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Does Laughing at ‘Daily Show’ Clips Blind Us to Democrats’ Follies?

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Posted on Aug 12, 2014

Though poking fun at right wingers is amusing, a Salon writer argues that it gets Democrats off the hook; Israeli media are “waking up” to the devastation in Gaza and to international criticism; meanwhile, an IBM chip has been developed that works similarly to human brains. These discoveries and more below.

Do Dogs Get That Eureka! Feeling?
New research by Ragen McGowan et. al. from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden, investigates whether dogs enjoy the experience of solving a problem in order to obtain a reward, or if it is just the reward itself that makes them happy.

The Gaza Conflict Has Become New York’s Great Conversational Taboo
My friend Diana, 29, a communications professional, is Jewish and supports Israel’s right to exist and defend itself, but is strongly against Israeli occupation of and aggression against Palestinians.

Ever Wonder Who’s Raking in the Dough on the Small Screen?
The rankings may surprise you.

Jon Stewart Is Not Enough
It’s easy to take shots and laugh at the know-nothing right. But our smirks let complicit Democrats off the hook.

Redheads Are More Common in Commercials Than in Real Life
A couple theories as to why this is.

Why the ‘Libertarian Moment’ Isn’t Really Happening
The political philosophy hasn’t captured America’s youth. But it has made inroads within the Republican Party—inroads the GOP would be wise to resist.

Sexual Mores in Iran: Official Report Blows the Lid Off the Secret World of Sex
It is the last thing Iran’s religious rulers want to talk about, but they may just have to.

Israeli Media Wakes Up to Gaza Destruction, Criticism
After 29 days of fighting during Operation Protective Edge, both sides — Israel and Hamas — declared victory.

From Peyote to Sex: Religious Liberty Fight Recast
Not long ago, when religious liberty cases reached the courts, the people seeking protection for their beliefs were mostly from small faith groups and their lawyers were liberals.

U.S. Evangelicals Cheer on Latin American Culture Wars
Church leaders in the United States are backing fights across the Americas against gay equality, abortion and pornography.

The Story Behind the Ancient Map That Invented Red and Blue States
The country was just as polarized 125 years ago—except the colors were upside down.

Tales of the Cities: The Progressive Vision of Urban America
A union leader is being hailed as a possible mayor in Chicago while elsewhere mayors are pursuing policies Obama has been unable to enact on the national stage.

Human Exodus May Have Reached China 100,000 Years Ago
Our direct ancestors may have found their way out of Africa much earlier than we think.

The Growing Pay Gap Between Journalism and Public Relations
After years of grim news for the news industry marked by seemingly endless rounds of staff cutbacks, it’s not unusual for those thinking about a career in journalism or veterans trying to find a new job to look at options in related fields.

Dahr Jamail: Open Source Farming
The news about our global food supply is not good.

Left-wing U.K. Jewish Groups Thrive During Israel’s Gaza War
Jews are highlighting the plight of the Palestinian victims and supporting what one outfit calls its ‘welcoming anti-Zionist presence.’

How the ‘Long Shadow’ of Family Background Helps Determine Which Children Succeed
To see how the circumstances of childhood shape the lives of young adults, Karl Alexander and his colleagues followed a sample of nearly 800 children from the start of first grade at Baltimore public schools into their late 20s.

IBM Chip Processes Data Similar to the Way Your Brain Does
A chip that uses a million digital neurons and 256 million synapses may signal the beginning of a new era of more intelligent computers.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication.

A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

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