The Austerity Diet

Austerity Diet

Political “pros” invoke Kate Moss’s oft-quoted aphorism, “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” in budget talks.

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We Are Creating Walmarts of Higher Education

Higher Education

The Article: ‘We Are Creating Walmarts of Higher Education’ by Timothy Pratt in The Atlantic.

The Text: Universities in South Dakota, Nebraska, and other states have cut the number of credits students need to graduate. A proposal in Florida would let online courses forgo the usual higher-education accreditation process. A California legislator introduced a measure that would have substituted online courses for some of the brick-and-mortar kind at public universities.

Some campuses of the University of North Carolina system are mulling getting rid of history, political science, and various others of more than 20 “low productive” programs. The University of Southern Maine may drop physics. And governors in Florida, North Carolina and Wisconsin have questioned whether taxpayers should continue subsidizing public universities for teaching the humanities.

Under pressure to turn out more students, more quickly and for less money, and to tie graduates’ skills to workforce needs, higher-education institutions and policy makers have been busy reducing the number of required credits, giving credit for life experience, and cutting some courses, while putting others online.

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Students Address Standardized Testing Failures To NYC’s New Mayor

According to these students, it’s a “life suck” and rids them of their desire to go to school.

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FOX News Introduces Its New Motto For 2014

Fox News Motto

Pointed projection at its finest.

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Why Buying Cocaine Is Like Donating To The Nazi Party

Coke Nazis

The Article: Cocaine Is Evil by Erick Vance in Slate.

The Text: I don’t cover the narco war. I don’t even pretend to. I’m a science writer: I go to labs, talk to scientists and policymakers, and occasionally get on boats that take me out to see cool underwater critters. I live in Mexico City, which is about as safe as living in Washington, D.C. I occasionally walk home a little drunk without worrying about my safety any more than I would have in my old home in Berkeley, Calif. And I gotta be honest, I’m happy in my little bubble.

But working here, especially on occasional jaunts to northern Mexico, you can’t avoid the drug story. It’s infused in every interview, every stop at a checkpoint, every street corner, like that stink you can’t get out of the carpet.

Last year I reported a fishing story in Sonora that attempted to put a human face on the seafood industry and the collapse of many populations of key ocean creatures. The idea was that if consumers knew more, they might make more informed choices about what they eat, maybe selecting slightly less destructive options. I was in a relatively quiet part of Mexico in terms of violence but one that is nonetheless a crucial stopover for drugs going north. To states like California, where I’m from. My reporting partner—a photographer named Dominic Bracco who’s spent his share of time amid drug violence—and I always thought it was funny that people in the area seemed incredulous that we were actually reporting about fish. Oh right, sure, “fish.” We have a lot of “fish” here.

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