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TheConversationUS

@TheConversationUS@newsie.social

A nonprofit news organization dedicated to sharing the knowledge of experts with the public, in accessible, trustworthy articles drawing on their research.

Pictured: just a few of our recent writers.

Free to read, without paywalls or ads (and free to republish, too, under Creative Commons license).

We combine academic rigor with journalistic flair.

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TheConversationUS , to academicchatter
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This week The Conversation's is a special "Where are you?" edition.

First question:
You're struggling with FAFSA. Where are you? https://theconversation.com/the-conversation-u-s-weekly-news-quiz-189437
@academicchatter

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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Remembering the life and legacy of Woodrow Wilson, who died a century ago, historian Thomas Doherty writes “No president has suffered a more precipitous decline in reputation and esteem.”
He’s assailed for suppressing free speech during WWI and mandating racial segregation in federal hiring. It’s also worth remembering his self-righteousness about remaining in office when he was no longer fit for the job, a significant lapse of judgment.
https://theconversation.com/the-last-days-of-woodrow-wilson-219462
@histodons

TheConversationUS , to random
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Billionaire media owners can’t save .

Philanthropists can’t save .

A strong, accessible media system that serves the public interest will ultimately require significant public funding.

https://theconversation.com/saving-the-news-media-means-moving-beyond-the-benevolence-of-billionaires-222677
(by @victorpickard and Rodney Benson)

TheConversationUS , to academicchatter
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Peer review theoretically works to improve – weeding out mistakes and highlighting the most valuable insights.

But politics and reliance on free labor are among factors that undermine the process
https://theconversation.com/peer-review-isnt-perfect-i-know-because-i-teach-others-how-to-do-it-and-ive-seen-firsthand-how-it-comes-up-short-222445
@academicchatter

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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100 years ago, a group of New York City concertgoers gathered in midtown Manhattan’s Aeolian Hall for “An Experiment in Modern Music.”
The impresario had commissioned a new work by a 25-year-old Jewish-American upstart named George Gershwin.
“Rhapsody in Blue” is one of the best-known works of the 20th century – but it’s also something of a whitewashed version of Harlem’s vibrant Black scene
https://theconversation.com/george-gershwins-rhapsody-in-blue-is-a-story-of-jazz-race-and-the-fraught-notion-of-americas-melting-pot-213058
@histodons @jazz

TheConversationUS , to bookstodon
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Gen Z and millennials are visiting libraries at a healthy clip, with 54% of them trekking to their local library in 2022 (more than boomers or Gen X)
https://theconversation.com/gen-z-and-millennials-have-an-unlikely-love-affair-with-their-local-libraries-220632
@bookstodon

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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If history had taken another path, bar codes would look dramatically different today. Pictured: Here’s some of the options that were being considered, and the bull’s-eye was a favorite ⬇️

“Even in their wildest dreams, [the committee members] could not have imagined how consequential their decision ended up being,” writes Jordan Frith of Clemson University.
https://theconversation.com/how-we-almost-ended-up-with-a-bulls-eye-bar-code-219194
@histodons

TheConversationUS OP ,
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@DukeDuke @histodons We published a nice history of the gang of idiots when they met their demise: https://theconversation.com/mad-magazine-is-finished-but-its-ethos-matters-more-than-ever-before-95708

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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⬇️ In the mid-18th century, Martin Howard, left, and Stephen Hopkins were both loyal British subjects in the English colony of Rhode Island. Both were prosperous civic leaders.

But as the winds of revolution started to blow, one argued against taxation without representation, and the other defended the King.

