Tuesday, December 12, 2017

LIFE

This Is Victor: Woman Helps Homeless Man Build New Life

For three years everyday, Ginger Sprouse and other residents of Kemah, Texas, would drive past Victor Hubbard, rain or shine. Victor Hubbard did not...

Single Mom Faces Eviction, Then Her 9-Year-Old Daughter Finds Amazing Way...

Young mom, Natalie Koltes was quickly approaching eviction from her Las Vegas home. She was struggling to meet ends meet while trying to pay...
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MORE ARTICLES

Design is key in college ‘promise’ programs

In one of her first public acts as the new mayor of Seattle, Jenny Durkan signed an executive order last month to phase in a free college tuition program. The program promises up to...

How parenthood has changed the way I read ancient childhood stories about Jesus, Mary...

As Christmas approaches, many Christians will reflect on the Nativity, or birth of Jesus. The Christian Bible includes two different stories of the birth of Jesus, found in the Gospel of Matthew and the...

Dreading conflict during the holidays? Let it go, let it go, let it go

Every holiday season, families and friends convene to share affection, kindness and experience. In the ideal holiday atmosphere, one often depicted in commercials and media, such get-togethers are places of warmth, appreciation and general...

An anthropologist explains why we love holiday rituals and traditions

The mere thought of holiday traditions brings smiles to most people’s faces and elicits feelings of sweet anticipation and nostalgia. We can almost smell those candles, taste those special meals, hear those familiar songs...

The moral questions in the debate on what constitutes terrorism

Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old man, has been accused of detonating a pipe bomb strapped to his body in a New York subway, injuring four people on the morning of Dec. 11. The Joint Terrorism...

To prevent the next global crisis, don’t forget today’s small disasters

In an era of seemingly ceaseless tragedies, it can be hard to stay on top of the news. This week, six wildfires have burned up over 141,000 acres in California – an area larger...

How Bill McKibben’s radical idea of fossil-fuel divestment transformed the climate debate

“We need to view the fossil-fuel industry in a new light. It has become a rogue industry, reckless like no other force on Earth. It is Public Enemy Number One to the survival of...

Why evangelicals are OK with voting for Roy Moore

Are conservative evangelicals and Catholics in political decline? Many liberals apparently see hypocrisy over sexual harassment bringing down this once-formidable social and political movement. Roy Moore allegedly stalking girls, Donald Trump’s mic’d misogyny, family values Congressman...

Venezuelan regime sweeps mayors races, tightening Maduro’s grip on power

Venezuela’s ruling Socialist Party swept the country’s Dec. 10 municipal elections, winning 300 of 339 races for mayor, including in 39 of the country’s 40 biggest cities. The regime’s big win comes two weeks after...

How the war on tipping harms customers

Some journalists and other social commentators have in recent years called for the abolition of restaurant tipping, primarily because they argue that it hurts workers. Several restaurateurs have even replaced tipping at their restaurants...

AIM brought instant messaging to the masses, teaching skills for modern communication

Toward the mid-1990s, America Online (by then going by its nickname, AOL) was the company through which most Americans accessed the internet. As many as half of the CD-ROMs produced at the time bore...

How the ‘Greatest Showman’ paved the way for Donald Trump

Historian James Cook, in his 2001 book “The Arts of Deception,” points to July 1835 as “the birth date of modern American popular culture.” That month, a frustrated grocer named Phineus Taylor Barnum purchased Joice...

American Jews and charitable giving: An enduring tradition

Even though only about one in 50 Americans is Jewish, U.S. Jews donate at high levels, both as individuals and as a community. As a scholar who studies community philanthropy, I am doing research to...

Naughty or nice: Is there a financial reward for acting ethically?

It is almost Christmas time, and the song “Santa Claus is coming to town” keeps playing over and over. For me, the key lines of this jingle are “He knows if you’ve been bad or...

Can cranberries conquer the world? A US industry depends on it

Name all the billion-dollar crops grown in the U.S. Midwest. The answer: Corn, soybeans and cranberries. Wait, what? Roughly 60 percent of the U.S. cranberry crop is produced in Wisconsin, generating close to US$1 billion...

