Treat Failure like a Scientist

When a scientist runs an experiment, there are all sorts of results that could happen. Some results are positive and some are negative, but all of them are data points. Each result is a piece of data that can ultimately lead to an answer.

And that’s exactly how a scientist treats failure: as another data point.

This is much different than how society often talks about failure. For most of us, failure feels like an indication of who we are as a person.

Failing a test means you’re not smart enough. Failing to get fit means you’re undesirable. Failing in business means you don’t have what it takes. Failing at art means you’re not creative. And so on.

But for the scientist, a negative result is not an indication that they are a bad scientist. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Proving a hypothesis wrong is often just as useful as proving it right because you learned something along the way.

Your failures are simply data points that can help lead you to the right answer.

James Clear 

An expert on human blind spots gives advice on how to think

A lot of the issues or problems we get into, we get into because we’re doing it all by ourselves. We’re relying on ourselves. We’re making decisions as our own island, if you will. And if we consult, chat, schmooze with other people, often we learn things or get different perspectives that can be quite helpful.

An active social life, active social bonds, in many different ways tends to be something that’s healthy for people. Social bonds can also be informationally healthy as well. So that’s more on a top, more abstract level, if you will. That is, don’t try to do it yourself. Doing it yourself is when you get into trouble.

David Dunning quoted in Vox 

Articles of Interest - week of Feb 18


IBM's AI loses debate to a human  Cnet  

Update on that study of p-hacking  Stat Modeling 

7 things we’ve learned about computer algorithms  Pew Research Center

“Someone who has malicious intent would be able to generate high-quality fake news” with this the AI text generator  Wired 

Major predictive policing algorithm is fundamentally flawed  Motherboard  

A look under the hood of an automated fake-news detection system  MIT 

Mirrorworld is all around us already—this marriage of the virtual and the physical may spark the next big tach platform  Wired

Some ideas on how to make use of Kaggle to get the data science ball rolling  Toward Data Science


16% of US adults now own smartwatches  Tech Crunch 

How Should Self-Driving Cars Choose Who Not to Kill?  Medium   


Facebook’s Future Is Private Groups, for Better and Worse  Bloomberg  

Why Mark Zuckerberg's Writing Style Erodes Our Trust in Facebook  The Blog of Slab 

The Tinder algorithm, explained  Vox  

Teenage journalists memorialize hundreds of gun-violence victims  Columbia Journalism Review     


US iPhone users spent, on average, $79 on apps last year, up 36% from 2017  Tech Crunch  


Welcome to the age of surveillance capitalism  The Guardian

Electric scooter reportedly vulnerable to hijacking hack  Cnet 


The best WordPress hosting 2019  Tech Radar


Ads 'slows down' browsing speeds  BBC 

How badly is Google Books search broken, and why?  Sapping Attention


No, You Can’t Ignore Email: It’s Rude  New York Times  

Think I’ve Identified Email’s Fundamental Flaw  The Cut  

“Are you available for a quick task?” – Keep an eye out for the latest phishing scam hitting inboxes  TechRadar


A Crackdown On Journalism In The Philippines  NPR 

Journalists Can't Now Use A Database Of People's Phone Numbers And Addresses  Buzzfeed News 


The New York Times quietly paused its Snapchat channel  Digiday

Media Layoffs Hit Peak Since 2009 Great Recession  The Wrap  

Findings from our national study on reinventing local TV News  Storybench

Newsrooms are finally focusing on loyalty over pageviews: Here’s how to actually measure it  Poynter  


An Apocalyptic Preacher And QAnon Followers Made A Fake Pope Francis Quote Go Viral Buzzfeed News 

Most Canadians trust media, but a similar share worry about fake news being weaponized: survey  Global News 

Russian Trolls Promoted Anti-Vaccination Propaganda That May Have Caused Measles Outbreak Researcher Claims  Newsweek  

Why Misinformation Is About Who You Trust, Not What You Think

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was seen in public Monday: Conspiracy theorists still insist she’s dead Washington Post


Surviving the brain-dissolving internet  Becoming (my blog)

Treat Failure Like a Scientist  James Clear Blog 

I’d like to tell you about the life-changing magic of not getting rid of things  Washington Post   

What’s all this fuss about “digital detox” — and does it really work?  Recode 

There's A Gap Between Perception And Reality When It Comes To Learning  NPR


The Newest Way To Check Out Library Books In Houston? Vending Machines  Houston Public Media  Houston Public Media  

The Hardest Part of Writing Is Restarting  Chronicle of Higher Education  Chronicle of Higher Ed

5-Year-Old Logan Brinson Couldn't Find a Library Near Him—So He Opened One Himself  Mental Floss 

Reading in the Age of Constant Distraction The Paris Review


Slang by state: Words only locals know  USA Today 

American parents say their children are speaking in British accent after watching too much Peppa Pig  iTV 


Tolkien’s World: An Exhibition Transports Us to Middle-earth  New York Times  

How an Italian Writer’s Imaginary Garden Became a Place of Literary Pilgrimage  Atlas Obscura 


 The Women Who Contributed to Science but Were Buried in Footnotes  The Atlantic  

Three female students file class-action lawsuit against Yale University to allow women to join all-male fraternities  USA Today 


Ted Danson once wore blackface to roast Whoopi Goldberg, and it’s striking to read the coverage of that now Slate 