It’s a relevant lesson as we head into the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution
https://theconversation.com/2-colonists-had-similar-identities-but-one-felt-compelled-to-remain-loyal-the-other-to-rebel-220202
@histodons

TheConversationUS , to academicchatter
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New research: Colleges attract interest from higher-caliber students when the state the school is in allows its residents to get high 🌿

https://theconversation.com/college-applications-rose-in-states-that-legalized-recreational-marijuana-219388
@academicchatter

TheConversationUS , to bookstodon
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Reading about the struggles of others can help doctors connect with the humanity of their patients and their own humanity, and lead to better care. Here’s how a doctor who has read poetry to her colleagues in the E.R. explains it:
https://theconversation.com/literature-inspired-my-medical-career-why-the-humanities-are-needed-in-health-care-217357
@bookstodon

TheConversationUS , to random
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Happy Birthday to the long-dead Edgar Allen Poe!

A lot of his image comes from a wildly inaccurate obituary written by his friend and literary executor Rufus W. Griswold, when Poe died in 1849

TheConversationUS , to academicchatter
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With students and professors spewing outrage over events in Gaza and Israel, the question is - what should universities do?

A professor at a campus that has stayed calmer than most talks about what has worked. Listen to the discussion on The Conversation Weekly :

https://podfollow.com/the-conversation-weekly/episode/ba8edf4e5c45e10727e8812857c9601217fd1312/view
@academicchatter

TheConversationUS , to random
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The ongoing horrors unfolding in Israel and Gaza have deep-rooted origins that stem from a complex and contested question: Who has rights to the same territory?

https://theconversation.com/israelis-and-palestinians-warring-over-a-homeland-is-far-from-unique-217862

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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What did the Founders mean by calling America’s self-government an “experiment?”

“The human-made nature of our institutions has always been a source of both hope and anxiety,” writes Thomas Coens of University of Tennessee.

“Hope that America could break the shackles of old-world oppression and make the world anew; anxiety that the improvisational nature of democracy leaves it vulnerable to anarchy and subversion.”

https://theconversation.com/why-franklin-washington-and-lincoln-considered-american-democracy-an-experiment-and-were-unsure-if-it-would-survive-213852
@histodons

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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Did you watch the show “Good Times”?

50 years ago, Norman Lear brought the first nuclear Black family to prime-time television in 1974. It continues to garner appreciation for the way the show featured strong female characters, and gave Black women agency – on and off the set.

https://theconversation.com/good-times-50-years-ago-norman-lear-changed-tv-with-a-show-about-a-working-class-black-familys-struggles-and-joys-219567
@histodons @blackmastodon

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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“The roots of the U.S.-Israel relationship predate 1948 and provide context for what has long been characterized as a “special” relationship between the two countries – one that now appears crucial to Israel’s prosecution of a war in Gaza.”

A historian of the Middle East examines the decades-old ‘special relationship’ between and the :
https://theconversation.com/a-brief-history-of-the-us-israel-special-relationship-shows-how-connections-have-shifted-since-long-before-the-1948-founding-of-the-jewish-state-215781

@histodons

TheConversationUS , to bookstodon
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An almost-solved mystery: What was Louise May Alcott’s pseudonym? A researcher makes a convincing case that stories published under the name “Gould” could have been written by Alcott.

By disguising her name, Alcott could publish in less prestigious venues without worrying about tarnishing her literary reputation.

https://theconversation.com/how-i-identified-a-probable-pen-name-of-louisa-may-alcott-217628
@bookstodon

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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Debates about celebrating go back to the 17th century. The Puritans, for example, discouraged Yuletide festivities and later outright banned them.

Not because they were joyless or humorless, but because of their desire to impose their will on the people of New England – Indigenous people and immigrants alike.

https://theconversation.com/why-the-puritans-cracked-down-on-celebrating-christmas-151359

@histodons

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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Historians know a fair bit about Herod the Great, the king of Judea at the time of Jesus’ birth.

And yes, Herod’s sinister reputation as a tyrant was probably well deserved. It made him the perfect villain for Matthew to set up as a parallel to Pharaoh.

https://theconversation.com/was-king-herod-the-great-really-so-great-what-history-says-about-the-bad-guy-of-the-christmas-story-215211
@histodons

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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The first nativity scene ever is actually documented -- and it happened 800 years ago.

