Larry's List

iKnife: The Surgical Tool That Detects Cancer

A new device takes seconds to find tumors during an operation; Attorney General Eric Holder gives a speech that questions vigilantism in the wake of the Zimmerman trial and rebukes U.S. drone policy in the process; meanwhile, most Americans believe political parties are corrupt. 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.

‘Intelligent’ Surgical Knife can Sniff out Cancer Tissue
Scientists have created an “intelligent” surgical knife that can detect in seconds whether tissue being cut is cancerous, promising more effective and accurate surgery in future.

The China Syndrome
Readers will remember the China syndrome: the fear of a nuclear meltdown in the West, in which reactor components melt through their containment structures and into the underlying earth, “all the way to China.”

The Single Drip Scientists Have Been Waiting the Better Part of a Century for Just Dropped
Science lovers are aflutter today over a video, which may not look like much—OK, definitely doesn’t look like much—until you hear some people have been waiting for the better part of a century to lay eyes on the long-elusive “pitch drop” captured in the time-lapse footage you just watched with almost infinitely less of a time investment.

Whistleblowing Is the New Civil Disobedience: Why Edward Snowden Matters
Many civil liberties advocates are annoyed by how the media has spilled more ink talking about Edward Snowden than the issues that he’s trying to raise.

5 Facts About Ethnic and Gender Diversity in U.S. Newsrooms
Last week, San Francisco Bay area television station KTVU broadcast fake names for the pilots of the Asiana Airline flight that crashed on July 6.

What the Empire Didn’t Hear: US Spying and Resistance in Latin America
US imperialism spreads across Latin America through military bases and trade deals, corporate exploitation and debt.

Unhappy Truckers and Other Algorithmic Problems
When Bob Santilli, a senior project manager at UPS, was invited in 2009 to his daughter’s fifth grade class on Career Day, he struggled with how to describe exactly what he did for a living.

Assessment: It’s the Law
If teaching a 300-plus person course isn’t enough work, faculty members who do so at Iowa’s three public universities have new duties starting this fall.

Barbie Fights for her Life
As far as catfights go, this is a doozy.

Bradley Manning Trial: This Is Vengeance, Not Justice
Must the government take every possible ounce of flesh from Pfc. Bradley Manning in punishing him for his massive data dump to WikiLeaks? The woeful answer is yes.

The FBI Does Some Much-Needed Soul Searching About Just How ‘Expert’ Its Expert Testimony Is
The Washington Post brings us a look at the preliminary findings of a sweeping federal review into thousands of old criminal cases in which FBI forensic experts may have overstated their scientific testimony to help secure a conviction.

Holder’s Amazing Anti-drone War Speech
In powerfully decrying Stand Your Ground laws, the Attorney General effectively rebuked current U.S. foreign policy.

The Impact of Digital Tools on Student Writing and How Writing is Taught in Schools
A survey of teachers who instruct American middle and high school students finds that digital technologies are impacting student writing in myriad ways and there are significant advantages from tech-based learning.

30+ Examples of Christian Privilege
Following is a list of privileges granted to people in the U.S. (and many western nations) for being Christian.

The L.A. Review of Books Declares War on the N.Y. Review of Books
You don’t name your publication the Los Angeles Review of Books unless you are trying to make a statement.

Making Cities More Bird-Friendly With Nesting Bricks
City dwellers might consider sparrows an inexhaustible species – pecking at sidewalk hotdog buns and taking dust-baths in parks, the mundane brown birds are seemingly everywhere.

The Cool Sell of Guerilla Marketing
The most memorable thing about the 2002 science-fiction movie Minority Report was its depiction of advertising in a few decades — in particular the scene of Tom Cruise hurrying through a mall, besieged by holographic, interactive invitations to have a Guinness or use American Express, and asking him how he liked the tank tops he’d purchased at the Gap.

Three out of Four Americans Think Political Parties Are Corrupt
The U.S. institution Americans most widely view as corrupt is political parties, with three-fourths of 1,000 respondents describing the parties as “corrupt” or “very corrupt,” according to a corruption report released by Transparency International earlier this month.

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