11-year-old arrested after refusing to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance  Bay News 9

After Black Student Is Kept Out of Class Discussion, NYU School Acknowledges ‘Institutional Racism’ Chronicle of Higher Ed 

US border agency sued for detaining two Spanish speakers  BBC 

When Fred Rogers and Francois Clemmons Broke Down Race Barriers on a Historic Episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (1969)  Open Culture 


10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech: 2019 (including Liberty University)  The FIRE 

What is ‘auditing,’ and why did a YouTuber get shot for doing it?  Washington Post

Another Politician Probably Violated the First Amendment By Blocking a Constituent on Twitter Technology & Marketing Law Blog 

Federal Judge Thinks The Best Fix For An Accidentally Unsealed Court Doc Is Prior Restraint  TechDirt 


Fortnite's Appropriation Issue Isn't About Copyright Law, It's About Ethics  Waypoint

CNN, Dish Fight This Question in Court: Is The Weather Channel a News Network?  Hollywood Reporter 

Copyrighting a dance step? Between a Hard (Milly) Rock and a Copyright Office  The 1709 Blog


I was hospitalized for depression. Faith helped me remember how to live  Washington Post 

Producer of ‘Silent Scream’ anti-abortion film dies  Miami Herald 

Founder Of Harvest Bible Chapel Fired For Misconduct And ‘Highly Inappropriate Comments’  Chicago CBS 


Missionaries and nurses trapped in Haiti as protests sweep country  CNN

Once a majority, Protestants now account for fewer than a third of Germans  Pew Research Center


Southern Baptist seminary chief regrets embrace of religious leader accused of hiding sex abuse  Courier-Journal

More than 100 Southern Baptist youth pastors convicted or charged in sex crimes  Houston Chronicle  


Evangelicals claim Justin Bieber, but he won’t claim them  Washington Examiner  

Hillsong: Is this celeb-filled, Instagram-friendly church the new face of evangelicalism?  NBC News 


A law beloved by evangelicals could stand in the way of Trump’s wall  Yahoo News  

Wyoming Senate rejects death penalty repeal, one senator citing Jesus' crucifixion as her rationale  The Week 


UPS driver’s instincts lead to rescue of elderly man  Fox 8   

CNY Taco Bell worker writes a feel-good message in each take-out order; customers love it

Inmates help police rescue Florida baby accidentally locked in car  USA Today

Doctors Said His Daughter Might Never Walk (video)  Digg 


"Rest in Vinyl” - A Company Will Press Your Ashes into a Working Vinyl Album  The Vintage News 


A Peerless ‘War and Peace’ Film Is Restored to Its Former Glory  New York Times

Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Crackpot Theories’ on How Moviegoing Has Changed The Atlantic

‘Office Space’ Turns 20  Variety 


How the growth and evolution of the over-the-air tv home fits into today’s viewing landscape  Nielsen

eSports Joins the Big Leagues  Goldman Sachs  


Where to pitch, based on data from the website, Who Pays Writers?  Columbia Journalism Review 

What do freelance writers make?  Storybench 

Why Freelancing Creates Anxiety About Money  The Cut 


Climate Change Still Seen as the Top Global Threat, but Cyberattacks a Rising Concern  Pew Research Center  

America’s gun problem, explained in 5 facts  Vox 

Facebook's security team tracks posts and keeps a possible threat list  CNBC 


What Happens To A Small Town After Walmart Leaves It (video)  PBS  

The GDP Of Each State, Matched To An Equivalent Country  Digg  

The Biggest Economic Divides Aren’t Regional—They’re Local  New York Times 

A record 7 million Americans are three months late on their car payments, revealing what could be cracks in the U.S. economy  CityLab


Bold Plan? Replace the Border Wall with an Energy–Water Corridor  Scientific American

From marine biology to gallery walls: At Lux, artist Courtney Mattison draws attention to the fragility of our oceans  Union-Tribune 

Key West bans sunscreens that harm coral reefs  CNN

Why polar bears invaded a Russian village  The Verge

Massive starfish die-off tied to warming seas  Axios 

This Scary Map Shows How Climate Change Will Transform Your City  Wired

Scientist who resisted censorship of climate report lost her job  Reveal News


Sneezed-In Tissues For Sale (video)  Stephen Colbert 

Children are using an unhealthy amount of toothpaste, CDC warns  USA Today 

Poor sleep could clog your arteries. A mouse study shows how that might happen  Science Magazine


Facebook under pressure to halt rise of anti-vaccination groups  The Guardian

Anti-vaxxers are spreading conspiracy theories on Facebook, and the company is struggling to stop them  Washington Post 

In anti-vaccine rant, wife of top Trump aide says it's time to 'bring back our childhood diseases' The Week 


Where Not to Travel in 2019, or Ever: Another take on the Christian Missionary who tried to Sentinelese (opinion) The Walrus 


The official fast food French fry power rankings  LA Times 


About 40% of American couples now meet each other online  Quartz  

Sharing Netflix, Spotify Accounts After Couples Break Up  NPR 

Dating App Scams  Vox

The Cities With the Most Singles  Citylab

8 facts about love and marriage in America  Pew Research Center 


How Many Creationists Are There in America? Scientific American Blog Network 

Ph.D. Student Breaks Down Electron Physics Into A Swinging Musical  NPR 

Does scientist immigration harm US science? An examination of the knowledge spillover channel ScienceDirect

