Because of Politics, Words Are Losing Meaning
Words pbs rewire

Can you tell someone’s political leanings by the way they talk? Scientists can. Penn State psychologists examined the word associations of more than 300 people and predicted their political beliefs, the party they belonged to and the candidate they were likely to vote for in the 2016 presidential election using a machine-learning algorithm. And the

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Collaboration Produces Better Ideas Than Leaders Do
collaboration rewire pbs

Pack mentality has been to blame for tragic historical events and horrible violence. It’s generally thought that a group of people acting together will be brought down to the lowest common denominator as “groupthink” solidifies. But there’s new evidence that this isn’t necessarily the case: When we’re in a group, all on the same level and sharing

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Climate Change Could Ground Your Next Flight
Climate Change pbs rewire

Sweltering temperatures grounded more than 40 flights in Phoenix earlier this summer. And that was no fluke—we can expect these effects to worsen until we get a handle on climate change, said Ethan Coffel, a doctoral student studying climate change impacts at Columbia University. That’s right—even air travel is impacted by our planet’s rising temperatures. Here’s what researchers say we can expect to change

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Opera-Matic Wants Us to Be Creative Together
Opera-Matic pbs rewire

How well do you know your neighbors? If you live in a city, there’s a good chance you’ve never even met them. Opera-Matic is trying to change that. Based in Chicago, this art collective sets up delightful and exciting community activities around the city. They invite neighborhood folks to participate in the fun. And they

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School Feels Harder When Upward Mobility Isn’t Certain
Upward Mobility pbs rewire

When working hard feels pointless, it can be difficult to convince yourself to keep going at the same pace. Most of us have encountered that feeling at some point in our lives. But it turns out it’s especially true for students, particularly those who come from families of lower socioeconomic status. Getting through high school and

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This Cellphone Doesn’t Need a Battery to Run
Cellphone pbs rewire

For some folks, their cellphone’s battery falling below 10 percent is cause for panic. But what if cellphones of the future don’t require any charging? In fact, what if they hardly use any energy at all? Scientists at the University of Washington have developed a cellphone that uses almost zero energy to make and receive calls.

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Are You Sure Your Tap Water is Safe to Drink?
Tap Water pbs rewire

Safe drinking water isn’t a given. If we’re accustomed to drinking water straight from the tap without getting sick, it can be easy to forget that.   But a recent report from the Center for Public Integrity highlights the harsh reality of drinking water contamination: In the past 10 years, nearly one of every five people living in the U.S. have consumed water that’s potentially unsafe.  Developing awareness of water quality

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How Climate Change Hurts Our Economy
Amir Jina Campus 2

If greenhouse gas emissions remain the same, the U.S. could be facing steep economic losses and more inequality within the next generation. It’s University of Chicago economist Amir Jina’s goal to make sure that doesn’t happen. Jina and a team of economists and climate scientists took a granular look at U.S. counties to estimate the financial

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How College Funding Cuts Are Hurting Students
College Funding pbs rewire

The start of the Great Recession—an event that forever changed our expectations for life after school—is now a decade behind us. But for publicly funded colleges and universities, its ramifications are still being felt, and these schools are passing resulting shortcomings on to the students they are trying to serve. According to a new analysis by the

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