- Library Land
- Florida fire started by book burning destroys at least 10 homes "At least 10 homes in Nassau County, Florida, were destroyed in a wildfire caused by a man who was burning books Wednesday.... The man has been issued a notice of violation and will be sent a forestry bill for all the equipment and personnel used into fighting the fire, which could be several thousands of dollars, Winter said. He could also be held civilly liable for any damage caused by the fire."
- Yes, there actually is going to be a disco party with Gloria Gaynor at the Library of Congress "Last year, Gloria Gaynor's disco anthem 'I Will Survive' became one of 25 new additions to the National Recording Registry, a collection of sound recordings considered 'culturally, historically, or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States' and kept at the Library of Congress.... In May, Gaynor is coming to the Library of Congress, where she'll perform in the Great Hall as part of the Library's 'Bibliodiscotheque,' a series of films, lectures and events celebrating the disco era, capped with — what else? — a late-night dance party in the historic Jefferson Building. All events are free and open to the public. Tickets will be available beginning at 10 a.m. on March 30." I wonder if I can talk my boss into letting me attend as professional development...
- St. John’s Bible Returns, Finds Permanent Home at Berea College "The St. John’s Bible Heritage Edition consists of 1,150 pages bound into seven volumes, each 2 feet by 3 feet when open and weighing about 20 pounds. They present the books of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, through calligraphy and illumination, a technique used to embellish the work with luminous colors, especially gold and silver leafing." Whoa! I need to visit my alma mater.
- Libraries matter: 18 fantastic library infographics OK, yes, this was the source of the neat infographic above - but the rest of them are so awesome, I had to be sure you clicked the link. DO IT. DO IT NOW.
- “Sesame Street” Introduces A Character Who Has A Father Is In Jail"For decades, Sesame Street has taught children the educational basics, as well as how to deal with life’s challenging obstacles. Hot off the heels of introducing Julia, the first character with Autism, it’s just been announced a new character has been added. His name is Alex and unfortunately Alex’s father is in jail....The purpose of the initiative is to help children find support while their parent serves their sentence, along with tips for how family can talk to their kids about incarceration."
- Science Sting Exposes Corrupt Journal Publishers "The goal: to test whether, with just a CV — full of fake scientific degrees — and a profile on Academia.edu as well as a fake university, some would accept a scholar named 'Anna O. Szust' (which translates to 'Anna, a Fraud' in English) as a member of their editorial boards. And many did."
- Health, Science, & Technology
- U.S. Senate votes to overturn Obama broadband privacy rules "...Democratic Senator Ed Markey said, 'Republicans have just made it easier for American’s sensitive information about their health, finances and families to be used, shared, and sold to the highest bidder without their permission.'" Your information, like your browsing history, can now be sold by your ISP to third parties - without your permission. Privacy: eh, it was nice while we had it.
- Social Media, Math And The Mystery Of A Mumps Outbreak "As vaccine hesitancy gains ground in the United States, we place ourselves at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases like measles, mumps and rubella. While these childhood illnesses aren't fatal to most people, those who are most susceptible to serious adverse effects, such as children under the age of 1 and cancer patients, are often those who can't be vaccinated. And this is why herd immunity is so important. When we vaccinate, we protect not only ourselves but the most vulnerable members of our communities, too."
- New research identifies a ‘sea of despair’ among white, working-class Americans "Sickness and early death in the white working class could be rooted in poor job prospects for less-educated young people as they first enter the labor market, a situation that compounds over time through family dysfunction, social isolation, addiction, obesity and other pathologies, according to a study published Thursday by two prominent economists."
- Related: Why the white middle class is dying faster, explained in 6 charts "There’s no single reason for this disturbing increase in the mortality rate, but a toxic cocktail of factors."
- American Doctors: The Prognosis Isn't Good "The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has projected that between now and 2030, the US is going to face a shortage of tens of thousands of doctors.... Due to rapid advancements in medical technology and the ever-changing nature of the profession, the direct impact of the shortfall is difficult to predict, according to a recent CBS News report. However, with another study finding that nearly half of all American nurses want to leave their jobs, US medical care faces some tough challenges over the coming decade" Yeesh...
- How To Make Farmers Love Cover Crops? Pay Them "These are plants that tolerate cool weather and grow on farm fields after the crops are harvested. They hold the soil in place and are probably the most effective way to keep nutrients in fields, rather than polluting nearby streams." What's not to love, anyway? "Farmers can be reluctant to plant cover crops because it means extra work, especially at crucial times in the fall and spring." OK, but it may end up making farmers money, anyway - "...because a cover crop can pay for itself. It keeps soil healthy and keeps valuable nutrients in the field, so farmers don't need to spend as much money on fertilizer." But pay them for the extra work, and farmers will do it. It's a win-win for everyone, really.
- US soldier admits killing unarmed Afghans for sport "An American soldier has pleaded guilty to being part of a 'kill team' who deliberately murdered Afghan civilians for sport last year. Army Specialist Jeremy Morlock, 23, told a military court he had helped to kill three unarmed Afghans. 'The plan was to kill people, sir,' he told an army judge in Fort Lea, near Seattle, after his plea....Some soldiers apparently kept body parts of their victims, including a skull, as souvenirs."
- Are We Finally Witnessing The Death Of Christianity In America? "The future of Christianity in this country isn’t threatened by shifting demographics. The Christian faith in America is on life support because far too many of us have simply stopped living like Jesus....We say we believe in the Bible and God and that Jesus rose from the dead, but once we claim our certificate of orthodoxy we seem to think we’ve been freed from the obligations of grace, from the cost of discipleship, from the way of Jesus that is defined not simply by the ideas in our head but the actions of our lives."
- British Police Arrest 8 In Investigation Into London Attack That Left 4 Dead "'It is still our belief — which continues to be born out by our investigation — that this attacker acted alone yesterday and was inspired by international terrorism,' [Mark Rowley, national lead for counterterrorism policing] said, reading from a statement. 'To be explicit — at this stage, we have no specific information about further threats to the public.'"
- Days before his death, Putin critic said in an interview he knew he was in danger "At a time when the question of Russian influence dominates U.S. politics, Voronenkov’s death will add further scrutiny to the extent, and potential lethality, of Russia’s reach abroad. It remained unclear who might have wanted to killed Voronenkov — theories include Russian agents, Ukrainian nationalists or business interests — but the fact remains that he is just the latest Kremlin opponent to wind up dead."
- Israeli-American man arrested in connection to bomb threats against Jewish centers "Police have not commented on the teen's motives. It is unclear if he will be tried in Israel or the U.S., police said."
- U.S. News
- Robert Reich: Where Are the Grown-Ups in the White House? Great question, Mr. Reich. "Where we need thoughtful resolve we have thoughtless name-calling. Where we need democratic deliberation we have authoritarian rants and rallies. Where we need vision we have myopia. The only way out of this crisis of governance is for us—the vast majority of Americans who deserve and know better—to take charge. Your country needs you desperately."
- Ivanka Trump’s West Wing job isn’t just unethical. It’s also dangerous.
Ivanka Trump’s personal relationship to the president may compromise our national security in immediate and practical terms. If she gets a high-level security clearance, that will grant her access to the nation’s more sensitive and consequential secrets — a fact that highlights the risks of compromising financial relationships and lack of expertise. It would be astounding, however, if her background investigation failed to uncover a recent article detailing her involvement in a hotel deal in Azerbaijan that “appears to be a corrupt operation engineered by oligarch tied to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.” No ordinary person would be granted a clearance before questions of business ties to sanctioned individuals or entities were fully resolved.
The president is empowered to ignore that kind of derogatory information on a background investigation. But to do so would be a grave breach his oath of office — an oath his daughter will not take in her officially unofficial role. So the American people will now see if Donald Trump really intends to treat Ivanka like any other staffer. Will he act in the best interest of the American people in assessing whether she has demonstrated the judgment and integrity expected of those entrusted with our nation’s secrets?
Blood is thicker than water. We must now wonder if the president’s commitment to his oath of office is stronger than his family loyalty.
- Republicans delay House vote to repeal Affordable Care Act "The Republicans on Thursday abandoned a vote on their plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, as Donald Trump and House speaker Paul Ryan faced rebellion across the House Republican caucus. According to a leadership aide, the scheduled Thursday House vote on the bill was delayed at least for one day as Republicans scramble to find a legislation that can achieve a majority within the chamber."
- Koch network pledges to defend Republicans who vote against GOP health bill So the real question becomes: Who will Republicans work for - their constituents or the Koch Bros.? Because, make no mistake, the Koch Bros. are not on our side - they don't want the GOP health bill to pass because it doesn't go far enough.
- Trump admits his health care plan would benefit rich investors, screw over people who voted for him "President Trump sat down Wednesday for an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, and Carlson asked him to respond to criticisms that the Republican health care plan favors the wealthy and hurts most of the voters who supported his election. Trump didn’t hesitate to agree that that is exactly what it does.... He openly admits that this plan does the exact opposite of what he promised voters during the campaign. And he supports the plan anyway."
- Dwight Eisenhower’s Shocking—and Prescient—Military Warning "Eisenhower stated that this immense military establishment was a new phenomenon for the United States, and that its 'total influence–economic, political, even spiritual—is felt in every city, every state house, every office of federal government.' Going so far as say that this new establishment was a 'potential enemy of the national interest,' he warned that it could very well weaken or destroy the very liberties, institutions and principles it was designed to protect, as the role of diplomacy and military restraint was replaced by a public policy deeply beholden to military and business interests."
- Watergate reporter on Russia: 'I’ve been saying for a while there’s a coverup going on' "Bernstein called on the White House to ask for a full investigation into potential coordination instead of 'pushing back' against the probe....'The heroes of Watergate were really Republicans, they were Republicans in the House and the Senate who wanted this investigated to the bottom: What did the president know and when did he know it,' he said. 'That’s what we’re not seeing here. We’re not seeing it from the Republicans on the Hill who are consumed by supposedly looking for leaks.'"