Essential elements for high-impact scientific writing  Nature 

New NASA Mission Will Create Maps of the Sky Like Never Before  Popular Mechanics 


Depression speeds aging in the brain, a new study shows  Quartz

How the Brain Creates a Timeline of the Past  Quanta Magazine


Why so many men online love to use “logic” to win an argument, and then disappear before they can find out they're wrong (opinion) The Outline

Google Translate is a manifestation of Wittgenstein’s theory of language  Quartz

A global history of philosophy (podcast)  BBC 


Emotional burnout is fueled by envy  The Outline


How the US has hidden its empire  The Guardian 

A majority of Americans in every state except Vermont would fail a test based on the questions in the U.S. citizenship test  Axios 


Editorial Independence and Journal Ownership in the Age of Open Science  The Scholarly Kitchen

Be cautious, skeptical with comprehensive reviews of evidence   Association of Health Care Journalists  Health Journalism  

Study suggests that making reviewers’ reports freely readable doesn’t compromise peer-review process Nature  

Replication is on the Rise  Arnold Ventures

Major medical journals don’t follow their own rules for reporting results from clinical trials  Science Magazine  

The Fraud Finder: A conversation with Elisabeth Bik  The Last Word On Nothing


As student journalists, how do you report on rape allegations? Pretty much the same way you report on anything else  Dynamics of Writing 

 Student journalists hold power to account, with fewer protections  Columbia Journalism Review 

Loyola’s Media Policy is designed to hinder student reporting (opinion)  Loyola Phoenix 

Loyola Student Newspaper Accuses University of 'Trump' Tactics, Dodging Reporters  NBC Chicago 


Historic black church pays off loans of Howard University students  The Hill  

Tobacco use is soaring among U.S. kids, driven by e-cigarettes  Axios

College grads expect to earn $60,000 in their first job—here's how much they actually make  CNBC


College fires longtime professor of English when he asked too many questions about accreditation  Inside Higher Ed

Is Email Making  Professors Stupid? It used to simplify crucial tasks. Now it’s strangling  scholars’ ability to think  Chronicle of Higher Ed 

Lessons learned from the Wright State strike: professors  Inside Higher Ed  


Current Policy, Past Investigations Offer Window Into Harvard’s Next Steps In Abramson Plagiarism Case  The Harvard Crimson

Correcting the scholarly record for research integrity: In the aftermath of plagiarism: Accountability in Research  Tandfonline  


The booming popularity of esports has started a vociferous debate over whether the NCAA or another entity will regulate the industry for colleges and universities  Inside Higher Ed

A Guide to the Changing Number of U.S. Universities  US News 

Judge says University of Texas at Austin can't revoke a former student's Ph.D. on its own, outside a court of law  Inside Higher Ed

Mega-Universities Are On the Rise: They Could Reshape Higher Ed as We Know It  Chronicle of Higher Ed


Study documents economic gains from liberal arts education  Inside Higher Ed

7 Things You Can Do With Your Humanities Degree Thrive Global


Louisiana College quits CCCU over LGBT policy  Baptist Message 

Why Bob Jones University hosted a gender and sexuality conference  Greenville Online

Azusa Pacific University: Is a Faculty Purge Imminent? (opinion)  Rewire


Surviving the brain-dissolving internet

I’ve been a technology journalist for nearly 20 years and a tech devotee even longer. Over that time, I’ve been obsessed with how the digital experience scrambles how we make sense of the real world.  

Technology may have liberated us from the old gatekeepers, but it also created a culture of choose-your-own-fact niches, elevated conspiracy thinking to the center of public consciousness and brought the incessant nightmare of high-school-clique drama to every human endeavor. It also skewed our experience of daily reality. 

Objectively, the world today is better than ever, but the digital world inevitably makes everyone feel worse. It isn’t just the substance of daily news that unmoors you, but also the speed and volume and oversaturated fakery of it all. 

And so, to survive the brain-dissolving internet, I turned to meditation.

The fad is backed by reams of scientific research showing the benefits of mindfulness for your physical and mental health — how even short-term stints improve your attention span and your ability to focus, your memory, and other cognitive functions.

Farhad Manjoo writing in the New York Times

Daily Rituals

Here’s the true secret of life: We mostly do everything over and over. In the morning, we let the dogs out, make coffee, read the paper, help whoever is around get ready for the day. We do our work. In the afternoon, if we have left, we come home, put down our keys and satchels, let the dogs out, take off constrictive clothing, make a drink or put water on for tea, toast the leftover bit of scone. I love ritual and repetition. Without them, I would be a balloon with a slow leak.      

Daily rituals, especially walks, even forced marches around the neighborhood, and schedules, whether work or meals with non-awful people, can be the knots you hold on to when you’ve run out of rope.    

Anne Lamott, Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair

A one-way ticket to a toxic relationship

Many people are addicted to the ups and downs of romantic love. They are in it for the feels, so to speak. And when the feels run out, so do they. Many people get into a relationship as a way to compensate for something they lack or hate within themselves. This is a one-way ticket to a toxic relationship because it makes your love conditional — you will love your partner as long as they help you feel better about yourself. You will give to them as long as they give to you. You will make them happy as long as they make you happy.  This conditionality prevents any true, deep-level intimacy from emerging and chains the relationship to the bucking throes of each person’s internal dramas.

