Quick hits (part I)

Lots of good stuff this week.  Let’s go.

1) I did not read the (surely great) NYT series on how big business has basically taken away all our rights in the fine print (with a very strong assist from the Supreme Court), but I did love the Fresh Air interview on the matter.

2) A physician on the problem of allowing only 15 minutes for appointments.

3) Sadly, NC Republican legislators really do pretty much hate public schools.

4) Frank Bruni with a nice takedown of the epic phoniness of Ted Cruz.

5) Loved the Wired interview with JJ Abrams about making the new Star Wars movie.

6) So, our whole Middle East terrorism problem.  We should be talking more about Saudi Arabia.  And another take on Saudi Arabia.   And yet one more.  Maybe all these people are onto something.

7) On how building relationships with students leads to student success.

Last year faculty on my campus met for dinner to discuss How College Works,by Daniel F. Chambliss and Christopher G. Takacs. The book documents a long-term study the authors conducted to understand which aspects of the college experience had the greatest impact on students — both during their undergraduate years and afterward.

Their most consistent finding: Students cited the relationships they formed as the most important and memorable aspect of college. Those relationships began with fellow students, but also included connections with faculty and staff members. The number and intensity of those relationships not only predicted students’ general satisfaction with college, but had the power to motivate them to deeper, more committed learning in their courses.

8) Can reading (books) make you happier?  Of course.  That said, it makes me sad that the author of one of my very favorite books, The Corrections, left me pretty disappointed with Purity.  

9) So, what’s up with this daesh thing?  An explanation.

10) Great story on the secret effort to thwart the Nazi’s nuclear effort by blowing up their heavy water production.

11) Fascinating story on risk at baseball games and umbrellas.  I don’t go to many baseball games, but when I do, you will never find me near the field down the baselines.

12) And speaking of fascinating… this story of the most extensive face transplant ever.  At least click through and check out the photos.

13) Summary of my colleagues’ research on how state-level corruption doesn’t really hurt political parties.

14) It’s time (is it time?) for the Supreme Court to end the death penalty.

15) Future redistricting and North Carolina’s changing demographics.

16) What a journalist learned from interviewing imprisoned ISIS fighters.

17) Scoring in hockey is down significantly.  Goalies are bigger and better.  Time for bigger goals?

18) Religious children are more selfish than secular kids:

The findings “robustly demonstrate that children from households identifying as either of the two major world religions (Christianity and Islam) were less altruistic than children from non-religious households”.

Older children, usually those with a longer exposure to religion, “exhibit[ed] the greatest negative relations”.

The study also found that “religiosity affects children’s punitive tendencies”. Children from religious households “frequently appear to be more judgmental of others’ actions”, it said.

19) Phil Klay’s tweets on the refugees (whole series at the link).  And another opportunity to plug his brilliant book, Redployment.  

20) Very much enjoying the new Gimlet podcast, Suprisingly Awesome.  Especially this episode on free throws.

21) Long read to finish things off– John Judis on Bernie Sanders.



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

7 Responses to Quick hits (part I)

  1. Jon K says:

    If Santorum is Latin for asshole, then Cruz must be Spanish for demagogue. He makes other notable examples, like the son of the mill worker, seem honest and genuine in comparison. How is this not obvious to everyone?

    • rgbact says:

      Now you’ve moved on to just posting random insults of Republicans. Bet you never insult Democrats.

      This Jurdis guy seems similar to Stan Greenberg…..every demographic trend is always in Democrats favor. Yet, they still somehow lose elections. I feel like Democrats electoral predictions of the future are very similar to their climate ones. Lots of fantasy.

      • r. jenrette says:

        Democrats “somehow lose elections”.
        Well, that’s just it. Republicans have gone far past other attempts to shape the electorate. I live in a district creatively drawn to make a district very safe for a banker. In NC, Democrats have to win much more than 51% of the votes to win elections.
        A political party can win power but it sure can’t claim that it represents democracy when it chooses its voters instead of the voters choosing it.
        Only total cynics can claim that when they win in a rigged election they have a mandate from the voters.

  2. Jon K says:

    it was a famous quote by Bob Kerrey, the Senator from Nebraska, i’m sorry i should have put more context to my post. I referenced John Edwards in that post. He wasn’t republican the last time I checked. I believe I compared rubio to obama. That wasn’t very nice to obama or rubio depending how you look at it. I don’t like who I don’t like. Who the reporter was doesn’t change the point of the story. I can find a similar op-ed from a more conservative source if you would like. In fact I just heard a republican talking about this on Sirius the other day.

    It’s no secret I don’t like the current field of GOP candidates. I’m frustrated as all hell about it. But I think Ted Cruz would make a terrible president. I wish other republicans could see he is the emperor without any clothes.

    • Jon K says:

      here you go: mark salter pointing out the same thing

      I know that Cruz and his minions boast that he wears the establishment’s animosity as a badge of honor. But before anyone adds more brushstrokes to Cruz’ self-portrait as a modern day Edmund G. Ross, let me point out that at the heart of colleagues’ contempt for him isn’t their distress at finding themselves confronted by a principled conservative, but their belief that he is an imposter.

      He deliberately sets up conservatives to fail by goading them into empty gestures and self-defeating stunts like shutting down government, which make it harder to persuade more Americans to embrace conservative policies. They can’t even be described accurately as Pyrrhic victories. They’re just abject failures.

      And Cruz bets on them to fail. He stokes the anger of grassroots conservatives in the hope that it devours everyone but him. He offers false hope and misinformation as a plan, stands defiantly in the imaginary breach, and scurries to blame others for his singular lack of success.

  3. itchy says:

    20) Already listening to too many podcasts. But, yes, the idea of the free throws episode intrigued me, too. Downloading now.

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