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How a Raccoon Became an Aardvark. In July of 2008, Dylan Breves, then a seventeen-year-old student from New York City, made a mundane edit to a Wikipedia entry on the coati.

How a Raccoon Became an Aardvark

Active Learning Leads to Higher Grades and Fewer Failing Students in Science, Math, and Engineering. Image Credit: velkr0 / Flickr Think back to when you learned how to ride a bike.

Active Learning Leads to Higher Grades and Fewer Failing Students in Science, Math, and Engineering

You probably didn’t master this skill by listening to a series of riveting lectures on bike riding. Instead, you tried it out for yourself, made mistakes, fell down a few times, picked yourself back up, and tried again. I Thought We Banned Cocaine For Health Reasons. Nope. Not Even Close. Trans-Pacific Partnership Reveals Deadly Cost of American Patents. While US news stories occasionally mention the breathtaking cost of some medications, they almost always skirt the issue of why American drugs are so grotesquely overpriced by world standards.

Trans-Pacific Partnership Reveals Deadly Cost of American Patents

The pharmaceutical industry has managed to sell the story that it’s because they need all that dough to pay for the cost of finding new drugs. That account is patently false. First, part of the story the drug industry chooses to omit is that a substantial portion of drug R&D, and the riskiest part (basic research) is heavily funded by the National Institutes of Health and other government agencies. It’s hard to put all the data together, but the latest estimates I’ve seen put the total funded by the government at over 30%.

Second, Big Pharma spends more on marketing on R&D. Third, and this is where the foreign debate over the TransPacific Partnership comes in, one of the big reasons US drugs are so costly is we allow drug companies to milk patents to a degree that is unparalleled elsewhere. 10 Ways to Show Love to Someone With Depression - The Darling Bakers. PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

10 Ways to Show Love to Someone With Depression - The Darling Bakers

Some of my posts contain links to Amazon.com. Flip Note: I have struggled with clinical depression since I was a child. It has been a constant companion I have learned to manage and while I am better now than I have ever been, every so often I feel it returning. I describe it to my husband as a “demon eating my brain.” Do You Love Someone With Depression? Life is a Braid in Spacetime - Issue 9: Time. What the Psychology of Suicide Prevention Teaches Us About Controlling Our Everyday Worries. By Maria Popova Two surprisingly simple yet effective techniques for ameliorating anxiety.

What the Psychology of Suicide Prevention Teaches Us About Controlling Our Everyday Worries

The Smarter You Are, The Stupider You Are : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture. iStockphoto.com Education is necessary if democracy is to flourish.

The Smarter You Are, The Stupider You Are : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Children are suffering a severe deficit of play – Peter Gray. When I was a child in the 1950s, my friends and I had two educations.

Children are suffering a severe deficit of play – Peter Gray

We had school (which was not the big deal it is today), and we also had what I call a hunter-gather education. We played in mixed-age neighbourhood groups almost every day after school, often until dark. Forget Venus and Mars, we’re beginning to understand gender behavior on Earth. Gender gaps permeate nearly every aspect of our culture, as everything from comic books to the constitution seems to stress the differences between men and women rather than any similarities between the sexes.

Forget Venus and Mars, we’re beginning to understand gender behavior on Earth

It’s hard to walk through a bookstore without being bombarded with advice on decoding the other sex’s cryptic behavior; a few classics are Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, The Female Brain, and the ever-so-helpful Guys are Waffles, Girls are Spaghetti. Sitcoms, romantic comedies, and action movies all tend to exploit traditional gender roles too: females worry, nag, and primp while males theorize, womanize, and ride to the rescue.

Unfortunately, the actual science behind gender gaps isn’t nearly as clear cut. Unschoolers learn what they want, when they want. Elizabeth Loftus: The fiction of memory. The Flipped Classroom. Sam Richards: A radical experiment in empathy. Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir – review. Indian sugar cane farmers performed worse in intellegence tests pre-harvest, when money was tight, compared to post-harvest.

Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir – review

Photograph: Amit Bhargava/Corbis Behind every coalition promise to "get tough on single mothers", behind every Daily Mail story about Britain's "handout culture", or Mitt Romney's notorious comments about "the 47%", there lies an assumption: that being poor is a failure of character. Awkwardly, for those who find this obnoxious, the research sometimes makes it seem true. Our Newfound Fear of Risk. We're afraid of risk.

Our Newfound Fear of Risk

Self-Regulation: American Schools Are Failing Nonconformist Kids. Of the possible child heroes for our times, young people with epic levels of the traits we valorize, the strongest contender has got to be the kid in the marshmallow study. Social scientists are so sick of the story that some threaten suicide if forced to read about him one more time. But to review: The child—or really, nearly one-third of the more than 600 children tested in the late ’60s at Bing Nursery School on the Stanford University campus—sits in a room with a marshmallow.

Having been told that if he abstains for 15 minutes he’ll get two marshmallows later, he doesn’t eat it. Andy Thomson on Suicide Terrorism Part 1 of 3. On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs. Ever had the feeling that your job might be made up? That the world would keep on turning if you weren’t doing that thing you do 9-5? David Graeber explored the phenomenon of bullshit jobs for our recent summer issue – everyone who’s employed should read carefully… On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs by David Graeber. In the year 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that, by century’s end, technology would have advanced sufficiently that countries like Great Britain or the United States would have achieved a 15-hour work week. The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Dan Pallotta: The way we think about charity is dead wrong.

Secrets of the Schools That Create Math Geniuses. As the academic year starts up again, we’ll be hearing a lot about those schools that work miracles in unforgiving places: educational outliers that manage to produce college-bound graduates despite the poverty, crime and drugs that dominate the neighborhoods around them. But what about those schools that start out lucky, full of students from prosperous, educated families? It turns out that these schools have their outliers, too. According to a new study, even among schools that are “demographically similar” in their affluence, a small handful produce superstar students at a much higher-than-expected rate.

Why It's Time to Get Rid of Standardized Tests. Do standardized achievement tests unfairly advantage white and Asian students and disadvantage the rest? According to a group of educational organizations and civil rights groups the answer is yes. Annie Murphy Paul: In Defense of School Testing. What's Really Scandalous About the Atlanta School Testing Scandal. One of the biggest ironies of the Atlanta public schools testing scandal — in which 35 educators have been indicted on racketeering, theft and corruption charges for artificially inflating students’ test results — is that the faked scores prevented some schools from accessing three quarters of a million dollars in federal money to support struggling learners because they no longer qualified for help. Need a Job? Invent It. Living in the Sewers of Colombia. A Town Without Poverty?: Canada's only experiment in guaranteed income finally gets reckoning. September 5, 2011 Canada's only experiment in guaranteed income finally gets reckoning.

You Are Still Being Lied To: Howard Zinn’s “Columbus and Western Civilization” Tristram Stuart: The global food waste scandal. The Top Five Special Interest Groups Lobbying to Keep Marijuana Illegal. (Photo: Bob Doran) Last year, over 850,000 people in America were arrested for marijuana-related crimes. Despite public opinion, the medical community, and human rights experts all moving in favor of relaxing marijuana prohibition laws, little has changed in terms of policy. There have been many great books and articles detailing the history of the drug war. Part of America’s fixation with keeping the leafy green plant illegal is rooted in cultural and political clashes from the past. Hans Rosling: Religions and babies. Surveillance Society: New High-Tech Cameras Are Watching You.

Exponential Economist Meets Finite Physicist. Hidden Camera Shows That Racism is Alive & Well.