Mark Manson

Moral Hypocrisy

It pays to be wary of those who are the quickest and loudest in condemning the moral failings of others – the chances are that moral preachers are as guilty themselves, but take a far lighter view of their own transgressions. In one study, researchers found that people rated the exact same selfish behaviour (giving themselves the quicker and easier of two experimental tasks on offer) as being far less fair when perpetuated by others. Similarly, there is a long-studied phenomenon known as actor-observer asymmetry, which in part describes our tendency to attribute other people’s bad deeds, such as our partner’s infidelities, to their character, while attributing the same deeds performed by ourselves to the situation at hand. These self-serving double standards could even explain the common feeling that incivility is on the increase – recent research shows that we view the same acts of rudeness far more harshly when they are committed by strangers than by our friends or ourselves.

Christian Jarrett writing in The British Psychological Society’s Research Digest

Articles of Interest - Feb 11


Scientists connect a human brain and 'rat cyborg' brain together  CNET

The Fortnite Marshmello event represents something different by many orders of magnitude Wired

The future of lawn care? This Dallas company's robots mow the yard for you WFAA


15 Instagram Feeds That Help Make the World More Wondrous  Atlas Obscura

How Many Hashtags Should I Use On Instagram In 2019? This Is What The Experts Recommend  Bustle

An early Facebook investor throws up his hands: We’ve been ‘Zucked’  Washington Post

Twitter discloses daily active user count for first time  Axios 

Snapchat, no longer bleeding users, tests Android app redesign  Mashable


How does photography (& taking selfies) affect you? We tried to find out (video)  Wired

All 230 New Emojis for 2019 (video)  Emojipedia 


Mass. legislator proposes government commission to examine journalism industry  Boston Globe  

The Rise of the Robot Reporter  New York Times

Craigslist founder donates $15 million for journalism ethics San Francisco Gate

Former 'NYT' Executive Editor Jill Abramson Responds To Plagiarism Allegations  NPR 

Did A Robot Write This? How AI Is Impacting Journalism  Forbes

Lessons for Journalists from conflict mediation training   The Whole Story 


Which platforms are driving more traffic to news websites?  Harvard’s Nieman Lab

Amid Layoffs, McClatchy News CEO Got a $900,000 Bonus in 2017  Miami New Times

The alternative to your dying local paper is written by one person, a robot, and you  Recode

This TV News Anchor Says Her Boss Called Her Natural Hair Too "Unprofessional" For Broadcast  Buzzfeed News 


Facebook adds new fact-checking partner  Axios

Study: Americans care less about the source of a particular news story, than whether the headline aligns with their political view  SSRN 

Peering under the hood of fake-news detectors  MIT Technology Review


Extension will detect your unsafe passwords  Wired 

Big Telecom Sold Highly Sensitive Customer GPS Data Typically Used for 911 Calls  Motherboard

Many Popular iPhone Apps Secretly Record your Screen  Tech Crunch


Is it time for every publisher to “pivot to podcasts”?  What’s News in Publishing 

LinkedIn  Debuts LinkedIn Live, a new video broadcast  Service  Tech Crunch 


Each State’s Most-Googled Relationship Question  Century Link Quote  

What happens when you try to live without the big five (Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple) Subtraction 

Russia Is Considering An Experiment To Disconnect From The Internet  NPR


MIT Tech: machine learning is now witnessing a downfall  Analytics Insights

Startups help companies track their competition with spy satellites  Seattle Times

Python code completion gets an assist from machine learning—the system is designed to go beyond the conventional auto-suggest algorithms found in IDEs  Infoworld

Top 10 Machine Learning Programming Languages  Analytics Insights


Do you understand a thing or only its definition?  Becoming (my blog) 

How To Sound Smart  CollegeHumor  

3 simple habits that can protect your brain from cognitive decline  Fast Company  


The Atlas of Endangered Alphabets: A Free Online Atlas That Helps Preserve Writing Systems That May Soon Disappear  Open Culture

A Patron Returned a Book to a Maryland Library Nearly 75 Years After It Was Due Mental Floss


A College Lost Its Languages One by One. Can 3 Professors Save Spanish?  Chronicle of Higher Ed

Entertainment Studios Will Launch Spanish-Language Weather Channel In 2020  Deadline


T.S.Eliot's Cat  The Daily Star

J.D. Salinger’s Family To Publish Trove Of Secret Works  The Guardian

McDonald’s Happy Meals Now Come With Roald Dahl Books Instead of Toys in New Zealand  Mental Floss

Welcome to the Bold and Blocky Instagram Era of Book Covers  Vulture

The 50 Best One-Star Amazon Reviews of Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury  Literary Hub      


Rules for who can compete as a female athlete are based on a flawed scientific foundation,” and a paper behind them should be retracted, says a new study  Springer  

Over a Third of Generation Z Knows a Non-Binary Person  The Daily Beast 


When school dress codes depend on the color of your skin  Washington Post

A class of Black 6th grade students recreated famous book covers for Black History Month  Hello Giggles

Black Farmers Once Comprised 14% Of America's Farmers. Today, It's Less Than 2%. What Happened?  Digg

The Conversation the Press Isn’t Having: Even when people of color do very American things, they still aren’t seen as being members of American culture (opinion)  The Atlantic


Photos of blackface, KKK robes and nooses lurk alongside portraits in old college yearbooks  Washington Post