Taxing the rich to help the poor? Here’s what the Bible says

The new tax reform bill has led to an intense debate over whether it would help or hurt the poor. Tax reform in general raises critical issues about whether the government should redistribute income...

For baby’s brain to benefit, read the right books at the right time

Parents often receive books at pediatric checkups via programs like Reach Out and Read and hear from a variety of health professionals and educators that reading to their kids is critical for supporting development. The...

What will Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem mean to Palestinians?

When President Donald Trump on Dec. 5 recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, he not only effectively endorsed Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem, which Palestinians have also long claimed as their own –...

Honduras’s election crisis is likely to end in violence

The violent election crisis in Honduras, where both incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernández and challenger Salvador Nasralla are claiming victory in the country’s Nov. 29 presidential race, has now entered its second chaotic week. Official...

California fire damage to homes is less ‘random’ than it seems

In the midst of the many wildfire emergencies that have faced California this year, it can often seem that the way houses burn, or don’t, is random. The thing is, though, it’s not. Firefighters and...

Will artificial intelligence become conscious?

Forget about today’s modest incremental advances in artificial intelligence, such as the increasing abilities of cars to drive themselves. Waiting in the wings might be a groundbreaking development: a machine that is aware of...

Who’s to blame for keeping Time’s #MeToo ‘silence breakers’ silent?

Time magazine just named the #MeToo movement its “person” of the year, recognizing the women and men who raised their voices against abuses of power as the “silence breakers.” For decades, victims of sexual harassment...

Why Trump’s evangelical supporters welcome his move on Jerusalem

President Trump’s announcement on Wednesday, Nov. 6 that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel received widespread criticism. Observers quickly recognized the decision as related, not so much to national security...

Hanukkah’s true meaning is about Jewish survival

Beginning on the evening of Dec. 12, Jews will celebrate the eight-day festival of Hanukkah, perhaps the best-known and certainly the most visible Jewish holiday. While critics sometimes identify Christmas as promoting the prevalence in...

DNA has gone digital – what could possibly go wrong?

Biology is becoming increasingly digitized. Researchers like us use computers to analyze DNA, operate lab equipment and store genetic information. But new capabilities also mean new risks – and biologists remain largely unaware of...

Exposure to wildfire smoke: 5 questions answered

Editor’s note: Wildfires once again are raging in California – this time in the Los Angeles area, where five fires are currently burning. The fast-moving Thomas fire alone has burned more than 65,000 acres...

The GOP tax plan, state and local taxes deductions – and you

While Washington is claiming victory, states are crying foul. Late last week, the U.S. Senate passed its version of the tax reform package that cleared the House a few weeks earlier. Within the hundreds of...

CVS merger with Aetna: Health care cure or curse?

The announcement that CVS plans to acquire Aetna for US$69 billion raises hope and concerns. The transaction would create a new health care giant. Aetna is the third-largest health insurer in the United States, insuring...

Literature has long been sounding the alarm about sexual violence in Hollywood

Recent revelations about Hollywood’s culture of sexual harassment and violence might come as a surprise to many Americans. After all, Los Angeles – home of what some call “the American image factory” – has long...

Bajo Maduro, las elecciones venezolanas son otra forma de mantener el poder

Read in English. El Presidente venezolano, Nicolás Maduro, buscará reelección en 2018, según anunció Vice Presidente Tarick Al Aisammi el 29 de noviembre. Hace unos meses atrás habría sido difícil predecir que el régimen de Maduro...

Venezuela’s elections are just a new way for Maduro to cling to power

Leer en español. Nicolás Maduro, president of crisis-stricken Venezuela, will run for reelection in Venezuela in 2018, Vice President Tarick Al Aisammi announced in a Nov. 29 press conference. Just a few months ago, it would...

How a group of California nuns challenged the Catholic Church

California in the 1960s was the epicenter for spiritual experimentation. Indian gurus and New Age prophets, Jesus freaks and Scientologists all found followings in the Golden State. But among those looking for personal and social...