"According to St. Bonaventure, St. Francis in 1223 sought permission from Pope Honorious III to do something 'for the kindling of devotion' to the birth of Christ. As part of his preparations, Francis 'made ready a manger, and bade hay, together with an ox and an ass,' in the small Italian town of Greccio."

https://theconversation.com/how-st-francis-created-the-nativity-scene-with-a-miraculous-event-in-1223-124742
@histodons

TheConversationUS , to random
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Within Israel’s large Jewish population, there is vast diversity. Only about 32% trace their ancestry to Europe, and over 40% from the Middle East.

And understanding that diversity is key to understanding Israelis’ behavior amid the current war in Gaza, as well as the country’s long-term resilience.

We had a historian of Jewish identity explain:
https://theconversation.com/israels-mosaic-of-jewish-ethnic-groups-is-key-to-understanding-the-country-217893

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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17th-century New England farmers moved a mind-staggering amount of stone to build walls – an estimated 240,000 miles of barricades, most stacked thigh-high and similarly wide.

That’s long enough to wrap Earth 10x at the equator – and is larger in volume than the Great Wall of China, Hadrian’s Wall in Britain and the Egyptian pyramids at Giza COMBINED.

https://theconversation.com/new-england-stone-walls-lie-at-the-intersection-of-history-archaeology-ecology-and-geoscience-and-deserve-a-science-of-their-own-216701
@histodons

TheConversationUS , to academicchatter
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Uncle Larry may regret giving you his old Subaru when you total it on Christmas Day.

Some billionaires may regret the $100 million they gave to an Ivy League school when they think the school should do more to fight

But in most cases, once the gift is given, there's no turning back.

https://theconversation.com/what-do-universities-owe-their-big-donors-less-than-you-might-think-explain-2-nonprofit-law-experts-219902

@academicchatter

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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The UN’s Genocide Convention, in its 75 years, has not stopped genocide.

Far from it.

But there is some value to the international treaty.

https://theconversation.com/the-landmark-genocide-convention-has-had-mixed-results-since-the-un-approved-it-75-years-ago-219296
@histodons

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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250 years ago, Bostonians made Boston Harbor a tea pot, dumping British in protest against taxation and monopolies.
Here’s some of the you may have forgotten of this pivotal event on the colonies’ road to revolution and independence https://theconversation.com/how-the-boston-tea-partys-destruction-of-the-tea-changed-american-history-219185 @histodons

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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Christmas pudding is a relatively recent concoction of two classic medieval dishes: a runny porridge known as “plum pottage”, which featured any seasonal mixture of meats, dried fruits, and spices; and “figgy pudding” (yes, the one mentioned in the song), a mixture of sweet and savory ingredients bagged with flour and cooked by steaming.

During the 18th century, the two merged into the more familiar plum pudding:
https://theconversation.com/how-the-christmas-pudding-with-ingredients-taken-from-the-colonies-became-an-iconic-british-food-218326
@histodons

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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Leaving out the history of ’s brutal subjugation of Haiti is like making a movie about Hitler without mentioning the Holocaust.
https://theconversation.com/the-napoleon-that-ridley-scott-and-hollywood-wont-let-you-see-218878
@histodons

TheConversationUS , to academicchatter
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Is free speech in trouble on college campuses?

The controversy over university presidents who gave lawyerly answers in Congress about punishing students who call for genocide reflects the reality of college free speech codes that try to both encourage debate and stop hatred.

A expert provides some needed context:
https://theconversation.com/why-university-presidents-find-it-hard-to-punish-advocating-genocide-college-free-speech-codes-are-both-more-and-less-protective-than-the-first-amendment-219566
@academicchatter

TheConversationUS , to academicchatter
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1957: Soviet Union launches Sputnik 1, and there's concern of the U.S.' shortage of Russian speakers to monitor Soviet activity

1958: Congress authorizes funding to strengthen education in foreign language

2023: A new report shows the study of languages other than English experienced an unprecedented drop of 16.6% since 2016

“This creates greater risks for national security,” explains a professor:
https://theconversation.com/fewer-u-s-college-students-are-studying-a-foreign-language-and-that-spells-trouble-for-national-security-198135

@academicchatter

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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Henry is dead at the age of 100.

Here's one Cambodian's verdict
"I’m a scholar of the political economy of Cambodia who, as a child, escaped the brutal Khmer Rouge regime with four siblings...
In both a professional and personal sense, I am aware of the near 50-year impact Kissinger’s policies during the Vietnam War have had on the country of my birth."

That impact was destruction, death and trauma.

https://theconversation.com/henry-kissingers-bombing-campaign-likely-killed-hundreds-of-thousands-of-cambodians-and-set-path-for-the-ravages-of-the-khmer-rouge-209353
@histodons

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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Protestant justifications for establishing parks, and the ideology of “manifest destiny” contributed to the persecution of tribes, a reality that the National Park Service has begun to redress in recent decades.

https://theconversation.com/in-america-national-parks-are-more-than-scenic-theyre-sacred-but-they-were-created-at-a-cost-to-native-americans-215344
@histodons

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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For the first time in 20 years, the NBA began its season with no Black-owned franchises. In fact, there’s been only one Black majority-owned team in league history 🏀

A century ago, one of the top pre-NBA professional franchises began play in Harlem thanks to the efforts of a Black business owner named Bob Douglas.

The of the New York Rens:
https://theconversation.com/a-century-ago-a-black-owned-team-ruled-basketball-today-no-black-majority-owners-remain-213439

@histodons

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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85 years ago, Hitler set in motion the violent pogrom of Kristallnacht.

It represented the turning point where he decided extreme violence against Jews would no longer be left to the Nazi brownshirts. Rather, it would be wielded by the German government.
https://theconversation.com/kristallnacht-85-years-ago-marks-the-point-hitler-moved-from-an-emotional-antisemitism-to-a-systematic-antisemitism-of-laws-and-government-violence-213327
@histodons

TheConversationUS , to psychology
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Good thinking is built from many ingredients, including:

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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Last year, rewrote constitutional law about .

Now, the same justices will hear a case defining the limits of their decision calling for judges to use history to decided what regulations are legal.

At issue: can gun be taken away from domestic abusers?

"Domestic violence" was not an issue in the 18th century, but there were laws against going about armed “to the fear and terror of any person."
https://theconversation.com/supreme-court-justices-consider-whether-to-uphold-law-that-keeps-guns-out-of-the-hands-of-domestic-abusers-217161
@histodons

TheConversationUS , to random
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We've been on Mastodon for a year now! 🍰

Thank you to all of our followers who have made engaging on this platform so much more rewarding and civil than that other place!

The Conversation exists to inform you, to feed your curiosity and to bring you knowledge to help you understand the world.

If you know folks here who you think would find value in our work, please give this post a boost.

https://theconversation.com/us/who-we-are

🧵 of some of our most popular posts from the past year:

TheConversationUS OP ,
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From September:
Largely forgotten until now, between 1933 and 1945 hundreds and hundreds of Jewish women and men performed individual acts of resistance in Nazi Germany.

Jews of all ages destroyed Nazi symbols, protested in public, disobeyed Nazi laws and defended themselves against insults and physical attacks.

Pictured: Lizi Rosenfeld, a Jewish woman, sits on a park bench bearing a sign that reads, ‘Only for Aryans,’ in August 1938 in Vienna ⬇️

https://theconversation.com/how-individual-ordinary-jews-fought-nazi-persecution-a-new-view-of-history-210337
@histodons

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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Antisemitism in the US has a long and often forgotten history.

On a Halloween night just like this one in 1950, two Jewish boys were beaten in one of many attacks which received little notice.

https://theconversation.com/a-halloween-party-in-boston-turned-ugly-when-a-gang-hurled-antisemitic-slurs-and-attacked-jewish-teenagers-213853
@histodons

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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“For Black people, education was in and of itself an act of active resistance against racial disenfranchisement….