VCU and predecessors yearbooks show racist imagery as late as 1989, students held “Slave Sale” fundraiser  Commonwealth Times (VCU student newspaper)

More Anger Over Blackface Yearbook Photos   Inside Higher Ed

About a third of Americans say blackface in a Halloween costume is acceptable at least sometimes  Pew Research Center  

The complicated, always racist history of blackface  Vox


Boy, 10, takes knee during pledge of allegiance at NC city council meeting  WMCA-TV  

Michigan RAs told not to remove racist or other offensive language from dormitory doors: Officials say they can't suppress free expression  Inside Higher Ed

When Colleges Confine Free Speech to a ‘Zone,’ It Isn’t Free  ACLU 


Wave of concussion lawsuits to test NCAA's liability  Associated Press

Too Many Graduates at some Law Schools Fail to pass the Bar  USA Today

What’s New With Emoji Law?  Technology & Marketing Law Blog 


Why Thieves Target Gun Stores  The New Yorker  

Cab driver prevents 87-year-old grandmother from sending thousands of dollars in gift cards to scammer pretending to be her grandson locked up in jail Boston CBS

Scammer threatens Elderly Couple: Discovers on way to prison one is Ex-CIA and the other a former FBI director  WHNT  


For $20, Wildlife Images will put your ex's name on a salmon and feed it to a bear KTVL

Man Wanted By Police for Selling Fake Super Bowl Tickets to His Own Family (He made nearly $1 million)  Fatherly 


How highly religious Americans view evolution depends on how they’re asked about it  Pew Research Center 

Chris Pratt, Justin Bieber, and the rise of the “cool” Christian celebrity  Vox 

Cross washed ashore in FL may have floated from NC memorial  Miami Herald 

The Church With the $6 Billion Portfolio  New York Times

Half of Millennial Christians Say It’s Wrong to Evangelize  Christianity Today 


The life and death of John Chau, the man who tried to convert his killers  The Guardian 

Russia sentences a Jehovah's Witness to 6 years in a penal colony: Human rights groups call the charges a farce  CNN


United Methodists face vote on LGBTQ issues. Will it rip the church apart?  Chicago Tribune

Win for Christian Group at Iowa: Judge says university cannot deny recognition because of antigay rules  Inside Higher Ed


Trump emerges as an unexpected champion in the White House for evangelicals  ABC News

When Christian Evangelicals Loved Socialism  Jstor


Five-year-old quadruple amputee set to take on half-marathon after losing all four limbs to meningitis  SWNS 

My disabled son’s amazing gaming life in the World of Warcraft  BBC

When a Newton family welcomed a baby who is deaf, 20 neighbors learned sign language  Boston Globe

Father organises heavy metal festival for his music-loving son Mason, who has cerebral palsy  My Good Planet  

Two hundred strangers attended Holocaust survivor’s funeral  Washington Post

This 92-year-old Wayne firefighter has been battling blazes since WWII 

Snowball fight! Hundreds show up for epic battle at Tacoma park  Q-13


How artists with disabilities are re-imagining art and tech  Immerse 

The Secret Lives of Color  99% Invisible

10 Insights on the State of Visual Storytelling in 2019  Aetka


How Focus Music Hacks Your Brain  Cheddar  

How To Find The Right Musical Instrument For You  Infographic 


11 Facts About Blazing Saddles on Its 45th Anniversary  Metal Floss 

Steven Soderbergh’s ‘High Flying Bird’ and the Rise of iPhone Films  The Ringer


20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist reforms  Houston Chronicle 

New Tribes Missions Covered up sexual abuse, say missionary kids  NBC News

Leavenworth judge blames children in Kansas sex abuse case  The Kansas City Star


Why You Should Work Less and Spend More Time on Hobbies  Harvard Business Review 

How much you'll need to retire at 55 in every state Digg


Ultimate Guide To Teen Slang For Parents  Daily Infographic 


The magnetic field near the Arctic is acting weird  The Verge

Are We Watching the End of the Monarch Butterfly?  New York Times


Higher education won't prevent mental decline, study finds  NBC News  

Five-year survival rates for nearly all cancers are on the rise  Our World in Data

How it feels to be obese  The Atlantic 

FDA sends warning letters to 17 companies for 'illegally selling' products claiming to treat Alzheimer's  CNBC  

Hospital Mergers Improve Health? Evidence Shows the Opposite  New York Times


Why measles is back, in five charts  Popular Science

Coming of Age Unvaccinated The number of parents seeking exemptions from having their children vaccinated is rising in several states  Undark 

Hundreds rally to preserve right not to vaccinate children amid measles outbreak  WCTV

Measles outbreaks are everywhere: Here's what you need to know  Popular Science


New disease surveillance tool helps detect any human virus  Broad Institute 

Self-charging pacemakers are powered by patients' heartbeats  Engadget  

First dexterous hand prosthesis implanted  Chalmers

First-ever in-body gene editing of a live patient  Associated Press

Defying Parents, A Teen Decides To Get Vaccinated  NPR 


Travel Tips from a Guy Who Travels Kinda Often  Subtraction

5 best trips for solo travelers  CNN 

Southwest's Plan to Launch Flights to Hawaii Could Start a Fare War to the Aloha State  Fortune


8 Foods You've Been Eating All Wrong  Metal Floss 

Incorrect things We Believed About Food 25 Years Ago (video)

