A young Noam Chomsky was appalled by the “special” hatred the U.S. reserved for the Japanese during WWII; a reason to appreciate the polar vortex arises; meanwhile, privacy is becoming a luxury that few can afford. 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.

Defiant Putin Drops Cool Demeanor in Ukraine Talk In some ways, the venue Vladimir Putin chose and the emotional lecture he gave the world about Russia’s actions in Ukraine said it all.

The Revenge of History: Chomsky on Japan, China, the United States, and the Threat of Conflict in Asia In the 1930s and 40s, a young, politically precocious Noam Chomsky was much affected by the Great Depression and the slow, seemingly inexorable slide toward world war.

LGBT Issues Garner Limited Coverage and Little Optimism Coverage tone on LGBT people as a group on international TV news is strongly negative, with only the coverage regarding the U.S. showing any clear positivity.

Here’s a Reason Not to Hate the Polar Vortex The hemlock woolly adelgid hails from Osaka, Japan.

Big Data Means Big Questions on How That Information Is Used With the success of its free open online course system, called MITx, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology finds itself sitting on a wealth of student data that researchers might use to compare the efficacy of virtual teaching methods, and perhaps advance the field of Web-based instruction.

Has Privacy Become a Luxury Good? Last year, Julia Angwin spent more than $2,200 and countless hours trying to protect her privacy.

Putin’s Press Conference Proved Merkel Right: He’s Lost His Mind In Sunday’s New York Times, Peter Baker reported that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had tried talking some sense into Vladimir Putin.

The Battle for ‘Trayvon Martin’: Mapping a Media Controversy Online and Off-line One of the biggest news stories of 2012, the killing of Trayvon Martin, nearly disappeared from public view, initially receiving only cursory local news coverage.

Researchers at Fukushima Feel Stymied by Authorities In the chaotic, fearful weeks after the Fukushima nuclear crisis began, in March 2011, researchers struggled to measure the radioactive fallout unleashed on the public.


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