Writing your Own Eulogy

A visualization technique that asks people to write their own eulogy. It’s a technique that Daniel Harkavy, CEO and executive coach at Building Champions and co-author of Living Forward, has been teaching executives for over 20 years.

Harkavy’s tip is to write your eulogy first as if your funeral was today and everything you’ve accomplished so far was all you ever would. “Picture your memorial service as if it were being held right now. Your casket is sitting center stage, and as you look down the center aisle you see the first three rows, usually reserved for those with whom we were closest. Who’s sitting there for you?” he asks. “Most likely your family and dearest friends. Now keep looking down the aisle, and now you’re looking at rows 10 through 20. Who’s sitting there? Probably acquaintances, clients, customers. What did you give to the people in these rows?”

Harkavy says when he walks clients through this exercise during his speaking engagements, they usually all say the same thing: “We gave them our best!” He then asks them what they gave to the people sitting in rows one through three–and their answers usually amount to “We gave them our leftovers.” In other words, their work-life balance is out of whack.

“When you go to write your eulogy, you need to be brutally honest. Don’t pull any punches. You want to really feel this,” Harkavy says. “What would those closest to you say about who you were, how you lived, and what you had to give them, and why would they say that?”

Michael Grothaus writing in Fast Company

Tuesday Tech Tools: Audio

The list below includes links to a variety of audio tools—from podcasting helps to recording phone interviews, from microphones to audio editing software.

Ableton Live
Audio editing program especially for music.

Acoustica
Audio editing program. Basic version is free and includes MP4 and AAC import and export filters.

Alitu
Helps you record, process, edit and publish your podcast.

Amadeus Pro
Multi-track recorder. Can pull audio off of videos. Includes options for cleaning up noisy audio. No mobile option but easy to use. $59.99

Anchor
An app for recording short-form audio snippets and podcasts. Similar to Alitu. Free but Anchor changed its terms of service to claim ownership of any material published on the site.

Audacity*
Audio editing software. Free and open source.

Audioboo
Think of it as YouTube for audio.

AudioNote*
Searching for a section of audiocorresponding to a note is easy to find.  The recording time is insertedat the beginning of each line oftext. $9.99.

Adobe Audition
Audio editing program.  Formerly Cool Edit Pro.  $349 but it can be purchased as part of Creative Suite.

Avid Pro Tools
An industry-standard, studio-grade audio editing tool. $699 for the base version.

BlogTalkRadio
Using phones, you can interview someone and it both streams and records downloadable MP3 of the interview.

Cogi*
Mobile app to record meetings, interviews. Records and sincs audio (from news conferences, for instance) with typing so you can find quotes easier. Allows for tags and annotations. Always recording so picks up the 15 secs before you turn on recording.  Enables recording calls, highlighting key parts of the conversation, and transcription.  Free. $5 for more features.

Deepgram
Transcrption service uses artificial intelligence to transcribe large audio files and allow users to search them using keywords. Free.

DivShare
Post your audio here link to it from your blog or embed it into your blog.

Dragon Anywhere
Voice to text app for iOS. Have to finish dictation before seeing the text. Free. 

Recup (formally DropVox)
Records audio and sends it directly to your Dropbox account. $1.99.

Ecamm
App that records Facetime audio and video for Mac. Convert your calls into MP3 files for podcasting or easily move the video to YouTube and Vimeo. Allows you to split the audio tracks after a call for easy editing. $39.95.

Evernote*
Access notes on any computer, tablet or phone. Search function lets you find a note in either text or audio format. Free for iOS and Android. For more options there is Evernote Plus $2.99 a month, while Premium is $5.80 per month.

Final Cut Pro
Video editing program from which you can rip the audio.

GarageBand
Intended for music editing. Only 5 minutes of audio can be edited.

Giant Squid Audio Lab Omnidirectional Mic*
Great quality sound but requires an adapter for it to work with a phone. $49.99.

Google Voice
Your own phone number. Can be used to record interviews but sometimes not reliable and they have to call you. Free.

Horrorli
Background horror noise generator.

Hokusai
iOS udio editing app for interviews, podcasts, or voiceovers. Can import clips from other applications and export directly to Dropbox and iTunes. Free.

iRig Handheld Mic*
A handheld microphone with a built-in headphone socket allowing users to monitor audio and control levels when paired with the iRig Recorder app. $59.99.

iRig Mic Studio*
Professional studio mic that comes with many adaptors including a lightning port plug so it will work with the iPhone 7 (which is it smaller than). Includes gain control, level indicator, and headphone output (with its own level control).  Tripod stand included. $179.

iRig Pre*
A preamp which allows you to plug your quality mic into an your iOS device. It takes an XLR input and turns it into a 3.5mm jack. A built in headphone socket allowing users to monitor audio when paired with the iRig Recorder app, which also gives audio control levels. Very simple to use. Uses 9-volt battery. $39.99. If you want better sound quality, and control, try the iRig Pro or even better theiRig Pro Duo.

iRig Pro Duo*
Royalty fAllows you to plug two XLR microphones into your iPhone through the lightning port, so that you and the person you are interviewing can be mic’ed with separate gains. A headphone port allows you to monitor the audio. Uses two AA batteries so it does not draw power from your iPhone. $199.99

Keep Vid
Post your audio here and then link to it from your blog or embed it into your blog.

Liberted Syndication
For creating podcasts. Small monthly fee.

Libsyn*
Podcast Hosting Services. Starting at $5 a month.

Logic Pro
Audio editing program, especially music.

Miro
Post your audio here and then link to it from your blog or embed it into your blog.

MixCraft
Audio editing program, especially music. $75.

Mixlr*
Live internet audio app. Share in social media, text with listeners, embed player on your website. Free.

Mp3DirectCut
Audio editing program.

MP3Gain
Audio editing program designed to normalise MP3 files so that they all have the same loudness in a more effective way than other programs.

MP3 Quailty Modifier
Audio editing program to adjust the quality of your MP3 files so you can save disk space.

Music Editor Free
Free audio editing program. You'll need a converter since it can only save WAV files.

Ocenaudio
Simple audio editor made for users who do not need all the options offered by Audacity free. 

oTranscribe
Transcribe recorded interviews.

Pippa
A podcasting platform focused on ease of use. Doesn’t include some of the extras of other sites but low learning curve. Monthly fees from $12-50,

Podomatic
Podcasting made easy. Some users have said it rather clunky.

Reaper
Audio Editing program. $225 full commercial license. $60 for discounted license.

RecordiaPro
Record your incoming and outgoing phone conversations on any phone without needing equipment.  Works for interviews.

Rode i-XLR*
A broadcast quality XLR adaptor that lets you connect it to the lightning port of the iPhone. The cable is about 10 feet long in order to reach an interview subject. You can adjust the headphone volume but there is no preamp or gain control. $149.

Rev Voice Recorder*
Quality voice recorder and editor for both iPhone and Android. Includes Dropbox and Evernote integration. Free but voice-to-text human transcriptions in 12-hours for $1 a minute.

Shotgun Mic*
Popular RodeVMGO Video Mic GO Lightweight On-Camera Microphone SuperCardiod. Lightweight directional microphone. Adaptor and extension cord needed as well for it to work with a iPhone 7.  $99.

SlideShare*
Popular resentation tool owned by LinkedIn. Use documents, PDFs and video to create webinars, audio presentations, for online lectures etc. Solid analytics for free. Watch a slide show about SlideShare here.