Map Shows the Most Popular Girl Scout Cookie in Each State Fatherly


Colorado Runner Kills Mountain Lion In Self-Defense  NPR  

Scientists Are Totally Rethinking Animal Cognition  The Atlantic


19 Common Things Science Hasn’t Figured Out  Mental Floss

Harvard's top astronomer says an alien ship may be among us 

For Darwin Day, 6 facts about the evolution debate  Pew Research Center 


Why keeping secrets may be damaging your mental health  Scientific American   

The myth of Ted Bundy as a charming guy  The Outline

How to Talk to a Friend Struggling With Their Mental Health  Life Hacker  

Laughter is a uniquely human – and collective – activity  Aeon


Aristotle’s Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life  The Week

3 philosophers set up a booth on a street corner – here’s what people asked The Conversation


The deadly race to the South Pole (video)


Call for retraction of 400 scientific papers amid fears organs came from Chinese prisoners  The Guardian

Reflections on Citation Mania ACS Energy Letters  ACS 

NIH asks federal watchdog to investigate 12 allegations related to foreign influence of biomedical research  Science Magazine 

What is the single major threat to research integrity?” Experts weigh in  Clinical Chemistry


Large donation to a small community college changes the outlook on fund-raising by two-year institutions  Inside Higher Ed

Most evangelical college students appreciate LGBT people even if trustees don’t (opinion) Religious News Service


Can larger liberal arts colleges learn from the successes and missteps of small art schools?  Inside Higher Ed 

As STEM majors soar at UW, interest in humanities shrinks — a potentially costly loss  Seattle Times


Should You Allow Laptops in Class? Here’s What the Latest Study Adds to That Debate  Chronicle of Higher Ed  

College professor tells students that family deaths CANNOT be used as an excuse to miss an exam - and advises them to drop his class if they think a relative MIGHT die that semester  Daily Mail

Do Racial Epithets Have Any Place in the Classroom? A Professor’s Suspension Fuels That Debate Chronicle of Higher Ed  


Towson University police warn of a woman on the loose, looking for a date for her son  Baltimore Sun 

Teens don't use Facebook, but they can't escape it, either  Wired 

Colleges tracking online interaction  NEWS-5

Here’s Why So Many Americans Feel Cheated By Their Student Loans  BuzzFeed News

The Silly Stereotypes That Elite-College Students Have About Other Campuses  The Atlantic

The Sexualized Messages Dress Codes are Sending to Students  Pudding

Tuition or food? How college kids use food pantries to help food insecurity  USA Today


Tenure is again at risk in Iowa  Inside Higher Ed

Why left and right both get the meaning of academic freedom wrong  Washington Post


Do you understand a thing or only its definition?

We take other men’s knowledge and opinions upon trust; which is an idle and superficial learning. We must make them our own. We are just like a man who, needing fire, went to a neighbor’s house to fetch it, and finding a very good one there, sat down to warm himself without remembering to carry any back home. What good does it do us to have our belly full of meat if it is not digested, if it is not transformed into us, if it does not nourish and support us?


Assume They’re Wrong

From military predictions to technological predictions to sports predictions, when experts foretell the future, it’s always safest to assume they’re wrong. 

Because they are deeply knowledgeable in a particular field, experts are more prone than others to view the world through a too-narrow lens, assuming that the current trends they understand so well are indicators of what is to come. Their expertise reinforces their confidence in their own analysis, blinding them to contrary data or disconfirming evidence. 

As you listen to their smart, persuasive, credible prophecies, just remember: Most of them, most of the time, will be wrong. (You can take my word for it. After all, I’m an expert.)

Jeff Jacoby is a columnist for The Boston Globe 

Tuesday Tech Tools: Learning to Code

Want to learn some coding? Here are some places to start:

Code Cademy
Learn coding for Free.

The Code Player



Google Code Playground
An advanced educational tool to show code examples of Google Javascript APIs.

Hands on Programming with R (free book)


Kaggle Data Sets

Khan Academy

Learn Python the Hard Way

MIT OpenCourseWare

Mozilla Developer Network 

R for Data Science (free book)

Stack Overflow*
One of the most popular programming problem-solving sites. Ask your coding questions as you learn or find chunks of code.


Tuturals on web design, coding, business, etc.  Students sign up for annual subscriptions.


W3Schools Online Web Tutorials
Learn HTML, CSS, etc.

Find more tools here

Articles of Interest - Feb 4


The Newseum was a grand tribute to the power of journalism: Here’s how it failed  The Washington Post

Immigrant rights attorneys and journalists denied entry into Mexico  Los Angeles Times

The Six Forms of Media Bias  New York Times 

News story lifespan charts  FlowingData

Asked To Ignore Racism: 4 Reporters Tell Their Stories  Huffington Post  


Loss of newspapers contributes to political polarization  Associated Press

How R&D works at the BBC & The New York Times   Global Editors Network  


NSA confirms everything is a conspiracy, conspiracy theorists not convinced  The Science Post

Fake news sites are simply changing their domain name to get around Facebook fact-checkers Mashable 

Snopes says nope to Facebook’s money and leaves fact-checking program  The Verge  

Snopes and AP stop fact checking for Facebook  TechCrunch

A shockingly large majority of health news shared on Facebook is fake or misleading  Fact Company 

The Deep Roots of Fake News: A new history of the United States traces mass media’s destabilizing effects back to the nation’s birth  Scientific American 

