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Posted on Jan 14, 2014

Though caffeine has been found to enhance long-term memory in bees, it hadn’t been shown to have similar effects on humans until now; green vegetables may be a new transformative source of energy for batteries; meanwhile, Brazil faces new dilemmas as a neoliberal democracy. 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.

Drink Two Espressos to Enhance Long-Term Memory
Coffee has long been a friend of students working through the night, but it does more than just keep them awake.

How Should Graduate School Change?
A dean discusses the future of doctoral-education reform.

How Ariel Sharon Shaped Israel’s Destiny
Now that Sharon’s unilateral vision appears to have been consolidated, Israel’s government must perpetually manage an occupation it has no intention of ending.

Big Money Behind War: the Military-industrial Complex
More than 50 years after President Eisenhower’s warning, Americans find themselves in perpetual war.

The End of Palestine? An Interview with Norman G. Finkelstein
A “framework agreement” will shortly be reached, and a final settlement will probably be signed in the last six months or so of President Obama’s term in office.

Could the College Campus Go the Way of the Bookstore?
When it comes to the frenzied advent of the MOOC, the massive open online courses that have been threatening to upend higher education, no college wants to be perceived as old school. For some, there is a very real danger of becoming no school.

Scientists Create ‘Micro-Windmills’ That Could Power Your Cellphone
Researchers at the University of Texas Arlington have developed tiny “micro-windmills” so small that ten of them can fit on one grain of rice.

Green Energy: Vegetables May Help Wind, Solar Stem Use of Fossil Fuels
Rhubarb and other simple green vegetables could be the source of materials for a new generation of batteries with the potential to transform energy systems, according to new research by Harvard University.

What You Should and Shouldn’t Worry about after the Fukushima Nuclear Meltdowns
Fresh meltdowns at the devastated nuclear facility are unlikely but years of slow, dangerous labor to repair the existing damage are guaranteed.

Two Transitions in Brazil: Dilemmas of a Neoliberal Democracy
This article reviews the background and the implications of two transitions in Brazil: the political transition from a military regime (1964-85) to democracy (1985-present), and the economic transition from import-substituting industrialization (ISI, 1930-80) to neoliberalism (1990-present).

Eminent Domain: A Long Shot Against Blight
You can’t fight city hall, the saying goes.

Taking Israel to Task
The Modern Language Association’s Delegate Assembly narrowly approved a resolution Saturday urging the U.S. State Department to express concern over what the measure calls restrictions on scholars’ ability to travel to Israel and the West Bank to work at Palestinian universities.

New Battery Material Could Help Wind and Solar Power Go Big
Low-cost materials could make storing hours of power from a wind farm economically feasible.

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