Smart Voice Recorder
Android recording app. Good for memos and group meetings. Decent audio quality. Allows users to skip silences, test the mic, determine where recordings are saved, etc. Free.

SoundCite
A project of Northwestern University's Knight Lab, it lets users embed audio into posts. So, for instance if you write "..thick, one-note guitar riffs shuffle and stomp with a heavy beat" you can make it so that when someone clicks on "thick, one-note guitar riffs" they will hear a short example. Watch a video explanation here.

SoundCloud*
Post your audio here and then link to it from your blog or embed it into your blog. Limited space free, more for a fee.

SoundForge
Free. Audio editing program. Especially for music.

Steller*
Create photo and video stories on an iPhone with an emphasis on mobile design. Create collections and share on social networks. Free. Sample.

Shure Mic for iOS*
Shure MV88 Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone for iOS. Stereo and mono options. Small and portable, it plugs directly into the iPhone’s Lightning Port. A 90-degree hinge allows you to adjust it to different angles to capture the best sound. Comes with an app that controls the gain, EQ, and stereo width. $129.

TapeACall*
Record cell phone calls and export the audio for editing, to email or upload to Google Drive or Dropbox. IoS and Android. Dial the TapeACall line, then dial the person you want to talk to, and merge the two calls into a conference. The recording is saved on the app. $24.99 a year. Watch a video here.

TalkShoe
For call-in podcasts. Samples.

Temi*
Speech to text transcription in 5 minutes Advanced speech recognition software. 10 cents a minute.

Transom*
All things audio. A performance space, editorial session, an audition stage, a library, and a hangout. How to guides for podcast beginners.

TwistedWave
Audio editing program (Mac only). $80.

VideoMic ME*
Compact and lightweight, directional microphone for smartphones. Adaptor and extension cord needed.

VoiceBase*
Transcribes audio to text.

VoiceRecord Pro
Professional voice recorder. Record audio from events, voice memos and on-site sounds at unlimited length, add markers, share or upload. iOS. Free.

WavePad 
Free audio editing program.

WaveShop
Free audio editing program.  Bit-perfect, minimizing the loss of quality by altering files only when absolutely necessary.

Wavosaur
Free Audio editing program.

Zamzar
Video and audio file converter.

Zoom iQ7 Mic*
This compact condenser mic is portable. Can be set to record a source from the front with or without the surrounding ambiance from the sides. $99.

More tech tools here.

Articles of Interest - Dec 10

***JOURNALISM 

The top 25 news photos of 2018  The Atlantic  

Get rid of the content no one reads: Offer surprises and “candy” and other tricks for retaining subscribers  Harvard’s Nieman Lab 

'Killed for speaking the truth': nine journalists murdered in 2018  The Guardian  

From a Myanmar jail, a children’s book about the power of journalism  Columbia Journalism Review  Columbia Journalism Review 

A Capital Gazette photographer had a powerful rebuttal to “enemies of the people”  Washington Post 

Podcasts Are Getting Newsier. Here Are 8 New Ones Worth a Listen  New York Times  

Interviewing white-collar criminals: 6 tips from Harvard Business School’s Eugene Soltes Journalism Resources

A Future With Less News:  The possibilities and limits of journalism in the digital era  New Republic 

***THE BUSINESS OF JOURNALISM

Thomson Reuters will cut 3,200 jobs by 2020  CNN

It's Almost Impossible to Be a Mom in Television News For female television reporters, the decision to have kids can be a career-ending one  The Atlantic 

How two traditional competitors are working together to grow audience  Better News

How many of us pay for online news?  Reuters 

At NPR, an army of temps resents a workplace full of anxiety and insecurity  Washington Post

***TEACHING JOURNALISM 

China study abroad trip proceeds as planned despite journalist arrests  Daily Nebraskan 

My advice for aspiring explainer journalists  Vox

***FAKE NEWS

How Does Misinformation Spread Online?  Psychology Today

The War on Truth Spreads Democratically elected leaders borrow from the anti-press playbook of dictators and tyrants (opinion)  New York Times 

***TECHNOLOGY

Your smartphone's AI algorithms could tell if you are depressed MIT Technology Review  

New Scam Apps Take Advantage of iPhone Touch ID  Wired 

***BIG DATA & AI  

Plunging into AI? Not a good idea  Zdnet 

Google's artificial intelligence program, DeepMind, wins competition to predict how complex proteins fold themselves into 3D shapes  The Guardian  

The latest AI-enhanced gadget you're using is probably not actually 'intelligent'  Poynter

 ***SOCIAL MEDIA  

LinkedIn Learning Opens Its Platform (Slightly)  Ed Surge

The Psychological Toll of Becoming an Instagram Influencer  Medium

Social media outpaces print newspapers in the U.S. as a news source  Pew Research Center

***FACEBOOK 

Here’s How Facebook’s Local News Algorithm Change Led To The Worst Riots Paris Has Seen In 50 Years  BuzzFeed News

Facebook Emails Show Its Real Mission: Making Money and Crushing Competition New York Times

Facebook must decide: Is it for the mob or for democracy? (opinion) Monday Note

***PRODUCING MEDIA 

The Best Podcasts of 2018  New Yorker  

The 11 best documentaries of 2018  Vox

***INTERNET

Google's Autocomplete Suggestions For Questions About Every State, Mapped  Digg

Poll: Smartphones are winning the internet Axios

***PERSONAL GROWTH  

Study: after 75 years the most fulfilling lives had one thing in common  Becoming (my blog)

How an 18th-century priest gave us the tools to make better decisions: The world is a complicated place and Bayes’ theorem can help us navigate it  Vox 

A Harvard study tracked two groups of men over 75 years and those with the most fulfilling lives had one thing in common  Fast Company

***WRITING & READING

The best-selling fiction novels of the last 100 years LitHub

Writing has ‘got to be weird before it gets good,’ says Casey Gerald  PBS 

Is Listening to a Book the Same Thing as Reading It?  New York Times 

7 Essential Tools to Improve Your Business Writing Skills  The Frisky 

***GRAMMAR

Scholars Talk Writing: Hyphens, Oxford Commas, and Pronoun Preferences (sub. req’d)  The Chronicle of Higher Education  

One in ten British adults don’t know when to use ‘their’, ‘there’ and ‘they’re’  The Sun

Twitter responds to the Smocking Gun incident  TIME

***LANGUAGE

Who decides what words mean Bound by rules, yet constantly changing, language might be the ultimate self-regulating system, with nobody in charge  Aeaon 

How We Ask Questions Matters  The Chronicle of Higher Education

George H.W. Bush, Language Guy  The Chronicle of Higher Education

***LITERATURE 

Should Studying Literature Be Fun?  Chronicle of Higher Education 

The Bookshelf shares a video homage to literature  Quill and Quire

Why the Hell Are We Still Reading Ernest Hemingway?  The Daily Beast 

***GENDER   

The Woman Who Outruns the Men, 200 Miles at a Time  New York Times

This journalist created a system to make sure more female experts got on air  Poynter

***RACE & ETHNICITY ISSUES

Campuses are seeing a Surge of Anti-Semitic Incidents  Inside Higher Ed

Students at Columbia University interrupted Comedian deeming his jokes too offensive  Inside Higher Ed 

Veterans Affairs’ diversity chief was told not to condemn white nationalists  Washington Post 

