Neurobiological studies show that mathematical formulas stimulate the same parts of the brain as music and art do; a writer questions our surveillance nightmares; meanwhile, gay youth find solace on the Internet. 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.

Elegant Mathematical Formulas Activate the Same Brain Region As Music And Art Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder, and neurobiology, it turns out, supports this idiom.

Let’s Unbundle Of the litany of offenses commonly attributable to for-profit education, MOOCs, and other forms of distance education, one of the most incendiary is the thoughtless “unbundling” of the faculty role from the holy trinity of teaching, research, and service.

Through the Internet, Gay Teens Connected to Larger Community In the past 20 years, the Internet has significantly changed what it means to grow up as a gay kid in this country.

MSNBC Hosts Ignore Their Own Firm’s Workers’ Labor Action Peacock Productions workers are heading to NBC’s headquarters, “30 Rock,” on Thursday to deliver petitions to MSNBC hosts, including Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, the Rev. Al Sharpton and Lawrence O’Donnell, asking them to meet with the workers and stand with the workers who are seeking union representation on the job.

‘Good’ And ‘Bad’ War Fifty years ago, E.P. Thompson’s “The Making of the English Working Class” rescued the study of history from the powerful.

The Pierre Omidyar-Backed Legal Aid Clinic Wins a Public Records Case in Hawaii Last year, the Hawaii news site Honolulu Civil Beat was spawning a separate legal aid clinic to help the public — or even other news organizations — fight for better records access.

It’s Time to Rethink Our Nightmares About Surveillance Tear gas is a good teacher.

Researchers Resist Pressure to Show Impact of Their Work Applicants for government support, required to demonstrate the benefits of their research, say the measures are too narrowly defined.

Protecting Academic Freedom A federal appeals court has given a strong endorsement to the idea that faculty speech rights at public colleges and universities were not constrained by a 2006 Supreme Court ruling that limited the rights of some public employees.

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