How analyzing patterns helps students spot deceptive media  The Conversation 

Veterans of the News Business Are Now Fighting Fakes  New York Times

Individually, people aren’t great at judging news sources. En masse, they’re almost the same as professional fact-checkers  Harvard’s Nieman Lab 


Flickr will start deleting your photos soon  Daily Dot

The real problem with posting about your kids online (opinion)   The Conversation 


Facebook has been paying teens $20 a month for total access to their phone activity  The Verge

Does Facebook Really Know How Many Fake Accounts It Has?  New York Times

Facebook's plan: One messaging service to rule them all  Axios 

Facebook: Where Friendships Go to Never Quite Die  The Atlantic

10 facts about Americans and Facebook  Pew Research Center 


Meet the Creator of the Egg That Broke Instagram  New York Times  

Instagram to blur self-harm images after Molly Russell's suicide BongBonG 


Americans got 26.3B robocalls 2018; many don't answer the phone  Twin Cities 


Inside the UAE’s secret hacking team of American mercenaries  Reuters

A handy list of ways Facebook has tried to sneakily gather data about you The Next Web  

News outlets' email security gap  Axios 


Study shows we're spending an insane amount of time online  The Next Web 

It’s time to ditch Google Analytics  Fact Company

Digital trends 2019: Every single stat you need to know about the internet  The Next Web


Saying no to 1000 things  Becoming (my blog)

What old story about yourself are you still believing? Here’s how to find it and change It TED ideas

The Dunning-Kruger effect, and how to fight it, explained by psychologist David Dunning  Vox

The kind of monuments that make Americans feel good about ourselves can also prevent us from reckoning properly with our history PS Mag


Ariana Grande’s new tattoo has a hilarious misspelling  Mashable 

Meet the Guardian of Grammar Who Wants to Help You Be a Better Writer New York Times


How to write effectively for international journals  Nature 

Should plagiarism be a bar to presidency? (sub req’ed)  Times Higher Ed 

The changing ways Americans read books  Axios 

Three Writing Rules to Disregard  The Paris Review 


What happens in our brain when we learn languages?  Science Focus

Evolution of the alphabet  FlowingData


Book Written by Detainee via WhatsApp Gets a Top Prize  New York Times

 3 Award-Winning Latina Authors Are Symbols Of Hope For Next Generation Of Writers  NPR

A Suspense Novelist’s Trail of Deceptions The New Yorker


Women act more like men when they have to ask women for money  Quartz

New Study: Largest U.S. Churches Are Unclear on Women's Leadership  Sojourners 

Nevada Reaches Major Milestone As First State With Majority Of Women In Legislature  NPR


James Watson and the insidiousness of scientific racism  Wired 

Football and the NFL Are Facing White Flight  The Atlantic 

Magazine censored, editor dropped for covering Henry Ford’s anti-semitic newspaper  Columbia Journalism Review


Mobs target journalists and Turkey hands jail sentences to 28 academics  IFEX

Eddie Money's Decision to Fire Drummer Was Expression of Free Speech, Court Rules  Hollywood Reporter

Federal Judge Bizarre claim: Boycotts Aren't Protected Speech TechDirt


A look at how unfair the courts can be for those who can't afford fairness  New York Times

Michael Jackson & R. Kelly Documentaries Tough to Stop Due to First Amendment  Billboard

How O.G. Streetwear Brand FUCT Took a Free Speech Case All the Way to the Supreme Court  GQ 

Fiji Water's Golden Globes Photobomber Sues Company Over Cardboard Cutouts  Hollywood Reporter 

The large-scale and potentially extremely illegal social media marketing efforts for the Fyre Fest The Fashion Law Blog 


10 Visualizations About Criminal Justice  Global Investigative Journalism Network  


Researchers demonstrate flexible, inexpensive materials that can convert ambient Wi-Fi signals into electricity   MIT Tech Review 


A look at the main tools text preprocessing & steps involved—including normalization tokenization stemming lemmatization chunking etc.  Medium  

We analyzed 16,625 papers to figure out where AI is headed next: the era of deep learning is coming to an end  MIT Tech Review  


Are religious people happier, healthier? Our new global study explores this question  Pew Research Center 

How A Long-Lost Guitar Was A Lesson In Grace And Forgiveness  NPR

World Vision ousted from Pakistan  The Alabama Baptist  

SoCal Megachurch pastor Commits Suicide  Christian Post  

Interfaith panel reflects on the state of faith-based higher education  Deseret News  

Hail Satan? puts the fun in Satanic fundamentalism: docu covers The Satanic Temple’s grassroots activism  The Verge  

Avril Lavigne crosses over to Christian music with latest Top 5 single  Aleteia

Religion makes Americans give  Philanthropy

HarperCollins Christian Publishing found guilty of fraud, breach of contract Nashville Post

Students at Sundance see Film Through the eyes of faith Religious News


Man saves woman's life by giving her CPR — a skill he picked up from watching The Office 

Good Samaritans rescue woman and infant son after SUV crashes into pond  WMBF-TV 


The women running for president are breaking the rules of branding  Fact Company

A funky dictionary with daily used terms in the digital agencies around the world  Fakeit 

The National Parks’ iconic typeface has never been digitized–until now  Fact Company