Nursing while black  The Tennessean 

***CRIME 

Confidential informants are supposed to keep their work confidential. These two didn't  USA Today 

This map shows where in the US cyber crime costs people the most CNBC

Florida schools cover up crimes: Rapes, guns and more Sun Sentinel

***PRIVACY & SECURITY

Sorry, your data can still be identified even if it’s anonymized  Fast Company 

***RELIGION

Fundamental Baptist church pastors cover up sex abuse, rape  Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Wiccans Outnumber Presbyterians in the US  Christian Post 

25 Questions about Hanukkah, Answered!  Mental Floss 

6 things a Texas pastor learned from traveling with a group of migrants  CNN

Book charting decline of white Christian America wins Grawemeyer Award in Religion  The Presbyterian Outlook

Under pressure, Museum of the Bible moves charismatic Christian conference off-site  Religion News Service 

Christian Activist who burned LBGTQ books from library charged with misdemeanor Sioux City Journal

Nuns improperly took as much as $500,000 from Torrance Catholic school  Press Telegram

ATF: There have been 5 attacks on Jehovah's Witnesses in Washington state this year  CNN

***RELIGION AND POLITICS

Southern Baptist pastor turned aspiring congressman embroiled in Election Fraud Controversy: Mark Harris owes $53K to man at center of allegations  CNN

***GOOD NEWS

9-year-old gets Colorado town to end ban on snowball fights  ABC 13 

Homeless man turns in $17,000 cash he found outside local food bank The News Tribune

Luxembourg to become first country to make all public transport free  The Guardian

UPS driver takes home shelter dog who hopped into his truck  The DoDo

California nurse adopts baby left at his hospital  The Week magazine

Nurse overhears conversation: Decides to donate a kidney to a woman she'd never met Chicago Tribune  

FIU student defies odds, walks across stage for his diploma Local 10  

***ART & DESIGN

Why we all take the same travel photos  Wired 

Walmart Acquires Art & Décor Retailer Art.com  Tech Crunch 

The Best Art of 2018  New York Times

***MUSIC 

The Best Music Of 2018 (all female)  NPR 

Spotify’s Most Streamed Artists are all Male  Mashable 

The 12 Days of Christmas: the story behind the holiday’s most annoying carol  Vox

How J.R.R. Tolkien Influenced Classic Rock & Metal (video)  

The Strange History of Smooth Jazz: The Music We All Know and Love … to Hate (video)  

***FILM 

The American Film Institute releases annual list of its Top 10 movies  Entertainment Weekly

NPR's Favorite Movies Of 2018  NPR

***THE BUSINESS OF MEDIA   

Media pivots away from advertising  Axios

***ARTICLES ABOUT JOBS

482 hiring managers looked at nearly 20,000 résumés and found the classic advice to limit your résumé to one page might be wrong after all  Business Insider 

Telemundo Stations Launch ‘University’ to Staff Newsrooms Broadcasting & Cable

How to advocate for yourself in the newsroom  The Ground Truth Project 

***BUSINESS & FINANCE

Ranking the most charitable states in the country  Thrillist 

Start-Ups Aren't Cool Anymore: It’s harder for Millennials to thrive as entrepreneurs now  The Atlantic

How To Recognize The Signs Of A Toxic Work Environment (infographic) Daily Infographic

 ***ENVIRONMENT

Researchers find plastic particles in every sea turtle tested for study  Axios

Carbon emissions rise again in 2018, new report finds  Axios

***HEALTH

In Minneapolis-St. Paul, the nation’s healthiest urban region, almost everyone lives within a 10-minute walk of a good public park. Shouldn’t we all?  New York Times   

Giving Patients a Voice in Their Mental Health Care Before They’re Too Ill to Have a Say  New York Times   

A shot-in-the-dark email leads to a century-old family treasure — and hope of cracking a deadly flu’s secret  Stat News

41 Percent of Americans Do Not Intend to Get a Flu Shot this Season  National Opinion Research Center 

Cushioned shoes aren't good for your feet  BigThink 

***HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY

1st baby born using uterus transplanted from deceased donor  KUTV 

***FOOD

Dollar General tries to make healthy food more accessible CNN

***PARENTS 

Stay-at-Home Mom says Judge left her feeling bullied: “I don’t care about your children”  Sacramento Bee

Guatemalan father denied temporary visa to attend 13-year-old daughter’s funeral after she was murdered in the US  Newsweek 

How Incarcerated Parents Are Losing Their Children Forever  The Marshall Project

Couple endures emotional crime in bizarre botched adoption  Orange County Register

***CHILDREN

First data from massive NIH study shows effects of screen time on kids  Axios

Teaching kids to code: I’m a developer and I think it doesn’t actually teach important skills  Slate 

***ANIMALS  

Dog waited weeks for owners at home burned in Camp fire  Press Democrat  

Twitch and Izzy with unusual condition wobble their way into your heart  Freep 

Police officer rescues chicken from shed fire  New York Daily News

Origins Of The Top Dog Names Of 2018: Pop Culture, Brunch, And Baby Names  NPR

***PSYCHOLOGY  

Psychology’s Replication Crisis Has Made The Field Better  FiveThirtyEight 

***NEUROSCIENCE   

Neuroscientist: we are always hallucinating  The Atlantic 

How does chemo brain work? One cancer drug might interfere with brain signaling  Science Magazine

***PHILOSOPHY

A Russian city is embroiled in protests over Immanuel Kant  Quartz 

***HISTORY  

Plague linked to the mysterious decline of Europe’s first farmers  Nature 

The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America’s Soul From the Revolution to the Civil War  The Week magazine 

***ETHICS

Why Are Scientists So Upset About the First Crispr Babies?  New York Times  

How to know if you’re an ethical leader  Fast Company 

***RESEARCH 

A look at how four institutions responded to scientific misconduct  Science and Public Policy

Tips from seven academics on how to do a good peer review (sub req’d)  Times Higher Education  

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Phil now has an entry on reproducibility  Stanford  Encyclopedia of Philosophy 

***HIGHER ED

In Unusual Letter, Democratic Senators Ask ‘U.S. News’ to Change Emphasis of College Rankings  Chronicle of Higher Education 

Brightwood College announces sudden closure amid accreditation, financial turmoil  10 News 

Moody’s Gives Higher Ed a Negative Outlook, Again  Chronicle of Higher Education 

Actually, Academe Never Was All That Great (opinion)  Chronicle of Higher Education 

Small private colleges are shrinking and struggling  The Texas Monitor

50 Colleges Hit With ADA Lawsuits Inside Higher Ed

***CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS 

Disgraced Ole Miss coach expected to be next Liberty U head coach College Football Talk

Northwestern College vice president chosen to lead Christian Canadian university  Northwestern College 

Ex-Wheaton College student pleads guilty to theft for stealing classmates' technology Daily Herald

Four fires under investigation at Wheaton College Boston Globe

Northwest Christian University athlete arrested on suspicion of rape  Register-Guard

Azusa Pacific Trustees Resign, Citing Objections  Inside Higher Ed 

***LIBERAL ARTS

One Way to Set Up Liberal-Arts Majors for Success: Focus on Skills The Chronicle of Higher Education

What a Liberal Arts College Is and What You Should Know US News

Humanities and STEM as Overlapping Circles Inside Higher Ed

Lies About the Humanities — and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them (sub. req’d)  Chronicle of Higher Education

