Quick hits (part II)

1) Holy unintended consequences, Batman.  How Africans are using free malaria-preventing mosquito nets to fish and destroying fish populations and ecosystems.

2) Olga Khazan’s take on the idea of sorority parties instead of fraternity parties.  Liked this part:

Under the current regime, he said, women have to perform a certain slutty femininity in order to please frat brothers and gain entry into their houses.

“So if you dress like they want you to, drink like they want you to, dance like they want you to, then you’ll get in [to the frat house]; you’re a babe,” Kimmel said. “If you don’t do that, you’re a bitch, you won’t get in.”

What he proposed, instead, is for sororities to be the gatekeepers to the keggers.

3) Of course many secular people are just as, if not more, moral than religious people.

When these teens mature into “godless” adults, they exhibit less racism than their religious counterparts, according to a 2010 Duke University study. Many psychological studies show that secular grownups tend to be less vengeful, less nationalistic, less militaristic, less authoritarian and more tolerant, on average, than religious adults.

4) The only recent elections that mattered were 2010 and 2014.  If you are a Republican.

5) Volkswagen cannot sell a $70,000 luxury car in America because Americans simply won’t buy a car that expensive– no matter how good a car– with “Volkswagen” on it.  Europeans are not so silly.

6) A new Pennsylvania law bars convicted felons from discussing their crimes if it might cause “mental anguish” to the victim.  This is so nuts.  This better be struck down by a judge with extreme prejudice.

7) Jon Stewarts‘ takedown of Mike Huckabee’s culture war hypocrisy is awesome.

8) I love The Great Gatsby.  Baz Luhrman’s take (which I just finished watching) left me somewhat annoyed.  So loved this quote in Richard Corliss’ review.

 The camera of cinematographer Simon Duggan seems to think it can’t simply capture an image; it must wrestle it unconscious to the ground. It views a character from a ceiling perch or rushes breathlessly up to his face.

9) I’m so done with people who don’t vaccinate their kids.  It’s not about you!  It would be one thing if it only meant there own kids getting sick, but do the importance of herd immunity, it has much wider repercussions.  I’m just glad I’m not living in one of these crazy anti-vaccine clusters like they have in California.

10) It’s rarely successful in the short-term to replace an NFL head coach.  Of course, every team is convinced that their new hire will be the next Bill Belichick.

11) Nice NYT piece on all the wrongness in the Tamir Rice shooting.

12) Thanks to the NC Innocence Inquiry Commission, Joseph Sledge is a free man 36 years after his murder conviction.  Looking forward to having his lawyer, Christine Mumma, as a guest speaker in my Criminal Justice Policy class later this semester.

13) Ezra Klein sure had fun writing what Obama would have really said in the SOTU had he been honest.

14) We ask jurors if they think they can be free of bias and go by their answers.  Of course, anybody who knows anything about social psychology knows that’s nuts.

15) You know how that being bilingual is supposed to be so great for your brain thing?  Way oversold (except for the very strong evidence on postponing onset of dementia).  Why?  The results that favor bilingualism get published, those that call this into question do not.

16) Almost every Republican Senator voted on a resolution that humans do not cause climate change.  Brad Plumer’s got the right take– the Senate is a hoax.

17) The poorer you get, the less good a place America is to live– in chart form:


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