Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates says America’s approach to foreign affairs is too militarized, evidenced by its two most recent wars; American viewers can hardly recognize news anchors anymore; meanwhile, people still believe Greek art was white, despite proof of its once garish colors. 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.

Robert Gates: The Iraq War Undermined U.S. Efforts in Afghanistan The former secretary of defense also says that American foreign policy is too militarized and that politicians can’t be trusted to do what’s right.

OK, Obviously the Universe Is Big But understanding quite what that means takes a few more brain particles.

Too Much Information: Prenatal Genetic Tests Pregnant women and their partners can already peer at an unborn child’s chromosomes: with amniocentesis, they can learn about the presence or, more likely, absence of large-scale genetic defects, often gaining peace of mind.

Why Palestinians Are Puzzled by the ‘Jewish State’ Demand Netanyahu’s demand for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state bizarrely inserts Palestinians into the ‘Who is a Jew’ debate.

Who Is This Man? Many Americans Don’t Recognize Top News Anchor In an online survey about Americans’ knowledge about the news conducted last summer, just 27% of the public could correctly identify Brian Williams, anchor of the top-rated NBC Nightly News.

Enjoy A Few Moments Of Messed-Up Messages, Created And Shared By The Beauty Industry This is an ad, but you know what? I don’t care. Of course I find it hypocritical that a beauty company that makes money selling beauty products is advertising its brand by calling out other companies doing the same thing. I guess it must mean the situation is pretty bad — that a video like this is a nice change of pace.

Why The Violent Game Debate Actually Isn’t Over The video game debate isn’t over yet, and there’s a good chance it never will be.

The Two Session Solution To get to Session 48 (out of more than 800) at the annual meeting of the Modern Language Association Thursday, attendees had to show an official name badge to get on the escalator and again to get in the room (switched at the last minute to a large ballroom on the chance of crowds).

Ease Up on Social Science As the federal government considers an overhaul to rules governing scientific research involving human subjects, the National Research Council is urging officials to be more exacting in determining which types of social and behavioral science research should receive oversight.

African Americans and Technology Use This report on African Americans and technology is the first in a series of demographic snapshots of technology use and adoption among different groups of adults in the United States.

The Hype of High-Tech Predictions for 2014 Making credible predictions about new products and innovations in digital technology for 2014 is a tricky business.

Mainspring of the Arab Revolt Adam Hanieh’s ‘Lineages of Revolt: Issues of contemporary capitalism in the Middle East’ ought to be read – or, better, studied – by every socialist interested in the Middle East.

When the Art of Ancient Greece Lost its Colour Although we know today that Ancient Greek art was rich in colour, a mistaken belief in its whiteness has prevailed since ancient times.

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