Budgets for school nurses and counselors are getting cut while funding is being wasted on acquiring iPads; science and art clash as the ways to determine the authenticity of a Jackson Pollock piece shift; finances and critics have proven that Rick Santorum’s Christmas movie is nothing short of pathetic. 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.

An iPad on Every Desk: A Trojan Horse, Teachers Say A group of Los Angeles teachers and students says their school district’s plan to distribute iPads to every student is too good to be true.

Rick Santorum’s ‘The Christmas Candle’ Movie Flops The conservative former lawmakers’ foray into film production doesn’t exactly set the world on fire.

College Degree Via Mobile Device? The definition of class participation has changed for college students at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Viterbi School of Engineering.

A Real Pollock? On This, Art and Science Collide For nearly 60 years, a small painting with swirls and splotches of red, black and silver has stood as a symbol of enmity between two women: Lee Krasner, Jackson Pollock’s widow, and Ruth Kligman, his lover.

Album Sales Are Declining, But It’s Part of the Battle Between Art and Commerce It may seem like the end of days as people download individual tracks. But these changes are what push pop forward.

Capital Without a Historic Center Berlin’s central Mitte district is synonymous with a massive construction site. Near the TV tower and the Rotes Rathaus, or Red City Hall, one scaffold meets another.

The Shade of the Colonies in Urban France When the social mobility of black citizens disturbs the dominant racial and spatial order, the members of the minority are sometimes abruptly put back to their place.

Politics and Religion in Ancient Rome In ancient Rome, the State did not meddle in the private religious lives of its citizens, even though the gods were part of the community and lived among them.

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