Wednesday, May 7, 2014

#HEADLINES: How Many Wrongful Convictions?, Democracy's Deepening Recession, School Lunch Rules, Suspended for Opting Out of Standardized Test, Positive Long-Term Effects of Psilocybin

How Many People Are Wrongly Convicted? Researchers Do the Math. -- National Geographic
"It’s impossible to say whether this 4.1 percent false conviction rate [among death row inmates] applies to defendants who never went to death row. But I’ll leave you with one last depressing thought. Of all of the people found guilty of capital murder, less than half actually get a death-penalty sentence. And when juries are determining whether to send a defendant to death row or to life in prison, surveys show that they tend to choose life sentences when they have 'residual doubt' about the defendant’s guilt.

That means, then, that the rate of innocent defendants serving life in prison is higher than those on death row. 'They are sentenced,' the authors write, 'and then forgotten.'"


Democracy's Deepening Recession -- The Atlantic
"The democratic recession we're witnessing has been particularly visible in big 'swing states'—the non-Western countries with the largest populations and economies. Since the late 1990s, democracy has broken down in Russia, Nigeria, Venezuela, the Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, and Kenya. The Philippines is the one relative bright spot in the group today, with a democratically elected president, Benigno Aquino, committed to serious governance reforms. Russia has become not just a venal and despotic state, but a neo-imperial menace to its neighbors as well. Nigeria has reverted back to tragic levels of political kleptocracy and fraud, feeding political polarization, ethnic resentment, citizen alienation, and an increasingly virulent Islamic terrorist movement in the north. The grip of 'Bolivarian socialism' has weakened in Venezuela as governance has deteriorated, violence has exploded, and the opposition has unified behind a liberal challenger first to Hugo Chávez and then to his designated successor. But it will be a pyrrhic victory for democrats if the Chavista regime falls and social order collapses alongside it."




Schools seek changes to healthier lunch rules -- Associated Press
"In interviews, school nutrition directors across the country mostly agreed that healthy changes were needed in school lunches — long famous for daily servings of greasy fries and pizza. Kids have adapted easily to many of the changes, are getting more variety in the lunch line and are eating healthier.

But Domokos-Bays and other school nutrition directors say the standards were put in place too quickly as kids get used to new tastes and school lunch vendors rush to reformulate their foods. When kids don't buy lunch, or throw it away, it costs the schools precious dollars."


source: ComCCanor
Alabama teen suspended after opting out of standardized test -- Fox News
"Alyssa McKinney, an eighth-grade student at Whitesburg Middle School in Huntsville, Ala., told the station she was given two in-school suspensions after telling school officials that she didn’t want to take any more standardized tests and opted out, believing she that was an option.
...
A Department of Education spokeswoman told the station parents can choose not to have their child take part in state standardized testing  if they put their refusal in writing and give it to their school."


Magic Mushrooms May Have Long-Lasting Positive Effects On Personality -- Higher Perspective
"The root of the change seems to be not the drug itself, MacLean told LiveScience, but the mystical experiences that psilocybin often triggers. These profound, transcendent feelings feel no less real to people for being chemically induced, she said.

'Many years later, people are saying it was one of the most profound experiences of their life,' MacLean said. 'If you think about it in that context, it’s not that surprising that it might be permanent.'"

1 comment:

Rebecca Herb said...

I had the pleasure of experiencing What IF shortly before its release. It is a beautiful story full of nostalgia and friendship, that begs to be reread over and over! I hope this is just the beginning for DJ's talents.