Education

Global Warming Hurts Our Feelings

"A pair of agriculture groups has temporarily suspended about $1.5 million in grants to the University of Minnesota to protest a controversial study by U scientists earlier this month about biofuels and global warming," reports Tom Meersman.

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Teacher Warns Students About War Propagandist John Rendon

John RendonSteve Runge, an instructor at Northeastern University in Boston, is raising a red flag about a controversial lecturer. "John Rendon of the Rendon Group will be addressing the College of Business Administration Thursday afternoon.

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Canada's Groupthink Tanks on Afghanistan

As the debate over Canada's military mission in Afghanistan continues, the country's "Department of National Defence is ... spending millions of dollars sponsoring think tanks and scholars to offer up agreeable commentary," writes University of Ottawa professor Amir Attaran. "Take the Conference of Defence Associations, a think tank that got $500,000 from DND last year. ...

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Why Don't We Talk About Smoking and Celebrity Deaths?

Actress Suzanne Pleshette's recent death from "respiratory distress" was sad. Most of the articles about it briefly mention that she had been fighting lung cancer, but fail to mention that she had been a cigarette smoker in the past. Cigarette smoking is the single biggest cause of lung cancer.

It is rarely discussed, but tobacco has taken an extraordinarily heavy toll on Hollywood. The list of beloved celebrities killed by smokers' diseases is huge, and growing: George Harrison, Johnny Carson, Dana Reeve, Yul Brynner, Lucille Ball, Walt Disney, Nat King Cole, Joe DiMaggio, Michael Landon, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin, Betty Grable, and Babe Ruth to name just a few. Despite this, the failure to mention a person's smoking history in obituary columns is the norm in celebrity deaths. In just one glaring example, a four page obituary about the 2005 death of prominent news anchor Peter Jennings published by his own network, ABC, fails to mention the contribution that smoking made to Jennings' tragic and untimely death. A CNN's column about Jennings' death didn't mention it either. Something is up when major news organizations omit any mention the single most prominent cause of the death of a renowned news anchor.

Smithsonian: A Museum Acting Strangely

After two Smithsonian Institution board members questioned the appropriateness of accepting oil industry funding for its "Ocean Initiative," the American Petroleum Institute (API) withdrew its $5 million funding offer. "Circumstances within the Smithsonian have changed, to say the least," said an API spokesperson.

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