Universities are working hard to keep their students in the classroom rather than out starting their own business; private prisons receive tons of taxpayer dollars but can operate under secrecy; meanwhile, anti-terrorist agencies try to entrap activists to demonstrate that the policing organizations are needed. 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.

Colleges Working to Stop Student Entrepreneur Dropouts Entrepreneurship is becoming increasingly popular among college students, and the idea of dropping out to pursue entrepreneurial goals is on the rise.

Harvard, MIT Launch MOOC Student Visualization Tools Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the two institutions behind the massive open online course provider edX, recently released a set of tools that visualize the age, gender, location and level of education of their almost 2 million MOOC users.

Mapping Twitter Topic Networks: From Polarized Crowds to Community Clusters Conversations on Twitter create networks with identifiable contours as people reply to and mention one another in their tweets.

Despite Receiving Millions in Public Money, Private Prisons are Impenetrable ‘Bastions of Secrecy’ The private correctional industry in America is a massive complex funded by billions of dollars in taxpayer money.

What Really Happened to Michael Rockefeller A journey to the heart of New Guinea’s Asmat tribal homeland sheds new light on the mystery of the heir’s disappearance there in 1961.

The Witch Hunt For Activists Cops need criminals. Otherwise, there’s no reason for police to exist.

Revolutionary Innovation Happening Now in Spain As European parliamentary elections approach in May, a revolutionary citizen network in Spain is emerging to challenge the business as usual approach to electoral politics.

Blue Cross: The Comcast of Obamacare Media coverage of the Affordable Care Act these days bounces back and forth between good news and bad.

Break-in Reported at Project on Government Oversight It’s probably nothing, but the office of a major Washington, DC national security whistleblowers organization was broken into recently.

Why Is Academic Writing So Academic? Academic writing is a fraught and mysterious thing.

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