Scientists are trying to construct military members who can fight without fatigue and thus be more efficient killing machines; a lot of Chinese students who hope to pursue higher education in the U.S. don’t speak enough English to do so; meanwhile, an organization named VIDA was formed to create awareness about gender bias in the literary world and it’s succeeding in making some publishers and reviewers uncomfortable. 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.

The War on Sleep All over the world, scientists are experimenting on soldiers to keep them awake beyond the limits of normal endurance.

The Dictatorship of Data Big data is poised to transform society, from how we diagnose illness to how we educate children, even making it possible for a car to drive itself.

Why Did the FBI Kill an Unarmed Man and Clam Up? What led an FBI agent, or some other law enforcement official, to shoot and kill an unarmed man in Orlando, Florida?

The Silent War The biggest war America has fought since World War II began about three decades ago.

‘Hannah Arendt’: The Big Twitter War of 1962 In the early 1960s version of social media – the New York cocktail party – Hannah Arendt was the very hottest of trending topics, and subject to much the same kind of distortion, misapprehension and groupthink we so often encounter today.

Father of Chechen Killed in Florida Says FBI Murdered Him After FBI agents questioned Ibragim Todashev for hours on end about one of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, his father alleged Thursday, they murdered him to keep him from talking.

Zomia, Land Without State For two thousand years, according to James Scott, the mountains of Zomia were a place of refuge for the people of Southeast Asia.

The Multiple Meanings of Revolution Though the age of historic upheavals and major political crises seemed to be over, the word “revolution” has made a recent comeback in Georgia, in the Ukraine and in the “Arab Springs” of 2011.

Thanking Bradley Manning A few evenings ago, as the sky began to darken here in Kabul, Afghanistan, a small group of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, (APVs), gathered for an informal presentation about WikiLeaks, its chief editor Julian Assange, and its most prominent contributor, Bradley Manning.

For Many Chinese Hoping to Study in the U.S., Language May Be a Problem A large-scale survey of Chinese students interested in studying in the United States has found that nearly two-thirds of them do not speak English well enough to participate in an American classroom discussion.

Outsourced Lectures Raise Concerns About Academic Freedom Students at Massachusetts Bay Community College this year got a rare opportunity to take a computer-science course designed and taught online by some of the top professors in the field.

The End of Irrational Consumption and the E-Waste Problem May 2013 was a month of irrational consumption, the kind that overhypes digital technologies and leads to mountains of electronic waste.

Lessons From the Reinhart-Rogoff Controversy At this point everyone who follows economic policy debates knows about the famous Reinhart-Rogoff spreadsheet error uncovered by a University of Massachusetts graduate student.

Japan Is Back: A Conversation With Shinzo Abe After serving a brief, undistinguished term as Japan’s prime minister in 2006–7, Shinzo Abe seemed destined for the political sidelines.

An App to Help You Prove the Beach You’re Standing On Is Public Decades-old California law is quite precise about who owns the state’s spectacular coastline: Everything below the mean high tide line over the previous 18.6 years belongs to the public.

Taxes, Surplus, and the Top 1 Percent We know that U.S. economic inequality—especially the share of income going to the top 1 percent—has been increasing for about three decades.

Skewing Dude-ward? In January, the National Book Critics Circle announced that its Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement award for this year would go to the feminist literary scholars Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, whose collaboration began with The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth Century Literary Imagination (Yale University Press, 1979).

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface.  We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig