FDA has approved the use of autonomous telemedicine robots in U.S. hospitals; although President Obama’s second term inaugural speech was inclusive and liberal, it failed to mention the growing crisis of inequality our nation faces; meanwhile, a new book details the scandalous antics of hard-partying authors. 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.

FDA Approves First Autonomous Telemedicine Robot for Use in Hospitals iRobot and InTouch Health have received the FDA’s stamp of approval for their RP-VITA autonomous robot, clearing the way for the bot to begin wandering hospitals throughout the United States.

Classical: What If It’s (Gasp) Entertainment? It just may be time to give up on one of the most exhausted, long-lived cliches about classical music: that it is “high” art, uniquely deserving respect and support for its greatness.

Even Balzac Had To Intern A young man graduates from college. At his father’s insistence, he begins interning at a law firm.

Value Evolution, Not Just Revolution, in Higher Ed Ever since the country’s top universities teamed up last year in loose federations to offer free online classes to the masses, MOOCs have become a household word in higher-education circles.

The Real Problem With Colleges’ Business Model The simple problem with the existing higher education business model in the United States is that it has involved aggregate per student spending that rises faster than inflation for a long time.

Bad Actors A continuing source of frustration for many Americans has been the fact that no one on Wall Street has gone to jail for the mortgage fraud that nearly crashed the world financial system in 2008.

The Missing Link in Obama’s Liberalism Consensus! Left and right agree that Barack Obama not only gave a powerfully liberal inaugural address, but that he touched on all the important bases.

What You Need to Know About Genetically Engineered Food American farmers started growing genetically engineered (GE) crops (which are also commonly referred to as “GMOs”) in 1996, and now plant 165 million acres annually.

Netflix, ‘House of Cards,’ and the Golden Age of Television TV is replacing movies as elite entertainment, because players like Netflix, HBO, and AMC are in an arms race for lush, high-quality shows

A Portrait of the Adult Children of Immigrants Second-generation Americans—the 20 million adult U.S.-born children of immigrants—are substantially better off than immigrants themselves on key measures of socioeconomic attainment, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

Why Social Movements Should Ignore Social Media There are two ways to be wrong about the Internet.

How the Internet Reinforces Inequality in the Real World Maps have always had a way of bluntly illustrating power.

The Study That Could Upend Everything We Thought We Knew About Declining Urban Crime Bill Bratton took the job as commissioner of the New York Police Department in 1994 under Mayor Rudy Giuliani, setting the stage for a Cinderella story in urban law enforcement that went on to change how virtually every major U.S. city tackles crime.

America’s New Vietnam Syndrome The kind of questioning that Hagel had to face at his confirmation hearing only goes to show that the ideological divisions of the 1970s have survived into the 21st century, reborn now as arguments over whether Iraq was ‘worth it.’

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