How Judicial Conflicts of Interest Are Denying Poor Texans Their Right to an Effective Lawyer

Texas, United States (TexasTribune) – It was going to be his last shift at the Velvet Lounge, and all Marvin Wilford felt was relief. It was November 11, 2017 — Veterans Day — and as he got dressed for work, Wilford put on his scarlet-colored Marine Corps cap. The Velvet Lounge, a strip joint in North Austin, billed itself on Facebook as “the official afterparty for the city,” but Wilford couldn’t say he had fun: As a doorman, he collected cover charges from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. and did a…

Read More

Huge Wildfires in the Arctic and Far North Send a Planetary Warning

World Wide (Conversation) – The planet’s far North is burning. This summer, over 600 wildfires have consumed more than 2.4 million acres of forest across Alaska. Fires are also raging in northern Canada. In Siberia, choking smoke from 13 million acres – an area nearly the size of West Virginia – is blanketing towns and cities. Fires in these places are normal. But, as studies here at the University of Alaska’s International Arctic Research Center show, they are also abnormal. My colleagues and I are examining the complex relationships between…

Read More

Swearing: Attempts to Ban It Are a Waste of Time – Wherever There Is Language, People Cuss

United Kingdom (Conversation) – Attempts to ban swearing in public places, in the workplace and even in the home appear to be on the rise. The common thinking seems to be that people swear more and swear worse than they used to – and that this is a recent phenomenon. The apparent rise of profanity is easily ascribed to our language, interactions and society deteriorating under the bad influence of social media. This has to be stopped, the appalled guardians of “polite” behaviour argue, and the way to stop it…

Read More

Women Aren’t Better Multitaskers Than Men – They’re Just Doing More Work

World Wide (Conversation) – Multitasking has traditionally been perceived as a woman’s domain. A woman, particularly one with children, will routinely be juggling a job and running a household – in itself a frantic mix of kids’ lunch boxes, housework, and organising appointments and social arrangements. But a new study, published today in PLOS One, shows women are actually no better at multitasking than men. The study tested whether women were better at switching between tasks and juggling multiple tasks at the same time. The results showed women’s brains are…

Read More

School Spankings Are Banned Just About Everywhere Around the World Except in US

United States (Conversation) – In 1970, only three countries – Italy, Japan and Mauritius – banned corporal punishment in schools. By 2016, more than 100 countries banned the practice, which allows teachers to legally hit, paddle or spank students for misbehavior. The dramatic increase in bans on corporal punishment in schools is documented in an analysis that we conducted recently to learn more about the forces behind the trend. The analysis is available as a working paper. In order to figure out what circumstances led to bans, we looked at…

Read More

Call the Crime in Kashmir by Its Name: Ongoing Genocide

India (Conversation) – The Kashmir conflict, referred to as a “territorial dispute,” has been central to tense relations in Asia for more than 70 years, particularly between the two nuclear powers of India and Pakistan. Tensions have escalated between the countries many times in the past and have sometimes resulted in military confrontation. Kashmiris are an Indigenous people living under colonial occupation who have been fighting for their right to practise sovereignty through self-determination and self-government. Multiple colonial borders run through the Kashmiri peoples’ territories (Indian, Pakistani and Chinese), separating families…

Read More

The First Amendment: What It Really Means for Free Speech and Why Donald Trump Is Trampling on It

United States (Conversation) – US President Donald Trump is engaged in a deliberate and insidious campaign to undermine freedom of expression in the US – essentially declaring war on the First Amendment. In a “normal” political climate, this threat to one of America’s most fundamental freedoms would warrant the intense and sustained attention of the media and the public. But these aren’t “normal” times – and this threat to democracy, like so many others, is largely ignored as the collective attention of the public shifts from one outrageous incident to…

Read More

We Need to Examine the Role Masculinity Plays in Mass Shootings

United States (Conversation) – The United States is a world leader in mass shootings. In less than 24 hours, two mass shootings by single individuals, have left dozens of people dead. Meanwhile, ongoing gun violence in cities such as Chicago over the same weekend saw seven people shot and killed and 46 wounded. Much of the attention within the US and globally has now centered on the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas. There, a lone white gunman killed 22 people and wounded more than 20 more. Both incidents have…

Read More

How Muslim Women Break Stereotypes by Mixing Faith and Modesty With Fashion

World Wide (Conversation) – Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s decision to wear a headscarf following the Christchurch mosque attacks in March has earned her worldwide praise. But in an online backlash, critics pointed out that women in conservative Muslim countries have no choice and risk public rebuke, fines or even arrest if they don’t cover up. This is a longstanding controversy around the Muslim veil. Is it a tool for oppressing women or can it also carry other meanings? Our explorative research, based on interviews with young Muslim women living in…

Read More

Sexually Objectifying Women Leads Women to Objectify Themselves, and Harms Emotional Well-Being

Australia (Conversation) – How does a woman feel when a man wolf-whistles at her from across the street? Or when a male coworker gives her body a fleeting once-over before looking her in the eye? These examples may seem relatively innocent to some, but our research has found they can have negative consequences for women’s emotional well-being. We asked women to record any incidents of sexual objectification on a smartphone app, alongside rating their feelings several times each day for a week. When women experienced sexual objectification, in many cases…

Read More