The new SAT, explained in 7 annotated sample questions – “As the Common Core takes hold in classrooms and national concern grows about income inequality, the test is supposed to be more closely connected to what kids learn in school — and more difficult for rich families to game.” It’s time for a reform so I’m happy to see this.
Black Women Writers and the Secret Space of Diaries – “One of the fears that many black women writers have historically had is that if they reveal too much of their intimate lives, it could reflect badly, not only on themselves but on the black community. In addition to matters of romance and money, these earlier diaries of black women are filled with confessions about strained familial relationships, and personal demons and insecurities.”
It’s Time To Stop Apologizing For Tina Fey – “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’s racism and exoticism are not novel. Nor, in the grand, offensive history of Hollywood films, that grave. The film is fairly funny; the acting is highly watchable. That’s exactly what makes it so infuriating.” From Radium.
Ego Depletion: An Influential Theory in Psychology May Have Just Been Debunked – “Baumeister’s theory of willpower, and his clever means of testing it, have been borne out again and again in empirical studies. The effect has been recreated in hundreds of different ways, and the underlying concept has been verified via meta-analysis. It’s not some crazy new idea, wobbling on a pile of flimsy data; it’s a sturdy edifice of knowledge, built over many years from solid bricks. And yet, it now appears that ego depletion could be completely bogus, that its foundation might be made of rotted-out materials.” (This is just the normal process of science, despite the alarmist tone of the article–but it is still interesting to see a theory possibly crumble.)
Citing Gender Bias, State Lawmakers Move To Eliminate ‘Tampon Tax’ – “Sales tax isn’t applied to Viagra in Wisconsin, but it is applied to tampons and pads. Birth control, medicated condoms and yeast infection medication are exempt because they are considered drugs. One lawmaker in that state says the taboo around menstruation that prevents women from openly talking about their periods may also explain why women are paying extra to manage those periods.”
The First Day of the New Supreme Court – If a police officer collects evidence illegally, it cannot be used in court (as it violates the Fourth Amendment), and this is known as the “exclusionary rule.” Unsurprisingly, Scalia (and the conservative Supreme Court bloc) is against this. But now that he’s gone, and a case debating the exclusionary rule is up in the court, it went much differently than planned.