Black teachers used classrooms to not only impart the lessons of history, but also to encourage students to be actively involved in the fight for racial equity.”

https://theconversation.com/lessons-for-today-from-the-overlooked-stories-of-black-teachers-during-the-segregated-civil-rights-era-213811
@blackmastodon @histodons

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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The book "Malleus Maleficarum" was a bestseller during the 15th-17th centuries. It provided guidance to hunters, resulting in the execution of thousands of people, mostly women.

Piece by a professor who teaches the dark legacy of the “Hammer of Witches” 🧙‍♀️⬇️
https://theconversation.com/how-do-you-spot-a-witch-this-notorious-15th-century-book-gave-instructions-and-helped-execute-thousands-of-women-168569
@histodons

TheConversationUS , to sociology
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The “e-mail order brides” business is going strong, even as Chinese prosperity has grown.

Chinese women cited age discrimination in China as their primary reason for seeking a husband in the U.S.
Single women as young as 27 in China are stigmatized and considered ‘leftover’.
But financially-secure Chinese women were more likely to reject the working-class American men they were matched with.
https://theconversation.com/why-are-some-chinese-women-still-looking-to-the-west-for-love-213632
@sociology

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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"The North American observance of also included everything from minor pranks to some major vandalism, as well as a lot of drinking.

By the early 20th century, however, many municipalities and churches attempted to curb this behavior by turning Halloween into a family celebration with children’s parties and, eventually, trick-or-treating as we know it today."
https://theconversation.com/tricking-and-treating-has-a-history-85720
@histodons

TheConversationUS , to psychology
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“Meta officials had internal research in March 2020 showing that Instagram – the social media platform most used by adolescents after TikTok – is harmful to teen girls’ body image and well-being. But the company swept those findings under the rug to continue conducting business as usual, according to a Sept. 14, 2021, Wall Street Journal report.”
These charges have reemerged in a lawsuit filed by 41 states and the District of Columbia.
https://theconversation.com/states-sue-meta-for-knowingly-hurting-teens-with-facebook-and-instagram-here-are-the-harms-researchers-have-documented-168043
@psychology

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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'Killers of the Flower Moon' delves into racial and family dynamics that rocked Oklahoma to the core when oil was discovered on Osage lands. White settlers targeted members of the Osage Nation to steal their land and the riches beneath it. But from a historical perspective, this crime is just the tip of the iceberg.

Pictured ⬇️An Osage delegation with President Coolidge at the White House in 1924:
https://theconversation.com/gangsters-are-the-villains-in-killers-of-the-flower-moon-but-the-biggest-thief-of-native-american-wealth-was-the-us-government-207700
@histodons

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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Same-sex relationships and gender beyond a strict cisgender binary was more common in ancient Greece and Rome than many people today assume, if we look at the surviving writings 🏳️‍🌈

https://theconversation.com/ancient-texts-depict-all-kinds-of-people-not-just-straight-and-cis-ones-this-college-course-looks-at-lgbtq-sexuality-and-gender-in-egypt-greece-and-rome-210182

@histodons

TheConversationUS , to histodons
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Palestinians and Jews have been maligning, menacing and murdering each other since the 19th century, writes a documentary filmmaker who grew up in Israel.

For many Jewish Israelis, October 7’s attack was unexpected in the “unimaginable brutality and destruction. Few pictured Hamas wreaking ISIS-style havoc on 20 towns, raping women and murdering children.”

But he is not yet ready to give up on hope.

https://theconversation.com/reflections-on-hope-during-unprecedented-violence-in-the-israel-hamas-war-215393

@histodons

TheConversationUS , to psychology
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Think of a spiritual awakening, a near-death experience or a feeling of awe in nature.

Social scientists call events like these psychologically transformative as they quickly change some “wiring” in the brain. And here’s an interesting thing: Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy appears to tap into this concept and facilitate accelerated change.

https://theconversation.com/psychedelics-plus-psychotherapy-can-trigger-rapid-changes-in-the-brain-new-research-at-the-level-of-neurons-is-untangling-how-204442
@psychology

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