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Castro Edition

Going nuclear in the Senate, the anthropology of “Avatar” and why Fidel Castro sent doctors instead of soldiers to Haiti. These stories and more on today’s list.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that 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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Going Nuclear: A Risky (but Justifiable) Path to Passing Health Care Reform

It is fundamentally absurd that the Democrats can’t pass health care reform (or much else of any importance) merely because their effective Senate majority, which includes two independents, dropped from 60 to 59.

Anthropologist on ‘Avatar’: A World All Their Own
Filmmakers are storytellers, but they are also architects and anthropologists. They must create whole worlds in which their stories can unfold.

Larry Lessig: Google, Copyright, and Our Future
In early 2002, the filmmaker Grace Guggenheim–the daughter of the late Charles Guggenheim, one of America’s greatest documentarians, and the sister of the filmmaker Davis Guggenheim, who made An Inconvenient Truth — decided to do something that might strike most of us as common sense. …

Castro on Haiti: We Send Doctors, Not Soldiers
Hour after hour, day and night, the Cuban health professionals have started to work nonstop in the few facilities that were able to stand, in tents, and out in the parks or open-air spaces, since the population feared new aftershocks.

Plagiarism Prevention Without Fear
Could student plagiarism actually be reduced? And could it be reduced not through fear of being caught, but through … education?

Hitting Pause on Class Videos
In the latest clash of copyright law and instructional technology, the University of California at Los Angeles has stopping allowing faculty members to post copyrighted videos on their course Web sites after coming under fire from an educational media trade group.

All-White Basketball League?
Census projections indicate that by the year 2050 white people will be a minority in the United States. …

Computers Should Be More Like Toasters
My hope for the big Apple announcement: a tablet that’s as easy to use as an appliance.

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