The constitutional right to education is long overdue

Public school funding has shrunk over the past decade. School discipline rates reached historic highs. Large achievement gaps persist. And the overall performance of our nation’s students falls well below our international peers. These bleak...

President Trump’s national monument rollback is illegal and likely to be reversed in court

On Dec. 4, President Trump traveled to Utah to sign proclamations downsizing Bears Ears National Monument by 85 percent and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by nearly 50 percent. “ome people think that the natural...

The obscure federal agency that soon could raise your electric bill: 5 questions answered...

Editor’s note: On or before Dec. 11, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is expected to take action on a controversial proposal by Energy Secretary Rick Perry that seeks to prevent noncompetitive coal and nuclear...

How the tax bill opens wide a big back door to overhaul health care

The U.S. Senate on Dec. 2 passed its version of one of the most sweeping tax reform bills on a party-line vote of 51-49. After reconciliation with a House version, the bill is expected...

A new collaborative approach to investigate what happens in the brain when it makes...

Decisions span a vast range of complexity. There are really simple ones: Do I want an apple or a piece of cake with my lunch? Then there are much more complicated ones: Which car...

Why the president’s anti-Muslim tweets could increase tensions

Last week, President Trump retweeted to his nearly 44 million followers a series of videos purporting to show Muslims assaulting people and destroying Christian statues. These videos, originally shared by an extremist anti-Muslim group...

Two little-known ways GOP tax bill would make chasm between rich and poor even...

The tax bill passed by the Senate in the wee hours of Dec. 2 will – if it becomes law – widen the gap between the rich and the poor at a time when...

Taking a second look at the learn-to-code craze

Over the past five years, the idea that computer programming – or “coding” – is the key to the future for both children and adults alike has become received wisdom in the United States....

When should you unfriend someone on Facebook?

The nature and ethics of “fake news” has become a subject of widespread concern. But, for many of us, the issue is much more personal: What are we to do when a cranky uncle...

Why psychiatrists should not be involved in presidential politics

The media, politicians, celebrities, athletes and other groups have questioned the fitness and mental health of the president, but one group has largely refrained: mental health professionals. This recently changed. One of the latest efforts...

The latest threat to peace in Colombia: Congress

The peace process in Colombia has reached a new landmark. On Nov. 30, both houses of Congress approved a bill establishing an alternative criminal justice system to judge those accused of war crimes during the...

Is the British monarchy actually adapting to changing social norms?

Is the royal marriage story we’re being sold really a fairy tale come true? Or is it a story spun by Buckingham Palace for its own self-interest, one shrouded in myth and make-believe? In the...

Could the ERA pass in the #Metoo era?

Eighty percent of people polled in 2016 think that the United States Constitution already has an amendment protecting equal rights for women. When they learn otherwise, more than 90 percent support an ERA. As a...

Why society should talk about forced sex in intimate relationships, too

In the wake of the deluge of news about sexual harassment and alleged assaults by several high-profile and powerful men, it is important to look at the causes and consequences of forced sex in...

In growing algae for biofuels, it matters who used the water last

Health food enthusiasts routinely shell out over $30 per pound of dried algae powder to whip up green smoothies to fuel their bodies. Algae can also power vehicles, but algae-based renewable fuels cost more...

Charles Manson and the perversion of the American dream

When Charles Manson died in November 2017, his name carried weight even among those who weren’t alive when he committed his crimes. For decades, Manson was the symbol of evil, a real-life boogeyman who loomed...

Who are the Baha’is and why are they so persecuted?

The Baha'is are among the most persecuted religious minorities in the world. In Iran, where the religion was founded, universities refuse to admit Baha'i students, Baha'i cemeteries have been destroyed and the country’s Supreme Leader...

Stop criticizing bizarrely shaped voting districts. They might not be gerrymandered after all

How can you tell if a voting district has been gerrymandered? Every 10 years, the U.S. Census informs lawmakers on how to redistribute 435 U.S. congressional seats among the 50 states. Each state must then...