Face Of The Day

Aug 29 2014 @ 5:55pm
by Dish Staff

Education

William Grijalvas, 10, uses an iPad during Mathis Santella’s forth grade math class at Ashley Elementary in Denver, CO, August 29, 2014. Photo By Craig F. Walker/The Denver Post.

The Short Shrift

Aug 29 2014 @ 5:33pm
by Phoebe Maltz Bovy

Alice Robb flags some research that says short men make better boyfriends and husbands:

[A] preliminary new study suggests that shorter men might actually make better partners: They do a greater share of housework, earn a greater proportion of household income, and are less likely than their taller peers to get divorced. In a working paper (it has not yet been peer reviewed), Dalton Conley, a sociologist at NYU, and Abigail Weitzman, a Ph.D. candidate, used data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamicsa University of Michigan project that’s been collecting demographic data on 5,000 families for almost 50 yearsto look at how a man’s height impacts different areas of his relationship after the initial dating period. …

Divorce rates for tall and average men were basically indistinguishable, but 32 percent lower for short men. Weitzman explains this by saying that women who are “resistant” to marrying short men are more likely to “opt out” before it gets to the point of marriage: “There’s something distinct about the women who marry short men.”

But… isn’t it anti-feminist to ask women to care less about male appearance? So argues Kat Stoeffel:

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Inconsolable In Islamabad, Ctd

Aug 29 2014 @ 5:12pm
by Dish Staff

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Tim Craig doubts the long-running anti-government protests in Pakistan will achieve their goal of ousting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who’s actually pretty popular:

The annual Pew Research Center survey of Pakistan finds that 64 percent of residents have a favorable view of Sharif, a solid rating that has essentially remained constant since Sharif’s returned to power last year. Perhaps even more important in Sharif’s bid to hold off the demonstrators, led by former cricket star Imran Khan and firebrand cleric Tahirul Qadri, Pakistanis’ positive views about the economy have risen dramatically over the past year.

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Class In The Classroom

Aug 29 2014 @ 4:44pm
by Dish Staff

Jesse Singal flags a new paper wherein “sociologist Jessica McCrory Calarco writes about what she saw when she observed a bunch of third-through-fifth-graders in a public school”:

Crucially, she only studied white kids — she wanted to isolate the effects of socioeconomic class. What she found, as McCrory put it in the study’s press release, is that “Middle-class parents tell their children to reach out to the teacher and ask questions. Working-class parents see asking for help as disrespectful to teachers, so they teach their children to work out problems themselves.”

The natural question, she said in an email to Science of Us, is why working- and middle-class parents give their kids different sorts of guidance about proper behavior in school. “What I found was that middle-class parents were deeply involved in their kids’ schooling, and as a result, had a lot of detailed knowledge about what today’s teachers expect,” she said. “Working-class parents tended to be less involved and, as a result, relied on their own experiences in school to gauge what teachers would expect (i.e., ‘My teachers used to yell at students if they asked for help’).”

Mental Health Break

Aug 29 2014 @ 4:20pm
by Dish Staff

Hope you have as much fun with your weekend as this elephant can with plastic:

Don’t Speak, Memory, Ctd

Aug 29 2014 @ 4:00pm
by Sue Halpern

It is the rare question that can elicit polar responses where both of them make perfect sense. In this case–asking if you’d erase or sweeten bad memories if you could–it is partly because people’s traumas and the circumstances of those traumas are different, partly because we are all psychologically and emotionally different, and partly because it is philosophical question as much as it is a practical one, and what we might want as individuals is different from what we might want as a society. For instance, while we might want to erase the memories that cause a person to suffer from PTSD, erasing the memories of war or, worse, sweetening them, may make us, collectively, more bellicose. Sometimes we forget that forgetting comes with its own costs, too.

I am reminded of the sentiments of the philosopher Paul Ricoeur, author of the book Memory, History, Forgetting, whose thoughts about mourning are central to those about forgetting.

This work of mourning is a long and patient travail, which brings under
interrogation the ability to narrate it. … To narrate otherwise what one has done, what one has suffered, what one has gained and what one has lost. The idea of loss is fundamental to life.

I hear echoes of Ricoeur in the words of these Dish readers:

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Worst Ebola Outbreak Ever

Aug 29 2014 @ 3:41pm
by Dish Staff

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Julia Belluz puts the West African epidemic in stark perspective:

The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa has now killed more people than all previous Ebola outbreaks combined. The latest World Health Organization data on this year’s Ebola outbreak in West Africa shows 3,069 probable and confirmed cases and 1,552 deaths. The number of cases continues to accelerate, with 40 percent of the total cases occurring in the last 21 days.

The WHO is warning that the epidemic could rage for another six to nine months, infect as many as 20,000 people, and cost half a billion dollars to contain. And yet, Chris Blattman cautions, “we must make sure the cure is not worse than the disease”:

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by Dish Staff

Beutler wants the full video of this week’s tragic shooting released:

Horrendous, unnecessary gun deaths are so common in the U.S. that some of them get caught on tape. The videos can have tremendous power to shape the way people think about public policy. Just last week, the filmed shooting death of Kajieme Powell by St. Louis, Missouri, police reignited a national debate about police training. The video of an Uzi destroying Charles Vacca’s life would serve as a visceral reminder of the fact that when a bullet enters the human body, that body is very likely to die.

Nicole Flatow points out that “a lack of age restrictions isn’t the only way gun ranges are safety-free zones, and potentially the sites of preventable deaths”:

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The View From Your Window

Aug 29 2014 @ 3:02pm
by Dish Staff

Madulain, Switzerland

Madulain, Switzerland, 4.00 pm

Is Obama Fumbling Ukraine?

Aug 29 2014 @ 2:43pm
by Dish Staff

Christopher Dickey isn’t impressed with the president’s response to the Russian invasion, which he still won’t call an “invasion”:

Obama knows invasion is a “fightin’ word,” as they used to say in old Hollywood Westerns. And he knows — and we all know — a shootout in the Ukraine corral against the world’s other great nuclear power would be beyond foolish. But under the circumstances, even such a stalwart of administration policymaking as Ivo Daalder has run out of patience with the vague language coming out of Foggy Bottom and the White House. Daalder doesn’t recommend military action, certainly, but he does recommend NATO members step up their defense spending and deploy their vast military resources throughout the alliance in a way that makes the threat of force more credible. After all, Putin has shown his imperial appetite knows no bounds, and the tactics he’s used to shave off portions of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine could be turned on the NATO-member Baltics. Daalder also calls on Western countries to supply advance weapons and a steady stream of intelligence to Kiev. And finally the U.S. and the E.U. need to impose full-scale economic sanctions on Moscow.

Noah Rothman faults Obama for tying his own hands diplomatically by revealing too much:

One never takes a tool off the table during a negotiation without reciprocity from the negotiating partner. To do otherwise is to set a bad precedent, one which a smart negotiating partner will make you repeat. President Obama insisted that the sanctions regime he has imposed on Russia is working, that he will not approve a military solution to the crisis in Ukraine, and that providing lethal aid to Kiev’s forces is not under immediate consideration. What, then, is on the table? Our options are increasingly limited while Moscow’s freedom to escalate or de-escalate as he sees fit remains robust.

Steven Pifer recommends an assertive response, including more sanctions and military aid to beef up the Ukrainian army:

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