health.  What if certain viruses play a key role as well.

7) Speaking of which, the New Yorker’s excellent new story on fecal transplants is currently not behind the paywall– read it while you can.  For what it’s worth, I suspect I would make an excellent donor.

8) How the Marines are trying to figure out whether women should be able to have front-line combat roles.

9) Lenore Skenazy in Vox on the “cult of kiddie danger.”

10) Will Texas kill an insane man?  Do you have to ask?  Nice NYT editorial on the matter.

11) Adequately funding a court system is really important if you actually believe in justice.  In NC, apparently not so much.

12) Somehow, I failed to link the blockbuster Rolling Stone story on the culture of rape in UVA.  In many ways, worse than the horrific rape described is the fact that UVA students seem far more concerned about their social status than whether their “friends” are victims of sexual violence.

13) And Charlottesville resident Dahlia Lithwick’s excellent take.

14) I was intrigued by Reihan Salam’s argument that we should end birthright citizenship.

15) It’s nice to be rich and get a lower tax rate.

16) Hopefully you saw what may be the greatest football catch ever.  I really enjoyed this NYT piece asking a whole bunch of different photographers how they got their shots.


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

One Response to Quick hits (part I)

  1. Mike from Canada says:

    1) It seems to me to be at best child abuse, and a crime against society at large to not teach children basic secular information in a modern world. But I wonder how it could be changed considering the many passes people get when it comes to religion, as well as the first amendment.

    Even Canada is increasingly going that way, allowing first native guardians of a very young child to use “traditional healing methods” over actual medicine for the treatment of cancer. The child’s doctors say the child will almost certainly die. It makes me mad as hell.

    I hope the hospital takes it to the Canadian supreme court, but I’m also afraid that they could rule in favour of hippy dippy type traditional healing methods. Culture and tradition is all very well, but it’s not an excuse to allow a child to die or substitute phony treatment for modern medicine. The adults can volunteer to die when they get cancer by using traditional methods, or useless homeopathy, or by rubbing chicken liver all over themselves, but the child should be treated with the method that giver her the best chance to grow up so she can then make the decisions for him or herself.

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