collection of interesting reads to provoke thought and provide fodder for conversation.
Victories against Trump are mounting. Here’s how we deal the final blow–I’ve also talked to everyday citizens who have become activists and longtime organizers who are doing extraordinary things, and who are exhilarated by the solidarity and the possibility – of what we have become together, and of what they themselves have become. www.theguardian.com
The Kabuki Theater of the AHCA–That is why no one should believe that the McConnell-crafted health-policy bill is dead, despite the growing opposition and the fact that the overwhelming majority of health-policy analysts and health providers say the bill is a walking disaster. It eviscerates Medicaid—a program widely misunderstood as simply insurance for poor people, but which uses most of its money for long-term care for the elderly, and basic protection for the disabled and mentally ill populations. The overall Medicaid cuts, while spread over a longer time frame, are more severe than the draconian House bill. www.theatlantic.com
The children haunted by 12 seconds of gunfire–Like many of her classmates, she was petrified by loud, unexpected sounds. Once, outside a Publix supermarket, a car backfired, and she dropped to the ground before dashing inside. Another time, after a balloon popped at a school dance, the entire gymnasium went silent as Principal Fredericks rushed to turn the lights on. She later banned balloons at the spring festival. "Noises are different now," she said. theweek.com
Learning a second language isn’t just good for your brain—it’s good for democracy, too–“Even flukes of grammar can profoundly affect how we see the world,” Boroditsky says. For example, the word for death in German is masculine, whereas in Russian, it’s feminine. “German painters are more likely to paint death as a man, whereas Russian painters are more likely to paint death as a woman,” she says. qz.com
What No One Ever Tells You About Tiny Homes–The most striking feature of our small lives is the unavoidable, domineering presence of the plastic laundry hamper originally bought from Target in 2007. Embarrassing, ordinary objects like the hamper are empowered in small spaces; they become tyrants. In a larger home, this perfectly functional item might recede quietly into a closet or laundry room. www.nytimes.com
Elmer Fudd Hunting Batman Through the Streets of Gotham is Terrifying and Amazing–Here, Bugs is “The Bunny,” a bucktoothed hitman responsible for killing someone Elmer loved. Just before Elmer can unload his shotgun into Bugs at Porky’s bar, though, Bugs reveals the identity of the billionaire who hired him to do the killing: Bruce Wayne. This information puts Elmer on a path toward his next target and the target’s iconic, most-guarded secret: the cowl. io9
ATTRACTIVE STUDENTS GET HIGHER GRADES–In the latest attempt to tease out the benefits of being beautiful, two researchers examined the academic records of students at a large American university. They compared the grades they received in online courses—ones in which the teachers never saw their faces—with those conducted in person.
"More attractive students earn higher grades when they are seen than when they are not seen," report economists Rey Hernandez-Julian and Christina Peters of the Metropolitan State University of Denver. This result, they add, was "driven mainly by courses taught by male instructors." psmag.com
America’s Suicide Epidemic Is a National Security Crisis–Suicide has geographical components, too. Sociologist Matt Wray of Temple University coined the term “suicide belt” to describe the north-south band of western American states — Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming — that have unusually high suicide rates. This likely reflects the same underlying economic conditions that seem to contribute to suicide rates in general, with high rates of aging, single, unemployed men — and unusually high rates of gun ownership. Owning a gun is one of the most powerful predictors of suicide risk overall, for obvious reasons. For as much as the United States suffers from a gun murder rate far higher than most of the industrialized world, most gun deaths stem from suicide. Foreign Policy
Six Nazi spies were executed in D.C. White supremacists gave them a memorial — on federal land–For Rosenstock and his colleagues, the memorial presented a conundrum. It was deplorable, and certainly not something that belonged on public property, but none of their handbooks suggested how to deal with a 200-plus pound monument to Nazis installed on public land by white supremacists.
Plus, the Park Service couldn’t do anything until they were sure it hadn’t been placed atop someone’s bones. www.washingtonpost.com
A Mother’s Death, a Botched Inquiry and a Sheriff at War–Working for the Jacksonville sheriff, he doggedly pursued a rapist who preyed on poor women and prostitutes. “They deserve justice just as much as someone who lives on the Southside,” he told the local paper, referring to the wealthier part of town. The rapist got 45 years. www.nytimes.com
Expelled in preschool–In 2005, Yale professor Walter Gilliam shocked the nation with the first research showing that preschoolers are expelled at three times the rate of children in kindergarten through 12th grade. He showed that young African-American boys like Danny are most vulnerable to what he calls “the capital punishment of schools.” The Hechinger Report
Be Bigger, Fight Harder: Roxane Gay On A Lifetime Of ‘Hunger’ : NPR–Roxane Gay has finally written the book that she "wanted to write the least."The author of Bad Feminist and Difficult Women says the moment she realized that she would "never want to write about fatness" was the same moment she knew this was the book she needed to write. The result is Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. www.npr.org
How a verbal jab from a men’s basketball coach lit the Title IX fire in Carol Hutchins–"You need to get off this court," he repeated. "Because nobody gives a damn about women's basketball."If you want a singular moment when Hutchins and her teammates went from happy-go-lucky to pissed off -- and decided to take action that would transform athletics at the school -- this was it. "It was pure venom after that," says Hutchins, now the softball coach at Michigan. "It was the first time I thought, 'You son of a b----. We deserve better than that. Why are you more important than us?' It was like poking the bear." espnW