***TEACHING

How College Faculty Can Beat the Cheat  Ed Surge

How One University Uses ‘Sneaky Learning’ to Help Students Develop Good Study Habits Chronicle of Higher Education  

A Teacher Was Fired For Refusing To Use A Transgender Student’s Preferred Pronoun  BuzzFeed News 

Another Study Debunks the idea of Learning Styles  eLearning Inisde 

***STUDENT MEDIA  

The Student Press Law Center issues a Censorship Alert over an Arkansas Student Newspaper  Student Press Law Center

Media adviser in Alabama being ousted after students post story upsetting provost  Student Press Law Center

***STUDENT LIFE

Millennials experience work-disrupting anxiety at twice the US average rate  Quartz  

Millennials Didn’t Kill the Economy. The Economy Killed Millennials  The Atlantic 

***ACADEMIC LIFE  

Writing and Teaching With a Terminal Illness  Chronicle of Higher Education 

The Expensive Superficiality of M.F.A Programs: They exist to train aspiring artists in how to sound sophisticated — not how to create art  Chronicle of Higher Education

American higher education has always had some profoundly serious flaws, so let’s stop pining for an idealized past and work on a better future  Chronicle of Higher Education

Are numbers of doctorates awarded finally starting to reflect the poor academic job market?   Inside Higher Ed

Study: after 75 years the most fulfilling lives had one thing in common

For over 75 years, Harvard’s Grant and Glueck study has tracked the physical and emotional well-being of two populations: 456 poor men growing up in Boston from 1939 to 2014 (the Grant Study), and 268 male graduates from Harvard’s classes of 1939-1944 (the Glueck study).

Due to the length of the research period, this has required multiple generations of researchers. Since before WWII, they’ve diligently analyzed blood samples, conducted brain scans (once they became available), and pored over self-reported surveys, as well as actual interactions with these men, to compile the findings.

The conclusion? According to Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, one thing surpasses all the rest in terms of importance: “The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period. ”Not how much is in your 401(k). Not how many conferences you spoke at–or keynoted. Not how many blog posts you wrote or how many followers you had or how many tech companies you worked for or how much power you wielded there or how much you vested at each.

No, the biggest predictor of your happiness and fulfillment overall in life is, basically, love.

“It’s not just the number of friends you have, and it’s not whether or not you’re in a committed relationship,” says Waldinger. “It’s the quality of your close relationships that matters.”

Melanie Curtin writing in Fast Company 

In search of the digital facelift

Unsurprisingly, a large body of research shows that viewing idealised or retouched images adds to the dissatisfaction that many people already feel towards their body. Research by Kristen Harrison, a media psychologist at the University of Michigan, shows that even disclosing that celebrity and advertising images are retouched makes many of us feel worse about ourselves. Becoming more aware of what others edit may heighten our awareness of our own supposed flaws. That may encourage us to spend longer using digital tools to repair them. And once you start it’s hard to stop. I felt better about posting my first FaceTuned photo than I would have if I hadn’t edited it. And since we’re more inclined to post images of ourselves that we like, says Harrison, “it’s self-sustaining because you want to do it again and again and again.” Beauty is attainable for all. Just don’t expect it to be more than a pixel deep. 

Amy Odell writing in 1843 magazine 

Articles of Interest - Dec. 3

 ***JOURNALISM

Americans Still Prefer Watching to Reading the News – and Mostly Still Through Television  Pew Research 

The red couch experiments: Early lessons in pop-up fact-checking  Nieman Journalism Lab 

In Yemen, Lavish Meals for Few, Starvation for Many and a Dilemma for Reporters  New York Times  

Journalism and journalism students are experiencing a ‘Trump Bump’ (opinion)  Tampa Bay Times 

Canada’s Supreme Court Ruling likely to have a Chilling Effect on Journalism  Vice 

Pro tips from scholars for journalists (and vice versa)  Journalists Resources 

In defense of documentaries as journalism  Columbia Journalism Review  

Kentucky newspaper wins public records lawsuit, but what will actually be released is uncertain  Muck Rock 

More than two dozen journalists worldwide have been killed by members of organized crime since the start of 2017  New York Times 

***THE BUSINESS OF JOURNALISM

How recasting the “online producer” job helped the Miami Herald focus on audience and mission  Better News  

Freelancer Rate Database  Contently 

Where the death of local news hits hardest  Axios

Why ‘news for millennials’ media plays never panned out  Digiday 

***FAKE NEWS

Misinformation bots, smarter than we thought  Axios 

The godfather of fake news  BBC News

An Anti-Vaxxer’s New Crusade  Propublica

Facebook Should Enlist Its Users to Clean Up Fake News (opinion)  Bloomberg

***SOCIAL MEDIA  

Instagram 'Close Friends': What It Is and How to Use It  Wired

Twitter has banned misgendering or "deadnaming" transgender people  the Verge 

“What Are Those?” Meme Creator Young Busco Has Died, According To Reports  BuzzFeed News 

The Infinite Lifespan of Memes  Wired

Tumblr Moves To Ban All 'Adult Content' — Here's Why That Matters  Digg 

Critics Say YouTube Hasn't Done Enough To Crack Down On Extremist Content  NPR

Inside TikTok, the premier app for firefighters who enjoy lip-syncing to ‘Baby Shark’  Washington Post

***PRODUCING MEDIA

A guide to recording spatial audio for 360-degree video  NPR 

***THE INTERNET 

The Friendship That Made Google Huge Coding together at the same computer, Jeff Dean and Sanjay Ghemawat changed the course of the company—and the Internet  The New Yorker 

New report suggests Latin America will lag in internet growth  Axios

***TECHNOLOGY

Rogue Scientist Says Another Crispr Pregnancy Is Underway  Wired

Google to shut down Hangouts in 2020  Axios

The CRISPR Baby Scandal Gets Worse by the Day The alleged creation of the world's first gene-edited infants was full of technical errors and ethical blunders  The Atlantic 

***BIG DATA & AI  

Amazon Says the same machine learning courses that it uses to teach its own engineers will be offered for free  Tech Crunch 

A Bayesian linear regression in R for time series forecasting  Towards Data Science

The Surprising Power of Small Data: More information isn’t necessarily better in health care or business  Stanford

***THE BUSINESS OF MEDIA   

Nexstar To Buy Tribune Media For $4.1 Billion, Creates Giant TV Station Group  Media Post

Sunset magazine, a California icon, struggles amid declining ad sales and management missteps LA Times

***PERSONAL GROWTH 

The rise of the professional “influencer”  Becoming (my blog)

How vividly imagining your own death can help your next career move  Fast Company

***WRITING & READING

Ben Yagoda Crunches the Contractions  Chronicle of Higher Ed

***LANGUAGE 

‘That Walk Was a Bear!’ Is ‘Bear’ Slang in That Sentence?  Chronicle of Higher Education  

The World’s Most Efficient Languages  The Atlantic  

***LITERATURE 

The 10 Best Books of 2018 The editors of The Times Book Review choose the best fiction and nonfiction titles this year  New York Times  

NPR’s Guide to 2018 Great Books  NPR 

***GENDER   

Global report on gender violence says women most likely to be killed by intimate partners or family members  Axios 

Smart dress shows how often women are groped at clubs  Quartzy

Inside the All-Female Trek to the North Pole  Wired 

America’s sexist obsession with what women politicians wear, explained  Vox

***RACE & ETHNICITY ISSUES

Teaching while black: white professor calls security on black adjunct  The Commonwealth Times