Take this test to figure out how tone-deaf you are  The Verge

 Get Free Ambient Work Music With Flow State LifeHacker


15 Movies We Loved at Sundance  Vulture


BuzzFeed Paid the Teen Making Its Top Quizzes in Free Swag  The Cut

Coming to a TV near you: personalized ads  Axios 


5 simple things Jimmy Breslin did as a reporter and writer that can make student journalists great, too  Dynamics of Writing


19 Things Your Parents Told You That Turned Out To Be Total BS  BuzzFeed

In Growing ‘Wild West’ of Campus Esports, Programs Rush to Lure the Best Players  Chronicle of Higher Ed 

Are millennials lazy? Studies suggest otherwise  King-5 


Yale hires investigator after claims of sexual misconduct against former professor  New Haven Register 

Michigan State Faulted For Handling Of Sexual Abuse Cases  NPR

Priest Responds To Child Sex Abuse Accusations Within Church  NPR


These Maps Reveal the Secret World of Modern Slavery  How Much 


America Needs More Young Workers to Support Aging Population  Bloomberg

A worldwide, winner-takes-all race to rule tech  Axios

Visualizing how prices have changed over the past 20 years  How Much 

Student loan debt crushes senior citizens  Axios 


The natural products that could replace plastic  BBC 

Climate change is altering the color of the oceans  Quartz 


America’s Epidemic of Vaccine Exemptions  New Republic 

We have far less control over our weight than we might wish to think   IFL Science

Sleep loss heightens pain sensitivity, dulls brain’s painkilling response  Berekley

Cereal companies created a myth about the first meal of the day: Researchers keep debunking it  Vox

Extra body fat may be shrinking your brain  Fatherly 

Teens with anti-vax parents seek out Reddit's help to get secretly vaccinated Salon


14 Tips for Raising Generous Kids  Red Tricycle 


Children with autism may not cave to peer pressure like Non-autistic Children  IFL Science 

What Happens When Autism Becomes a Literary Device? New York Times  


Woman runs final 19 miles of marathon while cradling a lost puppy  Runner’s World 

Iran bans dogs from riding in cars and public walks in Tehran  CNN 

People Form Human Chain To Rescue Dog From Canal  The Dodo

Animal rights group sues UC Davis, demanding videos of alleged abuse of monkeys  San Francisco Chronicle

Dad Saves Dog’s Fav Toy Daily Mail 


Judge says Tampa conversion therapy ban violates First Amendment free-speech rights  Washington Post  

Women's Brains Age More Slowly Than Men's  NPR


The Case for Professors of Stupidity  Nautil  

How Did Famous Philosophers Promote Racism In America?  Houston Public Media 

How Accurate Is The Good Place's Philosophy?  Marie Claire

Monty Python's Best Philosophy Sketches  Open Culture


Multiply time by asking 4 questions about the stuff on your to-do list  TED ideas


After issuing dozens of corrections to high-profile book, historian shuts down his blog  Retraction Watch 

You Can Now Look At The Faces Of Some Of Britain's Earliest Inhabitants  IFL Science

What Popular Histories Often Get Wrong About the Underground Railroad  History News Network


Three Identical Strangers’: The high cost of experimentation without ethics  Washington Post

British army permitted shooting of civilians in Iraq and  Afghanistan Middle East Eye  


What should JPSP have done with Bem’s ESP paper, back in 2010?  Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference and Social Science  Columbia  

Is Journal Peer-Review Now Just a Game? Milton Packer wonders if the time has come for instant replay  MedPage Today

Intellectual Conflicts of Interest Pose Hidden Dangers to Scientific Accuracy  OncLive 

A proposal to achieve universal access to scientific and medical research via funder preprint mandates  Plan U  

The journal impact factor: Is it better than coin flipping?  Science Direct

Is there a best day for submitting an article for publication?  The London School of Economics & Political Science 


New efforts on campus focus on ways to capture what students learn outside class -- and how to communicate it to employers  Inside Higher Ed

Litigation Is Likely For New Title IX Guidelines NPR

Education by State  Wallethub 

When Colleges Seek Diversity Through Photoshop  Inside Higher Ed


How to Get Grant Money in the Humanities and Social Sciences’  Inside Higher Ed 

View that liberal arts majors face lower earning potential is a myth  Daily Camera

The Decline of Historical Thinking (and the history major)  The New Yorker


Christian College Professor is suspended for using the N-word while discussing a James Baldwin essay  Inside Higher Ed

Christian university denies approving ‘F*** Donald Trump’ theme of convocation  The College Fix  

Pelosi praises evangelicals in address to Christian college presidents  Christian Post 

Christian university blocks Ben Shapiro from speaking  The Hill

Christian School Under Fire for Allowing Blackface During School Presentation   Fox 40


Are You Assigning Too Much Reading? Or Just Too Much Boring Reading?  Chronicle of Higher Ed

How One Professor Learned to Stop Worrying and Drop the Deadline  Chronicle of Higher Ed


University bans journalism professor from campus; university alert alleges meth use, access to guns  Spokesman  

Ex-Dentistry Professor Suing USC, Alleges Firing Linked to Complaint Against Supervisor Changing Grades  City News Service

University Will Pay Nearly $700,000 in Settlement With Former Provost after she was accused of plagiarism  Chronicle of Higher Ed 

Saying "no" to 1,000 things

People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I'm actually as proud of the things we haven't done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying "no" to 1,000 things.

Steve Jobs