Despite arguments that privatization makes the American health system the best, 26 other countries’ are better; it’s no coincidence there are more large earthquakes occurring as drilling has increased; meanwhile, artist Nickolay Lamm shows us what a real, healthy Barbie would look like with his latest work. 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.

We’re #27! The usual excuse, from mainstream economists and politicians, that the U.S. healthcare system should remain mostly in for-profit, private hands is because the outcomes of that system make it the best in the world.

Large, Distant Earthquakes May Cause Smaller Quakes at U.S. Drilling Sites From the late 1960s until 2000, there were only 21 earthquakes a year with a magnitude greater than 3 in the Midwest. But from 2010-2012, the region experienced over 300.

These New Windows Let the Summer Breeze In, But Block the Street Noise If you live in a dense urban neighborhood—the heart of Brooklyn, say—deciding to open your window is a complicated process.

A Nearly Hidden Horror of the Sequester On June 30, the Washington Post, a predictable outlet for arguments for gutting critical social services, carried a misleading, ill-informed article by David A. Fahrenthold and Lisa Rein.

The Arab Spring: Has It Failed? Roughly two-and-a-half years after the revolutions in the Arab world, not a single country is yet plainly on course to become a stable, peaceful democracy.

A Liberal Dixie? What You May Not Know About the Changing South The final rally of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign took place on symbolically charged ground: the rolling fields of Manassas, site of the first major battle of the Civil War.

US Energy Infrastructure a Sitting Duck in Face of Climate Change The nation’s energy infrastructure is a sitting duck in the face of climate change.

Israel’s Military-Entrepreneurial Complex Owns Big Data Technology to track enemies powers Israel’s move into commercial prediction software.

Yes, You Should Be Totally Outraged By the Farm Bill It’s not just a microcosm of congressional insensitivity and bad economics. It’s a small moral play about the role of money in politics.

How Beverly Hills Billionaire Farmers Lynda and Stewart Resnick Profit from the Iran Sanctions they Lobbied for Beverly Hills agri-billionaires Lynda and Stewart Resnick are the newest and oddest landlords in California’s Oligarch Valley.

Barbie Gets a Real-World Makeover What if Barbie looked like a real woman? Artist Nickolay Lamm answers this question with his latest work.

Drop in Humanities Majors Due to Women? There’s no shortage of explanations for the so-called crisis in the humanities, and more have come to light since the publication of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ recent “Heart of the Matter” report on the topic.

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