Swastikas spray-painted on walls of Jewish professor at Columbia  Washington Post  

Analysis on the diversity of magazine covers from 2012-2018  Ceros

***LEGAL ISSUES  

Everything You Wanted to Know About Emojis and the Law  Technology & Marketing Law Blog

 ***CRIME

The police departments who destroy rape kits before testing them  CNN 

NJ.com's ground-breaking look at police force  Poynter 

***RELIGION

Killing Of American Missionary Ignites Debate Over How To Evangelize  NPR 

Do missionaries help or harm?  BBC 

This Pastor Is Melting Purity Rings Into A Golden Vagina Sculpture  Huffington Post

Kenny Marks, CCM star of the '80s and '90s Dies  Cross Rythms 

Brawl forces Church to Briefly shutdown Christmas Display  KJRH  

***RELIGION AND POLITICS

Members of both parties find meaning in family but differ when it comes to faith  Pew Research

***GOOD NEWS 

Twitter users help reunite friends who met on vacation 12 years ago  Teen Vogue 

97-year-old New Jersey woman has served on every Election Day since 1939  NBC News  

Vietnam War veteran meets stranger whose Christmas card lifted his spirits  CBS News

San Diego man donates $1 million to California school devastated by fire  NBC Los Angeles

A Texas cotton farmer is battling cancer and couldn't harvest his crop. So his neighbors did it for him  CNN

Hundreds pack funeral for Vietnam veteran they did not know after viral obituary post  MSNBC

He opened his motel to families hit by flooding: Now he's a full-service good Samaritan  CBS  

Anonymous 'Santa Claus' Surprises Customers by Paying Off All Layaway Items at Vermont Walmart  People 

Sinatra the blue-eyed Brooklyn husky's mysterious journey and miraculous reunion  ABC News

***REALLY?!

Couple Forced to Prove that New Mexico is a state while applying for a marriage license  Las Cruces Sun News

Grandfather banned from US holiday after accidentally ticking 'terrorist' box on visa form  The Independent

Accused maple syrup bandits fly through Canadian Town during police chase  Calgary Sun 

A homeless man found rare artwork from Disney's 'Bambi' in a trash bin. When it sold for $3,700, the seller tracked him down to split the proceeds  CNN

Women Sue After Breaking Into Theme Park And Hurting Themselves  WBTW 

The 40 Most Insane Things That Happened In Florida In 2018  BuzzFeed News 

Grandma mistakenly booked into all-male jail, staff thought she was transgender  WWLP 

American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled   Fox-17

***ART & DESIGN

I spent 15 years sanding and grinding mussel shells to create my sculptures. Then I was diagnosed with heavy-metal poisoning  Toronto Life 

Google is Building Digital Art Gallaries you can Step Into  Tech Crunch

***IMAGES

National Geographic's 100 best images of the year  National Geographic 

Reuters' best pictures from 2018  Reuters 

***MUSIC 

Neuroscience says listening to this song reduces anxiety by up to 65%  Fast Company

Can you teach AI to dance?  YR.media 

***FILM

Watch 99 Movies Free Online Courtesy of YouTube & MGM: Rocky, The Terminator, Four Weddings and a Funeral & More  Open Culture 

This is the most influential film of all time  MarketWatch 

***STUDENT MEDIA   

A High School Newspaper Was Suspended For Publishing An Investigation Into Football Players’ Transfers  BuzzFeed News 

Liberty University students create independent news outlet  News Advance  

***STUDENT LIFE 

More millennials now live in suburbs than in cities  CNBC 

Graduate School Is Terrible for People's Mental Health  The Atlantic  

Millennials are killing countless industries — but the Fed says it's mostly just because they're poor  San Francisco Gate 

Teens Say Social Media Isn’t As Bad For Them As You Might Think  BuzzFeed News

Pot is edging out alcohol and cigarettes as the teenage drug of choice  Pacific Standard   

Is a smartphone a necessity for college students today?  Inside Higher Ed  

***ACADEMIC LIFE  

Student made social media threat to kill FAU professor, cops say  Sun-Sentinel 

Judge: UM deprived professor of due process in disciplinary case  Michigan Live 

***SOCIAL ISSUES 

Why US life expectancy is falling, in three charts  Quartz  

40 years ago, this journalist survived the Jonestown massacre: He warns it could happen again Washington Post

What the dip in US life expectancy is really about—inequality: While poor Americans are dying earlier, the rich are enjoying unprecedented longevity  Vox  

My mom’s suicide changed everything: Here’s how I found hope again  USA Today  

The American abortion rate is at an all-time low  Vox

More than one-in-ten U.S. parents are also caring for an adult  Pew Research

***BORDER ISSUES   

What we know about illegal immigration from Mexico  Pew Research 

Families Are Still Being Separated at the Border, Months After “Zero Tolerance” Was Reversed  Propublica 

BuzzFeed gave six kids traveling in the migrant caravan cameras to document what life looks like for them  BuzzFeed News

***BUSINESS & FINANCE

Pension Plans For Millions Of Americans Are On The Brink Of Collapse  NPR

Competition Is Dying, and Taking Capitalism With It (opinion)  Bloomberg 

Americans Value Equality at Work More Than Equality at Home  New York Times 

***ENVIRONMENT

The new  arctic frontier: As the ice melts, U.S. prepares for possible threats from Russia and China  Washington Post 

Climate change strike: thousands of school students protest across Australia  The Guardian 

The World's Largest Ocean Cleanup Has Officially Begun  Forbes 

Only vehicles producing zero emissions will be allowed to drive freely in downtown Madrid  The Guardian

In California’s Fertile Valley, Industry and Agriculture Hang Heavy in the Air  Undark 

***HEALTH

Interactive map shows how many years breathing dirty air takes off your life  Air Quality Life Index  

The science is clear: dirty farm water is making us sick  Wired

What’s in 5-hour energy shots? 17 ingredients: 16 of them are basically useless  Mel Magazine

FDA’s ‘flawed’ device pathway persists with industry backing  Associated Press  

Investigation: Lives Lost Amid ER Violations  Web-MD 

Intermittent fasting is no better than conventional dieting for weight loss, new study finds  The Conversation

***HEALTH & SLEEP 

Why We Sleep, and Why We Often Can’t  New Yorker

Why screen time can disrupt sleep  Salk 

Why Hospitals Should Let You Sleep  New York Times 

***HEALTH & KIDS 

Docs Say Kids With Concussions Don't Have To Stay In The Dark For Days  NPR

Number Of U.S. Kids Who Don't Have Health Insurance Is On The Rise  NPR

***TRAVEL

Want to Escape Modern Life? Try a Weekend in a Prison Cell  The Atlantic

Mic’s best places to travel interactive  Mic 

The Best Things to Do in 25 of America’s Most Fun Cities  Thrillist   

***FOOD & DRINK 

The Hidden Struggle to Save the Coffee Industry From Disaster  Medium 

The Best Craft Brewery in Every State  Thrillist    

Sainsbury's to stock edible insects on shelves in a UK first  The Guardian 

52 of the World’s Most Out-There Myths About Food  Atlas Obscura 

***CHILDREN 

These Are the Most Popular Baby Names of 2018  Fatherly 

ADHD Diagnosis Is More Common For Youngest Students In Class  NPR 

The "homework gap": 12 million schoolchildren lack internet  Axios

New Harvard Study Shows the Dangers of Early School Enrollment  Foundation for Economic Education  Fee.org 

The best new perks for working parents  Quartz 

***CHILDREN & SCREEN TIME

New inequality trend: how parents approach screen time  Axios 

Should You Make Your Kids Wait Until High School for a Cell Phone?  Life Hacker  

***ANIMALS 

The Insect Apocalypse Is Here  New York Times

***SCIENCE

New Quantum Paradox Clarifies Where Our Views of Reality Go Wrong  Quanta Magazine

Archaeologists Are Looking for Dead Sea Scrolls Inside 2 Newfound Qumran Caves  Live Science  

***PSYCHOLOGY 

Lack of sleep intensifies anger, impairs adaptation to frustrating circumstances  Iowa State University  

Using imagination to unlearn fear  The Naked Scientist 

***NEUROSCIENCE   

This Is Your Brain on Hate Researchers are studying how white supremacism may rewire people  Vice

The Pathology of Prejudice What neuroscience tells us about the persistence of hatred  New Republic 

Experimental Brain Stimulation Relieved Depression Symptoms In Study  NPR 

***PHILOSOPHY

An exhaustive, interactive mapping of the history of philosophy  Deniz C Önduygu blog 

6 essential books on existentialist philosophy  Big Think 

***ETHICS

My Mother Taught Me to Kill  Narratively 

Harvard Medical School Dean Weighs In On Ethics Of Gene Editing  NPR

The Ethical Pitfalls of the Viral “Best Burger in America” Essay  The New Yorker

***RESEARCH  

Controversial visiting researcher — heavily criticized as having racist work — sparks pushback Daily Northwestern

New COPE guidelines on publication process manipulation: why they matter  Research Integrity and Peer Review   

Canadian scholar says he's been 'persecuted' for his research on colleagues who published in predatory journals  Inside Higher Ed 

The double standard of retractions  The Varsity 

A look at retractions from Science from 1983 until 2017  Springer

Where are the ethics in academic publishing?  Times Higher Education 

A suite of automated tools is now available to assist with academic peer review—but humans are still in the driver's seat  Nature 

***HIGHER ED

What the Rise of the Mega-University Might Mean for the Rest of Us  Chronicle of Higher Ed

This "coding bootcamp" is now accredited as a bachelor's program  Axios

Why Your HR Officer Is Leaving  Chronicle of Higher Ed

UW-Stevens Point Faculty Want Regents To Oust Administrators  Wisconsin Public Radio

Why One University Is Handing Out Hockey Pucks to Prepare for an Active Shooter  Chronicle of Higher Ed  

***HUMANITIES

Why Are Students Ditching the History Major?  Chronicle of Higher Ed

In a High-Tech World, Humanities and Other Liberal Arts Are More Essential Than Ever  The Daily Beast

***TEACHING 

Students Evaluating Teachers Doesn’t Just Hurt Teachers. It Hurts Students  Chronicle of Higher Ed  

What Is the Purpose of Final Exams, Anyway?  Chronicle of Higher Ed

Seniors Think What They’ve Learned Will Help Them Do Their Jobs. Do Employers Agree?   Chronicle of Higher Ed 

“Transformative” teaching is exhausting. Here are some suggestions on how to lighten the load Chronicle of Higher Ed 

The Influencers

The internet now means influence can come from anyone, anywhere; it can be visible or invisible, paid for by any power, approaching you any of myriad ways. Influence used to be understood as a top-down phenomenon, with governments, advertisers, donors or other powerful figures holding sway over the masses. These days we understand that the most powerful influences aren’t the distant ones but the most immediate and social — so the powerful tend to exert their influence by pretending to be ordinary people.

Marketers, for instance, work harder and harder to obscure the distinction between ads and real life. The last decade featured the rise of the professional “influencer” — someone paid to use their personal magnetism to promote specific agendas online. Instead of the top-down influence of a commercial or a billboard, these ads are embedded, shared by someone who seems, on some aspirational level, like a peer. The companies paying teenagers to hawk diet tea on Instagram are using the same tactics the Chinese government did when it recruited commenters to post hundreds of millions of pro-Communist Party messages online.

We like to think of our characters as fixed: We have our beliefs and our morals, religions and parties, states and countries, friends and enemies. We are inevitably ourselves — inescapably ourselves. We should be able to resist this kind of manipulation. But a steady stream of social-science studies suggests otherwise, demonstrating again and again how easily social pressures can affect the things we say, believe, do, think, eat. Our anxiety over influence goes back to the same fear Thomas Aquinas had, the same doubt families of alcoholics or cult members have. In the face of powerful influences, how can you locate and hold onto that original, irrefutable spark of self, your free will, your character, even your soul? That’s the fear that the idea of influence lays bare: that you can’t. Or that it might never have existed in the first place.

Annalisa Quinn writing in the New York Times

Self-Control can be Contagious

Not only do you tend to hang out with people like yourself, your friends will influence you toward or away from self-control. Even the people you are forced by circumstances to hang out with (like co-workers) have an influence on your behavior. 

That's the finding of researchers who asked participants to watch people either select carrot sticks or cookies to eat before taking tests related to self-control (not involving cookies and carrots). Participants who watched someone eat cookies before the tests did not do as well as those who had watched someone decide to eat carrots. 

In another test, participants were told to think of a friend with good self-control. This group performed better on a handgrip test (used to measure self-control) than did the participants assigned to think about a friend with weak self-control. Other tests showed similar results.  

The conclusion: If you surround yourself with people who make wise choices, you are more likely to do the same. You can boost your self-control simply by networking with other people who reinforce positive behavior (or vise versa). And when you show a lack of self-control, you are probably influencing someone else to do the same. 

Details of the study were published by the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 

(more info)

Stephen Goforth

The First CRISPR baby

Eventually, a CRISPR baby will be born.* The (new gene-editing) technology is too easy. There is no world government to stop its use; many argue no one should do so anyway. At the point that baby emerges, perhaps modified to evade a particular disease or perhaps even to look a particular way, theoretical debates will become real. 

 Jennifer Doudna knows the influence she and her fellow scientists have is diminishing every day. “I would hope this would be used to create cures, to help people,” she says. Even if the technology is not quite there yet, CRISPR could eventually do plenty else besides. Every week a new paper is published finding more genes that influence looks, intelligence, stamina, even sexuality. 

“The dystopic view would be IVF clinics that offer parents a menu of options for kids,” she says. “Nobody has kids by sex anymore. You go to a clinic, pick from a menu, say, ‘I want my kid to be this tall, have this colour of eye, this level of IQ,’ and all those sorts of things. I think that would be terrible.” 

Tom Whipple writing in 1843 magazine 

*Chinese scientists are creating CRISPR babies  MIT Technology Review 

 

Create your own Polls and Quizzes

Looking for a way to survey a class, figure out a group meeting time, or create a poll for your website? Here are some free options along with pricing if you want more options.

Checkbox Survey
Flexible question design but weak interface and results reports. Has multiple levels of access. Lots of mixing and matching of radio buttons and checkbox responses. Weak reporting options-just static displays. Expensive: no free version and it’s $37 a month for just the basic plan, up to $287 a month.

CrowdSignal (formally PollDaddy)
Create surveys, polls, and quizzes. Works well with WordPress sites. Free version offers unlimited polls. The $29 a month account for more options such as customization and export options.

