08 July 2014

Headlines for 8 July 2014

Summary
Check out these headlines with notes: Tick that spreads a red meat allergy in US, Benghazi investigation gets more money than Veterans Affairs committee, Three paths to get to full employment, Colorado birth control program shows amazing results, Can four people run a university, and Use of force in classrooms needs to change. Also check out these headlines: California must improve vaccination rates, JK Rowling releases a new Harry Potter story online, two Android Wear smartwatches released, Obama asks for $3.7 billion to stop flow of children across the border, and Smallpox vials discovered in lab storage.

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Ticks that spread red meat allergy
There are ticks that spread a red meat allergy (including what can be some quite severe reactions)! Crazy! This is just the lone star tick. We also have deer ticks which can spread Lyme disease. I'm lucky that out in Western Minnesota the ticks are mainly dog ticks. If you wonder what the three tick species look like, here they are:
Picture from the Columbus Dispatch
Congress may spend more on the Benghazi panel than on the Veterans Affairs committee
Republicans are really committed to this fake scandal. Here we have a real, serious scandal with the Veterans Affairs debackle, and instead they continue to pour time and money into the Benghazi investigation.

Three paths to full employment
While the jobs numbers were good news, they still show how far we are from recovered. Full employment could still be years off at this pace. That said, there are things we could do to speed recovery. (1) The government could spend more money. Every one knows this. The government can borrow money super cheap too. That said, this isn't politically popular. Money spent now could save us money in the future though. A great place to put money would be in retrofitting buildings to reduce greenhouse gas emission, or in infrastructure. (2) Decrease the value of the dollar. This would make exports more practical, imports less practical, hence helping our trade deficiet. (3) Encourage businesses to reduce employees work hours (hence allowing them to have more employees). Americans work A LOT. This could be reduced to help employment (say mandating more sick leave and vacation time, shortening the workday, etc).

Colorado teen birth rate plummets
Colorado in 2009 created a program to help low-income women get access to contraception. The state has seen a 40% reduction in the teen birth rate, 35% drop in teen abortion rate, 23% decrease in WIC caseload (a welfare program), and saved money on teen healthcare ($42.5 million in 2010 alone). Apparently the program has saved $5.68 in Medicaid costs for ever $1 spent. If you want to know why contraception should be covered, this is a stunning example of why!

Can 4 people run the whole [university] shebang?
This was from the Chronicle of Higher Education's Academe Today email. Apparently four professors have applied to share the top administrative role at the University of Alberta. This article examines the practicality of this idea, and potential problems. It seems like a pretty cool idea given the right four people. Hopefully we will get some more examples that will let us see how this functions.

Use of force in classroom betrays vulnerable students
Use of violence as a means of enforcing order in schools is a problem, and doesn't help prepare students for life outside of the classroom. Instead of getting violent and using force, schools should instead use methods that work to increase the emotional intelligence of students such as peer dialogue, counseling, and access to mental health services at school. Also, zero-tolerance policies must go, as they escalate issues quickly. School should be an educational environment, including conflict resolution.

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Just Headlines
Editorial: California must improve vaccination rates
J.K. Rowling has released a new Harry Potter story online
Two Android Wear smartwatches launched with new features
Obama seeks $3.7B to stem tide of kids crossing border
Smallpox vials discovered in lab storage room

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