We’re kicking off a new feature. Every night Truthdig will bring you the news items and other odds and ends that caught the eye of 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.

Medvedev vs. Putin? Mystery returns to the Kremlin Is Medvedev the lap dog of Putin? Or is he biting his mentor’s ankles? No one knows, which makes taking sides a dangerous guessing game, particularly for the White House. Link

Wired Magazine Backs Internet for the Nobel Peace Prize The Internet has clearly been a boon for news junkies, LOLcats and the makers of goofball videos. But it’s also proved to be a powerful international force for peace. Link

Epilepsy as live art isn’t controversial Rita Marcalo’s plan to induce a seizure on stage challenges people’s fears of the condition — and makes for witty art. Link

High-end audio maker Linn declares death of the CD player The British maker of stuff for audiophiles says digital streaming is the way forward for its music products. Link

Artists experiment with augmented reality Augmented reality (AR) has been touted as the bridge between the physical and virtual worlds, as new technologies add information to real-world environments. Link

How our brains learned to read In his autobiographical “Confessions,” Augustine of Hippo recounts a strange sight: his teacher, Ambrose, reading to himself. Link

Study: Kids in home-based day care watch more TV Children who attend home-based day-care programs are watching twice as much television per day as was previously thought, according to a study released online Monday and published in the December issue of Pediatrics. Link

Composer reinvents the piano For a non-pianist, the idea of a microtonally fluid piano might seem either no big deal or baffling. Link

Should serial novels be continued? Out of sync with print-based reading habits, this form is nonetheless perfectly in tune with the Web. Link

Charges against nude Met model dropped All charges have been dropped in the case of the woman who tore off her dress in the middle of a crowded Metropolitan Museum of Art for a photo shoot in August. Link

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