Doodle
Create polls. Great for finding a meeting time among people. Cuts down on email exchanges. Can’t be embedded, but can be linked. It’s a PCMag Editors' Choice productivity app. Everything you need for polling is free. The $39 a year Private account takes away ads and gives you the ability to see who hasn't answered a poll yet and encryption options. Business account for $69 a year.

eSurveyPro
Interface could be better. Multiple reports. More options than SurveyPlanet and some design advantages over Toluna QuickSurveys. Features not as strong as Checkbox Survey and SoGoSurvey. Free options includes unlimited surveys, questions, and respondents. Basic plan includes data exporting, email support. $40 per month for the Premium plan.

KeySurvey
Sometimes confusing interface. Can import questions from Word docs. Works best with straightforward a survey structure. Includes a collaborative task manager, administrative controls, and various reporting options. No direct social media integration. Customized pricing, so who knows how much it cost.

Mentimeter*
Allows you to pose a question to your audience and get instant feedback by phones. Fewer  features than Socrative or Poll Everywhere, but it is free and easy to use.

Poll Everywhere*
Instant audience feedback through texting. Embed in PowerPoint, Keynote, or Google Slides for live surveys. Can replace clickers in classrooms. Free version for up to 25 responses per poll. $19 a month for more options.

Qualtrics
Expensive but winner of PC mag’s Editors' Choice award for creating surveys. Interface is powerful and thoughtful organization but has a learning curve. Create shared reports. Really meant for professionals.

Quizlet*
Create study tools like flash cards and quizzes or make use of those created by others. Useful for rote learning. Easy to use but limited functionality. Popular among language learners. Although it will link to Google Classroom, it will not connect with academic LMS (learning management systems like Blackboard). App available. Free version for most features. $1.99 to make it ad free. $19.99 for more options.

Poll Junkie
Unlimited polls and responses with more features than social media polls. Share the link or embed the code. Only free with no sign up.

SoGoSurvey
Create online surveys. Nice interface with lots of starter templates. An option to merge surveys. Limited flexibility in question ordering. Tracks email invitations and responses. Strong reporting functions including a helpful calendar. Stacks up decently against SurveyGizmo and SurveyMonkey. Pro accounts from $12 to $40 a month.

SurveyGizzmo
Supports the creation of forms, including payment forms, quizzes, and surveys. Users can include text, or other media. Can import questions from Word docs. Includes a bulk-edit mode. A free option with unlimited survey questions but otherwise limited. $25 per month for the Explorer plan.

SurveyMonkey*
Popular option for easily creating simple surveys. Designed to be accessable. Free option allows for up to 10 questions and an unlimited number of surveys that can be sent to up to 100 respondents. Has a mobile app to check survey progress. $32 per month for the Advantage plan. $99 a month for the Premier tier.

SurveyPlanet
Easy step up from Google forms to create surveys with a very clean interface but very basic. Limited question choices and limited options for surveys requiring more complex questions. The free version is generous: unlimited surveys of unlimited length to unlimited respondents. $15 a month for the Pro plan.

Toluna QuickSurveys
An online survey tool with nice reporting options, including the ability to create shared reports. Limited options for more complex questioning. Works best with straightforward a survey structure. $85 per month for the Premium option. A hefty $85 a month for access to Toluna analytics.

Zoho Survey
Online or offline surveys. Easy to use but limited question options. Has a mobile app to check survey progress. Great reporting features. Comparable to SurveyPlanet but with more features and options. Limited free option. Many features are available for the $20 a month option. $60 per month for the Enterprise plan.

More tech tools here.

Articles of Interest - Nov 26

***TECHNOLOGY

The promise and peril of gene drives  Economist

A dystopian human scoring system in China is blocking people from booking flights  BGR

These Precision Parts 3D-Printed From Fake Moon Dust Bring Us One Step Closer to Living on Mars  Gizmodo

***MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY

How to edit a human  1843 magazine  

Chinese scientists are creating CRISPR babies  MIT Technology Review 

***BIG DATA & AI 

Using AI to screen proteins in a patient’s body to detect disease—before there are outward symptoms  New York Times 

How AI is being used to vet babysitters, screen applicants and watch employees  Axios 

How bots, algorithms, and artificial intelligence are reshaping the future of corporate support functions— real-life examples and key factors for success factors  McKinsey 

The features to look for when picking big-data visualization tools  Search Business Analytics

 ***SOCIAL MEDIA  

The rise and rise of photo-editing  1843

Instagram’s new profile designs emphasize users instead of their follower count  The Verge 

Facebook and The Innovator’s Dilemma  Columbia Journalism Review

Social Media, Online Accountability, and the Meaning of an Apology  The Walrus  

Russia's elite hackers may have new phishing tricks  Wired 

Amazon says technical error disclosed customer information  Axios 

Face Scans are Speeding up Airport Security  Wired

***JOURNALISM 

J-School Leaders Say It's Time to Speak Out  Inside Higher Ed

When journalism meets Hollywood Global Editors Network  Medium  

How to do “man-on-the-street” interviews in a foreign country  The Ground Truth Project

Why Trump wants to control follow-up questions  Washington Post 

The greatest threat to American journalism: the loss of neutral reporting  The Hill

People Singing "Amazing Grace" Were Arrested For Blocking An ICE Van From Driving Away With An Undocumented Immigrant  BuzzFeed News  

How Implicit Bias Works in Journalism  Harvard’s Nieman Reports  

***THE BUSINESS OF JOURNALISM

Digging Deep Into Local News, A Small Newspaper In Rural Oregon Is Thriving  NPR

Canada introduces a $595 million package in support of journalism  Harvard’s Nieman Lab

***FAKE NEWS

The Seven Commandments of Fake News  The New York Times

‘Misinformation’ picked as word of the year by Dictionary.com  The Hill

Just Six percent of Twitter Bots Account for 31 percent of Misinformation  Ars Technica 

Protecting the Value of Medical Science in the Age of Social Media and “Fake News”  JAMA

One of the first two Muslim women in US Congress is already battling a fake news campaign Quartz

Study shows 60% of Britons believe in conspiracy theories  The Guardian

Why QAnon believers think ‘the Storm’ has tripled in size  Daily Dot

The BBC Is Fighting Against Russian Disinformation With A News Service In Serbia  BuzzFeed News

***PERSONAL GROWTH 

The Power of Mind-Wandering  Becoming (my blog)

Everyone Wants to ‘Influence’ You  New York Times

More Americans find meaning in money than in religion or friends  Quartz

A Stanford psychologist on the art of avoiding assholes  Vox

***WRITING & READING

Seattle high-school teacher shares ‘the wonder of books’ with students on a different kind of field trip  Seattle Times 

Using “very”  Chronicle of Higher Ed

100 Notable Books of 2018  New York Times

***LANGUAGE

It’s hard to have an unusual name in China  1843 magazine  

Brain responses to language in toddlers with Autism linked to altered gene expression  Science Daily 

***LITERATURE

A new exhibition at the British Library explores how cats have inspired—and frightened—writers across the centuries  Smithsonian Mag 

Tales of the unexpected: 10 literary classics you may not have read  The Guardian

***RACE & ETHNICITY ISSUES

Pro-Publica, PBS Frontline Project: 'Documenting Hate: New American Nazis'   NPR

Why are we only talking about Mom Books by white women?  The Cut

No charges for FedEx driver who fatally punched man calling him racial slurs  Oregon Live 

