Monday, November 28, 2011

Occupying My Tabs Lately

Steven Pinker Week caused quite a pile-up of unrelated clippings and tabs all over Daughter Number Three's desk and desktop. My browser is threatening to stop running because of all the tabs strewn about, so here's a list just to get them off my computer!

Photos from the 1970s U.S., documenting what life and the environment were like then.

Gas pump with hand-lettered sign reading Closed do to gas shortage
A super-fun whirlwind video (about 11 minutes) on how the English language developed.

A call for more hypocrites.

Did you know there's a young guy in Des Moines, Iowa, who's figured out a way to make online payments work without going through the credit card system, which lowers the cost to everyone? Let's make Dwolla a reality!

Every Child Is a Scientist by Jonah Lehrer. But you can't tell them that, or it doesn't work.

Let's Stop Teaching Writing (by a writing teacher, of course). 

A really long Columbia Journalism Review story deconstructing new media thinkers like Clay Shirky, Jeff Jarvis and Jay Rosen. (By the way, if you've been seeing the abbreviation tl;dr as much as I have lately, you may be wondering what it mean. Well, mystery solved: It stands for too long; didn't read.)

Mother Jones magazine's original 1984 story on Newt Gingrich.

The Star Tribune reports on the decline in both birth rates and abortion rate statewide, with two graphs I want to keep handy since the Strib never seems to load infographics to its website. Both births and abortions are down, meaning there are fewer pregnancies. (Click to see them larger):

Economist Dean Baker points out that NPR misreported the failure of the deficit supercommittee.

A tech writer comes up with a plausible explanation why men of color and all kinds of women are under-represented in tech startup land.

A quick critique of the Khan Academy approach to "flipping" school classrooms.

Jonah Lehrer gives the 411 on psychologist Daniel Kahneman, who has a new book out I'll have to read.

Why is it that the Huffington Post is the only media outlet I see covering stories like this one, reporting on a recent survey that found Fox News viewers were less likely to know factual information about international and domestic affairs? (For instance, Fox viewers were 18 points less likely than people who watch no news at all to know that Hosni Mubarak had been overthrown by the Egyptian people.)

The story of a case of police stun-gun abuse that killed a 61-year-old man who was riding his bicycle. Incredible. (From local news channels in North Carolina, via Boing Boing.)

And speaking of police and the overuse of "nonlethal" weapons...

Occupy in the News

The very best piece I read on the UC Davis pepper spray travesty. By a Davis prof who discusses the militarization of campus police. There were a lot of other great articles, like this one by Alexis Madrigal at the Atlantic.

A Scientific American guest blogger and medical researcher examines whether pepper spray should be in use without more clinical trials on its effects. Meanwhile, Mother Jones shares the marketing materials for pepper sprays, tasers and other weapons used in the crowd control and "area denial" efforts of police.

If you know what the acronym API means in the web development world, check out this article that analogizes the Occupy movement as an API. I thought it was right on the money.

Everyone from Michael Moore to individual Occupy locations is coming up with lists of strategies for the movement. Here's what Robert Jensen had to say.

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