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Ear to the Ground

Ethiopia’s Becoming More Homophobic As We Speak

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Posted on Dec 17, 2013

While conditions are improving in many places for the LGBT community, Ethiopia is treating gays like terrorists; a Christian education curriculum convinces children universal health care is ungodly; meanwhile, a Microsoft researcher tells parents to stop worrying about their kids’ social media habits. These discoveries and more below.

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.

Ethiopia’s War on Homosexuals
In a bleak little apartment on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, nearly a dozen men in their 20s take turns trying on a pair of black skinny jeans and watching Project Runway episodes downloaded off YouTube.

The Algorithms of Our Lives
In the best bookstore in Cologne, Germany devoted to humanities and arts titles, the new-media section contained hundreds of books. However, not a single title was about the key driver of the “computer age”: software.

33 Jaw-Droppingly Stupid Multiple-Choice Questions from the Christian Education Curriculum
Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) is a fundamentalist curriculum founded in Texas in 1970. It started as a program for private Christian day schools, but it has been hugely successful among conservative home schoolers.

Sinking Giggling into the Sea
In 1956, James Sutherland, a professor of 18th-century literature, delivered the Clark Lectures at Trinity College, Cambridge on the subject of ‘English satire’.

This Safe Sex Ad Is So Sexy and Awesome that Australia Banned it from the Airwaves
A racy commercial was banned from Australian television, but it has gone viral on the Internet.

How to Have a ‘Brain Orgasm’
Intimate videos of whispering and tapping fingernails cause pleasurable tingles, or ASMR, for some.

Hey, Economists: People Are Complicated
The field of economics is desperately in need of a paradigm shift if it wants to play a role in improving the lot of humanity.

The Tablet Magazine Ship is Sinking. Fast.
The now universally recognized and unequivocal data pointing to the steep decline of print-replica apps is becoming undeniable.

On Academic Freedom and the BDS Movement
An effective isolation of Israeli academic institutions will undoubtedly curtail some privileges that Israeli scholars take for granted, like generous travel subsidies, but that has no bearing on their academic freedom.

Parents: Don’t Panic About Your Kids’ Social Media Habits
Kids today! They’re online all the time, sharing every little aspect of their lives. What’s wrong with them?

ASA Members Vote To Endorse Academic Boycott of Israel
The members of the American Studies Association have endorsed the Association’s participation in a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

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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