Neo-Nazis Are Organizing Secretive Paramilitary Training Across America Vice

***POLITICS

How populist are you?  The Guardian 

***LEGAL ISSUES 

Political Scientist Weighs In On Trump's Criticism Of 9th Circuit Court Of Appeals  NPR

Free speech violation or a simple arrest? Supreme Court faces a familiar problem Washington Post

***RELIGION

What Should America Do With Its Empty Church Buildings?  The Atlantic

Clerical sexual-abuse scandals strengthen the pope’s conservative critics  Economist

When atheists lack the courage of their convictions: A review of Seven Types of Atheism  Economist    

Most Americans say religion will live on  Axios  

What Einstein meant by ‘God does not play dice’  Aeon 

The U.S. class divide extends to searching for a religious congregation  Pew Research 

Where Americans Find Meaning in Life  Pew Research

***RELIGION OUTSIDE THE U.S.

All Nations, ORU Grieve Reported Death of Missionary  Charisma News 

Charismatic Christianity in Ethiopia  Economist 

***RELIGION AND POLITICS

Franklin Graham: Trump "defends the faith"  Axios

***GOOD NEWS 

Baby saved from choking to death at NC restaurant on Thanksgiving Fox Carolina

Woman's 3850 mile rollerblade journey relying on the kindness of strangers  AOL News

***ART & DESIGN

Download 569 Free Art Books from The Metropolitan Museum of Art  Open Culture

The Mystery Font That Took Over New York  New York Times 

Winners of the 2018 ESPON Awards for panoramic photography  My Modern Met

***MUSIC 

Malcolm Gladwell and Rick Rubin Launch a New Music Podcast

The woman with a musical dress  1843 magazine 

 ***FILM

How does the process of colourisation affect our understanding of history?  History Today

The evolution of pace in popular movies  Statistical Modeling, Causal Interence, and Social Science

***SEXUAL HARASSMENT & ASSAULT 

Proposed Title IX changes would make campus hearings into "mini courtrooms," higher education lawyers say  Inside Higher Ed

Advances in forensic science and robotics may help law enforcement analyze some of the country’s 225,000 unprocessed rape kits  Undark 

***BUSINESS & FINANCE 

The Wired Guide to Online Shopping  Wired

Selfish people earn less money than generous people  Quartz 

***HEALTH

Critically Ill Children Who Received Wishes Cut Their Health Care Costs  NPR

What an unprecedented study found about 3D printing’s dangers  Fast Company

Standing Desks are Overrated  New York Times

100 million Americans have chronic pain. Very few use one of the best tools to treat it  Vox 

Bed Rest Is Still Often Prescribed During Pregnancy, Despite Proven Risks  NPR 

***TRAVEL

Leaning Tower of Pisa continues long path towards vertical Associated Press

***FOOD

Not Oatmeal  Constellate Magazine  

Iceland's president admits he went 'too far' with threat to ban pineapple pizza  CBC

Romaine lettuce from California linked to E. coli outbreak  The Verge

Americans are divided over whether eating organic foods makes for better health  Pew Research

***ANIMALS  

Nature film crew breaks "no interference" rule to rescue penguins  CBS News 

***SCIENCE 

The ‘myth’ of scientific facts infected decades of criminal cases where bitemark dentists were presented as scientific experts”  Science Direct   

A new book explores the partnership of science and the military—and its long and often fraught history  Undark  

Can Science Create Superhumans?  The Naked Scientists 

***PSYCHOLOGY  

What Amazon Reviews Reveal About Humanity BuzzFeed News

Why suicide is falling around the world, and how to bring it down more  Economist

***NEUROSCIENCE  

Study: To predict the future, the brain has two clocks  Berkeley 

What Happens to the Brain in Zero Gravity?  Singularity Hub

***PHILOSOPHY

First women of philosophy  Aeon

Obligation to Obey the Law  Wireless Philosophy 

***PRODUCTIVITY

Information overload is nothing new  1843 Magazine 

Why you’re not prioritizing sleep even when it’s hurting your productivity  Fast Company

***HISTORY 

Hear the Sounds of World War I: A Gas Attack Recorded on the Front Line, and the Moment the Armistice Ended the War  Open Culture

The worst year to be a human has been revealed by researchers  CNN

The History Of Signatures And Their Present Relevance  NPR 

'Married man' Justin Bieber says wants to be more like Jesus  Reuters 

 ***RESEARCH 

The Experiments Are Fascinating. But Nobody Can Repeat Them  New York Times

To catch misconduct, journals are hiring research integrity czars  STAT

Duke University to settle case alleging researchers used fraudulent data to win millions in grants  Science Magazine 

The Ethical Quandary of Human Infection Studies  Undark 

Journal retracts 29 articles but doesn’t explain which ones  Inside Higher Ed 

Legal threats, opacity, and deceptive research practices: A look at more than 100 retractions in business and management  Retraction Watch

***HIGHER ED

A Film About Higher Ed That Should Bother You a Little  Chronicle of Higher Ed

Enough With All the Innovation (opinion)  Chronicle of Higher Ed

***TEACHING

Why Grades Still Matter  Chronicle of Higher Ed

The Solar System Quilt  Open Culture

“Best” Student excuses  Dynamics of Writing

***STUDENT LIFE

Sleep Pod Companies Want to Disrupt Naps on Campus  Ed Surge 

UMKC professor used students as servants for decades  The Kansas City Star 

Students fear dorm mold problem led to adenovirus death  New York Post  

Millennials are no longer living with their parents  Axios  

College athlete disowned by her parents almost loses her eligibility  Business Insider

***STUDENT MEDIA  

For the First Time, a Black Woman Will Lead The Harvard Crimson  New York Times  

Hundreds of issues of the Maroon-News stolen, members of swim team found responsible  Student Press Law Center

College Media Association censures Univ of N. Ala after newspaper adviser targeted AL.com 

The Power of Mind-Wandering

The seemingly trivial activity of mind-wandering is now believed to play a central role in the brain’s “deep learning,” the mind’s sifting through past experiences, imagining future prospects and assessing them with emotional judgments: that flash of shame or pride or anxiety that each scenario elicits.

A growing number of scholars, drawn from a wide swath of disciplines — neuroscience, philosophy, computer science — now argue that this aptitude for cognitive time travel, revealed by the discovery of the default network, may be the defining property of human intelligence. “What best distinguishes our species,” Martin Seligman wrote in a Times Op-Ed with John Tierney, “is an ability that scientists are just beginning to appreciate: We contemplate the future.” He went on: “A more apt name for our species would be Homo prospectus, because we thrive by considering our prospects. The power of prospection is what makes us wise.”

 Today, it seems, mind-wandering is under attack from all sides. It’s a common complaint that our compulsive use of smartphones is destroying our ability to focus. But seen through the lens of Homo prospectus, ubiquitous computing poses a different kind of threat: Having a network-connected supercomputer in your pocket at all times gives you too much to focus on. It cuts into your mind-wandering time. The downtime between cognitively active tasks that once led to REST states can now be filled with Instagram, or Nasdaq updates, or podcasts. We have Twitter timelines instead of time travel.

At the same time, a society-wide vogue for “mindfulness” encourages us to be in the moment, to think of nothing at all instead of letting our thoughts wander. Search YouTube, and there are hundreds of meditation videos teaching you how to stop your mind from doing what it does naturally. The Homo prospectus theory suggests that, if anything, we need to carve out time in our schedule — and perhaps even in our schools — to let minds drift.

Steven Johnson writing in the New York Times